Archive | June, 2012

wet hot american reunion. (this post is way too long for people who didn’t go to my camp but i refuse to edit for you losers)

30 Jun

Like many other Jews from the tri-state area, much of who I am today is a result of Coed Naked Sleepaway Camp*. How I talk, dress, think, shave my legs, write, laugh and socialize all evolved at least partially up a windy dirt road in Honesdale, PA that some of the counselors once got into a car accident on, one of whom was my crush of the summer and I was devastated but luckily they were wearing their seat belts so there’s your lesson of the night. Wear your seatbelt when you’re on a dark unpaved road, especially if a teenage girl is 3 miles away pining for you on her bottom bunk.

So when an invitation popped up on Facebook for a little reunion action in NYC, I naturally jumped at the opportunity to booze it up with some of the faces who shaped me. Beforehand I met up with three bunkmates for an organic dinner at a place that smelled a little bit like a dumpster which was so upsetting because that sort of scent is off-putting when you’re trying to eat some free range chicken fajitas and drink vodka and savor the unbelievably special time that we were having together.

I mostly posted this photo because my boobs look so awesome. Also because these are my loveys.

See the photo? That’s the four of us. There’s Lex, who for more than one summer was the “Frick” to my “Frack” and we wore matching beanie hats and would sing the Violent Femmes at the top of our lungs and get in heaps of trouble for being too annoying. Out of all of us, she won the camp lottery, because she married the younger (and less douchey) son of the baseball coach and the arts and crafts lady. Nobody has

Ker’s there too. She’s a diehard Devils fan and when I started at camp I had an Islanders blanket, teddy bear and jersey so we were rivals from the start, except that all we could possibly do was bond over the fact that instead of putting on makeup during shower hour, we wanted to sneak off to the hockey rink and practice our slap shots with the guys. Oddly enough, neither one of us became a lesbian. Also the Islanders pretty much haven’t made it to the playoffs since then, so Ker is definitely a more enthusiastic athletic supporter to this day.

And then there’s Amanda (ok, here it is. I know you’re excited for this story, I’m freaking out don’t get mad at me). So Amanda is like the living legend of camp because she was enrolled there pretty much at birth. She had been, at a certain time in history, the youngest kid in the camp, and that is the real-life equivalent of being Suri Cruise. You are adored and fawned over by every camper and counselor, and as you get older you quite organically become the key trendsetter of the entire (camp) world. That was Amanda. Cool, confident, not overly un-bitchy to me during my first year (How was my mom supposed to know that I needed to bring Tevas and Gap jeans and  flannel shirts to camp, and not only Umbros and Looney Tunes t-shirts? Couldn’t you cut a dork a break?). As the years progressed, Amanda got nicer and nicer to me, up until a point that we were actually pretty close friends. Towards the end of our second to last year as campers, I borrowed a pair of Amanda’s cutoff shorts with a black and white racing stripe down the side of the leg and I just thought they were like the greatest thing ever ever ever, partially because they didn’t make me look as fat as I actually was, and 99% because they were Amanda’s and therefore cool. Well you can imagine my shock and dismay when I unpacked my camp trunk back at home and out popped those cutoffs, complete with her name tag sewn into the waistband.

I wore the SHIT out of those puppies, through hail and snow and sleet. They made me feel like I was somebody cool, not that Looney Tunes nerd from yesteryears. And then when the birds started chirping and the tulips bloomed, I began to panic, and freaked out that my cutoff days would be cut off fo’ real. So I did what any weirdo like myself would do in the situation. I borrowed a stitch remover thingy from my mom’s sewing basket and I popped those racing strips and that name tag off the shorts, and voila! Unidentifiable cutoff shorts that made my legs look less fat and my face way more cool! I wore them on nervously that whole summer, freaking out that she’d recognize them but she didn’t. Nor did she the next summer, or the summer after that. I wore the cutoffs religiously for the next decade. They were my treasure. And then one day they ripped. It was about then that my friendship with Amanda took a little break. I was crushed. I felt like I had lost both of them, and that my world would come spiraling down. So I did what I thought would be the best possible option.

I turned the cutoffs into a skirt. A skirt that I have worn to every concert, honeymoon, beach trip and barbecue that I’ve had in recent memory. The perfect specimen of skirt. A skirt for the ages. That maybe, someday, my babygirl will wear in the middle of the night when she goes on a raid to visit Amanda’s babyboy in his bunk across the camp. Crazier things have happened. Ask our old counselors, who got married and had babies.

So after our stinky (yet still delicious and nutritious) meal, we headed over to the actual reunion, and I honestly wasn’t nervous in the slightest (rare for me, because even though I come off as like a real toughguy social butterfly queen of the world, I’m totally a misfit when it comes to conversating).  I was cool as a cucumber, because if you went to camp then you know that there’s a certain comfort level that’s innate for all of us when we’re together. Putting us in one room produces this like big smiling hug from the heavens. Cause when we’re together, we’re not alone.

The room was hot as fuck. Everyone aged better than I expected they might.

Ker’s counselor crush was there, as was Amanda’s old fling “The Snake.” Lex’s husband was there with his older brother who there’s no way I’ll mention in here because he likes country music but refuses to go to a concert with me and I just think that’s ridiculous. One of the old hockey counselors was there, and he told me that the pair of banana boxer shorts that I stole from him fifteen years ago glows in the dark and I never knew. I don’t know how that’s possible considering I wore them nearly as much as the cutoffs. (Treasures are vast when you got to a coed sleep away camp.) “Just put them in the light and then put them in the dark. I really think they glow.” If that’s the case I’m totally wearing them to the next reunion.

