Posts Tagged ‘Grumble’

I’m interrupting the ‘Deus Ex Machina’ series, which explains my current work situation, to bubble enthusiastically about a recent ‘mommy’ experience.  Tammy, another research assistant at ThatchTower, has two boys, Dean and Mikey, who are complete handfuls.  Mikey recently turned six and Tammy threw him a pool party at the local rec center.  She invited several kids from Mikey’s class at school and their parents, but didn’t get much reply, so she also invited the other Thatchtower moms.  I was going to decline.  As the newest research assistant, I don’t really know Tammy that well yet and Mikey hardly at all.  As the newest mom, I wasn’t all that keen on bringing Piper to the party either.  One of the few things I know about Mikey is that he loves babies.  When he’s in the nursery at Thatchtower, he wants to help and to hold Piper or Brooklyn (the other baby in the nursery, about nine months old, not as cute as my baby, however!).  Given that Mikey doesn’t seem to understand that babies are fragile and doesn’t listen well, however, his ‘help’ must always be very closely monitored.  Plus, Piper isn’t even six months old, and doesn’t walk or crawl yet.  She definitely doesn’t swim.  She wiggles and rolls well enough to get herself into trouble, she just doesn’t have enough mobility to give someone else time to get there and rescue her.  So I foresaw a pool party as spending an afternoon on high alert doing over-protective mom-watch of my baby, something neither relaxing nor fun.

Fun and relaxation: what pre-Piper pool parties were like… Jewelry: Graffiti Bangles (Grumble, Grumble); Black Choker (source unknown)

Fun and relaxation: what pre-Piper pool parties were like…
Jewelry: Graffiti Bangles (Grumble, Grumble); Black Choker (source unknown)

It was Tori, Brooklyn’s mom, who persuaded me to come.  Like me, she’s a single mom who doesn’t get out much.  She also has a warmer heart than I do, I think.  I figured Mikey doesn’t know Piper and I well enough for us to add much to his party, that inviting us was probably a polite gesture on Tammy’s part or less likely a “more guests = more presents” calculation.  Tori pointed out that people’s motivations are rarely one-dimensional, so either or both of those might go into the mix, but that Tammy’s biggest motivation was to make Mikey feel special and loved, to be a ‘winner’ at his party.  Ideally, more of his school friends would have been coming, but for Piper to be there was still an indication that other kids and small people wanted to be around Mikey to help celebrate his special day.  In many ways a bad party- one where Mikey didn’t have anyone with whom to play and share his new six-hood- would be more tragic and painful than no party, and Tori and I could help make sure Mikey had a better party by giving him the chance to share his birthday with Brooklyn and Piper.  Put that way, how could we not go?

The party was at the local rec center that Saturday.  Tammy had signed out a room from three to five so everyone had a place to eat cake and watch Mikey open presents.  The indoor pool would actually be open until eight, although Tammy said she and the boys would probably only stay until about six.  I worked a quiet lunch shift at Giovanni’s, getting out around two thirty, scrambled to get Piper and myself ready, and tried to slink quietly in about quarter ’til four.

Skin: something (somebody) Tattoo: Bad Girl (somebody) Swimsuit: Green Mini Bikini (Grumble, Grumble)

Skin: Britney (WoW Skins)
Tattoo: Bad Girl (UtopiaH)
Swimsuit: Green Mini Bikini (Grumble, Grumble)

‘Tried’ is the operative word.  Mikey had started opening his presents, so everyone was watching him.  Which meant every one saw Mikey yell, “Baby Piper came!  Look, Mommy, baby Piper came!” and put down the present he was in the middle of unwrapping, grab up a Nerf ball sitting next to him, and come rushing to where I was struggling through the door with Piper’s carrier and a gift bag, asking, “can I show baby Piper the ball Uncle Conner got me?”.  So much for a discreet entrance.

The high point of the party for me, however, was definitely taking Piper swimming for the first time.  Well, really, holding her while I waded into the pool.  I was hoping to see her love the pool, splashing and kicking while she jabbered her cheerful, happy noises.  I wasn’t going to be surprised if she instead hated the pool, going zero to tizzy and crying and fussing.  Although Piper is generally a happy baby, she isn’t at all slow to let you know when something does displease her.

Hair: Britney- chocolate (from Freebie Fever) Shoes: Aloha Pink Scarf Sandals (Grumble, Grumble) Shape: Gigi Teen (Kids5B)

Hair: Britney- chocolate (from Freebie Fever)
Shoes: Aloha Pink Scarf Sandals (Grumble, Grumble)
Shape: Gigi Teen (Kids5B)

Instead as I lowered her into the water, she got very quiet.  Her eyes got super wide, two huge circles in her little tiny face.  She looked at the pool, then looked up at my face.  She looked again at the pool, and then looked at me again.  As a mother, I constantly talk to Piper, and often put words in her mouth, making up what I think she would say.  Her facial expression clearly announced, “WTF?!?  This is the biggest kitchen sink I have ever seen…”

…Info about tagged vendors is in my closet

Advertisements

I mentioned last post that my employment situation has really changed over the past month.  It’s time to start filling in what happened…

The old saying is that it’s always darkest before the dawn.  In a literal sense, that’s bullshit, of course.  Before the dawn, you already have a faint shimmer of encroaching daylight lurking in the east, whereas at, say, 3.00 AM, it’s nothing but night.  In a metaphorical sense, it just means things look worst before things start to improve.  Which is true, if somewhat shallow and obvious, which is why it is cloaked in a figure of speech to sound artificially profound.

