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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Marriage Equality!

Salutations, my lovely readers.

It was another good week at work, though nothing too exciting happened. We're having a 50% off sale on stuff over by the mall entrance, and yesterday they kept bringing stuff over and telling me to find a place for it, but eventually it got to the point where there WAS NO ROOM! It was still something to do (as was straightening up said bargain when customers were too rude to put stuff away properly), so that was good, not to mention there's some good items out for sale: if anyone needs kid books, arts and crafts, soap, journals, etc., come check it out (as with the KCCC here).

You ever met someone who has a preference to book types, like between paperback and hardback? Our customer this week is one such man! Meet Victor, an African-American man in his late thirties. He's a family man, and is invested in his daughter's education, so much so that he tags along with her when she buys her required summer reading for school (The Secret Life of Bees). Wanting to see what kids these days read for school, he also orders his own hardback copy of that and some other books instead of just getting the paperback, but is patient and willing to compromise when it comes to where he picks his books up (even if it's not the store in Lee's Summit, and I don't know if we have one there). As it is, he likes hardbacks for how long they last compared to their paper counterparts, but he also believes that hardbacks have a better and stronger 'book smell' to them, which is his favorite scent in the whole wide world (and I can't blame him for that). A self professed 'huge geek', other than a love for books, he also has a thing for superheroes and gets easily distracted by action figures (his favorite being Cyborg from the Teen Titans series). This shows how horribly forgetful he can be with remembering stuff, like the phone number for his B&N membership.

Concerning M.O.A-27, don't worry if you're starting to get bored with the lack of action. I've finished the chapter off, and after a short Dreaming moment (in which we see more between Shawney and Aria), we'll be on track with monster hunting and trying to find the scary beast. As it is with the chapter ending, though, you really get a sense of a building connection between Moa and Shawney, especially how she tries to comfort him about Len despite everything telling her not to in her head. She knows about emotions, knows what they do to people, and knows how others commonly comfort those who are sad, but having never done it, nor not designed to do it, she's in a bit of a pickle. But she does her best:
            '“I know this is when someone says something comforting, like everything will be okay,” Moa said as much. “With your lost, and with what is coming, however … I do not know if things will be okay, in all honesty. But I can say this and mean it: the only way I will leave you is when I am dead and in pieces ... I will not leave you no matter what.”'

And it works; Shawney does start crying, but the two hug it out and find out how safe they are when they do so. Because where else is safer than in someone's arms? You tell me! But either way, it's interesting exploring emotional moments like this considering my own emotional problems (nothing serious; it's just autism); it's like I'm sorting out and investigating my own emotions when doing scenes like this and figuring out what's right and what's wrong socially. Then it's just a matter of going out and living my discoveries (which is a struggle, but I try).

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: The cute shirt my mom found for me at Anthropologie. It's a gray and white v-neck with a swooped hem and a eyeglasses print. I wore it to work the other day, and the one customer who complemented it turned out to be an eye doctor! :D

Like 2: Gay marriage is now legal across the US! I am straight, but it's been an issue I've kept an eye on, and it was amazing to hear the news on Friday, because everyone should have the right to be with whoever they want to be with. Hooray for human rights!

Like 3: Dairy Queen butterscotch dipped cones. YUM. :)

Dislike 1: Bug bites. I've got two mosquito bites on my arm and leg respectfully, and while they're aren't always itchy, they can suddenly go off at any moment (like if I accidently rub the offending limb against something) and then I just want to scratch like crazy. If there's one thing about summer I hate more than the heat, it's this!

And quote!

"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action." -Benjamin Disraeli

See ya later,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers' Day!

Hello, guys and gals.

So work was good this week. No complaints to be heard from me. It was another array of night shifts between the music section and the mall cash register, and I did some shopping errands for my grandma and picked up a few books for her. My manager Justin also got back to me about the number of books I should bring along to sell; he said about forty would work, which is good (and it helps I already have like eleven on hand), so I need to get those ordered. I'm also debating whether or not to ask my sister to do a little social media promotion about the event; I need to ask her about it, but I hope she says yes (if you want to check it out yourself, click HERE).

There were a lot of interesting customers this week, and I'm stuck between two of them and deciding which one should get a story. So how about two mini stories this week? First we have Bianca, a lady in her mid-thirties to early forties with dark brown hair held back by sunglasses. She loves an online deal, and when she finds something she can get on hand in a store, she goes after it. However, she usually gets a nasty shock when she finds out the in store prices and online prices are different, and then puts it on herself to explain price points to whatever employee she's talking about, going so far as to not understand what they're saying and interrupting them mid explanation ("No, that's not what I'm saying!"). She then explains that she owned businesses before which is why she knows what she's saying and feels the need to share and confuse people. Thankfully she never goes shopping without a friend, who speak Biana-nese well enough to play mediator and tries to translate what Bianca says so the employee can understand and vice-versa.

