Audience – Cold War Kids

Down by the Water – The Decemberists

Perfect – Smashing Pumpkins

Daylight – Matt & Kim

West Coast – Coconut Records

Can You Tell – Ra Ra Riot

Lisztomania – Phoenix

Semi Automatic – The Boxer Rebellion

Heartbroken, In Disrepair – Dan Auerbach

Why Go – Pearl Jam


one of the many photos from Nick and my two week ski road trip….more to come…

I mentioned it in my last post but I am really loving Mumford and Sons.  I feel like it is healing little parts of my soul.

I was going to make a list of my favorites but then I realized that I would just be listing the whole album.  There is not a stinker on the whole album.  From first to last, every song is beautiful or haunting or heartbreaking or uplifting or empowering and/or all of those things at once.

 

 

 

 

This started out as a complete rant and a guide for how not to behave in a retail establishment (not that anyone that reads this blog needs a guide for such things but I need to get.this.out.) but decided that I didn’t want to do the blog equivalent of bitching a lot and then hanging up, so I will also list my favorite things of late at the end for a little dose of positivity.

Ok.  I have been working at J.Crew for the season this year and it has been a total eye opener to the level of utter rudeness and entitlement that some folks walk around exuding.  I grew up in a retail environment and even in the middle of a blizzard when people were stranded at my mom’s gift shop in my hometown people weren’t as rude as some of the individuals I’ve had the displeasure of encountering this holiday season at the mall.  A list of my favorites (and by favorites, I mean people that drove me the most crazy)

1.  Lady who came in the Saturday before Christmas (read:  busier than Black Friday) with 35 things to return, from 3 different online orders, 3 different shopping trips to the store, 2 of those had receipts but were on different credit cards and 1 set of stuff didn’t have a receipt but she wanted the original price for everything returned.  On a slow day in the middle of February this entire transaction is going to take at least 20 minutes but combine the fact I am a new employee on the busiest day ever it is going to take a little longer.  Working as fast as I could to deal with her million different items and issues and circumstances she continued to literally tap her fingers in that annoyed “what’s taking so long” way and huffing and signing every 2 minutes.  Then for the items with no receipt she wants me to look up the transaction on her credit card.  Normally this is easy, but when she has 8 different cards that it might be on and then after 10 minutes of checking through your multiple transactions on each card only to then remember that she paid cash….it takes longer.  So approximately 30 minutes later (there is now a line about 15 people deep) when I had refunded her over $500 she proceeds to ask me for a $25 gift card because of how long it took.  WTF?  Rude.

Lesson:  Don’t return a million things on a saturday the week before Christmas.  I used to be a big returner so I get it and I don’t have a problem with returning things.  It’s the timing of this that is rude.  If you walk into a store and have a complicated situation and there are a shit-ton of people in line, come another day…especially if you are from in-town, which this lady was as I could tell from her endless shipping receipts.

2.  New Years Eve, store closes at 6, there are 2 workers and 1 manager to close down the whole store.  It had been off and on busy so we were able to keep up on keeping things folded and looking good.  At 6:00 there were still people in the store just casually looking around so we turned the music off but remained open and didn’t kick them out or say a single thing about closing.  Then a couple people grab about 10 things each and head to a dressing room.  I shut the front door so that no new people would come in and we could just deal with those already in the store.  Then people walk into the store anyway to “do a quick return” and then proceed to walk around looking for something to exchange.   WTF?

Lesson:  If a store in the mall has the door closed, don’t go in, the store is closed.  Also, don’t go into a dressing room 5 minutes after the store is supposed to close in order to try on 25 things and then buy a t-shirt leaving everything else in the dressing room a hot mess.  This is especially true on any Eve…Christmas Eve or New Years Eve.

3. These don’t have long stories with them but are instead a general wrap up of stuff that sucks to do:  If you go in to a store (especially 5 minutes before closing) and completely destroy a whole table of sweaters and take 32 things out of one section and put them in another that is rude.  If an item that was on a hanger when you took it down from the rack it is not appropriate to then throw the item on the floor and hide the hanger under a stack of pants.  If you unfold a shirt and you don’t want to refold it, no problem, the employees are indeed paid for fold things, just leave it on top of the stack that you found it.  Do not roll it into a ball and shove it UNDER the stack, which will then fall over and now the whole blessed stack has to be refolded.  Just leave it on top.  No need to kid yourself that you’re hiding it or doing someone a favor by disguising it under something.

I understand the mentality that there are store employees that are paid to fold and hang things and clean out dressing rooms and deal with returns and exchanges.  No doubt.  But there’s no need to be an a-hole.

And now, things that are good, in no particular order:

Pangea Balancing Oil

Websites like SoapHope www.store.soaphope.com and Kiva www.kiva.org and Heifer International www.heifer.org

Also websites like Etsy

Friendships both new and old

Talk therapy

Organizing

Exciting changes and opportunities for Nick

10th annual Ivory/Tanya birthday party

Reading Abby and Ross’s blog about their amazing world travel

getting a sweet deal on these shoes:  Loxley buckle platform pumpsLoxley buckle platform pumps

Revisiting the site of our wedding, Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, for the Trail of Lights, even though it was 1 degree out

The new food aspect of things at Karma Yoga Center, the Dharma Cafe.  So delicious!

Feeling sore all over from a yoga class

The Mumford & Sons album “Sigh No More”

Seeing Nick so SO happy when Widespread Panic played “Lawyers Guns and Money” at the New Year’s Eve show

Surprising Ivory (and Suz and Sarah surprising me) at the On Second Thought reunion show thing on New Year’s Eve

The feeling after time spent reading instead of watching a rerun of Law & Order: SVU that I’ve already seen 3 times

Seeing the basket of holiday cards

 

Third try is a charm…hopefully this third year of having this blog will result in more frequent posting.

Resolutions anyone?  Here are mine:

1.  buy more local and handmade products

2.  stop apologizing for things that i don’t need to apologize for

3.  post comments on blogs I read

 

 

What i’ve been listening to the last couple of weeks; it’s a little bit all over the place but, so am I, so it fits.

Zero – Smashing Pumpkins

She’s Long Gone – The Black Keys

Dead American Writers – Tired Pony

God & Suicide – Blitzen Trapper

Los Angelas – Phosphorescent

All the Money I Had is Gone – Deep Dark Woods

Landslide – Chris Stills

Salvation – Scanners

Paradise Circus – Massive Attack

skipping rocks = meditation

sunset = meditation

waves crashing = meditation

hmmmm…someone needs to get in touch with a meditation pillow.

some photos from Nick and I’s summer trip to upstate New York…