It's always darkest before you flip the light switch...

It’s always darkest before you flip the light switch…

My darkest hour was while I was awaiting my Step II disciplinary meeting on March 10th, which is pretty much just as ominous and formal as it sounds.  Giovanni’s is a rather casually run restaurant, and the owners generally prefer a battle plan of ‘We’ll just play it by ear.’; when they go out of their way to follow a procedure, it never bodes well.  I could have just ripped the scab off with a rushed sit-down before or after my shift.  I chose, however, to schedule the meeting for a day off.  Punctuality wasn’t a strong point for me even before I had Piper, and as a sleep-deprived single mom with ADD, I struggle just to be not-that-late, so coming in early for a meeting about my employment fate was not a good plan.  As for meeting post-shift, not only am I usually trying to rush to pick Piper up from whoever’s sitting, but it doesn’t suit the owners’ schedules well either.  I had one other reason for scheduling the meeting on a day off, a manipulative reason on my part.  Jonas Giovanni is kind of a thug, and his Italian temper is a scary thing to behold.  He does, however, have a soft spot for children in general and for Piper in specific.  He was there when she was born, holding my hand when Piper’s father is unknown and my father was unavailable.  I gave Piper her middle name, Jonasina, because Jonas was there.  I wanted the meeting on my day off so I would have to bring Piper along and hopefully put Jonas in a protective mood rather than an angry one.

On my last shift before the meeting, something odd occurred.  I was already on egg shells, dreading the meeting and flustered because I had been late, again, that morning.  Not late enough to get in any additional trouble, but also not helping my case in the upcoming meeting.  Cao Richards came by for lunch, along with two coworkers I recognized and a rather effeminate young man I didn’t recognize.  Ms. Richards, one of my favorite regulars, had strongly encouraged me to apply to be a research assistant for her employer, the Thatchtower Gallery, and conducted the interview herself.  I was supposed to have heard back by mid-February, but instead Ms. Richards had been ducking my calls and avoiding the restaurant for almost a month.  Then out of the blue that Monday she comes in and asks for my section.  That’s already a little awkward, but then she introduces me to Connor, describing him as “our newest research assistant.”

“Oh, it’s very nice to meet you, Connor.”  I’ve stated elsewhere that for servers, hypocrisy isn’t a character flaw but a job skill.  For three weeks, I tried to reach Ms. Richards to find out if I got the job.  I never get through, but instead she brings the man who actually got the job to Giovanni’s.  And requests my section to make sure I have to learn who he is.

Shape: Elvira Shape from Alady Island Skin: Gothic Lolita by Skin Doctors

Shape: Elvira Shape from Alady Island
Skin: Gothic Lolita by Skin Doctors

“I assure you, milady Marik, ’tis I who stand fulfilled by our meeting.”  Oh, my.  Is there such a thing as love at first hearing?  On top of his archaic phrasing, Conner also has the faintest trace of an accent that I simply cannot place.  Imagine an Harvard don being played by Sean Connery and you come close.  His gentle tenor has a hint of ruffle, like a deep plush blanket I just want to wrap around every inch of myself.  My train of thought completely jumps the rails.  Vaguely, I noticed the other two research assistants staring kind of doe-eyed at Conner and realized I probably have the same blankly wistful expression on my face.  I’m pretty sure I blushed as I shook it off, stammered some kind of polite noise, and forced myself to take their drink order.  Only as I’m grabbing two waters and two ice teas at main station does it occur to me that neither Ms. Richards nor I used my last name in the conversation, so why does Conner know it?

I’m busy for the next few minutes, cashing out a couple of tables, taking orders and getting them started in the kitchen, quickly tossing a couple Caesar salads myself so I don’t have to wait for the pantry cook to have time.  Once I’ve dealt with everything urgent, I grab a couple soups for Conner and one of the other assistants.  As I deliver them, I ask Ms. Richards if she has a second to talk.  With a raising of my eyebrows and a slight jerk of my head, I silently add the qualifier “away from Conner, thank you very much.”

Cao smiles, “I have a second, but I don’t think you do.”  She also raises an eyebrow and jerks her head slightly, her non-verbal communication indicating, “There’s a hostess standing behind you, about to give you another table.”  It’s amazing how detailed non-verbal communication between two intelligent women can be.  She also produces her business card with a quick, almost slight-of-hand, gesture.  “You already have the office number, but I wrote my personal cell phone number on the back.  When he learned you already have dealings with some of his gallery clients, Mr. Thatcher asked me to arrange a meeting with you.  I believe he may be considering making another research assistant position available.”

