"the artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life."
- w. edward brown

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Long Overdue...

Well, the title says enough. I have no real excuse for the fact that I haven't posted lately.
But, in my defense, somedays the only things that change are the clothing I wear. And that's a good thing.

At times, retail can become very routine. You get new clothes in boxes, you unpack the boxes, you hang the clothes on fixtures, customers come and mess up those fixtures sometimes even choosing to purchase the clothing, and you ring the customer up, and wish them a good day, and then clean up the mess that the customers made. All in all, that's the retail routine.

However, due to the impending holiday season (i.e. Black Friday) things have been a little more exciting at work. I've learned to 'cash handle' and that lets me count in and out drawers in addition to being able to do more with the registers. It's more responsibility, and actually a lot of fun. I was trained for this because I'm full time, and next Friday, my job will be to stay up at the front by the registers and help the sales associates who are ringing on the registers. I will get quarters for them if they run out, I will get them more register tape when they run out, and I will be able to take over for them when they need breaks. I will also be auditing their cash drawers after they clock out, so another person can come in and take over at the same register. (we audit so that at the end of the day, the last person to ring doesn't get stuck with a mistake someone else made... usually its only a penny or two, but sometimes it can be more...)

And aside from the crowds and inevitable insanity that should be accompanying retail work this next weekend, it should actually be kinda exciting. At least there will be lots to do!

Aside from that not too much else happening. I did spend my last day off sitting at the DMV to get my Colorado plates, and now have to figure out how to attach the green and whites to the front of my car where no plate had gone before!

Oh, and here are a couple of pictures from the first snow of the season a couple weeks ago... and hopefully we'll soon have more... this endless summer/fall is kinda confusing on what to wear, compounded with the fact that I get up in the frigid early morning hours and sometimes by the time I 'm home in the afternoon it's very warm... so needless to say, layers are a good thing, but not always easy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


So things here have been busy.
The past few weeks I have been working 40 hour weeks, and keeping on my toes with all the fun things that that entails.
Today I found out that I'm officially full time starting tomorrow!
- While I was working 'full time' before, the difference includes benefits, assured hours (they can't hire someone and drop me to 20 hrs a week) and an increase in pay! I also get more responsibilities and tasks to do including some supervision of others and such...

Announcements aside, I'll catch you up to date on the few eventful things of the past weeks.

Last Sunday evening, I drove up to Silverthorn, CO to assist with the transition of the Old Navy Outlet there into a regular Old Navy store.
Aside from a meeting with the Arapahoe County Police mere minutes after leaving the house and getting pulled over, the ride was uneventful. (needless to say, the ticket was minimal, and I think he pulled me over because of th FL plates that are still on my car. The SUV ahead of me was pulling away from me, and the car behind me was catching up, yet I got the ticket... hmm) In my defense, it was the first ticket I have ever received, and I was mortified. Come to think of it, that was the first time I had ever even been pulled over. So is that a 1/1 a good thing? :)

Anyway, my little car made it over the mountains well, and I'm glad I had gotten an oil change and tire rotation on my day off the week before. The aspens in the mountains were just starting to turn gold, and as the sun was setting, I made it safely to the hotel that I was staying in for the next two nights. I had a room to myself both nights as they had extra rooms, and my manager Justin, who I was to share with got one of those! So I had a whole extra bed to lay my things out on and spread out.

Monday morning I was up early, 4:30am to grab some coffee on the way to the store. We had our first truck arriving at 6:00am and so we needed to be there a little earlier to set up and such. Silverton and Dillion, are really not much more than ski lodges and the rather large outlet mall that Old Navy was in. Supposedly the cities become more busy during ski season, but to me it looked absolutely dead while I was there. I met some nice people from other Old Navy's as far away as Grand Junction and Pueblo, along with the majority of workers coming from the Denver area stores. The nice thing was that the people who were there were all extremely hard workers and we got the mountain of boxes unpacked relatively quickly. The second semi truck of the day was only half full (the first was jam packed) and so I was out and back to the hotel by 4:30pm. I was sore, tired and ready for dinner. I went out to Ruby Tuesday's with a couple of the managers from other stores and two others from an Old Navy to the North of mine. It was a nice dinner and relaxing, which was needed after running (literally) for 9.5 hours of work.

