"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Retail Wednesday puts the pressure on

This was kind of a lame week. Ah well, you can't have total idiocy all the time apparently. It's kind of funny, because I should be glad that I had less crazy to deal with, but instead I'm kinda bummed out. Oh the life of a writer.

But now... on to the awards!

Clueless Award:

A woman approached me and asked for books on card tricks. I start leading her to the section.
Woman: You have a bargain kit out front, but I don't need the whole thing, just a book. (holds out a doodle bargain book that she is carrying) I also need something like this, but do you have anything that's cheaper.
Me: (looking at the book which is $4.99) Other than that, we're just going to have stuff in the regular kids section and the ones similar to this are going to be at least $10.
Woman: (sighs exasperatedly and shakes her head)
Me: (arriving at the section) Here's a book on card tricks.
Woman: (takes the book and then answers her phone and begins talking. I turn to walk away. Her hand shoots out to stop me. She points at the back of the book with a frown and a furrowed brow) Don't you have anything less expensive?
Me: (looking at the $7.95 price label) no, that's actually a really good price for that size book.
Woman: (glares at me as though I personally am charging her double what she should have to pay.)

Now, I know that some books seem overpriced, but seriously? $5 and $8 are "expensive"? Where are you normally buying your books, because I don't think it's at a regular bookstore.
I'm not paying more than $2.38 for that book and that's final!

Phone Freak Award:

I answer the phone. A woman is looking for a specific anatomy book. I check and the computer says we may have a copy. I put her on hold and check the section. It's not there so I check the adjoining sections as well, since the nursing and medical books tend to get shuffled around constantly by customers. No luck. It has taken me a while so I'm a little afraid she'll be annoyed for waiting. I hurry back to the phone and pick up the call.
Me: I'm sorry, it looks like we're sold out of it right now.
Woman: Really?
Me: Yes, I just checked through the whole section to make sure it wasn't misplaced and we don't have it. We have other anatomy books, but not that one right now.
Woman: Well, does the computer say you have it?
Me: (why do customers think computers are more reliable than humans?) Well, it says we might have a copy, but I've been through the section and couldn't find it.
Woman: Well, is it possible that someone moved it and it's there, but in the wrong spot?
Me: That's why I checked through the whole section (is there an echo in here?), but it's not there.
Woman: It couldn't be anywhere else?
Me: Well, there's always that possibility, but I couldn't find it anywhere.
Woman: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. (No, I'm lying to you. I am actually holding four copies in my hand, but I don't like you so mwa hahahahahaha >:)
Woman: (grunts in exasperation and hangs up)
I dunno, if you really don't trust someone else to look for you, then maybe you should just come to the store yourself.
This is where we hide the books from customers.

Awww... Shucks Award:

And this is to show that not all customers that come in are clueless, rude and/or annoying.
An older couple asked me for the book Stones Into Schools. I begin to lead them over to the section when the husband asks me if it's come out in paperback. I say, no, not yet. It's a fairly recent book and it usually takes about 6-12 months for books to come out in paperback. They nod. The wife asks her husband who the author of the book is. He says he can't remember, but that he wrote that other book, too. I smile and say Greg Mortenson who also wrote Three Cups of Tea. The husband says, Oh right! and we arrive in the section. I hand the husband the book and they both thank me. As I walk away I overhear the woman say, "Wow, she's certainly very knowledgable."

I'm telling you that fuzzy feeling lasted for a while :)
Okay, so I'm not THIS knowledgeable.

Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box Award:

A woman asks me for Romeo and Juliet. I lead her over to the Shakespeare section where we find the multiple printings. She looks at the different books rather helplessly and asks me which one is better. I explain that they're all going to have the same story, but some of them have notes, some of them have a modern English translation along with the original. She says her daughter needs it for a school project. I recommend one. She is flipping through a copy and then stops and looks at me.
"Wait, this is a play with acts and scenes and stuff. I just need the regular book."


So that's my kinda lame Retail Wednesday. Hopefully more crazies show up during the rest of spring break so next week's is a bit better.

Also... I have now passed 30 followers (yippee!).
I can hardly believe it! Thank you to everyone who reads my ramblings... this is so much fun.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another Contest and Another...

Southern Princess reached 100 followers! Enter her magnificent contest!

Karen at Novels During Naptime has 101 followers! Enter her contest too!


You may have noticed (and if you didn't I won't hold it against you as I only mentioned it once) that I missed Writer's Sunday yesterday.

