Archive | May, 2012

how to make extra money being a pimp.

31 May

Today, because I’m amazing, I repaired the toilet paper holder in such a way that it isn’t even going to break again tomorrow. So if you were wondering just how deep my talents lie, now you have some kind of indication. I would have done more, such as build a chalkboard for the bar so we can carry fancy new microbrews and shit like that, but I still can’t find my pink fucking tape measure probably because someone stole it. The way it works in the restaurant business is apparently that if you’re employed at a place and you like things (i.e. forks, wine glasses, pink tape measures) you can take them home and make them all yours. So because of the kleptomaniacs who work for me, I couldn’t build a chalkboard and now there’s no use in carrying an expanded beer selection and you’re stuck drinking things like Corona Light and Stella. Stripped of the possibility to build shit, I instead graced the dining room with my presence.

It was just the usual kind of crowd. A couple of swingers who I haven’t seen in awhile who stared at my (sunburnt) breasts while they asked how old my kid is now and told me that their oldest granddaughter is going into high school. An anorexic woman and her husband. A sixteen-year-old kid and his parents who ordered beer for him. A bowling league full of cranky chicks with Celiac Disease. Oh, and the Sexy Older Man.

Sometimes there are customers that you enjoy talking to because they tell good stories, or they make you feel smarter and prettier than you actually are, or they’re a local celebrity or know local celebrities so you like to stay in their good graces. In the case of the Sexy Older Man, I enjoy talking to him because he’s highly attractive and has a raspy voice, not like the pack-a-day kind of rasp, more like the sings-too-loud-in-the-car rasp. I’m familiar with this rasp because I am constantly singing too loud in the car and losing my voice. Today would have been one of those days because the Les Miserables trailer came out today and I’m sooooo excited for it that I felt the need to celebrate the only way I know how, which is to sing the entire show at the top of my lungs with the windows open (of course using British accents because the American Cast Recording isn’t available on Spotify, duh) but my friend called me to thank me for being so amazing and beautiful and we wound up shooting the shit about children’s singers for my whole ride to work.

Tonight the Sexy Older Man was sitting with another handsome older (45) gentleman and Thing 2 (who was there working the bowling party with Thing 1) took a liking to him right from the get go. So I was forced to go hang out with the sexy men for half an hour so I could find out the guy’s marital status and whether or not he’d be interested in any type of date or sexual activity with my employee and why he was driving a rental car. We quickly got off that subject (wife, no thanks, lives in Florida) and moved on to more important things like how Sexy Older Guy wants to get on TV and how I’m going to become a pirate and sail to the Cook Islands as a second source of income. Or maybe even become a pot dealer. Sexy Older Guy is an idea man, and he suggested that instead of sailing the seven seas, perhaps I’d be better to incorporate my extraordinary pimping skills into my everyday work routine. We decided that I can be both a pimp and a weed dealer, and we’ll keep the “Chicken Tacos” on the menu, and that the code for people ordering an evening with one of my Lovely Ladies is “I’ll have the fish tacos.” And Sexy Older Guy said that he’d probably order the combo platter and have a big party. I warned him that I’d probably be exposing him and his combo platter in my world famous blog but he seemed unphased.

Sometimes I feel like the Sexy Older Guy’s wife doesn’t like me and I really can’t figure out why. I mean, I know how to show my customers a good time, and her hubby is no exception. She should appreciate me. And my services.

The more I thought about it after Harry broke up the Sexy Man conference, the more I realized that becoming a pimp is far more lucrative than being a pirate. I’m really not good with treasure maps, but I do love being called Madame. Plus, the other day Charlie mentioned that he needed extra cash, and that maybe he’d become a prostitute, so he and I can prob work something out where his code word is the Hibachi Fish Tacos or Sushi Tacos or Wonton Soup Tacos. Something politically correct like that.

 

Sidebar: Here is me and Harry’s conversation before he went to sleep tonight:

Harry: What’s your blog post on tonight?

Me: How I’m going to be a pimp.

Harry: Ok, goodnight. I love you.

Me: Do you think it’s ok that I’m blogging about how I’m going to be a pimp?

Harry: Yeah, sounds like fun to me.

Me: It’s going to be fun when I get some hos up in here.

Harry: Make sure you close the door, you type too loud.

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yo ho!

30 May

Something really interesting about me is that I get like totally bored if there’s no drama or action going on, and right now there’s just none of it. The restaurant has been steady, my parents and the kids are behaving themselves, the sun is shining….nothing is out of sync. Some people would enjoy this slice of normal and do things like clean their closet or go to a gym or catch up on reading, but not me. I am just not nearly distracted enough to get anything done. I can’t work in this quiet. It’s horrible! Today I stared at a computer screen for 45 minutes. It wasn’t even on. In fact, it wasn’t even attached to a computer. I just couldn’t remember what I was doing because what I was doing was something totally mundane like eating pretzels and drinking a gallon of lemon water and adding things on a calculator.

