Sunday, October 18, 2009

Art Festival!

The Watters Creek Fine Art Festival was last weekend and I had a booth along with my partner in crime, Dale, where we sold our jewelry, shrines and various unique creations. The weather was cold and dreary and the crowds were sparse. I guess most people were at home curled up in front of a football game all wrapped in a Snuggee. But not us! We braved the entire weekend, armed with a big pot of coffee and our boots. Sales were slow, but we had fun. We made some new friends, had friends come by to visit and sampled the cuisine of Watters Creek. Tortilla soup from Mi Cocina, a gyro from Terra, the new Meditteranean restaurant, pizza from Grimaldi's. It was all delicious. Chloe and her band of houligans were there to help, too. Since our creations are wonderfully glittery fun, we sprinkled gold glitter on the ground of our tent/store, to create a beautiful carpet. Turns out that the glitter stuck to people's feet and was tracked over every inch of the shopping center! Like fairy dust, it lifted our spirits. I drove by today and could still see glitter on the street. So, even though we didn't make as much money as we'd hoped, we did come in 3rd place in the People's Choice Award and spread a little glitter around.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Email Pet Peeves

Maybe I'm just irritable today (a nice way of saying bitchy, although bitchy sounds more entitled), so let's just go with that and we'll go over my email pet peeves. You can read while I go get some chocolate and a glass of wine. Please stop poking your head in my office and asking, “Did you get my email?”. Unless you are having some difficulty with your emails going through, this is almost as unnecessary as Vanilla Ice Greatest Hits CD. “Did you read my email?” is perhaps the question you should be asking. There is no need to cc me on something that is not of any consequence to me. I really don’t care. In the same vein, if I hand off an email assignment to you, please do not cc me on the email assignment. This is called delegating. You don’t have to prove to me you did it. For God’s sake, clean up your email before forwarding. I don’t need to see the four thousand people on the previous list of recipients. I probably won’t even make the effort to scroll that far down. The same applies to a message that has an attachment that leads to an attachment that leads to an attachment. It’s like a Russian nesting doll and I can promise you I won’t even open it up. You really don’t need to think up a clever closing line for business email. ‘Thanks’ is ok when appropriate. ‘Best’ doesn’t bother me, but when you get too cutesy like ‘Enjoy your day!!!’ it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth. And ‘Cheers’ shouldn’t be used unless you are European or Australian. To be honest, it makes me jealous because I think you are drinking on the job and I’m not. I want to sign off with ‘Rock on’, but I don’t do it on my business email. Well, not too often. Learn the difference between ‘Reply’ and ‘Reply All’. I don’t care to hear back from you if I don’t know who you are. In a business environment, please do not answer an email question that I have sent you with a phone call. (Unless, of course, it’s just too long of an explanation to type out). I don’t have time to talk to you and I probably need your answer in writing. I know you’re excited to be at work!!!! Please don’t flaunt it!!! Enough said? If you have a question for me, ask it. Don’t state an issue/problem out and then say ‘Please Advise’. If you want a specific answer, learn to ask a specific question. It’s like when my kids say ‘I’m hungry’. I answer with ‘That’s too bad’. What I want to hear is ‘Can I have a snack?’, ‘When is dinner?’, ‘Are there any apples in the fruit bowl?’. I may seem clairvoyant, but this is just a complete waste of my powers. Likewise, please don’t forward a back and forth email conversation between you and another person and expect me to read it and figure out what you want. If you are that lazy, I wonder how you even get out of bed and get to work. Stay Gold, Jana

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Fair to Remember

When I was growing up in Oklahoma, nothing heralded the coming of Fall like the Tulsa State Fair. The Fair usually blew into town with the first cool temperatures and crunchy leaves and brought with it an air of excitement and tradition. One of the things that made the Tulsa State Fair so wonderful was Bell’s Amusement Park, a charming park that was open most of the year. The Fair was connected to Bell’s, so in addition to the Fair rides, the Midway and the exhibits, you also had the perk of your favorite rides at Bell’s. The big white wooden roller coaster, known as ‘Zingo’ was Bell’s crown jewel. Built in 1968,‘Zingo’ was a series of giant hills and breathtaking drops, up to 82 feet. You entered the park by walking under one of the hills of the roller coaster, excitement growing as you heard the ‘clack clack clack’ of the coaster and the happy screams of its victims. Being old enough to ride ‘Zingo’ was a definite rite of passage in my day. There was also the ‘Phantasmagoria’ spook/fun house that you rode through in a cart (a notorious make out ride), the ‘Himalaya’, which went round and round to the sound of sirens and loud music du jour, and a big ominous Ferris Wheel. One of my all time favorites was the giant Super Slide, that we flew down on old burlap sacks. I think the Super Slide was removed sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s, as I’m sure it was pretty dangerous. Other favorites included the Log Ride, the Octopus, the Scrambler and the Super Round Up. A day at Bell’s was always a dream come true for me and I often got to go there for my birthday. The Fair was like Bell’s on steroids. Although I don’t really care for Fair food, I like the smells, I love to walk around and people watch, check out all of the rides and revel in the cool night air. When I was in Middle School, my friend, Karen and I were allowed to go to the Fair by ourselves (during the day only). Wow, did we think we were grown up! We spent a dizzying day riding rides and looking for cute boys all on about $20. When I was in high school, the Fair was the ultimate date. I mean, it had all of the perfect romantic elements – the opportunity for your date to win you a stuffed animal (thus proving his manliness), the prospect of holding hands as you walked around the Midway, the pleasure of getting to wear one of your brand new sweaters in the cool weather, and the chance that you might kiss on the Skyride as you glided way up over everyone and swung gently from the cables. Oh, yes! A kiss was quite possible, being that he was the most manly-stuffed-animal-winning thing this side of the Arkansas River. Alas, I am now grown and Bell’s amusement park is no longer. It was closed a couple of years ago and ‘Zingo’ now sits somewhere in a warehouse, quiet and dismantled. I drove by where it used to be one time and was devastated to see a huge expanse of concrete and grass where my Mecca used to be. It actually hit me harder than I thought it would and I swear a couple of tears slid down my cheeks. Maybe I can find a cute guy to take me to the Fair to cheer me up. Maybe I’ll even kiss him on the Skyride.

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.