Friday, January 16, 2009

So much drama in the LBC.

Okay, so yeah--I still have the store. So much for resolutions. I am going to kick it for a while, and see what happens. I mean, can it get worse? I just snorted coffee out my nose.

Here's what I've been doing--singing. I am not sure that I "can", but I do. Anywhere, anytime, no matter who is present. It ranges from Crystal Gayle to Snoop Dog. I am working on my Phish version of "Gin & Juice" as we speak. Cooper keeps popping his head out to see what I am singing. Usually on the word "bitch" or "ho".

I once had a boyfriend for 4 full years, and I don't think he ever heard me sing. Now I have a fantabulous, fun husband who tolerates all of my bullshit and my singing. In the last two years, I have sang in front of more people than I feel comfortable admitting, but it has been a blast. Having had cancer gives you a "don't give a shit" mentality. Some examples:

At a friend's house, in front of complete strangers: "Baba O'Riley". The Pearl Jam version, complete with tambourine bruises.

At Atlanta Motor Speedway, with a great companion: "Picture". Very drunk, caught on cell phone, and NOT pretty.

At another friend's house, with no strangers: "On the Tit", an original by myself and Pat Dennis.

In Pat's barn, with a bunch of accomplished musicians, who looked at me with a slight tinge of horror: "Gin & Juice", the Phish version. This will be my new mantra. Do not attempt to hang out with me when there are instruments present if you do not want to hear me sing this song.

I am no longer taking guitar lessons. Todd has never taken a lesson, and he plays about 10,000 times better than me. I figure I can learn on my own. Know any voice coaches?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

You can go home again, or anywhere else you want to (for that matter).

After six years, I think I am done with the store. Like, done. Over it. Restless. I have laughed, cried, sweat, and fumed. I always said that I would do it until it wasn't fun anymore. It's not fun anymore. I told a friend that I am even over being introduced as the "owner of Serendipity." It's a heady trip to have people know who you are, I sh*t you not. I love, love, love my customers and their children. I think I will miss them. However, the ones that mean the most to me have become "friends". They will (hopefully) always be in my life in some capacity.

It's not an economy thing. It isn't even a "cancer " thing. I didn't have some great epiphany due to having had cancer. I did, however, become a tad bit selfish. Not in a "take no prisoners" way, but a good way. This year, I have made a point to live like I never have, and while it has eaten away at a fair amount of disposable income, it has been worth it. There is so much that I want to do, and things I don't want to have to do. I want to travel. I want time to paint furniture. I want to finally use the $12,000 worth of scrapbook supplies that I have. I want to take off with friends without checking to see if anyone can work for me. I want to give a shot at my own line of custom linens. I want to see Pearl Jam, even if they are playing in Kathmandu. Which actually seems more likely than Atlanta anytime soon. Life is too damn short to waste one moment doing something that doesn't fulfill you and make you more whole.

Owning your own business is like having a child with ADHD. I know, as I have one of those, too. However, owning a business is all work and very little love. I have always been lucky enough to have wonderful employees, but I don't see the point in owning something if you aren't "present". Lately, when I am there, I just can't wait to be somewhere else. Point blank--you have to work in your store for it to succeed.

So, looking on towards early 2009, Fayette County may have to find a new children's boutique. Sure, there will be someone to come along thinking, "Oh, I know I can do it better than they did." Go for it. I want this for ME, my family and my friends. I went into this thing with a 2-year old child who I had childcare for, great finances, and (what I think) was a real knack for it. I know a lot of people who think, "Ooooo, clothes for my kid at wholesale." Yeah, right. If you have a check for 210K, I have a store for you to work that theory out on.

I guess pretty soon you can just introduce me as "Krista. Mom to Cooper, wife to Todd. Friend of many." Oh, and "she rocks just cause."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On Death and Dying...okay, just "Death".

If you are healthy and ruminate about your death, it's creepy. If you have had cancer, it's kind of "okay". So, needless to say, I have ruminated quite a bit about my death, but more importantly--my funeral. The last hurrah, the party at the end, the accolades for being born. You get the picture, yes?

So, it goes like this: I die. After they are over the initial shock (or relief, take your pick) my friends and family post notice of my death on the various e-mail lists and websites I participate it. Comments and e-mails pour in by the dozens. It is actually overwhelming. My obituary requires extra payment it takes up so many columns. There is a HUGE (but tasteful) wreath on the front door of my store, and my adoring customers lay flowers and candles beneath a photo of me on a placard (probably without hair, so that passers-by will know what actually killed me). This goes on for weeks.

