Oh what a week it has been...

So if you are fiercely dedicated to this blog (and why wouldn't you be? It's basically the best thing on the Internet. ...right?) then you noticed that I didn't post a single thing last week. 

And none of you panicked.

Which I assume means that you all were following my Instagram story very closely and you knew how insanely busy I was at a work conference. 

But you have no idea...

Let me take you through my week of absolute insanity: 

Monday: Woke up at 2am to drive to the airport for my 5:40am flight. Luckily the whole WHO AM I debacle got solved in the nick of time, so I ended up making it through security no problem. 

At 11am, I checked in at my hotel in Memphis and promptly NAPPED MY BUTT OFF. It was glorious.

Monday Night-Thursday Night was spent LEARNING ALL THE THINGS AND MEETING ALL THE OTHER BOOKSELLERS AND AUTHORS IN THE LAND AND IT WAS GLORIOUS AND THE MR REALIZED MY EXTREME AWESOMENESS: 

The Mr reacted appropriately when he found out I met @hankgreen. #wi13

A post shared by Emelie Samuelson (@awkwardlyaliveblog) on

It was amazing. And exhausting. But mostly amazing.

Friday: Flew home. Read three books. Very happy.

Saturday: Back to work at the bookshop all day and then immediately after work I went up the street to the church where The Mr and I run the youth group. Saturday night was, of course, our annual overnight lock-in. We "slept" for maybe 5 hours. Maybe. Once again, things were amazing and exhausting.

Sunday: Up at 7am to make breakfast for 15 teenagers before church - skipped out of church early to head to the bookshop where I was hosting a dinosaur themed birthday party for a dozen toddlers. This is when things REALLY get crazy.

The birthday party was scheduled for 12-2pm. So imagine my surprise when all of the guests show up at 11am. 

Me: Hi!

Birthday boy's grandmother: Hi!

Me:  So... I had noon?

Her:  Oh no. I sent out invitations that said 11-1...

Me: Great!

So... cut to a dozen phone calls to reschedule the pizza delivery and also to get the birthday boy here on time, which was harder than one would think, since his mother wrote down that the party started at 1. 

YEAH. 

Did I mention how little I had slept at that point? VERY LITTLE. 

But somehow, it happened. It happened in a blur, but it happened. The pizza showed up at noon instead of 1pm, the birthday boy got there by 11:20, and I went to bed at 3pm and I think I might still be sleeping now as I type this. 

All I know is that it's good to be done with it all and back to blogging with you wonderful people. 

Good night. 

"Hey! You're Great! I love you! ...Too much?" or "A Midwesterner in New England's Court."

I get teased a lot for being such a friendly Midwesterner. I never really noticed it until I moved to New England where everyone is very into their privacy and conversations are minimal with strangers. Thankfully, I work in retail, so my sunny disposition is a skill rather than a nuisance, and it ends up working in my favor, but if I didn’t have books to sell, I don’t know what I’d do with myself. I just like talking to people. I like hearing their stories and what they have to say, and I genuinely believe that if you’re nice to others and take an active interest in people, they’ll either return the favor or pay it forward (or both, if things go really well!), and that’s something I can be proud of. As someone at work put it, “everyone is Emelie’s best friend.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days and I have my bad moments during my good days when I’m not as nice as I could have been or I say something truly awful and stupid to or about someone, and I almost always feel remorse over those moments. I do get annoyed with people and there are people who I just don’t like or don’t get along with, but I’d like to think that I give everyone an honest shot before deciding whether or not I like them. I do my best to be nice to every cashier and every barista – after all, coffee is my lifeline and if I’m not nice to the barista, things could end up very poorly for me – and I try and make sure that each customer who walks into the bookshop knows that I’ve seen them and that I’m happy to help them find a book if they need me. A lot of that has to do with my job, yes, but I think that it’s mostly just in my nature. I just happened to find the career that works best with my personality.

So, yeah, when I answer the phone, my voice goes up an octave, and when I ask how you’re doing, I really do want to know. It’s not forced and it’s not fake; it’s just… happiness. It’s love. I operate out of a love for what I’m doing and for the people I’m talking to, and even if some think that it’s too much, I’m not going to stop. I am nice. I am happy. And I’m unapologetic about it, because if any of that can transfer from me to you, then you bet your butt that I’m going to keep doing it.

Sorry, New England. You’ve got a loud Midwesterner in your midst and she’s here to stay.

