A Picture of a Pony and a VCR – Part 2.

The conclusion to “Things I like – Part 1”

N – NCIS

I think this show is in its 9th or 10th season now. Most people love Michael Weatherly (the younger guy pictured), but I have a thing for Mark Harmon. This is one of the few shows I still have my DVR set to record. It’s not as good as it used to be, but I’ve invested so many years into it, I can’t break up with the show.

O – Orchids

These flowers are one of my favorites. I used to have two orchids I cared for a few years ago, until my cats destroyed them. They are so beautiful and exotic looking…. AND EXPENSIVE! My girlfriend, Erin, has an entire room in her home dedicated to growing orchids. It’s pretty cool, because she just brings out the ones that are blooming and puts them on display in her house. The rest stay comfortably in her orchid grow room until their time comes. A lot of these specimens only bloom one a year or so…. but your patience will be rewarded!

P – Patrick Stewart

I suppose I should address him as Sir Patrick Stewart. After all, he was knighted. This dude is the definition of awesome, and yes, the fact that he played Captain Jean-Luc Picard has everything to do with my opinion.

Q – Q

I should have also warned you that there could be a large amount of Star Trek related entries as well. Q is arguably the best villain Star Trek has ever seen. Don’t get my wrong, I still think the Borg, Lor, Khan, and the Dominion are all formidable opponents. Q, however, is a villain that provides comic relief. I could write an entire post on Star Trek related stuff, and I probably will at some point. Q initially puts Picard (the captain of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, for you non trek geeks) on trial for the crimes of humanity, but his character evolves into a mischievous juvenile who uses the universe as his playground for mindfuckery.

R – Rush

This photo is from the Rush concert I went to in 2010.

Thanks to my husband for helping me with this one (especially since it was moments after I freaked out at him about a situation with the toaster). “R” doesn’t really fall into my “stupid letters” category (see end of post), but I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head. Then he says, “Rush,” and I felt stupid. How did I forget this? I think it’s the only band both of us actually agree is awesome (sorry, honey, I will never love Iron Maiden), and “Closer to the Heart” was our first dance at our wedding. Awww.

S – Shrimp!!

I know, you thought “S” would be for Star Trek, right? Wrong. Unless, I was eating shrimp while watching Star Trek. Endless shrimp is typically the only time I will visit Red Lobster, because I can eat my face off for $14.99. I love all preparations of shrimp. Funny though, I never liked it until I was in my 20’s. Now, I can’t get enough of it.

T – Top Gun

I feel the need, the need for speed!

This is my most favorite movie of ALL TIME. I never get sick of it. If I find it on TV, especially during the weekend, you better believe I’m watching it while putting together my latest jigsaw puzzle. I can probably quote just about the entire movie from start to finish… I’ve seen it that many times. In fact, in highschool, my final grade in Drama class was in part determined by my group’s recreation of the scene where Maverick and Goose get that tongue lashing for the fly by of the control tower.

Of course, this movie was a blockbuster in 1986, long before we found out that Tom Cruise was bat-shit crazy. I must admit, it’s not the same watching it anymore, just because I think about what a freak show Tom has become every time I see it.

But those feelings are quickly washed away by classic scenes like this:

How many women do you suppose have been subjected to a recreation of this scene over the last 25 years?

Or this:

“I was communicating… keeping up foreign relations… you know, the finger.”

And of course, every woman’s favorite, the volleyball scene:

V- Volcanos

Nothing is cooler than this. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every documentary on volcanos that has ever been made. I just find everything about them so interesting. The photo above is of Kilauea, Hawaii’s most well-known volcano. It’s been erupting continuously for over 25 years. But there are other volcanos with cool stories:

Krakatoa

This monster sits directly above the subduction zone of the Eurasian Plate. It erupted in 1883, sending the majority of its insides into the air. After the eruption, the volcano could no longer support itself, and collapsed into the ocean. The resulting displaced water generated a massive tsunami, killing tens of thousands of coastal villagers. The photo above is of Anak Krakatau ( remember, Krakatoa collapsed into the ocean during the 1883 explosion) “child of Krakatoa.” Since 1883, the volcano has rebuilt itself, rising out of the ocean again, and growing VERY quickly. This sucker is a ticking time bomb… and will likely repeat the events of 1883 when it blows again. I find the geology behind this particular volcano particularly fascinating.

Vesuvius

Best known for the destruction of Pompeii in 79 AD, it last erupted in 1944. This is the classic stratovolcano that people picture in their head. Tall, with a picture perfect cone, and a well-defined crater at the summit. If you don’t know the story of Pompeii, google it. It’s crazy what happened to the villages near Vesuvius, and the preservation created by the pyroclastic flows.

I better quit now, before this turns into an entire history/science lesson on volcanos.

W – Wine

Seriously, how cool would it be to have a wine cellar in your home?

I know I used Moscato for M before. I guess I like wine so much, that it gets two entries (but if we’re counting, I believe food has gotten more entries). My favorite red – Chianti. That has never changed. I don’t think it ever will. White wine, on the other hand, varies for me. A while ago, when I wrote part one of “Things I like,” I was really into Moscato. Now, however, I’m sort of getting tired of it. It’s almost too sweet sometimes.

