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And Then There Was More

October 23rd, 2012 by Bahama

As usual, I got my mind off Bermuda’s absence by throwing myself into my work.  With my shops in Theed and Lake Retreat firmly established, it was time to branch out.

I started by opening a |Bahama-Wear| right outside Coronet.

coronetshop.jpg

While I didn’t keep that branch open very long, it had a lasting impact on me.  I first loved Tatooine and then I’d fallen for Naboo.  It was during this time that Corellia took root in my heart.  I didn’t know then what an important part it would play in my life in the years to come.  Corellia would one day become ‘home’ more than anywhere else.

And to keep things interesting I tried my hand at a new type of business.   High on a hill, I created a bed and breakfast in Lake Retreat.

Bed and Breakfast at Lake Retreat

I let my creativity flow and threw myself into decorating the perfect retreat get away.  It seemed my life couldn’t get much better.  I was on top of the world, literally.

But dark days were on the horizon…

Master Tailor

January 24th, 2012 by Bahama

With my new shop ready to go, I hired a vendor and began stocking.  Eventually my hard work paid off and I attained the title of Master Tailor.   To this day, I don’t think I have words to express the thrill I experienced having met this goal.

no-more-to-teach.jpg

I do believe I gave my teacher, Odas Peadin, a hug after he’d uttered these words.

It was a new day.  The accomplishment emboldened me.   I got a makeover…

Master Tailor in the Shop

and I took Bermuda on a holiday to Lake Retreat.

Lake Retreat

There I offered him an engraved ring I’d made and asked him to marry me.   He reluctantly agreed.   He never was a jewelry kinda guy…

I enjoyed that holiday so much that I endeavored to expand my business there as well.  I set up a droid to advertise at the shuttle.

shop ad

Besides fishing supplies, I offered casual clothing for the forgetful vacationer and a full service bridal shop!

Things were looking up…

|Bahama-Wear| Is Born

December 12th, 2011 by Bahama

Back in the day, travel wasn’t something you took lightly.  Public transportation was the only option and it wasn’t cheap.  You examined your bank account and thought carefully before buying that ticket.  The excitement you felt while waiting to board was often in direct proportion to the cost of the ticket and the time spent planning for the trip.

My first trip to Naboo was a big deal.  From the moment I stepped foot into the beautiful city of Theed, I was in love.  While I loved our hometown of Bestine, it was clear it wouldn’t be the best place to start a clothing business.  Bermuda did a bit of research for me and came to the conclusion that Theed would be the best choice. 

Theed

His involvement in the creation of |Bahama-Wear| didn’t stop there.  He purchased the small generic house and found the ideal location just outside the city.  He funded the initial furnishings, materials for me to stock my first vendor, paid for my tailor education and expressed complete faith in me.  In short, he’s a huge part of how |Bahama-Wear| ever came into being.  And I’m forever grateful for that. 

|Bahama-Wear|

|Bahama-Wear| was born.  With my shop open for business, I updated my public contact info:

Please visit the |Bahama-Wear| showroom and vendor located just outside Theed at –4323 3419.

(My shop stood there in that same spot on Ahazi from the day I placed it in 2004 till it was packed in the housing pack up event in 2007.  I returned shortly thereafter and replaced it in that same location.  It will be right there when the lights go out 3 days from now.)

Work

July 24th, 2011 by Bahama

Those first few months flew by.  I stayed close to home while Bermuda adventured.  But the loneliness of my work desk at home quickly got to me. 

Work Desk

So packed up my fabrics, needles and thread and set out to work closer to the city. The medical center was there near the gate and provided some shade while I hand sampled for materials.  I struck up a conversation with the head doctor there who offered to train me in basic medical techniques.  I accepted.

Day after day I’d pack my bag full of supplies and sit in the medical center, sewing while waiting for the injured to come in for treatment.  It was an ideal arrangement for me.  I enjoyed the opportunity to help people and meet new folks.  I had plenty of time to work on my clothing between patients.  My career was progressing nicely.

Novice Tailor

July 14th, 2011 by Bahama

One of the main reasons we set our home outside Bestine was because Bestine had a tailor trainer.  While I know many who learned the trade from friends and aquantainces in the business, I always sought my training from the professional trainers found throughout the galaxy.  The day I earned my ‘Novice Tailor’ title, Ms. Emaco was there in Bestine offering training for a fee.

Tailor Trainer in Bestine

I’d practiced making simple shirts and shoes up till that point, but now I was officially a tailor.   Bermuda took this photo of me to remember the day…

Novice Tailor

Bahama, Novice Tailor 

(Did I really ever look like that?!?)

Clothed in Confidence

October 15th, 2010 by Bahama

It should come as no surprise that many of my customers are performers by trade.  Being in the spotlight, they require various costumes and need to pay special attention to their appearance.  Their business can be a blessing… but at times it can also be unsettling.

I know many talented entertainers who work the cantinas who’s focus is clearly on their art, whether that be music or dance.  But one doesn’t have to hang around the cantina for long to realize that there are some who frequent these places who are shopping for something more than a song and dance.