Tuesday was basically a repeat of Monday, with the main difference being that I had to scrape my windshield before being able to drive to the store. After the single (full) semi truck was emptied, signs were put up, manikins clothed, and extra clothing backstocked, I was on the road home, enjoying the rather relaxing drive home through the mountains.

All in all, it was a really fun, but extremely busy trip. One of the side benefits to the trip was that I got to spend time with my store's DM (or District Manager) who is an extremely nice woman who I got to know and who even had me doing a few tasks for her, like moving things and setting displays. It's always good when an upper level person sees your Calvinist Dutch work ethic and realizes that you don't things by halves and then asks you do some more complicated tasks. Never hurts to show one's best to Management!

So now things are settling back to normal at my own store, and I'm getting back to the routine of the weekly schedule. It was fun to be away but coming back makes you grateful for the things that go better in your store. And it's always nice to have people say they are glad you are back. Even if I was only gone for a few days!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Notes From Retail...

I've learned a few things the past few weeks working retail. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Bad customer service, usually is caused by bad customers. (Seriously! though not necessarily the one being served at the moment, it could have been the crazy lady ahead of you.)
I know, people say no one is polite in stores anymore, but did you ever stop to think that maybe it's because the customers themselves are so rude that helping them is off putting? I am an intelligent person. I have a college degree. I'm a human being with feelings and emotions. There is no reason to get so upset and call me names when the computer has a problem, or the policies of a corporation which has to look out for itself (especially from people who want something for nothing) go against what you want, or when your card doesn't swipe or even enter manually and you blame me. I'm sorry, but if you are rude, mean, or grumpy and you lash out at me, you can bet I'm gonna ask you for 4 forms of ID and a blood sample, just to make you more ticked off.
Bottom line: Be nice and friendly to me and understand that while most things can be gotten instantly, it still takes a few minutes to ring up your purchases, and if there's a problem with your credit card, maybe it's because you didn't pay your bill (and don't get all mad at me telling me it's my fault you can't purchase your skanky tank top).

2. Read the signs!
Big one here. Just because the sign says 50% off or Two for $20, doesn't mean that it applies to everything in the store. Often, you have to buy two of the same style, and even if there is another promotion going on with a similar shirt, it doesn't mean you can mix and match. All the signs are (or should be) clearly labeled and reference the style numbers to which the sale applies, but do people read? No! In addition, sometimes people put things away in the wrong place, or even more common, other shoppers leave things in different areas of the store than where they are really from. Don't assume something is a certain price... because when you do, and then argue with me at the register and you're wrong because you can't read a sign, you make an ass out of u in front of me (and other customers... and then we roll our eyes at you when you leave).
Bottom Line: READ PEOPLE!! Admittedly sometimes things are mismarked, and you do need additional money off, but before you act all defensive and accuse me of cheating you and not giving you your money off, READ THE SIGNS!! It makes all our days a little better.

3. Screaming children, throwing temper tantrums, make me laugh.
I know, mean to the parents, but it just makes me giggle watching the parent struggle with the child and attempt all sorts of ways to stop the embarrassing display!
Oh, and if you want to spend hours in the fitting room, maybe leave the kids home and come another time when someone else can watch them. This mostly applies to the parents who are only buying things for themselves, which the kids see and being bored, usually start whining (leading often to the obligatory tantrum). Lady, if you don't plan on buying Johnny a shirt too, do your shopping when he doesn't see all the things you're not buying him, and definitely don't blame him for getting cranky when he has to spend an hour in the fitting room watching you try on everything, while he gets nothing... I mean $0.25 will get him a bouncy ball from the machine... at least let him be entertained while waiting for you to try on your mountain of clothing that you don't end up buying anyway. You see, to a kid, that was all just a waste of time! They just don't understand!