I’ve decided that I need to come up with a list of things to do when there’s not enough drama. This is all intended to create unnecessary stress in my life and/or destroy relationships with those around me. Here’s what I’ve got:

  1. Open another popup restaurant. Habanero Harry’s may have to come to fruition sooner rather than later. Or Hashbrown Harry’s needs to make a second appearance. Perhaps an outdoor location? Shall we begin looking? I think so!
  2. Become a pirate. The other day Harry and I took the kids to Greenport to see “The Tall Ships,” which is basically a fancy way of saying a bunch of really old pirate looking vessels. As we approached one very rickety one, we spotted a sign next to it that said “Join our crew and sail to the Cook Islands!” Harry and I rock, paper, scissored and I won which means I get to become a pirate and live on a mattress made of hay for 6 months while I sail the world, acquire an Australian accent and grow dreadlocks, while Harry stays home cooking, cleaning, working full time and rearing our children. I’ll bring him home nice souvenirs though.
  3. Go back to school. I have literally no desire or reason or money to do this. But the thought of getting a second chance at good grades seems so appealing. Also college gear is so cool, and my Syracuse sticker is starting to peel off my back windshield and rather than replace it with what I’ve already got, it would be super cool to have a new sticker to stick. Also I would like to make younger friends, because they know where all the good parties are in the summertime and I like feeling like a role model so I can do things like buy beer for my new little friends and they’ll all think I’m the coolest!
  4. Become a weed dealer. I know I keep talking about it. I should probably just do it already, it’s so ridiculous I’m even getting tired of hearing it. Will somebody PLEASE order the chicken tacos at the restaurant?? I’m dying to get this shit off my hands! I’m not trying to go to jail, just make a couple extra bucks so I want to make sure I do this the professional and smart way. Maybe I’ll get in a practice run at the Dave Matthews Concert and sell chicken tacos in the parking lot. Which leads me to….
  5. Become a street food vendor. I really think that this may be the best course of action for me. Other than a stray speeding ticket here and there, I’ve got a great driving record, so a food truck is probably a logical direction that I should take my business savvy in. Perhaps my brunch truck “The Screwdriver” can come to your next Bar Mitzvah or tailgating party or miscellaneous soiree.

I don’t know. Only thoughts only thoughts. Realistically I think we all know that the only possibility is that I become a pirate. As soon as the sunburn on my back goes away, I’m climbin’ aboard.

where jews come from.

27 May

Tonight was like Christmas or something at the restaurant, because alllll the Jews were out. I wonder what it is about Memorial Day that makes every tribe member skip the family BBQ and call in a babysitter. Maybe it’s because everyone wants to show off their new summer wardrobe and absolutely cannot wait until a less family-friendly weekend. Or maybe since Jews don’t cook and this is a holiday where burgers and ribs are a must-have, we fit the bill. Regardless of the reason, they were seriously in every nook and cranny of the restaurant tonight. And I’m not talking about the vanilla difficult-to-identify variety who send their kids to schools like Princeton and University of Texas and don’t wear designer jeans or have any elective plastic surgery. I’m talking about your SUV driving, huge ass diamond sporting, Tory Burch toting creme de la creme Long Island Super Jews (who, if you’re wondering, send their kids to schools like Cornell, Wisconsin, Indiana and, yes, Syracuse).

There are some distinguishing qualities that we (I’m throwing myself in with the masses for this one…) tend to display. While I’m generalizing and completely stereotyping my peeps, these are all for the most part 100% completely and entirely true.

  1. We get too loud too fast. It happens in an instant. Tonight I asked the new waitress if she was a Jew (after she complimented Harry on his excellent guilt-dishing) and when she said yes, there were suddenly four of us screaming at the top of our lungs about which direction you light the candles on the menorah in. Which leads me to…
  2. Nobody actually knows anything about Judaism. There are exceptions. We have a few customers who go to temple and do things like talk about religion and celebrate non-gift-giving holidays. But for the most part, Jews these days are in it for the food and the free birthright trip to Israel.
  3. Everyone went to camp. Tonight when I found out about the new Jew girl, I didn’t ask her if she went to camp, I asked her what camp she went to. Because camp is pretty much non-negotiable for adolescent Jews. This has nothing to do with wanting to ditch your kids for 8 weeks (although now that I have a 9-year-old step kid I can say that the temptation does pop into my head now and then). Camp has to do with passing down amazing experiences from generation to generation. Such as getting fresh bagels on visiting day and joining the inter-camp soccer team just for the ice cream sundaes on the van ride back.
  4. Like Asians, we are completely undistinguishable when in a large group. On an individual basis, we all display our own unique style, whether it’s the type of music we listen to or color of Essie nail polish that we use or the way we pronounce “Bendels.” But when we get together for a girl’s night, we all dress the same, talk the same, complain the same, and order the same salad (with well done salmon, dressing on the side, extra garbanzo beans, no olive and make sure it’s chopped).
  5. Jews hire night nurses when they have babies. I didn’t put this as “we” because I didn’t marry a Jew, and so I didn’t get a night nurse. Harry insisted that “we’re the parents, so we should wake up with the baby.” While I sincerely hated him at the time, and our social lives probably took a major hit (as though we had one at all) because we couldn’t go out drinking with the other new parents, I will always fondly look back on those days of sitting on the couch at 4:30am watching Pretty Little Liars with my itty bitty baby girl in my arms. Still. I deserved a night nurse.
  6. Every Jew knows Artie. Something about our recently deceased original restaurant is that it was like the number one spot for Jappy women to have lunch for literally decades. So my dad really got to know them, as well as their husbands/boyfriends/sugar daddies. And he was friendly and super sweet and made everyone feel like he was their buddy. Not like me, who flips people the bird before they’ve completely turned around and refuses to schmooze with anyone who rubs me the wrong way. Yes, he’s the Penn to my Teller. And as a result, not a Saturday night goes by at the restaurant where some balding dude comes up to me or my manager and says “Where’s Artie?” And I say “Artie hasn’t come to work for 5 years,” followed by “Maybe if you were a devoted customer you’d know that, huh?” followed by “Stop looking at me like that, asshole” followed by “Fine! Don’t come back! See if I care! My dad doesn’t even remember who you are!” I can’t figure out why they don’t want to get to know me better, but it’s their loss for sure.

