Sunday, May 17, 2015

Non-sequiter Interlude

Dear Dictaphone,

My feet itch.

That is all.

Except now I'm not sure I spelled that right in the title.

Oh well.

I think I'll get another glass of wine.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nickname for one, nicknames for all!

Dear Dictaphone,

It has been brought to my attention that people actually READ this! And apparently, my posts regarding the #Biggby in Sparta are popular. Also, it seems my assignment of nicknames to the #NotoriousNicole and the #BrilliantBethAnn have prompted other customers to come up with nicknames for other employees of this enchanting place of coffee consumption.

I find this to be absolutely delightful.

First, because people are actually reading what I'm rambling. Second, because they agree that the peeps at my favorite caffeine dealer are worthy of extra attention and special recognition.

So, if you are a patron of said establishment, and you have ideas for nicknames for the others, LET ME KNOW!!!!

You can either comment here (no need for an account or anything) with your suggestions, or just email them to me. I will consider all APPROPRIATE suggestions. Alliteration is encouraged.

Extra thanks to the most #JoyfulJen for bringing this to my attention! Yes, my person remembered to tell me tonight.

So here ya go, #SpartaBiggby fans, let me know what nicknames you have for the #BeguilingBaristas there! I will arbitrarily pick the ones I like best, and maybe even run them by the owner for approval, and post results here.

It's all up to you now!

Friday, May 8, 2015

And, another quick shout out to my Local Purveyors of Caffeine...

Dear Dictaphone,

This morning, when I was running around, dealing with errands and urgent phone calls and such, I had a shocking realization. I hadn't had any coffee yet! Then I had another, much more pleasant recollection... I had a free coffee available on my Biggby card! And I was about to drive past the Spectacular Sparta Biggby Shop. Huzzah!

I pulled in to the parking lot and went inside, because it's much more entertaining that way. And people are less irritated when you can't make up your mind than if that happens in the drive-thru. As I entered the store, the Brilliant Beth Ann saw me and gave a genuinely excited "Hey, it's you!" type hello. Which was pretty gratifying. She may not remember my name, but she recognized me as a Person to be Happy to See.  She also has referred to me as "The one with the blog!" Having many years of retail experience, I understand how easy it is to have customers all blend together. I also know that the fact that I was recognized at all is impressive. Actually, if she remembered my name, it might be a sign that I've spent far too much time there. It should take at least a little while longer for that to happen.

I ordered my coffee (A Super Avalanche Latte with two extra shots of espresso), chatted a bit about some Good Things going on right now, got my drink, then went on my way.

And honestly, the rest of my erranding, indeed, the rest of my day thus far, has been better for this interaction. It's pretty impressive what a difference a simple excited greeting can make to a day. So thanks Beth Ann! This good mood is for you! (And the rest of the folks there, of course.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Late night, post-book-finishing ramblings... Also, a tip on books you should read. Because I said so.

Dear Dictaphone,

I should be asleep. But I'm not. I had a pretty darned good day today, and finished it by completing my first reading of Chrysoula Tzavelas' latest book, Citadel of the Sky. There will be a review soon. Keep watching.

Afterwards I had a chat with Ms. Tzavelas regarding the book and her writing overall. Online, as we're on opposite sides of the country. But I am exceedingly privileged to have such a talented author as a friend.  It's always helpful to be able to yell at the author directly, if virtually, when they do things to a character that make you mad. Even when such things make sense and help make the story amazing. Because darn it, you care about the characters and... Oh yeah, you actually have to remind yourself that it's a book.

This particular book didn't make me mad. It just made me want the next one now.  Which means you should totally check it out and buy it and read it. Just keep in mind that this is not fifty shades of sex slave or dragons of tomorrow or some other formulaic series where you have that safe buffer of Authorial Voice protecting you from the experiences of the characters.

Without realizing it, you will be drawn into the characters' minds, seeing the world from the perspective of whichever the focus is on. And having that focus change almost imperceptibly as the tide of the text shifts and rolls. It's mental exercise, but it is so worth it.

So yeah, that was today.

There was also work. Which was less surreal than it has been. Apparently the Full Moon hangover* of this past weekend has passed. People were acting more human today in general.

And the weather seems to be settling sort of maybe. At least enough for sinus pressure to relax.

So... Clearing head, better work experience, and dizzyingly fabulous reading. That was my day. How was yours?

*Full Moon Hangover: The phenomena of people in general acting unusually in various, hard to explain ways in the days immediately following the Full Moon. Extremely noticeable by those who work in customer service. And no, I didn't make the phrase up. One of my cohorts did. But it suits the situation perfectly.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Helloooo Seasons! All in one week!

I've been all over the country, sort of. I grew up in Michigan. I've traveled along the east coast, including Washington DC, parts of North and South Carolina, all the way down to Florida. I went to college in Minnesota. Then I lived in Denver, Colorado for a couple years, and in Des Moines, Iowa for a few. Spent time in parts in between as well.

Yet I came back to Michigan to stay when I started my family. "Dear woman, why? When you lived in such amazing places as Des Moines, Iowa, which no one outside the state knows how to pronounce properly!?!?!?" is something I've been asked multiple times. Well, maybe not the part about Des Moines (although I hung out with a new little band known as Slipknot while I was there, lots of fun to be had). But people do often ask me why on EARTH did I come back?

Well, there is the obvious bit about my family being here. And that is especially relevant, because of the whole "I have this small human and wow it would help to have family around to assist in raising him." aspect of things.

But more than that, more than the fact that we have TREES and LARGE NATURAL BODIES OF WATER, was the weather.

That's right, folks. The weather.

Because Only In Michigan can one have all four seasons in one week (heck, one day if the planets are properly aligned). And have this happen not just once, but multiple times a year.

We had the recent snow. And then the weather got a little nicer. And we've had rain. And wind. And heat. None of it is unbearable (yet) but all of it has happened in a very short time frame. I laugh at people who talk about switching out their seasonal wardrobes. Oh, to be able to enjoy that luxury! To be comfortable putting away all of the cold weather gear, because you are secure in the knowledge that you won't need it until the next cold weather season is officially here! Yeah... no. Not in these parts! Don't you even think about putting all that stuff up! And you'd better be able to access your shorts and tank tops mid-winter, because you never know when that random warm front is going to show up either.

Arizona, you can keep your dry heat. Other places can have their more or less predictable temperatures. I'll stick with my mitten surrounded by water, where every day is a crap shoot, and the only way to be sure what the weather will be like is to open the door and see.  And even that is only assured for the next 5 minutes. Maybe. Oh, and might want to check the back door too, because the weather there might be different.

Ah... Pure Michigan.