Friday, 30 July 2010

Voice Memos

I've decided that the best thing about living at home this part year has been the time that I have gotten to spend with Barberree, my grandmother, my only living grandparent. For the longest time, I have told her I want to record our conversations and later write a book based on them. We talk about everything from social and political issues to cooking and crafting. I even had the idea of a project titled "You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks" with all the things that we taugh Barberree how to do in her nineties, including make cheese and play solitare on a computer. I did sense that she probably wouldn't like the title of the project, which is why I ultimately gave it up. Unfortunately for me, she is definitely not into the idea of being recorded in any way. As she gets older, she comments on how she barely remembers the past and just tries to worry about one day at a time- a good motto, although a little morbid considering she is 94 years old.

Today, when I was having lunch with her on my day off, she actually told my mom and I that: "I'm the only one around here who knows how to use the damn thing (her dishwasher). I have to go down and run Alice's for her all the time." (Important note: Alice is 15 to 20 years younger than my grandmother.)

She may have caught on to the technology of a dishwasher, but she has very little interest in a computer and probably can't fathom the idea of my iPhone having Voice Memos... After a comment like today's, I can't pass up another opportunity to capture Barberree for all of eternity, and, lucky for both of us, she won't realize I'm doing it :)

*Since mastering solitare on the computer, Barberree has moved on and abandoned the technology all together. So, I can safely write about secretly recording her because she doesn't surf the net or read her granddaughters' blogs.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Pride in Presentation

I have one of those jobs that has a more glamorous title than the job itself. That is not to say that I don't enjoy my job, it is just A LOT of hard work. I mean, I was sweating climbing up and down a ladder in the stock room yesterday.

And then today I came across this article in my MediaJobsDaily email from MediaBistro: "Do You Need a New Job Title?" It told of big, "important" companies that were giving their employees more "fun" titles, such as the Minister of Comedy at E&Y, a 20-something consultant that was hired to bring life to their otherwise dull presentations. And the thing is, the people with these jobs (and titles) have "[a] sense of ownership of, engagement with, and excitement about their jobs..." How many of you can say that about your job title?

I was recently scoffed at trying to explain the hierarchy at my store and the difference between the Customer Experience team and the Merchandise Presentation team. This person said something along the lines of, why don't they just call everyone what they are- store managers. Well, here's why. Giving specific titles gives ownership over certain responsibilities. Not everyone in a huge corporation is a blanket VP, so why shouldn't there be distinguishing titles in the retail industry. How insulting!

I truly feel that no one is in a position to demean another person for any reason, but especially in regards to what they do for work. Different people are needed for different jobs, and these days, having any sort of job at all should make you feel good! These are trouble times, people!

PS I styled the new jewelry yesterday and am in love with some pieces (unfortunately they aren't all online so I can't show them all). Let me know if you need a 25% off coupon for this weekend- it's our Mad Men (yes, like the show) event.

Monday, 19 July 2010

They're here!

My Sseko sandals arrived today, and I could not wait to string 'em up!

I followed the instructions that came with the sandals, but I can't wait to try other ways too. Liz is so cool and even made a YouTube channel with videos on different ways to tie the sandals!

The shoes are so comfortable, very light and easy to wear. I put them on right out of the UPS package they came in and haven't taken the off yet. But that's not all, I also got a sweet necklace from Ember Arts in celebration of Sseko's first birthday! The beads are handmade from recycled paper (also in Uganda). So cool. And in the words of Jim Noe, "So socially conscious."

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Really Locally Grown Produce

This summer, my mom decided she wanted some vegetables in her garden, and I didn't not protest. And we have been enjoying REALLY locally grown produce at many meals throughout the week.

Tonight, I made kale chips with greens from our garden, and last week, I put backyard basil in my grilled vegetable couscous. Yum!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Instant Inspiration

Just what I needed... a little inspiration...

As I was going through my email this morning (and feeling a little low after all of the AMAZINGLY FUN festivities for Julie's wedding last weekend in Kansas City), I came across one from the Mizzou Alumni Association. Having just returned home and feeling sad that I left all my Mizzou friends in Missouri, I quickly opened it to see what was going on at my alma mater. And, boy, am I glad I did.

This issue of Mizzou-ya told the story of Liz Bohannon, BJ '07, MA '09 who just last year started Sseko, "a socially proactive Not-Just-For-Profit business" that employs women in Uganda and allows them to attend University with the money they make. The women make beautiful ribbon sandals (that Liz originally designed for herself for her first trip to Uganda). Kind of like the Tom's of sandals. They are seriously cute and the straps can be removed and tied countless different ways. These are my fav:

Just when I was thinking that my journalism degree from the nation's best journalism school meant nothing, my faith has been restored. I went to journalism school to be able to make a difference in some small way- to engage in and facilitate a conversation, to bring information and education to others and to help bring about change. And here is someone that is doing something worthwhile and inspiring with their degree, someone who is doing EXACTLY what I want to be doing.

Naturally, I emailed her to thank her for lifting me out of this funk and retoring my faith in myself. And look there is another person she has helped. This girl is my idol.