the best and worst of a day in retail
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Shopgirlove once had to give a statement about a crime. To set the scene, young men in her neighborhood had been running around shooting each other all summer. Actually, neighborhood is something of a stretch. Let's narrow that down to her block. Finally, one afternoon, while Shopgirlove was waiting for the satellite guy to come (the appointment had been for the morning), while painting an armoire (a.k.a. "the Beast"), one young man shot another in front of her building. Springing into action, Shopgirlove secured King Dutch in the back of the apartment, grabbed some clean towels, whipped out her cellphone, and called 911.
Shopgirlove: Send an ambulance! Please, a man's been shot!
911 Operator: Where?
Sh.: [Giving address. Right here, in front of my Goddamn house!] Please hurry, he's collapsed in the street! [Now running toward the victim in flip flops--not the best running shoe, mind you.]
911: No, what city?
Sh.: [What is GPS for, surveillance only?] Oh, right. Cantabrigia.
911: I'm transferring you to local 911. Please stay on the line.
Sh.: [Applying pressure to the wound.] Ummm. O.k.? Can you hurry?
Local 911: What is your emergency?
Sh.: [I think I was stoned when they covered this in First Aid?] Man shot...send help...can't hold phone with shoulder much longer.
So Shopgirlove has now seen what an entry wound for a small-caliber weapon looks like--it's small. And has discovered a rather troubling penchant for running toward danger. What great contribution did she have for law enforcement? The girl, three persons to the left in the crowd in front of the church where Larry collapsed, really needed to get her braids done. That's all. Some girl from the neighborhood needs to see her hairdresser. Oh well, stop the presses!
So, recapping the day's events from "the Trial", I actually have some sympathy for Judy Miller's lapses of memory. The only reason I could recollect anything useful, at the time, was from visual aids (like, where was I standing when I heard the gunshots?) and trying to recollect the chatter on NPR to reconstruct the conversation I had heard on the street.
I am not a very good witness. I'm the one that you want if you've been hurt. But, chances are, I couldn't help indict a flea.
Posted by Opti at 10:15 PM
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
From the Official Website of the Cherry Blossom Festival (Do they already have an Administration Vetterer?):
"Yes, cherry blossoms have been spotted in DC. However, according to Rob DeFeo, chief horticulturist of the National Park Service, the puffs of pink are no cause for concern. The variety of trees in bloom this week is sometimes referred to as the winter-blossoming cherry. Those trees will often bloom during a warm spell even when spring is months away. "
Shopgirlove is still trying to wade through today's testimony...I should be studying my five pounds of Bulgarian music but my language center seems to have gone on strike. Can you still strike in this country?
Oh, and someone should point Judy Miller this way.
Posted by Opti at 10:07 PM
Trix are for kids!
Shopgirlove has noticed some words flying around that sugest a rather amusing misconception.
So, let's set the record straight:
Shopgirlove is not now, nor has she ever been a mistress. An offer was made (in jest), and considered (in jest),
and commented on (in jest).
In fact, Shopgirlove has been known to work like "an indentured servant". (The irony here is that my first nonnative American ancestor came to this country as an indentured servant on a little ship.)
However, she is eleven days unemployed and thinking about pawning her diamond earrings, which she purchased with her own lucre.
Shopgirlove doubts very much that she would judge a woman who pursued that path in life but has a rather old-fashioned view of marriage vows. This might explain why she has never made them. (Congrats to Be and her Angel!)
Also, I think I'm too old...
Posted by Opti at 3:07 PM
Monday, January 29, 2007
O.k., she's not Shopgirlove's favorite, but c'mon! It was nice to see Hillary enjoy herself for once (she shouldn't quit her day job, though).
Blah blah Barbaro...how is the death of one very wonderful horse more important than the biggest trial of, gosh THE CENTURY? Or the ongoing mess in Iraq?
While following the trial, Shopgirlove learned about all about the new paradigm. Ummmm...didn't we cover this during Watergate? Gee, didn't somebody have to resign?
