Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Crazy New Job

I am currently sitting at the Espresso Royale on Main St in downtown Ann Arbor, sipping a small vanilla caramel latte. And wow, is it sweet! It's actually a teensy bit too sweet for me (which is a hard requirement to fill; my father gave me quite the sweet tooth). Of the three locations in Ann Arbor, I think I like the downtown one the best. Not only am I only one of two parties here, I feel like I am in an old hotel lobby. Classy!

Anyhoo. I have been spending a fair amount of time downtown lately thanks to my new job. I may have briefly mentioned before that I got a second job at the Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room, but here is the whole story.

My roommate, Kimmy, was herself looking for a second job when she came across an ad on Craigslist for a part-time position in the bookstore half of Crazy Wisdom (the bulk of the store, really). She would have applied, but the store requested someone with previous bookstore or library experience. I have both, so during my break at my other job, I received a text message from Kimmy that said, "Crazy Wisdom is hiring. If you don't apply, I will kill you." I didn't see as I had much choice. The woman knows where I sleep!

So, on our way to Hell one morning, Kimmy and I stopped at Crazy Wisdom and I filled out an application. I didn't have much hope and I wasn't sure I could juggle two jobs, though I badly wanted to try. I got a call about a week later from the manager for an interview. I was shocked and delighted! I love Crazy Wisdom, both the store and the general idea behind it. If you've never been there and you are around Ann Arbor, stop by! It's fun, and there's currently a steam punk display in the front window. 

The first interview went so well that they called me back for another. In the interim I did some serious soul-searching and deliberated over my life choices. I missed working with books. When I work with books, it keeps them on my mind, and I feel more driven to create my own books. Working in a bookstore didn't promise a lot of monetary compensation, but I tend to weigh things by more than just money, hence seeking out a second job in the first place. When they offered me the job a couple days later, I was overjoyed. 

At Crazy Wisdom, I don't just sell books. There are crystals, fossils, tarot and oracle decks, deity statues and statuettes, wind chimes, and so much more. There is also knowledge. On my very first day, I met a Native American shaman who performs exorcisms and blessings to earn his living. How cool is that?? As part of the opening duties, we smudge the store with white sage to cleanse it of negative energy. Some people may think that's crazy (hey, the name of the store does warn you), but I find it very peaceful and the smell of white sage is just beautiful.

Every Friday and Saturday night, there is free live music in the tea room upstairs. Last night the band was Ghost City Searchlight, a somewhat eclectic group that I have a hard time describing. Here is what their website says: If Social Distortion, The Pogues, Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash got drunk, had a baby, and named that baby Joe Strummer, and then that baby got drunk, we might sound like the bartender who gave that baby the alcohol. Yeah, it's kind of like that. A couple of their songs actually reminded me of the Clockwork Dolls. Ghost City Searchlight will be back at Crazy Wisdom on November 9th, 9p to 11p, so you should come check them out!

I love my new job, I really do. There are few places where I can talk seriously about the subtle differences of cleansing with white sage versus dessert sage, whether or not it was the store fairies that broke the glass on the chandelier above the cash register (little buggers), how to create a divorce ceremony, or the proper procedure for performing an internationally blended god and goddess ritual. I have had these conversations and more, and I've only been there less than a month. To say that Crazy Wisdom has been a boon to my creativity would be an understatement.

All-in-all, I don't think that this job has become a second job so much as my primary job. I now keep the other around for the health benefits and 401k. You know, that adult stuff I'm supposed to care about. I still haven't gotten much writing done on my steampunk novel, though. And there's this new fairy novel series that keeps bouncing around in my head. Oh, decisions, decisions. I'll get there eventually. 

Ta-ta for now!

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