Anyway, that’s the deal with Jews, at least this week. Because if one thing is true (other than the aforementioned items) it’s that we love a good trend.

how to have the best dad in the world.

25 May

In celebration of the holiday weekend and all the horrible drivers/outfits/people in general out there, I’ve decided to highlight some morons.

  • The kid at the yogurt place. Look, kid. I’m really proud of you for getting an after school job. But if I’m by myself and I’m getting 4 things of yogurt, it’s pretty safe to say that I need lids. Oh, and yes. A bag.
  • People who compliment the cakes that we serve at parties. People tend to go bananas for our cakes, because they’re fresh and totally delicious. That being said, they’re mostly either from the supermarket or Costco. So when I say “it’s a local baker” in response to “where did you get this yummy cake?” I find it extremely difficult to keep a straight face.
  • The guy who helped me set up my computer. He’s a friend and he came over and that was so so so nice of him and I’m forever grateful for all the stuff he pimped out my computer with (except for the program that he probably put on to see what me and Harry Google from his living room). But telling a girl “stop it, your diet’s not working” is undoubtedly going to put you on a list of morons.
And now a retraction, of sorts…..

RETRACTION: So my dad asked me to retract the statement I made the other day about him being extremely whiny when it comes to fixing shit around the restaurant. Yes, he showed up promptly the next morning and miraculously rewired the broken fan to make it spin another day. He also cleaned up after himself. But the fact of the matter is that he did it all hesitantly and without zest. So for that, I am refusing his retraction request and instead telling an embarrassing story about him.

THE BOOTS

It was many moons ago, sometime around the turn of the milennium, and my dad decided to come visit me up at Syracuse and take me to the motor home show at the New York State Fairgrounds. It was probably around April, and since it snows 12 months a year there, we decided that we’d also hit up a ski mountain. We arrived at the mountain with my dad, his “vintage” skis, and my roommate Allie who had never been on a mountain before (she sidestepped down the mountain on our first and her only run). I was quite seasoned, having been on at least two bunny hills and one unfortunate black diamond. Allie and I hit up the rental place, partially to get skis and partially to get dates. After we were all geared up, we headed outside to the lifts to meet up with my dad. On our way there, I saw some pieces of debris on the ground. First just a couple pieces, then some more, then a shit ton more. And at the end of the breadcrumb trail stood my sad sad sad daddy wearing one ski boot and one sock.

“My boot exploded.”

“Well let’s go back to the lodge. We can go rent a new pair!”

“I have a wide foot. It was a special boot.”

“Well it was it’s time, dad. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

He insisted that we go ski without him, and that he would sit in the lodge and wait for us. We turned and parted ways, but before we could make it to the lift, there was a crack. We turned around.

“My other boot exploded!”

At least we had the RV show to lighten the mood….

 

You know what? That felt so good! Exploiting my pops is FUN! I’m going to try for round two….

 

THIS OLE’ HEART OF MINE

It was a dark and stormy night when we found out my dad had to have triple bypass surgery as a result of sausage, peppers, onions and the restaurant business. Or maybe it was a lovely summer day. I don’t remember. Probably neither does he because he’s really sort of losing it. We do know that it was either a day or a night. He went in for surgery like a trooper, even though he was scared (of how bad business would be if he couldn’t come back to work quickly). He (obv) made it through, as we knew would happen, and we went home to get some rest, because the thing about my father is that he’s occasionally high maintenance, especially when under the weather, so we knew we’d need energy to cater to his odd whims and mostly unnecessary needs. When we arrived at the hospital the next morning, the sexy porn-ish nurse told us that we could go see him in the CCU. It was heartbreaking to see him laying there, completely unable to communicate with anyone around him. He felt such deep pain and had been so severely drugged up that he couldn’t even do anything but keep his eyes closed and moan and moan and moan and make us cry like girls.

