the best and worst of a day in retail

Sunday, December 31, 2006


J. and I have developed a GENIOUS concept!!!!!! Tautological cuisine!!!!!!!!!!!! It all started with pork roast wrapped in bacon--then, waddya know? Duck or goose with fois gras? Tautological! Ooooo. Think of the sides! Steamed baby bok choy pillows stuffed with a warm mustard green Scallops stuffed with oysters! Tautological sauces! Rice croquettes with a soy-rice wine vinegar dipping sauce! Potato cakes with a creamy vodka drizzle! And the drinks! champagne and grappa cocktail (three grappa-soaked raisins at the bottom of the flute?)! Oh boy! I hereby trademark and copyright all food-related terms containing the words "tautological", "tautology", or "tautologic"!
Maybe I shouldn't blog on bubbly.
2007? No bubbly blogs.

Ay caramba

Shopgirlove finally got to hang out with her Mam! She loves her Mam...not because her Mam feeds her and gives her things, but because her Mam's all that! Too bad I forgot her present. Thank you to Carla! I love it...

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Couldn't catch a break

So, of course Shopgirlove had to watch Gerald lying in State. She actually is old enough to remember the man and wanted to write something respectful and sweet. It's what Betty deserved. But then a former Congressman dropped to the floor. The Sea Chanters stopped singing and looked totally alarmed. It was too much! Then the Devil had to go and slip the word sober into what was oddly a really moving tribute. I tried. In honor of the President's widow, I refuse to mention a certain comedy series. I draw the line. Won't do it.
Ooo, somebody just rang the bell! Maybe I have a candygram...

An ending

C.'s Father died this morning. I'm so sad for C. and all those struggling to care for loved ones with Alzheimer's.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The worst year of my life

Actually, it's a close second to the year my Father died.
Shopgirlove lost her job today. Her last day will be January 19th.
So much for 2006.
Happy New Year to all! Be safe and take care of each other.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Isabella! I missed you!

Shopgirlove has her wheels back! Not that her car is all that, but she was awfully glad to get it back. How would she have coped without? Grateful? Yes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Who's shoppping now?

I don't really understand it, but we're still busy. Mostly men (of course). I'm not sure if they spread out the holidays or got ripped a new one on Christmas day, but they're still coming in. I don't want to sound ungrateful, though, without these hapless idiots I'd be poking my own eyes out with our box cutter.
Speaking of hapless idiots. Shopgirlove hasn't gotten any flowers. How is this possible? She's cute, she's funny, she's incredibly sexy. Does she not deserve flowers?
ALRIGHT, there are more important things in the world. Her heart goes out to the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. She is very much looking forward to Cristian Weber's "Heart at War".

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Um, Cranky Miss Cranky Pants is sorry

Shopgirlove came home to a glistening kitchen and wants to retract her previous post. She pleads Christmasitis. O.k., She sucks.
It is strange to go from crazy busy to reading a magazine in the store. There are still people coming in, but nothing like the lead-up to the holidays. On the other hand, I did get to learn all about the breakdown in elephant societies. Yoiks!

Monday, December 25, 2006

My Roommates suck

Yeah. Merry Christmas and all that. Thanks for the dirty dishes and the stinky dog.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Are you feeling grateful? Well punk. are you?

I am.
Happy holidays to all of you! May you be safe and merry and enjoy your time together.
Shopgirlove has the warm and fuzzies for many reasons (the gin helps): Family--old and new, friends, colleagues, bosses, customers, the people who make me pretty, the people who feed and water me, King Dutch, and my Mam.
King Dutch has the warm and fuzzies for everything and everybody. (He's not very particular.) But he does know that he should take the time to thank some special members of his pack: Yellow Baby, Dr. John, and Kim. They made him what he is today and he wants to lick them all over, and over again.
Peace and joy.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


A certain Christmas Angel brought Shopgirlove a present to help her get her car back. This may be the nicest thing anyone has ever done, like, in the history of people. Shopgirlove cried for fifteen minutes and had mascara down to her chin by the end of it. She can't express how overwhelmed she was. This Christmas, I really and truly am blessed. Thank you, D. (even if you did make me cry.) Oh crap, I'm crying again.
An otherwise perfect day was slightly marred by the news that we're opening two hours early tomorrow. Oops. Um, Shopgirlove didn't get that memo. Neither did B. Or K. Can we come late? Oh well, only one more day.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pretty people

One of Shopgirlove's favorite customers is named Linda. So is her Fearless Leader. So there are two pretty people thet Shopgirlove gets to see day by day. Customer Linda brought the Joiettes the best gingerbread cookies ever! (Shopgirlove can't eat them because of the celiac disease. But they were sooooo frickin' cute!)
Las Lindas--love them!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


So, Shopgirlove went to the bank to deposit her paycheck. On the floor, in front of the manager's desk were bags of pennies. Each bag cost $50 and they were everywhere! As a retail professional, Shopgirlove hates pennies. I mean, there are worse things in life (ooooohhhh boy, memo to Mr. Stink-o-rama today: deoderant exists for a reason. As do showers. And by the way, throw out that hat.) But pennies really irk Shopgilove. She hates them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rocky VI????

