Dear Blog Readers,
We have become the kind of blogger we never wanted to be — the kind who has a "read our blog" button on our website but the newest post is months old. We blame Facebook for this — it's so much easier to write something there and we seem to have more followers there than we did here on the blog. Still, we can't quite bring ourselves to give it up altogether yet — so instead, we're posting this little note to explain our lack of current entries. Please do check out our facebook page, we think it's fun, if not quite as long form.
sincerely, the Joie de Blogger.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Glamorous Life of a Shop Keeper

We sell lots of small items and many of them need to hang on the wall - making one nail per item. And of course, you don't always get the placement exactly right and wind up with two or three extra small holes. And then you get in something new, and you need to find a place for it, so you move a few things around and the nails are never in the right place, so you take them out and hammer them in again two inches to the left. Or three inches to the right. This is all to say that after five or six months . . . . your wall is full of little holes, and suddenly, you think - I must spackle and paint. Then the question is how much of a project to make it - one entire side of the store or just a few spots? Last weekend, I decided I must repaint the back wall. And I was right - when spackled there was almost as much white as original color. I also decided to change the color - the whole procedure took about six hours. Then, a few days later, I decided I didn't really like the color everywhere, so decided to change part of it back, and while I was at it, paint a few other trouble spots. I left tonight at 10, vowing to return early in the morning to put everything back in place. I know I'll be glad I did it tomorrow, even though right now I feel kind of - tuckered out. And . . . so goes the glamorous life of a shop keeper. Holding a glass of wine in my paint stained hands, tired and blogging at this late hour.
(if you come in soon, please admire the back wall!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Come In Peace

Happy Easter, blog readers! and say goodbye to our giant bunny, who turned out quite a bit more scarey looking than we anticipated when we planned this window. That why he wears the "Peace Chicks" necklace - to make him a little less threatening. (We think perhaps he's related to the abominable snowman.) Easter is a funny holiday at Joie de Vivre - for many years we were open on Easter, on the theory that beyond enjoying dying eggs, eating jelly beans and chocolate bunnies, we personally did not celebrate the day, and that there were lots of non-Christians living in the area who might be walking around looking for something to do . . . but, as it turned out, with one or two exceptions, Easter Sunday was always a really slow day. And something about being open on Easter made us feel - wrong - money grubbing - hard to explain. So, maybe fifteen years ago, we were open on an absolutely beautiful Easter Sunday afternoon . . . and the person I was working with asked if she could leave to go to the park with her friends. After letting her go - I just decided to close the store, went home to hang out in the garden, and we never opened on Easter again. It's interesting too - all the big stores that open on New Years Day, the 4th of July, Memorial Day - days we swear we will never be open - are closed on Easter. I guess it's something that just isn't done!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

If You Have A Lot of Time On Your Hands, Try This!

and if you don't . . . just enjoy the photo. I have a feeling making these "Peepshi" would be just a bit time consuming - and yet what a wonderful Easter treat, at the breakfast table . . . as a post dinner dessert . . . or maybe best, served up late afternoon with a cocktail of some kind. Who says sushi has to be made with fish?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Listen My Children, and You Shall Hear

of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. Here in Cambridge, it's now the midday ride of Paul Revere, we guess that works better for commemorative purposes - after all, who's up and watching for Paul at midnight these days? The first year Joie de Vivre was open, its owner, who grew up in New York State, and didn't really know that Patriot's Day existed, was quite startled on said day to hear the distinctive sound of horses galloping down Massachusetts Avenue. She rushed to the door in time to see someone who looked rather like Paul Revere, riding past the store crying "the British are coming!" He was accompanied by other men on horseback. Several local types advised her that this ride happened every year. Now, we expect it, and are somewhat nonchalant, but still try to get to the door in time to see the horses pass by. I'm sure the spectacle continues to confuse visitors and those from other countries who are here in Cambridge - but in a time when relatively little attention is paid to our history, I think it's rather cool that the tradition continues - even if they have adjusted the hour for better viewing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Little Bit of Advice . . .

If you come into Joie de Vivre and you have never been here before, wait more than 2 seconds before saying "I love this place -this is a really great store you have here!" And when introducing yourself and handing us your card, do not, even if you believe it to be true, introduce yourself as "the best real estate agent in Boston!" and ask us if we would like to hear you say that again. Then, after a brief discussion of the actual reason you have come into the store - be it an event you are promoting, or the desire to acquire a new client - don't say, "thank you and now I will look around this wonderful store," then look for approximately five seconds before heading for the door. Just saying . . .

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Here Comes . . . Peter Cottontail?

We just put up our Easter window. We think it might be a little scarey - will post a picture later - but it's kind of in keeping with this website - Sketchy Bunnies. I came across this site one night. Yes, I am one of those people who sometimes looks at pictures of cats on the internet, and sometimes looking at cats on Cheezburger leads to Graphjam which leads to Fail, which recently led me to Sketchy Bunnies. We have been selling a book called Awkward Family Photos for awhile now, and one of my favorite sections in that book is the Easter section. When I started looking at Sketchy Bunnies, I was soon smiling, then laughing, then laughing until I was crying - it kind of has a cumulative effect. So - for those of you who enjoy a good laugh - visit the site. Then, when you see our window - tell us if you think we should submit a photo!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Unacceptable Message

We have an email list and on the first of every month we mail them a link to our monthly news. Each time a few bounce back, old email addresses, or undeliverable for some reason but this month we had a first - we got one back for this reason: "Because the message contains inappropriate language that violates the Boston Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy(AUP) for Computer Networks. If you believe there is no inappropriate language AND the message is AUP compliant, please REPLY to this email and request that the message be released, and your request will be considered." I didn't even think twice - I wrote the text and I was 100% positive that there was no unacceptable language in our email. So I re-sent it. It came back again with the same message. I then decided to take a closer look at what I had written. Here it is - the preamble to our actual newsletter: "Dear Joie de Vivre mailing list, We wanted to let you all know that because it’s been a hard winter and we needed a little cash, we have sold our mailing list to QVC . com — we hope you don't mind. APRIL FOOL! (We of course will never ever ever give your names to anyone). Happy Spring! We’re loving looking out our window at pussy willows instead of Xmas greens buried under dirty, icy, snow. And loving seeing more of you come in the door... it’s much more fun here when we have customers!" And when I took a closer look, I realized what must have happened. Their screen must have picked out the X in Xmas, the dirty in dirty, icy, snow - and of course, the pussy in pussy willow and thus decided that our email was inappropriate. It's the only thing that makes any sense . . . . and it reinforces my belief that machines with all their artificial intelligence will never be able to do what we lowly humans can do with our brains!