Friday, August 31, 2007

goodbye pollen!

It's 9:30 on my very last day of work in the flower shop. I've already had my little moment of drama due to a mis-communication (or rather, missing communication) between stores, and I'm desperately hoping that I won't have to field many irate calls from a certain 1-800 online flower company today. I stayed out waaaaaay too late last night at a leather bar, drinking free vodka tonics because Tabitha works with the bar manager's boyfriend, and then suffering through an extremely long and unneeded train/bus ride home. So I'm tired, thankfully not hungover, and just hoping I get out soon enough to spend a little more quality time with Jesse and Lauren before they head out of town tonight.
So what have I learned from this experience? I've re-discovered my ability to sit and stare out of windows for long periods of time while doing nothing but letting my brain run and perhaps drinking a cup of tea. And when I first started and was freaking out all the time, I discovered the joy of deep steady breathing even more so than when I used to have the time and money to take yoga. I've learned a bit about flower arranging (I can do a dozen long-stemmed roses in a vase, and I make a mean cube arrangement). I know names for many flowers that I already recognized but didn't know what to call. I have a vastly greater appreciation for certain color combinations that I used to really dislike, which I would actually say is one of the best things. I never knew how much I could like pink/white/yellow, for example, or red/pink/white. I like that I can see things as beautiful that I used to think were supertacky or just unacceptable color combinations (red and pink?!). I've learned that it is essentially impossible to make enough to do more than barely survive when I work part-time, even if I make well above minimum wage. So I guess all that is something, anyway. Civic starts tomorrow, and Sunday or Monday I have to get my ass in gear and look for another part-time job so I can pay my rent and not get an ulcer. Whee!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Nothing much else is new, but Jesse and Lauren are in town and are staying with me tonight! Very exciting. And tomorrow is my very last day of work! Civic starts on Saturday, and I suppose I will start my search for a somewhat-decent part-time job again next week. Sigh...

Saturday, August 25, 2007


So, we apparently had a freakin' tornado here the other day. I was at work and noticed that the sky had gotten really, really dark, and then the wind picked up so fast that my ears popped. I ran to shut the door and all hell broke loose for about five minutes. I was definitely ready to duck behind my counter in case any of the windows blew in.
Power is still out in some places, and my neighborhood is still littered with downed trees (such as the one here, which is about a block from my house). Nobody I know got hurt, and our house didn't sustain any damage or lose electricity or anything, although Tabitha's restaurant lost power (I think it's back on now) and they had to throw out a ton of food and clean everything up in the dark for the last two days. That night, the streets were filled with all the people who live here, out to survey the damage and help move tree limbs out of people's yards and all that good stuff. It was actually very nice and communal.
In other news, still hating my job. So, so done.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This job is driving me crazy! An order I called to check up on twice this morning because it had to be there by noon hasn't even left yet, despite the fact that I was assured at about 10:15 that the delivery driver was leaving soon. WTF? Thank god I'm out of here at the end of the month. Too bad this week is like sixty hours of work...

Friday, August 17, 2007

oooh, shiny

Look what Erica sent me! These are bottlecap earrings with pictures of (as it turns out) the Sarajevo String Quartet playing in a bombed-out building. The story of the quartet seems quite inspirational, from what little information I've been able to find. (Here and here seems to be the extent of what I've found with google searches, although admittedly I haven't spent a whole lot of time on it yet.)
All of this is fantastic and amazing and cool, but here's the kicker: I know one of these people. I went to school with the woman on the far right back in Tucson, and once she even showed me a copy of a book that had been written about them that had this exact picture on the cover. So basically, the music world is crazy small and Erica made me some awesome earrings that inadvertently have a much better story to them than she anticipated.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

good stuff

It's been a good couple of days, I have to say. After a very stressful and unnecessary wedding mishap on Saturday, I decided that I really didn't need a second job that badly for next year and gave my two weeks notice at the flower shop. I told my boss that it stressed me out, that I was going to be busy, etc., but the biggest single issue was that I'm tired of fucking up for reasons that are beyond my control and not really particularly my fault. Plus flowers as a career in general is such a wasteful process and depends far too much on south american flower plantations for me to feel entirely comfortable with it. So it's all good.
The other excellent thing is that Tabitha and I found a place to live! We have to move at the end of September, so we had just started looking at Craigslist, and lo and behold the very first place we looked at seemed perfect. So yesterday I faxed the applications in from work and probably just less than an hour later we got calls telling us we'd been accepted. So for anyone familiar with Chicago, we're going to be in Ravenswood, right around Damen and Lawrence and the Damen brown line stop. Wooo!
Now I have to go eat before my stomach caves in.

Friday, August 10, 2007

working for a living

I worked in a different store today, downtown in a large business center, from 7 in the morning (ouch!) until midafternoon. In the morning, while I was by myself, I had the following two conversations, which I wrote down so as not to forget them:

Man: "Can you give me something that says 'I'm sorry, and I don't just see you as a sexual object'?"
Me: "Would you like a bouquet or an arrangement?"

Man: "Do you have any carnations?"
Me: "I'm sorry, we don't carry those here."
Man: "Well, can you make me one?"

The second man was actually looking for a boutineer (which I may have misspelled), not just a carnation, which resulted in my learning how to make them later that day (they're easy, fyi). I also made my first dozen roses in a vase, and a birthday cake made out of flowers :) Despite the early start, today was actually quite good, and I learned more than I have in a long time from the crazy energetic woman I was working with. Then I came home and slept for about three and a half hours, which I'm hoping won't bite me in the ass when I try to go to sleep tonight.
Other things this week: I watched a shit ton of movies, including two that involved factory accidents (Fast Food Nation and The Machinist) and two that involved death by garden shears (Disturbia and Hot Fuzz, which was surprisingly entertaining).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"the four right chords can make me cry"

There's a street festival outside the flower shop right now called "Retro on Roscoe". I don't see much thematic about it, except that all the bands are cover bands. Which is actually kind of fun, brings me right back to high school :) The weird thing is that they all cover the same songs, or at least a lot of the rep is similar between bands. It's all Third Eye Blind and Oasis and Dave Matthews Band and the Beastie Boys and a surprising amount of Sublime.
This one is for Aaron: The last hit on here was from someone in England looking up "blue corduroy knickers." Thank you, Interlochen.

Friday, August 03, 2007

i'll howl a wee bit louder

Work alternately makes me really happy (when I attempt an arrangement and it turns out well, for instance) and really not happy (the register runs out of paper and I can't find the extra rolls for two days, or an attempt at artistic expression goes horribly awry and I end up just putting all the flowers back in their buckets and forgetting the whole thing). It's still a coin toss on any given day.
I've been listening obsessively to Jolie Holland's Escondida. I wouldn't have thought that her music would go well in this ritzy yuppie shop, but for me it fits perfectly. Maybe I just need some cynical vocal stylings or something. But damn, what a fantastic cd.