Etcetera

Oct. 1st, 2009 12:09 am
mellicious: pink manicure (crayons)
I am awash (mentally) in diagnosis codes. I'm starting to get the hang of it, but it's a slow process. I am learning to resist the temptation to keep running back to look in the textbook for every question I have - most of the answers are right in the code book in the first place; after all, that's what it's for.

Because I'm compelled for some reason to catalog the catalogs, we've gotten more in the past few days:
Franklin Covey (that one followed me from my old job)
Angela Moore (painted jewelry)
Blair (grandma clothes, from which I occasionally order some of the hopefully least grandma-ish clothing)
Acorn (heavy on the PBS DVDs - seems to me I used to get a catalog with very, very similar merchandise called "Signals," so I don't know if they changed their name with unfortunate timing, or what.)

Also, do y'all get those mailers every week with the grocery ads and such in them? I'm not sure if that's just a suburban thing or not - I don't think we got them regularly in Galveston. Well, anyway, this week's batch had a Party City catalog in it that I just loved - it had little pictures of all the Halloween costumes, divided up into, y'know, Boys, Girls, Men, Women, Infants, Toddlers, even plus sizes. Not that I'm intending to buy any, but, I dunno, cheesy Halloween costumes make me happy, for some reason. And that reminds me that I saw somewhere that more people are intending to make their own costumes this year. Which may not be the best thing for the economy, but it's sort of cool.

(Col and I had a conversation the other night along similar lines about Christmas - he was wondering if people are starting to decommercialize Christmas due to the economic conditions. Once again, I am torn - it's a good thing, but then again, not really good for the economy. At least not all at once. Also I suspect a bounce-back effect at some point if people get too drastic about it.)
mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - action figures)
I don't know, somehow I feel the need to have a Biker Barbie:

Harley-Davidson Barbie (no, seriously)

(Officially, it's a Harley-Davidson Barbie. Available for preorder from Entertainment Earth - for $50, natch.)
mellicious: pink manicure (fall leaves orange)
I felt like crap for most of the day today. I don't think I slept too well last night, which tends to happen after holidays - although I'm not as bad about staying up late as I used to be. I tend to go to bed by 1am or so even when I don't have to work, where I used to stay up til 2 or 3 routinely. I've gotten where I wake up early even when I go to bed late, so I get tired earlier. A bit earlier, anyway.

Did you know that today is known - in the holiday marketing business, anyway - as Cyber Monday? I think the term "cyber" conjures up something different than this for a lot of us, but in this case it means that people go back to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving and place a lot of online orders from the (theoretically faster) computer at their workplace. I guess this explains all those Free Shipping! e-mails I've gotten from various companies today. (Including Macy's - Today Only!!!) I've been thinking the last few years that you could measure the relative strength of the economy by how many companies are offering free shipping, and there's a lot of that this year. Last year I can't think of anybody other than LLBean who was doing it. (And I guess you'd have to say that it works, I bought a whole bunch of stuff from LLBean last year.)

They keep talking about the "soft" economy, but the thing is, I don't know anybody who's really been hit by the housing crunch that badly - or if they are, they're not saying much about it, at least. We are spending somewhat less on gifts this year, but the reasons are different - between the new computer and the trip to Vegas, I figure I've gotten my gifts already. Rob's still getting his usual pile of movies. And we'll have to order something or other for my in-laws and my dad at some point soon. The fact is, with my mother and grandparents all gone, I don't have that many people left to buy gifts for. I always get a gift card for my teenage nephew, and I don't ever buy my little cousins gifts at all - they've always seemed to get plenty anyway. Maybe I should start buying all the kids something small.

And that leads me to Matthew Yglesias, who thinks people should buy stamps as Christmas gifts. Now, I don't really think very many people would appreciate stamps as gifts- read the comments for evidence of that - but as it happens, I know somebody who would. And he is totally getting stamps for Christmas.



