Monday, October 31, 2005

blue

While mopping up today after everyone else had left at the tea room, I felt the tears come uninvited. I ended up leaning against the broken freezer and just crying for awhile until the sadness passed enough to keep working.

I have some unresolved dissapointments, weary heartaches, and maybe some left over bitterness and anger that I have not felt comfortable posting about, but their combined effect after the past year or so have left me suddenly weak. I have good hopes for the issues to be taken care of in the coming weeks and months, but, meanwhile, the pain is still there, trying desperately to heal. I will probably always have a faint scar to remember this time of my life by, but I trust that God will work it out for good, no matter how badly it feels right now.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Countdown to NaNoWriMo



Two days, 3 hours until NaNoWriMo . . .

Who: Me and the thousands of other folks at National Novel Writing Month
What: Write a Novel in 30 Days (to the minute!)
When: 12:00 a.m. November 1 - 12:00 a.m. November 30
Where: Anywhere.
Why: To know I can.
To What Extent: 50,000 words or more!

I'm only allowed to prepare plot outlines and notes. Every word of the novel must be written between the allotted times in order to count. More to come on this venture!!!

breakouts

I have a constellation on my forehead. It somewhat resembles the Big Dipper if you tilt your head the right way to look at it.

My Dipper is revolving around the South Star on my chin.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tag! I'm "It"!

Didn't know I was an "it" girl until last night. I've never been and "it girl" before. Thanks, Hi-Heeled Hotties and AccidentalJulie!

So, the gist of the game is that I'm supposed blog about 20 things I've not mentioned online (or at least not here) before. That's a tall order, but I'll do my best. Here's the twenty on me that you may (or may not) want to know:

1. When I was in 6th grade, I wanted to be a nurse. Fortunately for patients everywhere, I quickly came to my senses.

2. Then again, if I could be any profession I wanted outside of the creative field, I'd be a forensic pathologist . . . if only I could get my gag reflex under control.

3. I've met former president, and fellow Tennessean, Andrew Johnson (you know, the first one to be impeached). Okay, okay . . . so I've only visited his grave. But that's the closest I've ever been to a national leader, dead or alive.

4. I absolutely, positively, and irrevocably detest peas and lima beans. (Sorry, Pinky!)

5. When I was 5, I wanted to legally change my name to Crystal. Until I met one who was mean.

6. I'm arachnophobic. This is a fancy way of saying that I make other people squish spiders for me.

7. Nancy Drew used to be one of my heros, though I never understood her attraction to Ned. All the guy seemed to do was play football (see #12).

8. I collect snowmen (or snow people, to be politically correct).

9. I can eat an entire box of Peeps (the original yellow ones) without a trace of guilt.

10. Speaking of candy, I love dark chocolate, but not milk chocolate, unless, of course, the milk chocolate has been imported from Belgium or Switzerland, in which case it is always yummy!

11. I can never bring myself to wear bright orange. This is a slight problem when you live in the land of the Vols.

12. Also, I don't understand football.

13. So I should probably be banished from Tennessee.

14. I love good folk, world, celtic, and bluegrass/Americana music.

15. Unlike most girls I know, I don't really like to talk on the phone.

16. I catered banquets in college. You would not believe the messes people make at dinner time!

17. I can't stand the font Comic Sans. Okay . . . so I've sort of blogged about that before, but it bears repeating. This is an intervention! Stop the Comic InSANity!

18. I envy figure skaters, gymnasts, and TV newscasters for their effortless poise and ability to spring back from devestating errors with grace and dignity.

19. When I was a camp counselor, one of my darling campers told me I look like Ann Hathaway. If only!

20. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication with minors in Art and Writing. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. *toot, toot!* (that's my own proud horn you're hearing there).

------

and one more as a freebie . . .

21. Like most of us, I am entirely too fascinated with the topic of me. Even the fact that I have a personal blog in the first place only serves to verify this. I wish I could be a much more others--centered person. Perhaps go help some hurricane or earthquake victims. Do something real for others.

One day, one day, I WILL.

