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Goodbye, Mr. Petersen.

One of the first regular customers that really talked to me was Daniel Petersen, a man in his late 50s to early 60s. He was someone who you could tell loved to talk, and it wasn't long before he knew my last name was also Petersen. For the first several months, I would actually see him pretty regularly. He would come into the store and say "Hello, Ms. Petersen" with a smile and I would grin and say "Hello, Mr. Petersen". From time to time, he'd also call me his "namesake" as a joke. After awhile, I didn't see him too often as he would come in on Thursday mornings and I don't usually work then.

The last time I saw him was Free Comic Book Day. The store was packed with people and he was in a hurry. He grabbed his bag of things, made a little small talk, but had to go. He hadn't been feeling well for awhile, I guess he picked up pneumonia sometime before and was having a hell of a time getting past it.

Today when I walked into the store, Bill, the manager, stopped me and asked me if I knew a particular customer. I vaguely remembered his name, but couldn't place the face. Apparently he was the nephew of Daniel Petersen. He told Bill that last weekend, Daniel went in to see why it was taking so long to get over pneumonia and found out he had cancer. The doctor told him he had two to four months to live.

Daniel Petersen died two days later. I didn't know him very well, but he was a nice guy, funny, and one of the first to actually respect me as a comic fan, rather than seeing me as "the girl". What's weird, is the day he died I thought of him out of the blue. Nothing I was doing actually reminded me of him, I just suddenly thought of him saying to me "Hello, Ms. Petersen."

So, for the last time,

Goodbye, Mr. Petersen.

As a lesbian and a feminist...

I totally disavow this woman. Her "argument" is easy enough to dismantle, so I won't even bother. I just had to post since she's the epitome of what people think of when they hear "lesbian feminist". Hell, she's the epitome of what some think of when they hear "feminist".

BG&E 2!

It's about time!

Now if only I could play the original Beyond Good and Evil. My Xbox died and so far Xbox 360 can't play it. Sigh, it's such a good game!


Not this guy:

and certainly not this guy:

This man is Cap:

He may be from the UK, but he can do American accents. He can fight (see Rome and Kingdom of Heaven), and he can act (May have Rome Spoilers). He has the grizzled war weary face we see in Rome, and the sympathetic one we see in Journeyman. What more do we need? Seriously, I've said it a lot, I know, but this guy would easily make the movie.
The company put out a survey thing several weeks ago to get an idea of how things at the new store were doing, how people liked the new location, the layout, etc and so forth. It also included some ratings on the employees as well. For the overwhelming majority of the comments (that mentioned employees) it was all very very positive. There were one or two that were moderate to negative...including one in reference to me. This isn't an exact quote, but it's close:

"I rated the employees lower than I would otherwise, mainly due to the red headed female employee. She consistently gives me the bare minimum amount of customer service and never smiles. At first I thought it was because I was female and she was being territorial, but a male friend said she was the same to him. I understand hiring eye candy, but every time I come in she's sullen...Every time I come in and see her, I know I'm going to get sub par customer service." [Emphasis mine]

Thing is, I could have been moody and/or sullen when she's been in. I haven't had the best year in terms of my family, and I freely admit there were days it was so bad I probably wasn't in the greatest mood at work. So it's entirely possible there's some merit to that aspect of her complaint. And considering there were so many others that WERE positive about my customer service, I'm not really worried about one person's view on it so much.

What bothers me so much about what she wrote was what I put in bold: "I understand hiring eye candy." Wow...seriously. It's so nice when someone, especially another woman, discounts the possibility I just might be hired at the store because I know a massive chunk of useless information about comics rather than a need for "eye candy". I always suspected some people were thinking that I was just there because I'm female and they needed the "token chick", but to actually have it down in words, and from another woman no less.

You'd think she herself was subject to the same sexism I am, and thus would be more likely to consider that I was there because I liked comics. I'm positive that in at least one store (less likely mine) she was asked if she was getting stuff for her boyfriend/husband/whatever; and likely it irritated her to be marginalized by that. I would think that she would be conscious of that when filling out the survey.

