Monthly Archives: October 2009

Keep Small Businesses Sassy

Happy blah Tuesday to everyone!  I believe it is raining and dreary all over the Commonwealth today, which I cured with a yummy bowl of baked potato soup from Panera for lunch.  Delish.  Anywho!

I have come across an issues I would like to address:  small businesses weathering the storm that is political indecision amidst economic recession.

Please read: Political Uncertainty Puts Freeze on Small Businesses, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. Now once again I must remind you all that I am a not a political, economic, business, or financial genius, or greatly studied on any of these topics (although I am a proud graduate of Virginia Tech‘s Pamplin College of Business).  I do however, claim to have common sense (thanks to Poppa Pants) and a general understanding of how businesses run (again reference to business degree…I didn’t go through 4 years of that for nothing!).  Read the article, then come back to this if you’re still interested in my thoughts.  I’ll wait.  No really, it’s ok.  …….Done? Great.  First question: How can anyone with one iota of common sense think that impeding the growth of small businesses will help our nation recover from the recession??  If anyone has taken any introductory business classes of any kind, you probably learned that greater than 98% of all businesses in the entire country are small businesses (characterized differently by every state, but in general companies with <500 employees, plus other revenue caps).  Think about it.  That’s a crap ton of companies who employ Americans!  I don’t think I need to restate everything in the article, since it is articulated so nicely by someone who actually writes for a living, but I would just like to say that Miss Sassy Pants agrees with every word.  The statistics show what happens.  Higher taxes to not encourage business growth.  Uncertainty about wacko health care costs do not encourage business growth.  Government projects which are stalled for weeks, months, years, do not encourage growth.  Banks not extending lines of credit does not encourage business growth.  And like I stated earlier, climate change is a concern, but if regulation raises costs for small businesses…well, you get it.  When they’re scared, they don’t grow! They fire people.  They go out of business.  Thus we see an unemployment rate that hasn’t done much declining.  I’ll stop there.

Think about it people.  If 99.7% of businesses in the US are small businesses, then that means at least 9 out of 10 people you know are employed by or own their own small business.  That’s a lot of people who want to keep their job.  [Disclaimer: that was not a scientific statistic nor did I find it from a reputable source. It was made up in my own sassy little head and is just to prove a point.  Do not nitpick me, Miss Sassy Pants likes to be sarcastic.  Some people are unable to comprehend this, thus I feel the need to explain.]

Another time, I’d like to discuss the issues addressed in this editorial.  Mean time, I think we’ve had enough sassiness for today.

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1986 Called! Guess What?!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, 80s fashions are coming back! Miss Sassy Pants begs to differ.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a fashionista or up on the latest and greatest coming off the runways of Paris and NYC, nor do I attend or pay close attention to fashion week or expensive fashion designers new fall or spring labels! Bunch of BS if you ask me.  I digress.

I would simply like to address the shoulder pad in the work place.  I am not old enough to remember when they first came into fashion (see the date above, Momma Sassy knows what was happening then, and whatever it was, Miss Sassy Pants wasn’t around to witness it yet), but I am able (although not too willing) to look at pictures from that brilliant era in fashion. Who ever decided it was a good look to have massive manly square dike looking shoulders?? I’m really not sure.  But whoever it was, I am SURE they have seen the error of their ways with the passing of 2+ decades since this atrocity.

However, there is one woman with whom I have had minimal contact today (I will not say if she was or was not in my office as I would like to remain semi mysterious about this), and let me tell you.  This lady has NO idea what year it is.  I am going to temporarily hate on her outfit (see previous post about judgement before you scoff) to explain my discomfort with shoulder pads.  This woman is very shapely, hot legs, slim waste, healthy size bust (ok she had nice looking ta-tas, what am I supposed to say), and her makeup is always done just so. She is in general an attractive woman of probably early to mid 40s.  But damn.  Never have I seen her without a suit jacket with HUGE shoulder pads.  She could even be characterized as petite, and petite ladies do not do well with large shoulder pads.  Miss Sassy Pants would know.  I wouldn’t even be able to carry on a conversation without staring at her shoulder cleavage! Anyone remember that hilarious Tide To-Go commercial with the hilarious talking stain? Yes.

