Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two-sided waffle iron

This week is a week of new appliances. At this very moment, there is a dehumidifier in my basement room, removing the excessive moisture. And while I enjoyed pretending to be Harry Potter in my damp closet room, I could not be happier. Immediately upon entering my room, I reach down and pat the little machine who works so hard to make my world a drier place. On top of that, the Hall family has replaced our beloved waffle iron (God rest its soul) for a new one that, well, works. It's far fancier, making two waffles at the same time. It even has a customized waffle-batter scoop. Awesome.

Among other things, I watched The Road yesterday; the post-apocolyptic movie with Viggo Mortenson. Honestly, it was one of the saddest, heaviest films I've ever seen. And normally, that would be right up my... road? but this time I find little beyond the actors' excellent performance to recommend this movie to anyone. It's just too lightless. I do, however, highly recommend Disney's Hercules, which has been on my heart and mind for days now as a must re-watch. It's a classic.

I'll probably get back to my Honey Bunches of Oats with fresh raspberries now. I have a hefty to-do list for the day which mostly involves smaller to-do lists from days before. I'm really on top of things!

By the way, approaching the forty day countdown until Steven/Burkina/Trip of a lifetime. Wish you were all coming with me. Just kidding. But seriously, wish you were coming. But also, not.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Late night snack

I'm not asleep because I found a new song. I can only predict that I will be listening to it on repeat for the next several days. "Cha Cha Cha" by The Little Ones, and it is so good. It reminds me of a scene from a movie, any movie I might have seen with a happy couple on a tandem bike. I imagine they are in a park on a sunny day. The light is shooting through the branches of trees while they ride, making flashes that cut the world around them into scenes. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, it makes me feel like life is fast and lovely and sunny, of course.

Life. Have a listen:


Good night :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mumford and Sons: The Gentlemen of the Road

A few days ago, I went to a concert in KC, MO (rhyme) with a few uniquely and delightfully dear friends. The night started with a heavy rain that pushed me into Half-Price Books while I waited for them to meet me for dinner. Half-Price Books is the last place I needed to be and simultaneously the best place I could have been. Where else can I find my favorite DVDs, neatly pre-owned just WAITING to be swooped up into my loving arms? Needless to say, when I finally met up with my group, it was with a healthy stack of media.

We went to the West Port Flea Market for curly fries, burgers, and a lemon-tipped Boulevard Wheat. Yu-um. The rain moved on while we dined, allowing us to join the line of concert-goers just in time to see two complete rainbows hanging over Westport drive. I ask you, is there anything more perfect than a rain that comes and cleans and leaves you with rainbows? No, and let these details leading up to the concert confirm that there are such things as magical moments- the best kind of real-life magic.

The line built on slowly behind us for an hour until the doors opened to the sold out floor of The Record Bar. Tables had disappeared, chairs were nowhere to be seen. Immediately we stationed ourselves at the front of the stage, spread-legged and arms crossed to secure our spots for the show. It was totally worth it. Mumford and Sons is a true live band- energetic, passionate, engaging and effing talented. They treated us like the first audience to ever hear their songs- that kind of respect would win anyone over, and it certainly won us. Several times throughout their show I turned to my friends to exchange a look of awe. Gah, it was so good. I recommend trekking to England to hear them sometime, or popping over to the nearest location in which they next play. You will not be disappointed. I wager, in fact, that you will leave looking for more ways to incorporate their music into your every day.

Free of Charge

"Sometimes I don't believe in things..." I keep thinking that: Sometimes I don't believe in things.

Last night, I was sitting with the rest of Sunday night's servers in booth 11. We were trading stories of tables we'd waited on and the hell they'd put us through, most often without reward. We started sentences with "I hate it when" and found, much to our comfort, we have all been through it, and we all hated it "when..." I'll tell you, people are a different breed of beast in a restaurant; and maybe they're the same entitled jerks from parking lots and lines and baseball games who make going out in public a bit like entering a war zone. Or maybe their pain-in-the-assness is limited to food venues. Whatever the case, something must happen to them on the walk back to their table that makes them entirely unpleasant to serve.

If you've waited tables, I expect you know all about it. You've had the people who become mute when they need things, only able to gesture or hold their half-empty glasses up in the air. "Yes, I see you..." There are the people who talk at you while you're with another table. Like obnoxious children, they interrupt until you acknowledge them. And then, there are the most fun, the people who have discovered that whatever they tell you to do, you will do. These people are gruff and short and demanding, conveniently without the ability to say please or thank you or "when you get a second". Oh, they make us dance. Beyond these, there are more people, all of varying degrees of difficulty. Of course, not everyone who walks through the doors of a restaurant is looking to take a chunk out of a servers heart, chew on it and spit it out because it wasn't good enough. (Do I sound bitter?) There are the rare and beautiful ones who laugh with you and wait patiently and without irritation. And yes, tip well. We need those people, when the dinner shift is long. And it is long.

But throughout last night's talk, I heard my co workers say again and again that waiting tables has made them lose... "something" with people as a whole. And I'd have to agree, I used to think I was good at reading people, good at interacting with them. But the truth of it is, sometimes the people who ran me ragged left the most decent tips and sometimes the people who were the nicest left me nothing. I can say the absolute identical thing to one table that I say to another and have two polar opposite reactions. Awesome. Statistically, waiting tables takes years off of some people's life.

Anyway- all of this to say that sometimes I don't believe in decent tips or gracious people or even on occasion, decent people.