That really is the only thing that bothers me about it, that my position at the store was so marginalized, and by a woman who should know better! When I was talking about it with Jake, he made the point that it was insulting to the guys at the store as well, implying that they were shallow enough to just hire someone for the reasons she believes.

What's kind of a funny side note in all of it is that my hair's not red. It has some red to it, but it's more of a light brown (though some say it's a dark blonde...I refuse to believe them). I'm the only woman who works at the store on a consistent basis, so it has to be in reference to me.

It's nice to be appreciated. Or, a sexist compliment that actually makes me feel good.

One thing I like about Jake's Saturdays is that he often catches up on work in the back room while I spend most of the day in the main part by myself. This means the customers have to ask me questions rather than going to whichever of the guys happens to be there. And it's really nice to be the one person they go to, even if it is just every other Saturday.

This past Saturday a man was in with his son. The man had been into comics when he was younger and was now looking to get his kids into comics as well. Obviously, quite a bit had changed since he read comics, so I got to fill him in on quite a bit. Including stuff in relation to the Comics Code Authority, The Seduction of the Innocent, and current rating system on some major publishers (or lack thereof. I'm looking at you, DC). While explaining it, another man, about the same age as the first tuned into the conversation and during a pause, commented "Wow...you really know your stuff!" and asked me a question (to which he knew the answer) about the whole Harry Osborne drug addiction story that was asked for by the anti-drug part of the government and rejected by the CCA part. I answered it and he was more surprised.

The two men talked about other things for awhile, like current comics and how things had changed. As the second man was leaving he came up to me and said "I have to say, I'm really impressed. Did you know this before you worked here, or did you have to learn it?" I told him I knew it before I got the job.

"I'm just surprised, you're the only...well..."

"You're the only woman I know that reads comics, let alone knows all this history." Chimed in the first man.

"Yes, that's it exactly!"

So there it was. I definitely got the impression from their reactions before that they were impressed because a woman knew all of this stuff, so I wasn't too surprised when they actually told me. And considering their generation and being out of comics for awhile, I can't fault them too much on their perceptions. During the time when they were into comics, there were very few girls and women who were into comics and even less who would publicly admit it (they're a few decades too young to remember the female audience comics had pre CCA). And neither of the men were condescending when talking with me, they were just surprised.

So in the end, ironically, the sexism behind both stories is basically the same: the perception that I'm just there as a token woman rather than merit. Funny how context can make all the difference, huh? And with the guys, their perception that women don't read comics is now changed...even if it is just a little.

Ralph Nader's a tool.

Ralph Nader has thrown his hat in the ring...again. Late February. As a very left wing Independent.

Ok, seven years ago he ran and siphoned off some of the more left votes. Granted, those may or may not have gone to Gore (some probably would have gone with Gore had Nader not gone in, some would just not have voted.)

Now it's about eight months until the election, and he's just NOW announcing his candidacy. This tells me he's not really serious about it. I mean, come on, his chances of winning are already clearly very little, but he's starting so late after others have so much momentum. His chances are so small, and this has been proven quite often. I am so not saying we shouldn't expand how we have elections, have more than one party or anything like that. That will take a significant restructuring of our electoral process and is something for another, longer post.

But Nader knows he's not going to win. Hell, everyone knows there's no way in hell he's going to win the majority of the votes/electoral college from the Democratic and Republican nominees. It's just not going to happen.

Which leads to one of two possibilities.

A) His ego needs some stroking.


B) The right wing hires him out.

This isn't to say he doesn't believe in what he says, but it just adds a different dimension to what he does. I can totally see him taking money under the table from the right wing to basically run as a distraction for liberals. Hell, he even may see it as a necessary evil to accept their money to do what he thinks is right (and to stroke his annoying ego). Granted, this would be total hypocrisy due to his stance against corporate interests in government, but he may not think of that.

It just seems odd that he jumps in now, especially after the 2000 election results. Hell, after over a decade of him getting very little support. Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't have more than two parties, I think we do. (I actually think parties should be done away with entirely and people are elected on the merits of their platforms and records) I just can't see him being elected, and I can't see him actually believing he'd be elected.

