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I'm a model!

Please, no autographs.  I'm trying to stay humble.

We had a professional photographer in at work  to take pics of the food for social media sites.  If the pic makes the cut, it will be my first job as a hand model.

This is hilarious.  My hands are beat all to hell.  My nail polish was chipped (soooo happy that I decided on a whim to paint them Tar Heel blue in advance of the game, though).  But I was photographed (well, my lefy hand was) holding a glass of our cheap Chardonnay.  And, let's face it....that is totally me.

Even better, not only did we have to make EVERYTHING on the menu...we had scads of free food around for the taking.  I brought home supper for me and Kent, AND took a bunch down to my friends on the street.  I haven't gotten to do that since I worked at McAlister's.

And as an added bonus, one of the shots was of two carafes of wine.  Boss asked me if I drink wine.  I managed to not laugh outright.  The red went home to his wife (I KNEW I liked her for a reason!) and he said I could take the white, and just find a discreet way to carry it home on the bus.

The look on his face when I promptly dumped the iced tea out of my travel mug, rinsed it, poured the wine in it, and put the remaining in a to-go cup with a little ice for the bus ride home was PRICELESS.

Hey, I'm a food service professional.  No shame in my game.

Actually, wine has featured heavily in the last few days...and not just for the usual reasons (hic!).

We had a lady come in and she just looked....rough.  I could tell she'd been crying.  I walked her through our menu (we have a lot of good stuff, but if you're stressed past the breaking point, ordering a sandwich can be overwhelming.  BTDT).  She got the garlic chicken bacon club and asked how much our wine is.

I'll level with y'all.  I am a cheap bitch.  I REFUSE to pay $6US for a glass of wine ON TAP.  And the 4oz pour that Cokey McSnortface insists we do (I actually got written up for over pouring.  But it's okay to make multiple trips to your car during shift, come back agitated, AND HAVE YOUR DEALER IN AND COMP THEIR LUNCH!?!?!?  And eat food for free while we're expected to pay?  Whatever, dude.  That 8 top in for a birthday are getting six.  Fuck you) is just...an insult.  The lady said that the price was a bit high (did I mention our craft beers are only $4?  It's a crime against wine drinkers everywhere!) and just got the sandwich.

I'm sorry, but if you have just lost your best friend of 43 years to cancer, you deserve wine.  And flowers and candy and unicorns and fuzzy kitten snuggles...unfortunately, those aren't on the menu.

I could NOT let that stand.  I asked M to ring me up for 2 glasses (I ain't playing).  She gave me the employee discount, and i brought a SERIOUSLY heavy pour to the woman.  She tried to pay me, and I said it was on me...and we both cried a little.  When she left, she asked if she could give me a hug and said she'd left a little something for me on the table for my kindness.


Y'all, that is TWO WEEKS of groceries for us.  However, since I'd already done the grocery run...that's two tickets to see The Church next month.

The last time they were here, they SUCKED.  I don't know it if was the venue or because they were flogging the hell out of their newest album.  I actually ended up walking out (my sister and my friend J had better experiences in other towns, soooo...?).  This tour, they're playing Starfish in its entirety, so I'm willing to give them another chance.

Better not let me down, boys.

In other news, there's good news!  My great neice is out of the NICU and should be home by the end of the month!!!!!!  She'll actually be coming home before her due date.  I have a feeling she's going to be early for the rest of her life.  May her biggest hurdle be the fact that her mama named her after a character from Twilight.  And that her great uncle has decided to bless her with the nickname Re-Bob.

Okay, and I made her a "Team Jacob" onesie, but she'll outgrow that.  I have a bad feeling that Re-Bob is gonna stick.  Of course, I've been called George since the 3rd grade, and look how I turned out.

Or don't.  Actually, just don't.

