Tag Archives: raspberry

I Am Famous AND Special

So, I’m officially famous. As you may already know, my dog became a local celebrity several months back. Yes, I was a little envious, but now that I’m experiencing my own rise to stardom, I’m finding it easier to deal with with those previous thoughts of jealousy and resentment that I had developed towards my pet.

Last week I was hired (without pay) to be a swimsuit model. How exciting, right?!? Not so much. I was given less than 24 hours notice to drop 15 lbs., hit the tanning bed 4-5 times, visit my girls at In The Pink and round up my swim suit from God knows where I had stashed it post-swim season.

*Sidenote: I was not actually asked to do any of these things – but I’m an avid fan of Top Model (don’t judge me), so I knew what was up. I wasn’t about to kick off my modeling career without proper preparation.

Come Thursday morning, I arrived to my photo shoot with a Starbucks Green Tea Frappucino in hand, a ghostly-pale tone to my skin, a five-o-clock shadow on my legs and a super-hot swimsuit in my bag. Hey, one out of four ain’t bad, right?

I got my hair and makeup done and I put my cute swimsuit on. I was ready to roll.

We started the big picture-taking process and I felt like a superstar. Okay, actually I felt like a complete dork, but it was fun and the photographer was nice, so I was excited. Technical malfunctions (i.e. genetics) spurred a sudden scrambling for various props – life jackets, towels, coats – anything that could be thrown around my neck and used to cover up my…genetics.

The photographer explained that my photos would be used in a Special Olympics campaign and that my genetics would not be so appropriate for such a thing. At this point, two thoughts occurred to me:

  1. Once again, my genetics were causing problems for myself and others. Damned genetics.
  2. I had been asked to assist in a photo campaign for the Special Olympics. Really?

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Stripper Shoe Sunday

While in Wichita this past weekend, we ate breakfast at the local Home Town Buffet. I like that place for a variety of reasons. The food is never-ending, the English muffins are grilled and the milk supply is limitless.

The typical Sunday HTB crowd is elderly and/or disabled (not exactly sure what that says about us, but whatever). This mix of people, coupled with the 50’s pop elevator music that plays over the audio system, makes for a fairly calm and uneventful dining experience. Every once in awhile, however, a primo people watching opportunity will walk through the door.

For example, I dubbed this past Sunday “Stripper Shoe Sunday” at HTB.  I saw my first stripper-shoe patron upon seating myself with my first plate of food. She was wearing black patent leather stiletto stripper shoes, with hot-pink heels. She wore skin-tight jeans (at least two sizes too small) and a see-through baby-doll  T-shirt that showed off her brassiere. She sat at a table with 5 small children and a man. Although she did look like she could have been a stripper, she didn’t much walk like a stripper. Maybe I’m being presumptuous, but it seems to me that a stripper (of all people) would know how to walk in stripper shoes. This gal did not. She stomped around the restaurant, filling wee glasses of OJ for the kiddos, and piling up plates of waffles for herself. She was a sight to see.

But then, about ten minutes later, another lady walked in wearing a pair of brown and tan stripper shoes. This lady carried herself in a much more professional manner. I thought to myself, “This chicky may not be a stripper at all – she may indeed be a professional.” Without asking – something I was not willing to do – I just couldn’t be for sure. But I was pretty positive this lady was not on her way to church.

I’ve never been really big on shoes. I know some ladies collect shoes like I collect free pens, but I’m more the type to find a couple pairs I like (usually a black pair and a brown pair), and stick with them until the very end. Loved ones end up having to pry my old, worn out shoes from my hands – or take them from me when I’m not looking and throw them in the trash.

But this HTB Stripper Shoe Sunday event really made me feel like I was missing out on something. These ladies had such fun, sexy shoes. Does that mean that they have fun, sexy lives, too? I’ve never owned a pair of stripper shoes. But if I had a pair, would I be a fun, sexy person? If I had a pair, would I strap them on, head out to the grocery store, and strut around like a proud peacock? Would I get all dolled up on Sunday morning, in my Sunday best, to hit up the local HTB?

This lady wore her stripper shoes to the last trade show I attended. She was working the booth. I saluted this lady for wearing these shoes all day long at a trade show. You go girl.

Trade Show Pumps

(Ever get to the bottom of your blog, and then realize that there’s a good chance it makes next to no sense to anybody but yourself? I’m afraid that just might happen here.)

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And On That Note…

Thanks to my Facebook wall, which posted a comment from my friend @soseman, who recieved a tip from her friend @michellelamar – I now have a new favorite site.  My boss says that I should take pictures of my notes and make contributions to the site (I write many notes around this office).  I like this site because it feels good to know that there are others out there who are just like me.

PassiveAgressiveNotes.com

This will be my first submission – I hung this sign throughout my office.  It was highly effective.

