Buying little kids' clothes is the most fun shopping ever.
My cousin Beth's daughter Casey turned three last month. Because of Christmas and Mom's birthday, they usually hold off on a party for her until around this time of year. Because she got so many toys for Christmas, Beth asked that Casey get clothes for her birthday.
Heather's birthday is this Thursday (and then Little Susan's on the 11th, and Beth's on March 3rd, and Chris' on March 10th, and Jeff's on March 17th...), and one of the gifts she asked for was a gift certificate to Gap Maternity. (Have you noticed how many versions of the Gap there are now? Gap, Gap Kids, Baby Gap, Gap Maternity...soon there'll be Conjoined Twins Gap.) Mom wanted to get her the gift certificate, so we looked it up online and saw that the nearest Gap Maternity is in the Cambridgeside Galleria, which happens to be about a thirty-second walk across from my office building. So today, during the only half-hour I had for break (it was a busy day...it's like they know we have extra people working now), I ran over to the mall and headed for the store.
I saw all the Gaps, lined up in a row. Gap Maternity is actually a throughway between Gap Kids and Baby Gap, so I walked into Baby Gap and asked the perky sales clerk if they sold gift certificates to Gap Maternity there.
"Oh yeah," she said, "You can use any Gap card for any Gap store. You can even use it for Banana Republic!"
I told her I'd be back, and as I was heading out the door on my way to someplace reasonably-priced, like Old Navy, I saw the perfect outfit for Casey. Or rather, outfits. They're all pink. There's a little pink hoodie sweatshirt and some pink sweatpants, and a white and pink top and a super-cool pink skirt. It's lucky for me that Casey is a real girly-girl, because I picked them all up. Didn't even think about the price. They were just too cute to pass by.
I brought my purchases to the counter and got the gift card as well. One other nice thing about the Gap is that they'll box up your purchases and fold the clothes just right for you. I've seen the ads for those folding boards that are supposedly used in "major clothing stores" to fold shirts and the like, but I think Gap employees are actually robots with the folding board programmed into their circuitry.
I'm going to miss Casey's party, but I'll be visiting Beth's house this Thursday night to give Casey her gifts. She'll probably be more interested in the box, but I think Beth will be pleased. Luckily, Beth's a real girly-girl too. Besides, it's a nice excuse to go visit my cousin, who I only see during family events.
So the Lincoln Log Factory was in full-force today. Our customer wasn't kidding when he said that he would be sending in "a lot more" material. To keep with the parable, he and his team decided that they'd "help" us out by building their own Lincoln Log houses and just having us "fix them up a little." What they didn't realize was that they were using the wrong blocks in the wrong order, and every house, which was supposed to be identical to the one preceeding it, was just slightly wrong. Plus there was structural damage to each of the houses. It took us hours to fix what they'd "helped" us with, and as I said, it was a very busy day otherwise.
Around four (what is it with people on weekends and four o'clock? I can understand not getting something in until noon or two, but four? That's just plain lazy), yet another set of houses came in. I wrote to the customer that this Lincoln Log factory couldn't handle it, but the one in Canada would take the project, and if they couldn't finish it in time, they'd send it over to the plant in Hong Kong or Seoul.
The customer called me shortly after I'd sent my e-mail, wondering what they'd done wrong. I explained that it would have been much easier to just bring in the Lincoln Logs themselves and have us build a prototype, so that we could match that exactly, rather than replacing individual bricks, which was very labor-intensive. He did not know this fact. His boss (the original requestor of the houses) told them that they'd be helping us move the process along if they created their own structures and let us fix them up.
Hopefully, I've convinced at least one customer of the right way to get their projects done. We'll see if any of it sticks.
In delegating documents, I got to talk a lot with Diedre in the Toronto office. It's very odd, because she has a voice that's almost an exact match with Mary Ellen's voice. (Don't bother following that link, the woman never updates.) Since I haven't talked on the phone with Mary Ellen in months, it was like a weird little nostalgic trip...if Mary Ellen were Canadian and occasionally said "aboot."
(I kid. I love you Canadians. What with your flappy little heads and your beady little eyes...)
In the car to and from work, I dug out my CD of the soundtrack to Chess. I found it sad that I don't remember every line from every song like I used to. I desperately wish that I could sing, if only to play Freddy. "Pity the Child" is such a fun, angsty, self-centered song to sing.
I realize that I'm better-suited to play Florence, because she gets all the good songs. "Someone Else's Story" and "Nobody's Side" are fantastic, and the duet "I Know Him So Well" is fun to sing both parts to at the same time. Maybe if someone casts an all-gay version of Chess, I'll get to play Florence.
Maybe I'll just direct it. I've always had a vision of how I'd block it out, using actual chess moves as scene-enders. The lights would brighten as everyone would stand in their positions as pawns, bishops and the like, and only make moves that could be associated with their respected chess pieces. Of course, it's probably been done a million times before, and would only be impressive if you could see the show from above, and knew in advance (or could figure out) that an actual game of chess was being played.
There are only four musicals that I would want to direct. Chess is #1, followed closely by Little Shop of Horrors, Rent and Urinetown. I don't like the old standards, except maybe Man of La Mancha. I couldn't sit through two repeated verses of, say, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" without running out of the theater screaming.
There's always Sondheim, but everyone always seems so self-satisfied when they do a Sondheim show. I realize that his scores are difficult to learn and get right, and that he does a lot of dark stuff, but really, I dig a good beat and an actual melody once in a while.
I've just devoted five paragraphs to musical theater. I may get to reinstate my gay membership card after all.
Well, tomorrow is Monday, which means waking up at 6:00am, so I'll just close with a joke. You've probably been e-mailed it a dozen times before, but it's the first time I saw it, so I'm passing it on to you. (Apologies to the Republicans reading, but I've already alienated my Canadian readers, so I might as well go two-for-two.)
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light
A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are
improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a
delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served
honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect.
Why do you hate freedom?