Sunday, December 10, 2017


Today was Sunday.  Shortcake was back at the Land, and Peppercorn was in. Dream Team!  

For some reason, Peppercorn needed a high chair.

Shortcake came in to these two letters to Santa on the strawboss desk.

The kid wants a calculator!

This child is clearly a mini-Shortcake.  S/he made a spreadsheet and included a coupon to Toys R Us.  The list is organized clearly and neatly.

It was a fairly calm day.  As we were opening the Land, one of the white flowers said "We have a Hotel California situation in here, the fire door isn't open."

Peppercorn and Shortcake made a bet with Santa on when Mr. Claus's first visit would be.  And Santa won!  Boooooooooooo.  Shortcake and Peppercorn had to draw something on a post-it and it had to include the number 42.

Shortcake's entry featuring dolphins and mice and a ukulele-playing dinosaur

Peppercorn drew a triptych. Show off.

Brent made a woman very happy today.  She had lost her gold bracelet yesterday, so Brent searched through the house and found it, and we were able to return it to her.  She was very grateful.

Gimball ran Shortcake over with the stroller - twice!  TWICE Shortcake stepped forward, or back, the point is she stepped and there was Gimball with a stroller, trying to kill her.

Shortcake felt confident all day.  Ashley said that Shortcake gave good hugs.  Santa said that when Shortcake was strawboss, he always felt taken care of.  And, yes, he did end that sentence with a preposition.  And Jubilee gave Shortcake and EARS for "Facilitated last minute Spanish-language request super efficiently and with magical elf-wrangling skill."

At the end of the day, Peppercorn had Shortcake help her record a video.  It was about the meaning of Christmas.  Peppercorn found it in a... comb?  It didn't make sense in the video either.

Let's end with a picture of Shortcake and Shortbread - elf cousins!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

St. Nick Day!

Here's the spread Shortcake woke up to on St. Nick Day:

So many books!  So much chocolate!  Ornaments!  Cookies!  Presents!

Shortcake's mom sent her cookies to share, so she brought them in to Santa.  They were gone in a matter of hours.  And, of course, Shortcake wrote her dinosaur story.  Santa asked her to read it aloud to him (he enjoys the story every year), so Shortcake did.  You don't turn down a chance for storytime with Santa.

Shortcake also taught Santa how to wrap a square present.  He has elves to do that kind of thing, you know, and he described his wrapping as "offensive."  So Shortcake sat him down with a book and a piece of paper and made him wrap it.  Santa did a good job.

Blissful finished Santa Bingo!  Here are the bingo sheets:

Santa can play as many times as he wants throughout the season.  And he gets a prize!

Tumbleweed, Blissful and Shortcake showed off their festive socks.

Tumbleweed and Blissful have Christmas socks.  Shortcake has Jane Austen socks.  She needs some Christmas socks.

A little girl leaving a visit with Santa said "Santa was great."  Yes.  Yes, he is.

Figgy said Shortcake is his favorite strawboss.  Shortcake blushed.

More fan art:

So much heart went into this.

Selfie with Santa!

As a St. Nick Day tradition, Shortcake brought her ukulele in for her annual photo shoot with Santa.

Shortcake and Santa are very excited.

Look!  Santa played the uke!

So excited!

Even more excitement!

We had an absurdly long line at the end of the night.  There was nothing Shortcake could do, so she wandered the Village playing her uke.  This does not mean she played actual songs.  She still cannot play her uke well, even though St. Nick brought it 4 years ago.  This is where that self discipline would come in, if Santa would just bring Shortcake some.

She let some of the elves play it too.

We didn't leave the Land until 10:30pm.

Figgy also felt it was a long night. 

Monday, aka the day Cider lost his mind

Yes, Shortcake knows you want to hear about Cider.

But first!  Remember the weather strip that Shortcake asked for because the NYFD made her take down the wrapping paper on the back of the emergency exit door?  

When she came in on Sunday, this was what she got:
Let's have a closer look, shall we?
Yes, that is gaff tape.  Gaff tape is not a weather strip.

When she came in on Monday, this was being installed:
Here, have a close up:
Better than gaff tape, but still not a weather strip.  And, fun fact, it now prevents the door from closing all the way, so we tape it shut, with, you guessed it: gaff tape.

Anyway.  So, Cider.  Shortcake came in Monday afternoon expecting a normal day.  And she walked in to Cider wearing a hat.  Which he pointed at and said "Strawboss hat!"
There was no other explanation.