But then something happened. I looked up at the TV and Lifetime was playing. Somehow, the boobalicious nurse knew his favorite channel! It was a miracle! She was a mind reader! Or he was a big fat faker. Sorry dad. Seven thousand stitches and a breathing tube or not, we all know the truth about the CCU.

 

*In regards to the title of this post, I’m not trying to compete with you or your dad. I was really just trying to put my dad in a super happy mood before he found out that I was rejecting his retraction request. Next time just come fix the fan, dad.

girl’s guide to fixing broken shit.

23 May

I just got off the phone with my friend who’s also at work right now, and we talked about how bad we feel for ourselves for having no life other than our small businesses. Then we discussed the concert we’re going to in a few weeks together, a little bitty road trip he’s taking tomorrow, our Memorial Day plans and how we should all barbecue or go to the beach, and our upcoming vacations. Our lives are extremely difficult and you should all feel really bad for us.

Most of the time we were talking I spent standing on a chair, trying to shut off the fans in the party room. Every time I thought the fan was starting to slow down, I would doubt myself and pull the string thinking that it was just on the lowest speed, not totally off. And then it would go really fast. So I’d pull it a couple more times, doubt that it was off again and vicious cycle for about ten minutes. Luckily the fan in the dining room is broken, so I didn’t have to worry about shutting that one off tonight.

Lots of stuff is broken around here. That’s just what happens. You come in here for your food and drink and decent company. You use my furniture and my glasses and my plates, and shit breaks. And it’s all your fault, but are you gonna fix it? No! Am I? Probably not unless it can be repaired with a cordless drill or something in my pink toolkit (except for the pink level because some motherfucker stole it) or it’s a lightbulb or any other object that you screw to make it work! My approach for most repairs and small projects around the restaurant is to ask my dad and Harry, and have them ignore me or complain or procrastinate, and then have one of the cooks or waiters do it on a day that I’m here alone. For instance, the hook on the back of the bathroom door. I couldn’t stand the thought of someone having nowhere to stash their bag when they pee so I had a waiter who claimed he was a world class hook hanger hang it up. And now every time I use the loo I stare at this crooked fucking hook and I get all twitchy because it isn’t level but he doesn’t work here anymore and so I don’t want to take it down in case I can’t find another sucker to fix it. But alas, at least the shit got done. I just signed on a new waiter to renovate the bathrooms with me this summer. If he passes that test then I’ll let him fix the hook.

For the most part, my dad is a stay-at-home dad. He does a lot of gardening, goes to the casino for the buffet and some slots, babysits and reads every headline on the AOL home screen on an hourly basis. Let’s just say that an occasional restaurant-related activity would do him little-to-no harm. Yet today when I called him about the fan being broken, he first called Harry to check if I had actually pulled the strings. Then he called me at like 10pm to ask if the fan had come on yet.

“No, did you come fix it? I didn’t see you.”

“I asked Harry to pull the strings. Did it go on?”

“No. Because it’s broken. And pulling the strings on a broken fan does nothing except give you exercise*.”

“Well are you sure that Harry pulled the strings? I don’t want to come there and waste my time if nobody pulled the strings and I find out that it’s something stupid that I have to fix.”

“I’m pretty smart, Dad. And I think you should come.”

“Fiiiiinnnnnneeeeeee.”

Hopefully nothing incredibly important will happen in the world while he’s up on the ladder, or I’ll feel really guilty that he missed the headline.

 

*Sidebar: Today one of my new waitresses asked me what “workout regimen” I use to keep my legs in such awesome shape. After I stopped hysterically laughing/snorting/falling off my chair, I told her that I often walk to my office and occasionally I walk back. Also I turn fans on and off. Nicole said that my toned calves are from “heels and sports when you were younger.” I explained that neither JV softball nor smoking pot on the lacrosse field typically do anything for your muscle tone. Harry came up with the best summary of my exercise regimen. Ben & Jerry’s. He’s pretty spot on, except for the past three days which have also included my pushups.

Also, I just remembered that I missed poetry Tuesday. Where the hell does the time go? I even worked with Charlie and could have thrown a little ditty together for him. I owe you one, Charles.

the vagina monoblogs.

23 May

Yesterday I went to the Lady Doctor for my yearly visit and since my regular doc broke his leg delivering a baby (just kidding?) I was forced to see his fill-in, Dr. Cassanova. Is this truly his real name? I have no idea. Is it what he refers to himself as? Yes, it is. Do I think it’s his Vagina-rific stage name? A little bit. Was he Latin? Si, senoritas. Was he wearing a black shirt and black tie and black pants and did he sound like Antonio Banderas but look like a MonChiChi? Absolutely! Did he use said Antonio Banderas voice to tell me that “I will now bring my lovely assistant and we will examine you!” and a sequin-clad Portuguese gypsy-nurse shimmied in to hand him the necessary tools? Essentially. Did I get felt up and invaded by Zorro yesterday? Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

Anyway that’s neither here nor there.

