Friday, December 30, 2005

Measuring a Year

So 2005 is behind us, and stretched out ahead is 2006, full of possibilties. Before I start measuring and reviewing my last year, let me wish all of you a happy, healthy New Year. To good friends!


2005 was filled with many celebrations for me--big and small. Seeing Paris, the D-Day beaches and Ireland were definite highs. Seeing my parents in April and August was fantastic. I made new friends, expanded old friendships, and in every thing I did, I grew as a person. I got Kevin Spacey's autograph and for one, very cool, second, watched him chuckle and thank me for a remark I made. I had the joy of coming back to my Millie in August and finding that she remembered me. The kindergatos took over our home and have been a welcome source of laughter and happiness.

Yes, it's been a good year, but more importantly, it's been a year of...


I got off to an emotional and sometimes rocky start. Leaving California for the new and unknown of Washington 3 days after Christmas was both a huge adventure and a scary prospect. More and more I started to question where my place in this world was...and it's a question I still ask, one year later.

Let's face it--when I returned to St. Peter's in January (jet lagged and sick), I came to the startling conclusion that my honeymoon was over. Suddenly I was very tired of putting up with some of the B.S. the kids were handing me. I was sick with a sinus infection for most of January. It took a lot of work to climb out of that hole, and I agonized terribly the whole time.

It came to a head in May, when the difficult (and yet easy) decision was made. It took a couple of months, but I started to realize that Washington just might be a nice place to live.

The hardest moment of my year? It wasn't turning in my notice at St. Peter's. It wasn't 13-year-old Mark telling me, "I hope your plane crashes." It wasn't the day-to-day struggle to keep order in my classroom, or the lack of support from my faculty leader. The single hardest moment of my year was the very second the plane lifted off the ground, and it truly hit me that I was leaving England.

That was hard. It's hard to give up a dream that big. But then, have I really given it up? Nah--I might just go back. Then again, I might just change the location of that dream to Washington. The beauty of it all is that I have possibilities as 2006 begins. I made it to England, so I figure I can do just about anything I set my mind to.

Enough reflection! I want to move on to my...

Top Five Moments of 2005 (in no particular order...)

1. Seeing the D-Day Beaches

2. Mom and Dad greeting me at SeaTac with a "Welcome, Princess Foo-Foo!" sign.

3. Saying, "I loved 'Beyond the Sea'" to Kevin Spacey and seeing him smile and hearing him laugh and say, "Thanks."

4. Wild Seattle adventure with Heather.

5. Having friends all over the world...well, in England and the U.S., anyway!

May you have a happy, safe New Year's celebration (I'll be at a Navy bar admiring the...decorations) and may you be blessed in 2006!



Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lazy Girl

Sorry no recent updates. I'm working on a Year in Review idea. Other than that I haven't had the time or energy to update my Little Pink Blog.

I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas, wherever you were...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Deck the Halls

'Tis the season, of course, to throw up every imaginable Christmas decoration you can find. But this year we have not one, but TWO wily kindergatos running around.
Mom bolted the tree to a big box so that it can't be knocked over, and used only un-breakable ornaments (in other words, her mother's antiqute glass ornaments are safely packed away). I myself decided that the ever-growing collection of Snoopy ornaments needed to be kept safe, too. Therefore, I have an "England" tree this year. I bought a few of these the first time I was in London, and a few in the last year.

The ornaments in the basket were made by Mom and Grandma. They're little styrofoam balls with bits of fabric pressed into them.
I did put out two breakable ornaments--they're up by my TV, where the cats can't get to them. I liked the little Eiffel Tower ornament, and the shoe represents my addiction to cute shoes, and my belief that the answer to any dilemma is new shoes.
The rest of the house looks great, and fortunately, after some initial curiosity, the kindergatos are leaving the tree alone. Maggie is sleeping through the season, and Millie is too busy deciding what she thinks of the kindergatos to do much about destroying Mom's handiwork...hiss one minute, bathe them the next...

Monday, December 19, 2005

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

my true love gave to me...

Nine pounds of chocolate

Eight hours of TV

Seven people to buy for

Six trashy novels

Five cups of tea!

Four Jaffa Cakes

Three foster children

Two Kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

All I'm gonna say is 'tis the season to eat 'till you burst.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'm a Flake

Well, not really. But I am addicted to this fun little website (thanks a lot for getting me hooked, Shae!).

