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Phone It In Friday

Yeah....I was cut at 12:55 yesterday.  Roughly $40 in sales. No tips.  Manager Tightpants spent the last hour avoiding eye contact with me, like he KNEW I was going to use my Jedi powers to send me home, leaving him to deal with Goodtime Charlie and the New Hire (who I am fairly certain was on something.  So much for my high hopes).

He finally sighed like it was killing him.  "I'm gonna check labor, and then maybe I'll send you home."

We're at 111%

He made a face at me.  "Very funny.  We can't be....wait, how did you guess that?  You're good, but you're not THAT good."

You left your manager card with me.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the button on the Other Menu page that says "Labor and Sales" is...labor and sales.

"How long have you been tracking this stuff?"

About three months.  How do you think I know when to start nagging you to let me go?  It's not just boredom; it's numbers.

"Go home."  And he walked away, muttering something about my continued refusal to go into management and how I'm going to own the damn store some day.


It gave me a good head start on getting the grocery run done.  I normally like to do it in the morning, but have come to terms with the fact that I get paid on Fridays and going after work is sometimes unavoidable.  Especially if I want supplies for the weekend, and I do NOT plan on wearing pants today or tomorrow.

Besides, I needed cheap champagne for brunch mimosas tomorrow.  The spousebeast and I decided to celebrate of 14 year Hookup-versary tonight/tomorrow, since I have to work Monday.

[I really want to come up with something better than "Hookup-versary."  Anniversary of our first kiss is accurate, but a bit too twee for me.    Maybe Celebration of Mark's Being the World's Worst Wingman?  Commemoration of the World's Longest Lesbian One-Night Stand That's Neither One Night Nor Involves Lesbians?  Like our relationship, it's a work in progress.]

I've been bitching that Walgreens doesn't have lightup Halloween glasses this year, and he managed to find two Nightmare Before Christmas ones (and I LOOKED!  Where the hell were they hiding them?).  He decided we needed a gift, and how could we not have glasses with Jack and Sally that say "Mistfit Love"?

Perfect for obscenely large mimosas.

ANd may I just say how much I love not having to stick to the $40 every two weeks grocery budget?  Since we both eat at work a lot of the time, it's not THAT hard to do...but the luxury of deciding I really, really want chili dogs and homemade slaw for supper (WHY?  Shark week was last week.  Seriously, that is not a normal craving for me unless accompanied by violent mood swings and the desire to kill all humans) and just throwing them in the cart feels amazing.

Eating three for supper (there may or may not have been munchies involved with that third one) feels less amazing first thing the following morning.  Just sayin'

Whee! Mandatory fun!

We're having a costume contest at work!  And there are prizes!  I haven't dressed up in...gah!  Since the last time I took the boys trick or treating, so we're looking at about a decade?

[I went as a dark fairy that year.  Man, I loved that costume.  And I am NEVER sewing tulle by hand again.  I was living with the ex (long story), and we took the kids around this *amazing* historic neighborhood in New Jersey.

And, boy, did he hate that I kept getting handed candy (Ashe wanted me to go to the door with him for some of the scarier places) and told what a wonderful "big sister" I was, taking my little brothers out.  (Liam wasn't exactly thrilled, either.  Ashe was just "ooh, more candy!  And my mama has fairy wings!")]

I've already got my costume planned out, and all I need to do is buy a cute little headband with a glittery witch hat on it that I was trying to find an excuse to buy anyway.  I'm wearing my "Defy Gravity" shirt, flouncy black skirt, stripey tights, my "dress" pentacle (I have a tiny, discreet one.  And then there's this....), the aforementioned headband, and going as an urban witch.

Without specifying what I was wearing, I made sure everything would check out under the work appropriate mandate (we don't have to wear McAlister's anything, thank the gods, because that would be impossible to work into a costume.  Or at least a respectful one.  I could rock a zombie cashier look, after all...).  Big Boss looked amused, assured me that if I has wearing skid resistant shoes, she had little doubt I'd be fine.  As I was leaving the office, she chuckled, "I can't wait to see what you're cooking up."

Yeah, since I'm probably the only one who will dress up.  Every one else will be at the mercy of Big Boss' random bag o' stuff from Party City and Dollar Tree (I swear, that woman uses any excuse to go to a Dollar Tree.  Not that I know anyone like that.  *ahem*).  Deely-boppers and Groucho glasses for everyone!

I got to start training the new hire today.  Oh, be still my heart.  HE HAS RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE!  He even admitted that FoH is new to him (he's done everything from dish pit to line to expo), so there might be a little bit of a learning curve, but he's eager to learn.

And I didn't even have to show him how to work the dish machine!  *sobs with joy*

Please, please, please let this one stay.  And please don't let me be mistaken.

In other news, after work I got the tickets!  Ian Hunter, here we come!  

Oct. 16th, 2016

Kent's work is running a contest for recipes involving pumpkin.  Imagine, if you will, making an award recipe using only Sysco products.

After about five epic fails (I had no idea he didn't know how to make a basic, back of the can pumpkin pie.  Since he's been cooking since before I was alive, I tend to assume he just knows this stuff), he came home with a pumpkin pie spiced with ginger and with chunks of caramelized apples.

Holy fuck.  I want to send a slice to everyone I know.  I think he may win this.

I would tell him if it was shit (and, trust me, I have almost barfed on some of the things I have tried.  And he knows).  This is actually good.  And he doesn't bake.

If he wins, he gets half of a $100 gift card to Walmart (he is trying a "team building" thing with K, and figured asking her to help would distract her from micromanaging the rest of the kitchen and bossing around the CNAs.  So she'll get half if they win.  He's a better person than I am).  I asked what he'll do with it (because they are SO going to win), and he said "Dobby gets socks!"

*sigh*  Dork.  Of course, I'm excited that that also means I might get new underwear.  Gods, we're getting old.

He said my ginger apple pie was his inspiration, and I'm his "culinary muse."  Yes, almost 14 years in and he still usues smarmy lines...and they still work.  ;)

In other news, I made it through today.  I didn't kill anyone.  I am still pissed that I was promised that I could leave in time to catch my bus and ended up waiting a FUCKING HOUR because cigarette breaks are more important.  And stomping home with a case of beer in hand.  That counts as cardio, right?

But the new schedule came out today.

I have my usual Sunday off.

And Saturday.


That being said, I think Big Boss did that because I am going to have the joy of training another new hire this coming week.  And he's male.  And cute.  Heaven help me.