4. Just because you think you deserve the world handed to you, doesn't mean it will be.
I can't give you a discount just because you tell me too.
I don't need you to tell me that this shirt was on the wrong hanger. (It wasn't)
Don't tell me the girl in the fitting room told you these new shorts were on sale (she would have told you to bring them up front and have the price checked. And do you think I won't ask her what she said to you later anyway?) And when I won't give you the new shorts at clearance price, don't act like a brat and complain to the manager; they're gonna tell you the same thing as I did.
I don't need you to tell me how to do my job. I've had register training and you haven't.
Even though I don't like it, sometimes I have to stop and answer the phone. It's as much part of my job as helping you. Give me a second, and I'll put them on hold. Don't bark at me that I"m supposed to be helping you. (That person is important too!)
Returns are easiest when you keep your receipt, and don't try to exchange things over 90 days later for full price when you know full well that it's now on sale. I just can't do that.
If you tell me you know you're right in a snotty voice, I'll do everything I can to prove you wrong. Ask me nicely, I'll probably give you the benefit of the doubt.

Ok, so there it is. A smattering of things I've learned working retail, a few rants, and some interesting hints. Maybe people will be nicer in the future. Because believe you me, no one wants to help a mean jerk. And smile at your cashier! It just might make their day that much better!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Tonight during a pause in the ton of rain we have been having lately, I stepped outside to let the dog out, when to my surprise out back I saw not one complete rainbow, but two.
That's right, a full- more than half circle- double back to back rainbow. It was really intense and bright and lasted for about half an hour and then was obscured by more rain.
Cool while it lasted, for sure!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


So far work has been really good. I enjoy the people I work with (those I've met so far) and my managers are quite good to work for. No one takes themselves too seriously, and everyone tries to make things fun.

I work with a wide variety of people, from 15 year olds on their first job to some older gentlemen and women who just do this part time. And a whole range of people in between. Oddly enough, I am actually on the older edge of the age spectrum, at least in numbers of people who are younger than me... lots of college kids and high schoolers. But it's lots of fun.

So, I'm learning the store fairly well now, and while I occasionally have things I can't do on the floor, I am not able to direct people where they want to go, look up on the computer if we have merchandise, and price what things are. I also can markdown clearance items, stock shelves and racks correctly and I know the color order that the clothing is supposed to go in.

So lot of fun so far, and it has yet to be boring... which is a great sign, since I've only been working 2 weeks!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Some Nature

Here are some recent photos I took while on walks with the puppy. Hope you like them as much as I do!

All in all, a nice collection of wildflowers. And despite its painful appearance, the thistle bud is beautiful!

On a side note, I found out I will be receiving a job offer from The Shirt Folding Store this afternoon. Most likely, I'll be part time now, and then more full time in the fall when the college and high schoolers return to their studies. Should be fun!! I'll update as I know more.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Walk the dog

Tonight it is absolutely beautiful. Warm, with a slight breeze, and a clear sky with tons of stars overhead.

I decided to take the dog for a quick walk around the neighborhood to get her used to going out like that. Mostly we've been playing with her in the backyard because she isn't too used to the leash yet, but she's getting better so I thought, why not!

She did really well. She was a little frightened by some of the sounds and unfamiliar territory, but she didn't pull at the leash too much.

After we went around the block (well about 1/4 of the way around, and then back) I thought I'd grab my camera and catch a picture of the beautiful crescent moon.

Yes that's a house across the street, no you can't see it clearly because it's dark.

Now, I know you probably can't see it, but there are two streaks of light above the moon in this picture. They are two satellites of some sort, that were following each other in the sky.

No they were not planes, there are enough of them in the sky that I know what they look like. They were unblinking, and after about 3 minutes, where I shot about 5 pictures, they went beyond the curve of the earth, and winked out, as they no longer reflected the sun! It was super cool... trust me it was.

(If you click on the picture, it may get bigger and you might be able to see the streaks of light that are the satellites!)

