Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Girlfriends and Books

Girlfriends are special people.  Some of us are lucky enough to have several different groups of "girlfriends".  I LOVE my girlfriends.  What is it about girlfriends?  There have been hundreds of books written about friendships.  I don't assume to equal the prose written to capture the special bond between women.... but I live it.  I belong to two different book clubs, I golf with a group of women and I have 3 sisters, 3 daughters, a daughter-in-law, and several sisters-in-law...I am part of many different groups of women.  Each group is unique and each group is one of my favorites!

Women share things that need to be shared.  We probably even share some things that don't need to be shared but that is for another post. I think this is how we "deal" with life, plus it is cheaper and more fun than therapy.  We share, we talk, we process and we move on...or at least I do.  Each group has a different dynamic. 

In my book clubs we read assorted types of books and discuss them, like most book clubs.  Sometimes the discussions take us places we did not expect to go.  Yes, we have been known to stray off topic.  A book can lead us to share personal experiences, opinions, emotions, and interpretations.  I used to hate reading in school but I usually loved discussing the books in class....surprise!   The reading was painful but the discussing was pleasure.  Even when I don't like the book we read, I still like the discussion.  I really like discussing the ones I actually enjoy reading. 

Count yourself lucky if you have great girlfriends!  Count yourself double lucky if you get to read interesting books with some of those girlfriends.  If not, go join a book will meet some great people and even get to read some good books...and some bad books....and it will be cheaper and more fun than therapy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So Much Beer!

Put 59,000 people and 2,200 different kinds of beer in a huge convention center in the mile high city and what do you get?  58,999 people who love beer more than I do....well, close.  The Great American Beer Fest is like nothing else.  It is three days of wall to wall beer.  If I only liked beer as much as I like wine it would have been sooooo much more fun.  It did not matter though, I was there to help my daughter in her booth for the weekend.  I was one of the few people who was not there for the beer. 

The proud creator!

BeerSox made their mass debute at the GABF.  I was there to provide moral support, a smiling face and cheap labor.  It was like being on an episode of The Apprentice.  At least Donald Trump was not there to say "You're Fired".  We had a lot to learn over the weekend.  Good thing we had three days.  On our first day we set up the booth for the night session.  We all thought it looked very smart!  Check it out!

One of the dedicated weekend staff!  She likes it!

We were ready for the thousands of beer drinkers on Thursday night.  The booth was beautiful and ready.  Everyone admired our booth from afar, meaning outside our area rug.  We tried to invite them in with our winning personalities, good looks and the promise of a hand dyed/hand knit beer insulator.  There were a few brave souls who ventured into the booth, everyone else admired from afar and said, "Cool!  Awesome idea!" and then went searching for more beer.  If we only had beer!

Friday we (I use this word in the broad sense, meaning mainly my daughter) took a different approach.  If "they" wanted to admire from afar, we would bring afar to them!  We moved the BeerSox right up to the main pathway of the thousands of beer drinkers.  We added a few incentives and business picked up!  We are so smart, one of us even has a business degree...and watches The Apprentice.  The other two are young, enthusiastic and way cuter! 

Just try to walk around our BeerSox!  Take a closer look...admire...and buy!
Sales on day two were significantly higher than day one.  Whoo hoo!  Saturday was going to be a marathon.  One afternoon session and one evening session.  My daughter recruited another friend of hers to help with the afternoon session and I took the afternoon off.  The new friend proved to be a sales maven!  Together they had great sales during the afternoon session.  I tried not to take it personally.  With the new set up and the excellent sales crew, sales on Saturday were better than the first two days combined.  We were all very excited!  Good thing too because we were also all totally exhausted.  Nothing like a peak in sales to give the crew a much needed burst of energy.   We powered up before the last session and went in prepared to sell.  The last session proved to be just as successful as the afternoon session!  It was amazing to have people stop by and say things like, "I told you I would come back on the last day and I'm here."  We also heard things like, " We saw your ad and just had to see what BeerSox were."  The ad was great.  This was my first experience at the launching of a new product and it was scary and exciting all at the same time.  To go out on a limb with a new idea takes a lot of guts. 

The crowd was huge.
 There were wall to wall people, all there to taste the thousands of beers.  I will admit it was overwhelming at times.  So many people, so much beer.  Some people were friendly, some were more friendly than they should be, some were dismissive, some just ignored us but I don't think there were any who were out and out rude.  The feedback was mostly positive and that is what I think should be the focus for the weekend. 

The packing up at the end of the last night took all our remaining energy.  Well, not really, the girls had enough energy to go out later that night, I went home and promptly collapsed with a nice glass of chardonnay and put up my aching feet.   Standing on our feet for over 6 hours a day for three days in a row was "work".  The girls did manage to sample many of the craft beers.  I even tried to find a beer that would come close to being drinkable...for me.  There were a few.  I can truly appreciate the magnitude of this event.  As a wine drinker, if there were over 2,000 wines in one place to sample over three days in one ounce tastes, I would be over the moon!  So, I get it!
I just want to know where the Great American Wine Fest is and how I can get a ticket!  I'll bring my Vinosox.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

You Say Tomato....I Say Tomato

I am back to my ESL classes.  Over the summer the program took a hit and had to close several locations.  One of the closed locations was MY location!  I was greatly saddened at the thought of all my students being without classes, I hope they have found a place to attend classes and are able to continue their progress.  As a result of the closing I am teaching in a different location this year.  I am now the "new girl".

As the "new girl" I am at the bottom of the teacher ladder.  I am in an established class as a helping teacher.  There are two other teachers in our level who have been there for a while and have a working relationship....i.e. power stuggle.  I have decided to just take my subservient role for a while and help the students who just aren't getting "it".  The lead teacher is an older gentleman from England.  He speaks the Queen's English.  We don't really speak the Queen's English down here in Texas.  He is constantly teaching words as they are pronounced in England.  Think of the word "last"....pronounced in England and in the southern United States.  Yup, our students now have a Spanish/British accent.   This list goes on and on with the words he insists on teaching with the British pronounciation.   I guess if they learn to speak any English it will be a win!  I better brush up on my British accent. 

This week I will be participating in what I think will be my own episode of "The Apprentice".  Stay tuned to see if I survive Denver, lots of beer, handcrafted BeerSox and sales.

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