Friday, June 7, 2013

The Scene In Which The Words Are Back

When you used to blog all the time and haven't really in, say, more than a year (with minor exceptions), starting off a post can be sort of weird and awkward. It's like running into someone you used to be super good friends with and then didn't talk to for awhile and then ran into at the market and you're like "oh....hi...." and then some weird conversation ensues about how nice the weather's been, and if you're like me you sort of sway awkwardly from side to side because what you really want to do is blurt out something like, "Did you ever break up with that one dude that was totally an asshole and screwing with your head? Also, it's weird you never called me back, right? Are we just pretending that didn't happen?" and you're talking, but mostly just resisting the socially unacceptable word vomit urge., anyway.

So for awhile there I had tons of stuff to blog about, and everything seemed like a funny story, and the words would pop into my head faster than my little fingers could type (which is saying something if you've ever seen me type: my husband refers to it as "violent") and then OUT OF NOWHERE, the well ran dry. Thank god I make my living in flowers, not words, because it was just gone, and there wasn't a damned thing I could do about it. And not only that, but I started putting all this weird pressure on myself to KEEP DOING IT, and BE FUNNY, because that's "what my thing is" and then one day it sort of occurred to me, hey, eff it. IT'S A BLOG, and on a good day, like three people read this.*

I mean, really. There was no drama, people! There was no strife! There was no complaining, no crazy house stories, no insane travels, no hilarious pratfalls! I was a happy newlywed living in my cute little house and working on my gardening and decorating projects in my spare time between puttering around my flower shop and cavorting with my hunky new husband and our adorable puppies. Had I any tendency towards pastels and soft, wavy haircuts I was an Estee Lauder "Beautiful" ad**.

That is, until I decided it would be a super bright idea to not only re-do all my website and print design pieces but also found myself looking for a new studio AND packing our old one AND renovating the new one AND moving during wedding season AND hiring a new employee AND doing all this when we aren't really working too much AND meeting with new clients AND, AND, AND....and for awhile there really nothing that didn't involve flowers or paint or moving boxes or figuring out cash flows was really first and foremost in my brain. If "Beautiful" had a sister perfume of "Tired, Stressed and Financially Insecure" I was wearing it this winter, at the shop. (Sidenote: wow. Many thanks to my husband for still loving THAT version of me all winter.)

Also, because this post is nothing if not about rambling thoughts, I turned 30 this winter, and with that came not the mounting dread of getting older, nor the mental berating of myself for not completing everything on my "bucket list," but an honest to goodness sense of "oh thank god." Rather than dreading it, 30 to me represented the ability to completely rock my own sense of person (which, I believe, if you're lucky you spend your 20s trying to figure out- or at least figure out enough that you claim to be able to own it at 30), embrace what I am and what I'm not, and say eff it to the rest.

HECK YEAH, my brain told me, you  made it through that crazy-ass decade known as your 20s. Congrats, kid. You got a degree. Hell, you got two. And then you got a job, and then ANOTHER job, and then you decided to heck with it, and opened a business, and it WORKED! And you survived dating! And found THE ONE, and somehow managed to convince him to marry you, WOW. And you had a condo! And now you have a house! And rent another house to work in! You're like a FREAKING LAND BARON, and you have dogs to boot. AND you get to do stuff you like doing and you don't have to pretend to like stuff you don't like because it's the "cool" thing to do! WAY TO BE. You earned a decade of rocking it out.

It's sort of incredibly freeing, right?! Be yourself. Be TRUE TO yourself. Yay thirty.

Also, I pierced my nose to mark the occasion, or at least that's the excuse I used when I was in the situation where I could finally get it done and didn't have any  major life event (i.e. my wedding) coming up in which I'd be forever scarred by my adolescent bad decisions in having random facial piercings in my eternal memory.

So far it hasn't been a bad decision. Even my mom, who answered my "Guess what I did!" photo text with a voicemail saying, " stuck a diamond in your face." thinks it's cute.

(where was I going with this? Oh yes) so all that happened and STILL NO WORDS.

Honestly, for awhile there I wasn't sure I was going to have the words, ever again (spoiler alert: you're reading this). I even went so far as to think about deleting this blog, because I just thought it was sort of sad that it just kind of tapered off....into....nothingness....