Anyway, that was my fun for the night, now it's off to bed before my interview tomorrow!

UPDATE: Indeed if you click on the photo, you can see the streaks at about 10:30 if the moon is at the center of the clock face... pretty cool if I can say myself!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What to wear?

So for my interview tomorrow, I'm not quite sure what I should wear. Do I go with tie or no tie, black, khaki, or charcoal grey pinstripe pants, plain shirt with a tie or colorful shirt with none?

So I thought, why not give you examples to help me out with. So here they are:

Charcoal grey pinstripe with blue and green button up

Charcoal grey pinstripe with light blue and white strpied button up

Charcoal grey pinstripe with solid light blue button up with pink and blue tie

Charcoal grey pinstripe with solid light blue button up with yellow tie

Khaki pants with solid light blue button up with yellow tie
(could use pink and blue tie here as well)

Khaki pants with yellow and blue button up
(this shirt didn't look good with the charcoal grey pinstripe)

And to make matters worse, I also have plain black pants which would go with any of the shirts that I wore with the charcoal grey ones...

So my questions are as follows, and please answer:
1. Tie or no tie? if no tie, my shirt options open up more, but is it not as professional?
2. Which pants? the Charcoal grey ones are dressier, but are they good for an interview?
3. shirts galore! which one?

As of right now I'm leaning to the first one, the charcoal grey pinstripe with the blue and green stripe button up. But I'm nor sure if I need a tie.

So there's your mission, help me figure out what I need to wear.

Oh and one more thing, I'm interviewing at a national clothing store, not too dressy style, but still nice, so I do need to look like I have some sense of style!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


NEWS: Bob has an interview on Thursday!

I got a call from Old Navy today asking me to come in for an interview! I'm really excited and think that I have a good shot at getting a job there. Hopefully they will like me and hire me.

WEATHER: Nice day today, was cooler than yesterday which was a blessing, as it has be up to the 90's lately, and even just a little cooler is very welcome.

And finally: HEALTH: so while taking the puppy out this evening, I slipped off the concrete slab/step and landed very badly on my ankle. and then I fell on the grass, and the puppy came running up, thinking this was a new fun game, while I rolled on the ground gasping for air and holding my foot.

Thankfully, I didn't cry, that would just be embarassing. But, after the puppy was done, I hobbled inside and immediatly got some ice out and started chilling it. Now, I've taken the IB proufin, iced it for a few hours, and am trying to stay off it. But, we'll see how it is tomorrow.

Right now it't trhobbing, I think I need to elevate.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Mowing the lawn +
weedwacking +
emptying heavy catch bags of grass clippings +
almost 90 degree heat +
a man propeled push mower


a very good looking lawn +
a very sweaty me

The backyard...

The front yard!

Thank you Bee!!

So after some editing help, and some serious applying with assistance from Beth, I've added three more applications to my list of applied for Jobs.

These jobs are all in the secretarial line of work and are at hospitals in the area. With needing only a GED, I'm fairly confident that I have at least a shot at getting an interview.

I'll let you know what happens.

Resume and Cover Letter

Well, I just spent another two hours putting finishing touches on my resume and cover letter. It's a funny thing because the resume and cover letter that I worked so hard on in my senior seminar class is mostly useless in applying for real jobs.

Who wants to hear about the art shows I've been in when what they really want to know is if I can type and have people skills.

Thankfully I've had enough varied jobs over the years that I feel I am qualified for most of the jobs for which I am applying to.

Now let's just hope the employers think that!

I am also, in addition to the seeming legion of retail establishments, applying to Parker Adventist Hospital. Yes the same one Bee works at part time. But I'm applying for a Unit Nursing Secretary position which actually sounds like a lot of fun. They are the ones answering the phones on the floor, and no, I would not be on the same floor as Bee. :)

We'll see how things pan out...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

it continues

Well, the adjustments and search for employment continues. Not too much to do besides keep filling out applications and keep waiting for calls regarding employment.

On the plus side, I have read a number of books that I have either been meaning to read or have recently got through generous gift certificates to the B&N.