Then Cider put the hat on Shortcake's head and said she had to wear it all evening.  And then Cider got a call that Santa needed water, and wanted the hat back saying "I have to wear the strawboss hat when I do strawboss things!"  Shortcake told him if he wanted the hat, he had to take it.  Which he did.  And then he ran away.

At this point, it was explained that Cider had Krispy Kreme donuts, cookies and two cups of coffee that day.  At which point Shortcake told Santa he was never allowed to bring in Krispy Kreme donuts ever again.  Santa defended himself saying it was a birthday treat, and Shortcake told him firmly NO.  Never again.  (Cider's birthday was Saturday, December 2.  He is now #olderthanjesus.)

To prove Shortcake's point, here's video:

Shortcake took things into her own hands.  She took the hat off Cider's head, and took the radio and headset off his body.  But then Cider wanted to talk to Chance, who was at Main Exit.  So he stood close to Shortcake, some might say uncomfortably close, and talked to Chance through Shortcake's mic.  (a transcript of the conversation)

CIDER: Cider to Chance.
CHANCE: Go for Chance.
CIDER: Could you go down to Victoria's Secret and start checking people in on the iPad?
CHANCE: Sure thing, boss.
CIDER: No, you know what, go down to KMart across the street.  We'll get some good people there.
CHANCE: I could also go to Sephora?  I think they have a lot of people that want to see Santa.

Now, Shortcake is very comfortable with Cider as they have worked together for nine years.  But if someone was watching this interaction, Cider was definitely invading Shortcake's personal space.  Someone, like, say, the HR person sitting in the scheduling office.  Do not worry.  Cider did not get in trouble with HR because, as stated before, Shortcake did not mind.

Anyway.  So then Shortcake went to go to strawboss things, but Cider was bored, so he also did those strawboss things the way he likes to do them instead of how Shortcake does them.  They had a standoff on either side of a house, like Shortcake was at the front door of the house, and Cider was at the back door of the house, and they stared at each other across the house while there was a family seeing Santa and then Cider made finger gun gestures at Shortcake and ran away.

Shortcake and Cider did the strawboss things, and then Cider walked off into the Village, and Shortcake happened to also be going that way, so she followed Cider, which then turned into Cider running away from Shortcake and Shortcake chasing him.

Shortcake asked Cider why he didn't just go home and he said "I'm waiting for my son.  He's taking the train for the first time ALL BY HIMSELF."  Shenanigans is one month old.  He was not taking the train all by himself.  Ruby was bringing him.

Where was Tumbleweed while all this was happening?  Stretching.

Anyway.  Ruby finally arrived, and Cider left.  But not before Shortcake took these photos:

You'd think it would calm down after Cider left, but nooooooo.  Well, it was calm for, like, an hour.  Santa and Shortcake talked about the film Get Out which Shortcake had just seen.  If you have no seen it, please do so.  Well, see it if you are old enough to watch it.  Otherwise, wait until you are old enough (Shortcake does not condone seeing films without her parents permission even though she totally watched whatever she wanted after she was 15.).  Anyway, Santa and Shortcake agreed it's a fantastic film.

Santa brought in chocolate to share.
Shortcake has been trying not to eat chocolate or baked goods.  This is hard for her because she is addicted to sugar.  Not like, diagnosed addicted, or goes to meetings addicted, but eats far more sugar than is necessary for life or recommended for nutrition.  Remember that cold she had?  Well.  During the cold she didn't want chocolate or sugar or baked goods, so she went, like, a week without them without realizing it, and then she thought "How long can I go without eating them?"  Not as long as she would have liked.  Because on Monday, she started eating the Hershey's Kisses.  Santa tried to stop her.  He literally slapped the chocolate out of her hands.  And then chased her down a hallway while she ate one.  This wouldn't be a problem is Santa would just bring Shortcake the self discipline she asks for every year.

Earlier in the night, the line was in Parade hallway for inexplicable reasons.  We got the line down, and then Dumpling got on headset and wandered around as a "gray flower."  A "white flower in training" if you will.  Shortcake said he should be a red or green flower.  A black flower sounded too dark and sinister.

How about some photos just for fun?
Whimsy and Storybook

Brownie and Periwinkle and Licorice

Oh, here's the annual photo where we see how short Shortcake is in relation to Santa:
That's Apple Crisp with Shortcake and Santa.

Shortcake is literally standing on the magic box, and she barely comes up to their shoulders.

It got slow towards the end of the night, so Shortcake may have leapt through Santa's empty house without saying hi, and he dissolved into giggles.