They jacked up Kent's work schedule, so I have today allllll to myself.  I think I'll take my remaining tips and the bounty I got for having the ENTIRE UNC women's lacross team come in (I eat breakfast at Whole Paycheck most mornings, and I asked if they had a game, gave out some menus--yes, I carry them with me--and joked about how I heard that some boys were playing some sort of game, but I'd be rooting for them.  Thelunch  to-go order was HUGE.  But Boss gave me $5 for each member I brought in.  That is not chump change, my friends.  And we got a picture with the team, which we're going to get enlarged and they're going to come by and sign.) and treat myself to brunch at Lucha Tigre.  I may also have to stop by Flyleaf, because my to-read pile is currently under 6 feet and that always makes me feel uneasy.  ;)
Ummmm....yeah.  Please, kind sir, mansplain to me how a kitchen scale works.  It's not as though I've been working in food service my entire fucking life.  And please disregard that row of knives behind me.   I assure you I am not thinking of stabbing you.  That would be cross-contamination, and I ain't got time for that today.


At least I'm off tomorrow.  I guess I get, like, one weekday off every three weeks?  I'm off on Sundays, but so is Kent...so I never get a day to myself.  With the six day weeks, I NEED some me time.  I had planned on going out and blowing my whopping $16 in tip money, but it's supposed to be 40F tomorrow.  *shudder*  Think I'll hide in the house where it's warm instead.  It might be a baking and crocheting day.

Now to just decide between apple pie and brownies....

rain, rain, go away

I'm getting really tired of schlepping an umbrella to work.  *whine*  Yes, I know it could be snow (or, being NC, ice).  But I am SO ready for Spring!

Okay, yeah...I know it's February.  But I'm getting itchy fingers and want to plant stuff, damnit!  I've decided I'm going to try my hand at container gardening again this year.  And damned if almost the minute I told Kent that I wanted to, I got a Burpee catalog in the mail for the first time in *years*.  I used to live for those when I lived in Konnarock.  It was like the Sears toy catalogue for grown up me.

Okay, even for kid me.  Even though we lived in town with impossible red clay soil and a postage stamp yard, I could design gardens for my dollhouses.  Yes, I was a strange child.

Work is going to suck hardcore this weekend.  I work an extra-long shift Saturday with the new GM (to say we don't gel is a gross understatement) while Kent is off, then he works an extra-long shift on Sunday when I'm off.  Phooey.  While I love time to myself, I also love having one day off a week with the spousebeast.  We've gotten used to our Sundays.

I'd planned to go out to do "me stuff" Sunday.  Earlier this week, it was SUPPOSED to be sunny and 72F (L.A. Story weather!).  Now, they're predicting 70F...and rain.  Double phooey!  Although, considering I'm pulling 7.5 days' worth of shifts in 6 days, maybe that's Mother Nature telling me to stay the hell home and get some rest.

In other news...there is no other news.  To mangle a lyric from Abba, all I do is eat and sleep and work, wishing every shift was the last shift.  ;)

Happy Friday, y'all!
Nine years ago today, I walked into a courthouse, signed a piece of paper that my love and I were "no nearer kin than first cousins."  Stood in front of a judge with a paranoid schizophrenic, a conspiracy theorist, and one of the regulars from my barista gig.  He was told "Son, if you want this to proceed, you need to put that ring on her finger."  I was wearing my Jim Morrison limited edition Converse; he was wearing the one and only shirt of his that had a collar.

It's been a wild ride, yet here we are.  I couldn't be happier.
I am happy to have a job that I love, but this one day off a week shit is for the birds.  I spent so much of today in an exhausted sleep that it really doesn't feel like a day off.

(How exhausted, you ask?  Let's put it this way:  I went to take a nap, and Kent opened the door to check on me three times AND I DIDN''T SO MUCH AS TWITCH.  I am a ridiculously light sleeper.  If he stays up late and opens a beer, I wake up.  Flushes the toilet, I wake up.  Locks the door when he leaves at the ass crack of dawn for work.  Yup.  Wide the fuck awake)

I can't completely blame work, though.  I came home Monday to a call from Santa Pete.  He'd fallen *three times* during the day, and couldn't get up this time.  Cue Former PCA Girl(tm).

He needs to go into a facility (NOT Happy Acres).  I know it.  He knows it.  He's offering me, in his words, scads of money to become his private PCA.

I can't, y'all.  Maybe this makes me a horrible human being, but I just can't.  I will swing by every day after work, clean him up (I NEVER wanted to be in a position where I had to insist that someone wear adult diapers again), do his shopping, make sure he has his meds, hide his pot and porn (yes, I AM the friend to ask to clear the browsing history on your computer when you die.  I won't even judge, I promise).  I'll sit and hold his hand.  I will put up with his peevish, childish tantrums.  But I cannot do this as a fulltime job,.