When I say cute, I mean that from the standpoint of "well, there goes the productivity of the younger staff who like boys."  Objectively, he is attractive.  My 16 year old self would have swooned.  Now, I just wonder if I am going to have to break up makeout sessions in dry storage.  I don't get paid enough for that (yet).  And I know I will have to employ The Mom Voice (tm).

[Oh, my.  Kent's on the phone to one of his FF people, and is ripping the guy a new one for his misogyny re: the U.S. election.  THIS is fun.  I'm glad I saved that bottle of wine I bought with my cash tips on Tuesday.  I knew I would need it eventually.  Why are his friends such gormless twits?]

[Also, props for Kent for correctly using "cisgendered."  And explaining it to one of the aforementioned gormless twits.]

In other news, finances have been examined and, on Monday,  I am going to buy tickets to see Ian Hunter.  Yes!  The voice of Mott the Hoople!

If I can hear "All the Young Dudes" in person....*swoon*


Jeez, what a week.

At least I have MORE than made up for the time I lost getting cut early last Saturday.  And I haven't needed bail money, so I've got that going for me.

I DID threaten Goodtime Charlie with a phone call to HR if he speaks condescendingly to me again for doing my job by the book, especially IN FRONT OF SOMEONE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE TRAINING.

He huffed "I was just teasing."

I responded "I'm not.  And I would seriously reconsider using the 'I was just joking around' defense.  Doesn't seem to be going so well for a lot of men these days."


Throw in coworkers who are less than effective (although we finally got rid of J 2.0--for good, this time!), equiptment going kablooey, surprise large groups showing up who don't tip, and a wicked set of cramps....if I can just make it through today, I'll consider myself lucky.

Or I'll be calling y'all for bail money.

soggy and pointless

What is "How was Alicia's shift, Alex?"

I was cut before ONE.  I had made a whopping $28 and change when I pulled my drawer.  On one of our biggest home game days.

Fucking Matthew.

Poor Kent is still at work, and has no idea when he'll be coming home.  They've lost power, so he's scrambling to make something for supper that will be filling and warming..  I asked him how the residents were doing, and he said "They're either terrified or behaving like teenagers at a rave."

I did not know that pill swapping parties were a thing amongst the geriatric set.  Of course, my theory is if everyone is having fun and no one dies, what the fuck?

This is why I could never work at the Stratford.  "Oh, there's an orgy in the day room?  Well, as long as it's consensual and we can get an intern to clean up afterwards.."

Speaking of assisted living, it looks like we are going to make serious moves to get Rosemarie down here and into a facility.  Larry is getting sicker, and more and more verbally abusive.  She doesn't deserve that.  If she were here, she's be around two of her three kids...and she'd be out of fucking Delaware, which would make ALL of us happy.  Larry's kids can take care of his chain-smoking, Fox News loving ass.

I have a feeling the next few months are not going to be pleasant.  She kind of wants to leave, but she's afraid of being alone.  And she needs to take the dog.  (I DID suggest that Robin could take Buddy, since she has a fenced in yard and two dogs already.  I will not disclose the name Robin called me)  Like Robin said, we need to get serious, figure out her finances, and get her here.

I wonder if the Stratford gives a family discount?  Hell, that way, she could see her Golden Wonder Child every damn day.  And Robin and I could visit her a few times a week, and we could both tap out when it gets too much for one of us.

Oh, I so did not sign on for this.  Except that I kind of did when I got married.  'Sokay, MY  mother is Steph's responsibilty.  I washed my hands of her care when she sent my grandparents to die in Ohio.

Family relations are SUCH FUN.

Okay, Pandora is extra random today.  Granted, I have a bunch of stations checked....but Andy Gibb followed by Emily Autumn?  Wow.

Gods...are my feet EVER going to thaw out?  Nothing like standing in the rain for 20 minutes waiting for the bus.

Happy Saturday, y'all.   My east coast friends, try to stay dry and safe.  <3

life sans car

The spousebeast and I don't own a car.  We're lucky enough to live somewhere with an amazing bus system (if you can handle Axe body spray scented undergrads spouting the cool political view of the day).  Also, neither of us is particularly gifted behind the wheel (we ask SANTA PETE drive us, for chrissake!  So, yes, a half blind diabetic who is prone to nodding off is STILL a safer bet than letting me and my lack of depth perception behind the wheel).

Anyway I've found the events of the last two days an entertaining look at what it's like when your means of getting from point A to point B are less than conventional.  At ohgodsthirty this morning, Carol the Cabbie called from the parking lot to ask if he could use our bathroom.  "I have to pee, and this rain ain't helping."

He's a great guy.  Used to be heavily into hair metal "when I had hair,"  and is just a rock and roll guy in general. He is frequently the driver when I make one of my huge grocery runs.  We talk concerts.  He's jealous that I've seen Alice Cooper twice.  I can't believe he's seen Led Zeppelin SIX times.

So he comes in, rushes to the toilet.  And Kent gets a free ride to work.

I'm wondering if I can find a way to implement something like that at work.  "Sure, you can use our bathroom and not buy anything.  But what's in it for me?"

[For the record, Carol was the one who said Kent was getting a free ride today.  And he walked out with a blueberry muffin, so I think everyone is a winner this morning.]

Yesterday, I did my volunteer gig at St. Joe's food mission for the first time in months.  I will freely admit that I am a horrible human being, and didn't go at all this summer...and used my job as an excuse.  I usually work outside (signing people up, making sure no one smokes or cusses on church property, making sure everyone has bags) and...I'm weak.  Summers are contentious times in a food desert.  I just couldn't hack standing in 90+ heat and breaking up fights.

I guess I'm a fair weather volunteer.  I suck.

But I came back and....wow.  It was like being the Prodigal Daughter.  "Child, where have you BEEN?"

[Note to self:  don't just drop off the planet and think no one will notice.  Apparently, they do.]

It was  so great to see everyone again.  And Sister Edith was in full on drill sergeant mode.  I missed that.  She's a tiny little thing, and rules the proceedings with an iron fist.  "Did I just see you step in front of that mama and her babies?  You're a grown man!  Get to the back of the line!"plentiful, I racked up.

So there was much hilarity and many hugs.  And, as is customary, the volunteers get to take home the perishables that can't be given out the next day.  Since it is the end of tomato season and peppers are still plentiful, I completely scored (yeah, guess who is making fajitas with homemade salsa tonight?).