Hair: Ronnie by Tameless Hair Scar: Wicked Scar by Fallen Doll

Hair: Ronnie by Tameless Hair
Scar: Wicked Scar by Fallen Doll

“Which means you and I may yet become comrades in arms,” adds Conner.  I’m torn between irritation that my business is being freely conducted in front of him and the desire to keep Conner talking so I can hear that lovely voice some more.  It’s not often you meet a man who can make a request for his ice tea to be topped off sound sexy.  As I turn away, out hostess flashes two fingers and then four fingers at me.  “I need you to take table twenty-four.”  I nod at her.  “O.K.  I’m on my way.”  Really, with all the non-verbal communication going on, it’s astonishing how loud Giovanni’s gets during the rush…

The rush stays busy, so the rest of my conversation with Cao and her party is limited to what I think of as ‘standard restaurant script’.  “Let me get some refills.”, “Does any one need a box?”, “Did anybody save room for some homemade tiramasu today?” and the like.  There is one interesting moment when I bring the check.  I didn’t bother asking about separate checks before I bring one check and give it to Cao.  It’s the benefit of familiarity.  Although I don’t know whether it is Cao or her expense account being generous, I know that when Cao brings her coworkers to eat, she treats for the table.  The young lady research assistants with her are also used to this; they no longer make even a token attempt to get a separate check or take the tab.  Conner deftly reaches across the table and grabs the bill from Cao’s hand.

“You know my other patron would insist I do the honor,” states Conner, pulling one of those heavyweight black credit cards from a lavender nylon trifold.  Ms. Richards attempts to reclaim the bill, but Conner easily swings the check away from her grabs.

Cao actually sounds a little irritated as she replies, “Carlton and I, however, work with your patron, not for her.  I understand why she wants the privilege, and I hope she earns the right, but it’s only proper I pay this bill.”

“There are many kinds of propriety, madame Richards.”

“But I would hope hospitality is universal.”

Dress: Elvy from Augusta Creations Shoes: Jane (night-colored) by Tesla Jewelry: Heart Bangle by Grumble; Pink Chain Collar by Pekka

Dress: Elvy from Augusta Creations
Shoes: Jane (night-colored) by Tesla
Jewelry: Heart Bangle by Grumble; Pink Chain Collar by Pekka

I took the bill and credit card from Conner.  With my left hand, I also accepted Cao’s card from her.  I then tucked her card into the tip tray and handed Conner’s card back to him, glancing at the name.  “Here you go, Mr. Dreenan.  I don’t want to imply that Ms. Richards has better connections at Giovanni’s than you do, so I’m going to explicitly state it instead.  We know Cao, and Giovanni’s is the sort of place where it is good to be known.”  I dropped a quick smirk at Connor before returning to my formal, I’m-working voice, “I’ll be right back with your card, Ms. Richards.”

Not quite right back, since I loop into the kitchen to call for french onion soup on my way to the computer and refill water at table forty-three on my way back.  I’m busy enough that I again just stay on-script when I drop off the charge slip to be signed, “I just need one copy back with your signature and the other slip is for your records.  Thanks for stopping in today, Cao, and I hope we see you again.” Again, spoken in my I’m-working voice, as I continue on to another table to check off the next task on my to-do list.

When I finally get back to finish clearing the table, Cao has left a note on her charge slip: Don’t forget to call me.  Sooner is better than later.  There was also a small pebble and a note on a twenty dollar bill (which is an over thirty percent tip!) which read, “I’m told this is a good introduction to a waitress.  I would love to be known.  Sincerely, Conner Dreenan.”

The nicest thing about the whole confusing encounter… Well, really, the nicest thing was the sound of Conner Dreenan’s voice.  If you could bottle that sound, you would make a mint.  But the second nicest thing was that trying to figure out what just happened distracted me from what would happen the next day.

…To be continued…

Spoiler Alert!

Posted: March 25, 2015 in Sponsor Posts
Tags:

My last post took me so long to write- partly sheer length (over twice my normal verbiage) and partly awkward subject matter (posing for naughty pictures)- that I’m now backlogged on subject matter, particularly since March so far has definitely been interesting.  As in the Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times” sort of interesting.

From a narrative viewpoint, I should tell you some things from the backlog.  My last two posts left a few loose threads dangling, and I would like to tie those off.  I also did a couple of things that may have repercussions, and I should report those  so I don’t have so much explaining to do when or if those repercussions come home to roost.

Bear with me: Cutie Cub-Bear Hoodies, 35 L$ each...

Bear with me: Cutie Cub-Bear Hoodies, 35 L$

From a business viewpoint, however, I’m going to go shopping instead.  A month ago, I essentially had two jobs.  My full-time job serving was on shaky ground (Step II disciplinary action is definitely not a pat on the back and a raise…) and currently I only have one client for my freelance fashion writing, Grumble, Grumble, since I haven’t really had time to seek out and properly tend new clients.  So I would say that job was also on shaky ground.

