For those of you who don’t know, my name is Alisa Starr, and I make Snarky Cards: Brutally Honest Greeting Cards. They say horrible things and will crack you the fuck up. I sell them in bars from a box that hangs beneath my boobs. And I have them in 35 different stores.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been working like crazy to get all of my stores my Christmas Cards. It’s been really hard, in the last six months to keep up. Handmaking enough cards to sell to my retailers as well as to sell in bars has become overwhelming. This year I’m going to have to start printing the majority of the cards I sell.
But before I can do that, I have to come up with the money for the printing. Snarky Underwear have been selling, and they have the magical Profit Margin that Snarky Cards lack. And with some of the profits from Snarky Underwear, I’ve been able to buy a Samsung Vibrant! Which will allow me to use the square! Which will allow me to accept credit cards in bars!
All of this means that I should be able to sell more underwear, and sell more cards more quickly, helping me save up for that very expensive next step in my business: Automation!
Anyway, that’s the plan. Using new technology makes me incredibly nervous. I have a little breakdown every time I have to get a new computer, or a new phone, or a new television. I know in my head that the new thing will ultimately make my life easier. However, there is some superstitious part of me that believes that my brain is almost at capacity right now. And in order to learn something new, I’ll have to erase something old. And I like all of the shit I’ve got in my head already. I don’t want to erase anything. I know that according to science we only use 10% of our brains. I mean, I know that Science says that. But Science and I are not best friends, and I don’t always believe everything that smarmy son-of-a-bitch says. I know that I lose things over time. I used to know the names of hundreds of authors, when I worked in bookstores. And I could tell you the nuances of each one’s writing. Or what kind of person likes to read each one. And now when I try to remember someone from the best seller list to make fun of them, my brain stutters, and stops.
So, I’m just saying, I lose things. And I don’t want to lose anything else. Which means I don’t want to change. And this is the little temper-tantrum I have when I have to get something new. This week was especially traumatic, because not only did I have to get the Vibrant, but I also had to replace Bob, my beloved typewriter.
Bob and I have been together for almost 3 years. I love him very much. But his keys started sticking and skipping, and his case wouldn’t close, and I just couldn’t use him anymore. As I said, some of my stores are still waiting for their Christmas Cards. So, I couldn’t afford to go without a typewriter. So, I went down to Smut, and found Louie Fatass. -Pronounces Fa-tass. It was Fat Ass, but when Louie came over on Ellis Island they smooshed it together. Because the jerks at Ellis Island fuck everyone’s name up.
Smut is my go-to place for typewriters. I got Bob at Smut. Smut is a gorgeous store, just off of East Burnside and 20th Ave. Right next to Holman’s. It’s well lit, and full of not-so-old things. They have records, and typewriters, and Garbage Pail Kids. It’s kind of a wonderland of the awesome and the comforting.
They clean their typewriters carefully, and all of the typwriters they have there (for a pretty reasonable $50-$70 each) work perfectly. Most of them have cases as well. The cute girl working that night was reassuring, which was nice, because I was distraught. I didn’t want a new typewriter. It felt like cheating. Buying a new one was a hard thing to do. And I couldn’t moon about it, and put it off, like I do with most hard things, because I needed a typwriter. Right away.
Louie’s type is different: cleaner. And his keys feel a little closer together than Bob’s. But overall, he works, and so I’m trying to catch up with all of my responsiblities with him.
And don’t worry, I’m going to fix Bob. I already emailed Blue Moon: The big typewriter-fixers in town. They said that they can fix him, for only $55. So, in the next month I’ll have Bob back, and Louie Fatass can be my back-up. Everything worked out perfectly fine, right? Not quite.
Yesterday, was my upset day. I woke up and my back was covered in blisters, hot to the touch and bright red. Some idiotic woman I met at a Craft Show the day before had told me that bed-bugs are coming to Portland. So I spent the entire morning alternately trying to look at my back in the mirror, crying and trying to remember if I’d picked up anything off the street and brought it home to wear in the last few days. I had not. And Claire had not. I looked up bed-bugs online. It didn’t itch, and so I’m happy to say that we’re bed-bug free. I did have a chemical burn on my back. One of the ice-packs I’d used the night before to calm my poor battered back had leaked . And I hadn’t noticed it. Apparently it takes a highly toxic chemical to create a re-usable ice pack. And so my back is raw and blistered. I spent the day worrying about my freakish wound, trying to make the new fucking phone work, and trying to learn how to use Louie. When I finally got to my Chiropractor, I was sure that life was not worth living.
Cyndi is a genius. She assured me that I definitely had a chemical burn, and that I would be all right in a week. She also didn’t think that my despair was cute. In fact, I think I brought her mood down a few notches. I left her office feeling physically better, but totally coginzant that my little temper-tantrum needs a time-limit. So I went home, and knitted with Claire and her friend Cocoa and we watched SVU. And somewhere in the middle of the third rape/murder trial, I figured out how to use the phone, and I realized my back would heal, and Claire said it was OK for me to just give up and go to bed early. I didn’t need her permission, but sometimes when I’m sulking, or overwhelmed, I like to have other people tell me what to do.
So, now that I’ve had my day of sulk, I can get on with the hard things, and figure out how to make do with all of the awesome shit I had to buy myself in order to bring my business to a better place. Most of the pictures you see here are brought to you by the Vibrant! And my rent will be brought to us by Louie Fatass. And in the end, these crisis’s were not even a little bit scary. I had to borrow money to buy Bob, from Kay 3 years ago. And I was sure that not having a working typewriter meant my career was ending. This was an inconvenience that was hard on me emotionally. I think that my life has gotten a lot better over the last few years. So thanks for listening to me whine about my medium-sized crisis’s.