It has just been drizzling when I set out, but it was starting to steadily pelt down on my way back.  I had barely started up the hill to the bus stop (and was already drenched) when I heard a few short beeps.

Jeffery from Takeout Central is now my knight in shining 78 white Pontiac.

This is not the first time one of the guys from TC has picked me up.  We do a lot of business with them, because apparently a lot people will pay a $5 delivery charge for a $3.75 cup of broccoli cheddar soup.  Kent's starting to call them my personal taxi service.

I officially apologize for all the TC orders that are late because someone did an illegal U-turn to drive me home.  ;)

Today should be....interesting.  It's a home game against Virginia Tech.  Not sure how the weather is going to affect it.  We could get killed...or I could be holding down a register for four hours.  We'll see.

that kid is now this kid

When did he get so big?

Also, he's learning to sew, thanks to his stepmom, G.  Apparently, it's hard to find steampunky things that fit a 52 inch chest.  He and G made the vest.  <3

(Also, with the hat, he's almost seven feet tall.  I birthed giants)

You know, sometimes it's just better to keep your mouth shut.

Mario Batali is coming to Flyleaf to do a cookbook signing next month.  I'm beyond excited.  I used to watch Molto Mario with Granma (she once confided that she laiked him better than Emeril, using a whispered tone like she was cheating on Mr. Bam!  It was adorable), so this is going to be bittersweet.  Since there is going to be a meet and greet, I'm hoping to get a picture snapped of the two of us to put on her shrine.  I think she's get a kick out of this.

So, yeah...this is kind of a big deal to me.  I mentioned I'll be saving my tip money for the ticket ($48 and it includes the event, the cookbook, AND food afterwards!  Okay, it's a tad pricey for what I would normally spend on myself, but I've made 2/3s that in tips in the last two days), and someone on FB mentioned the tip-skimming scandal from 6 years ago.

Yes, I remember it.  Yes, it was wrong.  I've worked places with sketchy tip practices in the past, and it is an unfortunate part of the biz.  And while I don't condone it, why bring that up when you haven't had anything to say about anything I've written in the months since we got back into each others' lives?  Why this?

I am biting my tongue, because I really want to tell her she's behaving like our mutual ex, and treating me like I'm clueless and raining on my parade.  Is that the sort of multitasking I really want in my life?

And if you have NEVER worked in the biz, do not presume to tell me what is going on in it.  Food service isn't just my job.  It's my LIFE.  It's the lifeblood of this household.  Big Boss saves the trade magazines for me to read on my days off (I stunned Big Big Boss one time when I asked him if he'd seen that McAlister's had moved up two spots in fast casual rankings in one of the trades).  I may be a wee bit obsessed.

So back off, hush, and let me enjoy this.  Jeez.

Speaking of numbers, the ones for this period are in and WE'RE # 1!!!!!  We had the overall highest customer satifaction rating out of the 30 stores in our district (and we're District 12.  Yeah, really).  And we're the smallest store.  Big Boss has been doing openings in bigger areas, and keeps coming back with the fact that we actually bother to get to know our customers.  The bigger stores seem to be more concerned with speed of service.  She beats it into our heads to learn names.  Obviously, this works.

We're also 15th in sales, yet 3rd in catering.  I guess I need to quit cursing the vice chancellors office under my breath when they call.

Hey, I curse them, BoH curses me.  "Hey, y'all...I need someone to do a c---"

"No!  We're all out of catering!"  "Our catering is busted!  Won't be fixed until the 12th of never!"

(Can't blame them.  We had a make your own stuffed spud bar go out tonight.  For 300.  I spent what downtime I had today in back, wrapping potatoes in foil and chopping bacon and green onions.  The cool thing is that we don't use the whites, so I got to take them home with me.  I'm going to see how well charred green onions do in a pickling solution.  Could be good.  Could be toxic.  We'll see)

We have two new BoH members, both women.  One was hired in, and one convinced Manager Tightpants to let her train.  I'm curious to see how this is going to shift the balance of power in the store, and between FoH and BoH.

A few months ago, I would have been angry that I wasn't at least offered the option. But I think I've finally realized where my true strengths lie in a corporate setting, and that's out front.  And I like it.  I like people.  Except when I don't.  But if I can be trusted to handled fifty-five fifth graders on a field trip, I must be doing something right.

Besides, when I cook for family and friends, I don't have to follow someone's rulebook.

(But I still want my own food truck)

In other news, I got one of those "gee, you spend so much money here and put up with our spam, we might as well give you something" rewards from Harris Teeter:  $15 off my next purchase of $50 or more.  And that is $50 AFTER coupons.

I doubt that they know what kind of demon they have unleashed.  Yes, I have already gone through my coupons, checked the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and am now cross-checking it with the sale flyer.

In case of the Zombie Apocaplypse, head towards Chapel Hill.

Or, if not ZA, the hurricane.  In the time it took me to write this, I had to explain to my mother AND my MiL that we are nowhere near the coast.  As one of my regulars (who is a local meterologist) said "Unless we get a storm surge of about 5000 feet, I think we'll be okay."

This is not to belittle what is going on (my heart breaks for Jim and the fact he can't contact his friends in Haiti).  But the annual "No, mom...we're not on the coast.  And we're not in the mountains, either."  has officially started.  Yippee.  This season lasts until late April.

Doesn't matter, though.  Tomorrow is my day off, and I am ignoring EVERYTHING.  I have to get up at ogodsthirty and send Kent off to work.  Then I can go back to sleep, wake up at my leisure, and start on more Yarn Fairy stuff.  With the windows open (is Fall really here?) and the opera playing and tea.  Lots and lots of tea.

Okay, and maybe an episode of truly tragic reality television.  I'm human, after all.

With great power comes....

...really fucking annoying phone calls at 6am.

Kent and I were both up with the chickens this morning.  It usually happens on Sundays, because recalibrating sleep cycles after three days of the dreaded 4:30 am alarm (which my bladder seems to have decided is better set for 4:15.  Like I'm going back to bed for 15 minutes) doesn't always come easy.  We turned on Queen's Greatest Hits and broke in the new Munchkin deck (I got Munchkin Grimm Tidings at Walgreens with my bonus rewards.  The spousebeast has officially quit making fun of me for my obsessive frequent buyer cards and couponing).  That deck is EVIL.  We combined it with the Nightmare Before Christmas deck and the Kittens expansion, and it was just....beyond wrong.  I love it!