Especially since he refuses to see a doctor.  If he doesn't agree to go this week, I'll just call an ambulance.

So, yeah....doing that, too.  There's a lot of emotional (and literal) heavy lifting going on.

On a more positive note, I've inherited the bulk of a friend's cd collection who is downsizing to move out west (not thrilled with the move.  I love that she is chasing her dream, but who am I supposed to do Margarita Mondays with?  Why do all of the amazing women I know feel the need to move?  What about MY needs, damnit!?!?  ;)  ).  She said to keep what I wanted and sell the rest.

I got SO MUCH store credit at the used cd place.  I was nice and shared with the spousebeast (well, he DID buy me an early supper at Med Deli).  But I got so much cool stuff!

Okay, and "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" soundtrack.  Yeah, yeah....I know.  But I really miss that show sometimes.

Further proof that I am a total nerd:  currently wearing my Life Cafe shirt, drinking cheap chardonnay out of my Rent coffee mug, and waiting for Rent: Live to start.  I hope they don't disappoint me.

Jan. 20th, 2019

Ack!  Haven't been around for a while, have I?  Work is killing me, but I love it.  I come home exhausted, but it's a *good* exhausted.

A couple of my regulars from past jobs have already found me.  YAY!

In other news, I'm a great auntie  <3  Renesmee was due in April, but decided to make an early entrance.  She and momma are doing well.  It looks like her greatest struggle will be being named after a character from Twilight.

I mean, seriously, Shelby?  What were you THINKING!?!?!? (Says the woman named Alicia Marie Bernadette Columbia Scholastica)  I've already said I'm calling her Re-Re.  I take no responsibility for the fact that Kent is going to call her "Re-Bob."  His argument is that, as her great uncle, he's allowed to be obnoxious.

Well, if anyone knows how to be.....;)

Day the first

I am out of practice.  I'd forgotten how "fun" it is to put away a truck with a SIX PAGE manifest.

Yup...first day at the new job.  And when I say I am starting from the ground up, I mean it.  Today, I:

*helped put up the aforementioned truck
*assembled furniture for the dining room
*set up the dining room...then rearranged it four times for better flow
*looked over the POS and realized some things needed to be changed (they were entered incorrectly.  No, we will NOT be selling a "build your own [fill in the blank] for $1)
*filled salt and pepper shakers


I'm getting my very own label maker on Wednesday!  When K (the BOH guy.  He's my age, has been in the biz as long as I have, and likes Rick and Morty) and I were asked what other supplies we needed, I immediately said label maker...and, once we get things set up, I want schematics for the salad and sandwich stations, so everything goes WHERE IT BELONGS.  He just pointed to me and said "What she said.  And we need one with labels that can be used in the walk-in and freezer.  Because if someone comes in and messes with our system, I have a chefs knife and am not afraid to use it."

I like him.  I think we'll make a good team.

We're off tomorrow, then Wednesday, we are going through the menu item by item and preparing it.  That's too much food for 3 people, so I suggested taking samples over to the tienda next door (okay, I am working somewhere where I pass a tienda, a thrift store, and a specialty oil and vinegar store.  How much money am I actually going to make?).  Good food makes good neighbors.  And, let's face it...if we run out of, say, garlic or paper towels or any of the myriad things a place can run out of, it is gonna be cheaper and faster than trekking a block and a half to Whole Paycheck.

I think I'm gonna like it here.

Pride goeth before a...well, y'all know

Didn't get the job.  At the LAST FUCKING MINUTE, they hired someone from housekeeping who wanted to move to the kitchen.

Internal hiring.  Gotta love it...unless you don't benefit from it.

I managed to not cry on the phone, which is impressive when you consider that I was on the phone with W for over half an hour.  He was babbling apologies.  I was asked if I would be interested in doing banquet work when needed (well, duh!).