But though Bianca may forget her manners, Aermad doesn't! Aermad is a man visiting the United States from Armenia, a small country in Eastern Europe. He's currently on a cross country trip visiting all his American friends, and so far his favorite places are San Fransisco and Chicago. He loves to talk and loathes the silence, and as such makes friends wherever he goes, although sometimes he doesn't know when to be quiet, and his odd accent doesn't help when he's trying to explain things. He often gets asked to repeat stuff, but he doesn't mind. Aermad also knows his friends well and gets them books about their favorite subjects (like a guidebook to religion) because he loves to read. His favorite part of America is the sense of freedom throughout the country, and his favorite color is green, which gives him an appreciation of green eyes, which he compliments people on.

In M.O.A-27, plans have been finalized; after some rest and construction of some new hologram disguises and communicators, the gang's going to investigate the spaces where Moa and 35 died, then split up and look in similar areas (closed off, untrafficked areas, like recycling and dump areas). Ursele and Thayer hit the hay, but Moa stays up and watches Shawney as he gets to work. It's nice between them as Moa discovers why he likes holograms so much, but the conversation takes a sad turn when she brings up Len (which they haven't really had a chance to talk about until now). Of course, Shawney gets sad, and Moa asks if he blames her. He does say that yes, part of him wants to be mad at her, but part of him is mad at everyone, and he's still aware of how death can happen with what he's doing for Moa. How will this conversation end? For better, or for worse? Let's find out next week!

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: It's Fathers' Day! My dad's out in Colorado, but he called in saying he can't wait to read the book I got him. And I spent the day with my grandpa (who's also my godfather), and I got him a nice card and had a good dinner with him, Grandma, Mom, and Maggie. To the two best (and only) men in my life, I love you forever!

Like 2: Speaking of Mom, she's visiting for three weeks. She'll be staying through July 4th, and I'm just happy she's here (because I've missed her). We already have a bunch of fun things we want to do, like go see movies and blueberry picking, so I can't wait to spend time with her. :)

Dislike 1: The amount of stupid street construction going on around town. Maggie and I had to pick up Mom from the airport yesterday, and we couldn't take the usual route because of repaving or whatever. So that meant more driving time (and an angry Maggie), which wasn't fun. And this isn't the end of it either; it looks like they'll be doing some work along the usual route I take to work, so now I might have to find a new route (unless they leave it open with one lane). Either way, it's stupid, inconvenient, and may bad driving karma fall on those who signed off on this in the first place!

And quote!

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me." - Jim Valvano


Sunday, June 14, 2015

5 Year Reunion

Hey-yo, my beautiful blog readers!

Work was fine this week, but it was also slow in the sense that there were not many interesting customers to imagine stories for. However, I'll try my best! This week is Helga, an old grandmother type with short white hair and the whole 'cardigan and slacks' attire grandparents are known for. She has four grandsons, one of which is having his birthday this month, and believes in the good value of books for entertainment, education, and gifts, preferring them to those new-fangled video games. But she doesn't have the best memory in the world, and she also possesses the ability to lose things she was just holding a minute ago, like book receipts ("I swear I just had them in my hand a minute ago! Did you check the books?"), and then is never able to find them again. Whenever that happens, she starts to blame the person she was supposed to hand the thing to, but eventually realizes that that's not the right thing to do, and does her best to find it or replace it (like get some new receipts printed off). Taking responsibility for accidents and trying to fix them is, after all, one of her best qualities!

No new news on KCCC yet, but I'll share with you here when I do!

In M.O.A-27, it's time to go monster hunting! The gang, having realized the connection between Moa, 35, and the black scary monster from both their memories, have decided to find the thing and see what it knows. Surprisingly, Thayer of all people is hesitant about going after it, talking about how if Moa was almost taken down by one of her sister cyborg's, how much powerful would the monster be? And what would happen if it decides to go after him, Shawney, or Ursele when none of them stand a fighting chance (and it could go after them, considering they'll have to split up to find it)? Of course, Thayer also knows that there's no other alternative or lead to follow, so eventually everyone does convince him it's the right thing to do. However, that doesn't change the fact that Renatola is HUGE (roughly the same size as Andorra, that tiny piece of land between Spain and France), with a very large population, and both people and land mass about double when you factor in the Underground. Some logical thinking rules out certain times of the day (the thing starts hunting at sundown and through the night), who it goes after (single people, not groups), and the whole Underground is eliminated from the equation:

'"If it wants easy pickin’s it’s not gonna go after ungudies who can put up a fight. Even if te guy would lose, it wouldn’t be an easy kill," Thayer argued. "And that’s what te thin’ wants..."'

However, there's still too much ground to cover, so Shawney asks Moa if she can remember any clues from her and 35's memories that might tell them some locations they can start looking. Will she be able to remember anything?

And Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Ascension Garage Sale! My parish has this awesome sale in their basement each summer, and they have everything: furniture, clothes, books, jewelery, toys, electronics, etc. It's always fun to go and find some nice stuff for a few dollars, and I bought some nice things: some snakeskin flats, a new pair of jeans, some slacks for work, a green button up, some T-shirts, and a very pretty tunic/dress that I can't wait to wear out and about.