(Also, I made an amazing come from behind win.  So I might be a bit biased)

Anyway, we headed back to bed at about 6.

And the phone rang at 6:30.

This is Every.  Fucking.  Sunday lately.  Kent's work.  It is always something, and always the same person.  "I need to talk to Kent."

Because it was not the Statford's number and listed as "Out of Area" I asked (perhaps a bit curtly.  I had just gotten back to sleep and was all cozy, damnit!) "Who may I say is calling?"

"It's K.  From his WORK.  I need to talk to him NOW."

Don't take that tone with me when you call my house at ridiculous-thirty on the one day I have off with my husband.  She is on my official "I don't like you" list.

Problem Child was late.  Again.  Now, he sauntered in while Kent was pulling on his clothes with one hand and trying to calm K's ass down at the same time (she has a temper.  He's had to talk to her more than once about bullying and talking down to the residents.  I don't care how long she's worked there, she'd be gone on my watch.  And so would Problem Child), so he didn't have to go in.  But...jeez...the ONE DAY this week I could have slept.  Arrrrgh.

Between Kent's work and mine, I can't believe what I am seeing.  When did chronic tardiness and no call, no shows become okay?

Goddess help the staff if I ever work somewhere where I have the ability to hire and fire.  That's why I'm sticking with the plan to ride it out through my year mark and become a store opener.  A bit of travel, extra money for the two weeks it generally takes to train a new staff, hella overtime...then back to my cozy corner of Franklin St.  I have no desire for a management position at this point, in part because it would mean leaving my store.

Now, if Manager Tightpants decides he wants to go back to Durham (and he *is* running out of groupies atm), I might consider it.

One thing I have learned in this business:  you never know.

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Oh, wow!  Clyde Edgerton is coming to FRANK (a local art gallery) next week!  He's doing a show with John Rosenthal.

I am SO THERE.  With my battered copy of The Floatplane Notebooks

This really is a place where dreams come true.  I think of the people I've met over the years since I've been here, people I never in my wildest imagination thought I would have the gift of meeting.  And now I get an email from Sudie saying "Do you want to come early and help set up?  That way you'll get the good seats for the talk and first crack at the crudites.".

My life is weird.

There's going to be some unpleasentness this weekend.  Kent's mom has been calling...and calling...and calling.  I guess she forgot I have a job now.  She's been leaving long, rambling messages about Thanksgiving.  I told him he is going to have to tell her that we're not coming.  He has to work and, even if he didn't...we simply can't afford it.

I'm a horrible human being.  As much as I want to see Suzie and Shelby, the idea of NOT spending five days in DE with a cranky, Fox News addict who chain smokes and a woman who pesters me "what do you think your boys are doing today?  Do you think you should call them?  I would call them" and gets anxious that I'm not eating enough and "why are you doing THAT to a turkey?" seems like heaven.  I told Kent I'd come in on Turkey Day and volunteer in the dining room (because I need my heart carved out with a grapefruit spoon).  I may ask for that Friday off so we can have our own Thanksgiving.

I really wish he liked white meat.  A turkey breast makes more sense for two people than the ginormous turkey we end up with.

I played with the new sewing machine last night and It.  Is.  Amazing.  I did a couple of test pieces, and it can handle denim, duck cloth, and lighter fake leather.  I think I'm in love.

Okay....time to suit up.  I get to deal with Manager Tightpants and Goodtime Charlie today.  Which pretty much means I'm the de facto FoH manager.  Yay.

My moment of *squee* for the day

I posted the Presidential Debate Drinking Game rules over on FB.  I noticed today I got a share...by Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson on 'Little House on the Prairie.'  Yeah, she accepted my FB friends request.  I fangirled) on HER timeline.

This means she actually reads the drivel I put up on FB.  (Wow, she must get REALLY bored on the road.)   Totally made my day.  Not to mention adding a really surreal note to my standard Tuesday/Wednesday post-work  LHOTP/The Waltons binge.

Yes, I come home with my employee meal (and my favorite salad is going away!  *sob* Why do I always fall in love with seasonal food?  I mean, besides the obvious.  There's no good way to make a salad with strawberries and blueberries in the fall/winter), put on something comfy, turn on the tv, and alternately eat and crochet for a couple of hours.  I'm so fucking edgy.  But it helps me decompress, and that is REALLY necessary lately.

Kent's having a rough time.  He's worried about money (he got dinged by the state for 2012 taxes so, goodbye, savings!  I am trying really hard to keep my shit together about this, because I don't understand how you can have an accountant for a sister and consistently fuck up filing like that.  And this was the money from the settlement from when I got hit by the truck, so I kind of felt like it was *my* money, ya know?).  I thought that would lessen some when I got a job, but he got drunk and went on a tear this weekend about how I need to work MORE hours or get a second job.

Which would be fine, were it not for the fact that he recently gave up four hours a week so someone could stay on at the Stratford.  Noble, yes...but, dude.  You're not working that many more than I am, and you're not doing the grocery shopping, laundry, (most of) the cooking and dishes, and waking your ass up with coffee and your uniform laid out in the morning.  I have a fucking second job.  It's called YOU.

Then he's got fantasy football drama.  These guys are pretty much his only friends, and TinFoil Hat Boy has turned flat out nasty and a bit threatening (frankly, I think his man bun is screwed too tight).  He's hurt, and really has no one else to turn to.

Again, I'm holding my tongue about his disparaging remarks about social media.  I know if I can find someone to talk to if I need to, day or night.  Even if we've never met.  And I truly, truly appreciate that.

In better news, soon I can decompress WITH sewing machine!  I have a crappy plastic one that I bought a few years ago, but I've not used it much because it feels flimsy.  Well, one of the clients at Kent's work decided I needed one of her five (!!!!) machines.  He has made the mistake of talking to a number of the women about me:  "Oh, yeah...my wife crochets/sews/quilts/embroiders/etcetcetc."

I think he may discover this will ultimately be his downfall. ;)

This thing is a BEAST.  An old Kenmore, back when they were actually metal and weighed a bazillion pounds and could tackle ANYTHING.  I hugged the case when I was it.  It even has the original manual, a box of metal bobbins, needles, old spools of thread (on wooden bobbins! ) <3

I'm going to spend Sunday shifting things around in the spare room to make an official sewing nook.  I've been hauling my plastic one around as needed, but Hildegarde is getting a permanent spot.  Now I am REALLY regretting not scooping up tons of my patterns the last time I was rescuing stuff from Granma's house.  And I wonder where all that fabric went?  *sigh*

Off tomorrow.  Let the games begin!