Creepy Things My Teenage Co-Worker Said to Me

Working full-time in a bookshop provides me with almost endless entertainment. Bookish people are kind of the best people on earth, but they're also the weirdest. Okay, maybe not the weirdest, but they've at least got a category on the Wheel of Weird, which I so wish was an actual thing. This might need to be a summer project. One of my co-workers is fresh out of high school this summer and working with him is always...memorable. Don't get me wrong, there are definite upsides to having a teenage employee. He does all the lame tasks that none of us want to do, like breaking down boxes or helping customers, and while most teenage employees have a tendency to play games at work or sleep or text, my teenage co-worker has discovered a new way to pass the time at his job: Mess with Emelie's mind. This is great because I'm not already a little off my rocker, so I needed a good push in that direction.

Me: Hey, dude, there's a bunch of boxes to break down out back, could you take care of that when you get a chance?

TC: Sure.

Me: Thanks.

TC: ...

Me: ...everything okay?

TC: ...If I came back with blood on my hands and shirt would that disturb you?

Me: ...what.

Ten minutes later

TC: That box screamed as I cut its throat. How does that make you feel?

Me: Dude. There are children in this store right now! What is wrong with you?

TC: So... disturbed, then?

 

This week from my teenage co-worker-

After minutes of working in silence...

TC: Hey... 

Me: (typing away at the computer and not looking up) What do you need?

TC: Would it freak you out if you showed up at work tomorrow only to find out that I never existed?

Me: (stopping everything and making very direct eye contact) Why would you ever say that to someone? That is terrifying.

TC: (walking away and shrugging) Can you trust your own mind?

Me: We both know that I can't! I will get you back for this...

 

Connecticut is awesome and ticks are Satan's curse on the world.

Okay, so I have so much to tell you all and I've missed writing this week. To be honest, it's not that I haven't had the time. Many of my friends and family will tell you that I've been bored out of my mind and begging them to Skype me, but now that I've been here almost a week, I'm starting to kind of mentally adjust to all of this and HOLY CRAP CONNECTICUT IS AWESOME.

Also, get ready to deal with my insane ramblyness for a little while, because while I'm finally starting to settle, my brain is firing on all cylinders right now, and I've been drinking caffeinated tea and it's making me all WEEEEE!!!!!

The boring stuff first: My job is great. I'm really psyched to be working in a tiny bookshop 40 hours a week and everyone is really nice. Blah blah blah.

I'm really sorry if that sounded braggy. It wasn't meant to be. Probably.

Okay, done with the work stuff. Time to play. This next part will definitely be braggy.

Two pictures:

20131030-202907.jpg

 

20131030-202824.jpg

So yeah. Be jealous. I don't mind.

However, there is a price to pay for this type of living... other than the fact that it gets dark here at like 6PM and I have no friends outside of the Internet...

THIS PLACE IS A FRACKING TICK FACTORY.

I'm not kidding, you guys. I pulled 31 MOTHERFRACKING TICKS OFF MY DOG YESTERDAY ALONE.

And then I created a tick graveyard in a tealight candle, because THOSE BITCHES DESERVE TO BURN. I should have let one go so he could go back and warn the others...

 

For the sanity of us all, I did not photograph said waxy graveyard, because it's disgusting and no one should have to see that. You're welcome.

And don't worry, I went to the vet this morning and got the magic juice that kills those bastards on contact and now Gio should be fine.

 

So yeah, Connecticut is awesome other than the tick thing, but so far my life as a Gilmore Girl is off to a great start! I haven't found Luke's Diner yet, but I will. Oh! I did get to meet Ann Leary, author of The Good House, and she was quite possibly the most adorable and charming woman I've ever met in my entire life. Read her books. All of them. I bought her memoir, An Innocent, a Broad, last night and it's crazy incredible. Go to your local bookshop and buy it right now. Okay, I'm done rambling.

***

And now, in totally unrelated news, I found this badassery today and I feel it is only appropriate to leave you with it, because Haters gonna hate, and then we will outsmart them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz2jbCJXkpA

The Guy Was Probably Just Impressed with/Jealous of My Old Lady Impression.

Good morning, Duckies!! So yesterday at work, I had a very strange series of conversations...

Phone rings

Me: Thank you for calling The Book Shop! This is Emelie.

Older Woman: Yes, Hi! Is Michael there?

Me: Oh, I'm sorry. He doesn't work here anymore.

OW: I'm sorry?

Me: He no longer works here. He quit about a year ago.

OW: But... he just called me this morning to tell me that my book is in...

Me: He did?

OW: Yes! And I thought it was odd because I picked that book up weeks ago...

