Saturday, March 30, 2013

Perpetually Puzzled

 I've begun at long last to sell extra dolls on eBay. It is what is known as a learning experience.  Questions arise that don't seem to be answered in any FAQ's. 
If boxes provided by USPS are the only ones suited for Priority mail, why are we always asked if we want our  Christmas fudge, boxed in recycled bleach boxes, to go Priority?

Why is the USPS FAQ so circular? When the general FAQ wasn't enough, I was encouraged to ask a question ... and was sent right back to a list of general topics, not one of which offered the specific information I wanted.

None of the priority boxes is the right size for an 18 inch Miss Revlon or a 22 inch lookalike doll.

Why have all large-sized padded envelopes vanished from stores?

I spent $7 to mail something that should have gone for $3 in a padded envelope. How can a company that sells up so often be in the red?

Why is eBay so pushy about leaving feedback? The Leave Feedback command pops up the instant you enter a tracking number. If you leave feedback at that point and something goes wrong, you can't change it.  

Why is it easier to end an auction early than to get revisions to stick?  Silly me. Because they can CHARGE you for ending an auction.

I need to keep records. Standard record keeping systems don't have the right kinds of
spaces. I have to create a template.

Why is the 21st century so complex?

Having people bid on a doll I no longer have house space for is a mood elevator. Adding up the shipping costs and time is not. There's photography, research, writing descriptions, driving to the post office. Driving to the post office could be considered a mental health investment, because I actually leave the house.

I have spent money on a postal scale, postage, camera batteries (lots of them) and mileage. I have poured time into writing correct descriptions. I've still got too many dolls and researching dolls for pricing help makes me want more. 

I feel as if  there is only an illusion of progress, but I'm afraid to add and subtract and find out for sure.  I do have an appropriate monicker: haneysews.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Knowing Nothing about Pop Music

Until Christmas, I had precisely 3 music CD's (Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Marie-Lynn Hammond), some LPs bought before I got married, and  tapes the former partner cringed at. Married, I never had to buy music because the partner acquired it the way some people breathe: in large gulps.

It was obviously time to buy more. I started with CD's from the dollar table at 2nd & Charles. Lee Ann Rimes, Reba McIntyre, Kathy Mattea, Shawn Colvin because I'd heard and enjoyed Sunny Came Home. Aside from that one song, I can't stand the Colvin album. Turns out it is a divorce album. Feh. So is the Kathy Mattea. I sure can pick'em. Lee Ann Rimes Blue is a good wailer.

I bought James Blunt's Back from Bedlam because I hovered between being appalled at how maudlin the lyrics were and enjoying singing along. James Blunt said that for the videos that went with his first album, he allowed them to bury him up to his neck in the desert, and push him off a cliff into icy water. Now that he knows more about the music industry, he said, he'll stick to videos where he gets to stand around on a beach. He's charming and funny and has good comedic timing in interviews (also on youtube). It is best, I find, not to think too much about the manipulative song construction.

Now I've bought Josh Groban (partly because he has cute puppy dog eyes and was amusing on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a British show I devoured on youtube) but mostly because he can stay on key and is pleasant. I knew he'd sung a
duet with Celine Dion in Las Vegas. Dion's singing has always sounded loud and flat to me. I feel that liking Groban puts me firmly among the fogies. He's known for full throated operatic treatment of popular songs, but this album seems more operatic. It was not on the dollar table.

Also from the Pop/Rock stacks, I bought Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell II for I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That). The entire album is Jim Steinman tunes. The former partner HATED Jim Steinman tunes, calling them overwrought, over-emotional and manipulative (but how do you really feel?) I would never have bought it if Meat Loaf hadn't been so charming on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

 I'm less than thrilled with the convention of overprinting the lyrics onto        photos, and printing in 4-point type. And albums that don't include lyrics? I really really hate them.