Sep. 25th, 2016

Food poisoning? Food poisoning????? Are you sure you don't mean "It's my senior year and there's a big home game and this was the best bullshit excuse I could come up with in my current hungover state"?  Oh, Chels.  *sigh*

Oh, these kids are going to be the death of me, I swear.

AND Big Boss was comped tickets to the game (box seats, no less.  I admire her chutzpah:  she escewed wearing team colors in favor of our Free Tea Day tshirt to "get in a little free advertising."  THIS is why we get along so well), so I was left with Goodtime Charlie, Manager Tightpants, and his entourage of fangirls.  On a major game day.  Hooray.

I ended up opening, because we were already down a person (S hurt her leg, and evidently it was bad enough that it actually involved real medical attention, not self diagnosis).  I forgot that Saturday buses run on a different schedule, so I ended up at work 45 minutes early (after checking the online schedule and screaming obscenities and tearing around the house like a thing possessed when I realized I only had 14 minutes to get dressed, out the door, and to the bus stop).  The morning was nice, so I settled at one of the tables outside with my tea and my paper journal.  There was a light breeze, and I was enjoying observing various families (it was Family Weekend, too) cheerfully dragging their tired/hungover/depressed because they were going to be sober all weekend progeny to stand on line for breakfast at Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe (it's a Chapel Hill institution, and almost impossible to get into on big event weekends.  Unless you want to wait an hour or more) and being snarky in my notebook.

This is *not* an invitation to strike up a conversation, Mr. Random Stranger.  Jeebus, why do men seem to think they need to rescue a woman who is perfectly content with her own company?  Did you think I was bored, being alone with my thoughts?  Or is it that much of a threat to your fragile masculinity?

[Apparently, yes.  Yes, it is.  I have had it about up to HERE with cis-male privilege and ego fragility and the whole, erm, package this week, but that's a WHOLE 'nother post.  My FB friends got a sneak preview, but there is so, soooo much more]

I decided that, gee golly, maybe I should go clock in anyway.  So I went inside, took a corner table, and enjoyed my last few moments of peace before the chaos.  And chaos it was.

I am proud of myself, though.  The Unfortunately Named Coworker (now to just be known as J 2.0, because she's not worth that many letters) came in at ten--why does Jeebus hate me so?!?!?--and asked what I needed finished before we opened.

Oh.  Oh, oh, oh.  Not a smart question, child.  When I trained her how to open, she informed me "I don't do ice. It's cold and it's heavy."

[Ummm...if you are physically capable of helping Manager Tightpants put up the freezer, you can haul some gorram ice]

Heh.  Heheheheheh.  Now, normally, ice is my work thing (I get called The Ice Queen or Elsa all the time).  But...uh uh.  It's time for yours truly to set the tone, especially when I am dealing with the two most ineffectual managers in the world who are more than happy to let me do their job for them.

"Well, I need ice mostly."  I get The Face.  "After that, if you could bag and tag the cookies, that would be really helpful."

Which means staying in back near Manager Tightpants, which she makes every excuse to do anyway. She practically skipped off to get ice.  He shot me a look, and I just smiled and shrugged.  You hired her, dude.  You're not enforcing the "FoH STAYS there unless specifically asked" rule and not exactly discouraging her.  Sorry if she's more aggressive and not as cute as J 1.0, but not my problem.  Deal with it.

Besides, I fucking HATE bagging cookies.

I decided if I was going to be stuck with people who wanted to hang out in back all day, they were going to fucking WORK.  I delegated, y'all, which is not my strong suit.  And delegated with an iron fist.  And a sweet smile and Southern accent.

"Oh, if y'all are going back there, could you do X, Y, and Z?  That would really help.  Thanks."

At one point, Goodtime Charlie said "You are really stepping it up today.  I think we could all go watch the game and  you could run this place."  It took everything in my power to keep from saying "Y'all already are and I already AM." (I swear, I have NEVER worked somewhere where management sets up a laptop in back to stream the game.  College towns are a very different animal)

I mean, honestly.  I ended up assigning who was on register and who was running food (not that that worked so well, but I can tell you that I was the only one who had hands in MY register).  It was on the schedule, but who reads that?  I was not shy about yelling "I need a runner!" when there was food in the window and I had a line fifteen deep (it's more professional than "Get out front and do your fucking job!" which was what was going through my head).  We aren't allowed to even THINK about starting sidework until 1pm, so when J 2.0 took the dishes back at 12:35, I told Manager Tightpants I was going to put out the sidework list so we could "work as a team and no one person gets stuck with the bulk of the work while everyone else leaves on time."

Translation:  I am not going to get screwed as usual when you clowns are the MODs and I MISS MY BUS.  If you miss a Saturday bus, you have an hour wait.  And while I COULD walk home, I generally prefer not to when it is 91F and I've been up since 4:30.

You want to do dishes?  You get to do dishes.  Soooooo many dishes.  She was supposed to leave at 2.  She was still there when I left, and  I left at 3:38.

I am such a bitch.

Because Chels called, out, I was prepared to stay until 5 and cover the end of her shift.  Goodtime Charlie approached me and said "I know you came in early, but I was wondering..."

He couldn't even finish the sentence.  Jojo (PLEASE PEOPLE!  Quit hiring people whose names start with the same letter!  It makes blogging impossible!) skedaddled over and said  "Oh, I'll stay.  My girl has been here all day and I didn't some in until eleven.  I mean, unless you want the hours..."  And, yes, she's another Manager Tightpants groupie.  She's also very openly bi, and manages to make me (ME!!!) a tad uncomfortable.  She's the Queen of TMI.

I also think I might be on her (as she calls it) "Threesome Wishlist."  She's done everything but say it outright.

And, ya know, if J 2.0 had already gone, I would have stayed.  But, frankly, this week has been stressful.  I have a spousebeast who has been walking around under a cloud of negativity; I don't need a couple extra hours of that at work and THEN go home to more of the same.

I thought Goodtime Charlie was going to cry.  Sorry, Charlie.


On the up side, because I actually DID MY JOB, I not only walked away with twice as much in credit card tips as I made for the hours I worked, I was handed $16 in tips (which means I don't have to share).  And when I finally got to pull my drawer, I made sure I got my free meal for working over six hours.  Frequently, I just want out of there so bad, I'll just skip it.  This time, however, I approached Paco (his real name.  He's one of a network of brothers, sisters, cousins that Kent and I have worked with over the years here) and asked if he could make me a chicken salad sandwich with no tomato.  THEN I pulled my drawer.  By the time he was done, I was done.  And I handed the slip to Manager Tightpants and said "Oh, here is my drawer and here is my comp meal" and swanned right the fuck out of there.