Posted by Opti at 7:09 PM
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Posted by Opti at 6:32 PM
Especially you, Fitzie! After reading a fantastic article on the bad seeds, Shopgirlove just had to throw away her last dime at her local Whole Paycheck. (Just kidding, love you, hire me.) Five hours later...soup for 100! And such a soup. A thing of beauty. Truly. Winter needs soup, the short days, the cold, the overarching weariness of it all. Greens and beans. Tubers and tomatoes. Andouille sausage for depth. Chicken stock, olive oil, and butter for the tongue. Marjoram to remind you that spring is just around the corner. Leeks, onions, and garlic because I have no plans tonight.
That and a giant martini.
Shopgirlove is looking forward to Jane Eyre part two. Most girls I know talk about the Cinderella complex. But most girls I know seem to suffer from an eyrean complex: we shall work hard and do our duty, a man in a position of power will notice how hard we work and how well we do our duties and we shall be rewarded. More and more, I identify with the woman in the tower.
By the way, these people deserve a Congressional Medal of Honor. And a MacArthur genius grant. Seriously.
Posted by Opti at 5:24 PM
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Make that eDavos. It's the meeting of the geeks this time around. And they're all starry-eyed and googley, er, giggly. Good on 'em, says Shopgirlove! Now, where do I get my avatar....King Dutch wants one too.
The breaking news: FLYING ISN'T COOL! It must be true since Peter Gabriel says so and Shopgirlove knows he's cool. We should start a movement, "Slow Go". (I've always had a thing for trains, something about the gentle rocking makes me want to join a two-foot-high club.)
Posted by Opti at 12:54 PM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
So, Shopgirlove has learned the following about the innards of Democracy:
People are human.
Impeaching a witness allows for new material during cross.
Those seeking a position in the higher offices of our highest offices don't need a good memory. Actually, the flakier the rememberer, the more qualified for multiple opportunities for access to very important stuff to not remember.
Oh, and bukkake is naughty.
Posted by Opti at 5:32 PM
Monday, January 22, 2007
Well, showtime! Judge Walton seems to have a sense of humor, as does at least one juror. Walton sent her son to prison and she shrugged it off with "it was his fault". Live blogging! Voir Dire! Phew! I'm exhausted and the trial hasn't even begun. Odd to think I remember Watergate...But where the heck is Walter Cronkite? I do miss him...Just what is Voir Dire? I mean it looks a little like see/say? Is that right?
Posted by Opti at 7:52 PM
Not working sucks! King Dutch is sick, so I probably would have had to stay home anyway, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Shopgirlove finally got her derriere in gear and wrote a letter to a Marine unit in Iraq. King Dutch actually picked them. They're three dogs named, Gordon, Cisco, and Cross. Oh and their handlers, LCpl. Isaac, Cpl. Wright, and Sgt. Lemmon. I hope we make a difference. Every Veteran I've ever met said that letters were one of the bright parts of an otherwise difficult time. I remember sending notes and drawings to the soldiers Vietnam. It's a nice way to show support and ridiculously easy!
Once I have a paycheck again, I'll be able to send goodies. Most of the service men and woman seem to be hungry and cold. And bored.
O.k. got my perspective back!
Posted by Opti at 3:17 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2007
This is gonna be a great day! I have both chips and dip. King Dutch and Rockstar have knee bones. My three favorite teams play today. (Manning, Schmanning! How many rings do you have, Peyton?) Oh alright, I do love Dungy, but sorry, no. Shopgirlove would be unpatriotic if she didn't hate the Colts. Why Adam, why? Sniff. Aaah, life is grand...The upside to being unemployed is definitely FOOTBALL! Oh, also, Brady doesn't lose in domes. Or in the playoffs. OR EVER! Well, o.k., sometimes. As for the Saints and the Bears, I hardly know what to think! I mean who hasn't been holding their breath for New Orleans' Cinderella story? But Coach Smith? Talk about adorable! And how nice for the NFL if a black coach finally made it to the Big Game. Wouldn't it be nice? Just not Dungy, please! Shopgirlove remembers when blacks weren't considered "right" as QBs...Progress, slow, but progress. Now what to do about the wall of white-talking-heads?
