Tag Archives: music

how i will remember this summer

happy long weekend friday, friends!

can you believe that we are at the end of summer?! (sorry to break it to you, but summer ends this weekend, and monday is new year’s day, that’s been my philosophy for eons, now).

this weekend is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past couple of months. here are my top themes for summer 2012…

on a lighter note:

1) big earrings! i have really enjoyed wearing fun earrings:

peacock feathers! (TWO pairs after one earring of the first pair blew away)

madonna feather earrings!)at “magic mike” with bff debbie)

the ones that got away

i may head over to conestoga mall this sunday; if i do, i am going to see if melanie lyne has those feather earrings in the last pic; if so, they will be my final splurge-purchase of the summer (i am putting the hammer down and curtailing my spending on clothes and accessories starting after labour day!).

2) compression socks! these knee socks have been my signature look this summer:

black ones!

pink ones!

[the white seem to have gone un-photographed, somehow...that's ok, they are my least favourite pair].

i will continue to wear my comp socks into the fall but NOT once i have to start wearing capris. comp socks + shorts = cute look; comp socks + capris = dorky look.

to talk running for just a sec: i am so appreciative of how much i have enjoyed running this summer – it’s been exhilarating. and it’s all thanks to the good karma brought on by the compression socks – haha!

3) country music! i have my friend cass from the store to blame thank for introducing me to this musical genre. i still put the country station on sometimes when i am working alone at the store, in honour of cass! my two favourite songs from this summer:

somethin’ ’bout a truck

5-1-5-0

[cowboy boots may be goin' on my xmas list!]

on a deeper note:

1) rediscovering my love of reading: i read more during the daylight hours this summer than i have in years…and it was so enjoyable! whether i lounged on the chairs up on the rooftop, sat with a tea at starbucks, sprawled on the floor in the condo casa, or lay out in the park, it was lovely to relax and immerse myself in a satisfying work of fiction.

2) letting the mantra “let it go” guide me: there are so many ways i can interpret this phrase! [and did you know the dragonette song by the same name is on my ipod, it always seems to come up (i have my songs on constant shuffle mode) at the most auspicious of times]. sometimes i have felt so free-of-heart that i just smile! here are three little examples of *let it go* – -

~ the blogcation put blogging into perspective for me – i do enjoy writing, sharing, being imaginative and creative…when i have the time and inclination! if blogging feels like a burden or a *have to do,* that is not a good thing.

~ ice cream once a week (or even twice, oh the daring!) is way fun!

THE BEST cone of the summer!

~ living in fear of “what if’s” is a waste of mental energy. do your best, be true to your heart, and things will work out.

3) deciding, very recently, in a burst of clarity, to NOT participate in the goofy challenge at disney in january. i have absolutely zero regrets about registering back in april for this trip. at the time, it was a great idea and the right thing to do. however, both the get-away and the race are no longer goals i want to pursue. [ok, i am remorseful that i am out the $309 entry fee - that money could buy a lot of lulu gear!! (disney has a no refund, no transfer policy)]. however, i am remembering what janetha shared on her blog once, about something her momma b said to her: “it’s only money.” yes, it’s unfortunate to lose an *investment,* but when i consider that health, family, time are more important to me, it is only money.

what are some themes that YOU will remember from this summer? i also grin when i recall all my meet-ups with friends and outings with family!

now go enjoy this last weekend of the summer!

sulphur springs saturday!

there’s going to be a lotta big mileage numbers recorded into some runners’ logbooks after this weekend at the sulphur springs trail races! today, over near ancaster, you will find ultrarunners participating in 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile distances [there are also 10k and 25 k events, and while still worthy distances, those are not ultras!]. i will be eagerly awaiting the results: one of my fb friends, s.p., is in the 100 miler. this has got to be s.p.’s eighth or ninth attempt at completing this distance, and i soooo hope he gets his finisher’s belt buckle this weekend. s.p. has run amazing mileage thus far in 2012, and it’d be great to see all his dedication rewarded. i think some other fb friends are running, too, so i wish them all the best! you planned the work, now work the plan (and drink up – it’s going to be hot!).

sulphur springs is no walk in the park for a 100 mile race. the course is very hilly, and the trails can be quite technical, at times. i ran the 25k distance a couple of years, and still have the scar on my left elbow from a spill i took after catching my toe on a tree root as a souvenir (well, that and the race tshirt, of course!). one of these years, i would love to volunteer at an aid station at sulphur – it’d be super cool to observe the will and might of these runners!

have you ever stayed up all night to participate in a sporting event? i know fran recently did when she walked in the relay for life! and when i was five, i remember dad being a part of a 24 hour relay running team, back in the 70′s – i clearly recall sitting in the back seat of the car as we picked him up at seagram stadium!