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It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s iJustine!

I’ve read some feedback from various blog sources that speculate this girl to be more than just an independent enthusiast of comedy, YouTube and Apple.  Some believe that iJustine is a carefully concocted branding effort for the Apple world and that her efforts are financially backed by the brand, itself (she promotes the bejeezees out of the brand).   iJustine denies these allegations, but I think that whether they are valid or not, the concept behind the allegations is brilliant.

We’ve been warned for years that all traditional forms of Marketing and Advertising would soon become about as useful as tits on a turtle.  And the innovators who have accepted this shift are absolutely reaping the rewards.  So, does it seem terribly unlikely that a major player in the game such as Apple, might have just generated one of the most intriguing and potentially effective viral campaigns yet–Without us even knowing it?

Like I said, whether the suspicions are true or not – this is not my point.  My point is that I think this type of “thinking outside the box” is exactly where our Advertising future lies – and boy is it exciting!

Buy into the hype, or not – Check out the iJustine brand.  I find her videos to be highly entertaining and I think her blog is excellent.

And Apple, if you read this and you do not have a contract currently in place with iJustine, let’s talk about the future of iMisty.  But please know, I’m not cheap.

ijustine poster

ijustine tattoo

ijustine

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It Gets No Better Than This, Folks – Wichita At Its Finest

When I was a little girl, I looked forward to the Wichita Riverfestival every year!  This event–an annual outdoor 2 week party in Wichita, KS–pulls out all the stops with carnivals, street merchants, food vendors,  music, parades…The whole nine!  Out here in ‘the Big City,’ you guys have something very similar–I believe you call it “First Fridays,” but back home in ‘ol Wichita, we get down once a year and we get down for 24 days straight!  (Top that big, Chief fans!)

My mom was so great to me and my sisters when we were little.  She would load us up in our little, red wagon and throw her big, blue canvas bag over her shoulder–loaded with trail mix, goldfish crackers and cheesy poofs.  She would pack a cooler full of drinks and then she’d haul us down to the festivities.

I’ve got a bad-ass mom and a couple of pretty great sisters.  Those factors combined with funnel cakes, cotton candy and sun–It just didn’t get any better…

I have tried to re-attend the festival in recent years past–attempting to chase down those nostalgic feelings of my childhood.

I owe a major shout out to my mother who did all that she did to creatively mask the harsh realities of the true ‘face’ of Wichita and it’s big, bad festival.  It’s not as pretty through my adult eyes…definitely a whole lot weirder.

Cheesy poofs, funnel cakes, concerts and bathtub races are a thing of the past!  Here are my new favorite parts of the annual Wichita Riverfestival:

  • The fella in the dirty clothes that sleeps on the bench in front of the Wichita Public Library and asks for “Aeaa one dollear, ma’ammm?” each time you walk by
  • The woman with the little SmartCar (that she identifies as a baby stroller) which she uses as a plow-tool to mow down the people who do not jump out of her path quickly enough
  • That little, 17 year old girl, who wears the extremely short denim cutoffs and low-cut spaghetti strap tank top–Lots of mascara and the Hannah Montana scrunchy around her wrist (oh wait, she’s only 12…)
  • The young boys who walk in packs, 7 or 8 abroad, who despite their lack of manners (insofar as to actually step aside to allow others to pass the opposite way) must be given props for their coordination efforts.  Many of them are able to balance a baseball cap atop their head, hold a straw to their mouth with their left hand, and maintain just enough pants-coverage over their crotch with their right hand to pass as “legal.”
  • The group of crack fiends who may or may not have just met that day (the longevity of the relationship doesn’t really matter all that much when dope is involved), but appear to be having a blast!  Shampoo, teeth, laundered apparel–all optional.  (These guys aren’t so bad–But I just can’t help but cringe when they rub up against me in the hot, sweaty crowd).
  • This fella:

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Fat Fingered, Funny Monkey

Evidently, I have earned a set of the world’s fattest fingers.

My dear, sweet husband surprised me last night by turning off my existing mobile flip phone, and replacing it with a fancy, new touch phone.  I was so excited and I felt very loved.  But all of the warm fuzzies were immediately followed by feelings of confusion, ignorance and utter bewilderment.

I not only have no freaking clue how to use my little Blackberry Storm, I find that when I attempt to use it, I end up pushing buttons accidentally and deleting email messages without intention.

I even took my little phone back to the Verizon store (twice) to get a little rundown.  Those kids just buzz through the phone and punch the little buttons like it’s their television remote control.  When I leave the store, I feel semi-confident again; but I quickly find myself fumbling around on the high falutin’ touch-screen key pad like a monkey on the self check-in terminal at the airport.