One of many snowflakes I've done:

Be careful, its addictive!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

my true love gave to me...

Eight hours of TV

Seven people to buy for

Six trashy novels

Five cups of tea!

Four Jaffa Cakes

Three foster children

Two Kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

USA is having a 13-hour Law and Order: Special Victims Unit marathon, and I'm so there! Of course, this is more than the 8 hours I put in above, but that's poetic license.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Meaning of Christmas

I was reading an article about people trying to start a boycott of WalMart because its main theme in winter advertising this year is "Home for the Holidays"--no mention of Christmas.


People, people, people...

So some good, God-fearin' Christian protests by doing the following:

Dick Otterstad of the Church of the Divide donned a Santa Claus costume and greeted shoppers with the message: Don't forget about the meaning of Christmas.
Yes, Dickie. The real meaning of Christmas is the fat guy in a red suit. I thought it was Jesus, but what do I know?

Methinks that if you have enough time to stand outside WalMart in a Santa suit, trying to work up a boycott against it because its commercials don't say, "Merry Christmas," you need to get a new hobby.

By the way, my own personal semi-boycott of WalMart has nothing to with whether or not it celebrates Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaaa, Solstice, New Years, or nothing at all. I avoid WalMart as much as possible because they cram way too much crap into way too little space, and navigating the aisles is a nightmare.

I always thought the expression "Happy Holidays" was inclusive of all beliefs, not exclusive of Christmas. And since when do we celebrate only one holiday at this time of year?

Final note--I can't believe I didn't notice this right away--this took place in Sacramento, California! Who would've guessed?

On the Seventh Day of Christmas true love gave to me:

Seven people to buy for

Six trashy novels

Five cups of tea!

Four Jaffa Cakes

Three foster children

Two Kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

That's people to buy for in my family this year: Mom, Dad, Aaron, Susanne, Maria, Katie and Brian. It's so much fun having kids to buy for at last!

P.S. I'm more than halfway through trashy novel #1, thanks to an hour-long dinner break at work last night. ; )

Friday, December 16, 2005

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

my true love gave to me...

Six trashy novels

Five cups of tea!

Four Jaffa Cakes

Three foster children

Two Kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

Today is the last day of school. So I celebrate my plan to read at least 6 trashy novels in the next two weeks.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Best Christmas Gift time.

And I've got it! Last week I asked for fewer hours at Mervyn's and my wish was granted. I only have 15 hours (three five-hour shifts) next week!

But the best, best, BESTEST news of all is that I do not have to work on the 23rd or the 24th. I have Christmas Eve off! That means I can help Mom make cookies, and sit at home by the fire with hot tea and a good book.

Of course, I'll probably have to work on Boxing Day, when everyone and their Aunt Rita is out returning things. But that's okay. I don't have to work Christmas Eve!!!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas true love gave to me...

Five cups of tea!

Four Jaffa Cakes

Three foster children

Two kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

I was thinking of making tomorrow "six troops to the loo," because tea makes me need the loo, desperately. But I have something else to sing about, instead. : )

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

'Tis the Season to Belt it Out at the Top of Your Lungs

I've been thinking recently about my favorite Christmas songs...every time I put in some time at Mervyn's, I realize that there are certain songs I could live without. I'm also introduced to songs that make my head hurt (for example, "Back Door Santa"--I'm not kidding).

Because I'm subjected to some pretty awful Christmas music when I'm working, I really appreciate the good stuff, so I decided to compile my Top Ten list of Christmas songs.

10. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by *NSYNC -- Yes, it's a boy band. Yes, I loved them back in '98 (and yes, I was in college then). This is a fun song, though. Really upbeat and peppy. Always makes me sing along, and do the stupid hand gesture when they sing, "Feel the love in the room from the floor to the ceiling."

9. Oh Holy Night -- This song is absolutely gorgeous, and one that must be sung beautifully. No jazzing it up, please. No rocking it out. Just sing it straight and pure; it needs to frou-frou added to it.

8. Adeste Fidelis -- Sang this in college choir and I love it. First off, singing in Latin is fun (...when you're a music geek, anyway) and secondly, this song is really cool, even for the not-so-religious among us.

7. "Rusty Chevrolet" by Yoopers Da -- I really need to find it on CD. The oldies station in Sacramento plays it every year but I haven't heard it up here yet. Every time I heard it in my car, I would crank it up and sing along. Who wouldn't? It's a classic. Case in point:


6. Carol of the Bells -- Beautiful piece of music. When sung by top-notch singers, it is enough to give me goosebumps. Otherwise, "Gaily they ring" becomes more nightmarish than can be borne.

