Friday, December 30, 2005

An Embarrassing/Amusing Story

I decided to treat myself to a nice haircut and eyebrow wax while I am at home with the unexpected money I got as a Christmas bonus. I haven't had my hair cut in months and it needed it. I made my appointment a few days ago with the same stylists I have been going to for a long time now. This place is a little on the expensive side, but I love how they do my hair and eyebrows, so I still go once and awhile. Well when I walk in this morning and tell them my name, they said I did not have an appointment! Someone screwed up in the phone room and didn't even schedule me at all, although I got a reminder e-mail about my appointments. So I was very confused. Amelia had time to do my eyebrows, which was good because she is my favorite. But Abby, the girl who has cut my hair for probably the last two years, was booked for the rest of the day. And today was the last chance I had to get my haircut there before I go back to Louisville. So they squeezed me in with someone else. I was already annoyed with the situation and hoping to get some sort of discount. So I tried to describe to this lady how Abby always does my hair. After she finished styling it I looked in the mirror and did not like my hair at all. So I walk up to the checkout counter more annoyed and find out that this lady is more expensive than Abby! They could at least have told me. I told them I did NOT want to schedule any future appointments and walked out, now even more annoyed. I sit down in my car and look in the mirror and start bawling! (yes it is about that time of the month). I think the main frustration was that I just spent a lot of money and did not get what I wanted. I love how Abby does my hair and it is always fun to have your hair looking perfect for at least one day. So after I calmed down I decided to go back in and say something, which is something I would not normally do. I asked to talk to the manager and explained to her what was wrong and of course I started crying. So imagine me crying to the manager in the wating room of a fancy salon with everyone staring at me. I was very embarrassed, but for some reason could not stop myself from crying. I went in there with the philosophy that if you go to a restaurant and they mess up your food, you get a free meal. But that is not how this place works. All she offered me was to go to another stylist and have them fix it, but I said that's not what I wanted. She said since I was unhappy with my hair, getting my money back would not make me happy. Boy was she wrong. Well she was trying to convince me to stay and have someone fix it, but instead I said I had to go and just walked out. But I really did have to go because Chad VanBuskirk had just made the drive from Kenton and was waiting for me across the street at Panera. So of course Chad and I got a good laugh about this amusing situation and how stupid I acted. I really am embarrassed. Chad and I had a good visit. We were in Panera for quite awhile. I just got home and after calling several friends and laughing about this situation, I am okay. I brushed out all the styling products of my hair and de-poofed it and I think it is okay now. Just not how Abby would have done it..sigh....I now realize the cut is fine, I just did not like how she styled it. And when you pay so much money for something you don't really like, it is frustrating! (especially when you are a volunteer!) I actually debated for a week whether I should spend this much money on a haircut. I think God is trying to tell me something!! Well I think I am done with this place for awhile. Next time I need my haircut, I will find a cheap place in Louisville and stop being such a snob. I have already found a cheap place to get my eyebrows done there. (but I have to admit, they don't do as well) Well that's my story, I hope you enjoyed it!

P.S. I really hope I do not sound like a spoiled, stuck up rich girl.
P.P.S. I forgot to mention that while I was crying to the manager my friend Kristen walked in. Of course I would see someone I know! I left her a voicemail once I got to Panera explaining the situation so she doesn't think I am a psycho!
P.P.S. While I was typing this my friend Becky called me. She happens to work in the phone room of this place and she told me it was her fault my appointments got cancelled! She was training someone yesterday and used my name as an expample and accidentally cancelled my appointments. So that mystery is solved! She felt bad and is going to talk to her manager to see if I can get some sort of discount or something.