Now I will pause for a moment and share that Miss Sassy Pants has a suit jacket – quite a few in fact, being the working professional lady gal that I am – with shoulder pads! However, there is a line that needs to be drawn with shoulder pads.  I will admit that a suit jacket with shoulder pads can look nice – more professional even, when done right.  But not this. Or this.  Or this.  This last picture made my point for me.  I have seen many examples of nice looking shoulder enhancing shirts, jackets, and dresses.  However Miss Sassy Pants argues that upwards of 95% of all of these looks need to go, as Bon Qui Qui says.  These trends that “come back” always come back with a modern twist of some kind. Every decade has made a supposed come back, where we’ve seen things like bell bottom jeans (guilty – it was middle school people), popped collars (guilty again – early high school, so hard to be cool), leggings, jellies, jump-suits (I mean wtf), high-waisted pants and shorts (fine if you have a waist), etc. come back into fashion and thrown in our faces by Express, Gucci, Target, Limited Too, even Hot Topic, depending on what you like to brand yourself with.  [Aside: Miss Sassy Pants asserts that none of the fashions that Hot Topic has ever carried were ever “in” nor will they ever be, no matter how many times they are brought back.]  However. When it comes to enhancing your shoulder cleavage, as with enhancing boob cleavage, be conservative! Never have I heard or seen a man say “Dang that woman is hot – look at her square shoulders!” Athletic shoulders maybe.  Delicate, lady-like shoulders perhaps.  But ladies, let’s leave square and wide-shouldering to the men.  It’s a much better look on them, and they don’t need foam in their jackets to do it.

Are you judging me? That’s hot.

Happy Friday, fabulous friends and family! I love alliteration.

Anywho, today I saw something funny on the way to work.  I wanted plenty of time to get to work so I could be early for the Stat GAAP class I took this morning (What? I will perhaps cover this in a later post).  Ok so I’m in the car, vroom-vrooming and la-di-daing my way east on 64 (as stated previously, it’s like the karaoke half-hour for me), and I’m passing car after car, doing some good people watching while obviously keeping my eyes on the road at all times.  Suddenly out of nowhere there comes this red civic…the kind that came out in 1992 that run for 200,000,000 miles before you have to trade it in. As I’m coming up on this here quality vehicle, I notice a very large playboy bunny sticker on the rear passenger-side window.  And not just any size sticker, it’s like a person-size rendering of the bunny’s head, complete with bowtie.  It is HUGE.  I mean this thing took up the entire side window.  Then I notice…there’s one on BOTH sides of the car. Both. Sides.  Is this really necessary?  Ok so my judgementalism kicks in (you know you are straight up hatin on every person you pass on the highway every day), and I immediately think Kendra from that show about Hugh’s sexy young “girlfriends” (if it was a dude it would have been the silhouette of the naked chic…seen those? Real classy). Ok well this…”lady” was not even from the same planet as Kendra. [Major judgement time:] This lady is possibly the biggest woman I’ve ever seen.  In my life, even.  I mean HUGE.  And it wasn’t like oh well if she lost some weight in her face she’d be pretty.  I’m sorry, no. So I’m sort of like staring in shock (she’s 2 lanes away), and then she looked over at me! Dear Jesus deliver me from this section of highway to another section.  She has clearly just caught me in prime judgemental mode.  The look on her face was just deadly and had she not been exiting onto 295 at that moment, it would have been battle of the tiny vehicles.  I have 172 brand new turbo-charged horses on my side though (sexy), pretty sure I would have won.  Regardless, I got caught and learned something about myself: I have no control over my judgmental face. What does that mean, Miss Sassy? Well…

Apparently I can go from a smiling, pleasant face, to a grimace or scowl that portrays my judgmental thoughts.  Those of you that know me well know to which expressions I refer. But don’t worry, you have one too! If you enjoy people-watching, you know you have a judgmental face, or JF.  As I was discussing with my dear loving Twin last night, you could be in mid-convo with someone, happen to witness something trife behind said someone, and BAM. Your attention is diverted and your face morphs. You may say, “No Miss Sassy, I’m good at holding back and not letting my thoughts show on my face!”  All I have to say is: No you are not.  Sorry bout it. We all do it!  The funniest part from my convo with Twin was that in her group of friends when one of them gets the JF, the others call that girl out by calling her by her mother’s name.  Because especially for the ladies, where do you learn your JF from? Your mother!  No matter what you say, that’s where it comes from.  She’s been doing it your whole life! And it’s impossible that you haven’t witnessed at least 234,658 instances of it.  And mothers: you should not take offense to this!  We secretly aspire to be like you, and no matter what we say or how hard we try not to be, I think it’s genetic and really can’t be stopped.  My judgement face is just like Momma Sassy’s.  Twin’s is just like her Momma’s.  So on and so forth.  Dudes: you judge too, but you’re a different animal and I don’t want to get into it.  But you judge, rest assured.

