Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Advertisement for a fellow writer (who doesn't know me; I'm receiving no commission)

I'm about to finish my third Bill Bryson book. That is, in full. I have read parts of several of his other books -- and the man has written quite a lot -- but haven't always had the schedule or attention span (not that the man can't hold one's attention, quite the contrary) to finish them.

Three years ago I blogged about my dear scribe, and should you care to peruse the post you may. Should you care to check a calendar you might note that I've been blogging for a while. Albeit occasionally intermittently, but...

Anyway, it's been nice to get back to ol' Bill. I guess I finished his autobiography last summer, so it hasn't been too long since I've paid him a visit, but even so, it's nice. I've missed ya, buddy old pal.

Oh, and you should get acquainted with Billy if you never have. My quick suggestion: start with A Walk in the Woods or In a Sunburned Country. But the man's written on all kinds of subjects, so if Shakespeare or science, for example, is more your thing, then he's got something for you there, too.

I'll let you get to the library now. A bientot.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How are we doing? Meh.

On Friday I was looking for a magazine. I headed to a couple of places that were close to my home to see if they had it. They didn't, but I wasn't necessarily expecting them to.

Before I headed over to a place with a more extensive newsstand, I called 411 first to double check if they carried it. I was connected to the store, I asked if they had the magazine, and I was asked to hold on.

I waited for about a minute, maybe a minute and a half. From what I could tell the employee was standing right there while I waited, I assume searching on the computer. I have no evidence of this, of course, but I don't get the sense that she was walking over to physically look for the publication (this assumption was, again, not proven, but largely confirmed for me later).

She reported back,

"We should have it."


I thought about asking if someone could go look, but decided against it.

Let me pause to note here that I had been to this location before I called. From what I remember, there are no employee kiosks on the second floor, so I assume this employee was talking to me from one of the phones behind the front desk on the main floor. The front desk is quite close to the magazine rack. In the amount of time she had me wait on the line, assuming she was not in a wheelchair or on crutches (even then, I think she had enough time; and yes, I realize I'm assuming a lot, but I think many of these particular assumptions are within reason), I believe she had plenty of time to walk to the rack, more than casually scan the selection, and walk back to the phone.

Also, while I was waiting on the line, I didn't hear a lot of typing, as if she were searching for information in the computer, although that is not to say she wasn't doing so. I don't think she was spending the time visiting the magazine rack, given her report back to me of "We should have it." But I also didn't hear her talking to a customer during this time, nor did I get the sense I was on hold--no spunky music, no recorded advertisements, etc.

Which leads me to assume that she was just searching a computer during that time (and typing quietly?). Or reading the last issue they had in stock of the magazine I was looking for, for all I know.

I drove myself over to the store, searched the most likely sections of the rack where the magazine I was looking for might be. I searched less likely sections. I didn't find it. Nor did I find an employee who was not behind the front counter or already helping another customer on the main floor (of these I believe I only saw one). So I got in line behind the customers who had something to pay for, waited, then got to the register and asked for help in finding the magazine.

A woman was recruited to help me. Without a lot of flair or pizazz in doing so, and by that I mean a lending a sizable smile, she looked for the magazine. It was not in the store.

Big. Surprise.

I asked where I could find it in town. She suggested I go to one of their other locations, neither of which was super close by, especially by L.A. traffic trends at that time of day.

Today I called another store entirely (I'll make this second story quick, don't worry) to ask if they had alarm clocks.

I was told they sometimes had them, but she couldn't guarantee that they did, and asked if I could call back in 30 minutes in order for someone to go look for me later.

I did not call back.

I would have rather been put on hold for 10 minutes while this employee finished up with a customer (if that was even the case; it was unclear; she told me that the other employees were busy with customers, but did not, if memory serves, speak for her own current hindrance in offering me assistance). Or, if I wasn't put on hold, I would have liked for her to offer to call me back. (I had already done my own research before calling by searching the website, but couldn't tell if they would have alarm clocks).

Now, I am not one to complain too much about customer service. If I am on a date with a man and he says something particularly rude about the wait staff, let me tell you that is a huge turnoff and quite telling to me about his character, or at the very least how I will evaluate his character for some time until he works pretty hard to reverse that evaluation. I don't like it when friends say rude things about employees who aren't doing a flawless job at every last moment. Etc. etc. I like people to give other people a break, and let them be tired and less than flawless sometimes.

But sometimes I've gotta complain.