Santa also got kinda bored, so he started mauling Shortcake's leg.  Again, not an HR issue because Shortcake is comfortable with Santa having worked with him for years.  He just started swatting at her knee with both hands.  Shortcake may have video of this, but it cannot be posted publicly because Santa has a reputation to protect.

The last visit of the night was Willie.  Remember Willie?  He believes in Santa so hard he comes every year, some weeks every day.  And Santaland has embraced him.  All the elves come to his visit.
Willie visiting Santa

The elves watching Willie's visit

Let's end with some photos of Shortcake in the strawboss hat, shall we?

Shortcake started contemplating her future as an evil overlord.

This is why Shortcake doesn't normally wear hats.  THIS.

Look at that cowlick!

Who do you think wore the strawboss hat best:
Cider or Shortcake?


Shortcake had more Christmas spirit back on Tuesday.  She likes opening.  She's always been an opener, even going back to her days as en elf.  The world just feels right when she opens.

It was an easy day.  Shortcake and Tumbleweed had a dance party to Cee Lo Green's "That's What Christmas Means to Me" while Santa got ready.  Santa completely ignored them while Shortcake and Tumbleweed danced it out.

Santa did need help putting his boots on.  Apparently, Cider helps Santa do this daily.  But Santa said Shortcake did a better job.  Ha!

The FDNY came to visit.  They've been making surprise visits throughout the season.  Jubilee said it was because Black Friday was so crowded and unsafe.  Shortcake had to stand by specific doors because... well, she's not really sure why.  But she did.  And one firefighter asked her how many Santas there were.  Shortcake said one.  He asked if that was what she was supposed to say.  And she answered in the affirmative.  The firefighter laughed a little and walked away.

After that excitement, Shortcake went and did calf stretches.  And then she made snowflakes.  Santa said she was good at it, but Shortcake feels she uses the same shapes over and over again and was dissatisfied.  Tumbleweed also made snowflakes, and she went to Pinterest to find instructions on how to make a good one.  Shortcake thinks the hardest part of snowflakes is making them six-sided.

Shortcake's first three snowflake attempts.

And here are some drawings Santa received this year:

Sunday Dec. 3

Yes, we know.  It's been a week since Shortcake posted, and you, dear reader, are wondering what happened to Shortcake.  Well.  Shortcake works two jobs, and sometimes has a social life, and straight up hasn't had time.  But on this Saturday, Shortcake has very little to do all day, so she's going to sit at her desk, listen to Christmas music, drink her hot tea, watch the snow fall, and blog all about the last week.

The day did not start auspiciously.  Santa was going to sit for a soft open at 8:30am.  Shortcake knew about the soft open, but figured it would be fine if Peppercorn swept in exactly on time to fluff Santa and send him out.  But Peppercorn didn't know about the soft open and had train troubles.  Santa almost went out on his own to stand by Freeze Frame.  It was so cute.  He held his own hand as if he was the strawboss while he walked to the door.  And then Shortcake intercepted before he made it out to the maze.  Peppercorn made it in at 8:45am, but she was, understandably, out of sorts.

The hilarious thing that happened is that Santa did not wear his own pants.  He wore someone else's pants.  And this was more than just a simple switch.  This was a triangle of pants switching.  Santa wore someone else's pants who wore someone else's pants who wore Santa's pants.

Santa's locker got jammed on Saturday night.  Some of the bro elves (you know, Little Star, Jinglesnaps, Dumpling, Frostbite, Snowball, etc) tried to open it with brute force, but it didn't work.  So Santa went back to the North Pole and came back with some tools.  And he reached into his bag and pulled out a tool and jimmied the locker and it didn't open.  So he reached into his bag and grabbed another tool and jimmied the locker and it didn't open.  So he jimmied it again from another angle, and it opened!  All thanks to his elf, Stanley the screwdriver.  Santa was so proud of himself, he stood up straight.  (Santa sometimes stoops over and slouches.)  Shortcake has never seen him so confident and proud.  

During a slow moment, Shortcake went to pull out her markers.  There were seven markers in the box.  Seven.  In a pack of eight.  A marker was missing.  WHERE WAS THE GREEN MARKER?  Santa kept telling Shortcake that Blissful was using it for Santa Bingo, but Shortcake didn't know what Santa Bingo was and also THE GREEN MARKER WAS MISSING.  WHY WAS IT GONE?  WHY WASN'T IT IN ITS PLACE IN THE BOX?

Shortcake's brain might have exploded.

Everything was fine.  Blissful had the marker and brought it back.