------

I tag Kathy and Stefani!!! Because I miss them, I tag my good friends Mel and Bex. Oh, and why not, PilotBob, consider yourself tagged, too. Just 'cause you're my brother doesn't mean you're safe from "it"!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I think my coffin needs resizing



Couldn't resist when I saw this at the theme park. I almost couldn't keep a straight face while the picture was taken. See? I think there's a little smirk on my corpse-like face.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

incoherent ramblings

tired. so tired. working too much, think i. money hard to come by, know i.

despite that . . .

bought a cheap espresso maker yesterday. ground the coffee too fine and it didn't foam the milk after (steam all gone). go figure.

it's cold in tennessee now. chilly brrrrr. also bought zoe-girl a cute, cute sweater that she is wearing right now. she looks so cute in it! we went strutting the subdivision earlier, just after i came home from work. i might not turn heads, but she does, every time.

editing book. it's a difficult process to chop up my favorite phrases and lines and remold them into different, albeit better, combinations.

wondering if i ever will be a real, true business owner. it seems so mysteriously far away from the present.

oh, and christmas is two months away. to the day.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

handmade or printed?

So I'm planning my personal Christmas cards for this year. I was originally going to try to have them 4-color printed and sell the extras, but I don't really have the money for that.

I also had considered printing postcards for my own list, but I don't have 200 people to send it to, and I'd like to do Christmas letter. That said, the postcard idea is the cheapest to both print and mail, and it's unique (how many christmas postcards did you get last year???) I also have the acrylics and paper to paint an original piece, scan, and create the card in Photoshop.

Of course, I could always do the postcard as a novelty to anyone who I've got an address for, and the letter separately to close friends.

Then again, I also like the idea of a gift book card . . . a handmade card with red stock that wraps around and is tied with a bow, with a story and misc. tidbits inside. They'd be more time-consuming, and not cheap to make, but, in the end, would be a tres elegant item!

Friday, October 21, 2005

On my bookshelf, in my players . . .

Currently reading:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Blue Like Jazz, Don Miller

Currently listening:
Why Should the Fire Die? Nickel Creek
Enchantment, Charlotte Church

Have Watched Recently:
Pride & Prejudice (A & E)
Jumanji

Thursday, October 20, 2005

proof that I am one unusual chick



Seriously. I was very excited to buy these books on medieval life, the italian renaissance, and how civilations have utilized fire. I got them at my favorite used bookstore in Knoxville, TN--McKay's. None of them was over $3.00.

Granted, they're research for a book I'm writing. But I must say that the only other person I know who might be as excited as I am about my bargain purchase is a former English professor I had in college.

I'm officially old

So, at work I overhear my manager and a couple of other girls discussing life and high school (they went to school together), and I am appalled to discover that people "older" than them graduated in 2000.

And then, to seal the deal, they mention being 2-years-old in 1987. . .

I stopped what I was doing and stared (in horror). TWO???!!!!! I said as much to them.

"Why," they ask, all innocent and everything. "How old were you?"

"Ummm. Seven." They confer amongst themselves to see what difference in age that makes between them and me.

"Wow. You're that old? We had no idea!"

Which, I suppose, is a type of compliment, all things considered. But, later on in the evening, one of the youngest girls confides to me that she has always hoped to be married by the time she was, as she says to me, "your age . . . which gives me about six years to find a guy and get engaged."

So now I'm old and an old maid!

Friday, October 14, 2005

t-shirt designs

OK, so they're not exactly stationery, but, as a graphic designer, I can hardly ignore t-shirts. And I have a GREAT idea for them. It's a niche market (book lovers/literary types) and I'm just chock full of designs and catch phrases.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

yours truly, circa 1988



This is me as the clown for my brother's 5th (I think) birthday. All together now ... Awww! I think the white makeup wore off around my cheeks and lips because I kept itching it during the party.

Looking back, I realize I had a great tan back then . . . and it was September! I'm jealous of myself.

more evidence of my bizarre sense of humor


I haven't had the time to read this, but I found the title immensly amusing, and the content so full of my favorite dry, bizarre/ironic sense of humor. For instance, one reccomendation is to "wear earplugs--that incessant moaning will drive you CRAZY."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

always keep your receipt

I'm sure glad I did.

