Saturday, November 27, 2010

Does anybody else wonder how the term "Black Friday" came into being and why we have allowed such a thing to happen?

Black Friday is anathema to Thanksgiving. Usually, I get a kick out of a good juxtaposition. But this one bums me out. So I'm going to pretend that on Friday, millions of people did not become the worst of who they are in the name of Christmas acquisitions.

Thanksgiving was awesome. We made a nice breakfast here at the AHfWWG. My friend Smitty had made mention of an extra toaster the week before when I was shopping for the this and thats to flesh out our kitchen acoutrements. Jill and I agreed that we like toast, so we took him up on his promise of a toaster only to be disappointed day after day. Apparently, Thanksgiving breakfast was the required bribe. Amy and her friend Brandon were here and joined us and it was quite yummy. Then we were quite surprised when it was time to make the spinach salad and get going and we had left ourselves no time for a nap. Dammit. Cindy and Dale hosted all of us for dinner. Everything was very delicious and the company was wonderful. Around 8:00 or so, we (the younger generation, and I) went midtown to the Buckaroo, a not terribly classy bar, which is just about right for the likes of us. The main draw: A regulation shuffleboard table.

Friday, I worked a very slow day at the BBQ Pit but still always appreciate at least the hourly wage. Then Amy and I watched the Princess Bride. Awww. I love that movie. Today was laaazzzyy--in my jam jams til 4:00pm. I feel quite accomplished.

Actually, T-giving breakfast, Smitty also brought along a turkey someone had gifted him. He said, "It's not that I don't know how to cook a turkey, it's just that I'm not gonna." So today has been all about making turkey soup from the carcass we brought home from Dale and Cindy's and tomorrow I will be cooking a turkey dinner for me, Jeff, Mel, Jill, and Amy. Then we will play games and be a family. It has been a wonderful holiday for us thus far. Hope it has been good for you, too.

P.S. I achieved my Thanksgiving Day food goal of only eating until I was uncomfortable but not miserable. Good job me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funny joke, weather gods.

So. It's snowing in Bremerton.

In Anchorage, it's icing. Yup. Ice. Falling from the sky in the form of frozen rain and turning every surface into a skating rink. And me without my skates.

This morning, I scooted out to get my car warmed up on this icy day. Unfortunately, I was looking at how icy the car was and the ground around it and had no notion of the ice under my feet. Boy howdy, did I hit the deck. I laid on the ground long enough to curse and cry (just a little bit) and ascertain that I was not critically wounded. Then I picked myself up, tried to regain my composure, and figure out how I was going to get to my car in one piece. Several attempts told me it was folly in any footwear I have but then I had a MacGyver moment. No duct tap, chewing gum, or paper clips but it did occur to me that I may be able to get a good enough grip if I laid a bath towel across the ice to my car door. And it worked! I am so tickled when I actually have notions that work out. So I managed to get myself on down the road. I was late, but at least I made it safely.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get up earlier and go to the store to get something called "Ice Melt" and also some of those spiky attachments for the bottoms of my shoes. I do not wish a repeat performance. Now it's two more Aleve and hope for a decent night's sleep. I've gotta believe I'm gonna be might sore tomorrow. . .

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alaska's Home for Wayward Washington Girls now open . . .

Tonight is our second night in our groovy new bachelorette pad. It has been a bit of piecemeal moving for all of us as we all have very full and very different work schedules. But we've got it pretty well knocked out. The kitchen, bathrooms, and our bedrooms are all fairly well settled. The living room furniture looks like it has landed in the middle after the tornado. But we'll have some time to get that squared up on Saturday.

It is very curious being all grown up but feeling like I'm just starting again. I must say, I quite rather like it. I like my small, neatly appointed room. I like hanging out with Jill and Amy. And I like having to work and struggle a bit to get by. It helps me better prioritize how I spend my time and money. It turns out I can do with quite a lot less than I had become accustomed to. It's not exactly Walden Pond but it is likely as close as I'mma gonna get.

It has not snowed measureably since the first big snow. But it is quite rather cold. In the teens. I've been giving some thought to changing my blog name to holyshitskyitscold but I've decided I'll only do that if we get below zero.

Got my car winterized today. My gas mileage was woeful so I thought a block warmer might be helpful. Also, I was due for a tune up. But most compelling, and likely most impactful, is that I had my spark plugs changed--apparently for the first time. Ever. So 144,243 miles is longer than recommended for spark plugs. Who knew?