As luck would have it, I applied to a new place opening up....from one of the original founders of McAlister's.  He actually ran the store I worked at (before I started).  He hired me in as a shift manager and I start tomorrow.  I'm actually going to be on the ground floor of opening a restaurant!  He wants my input on menu development. dress code....but, lest it sounds too fancy, tomorrow I will be assembling tables and figuring out the best way to set up the dining room.  He wants the place open by Friday, so I think this week is gonna be hell.  I've helped open restaurants befor, and it is brutal.  Because this isn't corporate (although he has an eye into turning it into a chain), we are going to be *assembling furniture*!  I actually had a stress dream last night that all the tables and chairs were from IKEA.

Wish me luck, y'all.

Holy fuck. I think I did it.

Got a call from Hiring Manager.  Now I just have tp talk to Owner, but it was implied that this is just a formality.

Apparently, they do a staff meeting to see if a potential new hire will fit.  Gold stars all the way 'round...aside from the fact that I need to work on my egg skills. (I don't eat eggs, so I can't grouse about that)

Back in the kitchen.  At 45.  And a woman.  At a 4 star hotel.

Watch this space, y'all.  I'm about to fucking SOAR!!!!!
"Breakfasts are easy," they said.  "Very chill," they said.  "Ten, fifteen covers," they said.

They lied.

Double that, and add on an event for 45 people.  Yeah, talk about being thrown in the deep end without floaties.

I feel pretty good about today, though.  Okay, I made Chef the world's ugliest omlette (when I was obsessing over eggs, why didn't I think about omlettes?  Arrrgh!), but he said it had good flavor. And he showed me the way they do it, which is WAY easier.  By the end of the shift, I was handling some of the tickets on my own.  AND I stayed late to help with prep for lunch service for the event, which I think earned me brownie points.

Although, if I ever see a fucking foil wrapped butter packet again, it will be too soon.  We have to UNWRAP them and place them on chilled plates, five to a plate, for event service.  Do you know how long it takes to unwrap 100 of those fuckers?  Wearing gloves?  A LONG DAMN TIME.

Hey, I'm the rookie.  Of course I get the shit jobs (cleaning the grits pan that pretty much killed a brand new steel wool scrubbie?  Fun, fun, fun).  But, unlike other kitchens I've worked in, this is gentle hazing, which is nice.

Oh, and did I mention free food (up to $10) on your shift?  I was too busy for a break today, but was able to snag a most excellent cranberry orange muffin on my way out.  :)

Tomorrow I go in at 6 (today was 5).  I get to sleep in, and will be sharing a cab with the spousebeast instead of walking.  Woo-hoo!  I'm so spoiled.

I want this gig so, so, SO much.

LJI Week Six: Not my first rodeo

Six schools in nine months.

Navy blue knee socks.  Or green.  Sometimes black.

Saddle shoes or Keds or Mary janes.

Is the Wednesday Mass Latin or Spanish or English?

Can girls be altar servers or do we have to let the boys do it?  Regardless, thanks Vatican Two.

He drank it  all away. Priest, father, cousin.

Same as it ever was.  Save you as it should have never been..

It's hard to remember.   Kelly green socks are my favorite.  It's hard to remember why it was okay when you pressed the issue.

But I leaned...and learned...and learned.

LJI: Such a nice girl

"I knew you'd do it.  You're so...nice."

Okay, yeah.  I fell for it.  Little Ms. Bambi Eyes has a sorority function and a bachellorette party and just CAN'T work the weekend.  Can I cover for her, even though it's my first weekend off in almost two months?

"Sure.  No problem."

I start laying out the reasons why I did (she's young.  I have no plans.  It's extra money.  Did I mention the Bambi eyes and the promise she'd cover for me when I needed it which we both know is a blatant lie?)

The boss watches her walk off, carefree and says "Ya know, I should have thought when she was looking for coverage.  I mentioned that you'd probably give up your weekend.  Because....And that's not fair"

"Because I'm nice.  I get it."

I'm so fucking nice it's exhausting.

On my way to the bus stop, I remember a song from a long ago place.  My first ever Broadway show.  Into the Woods.  Bernadette Peters owned that stage as the Witch.

"You're so nice.
You're not good, you're not bad.
You're just nice.
I'm not good; I'm not nice.
I'm just right
I'm the witch.  You're the world"

Suddenly my clothes seemed too tight.  I couldn't breathe right.  I wanted to scream "But I AM nice!  I AM!"