So anyone else agree I should at least get a $10 off coupon or something? Or do you think I am crazy?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I am having a great time at home. I am glad I called off this week of work. It feels like a vacation. And I have had plenty of time to spend with family and friends. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I sure did. My grandparents came down Christmas Eve as always. The candelight service at my church was really nice this year. Denise woke me up at 6:45 Christmas morning so we could open presents. My housemates will be happy to know I got the Apples to Apples party crate which includes two expansion packs. I should mention that Denise got an I-pod and a cell phone. I still think 11 years old is too young for a cell phone, but I guess it is a new generation now. All her friends have one too. I did not get mine until I was 20! And I still don't have an I-pod, but I said I would rather have money.

The day after Christmas I spent three hours in a David's Bridal to help Vicki with her wedding dress shopping, along with her mom, Kim, and Gill. She ended up buying her dress so it was a successful trip. Her dress is really pretty..but that's all I will say in case Toby happens to find this site. And now my friend Jennilee is engaged as well. Her boyfriend of six years finally propsed Christmas Eve and I am happy for them!

Tuesday I made the trip to Abby Mo's house and got to see my Bluffton friends which was nice (Abby, Laura, Bridget, and Abby of course). Laura looks pregnant now! I hope we can keep up seeing eachother every few months, but it is getting harder with everyone spreading out. Rebekah we missed you! If only Bangladesh wasn't half way across the world!

Yesterday I spent way too many hours in a mall. Easton during the day with Denise and later I went to Tuttle. If you take away all the people and long lines, it would not have been that bad. I have to admit I still enjoy shopping for myself and finding good sales. It's just something I can't do often, which is a good thing I think. Last night I saw Memoirs of a Geisha. I thought it was a very good movie. I realized that in the past four months, I have only seen three movies in a theatre. That is quite an accomplishment for me!

I am going back to Louisville Monday evening. So I have a few more days to enjoy at home, but they will go fast.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Time Flies

I cannot believe Christmas is on Sunday! Time has gone by so fast. It seems like I was just going home for Thanksgiving! I am driving home tomorrow night after work. I will have my housemate Emily as company so the drive should not be too bad. Here are some things that have occupied my time lately:
*Saturday- I had an interesting dining experience at a local diner. I had some frickled pickles for the first and last time in my life (deep-fried pickles).
*Sunday - Emily and I played the prelude and offertory at church. We played "Lo How a Rose" for the prelude, Emily on violin and me on piano. Then I played alone for the offertory. It went well, especially since I did not have much practice time considering we don't have a piano (and I am really hoping we do before the year is up!) Sunday was a great church service. I definitely don't hear sermons like that when I go home which is unfortunate. They are great. And no banjos at home either.
*Monday - It was Alisa's birthday so we went out to "The Pub". It was an English pub that served Strongbow on tap! Those of you who I did not go to England with, it was the beer that me, Abby, and Reba loved and had every day! (and if Jo is reading this she is probably laughing at me). It tastes like cider. It is very yummy. Nothing like a pint of Strongbow. I did not know until recently that you could get it here in the States (thanks to a tip from an English friend).
*Tuesday - After work we had a staff holiday party over at Carrie's house (the assistant director). It was a lot of fun, complete with lots of delicious food and lots of wine. We played a fun game and then turned her living room into a dance floor and did some salsa. Did I mention my coworkers are great?

Work has been less stressful than last week since the big party is over, but still pretty busy. Although the kids are out of school, we are having "winter camp" for them. Only about 20-30 kids have shown up so it has been pretty manageable but as always there are a few moments of chaos. But the camp is done at 4 so I have been getting home earlier than usual which is nice. After the kids left today I put on my elf hat and visited the homes of three families whose kids did not show up for the party. I brought them all presents and they were all very excited. I had three good home visits in a row which made my day.

Well I haven't started packing yet so I should probably get to that. I hope to leave right after work so I want to be ready to go. I'll update again from good old Hilliard.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green (and Red!)

