Wednesday, August 31, 2011


One of the most difficult things about dealing with The Franchise Mother Ship has been the requirement to work with their so called experts. We really are 0 for 3 on that front. For example, we just got our design plans back from the guy we have to use, and he included a display case for a product the Franchise doesn't serve, and he put the espresso maker at the opposite end of the store from the coffee service bar.

And you may recall the fiasco with their real estate agent we had to use trying to get us into a mall and failing to realize, or at least share with us, that we were one of three stores bidding for a space, thereby causing us to start our negotiating low rather than at our planned rent. It became obvious to us right after we submitted the bid, and he just kind of played it off like, "you didn't know that?"

The saving grace here is that we believe in the product - that after all these shenanigans and we open our doors despite all their "help", we will provide a great product.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Yesterday, I crap you negative, I met a relative of the drummer from Journey. That guy. Alas, she is unaware of whether Steve Perry will ever reunite with them.

Also, there is a Kate Spade bangle at the sample sale that is all wavy - just like those plastic stacking bracelets from the early 80's. Remember those? I must have at least one. I wonder if I had been happily married in the 90's if I would have a similar affinity for, say, Nirvana and the return of plaid baby doll dresses.

Also, this makes me sound really old. I got married way too young to someone from Ohio and I was his second wife. And I was a mere infant when I was wearing those plastic wavy stacking bracelets (with my Panama Jack t-shirt).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Working Weekend

On Saturday I opened and worked a shift at the Franchise two cities over to get a feel for what it's really like, and get a feel for it I did. Once the highschool kids realized there was someone there willing to interact with the customers and take the register, they were more than happy to let me take over!!! I turned around at one point and everybody was gone.

I had fun. In fact, it was really fun. I am having all kinds of tooth clenching evenings over the festival that our Franchise is doing here in town in a few weeks because I just can't wrap my head around the logistics of it, but the store I can see now. Also, tip - do not commit to do a festival before your store is open. The collective blog world just went, "duh."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Franchise Update

I haven't talked Franchise for some time which is kind of remarkable because now we are doing stuff on a daily basis for The Franchise.

While it is still unknown whether we will be open this year (I know, can you believe this process?), we are days away from a signed lease, and have architectural plans under way.

The shopping area where we will be located has an annual festival in September that draws in 50,000 people, so we are operating a booth for that. How to serve our food product when we don't actually have a store to produce it yet has been a bit of a challenge, but our fellow franchisees a few cities over have been so helpful offering to train us and sell us products wholesale.

It is highly unlikely we will make any money at this festival as we have had to order so much stuff and obtain permits (that are all reusable), but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to advertise to 50,000 people that The Franchise is coming to town.

Its friggin' crazy. But if I wasn't doing this I would be watching reruns of Triple D. Really, at this point, reruns of reruns. And then I would start craving pork product and onion rings and think, hey, I could run a food establishment.

Bad Dog

I used to have a Boston Terrier. It now lives with my ex-husband, but that is a different story. The point is this - my ex-husband's house has been broken into twice, while they were home, with the Boston Terrier. Last week I read a news story about how someone broke into a home and they stole . . . the couple's Boston Terrier.

Accordingly, Boston Terriers are bad guard dogs.

I love this picture (from It looks like it is waiting in line for the Insane Clown Posse concert.

Also, in our incredibly busy lives, I do sometimes still cook. Still pleased from the excellent experiment with the fried eggplant, we tried the fried cucumbers from White Trash Cooking. Ewww. Just ewwww. The eggplant had an egg and milk wash, which helped the cornmeal stick. The cucumbers you just shook in a bag with cornmeal. The cornmeal didn't stick and we just ended up with soggy little vegetable oil sponges.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Theater, Orange Chicken and Luck

This weekend my husband announced that he got us season tickets to the theater again this year. I cried.

The first thing we gave up when I got laid off from big law was our theater tickets. I know. Cry you a river. I know people lost houses, medical insurance, dignity. And I know that there are a lot of people who still haven't recovered.