And then. AND THEN.

I was baking yesterday, because in my spare time I'm a housewife, and I was thinking to myself that I wanted it to be the last time I was baking these items using boxed mixes, because of course this whole "we are eating food that's been genetically modified and packed with riboflavin, and who the hell knows what that actually is" thing has been really hitting home for me lately, and I've been trying to figure out how to cook more, and it occurred to me, "I should totally blog about this," which seems completely normal except that it's a sentence that hasn't entered my brain in 8 months and HOLY COW, THERE WERE THE WORDS, and there were LOTS OF THEM, and there was a WHOLE POST before I knew what was happening and then my rational brain took over and was like, "Whoa. You haven't blogged in like ten months, you can't start out with life lessons in blueberry muffins, chill out."

And then I got my first CSA box today and, people, I have been so freakin' excited for this since we signed up, but also a little bit nervous, because I'm new to this cooking thing and I knew there would be things I didn't know how to use and MAN, did I jump the gun, because when I opened that box today there are things I don't even RECOGNIZE, and I'm in for it now, because I'm going to have to Google Image search my food.

And then HOLY COW, THERE WERE THE WORDS, and there were LOTS OF THEM, and there was a WHOLE POST before I knew what was happening and then my rational brain took over and was like, "Whoa. Ok. You might be on to something here, but you need to go warn these people first."

So, there you have it. I lost the words. I planned a wedding. I turned 30. I pierced my nose. I'm still happily married. I'm still happily self-employed. I'm learning to cook. I found the words.

And I'm not sure what this blog will be about going forward, to be honest. Maybe it's part of the whole thirty-thing but I don't feel the pressure to be always funny, or always have some major story, or always....anything. It will probably mostly be happy, because I think there's such a thing as oversharing, especially when it comes to problems and/or marriages and/or struggles, and that works for some people, but I really don't feel like I need to document that all for the internet (see: awkward blogs about marriage problems that turn into awkward blogs about divorces and DUDE, YOUR KID READS THAT). Everyone's life has unfunny parts from time to time, but to be perfectly honest, this blog is probably going to read more like the highlight reel of my person, lest my potential future children ever stumble upon it. I feel like I should warn you that a good portion may be about cooking, so if you're like "oh god, is she going to turn into one of those people raving about how Monsanto is ruining our lives or how awesome her bread pudding turned out," I mean, I don't know. Probably. They pretty much suck***, so you're not going to find any sympathy for them here, that's for sure. I may write about work. I  may write about music. I may write about awesome things.

All I know is that the words have returned, and I'm hopping on board. Join me for the ride, won't you??

*I'm fairly certain more than three people read this. Maybe like 8.
**I can totally make fun of it 'cause I wear it. BAM.
***"They" being Monsanto, of course, because nothing about bread pudding sucks, except people who do it wrong.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Scene In Which My Summer Soundtrack Rocked

I'm slightly embarassed to report that one of the things I realized this year- and granted, I'd realized this before, but not realized that I'd still been doing it in certain aspects in my life- is that you should do or like what makes you happy, not what everyone thinks you *should* do or like.

Duh, right?

Strange as it seems for someone who loves music as much as I do, but it wasn't until this year that I realized that all the "cultural stuff" I'd been trying to do and convince myself that I oh-my-gosh-super-loved was, in fact, something that I kindofsortof enjoyed doing....occasionally. On the other hand, experiencing live music was something I loved, but had never really thought of as being important, because it wasn't "cultural."

And then I realized, screw that.

Because really? you should do what makes me happy, and music makes me happy (happy slash a total geek), and seeing my favorite artists and singing along or dancing around any damned way I want without worrying how I look to others is pretty much amazing.

So there.

My completely unoffical concert season officially closed last night (whoa. timeout. can something unofficial officially close?) and if I do say so myself, it was a great season.

For nothing other than my own self-indulgence at getting to look for/watch videos, here's a compliation of all the artists I saw AND a favorite video/song of theirs, because if my summer had a perfect playlist, this just might be it. drumroll please.....

Dave Matthews Band - total toss up on a favorite song, but right now? 41.

Phish! No question. Farmhouse.