Posted by Opti at 1:31 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I doubt I deserve my friends. Shopgirlove can't remember who said that. But that's exactly how I feel. I am uncommonly blessed. No matter how bad my life, my friends make it better! Even those I've never met: I will keep my gin up, I will! I don't mean to pull a Blanche, but God bless you! I hope someday to be in a position to return the favor...That's what makes life worth living, right? The idea that one day we might make a difference in someone else's life. Or just make a difference.
Roomie and I braved the cold (so much for global warming) to grab some cheer at the Middle East, the nightclub--not the strife-strewn region. Other Roomie was at work, so we couldn't do a family night. Joseph sent us food and we ended up feeling taken care of and rather good about things in general regardless of the specifics. Yay french fries and booze! Yay!
Oh, and we got laundry detergent, so guess what's on the agenda for Sunday? King Dutch would like a long walk, but that depends upon the weather.
Posted by Opti at 3:18 PM
Friday, January 19, 2007
Well. Shopgirlove has had some odd days in her life. This one may have been the oddest. I am a little disappointed to have topped out so early. (I am only forty!) But, who knows, there's always room for growth.
My last day at work started with my phone being shut off. (This week's pay was meant to go toward the phone, next week's was for rent--but then there was no next week's.) The mail carrier at work discovered my predicament and brought me a money order to get my phoned turned back on. Once again, I am undone by the kindness of my friends.
After an unbelievably long day filled with myriad emotions, Shopgirlove figured out that she was expected to stay after work for a we're sorry you've been let go party. Gosh, what fun! Afterwards, we all trooped off to our sister store for their first foray into hosting performance art after hours in their shop. After forty-five minutes of the unfolding drama of one woman's many near-brushes with wedding dresses, N. and I finally made our escape.
At last, I returned all of my friends calls to discover that I'd missed:
Dinner, a movie, and the reason you have dinner and a movie.
One good friend's stepfather's house burning down.
Another good friend's house flooding.
Well, there! I am officially unemployed and enjoying the bottle of gin given to me by my ex-colleague down the street.
Tomorrow is another day.
Posted by Opti at 9:32 PM
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Mam's "a ticket". She walked out, no wheel chair. Total rock star! She's all set with chicken soup and a good book.
Shopgirlove's customer interaction of the day:
Customer: Can I see those birds?
Shopgirlove: Absolutely! (Taking down and demonstrating bird action--not without a certain amount of finesse.)
C.: Mine doesn't do that.
S.: (Unsure whether or not this is a good thing.) Is this the bird you have?
C.: No, mine doesn't do that.
S.: But each one is different. Which one do you have? They're light-sensitive so it may behave differently in here than in your home.
C.: Why would it do that?
S.: Because the light's different?
After much more of the above, we establish that she owned the previous generation which behaved totally differently.
C.: What's that one?
S.: A Japanese Tit. (Hah hah, I said tit!)
C.: What is it?
S.: (Really ready to close the sale and move on.) A Japanese tit.
C.: I think I'll take that one.
S.: (Coming from the stockroom with box in hand.) There's some great information about each bird on the back of the box!
C.: What kind of bird is this?
S.: It's a Japanese Tit...
C.: I haven't seen one around here, are they local?
S.: Umm. They're Japanese?
C.: Can you spot them around here?
S.: Well, no. They're from Japan?
C.: Give me the Goldfinch then.
S.: Can I wrap that for you?
C.: No, but I thought I saw a postcard of the Eiffel Tower that was from the daytime?
S.: Right this way!
Posted by Opti at 7:25 PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
We lost a Zheni. Or a Divi. I can't figure out which word means wild and which word means women. She's moving to another state and can't keep up...All the best to her! May she always be wild!
Shopgirlove's Mam is going in for routine surgery tomorrow. Everything should be fine, but of course, I'm going to worry. They may send her home tomorrow or they may keep her overnight. Yoiks.
