Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Joys of Customer Service

I spent the last ten years working in customer service.  It’s taught me a lot, like how to be nice to people when I don’t really feel like it.  It has also taught me that sometimes complete strangers will say things that I wouldn’t say to my best friend.  Here is a conversation I had recently with a customer.  We’ll call him Bill, but if names are going to be changed to protect the innocent, can’t I change mine?  Anyway…

Bill:  (Seeing that I have a McDonald’s bag on my desk)  You aren’t really going to eat that crap are you?

Me:  Like you can talk.  I saw you walking out of there when I was leaving the drive-thru.

Bill:  Oh, I just went there to poop.  I don’t eat that stuff anymore, since I’m going to start entering body building contests.  I’ve dropped 70 pounds already.

Me:  Oh, really?  That’s great.

Bill:  What, you didn’t notice?  You couldn’t tell that I wasn’t waddling my fat ass around in here like a pregnant woman anymore?  Why are you making that face?  Did you fart?

Me:  Um, no.

Bill:  Yeah, I bet you farted.  It’s one of those church pew creepers, isn’t it?  It’s okay.  If you have to poop just go poop.  You don’t have to try to hold it in.

Me:  (losing a little bit of my customer service façade) The next time I see you coming in, I think I’ll be on break.  Have a nice day!

 

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A “Review” of An Echo in the Bone

So I had this genius idea to write a book review.  I had just finished Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo in the Bone, and of course I loved it.  A funny thing happened when I started to write the review:  I couldn’t do it.

I guess I felt like a review involved a certain degree of criticism; more than just jumping on Goodreads and deciding how many stars to give it.  And I can’t possibly criticize someone who has written all these gargantuan, historically-accurate, entertaining, addictive tomes.  I just can’t.  I consider myself a decent writer, but I will never have the patience to do what she does.

So, five stars for you, Diana.  That is all.

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Things that make my Uterus Giggle

I have three children.  Two are mine from my previous marriage, and one is my boyfriend’s son.  Three should be enough, right?  But every now and then I see some adorable baby, or hear about someone being pregnant, and my uterus jumps up and down, clapping its ovaries and saying, “Oh, yes!  Let’s do that again!”

Really, Uterus?  Don’t you remember the last time?  Oh, don’t get me wrong, my first pregnancy was amazing.   Sure I had a little bit of morning sickness, and I was a little tired here and there, but everything was perfect.  I was so happy.  Even my labor and delivery went ridiculously smooth, and my sweet little bundle of joy was the best baby ever.  Ever.

Round 2 didn’t go quite so well.  I had horrible aches and pains the whole time (which I was assured was not a big deal).  I went through some awful stuff in my marriage that I won’t bore you with here, and my baby was born with a cancerous tumor that resulted in an emergency C-section.  Oh, and did I mention the nightmares?

Don’t get me wrong:  I wouldn’t trade any of my children for anything in the world.  Not even for a unicorn, and I really want a unicorn.  But it was tough, and I don’t know how well things would really go this time around.  We haven’t made any concrete decisions, and if you ask me whether or not I want a baby my answer will depend on how my current children are behaving that day.  But then I see something like this…

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…and my uterus starts giggling again.

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Photo courtesy of Artistic Photography by Sydney

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Billy Joel….because Billy Joel!

I had the privilege of seeing Billy Joel live in concert Friday night.  Wow.  I consider myself a writer, and like to think I could accurately relate this experience to you, but I’m just not sure I can.  How can I tell you what a 15,000+ person crowd singing the chorus of “The Piano Man” to the Piano Man himself feels like?  How can I tell you that when the bongos started up for “River of Dreams” I was twelve years old again, and literally bounced in my chair, clapping my hands and squealing?

Despite the dizzying steepness of the seating at the Scottrade Center in St Louis, I settled into my seat filled with excitement and a little apprehension.  We’d had these tickets for over two months (a Valentine’s present from my knight in shining armor), so I’d had a lot of time to build myself up for this.  I have always been amazed by Billy Joel, and to actually see him play live was like a dream come true.  What if it wasn’t as good as I expected?

It turns out there was no need to worry.  Between songs, he made fun of Ted Nugent, Elton John, and even himself, played bits from the Beatles and Bob Dylan, and told stories to create a much closer environment than I could have imagined in a such a large venue.  Rocking out so hard on his piano stool that I thought he would fall over, he showed that he can still sing like nobody’s business at 64 years old.  He played older songs from the 70’s that I wasn’t as familiar with, built up to a few of the later hits and left the stage, only to come back for an encore straight from the 80’s.  He turned the mic stand into a baton as he sang “Uptown Girl”, and left the packed house in a delirious uproar.  I’ve said for awhile that I wasn’t really into going to concerts, but it turns out I just hadn’t been to a good one in a long time.

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Photo:  billyjoel.com

 

 

 

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Jumping off the Cliff

I consider myself a writer first and foremost, but I do have a day job.  A pays-the-bills(ish) job.  A well-crap-the-kids-gotta-have-health-insurance job.  And while in some ways that takes the pressure off of my writing (I’m not going to live in a cardboard box if my latest book doesn’t sell well), there are other pressures that it adds.

For instance, when I’m at work I can’t be blogging.  Torture!  There are so many good blog ideas that go floating through my head when I’m there, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Okay, okay, so I’m not completely helpless since I can jot them down in my note app on my phone.  But sometimes the gibberish I put in there doesn’t make sense three days later, or even three hours later, and I’m left with the agony of a good idea that’s died.

I’ve considered jumping off the cliff of workdom and seeing if I can fly.  Quitting my job is scary, but trying to build up a side business while working full time, going to school, and raising three kids is freaking insane.  I was thinking about all of this earlier today (at work), and it made me question myself:

Why didn’t I save a nice little chunk of money so I could freelance full time?  Well that one’s easy to answer:  I have kids, therefore I have no money.

What was I thinking buying a brand new car and burying myself under payments?  That one took me a minute, but I realized the car purchase came about six months before I remembered I had dreams once, and that it was time to live them (or at least start to).

Why haven’t I been blogging longer?  I didn’t think I had anything to say.  And right at first, coming up with blog post ideas seemed impossible.  Now that I’ve become more comfortable with it, the floodgates have opened!

Where am I going with all this?  Well, stay tuned.  I can tell you that I’m close enough to the edge of the cliff that my toes are dangling.

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NCAA takes away reporter’s cat mug because it can

Very interesting little tidbit, and I am not a basketball fan. I am currently drinking my morning coffee out of my favorite cat mug….think the NCAA police will confiscate it off my desk? 🙂

For The Win

@jasonwsj @jasonwsj

“This is a story about a cat mug.”

So begins an article written by Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal, an article in which he describes bringing in a cat mug to an NCAA tournament game and then summarily being asked by a representative of the NCAA to hand over the cat mug. There was a sign at the arena reading “Only NCAA cups allowed past this point” and, see, a cat mug is not an NCAA cup.

It was a perfect story showing all wrong with the NCAA. A member of the media brought a cute cat mug to a game, and instead of the NCAA acting like human beings and letting the guy keep his mug, they sent a corporate drone in a nice suit to admonish the guy (albeit politely) and confiscate his cat mug.

But it wasn’t actually a story about a cat mug…

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