5. "Sleigh Ride" (Instrumental version) by Leroy Anderson -- This is a CLASSIC Christmas song if you've ever been a band nerd, which, of course, I have. I don't know how many Decembers found me playing this song but I never stopped loving it and being happy to play it again. From the jaunty melody to the whip-crack and horse-neighing sound effects, it is a lovely, lovely piece.

4. "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys -- California Surfin' Christmas Fun. That about sums it up. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys Christmas selection because my Mom has been a big fan since she was, oh, sixteen or so. But this song is by far their best Christmas song.

3. "(It Must Have Been Ol') Santa Claus" by Harry Connick, Jr. -- This man is not only sexy as all get-out, but he can sing. And this song is adorable. I can just picture straight-outta-the-Swing-Era Harry at his piano, big grin on his face, singing how Santa took him from his bedroom one night to go on a fantastic sleigh ride.

2. "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole -- I love this song anyway, but this version is by far the best of any of them.

1. "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey -- A year ago this week, I belted out this classic at the St. Peter's Christmas Karaoke. It was a blast--I really wowed the kids and my co-teachers. Every time I hear it, I smile.

And, because I can't come up with Top 10s for movies and TV specials (I don't have that many favorites!), I'll list my favorite in each category...

Movie: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (a family tradition in my house).

TV Special: If you can't guess the answer to this one, you don't know me very well...

On the Fourth Day of Christmas... true love gave to me...

Four Jaffa Cakes

Three foster children

Two kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

On Saturday I got home from a long shift at Mervyn's to find a box on my bed. From England! Kathy and Derek had sent me four boxes of Jaffa Cakes...wooohooo!! Also enclosed was a postcard picture of Carlos Acosta, Cuban ballet dancer extraordinairre. On back was written, "How could you have forgotten him?" He fell behind the dresser before I left, and in the chaos, I left Carlos! Horrible!

So yes, that was a definite pick-me-up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Meg's Fourteen Days of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

Three foster kids

Two kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

The kids are doing well, apparently. Aaron and Susanne are exhausted but happy. Auntie Meg and Grandma have started shopping. : )

Monday, December 12, 2005

Oooh, I'm Goooood...

I guessed a couple of them, I admit it!

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

Almost Eerie

You Are a "Don't Tread On Me" Libertarian

You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don't belong in either party.

Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion... and you feel opressed by both.

You don't want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else's for that matter.

You're proud to say that you're pro-choice on absolutely everything!

First statement: Absolutely true.

Second statement: Absolutely true.

Third statement: Not as true, but close.

Fourth statement: Not on absolutely everything, but in some cases.

On the Second Day of Meg's Fourteen Days of Christmas...

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Two Kindergatos

And a cuddle from little Millie!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Meg's Fourteen Days of Christmas

Christmas is TWO WEEKS from today! Good grief!

So, in honor of this, I'm starting something I will hopefully remember to do daily until then.

Without further ado, here's my version of the Twelve Days of Christmas (except I'm using 14), Megan-style.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

A cuddle from little Millie!

Stay tuned.

Sunday's Catch-up

I don't read the newspaper anymore, for many reasons. For many years, I read the Sacramento Bee every day. I had a subscription in college, and made a point of reading it when I moved back to Mom and Dad's house. Even when I worked in Elverta, I would grab the school's daily copy and read it while waiting for my band kids to show up.

I fell out of the habit of reading the paper when I went to England, and since I've been back in the States, I've barely touched newspapers. Mom and Dad get the Peninsula Daily News, which is a nice little paper, but hardly a big one. So I rely on Internet sources such as Google News to find the headlines from around the world. Every once in a while, I find some good ones and want to share them. Sunday seems a good day to do this...after all, who doesn't like lazy Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee/tea/hot cocoa and a big, fat newspaper to curl up with?

Auntie Meg!

The kids are settling in more and more. Aaron and Susanne are, needless to say, exhausted! But also very, very happy. Grandma and Auntie Meg have both done a bit of shopping (hey, I can't let that employee discount go to waste!) and we are excited to play Santa at Christmas. Besides, every child--every single child in the world--should have footie pajamas. : )

Fuel Depot Blast Near London

In the early hours of Sunday, a fuel depot about 25 miles north of London experienced several explosions, scaring many residents who are still grieving the July terror attacks.