After inspecting all of my orifices, Dr. Zorro asked me if there’s anything peculiar going on with my body.

“I have an ear infection and I can’t stop gaining weight.”

“How much weight?”

“Five pounds. Ten, tops. But I have this pregnancy-like area here that was never around before except when I was actually preggers.”

“Hmmm..have your exercise habits recently changed?”

“No. I never exercised and that hasn’t changed.”

He and his circus freak of an assistant scoffed at me. “Well we both know that you need to exercise.”

“I have a very active job.”

“I’m sure you do. What are you doing to try and lose weight?”

“I’ve been layering Spanx.”

And that’s when I decided that I should probably stop eating five meals a day. So far, my diet has consisted of the following:

  • DAY 1:  Drank lots of water for breakfast. Got a 3 pound salad at Whole Foods for lunch (I think the girl fucked up weighing it because how is it possible that I took $7 more than Harry? I mean come on man.) which consisted of kale, quinoa, eggplant, curry chicken and some other boring-ass healthy stuff. Went to Costco but didn’t try any of the samples. Bought a 90 unit box of high fiber brownies. Ate one before we got home because my kale salad was NASTY and I needed to kill the taste. Turns out high fiber brownies are nothing to shout about either. Went to my father-in-law’s farewell dinner. Felt obligated to order the 4 course price fix because I’m a Jew and I can’t turn away a good deal. Justified it by skipping butter with my bread and sharing my dessert with Riley.
  • DAY 2: Ate healthy cereal and didn’t dilute my skim milk with whole milk like I usually do. Drank shit tons of water. Had an omelette for lunch without toast or potatoes which was like sailing without water or sunshine. But I added some salsa, and made a vow to put that stuff on anything I eat until I reach my goal weight of 79 pounds. This includes the chocolate chip pancakes that I will inevitably make by the week’s end. For dinner I had self serve frozen yogurt, and tonight instead of my yogurt to fruit topping to dry topping to wet topping ratio being 1:0:7:8 it was more like 3:2:1:0!!! And I only spent $35 dollars! I drank so much water today that in the twelve minutes it’s taken me to write this post, I’ve had to pee seventeen times. So long water weight!!! Rockin’ the diet already…

As far as exercise, because Dr. Cassanova was SO INSISTENT that I do some, I did 2 reps of fifteen pushups (once in the morning and once at night) and I lifted 35 party chairs without asking for help and I parked at the furthest spot in the lot at Trader Joe’s when I went to get my salsa. Oh and I jumped for joy for at least an hour when I found out that Pretty Little Liars comes back on in a couple of weeks and there’s a show called Nashville that’s starting in September. That has to be good for a few calories burned. Just in case that’s not enough, on Monday I’m gonna go 2-steppin’ with a friend. Ride ’em cowboy!

dinner with semen.

21 May

My father-in-law is a semen. I mean, sailor.

Well to be technically correct about it, he’s a Chief Engineer on a really really really big boat, but not a cruise ship so don’t get all excited and think that I can hook you up because even though I wish I could, I can’t. Every ten weeks or so, Big Harry skips town and runs a cargo ship that goes back and forth from Anchorage to Seattle with a bunch of other sailors (if you consider a bunch of sailors a fun vacation I can most likely swing a room for you, but I’m warning you now the thead count on the sheets are like a 3 and there’s no midnight buffet or casino). They spend their days swearing up a storm, pulling homoerotic pranks on each other, playing Wii and facing whatever Mother Nature dishes out for them.

So you’d think that maybe he can handle dinner with my family.

Tonight me, Harry, the kids and my parents had a bon voyage dinner for him at a local Italian place (which he paid for because that’s what happens when you leave the rotation for ten weeks at a time – you cover all meals for the ten weeks you’re home. Duh.). As usual, we sat around shitting on the place in which we sat, complaining about everything from the poor layout of the dining room to the unnecessary abundance of butter that they give you for your bread. Then we moved on to what type of wood floor they used and how impractical it is for a restaurant. By the time the salad course arrived we had also discussed their marketing plan, the acoustics in the bar area, how skimpy the lemon slice is they give you with the iced tea and how their other location is so much busier than this one so the food is probably going to suck.

“I really didn’t know what the fuck you guys were talking about,” Big Harry told me later in the evening when I was interviewing him for this post. “But I think it’s really nice that you all have so much to talk about.”

I decided to interview him because when I asked him at dinner if we were annoying, he gave me that weird look like “OH HELL YES” but said “Nah… I think it’s interesting that you guys notice all the stupid stuff the waiter is doing! I wouldn’t see any of it if it weren’t for you.” I’m no fool. I know how irritating it is to eat a meal with restaurant people. Family dinner as a child was sort of like eating alone. All my parents would do at dinner was turn over every plate to see the manufacturer and bitch when there was a charge for a soda refill and bicker about some sort of restaurant related drama. In the past 25 years, nothing has changed. Oh, one thing. Instead of complaining about my parents being impossible to sit through a meal with, now I’m fully engaged in the conversation, as is my husband.