What am I saying? If it’s wine, I’ll probably drink it.

U – X – Y – Z

I’m not going to cheat and post bogus things that start with these letters just to satisfy all 26 in the alphabet. Do I really like Xylophones? No. Is riding a Zamboni on my bucket list? Negative. So instead, U – X – Y – Z, will be a small (or large, we’ll see where this goes) group of things that didn’t make the original list because something else with that letter trumped them.

Jigsaw puzzles

This is a photo of the puzzle I’m currently putting together.

I love jigsaw puzzles, and the majority of puzzles I’ve put together are photos of food (shocking, I know).

Chocolate

I chose this photo because it’s also a jigsaw puzzle I’ve done before.

Yum. I could eat it forever. Dark, milk, with nuts or fillings, caramels covered in it… I could go on and on.

Aveda’s brilliant hairspray

I am currently out of this. It’s mostly the smell that I love, but it also holds well without getting crunchy.

I’m sure there are others I had originally thought of including, but I just can’t think of them off the top of my head, probably because I’ve been at this for quite a while this morning. Anyway, while I was working on this, I also thought of a lot of things I didn’t like. I don’t think that’ll be my next post, but definitely one for the future.

Advertisements

Save Thanksgiving! A rant about America’s retail industry

I’m a little upset with my employer right now.

About two weeks ago, we were given the notice that our stores would be opening at 8:00pm on Thanksgiving night. Even worse, I found out about it through an article on CNN, not through the usual corporate Email that is sent to the store’s management. You’d think they’d have the decency to tell the employees first, and not the national media, but that is just another testament to their greed. They care more about letting America know their plans than their employees.

Yeah, I’m salty about this, ok?! What happened to Black Friday? Why has it quickly become Black Thursday? When I first started working in retail, 13 years ago, Black Friday started at 6:00am. We were always one of the first stores to open. A few years later it became 5:00am, then 4:00am, and now 8:00pm on Thanksgiving and staying open overnight through 10:00pm on the following day. 26 straight hours of Americans pushing and shoving each other to save $5 on a sweater (don’t get me started on how rude some customer’s can be on Black Friday. You had to wait in line for 10 mintues? Get over yourself. You chose to join in this madness. Don’t blame us for your stupidity. Didn’t you know you could get most of these things online for even cheaper on Cyber Monday? And you could’ve done so on your couch, in your pajamas, with a cup of coffee.).

I know that many other folks have to work on Holidays. Those who work in hospitals and nursing homes, emergency personnel such as police and fire fighters… but these are essential jobs that are 100% necessary on any given day of the year. I know I’m not the only one that feels for these folks on holidays, and appreciates their services.

Retail, however, IS NOT an essential function on a holiday. Why is it so important that retailers open a few hours earlier every year? I know it starts with one company trying to beat out the competition and others following suit to stay competitive and not lose sales to these other stores. If no one opened on Thanksgiving night, this wouldn’t be a problem, but last year a couple retailers did it, and now you have Sears (my employer), Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us all opening Thursday night.

It’s disappointing that the majority of my cashiers will not get to fully enjoy the holiday they so rightfully deserve, because of corporate greed. Do you think those working in the corporate headquarters who made these decisions will be working Thursday night? Nope. They will be enjoying their holiday with their families and have a great night sleeping off the wine and beer they drank after dinner, rolling out of bed at their leisure on Friday morning. What really set me off this morning was a quote from a spokesperson for Target, “Most of our employees are exited about working Black Thursday/Friday.” Yeah, right. Did you poll 4 of your associates who work at headquarters and have the day off? Last NBC reported that your employees had created a petition to stop the early opening, and within three days had over 200,000 signatures. I think your quote is more than a little skewed, sir.

Now I know retailers are trying to survive in a struggling economy, but I really feel like this is going too far. Everyone in my store will be working double shifts that day, and afterward going home to sleep off the madness only to do it all over again on Saturday.

I love Thanksgiving, mostly because I love good food. Sitting around the table with an enormous amount of food and chatting with family is the best part. Having a few glasses of wine and trying a piece of 3 different kinds of pie… it doesn’t get better than that. Can’t we preserve what Thanksgiving is really about? Nope. Instead of being thankful for what we have, I get to spend the day serving the greediest of Americans who will be out supporting this monstrosity.

What also really ticks me off are the folks who say, “Too bad! If you don’t like it, get a different job!” Yeah, ok. After 13 years in retail, I’m just gonna quit and become a lawyer or an accountant so I don’t have to work holidays. It’s not that simple, assholes. Then again, those who have this opinion will the be ones out shopping Thursday night.

Save Thanksgiving! It’s about families getting to spend time together and enjoying each other’s company, not about “what kind of shit can I get $5 cheaper by waiting in line for 3 hours?” It’s about the love and attention that goes into preparing a wonderful meal, not about, “how early do we open and capitalize on America’s greed?”

End rant.