Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Forgive me, Father..."

Not that I'm Catholic, just works as a title for this.

I'm a coffee girl in the morning, and occasionally mid-afternoon. (I can seriously recommend Black Dog coffee if you want a really fresh roast and a guy who does exceptional customer service; if you're local he even delivers.) All my grandparents drank coffee, but oddly, neither of my parents. My mom gets her fix with Coke, which she mainlines all day, but only her first one of the morning has caffeine. My sister Joyce only does tea.

Mind you, I love tea. I lived in England for six years, and there was nothing I enjoyed more about that country than going in a tea room after a day of shopping and having a relaxing, refreshing cuppa. When my eldest was born, my idea of heaven was to get her down for a nap, make a pot of PG Tips, and have some chocolate-covered McVities.

So I have a LOT of tea. I like it strong. My current favorite is Lapsang Souchong, but when I first get into work in the morning, I have a cup of Yogi Tea...either the regular Detox or the Peach Detox. I like the idea of starting the day by flushing toxins out of my body. As a side benefit, the bag tags have pithy little Yogi-like sayings - not the bear or baseball player for those of you with a pop culture mind, but the spiritual leader sort. They are often uplifting or thought-provoking. Try any of their teas and you'll see what I mean.

Today's little message gave me pause, though. It said, "The body is a temple. Take care of it." Well, gang, I have seen myself, and it's time for confession. I'm pretty sure that somewhere along the way I've blasphemed.

Can a Goddess do that?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And what does 'assume' spell?

Another rant. I cannot help but wonder if the proximity of moving the studio isn't contributing to the fraying of my delicate sensibilities. Yet again we have someone who has a sense of entitlement (check the prior post for my feelings on THAT).

A bride came in today to pick up her proof album. It was huge! The DH and his second shooter had taken a lot of photos at what was a very long wedding/reception, and they had done lovely work. In fact, there were so many pictures that it took a bit longer than usual to get it ordered; our lab couldn't handle that big of an upload and we had to cut CDs and send them in. Turned out very nicely, though.

A bit of back story. This is an older bride than the usual first-timer, and she had some very definite ideas about what she wanted. She was also not shy about saying what other photographers could do for her. The DH handles that kind of pushiness much better than I. I personally would have sized her up and been pretty sure I could take her Amazon-tall self down. He, talented man that he is, booked her.

Now, as a courtesy to our brides, we offer them free engagement and bridal portrait sittings. She didn't want to take the former but was eager for the latter. And the usual in-studio session wasn't enough; oh, no, she wanted that AND an on-location shoot. DH acceded, but if he'd known what a pain she and her mother (this is an only child for mom, who also has step-children with whom I sympathise totally) would be during the studio section, I wonder if he'd have done the second part. Yeah, he would, and I know it - it was a neat place to shoot and he got wonderful stuff. He's so good at what he does!

Onward, and glossing over the groom throwing a fit because the bridal party caused his section of the formals to be running late...actually beating on the sanctuary doors multiple times!! - and over the mother of the bride missing half the reception because she had to be the one to clean up the wax from the so-called dripless candles that btw caught fire during the service. Back to today.

The bride calls me to complain that after taking her proof album home, she was upset to find it didn't include the bridal portrait sitting pictures. Confused, I asked why. This is a wedding proof album. The bridal sitting isn't part of the wedding day, and is not even part of the wedding contract, but a gift from us.

"But we set it up during the contract session when we purchased the proof book." Yes, and? Were you told this separate sitting was going to be in the proof book? "I just ASSUMED it would be."

Uh-huh. And this is my problem how? You didn't ask if it were, we didn't tell you it was, and it never has been. No proof album she looked at included anything but the wedding day.

None of which I said out loud. DH should be so proud. Instead I said that of course we had no way of knowing what she assumed since she didn't tell us, and that the bridal sitting is never part of the proof album. "How can I pick some to put in my albums, then?" she whined. I told her I'd be happy to print her some thumbnail proof sheets, and Ms. Entitled sniffed, "That won't be the same." No, it won't, but it will give you something to use to plan your album. Then what she assumed (again wrongly!) would cow me..."I'll just have to check my contract."

Yes, you do that, Princess. I probably know that bit of paper a wee bit better than you. It says Wedding Contract, not Bridal Portrait And Wedding Contract. And it says Digital Proof Book, not And We Include Whatever You ASSUME.

She didn't call back. Let's hope she has the sense to realize that she's at fault for not asking for what she wanted. But I don't count on it. Entitlement and good sense never seem to go hand-in-hand.

Except in your Goddess, of course.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

PAI on Freecycle

I hit the delete key viciously yet again today, and decided to share with you why I did.

I belong to a wonderful organization called Freecycle. You may have recently seen a blurb on CNN about it. Freecycle offers its members in dozens of countries the opportunity to pass on things that one no longer needs, but that might have useful life left in them. This saves a lot of space in landfills, and goes along well with my feeling of self-satisfaction in my half-assed attempt to green up my life. The premise is that you join your local county's Yahoo group, and post things you no longer need, known as offers, where your general location is, and people respond directly to you to say they would like this, and can pick it up at XXX time and day. You then indicated the item is PPU...Pending Pick Up, so that others realize that it's gone. Seems pretty simple, no?