Oh, and the weather here has been pretty amazing. Wind storms causing dust storms out our back door. Rain causing rushing rivers in the street. Bright sunny days, cool summer nights. And this all with in the first week.

Here are a couple sunset pictures I took... I like the sky here.

And just for fun, a shot of one of the flowers on the kitchen table, because it's pretty.

So, that's about it for now. I'm off to help cousin Michelle do some packing as she readies for her move.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Trip to Denver

Well, the trip out to Denver went well. No problems with the truck or the car, though I had a few anxious moments when I was looking at all of my worldly possessions in a single space, and though things are not the point of life, they make things easier and hold memories that I was worried about losing. Nothing happened though, no boxes flying off the back of the truck at 70 mph, no stolen truck or any thing like that.

And now I'm here, and have been doing the things that one needs to when one changes residences, such as waiting for 3.5 hours at the DMV for a transferred driver's license, sitting at the bank while they add me as a new member of the Members Federal Credit Union, and all things like that...

I've already filled out about 6 applications, and am well into the process of unpacking my things, and I've even made friends with Hal, who is on my lap at this moment, begging for head scratches. And of course I'm willing to oblige him. When he's not meowing at 3:00 in the morning, he really is quite sweet.

And now, some pictures- some of the trip out, and some of my studio setup which i worked on today for a while, setting up the fish tanks and moving the table and chair to where I want it...

Loaded and ready to roll.

What I watched for the entire trip....

Ok, so the plains states are pretty pretty.

One of many windmills we saw while driving... even cooler was seeing 5 semi's with the huge blades for new ones going up. A single blade was the length of the semi flatbed... maybe longer.

My studio/own space in the basement, yes for those of you who know that is Dad's old Lay-z-boy

My shelves, with art books and art supplies.

A cool plant in one of my tanks... yeah, its cool, trust me.

And finally, two pictures of my buddy, Hal.
-Halbert, Halidol, Haliburton, Hallelujah-
whatever his name is, he's the funniest cat.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


All my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go...

No seriously, I'm ready already.
While exccedingly wonderful and great it has been to hang out with my friends, and how amazing it has been to sleep in late and stay up even later. I'm ready to go.

I'm looking forward to the challenges that are coming up, and while it kinda stinks to say goodbye for now to so many friends, it's time for me to go.

I can't wait to live with Bee and explore a new city and look for a job and all kinds of things.

I'm ready to go.

Monday, May 21, 2007


So there it went. My graduation day.
It was a lot of fun, and I got to see a lot of good friends walk across the front of Van Andel Arena and get their diplomas...
The party/open house afterward was fun and I was surprised as to how many prople came! It was lots of fun.

Not too many words today to describe how it feels, so instead I'll just show some pictures.

Me and my friend Christy before the ceremony.

We three BFA...

With the BFA to prove it!

Organized chaos

From the floor... surrounded by friends and family.

Heather and Brad

Exiting after the whoo-hoo.

People people everywhere, and where's my family?

There they are!! Mom, Dad & me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My life in Disarray

So now that I'm officially done with classes, I have been focusing on attempting to really begin packing and getting ready for my westward move. Needless to say as the images will show, I have a lot of stuff and it's spread all over the basement/my room/which is the basement.

Three things I'm looking forward to the most about moving to Denver:
1) My walls won't be cracked foundation letting in the rain/melt water to soak my carpet and create ideal mold living conditions.
2) I will be above ground.
and a big ol' 3) living with Bee!!!

Really though, the house has been really good. I've loved living here this past year and will miss my roommates terribly.

On to the photos showing the disaster area that is packing central...

My once orderly shelves, a mess and half emptied...

My bed, covered in random stuff to be boxed/sorted/who knows what... unmade, with boxes ready to be filled.

The rest of the basement. No not all that is mine, but that is a lot of my art supplies... not all, but a lot. Hmm...

So, I think I have a good start on things. I should be able to get everything packed and done by May 30. But for now, I need to head to bed; tomorrow is another day.