March has been interesting, as I said.  I now have four part-time jobs and no full-time jobs: computer consultant at Giovanni’s, art and rarities saleswoman at the Thatchtower Gallery, a regular modeling gig with Elyssa Innis, and I still have only one client for freelance fashion writing.  Which is why it is a bit of a relief that Luck of the Irish ’15 is going on through the end of the month, so I can let you know about some cute goodies being offered there by Grumble, Grumble while you still have a week to get down there and see for yourself.  (Here’s a taxi, btw…)

For those who aren’t familiar, Luck of the Irish is a gacha fair, sort of slot machine shopping.  I’m sure you remember the gacha machines for little kids that lurk near the entrances of grocery stores and sometimes restaurants.  Put a quarter or two in, twist the knob, and receive a little plastic bubble with a random sticker or candy or crackerjack price.  Gacha machines are the same concept, using modern technology to take a larger price and give a larger prize, faddish in some circles.  Many of the places I shop have one or two tucked in a corner somewhere; most short run fairs have a gacha aisle to attract shoppers from those aforementioned circles, and some events- like Luck of the Irish ’15, a second engagement of last years successful Luck of the Irish gacha fair,- are nothing but gacha machines.

Bitchin': Bitch Bubbles, 25 L$

Bitchin’: Bitch Bubbles, 25 L$

Grumble has three machines at LOTI ’15.  The machine selling ‘Bitch Bubbles’ is probably the most entertaining of the machines.  I’ll admit I don’t really understand the technology.  There are thirteen bitchy sayings, any of which would make a great bumper sticker or T-shirt.  Instead they are projected in a caption bubble over your head, like you are in a comic strip.  Cute, fun, and funny, these are nifty little party favors for a quick cheap laugh.  There is also a machine selling psychedelic piggy banks, decorated in groovy the-dye patterns.  Your new bank is set out in your home or business to collect donations- hopefully for a charity or a worthy cause, but ultimately I suppose that is between you and your conscience.  Grumble’s one clothing gacha at LOTI ’15 is selling Cub-Bear Hoodies, little hoods/hats that pull over your head like a ski mask and have adorable little teddy bear ears.  If I’m totally honest, I have to admit these aren’t really practical hats.  Spring is here, so we are running out of cold weather, and these aren’t the sort of hats you wear to be suave or fashionable.  On the other hand, they are so damn freakin’ adorable, that everyone should run out and get at least one anyway…

Since I was going down to LOTI to report on Grumble, I wore an outfit made mostly of Grumble purchases as well.  The blue sweater dress is a cute spring or fall item, pairing a winter-weight fabric and a summer-length cut.  The shade of blue also matched the cub bear hoodie I received as part of my blogger’s pack, which was an added bonus.  The high boots are Grumble’s Black Cyber Stud boots, very urban and edgy.  The slashed latex leggings actually serve dual purposes.  Not only do they accentuate the edgy urban look created by the short dress and tall boots, they help keep my legs warm since spring is still a work in process at my latitude.  The lace wristbands are also from Grumble (My inner brat is dying to make a ‘Fifty Shades of Grumble’ allusion).  And just to swing the pendulum away from edgy and back towards cute, I also have the ‘Love Me’ face Tattoo from Grumble.

Pig in a poke: Groovy Pig Donation Jars, 35L$

Pig in a poke: Groovy Pig Donation Jars, 35L$

I’ve confessed elsewhere that I’m not a huge Gacha fan, but I still struggle with my shopping addiction.  (Being broke is less of a defense against impulsive spending than strict logic would dictate…)  So after scoping out Grumble’s machines, I went a-wandering.  I looked for clothes, my favorite weakness, but it was mostly poses and photo-props that caught my eye.  My last step before polishing off my post is to photograph a few of the new items…

Bunny chair from Mooh- what every house needs...

Bunny chair from Mooh- what every house needs…

There are so many reasons why I need to go shopping this afternoon.

A) I need some retail therapy.  On top of my emotional baseline of exhausted and overwhelmed (perfectly normal for moms everywhere, particularly single working moms) I have a healthy overlay of unhealthy rage.  My coworker Taylor, herself a single mom, was supposed to come by and pickup Piper this morning and I would watch her two year-old Dashaun later this week.  Giovanni’s opens at eleven, so the servers are expected in at ten to help with the prep and set-up.  Shortly before ten, I called Giovanni’s to warn them I was running late because Taylor, whose inability to keep a schedule is legendary, hadn’t made it yet.  Imagine my surprise when Taylor answered the phone.  Management had called her that morning before to cover a shift because Mackenzie called in sick.  (She said food-poisoning, I suspect brown-bottle flu.)  Taylor had dumped Dashaun on his grandmother, and completely forgotten to call me.  Working all the numbers in my cell phone contacts, I finally gave in and asked Jeremy to be my emergency baby-sitter.  Great, but by the time I called Jeremy, took Piper out to the ‘burbs, and doubled back to Giovanni’s, I was over an hour late.  Which means even though Joe, Taylor, and Mackenzie created the reason I was late between them, I’m the one who gets a write-up and started in a Step I disciplinary action.  I’m angry enough I’m trembling just recapping this.  Some new pretty clothes are just what I need to feel calmer.

Pretty new clothes, compliments of Grumble, Grumble.

Pretty new clothes, compliments of Grumble, Grumble.