L.P.- song that you might actually know, Into the Wild. My current fave? Tokyo Sunrise.  We totally got to meet her after her show (here's that story).

Bad Boy Bill- a favorite EDM DJ of Cute Husband's. I actually don't know anything by him, so, here's a completely unrelated EDM song that I like that we played at our wedding.

Mumford & Sons! Traveled down to Louisville overnight to see them with a couple pals and had an amazing time. Truly can't pick a favorite (especially with a new album coming out tomorrow!) so here's one that gave me absolute chills: Roll Away Your Stone. (the musical break leading into "Stars hide your fires"- omg. I still get chills THINKING about it). The entire show was amazing. So worth it.

Jane's Addiction for Cute Husband's birthday celebration! Jane Says, hands down.

(and just a couple days later) Bob Dylan! I'd been told it was hit-or-miss with him, but since I can't teleport back to the 1960s and see him when I would have really liked to, it was my only shot. Alas, he didn't play Shelter From The Storm but he did play a few other of his hits (apparently?).

NOFX on a whim. Didn't play it, but my fave has to be Creeping Out Sara, because three years ago T&S were one of the bands Cute Husband and I talked about the first night we met, and then he sent me this song to listen to, and then we went on a date and then, well, he became my husband. So there you have THAT.  

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and  Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros! Great night to end my summer concert series, especially getting to hear Om Nashi Me which I will confess I totally absolutely thought was a shortened version of a meditation I used to do, but apparently, is just completely made up, because it turns out shortening the phrase in fact basically renders it meaningless, SO HEY, something else I've been wrong about in my life. However, it's still an amazing song and one that I was so jazzed to hear live and bounce around in a crowd with others chanting along.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Scene In Which I Meet LP!!!! And Yes, Geek Out.

I wrote this post two months ago and scheduled it to post a day later and then I sort of went on about life and never actually realized it didn't post until I went to reference it in another post and OH HEY.

Here you go.

Every so often I get really geekily excited about a piece of music that I hear somewhere that isn't the radio, like a TV show, commercial, etc, and then I spend a ridiculous amount of time and effort trying to find it.

Sometimes these end disappointingly, like the Canadian Pacific Rail holiday commercial last year where the one brother grows up playing with tractors and the other brother grows up playing with trains and you fast-forward ten years and one is a farmer and one is a train engineer and they get together for the holidays and it's all like "we're brothers but we can't show emotion" and so they give each other's kids presents instead and the train guy gives the farmer's kid a tractor and the farmer's kid give the train guy's kid a train like THEY USED TO PLAY WITH, and then they shake hands but then they really hug, and then everyone cries (specifically, I cry).

You don't believe me? Here. Grab a tissue.

Anyway, back to the point, TELL ME you don't want to know what that song is after. I do, because I want to listen to it like two thousand times more because (as you'll recall) I'm a geek like that. So I spend 40 minutes stalking it online, and discover that it's NOT A REAL SONG AND THEY JUST WROTE IT FOR THE COMMERCIAL AND WELL, SHIT.

So when I first saw the Citibank commercial where the girl is climbing the rock and it's a kind of kick ass song with an amazing female vocalist that I didn't recognize, I didn't get my hopes too high. What were the odds that Citibank just didn't have someone write them a little jingle?

But I still turned on my geek and searched around. And then I found songwriter- and now singer- LP. and "Into The Wild," the song.

Her album wasn't out yet, so I spent a good half -hour scrolling through various "OMG WHO SINGS THIS SONG" links until I found a download of it, which I promptly listened to 10,000 times until her iTunes album was released, which I then proceeded to begin listening to 10,000 time, and then last week, I was backing out of my driveway one morning when my favorite local radio station, WTTS, announced they were doing a free show that night with a promising emerging artist named LP and I about backed into my mailbox.

In a fit of irresponsibility I cancelled a night meeting, put off some to-do items, and headed out for a night on the town with Cute Husband who agreed to come along to hear "some girl that sings some song in some commercial" with me, despite the outdoor location and less-than-pleasant temps.