They tell me it will “take some getting use to.”  Gee I sure hope so.  (This could get very embarassing, very quickly).

funny_monkey

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A Whole New Type of Roofing Scam (And the Story of Lacey’s Bad-Assedness)

I received a phone call a few weeks back.  A couple of guys that I formerly worked alongside were working successfully in the Texas area doing insurance roof sales.  They asked me if I would be interested in coming on board with
them.  The opportunity was lucrative (especially in this economy) and the job offer gave way for an exceptional travel opportunity, as well.  They were looking to fill the position immediately, so I was asked to give a response as soon as possible.

I visited with my husband about the details.  But in the end, declined the position for a number of personal reasons.

I made the phone call to the Roofers in Texas and I declined the opportunity for myself, but I recommended somebody equally as qualified with a stronger
administrative background than even I had.  I offered up my sister, Lacey.

The guys asked 20 minutes worth of questions before hanging up with “Thank you, we will keep her in mind,” before calling back to ask a few more questions.  They were clearly interested in bringing Lacey on board, instead.

They called Lacey and spoke with her for an hour or so.  They discussed her
background, her personal life, her abilities, her expectations, her skill set. They offered her the job and they said they needed her to come to TX right away.  She informed them that she had hoped to finish out her school semester first–and that because of school, she would not be available until 3 weeks out.  Lacey told me she could feel the urgency in their voices.  She knew that if they had had it their way, she would have found herself on the very next trip out of town.  Lacey was asked to take a couple of days to make her big decision, and to call back ASAP.

You may or may not know my family very well.  We are Johnson’s.  We really don’t leave the Wichita metro for anything outside of vacation time.  Our furthest living relatives live in Clearwater, KS–and every year, come Thanksgiving, we all reunite for turkey dinner.  Extensive travel is not involved–Everything brought to the potluck table is homemade, hot out of the oven–And very little catching up is necessary because very little changes occur from year to year (with the exception of the occasional addition of a powder-smelling, plump, little baby).

Well, despite this long-standing tradition, Lacey chose to break out of her box.  She called the Roofers up and accepted the out of state job.  She decided to take a risk and stick her neck out there.  We were all so proud of her.  The Roofers were excited, as well.  Her start date was confirmed and they told her that they would go ahead and secure her apartment for her.  Lacey told them that she would go ahead and place her 2 weeks notice with her current employer and that she would talk to them soon.

The pride that Lacey exuded was like none I’ve seen before.  She felt like she had really made a ballsy move.  And we felt the same.  A week went by, and those of us around her began to accept the reality that she would be leaving very soon.  Plans began to form for going-away parties, packing, hauling, etc.  Her excitement built and our bitter-sweet sadness grew.

With 1.5 weeks left to go, Lacey received a phone call from one of the Roofers.  He informed her that he was quite sorry but that ‘things had changed’ and that they ‘no longer needed’ her in Texas.  Lacey, at a loss for words, didn’t say much.  The Roofer said that his associate would call her in a couple of days to discuss the possibility of opening a Kansas City office with her.  So the call ended.

Lacey’s position with her current employer was so valuable that as soon as Lacey placed her two weeks notice, a new girl was brought on board for training purposes.  Lacey’s old job was gone.

Lacey went from feelings of opportunity, open door and new growth to those of regret, embarrassment and “2 steps forward, 3 steps back.”  The family was furious, Lacey was heartbroken and the Roofers were nowhere to be found.

The Roofer’s associate never called Lacey back.

At this point, the men refuse to receive or return any of Lacey’s phone calls.  Perhaps some part of their conscience doesn’t agree with what they’ve done?  Perhaps they really don’t give a damn and they’re really just that rude.

Either way, Lacey’s outlook on this series of events is something I admire and respect.  She spent about 20 minutes crying and feeling sorry for herself.  But from that point forward, she accepted the outlook of “Everything happens for a reason,” and “This is the way it is supposed to be.”

She has not once badmouthed the Roofers.  She has yet to freak out about the idea that she (as of last Friday) has no source of income in an economy that will not be able to offer her any favors whatsovever.  She has remained her typical happy, bubbly, ‘life will go on,’ self.  Lacey’s inner ‘bad-assednes’ has definitely been triggered.  If I am the big sister, why do I feel like I am the one receiving the big lesson, here?

Lacey’s new job will come along when it is time.  I will continue to reflect on her ability to not look back and to live today with no regret.  Life throws us punches and we get right back up.  Yes, it stings.  But it also gives us tougher skin.  (Better stock up on the Lubriderm).

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(By the way, this photo was taken post ‘screw-you’ from the Roofers at Lacey’s birthday celebration.  While she does wear the color pink quite often, she does not typically sport pink, flowery leis).

laceyjohnson2003@yahoo.com

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