Then slow, insidious fingers crept inside me.  I'm nice.  Right?  And that's the way I am supposed to be.

It stays with me.  Always the good best friend.  Teachers pet.  Friends with everyone, even the girls who pick at my imperfections to help me at endless, vapid sleepovers.

I dance at parties and let hands of sticky breathed creeps wander all over me...just far enough to give them a thrill...but not TOO far.  I'm a nice girl, after all.

The nice girl.  The perfect babysitter.  She won't have boys over while watching your precious pet...but might have a nip or two of vodka from the cabinet before Mr' Collins drives me home and puts his hand on my thigh while giving me a sweaty 20 and asking if I want to earn a little more.

Because I'm so nice.

It's exhausting.

I'm still nice.  On the outside.  Because that's my job.  That is the role I have been cast in;  the hand I've been dealt.

But with every quiet "Excuse me" when you run into me because you are too busy texting to look up...there is a small wish that you trip over the next loose paving stone and your phone shatters.  Maybe it works.

Every "accidental" grab of my ass on the bus?  I wouldn't call it a curse, but if you can't get it up tonight...well, maybe you should think twice where you put your hands.

I'll be the one you come to with your dirty little secret and swear not to tell.  Amd I won't, because they are currency, and a secret guarded is worth more than a secret told.

I am so nice.  That is the role you want.  And I play it well.  It's exhausting.

Because I'm the witch.  You're the world.
Anyone?  Bueller?

I am very clear:  the wearliest I can come in M-F is 7:30.  9 on Saturday.  sundays are a no-go, because I am not shelling out $30 to take a cab both ways.

Yeah...guess who was sceduled for 8 on Saturday on 9-5 on Sunday?  yeah...no.

So I only have three shifts this week.  Charming.

C'mon, Nov. 19.  Or, rather 15th, because I am giving myself the day of the Peter Yarrow concert and the weekend before orientation to reset my internal alarm clock.  I know it will take longer than that, but it's a start.

They're starting to pull the same shit on Kent.  Now, to be full time, corporate insists on open availability.  Never mind he's been there almost a year.  It's ridiculous.

They've given him 30 days to decide if he wants to let them fuck with his schedule at will or go on part time.

[insert inartiukate screaming here]

I'm having a hard time walking the line between being supportive (because it really DOES seem like they've been trying to squeeze him out since that new manager started a few months back.  And I'm not sure how he manages to work around someone who calls him "Buddy."  In all fairness, I probably would have snapped by now) and wanting to grab him by the shoulders and hiss "You are going NOWHERE until after the holidays.  There are two holidays coming up where you get a 30% discount and YOU WILL NOT GET CHEATED OUT OF YOUR CHRISTMAS BONUS!"

*ahem*  Hey, it's a percentage of what he made for the year.  That would be a nice way to ring in the new year.

Anyway, I got to go on a bus adventure today.  Don't ask me why the closest place to give a pre-employment urine sample is in flippin' Durham, but it is.  FOUR FUCKING HOURS ROUNDTRIP for about ten minutes of paperwork and the aforementioned cup.  And it was wet and rainy as well.  NOT the way to spend a Monday off.  I did get a lot of work done on the MiL's shawl on the way back.  I'm falling in love with half granny square shawls out of Lion Brand Homespun.  It works up so quick is all soft and squishy, and I have a ton of it in my stash.

Yup, the weather has definitely started settling in to Fall.  All I want to do is cook, crochet, and read.  And sleep.   Lots and lots of sleep.

Nov. 1st, 2018

Ah, Halloween in Chapel Hill.  I was woken up this morning by the cops.  There was a drunk Spiderman on the lawn, playing bongos.  The bongos didn't wake me up, but the ensuing altercation did.  Go figure.

Sadly, we didn't have a single trick or treater, so no one was able to admire my vintage S*bucks barista costume.  Oddly enough, while I was searching for black pants, I found an old apron AND my shift manager shirt from when I worked for the company *mumble* years ago (give y'all a hint:  I was in one of the test markets for the PSL).