Tonight's rehearsal went soooooo well! We are gonna rock balkan night!
Posted by Opti at 10:34 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Having been the subject of my own blog for waaay too much time, let me turn my attentions to Other Roomie. O.R. has struck up a conversation with a gentleman online who shall henceforward be known as PIEBOY. This because he has a dubious, although entertaining, story involving a lost bet, boxer shorts, poetry, and a pie in the face which O.R. is supposed to deliver. Somehow, all of of this culminated in the possibility of said adventure unfolding here, chez nous.
Hell no! Luckily, Shopgirlove was not alone in her concerns about You Tube, fetishes, and roofies. O.R. has thought better of the whole experience, and PIEBOY backed off after finding out that Shopgirlove knows half the cops in Cantabrigia.
Posted by Opti at 8:22 PM
Monday, January 15, 2007
So, If Shopgirlove does sell her soul, how much is it worth? And what kind of commitment does Shopgirlove have to make? My understanding is that mistresses are allowed to date, but that the keeper of the kept woman has the right to preempt any and all previously scheduled activities, kind of like being on call. Then there's the question of remuneration. I suppose this depends on the length and nature of the relationship.
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey had their thing, but what about a less spiritual connection? Is the woman than entitled to more? It's obviously a dead-end relationship, so she's sacrificing a shot at finding a long-term partner...does that mean she deserves a reward for investing in something shady and dubious? Or does that mean that she should have a guarantee for giving her time to someone who will never, in the long term, be there for her when the chips are down. Is there a professional group for kept-women? Can I get some answers here, people?
How ironic is it that this is the subject of my blog on Martin Luther King's holiday. Although, he was not the paradigm of faithfulness, I understand. I wonder how his mistresses fared?
Posted by Opti at 8:29 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Shopgirlove wonders how many sons and daughters of America's ruling class have this much class. What a shame his spirit of sacrifice will be wasted on such an outrageous war. Those who have sacrificed and refuse to remain silent are true heroes and shame on the Administration for attacking the honor of the opposition.
These are the Veterans serving in the House as of November, 2006 who have seen active duty:
Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI)
U.S. Army 1945-47
Thomas Carper (D-DEL)
U.S. Navy 1968-1973
Navy Reserve 1973-1991
Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Army 1967-68
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Medal Of Honor
U.S. Army 1943-47
John Robert Kerry (D-MA)
U.S. Navy 1966-1970
John R. McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Navy 1958-81
*POW Vietnam 1967-73
Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Army Air Corps 1943-46
John R. Warner (R-VA)
U.S. Navy 1945-46
Marine Corps 1950-52
Marine Corps Reserves 1952-1964
Jim Webb (D-VA)
U.S. Marine Corps 1964-1972
Ass't Sec. of Defense 1984-1987
Secretary of the Navy 1987-1988
There are nine.
I so have to pay more attention to the kooky websites! But wait! If Condi's gay, was the Husband remark a sneaky cover? I'm sooooooo confused! First Rove, now Rice. But then again, I, too, am a single gal who likes shoes and football. Let fly the rumors!
Posted by Opti at 3:15 PM
Saturday, January 13, 2007
I don't really understand why, but Shopgirlove is phenomenally happy! Basically, There's nothing bad in my life a little money wouldn't fix, and I could always sell my jewels if the wolf gets to my door. Oh, right, I don't have any jewels. Whatever. I'm going with the happy! Oh crap, I just realized I'm out of gin. Still happy!
Phewwww! Went to the packie, have gin...
So, a propos de rien (is there a way to do accents in blogger? 'Cause I can't figure it out), I have fallen back in love with an artist I first discovered in the nineties. Her work is intensely seductive and I'm grateful to have found her again. How she can pull off cheeky and deep, I don't know. But, it works.
On a different note, Shopgirlove has an invitation to be a kept woman. A very attractive offer except that he's married...seems like a crappy thing to do to another woman. Too bad I have morals.
Cinderella doesn't live here anymore.