But it was a big thing for us. He took me to the theater on our first date, and there he told me about his two daughters, and how he liked to take them to the theater. Then, for the first couple years of our marriage, our theater dates were a constant. And each time, before the theater, I would get orange chicken. Theater and orange chicken. Mmmmmm.

Next month - our first show of the new season.

Every day I wonder if it could all fall apart again - and I know it could. I am at a privately held company now, held by a great big national company, and companies get bought and sold. The news is pretty convinced there is going to be a double dip recession. So I know that every day I get to go to work and every evening I get to go to the theater is a gift. Part of my ability to do that is hard work, but I know its also luck.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pre-First Impressions are the MOST Important.

My son's new 5th grade teacher sent out a letter to the class parents earlier this summer on computer paper decorated with crayon illustration of smiling sunshines and froggies. I, as an adult, refuse to read communications from other adults decorated in crayon.

So I didn't read the letter. And it turns out there was important information in said letter.

I don't care for this lady already. I know that's probably wrong of me, but I just have a odd feeling that this year is going to be an odd year with this one. We have a parent-teacher-student meeting this morning. I need an attitude readjustment, and quickly.

Also this weekend - finally a weekend at home. My son wants to paint his bedroom sea foam green and gold (how great is this kid) so I anticipate we'll be picking up paint samples at some point, but other than that no fun stuff like organizing the house and getting ready for back to school. Although, I am actually look forward to it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Killer Whale

When I said I would get him whatever clothes he wanted for back to school, I wasn't thinking killer whale outfit. Yet here we are. He wanted that or a blazer, and who wears blazers to school anymore?

Here he is demonstrating how killer whales kill things with supreme rubber band shooting skills.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back in Aspen

What I learned after rereading that last post is that apparently I at least need Advil to proofread. Also, giving up the Advil has not made the headaches any better. In fact, they have been stronger and more frequent than ever. I am not buying this rebound theory. I was out of town for business one day last week and that was the one day I didn't get a headache. I keep telling the doctors its something about this city - the altitude? the air?

As you know, I was also away last weekend for anniversary purposes. Aspen. I love that place. When we were in Aspen earlier this summer, I wondered if I didn't really care for it anymore. The natives were aggressively pretentious, and the family was complaining how expensive everything was which made me wonder if maybe it wasn't a little over the top. This time, however, I adored it again. The really curt girl at the Ink Coffee store complimented me on my JCrew resin necklace (although she did the give the guy in front of me a really hard time about his bagel), the natives were friendly, and while the coffee is more expensive there, I didn't really notice any difference eating out.

I sat in one of the chairs pictured above and read. Makes for a perfect day.

Every Damn Day

For a long time now I have been getting headaches every day. My doctor won't do further tests until I prove to him these are not rebound medicine headaches - that is, these headaches aren't caused by the Advil I take every day to get rid of the headaches I get every day. Then next week I give up the coffee to see if its the caffeine. I'm a barrel of friggin' monkey right now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

internet In heaven

There is internet in heaven right? Because theres a few things my mom would want to know. She could never have forseen what this family would become. Anyway, the part she never met and I are off on three day weekend for our anniversary. Thank God for him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

People Are Good! Hug The Bunny!

The good fortune continues!

My husband was having a root canal (okay, the good fortune not so much for him), so I had to take a cab to the mechanic to pick up my car.

Well, the cabbie is an out of work Cordon Bleu Paris trained chef. So we talked about his training and his career (under Charlie Trotter in Chicago) and how he came to drive a cab. Then we talked about The Franchise and running restaurants. And do you know what he did with the $75 fare? He said, "Just give me $20. We food people stick together."

I was then convinced I would be spending close to a grand for the clutch repair. Do you know what the mechanic said? No charge. No charge. No charge for even the diagnostic.

Wha? People are good I tell you. This whole experience has been life transforming.

Let's hug a bunny, shall we?

Thank you, whoever you are.

As you know, we were going to have a relaxing weekend and we were going to reset and there were going to be no more agro blog entries and we would all be hugging bunnies and sharing craft ideas.


It was 98 degrees and the great majority of the population was headed up to the mountains. It was bumper to bumper. I never let out the clutch to fully engage in first gear from the time I turned onto the highway until an hour and a half later when I could just feel the car was going to die. Panic. I was in the middle of three lanes of angry traffic.