Nobody danced, because that’s the way it works when you’ve got a room full of Jews. Plus we’re all really old now. Plus the only time we ever danced was to the square dance caller or Ron Dagan, the world famous guy who sings Puff the Magic Dragon like it’s nobody’s business.

I need to stop. I generally get very antsy this time of the year to go be a kid again and frolic down the path to the lake, but this reunion thing really put me over the edge. I feel like this must be what crack is like. I got a taste and I want more.

1996.

I’m so lucky (as are you) that camp turned me into this fucking amazing human being (who is not narcissistic at all, no matter what Lex’s husband’s douchey brother says). And even though I never got to make out with the dirt road car accident counselor, (who now apparently lives in Texas and makes a living popping out babies) I don’t regret one wink of those summers. (Don’t worry, I did just fine for myself. Especially, as we discussed last night, my last summer as a counselor, during which I fluttered about with guys from countries all over the world, even Utah, and wound up with a younger Junior Counselor from Riverdale who came to the Island for a date the next summer and I insisted that instead of going to the movies where I felt like things might get too physical for my prude self that we drive 3 hours to camp so that we could have a Midori Sour with our old friends and then turn around after like 45 minutes and drive back again, and he tried to kiss me on the way but I got nervous and rear ended someone in traffic on the LIE. My bad.)

*Sidebar: It was a t-shirt, mom. Remember? You bought them for me at the flea market. “Coed Naked Hockey – It’s twice as nice on the ice!” We really did wear clothes almost all the time at camp. Stop panicking, you did not sent me to a nudist camp and for that I thank you.

Advertisements

how i almost got died today via poison.

28 Jun

I’ve got the Sophomore Slump.

Over the past few weeks, nearly the entire Front of the House staff (vocab review: FOH (Front of the House) – waiters, waitresses, busboys, hostesses & bartenders) has shifted at the restaurant and I fucking hate it. Something that had previously been really awesome about my job was that my staff had been with me for so long that I could let them do their own thing and knew that shit was taken care of. Now I’m suddenly a full-time babysitter, in charge of eavesdropping on servers at their tables, making sure they come to work on time and dressed appropriately, fixing their boo boos and constantly checking the computer to make sure that they are charging customers for their coffees and sodas instead of attempting the buyback approach to get a bigger tip (kindly don’t fall for this, it will encourage them to do it over and over until ever restaurant owner in the entire world is out of business). And there are all these little new people doing highly mediocre jobs and they’re boring and they’re lousy company and the super duper shitty ones haven’t been weeded out yet and it sucks sucks sucks.

I was so frustrated about it today that I was a total cranky bitch. I was such a bitch, in fact, that when a woman came to me with one $20 bill and one $10 bill asking for “one ten and two fives for this one, and one five and five ones for this one” I handed her the ten back and said “I don’t understand how you can be so fucking stupid as to hand me a ten dollar bill and ask for one back. You have caused me to lose faith in all of humanity.” And then she cried and I said “Man up, woman. Crying is for sissies.”

Ok that didn’t happen at all. In fact, I was actually in a pretty good mood because these really cute FBI agents came in looking for an ex-employee who got 6 DWIs and fled the state but seems to have been spotted at various 7-11s around town and at Applebees stealing bottles of liquor from behind the bar. (Have I mentioned what standup people I’ve managed to find through the years??) And when I asked them to come into the dining room and arrest a random customer just for my own personal enjoyment they OBLIGED and in they went, and I pointed to some middle aged woman wearing a striped sweater and said “Officers, arrest this woman” but it turned out that they thought I was only joking so they didn’t do it and then I got sad again.

Luckily I had a marketing meeting with an entertaining colleague of mine who thinks he’s smarter than everyone, which is something I very much enjoy about him, because I, too, think that I’m smarter than everyone. We were being über productive today, discussing ever important things like which one of us can design a more splendid cocktail menu and whether or not it is ethical to write reviews for your own restaurant on Yelp to increase your rating. Yes, we were like social media animals, attacking everything that came in our way. But then my marketing partner asked me if I’m pregnant, and then decided that he would like to take the can of that liquid duster stuff that you stick a straw on and clean your keyboard and shoot it in my mouth. Hey, guess what! Bet you didnt ‘t know there’s something inside that shit called “bitterant!”  Bet you didn’t know it makes your mouth burn and seven hours later, still lingers on your lips every time you go to feel how chapped they’ve become in mere minutes! Bet you didn’t know that it has it’s own Wikipedia page, explaining how it’s purpose is to prevent people from inhaling entire cans of it at a time, because apparently that is like drug abuse or something. Bet you didn’t know that it is the most horrific thing I have ever put in my mouth, and I have put A LOT of things in my mouth (clearly, as I do look preggers and all). Yes, my marketing partner poisoned me and called me fat.

Is this the same person who told me that my diet isn’t working just a couple of months ago? Why yes it is! Do I need to assess my work relationship with this person and perhaps find some sort of more flattering replacement? Um, I think that might be a good idea. Is the only way he is going to stay my marketing partner to have him grovel at my feet, cook me dinner and buy me tickets to the best concert in town? You bet your ass!

Anyway, thus continued my shitty cranky bitch night. Luckily all clouds cleared at the very end of the night when a guy came to pick up takeout with a towel around his neck telling me that he had just gotten out of the gym. When I pointed out that there are no gyms within walking distance and that his car was in the parking lot, so he probably could have left the towel in there, he reiterated that he had just left the gym and he needed the towel to absorb all of his sweat. So thanks, takeout guy, for ending my day on a high note. I am unfortunately serious.

Hamburger Harry’s it is!!! (plus harry’s shitty taste in dress shoes.)