The only bonus is I think most people have learned from 2000, so I doubt he'll do as "well" this time around.
Ok, a quick so this story requires a little explanation up front: I'm skinny. It's not because I don't eat, or I eat too healthily (if there is such a thing :P ). I don't eat an extreme amount, but what I do eat is often high in fats and calories. I drink at least four glasses of whole milk a day. This isn't to brag or anything like that, this is to make sure the next part is put into full context.

I was walking across the street to my girlfriend's apartment for the night. Where we live, they have alternate side parking each night to allow the plows to go through if there's snow. And there's been quite a bit of it, though the plows haven't really utilized the alternate side parking on my girlfriend's street. Anyway, as I'm walking across, a car pulls out of the mall parking lot. It's a small mall made up of basically old yuppie stores. Usually it's pretty quiet.

This car, though, had a guy in the passenger seat that felt the need to shout out to me "Eat something, for the love of shit!"

The car was away before I could even respond. On the one hand, I took it with humor considering the irony and ignorance of what he said.

On the other hand, it pissed me off! Where does he get off commenting on my body? Or how much I eat? If I was a guy, there's no way in hell he would have said anything. Yes, there are women that don't eat, or don't eat enough in order to stay skinny. Yes, there is a problem with the fashion industry in always portraying ultra skinny women, often pushing their models into eating disorders to keep up.

However, this doesn't speak for all skinny women, or men for that matter. And it certainly doesn't give this ass the right to comment as his friend speeds by. Ugh... Ok, rant over.
It's been quite awhile since my last SCSG update. I know, all of one person thought "Wait, wasn't there some semi-regular blog about a...ooh, chocolate!" Anyway...

Listen to the girl, save six dollars

It's so incredibly irritating how often people in the store (female and male), will ask me questions, get an answer, then later ask Bill or Jake the same question and get the same answer. It's annoying, though sometimes amusing. In this case it was amusing because if the guy had just listened to me, he would have saved $6.

It was near the end of the day, and I was doing inventory. Which of late isn't anything new. Inventory in this context, is defined as a level of retail hell that lasts forever. This man walks in and kind of looks around a bit. He's kind of a jittery personality, like he's had too much coffee or a cola or something. He comes to the desk and asks if the Wizard we have out is the latest. I tell him it is. He asks for an opened copy. Lucky for him, we actually do have one.

He flips through it for a few minutes, then asks if we have any more back issues. I tell him we have last month's, but no open copy for it.

"Do you have the Indy edition?"

"You mean one Wizard puts out devoted to Indy press?"


"No, they haven't released one yet. Or in awhile for that matter."

"Oh...do you know when?"

"No, not reliably."


He walks away for a bit and Bill comes up. The man walks back with last month's Wizard.

"Can I open this, I'll buy it."

Bill looks at him funny, but says "Uh...ok, sure."

As he opens it, he starts asking Bill the exact same questions he just asked me. Bill gives him the same answers I did, and of course, the last issue of Wizard yielded no results for him. Which meant he had to shell out $6 for an issue that he didn't really want for an answer I gave him ahead of time. I so wanted to say "See, 'the girl' does know what she's talking about. If you listened to me, you would have saved money!"

I have a secret stalker admirer

I'm going to be kind of vague with this one. Mainly because I don't know who this guy is, and I'm pretty sure it was not meant to be threatening in any way. Well, that's assuming that it's not the creepy guy that I originally thought it might be.

I got into work a few months ago and Jake came up to me and said "Meg, I have something to show you." in this slightly foreboding tone. I thought "what, did I frak up the bank deposit last night?" Jake opens up his email and clicks on a link. This link is to a page that's in a "men seeking women" section. I won't say exactly what it says (trying to maintain a small level of anonymity here), but it's basically pretty clear the guy is talking about me. And that he has a crush on me.