I actually kept my computer off all day long yesterday and it was so marvelous I have decided to take Sundays as my don't go on the blogs, don't sign on to Facebook, only check my e-mail once day. I feel so refreshed and ready to jump right in to the midst of things again.

So in lieu of that decision I am going to do Writerly Monday instead. So here it is. But today I have a couple of different things that I want to do, hence the title of the post.

First, I have to tell you that you should go over to Summer's blog for her Does This Make Me an Author? Contest Because she finished her draft and, honey, finishing your first draft is definitely something to celebrate!

Besides, I get extra points for posting it and I want that mug. Seriously.

Second, I am going to reveal to you which is the truth amongst the outrageous lies that I told last time. If you didn't have a chance to guess, you can go here and do it now. I'll give the answers at the end of this post so you won't accidentally see the answer before you go guess. So I guess this isn't actually second, but fifth? Or something...

Third, I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Falen held a 100 followers writing contest and she was going to have 3 places, but then she added a fourth place and it was a tie and I was ONE OF THE WINNERS!!!!!!!! I can't believe it. She posted the story here and while you're there you can also read Palindrome's short story, which was also full of awesomesauce. And Falen's going to be posting the other winners throughout the week so you should definitely check it out.

Fourth, Thursday is the first of April, and while, for most people this means it is a day to plan your most hilarious pranks, like Joan Crawford (whose blog you must follow and read, because every time she posts you will lose like ten pounds from laughing so much) for me it means the beginning of

I kind of talked about this before, but I'm going to expand on it a tad bit. I am a bit spastic as a writer and some day (probably when April is over) I will post about that. Not only am I not consistent in taking time to write, I am also not consistent in the genre/type of thing that I write.

I am hoping that Script Frenzy will help me with the first one and then after I get into writing regularly I will work on the second one.

When I first signed up I was all ready to do a romantic comedy screenplay. But as I thought about it I realized that I didn't have the idea formulated enough in my head for it to work. Although a lot of the fun of this kind of thing, like NaNo, is to discover as you write your head off, I knew by picking this project I would be setting myself up for failure and probably end up hating this fun idea that is floating in my head. So I will leave it to percolate and maybe do it next year or the year after that or in ten years or something.
So then I decided it would be fun to take one of my favorite children's authors and turn one of his books into a movie and I had bits of it in my head and I've considered this one for about a year, so I thought that would be a good idea. Then I realized I just don't have time to do the prep work required to familiarize myself with screenplays before the beginning of April. It just came down to a time issue. So I think I'm going to save this one for next year.

Which brings me to what I have decided to do. I am going to write a play. I have read a lot of plays and even been to see quite a few, so I feel much better prepared to work on this.

The idea is something I have been working on for, probably ten years now. I wrote a short story entitled, An Unlikely Fairy Tale and for now that is the temporary (oh so temporary) title I am using for the play. Until I can come up with something better.

Anyways. It's kind of a twist on the Cinderella story, blah, blah, blah. The short story is SO boring I don't know why I ever stuck with it, but I am glad I did. A while ago I thought it might work better as a play, than as a story. So I started playing with it a little bit. Over the course of doodling around with the story some very bizarre and hilarious things started happening, the most important of which was that the story became secondary to the narrators and suddenly they were taking over the main roles. and I love it.

So I am very excited to begin working on that and completely start it over with this new plot in sight.

Have you ever been working on something and had a secondary or completely new character hijack the entire story? Do you find that fun? Or exasperating?

And fifthly and finally, here are the answers to my six lies and a truth:

  1. When I was in England I got a sinus infection and ended up in the emergency room. LIE! I was actually in France at the time, on a concert tour with the chorale from my college. It was amazing, but I wasn't feeling well. Then we visited the castle in Pau and the cleaner they had used on the floors got to me and my stomach practically turned inside out and the pastor that was travelling with us and Miss Carol Ann, our trip mother, took me to the emergency room where they took x-rays and stuff and discovered I had a LARYNX infection! Who gets a larynx infection?! Anyway, they gave me anti-biotics and I felt better after a day, but I couldn't sing. I was on a concert tour and I couldn't sing! How wrong is that?!
  2. I have had the opportunity to perform in both Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. LIE! I HAVE had the chance to sing in Carnegie Hall 3 times with my college chorale as part of a larger choir. It was so amazing!
  3. I started reading when I was 4 years old. LIE! I was precocious and began reading at the tender age of 3. Crazy I know, but that's what my Mom tells me and she's usually reliable.
  4. In our drama class' spring performance my senior year I played a monkey. TRUTH! And to make this even better, I wasn't a senior in high school, but a senior in college! We did a set of one act plays by David Ives out of a collection called It's All in the Timing. I got to play a whacked out business woman in one and then in another, I played one of three monkeys trapped in an experiment to see if they could type out Shakespeare's Hamlet. The play is chock full of literary and philosophical puns and it was a blast. For more info and pictures to satisfy Joan and Jenn see below.
  5. I am allergic to coconut. LIE! I am not allergic to it, but I cannot STAND it. Disgusting.
  6. One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen. LIE! I do not like Jane Austen's books. Shocking I know. I forced my way through one in college, because I didn't want to be one of those people that claims not to like something when they have never tried it. I have also tried to read Pride and Prejudice like five times. I cannot get into it. I like most of the movies that have been made of her books, I just don't like the books. And I don't like Mr. Darcy. (please do not stone me for such great heresy)
  7. Sometimes coffee is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. LIE! Coffee=blech! I also do not really like tea, except for the occasional cup of herbal tea. VERY occasional. I just don't like hot drinks. I am almost always warm and so I just get the heebies at drinking something warm. Give me an ice water, or, if I'm desperate for a caffeine kick, a nice frosty Dr. Pepper. mmmmm...
For those of you who wish to torture yourself after this excessively long and rambling post, you may peruse some pics and descriptions of the play below.

As I said before, it's about 3 monkeys in an experiment to see how long it will take one of them to type out Shakespeare's Hamlet.
My name was Swift, my sister (not AchingHope, but Rae, who attended the same school I did) was Milton and another classmate was Kafka. With our director we worked up these ridiculous characteristics too. Mine was British and rather violent. Milton talked in almost a Mickey Mouse voice that had us constantly trying not to crack up and a no-nonsense outlook. Kafka had this breathy Marilyn Monroe voice and kind of a ditzy attitude.

At one point in the play, Swift gets angry that they're working for peanuts (literally) and I was supposed to knock this bowl of peanuts over. During one of the performances I got so into the part that I smacked the bowl clear off the stage and peanuts scattered everywhere. And I do mean EVERYWHERE! I had a good friend near the front row and I scared her half to death when it happened, because she almost got hit with the bowl! Ha! Good times.

Ooff... I went looking for pictures and they are TERRIBLE quality and I also don't want to share my costars pics without their permission, so that limits it a little bit. But I will put one or two up anyway, because I said I would.
Gah! What happened. I added the pics and the text went CRAZY! Weird.

Here I am as the crazy, laid back business woman.

Here's a view of the whole stage during "Words, Words, Words". Like I said crummy quality. If anyone could identify my costars from this pic they are brilliant.

Here Swift is hard at work, coming up with the brilliant plan to kill our scientist with a poisoned rapier.
And here I am taking a bow. That is REALLY an unattractive shot. We loved the beanies and giant bow ties though :)

Now that is quite enough embarrassment for one post! See you all for Retail Wednesday!

Friday, March 26, 2010

6 Lies and 1 Truth

Yeah! Lindsey over at Dangerous With a Pen gave me the award I too have been secretly wishing for.

So, with this one I am supposed to tell you 6 lies and 1 truth and you have to try to guess which one is true.
mwa hahahaha!

I'm going to make this kind of hard in that most of these have an element of truth to them, but only one will be completely true. Because I am TERRIBLE at coming up with real fake things. (wait, did that make any sense?) But I can take real things and make them fake. (I plan on never doing true/false questions on tests because I hate making up fake things. Except in stories. And why did I want this award? Anyways.)

  1. When I was in England I got a sinus infection and ended up in the emergency room.
  2. I have had the opportunity to perform in both Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
  3. I started reading when I was 4 years old.
  4. In our drama class' spring performance my senior year I played a monkey.
  5. I am allergic to coconut.
  6. One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen.
  7. Sometimes coffee is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.
All right... there you have it! AchingHope, you cannot play!

So leave your guesses in the comments and I will laugh at you all.

And then on Monday or Tuesday or so I will post my answers as to which are true, which are almost true and which are bald faced lies.

And now I will pass this on to......

Frank Quick at Sometimes I Think...

Ashlie at Nonsense

And I really feel like there was someone else I wanted to pass it on to, but my brain is not functioning and I must go back to work. So I will add it if I think of it.

And I have to share this picture with you because it made me uber happy today. We got this in at the store:
Isn't he the cutest thing ever!? And he's adorably soft and I will just have to buy him immediately!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Retail, Retail Wednesday!