That's how i broke the news to Kent.  It took him a minute, because he stayed late at work (they are STILL re-stocking and dealing with the equiptment failures after Michael.  Apparently, corporate has lifted the limits on OT through the first of the year).  Finally, I said "Ya know...I don't think we can make it on my hours at Hamburger Hell.  You're going to have to go ask for a raise, get paid what you're worth.  And tell [redacted] that you're really going to need it to boost your manly ego when I start making [redacted] more an hour than you next month."

And then there was much rejoicing in Mudville.

What sucks is that I want to start RIGHT NOW.  But I've got to wade through state AND corporate paperwork, then wait for the next orientation (Nov 19).  Which means I'm stuck for two weeks.  I can endure anything for two weeks but...ugh.  Godess grant me strength to NOT go with my gut reaction towards the first person who asks for a McLatte today.

And away I go!  And I'm working with Odious (soon to be former) Co-irker.  Wish me luck.

Oct. 31st, 2018

Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween, y'all!

You know that old chestnut about how it's easier to find a job when you have a job?  Turns out to be true, at least in this case.

I can white knuckle it in Hamburger Hell for a couple more weeks...BECAUSE I START THE STARBUCKS GIG AT UNC HOSPITAL ON NOVEMBER 19!!!!!!

Full time, benefits, 401(k), PTO, sick leave, tuition reimbursement (and that's even if I just see something that looks cool at UNC that I want to take just 'cuz.  Which I think would make me a student, and eligible for all the student discounts that entails), and shift differential after 3pm, which means an additional 10% hourly.  The whole state job meets corporate gig shebang.

And since i'll be working 2:30 to 10pm, y'all do the math....;)

I will be making more per hour than I EVER have...and more than Kent is currently.  *cue evil laugh*  Not that it makes a difference, really, because everything goes into the kitty...but we are *very* competitive.

I am so excited!  Back to the barista mines!
I swear I'm not just all LJ Idol, all the time these days.  I've started a new (odious...and, no, I don't want to talk about it after that last shift) job.  Suffice to say, I have doubled down on applications.  They say it's always easier to find a job when you have a job, so let's see if the omnipotent They are right.  Bleh.  But money coming in is better than no money

Quite happy to be off today and have the day to myself.  Yeah, I had a lot of days to myself when I was unemployed, but it feels different when you know it's your last taste of freedom before going back to the daily grind.  Or maybe that's just me.

Spent a good chunk of today puttering around the kitchen.  Since the weather finally dipped beneath 70F, the spousebeast and I have been doing a lot of cooking, which means a lot of dishes.  He did most of them while I was doing the shift from hell on Satuday...then we both proceeded to spend a good chunk of Sunday Making All the Things (tm).  The man hauled home *30+ heads of garlic* from the dump cart at work, so there has been much roasting and pickling and various other processes.  I made lobster stock (checked in on Santa Pete, who is still under the weather, but has reached the "fluff my pillows and grocery shop for me and listen to me whine...then roll a joint for me and put on some Animaniacs" stage of recovery.  But he had a HUGE bag of lobster shells he takes from all the fancy dinners he goes to so...yay!).  He did stuff I don't care to know about with the mushrooms he got from work.  So, yeah..today was kitchen cleanup and other random stuff.  I think I committed a major culinary crime for watching Julia Child reruns while making boxed brownies.

And I totally lost my thought of train, so...have great week, everyone!

LJI, week 3: Tsundoku

"You.  Don't  Touch.  My.  Books!"

I am crazed and bitchy in the way only a 12 year old girl  who is having her life uprooted and moving cross-country for the third time in three years can be.  And now--NOW!--those horrible people I am supposed to call parents (they get called Mr. & Mrs. Asshole in my journal.  Mom and dad is too good for them) have hired movers for the first time.  And I am supposed to let these strangers in my room?  The dolls I still cling to like the last shreds of what little childhood I had are here.  My first three notebooks where I write my hopes and dreams are in here.  And my books--my beloved escape--are here.

I whisper a quiet apology to Juliette--the twin of Juliet, one of the porcelain dolls Grandpa would bring back from yard sales and flea markets.  I loved them, but one had to go--and she crashes to the floor.  Cue the tears, and running for Mrs. Asshole (who is suddenly, conveniently, now "Mommy").  "They broke my Juliette!  I want them out of my room!  I can pack by myself!"