The message of the Son of God in a boxing parable? Sermons based on R. B.? WTF? First of all, number six? Shouldn't this guy be in nursing home? And what's up with the faith-based marketing? Shopgirlove might have to crawl back into bed, cover her mucus-filled noggin, and hide out until Hollywood recovers at least one ounce of dignity. Maybe I'll rent a movie with a real message tonight.

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tissue, please

Shopgirlove has a cold. Fearless leader was so sweet, she sent me home. Hopefully things are o.k. without me at the shop. (The nice thing about being a shopgirl is knowing you're just not that important. Puts it all in perspective.) Instead of spending the afternoon watching t.v., I've been trolling art. How edified am I? Shopgirlove is going to take a nap now and maybe make chicken soup later.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Eat worms

Well, we are about as loved as dog turd on the shoe. This is not news, I realize, but the whole kerfuffle down in Kearny has Shopgirl thinking. Can't we all just get along? I normally eschew politics in a public forum. (About as interesting as my last pap smear, right?) But I mean really! Dinosaurs on the ark? Come on, people! Let's jump into the twenty first century and get over it! Build a bridge! Well, to the good folk in Kearny: Happy Holidays and may you learn the true spirit of Christmas. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:31

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What! No cheese log?

To be fair, B brought one last week, which is when Shopgirlove was supposed to bring the bloodies. But I was running late, o.k.? Um, my car got booted? So, we have one more week to organize the perfect Sunday.
P.s. Thanks for the cd!

Midnight Madness

Whoooooeeeeee! Shopgirlove loves working Midnight Madness!!!! One Saturday every December, several of the stores in our little neighborhood stay open until midnight and many of us enjoy some libations throughout the course of the evening. That, and the fact that many of our customers have also been enjoying some winter cheer, makes for a pretty fun time in the shop. If it weren't freakishly warm, it would feel a lot like Christmas!
Shopgirlove must run. I promised B. I would make bloody marys today if she brought a cheese log...sounds like another great day in retail!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Chef Shopgirlove had a really good day (yesterday). Really good. She got nice feedback from the night before, and everything went super-duper well at tonight's (er, last night's) event. The clients couldn't have been nicer. The food was perfect. The team rocked. If there was an ego in the house, I must have blinked. Oh, and the view! Let's just say Boston gives good eye candy this time of year. Life is grand. Let it be known that thanks to a fortuitous can of hairspray, Chef Shopgirlove's worst nightmare has yet to come strands at my station! So there.

King Dutch is in the throes of glove love. Sorry roommates. So far, the score is:

Dutch 1, sofa 0
Dutch 9, shoes 3
Dutch 3, gloves 1

He'll be two in March.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


From time to time, Shopgirlove puts on a chef's hat and cooks for a catering company (she once cooked for Julia Child, but that's a different story). Normally, these are ten hour days or longer. However, Chef Shopgirlove got to go home early tonight...Chef Barbara is sooooooooo lovely. Thank you,Chef Babs! Tomorrow's gig is very la-di-da and in the Hancock tower. Chef Shopgirlove hopes the windows stay put.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Guess what? You're not supposed to sing them! It's the vowels, stupid! Shopgirlove had her first rehearsal with Divi Zheni after work today and her brain has a boo-boo. There are two different kinds of "L" in Bulgarian, they count funny, and they sing an awful lot of hijaz...oh boy! The Librarian gave Shopgirlove about five pounds of songs to learn (bless her heart, they're alphabitized!). This will require a great deal of concentration.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Comfort food

Shopgirlove's Mam is from New Mexico, and when things get icky, Shopgirlove wants Tex-Mex...too bad she's in New England. She would seriously kill a close relative for a chile relleno. Oh well, there's always home-cooked:

Spanish Rice a la Mamacita

Cook rice in chicken broth with salt, onion powder and bay leaf (remove after cooking)
Add butter (1 tablespoon per cup uncooked)
Add favorite salsa (1/4 cup per cup uncooked or to taste)
Adjust seasoning with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and hot sauce

Stir in beans, shrimp, chicken, chorizo, etc.
Shredded cheese
Chopped cilantro

I like this with refried beans cooked in bacon fat topped with cheese, but who wouldn't.

Feliz navidad, ya'll!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh, Frank, you broke my heart!