And straight to CVS, where I plunked down half of those tips for a  huge bottle of cheap chardonnay.

I swear, one of these years I am going to write about something other than work.  

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good:  apparently, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  I'm opening all week next week, with Wednesday off.

The bad:  we're having to be careful about labor, which means I may have to start looking for another job.  Hopefully, Sutton's is still hiring.  I could probably pick up a few early morning/late afternoon shifts, and it would be cool to be a part of Chapel Hill history.

The ugly:  I forgot who predicted it, but Ms. No Call, No Show is back.  Damnit!  And her attitude is as bad as ever, if not worse.  I swear, I think Manager Tightpants can't function without someone with that name fawning all over him.  Oy.

The only difference between her and the Bully is that she tried to pull me into her Big Boss hating drama, and I squashed THAT like a late summer NC cockroach.

"I just don't see why the managers get to park in the alley and *I* have to park in the parking deck.  That sucks and isn't fair.  She's just a bitch."

Me:  Since I ride the bus, I really don't have a dog in this hunt.  But the managers have to go on catering deliveries, so that make sense.  Having to have you move your car takes you off the floor...which, face it honey, you don't spend all that much time on, anyway.  And please quit using that word to refer to other women.  It creates a hostile work environment."

Oh, it is ON.

Being six inches taller than she is didn't suck, either.  I don't think my posture has been that good in YEARS.  And having the Mom voice and librarian glasses?  + 5 at least.

This is NOT happening in my store again.  I realize I've been complicit in the past by being silent when the other FoH women badmouth Big Boss (okay, the spousebeast also made several pointed comments which have really stuck with me about my role in this).  I didn't want to be a tattletale.

It just now occurred to me that I don't need backup.  I can handle it on my own.  What's the worst that can happen?  Looks like you can't get fired.

In lighter news, since I got sprung early and PEOPLE CAN"T CHECK DATES, I got to hippity hop down Franklin St. and pass out 4 slices of carrot cake to the street folk (and before y'all ask, I wrap them individually and include a fork.  I can't give money a lot of days, because people are stingy as fuck with cash tips, but I can give whatever food the staff doesn't claim).  The rain let up for a while, and the breeze was nice and reminded me that soon I can stop wearing shorts to work (I own one pair of khaki shorts--two if I borrow Kent's--and about a half dozen pair of khaki pants.  Thank you, food service career!).  AND I had a nice, non-creepy flirtation with a guy at the bus stop.

[I swear, it's the braids, y'all.  Every time I wear my hair in two braids, I have the most interesting bus stop encounters.  And not the kind that make me want to run or call the cops or come home and immediately take a shower]

We ended up taking the same bus and sitting together.  It was fun.  It was light.  And did I mention he was my crush type?  *ahem*

But I don't wanna adult today!

It's rainy and bleh outside (which is actually my favorite weather for staying inside, actually).  I was off yesterday, but laid out with hot flashes and a wicked headache, so I feel like a deserve a do-over.  I was going to go out for coffee and get groceries with a friend, damnit!  I was going to be social AND get stuff done!  Grrrr...

Doesn't help that I am working 12-5 (and tomorrow.  And Friday...), which is my least favorite shift.  I did let Big Boss know Monday that I'd appreciate keeping 12-5s to a minimum if at all possible, because with the way the buses run, I have to get to work 45 minutes to an hour early or 15 minutes late.  And we all know me.  Late is not an option.

[Besides, I am now the senior FoH person (well, technically Chels is, but she only works 5-10 hours a week and is more than happy to let me have the crown).  Doesn't that mean a little bit?  Of course, I didn't SAY that, but....]

At least I've got supper in the crockpot (the last of the scarily huge chicken breasts, can of fire roasted tomatoes and chiles, a little cumin, sliced onions, and I am not even sure how much garlic.  And we've got a ton of tortillas that Kent's work got rid of because they were expired for about 20 minutes.  He had to unload a case each of flour and corn, so he gave them to the staff and took some for us.  Woo-hoo!).  And tonight is the start of the new season of Survivor, which is always a bit of an event around here.

But not too much of an event, because Kent has to be up at 4:30.  Bleh.

And may I just say how annoyed I am that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been moved to 10pm?  There is no way I can do that on a weeknight.  I was asleep on the sofa halfway through.  Grrr.  I liked what I saw, though.  (And I can safely say that Kent's early Sunday excesses as Scribbles Snavely are now to be met with "Who are you?  Hemingway?"  And he knows it.  He just groaned, sipped his beer, and said "I guess I'm going to be hearing THAT a lot.")

It doesn't help that my shows restart right when football is winding up (Thursday nights around here are BRUTAL.  I *refuse* to flip between football and RuPaul's Drag Race/Project Runway.  Nope, nope, nope.  I'm a Gemini, but that's a bit much even for me).  I can cheerfully read through most games, but I get annoyed when I miss something I want to actually watch.  Unless it's the Steelers, I really don't care.

This system seems to be working well, since the Bristol Vixens are currently leading Midgard in total points.  And completely CRUSHED that misogynistic bastard from last year this past week.  I normally don't trash talk, but I DID feel compelled to put up on the news ticker "Vixens owner 'The Girl' spends Monday night with a hot toddy and a good book, goes to sleep early, and wakes up to read about another stunning blow to the Midgard patriarchy.  Think I'll polish my nails now and bask in that second victory glow.  It's good for the complexion.  Some of y'all might want to try it."

I'm blaming the hot flashes on that.  ;)

Okay.  Time to suit up and go feed to nonexistent masses.  NO ONE is coming out in this weather.  If anything, it's going to be all Tarheel Takeout and web orders all day.  Which is its own special kind of hell.  There's a HUGE learning curve, and it really is easy to send someone out with the wrong food...ESPECIALLY when you're new.  I honestly think that's the hardest part of FoH.  We also get people who want to pay for ONE ITEM seperately, another who wants to do half cash/half credit (not that hard, but there are several hoops you have to jump through), someone wants to add something, someone wants to delete something and not pay for it (uh...not happening), and and and...