26 Jun

So since you were all so overwhelmingly enthusiastic and only like 3 people gave me their opinions, I’ve decided to make an executive decision to go with Hamburger Harry’s for the next pop-up. I just feel like it’s the most “us,” don’t you?

I can’t be bothered with details like a date and time and place, and I’m not the biggest fan in the world of “I squeezed some buns at Hamburger Harry’s….” so we’ll consider it a work in progress for now, but you should know a few things that I’ve already decided:

1. There will be a Pick-Your-Pickle bar. I don’t know what this means, but it will be there. I’m assuming there will be quite a few varieties of traditional pickles, as well as some pickled other stuff.

2. That’s all. I haven’t decided anything else. It’s pretty pathetic, but I’ve got other stuff to worry about such as what shoes I’m going to wear to the wedding I’m going to on Sunday.

Oh, let’s discuss this wedding. I feel like I need to prepare you for the interesting evening to come. If I were an advanced blogger, I would draw you a simple family tree of sorts and all sorts of diagrams and shit like that and publish them so you could have a nice visual of the evening ahead of me. Instead I’ll provide you with an entirely written version. Sorry I’m not crafty. Here are the key facts:

  • Harry is the best man. He bullied Jimmy (the groom) into having all the guys in the wedding party wear patent leather Chuck Taylors. That’s my guy! Can’t go one night without wearing sneakers! He brought them home and let me tell you, those fuckers look like MISERY ON A SOLE. I’m either going to be an amazing wife and bring flip flops or a mediocre wife and bring scrunch socks as though we’re attending a Bar Mitzvah in the 90s or a regular wife and bring nothing but listen to him complain or, most likely, I’ll just be myself, and smack him shouting “I told you so” in his face every time he whimpers or asks for a BandAid to put on his blisters. I might even flick him in the nipple after I say that, just for shits and giggles.
  • I am planning on being drunk before I arrive. I just feel like I deserve it, you know? Mommy needs a stiff one. Seriously, do you know the last time I drank? I don’t mean like a glass of wine, because that was 2 nights ago. It’s been so long since I’ve gotten good and tipsy that I’ve never even sent a drunk text, I’ve only made phone calls. Harry and I already negotiated the driving situation and here’s how it will work – Harry can drink just enough to loosen up for his speech (which he won’t let me write even though I’d clearly win him some sort of best man of the year award or something) and then he has to stop drinking after the speech is over. I get to drink from before the wedding to after the wedding. That’s the deal. We shook on it. What will actually happen? My mommy and daddy will drive us home and pay the babysitter and tuck us in.
  • My work husband will also be there. So will Charlie and Nicole. We are going to dance to Mr. Brightside. I know this because I told Jimmy that he had to play it at his wedding or I would fire him. That’s the best part about a work wedding when you’re the boss. It’s sort of like you’re more special than the groom or the bride! Me, Charlie, Nicole and Ryan are going to have some sort of good time. The last time the four of us hung out for a night I woke up in a heart shaped bed in some motel in Pennsylvania next to a guy wearing a wetsuit. No wait, that wasn’t them… but it was me….
  • Our resident “Mom” waitress is bringing her hot husband. Seeing as Harry will be occupied with best manly responsibilities, I will be forced to dance with him. Just kidding, because Nicole would never allow that. She’s very protective over him and says that if anyone is going to flirt with the hot dad it’s gonna be her. I don’t think she’s kidding and I do believe she would throw elbows and possibly fists if I tested her. Plus if I have to choose one man to dance with other than my husband (who I’m assuming will be otherwise occupied doing things like cutting the groom’s steak and pouring him beers and carrying his train and shit like that) it would be Charlie of course!
  • My dress may or may not be too short. I just felt like the single most important role for the best man is to have a hot bitch on his arm. I went shopping for the occasion and I found this dress that’s like the perfect combination between a Floridian MILF in the 1980s and a Cabbage Patch Kid outfit. I can’t figure out why they only included half the fabric they were supposed to, but it’s a festive frock and I’m going to do my damn best to not expose my lady parts and/or Spanx.
  • My parents and Harry’s parents are going. This is unfortunate, because I will probably disappoint both moms eternally with my slutbag dress and drunken antics. Luckily, their expectations are probably pretty low at this point. I mean, if I were my kid I’d personally be proud as hell because I’m so fucking beautiful, talented and intelligent. But I guess I’m just being biased.

Poetry Tuesday! Tonight, a haiku to delight the senses!

Fuck 9-5.

My nights are empty

Without Gay Asian Waiter

And Nicole at work.

pop-up redux: the shelbytown supper club strikes again….

24 Jun

Aaah the lovely days of summer! Nothing like slowing’ it all down for some relaxation. Unless you’re me. I personally am really not one for a stress free calendar. It gives me hives and makes me want to drown myself in xanax and spider solitaire. My productivity levels sort of equate to how I play tennis – If I play someone who’s competitive and skilled to the gills, I hit the ball so hard and so precise that you’d think I’m some sort of phenom (I am). But if I play a suckhead who lobs the balls and can’t serve for shit, then I, too, lob the ball and serve like shit. Same thing with work. If I’ve got a to-do list that’s as long as a roll of toilet paper and only 3 days to do it, I’m a machine and will get it done with nearly seven minutes to spare. However, if I have two things to do whenever and not much else planned, I will piss around for weeks without accomplishing those two bullets, no matter how simple (google “drink recipes involving marshmallow flavored vodka” and make photocopies of the takeout menus). These days it seems like my work week consists of a whole lot of pouring glasses of water for myself, misplacing them, pouring more, misplacing those, complaining about the random glasses scattered about the restaurant and polishing the beer tower on a daily basis. I need some fucking stress to liven up my mood! And I’m not talking about your run of the mill medium-high blood pressure stress. I am talking about insanely pressurized, mostly self-induced, horrible, irritating run-for-the-border AFFLICTION.

