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When I worked for Sony, I ran into a couple of celebrities. I've never been one for screaming or losing my dignity just because someone's famous so I have no cause to look back, embarrassed. I've talked to Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada one of the many times the Yankees were in Kansas City. Now, I'll be honest: I don't follow sports. When they came in, wearing jeans and tee-shirts, I thought that they looked familiar but I didn't want to be that girl. You know, "Oh my god! *tee hee* You look like Derek Jeter!" Fortunately, the manager was in the store and announced it over the headset. They came in, looked around and were getting ready to leave when I looked up at them, "Guys, I don't mean to be uncouth but my (then) boyfriend is a huge Yankees fan. May I have your autograph?"
Jeter looked over my shoulder, "Only if we can have a free computer."
I smiled, "Sorry. I'm not that cool."
They laughed and gave me their autographs.

I offended Jimmy John Liautaud when he came in. He wanted several things and presented a black American Express. I had no idea who he was or what this fake looking thing he handed me was so I asked to see his driver's license. He looked at me oddly but showed it anyway. Despite that, I had the highest sale that day.

I didn't get to talk to him, but Lewis Black is very quiet in person.

And the one I'm most proud of is, of course, one of my favorite authors, Patricia Kennealy- Morrison. I fell in love with her books at Emporia State but didn't think of writing to her until I found one of her websites by accident. It listed a P.O Box so I wrote her a note expressing my admiration. Not long after that, I found her 'blog and petitioned to be added to her friend's list. I've always found my interactions with her exceedingly pleasant and polite... and the best part... she interacts with her fans! There's none of the standoffishness that one associates with writers like the late J.D. Salinger.
danika_ni_sidhe: (Default)
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I look for people who are honest about and to themselves and others, discreet, intelligent, sensitive and with a dry sense of humor. Unfortunately, as I have a Messiah Complex, I usually end up around the unrepentant liars, the melodramatic, the whiners, the chronically inactive, and the users.

I am an incurably naive pragmatic optimist. I love to believe people when they tell me things but I hold out just a little bit for the possibility that they're lying to and/or using me. I hope and I hope that I'm wrong but over the years I have learned this: if I can't picture it happening, it's not going to happen. Now I am stuck in the unenviable place of trying to weed those out of my life who do me no good but I keep them around because of the naive hope that they WILL (or have) change(d) and they'll be the people I picture them being. I need to stop worrying about hurting their feelings or any attendant drama and worry about ME.

The one time I stuck to my rules, I found my husband. If ever the Universe tried to teach me an object lesson, it was with him. I have many dear and stable friends who are everything I would ever want in a human being but I find myself spending way too much time worrying about the ones who aren't.
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I have a couple. In middle school, I loved the main character of Jean Auel's Earth's Children series (which started with The Clan of the Cave Bear), Ayla. She was beautiful, extraordinarily competent and intuitive. She spurred me to try to learn a little bit of everything so I would never be at a loss.

Once I got older, I discovered Aeron Aoibhell from Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's science-fiction/fantasy hybrid series The Keltiad. The Ard-rian ("High Queen") of an interstellar empire, a Ban-draoi Domina ("Lady Woman Druid", a leader of that order) and a Fian warrior, she reminds me that strength comes from within, and passion must be guided by forethought, not simply gut reactions. I have a Spanish temper- she has an Irish temper-and she reminds me to take a deep breath and act from a position of strength instead of just anger.

I try to use their example in my every day life because I find it makes my life easier to gather knowledge and act from that instead of flying melodramatically off the handle. I admit it's easier said than done.
danika_ni_sidhe: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I live in a suburb of Kansas City, MO. I know the perception of our town is that of a podunk one-horse-town but nothing could be more wrong. I'm not a native but I love it here because we have all the benefits of big city living, with few of the inconveniences. That said, if I had out-of-town guests, this is what I would do:

1. Take them to Weston to O'Malleys, the wine cellar turned bar, for an evening of Irish music and great drinks. If they came in October, we'd go to Irish Fest to hear Connie Dover.

2. Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, one of the premier art museums in the country. The second floor is dedicated to Asian art.

3. Go to Vulcan's Forge/Aquarius in Westport, a New Age/Jewelry store. After that, we'd wander around Westport.

4. Visit metropolitan Kansas City: downtown has the River Market, The Steamship Arabia exhibit (a steamship crashed in the 1800s and when it was found years later, just about everything in it was perfectly preserved!) Liberty Memorial (for World War One) and Union Station/Science City.

5. Drive to Lawrence, the home of the University of Kansas. It's quirky large university town, with a small town feel. We'd wander up and down the main road, Massachusetts, called Mass Street, looking at the one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.