Shopgirlove intended to talk about how much fun flirting is, since men actually come into the store in December. However, Shopgirlove's car was booted while she was working her little tush off. (Sorry Mom, dangling!) So, she's not feeling the love. Things could be better, but they've been worse. And it is a funny story. Shopgirlove has seen breezier days, but she will surely see them again. At least she has gin.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

O tannembaum

So, virtuous shopgirlove! King Dutch got a nice long walksie (actually, it wasn't. I just took him somewhere he'd never been before and kinda faked him out.). Worked the Christmas craziness. And then joined the other Joiettes at our Fearless Leader's houses for a surprise tree trimming party. I had to cut out early because of a certain doggie's bladder-control-issue (ten hours is a long time.) But it was nice to regroup and relax. We even sang some carols! Well, we la, la, la'ed, something, something, somethinged, some carols.

Chasing bunnies!

Whew! King Dutch had quite a night last night! His little feet were going, he was yipping away, and let's just say Shopgirlove didn't get her beauty rest. At least, not the quantity and quality to which she is accustomed. Waaaah! Can you call in to work Bunnied?

Saturday, December 9, 2006

No free lunch

Actually, no lunch at all. Shopgirlove ordered a burger from a local restaurant, showed up after the specified time, and waited her whole lunch break for her food. She ended up cancelling the order. Long story short, she wasted her break, never got to eat, and had the worst customer service from the manager she's ever had. Shopgirlove wasn't very happy. She really wanted that burger.

On the other hand, Shopgirlove just touched base with her singing teacher and remembered that life is good. People like Sue Robbins just make everything else melt away and remind you that joy exists and is mostly a gift found in those who make us better. Lord knows, she makes everyone she meets better. Bless her gorgeous heart! If you are ever in the Boston area and want to learn how to sing anything, look her up. She's the best.

Friday, December 8, 2006


So, I guess the cold brings out the inner Santa. We did almost twice the volume of business today as this day last year. Everyone is still in a good mood, but my math skills went on vacation early. I heart the adjust button on our credit card machine!
Raves for the Bush post-its from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild! Memo accomplished, indeed.
My favorite stocking-stuffer is the "Don't eat the yellow snow" lemon candies. King Dutch will be giving them to everyone he knows. If he knows you, try to act surprised.
So far, the season's been up and down. I think it will close more up than down.
Also, yay to Collier for their new Spirit kaleidoscopes. They retail under $50.00 and really do look like they cost five times that (on the inside). If you're not familiar with kaleidoscopes, I pity you. You can check out the Brewster Society for more information, but be warned, the community has a new agey-kind-of side.


It's Snowing! Very light, but this is the first time King Dutch dragged me home.

Thursday, December 7, 2006


One of Shopgirlove's favorite people is having a very difficult time right now, and her heart is sad. Cheriff is a Berber from Algeria who is facing deportation. He is deeply loved by all who know him around the world. He has been in the Boston area for many years working as a teacher of the french language. Shopgirlove's Mother studied with him and adopted him into our family to our benefit. His curiosity, gentle spirit, and lively mind won us over completely and we will miss him terribly. While trying to obey the dicates of the powers that be, our beloved Cheriff has been denied travel documents by his own government. He is now in limbo and at risk, having been refused asylum by our government and refused entry by his own. It breaks our hearts that Cheriff's sister died suddenly last week. Her funeral was on Wednesday and he was unable to attend.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

This Bulgarian Idol

I'm in! I was officially invited to join the Divi Zheni chorus. I was asked if I could tap dance. I think they were kidding but threw out a couple of steps just in case. I'm not 100% sure about the costumes...perhaps we'll start a trend. (Marc Jacobs, spring 2007: the return of the peasant shirt?) Perhaps not. Whatever, Shopgirlove is singing again.

Be kind to me

I've only just noticed that I have but two, count 'em, 2 days off before the Big Day (Christmas). Oh my. In the spirit of a good shopgirl, I will try to stay cheerful and helpful and presentable. That may require buckets of gin. Also, my feet hurt and it's only the sixth. (Shopgirlove turned forty this year. Yes, I know this is my power decade, but everything hurts and I can't read the little "made in china" signs.) On the other hand, the Joiettes (my fellow shopgirls and shopboy) are still in good cheer, so at least work's fun.

King Dutch would like to point out that he hasn't been on a good long walk since Thanksgiving. (Except for last night. Long story involving a bad date that we won't go into. Hockeyboy needs to step up. Enough of that. Shopgirlove shouldn't have to walk twenty blocks in heels in the freezing cold. O.k. done.)

Favorite item this year? Hmmmm.........It's either the ABC cookie cutters from Fred or the Cubisto 3-D framing system from BasicFun. Both items can be found at the best gift store anywhere: Joie de Vivre. If you can't find a present for someone here, you should probably drop them.

Well, that's that. I'm off to audition for a balkan singing group. Break a leg Shopgirlove!