People, get off your duffs, and go look for whatever it is I'm looking for when I call your store to ask if you have it. It is not that hard. It is your job. And it makes me super annoyed when you are not willing to do something very simple for me, your customer. Or maybe not your customer for long, if such service continues.

Currently I still plan to patronize these two businesses, and if service continues to be poor I would probably first patronize the same businesses at other locations, and then if service really went downhill would maybe stop buying from the business altogether. I don't foresee this happening, but I just thought I'd offer you my short and long term plans. But. I did largely stop attending a particular coffee shop whose staff became too nonchalant for my taste. I am not afraid to seek out other places to find magazines and alarm clocks, should it come to that. But like a first date with a man who maybe gives the wrong first impression but seems like a well-meaning guy overall, I will give you each another chance, two businesses who will remain unnamed here.

And in case you're wondering, I haven't tracked down the magazine, but I did find an alarm clock somewhere else.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Old lady is me

This evening I cross stitched in the kitchen while waiting for my lima beans to cook.

Is it possible for me to be more grandmotherly?

(P.S. Young single men of the world, please date me. I'm grandmotherly in a young, charming way.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bedtime for Bailey

I am putting myself in bed at 9 p.m. tonight.

I had an early morning yesterday, followed by a late night (i.e. to bed in the wee hours this morning), followed by a not super-early morning today, but an alarm clock was involved.

Sleep depravity aside (which I realize is not contributing positively), my emotions are doing their thing. Can I ever request my emotions to cooperate with my desires? Let's see if we can work on that. For example: Hey emotions, can we be happy today? All day? Or calm?

Thanks to all the people who let me chat their ears off this weekend; y'all help me get out of my own head, and believe me, I spend way too much time there. Thanks to Minus Ned for playing a great set last night, always have fun listening to your tunes and getting my dance on. And don't forget my special request for a cover of "Hate on Me" next time. ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's so fluffy!

I'd like to touch Roger Federer's hair. I pretty much think about that rather than his tennis game whenever I watch him play.

Admit it, you do too.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

That'll leave a bad taste in your mouth

This morning I was eating breakfast while watching the news (I can multi-task, but only in very small ways. I actually hate to read and eat at the same time. Serious.)

Anywho, on the news they started discussing a salmonella outbreak in cantaloupe.

I looked down and what was before me?


I didn't eat the cantaloupe (assuming I hadn't already had some before hearing the news either this morning or yesterday when I bought it), but I did partake of the watermelon and honeydew that was in the same container, so I'm not sure I really protected myself from harm...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

(Somewhat) little known fact (since a lot of people watch Ellen, and people have made similar comments on YouTube to what I'm blogging about)

Did you know Ellen can sing?

No, like for real.

I feel like she's trying to be funny in this video -- as well as show off her voice -- but her singing really beats out the humor here. She's got some pipes!

Here she is with Ms. Hudson, singing one of my favorite ballads. At first I called it a diva anthem, but I don't even want to put that title on it, because, as my brother recently reminded me that I like divas (it's true, I do), this song is more than that. It's too emotionally powerful to just be labeled with a "diva" description. It has diva talent and attitude, for sure, but it also has heart. Like whoa. Such a great song:

Monday, August 20, 2012

How to make me dislike your music

I was just listening to a song on 

It was OK. 

Then a harmonica started playing.

The song then received a "thumbs down" from me. Harmonicas and Bailey are not friends. Unless maybe I'm at a really fun, and I mean really fun, show at some country bar, with dancing. No dancing, then no overlooking the use of a harmonica and my dislike of it. That's the deal. 

Oh, and CraigyFerg is excused from playing the 'monica, because he plays it usually only briefly and he's so cute and funny. Which reminds me I need to get tickets to his show. If you'll excuse me. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some thoughts from a Christian who doesn't always feel confident about her faith

I am going to get a brain tumor with all the phone calls I've been making. I guess that's the consequence of moving far, far away from your family and friends.

Le sigh. Bittersweet.

I might spend my whole life trying to learn how to live by this: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." -- Philippians 4:11

Written by a man who was in prison. Yeah, I could learn a thing or two from such an attitude. But something I have been learning and thinking about regarding faith is that you can't will yourself to adopt an attitude. You certainly can't adopt a feeling. You can change your actions to try and nudge your feelings from bad to better, such as my choice to go for a walk just now and to call my brother and his wife while I was out. But I don't feel 100 percent at peace right now, no.