I sweep a few bits of porcelain into my hand and put them in a small satin bag Mr. Asshole brought me back from Okinawa.  They fit in neatly next to the shards of the china tea set he bought me and then broke for...some reason.  I've given up searching for reasons why grownups do what they do.

I put them both in the small box that hold my secret, my journals.  They sacrificed to keep my words safe.

And to keep my books safe.  I may never read them all...but they guard the words for me.  They dream the words for me.

With these precious shards and my words and these books, I find comfort.  And I might just survive.


LJI: My Mount Rushmore

The shades of black, white, and grey on the screen looks weird to this kid raised on Hanna-Barbara's and Sid and Marty Kroft's psychadelic Saturday morning color palatte, but I can't look away.  I'm tall "for a girl" (a phrase I hate), but she is simply TALL.  A giantess in the kitchen.  I want her pearls.  More importantly, I want to mess something up and be able to shrug it off and keep going.

Julia Child.  I sit, transfixed, by reruns of The French Chef when I can convince the grownups that it is my turn to pick out the Saturday morning shows my sister and I watch.  The foods are so familiar--potatoes, onions, carrots, chicken--but prepared in such a different way than I see when I am standing on a stool in the kitchen  next to Grandma.  But I insist on talking in a funny accent while I scrub carrots and potatoes, learn to cut onions under her watchful eye...and happily let her deal with the chicken, because it grosses me out a little.

One day, I promise myself, I will be brave like Julia and touch that icky, cold, pink thing.  But i'm little yet, and can flee the kitchen any time I want.

Years come and go.  I graduate from vegetables to making fruit salad all by myself ("be careful with the can opener, kitten, and just drain all of the juice in the glass so you can drink it with your snack.  Let me know when you need the marshmellows") to rolls to, yes, finally touching that icky, cold, pink thing.  Look at me, Julia!

While I'm graduating to making meals for the family all by myself, the Saturday reruns have moved and the debate between Scooby snacks and coq au vin has vanished.  I'm a little affronted by the fact that my giantess in the kitchen is in color now.  It seems weird.  In black and white, it was just the two of us, laughing over potato disasters and chicken that seems to have a mind of its own.  I'm not happy, but I dutifully jot down recipes in a 3 section, 5 by 8 spiral notebook, just like Great Grandma and Granma do.

I learn how to make French onion soup, but I'm not happy about it.  And you can just forget about me learning how to debone a duck, Julia.  Chicken is one thing, but that looks PURPLE and has webbed feet.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

At some point, I'm going to learn to quit drawing that line in the culinary sand with Julia.  It's just pointless.

Being 30 and having an existential crisis that eventually ends in a wildly popular blog, a book deal, and a film is one thing.  Being 30, in the middle of a nasty divorce, moving in with your grandparents, and having what little contents of your kitchen that you were allowed to take is quite another.  However, the wise librarian who has known me since I was spending the summers in the free air conditioning, copying recipes out of cookbooks right next to Grandma, suggests a book.  "We just got this in.  I think it would be a fun read for you."

Holy fuck!  There is someone as neurotic and Julia obsessed as I am!  And she survived her dark night of the soul by the power of Julia. (And got a book contract out of it, damnit)  Seester!  Time to unpack the tiny box of kitchen supplies, cook the pain out, and convince grandma that shallots aren't evil.  Julie, Julia, and me...we got this.

Of all the things I need in life, a terra cotta vegetable roaster is probably not one.  Nor is the cute owl print bag or the tiny purple dragon who shall be named Puff.  Might as well swing by the dvds and see how much more damage I can do.  That's what thrift stores are for, right?

The French Chef Collection 1.  The French Chef Collection 2.

Forty years.  I am in the best place I have ever been.  And here she is, waiting for me.  Again.  Like always.

busy, busy, busy

Had a nice break between filling out applications, going on job interviews, and attempting to (still!) put the kitchen back together...only to have the kitchen sink go kerflooey.