Also, I guess everybody but me knew about "Cyber Monday" - at least, I got at least half a dozen e-mails that called it that. Did that term just get spread around this year all of a sudden, or was it around before and I just missed it?


Plus -

Creepy

Nov. 20th, 2007 06:25 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (fall tree)
Yay for Nordstrom's.

One Holiday At a Time is a pretty good motto in this situation, as far as I'm concerned. I'd never heard it before, but apparently there's a name for this thing that's been going on so noticeably this year, where it's not even Thanksgiving and all the merchants are acting like Christmas is next week - it's called "Christmas creep". I don't like it. But you know, the thing is that I don't actually have a problem with a certain amount of marketing aimed at Christmas coming out before Halloween, even - as long as it's subtle. I know Wal-Mart et al. have trouble with subtlety, but heck, catalog retailers have been doing it for years. You just don't specifically say anything about Christmas, is how most of them handle it. After Halloween, you can mention Christmas, maybe, and you can set up the Christmas department, even - but you do not put up Christmas decorations anywhere outside the Christmas department, or worse, play Christmas carols. You can sort of gradually segue your fall theme into a wintery theme, as the month of November goes along, but that's about all I'll allow, when I am Queen of the Universe. As a matter of fact, I will allow the decorations to go up after Thanksgiving, but I definitely think Christmas music should be forbidden until at least December 1st, no matter what, and really I'd prefer it was a bit later. The playlist of popular holiday music is pretty small - there's lots of Christmas albums, god knows, but most of them have the same dozen songs on them, after all. So to me - and I think to a lot of people - after a couple of weeks, holiday music tends to get really, really stale. (And I know there are a good many people who'd rather not hear it at all. But let's give that one up as a lost cause, ok?)

(I have talked about topics like holiday music before, but I don't know if those entries still exist, since at least some of them were back in my Diary-X days. So I may be repeating myself, and I apologize if you've read me carrying on about some of this before!)

Oh, speaking of creep, I heard a Gander Mountain commercial on the radio this morning that said they would be open from 3pm to 9pm on Thanksgiving Day - so, they said, you'll have something to do after you finish up the turkey. I am indecisive about this. For one thing, I've worked in places that were open Thanksgiving Day and it sucks to be the one working. But on the other hand, I have also experienced the boredom of late Thanksgiving afternoons. I'm not really a big napper, and so in my family, I was often the only one awake at some point or other in the afternoon. (My grandmother was partial to recliners and always had at least two of them in the living room, and often more. Late in her life, I think there were six of them. Walking in and seeing practically the whole family snoozing away in recliners was hilarious.) Anyway, bored or not, Gander Mountain is not a place that's going to appeal to me. But is this another trend that's spreading?

Also, back to the Nordstrom's business, that's all well and good, too, but does that mean they're going to have half their employees working overtime on Thanksgiving Day doing the decorating? I was thinking about the whole employee issue even before[profile] p_j_cleary  posted about Kohl's opening at 4am - if you are an executive at a retail company, and you decide your employees need to work Thanksgiving Day or at 4am on Friday or whatever, you better fucking be right out there opening the door with them at 3:59. That's my view of it. And anyway, are there people crazy enough to go shopping at 4am? There probably are.

(Also, since I wrote the paragraph above, I have been told that the outlet mall on the other side of Houston is opening at midnight. Worse and worse.)


I'm very interested in the whole issue of marketing for Christmas, if you haven't noticed. The Consumerist has a whole category for Christmas Creep; it seems to be a special interest of theirs. Also, the Wall St Journal has a separate blog for Holiday Sales stuff. (I'm pretty sure their blogs aren't subscription only. Which reminds me, I saw somewhere that Murdoch wants to make access to the WSJ Online free. I paid some relatively paltry amount for a year of access - $20 or so, I think - but I have a co-worker who paid $99 for it, which I believe is the supposedly going rate!)

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