In other words, it’s time to start planning a pop-up!!! I’ve been floating some ideas around, mostly based on the slogan I’ll write on the t-shirt. Here are some contenders. Let me know if you’d like to attend one of them and I’ll set a date straight away! Please keep in mind that, like Hashbrown Harry’s, which actually did take place, this popup will be a real thing.

  • Habanero Harry’s – A Mexican inspired pop-up, of course. Menu entirely consisting of traditional Latin ingredients, but concocted in a way that will confuse and delight your taste buds! Each course will consist of a different pepper and a different tequila. A mariachi band, and possibly a donkey, will provide the entertainment. Servers will wear oversize sombreros, take a siesta between courses and offer you 175 different types of hot sauce to enhance your already delicious meal. The t-shirt will say…
  • Hamburger Harry’s – Do I really need to explain this concept to you? If I do, then you are not intelligent enough to be reading my blog and I hate you. How did you even find this? Do you even know how to read? You’re so stupid I don’t know why they sold you a smartphone. Anyway, every course will be paired with a different type of french fry and a spiked version of a traditional soda fountain drink. The bread will be baked by my daddy-o, who will have a temper tantrum halfway through the process when the dough doesn’t rise and he will through it across the room and buy rolls from a local deli and I’ll get like totally mad at him. The servers will wear roller skates and the entertainment will be that we will set up an obstacle course for them to get through before they can bring the food to the table. Also there will be a barbershop quartet singing Coldplay and Phish covers. There will be a toppings bar that is identical to that of Roy Rogers and the t-shirts will say…

 

  • Challah Harry’s – 8 Crazy Courses of recipes adapted from my Grandma Helen and Nana Carol. My mom will be there to make you feel guilty if you don’t eat everything on your plate, and the servers will wear variations of my Bat Mitzvah dress. Entertainment will have to be BYO because what do I look like? Do I look like I’m made of money? Does this look like a circus to you? We will have a fiddler playing the horah for all who are interested. However he’ll (obv) be on the roof so I don’t know if it’s necessarily wheelchair accessible. Drinks will all be concocted with Manischevitz. Ew. T-shirts will say…

 

  • Haunted Harry’s – Possibly more appropriate for Halloweentime, but I perhaps I’ll throw people for a loop and do it in the summertime. Food will be served in the complete dark. It will all resemble human body parts (although probably very little will be made with actual human, because it’s really expensive and I want to keep the cost down). Drinks will mostly be made of absinthe and cough syrup. Entertainment will be people whispering threatening things in your ears and grazing their fingers across the back of your neck. Also we will play “Is there anybody out there” from The Wall because, as many of my readers are already aware of, that is the most terrifying song in the history of the world. Servers will wear Jason masks and carry chainsaws. The t-shirts will say….

 


  • Hibachi Harry’s – This will be a classic Asian meal featuring traditional Benihanan cuisine, except it will be a fusion of American food thrown in, so instead of regular wontons, maybe there will be bacon cheeseburger wontons. And instead of fried rice there will be fried Rice Krispies. Stuff like that. Charlie will make a surprise appearance and be serving this over the top Asian Adventure. He will wear a kimono and bang a gong between every course. Entertainment will be in the form of happy ending massages. The t-shirt will say….

Obviously all of these popups will come to fruition, I tend to not fuck around when it comes to creating a restaurant inside another restaurant for one night only. If you truly prefer one to the other (I think we’re all on the same page that the happy ending one is pretty appealing…) leave a comment and let me know. Or  you can also let me know if you’re inspired with your own idea and/or location and would like to popup a Shelbytown Supper Club someplace by you (think barn/open field/unfinished basement/pontoon boat) and then your lifelong dream of having me blog about you can finally come true!!!!

insider’s guide to what happens when you leave your credit card at a restaurant.

23 Jun

Yet another really really really fun thing about being in the restaurant business is that customers leave their credit cards behind ALL THE TIME and it’s so much cheaper for me to use theirs to online shop than mine. For example, today this couple came in to the bar tonight so they could order takeout and vent about their kids without them hearing and have something chilly on the rocks to forget about bitchy teenage girls for awhile. And the woman (we’ll just call her Mary Jane, which is not actually her name, but Weeds starts next week and we both really like that show and the wholesome image it gives modern-day mommy weed dealers so that’s what we’re calling her) pulled out her card to pay. She put her receipt in the bag and headed towards the door. When she left her gold card sitting on the bartop all by its lonesome, I naturally headed to my office and bought a new pair of shoes, two nights at a hotel in Montauk to surprise Harry for a lover’s getaway, forty-two pounds of Wagyu beef shipped directly from a small farm not too far from Osaka so we can have a yummy BBQ and hopefully this amazing dress that I’ve been lusting after like forever but it’s a limited edition and I could only find it on ebay so I’m actually simultaneously writing this post and engaging in a total bidding war. I figured that if she’s got teenage kids, she surely will not be shocked to see a gaggle of random charges.

Just kidding. In actuality, Mary Jane is probably reading this post as we speak, and her boyfriend is going to give the card back to her only after she realizes that she’s reading about herself. So jokes on you, MJ!

In the real world, the number of charge cards left behind by customers nearly outweigh the number of cards actually used. I don’t understand why it is so difficult to put your plastic in it’s place, but apparently it is. (I will say that more men do it than women. Must be an intelligence thing.) There are so many cards in our register that I could probably buy a house, or at least a luxury car. But I’m nice (smart) enough to not use them for anything other than picking the lock in the downstairs office and the liquor room. I’m serious about that. I’ve got mad lock picking skills, you should invite me over and I can show you sometime.