The great thing about FB memories:  apparently, I spend one week this time of year waiting for maintenance to fix my sink about every three years.  Yippee.  I want to cook all the things, and I'm washing dishes in the bathroom sink..:(

At least it went tits up AFTER I went all gonzo and spent a day making turkey pot pie, a weird mash up between Danish apple pie and a crumble, devilled eggs for the spousebeast, and spicy Sriacha coleslaw (I know it seems random, but I am cleaning out the fridge and HATE waste.  With Kent bringing home produce from the dump cart nearly every day, I am processing veggies nigh constantly).  Thank the gods I was able to get THAT round of dishes done!

Monday's non-interview was a total wash.  An hour round trip on the bus, only to be told the manager (whom I did not meet)  was on a conference call and he would reschedule?  Not if I would wait, no apology for my time, zip.  I emailed to let him know I would be out of town, but available Thursday and Friday and looking forward to the interview.

I have not heard a peep back.  Call me paranoid, but I suspect this might have something to do with the fact that, despite my *years* of experience in front and back of the house, Mr. I'm So Hip Dude took one look, snuck in the back, and said "Pssst!  She's old!"  Given the location of the restaurant, Kent agreed with me, and speculated that that might have actually BEEN the manager and he was pre-screening.

Maybe he's humoring me, but it IS NOT easy getting a front of house job in towns like this unless you look like a UNC student.  I wouldn't be surprised if I was pre-screened that way.  Ah, well...fuck 'em.  I don't want to work in an environment like that.  I probably wouldn't make it through the first week without punching someone.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a much needed break from reality.  We did a speed run to and from Charlotte to see Kent's BFF, Chirp and go to see Alice Cooper.  We took the train to and from, and those hours were pure gold.  I love travelling by train.  I'm still goofy enough that it seems romantic.

The Alice concert was AMAZING.  Almost 2 hours, no intermission...and he still has the voice AND the moves.  I *did* have to explain to Chirp that I was actually enjoying myself;  I just don't headbang all that much.  Kent explained on the way home:  Alicia *absorbs* experiences like this.  If she is sitting very still and you're worried that she's stopped breathing, she's having the time of her life."

He's not wrong.  It used to freak him out, too.

It was a wonderful night.  I also got to see Chirp's HS scrapbooks, which had many a picture that Kent wishes I had never seen (he used to be blonde.  I knew he was as a kid, but apparently that lasted well into his 20s.  It's...weird).

Went on two interviews today and got soaked.  The other two asked if phone was okay, thank the gods.  Two more tomorrow, and two walk-ins, weather permitting.  And a grocery run.

Needless to say, I am not doing SQUAT over the weekend.
Pete is 29.  Well, he is in his head.  I'm his girlfriend, even though I'm young enough to be his daughter.  Again, in his head.  I call him my platonic geriatric boyfriend.

I help him go grocery shopping.  Help him move when the landlord can't ignore the pervasive smell of weed coming from an old hippie's apartment.  I make suppers for his Friday supper club because his idea of a meal is opening a jar of pickled herring and washing it down with a bottle of Coke (always the small ones, and always glass).

He plays Santa Claus during December.  Private parties, stores, the children's hospital.  He's the original Jewish Santa...and I am frequently his sidekick as the world's tallest elf.  He is the first person I call when I have done something stupid (like quit my job) or have some joy to share.

And sometimes we go on dates.

Last Saturday, we went to see Joan Baez's farewell tour.  He called to ask me what I was wearing.  I reminded him he needed to bring his cane, because there is still a lot of walking.  He showed up very dapper with his eagle-headed cane and vintage Stetson.  We were quite the stunning couple.

We held hands and cried through most of the show.  She was my first concert at 13.  He roadied for her back in the day.

The there was the finale.  And, as the audience stood, Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" started to wash over the crowd.

Joan took a knee.  Her ensemble followed.  And, one by one, the people I'd seen in the lobby--many using canes and walkers--took a knee.  I'd watched Pete struggle to stand and sit through various ovations and whispered," I've got this for us."

He said no.

The man who can barely walk any more.  Whose legs have been shattered by war and youthful stupidity and age...took a knee.  Right next to me.

I had to help him up.  I have never been so honored.

Of course, he kissed me on the lips when we said goodnight.

The man never gives up.  About anything.