You get the picture.  Hell, some of these orders are still stressful for me (there's one douchebro I see coming in and start looking for the nearest exit strategy.  "Well, if I don't pay for this seperately, it costs me like, ten dollars of my per diem.  oh, and I want to add a cookie and a drink."  You order food from here at LEAST three times a week, dude.  FIGURE IT THE FUCK OUT.)

*ahem*  Time to put on my happy face.  Wish me luck and happy Wednesday, y'all!

okay, so you CAN get fired!

Don't panic.  Wasn't me.

Ms. No Call, No Show got canned.  I find it highly amusing that she had the same name and attitude as The Bully, who also got fired.  Can we please quit hiring people with that name?

I know that sounds mean, but...jeez, her attitude.  She was one of those people who could bring everyone down just by walking in the room.  Not a good thing when you're working with the public.  And I have a very low tolerance for people who bad mouth Big Boss behind her back (especially when body shaming insults are involved).

Another bad apple, chucked out of the barrel.  Yay!

And life at work gets slightly more tolerable.  :)

Sep. 15th, 2016

Kent bought our tickets for last night's concert on one of those "sell your unwanted tickets" sites.  He just wanted seats (he's getting cranky and doesn't want to do lawn seats.  He also refuses to couch surf when traveling.  That 13 year age difference REALLY shows at times).

Holy crap, y'all.  We didn't realize we'd scored VIP seats.  For less than fifty bucks a pop. The seats were all cushy.  We were slightly above the floor, so you could actually see without standing. There were people coming around and asking us if they could get us something from the concession stands so we didn't have to stand in line

Kent and I kept looking at each other like "How did we pull this off?"

This also explains how we ended up with overpriced fruity cocktails in guitar shaped novelty glasses.  We had a carpe diem night.  Which means I *really* need to start racking up those tips the next couple of weeks.

The concerts were AMAZING.  Cheap Trick still kind of creeps me out (that quasi-spoken word bridge in "The Dream Police" makes my skin crawl), but they were on point.  Not aging well, but they sound good.

Joan Jett.  Oh my gods, Joan Jett.  I wish she'd done something from Pure and Simple (I really, really, REALLY wanted her to do "Spinster" or "Go Home"), but I really can't complain.  The woman is such a badass.  I've only seen her at feminist rallies before (so, so cool), but to have the full on concert experience was AMAZING.  She even performed "Crimson and Clover," which is one of my favorite covers ever.

We checked out the merch tent, and I really, really wanted the old school Joan Jett and the Blackhearts tshirt, but Kent wanted one that had the tour dates on the back.  I get it, because he's weird about dates and keeping track of things (I need to write up a detailed account of how the Rock and Roll Dice and the index cards work sometime).  But sometimes you want what you want, ya know?  However, we get one shirt per show--the benefits of being the same size--so I said okay.  Still a cool shirt.

My only complaint about Heart is that they didn't do "Dog and Butterfly."  I imagine they're sick of it by now, but I was really hoping.  :(  Instead, they did "Two" in what struck me as the place where "Dog and Butterfly" would have made sense on the set list (the spousebeast agreed).  It was truly beautiful, and really resonated with me, especially after TinFoil Hat Boy's nasty comments about how Kent and I live in our own little bubble (the lyrics are here: http://genius.com/Heart-two-lyrics).

And, oh, to be sitting under a nearly full moon, watching those two women perform and sip a ridiculously overpriced strawberry daquiri...my inner 15 year old nascent witch was so, so, soooooo very happy.

After the concert, I had to make one last bathroom stop (oh, and let me just say that Walnut Creek Ampitheater's bathrooms are some of the NASTIEST I've ever been in.  And I've used portapotties at the antique car show in Hershey, PA).  I culdn't find Kent when I came out, which causeed momentary panic.  Then he walked up to me with a Cheshire Cat grin...and handed me the shirt I'd wanted.  I got weepy (have I mentioned it's shark week?).

"You have been working your ass off.  Why shouldn't you have everything you want?"

The ride home was an adventure.  We hired Carol for the night.  He drives a taxi during the day, and runs what is probably an illegal hack service for select clients at night.  He routinely is the driver when Kent goes to work at oh gods thirty or when I call a taxi to schlep me and the groceries home.  We've struck up a friendship based on a love of rock and roll, so he offered to drive us there and back for a hundred bucks.  Given going cab rates from Chapel Hill to Raleigh and back, it was a steal (like, below half price).

I've never spent more than ten minutes or so in the car with him.  While he is infinitely safer than Santa Pete, he's...weird.  I get cursing out other drivers.  But cussing out drivers in different voices (Donald Duck?  And a wickedly accurate Christopher Walken, among others) is...special.  And riding with someone doing that while you're taking back roads?

But we lived and made it home safely.  And I am currently rocking my new shirt and pirate pjs pants...because *I* was smart enough to take today off.

Unlike some people.  Who is probably hating life right about now, poor guy.

Let's get this party started!

Woo-hoo!  I'm off until noon on Friday!  The Heart/Joan Jett/Cheap Trick concert is tomorrow!

Today, we were deader than my sex life in high school, so Big Boss sprung me early.  She laughed at me because she didn't even didn't even get to finish: "Hey, since we're so slow, do you...?" before I started pulling my drawer.

Hey, it's like a mini-vacation, and one I sorely need.  Why not start it a little early?  Lord knows I'll be able to make up that hour and a half somewhere along the line, because we had ANOTHER no call, no show.  Now, this doesn't mean she'll definitely be fired (like it would have in every other job I've ever had), but I won't cry if she is.  I'm getting sick of working with people who develop bad attitudes when they're expected to, ya know...WORK.

I had a feeling something like this would happen when the notes from the latest managers meeting came out and we were expected to read it AND sign that we'd read it (normally, it's just posted on the employee board, so it's easy to feign ignorance). It's basically a list of things we can work on, reminders of company policy, yadda yadda yadda.  It's a snoozfest, but I love how pointed it is.  Okay, and how 9/10s of it never applies to me (although I AM going to have to start paying for the fruit puree in my morning tea.  Bummer.  And I KNOW that one was just for me.  *ahem*).  I don't smoke cigarettes.  I don't own a cell phone.  I arrive obnoxiously early for my shift and will clock in if needed.  And I don't eat food I haven't paid for while on the clock.

Some people were quite displeased.  Especially with the whole "your cell phone must be locked in your locker unless you are on a break"  and "smoke breaks will be given at the discretion of the MOD."

I bet we'll lose a couple more over this, because you can't pretend you didn't read it.