Well the big holiday party is over!! I think it went well overall. It was fun in the exhausting kind of way. The official last day of the after-school program this year was Tuesday, so we had Wednesday and Thursday to get ready without the kids before the party on Friday. Those days were spent decorating, planning, moving toys and decorations, going on countless errands, and basically running around the building like crazy. I worked over eight hours those three days without much break. I felt like I was losing my mind at some moments. I would run upstairs to do something but then couldn't remember what! It always felt like there was too much to do, but it all worked out in the end. Luckily I did not go into work until noon on Friday because I was there until almost 9:00 at night.

Ok, I will try to describe how the party worked. First of all, we did have almost 300 kids show up. They were let into the building after they were assigned a group number. Around 15 kids were in each group. They started off in the gym where they had to register. While they were waiting for their group to get called, they had activities to do such as face painting, musical chairs, etc. Once their group was called they were led upstairs. They had eight rooms to go to with an activity in each one where they spent about ten minutes. They went from Hanukkah, to Ramadan, to Tet, to New Years (where they got a snack), to Las Posadas, to Kwanzaa, to Christmas, and finally to the hats and gloves room where everyone got a pair of gloves and a hat (until we ran out). I was in the Christmas room obviously, so I did not get to see much of the rest of the party. I organized the Tet room and I think it went well. I got some volunteers from the Vietnamese Student Association at U of L to come in and help. They were really sweet. I observed the first group of kids going to each room before they finally reached Christmas. And for the next three hours I did not get a break. Once they reached the Christmas room, all the kids were supposed to sit down and wait for their turn to see Santa (we had coloring sheets for them). Santa was this old man who has volunteered for the past fifteen years. One by one the kids would sit on his lap and get a picture, and then I would come out with a toy for them. If you can tell from the pictures, we had dividers set up in the room so the kids could not see all the toys behind them, but many of them tried to. So for three hours I was constantly running around the stacks of toys we had trying to pick out a toy for a nine year old girl, then a two year old boy, then a eleven year old boy, then a 13 year old girl, and so on. I had a couple of volunteers helping me out back there, as well as some in the front of the room who mainly helped with crowd control. Since I knew a lot of the kids, I really wanted to get them something they would like. But I found out this was impossible!! I am sure most of the kids were happy with their gifts, but this is not what I got to see. Mostly I saw the kids coming back and complaining that they did not like their gift and they wanted to exchange it (which was difficult while I was trying to get presents for the other group of kids in there). Or the second I would hand them something they would say "I don't want this." We had kids 1-14 there and the older kids were the problem. In my humble opinion, the holiday party should be for kids 10 and under, or maybe 12 and under. They were all less than $10 gifts, so of course it was hard to please the teenagers! We had about 15 personal CD players that were $10, but the problem is, once they found out we had them, everyone wanted one! For example, 13 year old Juma who loves to play basketball was so excited when I handed him a basketball. But five minutes later he came back in and said he wanted a CD player instead like James. So that was hard for me. I wanted everyone to be happy with their gifts but I'm not really an elf, so it was impossible! And by the end we ran out of gifts for older children. So it was quite a stressful job. I just have to remember how many kids were happy that night and try to forget the ones who complained. I did my best! If only everyone could be like 11 year old Nyanyok who was thrilled to receive a prom date barbie doll! But as I said, overall it went very well...but it would have been a lot easier if we could have gotten rid of the 13 and 14 year olds! The whole party is aimed for younger children.

Wow what a long entry. Congratulations if you made it this far. Anyways, after it was all over I went out to eat with some of my co-workers for a late dinner. I was so busy I didn't realize how hungry I was until we go to the restaurant. All day I only ate cereal, a bagel, a Reeses, and a few Doritos. It was nice to finally relax and enjoy a meal with the great people I work with! So far today I have done absolutely nothing but relax and boy did I need it!

Monday, December 12, 2005

I love Christmas time!