Santa gave Shortcake an EARS.  He saw that she was a little short (haha yes Shortcake is short) on Christmas spirit.  She just felt that she had used short (there it is again), demanding sentences with Santa and the elves.  She did not use the word "please" very often.  And Shortcake does not like not being polite.  Santa said he didn't take it that way; he understood it as "Shortcake is very busy right now."  He gave her an EARS "for being an amazing human who works her ass off and does it with Santa humor."

Also, Santa has taken to calling Shortcake "tiny one" because the shelf she puts his water on is above her head.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Wednesday the slow day

Well, kids.  Shortcake finally felt better on Wednesday.  She had energy, which was good since she covered most of Blissful's shift and her own shift.  She was at Santaland from 11am-9:45pm.  It was almost like Christmas Eve.  Except not.

Also, while Shortcake was feeling better, many other people got sick.  Two people called out, and Ruby, poor Ruby, the mom of a 4 week old baby, had a fever.  Of course she reached out to her fellow stylists: Gingersnap, Tumbleweed and Peppercorn.  Apparently Peppercorn exclaimed this out loud while going undercover at her other job:  "Ruby has a fever, and Gingersnap can only come in for a half hour, and Tumbleweed can only stay until 5pm, and I just need to call Shortcake!"

This is funnier if you think about Peppercorn sitting in a normal office while uttering it.

The NYFD visited Santaland.  Shortcake followed them around because they wanted to make sure all emergency exits were clear.  And there's this one exit that the strawbosses put wrapping paper over the opening between doors because people can peek through the gap and see Santa when he's on break.  And even Santa needs some privacy.  The NYFD was all "this needs to go" and Shortcake got all "not unless you give me a weather strip."  The nice Macy's maintenance man offered to get a weather strip, which seemed to mollify NYFD.  Shortcake is not the best at being deferential to government entities just because they are government entities.  When Shortcake left on Wednesday, no weather strip had been installed, and the wallpaper stayed.  The rest of the area was cleaned out, per NYFD's request.

Santa went on an event.  Snowball was his elf, and he was super excited to go on his first event.  Snowball has been with Santa for nine years and finally got to go on an event.  She talked him through getting into the car, what supplies he needed, what elevator to take...  Snowball did a good job.  

Two people lost stuff.  One woman claimed there was a boot in her stroller when she came into Santaland.  The stroller fell over, and the elves helped her clean it up, and they swear there was only one boot.  The woman claimed there were two, and then she demanded compensation for the missing boot. Shortcake kicked that complaint over to the white flowers.  And then later another man came back looking for a blue notebook.  Shortcake checked the house over and over again, and no notebook was found.

The best part of the day was watching the elves play with the guests.  Glitz had a jump party in the register room with some kids, and another elf played hide and seek with two other kids.  

And then there's elves at rest: Dumpling and Little Star

And here's Shortcake in front of a tree.  Just because.

Happy Child

Tuesday was another early morning for Shortcake.  It was HAPPY CHILD.  You have to say it in your biggest, boomingest voice: "HAP-PY CHILD."  It's one of Santa's favorite events.  Except.  This year there was a hitch.  Santa broke his wrist.  He was walking, and he tripped, and he needed to land on either his wrist or his head.  So he chose his wrist.  And it broke in 2 places.  He called Shortcake Monday night to give her a heads up. 

He was moving slowly on Tuesday and needed a bit of help to get dressed.  He needed stretchier gloves, so Patches went into the store and found him some white, stretchy knit gloves - with texting fingers! - to go over his cast.  Santa alerted his elf that the kids needed to be careful around him.  Luckily, at Happy Child the kids don't sit on his lap.  They come into the house and pick out toys and go their merry way.  Santa made it through the event without problems.  He had a doctor's appointment to find out if he needed surgery.  Fingers crossed Santa will be okay.

Other than Happy Child, it was a sloooooooooooow day.  Shortcake was hungry because she hadn't eaten all morning, so she got an acai bowl and a smoothie and some soup - all things easy to swallow with a smooth texture.

Shortcake discovered she could send e-mails from the computer in the Santa room, so she put together reminder e-mail drafts, covered some shifts, did all the paperwork that keeps Santaland running on the strawboss end.  That kept her occupied.

A quirk of an elf: Little Star wanders.  Like, he may be assigned to a position in the village, but if you're looking for him, he won't be there.  Shortcake literally stood in the center of the village and shouted his name.  All the other usher elves popped out.  Little Star popped out about 3 minutes later.

By the end of the day when Shortcake needed to hand things over to Cider, she had run out of fucks to give.  Pardon her language, but it was true.  And she didn't throw her hands up in the air, throwing away her fucks.  No, they fell out of her pockets as she slowly walked away and couldn't be bothered to pick them back up.