Like 2: Five year high school reunion! Me and about forty of my high school classmates (some of who were the ones who arranged it) celebrated our five years reunion at the local Johnny's Tavern, and it was fun! We had a back room all to ourselves, some good drinks, and tons of pizza, and I got to sit and chat with a bunch of my old friends. It was nice seeing who got married and what everyone was now doing with their lives, and it's nice to know that everyone's doing well. One guy read a list of things that had changed at my high school since we graduated (new babies, new principals, etc.), and there was a poll for certain categories like "Most Eligible Bachelor/Bachelorette", "Most Interesting Job Since High School", "Mostly Likely Came for the Beer", and others. I won the category for "Most Likely to Be Famous by Our Next Reunion" and got some cheap sunglasses as a prize. It was all good fun, and I can't wait for our ten year reunion!

Like 3: I finally saw Mad Max in theaters, and it was just as awesome as I thought it would be (though it was hard to stay under the speed limit while driving home afterwards)!

Dislike 1: I did sit in a sticky bar stool while at my class reunion, and while wearing my favorite pair of jeans too. It's not like they're ruined, but still! Ewwww!

And quote!

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us." -Ashley Montagu

See ya,

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Sorry, I'm Back Again!"

Good day to you all.

For those who work in retail, have you ever had one of those customers that, once they're done shopping, just hang around until they find another thing to buy, and you end up thinking, "Good grief, just leave already!"? This week's mini story is about Anna, a bespectacled blond who's just like that. Incredibly indecisive, she doesn't have that great of a attention span, for the moment she sees something 'shiny' (aka something to buy) she gets it, and that happens a lot. Despite loving music, she know nothing about it and insists that there's a difference between a soundtrack and a score ("No, I don't like the listing for the Aloha soundtrack, I'm looking for something else. See if there's an Aloha score.") and will get a little defensive if you try to ask questions for clarification (because she thinks you're trying to make her look dumb). If there's one good point about her spending habits, she's thrifty, buying all but one discount CD. She's also a loving wife and mom, making plans with her husband over the phone and going off to pick up the kids from whatever they're doing.

Work was work. Employee Appreciation Week has come and gone, but it was good. Got some nice books with a great discount and helped myself to some ice cream from the break room's freezer (they had green tea ice cream. I love that stuff!), so all in all, it was fun. No new information about Comic Con, but you all will be the first to know if anything pops up.

And it's official people: as of this week, I have resigned from my editor position at The Fashion Foot. Despite asking Dana the boss again if the new position she was offering was paid, she NEVER REPLIED, and I couldn't help but feel like she was avoiding the question. But instead of forcing the issue and possibly putting tension between us, I simply said that while I was thankful for the offer, it was time for me to move on, and Dana understood and thanked me for my hard work. I even got a nice note from my favorite writer telling me she loved how I edited her work and best wishes (which I thanked her for). So thus ends the internship, and like I said last week, there were definitely frustrating times, but I worked on my editing skills and learned new things, so it's truly an experience I'm glad to have.

Things aren't looking good for Moa in M.O.A-27. She's fine in the fact that none of her systems are damaged due to the coma, but she lost all the info downloaded from 35, and there's no chance of getting it back; 35's head exploded thanks to all the negative feedback. All that's left are the memories that she witnessed, and as Moa explains what she saw to her friends, it sinks in just who 35 was. They didn't (or couldn't) notice it when she was attacking them, but 35 was an actual person once, with thoughts, feelings, and her own life that was taken away from her without her consent. If there were a chance for her to make a new life, it's gone now, and Moa can't help but point out the her and 35's position could've easily been switched; "Why me?", she asks, wondering why it was her that broke free and broke out. Of course, no one knows the answer, and will they ever? That's up to me to figure out.

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Used book sale! Every summer the local library chain has a used book sale, and it's always a highlight of my summer. I got myself a nice selection of books and DVD's (they had a very good selection this year, but maybe that's because I went on opening day), and I even found some things for the grandparents and my sister. Yay for cheap books!

Like 2: My sister graduated from college this week. I wasn't able to go, but I sent her a nice present and all the warmest wishes I could. Love you, Allison, and congratulations!

Like 3: Green tea ice cream. Yum! (insert dreamy smile).

Like 4: "What Would You Do?" I used to watch it a lot, and I had the chance to watch it this week and remember how good it is. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's basically actors/actresses acting out a troublesome situation and you see how regular people react. It's basically the most awesome social experiment ever, and seeing the good reactions reminds me just how good people are all over again.

Dislike 1: Had a bit of a scheduling scare this week. I'd requested the evening of the thirteenth off to attend my high school reunion, but the manager in charge of scheduling missed the memo and gave me the night shift that day. Thankfully we were able to fix it and I was able to find someone willing to swift shifts with me, but for a second I thought I never would. :P

And quote!

"What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness." -Thomas Bailey Aldrich