During our interview, Big Harry revealed to me* that he feels my mom is the most critical, my dad is the most ridiculous, and Harry is the most likely to find a reason to leave the table (ie. Riley needs to check out the Quickdraw machine). I, of course, am perfect and stunningly gorgeous. Also, I contribute the least because I’m way too busy eating.

“Who’s the most annoying?” I asked him.

“Austin.”

Austin is going through a phase right now where he feels the need to also discuss business at dinner. Tonight he asked the waiter how many busboys and servers were on the clock for that current shift. He also asked how bar business is doing. Even without his interrogations, Austin is an extraordinarily demanding customer. He insists on BBQ sauce even if it isn’t available, wants his Sprite with 1,021 bubbles and likes a warm towel after his meal. Austin is nine. And a seasoned diner. And concerned with payroll. Sometimes I get scared that he’s going to turn out way too much like me, but then I realize that I’m super fly, and turning out like me would be the equivalent of turning out like Jimmy Fallon or Dame Judi Dench.

My father-in-law leaves tomorrow morning for another bout at sea, and the whole fam is pretty sad about it. “We can Skype on Wednesdays, but I only if I close my door. The guys are always in and out all day.”

Spoken like a true semen.

(xoxoxo miss ya love ya!!!)

 

*By saying that Big Harry “revealed” these facts to me, what I really mean is that I made them up and he didn’t say these things at all. He did, however, give me his blessing to put any words I’d like in his mouth. Hence these revelations.

epic battle: bar mitzvahs vs. communions.

20 May

Something really fun about May is that it’s Communion season. And it turns out that my restaurant is a pretty hot spot for these puppies. With all this talk of religious rites of passage, how can I resist comparing the Communion and everyone’s favorite Jewish party, the Bar Mitzvah:

  1. Balloons. At a Communion, seven minutes before the party starts, the host brings fifteen mylar balloons with either pink or blue crosses on them and they’re all knotted together because they’ve been sitting in her car for the past 4 days getting shoved around during carpool. At a Bar Mitzvah a professional balloon crew arrives three days before the event to erect a balloon ballroom in which to house the party. Guests enter through a balloon hallway and are handed a gold plated balloon which, when popped, sends a firework into the air above them in the shape of their table number.
  2. Centerpieces. At a Communion, the centerpiece is two or three of the cross balloons tied down on some sad looking pansies or one of those giant martini glasses filled with leftover Easter-colored m&ms. To make it a little more sexy, there are some pieces of cross confetti strewn about. At a Bar Mitzvah the centerpiece is constructed from rare orchids and three-dimensional recreations of the Bar Mitzvah boy’s favorite moments in Sports History.
  3. Favors. At a Communion, the favor is a Hershey’s bar with “Jennifer’s First Holy Communion” printed on a piece of paper and taped around the candy bar. Also you get a mint with a cross on it. At a Bar Mitzvah, the candy bar itself is imprinted with a 3-D rendering of each guest’s face. Every kid also receives a camp trunk filled with t-shirts, boxers, shot glasses and hoodies that say “I got leied at Samantha’s Hawaiian Bat Mitzvah Ultra Lounge.”
  4. Music. At a Communion, the music is carefully selected by the programmer at the radio station. Occasionally the hosts play their own (2nd generation) iPods, loaded with Frank Sinatra, Amy Grant and Hall & Oates. At a Bar Mitzvah the Cocktail Hour features both the Long Island Philharmonic and Selena Gomez. The reception is done by EJ the DJ (and their gaggle of pole dancers who “get the crowd pumped”) with a surprise appearance by The Foo Fighters (rockin’ the horah, obv.)
  5. Entertainment. At a Communion, kids are treated to those really awesome little foam thingies that you can stick on other pieces of bigger foam to make exciting shit like foam visors and foam door hangers. There’s occasionally a caricaturist. At a Bar Mitzvah, kids can enjoy a world-famous freak show followed by a one-night-only performance of Cirque du Soleil. Then they are whisked away to Chinatown for dim sum and brought back in a party bus before dessert. At that point they can choose between a reading of “50 Shades of Grey” by the author herself, or a 1 on 1 basketball game with Jeremy  Lin.
  6. Style. The Communion girl dresses like an innocent bride. The morning of her party she may go get a fancy undo that’s heavy heavy heavy on the hairspray and curls, with little roses tucked throughout. Her mom might let her wear some sparkly lipgloss and Mary Janes with teeny tiny heels if she’s one of the lucky ones. On the flip side, the Bat Mitzvah girl dresses more like a slutty bridesmaid than a bride. She has 24″ hair extensions and Keratin treatment, waxed eyebrows, Mink faux lashes, and had her makeup done by the same girl who did JLo before the Academy Awards. Her jewelry is by Harry Winston and her shoes are 5 inch platform stiletto Louboutins.
  7. Fun. Communion girls and their friends practice tap dancing in the hallway between the bathroom and party. Boys play PSP. Bar Mitzvah kids are lifted up on chair while people dance around them, which in many cultures around the globe leads to sacrifice.
  8. Cake. At a Communion the cake came from Costco and cost $16.99 and has a flower cross and the kid’s name is spelled wrong and it doesn’t matter because nobody brought their camera to take a picture of it anyway. At a Bat Mitzvah, each of the fourteen (13 + 1 for good luck if you’re a shiksa) candles gets its own individual 4-tier fondant cake. Each of the 14 cakes is hand painted with scenes from her favorite films of all time (Twilight, Monsters Inc., The Lion King, Fight Club, Harry Potter, The Hangover, Half Baked and some others). The candles are made of human souls and glitter.
  9. God. At a Communion, God is EVERYWHERE – The confetti, the napkins, the plastic tablecloths, the mints, the cake that says “God Bless Redecca” and the Amy Grant tunes. At a Bar Mitzvah, there’s really good sushi and everyone’s talking about the MOBMB’s (Mother of the Bar Mitzvah Boy) new nose was still a little black and blue for weeks to come.
  10. “The Low Key Alternative.” When the family of a Communion boy or girl wants to “keep it low key” they go to the diner after the service with all the grandparents. If they want to make it special they drive an extra 3 miles and go to the good diner, not the one that sometimes there are ants. When the family of a Bar Mitzvah boy wants to keep it low key, they go on a fourteen-day European Cruise and then have a 125 person luncheon after the service with only a DJ and not a DJ and a band.