Posted by Opti at 6:56 PM
Friday, January 12, 2007
They said they'd call Monday. But, they seemed pretty excited. Enough with the job search--I'm bored!
Can I just say how thrilled I was that Clinton was going to Iraq? Then I discovered, it was the wrong Clinton. Oh well, the quagmire continues. Wouldn't it be great if we could send W. J. Clinton, W. Carter, and G. H. W. Bush? The dream team indeed. I think they could find a face-saving exit strategy!
Shopgirlove took King Dutch on a two-hour walk today. We're both pooped...he's currently snoring on my knee. Good Boy! A tired Pit Bull is a happy Pit Bull. Remember that, people!
Tomorrow is my last Saturday at the shop.
Posted by Opti at 7:03 PM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
So, Shopgirlove will have the day off. King dutch will get a long walk. I will apply for ten positions! I will finish Operation C.O.P.! I will fix the mess in Iraq!
O.k., how about four job apps. and the long walk? And make chili? And jump Sister J's truck? That sounds doable...
Posted by Opti at 9:46 PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Ow. Bulgrian music verrrry difficult. Director go very fast. Shopgirlove has pain in brain.
Posted by Opti at 10:39 PM
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Oh boy! One of my girlfriends and her husband are separating. Shopgirlove thinks the planets must be off their collective axis. Is anyone having a good year? I'm actually pretty happy, but so many things are up in the air, it's a little unsettling. Thank goodness for old movies! And gin!
Off topic, a certain Manageress at a certain gorgeous boutique across the big waters may have something for Shopgirlove, also, she knows everyone who is anyone at all the boutiques across the big waters. Can I get a collective finger-cross?
Way off topic, but, I've been re-reading Serena Bass' "Food & Stories" and feel a cocktail party in the future...I doubt I will ever top the All Girl Lobster Party of 2006, but a shopgirl can dream!
Posted by Opti at 1:55 AM
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Sometimes the perfect day isn't about getting everything done, or getting anything done, really. It's about getting something started and enjoying the moment.
My mission for today was putting away my clothes. This may not seem like a big deal but my closet is the size of a hamster cage and let's just say, Shopgirlove loves clothes!
So, I bought an armoire which did not come with a clothing rod. It took six months to paint the beast and, finally, yesterday, I went to buy a tension rod. (Note to self: measure your furniture before you buy accessories.) The nice young man at the store told me to try it out before I removed all the wrapping, so I could return it if it didn't work. Smart! Except I forgot and removed the rod from it's original material before gamely attempting to place it inside the beast. Too big!!!! That's o.k. We needed a new shower curtain rod and it will do nicely.
This morning, King Dutch and I go for our walksie and head to the local hardware store. (Equipped with measurements.) Voila! The perfect tension rod! Merrily, merrily, we make our way home and I install said rod. Bingo! Happily, I begin the Clothing Organization Project, from hereon in referred to as "C.O.P". Halfway into C.O.P., the rod loses it's tension and falls. Fine. I increase the tension in said rod. Go operation C.O.P.! Many hangers later--rod down. Realistically, how much more tension can I give this rod? Not enough, apparently! No matter how much torque applied, the rod falls, and all is for naught.
Now is the moment that cleaves the strong from the weak. I can give up and start again next weekend. Or, I can find a solution and be done with C.O.P.
Me, I choose to forge ahead! I drill two holes on each side of the shelf above the rod, fashion supports from a wire hanger, and soldier on. The rod stays put, and C.O.P. is well on the way to completion! Until I run out of hangers...
That's when I went to see Children of Men with Mam. Great movie and ohhhhh Clive! Yum!
Posted by Opti at 4:56 PM
Saturday, January 6, 2007
Shopgirlove got a visit from la Befana! She was a little late, and didn't bring the usual sweets...but I liked my gifts much better: flowers, dinner, and a cute boy. Grazie alla migliore strega in tutto il mondo!
So, the holidays are officially over. Shopgirlove's feet don't hurt anymore, she's catching up with friends and family, and the croci are coming up. Wait, that's not a good thing. Isn't it ironic that the MBTA decided to raise the fares a whopping 75 cents right after the warmest December on record?