Seriously. Oh my goodness. This is a little long, but I laughed pretty hard through it. It has a couple of mild swear words (for my readers who like me have more sensitive ears) but it's pretty funny.

Now on to *dun da da dun dun da DUUUUUUUNNN* Retail Wednesday!

Every week I tell myself, wow, I'm not going to have much for the post. But then customers come through as only customers can and I'm all set for a nice juicy episode.

Other Side of the Counter Award:

Yesterday, my Dad and I went to McDonald's so he could get a fish sandwich. We pull up the drive-thru and a feminine voice asks if we would like one of their new blah, blah, blah. Dad says no and places his order. There is an awkward pause and then this deep gravelly voice asks if there is anything else. Dad and I exchange a glance and then crack up. It was so bizarre. "Wow, she got a really bad cold," Dad said and I had to study my hands when we pulled up to the window so I wouldn't laugh in the face of the worker. I just thought it was odd that they switched places in the middle of an order.
See, it's confusing when people switch places!

Idiotic Customer Award:

Friday night we had our midnight release for the New Moon movie. I am in no way saying that this story represents the normal intellectual level of someone reading those books or watching those movies, because I am not going to insult myself, but this was just too good a story to pass up.

We handed out numbered tickets representing place in line and so we wouldn't promise someone a copy we didn't have. A woman came up to the register to get her copy of the movie.
Coworker: How many copies did you want?
Woman: Seven.
Coworker: You want seven copies of the Exclusive Edition?
Woman: Yes.
Other employee has to run to the back to get more copies. Cashier begins ringing up the DVDs. Customer watches her scan them and bag them. Cashier gives her the total - which is over $200 dollars.
Woman: (pays first... then) Wait, why was it so expensive?
Coworker: Because you wanted seven copies.
Woman: What are you talking about? I only wanted one!
Cashier: What's her ticket number?

You guessed it ... #7.

Irrational Logic Award:

Again with the Twilight people. A woman and her daughter come into the store on Friday. The day of the midnight release, and asks to reserve a copy of the movie. At this point I do not know how many reserves we have vs. how many copies as I was not the one handling this particular event. I let her know that we will be handing out tickets later in the evening, but that the cut off for reservations was a week before. She humphs at me plying me for information I do not have. I apologize and ask her to check back or call a little later when the person handling the reserves will know if we have extras. She glares at me and then asks, "Weren't you the one who told me you weren't having a release party?"

Whoa! Flashback!

Three months ago I took a phone call from a woman asking if we were having a midnight release. At that point the release date hadn't even been set yet, so I tell her I don't know. She says that we had one for Twilight, so she would assume we were having one for New Moon too. I say I don't think we had one for Twilight. She says yes you did. I say I don't remember it and I'm often the one in charge of the events. She hangs up the phone.
Later I am talking about this with a coworker and they remind me that I was on vacation during the Twilight release and that's why I don't remember, but they did have a party. I feel really bad that I, in essence, called the customer a liar. I am not perfect. I make mistakes too. However, I do not even know who it is since it was a phone conversation, so I have no way to apologize.

But this was 3 MONTHS ago! Talk about holding a grudge!

I apologize, admit that I was wrong and tell her I felt really bad about it.

The woman looks at me, her eyes narrowed into dark slits. "I think you owe me a copy of the movie since you made me feel like an idiot."

Say what?
Because apparently 1 mistake=1 free item!

(Okay, I'm assuming she just meant she deserved a reserve spot, not that she deserved a free copy. Assuming)

Impatient as All Get Out Award:

There are two nominees in this award for the week.

1. Lady is waiting at the information desk. One coworker, J, is on the phone, another, P, is helping another customer in the store. P finishes and begins to help Lady waiting at desk. J is still on the phone. P walks away to find something for Lady. After thirty seconds Lady walks up to J, who is still on the phone, leans over and yells in her ear, "I need help finding a book!"
This is how screaming customers always look. Always.