My husband has promised to not let me be buried, cremated, whatever (I haven't decided yet) naked from the waist down. Did you know that? I want underwear, pants and shoes. I shudder to think that one of the Mowells will see me naked. Nothing against them, it's just that I "know them." EEek. What shall I wear? All white is what comes to mind, but other than a white string bikini, I can't get specific. Wouldn't that be funny? Remind Todd should the time come.

My hair would have to either be done by my stylist, or if I didn't have hair, it would have to be my rock n'roll blonde wig. As for make-up, I don't wear much, and I sure as hell don't want to look like a hooker on the way out.

Flowers? Some, yes. However, I would rather you take your money and donate it to a BC support group, or buy yourself some Pearl Jam tickets. If you choose the second, you will thank me if only in your prayers.

I got the music part DOWN. Let's start it out with "Angel" by Jewel as people are walking in, looking at the lovely placard (love that word) of various photos of my life. During the service, invariably there would be talk about Cooper, which would be followed with "Godspeed" by The Dixie Chicks. It will break your heart. Blah, blah, blah--married, child, renaissance woman, Serendipity, friends, family, followed by a heart-felt video. Pat Dennis says some words about me (laughing ensues), Deanna speaks (but only two words, as she can't say more than "Krista was"), and Cooper reads a poem he wrote. Okay, that might be pushing it. Cooper plays a riff on the guitar. Better. On the way out, "ARC" by Ed Ved. You probably haven't heard it, but it will make sense if you do. I sob just hearing it now.

Would it be selfish to ask for a party afterwards? An open bar, smoking inside, DJ-led party?!? Would people actually go to that? Would they get trashed and talked about me? Would they say only good things? Would I care at that point? Knowing me, I would find a way to care.

Oh, I have thought more about what I would want my husband, child and family to know before I went. I guess planning this part would be the only "fun part" of dying. Well, there's Heaven, too, but you all aren't there yet.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No more "stuff" for you.

So (and I love to start my blogs off with "so", like I have been waiting all day to tell you this), I own a children's boutique. I used to get hit up at least once a week for a donation of some sort. For a church homecoming dinner, for a realtor function, for the high school's band and so on and so forth. For the longest time, I would just donate to anyone and anything because I felt bad if I didn't and I just wanted people to "like me" and the store. I thought that donating to the smaller organizations would bring in business, or least some gratitude from the person soliciting. After all, I was donating something of MINE to their little fundraiser. Uh, no. I cannot think of one church, school or other small-time event that has brought in one dollar of business. Sometimes not even a friggin thank-you note.

After about 4 years, I decided I had had enough of that crap! Donating to anything other than a well-run local charity is a waste of my time and money. I now only donate to one organization per quarter--The Joseph Sams School, Fayette Youth Protection Home, The ACS of Fayette County, plus a local golf tournament and I choose another once a year that I feel warrants it. I do it up right, and while I don't expect to make a ton of money from new customers I might garner from it, it doesn't really matter because I CHOSE THEM and feel that their causes are worthy.

I now have a sign on the front door that says, "No Soliciting of Any Kind AT ALL. Donations and Ads included." I understand that people need fundraisers for their organizations, but I am not King Midas and can't give you a $50 gift certificate or a $100 basket just because your kid's school needs a new microscope. My child goes to a small private school, so on top of tuition, I would like to help them out. I go to church when I can and therefore donate to MY church--I should not feel like I need to sponsor something at your church.

The worst solicitation is from people that I "know" and whom have never shopped in my store. Even worse than that, is people who I KNOW have shopped (a LOT) in other stores in Atlanta. Where do they get off? If you have had a baby in the last six years, and didn't buy your furniture from me, or at least a few outfits, do not ask me for a donation. I am not going to tell you that is why I am declining to donate, but it will be.

There, I feel better and a little bit self-absorbed. Much better.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is there a "Green Party" this year?

I have had it. Had it, had it, had it. My inbox is completely over-run with political crap and I can't take it anymore. Who really thinks that sending anti-so and so rhetoric is really going to sway my vote? I am so sick of hearing about how Obama might (or might not) be a Muslim and how McCain is too old. The truth is that neither of them will keep half of the promises they are making during the campaign process. Even if they could, they won't. Which is probably a good thing, because some of their ideas, morals, etc. make me want to vomit in my mouth (a little bit).

I, for one, am offended that people who have NO IDEA what political party I run with would send me the crap that they do! That's like sending a Jewish person a Christmas tree. For Christ's sake, people. I could not care less if McCain doesn't know how many houses he has, or what Michelle Obama wrote her senior thesis on. I am so sick of it.