6. Go to Indigo Wild in the Warehouse distict. They make and sell natural and organic soaps, make-up, oils and the like. I love their almond scented and frankencense and myrrh scented bath products.

7. Take a tour of FT Leavenworth. I lived on post for many years, off and on, and used to work for the Frontier Army Museum Gift Shop. We would take a picnic lunch and take a walking tour to see the Buffalo Soldier Memorial, the old historic homes - if they visit during the spring, we'd get tickets to the Tour of Homes- the Memorial Chapel, the Frontier Army Museum and the National Cemetary.

8. If they were here in the summer, we'd go the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs.

I don't care for Kansas City- style barbecue so I wouldn't take them to Arthur Bryants or to Gates but I might take them to KC Masterpiece. If we felt particularly pretentious, I might take them to the Country Club Plaza for high-end shopping. I used to work here too; If nothing else, it has some great restaurants.
danika_ni_sidhe: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I grew up a devout Roman Catholic. I went through most of the sacraments, sang in the choir, brought up the offering and acted as a lector. When I hit Confirmation at 12, the lay minister teaching the class told me "Shut up. You lack faith." when I asked genuine questions about Catholic dogma. He didn't refer me to the parish priest or the Bible, just shut me down. It destroyed me. I discovered other holes in Christianity that I couldn't reconcile and stopped going willingly to Church.

I converted to Paganism at the age of 19 when my hobby of astronomy and Greek Mythology culminated in discovering that people still worshipped those Gods. Something resonated with me and I converted. I'm almost 30 and I've never looked back.
danika_ni_sidhe: (Default)
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I used to work for Sony, in one of their boutique stores as a concierge. I greeted the customers at the door and directed them to either the salesperson I thought could help them the best or to the product they needed. A guy walked in and asked if we had a cord for his laptop. I asked him for the model number of the computer he had so I could look it up in our system to make sure we had it in stock. He told me it was a Toshiba. I replied, "Sir, this is a Sony store. Unfortunately, we only have cords compatible with our laptops..." Before I could look up where he could get a compatible cord, he blew up at me and asked to speak to a manager. When the manager came over, he screamed at her that I had an attitude problem and that he just wanted a "G-d damn cord for my Toshiba!" She blinked and told him that he was in the Sony store and that we only had cords compatible with our laptops, in the exact tone I used. He threatened to call the DM and stormed out of the store.

Customers like him helped solidify my decision to leave customer service.
danika_ni_sidhe: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. As quoted from The United States Constitution.

The original motto of our country was E Pluribus Unum or "Out of many, one" referring to the strength received when many joined together for a single purpose. It wasn't until 1956 that, during the Red Scare and McCarthyism, the 84th Congress replaced E Pluribus Unum with "In God We Trust" to differentiate between Us and those "Atheistic Communists." It has withstood many challenges because the 5th Circuit Court has determined that, despite mentioning a diety foreign to non-Abrahamic religions, it does not endorse religion. (source: religioustolerance.org)

I believe that decision solidified our path down the slippery slope on which we find ourselves, especially during an election time. It seems that the candidates base their platforms on their Christianity. Every time I hear it, I want to hurl something and scream that Christianity does not possess a monopoly on principled uprightness of character. As so many know, I practice a religious philosophy other than Christianity. I am able to follow the dictates of my conscience, rather than that of the majority, because people like my father are willing to give up their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to ensure my ability to practice what I believe correct. But what happens should a religion like Buddhism or Paganism come to represent the majority? Would our country be torn apart by those unwilling to concede leadership to someone not like them? I don't believe the religious beliefs of the President have anything to do with his or her effectiveness as a leader. One can be a good, upright and just person and be an Atheist. And while I understand at those who practice Christianity believe inherently in the rightness of their path and most have a sincere belief that bringing nonbelievers into the fold really does benefit their soul, I also believe that everyone has the divine-given right to pick their own poison. I'm not saying that religion is bad, nor am I saying that Christians are bad, but we are guaranteed the right to choose our own path. Why else were humans granted free will?

I do not believe that the United States, both as a governmental entity or as a living entity made up of 305,275,000 individuals (as of 11:33 AM CST on 28 SEP 08 according to the US Population Clock) would benefit from becoming a theocracy. We have enough issue with our status a Republican Democracy. If anyone tries to make Christianity the official religion of the United States, it would have the same effect here as the banning of religion has in China or the former USSR. Secret enclaves of religions would spring up, thus defeating the purpose. I won't force my beliefs on you if you don't force yours on me and we can agree to disagree. Pray for me, if you must, but leave my faith alone and I will fight for your right to disagree.

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June 2010

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