2. I am the only seller on the floor and I get a phone call from someone wanting to know if their ordered book came in. I am at the information desk. I use the computer there to pull up their order number and it shows that the order should have arrived. I put the customer on hold, walk to the front (10 seconds), find her package (15 seconds), and pick up the phone to tell her that it is there (10 seconds).
As I am on the phone, a woman comes up to the register and SCREAMS at the cashier, "THERE IS NO ONE AT THE DESK! SHOULDN'T SOMEONE BE POSTED THERE!?
Because I have nothing else to do but wait on you personally hand and foot

Outright Bizarre Award:

A woman approached me and asked for books on eggs.
Me: Like cooking eggs?
Woman: Yes. Like egg casseroles and things like that.
Me: I know we've had things like that in the past. Let me look it up. I'm sorry, we don't have anything in the store right now. Let's check over here and see if we have anything that will work.
Woman: You see, I'm going to be having a bunch of guys at my house working on my trees. So I want to make them some breakfast. So I'm looking for recipes of something I can make with eggs. Like a casserole with spinach or broccoli or something that will go into one of those foil containers that I can take out to them.
Me: o_O

Because all tree surgeons need eggs.

We Don't Do That Award:

Once again there are two contenders for this award. Eerily similar requests.

1. Man calls and I answer the phone. He asks if I can look up a couple of books for him. I say, sure. He lists a computer book with a specific author. Nothing comes up in our system. I try just the author, I try the title (which is something unique like, Excel 7). Nothing. The next one is also a computer book, and the next one. Nothing.
He sighs. "See, I had a roof collapse and along with everything else in my office these books were ruined and they said if I could get an appraisal of how much they cost then I can claim them."

2. Couple comes in and asks for books on Yankee collector's items. We don't have anything. Why are they looking for it? A company was doing work on their house and drilled a hole, yes, DRILLED a HOLE through their exclusive collector's Yankees World Series afghan. They need it appraised so they can get the company to reimburse them.

Do I look like an appraiser to you!?
I look nothing like her and she is, according to Google, an appraiser, so no. No, I do not.

Most Annoying Award:

A man steps into the store. He is carrying a Target bag. He sets off the alarm.
Cashier offers to deactivate the items for him.
He stands in the doorway swinging the bag back and forth setting the alarm off over and over and over and over.
Cashier offers again.
He looks at her. "No thanks. I just won't come in." Turns around and leaves.
Apparently the only thing more annoying is a keychain grenade. Because, what a mess when you accidentally yank a little too hard to get those keys out of your purse.
See? Annoying.

Wrong Conclusions Award

A woman approached me with Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy in hand. "I'm looking for the trilogy that came before this one."
I look at her oddly (I can't help myself) and say, "I don't believe he has another trilogy."
Woman: "Yes, it was here the other day. I'm sure of it."
I pull up the author on the computer. "No, he has no other trilogy."
Woman: "Yes he does!" She looks at her son. "What was the name of the book?"
Son: "The Lightning Thief."
Me: "Oh, that's by Rick Riordan. It's not connected to this series."
Woman: "Well, they were next to each other on the shelf."
These books are next to each other. Ergo they are all written by the same authors.
And for those of you wondering, this is actually a picture of a VERY small sampling of one of my bookshelves.

And that is it for this week's Retail Wednesday!

*begin outro music in your head*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amigarumi Fun :)

I just wanted to throw up a goofy little post after my last Eeyore one.

2 years ago I discovered amigarumi through this hilariously adorable book:

I bought it, but then found that it assumes you already know basics about amigarumi, so I bought another book that teaches you the basics and has a bunch of patterns for animals (like owls).
Then I used my Crochet for Dummies book for basic crochet stuff like adding and dropping stitches and all that jazz that I had never really used, because before this all I had made were scarves.

Anyways - I learned SO much about crocheting from doing these and I ended up making a bunch of Christmas presents because we already had a ton of yarn around the house, so I didn't have to buy much. It also made things more personalized.
So without further ado, here are some of the amigarumi I made - I took the basic body building principles from Creepy Cute Crochet to make the people and the animals I took pretty much right out of the animal book.

We are the knights that say "Ni!"
Okay, not really - this one was straight out of the book, but I love Monty Python, so I had to throw that quote out there.

If I made another penguin, I think I would make it black, not blue like this.

Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it's Cinderelly...

I flippin' love his ears. Cutest mouse ever.

Dun da dun dun, Dun da dun!

My brother loves the office and I had so much fun creating Dwight - complete with paper clip glasses.

Luke, I am your father!

My brother-in-law is a HUGE Star Wars collector. Of course I had to do the removable helmet with the pasty, scarred head underneath :)

There's a piggy that I made for AchingHope, but I don't know where she has it, so I couldn't post it. Maybe I'll put it up later.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm a Writer, I'm a Writer Not, I'm a Writer, I'm a Writer Not...

Most of my life I have considered myself that mystical being known as "A Writer". I still have the first full story that I remember crayoning down when I was six. I began my first novel at the ripe old age of 12 and took a course through the Children's Institute of Literature when I was 17.

