Monthly Archives: August 2012

Christmas Cheer, Delivery Delight, and A Business Update

It feels like Christmas has come early! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started selling Avon to help fund my Arabic courses and other future adventures. My first order was delivered yesterday, and as I’ve started delivering orders I am convinced Santa Claus must love his job! Let me acknowledge these people paid for these products, so I am not like Santa because I give them away; however, delivering them is 15 kinds of fun. I know some of my customers have had the same reaction I did to receiving what they purchased. To give you an idea, I contemplated taking a shower as soon as I got home and unpacked the box because I bought new shampoo and I wanted to try it out. I settled instead for painting my nails with one of my new polishes. In case you were wondering, my nails are lovely, and my hair feels, smells, and looks pretty good!

When I buy things that have to be delivered, there is a kind of anticipation that builds. I get to think about my new eyeliner while I’m waiting for it, and when it gets here I’m WAY more excited than I would be if I just bought the eyeliner from a store. And that goes for anything. I bought my Christmas presents online last year, and when they got here I couldn’t wait to give them away! It’s possible the joy of receiving deliveries will someday fade, but so far there is no better feeling than a box on my front steps waiting for me to come home and open it!

As a business update, I made roughly $7 profit on my first order. That’s mainly because I bought a lot of things for myself that I would have bought elsewhere (i.e. shampoo) and because I needed to buy a few business supplies to be ready to distribute orders and sell in my next campaign. I’m not quite to the price of an Arabic class, but I’m growing my business and can hopefully only go up from here! Either way, now that I know the joy of delivering Avon orders, I’m excited to keep going.

I wish you all much happiness and many front porch deliveries. Happy almost-Labor Day!

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A Moment of Celebration

Since I’m not very good at most video games and don’t have the attention span to improve, I rarely hold the high score in anything. The exception to this is Letter Bubbles. I recently regained my place at the top of the leaderboard in the Classic and Insane modes. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it is a sweet, sweet victory, and here is where I choose to share my moment of glory. Thank you for listening, and see below for proof.

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A New (ad)Venture

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been taking Arabic at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. Unfortunately, I’m still paying for those four years of schooling I’ve already had, and taking Arabic gets expensive. Maybe someday I’ll have a job that pays me to learn new languages, but until then I’ve decided to look for a way to pay for these classes that will still allow me to keep up with student loan payments and, more importantly, the grocery bill. That’s why I’ve started selling Avon.

If you are unfamiliar with the Avon brand, it is a company that sells cosmetics, jewelry, accessories, and home products through representatives who use catalogs and online sales to reach their customers. Avon recruits female sales representatives whose passion for the products is a major tool in their sales. The founder was a door-to-door book salesman who saw potential in the women he often encountered in his work to earn money in a way that allowed them to keep up with what was already going on in their lives. That was 125 years ago, and Avon is still going strong.

My expectations in selling Avon are fairly modest. I’d like to earn enough to not have to worry about my next language course every term. If there is a little left over after that goal is met, I’m just one step closer to paying off college debt, and I might get the occasional new pair of shoes. All in all, I like the Avon products, and I really am excited to be a representative.

This is not a sales post (though you are welcome to shop my online store). Instead, I’m curious to see how this venture works out, and it seems important to chronicle it as part of my post-college escapades and attempts to better myself. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go!

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Review: Girls of Riyadh

Girls of Riyadh caused a stir when it was published in Lebanon in 2005 in the original Arabic. Through a series of emails, released weekly, Rajaa Alsanea chronicles the stories of her narrator’s four friends Sadeem, Gamrah, Michelle, and Lamees. These women are well educated and well traveled, but they live in the Saudi Arabian society where marriages are arranged by families. They have little to no say in whom they will marry, but that does not stop them from falling in love, often with someone whom they cannot have. Throughout the novel, the girls try to love in the context of their society, some with success and others with heartbreaking failure.

The culture of this story is so far removed from my American understandings, and that makes this book all the more fascinating and all the more heart-wrenching. I take for granted my abilities to make my own decisions and not be ostracized by family or society. One of the most fascinating things about Girls of Riyadh was the lack of direct commentary from the author. Alsanea does not pass judgment and say this way of life and this culture are good or bad; instead, she shows the effects of this culture on these girls and lets the reader judge. Though it is fairly clear the narrator does not like seeing her friends hurt by their families, their lovers, or their society, she also comes to the defense of the culture at times and acknowledges instances when things have turned out for the better because of this system in which they live.

Unfortunately, the English is only a translation, and both author and translator mention the difficulties involved in carrying the dialects over to the English version. With even my limited knowledge of Arabic, I know this would be a challenge, so I think there is some level of information that is lost on the reader in the English version. Despite that, it is a beautifully written book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

If you’d like to purchase Girls of Riyadh, click here.

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Goodreads

If you haven’t heard of Goodreads, you’re missing out. You can keep track of all the books you’ve read, see what your friends are reading and how they like it, and get recommendations based on what you’ve liked.

I have fallen in love with this site and with the iPhone app. Nick and I went to the book store this weekend and we could just scan the barcodes and easily add to our list of books we want to read. It’s also really cool to see what your friends are reading and what they liked. If you know you have similar tastes to another reader, you’ll never be without a good book suggestion. I would love to see what more people are reading, so if you’re already a member or decide to sign up, find me!

We’ve been using the Nashville Public Library like fiends, so be on the lookout for book reviews!

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Update!

It has been a very long time since you’ve heard from me here, and for that I apologize. But since then, I’ve been busy, so here’s a quick update:

Shortly after my last post, I got engaged to a wonderful, wonderful guy. He surprised me with the front of a family dinner and instead I got a patio with candles, flower petals, and fireworks!

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We were married in May, and we are enjoying wedded bliss.

THANK YOU to Cassie Nicole Photography for the beautiful wedding and engagement photos.

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But I’ve been up to more than just getting married. In January, I started taking Arabic classes at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. I just finished up round two, and it’s been pretty awesome. Why Arabic? I’m not quite sure yet. For one thing, I was bored. It seemed like a good way to occupy my time. My dream job is still not a concrete thing, but I like to talk, and I like to learn new languages, so maybe my dream job will appear after I learn a few more and become an asset to somebody who needs English/Spanish/Arabic speakers. I’m REALLY good at remembering animal names, so maybe I’ll find a zoo that needs a very specific trilingual tour guide.

I’m not going to overload you with everything that’s happened since my last post. But there will be more to come on the books I’ve read and what I’m doing, so be sure to check back!

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