So Laura is having a baby boy and a woman threw up all over Rebekah on a bus. I don't think I can top either of these blogs. So..what have I been up to lately? I had a nice, rather uneventful weekend. But I did spend a lot of time with these two kids. Blair age 9 and Lorelei age 7. They are the children of the executive director of South Louisville Community Ministries (SLCM), where two of my housemates work and is right underneath us. This family also goes to the church most of us have been attending (Jeff Street Baptist Community at case you wanted its full name). On Friday night we were all invited to SLCM's staff Christmas party at Ryan's. Mike (the executive director) graciously paid for all our meals. Blair and Lorelei sat at our table and we played many exciting games of telephone. On Saturday evening we attended our first "goatwalker" at Jeff St. Basically the church is set up like a coffee house. Waiters serve coffee and dessert (Blair was our waiter) and there is an open mic for people to go up and sing, play guitar, read poetry, etc. Along with church memebers, some homeless people from the area attend. There was a variety of performances that night and it was a good time. I promised Lorelei I would bring my tap shoes if she brought hers, and we ended up performing a tap routine that we made up ten minutes before we went on stage. It was cute. Then after seeing them at church on Sunday, both Blair and Lorelei wandered up to our apartment that afternoon while their dad was working downstairs. We entertained them for a couple of hours. They convinced me to eat some of those Harry Potter every flavor jelly beans - I had banana, black pepper, and grass - which all tasted like their name. The pepper was the worst. Katie had vomit, but I refused to try this one, although they were trying to convince me it was "tootie frutie". So that was my weekend. Blair and Lorelei are fun kids, although it is impossible to get a normal picture of them. Their mom joked with me at church that they should warn future Urban Corps participants that Blair and Lorelei come as part of the package. I told her I didn't mind!

I also got all my Christmas shopping and Christmas cards done this weekend! I am looking forward to going home for the holidays. And Americana's holiday party this Friday should be fun, as well as a lot of work. I got to help shop this past Friday for more toys which was a lot of fun. We spent $900 at Target! Since I have seen all the toys and know all of the kids from the after-school program, I was designated head elf! I am going to dress up. Anyone know where I can buy a cheap elf hat and shoes? I already have a red sweater and green tights. It will be a fun job, but no doubt a little crazy. We might get up to 300 kids from the neighborhood, and I will know less than 1/3 of them! In addition to my elf job, I am also in charge of decorating one of the rooms. We are going to have several rooms designated for different holidays (i.e. Kwanzaa, Ramadan, etc.) The kids will be led through all of these different rooms where they will do an activity and hopefully learn about the holiday. The end of their trip will be the room where Santa and I will be passing out toys. I was assigned the Tet room, which is the Vietnamese New Year. I have some knowledge of this holiday from my trip to Vietnam, but I need to do a little research. I am going to visit some local Vietnamese stores tomorrow to get decorations. It should be fun. Well I will definitely update after the big party to let you know how it goes!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow Day!!

Well I learned today that the state of Kentucky has issues dealing with snow. Basically they overreact to weather situations (similar to the time we closed work because of a tornado watch and there was barely a storm!) I went into work at 10 this morning and I was excited because a few of us were going to go shopping for toys. About fifteen minutes after I got there some freezing rain came down and the weather reports said we were supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow (which is nothing!) Well because of the "bad weather" we didn't go shopping. And we closed the building at 1:00! All the schools in our county let out early, which means we did not have the after-school program or evening G.E.D. and ESL classes. So I had most of the day off and it was wonderful. I needed it because I haven't been feeling the best this week. The last hour of work we all sat in the office and listened to Edgardo's stories about his experience in Argentina (he lived there during the violent revolutions). I found out he used to be a pastor and he gave us a mini-sermon. He had a lot of intersting things to say, particularly about Bush, the war in Iraq, and American culture. I really liked one of the points of his "sermon": One of the foundations of Jesus' teaching is social justice and concern for the poor, yet many people who call themselves Christians seem to ignore this major part of the Bible. Amen Edgardo!