Other items left behind have proven to be useful:

  • A brand new pink Coach coat and a brand new Tahari quilted black winter jacket, both in my size. They are my spring and winter outerwear respectively.
  • This black stretchy cardigan overthingy that comes to just the right place on my thigh that I don’t look super duper fat and it never gets wrinkled, not even when you put it in the laundry and forget to take it out of the dryer for 5-8 days.
  • A full farm’s worth of animal figurines. They are my babygirl’s favorite things to bring to dinner with her other than her mardi gras beads and cell phone and thong necklace.
  • A brand new notebook in which I am writing a short story so hilarious that I can’t finish it because I can’t stop laughing.
  • A wedding photo from the 1960s that someone left behind. I hung it on the wall by the host station and looked at it everyday for like 3 years, and finally about 7 months ago someone claimed it. I was devastated as it was my favorite piece of found art ever to be found ever ever ever. The owner came in the other day and told me that they brought it to have a copy made so it can come back to it’s home at my restaurant. I wept with excitement and giddiness.
  • A bag of cocaine.*
  • A pink rhinestone flower pin from Disney World that one evening I turned into a beautiful exquisite necklace using binder rings and bakery twine in order to complete my outfit.
  • A pair of blue sunglasses that my Work Husband and I fist fought over.

 

*Note: I have never done cocaine. Not even for artistic research in college when all I did was write about slutty party girls and their misadventures. I just feel like you should know that about me. You should also know that I sold the bag of drugs to buy me and Harry some self-serve frozen yogurt. Because no matter how hard I try, I cannot figure out how to make it cost less than $5.

how the cheesecake factory ruined my life.

22 Jun

So I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s absolutely nothing in the whole entire world that is shittier than a fucked up takeout order. Because you know what? If you get injured you can heal. If you get lost you can find a gas station or use your iPhone. If your flight gets delayed you can buy an extra magazine. If you break up with your boyfriend there are like a million other fish in the sea who are probably far better suited for you anyway and don’t have bad breath all the time.

But if you get home and there is no dressing for your salad and your chicken is overcooked and it’s 11pm and you’re so so so exhausted and starving to death because all you ate the whole day was 1/4 of a melted kids size strawberry banana Tropical Smoothie, you’re like 100% shit out of luck. And all the thoughts swimming through your head of drenching your lettuce in that awesome creamy ranch dressing is squandered and you want to cry but you can’t because you’re too hungry and don’t have the energy to produce the tears. And then your husband rolls his eyes at you because you’re sitting with the phone on your ear while you’re having dinner together trying to talk to a manager to make them understand just how frustrated and inconvenienced you truly are and you throw something at him, only you miss because your aim got thrown off with the phone distracting you and you stain your Ethan Allen chairs that you won’t let your stepkid sit on because he’ll make them messy.

This scenario (perhaps slightly less exaggerated when it actually happened) occurred in my home last night.

WHEN WE PICKED UP TAKEOUT FROM THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY.

I caps locked and bolded because I’m not going to be cruel like all the other assholes and write a bad Yelp review about Cheesecake based on one or two or fifteen shitty takeout experiences, but I’m taking a stand in Shelbytown! Fuckin’ Cheesecake Factory ruined my night, possibly even the rest of my week and/or life! HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE BACON OFF A BLT SALAD? Please, somebody tell me how. Oh wait. It doesn’t matter. Because it wasn’t there and I wasn’t going back and when I called to get it taken off our charge, I got put on hold for 15 minutes while the manager (TIM) “ran to the office” (aka hung out with the servers shooting the shit about shift drama) and then finally another manager picked up the phone saying “Hi how can I help you?” and finally took care of my assholic situation.

I didn’t sleep all night. It was horrible. The missing bacon left this void that just kept me up biting my nails until the sun came up.

We do a lot of takeout at the restaurant, and when people call that something is fucked up and they’re all pissed off, I am always sympathetic because out of 10 times a month that we order from Cheesecake Factory, the order is wrong at least 75% of the time. And out of that 75%, Harry’s is perfect and mine sucks 100%. (Also it’s usually when I’m getting my period, which is so convenient because I can order a 3500 calorie slab of chocolate but terrible for the manager on duty because he’s gotta deal with some cranky hungry screaming bitch on the other end trying to get her money back but also make them learn that consistency MATTERS.) Unfortunately sympathy doesn’t make meat less well done or a missing side of mac and cheese appear in a customer’s bag. I’ve taken the following approaches to rectify disappointed guests: home delivery, free dessert, gift certificates, letting the customer personally fire the guilty server who wrapped up the order. I don’t fuck around with takeout.

Because I NEVER want to have to deal with a bitch like me.

shit my babygirl needs to know.

22 Jun

Tonight I was going to write about how disturbing it is to see teenage girls with exposed side boobs and tweens wearing sheer tank tops and large Tory Burch totes hanging off a gel manicured, Hermes bracelet clad, limp wrist, but I really think it’s pretty obvious that this is not ok.

Instead I’m going to make a list for my babygirl, because one day she will speak in sentences, and then she will be able to write her own name in crayon, and eventually she will be able to read. So I figured that I should probably start working on an instructional manual for her, because if she’s gonna be hanging out with the side boobs and the Tory Burch 10-year-olds, she’s really gonna need it.

Here ya go, babygirl. In no particular order. Some keys to the kingdom.

1. The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web were all books before they were movies. Please never forget this. Nothing pisses your mommy off more than hearing people talk about great literary works in terms of the film version, and not being aware that before it was a blockbuster, it was a book. Also please watch Jeopardy voluntarily and don’t worry about being smarter than everyone else you know. It runs in the family.