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on wednesay, i was chauffering little e and all of a sudden on z103.5 a song came on that i have not heard in ages – well, since i used to teach aerobics back in the 90′s. i am sure little e thought that aunti had flipped her lid because i squealed excitedly as i animatedly explained to her that this was one of my favourite songs EVER! i had completely forgotten what a kick-ass song it is! [i did not use that term when chatting with little e!].

google is such a beautiful thing. i am really bad with song titles, so i came home wednesday eve and simply googled, “i’m knock knock knocking, knocking on the back of your door” and within two seconds double vision’s “knockin‘” was blasting out of my laptop. man, playing this song is so ENERGIZING!!! it makes me very HYPER (not the best emotion at 10 pm!) and brings a huge smile to my face, both because of the fantastic beat and the happy memories of aerobics-teaching days. immediately after my google search, i bought the song on itunes – best $0.99 purchase in eons!

so watch out: i am seriously contemplating having knockin‘ and ONLY knockin’ on dad’s my ipod on endless repeat for my next running event. the combo of knockin’ + compression socks could bring about quite the race experience!

what is a song that revs you up? my favourites all have a strong and quick bass beat, i’ve noticed.

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remember the super cute card that gina sent me?

andrea’s work of art

well, gina let me know that andrea has a website where she features her cards, and you can order them from this site, as well. i’m passing along the link simply because andrea’s creations are so imaginative and so beautiful – and you may need some cards?!

are you familiar with etsy? i have poked about once, but that was it. i really like going to craft shows (like stitch n kitsch!) where you can see products *for real* and purchase directly from independent artists/creators!

have a sensational (sunsational?!) saturday!

canada’s worst customer service

so, do you recall my tales of woe back in the fall (here, here, here…) about my stupid silv-ah ipod shuffle? to give a pictionary-ish summary, the story goes: dead ipod -> future shop -> apple store -> make an appointment -> apple store -> out of stock -> apple store -> replacement ipod -> dancing and singing in joy. unfortunately, we now continue the saga…

the week before christmas, silv-ah suddenly quit mid-katy perry. when i plugged him in to my laptop, he refused to play nice and reconnect to itunes, either. well, if you think i was going anywhere NEAR the apple store the week before christmas, you can think again. i just pulled out dad’s beastly ipod (which i still like better, anyway) and made do.

on sunday, i went up to the apple store at my pre-booked appointment time. child genius-dude eric/aaron/andy met me and schmoozed quite nicely. he examined silv-ah and said he had corroded. eric/aaron/andy fiddled with his handheld to find me a new shuffle. of course! the store had none in stock. well, he’d order one in for me, and when it arrived, it’d be mine for the low, low price of $49.99. hold your horses, charlie eric/aaron/andy! $49.99???

yes – apparently it is MY fault that silv-ah bit the dust after five weeks of song-playing. i pleaded my case to get a free replacement to no avail. i almost laughed out loud, despite my frustration, when eric/aaron/andy kept repeating that “it really upset him” to deliver this news to me. yea, i’m sure you’re right broken up, buddy!

now get this! so i get home, and i plug in silv-ah just to see what would happen. he connected to my laptop, i kid you not! so who knows where this story is going next. i will rely on dad’s borrowed beast and silv-ah (when he’s co-operative) as long as i can.

…and this is now the perfect segue to today’s main feature about customer service!

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if i ever want a part-time gig with occasional hours, i think “mystery shopper” would be right up my alley (much better than “catering assistant,” for example!). i love shopping, i work in retail -> both sides of the coin are covered. plus, it’d be fun to peruse the aisles with an undercover motive…kind of like being a detective, but with no danger involved!

last week, i noticed that the cbc tv show marketplace was going to do an episode entitled “canada’s worst customer service.” that topic sure piqued my interest, and i was jazzed to check it out! i watched the show over the weekend (thanks to the parents’ pvr!).