Posted by Opti at 10:26 PM
Friday, January 5, 2007
Welcome to the ranks, Em! Recently unemployed and absolutely without a clue! You go , girl! If I were there, I'd buy you a drink (or ten). At least the company is good. We could always start a racket in stolen toilettes. But, ewwwwwww!
So. I applied for a job today--online. Shopgirlove is old school. You find a job through someone you know, you walk in and apply, or someone finds you. You don't take a personality test with your computer. You don't address your work and volunteer history in short sentences that fit within fields on forms in frames. Except, apparently, you do. The worst part was the personality test. Shopgirlove answered a question about risk-taking that seems to have set off a red flag for the powers that be. Joining a Bulgarian chorus seems risky to me. Risky to them seems to imply drinking a fifth of scotch and jumping out of a plane. Oh well, perhaps I'm not suited to one of the country's top 50 employers. Their loss, say I!
Posted by Opti at 8:04 PM
Thursday, January 4, 2007
I returned to work today, after having been dismissed, and actually had a fairly relaxed, enjoyable day. I think, all in all, that everybody will be better off in the long run. It's just hard to leave something without knowing where you're going. Be it work or a relationship, school or a hair color.
Being up in the air can be daunting...but liberating.
Fearless is going through a rough patch herself. All in all, it's a tough time for everyone I know. Death, disease, divorce. D3, 2007! Yoo-hoo!
At least I never waited on a cat:
SYDNEY, Jan 4 (Reuters Life!) - An Australian bank has apologized for issuing a credit card to a cat after its owner decided to test the bank's identity security system.
The Bank of Queensland issued a credit card to Messiah the cat when his owner Katherine Campbell applied for a secondary card on her account under its name.
"I just couldn't believe it. People need to be aware of this and banks need to have better security," Campbell told local media on Thursday.
The bank said the cat's card had been canceled. "We apologize as this should not have happened," it said in a statement.
Posted by Opti at 9:24 PM
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Back to reality. Well. I had one job thought and got all my laundry done. (Except for THE SOCK THAT GOT AWAY. Thank you, Roomie for throwing it in with your stuff.) Have I adequately expressed my gratitude for the washer and dryer in the kitchen? I think not: haleljua and praise be to angels and saints!
I'm a little strung out out from rehearsal tonight. We have a concert coming up and I'm trying desperately to learn the songs involved. I can't read music and I don't speak Bulgarian, so this is quite a challenge. I just hope I don't make a fool of myself. Although, I am very good at that.
I had a whole rant prepared about the overdue appointment of a woman Yeoman Warder, but then found a reference to a past Yeoman woman, (is that a Yeowoman?) from 2005. Umm, fact check? Anybody? Help me out here!
On a side note, googling "beefeaters" turns up the fabulous news that eating products from grass-fed cattle is actually good for you!! I knew it! I'll have a medium cheeseburger, please! No bun, no fries.
Posted by Opti at 10:57 PM
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
M.'s Mother died. My heart aches for her.
There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.
Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings, are.
None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair,
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.
When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.
Posted by Opti at 4:27 PM
Um, I realize the Mexican food is spicier, the politics are juicer, and rolly-polly-babies'-Daddy doesn't live here, but--we're not being invaded by little green men in wee, teeny, tiny spaceships. Also, if you're gonna get that drunk, you should be doing it with me! And anyway, I miss you.
King Dutch licks you!
Posted by Opti at 3:13 PM
Monday, January 1, 2007
It really is the month with two faces. One looking forward, and one looking back. I faced my past today with beaucoup de laundry and my future with beaucoup de sizing up of options. I have been roundly chastised for identifying myself as a shopgirl (apparently this is self-limiting). I have also found comfort from unexpected quarters. As always, people make my life worth living and money makes it hard to live.
I've lost some people. I've kept some people. Found new people, and some have come back to me. Some are on the fence...c'est la vie.
I love all of you and look ahead to a better year.
Posted by Opti at 6:35 PM