Police so far say that it appears to be entirely accidental, and that a plane witnesses say flew over the depot just minutes before the blast was not in any way involved. The depot is near Luton airport.

Okay, So What?

I love looking for deeper meaning in things as much as anyone, but sometimes it is best to just call a spade a spade and let it be.

Case in point: The hype I see brewing about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

According to the London Times, the "liberal intelligentsia" is "desperate to kill the lion."

Okay, so C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia with a decidedly Christian tone. He admitted this time and time again. Fine.

Disney has spent mucho dinero making one of the stories into a blockbuster movie for the December movie season. Pehaps they did this to fill young, impressionable minds with Christian ideology? Hardly! They did it to make money. Bottom line! Yes, they are hawking it to Christian groups and secular groups alike--all in the name of the Glorious...Dollar.

I especially take issue with the author's comment on children's literature:

It is one of the odd facts of the life of the mind that books — and illustrations — that are not very good often give the greatest pleasure to children whose imaginations can be passionately inspired by extremely little. Children often love the second-rate. The Harry Potter stories are a case in point; derivative, pedestrian and clumsy, they nonetheless seem to do the business.
Harry Potter slight aside, I want to know what this author thinks is good children's literature. Children's literature is exactly what it is supposed to be--children's. Show me a kid who would rather read Homer and Shakespeare than Rowling and Lewis, and I'll show you a kid who needs to put the book down, go outside, and build a secret fort in the backyard.

And yes, children's imaginations can be inspired by very little--that is the best part of being a child! A pile of pillows becomes a fortress. A Snoopy doll can talk to Grandma. A well-loved blanket can save you from torture of all kinds (including nightmares). We encourage children to leave cookies and milk out for a mythical man in a red suit who gives toys to good children.

Yes, a child's imagination is incredibly simple...sometimes I wish I could have that back.

Another article (even better) that I found about 15 minutes after typing the above...

Is This Where We're Headed?

This scares me...I mean, whatever floats your boat and all, but is the whole world becoming one big excuse for avoiding intimacy?

Who Do I Root For?

The Sacramento Kings beat the Seattle Supersonics last night. Today, the San Francisco 49ers (I started watching their games when I was a little girl) will play the Seattle Seahawks.

Old habits die hard, I suppose. The 49ers royally stink these days but I have a long-running loyalty to the red and gold.

What's On Sale?

My frantic Internet searching would not be complete without a visit to Mervyn's official web page to see what's on sale today.

Looks like a big sale, which means a big pain in my backside. Forty-nine sales in Home Fashions alone. Watch out for SOM's (Shoppers on Missions). They can be quite scary.

Ah, Drat!

Would love to sit here for another hour, perusing the headlines and commenting about them in my little pink blog, but I have to leave in an hour. Two weeks 'til Christmas...and 'till I can think about quitting the whole retail gig.



Thursday, December 08, 2005


Introducing the grand unveiling of my Squidoo site. What's a Squidoo? Come check out my lense, Scenes from the Puget Sound.

Coming soon: A lense containing links and information for music educators. Beyond that, I might make even more!

Be sure to check it out from time to time, as I will be updating information.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Well, here I's nearing 9:00 at night and I've made it through the middle school music concert.

I had 30 out of 45 kids there, which, apparently, is an improvement on previous years. They were nervous, and so was I, but we did okay. I saw FOUR separate girls talking during our actual performance. I mean, standing on the risers, everyone singing, and they're talking. I will be having a little chat with these girls tomorrow. One, in particular, who stood there with her arms crossed the whole time.

All in all, I'm told that they sounded great, and everyone, from the superintendent to the principal to the band director, thought we did great.

In other kid news...

I'm an auntie!! Yes folks, you read that right. My bro and his wife have become foster parents to three beautiful siblings. Maria is almost 4, Katie is almost 2, and Brian is 3 months. They're bringing them at Christmas, so we get to do the Santa bit and spoil these children.

So that's the news...I'd write more but I'm so tired from this cold I've been battling and the stress of the concert (I was nervous).



Monday, December 05, 2005

'Tis the Season to...Sleep

I love Christmas time and all of its trappings. From carols to cookies, I'm a happy girl this time of year. I love buying presents for my loved ones. I love receiving presents. I love decking Millie out in her candy cane collar.