B) I really need retail therapy.  The whole situation with Jeremy (more about that towards the end of this post…) has me in a tailspin.  I’m still into him, and he is apparently also still into me.  Except he has rebounded since I broke things off, and while I’m sure I’ll properly hate his fiancee Valerie once I meet her, it’s unfair to her and to the generally stand-up guy Jeremy is for me to drag him into Piper’s life.  I don’t want to keep calling Jeremy in panics.  Except I don’t really have many options.  How sick is it that I only called Jeremy to babysit after trying my next-door neighbor when I’m ninety percent certain that she’s an escort and an addict?  Trying to unfold that logic has me feeling guilty and inadequate.  Pretty new clothes can solve those feelings, too.

This Hooter purse deserves some close-up love...

This Hooter purse deserves some close-up love…

C) Ms. Cao Richards came in for lunch with two of her coworkers and their three little ones.  She introduced me as ‘Emily, who I’m hoping will be the newest gallery girl’.  She introduced the two gallery girls with her, but distracted as I was this morning, I promptly forgot their names and christened them in my mind as Buffy and Muffy.  On a more positive day, this would have been a wonderful thing.  Besides tipping well, Ms. Richards implied the job is probably mine, with what she said both explicitly and between-the-lines, although the gallery owner, Mr. Thatcher, will not declare his official decision until ten a.m. on Monday the sixteenth.  In my frustrated and irritable state, however, I’m locked in on the gap between ‘probably’ and ‘definitely’, afraid to hope, stressing over the impending disappointment.  Plus, if I do get the job, I don’t have anything sufficiently elegant and classy for the Thursday gala evenings.  So I should definitely go get myself some pretty new clothes…

To paraphrase Nancy Sinatra, these boots were made for shopping...

To paraphrase Nancy Sinatra, these boots were made for shopping…

D) Allie Munro also came by for a bite to eat.  I didn’t wait on her, since she sat at the bar with a chicken caesar salad and a nice pinot grigio while she used her cell phone and tablet to herd staffers for Grumble, Grumble and the Wet Spot.  (How does she have time to run two businesses and look so fabulous when I can barely juggle being a low-level Goomba at Giovanni’s and keeping Piper in formula and clean diapers?  If she wasn’t so nice, I would definitely hate her.)  I didn’t wait on her, but she gave me a tip nonetheless.  Not a gratuity-tip but a piece-of-advice-tip: Thrift Shop 8 is now open, with bargains and sales from dozens of dealers, themed for Love and Hate in honor of Valentine’s Day.  That would be reason enough to go shopping, to see if I can find something both elegant and thrifty, but Allie sweetened the pot, inviting me once more to write up how cool Grumble’s wares look, and take a few selfies to prove my point.  If there is anything better than shopping for pretty new clothes, it is getting paid to shop for pretty new clothes…

Ta-da! A second great Grumble look for Thrift Shop!

Ta-da! A second great Grumble look for Thrift Shop!

OUTFIT #1:

  • Mesh Corset Dress in Teal.  This cute little number is one of Grumble, Grumble’s feature items for Thrift Shop 8.
  • Heartbreaker Crown. This is the rare from the Heartbreaker Headband Gatcha Grumble brought to the thrift shop.  Very cute, although more appropriate for senior prom then an expensive gallery event….
  • Hooter Handbag, Teal Trim.  Another cute, fun item from Thrift Shop 8.  Again, yes to cute, fun, and irresistible, no to gallery-appropriate…
  • Sheer heart stockings & Colorado boots (black): Items from the Grumble, Grumble main store that nicely compliment my dress.
  • Shape: Gigi Teen (Kids5B); Skin: Jenna- Purple Smokey (BeautyCode); Hair: Beatrice (TamelessHair)
Cupid, updated for the 21st century?

Cupid, updated for the 21st century?

OUTFIT #2:

  • Flutter Outfit.  This is one of Grumble’s exclusive items for TS 8.  With the wings and headband, this outfit is very cute and very fun.  Properly re-accessorized, the pink and white minidress may be the gallery event dress I’m looking for…
  • Heart Collar and Bangle Set.  This is the other exclusive TS 8 item.  I love collar style necklaces and bangle style bracelets, and this set is one of each for only 25 L$.  Again, cute and fun.  Definitely the must-have of Grumble’s Kiosk for this event.
  • Red Star Leggings, Snake Bracelet, Fringe Mocassins, Jackie-O Sunglasses: Again, I accessorized the event items with some goodies from the Grumble mainstore.  (The shotgun was not included, but was a fun prop to pose with…)
  • Shape: ‘Girl Teen Avatar Shape’ (Kids5B); Skin: Liz- Green Smokey (BeautyCode); Hair: Ronnie (Tameless Hair)

    Give this gorgeous collar some close up love, also...

    Give this gorgeous collar some close up love, also…

Muah-ha-ha!  (Or however you envision an evil genius laugh should sound…)  I have achieved the self contradictory headline!  By definition, yellow journalism is exploiting and exaggerating news to create sensationalism and attract viewers, but it is also an idiom that is not really in current or common usage anymore.  I used the idiom because this blog is, among other things, my journal of what’s on my mind and because I’m responding to a photo challenge by WordPress to create a gallery of photos that display the theme of ‘Yellow’.  (More details on that, here.)  So my urge for whimsey and obscure allusions was satisfied, the title is a win there- but since the idiom isn’t in common usage, and folks will just scratch their heads and wonder what I’m rambling on about, I’m actually creating confusion and distracting viewers.  Oh, well, at least I amused myself, right?