In less than a minute from when I realized I had an issue and tried to pull over, the most terrible smell came from the car and it died. One person drove past and just looked at me. The next person rolled down his window and asked if I was okay. I think he saw I was totally out of my element. He then got out of his car, stopped traffic, and helped me back down onto the side of the road. Then he made sure I had a cell phone and apologized for having to go.

But it was okay because a tow truck pulled up just minutes later and the driver asked if I needed help. Now, I hate to judge, but I have seen episodes of Cold Case Files that start this way. But what do you do? He told me to get in his truck and he would pull my car. Then, perhaps sensing my trepidation, he added that his wife was in the truck. This did not make me feel a whole lot better. I have seen episodes of Cold Case Files that also start that way. But what do you do?

You just have a little faith and be thankful. Very very thankful that there are people who will help you when you are stranded on the side of a mountain. I have the tower's card, but have no idea who that driver was who stopped traffic for me. Thank you, whoever you are!

So now my car has been towed to somewhere in Denver, with its key, to some mechanic who didn't return my phone call all weekend. We just have to have a little faith.

Then the kindle broke, then my straightener broker. You know things break in threes. So that's done. As soon as we get the car back, we'll discuss hugging bunnies. However, I did reset a little bit this weekend and I am grateful for this little adventure because it reminded me that people are good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mmmm Mountain

Tomorrow after work I will meet my husband in Keystone. Ahhhh. Tomorrow night I will have the best tortilla soup in America other than the tortilla soup from the Blue Goose in Dallas, Texas. And then we will RELAX.

I will finish reading My Korean Deli and perhaps start another book. (I spent the entire week in the Indiana Code and Regulations so I have this reading momentum going and I want to devour more words.)

I will watch some episodes of Dexter and try episode 3 of True Blood.

And I'll just do some breathing, which is always nice in the mountains.

And then on Sunday I will rush home to meet my son who has been in Mexico with his dad. He sent me the most lovely e-mail today about how he has been cliff diving, snorkeling, and swimming with dolphins.

It is good to be us.

No Hazardous Pastries

In my research regarding this little venture my husband and I have embarked on I discovered this: You may not sell hazardous pastries in Colorado.

Pot and alcohol?

Hazardous pastries?
No. The State of Colorado will protect you from yourself purchasing and consuming hazardous pastries. I, for one, will sleep easier tonight.

It's also fun to look at the rules and regulations for handling dead bodies and running nail salons, neither of which are, however, our business.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flip Flops

I, generally, am not a fan of the flip flop. I broke down and purchased a pair from Brighton early this summer, as they came with a snazzy little silver alligator, and I do need something I can slip on my feet when I dump the coffee grounds on the roses. (This is the extent of my gardening - dumping trash into the bushes. However, tonight, when we were coming back from the Target, I deadheaded two roses. Not bushes. Roses. Only several hundred more to go. My neighbors hate me.)

Where were we. Flip Flops. No. Purchasing them in leather or with faux jewels does not make them so. Flip flops for taking out the trash? Yes. For a wedding? No. For work? No. I just had to share that because at some point flip flops became office attire and while I generally do not care what anybody is wearing at the office beyond me, I cannot get behind flip flops as even business casual attire.

It's Complicated

That is, the SBA loan application process. Sheesh. I know we have discussed this herein at other times. And at this point, I have no idea what we are signing our life away too. You get to the point where you just put people in touch with each other and they take first and second liens on your house, vehicles and bank accounts. And then you cross your fingers and hope you sell a lot of stuff.

And this should come as no surprise, but. Do you know what happens when you tell the Mother Ship that you don't want to use the chairs they have selected for our purchase because the other franchisees tell you they are not working for them? They say buy the chairs they selected. And do you know what they tell you when you say you want pellet ice (because, let's face it, everybody loves pellet ice) rather than the cubes they want you to produce? They say get the machine that makes the cubes. And do you know what they say when you ask if you really need a piece of $10,000 equipment when there are ones that end up producing the same product for $5,000. They say buy the $10,000 machine. We knew this, of course.