The one thing I don't love is that I almost always get some kind of cold at Christmas time. The kind that knocks me on my bum. This year is no exception.

I was suffering at Thanksgiving, and all through Black Friday, as well, but managed okay with the help of Claritin and aspirin (ahh, drugs for better living...). That cold went away and then came back a few days ago. I went to bed at 10:00 last night, and set the alarm clock for 6:00. I wake up to music instead of beeping, so I always check the volume to make sure it's loud enough. It was. So I still don't know how, exactly, I hit the snooze button every 9 minutes for a little over TWO hours this morning before groggily coming to at 8:18. I don't remember doing it.

I was feeling like I'd been run over by an elephant, so I called Mervyn's and told them not to leave a candle in the window for me this afternoon. Perfect attendance? I no longer care. All I cared about was not having to drive to Mervyn's, work five hours, and drive back in the dark. As it is, I could barely pay attention to the road driving to school. Mervyn's is two, almost three times, the drive that school is.

I got home from school at 1:00, changed into pajamas and had lunch. At 2:00 I dragged myself upstairs to bed with a book. By 3:00 I was feeling like sleeping. I vaguely remembering hearing a parent look in on me once. When I woke up, it was 6:30 and there was a piece of mail on my bed. Ten hours of sleep last night and three this afternoon. I guess I needed it!

Anyway, enough about being sick and more about my favorite time of year.

On Saturday, Mom, Dad and I drove over to Port Townsend to have a nice lunch and poke around the shops. Port Townsend is a lovely Victorian-era town about 20 miles from us. It was supposed to be Washington's major port city but someone directed the railroad to some little town called Seattle instead.

Anyway, I took some pics, because, I'll say it again, I have my Vivitar back!

Here's the main street (Water Street) of Port Townsend:

There was a lot going on Saturday, because they were having a tree-lighting ceremony that night. There were Victorian carolers...

...and a horse-drawn carriage giving people rides:

Of course, Port Townsend (having "port" in the name is a dead giveaway) is on the water:

It is also near historic Fort Worden, where the Oh-my-God-Richard-Gere-really-was-a-hottie-back-then movie, "An Officer and a Gentleman," was primarily filmed. Mom and Dad drove me over so I could see:

And what would any day out be without a picture of a sign? I started out with pics of funny signs but I've moved into the not-funny-just-cool variety now. They make for interesting pictures.

So that was Saturday. Sunday, Mom and I set out early to Mervyn's and the mall. I got a lot of Christmas shopping done (Dad and Susanne are done!) and a couple of things for myself (new undies--what girl doesn't love new undies?).

We got home in time to give me a few hours to tally grades. I'm proud of my kids--a lot of them have shaped up from a rocky start to the term and earned A's and B's. A few have F's because they refuse to participate. But that's middle school for you.

So here I's Monday and I'm getting over a cold. I don't have to work at the store again 'till Friday, and I should be feeling better by then, especially if I let myself sleep.



Saturday, December 03, 2005


"Excuse me...can I buy this?"

"Hmm. I don't know...can you?"

How tempting it is to say that to a customer, especially when the feet are hurting, the stomach is growling, and the retail worker with the stupid badge-on-lanyard hanging from her neck would rather be anywhere but here.

Of course, saying that to a customer would spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Little Miss Shopgirl, so I refrain. My tongue nearly has a hole in it.

Yesterday seemed to be Idiot-Go-Shopping Day. I'm not kidding. It's a truth universally acknowledged that if the store puts a 10% off coupon in a newspaper ad, every idiot from one end of the state to the other will be in the store, bothering me.

First there are the people who say, "I don't have a coupon. Do you have one for me?"

"I'm sorry, they've all been removed from the ads we have at this wrap desk."

Angry look. "Well, what am I supposed to do, then?"

"Stick a pacifier in your mouth and leave me the hell alone."

Alright, alright. My actual response was, "Well, you can check in our office area to see if they have any more coupons."

"Can't you just re-scan one of the coupons someone's already used?"

"Sorry, the computer won't let me do that." And I have a line, asshole, so either buy something or get the hell out of the way.

"Well, call the office for me and see if they have any."

I'll just insert here that the office is about 50 yards from my wrap desk. How lazy have we gotten in this country?

Stiff smile. "Of course." Call the office. "Do you have any coupons back there? You do? Great." Turn to customer. "Yep, they have coupons."

Blank stare. "Oh. I have to go get it?"