But trust the general public, with its incredible sense of entitlement, to torque things up. When WILL you people realize that I'm the only one who is entitled to anything?!? The Freecycle national rules very clearly state that if you need something, you may post a "Wanted" but only in very limited numbers, and not for high-ticket items like DVD players or diamond rings. The local list also has a rule that your first post must be an offer. Unfortunately, the list mom is apparently both incapable of monitoring the list, or turning it over to people willing to actually run it. It finally got to the point where several of us had tried to reach her for weeks, no new members had been approved, and finally the state level stepped in and created some new moderators. Then :::POOF::: the list owner reappears, removes all the moderators, and immediately vanishes again. Everytime this occurs her husband has some life-threatening situation - she says. Maybe, maybe not, but if you have that much on your plate, let someone who can do so run things.

The upshot of this is the Wanteds are insanely out of control. I have, and I kid you not, seen people posting to have entire apartments furnished...and specifying oak entertainment units with glass doors, if you please!..., riding lawn mowers, large TV sets, and oh, yes, please throw in the aforementioned DVD player for their pre-teen who needs it. I gnash my teeth every time I read one of these, and a few of us malcontents on the list, known as the Coven (DH is an honorary wizard), share snarky off-list comments about the idiots and their unstinting greed.

Why do I stay? I can get rid of things I no longer need to people who are grateful for them. Your Goddess basks in gratitude, of course. Also I occasionally score something good, like a lovely Lladro I got because I realized what the Spanish Nun statue probably was, and yes, I'm still patting my own back, wazzittoyou?

I hit the delete button so hard today because some buffoon with her hand always out had the nerve to ask for deck furniture and a charcoal grill. I swear on my mother's grave. Okay, she isn't dead, but you get the idea.

So my email to the Coven? "Gee, do you think we can throw in a package of Tbones and a sun awning for her?" Amazing how being utterly catty helps my temper. :-)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ice Queen

No, not me! I'm anything but. I can give you references. No, I just finished my first Ice Queen. There will be more...and thought I'd post a picture. This is a cowl pattern that may be found at and has proven very popular. I have at least four other color combinations in which I want to do it, all of which I love. Now how to convince the DH I will need matching coats to go with my accessories? I intend to eventually do this in Douceur Et Soie in both a pale aqua and in deep plum, and in Silken Kydd in forest green and in silver. I have matching color beads for them all. This one is in black Silken Kydd from Elann which is very reasonable and very soft. The star-shaped beads are from EarthFaire (link is in my enabling list).

I've also finished Icarus at long last. This will be for my beloved sister Joyce's birthday. Since she's in the middle of tax season, I have to hope she's not reading my blog. She's not too plugged in, so I doubt she would anyway. Her birthday is the last day of the month, and I'll see her at Easter so she'll get it then. This is so light! Just 3.5 oz of soft - if I say so myself when, really, it should be YOU - beauty.

This is done in Alpaca with a Twist Fino in Mulberry. Simply gorgeous yarn; I blame - I mean thank - Elaine the Enabler for turning me on to this yarn. I also have to thank Kristina in TN for giving me enough yardage to bind off. Got to that point with only 18 inches left, and even my puny math skills told me that wouldn't bind off a 72 inch edge. She put some in the mail for me from her own work on the Shetland Tea Shawl...a shawl I covet along with most of her work. Check out her blog in my list; she is Beadntat.
For your smile for the day, an exchange with the DH. We were watching Turner and Hooch this morning, and it was the scene where Hooch (a dog, if you never seen it; a huge slobbery dog) jumps through a window to get at someone attacking his owner. I remarked to the DH that Jack, my black Scottie boy who is devoted to me, would do the same. He agreed. I then said that, of course, Jack wasn't big enough to jump through a window.
"True, " said the DH. "Everyone knows black dogs can't jump!"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From the "Can't Make This Up" Files

I'm home today, waiting for the DSL guy and knitting, and am watching an episode of "Will and Grace." Imagine my giggles when a commercial says, "This show is sponsored by Pooh & Tigger's Friendly Tails!" Might have been Tales, but I was laughing too hard to look.

Don't you just love Irony?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kleenex Alert

See, I'm nice that way. In spite of your Goddess's snarky exterior, I am the kind of person who sobs at KMart openings. The stupidest Hallmark commercial will reduce me to a sniveling mess...and I do mean mess. My face gets red, my eyes bloodshot, and we won't discuss the foul things that happen to my nose.

Thus, when sending me anything that might tug at one's heartstrings, dang it, give a girl a warning. I received this from an old high school buddy (and slight crush, but don't tell the DH- yeah, like he doesn't know), Mike J. Mike gave me NO warning, and may, therefore, need to be smacked. He'd probably like it.

On the other news front, some of you have heard, but for the rest, here is a portion of my column in our studio newsletter:

"I hate to move. I hate it with a purple passion - I don't know WHY passion is purple, but it's my favorite color and I'll go with it.

I spent ten years as the dreaded 'military dependent', for which you may read 'Air Force Wife.' During that time, I moved nine times, not counting the initial move after we were married. You do the math, and for a little nester like me, it was rough. I have a tendency to build little cosy nooks around where I light. To some people it's clutter. To me...well, it's clutter too, but it's MY clutter. I come from a long line of not-so-proud packrats, so moving is a special chore.

Why would I put myself through it again, and for that matter, why should you care? I'm doing it because DH has a vision. I'm a pretty good person at seeing the big picture, but he's the true dreamer of our business, and his dream has gotten bigger. Bigger than the space we have here, and that's where you come in, because we're moving the studio."

What has happened is that the area's top portrait photographer has retired and has sold his business and facility to us. Rather than making do with a converted grocery store, we'll be in a 3200 sq. ft. studio with outdoor sets and a camera room that causes DH to wipe drool off his chin. We move in the weekend after Easter. I hope we'll be successful there. I hope we make lots of memories for our clients, staff, and ourselves. I hope we'll do the former owner proud.

And I hope we make a bundle! :->