Obama is an enigma to me. I just can't figure him out. I watched him speak at the DNC in 2004, and I told my husband that I thought he was a great speaker. I am a great speaker, but I don't think I can run the country successfully. Or at least do a better job than the cartoon character we have had for the last four years.

McCain seems stuffy, old school, and most likely to keep us all exactly where we are. I do not like Sarah Palin, so stop telling me how "great" it is that McCain selected a woman! I love it that some think that the Hillary supporters are going to vote for McCain because of Palin. What kind of sheep do they think those women are? Wonderful that she is the first woman governor of Alaska. Admirable that she believes in "abstinence-only" sex education (that one didn't work out so well for her, did it?). Great that she decided to not abort a baby with Down's Syndrome (Wow. A true hero, that one. To actually want the child you are carrying no matter what?!?). She might be a woman, but she is nowhere near the kind of women I respect, so let it go. Let. It. Go. Michelle Obama doesn't strike a chord with me, either, but Michelle Obama might not be president one day. Not that I'm saying that McCain is too old and might, know.

Here is what I WANT from the next president:

1. Stop sending us to wars in far off places while we have people who can't take their children (or themselves) to the ER because they don't have health insurance, veterans who are treated as baggage instead of heroes, children who go to bed hungry, senseless acts of violence, and diseases that will continue to kill us. When all that is taken care of, take over Holland for all I care.

2. Give us a more fair tax system. I own a small business, and I would be fine with increased sales tax and obliterating the wage tax. I love to shop--more money in my pocket, more shopping. I don't care if it costs more, I still want it!

3. Keep your laws off my body and out of people's bedrooms. The choice that I would make might not be what another would make, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have that choice. I used to get threats from one certain religious group for my beliefs on ectopic pregnancy (life-threatening in all cases--look it up if you don't know what it is), and my decision to undergo IVF. I don't mean "you are going to hell" threats, either. Scary ones. That just shows you how a topic like this can go from "birth control" abuse to simply insane rhetoric. I have a LOT of "gay" friends, so enough said on that. Enough said, okay?

4. Make the world a better place for my child and his children. Stop raping what we do have, and come up with ways to extricate us from foreign oil dependence.

It would seem that most of that is in the Obama camp, but Obama doesn't have my vote. Want to know who I am voting for? Ask me in November, as I have no idea right now and might just take a long nap on that day. It would be idealistic to tell me that "every vote counts". However, I remember all too well the 2000 election. Dangling chad, anyone?

I am not going to vote for someone because you told me to, or not to. I am not going to vote for someone because my parents do. I might not even vote for the person my husband does. So, please STOP sending me candidate-bashing e-mails, videos and pleas for my vote. I will most likely vote for the other guy if you continue to do so.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This playing guitar isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Hrumph! So, I was totally expecting to just pick up the guitar (about a month ago) and be wailing by Thanksgiving. I have come to the sad conclusion that it ain't gonna happen by Thanksgiving. 2010. I don't have any plans to take it on the road at any point, I just want to be able to sit down and sing to myself accompanied.

I am learning to read music (again) and playing with tabs when I need some instant gratification. Me loves me some instant gratification. The reading music is going "okay". My 8-year old can read more notes than me, but I do better at switching from one note to the other. Take that, Cooper! Tabs can be fun, but when you aren't sure how a note should sound, you have no freakin' idea if you are playing it correctly or not. Throw in a hammer or the requirement of a capo and I want to throw the damn thing across the room.

I started out playing "Jeremy" with a tab, since it has such distinctive first notes. It sounded kind of like "Jeremy", but after looking around online, I found three other tabs for it that were nothing like what I was playing! WTF? I gave up on that one. Then onto "Trouble", which should have been easy enough. I even wrote my own tab, as it doesn't seem to exist anywhere. No comment, but suffice it to say that there is no Cat Stevens a la Ed Ved going on around here.

Then, I tried to play "Porch". Uh, no. Now, I am thinking it is going to be "Lukin" since it's basically just 5 or 6 notes played really fast. If you screw up, no one is really going to know. Look for a boot of it online and you will see what I mean.

I really have no business trying to learn an instrument at the age of 36, but I am going to keep at it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I have a lot to say, and some of it ain't pretty. Bear with me, and it will be a smooth ride. Blogs dated before today (September 9, 2008) have been "stolen" from my Caring Bridge and My Space profiles. Eat up!