She gave a freaking bad-ass performance (note: the description is actually Cute Husband's, and though I certainly concur, I say this to illustrate just how talented she is) and then HOLY SHIT, THIS HAPPENED:

which is that I GOT TO MEET HER, and I might have geeked out even more than the time I was the biggest Babysitters Club fan ever and got to go to an Ann M. Martin book signing and I had all these things I wanted to tell her about how much I liked the books and my favorite character and I waited in line for an hour and what I finally said to Ann M. Martin was, "Hi."

(Brilliant. Bet she'd never heard that one.)

So I decided to go all out and just be my geeky honest self, and what I told her was, "Hi. That was a great show. And I can't lie, I totally can't even be cool right now because I about crashed my car this morning when I found out you were playing here,"

AND THEN SHE SAID, "Ha. That's awesome. You actually seem cool,"


All because some song in a commercial got under my skin.

So there you have it. Be a geek about whatever you're a geek about. Maybe if you're lucky you'll wind up meeting the very person who inspired it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Scene In Which We Don't Drink The Water

Having worked in a restaurant for a few years in college, I'm well aware of how a restaurant kitchen looks.

If you currently live under a blissful cloud where every restaurant has stainless steel everything, employees with runny noses don't ever come to work, everyone wears gloves, and spotless glass bins sporting carefully lettered signs hold food supplies, well, then.....stop reading. You'll never eat out again if you do.

So, yes. I get it. Occasionally in my own kitchen a random fruit fly might alight on a syrupy drink and get stuck. The dishwasher doesn't always get every item perfectly clean and I don't always catch it before I put it away. 99% of restaurant mistakes are just simple things, multiplied in chance by the number of people served every day.


There are things that, as a restaurant, you can do to ensure your dining guests have a great experience and maintain the mental image of your kitchen as a Martha Stewart-esque lair.

The following? Is not one of them.

I had been seated at a local restaurant waiting for a friend of mine to arrive to join me when the waiter came and asked if I'd like something to drink. Not knowing if my friend would want to join me in an adult beverage or not, and not knowing what I planned to order yet, I asked for a glass of water.

Sip of water.

A minute or so later, my waiter casually walked up to the open-window serving area about 10 feet away from my table. There were only 3 or so tables full in the restaurant, so it wasn't exceptionally loud, and as I wasn't currently talking with anyone around me the conversation floated my way.

Sip of water.

General joking about food service, and then

Waiter: "And you know why you NEVER order water at a restaurant? Because guaranteed, it's *lowers voice* mumble mumble mumble."

Kitchen Staff: "BWAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Me (mentally): ohmigod.

My friend chose that moment to walk in, and pleasantries for exchanged for about twenty seconds before he realized something was not entirely right with me, and that was because at that point, I still wasn't sure I wasn't going to puke because WHAT DID I JUST DRINK.

I explain.

And then I get mad. Because REALLY?!

And then we debate what I'm going to do about it because...I mean....I have to say something, right?! Right. But then again...this person is now responsible for my food for the whole night.

The waiter returns with a diet coke for my friend.

"Excuse me," I say. "I think I'd like something, um, other than water to drink."

"Um.....sure." says the waiter, looking mildly concerned by what is probably a green pallor on my face. "What can I get you?"

"A Coke would be fine," I reply, then sweetly add, "Unless there's a really good reason not to order one of THOSE at a restaurant, too."

I'm pretty sure if his eyes could have gotten wider, they'd have popped out.

So there you have it, folks. Don't drink the water. Dave Matthews knew it, and now you do too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Scene In Which I Totally Change How I Do Business *Just For You!* (Alternately Titled: Dear Rude Person).

My favorite thing about my business, aside from the whole bringing-joy-to-your-event thing which is obviously well above all the other perks, is that it's MY business.

Becuase I'm the one who *gets to* arrive early, stay late, and assume all the worry, I take the trade-off as well: I get to make the rules, I get to make the decisions, and I get to be the boss. I get the right to run my business as I wish, and offer what I want, and not offer what I don't.

And sometimes, my decisions mean that I have to turn people down for things, and most of the time people are generally understanding when it comes to this.

"Are you free on my date?" "No, I'm sorry, we've already closed that date," is typically met with an "Oh, darn."

"Do you sell flowers by the stem?" "No, I'm sorry, we're an event planning and floral firm only," is typically answerd with "Oh, ok, thanks."