(source)

marketplace covered a vast amount of content in their hour-long episode – everything from the results of trying to return a defective product to how long it took companies to reply to twittered complaints. if you’re interested in more info, click here for the link to the online show.

i enjoyed the broadcast, but it also frustrated me because i don’t think you can fairly critique a cross-canada major retailer by picking out isolated situations and sales associates.

as a starting point, marketplace solicited a survey asking canadians to name the retailer with the worst customer service. the *winners*? walmart, zellers, and crappy canadian tire (for years, my pet name for ct has been crappy tire). thanks to hidden cameras and microphones on volunteer shoppers, the producers demonstrated how all three stores fell short in customer service, helpfulness of the staff, and store cleanliness. no surprise, to my mind.

here’s my beef with the angle of this show: if i choose to shop at any of these three giant retail operations, i should expect that the money i am saving is because the retailer is cutting corners with staff training and development and available associates on the sales floor. want personal attention? visit the independents or smaller retail stores.

in the end, the very worst offender was…zellers. i agree that i have no recollection of ever receiving exemplary help at this store. but, i’ll reiterate that friendly knowledgeable sales staff is not what drives me to shop at this money-saving department store. [and as it was wryly noted on the show, zellers are being turned into target stores, beginning next year...].

coming from the retail perspective, i feel sympathy for walmart, zellers and canadian tire because spotlighting one or two isolated incidents does not provide a fair overview of country-wide store operations.

as a personal example, let’s highlight canadian tire. i have always been amazed because whenever i shop there, if i ask, “where would i find x item, please?” the sales associates, without fail, promptly reply with the correct aisle number – it’s uncanny! also, when i returned a knapsack with a broken zipper, without my receipt, i received a replacement bag at no cost, no questions asked.

(source)

getting back to the marketplace show, i really enjoyed the responses from random people on the street about what annoys them most when shopping. some answers: being ignored; uninformed, untrained and disinterested sales associates; long check-out line-ups; sales associates who point out where to find a product instead of walking the customer directly to the item.

in the end, the show revealed that the store that canadians voted for BEST customer service was…walmart! it’s not surprising that this store could be on both the best and worst lists…i think the stat mentioned was that walmart has over a million customers per day at its canadian locations!

do you think that superior customer service and low prices are mutually exclusive? i often hear from customers that they come to see us at the store because they will receive correct information and personal attention. yes, sportchek may offer very low prices – but good luck trying to find helpful staff and answers to your running footwear questions! as another example, if i shop at lululemon for workout wear, i do expect better service than if i am at old navy.

to whom would YOU award a “worst customer service” *award*?! me = future shop and the apple store!!! both places frustrate me to no end – as you are well aware!!

reflection and anticipation

on the twenty-ninth day of december...

just before christmas, all of a sudden, i had a flash of divine inspiration, and the 1970kikiproject for next year came together. yippee! i am jazzed to share all the details with you on monday, january 9th.

within the next few days, many of us will turn our attention to making resolutions or setting goals (there’s a difference in the semantics, to my mind). now, while i much prefer the idea of having labour day weekend serve as the “new year,” i am not one to turn away the opportunity to plan ahead!

i came across the following set of reflective thoughts about life on ultrarunner olga’s blog. her list contains more points than i will share, here. i picked the ones that resonate the most, and reordered her list, as well. so, maybe wait until you have a quiet two minutes (my young mom readers are laughing in my face, right now!) and enjoy a meditative moment.

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1.~It’s much harder to change the length of your life than it is to change the depth of it.

2.~Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  Read.

3~Everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.

4.~Regardless of how filthy your past has been, your future is still spotless.  Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.  Every day is a fresh start.   Every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life.

5.~You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

6.~When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.

7.~One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.

8.~If a person wants to be a part of your life they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.

9.~If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.

10.~Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.

11.~Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You don’t fail by falling down.  You fail by never getting back up.

12.~Everyone basically wants the same things.  They want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future.  The way they pursue these desires is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.

13.~The more things you own, the more your things own you.  Less truly gives you more freedom.

14.~Making a thousand friends is not a miracle.  A miracle is making one friend who will stand by your side when thousands are against you.

15.~Someone will always be better looking.  Someone will always be smarter.  Someone will always be more charismatic.  But they will never be you.

16.~Making progress involves risk.  Period.  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

17.~Every morning you are faced with two choices:  you can aimlessly stumble through the day not knowing what’s going to happen and simply react to events at a moment’s notice, or you can go through the day directing your own life and making your own decisions and destiny.

18.~Everyone makes mistakes.  If you can’t forgive others, don’t expect others to forgive you.