However, in recent months I have seriously begun to question whether I have the right to call myself "A Writer". Most of you will probably say, you are writing this post, silly goose. Of COURSE you're a writer.

I write, but does that make me a writer? In that I am doing the verb of writing, then yes. But when I pop around to your many marvelous blogs I have consistently found myself on author's and aspiring author's and agent's pages. As I read your determination to hone your craft, to write consistently, to aim toward the grand goal of publication I realize that I do not have this same intense drive.

Writing is something that I will do my entire life. I will always write. I will probably blog often now that I have gotten into the habit and have so much fun with it. I will write fiction, but it is so much more a hobby to me then a grand life's pursuit. Do I want to get published? Yes, I think that would be amazing. But I am not meeting with a writer's group and sending out query letters and actively editing my one finished WIP.

Maybe I'm just feeling a bit in the doldrums and AchingHope will probably beat me over the head for saying all of this. (in an exasperated loving way, of course) But it's kind of been going on for a while now. So I thought I would be brave enough to put this out there.

Have any of you gone through this kind of feeling? Is it something that passed?

I originally was going to post about how I've decided to do Script Frenzy this April.

It's put together by the same wonderful folks that sponsor NaNoWriMo and I am doing it for multiple reasons...

-To give me a goal to work for and a reason to write every day (and by reason I mean kick in the pants)

-To give myself something new and fresh to work on in a medium that I have never attempted before

-To put myself out there where anyone can look and think, boy, why did she even decide to do this? if I'm being a lazy bum and not writing.

So are any of you doing Script Frenzy? 'cause if you are then we should totally be writing buddies. That will keep me even more in line :)

My screen name is the same there as it is here and if you need to check by e-mail it's sonshinemusic(at)gmail(dot)com.

2 more things that I will try your patience with.

1. I am going to attempt to do a Writer's Sunday post every week. Getting in the habit of Retail Wednesday has kept me posting regularly and note-taking daily. I'm hoping that getting in the habit of posting about my writing will do the same thing. I just KNOW it will inspire me to work if I'm afraid of coming on and saying, ummm... yeah, so I wrote 3 words this week.

2. This post is so up and down I don't even know where I'm ending, but I feel a ton better than when I started it. Thank you to all of you who post about your writing trials, triumphs, victories and failures. (especially to Falen and Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah) It has been a huge encouragement to me to try to be more consistent.

So, am I "A Writer"? I don't know, but I think I want to try to find out and it'll be a lot more fun with you guys along for the ride.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun Awards :)

Fabulous Falen passed on the Sugar Doll Award to me.
Awwww... thanks.

And then Al gave me the Beautiful Blogger Award

Sweet muffins!

You're supposed to do 5 unusual facts for the Sugar doll and 7 interesting facts for the Beautiful Blogger, so I'm going to combine them, because I can't differentiate between unusual and interesting and I don't know if I can come up with 12 things.

1. The middle finger on my left hand got broken by being closed in a sliding van door when I was fifteen. Except I didn't know it was broken, so we didn't do anything and now my finger has a permanent bend in the top third of it.

2. I took a drawing class just to fulfill a Fine Arts requirement in college and loved it so much I took 2 semesters of drawing and 2 semesters of painting where I discovered my love for watercolors. I haven't done much recently and I'm not that great, but I think it's beautiful and I should really pull my paints out again. I just love the fact that I discovered it by accident.

3. I make a mean sausage gravy and biscuits. Probably my favorite thing to make and eat. Mmmmm... I can feel my arteries hardening even as I think about it.

4. I worked as a historical interpreter in a living history museum for a season. It was the BEST. JOB. EVER. But it didn't pay and had no benefits, so I had to enter the real world. So much fun to dress up every day, learn tons of cool facts and get to play with drop spindles, broom making and natural dyes. I still look back on it with great fondness and hope to do volunteering at a place like that once I get through school.

5. I grew up as a PK (Pastor's Kid) and I love it. My church family is just about as important to me as my flesh and blood family. But I never really felt pressure to act a specific way or be held to a higher/different standard than any of my friends that weren't PKs.

6. I was homeschooled my entire life. We kind of backed into it because we had no other options, but I am extremely grateful to both of my parents for all of the work they put into me and my siblings. I can't imagine having done it any other way.