SNAPSHOT #1:

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.\\ Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.\\ Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung…

To me, the obvious way to create a theme of yellow was to take a set of pictures wearing yellow outfits, preferably in yellow backgrounds.  Checking my directory (the yellow pages, obviously) didn’t reveal that anyone had set up a scenic location to visit and take pictures that they had specifically tagged under the word yellow.  On the other hand, messing with my camera’s wind lights settings allowed me to exaggerate the amount of yellow in any setting.  Thus, when I found this ‘Love’ art piece that included yellow semitransparent blocks on a beach in Coppelia, I cranked the ambient light and the water to yellow and took this picture.  For yellow in my outfit, I’m wearing a loose yellow top that came from Miss Canning, and some unknown source freebie yellow stockings.  Since I still haven’t set up an ongoing ‘I-bought-stuff-here‘ page, I will also make sure I give credit to My Pretty Pixels (Dany hair in ‘crow’), Alady Island (Shape), Angel Rock (India skin), Loka Designs (the rings and bangles on my left hand), and Grumble, Grumble (the bangles on my left hand and the super cute stiletto sneakers).

SNAPSHOT #2:

Yeah, baby!  Move over Austin Powers, and let me show you how to swing...

Yeah, baby! Move over Austin Powers, and let me show you how to swing…

For my second picture, I went looking for a school bus, but got distracted by a dirty inner city playground.  My second yellow outfit was definitely urban and a little dirty as well…  The yellow dress was a hot little number from JStyle, 99L$ for a fat pack of cute minidresses, blue, hot pink, and yellow.  Since I always enjoy wearing tall boots with a short skirt, I’m wearing some yellow/teal cyber boots from Grumble.  I even found yellow accessories: yellow ‘sparkly’ stockings (same freebie box as snapshot 1’s fishnet), yellow heart-framed sunglasses from Egoxentrikax, and the black Wendi hair (from Tameless Hair) included a color-change headband, which I, of course, set to yellow.  As far as non-yellow, I’m also wearing a silver necklace and some mismatched silver bangles from various other Jstyle outfits.

This playground actually looks a lot like the activity center playground near my apartment, except it would need more graffiti and some empty beer cans and/or discarded condoms to really make the resemblance perfect.  I may allow Piper to go to the playground once she turns twenty-two, but even that may be too soon…

SNAPSHOT #3:

All I’m going to say about looking for schools in my directory is that it seems the vast majority of the listed schools are ‘finishing’ schools, although they are more interested in starting something naughty than in finishing anything.  Lots of canes and spankings and ‘extra credit’ opportunities if you know what I mean.  For myself, I’m not opposed, although I’m starting to really think I may need to home school Piper well into middle age.  (Hers, that is!)  Truthfully at this moment in time, I’m taking the short view.  I don’t care what’s going on in the classrooms, as long as they clean up the mess afterwards and I can find the bright yellow school bus I’m looking for…  Later is a problem for later- that’s why they call it ‘LATER’.

Splattered with color… sounds like a good title for something...

Splattered with Color… sounds like a good title for something…

I didn’t find a school bus at the First Step Elementary School in the Antigua region, but I was just happy to find a school that actually appeared to built for children rather than for naughty adults.  Even more importantly, the art classroom provided a great backdrop for another ‘yellow’ picture.  Since I was in an elementary school, I got in touch with my inner child for my outfit.  Egoxentrikax provided a great outfit, the bright yellow ‘Jumper Bob and Mocassins’ for only 10L$. I also grabbed some source unknown black and yellow wings, because I just associate butterfly wings with fairies and fairies with children.  (I do believe, I do, I do!)  My sunglasses were from Grumble.  (And although I slimmed my shape and lightened my skin tone, I remained with Alady Island and Angel Rock as vendors.)

SNAPSHOT #4:

I was going to continue looking for a school bus for my fourth and final snapshot, but I got distracted by a conversation about heaven and hell and went to visit the heaven and hell gothic dance club, where I noticed the stripper pole was bright yellow.  I’ve also been re-reading Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens recently, so I decided to cite their quote: “It is said that the Devil has all the best tunes.  This is broadly true.  But Heaven has the best choreographers.”  So obviously- o.k., maybe not for most people, but in my mind this was obvious- obviously, I needed to create a yellow outfit appropriate for a pole dancing angel.  I’m not sure which fact is scarier.  That I felt the need to create an outfit appropriate for a pole dancing angel, or that it was actually a pretty easy look for me…

Angels whose clothes have gone bye, a luscious treat for sinful eye...