2. Your cool jeans will someday be mom jeans. You are always going to think that your new jeans are like totally the best, and maybe they are right now. But no matter what Calvin Klein says, there is no such thing as a timeless jean. Today I threw on a pair of my favorites and as I zipped them up and sighed about how great they make my ass look, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. “What the fuck jeans are these?” I yelled at my reflection, “They must have fallen out of a “donate” bag.” Um, no. These were, in fact, my favorite jeans as recently as 1 year ago. I can’t figure out how this is possible. The ass pockets are as big as a legal size piece of paper. The “low-rise” comes to my belly button. They are worse mom jeans than my mom wears. And the saddest thing is that I can’t wait until fall jeans season arrives so I can wear them ’cause they’re sooooo comfy! In other words, don’t make fun of your mommy’s pants. That will someday be your tush.

3. A woman’s place is in the home. Hahahahahhaha just kidding. Take a look around mommy’s unused kitchen. Don’t let anyone tell you that takeout is not an acceptable form of food. Go out and do whatever it is you want to do. These days you appear to want to be a hockey player. Go for it! Kids pretty much raise themselves these days. You really don’t need to do much except give them an iPad and organic milk, so you’re good to go do whatever.

4. Men are jerks. This tidbit was passed down from your Mimi (my mommy) and it is the greatest thing she ever taught me. Because even though there might be some exceptions, (not that I’ve found any other than your daddy, who is only a slightly occasional jerk and your Grandpas who are accidental jerks) you go into every relationship with significantly lowered expectations, and that will prove convenient and save your lots of frustration. Is it fair that boys get an automatic excuse for every stupid thing they do? No. But they’re so cute, so we give them a free pass.

5. Never ever ever pair a short skirt with a low-cut shirt. I know some people are going to tell you that less is more, but this does not apply to clothing. Please don’t confuse accessories and clothes. Dressing like you’re at some sort of porn convention can only lead to trouble.

6. Wearing a thong as a necklace becomes inappropriate once you reach school age. It’s sooooo cute that you do it now, but you’re gonna need to stop soon. In fact, please stay away from thongs until you are at least 30 years old. I promise, it is totally alright for people to know that you’re wearing underwear. Here’s a little secret: They are too!

7. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels. Except chocolate. And ranch dressing. And really good pancakes with melty butter. And biscuits. And birthday cake. Please never ever deprive yourself of something delicious because you might be bloated the next day (unless you’ve entered a bodybuilding competition or the Miss American Pageant or the Olympics, in which case you should limit your intake somewhat because you made a commitment and should most definitely follow through).

8. Dishwashers are people too. 

9.  Learn to waitress and bartend, then get out of the restaurant business. Honestly, babygirl? It’s 12am and I just ate dinner. Now I’m going to be up all night with heartburn and regret.

10. Never be too good for Sears. Sure, it’s nice to go shopping at Bloomies, but sometimes Sears is where it’s at! Can you buy a ride-on mower or Kardashian Kollection at Bloomingdales? Nope. And you also can’t have your portrait taken or pay your Discover bill. Be flexible enough to shop, eat and play wherever you find yourself, and the world will be your oyster!

Ok babygirl. Even though you still haven’t had a haircut yet ever in your entire life, and the only color you know is blue and you wear feet pajamas like a superman cape every morning for 2 hours, I think you’re officially ready to face the world…

wardrobe malfunctions for foodies. [epic poetry inside]

19 Jun

So as we’ve discussed in the past, I reserve the beginning of the week for some not-so-provocative outfits and today was no excepti0n. I showered, so my hair didn’t look like shit and my face wasn’t overly greasy or shiny (well it totally was by the end of the night but for the most part it looked pretty matte). But my outfit was a hot mess and I spent the majority of the day shifting my belt up and down over my medium sized flabby stomach and pulling my skirt down, trying to hide my bra straps and attempting to cover as much of my garb with my waves as I possibly could. I nearly went so far as to go buy a new outfit at the Emergency Macy’s down the road, but I’m saving my funds for tomorrow, just in case I need to take my babygirl on a shopping trip on our day off together. I think my lunch waitress best described my look today by telling me that I look “comfortable.” Not the description every aspiring sexpot business owner is going for, but at least it’s only Tuesday.

Something you may or may not know about me is that I am an insanely enthusiastic singer. Not in like a talented sort of way, more like in a loud and loserish fashion. For instance, right now I’m belting out “Young Hearts Run Free” by Candi Staton (You know it better as Mercutio the drag queen’s lip sync showstopper in the Leonardo DiCaprio version of Rome0 + Juliet). A slight dilemma I’ve run into during these warm months is that I really enjoy keeping the windows open, but I’m going through a pretty hardcore showtunes phase right now, and it is just not cool to pull up to a Jetta full of recent high school grads headed to the beach and have them look over at you and start laughing because you’re singing “Master of the House” in all the different characters’ voices at the top top top of your lungs. Since not singing isn’t an option, I’ve been spending a lot of time with the AC. No big deal. It’s not like burning extra fuel is expensive or anything.

In case you were wondering, that song just ended and now I’m groovin’ to “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” Now that it’s SYTYCD season, I tend to incorporate some pretty intense choreography into my performances, and this Temptations song is definitely no exception. (“So You Think You Can Dance.” Do you know nothing??) If you’re ever in a pinch for some late night entertainment, head over to the back of my restaurant after the sun has gone down and you can check out my nightly performances while I blog and listen to music. Just do me a favor and don’t tell me that you’re watching because a) that creeps me out like totally and b) I don’t want to censor myself based on the fact that I’ve got an audience.

