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I am SO fucking proud of myself. I found North Oak Trafficway this morning. I visited thrift stores. I saw Missouri's largest collection of REALLY shitty secondhand clothing assembled under one roof. (If you are wondering, don't bother visiting the DAV charity shop on N. Oak Trfwy. It is a huge store, and looks promising at first blush, but is actually crammed with the worst of 1980s grandma clothes)

I did, however, after intense searching through 5 different thrift shops, secure 3 pairs of shorts for Todd, and a shirt for him (charcoal grey Lee “Pipes” brand tee-shirt affair with grey/white/blue/black striped bands across the chest, top of sleeves, and collar), and a shirt for myself (fuzzy, cuddly moss/evergreen/tan/black striped velour!). I had planned and budgeted to do quite a bit more shopping, but due to my ususal type of unusual luck, there was a large and peculiar parade taking place on N. Oak Trfwy, between N. 60th St. through N. 72nd St. This is where a good half-dozen more charity shops are located, as well as the fabric shop I wanted to check out. Oh, well, I did pretty well with what I had. The lot of stuff I bought came in at just under $12.00.

Then I made the mistake of checking out the Arizona Trading Company store in my neighborhood when I got back home. Yes, go up Westport Road on a Saturday afternoon, when all the poshy Johnson County teenagers have got their allowances, borrowed their mommy's Mercedes, and are on a “let's get trendily-distressed clothes in the “bohemian” district” rampage. The store was packed, and the three Gothic chicks who were running the counter were just the shittiest, snottiest assmuches I have come across in yonks. Firstly, none of the three of them was half as chic as she believed herself to be, and really needed to come off her high horse. I went up to the counter, to seek guidance.

“Where do you have your men's shorts?” I asked, seeing as I was seeking shorts for my husband, the perpetual shorts-wearer.

“We don't have any,” said Counter Girl #1.

Counter Girl #2 added, “We only buy clothes *seasonally* Right now we are buying for *winter* We don't have any shorts!”

I replied, “Well, I just thought you might have some left over, since it has only just recently stopped being summer.”

Counter girl #2 grudgingly admitted that, “We might have some shorts on that rack over there that says 'Miscellaneous Pants'”

She gestured vaguely toward the back of the store. I meandered toward the back, found the Misc. Pants, and found nothing for a skinny man who didn't fancy weird-color denim. I perused the racks of regular jeans, as well, but was underwhelmed, not to mention borderline irritated with the Hipster Gothic Clerks and the screaming, jostling hordes of primped-and-fluffed teenyboppers. I made a quick cruise through the women's shirts racks, saw nothing terribly inspiring, and left. I want a new Schoolgirl kilt, a little longer than the two I have (mine are micro-mini fingertip length) but I didn't have the time and patience to press my way into the skirt aisle, then sift through everything, and weasel myself into a dressing room slot. I need to go during the week, when the kiddies are on curfew.

More news on the business front. I did some research on getting a business license, and it looks to be a pretty straigtforward (and inexpensive) process. Ditto for getting a tax number. I checked in with the local independent paper about placing adverts. So far, it is looking more and more feasible. I'm worried about starting capital, and I am worried about finances, in general, but that is because money worries me. I think being so hideously and dramatically broke and marooned in England for the first 3.5 months of my grad school career really scarred me. Even then, I was able to make enough money to buy food by taking on mending until the school finally received, acknowledged, and processed my loan cheque.

Realistically and logically, I know that I can make some steady money at a part time job, and sporadic, yet substantial sums per project. I just need to pimp my work, which will come, especially after I quit my office job. I will place the ads in the Pitch. I will post flyers all around my artsy-fartsy neighborhood and in the various fashionable districts. I will hand out business cards to anyone who even acts a little bit interested. I will re-design my online portfolio to be more sensible and navigable and loadable. I will make a hard-copy portfolio, and I will be better about updating it. I will boldly go forth and seek new markets and go (I hope) where no seamstress has gone before. I will find or create a niche!

I have got to try to do this. I have got to make it work. Out of the 9 different jobs I have held since the age of 17, only 2 have I enjoyed. The rest, to varying degrees, made me want to top myself. I have to accept that I am not terribly good at being an employee–or at least I am not very happy at doing the sort of buttmonkey work I tend to get hired to do. Cleaning motel rooms. Answering phones. Filing. *Puke* Pink collar hell. The only job I had that I really, truly, wholeheartedly enjoyed was cooking at the Old Main Street Inn in Chadron, NE. If you are ever in Chadron, go to dinner at the Old Main, and say “hi” to Jeanne, Lorri, and Evva for me!

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