my skirt on TV

2003-08-28 - 1:16 p.m.

a while back I posted a picture a of a new skirt I got.

I kid you not, this exact skirt was part of the shopping spree on Big Brother earlier this week! I haven't spotted anyone wear it yet, but I'll be on the lookout!

I've been on a organisational rampage at the store. Things are getting on my nerves, so I've been cleaning and stacking and putting away, making pretty labels and prices, watch out, the next kid that walks in here is gonna get shelved and priced! Gotta go make more labels!

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Canada Rocks!

2003-08-27 - 2:48 p.m.

When I started reading this article about Canada, I was getting really ticked off. But then I read the whole thing, and thought, RIGHT ON! Someone who understands us! Thanks to Cubicle Dweller for the link.

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bye bye Jenny, hello bobbie-sue

2003-08-27 - 1:11 p.m.

Oh Canada! You voted off Jenny Grear!!! Why??? She was so unique, so odd, so very Canadian.... Don't worry Jenny, you'll have a long, long career doing your own thing outside the contraints of any Canadian Idol-related contracts.

Ok, now for the rest of the world, who had no clue what-so-ever what that was all about, my summer viewing pleasures are all coming to an end. First it was The Amazing Race, then The Restaurant, now The Wire (which is way better than the Soporanos). At least I can look foward to Sex and the City finally starting to air on our side of the border.

I'm feeling very retro today, as in change my name to Bobbie-Sue and move to the 50's! I got these 2 cute dresses in Miami, below the knee, a-line, spagetti strap dresses with a nice ribbon bow around the waist. Very poodle skirt inspired. And I'm wearing one today with a vintage cream cardigan, quite fitted with a big flower embroidery on one side of the chest/shoulder. If I tied my hair in a pony tail, I would be a dead ringer for Sandy in Grease!!!!! Already, 3 people have complemented me on the dress so far. Once again, pretty clothes put a smile on my face.

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observations of a 2-year-old retailer

2003-08-26 - 12:42 p.m.

I've been overhauling the store, reorganizing the storage space and thinking of new ways to display our products... It's crazy how quickly everything gets totally out of control around here. We put things in the overstock, and next thing you know, we completely forget about them! I need a full time stock boy to restock shelves and dust everything. (wait, isn't htat my husband'd job?!?!?)

It's hard to believe we'll be celebrating two years in business next month. It seems like just yesterday we were thinking of doing this at some point in the future...

Here is what I haven learned after almost two years of owning a gift store:

- some customers are total idiots... My favorite are the ones who walk in, stand within 3 feet of the door and ask "what do you sell here?".... LOOK AROUND!

- A lot of people have the same weird taste that my husband and I do: sometimes, we buy stuff we think nobody will ever buy, it's too risquee, too cheesy, to odd, and yet, it sells! We're always amazed when that happens. (Of course, we hate when we pick something we think is a sure bet and then we get stuck with it!!!)

- Ballons suck. They take a lot of time to prepare, people always want a bunch when the store is full of other cutomers, and I'm the only one who can do a lot in a short period of time, so I always have to be on call to come back and help my husband if he gets a big order... unforunately, there is a huge mark-up on balloons and they bring in money, so they are staying, they just suck.

- little old ladies go one of two ways: they look all the time, ask you a thousand questions and never buy anything OR, they are super nice customers who come back again and again for little 20$ gifts that add up to a nice sum...... the problem is you can never tell which kind of little old lady they are!!!!

- Men are the best customers. They don't want to chit chat, they look around and then let you pick the present, they're not afraid to spend money and they always come back for more presents after the first one is a hit. I love male customers.

OK, that's enough steretyping for one day....

Just wanted to end on a tv note: Rob, you are the biggest tool on tv, ever. She took the money the first time, you went back for more and got more of the same: rejected on national tv a second time!!!!

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good times

2003-08-25 - 3:52 p.m.

I am so totally fed up with SPAM, I downloaded the McAfee Spam Killer.... I have no idea how good it is, but I trust there products, so we'll see if it helps.

I'm feeling totally blah today. It's grey and rainy, I'm working the second half of the day, which is always weird to me, and there are hardly any customers on the street, so all in all, blah....

I did try wearing a cute skirt and scarf, but even that's not cheering me up. To top it off, we have dinner at my MIL's tonight, bring on the heartburn!

Since I don't have much to talk about, I thought I would try to remember a funny story from my earlier exciting life... I used to party hard in university. 3 to 4 nights a week, part time bartending, full time drinking. To make it even more cliche, my employer/regular watering hole was Cheers! (I know, not very original....) I don't even remember how we started going there, we used to hang out all kinds of other places, but Cheers had this Thrusday night ticket deals, where you got there early, bought tickets for 50 cents a pop and then traded them in from a basic drink (rum, rye, gin, vodka) before 11:00 pm. You could get totally plastered for under 5$! Obviously, we became regulars, not only on Thursdays, but Fridays, Saturdays, and sometimes Wednesdays. There are so many drunken stories I could tell, but for some reason, the one that sticks in my mind today is one that involves my old roommate D, whom I've completely lost track of and haven't spoken to in 4 years.