I'd best be hitting the hay. I have an 8 hour wait shift tomorrow. Now, most folks work 8 hour shifts and don't really blink. But working 8 hours, on your feet, waiting tables, when you're 51 and moderately out of shape is a bit like dog years: it'll be like working 56 hours.

I know. You feel like a candy ass now, don't you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy weekend . . .

It was great to have the weekend off but it was ever so busy. I started my Saturday morning by hunting all over my room and the house for my car keys. Don't worry. I found them . . .locked in my car. Boo. AAA. Yay. So while I waited, I got to have a nice visit with Connie and Patricia. Then Amy and I went to the Burlington Coat Factory (where they have way more than coats) and picked up some essentials for our new Alaska Home for Wayward Washington Girls.

In the evening we went to a going away party for cousin Michael. He's getting ready to start his new life as a fireman in Kansas. The party was hosted by his fiancee's folks in their home up in Hillside. Holy shitsky what a place! It's like a Street of Dreams home. I have very mixed feelings about a place like that. On the one hand, it was spectacularly beautiful. On the other hand, there are people who don't eat. . . That's actually what I think about when I have my peanut butter toast for breakfast and a sandwich for dinner for the 4th or 5th day running. I really am making significant adjustments on my current wage. But I think it's good for me. It makes me so appreciate what I do have.

Today, after enjoying the Seahawks game with Jeff, I went over to the duplex. Mark and Renee were putting the final touches on the remodel and doing clean up work. I worked my magic on a bathroom that was very much in need. It took three hours but when I was done, that baby sparkled. Ooh and the best part: the new shower head has the best water pressure. Ever. I loves me my water pressure. Very exciting.

This week will be very busy. I'm working every day and attempting to move in my off time. But our AHfWWG is waiting for us. Woo hoo!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Worst waitress dream. Ever.

So I get up and go into the kitchen (which is like our kitchen, only not) and most of one wall holds all the glasses and cups in shallow shelves. Only they're put away haphazardly. And then I realize they were put away dirty. And the dishwasher is full of clean dishes that have no place to go, what with the shelves being full of dirty dishes. And then I realize that I have this baby boy and I think, "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH AN INFANT!? THIS BABY IS NOT GOING TO GET THE KIND OF ATTENTION HE NEEDS! GOOD GOD, HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!? Then I went out of the kitchen and into what turned out to be a very full restaurant. The only tables empty were those that needed to be bussed and there were people going to sit down at those as well. I already had a number of large parties who were waiting on their food, which was not forthcoming and there was no one to help. Also, there was this one guy, "a personal friend of the owner" who inserted himself into the middle of the rush, insisted that I bring him a filet mignon and lobster and then left it untouched because, as it turned out, it was not really what he was in the mood for. P.S. "I don't ever pay for my meals. Bill will take care of that." Some of my customers were very gracious and actually semi-bussed their table themselves. I mentioned to them that I had had many waitress nightmares over the years but this was worse than any of those. (This is definitely the first time I recall referencing my dreams within my dream.)

Then I woke up. Repeatedly. And each and every time, I knew it had been a dream and I endeavored to redirect my dreams to something else. Bob could actually do that. I, alas, cannot. So I dreamed that stupid dream ALL NIGHT LONG.

Now let me show you a trick I learned from that one time I taught AP Psych: The manifest content of my dream is that I was overwhelmed by my work situation. One could surmise that the latent content suggests that I am unsure, overwhelmed, or lacking in competence. One might guess that we've been slammed at the restaurant and I'm having trouble keeping up.(We haven't been and I'm not.) I believe the truth is quite simple: I am old and overtired. I went from 0 to 60 in terms of leisure to work and it is kicking my ass.

That being said, I am enjoying it thoroughly, making decent money, and very relieved to have found gainful employment. Also, I really enjoyed my sub teaching gig yesterday at South Anchorage High. I'll be working pretty full time at the restaurant until they hire one more server. Then I hope to settle into 3 or 4 days a week serving so I can still substitute teach. It really is nice being in classrooms with kids and also getting the vibe and the lay of the land in Anchorage High Schools.

I gotsta go to bed. Snoop Dogg was just on Letterman singing "Get the Funk Outta My Face." I believe that is my cue.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't you love that extra hour?!

