Saturday, June 23, 2007

older in years, but newer every day

i have a cancer in my head. my doctor says, 'no. you don't.' but he hasn't heard you and doesn't believe in the zodiac.

today is your birthday. so ... happy birthday to you. the boy who sings impossible things that i believe. what do you wish for? what can i give you that you don't already have? off-the-cuff compliments? adjectives? a conversation on paper? an impossible encounter that lives in the imagination and somehow becomes reality?

what will you give yourself?

the wisest of men know that real birthdays are not annual affairs ... they are the days when we experience a rebirth; so that while we may grow older in years, we are newer every day. this, i suspect, is not news to you.

your words tell me that you already know this life is a constant, gradual process ... a subtle play of light and texture and shadows, measured in centuries and inches. it is about kindness and passion and peace and temperance ... extremes of temperature, folding and pounding, turning ourselves inside-out, and bringing out the gold hidden within.

on this, the occasion of your birth, my wish for you is that you'll fly free and happy - beyond birthdays and across forever. that you'll have a day, no ... a life ... where happiness foams up over the top of you and down your sides, spilling over onto everyone in your vicinity. i wish you joy and light, the blueness of sky, infinity and more.

and wherever you are tonight, i hope the moon is out, your friends are near and the music is never ending ... and i hope tomorrow gently breezes into your life carrying with it all the choicest of things and all that your heart holds dear.

i am glad you were born.

turn it down!

happy saturday.

it is my day off and it is raining again. i am thinking it may be wise to spend this 'spare' time building an ark. or taking a nap.

the latter is calling to me, especially in light of today's horoscope:

'although you normally enjoy lots of action, you can still get thrown off course when the noise level gets too high. unfortunately, it may seem as if you can't find the volume control today and there is little you can do to tone down the interference that is annoying you. remember that even if it seems otherwise, the noise is internal and not external.'


Friday, June 15, 2007

greetings from the island of misfit furniture

greetings from the island of misfit furniture

there is a storm raging outside. and one inside as well. the summer has not lessened its ferocity. i am home, just, from work. a long day of moving and checking and translating my vision into a marketable commodity. harder, some days than others. in some ways, easier, too. and if knowledge is power, then i am a goddess...if only for a few weeks more.

only i know what is yet to be seen, unwrapped, and imagined in a new room. only i can divine what is still to be had. their fortunes rest in my head and in my hands. i am the guest of honor in every meeting, every conversation. i am a prophet and a prom queen. and i have grown tired of the sound of my own name.

you may have guessed it takes awhile for me to wind down from the day. i may be bruised, aching, bone weary, and still, i have these eruptions of mental energy - where i'm almost too tired to write, but too wired to do anything but.

things are good here, thank you for asking. the sale is finally in full bloom. seven days in and eighteen to go. we finished last week way over our goal and we will surpass that this week. the idea fills me with both joy and fatigue.

it's a delicate dance, this 'sale' business. one not many people can appreciate. discovery, placement, vision - these are fundamental to the process - the basic steps, if you will, to performing the dance well. i perform the dance well. it is not my ego talking. it is a fact.

here's how it works...twice a year we have an 'end of season' sale. it's how we remove discontinued (or 'disco'd' as i like to call it) merchandise off the floor to make room for the new season. it's easy. we lower the price. people buy it. when there are no more in the warehouse, we sell the floor model and bring in the new merch. see? not too tough. during this sale, we also bring in 'closeouts.'

these are pieces that were returned to the main warehouse because of damage, wrong color, the customer changed their mind after the dog laid on it, canceled custom orders, whatever ... so it can't be returned to stock or sold at full price. it's the island of misfit furniture, if you will.

the trick is knowing what to get and knowing how to get it and i am a master magician. i know what to look for. what not to be afraid of. i know how to trace the origins of a sku and i am fluent in the language of buyers and the distribution channels. i've studied our sales. analyzed the patterns. i've learned how to repair things so i know what will last and what can be salvaged. i know how to price things so that people think they've 'found' a great deal. and i know that price is sometimes not as important as how quickly they can get it into their homes - and i know how to make that happen. i listen to our customers, so i know what they will buy. and i listen to our sales associates, so i know what they can sell. i do not let them underestimate themselves.

ordinarily, you never really know what condition things will be in; you never know if the description is correct - if it's the color or size or even the type of merchandise it's supposed to be - but i know how to find the answers, so we don't have as much guesswork as everyone else. my biggest problem? space. every truck day i have this lovely floor plan worked out and it's usually shot to hell after the first twenty pieces or so. it's my own version, i suppose, of that old anthropologist's adage about revising one's question after arriving in the field.

but it always works out. we sell things faster than we can unwrap them. i've never seen anything like it...and i thank my lucky stars for every bruise, every cardboard cut, every muscle strain, every 4:30 a.m. wake up call. i never thought this is what i'd do for a living, but it is. and i love it. though, by the end of 'truck days' i do find i grow a bit weary of everyone vying for my attention.

one more thing and then i'm done with shop talk. one of the joys of the sale, for me, is watching the sales associates react to what i bring in. they are a jaded lot. they have seen (and likely rejected) it all. i take particular pride when one of them finds a piece they want to take home. this time, almost all of them have purchased something. they've run around the floor like children under a christmas tree unwrapping and oohing and ahhing and i sit back and listen to the din and, as silly as it sounds, i nearly burst with pride. it must be something akin to the feeling an author gets when someone buys a book or the pride of an artists when she sells something at a showing.

this time, even i wasn't immune to the charms of misfit furniture. i splurged on a chaise. chocolate brown, chenille, fluffy cushions, rolled arms - divine. it's more traditional than i'd usually consider, but it will work well, i think, with my eclectic taste...and maybe a new throw pillow.