You also can't adopt a belief just at any moment, in the sense that you can tell yourself you're going to believe something and then immediately believe it. You can choose the faith and beliefs that come with it that you are going to do your best to live by and at least try and believe in. You can't suddenly make yellow your favorite color if really your favorite color is green. I am of the camp, however, that believes that it's up to God what our favorite color, so to speak, our values, choices, beliefs, etc., should be, and He will make a way to get us there and it is our job to trust Him or at least try to trust Him. Or, just wait (while walking through life), hoping to feel that trust until suddenly we do feel that trust.

If you live by a certain faith, some days you are going to believe it fully. Some days you are going to feel that belief fully. But whether you're first coming to a particular faith, or have been in it for years, it's a struggle. Our emotions fluctuate and that reality makes trust and belief very difficult.

But that's what they say faith is for. You choose to do your best to believe in the teachings that you trust, or that you want to trust even when you're not sure that you do. People outside of a faith sometimes laugh at that, but to me I can't imagine abandonment of my faith as a solution. Weathering my way through doubt, fear, depression, not being entirely or at all sure of what it is I hope to believe in; it sometimes honestly feels like I spend a majority of my time doing that. Frustrating as hell.

But walking away? Absolutely not. Sometimes I walk through things, not experiencing feelings of trust, or peace, or calm, or happiness. In those times I may not be able to say with confidence that I believe specifically in something that might seem very out there, in things I can't explain. Sometimes it feels like my actions result in little to no change. That cliche of feeling like no one is listening to your prayers is cliche because it's a common feeling. Or wondering why you're praying about feeling confused and lacking in your faith while people are starving, abused, screwed up by drugs, more scared and alone than I can sometimes feel. Yeah, I feel it all, a lot.

But walking away would make me feel lost. Where would I go? It's better to worry and at least hope what I want to believe in is true than to just worry without holding onto anything.

Feeling badly at times is inevitable as humans. And believe me, folks, I feel badly a lot. I have plenty of moments where I'm fine, too. Confident, accomplished, happy, having fun. So I don't want you to get the idea that I'm always one way or the other. In fact for me one of my bigger fears is not knowing how I'll feel from day to day, because like I said feeling badly is inevitable, at some point or another. Some people are blessed to feel happy and calm almost all the time. Others are not.

Choosing to believe in something outside of ourselves can help. It helps me, anyway, and I do believe with certainty that it helps others. While I can't always feel things happening in my life, or can't bring myself to trust that things are working out for God's will, I have seen so many people changed by their faith in God, and in Jesus.

You may be reading this and it sounds totally foreign to you. Or it might sound completely familiar. I'm just glad you're reading it, to either find comfort in common ground or to learn of a perspective that so many people of faith have. Sometimes I think people think that people of faith are just arrogant, or kidding themselves. A lot of times we're just trying to be content whatever the circumstances, because a man who was once in prison found a way to do so. I don't know if Paul's faith was unwavering, but he certainly felt there was some reason to try and make it so.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ryan Lochte aka Bailey's future BF update!

Rumor confirmed, people!

This is indeed Ryan Lochte in the courtyard outside my office. Thanks for doing the research, Nicholas.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pool buddies

I am getting closer to dating Ryan Lochte.

When I got off the elevator this morning at the office, there were a whole bunch of excited people in the courtyard.

Through the grapevine (please note, the grapevine does not count as a legitimate journalistic source, but depending on who you consult it might be considered more accurate than Wikipedia) I heard that Ryan was filming a commercial in the fountain outside.

I did not go to check out the situation more closely. I figure Ryan sees enough over-enthusiastic, teenage style behavior from femmes. I need to let him know that I'm a more calm and cool gal. And, the fact that he showed up outside my office today makes me confident that his sense of direction is pretty good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Let me play!

My friend Rosie was showing me around her home town recently and as part of the tour showed me where she used to make out as a teenager. Let me say that I appreciated that element of the tour. I mean it. That's a hilarious element of a tour. Don't argue with me on this.

I told her that since I didn't do any making out as a teenager, I find myself wanting to partake of the silly kissing activities of teenagers. Because while I don't have regrets about my late blooming, I don't want to miss out on things like Spin the Bottle and parking in cars to smooch.

And I realize I wrote about this not too long ago, but I introduce this subject matter as a segue into this video that I found. Per what you are about to watch below, should you choose to do so (you probably should), I just want to say that a)I want to be a part of an activity like this and b)this would SO not happen in the U.S. of A. Am I right, people?