"Mmmhmmm. I can't leave my area."

Meanwhile, the line is growing. I'm getting on the PA and saying, "Customer service to Home, please. Customer service to Home." Women with arms loaded down with towels and sheets and Christmas ornaments are glaring at the coupon hunters.

I had TWO separate customers (not in any way affiliated with each other) at the same time, acting like it was my fault that there were no coupons at the desk, and like I am some kind of horrible bitch because the computer won't let me rescan a coupon. And they have to walk all the way to the office to get a coupon. Oh, and I killed Santa Claus.

Got through that hurdle and got through the line of customers, as well. Then a man walks up to the desk with two items--a flat sheet and a fitted sheet. Both white. He sets them down and says, "Do these look like they don't match to you?"

My turn to give a blank stare.

"I mean, look...this one sort of has a pinkish tinge, and this one is more yellow."

"Um. Well, I...don't...know?" Baffled. I can see the teensiest bit of difference but, really, they're white sheets. Who's gonna notice or care? You sleep on them!

"Well, are these the only ones you have?"

I'm not about to crawl through backstock for this man.

"Yep. All we have. On the floor."

"Hmm, well, okay, I'll be right back." He leaves the sheets there, and I smile at the lady behind him in line. She starts to step up but an older guy shuffles right in front of her, sets his sheets down. I open my mouth to say something but notice the lady is smiling at me and mouthing, "It's okay." I give her a look of, "Thank you! You'll get your Medal of Patience in the mail soon..." and start ringing up the man's sale. He pays with a credit card and the poor dear has to have me point out the line on the receipt so he can sign it. His hands were shaking so badly that his signature was actually one long scribble. I finish up the sale and Mr. Two Shades of White approaches and says to the older man, "I told you to wait, so we can use my discount!" Then he insists on me voiding the old man's sale out so they can put it on a Mervyn's card and use this man's 15% reward discount.

I'll just mention that this poor, patient woman is still waiting, bless her. I give her another, "You're awesome!" look and get on the PA again. "Customer service to Home, please. Customer service to Home."

Someone comes out to help her and meanwhile I am voiding a sale and ringing up a bunch of sheets for Mr. Two Shades of White, who has apparently gotten over the fact that his sheets won't be the same shade of white.

"I don't have my Mervyn's card, can you look it up on the computer?"

"Sure, I just need your driver's lisence."

He pulls it out, I look it up. Nothing. Can't find it. "I'm sorry, sir, the computer can't find your information."

"That happened six months ago when I bought a pair of Levi's. This is bullshit."

I give him my patented "there are a million things I could be saying to you right now but I'm more mature than that" look. The one I give my 11-year-old choir students all the time. My mouth stays shut.

"Well, I'll have to go out to my car and see if I can find it."

So I stand there for 15 minutes, making small talk with this jerk's dad, who seems a bit embarassed, and wondering why, why, WHY people come to shop at Mervyn's and leave their Mervyn's card at home or in the car.

Mr. No Card returns with his billing statement. Excellent. I can use the number from that. I put it in. Denied. Inwardly groan to myself, thinking, "This ass is gonna make my life hell now..."

"Um, sir. It's been denied?"

"Oh, okay, well, I'll make a payment, then."

So I step over to another register, make the payment on his account, and step back to the main register to complete the transaction. I'm re-typing his account number in and he's bitching about how it couldn't be found in the computer.

I've had enough. "Well, that is not in my control."

Pause. Surprised look. "Oh, I know, it's not your, fault but you'd think they could have fixed it by now...blah, blah, blah, blah." I tuned out and finished the transaction. It was with great relief that I sent this man on his way. A few minutes later I had some time to clean up my department and found white sheets in all the wrong places. I guess he never found a matching pair.

A little while later, I get a little bit of humor in my afternoon. A man walks up to the register carrying a box of pots and pans in a bag.

"I need to return these...I've got the receipt right here."

"Okay, great."

"They ain't been opened or anything..."

"That's fine, I'll just scan this..."

"They were supposed to be a gift for a young lady, but I went home one day and found her with another man."

I stop what I'm doing.

"Oh. Um. Wow. Well. I'"

"So I'm returning these 'cause I'm not spending all this money on her now."

"Oh, yes. That's perfectly...reasonable."

Bless him. He was really polite to me (unlike other customers that day), but did I need to know exactly why he was returning these?