About the author:  I had lobster at my Bat Mitzvah. I also had a steel drum band, black ladies braiding hair and a casino for the kids. My dress was custom made and the dressmaker created custom matching socks for me to dance in, and there was a beach volleyball court in the corner. At the end of the party, beach balls fell from the ceiling like magic.

About the author’s brother: Brad opted for “the Low Key Alternative” although the cruise was only a week or maybe even less. The luncheon was at our restaurant, duh. He got a headache and slept through the whole thing.


things i’ve heard… (in lots of short words)

18 May

Here are some things I heard from the mouths of guys and gals at my place tonight:

  • Thought from a friend: “Start with fuck!” (No prob…)
  • At not quite half past eight: “Where’s the food, it’s 9. I need to go to sleep”
  • Some guy: “This food has cheese. I don’t like cheese. How did you not know that?”
  • Same guy: “My kid can spill this vase if he wants to. We pay to be here.”
  • From a bride at her Last Meal: “The cake got messed up. I left it in the car for a long time.”
  • From my Work Groom: “The cake has a dead cat on top of it. Why why why?”
  • From my Real Groom: “Don’t cry. The cat is fake.”
  • From my staff: “Why do they all have to make up their own dish? I hate them. All of them.”
  • And a nice thought from Nicole: “You’re not fat. It’s just bloat.”
  • To the kitchen staff: “I want steak tonight. I’ll get svelte some time but not now.”
  • From the kitchen staff: “What is svelte, boss?”
  • Back to the kitchen staff: “If you work for a Jew then you need to know these things. Jeez.”

Here’s some other shit that went down:

  • While there was a quite long line for the loo, I broke the thing that holds the roll of stuff you use to wipe. Oops! My bad. I meant to help but what can you do?
  • I fixed the thing. But it was too late. There were nine folks waiting to pee. You should have seen this one guy’s face.
  • Since my desk is next to the loo, I heard them all pee and stuff. It was like so yuck yuck yuck.
  • Joe came home from school. He runs food and thinks he’s more smart than me. What a fool.
  • I told my mom “I want a dress that looks fab and makes my boobs stand out.” And she said “How ’bout this?” and held up one that was eh. But when I put it on it was like SO FAB and my boobs were spot on all night.
  • I had lunch with my mom and my dad and my kid and I said to the guy who had our group “How do you feel when folks get iced tea AND that clear free stuff that you drink? Does it piss you off?” And he made a face like “Um. Of course it does.” But said “If you don’t drink both then I don’t like when guests do that.” I thought that was nice. “It’s nice that you did not call my mom a pain in the ass. She’ll tip you well.”
  • My hubs bought me tix to see a show at Jones Beach. He said he’ll drop me off and cook me a hot dog and pour me a beer and then pick me up. He loves me so much but not my taste in tunes.
  • Marc at the bar said I could use his name in my post cause it’s the right length. Hi Marc. We both love Queen so much. And tunes from shows. He’s not gay though. His wife is so glad.

In case you don’t know, this was not a post that was fun to write. Thank the lord it’s done.

how to be a memorable customer (but in a bad way so be forewarned).

17 May

In case you’re looking to leave a lasting impression the next time you go out for lunch or dinner, here are some sincerely original ideas for you to implement. And by original, I mean that we’re so tired of people like you and you bother the shit out of us (especially #12!). Unless you’re hot/family/a fantastic tipper/a magician/that really nice family of tall people who are always inappropriately chipper. Then you can do all of these things (except #12!) and we won’t hold it against you.