Not many people know this, but when I first began my career as a tailor, I avoided using certain well known patterns and making some popular items for entertainers.  I saw first hand the reaction some of these more risque costumes begot and it wasn’t always respectful. 

I knew it wasn’t my job to dictate what people should wear and I knew that most of the female entertainers knew just how to deal with unwanted advances.  But there were those few, young and vulnerable, that I felt were in very real danger of being taken advantage of.  And for a long while I simply couldn’t bring myself to craft clothing that might increase that likelihood.

Since then, I’ve seen the inner workings of the entertainer networks a bit more clearly and I’ve come to understand that overwhelmingly the elder ents are looking out for the young ones, teaching them what they need to know to stay safe.  I’ve stocked my vendor with all types of costumes for many years now and rarely give it a second thought… Save for the occasional  young woman who reminds me. 

Today such a performer came to my shop.   She was just starting out and wanted to lay the foundation of her wardrobe.  She wore one of the standard costumes and asked to see it in some other colors as well as any other costumes I thought might help her attract attention where there was competition for business.

As I worked we chatted.  She was sweet and spoke with a soft, polite tone.   She told me how she’d been offered employment in a private establishment but that she wasn’t sure she wanted the job.  “I’m not sure if I’m completely comfortable with everything that goes on there but I told her I’d give it a shot”, she explained. 

I paused for a moment and just stared at the sheer fabric I was working with, considering her words.  I took a breath and continued sewing.  “I’ve always found it best to stay true to yourself.  Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with”, I said matter-of-factly.  I kept my eyes focused on my work as I inquired, “Is the work in Eisly profitable?”

“It is, yet the competition is a lot heavier than I am used to.  I would love to be able to find a more wholesome privately run establishment…. It seems too many of these cantinas are skeletons now a days.”

I made her a couple of costumes that looked amazing on her.   We got her some more reserved clothing to wear outside of work and, as usual, finished off with some matching accessories.  She was a joy to work with.

With her new wardrobe safely in her pack and her bill paid, I gave her a gift.   It was an entertainer’s dressing robe, made specially for preventing accidental exposure during wardrobe changes in crowded cantinas.  “I know how those gents in the cantinas can be”, I explained.

She laughed and agreed, “I know what you mean.”  She added, “And I decided that I’ll just be bartending at the club.”  I told her I was relieved to hear it.   And I was.

She left the shop with a giggle and a smile, leaving me confident that she’ll be alright, no matter what she wears.

A Fresh Start

August 8th, 2010 by Bahama

I’ve spent these many weeks enjoying my freedom… and frankly, trying to figure out what to do with it all.  It’s been so long since I’ve been so free from responsibility that I was a little lost as to where to begin. 

So I sought the advice of a friend of mine who lives a life free from responsibilities.  Jamaica always managed to escape any attempts to tie her down.  I know, because these past few years I’ve been the one trying to tie her down.

I asked her what she thought I should do with my life now that my responsibilities to Moneta were finished.  She replied, “Go to the beach!”  Despite all the years I’ve known this girl, my first reaction was still to laugh.  She just sat and smiled at me till it dawned on me that she wasn’t joking.  With little else on my agenda, I resigned myself to her very unproductive suggestion and agreed, “Fine. Let’s go to the beach.”

We arrived in her hometown of Kaadara, checked into the hotel and headed straight for the sand. I’d hardly arranged my things on our little plot of beach before she raced off to swim, leaving me sitting there alone.

The scenery was breathtaking and for a moment I understood what compelled her to spend as much time there as she did.  Perhaps it had always been less about running from her responsibilities and more about running to this…

Still, that doesn’t help me.  What should I do now?  I don’t want to simply retire and give up tailoring…  But I don’t want it to consume my life like it did before Moneta either…  perhaps life in the big city of Theed isn’t right for me any longer…But where else would I go? 

With all the thoughts swirling through my head I wasn’t getting much reading done so I opted to take a walk.  I walked a long while, head down, thinking hard.  The groomed public beach came to an end but I continued on, picking up interesting shells and rocks along the way, till I came to grassy spot not far from the water’s edge.  The shade of a tree beckoned me to get out of the sun.  It was the first time I’d looked back on the path I’d traversed.   It was further than I’d realized. How long had I been walking?

Sitting there under the tree, looking out over the beach and the ocean with beauty of Kaadara sitting off in the distance, the thought passed through my head that I could look at that scene every day and not tire of it.  Which then begged the question, why don’t I do just that?

Move here?  Why?… Why not?  It’s got that small town charm but it’s big enough to make a living off of… specially with the tourists…. it could work… But I’m sure there isn’t any real estate availble.  But you won’t know until you try… I suppose I could find out, that would settle it….

And so I walked back to Kaadara making a mental list of what I would need and whom I should speak with.  I didn’t spend the day reading and swimming on the beach, but instead I went house shopping and looking for land on which to build my new life.

I began my search much closer to Kaadara, opposite the ocean.  I figured proximity to the starport would be more important than a beachfront location.  Besides, the beachfront property is surely all taken.  I swung a large arc around trying various locations without success.  The closer I got to the ocean the more concerned I became that this just wasn’t meant to be. 