And I need to remember to start carrying 50 cents with me on the days I open, because I *really* need my peach iced tea some mornings.

It felt SO GOOD to come home and NOT set out uniforms for tomorrow, to make sure the alarm was OFF, to not have to make sure the coffee maker was set up for the spousebeast.  I have this beautiful dream of sleeping in...which means I'll be lucky if I make it past seven.  Seven thirty if the spousebeast is extra snuggly (with cramps like this, it's convenient to have your own human heating pad).

And that's assuming he won't be up at five.  Which he very well may be.

Oh, and I have gotten a new nickname, it seems.  Most of the street folk have started calling me McAlister based on where I work (which I love, because that's my godfather's last name.  He ADORES that).  There's one guy who has called me Hollywood for years, because he says I have "that west coast strut."

[I remember the day, and I WAS feeling good.  I stopped and told him I was actually born in California, just a little further south, and the name stuck]

Ran into Gary today on my way home.  I had a piece of expired carrot cake on me, and asked if he wanted it.

He was CLEARLY feeling no pain.  And he kissed my hand and said "How dare I refuse such a gift from the Rose of Franklin Street?"  And danced off with his cake.

This place is fucking Newford.  And I am STILL trying to figure out what kind of fey Gary is.  He's been Kent's friend for years.  The first Time I met him, he peered at me and said "You like the Beatles, I bet" and opened his ubiquitous backpack and pulled out a "Let It Be" tshirt that he'd picked up at PTA Thrift and gave it to me.  The next  time, he'd bought scissors at Walgreens and decided he didn't need all three pair, so he gave me one (they're my coupon clipping scissors).  I know some people just see him as smelly and usually half whacked out of his mind, but to me he's just my magical friend Gary.

The longer I live here, and especially the longer I work on Franklin Street, the more I try to pinpoint who is fey and what type they are.  Okay, I clearly read too much Charles de Lint and Seanan McGuire, but it is an interesting mental exercise.  And a great "waiting for the bus" activity.  When I'm not bitching about work to my paper journal, I do brief character sketches.

I'm kind of stalled on The Jillie Project right now.  Is it advisable to undertake another writing project before I finish THAT one (says the woman with two current active crochet projects and Goddess only knows how many UFOs and WIPs of all stripes languishing)?  I'm kind of in love with doing a series of stories about the people I meet going to and from work.

And Franklin Street is iconic enough (locally), I bet I could snow UNC's press into publishing it.


Okay, the spousebeast just walked in the door.  Let's REALLY get this party started!

Yay! He's back!

And he had a good time, thank the gods.

This year was the first year Kent come back from draft weekend with more money than he left with.  *boggle*  He won the poker tourney AND the gumbo cook off.  Go, spousebeast!

My "bags of dicks" totally backfired.  The guys thought they were fucking hilarious. I am now the second most favored partner of the draft weekend dudes (the woman who is a chef at the Biltmore who packed bags of various kinds of breakfast burritos is number one, and deservedly so).  So much for pissing them all off.

Whilst left to my own devices, I did such profligate things as a) binge watch Law & Order and the Food Network, b) read four books, c) buy five boxes of granola bars (they were on sale 5 for $10!  And they're my favorite!) and d) start a new crochet project when I haven't finished my current one!  *gasp*

Oh, yeah...and I got called into the office by Big Boss and got an unexpected, unscheduled 25 cent raise.  Go, me!  *happy dance*

I got to train a new hire this morning.  WHY do they do this to me on Mondays?  Seems nice enough, but I give her a week, maybe ten days.

Hopefully I'll be wrong.  But our turnover rate is pretty ridiculous.

Oh, relating back to my previous entry, IAN HUNTER IS COMING TO CAT'S CRADLE IN OCTOBER!!!!!!!  Kent was off today and spending his poker winnings.  We've been discussing the stunning lack of Mott the Hoople in the Rock and Roll Dice cd collection, so he decided his prize was a cd from CD Alley (All the Young Dudes).

Needless to say, we're going to the show, come hell or high water.

Happy Monday, y'all!  What did I miss while I was computerless?

So many concerts, so little time...

Good news:  I got next Tuesday and Wednesday off!  When we request time off, we have to specify why (which I think is a huge invasion of privacy, but it gives me an opportunity to be...er...creative).

So Big Boss said "You've got the time off.  But what is the 'major life altering event,' if I may ask?"

She agreed that Heart/Joan Jett and the Blackhearts/Cheap Trick MORE than qualifies.

I've since found out that, not only is Abbey Road LIVE! playing this Friday, Southern Culture on the Skids is playing the Cradle NEXT Friday.  GAH!  Since I'm taking two days off next week, there's no way I can afford to do either.  :(  Why does all the cool stuff have to happen at once?

Today was much quieter, aside from having to deal with new menu boards and a new POS.  I spent a good chunk of the day reassuring regulars that the world wasn't ending.  And trying to figure out why we now have to hit six buttons to ring something up where it used to only be one.

Kent's making gumbo and the house smells AMAZING.  I think there are few better smells in this world than a properly made roux.

I still think his talents are wasted on those chuckleheads.  However, he is cleaning a LOT of stuff out of the freezer.  And I'm getting rid of some unwanted zucchini.

(I swear, I thought I was going to make it through the summer without having that perniscious squash thrust upon me.  Nope.  So I insisted Kent find a recipe that called for it.)

After the stress of earlier this week and last week, there is something so relaxing about listening to Waylon and Johnny while the spousebeast works his magic in the kitchen.

Okay, gotta go finish my bags of dicks.  (For the new people, I'm sending bags of candy penises to the guys at draft weekend.  Their favorite insult is "eat a bag of dicks."  Well, wish granted.  Not only am the Yarn Fairy, I'm....well, never mind.  ;)  )
I was watching The Waltons.

I remembered how Granma used to call me "John Girl" and say how I was going to be a famous writer.  And get to marry Richard Thomas. I've been unusally inspired with The Jillie Project and wanted to read some of it to her.

I picked up the phone, dialed in that familiar number...and died inside.  That noise.  That fucking noise that there is no phone there any more.  That there is no one there any more.  No house.  No grandparents.  Nothing.

Someone please tell me this pain goes away.  The slow, dull ache I carry with me is bearable and not that unusual.  The flash grenade of pain that sears white hot and leaves me sobbing on the floor, clutching my chest and wishing I could just go be with her....I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.

I know she wouldn't want me to be this way, but I can't seem to stop it.