Well I got a little off track. Anyways, I realized how nice it is to have a job where you get snow days. I hope there are many more to come! And since Kentucky cancels things before it even starts snowing, I think there is a good chance for that. I should mention that most of the day it was just raining and there is barely any snow on the ground now!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stupid Starbucks

This is a picture of the after-school staff. It really has nothing to do with my post, I just like the picture. We took it last week for the newsletter. One reason I really like my job is I have great people to work with! And this doesn't include the other full-time staff that do not work with the after-school program. They're great too! Well in work related news, I finished the sorting of the toys and the newsletter so I feel much more relaxed! Two weights off my shoulders. Although I had to stay two hours after work to finish the toys by myself last night and I pulled some muscles from lifting heavy stuff, so I am a little sore today. But it is done! I should have taken a picture of the room so you all could fully appreciate the huge job this was. Now that we know what we have, we get to go shopping and buy more toys. That will be fun. I love buying gifts for other people! (especially kids since they are so easy to shop for) I've been told over 300 kids will come to our holiday party, and they all get presents from Santa.

My housemates and I saw A Christmas Carol this past weekend and it did help put me in the Christmas spirit some more. Our housemate Ben was in it. It was kind of amusing to watch him singing and dancing on stage. He was also the ghost of Christmas future. And we have a Christmas tree up now. I guess someone donated it to the group last year. It's not the most attractive tree, but it's a tree. But I definitely do not have all my shopping done! (although I am not doing much this year)

So I found out yesterday that I will not be working at Starbucks ever again. After a three month roundabout process I was told "oh by the way, my district manager doesn't want to transfer someone in who can only work once a week" I wish they would have just told me that in the first place!! Instead they kept leading me on, acting like I would be put on the schedule soon. I can't even explain how ridiculous this whole thing was. I kind of figured I would never be working there, but it's nice to know for sure now! I was hoping to make some extra money for Christmas shopping, but oh well I will manage. I've done fine so far! About a month ago I was talking to a lady at church about my past job with Will, and she said she could get me a job with a family here, so I might do that. I thought I would be too busy if I was working at Starbucks, but now that's not a problem. I really miss working with Will. No one can replace him, but I think I would enjoy having a job like that again. Flexible hours, good pay... yep sounds good to me.

P.S. Regarding my last post, I found this website explaining the legend of shoes hanging from wires if anyone is interested: So who knows if it was supposed to mean anything - actually the shoes are still there. I have called the electric company twice and they have yet to come and remove them.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Real World, Lost, and Gang Symbols

I mentioned a few posts ago that I met M.J. from the Real World at a club a couple weeks ago. Again, not that it is a big deal, but here is the picture. I look incredibly short next to him. Also in the picture are my co-workers Nedmija and Tia, and some random guy that was with M.J. So there you have it!

In other random news: Abby- I decided to just go ahead and watch Lost last night. So I know who died now! I am a little confused about what is going on, but I think I followed most of it.

Work has been a little crazy this week and I've put in a few extra hours. My week has included calling an electric company to get tennis shoes removed from our telephone wire, getting a door slammed in my face during a home visit, going to get several copies of keys since Edgardo lost all his, and sorting through hundreds and hundreds of toys that have been stored in no organized fashion for our upcoming holiday party. I'll be happy when that overwhelming task is done. I was also assigned the task of doing their newsletter all by myself. I am 2/3 the way done. It's more work than I thought it would be! (layouts, advertising, getting a list of all volunteers and donors, etc, not to mention writing all the articles). I think things will calm down after our big holiday party on the 16th. Oh yeah, tonight was our first open house/family night for the after-school program. I think it was mostly successful, but very loud and crazy. My open house was also going on at the same time (for the Urban Corps program). I caught the end of it. It was quite a change going from the craziness of Americana's open house and then walking up and over to my very calm open house, with everyone sitting quietly and listening to things!! What a concept.

P.S. I was told that the tennis shoes hanging on the telephone wires by our back parking lot is a gang symbol (it signifies that gang/drug activity takes place here, but duh I could have told you that). Anyways, anyone heard of this before and think it's true? I've heard mixed things. (as to why they are there - just because they were bored or does it really mean something)