  1. Excitedly coo “oooooooh!!” when I dim the lights. This is completely not required. The romance is not intended directly for you so you don’t have to directly react.
  2. Call the owner the wrong name. For instance, my name is not Shelly. Nor is it Michelle.
  3. Come in every week like clockwork and order the same exact thing every time, but always ask for the specials “just in case.” This is especially irritating on a busy Saturday night when your server could really use that extra 45 seconds to make an espresso or pee. On second thought, I actually think it’s a good idea for you to keep doing it. Because one day we’re going to run your usual dish as a special just to make your decision more challenging.
  4. Berate the owner in front of the entire staff. Whoever told the woman today to scream in my face over extra shrimp instead of extra chicken and not let me apologize and make good on it was really really really mean and just so you know you made me cry.
  5. Order the Asian Calamari if you’re Asian. I don’t know, I’m just not one for irony. Plus, there’s always going to be some awkwardness, especially because Charlie is 100% going to be your server. Because if I didn’t put every Asian and/or Gay in Charlie’s station, life would be no fun at all.
  6. Ask me to scoop your roll if you’re Jewish. Again with the irony. Speaking of Charlie and Jews, he will happily scoop your bun, because he’s totally down with The Tribe.
  7. Have your 17 year old order off the kid’s menu. Rule of thumb in life: if your kid isn’t a virgin, they need more sustenance than 2 chicken fingers and 14 french fries and a Shirley Temple with a lid.
  8. Mispronounce Gorgonzola. Goddansola. Gondonzoga. Gonnzana. Like I could see if it were 1987 and like the only cheeses that were available to the world were Velveeta and American and Swiss and Cream. But come on. We’re like this fancy ass society with a palate for Acai berries and Starbucks and Artisan Breads. Learn how to pronounce your damn cheeses.
  9. Steal the servers’ tips. The other night Things 1 & 2 were serving a party and had 2 $10 bills sitting inside the server station. Thing 1 noticed a guy creeping around that general vicinity and when she walked over, the money was gone. She asked him about it, he denied it, but then a few minutes later, he happened to find 2 $10 bills sitting on the bar. Stealing from waitresses, even if it’s temporary, is mad mad mad stupid. Because if you steal from them THEY WILL FUCK YOU UP. Especially Thing 1. And probably also Thing 2.
  10. Be on a blind date with someone who is way too hot for you. Thanks to camera phones that produce pretty high quality photos without the flash, we have a fairly intense compendium of inappropriately matched first dates. Thank you, JDate and match.com for not requiring people to post accurate profile pics!! We owe you one!
  11. Ask where the bathroom is while standing less than 3 feet from it. OK. So here’s how this works. There are four walls in this restaurant. One wall is all windows and one wall is all wall. One wall is mostly window, with a door in the corner. The last wall is kitchen on one side, coat room on the other side, and in the middle is a hallway with a sign that says “RESTROOMS.” Perhaps if you looked up from your iPhone you’d see it.
  12. Let your child “do poopy on the floor” during lunch service. Unfortunately, the answer to the question in your head right now is yes. Fortunately one of my waiters intervened and took him down the impossible-to-find hallway before any mass evacuations were needed. Thanks Jimmy for keeping the shit from hitting the fan.
  13. Call for a reservation without figuring out how many people or what time. Basically you just want me to doodle your name. Because without a time or a party size, there’s really no reso.
  14. Be too good for the garbage can. Whether it’s the Family Size box of Cheerios that your toddler just dumped on the floor or the paper towel that you just weren’t able to sink in the ladies room trashcan, it’s still kinda sorta expected that you’ll retrieve it (to at least some extent). Even though we’re a privately owned entity (and not, let’s say, a park or highway) littering still is not encouraged. Perhaps I’ll set up a closed-circuit camera in the bathrooms and give my dad the job of sitting by a monitor all day, and when some bitch drops her dirty paper towel wherever she feels like, he can press a magic button and lock her inside and insist over the loudspeaker that she clean it up before he’ll free her. I’m honestly just trying to help, my dad really needs a new hobby and I want him to feel happy and fulfilled in life. I’m such a good daughter….
  15. Go Vegan. This is especially annoying if you’re a regular, because I’m not ever ever ever going to cook you tofu and you make me feel so GUILTY about it. Because all Nouveau Vegans are Jewish, or at least on Long Island that’s how it is and Jewish Guilt is like pure, unadulterated, conscience-wrenching disgrace. Plus, Vegans get all preachy and want you to stop using animal byproducts in things and wear shoes that aren’t leather and STOP EATING PIZZA and basically ruin your whole entire life. Worst of all, that black bean dip you’re eating has bacon in it and you’re forcing me to keep terrible terrible secrets from you, because even though you just ruined my life by taking away cheeseburgers, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to ruin the greatest chip dip in the world for you.

Are you excited for tomorrow night’s post to be in all one-syllable words? I sure am! Nothing says “I’m a fucking dweeb” like high school writing exercises implemented into your everyday life!!