Angels whose clothes have gone bye, a luscious treat for sinful eye…

My minimalist yellow covering was a yellow and black bikini from Dark Salvation and some yellow lace wrap from Bitter Bunny Designs.  I’m a big fan of red boots, (I have more boots than any other foot wear, and more red boots than any other color) so I’m also modeling some sexy new Red and Gold boots from Sari’s Creations.  To get my ‘angel’ on, I’m wearing some source unknown free golden feathered wings, my ‘angelic neko’ ears and tail set from Dahllywood (now closed), and a Halo out of the ‘Cheeky Lil’ Angel’ costume (regretfully, also source unknown).  I also grabbed a celtic sword from the Linden Library, just to be the sort of angel that takes no s**t from anybody.  For hair, I went with another do from Tameless, the Hadley.

Looking again at my gallery of yellow, while I looked for some yellow in my settings, ultimately the thematic success or failure of the pictures rested on my wardrobe.  Proving that while there is no I in ‘team’, you can’t have a ‘theME’ without ME.  It’s a narcissistic view, I suppose, but that’s all right, since I’m cute enough that narcissism looks good on me.  I thought I would close with a song since I haven’t posted a song lately.  Coldplay’s ‘Yellow‘ would be the obvious song choice, except I just don’t particularly care for it.  Ditto for Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘.  Apparently I like Gold better than Yellow, because I want to post ‘The Gold Song‘ by the Bouncing Souls.

I’m feeling rather hollow today, so it seems appropriate to mangle a famous T.S. Elliot quote: “This is the way the year ends, not with a bang but a Grumble.”

In my last post, one of the resolutions I made was, despite the havoc parenthood has wreaked on my schedule, to show more love to my erstwhile sponsor, Grumble, Grumble.  So I threw a quick outfit together, dropped Piper with a sitter, and came down to the main store to see what was going on that most needed some loving spread…

What's better than a cool dress?  The same dress, accessorized!

What’s better than a cool dress? The same dress, accessorized!

I’ve been feeling a bit down recently, I have some gift cards, I recently made a credit card payment so it’s temporarily not maxed… all these things together indicate it’s time for some retail therapy, Grumble style.  Outfit #1 is the Gypsy Flow Dress that premiered for the 100 block event.  I chose to pair it with some slashed leggings, my red Colorado boots, the mustache pearl necklace, a bracelet from the twisted hunt, and some bunny ears from Easter.

Once more, out of the dressing room and into the breech!

Once more, out of the dressing room and into the breech!

I built Outfit #2 around the Retro Blouse from Thrift Shop 3.  My purple capris from a cupcake outfit I bought, and the LOL face tattoo were both from the old Grumble Kids location.  The cupcake bow and some silver tiger-striped thigh high boots completed the look.

She's a bird!  No, she's a plane!  No, she's SUPER-SHOPPER!

She’s a bird! No, she’s a plane! No, she’s SUPER-SHOPPER!

The mesh leggings just looked like the sort of thing you could build a fun outfit around, and sure enough, I built outfit #3.  I recommend the red star leggings I used or the black drops or pink splatter.  I still had a couple of half tees from when I covered the Thrift Shop event, but I had to buy the ‘Go F Your #Selfie’ half tee instead.  (Yes, not just wanted, but had to.  One of the rules of proper retail therapy is that you can’t feel better until you blow your budget.  True statement.)  The little ankle boots I chose for this outfit are a little more ‘dainty’ than my usual boots.  I also wore puppy earrings and a matching necklace and carried a little black clutch, since one thing this outfit doesn’t really have is pocket space…

Pack all your troubles in a new kit bag….

Pack all your troubles in a new kit bag….

By now, I’m feeling much more chipper, (and I’m starting to feel some Piper withdrawal- it’s amazing how addictively relaxing the experience of holding your baby can be), so it’s time to call my therapy a success, but I do have an outfit #4 to show off first.  Before I opted for the clutch in the last outfit/picture, I bought this blue vintage bag.  Then while I was in the dressing room, I decided it was too large a purse for my tight and flying outfit, and would go better with a dress.  This cute flower dress is from one of the last events I covered, Cirque de Seraphim, but as you can see, still for sale if you missed it.  Although shame on you, because it was a very cool event!  To accessorize, I grab a teal spiked headband, some red stilettos, and a snake bracelet.

I made a few other purchases, but it is time to run, so I’ll show them off some other time.  I will make just a few other comments.  I used the same shape- Kids Girl (15-18) from Sour Pickles- in all four pictures in the gallery.  I’m back to just three pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, back in fight and shopping trim.  The hair I’m using is Lilac from Tameless Hair.  It’s a scripted hair, capable of changing both the primary hair color and the color of the forelock streak, and I did so frequently to show it off to full advantage.  My ‘bad girl’ tattoo that I added for the third and fourth pictures is from -UtopiaH-.  Other than those items, everything I’m wearing in all four pictures is from Grumble, Grumble, and most, if not all, is still available for you to purchase.  (After all, I think I would be a great fashion role model for you to emulate.  Less of a life-lessons or morals role model; I know my strengths and my limitations…)

Secondly, in case you didn’t notice my literary cleverness, I didn’t just misquote T.S. Elliot.  Everybody knows the quote I misquoted at the beginning of the post, but not everyone knows that the poem that line is from is ‘The Hollow Men’, so I was also alluding to the poem when I talked about feeling hollow today.  Like many people who are both clever and insecure, I not only need to be clever, I need you to know (and hopefully appreciate) that cleverness.  Traits like that are why I stick to being a fashion role model rather than any of the other kinds.  Pbbt!