19.~You can’t take things too personally.  Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.

20.~The happiest people I know keep an open mind to new ideas and ventures, use their leisure time as a means of mental development, and love good music, good books, good pictures, good company and good conversation.

~*~*~*~*~

if you care to share, do any of the statements above speak to you? a few years ago (thanks to dr phil, i must say) i realized how true #19 is. once i changed my perspective about what drives people’s actions, the handling of certain situations became a lot easier. and i totally believe in #11 – never give up on a goal.

will you be setting goals or making any resolutions on january 1st? last year, i set out eleven goals for 2011 (recap coming on sunday, january 1st). this year, i am putting all my eggs in the kikiproject basket instead of making any resolutions!

lessons and carols

on the thirteenth day of december...

on sunday evening, i got to fulfill my december wish to attend a program of christmas music:

the program for the evening

the christmas program was at the mennonite church that mom and dad attend – also the church that i grew up in. i’ve only ever attended one church, my entire life. i no longer go, but i still consider this church to be my “home church.”

advent candles at the front of the church

ah…this evening was just what my heart needed this christmas season! there was a mix of carol singing, readings from the bible, and special music groups. my favourite was when the sunday school children sang – so cute! and watching them brought back fond memories of when gina and i used to be up there!

candles along the side windows

we mennonites are known for singing in four part harmony:

soprano, alto, tenor, bass, with piano accompaniment

my vocal chords were a bit rusty – it’s been a while since i’ve sung! music is the best part of going to church, for me. and i never realized, growing up, how awesome our singing is – until i visited other churches where the organ overpowers the congregation, or where everyone sings the same tune. nobody can match the mennonites for cooking and baking singing!

a cute christmas tree to welcome you!

i enjoyed every aspect of this evening out: the program itself (it was briskly paced, and i loved the mix of readings and music). also, i thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances. many of the church people have known me since i was born, or at least since i was quite young. it was a warm and cosy evening all around: festive decorations in the sanctuary, meaningful songs and bible passages, and delightful connections with old friends.

where do you find “the meaning of christmas?” dad commented that the church program really gave him the christmas spirit. this year, my home decorations and making + writing my christmas cards have given me a lot of joy.

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i’m throwing in the towel!

i concede defeat! nicole is the merriest of christmas elves on the face of this earth, no question about it.

look what she has co-ordinated at theOTHERstore!

a drop off box for our local food bank!

we're official participants!

i really appreciate that nicole thought to organize the food drive to help spread some holiday joy in our community. it’s really fun to do secret santas, wear festive clothing…but also heartwarming to spread goodwill, and to think of others for whom this time of year is a challenge.

i bet we are able to gather a good collection! runners know from hearty, healthy, filling food!

there is no more i can do!!!

christmas playlist

on the fourth day of december...

happy second sunday of advent!

it’s a busy day around here: i’m at the store ’til 2 pm today, then this afternoon is going to be all about writing out christmas cards. tonight, i have a christmas-themed movie queued up. (unless i get totally engrossed in my cards, then the movie goes on the backburner). for my card party, i’m going to set up an assembly line/card station on the dining room table, and to create just the right festive ambiance, i’m going to turn on the lights on my little ceramic christmas tree and play christmas cd’s non-stop. radio-kiki’s motto is all christmas all the time (great line which i appropriated from stephanie).

for a few years, i got in the wonderful habit of buying one new cd per year. my assortment now looks like this:

twelve cd's, in total

small, but mighty.

because i love lists (and christmas is a great time to compose lists!), here are a few christmas carol categories, and my picks. now, there are a zillion christmas songs out there, so i’ll limit my choices solely to those songs that are found on my twelve cd’s.

if i had to pick but ONE cd to have, i'd choose my boney m cd - honest!

a compilation of church-ish hymns; the quality of the choirs' singing varies quite a bit!

mannheim steamrollers: high energy, upbeat and fast-paced! (a copy from paul and sharon)

top five christmas carols i ♥ love ♥ with all my ♥:

  1. carol of the bells
  2. mary’s boy child (boney m version)
  3. little drummer boy
  4. hallelujah chorus from handel’s messiah
  5. my! my! time flies (enya)

rita macneil: another favourite that makes me feel all home-y and cosy

a fun compilation that i bought at starbucks!

anne murray: a household staple since childhood

top five christmas songs that tug at my ♥:

  1. now the bells ring (rita mcneil)
  2. river (sarah mclaclan)
  3. trains and winter rains (enya)
  4. one toy solidier (enya)
  5. do they know it’s christmas (barenaked ladies)

top five sacred hymns:

  1. hark! the herald angels sing
  2. break forth, oh beauteous heavenly light
  3. o holy night
  4. o come all ye faithful
  5. angels we have heard on high

sarah mclachlan: my newest purchase, two years ago, along with...