7. When I start to like something or someone I tend to get slightly obsessed with it and go a little crazy accumulating connected stuff - And I don't ever regret it. (examples would include Lost [of course], A Series of Unfortunate Events, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Gail Carson Levine, Ted Dekker, etc. etc. etc)

So there you have it - 7 random facts about me.

And now I will pass the Sugar Doll award on to.....

Dangerous With a Pen because she makes me smile

Jenn because I want her to do another post

And I will pass the Beautiful Blogger Award on to....

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah because she has the longest screen name ever and I love her blog

M.R.J. LeBlanc because she is another new friend who made me smile

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Retail Wednesday With a Winner Reveal at the End!

I feel like I need a theme song or something. "Here it comes, walking down the street, it's just making fun of everyone I meet.. Hey, hey Retail Wednesday..." And that's about as far as I get.


On to our awards!

Odd Question Award:

Okay, so the question wasn't really THAT odd, it was more the way they went about asking for it. A mother and son approached me to ask if we had Native American short stories. I asked if they meant stories about them or stories by Native American authors. "I don't know," the mother shrugs. "It's supposed to be stories about oppression. But it has to be fiction." ?! She could give me no more information. I'm sorry, if you don't even know what you're supposed to be getting, then I sure don't!
Well, until you do, don't come running to me...

Captain Obvious Award:

Rainy weekends are fantastic for business. We are already a weekend store, but if it rains, then we are absolutely mobbed. Last Saturday was one of those days. The cafe was packed, the store was filled with browsers and we were all kept running nearly constantly. Early afternoon, after picking her way around several strollers, small children, hordes of adults and teeny boppers, a woman looks at me, points at the kids' room and announces: "It's a MESS in there!"

Most Annoying Award:

One of our baristas was running some magazines up to the register. On her way back to the cafe a customer accosts her, throws up his hands in the "Time Out" signal and says, "Hold on - time out! I'm looking for The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Because this will make me want to help you...

Pulling Teeth Award:
Sometimes trying to get information out of customers is particularly difficult.
Example 1 -
Guy: Where is Personal Finance?
Me: (taking him toward the section) Are you looking for something specific?
Guy: The computer said it would be on Shelf L.
Me: (Boy do I wish that the computer didn't give shelf letters - we don't really use them.) Is there a particular book? We file them more by author than by shelf letters.
Guy: (gives me sarcastic look) Oh, really. Well, the author is *******
Me: What book are you looking for?
Guy: (perusing the shelf) You spell the name like this - * * * * * * *
Me: (WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE BOOK YOU MORON) Do you remember the title?
Guy: Yes, it's ______________.
Me: Here you go! (now just walk away)

Example 2
Woman: Do you have books on events?
Me: What exactly do you mean?
Woman: Like planning events.
Me: What kind of events? We have a couple books on like baby showers or wedding showers...
Woman: No just events.
Me: We don't really have anything just on event planning.
Woman: Well I bought one here before so I know you have them.
Me: Do you mean planning events like as a business?
Woman: Yes.
Me: Oh, okay. That would be in Small Business. (take her to the section, find the one book we have on it)
Woman: No, like wedding planning.
Me: (Well, maybe if you had said that in the first place we could have saved five minutes of both of our lives that we will now NEVER GET BACK.)
So true, Benjamin, so true...

Strangest Topic Award:

We had not one, but two people ask me in the same day for books on yoyos. I just thought it was rather odd for two people to ask that in such a short amount of time, but the real winner for strange topic this week was the woman who asked for our section on marionettes.
Why would you want books on these? CREEPY!

Book Rearrangement Award:

We have a history table near our biography section. When recovering I discovered not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Michael Jackson biographies sandwiched between various stacks of history books on the table. I'm really not sure what kind of statement they were trying to make.

Private Amusement Award:

A guy asked me if we carried any books on magic, like slight of hand. We don't have many, but I show him the ones we do have. He asks if we have any DVDs. I say, unfortunately no. He says, "I probably have to go to one of those crazy stores with the nutty people." Gives me a big, weird grin and walks away. Ummm.....
I know what I'd find - weirdo customers like this one.

Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box Award:

Yesterday we got a phone call. Customer wanted to know if we had a specific book. I was helping another customer place an order, so I passed the call off to a coworker. Later that day the customer comes in and asks another employee for the book. After she has looked for it for several minutes she asks me. I recognize the title and tell her to ask if it is the same customer that called to ask us to hold it. She does and it is. I shake my head. If he put it on hold, then obviously it would not be on the shelf anymore. So the customer heads up to the register. The cashier cannot find the book, so the coworker that helped him on the phone is asked if he set the book aside. Coworker looks at me strangely. "I told him we didn't have it."
Okay, so this picture has nothing to do with the story, but when I googled "don't have it" this came up and I had to laugh and then post it.