So this evening- probably yesterday evening by the time I finish this post- was my first night back to Giovanni’s since Piper was born.  I didn’t necessarily want it to be my first night back.  I, my doctors, Jonas- who is not only my penultimate boss but Piper’s unofficial godfather-, and Federal statutes are all on board for me having a longer maternity leave.  I want to spend time getting to know this tiny person depending on me.  The doctors want me to take the time to recover to 100% capacity.  Jonas, given that he played a greater role in Piper’s birth than Piper’s father and that I picked her middle name in his honor, sees P.J. as family and thus all of his aggressive territoriality is lined up on her side.  The law guarantees my job has to be there for up to twelve weeks maternity leave, and since I went into labor at work, I didn’t use up any of the twelve weeks before giving birth.

Should I be naughty or nice?  I can't decide...

Should I be naughty or nice? I can’t decide…

On the other hand, there is a vast difference between having maternity leave and having paid maternity leave.  My landlord, my bank, the hospital billing department, etc. are all very eager for me to return to work.  Then there’s the Stefano factor.  Jonas Giovanni may own the restaurant, but his son actually manages it.  I wouldn’t say Stefano is eager for me to return to work.  Honestly, I don’t think he cares one way or the other whether I work for Giovanni’s or don’t work for Giovanni’s.  However, he seems offended by the murky middle ground of a medical leave, where legally I am employed, but I don’t actually work any shifts.  If I’m employed he wants me to be available when it works for him, able to pick up stuff on short notice, able to help him arrange the pieces.  He’s all about making the restaurant work, and I’m one of the pieces he uses to put a schedule and a floor plan together.  If I, as a piece of the staffing puzzle, come with all sorts of extra limitations and special rules about how and when I can be used, he would rather discard me and get a simpler piece.  It’s not personal to him- although I take it that way, one of the reasons we sometimes clash- he just doesn’t want the bother.  So Saturday night, I reluctantly returned to the salt mines.

May I say, “ouch”?  Remember, it was about a month ago that I was rushed to the hospital so that a team of doctors could cut a nine-inch incision in my belly and rip a tiny person out of my stomach.  I don’t really think of serving as a terribly physical job.  You don’t have to be buff to do it; serving will not magically burn your calories away or build your muscles up.  You are on your feet all day and need to keep moving, but it is simply a constant stream of light, minor activity.  The problem is, while you recover from a C-section, what constitutes ‘minor’ activity is a whole lot less than usual.  And that constant stream means it never stops.  When the incision scar throbs, and your muscles ache from trying to hold stress away from the torso and keep it on the arms and legs, and you just need a minute or two to rest- too bad, you ain’t getting that minute.  Table 203 wants refills right away, there’s no ice at the server drink station, table 214 needs their check, and while many tables may sympathize with my pain, that doesn’t somehow make their needs magically go away so I can rest.  It’s a miracle I was still standing upright at the end of the evening.

I like to tell people I have elegant and classy Christmas parties to attend...

I like to tell people I have elegant and classy Christmas parties to attend…

You know the proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  I unfortunately have to live by the proverb, “If Emily doesn’t have a good income, she will have a bad outcome.”  I needed to get back on my feet, but physically and emotionally, I’m not quite ready yet.  I’m stressing a little bit tonight because while I’m sure things will work out somehow, I always live my life kind of white-knuckle when I don’t have any idea what ‘somehow’ actually entitles…

Sore and sleep-deprived as I’m feeling, I’m not sure if I’ll get another post up before Christmas.  So before my dad brought Piper back (he loves being Grampa; it makes me feel warm to know I was once just as small in those arms and looked at with just as much unconditional adoration) from watching her while I worked, I made sure I took some pics in my apartment with some cute Christmas dresses.  Dress #1 is ‘Christmas Baby’ from SHEY.  Plusses: It’s adorable, and the shoes, dress, cape, and hat are all color change with a single HUD to control color and resizing.  Minus: The shoes, little ankle boots, just don’t fit well, so I ended up using a different pair of boots, the Colorado boots from Grumble I wear so frequently.  Dress #2, more elegant, is the Holiday Gown from Leri Miles Designs.  This is the sort of a Christmas dress I would wear to a gallery opening or opera; now I just have to meet the sort of guy who would take me to gallery openings or operas…  Dress #3 is ‘Santa’s Candy’, a naughtily little ensemble from the now-closed Pinkmare’s House.  It’s the sort of outfit that would have Santa begging to be on my naughty list.  It is also the sort of outfit I probably shouldn’t have been wearing when dad came by to return my newborn daughter.  That’s the bittersweet part of seeing my dad gaze upon his granddaughter with unconditional adoration: having to compare it to the look of love tempered by disappointment he generally gives me.  Oh well, c’est la vie…

The mature alternative to milk and cookies?

The mature alternative to milk and cookies?

Since I probably won’t get another post in before Christmas…

Permit me to write before I log off, so to speak:

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Week!