...enya. i bought these two cd's after hearing them at my massage therapist's and loving them

i can't stand the barenaked ladies regular music, but this xmas cd is very merry fun!

top five songs that make me gnash my teeth i could do without [this is why you have fastforward on a cd player. and i was going to say "top five songs that i hate," but you can't use "hate" and "christmas" in the same sentence. it's a rule.]:

  1. i’ll be home for christmas
  2. silent night
  3. auld lang syne
  4. here comes santa claus
  5. silver bells

i would gladly go see this ballet every year...i make due with the soundtrack!

an excellent collection of classic hymns, sung by a top-notch chorale group

handel's messiah - memories of high school when our orchestra played some of these selections!

i can’t get tired of christmas music! although, maybe we’ll revisit that question at the end of the month…

please recommend a christmas cd that i need to add to my collection! i’m open to a wide range of styles!

what is one christmas song you love and one that grates on your nerves? i have yet to hear a version of “the little drummer boy” that i did not love. i have never been fond of “silent night,” even as a child!

enjoy your day!

delightful december!

on the first day of december...

welcome to the first day of the last month of 2011!

today we’re going to talk all about the month ahead. it’s going to be jam-packed! ["it" refers to both this blog post and the month, just so's you know].

december goal:

prioritize and embrace everything festive. i love the christmas season with my whole heart. this month, i am going to include as much exposure to christmas lights (on homes and in the park), festive music, favourite traditions, happy celebrations and outings with family and friends, and fun parties (staff, condo building, for example) as i possibly can.

it’s hard to believe that this is my last month to organize coupon of the month outings with mom and dad and for the brother/sil ana, too! [tangent: mom and i are all set for this saturday - locals: get thee to stitch n kitsch, this saturday if you can in any possible way. mom and i are terribly excited!].

i’m also jazzed because i have at least three new experiences related to christmas in the works, and two for around new year’s. the end of the project is on the radar – wow!

christmas prep update:

~ my shopping is done – today i am purchasing a jacket for grandma and that is the final gift to buy. so my goal to finish my shopping by december is a success.

~ decorating the condo is complete, as you well know. since it is now december, i am going to start wearing my christmas-themed clothing and playing christmas CD’s at home. i have held off til now because it seemed too early, during november. and yes, i have felt ridiculous having a decorated home for three weeks already. never again!

~ i am in the finishing stages of a christmas artsy-craftsy new experience, and will share it with you asap…tomorrow?!

~ i have three items left on my to do list: send out christmas cards (my goal date is to do this by mid-month); wrap presents (anticipate doing this by ~december 20th); do my philanthropy giving for the year (i give to my favourite charities once per year, and enjoy including this as a christmas tradition).

~ besides advent calendars, another tradition with little e and cutie c is decorating a gingerbread house. this year, i am going to have one kit for each girl, and we’ll do that on an aunti wednesday, i hope.

~ i am hoping to attend at least one church program or concert before christmas – either at my parents’ church (the church i grew up in) or in my neighbourhood.

~ i plan to share some christmas baking recipes – family favourites – on the blog, this month. no, not that i will be baking, you sillies! that’s what moms are for! i’ll see if i can co-ordinate blog posts with her baking schedule so that i can include photos – it’s more fun to drool as you read to see a finished product.

work schedule:

as you know, this is the month for which the retail world waits the entire year. and i love it!! i am going to fully enjoy my time at the store. for the month of december, my schedule is all over the place – no two weeks are the same. i have everything from an 11-hour day (um, today!) to split-shifts to a mix of day and evening shifts at both the store and theOTHERstore. bring it on! i am ready!

…and that’s a wrap for december chatter!

how are you feeling about december? excited, stressed, organized, overwhelmed, gleeful??? i hope you can have fun with your traditions and prep!

song association

if you ever happen to walk into the store and i am melted into a puddle of tears on the floor, you will know it’s because the radio station just played adele’s “someone like you.” man, does that song and her voice ever tug at the heartstrings. honestly! when i hear the familiar melody start up, i am grateful for any distraction – were i to just focus on the words and music, i’d be a mess in a nanosecond. [haha, just linking the song, ^^ there was enough to lump up my throat!]

it’s saturday morning and the last thing i want is for you to have teary droplets freefalling into your coffee or onto your eggs, so let’s turn this vibe around!