Turns out, when the deposit still had not posted by this morning into my bank account, I drove back to the same location, transaction receipt in hand, and inquired whether or not the money had gone into my bank account.

It had not.

This, my friends, is because (as I discovered in alarm this morning before I left) the last four digits of the account the money had been deposited into DID NOT MATCH MINE. Oh, yes, the checks had cleared--but to the wrong person.

While I had handed the teller a completed generic deposit slip, I didn't know my account number, so I handed her my driver's license as well. I assumed, wrongly, that she would take the time to make sure the money went to the correct account. As it turns out, she applied my deposit to another person with the same name. So, for the past day or so, this person has had MY paychecks in HER account. Grrrr.

But all is well. I was polite, the teller I worked with this afternoon was prompt, and my hard-earned cash was rushed back into its proper account without delay. Thank you very much.

From now on I am ONLY using the preprinted deposit slips in my checkbook, and I will never assume that a bank teller knows what he or she is doing. It is an unfortunate, but neccessary, precaution I must begin to take.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

feelin' frustrated

No reason. Just life in general--it seems like I just always take the path less traveled, and therefore have a lot more hacking through the jungle to do.

For instance, my primary bank account is through a national bank that, for one reason or another, does not have a branch in my new town. Therefore, deposting a check is an ordeal, or a road-trip, depending on how you look at it. I made this road-trip to the nearest branch just in time to deposit my check on Friday. I went to the trouble to do so because I knew I'd need the money in my account to use for my bill payments online.

Of course, it never dawned on me that Monday was Columbus Day, and therefore my money would not post and STILL has not posted today. I am not a happy customer. I did NOT drive 45 minutes just for the fun of it. In other words: do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Monday, October 10, 2005

i swear, i really don't have it out for bunnies!



But this has got to be the funniest book I have seen in a long time. I laughed at nearly every page while browsing at the bookstore. I very nearly bought the thing. In fact, I just might sometime soon. That is, as long as I don't impale myself with a javelin before I arrive or get sliced in two by the blade on a figure skater's skate. (See book for details).

creative rush

The ideas are coming again. After a period of relatively blechy creativity, my interest has been renewed and my ideas are coming fast and furious again.

It's kind of like a dry gulch that, once the rain hits, becomes a stream again.

Now the problem is staying afloat!

Current projects:

1) Have bought paints to do my Christmas cards this year. Have also sketched a couple of pages of thumbnails for the card, but have not made my final decision.

2) Keeping my spirits up about my business. Trying to pull together my many ideas and create one, unified entity.

3) Currently contemplating going forward with the t-shirt ideas I have.

4) Writing has once again started to work for me. Through an online forum for children's writers, I heard about an essay contest for twentysomethings that I intend to answer. The question is whether or not I have something unique to contribute--do I have a personal story that is worth picking out of thousands of others to include in an anthology of works from other authors my age?

5) While trying to keep myself on task in editing my fantasy/adventure novel for young adults, I have also a contemporary novella in the works about a homeless girl, and a new idea for a book about a girl during the Revolutionary War period in Colonial America. For both the homeless and Revolutionary books, I think I have landed on topics that have not been covered before, so I'm very excited about their prospects once completed!

6) Decorating my room with items bought 20% off at my Big Retail Store. It's very addicting. So much for a paycheck!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

blue light special

So, it finally happened . . . after eight years of driving, I got pulled over by a police officer for speeding.

Yeah, speed trap--major time! I flew over the hill and saw the police cruiser just below me and, sure enough, got pulled over.

I didn't whine, cry, flirt or any other ploy. I had six minutes to clock in at work (which, incidentally, was literally around the corner. I even pointed to the building when the officer asked me where I was going in such a hurry), so I didn't play games. In fact, by the time the officer had approached my window, it was already rolled down and handed my paperwork and license to him without a word.

After a brief look-over of my license, registration, and proof of insurance, he handed them back with a stern "suggestion" that I do him a favor and driver slower. I agreed.

And that was that. I escaped a ticket!

Thank you, Mr. Policeman.