But as I approached that grassy spot and tree where the thought to move here first entered my mind, there I found a plot of land the perfect size on which to build my new shop… as if fate had reserved it just for me.   This is the view from my front step:

Kaadara Shop

Beautiful, no?

(( For now, I’m playing Bahama on Starsider rather than Ahazi

due to the population issues and my desire for a fresh start. ))

Simple Pleasures

June 3rd, 2010 by Bahama

After many weeks of organizing, packing, preparing, delivering things here and there, cleaning, ordering and generally working towards putting Moneta to rest…

I finally took a break.  And what better way to unwind and relax than to go fishing? 

Looking to avoid any crowds I decided to visit one of the remote outposts on Yavin IV.  The weather wasn’t bad …but it’s Yavin IV so that’s not saying it was good either.  It’s never been a favorite fishing spot for me.  The water has an odor to it I can’t quite describe and the bottom of the rivers and lakes tend to be dark and muddy.  You often find that if you stand in the same place too long you slowly start to sink. 

But I set out with the goal of catching a rare fish found only in this place, so I went.   After a few hours with little to show for it, I sat on the shore, nibbled at the lunch I’d brought with me and thought about my shop. 

There’s still quite a bit of organizing I’d like to do.   The inventory has slowly been dwindling… though not as quickly as I’d like.  I won’t have room to store all that is left once I fire the vendors. I should really try to sell off those remaining components since I won’t need those for a while… if ever…

And that’s about when it hit me.  When had it become a forgone conclusion that I was closing up shop for good?  I don’t remember ever making the conscious decision about that. 

Maybe it was preparing for Moneta’s end.  Did I just naturally extend that to my personal life?  Did I just assume that everyone else’s departure should lead me to do the same? 

Perhaps it was that dream.  No doubt, it changed my perspective on all I have here.  It was both a surprise and a relief to find that the greatest joy in life really does reside in those simple pleasures – putting in a hard day’s work, time with old friends and the opportunity to meet new ones, meeting challenges and finding ways to overcome them, taking the hard road and feeling the satisfaction of looking back at how far you’ve come….

I realized that I don’t need the shop, the factory, the vendors, the fancy trinkets, the big house, … I don’t need any of that to live and be happy.  There is a simpler life out there than the one I’ve been trapped in for so long.  And I’m ready to give it a try.  Ready to give up my comforts for a taste of it.

Is this forever?  I don’t really know.  I know enough about how life works to never say never.  But for now?  For now I’m satisfied to put aside the life I’ve been living and get back to the simple things that make me happy. 

Like catching this silly fish.

Tales of a Useless Tailor

February 10th, 2009 by Bahama

My devotion to the members of the Moneta Community Network is unwavering.  Like many of our members, I spend a good portion of my time and energy working toward making things better for everyone. Overall, I enjoy my role and don’t mind the work required to get the job done.

Much of what I do everyday goes unseen by most of the members.  I maintain the roster, send out emails, get information to new members, work out problems behind the scenes, strategize ways to improve the way we run things, regularly check in with key members to provide support and run errands to get folks what they need, etc.  

Yet there are times when it just doesn’t seem like enough.  In addition to my other responsibilities, I am our guild’s only tailor.  I’m also the only one who does any sort of cooking.  It’s in these areas that I most often feel like I’m really rather useless. 

Sure, I provide uniforms for the squad and offer free wardrobe consultations to all the guild members…. but I remain entirely useless at providing enhanced clothing with could significantly help folks out. 

I make sure that everyone has access to munchies and crunchies…. but while being very tasty, I’m afraid the nutritional value of my food leaves much to be desired.

I know there must be those out there who think that I could do either or both if only I’d put the effort in.  And they would be right.  But the truth is that I sometimes struggle to keep on top of everything that’s already on my plate.  Beyond just the time and energy it would require, I must admit that neither enhanced clothing or quality food really move me.  Just the thought of having to attend culinary classes or spend countless hours fiddling with my reverse engineering tool is enough to make me want to pack my bags and disappear.

So it seems that despite my occasional bouts with guilt, I shall remain the useless tailor, providing mediocre goods to these extraordinary people.   And hoping they’ll forgive my ignorance. :)

The Commerce Union

October 10th, 2008 by Bahama

The committee came to a decision last night.  We all agreed that the needs of our members can best be met by making our union official.  So I acquired the necessary device and registered our new guild. 

I’ve written before about how uncomfortable I am with the titles and all.  But I’ve decided to step outside my comfort zone  and accept the position of CEO.  I believe in this project and I’m passionate about seeing it succeed even if I’m not the ideal woman for the job.

Fortunately, I’ve got a great team. 

Brassk Gilla has taken the position of Executive Vice President.   His clear thinking and good business sense has been instrumental in bring us this far.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s quite personable (for a Trandoshan) and has inspired many to eagerly follow him (who wouldn’t be inspired by “Do it, or I’ll eat you”?)

LongJie Yun is our Vice President of Logistics.  He is an accomplished pilot whose skills will certainly help us secure the most efficient and profitable shipping routes.  He’s made himself available to help train new pilots as well.

We’ve several positions we still need to fill, but we’re off to a great start.