D, myself, and a good looking guy named G. used to share a 3 bedroom dump above the biggest strip joint in town. The strip joint was classy, our apartment had a park bench in the hallway and a no-parking sign over the couch.... D and I used to party hard, but we never had to worry about getting home because our apartment was conveniently located 3 blocks away from the big bar street, and because of the strip joint's door bouncers, we never had to worry about scary guys following us home. On one particularly memorable night in the early 90's, D and I were walking home wearing our uniform de-rigueur: tight jeans, cowboy boots, white t-shirt and navy blazer. Add big hair and you've got the picture.

So we're walking home in the middle of winter with no coats on. See, if you wore a coat, you had to wait at coat check. If you actued like a total ass and walked around in the middle of winter without a coat on, they let you in right away, so we did! In order to keep warm, we would walk home very quickly, with our freezing hands deep, deep in the pockets of our very tight jeans....

cowboy boots + winter ice + drunk + hands deep in pockets = fall on your ass and break you nose. I kid you not. I fell down face first right on the corner of Ste-Catherine and Drummond, and broke my nose.... D was laughing so hard, she peed her pants. Right there, on the street.....

Ah, good times....

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Self-doubt and Teresa Strausser

2003-08-23 - 10:54 a.m.

I wasnt' even sure I wanted to write today, but in some weird way, the whole thing came full circle and here I am, writing....

Earlier this week, I attended a memorial service for the victims of the latest terrorist attack in Jerusalem. When I left, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. Guilt over wearing pants, not covering my head, eating non-kosher food on vacation. Guilt over not keeping up my end of the deal. Converts often feel like this. While there are some 100% stellar converts who take on all the rules and never doubt themselves, many of us fall in this in-between category: we believe in our conversion, we take on many, many of the new rules, but we often falter. I would never eat pork, never mix meat and dairy, but I really have a hard time with pants and attending synaguogue in the summer.

And on this Saturday morning, when I should be praying, or at the very least at home resting and "thinking", I find myself at work, because the girl who works for us on Shabbat took a short trip to Europe and I couldn't find anyone else to work today. I could have closed the store, but I feel I own it to my customers to be here for them.

So I came to work this morning, wearing pants, doubting and questioning my beliefs.... And I came across this article written by Teresa Strausser, former host of While You Were Out. Not only is she a good writer (check out her other essays, they're really good), but it was interesting to read her take on religion... I too had "Jewtors", a few of them in fact. While I strongly disagreed with one of them, who was strictly black and white on all the issues, there is one woman, who tought me the laws of family purity, who was much more "several shades of gray" in her teaching. There were some basic laws that were absolute, but she was willing to give a little on some others. Adn there is another woman I know, who was born jewish but didn't become religious until she married, who would often talk to me about missing McDonalds and tanktops. I think of them when I have doubts, I feel like I'm letting them down somehow. I don't have that feeling with my very strict teacher, because I never expected to meet her expectations. She was asking way too much of me. But the others...

I really feel that once we have a child (*more on that below), things will be a bit easier, because I know I will want to set a good example. But right now, when it's only us too and the dog, I struggle....

* A quick note on children: in the craziness of coming back from vacation, I forgot to share some news with everyone: our adoption file left for China this week!!!! This is only a small step, but it's the last thing we can do ourselves, it's now completely out of our hands. We've been given an ETA of 10 to 12 months from this point on.... hubby is confident it will be faster, I'm not so optimistic, but either way, that's it! It's really gonna happen!

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It's raining gay men!

2003-08-22 - 10:57 a.m.

In case you've been totally out of the loop these last few months: Gay men are taking over the world! It started slowly enough, (Will and Grace) but with Queer Eye now in prime time and Reichen and Chip winning TAR4 watch out! (I hope you can all hear the sarcasm in my voice.....) I'm sure there is somebody somewhere who started their blog the same way this morning, except they are actually upset about this!!! (did I mention that I live in Canada, where we are in the process of legalising same-sex unions, so it's everywhere in the news?)

My husband, the metro-sexual (a term I read in Entertainment Weekly which refers to straight men who dress so trendily they are sometimes mistaken for gay), was laughing his head off on the couch last night during Queer Eye. Those guys are just too funny to remain on cable. I hope NBC wises up and makes them a permanent fixture in the fall prime time schedule.

As for Reichen and Chip, good for them. I didn't like them at all, found Chip to be a nasty "American" who propagates stereotypical "American Abroad" imageries, but hey, it's better than Kelly and Jon! (that girl got on my nerves to no end....) Also, Chip, maybe you can relax a little now and unwind... Man, that boy is wound up tight!

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