Friday, October 07, 2005

open and shut

I just heard back from the business owner. She sold the store last week to a good customer who was interested.

So, that means, for me, for now, stationery and/or boutique gifts and home decor is still the way to go. Unless another opportunity awaits around the corner!

I like not having to see-saw on decisions. Gimmee a simple "yes" or "no" any day and I sleep much better at night. So this is "no." And I'm cool with that!

buying an existing business????

Is it wise or foolish? Even more: is it impossible? Would I be stupid/insane/copping out to go this route?

In a completely different industry (in which I have worked part-time throughout college), someone I used to work for, is, I believe, selling one of her stores in a town I'd like to move back to. I've left her a voice mail and e-mail inquiring on the status of her biz for sale and telling her I'm interested in learning more about possibly buying it from her.

I have experience running the store (after all, as a former employee, I did!), I really, truly enjoyed the job, and the industry is a fun, creative one. In fact, the only things I don't know are a few technical issues (easily learned), bookkeeping, and stocking the store. Oh, and I don't really have any $$, but my parents are interested in possibly investing in it.

Of all the soul searching I've done in the past few months, and all the planning, I don't know if I can ever let go of my plans for MY business, but even more than my own ideas, I know that I will never be happy in either corporate America or working as a part-time cashier for the rest of my life.

So I'm going to wait and see if she responds to my inquiries. Maybe nothing will come of it. Maybe I'll decide it's not for me. Maybe she'll not want a former employee taking over business. Maybe I won't in a hundred years come up with the money needed to close the deal. I don't know. I just know that I'll never know for sure if it was something I should have done unless I at least investigate it further.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

blech

I've been coming down with something for the past three days. It's probably my low immune system crashing from stress and too much sugar (the downside of working at a restaurant that serves great desserts!), seasonal mold allergies and the beginnings of sinusitus, the bane of my autumnal existence. Top it all off with a low-grade fever and you have an operational, but not so happy me.

Yucky.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

shopaholic attack

An employee discount card in the hand of a design-crazy girl can be a very, very dangerous thing. I shopped at the Big Retail Store today for 3 hours and left bearing several bags full of home decor and clothing.

The beauty of my Big Retail Store is that it sells last season's fashions, overstocks, and other discounted merchandise. Add to that a 20% discount on just about anything I buy (including clearance items), and you have one big incentive to shop, shop, shop.

Nope. It's not T.J.Maxx, but a similar kind of store in which I've found numerous treasures for piddly-squat $$! I put back the $20 pair of Calvin Kleins that fit me perfectly so that I could afford to get the gorgeous photo albums, throw pillows, and floral-scented drawer liner sheets in a pretty pink-and-green print. It goes without saying that I adore beautiful things, especially those that I can afford that help "fake" a much more expensive look.

Now, there are certain things of which I simply refuse to get knock-offs. A Kate Spade bag, for example, or Lladro figurines, Birkenstocks, Diet Pepsi, Crown spiced cider mix, and antique silver trays. But show me a cute little picture frame or printed t-shirt from no-name company and I'm happy to buy it! And I have no qualms of using a perfectly nice print of Renoir or Monet, or buying a lamp or table or other household item that is a cheap but effective imitation of the actual $2,500 piece. This is because I like to mix and match real and fake, old and new, trendy and timeless.

My decorating style is most acurately described as flea-market eclectic, with a traditional bent and modern flair. I adore black and white photography, gilt-frame mirrors, quirky, off-beat pieces, the color red (of course!), greenery, shabby-chic furniture, strings of white lights, old packaging labels, real cut flower arrangements, and chandeliers with as much real crystal as is allowed by my budget.

I have so much more I want to buy still. I am going to wear my discount card out! For instance, there is a gorgeous dog bed my Zoe girl would love to sleep on, plenty of dresses and designer jeans that I need to try on, lots of Pilates DVDs that I should watch (and participate with, of course), hours and hours of classical, jazz, and easy-listening music on CDs at outrageous prices, and tons of tempting holiday decorations!

Yeah, I'm addicted. They'd better not fire me during the upcoming staff reduction.