This is kind of strange, honestly. The internet part. I'm all for meeting people online (hell, my girlfriend and I first met online). But I guess posting that you have a crush on somebody and leaving a contact email (which is made anonymous through the site), you'd THINK they'd just take the initiative and talk to me, if not tell me directly. Whoever it was, they weren't a regular, that much was clear from the message itself. I know there are a few guys who have a crush on me who come in. They talk differently than others, not in a condescending way, just in a way that I know they're crushing. I'm pretty sure that they didn't write the entry since I'm pretty sure they know I'm gay (hence the girlfriend thing. Seriously, pay attention!).

Jake had been sent the link by a friend of his, who wrote "She probably would want to know about this." Which I did. Bill and I thought it was this creepy guy who came in a few weeks before, who just kept looking at me funny (literally...he had his head cocked to the right), and mumbled quite a bit. When Bill came up and saw the guy, he was about to head out to get some food. He'd stopped to make sure the guy didn't try anything, that was how strong the creepy vibe was. The guy mumbled more and left. With more distance between that and the online thing, I tend to think it's not him. He never came back to the shop.

Some of the customers also stumbled across the ad page. I think what's stranger than the ad itself is when people ASKED me about the ad. Just kind of "So, you've got an admirer, huh?" So, I got some crap for it for awhile; from both co-workers and customers. :P

That is one hell of a Christmas gift

Months ago, I was talking to a customer (call him Luke) about a game that he had a part in making. In the game, you could choose if your character was female or male, but aside from that difference, the stories were the same. Including the love interest being female, regardless of the gender of your character. Which I was so surprised and happy with. It turns out this guy had written that in there to see if it would pass. And it did. I told him that it had really made me happy to see that, and the surprise was so very cool to me. It's not often you see a lesbian romantic interest in games, especially one not done for titillation.

A few weeks later, in early December, he asks if I've played Mass Effect. For those of you in the geek world who haven't really been paying attention, Mass Effect is a new RPG that came out for the 360 in November to some controversy. You can create your own character, female or male, and develop relationships in the game. One of those relationships for BOTH female and male versions is a potential romance with an Asari (an all female race. Well, technically they're mono-gendered and "not female". Which seems to be more of "We're gonna do it this way so we can shrug off some conservative rhetoric" than actual biological reasons. So I'm just gonna say they're an all female race, because well. They are. Hell, the game's description of them says so). Anyway, I'd said I was familiar with it, but I couldn't play it being that I was (and am) poor as hell. BioWare did KotoR, which I absolutely loved, so Mass Effect was something I'd wanted to play, even before I knew about the lesbian romance option.

A few hours later, he called to ask how much I could pay for a used 360. I guess a co-worker of his wanted to sell his old one for an Elite. I told him while I would definitely like too, I couldn't afford even a used. I thanked him for thinking of me, wished I had more money, and then pretty much put it out of my mind.

That Saturday we were busy as hell. I'm looking down at the time, working on someone's gift card. Jake is helping at the register and looks up first.

"Uh...Meg..." I finish the gift card and hand it to the customer when I see Luke standing there with an Xbox 360.

"It's for you."

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah, it's yours!"

"You're not serious."

"Yeah, he's just a mean person here to taunt you. Of course he's serious.", said Jake.

Luke sets the 360 on the counter and puts an unopened copy of Mass Effect on top of it. "I didn't pay a single penny for all of it. I had some things to trade around and that's how I got it. Merry Christmas!"

"Wow...Thank you. I don't know what else to say. Thank you so much." That I probably repeated for the next several minutes as we talked. I wished I could do something in return, like give him his stuff for a year at cost or something. Or a discount. Or something. Since I couldn't, I just thanked him a lot instead. It was so surprising and generous of him to do that, and he did it for the generosity. Very cool.

Anyway, I'm going to write something on Mass Effect later. Since it doesn't really have much to do with a comic shop, or at least the one I work at, it will be in a different entry.

Next issue: Meg goes insane with Avatar and their multiple damn covers without barcodes, tosses those back issues into a shredder.


In this week's Batman, is that Steph's  Robin costume in the display case?  It looks like it.  Granted, Bats is a bit out of it and hallucinating...

Heath Ledger...

Wish you coulda hung around longer. :(