At least it gave me a good laugh. Not at him, because I know what it's like to be dumped for someone else, but at the randomness of this guy telling me all about his girl's cheating ways.

Most of the rest of my shift was okay. I had one lady purchase a bunch of picture frames and a casserole dish, then come back 15 minutes later, return everything, and then purchase it again, because now she had a coupon. Her total savings? Three dollars.

I guess that's a medium Frappucino.

As soon as another gal came at 6:30, I promptly hid in remote corners of the store, recovering and putting things away. I'd had enough of customer service for the day.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Do the Math

There are some advantages to working in retail, I must admit.

I needed a new coat desperately. Navigating the Pacific Northwest with only a light, $15, Wal Mart windbreaker isn't advisable, really. I left my old wool coat in England once I discovered that every time I put an arm in I ripped a new whole in the lining. Tonight I finally found a coat I like and (ahem) that I can afford.

Walking into Mervyn's, I knew that I needed/wanted to use the two $10 gift cards in my purse that Mom got for every $50 she spent last Friday. I only needed to spend $20 to earn $10 off.

Right. So I picked out a jacket. Original price: $48. On sale (40% off) for $23.99.

I found a pair of pajamas I couldn't live without (I seem to feel that way about most pajamas I encounter). Original price: $34. On sale (40% off) for $20.39.

I went to the home department to borrow a calculator from my co-worker. Figured out that in order for my gift cards to work, etc., I must spend another seven dollars. Hopped over to the jewelry department and found a cute pin. Original price: $12. On sale (40% off) for $7.19.

So here's how it works:

Total value of all items without sale prices: $94.

Total value of all items, considering sales, before employee discount and tax: $51.57

Total value of all items after employee discount (15%): $43.83

(Because it's over $40, I can use both $10 gift cards).

Add tax (a whopping 8.6% in WA...yikes!!): $3.77

Total sale: 47.60. Remember, this is $94 worth of stuff. So the total is almost HALF.

Gift cards applied: 2 @ $10.

Total balance due out of MY pocket: $27.60.

That's right. I payed $27.60 for a coat, a pair of pajamas, and a pin. Almost a third of what all of this stuff would cost if none of it had been on sale.

The even better news is that on Sunday, I get to use a card that DOUBLES my employee discount to 30%...but only for the day. And Mom has a card allowing her to use my discount for that one day only. I got a few of them and handed them out at the middle school.

And the best news of all? I got off early tonight due to slow sales and a long, icy drive home. It's 10:15 and normally, I'd have fifteen minutes left of my shift but I'm home, in my new jammies (flannel--nice and warm), bragging about my shopping adventures in my little pink blog.

So good night, my friends.

With Apologies to the Original

To the tune of Jingle Bells:

Drivin' through the snow
In a golden Protege
O'er the roads I go
Gawping all the way

People tailgate
Because I am so slow
But I am from the Golden State--
I've never drove in snow~


Snow and Ice, it's so nice
If you are inside
On the road, it's so cold
Be careful not to slide...


Snow and Ice, it's so nice
If you are inside
On the road, it's so cold
Be caaaaarrrreful not toooooo sliiiiiiide!

Yes, my friends and faithful blog is snowing! It started while I was preparing for my class, so of course I could hear hyper kids running around the hallways at lunch time. It didn't stick much, but now it is starting to.

Until England, of course, I had never lived in snow. It was a nice introduction to it--because I didn't have to drive, just walk. Now I'm back on the roads and today I was thinking, "Heh, how about that. I've never actually driven in snow..." But I made it home okay and now I can relax for a bit in the warm house, updating my blog, while Millie purrs, lies on my hands and sucks on my sweater. I know she's not the only cat who does this.

But anyway, now that I have my beloved Vivitar back, I am, of course, carrying it with me in my purse. So I took some pics. Here they are:

Home Sweet Home from inside the car (hey, it's cold out there!):

Our back deck:

The bird feeder:

Behind us (the ravine, pond, etc):

The view from my bedroom (it's getting even whiter now):

Lovely, isn't it? Wish I could say I am staying home tonight with hot tea and a good book, but alas, Mervyn's needs me. Until 10:30. I guess I'll be driving sloooowly. The good news is I don't have school tomorrow. : )



Who Knew?

What Your Underwear Says About You

When you're bad, you're very bad. And when you're good, you're still trouble!

You're comfortable in your own skin - and don't care to impress anyone.

All this from black cotton bikinis. Heh.