Normally, I'm pissy about getting our bonus hour in the fall because typically, I need it something fierce in the spring. But I must say, I enjoyed it very much. I got to spend the evening with Jeff. While Jill and Mel watched many episodes of True Blood, Jeff and I played crib and poker and Wii bowling. I brought a bag and sacked out there last night so I could hit the Fellowhip in Midtown and get back to catch the Seahawks game. Woof, they were woeful! But it sure was fun to have time with my Jeppy.

In the course of yesterday, I finally got to talk to Kris. We had a good long talk. It was not without pain but it was really good. We figured some things out and feel like we'll be able to navigate each other in the best possible way. He's a good man.

I asked Amy what I should write about in my blog. She said, "That it is snowing and it is very beautiful." Yep. There may come a time when the snow loses its luster for Amy and I but that time is definitely not now. We are in awe every day of the beauty that is Alaska.

I better head to bed because I have to work tomorrow. Just sayin'. Oh yeah, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday. I'm feeling very grown up now. We get to move into our groovy bachelorette pad this weekend. We should probably buy some silverware.

Friday, November 5, 2010

You only hurt the ones you love.

That's kind of a no brainer. If you didn't love them, it wouldn't hurt.

I can't keep posting these breezy little updates about my Alaska adventure without speaking to a significant change. I have broken up with Kris. I feel lousy because I know I've hurt him. And I miss him. But those things said, I still know it is what I needed to do. I'm just hoping that at some point, he may want to be my friend. These things are tricky, I know. And while I get to decide what I want and what to do about it, Kris will figure out how he wants to proceed and I will honor whatever that is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gainful employment is good.

Yay tips. Boo being on one's feet all day. But then again, yay tips. So I'm going to make renewed acquaintance with my old friend Aleve and some regular hot, soaking baths. Come to think of it, a busy night at Tony's pretty well kicked my butt and THAT WAS ELEVEN YEARS AGO! But you know what else comes with this old body? Know how, work ethic, and the ability to make folks feels entirely welcome and cared for. I am enjoying that very much.

I don't speak Korean yet, so communication with the owners/cook can be a bit tricky still but overall, they seem to be pleased with me. And my manager/coworker tells me that I will most certainly know it if they are not.

I've started reading my new book group book, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. If I were Jill, Zeitoun would be underlined because it would be a link to tell you all about the book. But because I'm me, you're gonna have to hit Amazon or B&N and look it up your ownself.  I like it very much so far. That's good because I think I'm supposed to have it read by next Tuesday

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some fun changes happening here.

We had our first measurable snowfall last night. Jewel Lake is starting to freeze, so that's fun to watch. This afternoon, the sky is blue and the sun is shining on the freshly snow laden mountains. It really is quite lovely. (Made much lovelier by the fact that I was ready with my studded tires so I could drive with confidence.)

Where would I need to go in the snow, you're wondering? To work. That's where. I started today at the BBQ Pit (just three miles from Renee & Mark's and less than two from the duplex). It's nothing fancy but it is totally doable. I'll be working Mondays plus one other weekday TBD (I'll work a split shift to cover both lunch and dinner) and every other weekend. Which is really quite perfect. This way, I'll still have the opportunity to sub several days a week and continue to attend the AUU Fellowship every other week.
I wasn't in panic mode just yet but I am definitely breathing a bit easier.

It was an interesting first lunch shift though. I went in at 10:30 to train with the opener. She didn't show up 'til almost 11:00 so the owner told me some of the basics to get things started. He was apparently neither pleased nor impressed with her excuse when she got there and SENT HER HOME!   So he handed me an order pad and showed me how to unlock the front door to let our first customers in. So much for training. English is not his first language and he is not particularly communicative and it appeared I was going to be on my own. Holy shitsky!  I was much relieved when Vicki, the gal who hired me, showed up about 20 minutes later. It was moderately stressful but went well generally and I have already tasted the golden nectar that is cash money tips. Yum. I do remember how lovely that is. I actually made enough money in today's lunch shift to fill my very empty gas tank. Super cool.

Jill, Mel, Amy and I went to the Bear Tooth to see "Reel Injun". It was entertaining, educational, and insightful. I totally recommend it. The director, Neil Diamond (no, not that Neil Diamond) was there for questions after the film. That was pretty cool. Later, I played poker with Jeff and some fellas. It was super fun. It is really great to find a good outlet for my poker habit with a maximum outlay of $10. I took 2nd so I actually got my original $5 buy-in back.  Good job, me.