This evening for poetry Tuesday I’ve written fake lyrics to a familiar tune. Writing fake lyrics to a familiar tune is an old pastime of mine, as I was pretty famous in Honesdale, PA for my songwriting abilities. In fact, if your kid is headed to sleepaway camp in the next couple of weeks, you should totally hire me to write her Singdown song for her. I guarantee a win or your money back! Anyway, here’s tonight’s poem/epic song.

YOUR WAITER STAINED ME

(to the tune of “Call Me Maybe”)

I’ve got a coupon

My wife has Burberry on

I want that 10% gone

Because that’s how you save.

You dropped that fork off my dish

And now my lap smells like fish

I wasn’t asking for this

I’ve had a real bad day.

My black pants were cashmere

Brand new, got them this year

Now they’re ruined, I fear

Where you think you’re going, waiter?

Hey, I just ate here

And this is lazy

But he stained my pants

So pay me, lady.

I can’t believe that

Your waiter stained me

Please have him fired

He’s very shady!

Hey I just ate here

And this is lazy

But I don’t hand wash

So pay me, lady

And all the snobs

Want a freebie

But these got dry cleaned

So pay my receipt

You took your time with my steak

You said it was a mistake

I thought I’d give you a break

But now the check is here

I’m not trying to steal

This is just how I feel

If you don’t give me a deal

I’ll Yelp you to tears

I don’t care ’bout your kids

College is overrated

My wife needs some new tits

Where you think you’re going, Shelby

Hey I just ate here

And this is lazy

But you stained my pants

So pay me lady

It’s hard to feel bad

My steak was fatty

So take my drinks off

And comp me, baby!

And all the other guys

Reimburse me

So here’s my charge card

Don’t swipe it, maybe!

*SIDEBAR: Just as I finished my post tonight and Nicole and I rehearsed this song about 1000 times, the entire thing got deleted. So fuck this blog company for destroying my precious words and losing what quite possibly could have been the funniest passage ever written in the history of the world, and forcing it to replace it with subpar, poorly edited prose.

*SIDEBAR 2: Nicole and I are equally bad singers, but we seemed to pull it off great so if you’re looking for entertainment after I’ve left my office for the evening, just look for us at the nearest pub. Also, thank you, Nicole, for remembering the lyrics to this epic epic epic song.

why it’s my father’s fault i’m in therapy.

17 Jun

In celebration of my dad’s second favorite day of the year, (you don’t have to share birthdays with other people) I’ve decided to point out a few of the many things that we have in common.

  • Looks: My dad and I are a handsome duo. Whenever people tell me how much I look like my dad, I am quick to point out that I am the more feminine and beautiful version. Oddly enough, people rarely agree with that. They merely reiterate that we are just soooo similar in appearance. Not a mention of the fact that we are an entirely different gender. I used to be really excited by this photo I had of him pretending to smoke a cigar when he was a kid because it looked Just. Like. Me. But now I’m just sad that my face continued to age just like his. Fortunately, I’m free of facial hair. Oh, 
  • Toes: They’re extra ugly. I’ve looked into plastic surgery and veneers, but it’s just not practical at this point in time. They’re called “The Bloom Toes.” That’s what my dad’s side of the family does. They take every awkward body part and trait that has been sent down the family tree and add the word “Bloom” to it. So I’ve got the following, all thanks to my Daddy-o: The Bloom Butt. The Bloom Stomach. The Bloom Voice. The Bloom Laugh. The Bloom Boobs. The Bloom Body. The Bloom Appetite. And most famously, The Bloom Arms. Maybe you have them too.. here’s a quick test to find out! While standing, let your arms hang down to your sides. Do your hands face behind you, sort of like a primate? Then CONGRATS! You’ve got the Bloom Arms!
  • Eating Habits: We’ve been known to fight over a hot dog. I prefer sweet treats to my dads salty, but we both like to indulge in pretty much whatever we can get our hands on. My dad used to eat off everyone’s plate at dinner when he finished his meal, but he quickly halted that behavior when it came to mine because I would throw a huge temper tantrum if he tried to touch my shit. I wasn’t big on leftovers back then. Not like these days. My dad’s diabetic and I switched from ice cream to frozen yogurt unless I’m pregnant. 
  • Music: We both think that I have excellent taste. Most of it is derived from the quality programming he provided over the years (Queen, Rod Stewart, The Judds, etc. etc. etc.) but boy can I make a mean playlist. See? 
  • Friends: We both seem to go by the thought processes that “less is more” and believe in “quality over quantity.” In other words, we both have pretty much no friends. We’re geeky loners who occasionally fool the customers into thinking that we’re cool. Our social status from high school on has been meager at best. We could be reasonable and blame it on the fact that we work alternative hours that prevent us from socializing with the bulk of the population and going to weddings/bbqs/birthday parties/dinner. Or we can face the facts and acknowledge that we rub most people the wrong way with our abrasive and highly eclectic personalities, as well as certain other undesirable quantities. Which leads me to….
  • Vanity: My dad and I are perfect. We are each limited to only two flaws: My dad is short and has an unhealthy attachment to Lifetime Television for Women. I am nearsighted and my C-Section scar won’t heal. That is all. We are otherwise awesome. We can literally both talk about ourselves for weeks on end, and we honestly don’t care who (or if anyone) is listening. You have already figured this out about me. But in case you were curious, it’s all my dad’s fault. Egomania is genetic. 
  • Spacial Acuteness: My father is extraordinary at packing the car with so many objects that you can literally fully furnish a large condominium. Some girls had things shipped to college their freshman year but not me. My dad shoved so much shit in that car that I couldn’t even have an extra snack before the trip up because he hadn’t planned for needing that extra square inch. Like him, I am also able to make things fit properly in places. Yesterday I managed to fit the surround sound system he picked out for himself for Father’s Day, my babygirl’s stroller, two cases of Poland Spring and a pineapple securely in the back of a compact car. Also, the other day when I was doing a craft project, I cut a circle that was EXACTLY the right size and I didn’t even use a ruler. 
  • Occasional inappropriate outbursts: Last night, my brother and his wife came for dinner at the restaurant with my dad, so we were all sitting around talking about random people. At a particular juncture, my dad, who had been unexpectedly quiet for at least like 45 seconds while Jen was discussing a friend of hers shouted out “AND THEN DID THEY HAVE SEX ALL NIGHT??” We still aren’t quite sure about where it came from but it bore a striking resemblance to a staff meeting the other night during which I blatantly outed an undercover couple at the restaurant with a totally hilaaarrioussss inappropriate and unnecessary joke. 
In all seriousness, I love my therapist so maybe saying that it’s my dad’s “fault” is incorrect terminology. I’m grateful that my dad provided me with the gaggle of issues I’m proud to call my own. Otherwise what would I do on Wednesdays? 