Anywho, my thoughts on judging are this: while it is not classy or sassy to be outwardly judgmental or rude to people, it is sassy to NOT be hypocrite! You know you do it, so own it! And friends, let’s call each other out on this! It always gets a good laugh.  Plus, it’s like mean girls.  I was majorly judging the..um..large chick with the bunnies (God forbid she even…yucky thoughts, I won’t go there), but let’s be honest people! She was judging me too! I drive a funky looking tiny car, with racing stripes, my hair is huge and frizzy (specially today, thanks awesome Richmond weather), and I was singing to myself out loud, kind of intensely.  In the end, it’s almost flattering to be judged.  It means you noticed enough of something or someone to form an opinion.  And it’s sassy to be noticed…even for really large women.

…This is how I sleep at night.  Now, go forth this weekend and get yo sass on!

Miss Sassy’s Shoe Salon: #1

Say that 5 times really fast! So here at my place of gainful employment, I can proudly say that I have the sassiest shoes on this entire floor. Keep in mind, ladies and gents, that this complex has four different buildings, all of which have 5 or more floors of employees.  So by no means is this a feat of fashion.  But man when I’m walking to refill my water bottle in the kitchen, I sure feel good about my fashionable feet! Anywho, I think since I have a healthy passion and love for le scarpe, I would share some disparaging and elating shoe-buying experiences every now and then!

Sassy Shoe Selection number 1 (well really, Lord knows which number it is – have you seen my closet lately, but it’s the one I’m starting with, so it’s number 1) is a fantastic purchase from one of my favorite haunts: Bakers. I was doing the shop-therapy thing after an argument in le tele with one of my dear old man-friends.  Note: some of the best purchases are made while partaking in shop-therapy. Don’t knock it just because it’s tied to your emotions.  So I pass by the enticing window display of Bakers, and slow my pace as I always do.  I’m drawn in by a ridiculous pair of fancy shoes that I would have no occasion to wear, and happen to glance at the sale table in the corner while I’m at it.  Lo and behold there are the most beautiful purple pumps I’ve ever laid eyes on.  And as is usually the case, the display pair is my size (thank you Lord, I do love this about myself), and I slip them on.  Big mistake.  Or best moment ever, depending on how you look at it, since I promptly brought them to the cashier girl, explained to her probably too much detail about my sad man issues, and happily exit the store with this beautiful pair of shoes – man problems completely forgotten.  Yes ladies, it does work.  And no I do not care that the cashier girl probably thought I was nuts.

Bottom line: Bakers has never let me down! I rarely purchase shoes from them since historically they are a bit pricey or just not what I need.  However, if you are looking for good boots, fun flats, trendy gladiator sandles (if you’re into that…Miss Sassy feels these are weird looking and/or is bitter they make her look shorter), fancy DT (downtown) wear, pretty pumps, or wedding couture, Bakers has it! And they have a fab website.  Find the store nearest you!  And don’t forget, shoes do make or break the outfit.  Make sure you’re sending the right signals with your footwear…and obviously, keep it sassy.

Sassy Science: The Carbon Footprint

Over the weekend, a few of Miss Sassy Pants fabulous Hokie family members came to visit! I love you all dearly, no matter our many varying and differing opinions on certain topics. Having said that, I must address the issue of the carbon footprint, as mentioned by my dear friend, let’s call him Mr. Smarty Pants.  So we’re in the kitchen (after a yummy dinner prepared by Momma and Poppa Pants – I mean SO delish) doing dishes and chit-chatting, catching up on jobs, school, job searches, new bartending endeavors by Mr. Smarty-Pants’ beautiful girlfriend (and also dear friend of Miss Sassy Pants), let’s call her Miss Fancy Boots (girl had on these fierce boots and I loved them so there you go). Miss Fancy Boots is living in NYC at this time and has been making frequent trips down to good ol’ VA to see her loving Hokie fam and adorable bf.  So I asked something about how was it to be flying back and forth so often?  How does Mr. Smarty Pants like seeing his gf so much?  Clearly this is a no-brainer question…so I thought.  She says of course she likes it because she loves seeing us/him so often (duh, we’re all fabulous), but it’s pricey!  He says, “Well I like seeing her but she’s really increasing her carbon footprint!” …I’m sorry, maybe I dropped fettucini in my ear by accident, but I thought I heard him criticize her carbon footprint.  Oh that is what he said? Oh, trife.

So all you dudes out there, pretend for a moment that you are Mr. Smarty Pants and your gorgeous woman lives in a far away city. Pretend also that money is no object for anyone, so Miss Fancy Boots can come and see you as often as you both please! How cool would that be! If you’re a smart man, you’d probably respond in one of the following ways: “Well I love seeing her, but I feel bad that it costs so much!” or perhaps “It’s pretty great seeing her, but I only wish I was able to fly up to see her so it would be more equal!”  Notice I did not mention a carbon footprint of any kind.  Would you?  I mean ladies, how would you react if your man said to you, “Well darlin it’s pretty fab seeing you but I can’t take your enormous carbon footprint! I’d rather you not visit me so often.”  Your next line would be, “Buh bye,” not to mention the fact that your man just used the word “fab” in a sentence. Brnt.