Some highlights, for moi: the guy at 1:24, so casual! Which makes him endearing. Can you imagine seeing someone respond that way in this country? And the woman at 2:20, same question. I love their attitude! They're just helping out, like any good Aussie citizen. No big deal.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I was telling a friend of mine -- who's a teacher -- that while I was generally a good student, I used to occasionally get in trouble for talking in class during my school days.

If he could imagine that, I added.


Monday, August 13, 2012

My taste was popular 8 years ago

I'll tell ya what I like about The O.C.

The cell phones they have on that show are high tech for the time (early to mid-2000's) and supposed to show off how rich and spoiled the characters are. So, you know, to show us what people are supposedly jealous of, materially speaking.

And those cell phones look like my cell phone. Glorious and flip-tastic.

Love it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A little help?

I am not that great at making eggs.

Dad, could you mail me some poached eggs? Thanks.

Oh, and send Dibbs over while you're at it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day off to a good start

Second cup of coffee. Beautiful day outside with beautiful surroundings. Staying with a great friend from grad school. And watching The O.C. Hey, I can't forget where I came from while I'm on vacay north of Southern California. Okay, so I'm not from Orange County, but I am living in SoCal. So, ya know.

We're seeing the new Meryl Streep movie later. We're having a pretty good day here in Monterey.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This is really happening.

People, I have a gray hair.

I repeat, a gray hair.

Actually it appears to be white. I am not quite mentally prepared to pluck it for further examination to confirm the exact shade.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Smiting my forehead

So I've been on for over a year now, and I just now added the Louis Sachar Wayside School series books to my "Read" shelf.

This is not because I just now read them for the first time.

Nor is this because I just recently started listing books I read during childhood to my Goodreads account.

No, instead, somehow I just blanked on these until now. Not to use a cliche term, but I am shocked and appalled at myself for this. I loved those books. Still do. And they were some of my faves, not just up there with some other books, say a top 40. The Baby-sitters Club books were definitely near the top of my fave childhood reading list, so perhaps I was distracted by that when developing my Goodreads shelves. But the Wayside tales were on certainly on par with Ms. Martin's accounts of fictional New England child care workers.

I mean, to this day when I hear a reference to Stonybrook College, you better believe that I think immediately of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Duh. But mention the number 13 and, maybe not every time, but oftentimes I think of the nonexistent 13th floor of Wayside School and the teacher and the students who did not reside there yet were mentioned in every 13th chapter of every book.

My apologies, Mr. Sachar. Perhaps this was a case of "save the best for last." Your books were definitely an enjoyment for me as a kid--I remember highlighting some of the insults in one of the books with a yellow highlighter, on a family vacation to D.C., if memory serves. That may have been the first time I marked in a book, beyond a time or two I might have mussied up a book with some crayons before I understood that not all paper was for scribbling abstractly on. That's pretty significant, when you think about it. Do you remember the first book you marked in? I mean, I think the next ones for me might have been when I was in college. So the fact that 7- or 8-year-old Bailey was marking in a Wayside book is saying something. Seriously.

So again. Mr. Sachar, my apologies. And thank you, for the childhood entertainment.

Oh you have got to be kidding me, I hadn't added Holes either. Ridiculous. Bailey Kathleen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

New hobby

The O.C. depicts a high school life that has just about nothing in common with the one I led.

I'm also 27 years old.

But I keep watching episodes online.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Makes it all worth it

I just went for a run. It hurt. I'm out of shape. I stopped to walk a lot.


I found this:

and this:

in an alley. Jackpot. I'm thinking of hanging them up in my cubicle and calling them my cousins Charlene and Maggie, respectively.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Self esteem

I have been enjoying watching the Olympics (and, for the record, I think Gabby's my favorite of this year's athletes and...Ryan's a looker--phew!), but of course it makes me feel bad about myself, reminding me of all the things I cannot do and all the world records that I will never break.

But. I have been enjoying it. As this woman has been.

Kids Week on Jeopardy! on the other hand, makes me feel quite good about myself. When I got the answer right for what those things in croquet are called*, I did a little elbow pull down**.

**What do you call that, when you congratulate yourself and make a fist, pulling your elbow in toward you?? Anyway, I did one of those.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Low Sodium V8.

Afternoon snack of champions, y'all.

Or, for people who can't decide if they're 5 or 85.