Densest Customer Award:

A coworker is standing behind the register, ringing up a customer. A girl leans across the queue line and hollers at him, "Excuse me, do you work here?!"

Usually if someone is standing BEHIND the register with that glazed look in their eyes, it's a pretty safe bet that they DO actually work at the store you are in. Usually.

And now onto the most important award of the day...
*loud cheering commences*

I can't tell you how much I wish I could send each and every one of you an owl. It's been so much fun "meeting" all of you and I hope we have a long and fun blogging friendship ahead of us. So stay tuned because I'm sure I'll throw another one of these contests when I reach some other unplanned milestone.

So without further ado:

The "already a stalker" winner is:

And the "new stalker" winner is:

Congratulations to Joan Crawford and Erin!

E-mail me at sonshinemusic(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and your happy little owl will find its way to your mailbox. (Erin, yours might be a little longer since he hasn't officially been born yet, but it will go out within a week)

Thanks to everyone for entering and posting and linking and everything!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Owl baby born Sunday March 14th

Aww.... look at the cutie :)
So this is the owl that some lucky follower will get to cherish forever.
Forever I tell you, FOREVER! You didn't realize this was a lifetime commitment, did you?

And I have some other super exciting news for you!

Since I've had such a happy response of people and new friends I've made through this contest I decided to double, that's right DOUBLE the contest prizes.

So now, I will be shipping out not 1 but 2! adorable amigarumi owls. (His brother hasn't been born yet, but tomorrow)

One will go to one of the lovely people that were already stalkers and one will go to one of the lovely new friends that just started stalking me.

So, if you haven't entered yet, go HERE and do so, because who doesn't want a chance to win one of these babies?

I'll be picking the winner after 1 tomorrow, so you have until then to enter :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yet Another Contest!!!!!

This is uber late and it ends tomorrow, but it's really cool, so I will post it anyway.

Lindsey Brooks over at Dangerous with a Pen is having a "Dangerous Contest" and you should go enter and follow her blog because, even though I just discovered her she seems like a pretty fun lady and I've loved her posts so far.

so go forth and enter man!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Huge Giveaway!

Do you love books? do you love FREE books? Signed by the authors? Then you need to check out this giveaway right now (because it ends tomorrow - sorry, I'm late on the draw).

It's on Elana Johnson's blog and you should totally follow her too, because she's a pretty cool lady.

So go here and enter NOW :)

And then go below and enter my not as huge, but still pretty cool drawing :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

100 posts, 14 followers and 1 contest

Sweet Muffins!

I went into my dashboard and yesterday's post was my 100th! blog post!

Last February I set up an account so I could post on Nikki Stafford's blog. That was my entire reason for doing this. I had kept a Xanga blog semi-unregularly, so I figured there was no way I was going to do anything here. Then I thought, well, I have the account and I love this book. I will post something about it. Then I had something about Lost I wanted to post. So for a while I posted random thoughts on Lost here and there. I honestly don't know what turned this into the place I go every week to share my ponderings. But it's here now and I love it.

Actually, that's not true, I know one of the reasons I've started writing consistently - it's you guys. Having people actually read and comment gives me a reason to write something new - even if I mainly do this for me, knowing someone else is taking time out of their day to read something I wrote gives the writer in me a rush :) And then of course I have tons of fun roaming over to you and reading and commenting on your stuff.

SO - that was a very long-winded way for me to say...

In honor of my 100th! post and my 14th! follower I am going to host a fun little contest.

The prize of which will be (drumroll please) an amigarumi owl!

What the hey? you are probably saying (and if you're not I am impressed). What is amigarumi? It is this Japanese crochet making little critters. I made a bunch for Christmas presents two years ago. And I decided to do an owl because of Joan Crawford and Falen and because everyone wants their own adorable owl to sit on their computer and watch them type? Amiright?

Now I haven't actually made the owl yet, but I will post a picture of one I made last year so you get the general idea...

Isn't he the cutest thing?! And I've had a lot of practice since making him so yours should come out even better.

The contest is open internationally and here's how it works...

If you are already a follower you get 2 entries.
If you are a new follower you get 1 entry.
If you blog about the contest or stick it on your sidebar or whatever, then you get another entry

So leave a comment letting me know how many entries you get and next Wednesday the 17th, I'll do a drawing and post the winner!