But then there's the 1% of people who just truly do not understand, or who don't bother to try to understand. They don't read the signs in the parking lot or on our window or on our door which say "Appointment Only!" and "Events Only!" or even stupidly specific signs such as the one in the window that literally says "We Do Not Offer Cash and Carry Services At This Time!"

(Seriously. We could not be more clear about this. NO.)

And sometimes, when faced with the harsh reality that the rules and decisions I have made in the way I run my business might actually apply to them, these people turn into what I like to call the "I QUESTION YOUR LIFE CHOICES, BIATCH" people.

Usually, these are callers, and usually, they've been told "No," for some crazy reason like we're already busy on their date or we are not available at the precise ONE window of time that they desire to meet with us, other clients or events be damned.

I can usually peg that they're going to be an IQYLCB caller when I can hear their hip popping out sassily and their pointer finger coming up in the silence between my "No" and  their "Esssssxcuuuuuuuuuse ME?!"

"What do you MEAN you are closed that weekend? I mean *sound of abject disgust* how many events can you POSSIBLY be doing that day?" (Answer: If we're closed already? Probably 5. Maybe 3. Maybe 1 really awesome big one. There are about 13,000 weddings in our region PER YEAR. Do the math. Or maybe I'm just not working that weekend, not because I have a life or anything like that, but because my robot batteries need recharging and that guy who thinks I'm his wife wants to see me.)
"I mean, really, WHAT kind of place does not offer Saturday/weekend meetings *sound of abject disgust*?" (Answer: The kind that does Saturday/weekend events. Like the one you're calling to book.)

(and my absolute favorite): "*Sound of abject disgust* Well, you SHOULD be able to do mine, because MINE isn't that hard. I totally already met with someone and I know EXACTLY what I want and I just need you to do it." (Translation: Please steal another person's work and ideas and give it to me for less, and make it exactly what I want.)

But today was definitely a first. Today I had a IQYLCB walk into the shop, snark, leave, and then COME BACK FOR MORE.

There's a reason my door is now locked.

So this person walks into the shop -without a greeting- and starts explaining what they need for a luncheon. I question if the luncheon is today and when it is, explain that we don't do cash-and-carry pieces and are appointment only (like it says on three different signs located BEFORE you enter my shop) and unfortunately, we have no flowers in the store.

This is typically met with an "Oh, rats!" reaction.

Oh no.

Blank stare ensues. This person is literally in disbelief that I cannot help her. I give her recommentions of two other florists, both within a 5-10 minute drive, and say, "I'm sorry we can't help you today!" to which I literally get a "huffff.....Yeah, me too," as she storms out.

Pleasant. Nice to meet you too. Terribly sorry you don't approve of my business model- gosh, I will just get RIGHT on that.

Back to work, right??

Oh no.
5 minutes later.
This person comes back in, tells me they're just going to buy flowers at the grocery, and asks to take a free vase so they can just make a centerpiece on their own- they'll return it, naturally, so obviously I'll just give it to them for free. Because they aren't just any person- they are WITH A CATERING COMPANY, thankyouverymuch, and therefore I am obligated  to help solve their problem.

In between the 10 or so seconds of incredulousness (wait-weren't you just in here questioning the way I choose to run my business and now you want something free?) they point to a cut-crystal display vase and say "You're a doll. I'll take this."

Awkward discussion (between my mentally berating myself for not locking the door earlier) ensues about how I'd prefer to give her something that is a little more of a typically stocked item (not, say, a CRYSTAL VASE) which is met with a less than pleased reaction.

I wind up offering a glass curved vase that is nicer than a "plain vase" but something I won't miss if it doesn't come back to me, which though she says it will, meh, may or may not be likely. And that's fine, mind you, it's a vase- but no, you're not taking one of my expensive ones, and certainly not when you're taking it for free, and certainly not when you've basically been rude this entire time.

I get an exasperated "yeah, fine, I guess." The key words not utilized during this transaction are "thank" and "you."
Bonus?! I had a client in my office the entire time, who thank god is also a close friend,  but which this person had absolutely no way of this *professional* came in and did this TO someone she didn't know, IN FRONT OF someone she didn't know.

And people wonder why  my door is locked.