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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Not Coming Soon to Joie de Vivre!

Someone stopped by the store yesterday and left me a brochure, in hopes that I would sign up for a new service.  I took a quick look and read their rather lofty mission statement:  "To advance engagement between businesses and consumers though social, local and mobile platforms in order to bridge their digital and social lives."  (And I take it that in this context, one's social life is whatever one does when not connected to a device.)  Reading further, I quickly figured out that what they want to do is broadcast targeted deals to consumers who happen to be walking by.  As they put it - we currently lack up to date data tracking methods - they will track and "touch" our customers.  This is a concept that manages to be both incredibly offensive and very amusing to us here.  As someone who lives in the "social" more than the "digital" world, I can think of nothing worse than to have my telephone start announcing deals every time I walk by a store.  And as a generalized retailer of Joie - it makes me wonder, what, exactly, would we be targeting here?  Enticing a customer with a sale on the plastic wind up mouse? Magic Eight Balls - 20% off for the next three minutes?   They also state that their company, Howler, "makes everyday life more convenient for both retailer and buyer."  (And they give their announcements the unfortunate name of "howls.")  Sorry - but we beg to differ.  More annoying, more intrusive, more expensive (for the retailer anyway), more big-brother is watching you like -yes to all those, but more convenient?  Do we really have to move toward a life where every device we own will be trying to get us to spend money all the time - life as one big non stop advertisement?   Count us out.  But, we'll just do a little mini targeting to you blog readers right now - come on in and see us anytime for a little joie de vivre!  

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Sometimes a product is so great in so many ways - and difficult in others. Maybe it's super difficult to put together, or is ridiculously over packaged - or requires some esoteric battery that costs more than the item itself.  Many times this kind of drawback keeps us from ordering a great thing,  or from reordering something that we otherwise loved.  The pigeon and squirrel masks above and below are a perfect case in point.  First and foremost, they look incredibly funny on.  It's really a little hard to put into words, but if you come into the store, we will be happy to show you just how funny.  They're also oddly great on young kids - so out of proportion, yet somehow perfect.  But, they do have a problem or two.  They're not the most comfortable thing in the world to wear for more than a few minutes - but hey, most of us have suffered before to look good in our lives so we can overlook that one.  The bigger problem is they have the oddest smell when they are released from their packaging.  Intensely industrially plastic-y - last time we got a batch, I took them all home and aired them out on my porch overnight - and the odor still lingered.  It does eventually go away - but our back room is a small space, and it's a bit of a challenge to share space with them until that happens.  They are just too good!