Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bulk Mail, Transitioning into What's Going on this Week? Hurling, Television, Shorewood Students Play During Shopping Night with Elaine Schmidt Talk

As you may have heard, it was a long weekend, and Monday continued to be quite busy. Oh, not with customers, though we had some of those too. No, our holiday newsletter came back from Clark Graphics and we spent the morning putting little bits of tape on them. Yes, we have them do everything else, but it's a long store. A big thank you for them for getting this to us perfect and on time.

Then Anne and I brought our shipment to the bulk mailing facility at the main post office. Well, first we got Jamaican chicken soup and tomato florentine at The Soup House. Got to have nourishment! But if you haven't ever visited facility, it's really quite an experience. It's my fourth trek, and I continue to be fascinated.

It took an hour and a half to get everything together--yes, that's why other companies use mailing houses. But even though we did our largest mailing yet (3000 pieces), which put us in the higher volume station, we had to head down to the low volume area to get the forms and the trays. And to get there, even though it's just in the back of the central post office, you have to take a 20-block detour.

And of course we got the count wrong, so we did have to fax a new work order. The good news is that we still had enough money in our account (checks only, I don't know why), and the best news is that the person helping us was an old fan of the Brookfield Schwartz, so we had a nice conversation. I tried to convince her that we're only three miles from the facility, but I guess after work, you sometimes want to get home.

I encounter that a lot. Folks who live far away from the store more often than you'd suspect refer to our store as "downtown", but folks who work downtown insist it couldn't be farther. If you have the answer to that one, let me know. And next time I do a mailing in the spring, I'm offering tours to interested customers of the bulk mail facility.

Oh, and my apologies for mentioning the shopping nights in the newsletter. We remembered to exclude the events, but the shopping nights wound up in the letter. We've been kicking ourselves for getting out the mailing so late, but it turns out to be only 3 days later than last year. Go figure.

So tonight is our shopping night for the Milwaukee Hurling Club. It's organized by Jenny, who has worked on our very successful Maryland Avenue Montessori School fundraiser. Don't know what hurling is? Here's your opportunity to find out--there will be a talk at 7 PM. More at their website.

Tomorrow (12/8) at 7 PM we're hosting Joanna Wilson, who will be talking about her new book, The Christmas TV Companion. Today in the Journal Sentinel, there was a piece on Dan Harmon, the once-Milwaukeean creator of NBC's tv series "Community", who explained exactly how important Christmas episodes are.

During the first season of "Community," Harmon was shocked to be told that "guest stars don't get you ratings. There's no measurable proof of that. But here's something that is measurable: holiday episodes, wedding episodes, funeral episodes, the milestones of life that you and the audience share." Here I was being told, "We would love it if you would do Halloween and Christmas episodes.' I couldn't believe the world I had stumbled onto."

You can read the complete article today on the Journal Sentinel's website. As you may have heard, their Christmas episode is in the style of the old Rankin-Bass specials. Their Halloween episode was zombie based. As seemingly half of our posts on the Boswellians appear to be about Zombies, Greg recently weighed in on "The Walking Dead." Now that would be a Christmas episode. As Ingram does not carry this book, we can't easily link to it on our website. However, we do have it. You can order by phone, of course, and in 2011, our goal is to start linking some of the items we have that aren't in the database, particularly event books.

Thursday (12/9) is our fundraiser with Shorewood Seed, the program that works with the Shorewood school system. We have student music groups performing starting in late afternoon, and Elaine Schmidt, Shorewood author of Hey Mom, Listen to This will give a talk at 7 PM.

And Friday (12/10) is Jonathan Shailor, author of Performing New Lives: Prison Theatre. Shailor teaches at UW Parkside, and is well-known for his prison Shakespeare program. Should be very interesting for teachers, theater buffs, various non profits, and Milwaukee's collection of peace organizations. And if you're interested in the book, you should understand that while it's expensive, we're allowed to buy the book at trade terms for events, but only for events. So this is the cheapest you'll see it from us, and we're just about the same price as the A-bomb.

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