ode to my cranky bitch waitress and my gay asian waiter.

16 Jun

Tomorrow marks the end of an era, because it is the last time that Charlie, Nicole and I will ever work together. They’ve both moved on to greener pastures (that’s not a death reference, is it?) and gotten themselves career-building jobs that smartly have nothing to do with the restaurant business. Yes, it’s possible that both of them will fail miserably and come crawling back, begging for their old schedule and maybe a couple of extra shifts to cover the newly acquired rent that they have to pay since they prematurely moved out of their cheap/free/relative-owned housing before deciding if they were good enough at their fancy pants job to hack it. But chances are that this is it (since it’s actually not possible at all that they’ll fail seeing as Charlie and Nicole are perfectly suited and prepared [by me] to go off into the world and leave their mark). Gone is the banter between the three of us about which new server looks like a ho. Gone are the days of sorting and classifying gossip. Gone are the arguments, the trash talking about each other and then denying it, the photo sessions at random bars, the laughter, the tears…. um wait, I’m not the gay one? Oh yeah. I forgot. What I’m trying to say is that it’s really weird that they’re not gonna be at work with me, and that nobody who I’ve been close with in recent years is left on the payroll, and everyone is new and irritating, and once again I’ve been left all alone (with my regular husband and work husband and the rest of the staff. But you know what I mean).

Today Nicole and I were eating lunch and she asked me “How do you feel about the Sophomore Class?” I wish this new group of servers was only the sophomore class. I surpassed the Super Seniors before my Bat Mitzvah was over. When you hear people talking about the turnover rate at restaurants, you forget that some people aren’t going anywhere. I’m that people.

This isn’t the first time that a staff has turned over nearly completely and left me starting over, learning lessons, vowing to never get attached ever ever ever again. It has always happened and it always will.

The vicious cycle.

One day there’s this group of tightknit homies who spend all of their time at work, and often out of work, together. And then the next day, two quit, one got fired, one went away to school and suddenly you’re left with one or two lonely veterans and a bunch of new annoying people. And then the annoying people start to grow on you, and the conversations begin to be a little more casual, and then they’re taking place at a bar after work, and then at the beach on your day off, and then one more time, like clockwork, they’re off to the next stop on their resumé.

Sometimes it’s on good terms, and you say you’re going to keep in close touch. You meet up once or twice, but your schedules are conflicting. Suddenly you see photos of their kids on Facebook and they’re graduating elementary, then middle, then high school and all you can write is “Wow. Time sure does fly. Hope you’re well…”

Most of the time, probably 85%, the terms are not okay. It’s an abrupt firing or “I quit!” and suddenly the people who you came to trust and learned to be yourself around turn into dark versions of themselves in your eyes, and vice versa. And then, as quick as they filled out their application in the first place, they no longer exist in your world (until you start writing a blog, of course).

The fact of the matter is, the type of work relationship I have with my buddies could be my last. Charlie and Nicole started at the restaurant before they could legally drink. They were kids who were trying to make some cash after classes ended.  I was just a little bit older than them, and I wasn’t married and I didn’t have kids or a mortgage payment. I watched the Disney Channel. But things have changed. I’ve graduated to ABC Family and have things like responsibilities and life insurance policies and a firmer grasp on my temper. Charlie went through 75,000 hairstyles and bottles of hair product and is this confident and motivated Asian braniac (who still can’t drive). Nicole had nightly near-fist fights with Harry for rolling her eyes too much (now this only happens like 2 times a week instead of 5). They have both offered me their shoulders to lean on so many times that I long ago stopped doubting whether they truly cared or were just trying to get the best shifts. But now when I hire servers who are too young to drink, I’m way too old to have anything in common with them (except my occasional Disney Channel marathons). They don’t even know who the Stone Temple Pilots are. Forget that, they consider “Friends” historical television.

When I was 8 years old I looked up at the servers at my parents’ first restaurant and thought that I’d never get to be so tall or be talented enough to carry a tray. Then I learned how to wait tables and all I wanted was to be invited to hang out with them after work. By the time I went to college I was the epicenter of the social scene, making friends with all the wrong employees and learning my lesson over and over again by getting ditched and used. Now I’ve outgrown them, and I’m one of the moms, tsk-ing in the corner at how careless and lazy all these kids are. Oh, and somewhere in there I met Harry. He was the first person who ever stuck around (other than this Salvadorian Herman who has technically known me the longest, as in since I was like 10) and I think I scored pretty fuckin’ big. I spent so much of my childhood and young adulthood feeling constantly alone, and now suddenly there’s someone handsome sharing all the gains and losses with me. Because even though he won’t admit it, and maybe he doesn’t even realize, Harry is really really really gonna miss Nicole.