Anywho, here’s my thing.  I love the environment.  I love green jobs, whatever that means.  Global warming is the devil. I hate pollution and I love to recycle everything. Do not send me that glossy catalogue in the mail because it does not recycle people! With me?  But all this buzz about carbon footprint…I’m just not sure I understand it’s pertinence to the individual person.  So, because I don’t like to be uninformed, I did some research!  Intense research, I know.  So the definition of a carbon footprint, according to whomever wrote this thrilling article on wikipedia, is: the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event or product.  Does it say “caused by each individual person on the planet”? No. If Miss Fancy Boots did not fly back and forth 3 times over the past month, those planes would still have flown! They still would have used hundreds of gallons of fuel and emitted the same “staggering” percentage of global CO2 emissions.  Further googling has led me to find that aircraft emissions account for at least 3% of total US CO2 emissions. While this is a fairly large amount, individual people are not going to affect this percentage.  Yes, if every industry that sends its’ employees road-warrior-ing every week decided to employ their employees where their employees reside, then yeah maybe air traffic would decrease, therefore lowering emissions. But kids, until someone invents an airplane that runs on water or something that does not emit this devil gas, and until global business decides it doesn’t want to be global anymore, planes will still fly! Air traffic will still increase! The airline industry will still have ridiculous problems to deal with other than CO2 emissions!

Now. I realize that my profession has nothing to do with the environment or saving the world from CO2 emissions and I do not claim to be an expert by any means.  But I can read, and I took 2nd grade science class. Every human on God’s lovely green Earth emits CO2.  It’s a natural bodily function.  So no duh humans are speeding up “global warming”…checked the global population lately? There’s over 6.5 billion human beings on this Earth kids! It’s grown exponentially over the past century! That’s a lot of people exhaling CO2.  I do not want my breathing regulated.  Point is, while the EPA and other tree-hugging organizations (bless their little hearts) are suing (or whatever) the FAA and/or whatever government body it is that regulates the air transportation industry, Miss Boots (and everyone else for that matter) can keep right on flying as often as she pleases! Because, update! US Airways is not a private company! She cannot charter a 747 all to her hot little self.  I fulling support *most* of these environmental protection agencies (there’s lots of them, I’m lumping them all together, scuse) and their mission to protect the Earth.  I mean that’s what we should do.  It’s responsible, it’s the only Earth we’ve got.  But do not come up in my grill and be all like “your personal carbon footprint is ruining the Earth! Stop breathing!” Not happening.  So fly on Miss Fancy Boots.  I know I sure love seeing you, and if you run out of moolah to buy your plane ticket, I will save my hard-earned cash and come see you instead! Or maybe I’ll take the train! Oh wait, trains emit CO2 also.  Good grief!  Maybe I’ll walk, and hold my breath the whole way.

It’s sassy to LOVE your job. Truly.

Ah working.  Here are some things Miss Sassy Pants dislikes about being a working professional:

  • Wearing a badge around my neck with a hideous picture plastered to it.  I mean it could not be uglier.
  • Worrying about having my lunch / any part of my lunch stolen from the communal refrigerator (yes Mom I put my name on it, no that doesn’t always work).
  • Actually having my lunch / part of my lunch taken from the refrigerator. Bring your own lunch people! There’s a freakin cafe within walking distance! We get an employee discount! Or better yet, buy your own groceries and fix your own mother-loving turkey biscuits! I wake up 5 minutes earlier so I can prepare that. Do not waste my time.
  • People with bad cubicle etiquette.  I think they should offer a class on this.  I would teach it, in fact.  It would go something like this: “Use common sense, have some consideration for other people, think about someone other than yourself while you’re gabbing on the phone to your girlfriend. No one wants to hear that.  Class dismissed.”
  • Having no windows in this flipping building. Oh wait, there are windows?! OMG! There’s one above my cubicle!? Maybe I missed it because there are perma-blinds plastered closed everywhere.  Apparently this department doesn’t like sunlight or nature.  I mean, gosh, don’t you love working in a dim grey box?! I sure do! *thumbs up!*

But of course Miss Sassy Pants is not a pessimist! I like my job. Truly.  And I like to look at the positive side of things, and would like to end this post on a happy note. To prove it, here are some things I like about being a real grown-up with a real-life job:

  • Having a steady paycheck. Nothing better than seeing that dolla-dolla come in. Money in the bank kids! Nothing could be sassier than this.
  • After-work drinks / dinner.  It’s pretty cool to join the work force of young professionals and the occasional cougar (depending which part of Richmond you go to…sometimes it’s cougars and a couple twenty-somethings) for after work victory dance or griping sesh.
  • “Networking Events.” Also known as after work drinks / dinner (see above) but also generally includes more swanky people from the office! Bring on the schmoozing! Miss Sassy Pants loves to schmooze.
  • Accomplishments.  Yes it’s that simple. You can’t say that you enjoy a job where you go in to work and leave at the end of the day with zero product to show for the 8 hours you just sat in your gray *dark* cubicle. Buy a pink lamp like Miss Sassy Pants has, and accomplish something! I like to think that each person at this place contributes to the general success of this great company I work for, including me.  How’s that for positive thinking!
  • Paying bills. Haha! Gosh paying bills is so much fun! Not.  Ok so what I really mean is, it’s great to be able to pay all that stuff all by myself!
  • My new car. Oh what? Oh you didn’t hear? Miss Sassy Pants is the proud owner if a brand new 2009 Mini Cooper S. Darn right. Could she have purchased this vehicle without a job? Negative.  See bullet number 1.

So stay in school kids! Work that resume! Own that up-do! Getchu them flashy kicks, find you a job, make that dolla-dolla, and get that whip! It is not sassy to ask mommy and daddy for money after a certain age. Update: We are past that age, so get on it ladies and gentlemen! Dudes: ladies will not love you if you have no job. Gals: dudes like those independent women – I know this because Destiny’s Child and Mary J. told me so.   Happy Monday.

Mother Russia is not Sassy!

Buon Giorno, and happy gloomy Friday to everyone. Miss Sassy Pants has had a very uneventful and boring day at work, but is thrilled for one reason: it’s pay day. YES. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything in particular, just that I like checking my bank account and seeing the number be a little bigger than yesterday. No I am not going to Nordstrom, stop judging. Because the weather has been so gosh-darn terrible and gloomy this week, Miss Sassy Pants has been feeling very un-sassy. It’s not good! As a result, I have been uninspired to write about anything. Yes I am switching between 1st and 3rd person a lot. Get over it.

That all changed about 10 minutes ago when I came across a hilarious little news article from the BBC: Democracy ‘not needed’ in Russia.  Apparently citizens of Russia think democracy is silly, and think it’s an unsuitable type of government for their country. Oh really?! Well perhaps we should flashback to the days of good ol’ Stalin! He was a real winner.  Poverty and persecution for everyone! Despite this, they still love him.  I don’t get it. This is so NOT sassy. “He killed my ancestors for no reason, but I think he’s the greatest country-man ever to walk the frigid tundra of Mother Russia!” That is not a direct quote, but I derived it from the article. Did you also know that the people of Russia are fined now if they are caught cursing in public??  Something close to $33 per occurrence.  Wow. Also another ridiculous notion: Russia admits that Iranian nuclear power poses a threat. Ya think?? Nah, no biggie. I think it’s quite alright for a country that’s practically ruled by terrorist organizations to have bunches of nuclear bombs / the capacity to make them.  Totally fine.  Let them eat cake.  This is also not sassy.  Anywho before I get carried away…

A more positive newsy article that totally blew my mind! Remember when you read Angels & Demons and then ran to the movies to see the epic film? And then you went to Rome so you could follow the path of illumination?!?  Oh wait, maybe just Miss Sassy Pants did that. [It was cool but not as dramatic since I was stopping for gelato pretty frequently and there was not an award-winning score of music playing in the background…also Cardinals were not in danger of being murdered at that time. Still I enjoyed seeing the fountains.] Ok well remember the part about Cern and that particle machine thingy that could basically duplicate the big bang? And then the creepy guy had that glowing light thing that exploded? That was weird. Well guess what! The particle accelerator machine thingy exists! Duh.  Clearly I knew that.  But I love this article because they are talking about duplicating the big bang as if they’re playing with legos. Super cool.  Modern technology continues to blow my mind. Particle accelerator = very sassy.

On another newsy related note, I’d like to express that Miss Sassy Pants loves the BBC and the way they report news about the US.  Also they have this cool thing called Week in Pictures and Day in Pictures. Really neat photos from around the world – some happy, some depressing and sad, but all a neat way to get a snapshot of what is going on in our world! It’s sassy to stay in formed people!

On that note, happy Friday! AND shout out to Poppa Pants!  Tomorrow is his birthday!