*intermission*

listen to this song now!! yes, i know i’ve linked to it before…but it’s still my current favourite and i cannot tire of it!

*intermission over*

music is a subject everyone can relate to – we all have songs which evoke memories immediately upon hearing the opening notes. here are five (in no particular order) that have positive associations for me:

1. “welcome to the jungle” – guns n roses. ok, i lied, this is definitely my #1 pick for song associations that evoke the giggles. gina and i shared an apartment for four months, back when we were in university. we thought it would be super-hilarious to have this song as our message on our answering machine. i remember that it took us about two hours to record a twenty second clip, and we kept bursting out in fits of belly-deep laughter. [eta: i already talked about this association here! oops!]

2. “love and understanding” – cher. in september 2002, we drove out to colorodo and moab, utah. we took three days to get out there – it’s a 34-38 hour drive to get to this area of the u.s. after the three weeks vacation, we decided just to drive straight back, no stopping. i ended up with a night shift drive (although i am not a night owl, i do bizarrely get an energy rush in the middle of night, given the right circumstances). it was 3 a.m., we were speeding making great good time through middle-of-nowhere nebraska, and i had this cher song cranked to the max, and the window open. it was one of those life moments where you just feel F-R-E-E and glad to be alive.

3.”i want you” – savage garden. remember when rosie o’donnell had a morning talk show, back in the ’90′s? i watched her every day when i had the summer off, thanks to teaching. i used to laugh out loud at some of things that she would glom onto. this song was one of those fixations. she used to just repeat the part “chic a cherry cola” over and over. i know this does not sound remotely humourous in my retelling (and you’re sitting there going – hunh??), but rosie’s unscripted enthusiasm has stuck with me all these years.

4. “killing in the name” and “bullet in your head” – rage against the machine. boston marathon. chillin’ in the truck before the start. gettin’ in my zone. headphones on, walkman playing, volume cranked. i’m. gonna. take. down. this. course. watch out.

5. “right nowvan halen. the summer before my third year of university, mom & dad, the brother & his gf, me & my bf, all traveled down to marco island, florida, where we stayed in a penthouse condo that my dad was able to rent, thanks to a business contact. the unit had a mondo-huge tv that i think we had on from sun-up to sun-down, as this was a remarkable extravagance to us kids. mtv was not a channel we could get in canada, at the time (and muchmusic was a poor substitute) so we greatly enjoyed watching and listening to the songs and videos whenever we were in the condo. this van halen song became a running joke because every time we walked in the room, it would be playing. we were all big van halen fans so this made our day to hear this song so often. [the memory association got somewhat tainted when vh sold out and the song became part of a crystal clear pepsi commercial].

your turn! share a happy or emotional song + memory – your choice! back in black by ac/dc -> wedding reception dances!

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november thankfulness:

(for friday november 18): yesterday i was thankful for the plethora of warm winter accessories that i have at my disposal. i have at least five toques and seven pairs of mitts of different thicknesses and styles. not everyone is so lucky at this chilly time of year.

the neverending story + a better story!

my tentative plans for thursday eve never came to fruition (<- don’tcha love how that word sounds?!) so i ended up booking an appointment for the apple store. it was meant to be: there was one time slot left for 6:45 p.m.

confirmation email!

since i know you are on the edge of your seat, i will cut right to the chase: the ipod saga is not yet over.

i know.

i am shaking my head, too.

apple store service dude listened to my brief account (this piece of sh!t won’t work my shuffle won’t play!) tappy-typed on his iphone for a good five minutes, and told me they could “swap out” my shuffle.

except they had NONE – yes, as in ZERO – in stock.

i was like, i am fine with another colour. no – it has to be replaced with exactly the same thing, i was informed.

after seven more minutes of iphone entries, he told me he had ordered me another silv-ah shuffle (ok, he didn’t say silv-ah) and it should be in within a few days.

i was not surprised, p!ssed off, or bothered because i had fully prepared my emotions and my brain for the fact that i would not be leaving the apple store with this situation resolved.

to be honest, i’m also nonplussed (<- what’s with the vocab today?!) because i am ♥loving♥ dad’s relic old-school shuffle! the thing’s a beast and i am never giving it back i am super-pleased with the sound and performance!

oh – i confirmed that yes, i do need to make an appointment to pick up the shuffle when it comes in. :/

arrrgggghhhhghhhh!!!