But first I have to clean off my bed...

Monday, May 14, 2007


So while perusing CNN's headlines while at work this evening, I found an ironic and somewhat frustrating story.
This compounded not only by the fact that I disagree with what originally happened, but by the reasoning for his resignation...

From CNN:
"The No. 2 official at the Justice Department, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, submitted his resignation to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Justice Department announced Monday.

McNulty cited personal reasons for his resignation.

"The financial realities of college-age children and two decades of public service lead me to a long overdue transition in my career," he wrote in his resignation letter.

A source close to McNulty told CNN that the deputy attorney general had planned to resign from the $165,000-a-year job about a month ago, but decided to announce the move at a conference of U.S. attorneys in Texas."

Ok, so the politics aside, he's getting $165,000 a year, and he claims hardship for putting his children through college?! What has he been spending his money on?! I do believe that all 4 of the Bosschers went through CALVIN on two Christian school teacher's salaries, and unless I'm mistaken that's no where near $165,000. Talk about money-mismanagement.

This the same week I sign my loan repayment plan does not make me happy.

Done done.

Well, after taking my final art history exam, I am officially finished with my undergraduate work at Calvin.

In less than a week, I will be though commencement and I will be getting a diploma.


Sunday Studying

So, after a very nice Sunday dinner with the family, I went home to continue my studying for my final exam which I will take tomorrow at 1:30pm.

It's art history of Baroque and Rococo, and it was a very interesting and good class to take. But I'm kinda glad it will be over tomorrow. All my undergrad stuff will be over tomorrow!

Anyway, so after studying for about 5 minutes inside, I decided it was too nice outside not to study there. After a short while, my roommate Jose decided to join me, but since he's not taking exams anymore (he graduated last year) he read a book. I got some nice sun and my skin is no longer scary white winter pale. And boy was it a georgeous day!

To prove I actually was studying- that top card is 'Versailles' designed by leVau and Mansart, 1670's-

Mmmmm, green.... I love the springtime.

Beautiful blue sky...

After studying for a few hours, and taking a short nap as well, I went inside and studied some more, only to discover I was getting a migrane.
So, off to bed for a few hours with some Excedrine, and then I was up and back to work this evening.

Now, however, I'm uber-awake, thanks to that nap and the caffeine in the Excedrine.
But on the plus side, my migrane didn't wipe out any of the dates or names of the paintings and buildings I need to know!

With one exam left, I'm very anxious in both a good and nervous way. But, it's time for bed, and later today will bring a close to my undergrad course work. Hooray!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Unseen Interim work

So, I realized that I never posted my Interim art stuff... here are a few works.
It was a fibers class, if you didn't remember, and I actually did a lot, but only photographed a couple. We used a lot of different techniques and media, so it was always something different.

This basket was made by wrapping raffia around a paper core, and then wrapping the layers together... its called coiling... and its super fun but painstakingly slow... but very cool. I then covered the outside with a handmade paper and looped waxed linen around the rim for a lace-like look.... This took about 30 hours in total to make (if not more).

This was an experiment with the looping technique. I took three pieces of bark and drilled holes in them with a dremel and then looped them together. It was interesting, but difficult since the bark was extremely fragile and dry.

This was one of two baskets I made with the plaiting method, familiar to Bosscher children as the method most often used by Mom in her reed basket construction. This one is made of the inner bark of the apple tree that my landlord cut down and left in our yard. I went out, snagged a couple logs and stripped the bark and spent hours prepping the strips for use. For a long time, it smelled really nice, like apples, as it dried. This one is about 4 inches high and has outer bark strips as a decorative rim lashed on with waxed linen. Again super fun and very intense to try this with uneven strips of the bark.

So I hope you enjoy this delayed proof that yes, basket weaving can be a college course and very worthwhile!!
Seriously, I learned more in the month of January in that course than in some other classes I've taken for a semester... then again, Prof. Van Reewyk is amazing and a blast to work with. The class as a whole was really good and I had a lot of fun. A great last Interim.