so, tomorrow, i will curl up in it and read for a bit, test drive it for a nap. we're supposed to have more of these storms. the kind where the rain defies gravity - again - where an umbrella is only good for decoration or for entertaining the wind.

this is my favorite kind of storm...where the drops are cool on the skin and the puddles are warm - heated instantly by pavement baked in the summer sun. i like to stand in the middle of it all and let the rain fall where it will. i leave no puddle unsplashed. people look at me like i may be slightly off balance. and i am. but tomorrow is my day off. so, i don't have to be perfect. i can just be real. and wet. and happy.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

the day before ...

hello! happy 'day before the sale!'

i know that doesn't mean a lot to you, but here, it's christmas eve. i am home just now and will be about again at 4:30 in the morning to receive the truck and begin unwrapping the floor samples! i love the sale! i love the rhythm. i love the weight. i love the look of glee on a customer's face when they stumble onto a bargain that i was able to conjure up for them. exhaustion is but a small price to pay for the joy of a job well done.

wow. is it my imagination or have i just begun the most boring blog ever written? my sincerest apologies, as i'm certain i used to be oh so clever and charming. i guess that's what we get when the only writing i've done for three long weeks is 'floor sample. final sale. sold as is.' i suppose it's only to be expected that i'm rusty. and boring. i shall try harder. (this is not, of course, to say that life has been dull or uninteresting or anything even approaching boring. it has not!)

i owe you the story of my birthday trip and i will oblige, i assure you, but the hour is late and i'm a bit bleary-eyed. remind me, too, that i owe you the stories of: drag bingo and miss usa's karmic retribution, how i became a lesbian pin-up girl and the one time it really paid to be nice.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

two tickets to paradise, please


i understood the karmic debt and happily repaid it. i smiled through the long days at the store. the sinus infection. the melancholy. the absence of dear friends. the parade of idiots. i got hit by a car for fuck's sake! i took the tests, where are my 'gifts'?!?

in the week or so since my birthday, i've...broken a tooth; had a nail in my tire; been caught in the rain without an umbrella; lost the elastic in my underwear; spent five days pushing my mother uphill in a wheelchair.

on the other hand, i've seen friends...rekindle romance; get promotions they were hoping for; finally (!) become pregnant; find new homes they love; recover from illness...yeah. okay. i get it. these are the gifts. and even i believe that it's better to give than to receive. my good karmic energy is spilling over the top of me, splashing everyone in my vicinity.

ah, well, yes. the horoscope confirms it:

'you have discovered an environment permeated with kindness, well-being and support. there is a feeling of abundance in the air. it's quite a long road, but you can sense a payoff just around the next corner. still, you must hold it together until your well earned reward arrives. be aware that everything may not turn out quite as sweet as you wish, but you should begin to see positive results soon enough if you have done your work.

open yourself to the warmth of a harmonious, welcoming universe. you will be safe there. you are likely to make contact with a person, situation or group significant to your psychic and emotional life. this new influence will help you shift your focus. you may awaken to a sweeter, more harmonious and nourishing life experience. even if you have spent years living without anything like this, and it arouses your suspicions, try to relax into it. don't resist. allow the experience to soften you and teach you how to trust again. just because the past has been difficult or lonely doesn't mean you have to live that way forever. this opportunity gives you permission to feel your sweetness again, and a safe place to do it. unfold your petals. glory in being the wanted child of a benign universe. no harm will come to you.'

ah-ha. karma hit the snooze alarm.

i can wait. although sometimes i am willful and don't listen. i can wait.

my secret is out

i did this goofy quiz today. not that i didn't have a billion other things that could occupy my time, but my brain is mush from making sale tags. (seriously, the phrase 'floor sample. sold as is. final sale.' will echo through my dreams tonight.) so, a goofy quiz was in order.

i had to pick a color or a shape or something (see how memorable it was, i can't even remember the one question i had to answer). in any event, it turned out to be not so 'goofy' after all. it's a freakin' oracle is what it is.

'you are wise, insightful, and brilliant. your wit is sharp and occasionally hurtful...revealing your scorn for people with less intelligence. underneath it all, you feel burdened by the stupidity of humanity. you know what's right in the world, but it's overshadowed by everything that's wrong. people see you as arrogant. while this is partially true, you are also very sensitive.'

holy crap, batman. my secret is out. i really do feel burdened by the stupidity of humanity. i do. what a relief to finally say it out loud.
oh, and my stripper name is 'juicy.'

Friday, June 1, 2007

fear of flying

fear of flying

i am home from my latest trip. this time, i was in dallas for a few days to see the new fall merchandise for the store. i think it takes longer to get to and through the airport than it does to actually fly there and back, but still, i enjoy the process. the airport is ripe with possibility. the entire world is, literally, at my feet and i adore the idea that at any minute, i could step through another gate and be on my way to some new and wonderful adventure.

as much as i love the airport, i do not love flying. well, that's not exactly true. i like flying. i do not like the 'taking off.' i do not like the 'landing.' i know people who can read, listen to their ipods, talk with their seat mate during these crucial flight times, but i am not one of them. nope. can't do it.

i quietly grip the armrest, close my eyes and hold my breath. in my head, i picture the people and pets i adore and say silent 'i love yous' to them all. i am convinced that it is these 'i love yous' and not physics or aerodynamics that allow the planes i'm aboard to ascend and alight safely.

ridiculous? perhaps. irrational? indeed. but still. it's what i do. and to date, i have a perfect record. yeah, me!

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