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two doors down from the apple store, you’ll find suzy shier:

home of cheap fashion

this sign caught my eye:

you don't expect me to walk on by, do you?!

i’ve never been a suzy shier fan, but when sarah and i went shopping in august, she found quite a few cute pieces, and on that day, i had seen a couple of items that i liked. no better time than now to try them on!

the store was pretty busy. and you could tell this was a “big event” because they had a dj spinning (very loud) tunes!

playing my favourite dance music, too!

smart move: provide music that makes customers want to be in the store -> they linger -> they buy more stuff…that’s a solid retail sales plan! or maybe the dj’d music was to keep the sales associates happy…either way, great idea!

i had to wait about 10 minutes to get into a change room. that was ok because standing there, i noticed THIS sign:

50 is better than 40!

and what’d’ya know, the two items i liked were in the 50% off category!

i couldn’t pass up these bargains. a little retail therapy was quite soothing after yet another apple delay.

i came home with:

greyish/silv-ah hoodie with a bit of a grunge look to it...

...and below-the-knee-length track pants!

total: $25. if the temps climb a few degrees any time soon, i can wear my new knickers this fall, yet. and the hoodie will be in active rotation twelve months of the year.

i left the mall pleased. quite an accomplishment considering i was leaving without a new ipod!!!

then, i completed some xmas present research. it’s all about balance, you know: one present for me, one present for you.

~*~*~*~*~

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!

have you decorated for hallowe’en at all? cutie c and little e and i had fun with window decals this past week!

apple hunting

if you are tired of hearing about my ipod saga, bye-bye! we’ll visit again another day! no hard feelings.

when last we left off, i had a busted ipod, future shop is forevermore in my bad books, and dad is without his ipod because i stole it it is my newest arm accessory.

tuesday, i did not have to be in to work at the store til mid-afternoon, so around noon-ish, i headed up to conestoga mall where the new apple store is located:

shiny, happy storefront!

this time i came fully armed:

my future shop receipt and the entire ipod kit and kaboodle

the store is very sleek, minimalist, and likely an apple lover’s heaven.

i stood around for five minutes while some sales associates were in conferences with customers and others stood around poking at their ipads. it was in vain that i tried to make eye contact with anyone.

i decided to be proactive, and approached a female associate, about my age:

“um, would someone be able to assist me, please? i have a few questions about my ipod shuffle.”

“do you have an appointment?” she inquired, not completely friendly-like.

i looked at her blankly.

“you have to make an appointment so that we can give you our undivided love and devoted attention [ok, maybe i made that up] and so we don’t have line-ups [that part i did not make up].

“even if i’m standing right here?” [call me old-fashioned, but if i am in a store, can i not access some customer service?].

“yes, you must have an appointment.”

“you’re for real.” i honestly said this. sorry, i try to be polite because i know what it’s like to deal with irked customers, but i could not believe i was going to get a run-around yet another time.

“well, when’s the next time you have some availability?” my hopes were not high that it would be anytime soon.

she called over a peon another employee who poked around on her ipad.

“2:30 p.m.”

bear in mind, this was about 12:15 p.m., by now. *niiiiiice.* even if had NOT had to go to work, no way would i just hang around the mall for two hours, filling time.

i accepted the store card so that i can book an appointment on-line – at this time, i have no clue as to when i can get back up to the mall, so i have not booked anything, yet.

so, that is where things stand now.

i can understand the reasoning behind making an appointment: buying an ipad, say, is going to take a lot of time. but, can the apple store not have a “stand-by zone,” where it’s first come, first serve and you take your chances or agree to wait?

what frustrates me is that 1) i had no idea that you MUST have an appointment to talk to someone at the apple store [how do you find out these things??] 2) i am so over this ipod foolishness! for the time and money spent thus far in chasing down a repair, i could have bought a new shuffle…which, i am guessing, is exactly what apple wants me to do!

tell me a HAPPY AND POSITIVE customer experience you have enjoyed recently! i am just all the more motivated to give customers at the store the best service i can – and we DO NOT require an appointment for a proper gait analysis and shoe fitting, please note!

~*~*~*~*~

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!

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