Me: Was it a voicemail?

OW: No.

Me: You actually spoke to him?

OW: Yes! We spoke this morning!

Me: Hm... well this is a mystery.

So, I took down her information and confirmed that she did, in fact, pick up the book in question a few weeks ago. I told her that I'd call her back if I found anything out, but otherwise, to just pretend like this whole thing never happened, which she was more than happy to do.

Me: Was Michael here this morning?

My Boss: No...

Me: You're sure?

Boss: Yes...

Me: He didn't come in to pick up a book and then... just started working? He does that, you know.

Boss: Yeah, he does do that... but I never saw him this morning.

Me: This is so weird! It's like that ghost story where the guy meets a girl and they go out on a lovely date, and then after he drives her home, he realizes that she left her sweater in his car. Being the gentleman that he is he drives back to go return the sweater, right?

My boss was staring at me with... perplexity at this moment.

Me: But then, when he gets to her house, he knocks on the door and this old lady answers. The guy is all "Hi! Is Betsy here?" and the old lady goes - and this is when I did my best old lady voice - "Betsy's been dead for ten years!" ...DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!!

At this point, my boss was cracking up and staring... past me... so then I turned around and realized that there was an elderly man standing right behind me. He had been looking through our bestsellers, but he was very clearly having a hard time keeping it together after listening to the crazy bookseller imitate old ladies in ghost stories...

So... I politely asked if I could help him find anything, which he politely refused. So I ran away to another part of the store.

Fortunately, I made my boss's day with all of that, so points for me, right? Yay!

 

In other news... 

I've auditioned for Blogger Idol! I know. This is so exciting! Hopefully I'll make it into the final 12 and then you'll all totally vote for me, right?

...right?

RIGHT??

Okay, good. :)

Anyway, this morning is not only awesome because of the audition, but it's also awesome because I woke up to a tweet informing me that I'm on "Where Bloggers Blog!"  You should totally go check out this blog if you haven't already. I often go to it when I'm daydreaming about having a real desk in a real writing studio instead of this:

photo

It's probably one of the coolest tumblrs I've seen in a really long time.

Anyway, have a wonderful weekend, Duckies!! See you on Monday!

The Little Bookshop that CAN!

Okay, everyone, so it's officially time for me to ask for your help. I work in a small independent bookshop, The Learned Owl,  in Northeast Ohio.

learnedowl

This little shop has been around for over 40 years, and I absolutely adore it. I've worked there for five years, and honestly all I've ever wanted to do with my life is write and work in or own a little bookshop. So... my dreams area already kind of a reality!

Here's the thing: The store is up for sale. Now, the owner doesn't want it to close! Heavens, no! She's just owned it for over 30 years and she's ready to take a very long nap. Who wouldn't be? The great thing about this shop is that it has survived so much already: I mean, how many of you have a small indie bookshop in your neighborhood? If you do, you're really lucky. We made it through the ebook battle (everyone should have a Kobo or the Kobo App for your tablet! It supports indies!!) and we're still going strong. Borders closed and left us with some more customers who valued the environment of shopping at a physical store, and now we're still around and loving our quaint little life. Plus, we have Ruby the Bookshop Dog:

ruby

We are not ready to close, and we're not ready to give up. We're a blessed store with a community of people who love us and want to keep us around.

Meet Kate:

Not the caterpillar. She's the one hiding behind it.

This badass woman is our manager/events coordinator. For now. She's ready to step into the big shoes and run this place, God bless her. This lady has been managing bookshops for something like over ten years now and she's so perfect for this job and this store. She just doesn't have the money.

This is where you come in.

Kate started an indiegogo fundraiser, and we really need your help. She's trying to raise $50,000 over the next 43 days. That $50,000 will go towards her deposit for a business loan so that she can buy The Learned Owl and keep it running.

If you'd like to donate, we'd love it. Everyone has that bookshop that they loved when they were little. Please let us continue to be that place for others! Even if you just donate a dollar, we'll love you forever!!

Also, if this doesn't work and we don't reach our goal, you get your money back! No harm done. So either you help and feel awesome, or you don't lose a dime and you can still feel great about the fact that you tried!

You can also follow Kate's (and the store's) journey on the blog that she started if you want to get to know her a little better (and yes, you do want to get to know her better) This woman is my hero:

The Owl's Next Chapter Blog

So what do you all say? Donate?

Thanks so much for all your support (both here and with this cause!)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO KATE'S INDIEGOGO PAGE AND DONATE! THANK YOU!!!!