Archive | July, 2012

how i singlehandedly destroyed the olympics.

31 Jul

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains information about world news. If you are not prepared to be exposed to current events, DO NOT READ ON. I repeat, STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THIS TIME. If you have the desire to know what’s going on but don’t want it to be by means of my shitty little blog, kindly visit CNN or TMZ or NBC or ask your mom and then come back and enjoy the loveliness that is this passage.


So today rolled around and I was so so so excited to watch the Women’s All-around Gymnastics that I woke up and put my hair in a bun with those little metallic clips that the Romanians have been sporting since like way before I can even remember and I popped my babygirl into her teeny tiny leotard, only to discover that like so many other Olympic events, NBC made the decision to delay televising the meet to prime time. Just like during the qualifying round on Monday, it meant that I would have to stream the meet on my computer. Which was honestly fine with me because I don’t have a TV in my office (I know, seriously ghetto) and I had some shit to do so it was really an effective way to multitask. If you happen to have heard the word on the Gymnastics street, the US team is sort of completely awesome (check #fabfive on Twitter if you don’t believe me) and they are by far and away the team to beat. So they went out and they won. Because that’s what they came to London to do. So they did it. And I was a happy, giggly girl. Naturally, I expressed this happiness the way pretty much everyone on earth (except my husband and one of my friend’s husbands and my 2-year-old) does, and I made it my status on Facebook.

USA just won gold for women’s gymnastics all around. Why the hell isn’t this being broadcasted live??

I honestly thought that it would make people feel excited and proud and patriotic and nostalgic (I mean, we were all little girls once, weren’t we? We all grew up wishing we could fly and feeling it in our throats when the gymnasts stuck those landings and thew their arms in the air like the greatest of all heroes. Well if you didn’t, I sure did. And so did my mom when she was little. And now I have a babygirl who points to the TV and shouts “BEAM!” so do you get why I was excited?). Apparently the first thing on some of my virtual friends’ minds were quite the opposite of what I intended to evoke.

Within moments, my phone LITERALLY EXPLODED. LITERALLY. Like fireworks.

“You just ruined my night!”

“Spoiler alert!”

“Well I guess I won’t watch it later!”

Or my personal favorite, from an old commuting buddy of mine, “MANY people like myself who can not watch live online are trying to stay away from results so we can watch tonight and feel the excitement and get the suprise… sooooo you should have put “Spoiler Alert” before your message”

Tell me, old commuting buddy, and please be honest, had I written “spoiler alert,” would you truly not have continued reading? Why is it NBC’s decision when I can celebrate an amazing accomplishment by these talented and flexible freaks? Why can’t it be my decision to acknowledge a truly great moment in sports when it actually occurs? I believe that social media has given us tremendous accessibility to things as they happen. Why has NBC created an exemption to this rule for a 2 week window? If something happens of significance during any non-Olympic window, networks race to be the first to break the story. But NBC needs to pick up those advertising dollars during prime time, so somehow they’ve managed to create some sort of “Bachelor”-esque suspense and try to not break the news.

And somehow I’ve destroyed the Olympic code, and the lives of my 500-or-so Facebook friends to boot. Egads! I’m so fucking confused! I felt HORRIBLE, and embarrassed for not knowing that I wasn’t supposed to talk about the medals until nighttime, and I kept checking how many friends I had because I figured for sure people were going to delete me for committing such a faux pas. Like, I need all the friends I can get people, please don’t hate me because I’m a Stupid American.

But the thing about gymnastics is that you really don’t watch it for the results. You watch it because these girls do things that YOU CANNOT PHYSICALLY ACCOMPLISH. They are artists and acrobats and curious specimens with occasional natural talent and occasional stage parent-induced, overworked talent. I can swim across a pool. Not as fast as Michael Phelps (I’m not delusional. His arms are way longer than mine so it’s sort of impossible.) but I can make it happen. I CANNOT DO A DOUBLE TRIPLE QUADRUPLE BACK TWIST BLAH BLAH DISMOUNT BLAH. Neither can you. So I didn’t actually ruin your night by telling you they won. I made it better by assuring you that you’d see some amazing moments in sports and feel an immense sense of patriotic pride, something that really doesn’t happen nearly enough these days.

A couple hours later, while I was checking Twitter to see if anyone else had broken the alleged Olympic code, I spotted another headline. This one bigger than the original. Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympic Athlete. In. The. History. Of. The. World. So wait, let me get this straight. These people train their whole lives and accomplish things that nobody else can do and other than the whole bong thing, pose as literally the greatest role models for my kids that I could ever ask for, and I can’t talk about it publicly until 11:30pm because it will ruin your night? Um, ok.

Or you can just stay off your iPhone and iPad and laptop for a few hours.

So now the time has finally come. The Time of Prime. You’re all sitting on your couches with your loved ones in your arms, snuggled up with your favorite blanket or puppy, watching the gymnastics team flip flop with the men’s swim meet, and the whole time, for some strange ass reason, all you really want to do is go see the new Jason Bourne movie, pop open a Coca Cola and maybe strap on our Nikes and run over to the Chevy dealership to buy a new pickup. You really just can’t figure out why. And instead of watching for the meet for 2 hours, which is about how long it took this morning, you have been sitting here for 3.5 horribly edited hours (like, did you not have time to make it look pretty and crop the shots??) and the USA is yet to have their rotation on the floor, and you have to let your kids stay up extra late, and you’re exhausted and your entire family is going to be CRANKY AS FUCK tomorrow morning, but at least you were exposed to the 60 second Chobani and BMW spots so all is right with the world.

The thing is, even though I (and probably you) knew the outcome, and saw photos all day long, watching the girls reaction at 11:18 pm, a mere 10 hours after it actually went down, made me cry like a girl. And then watching Michael Phelps (when did those headphones get so BIG?) become the most celebrated Olympian in history made Harry cry like one too.

Because it really isn’t the headline that matters. It’s the moment.


why the cheesecake factory, discontinued bras and 9-5 jobs are for losers.

31 Jul

So like the worst thing ever in the history of the world of my breasts happened today when I went cruising around the mall with my babygirl and hit up Gilly Hicks to grab one or eight Saturday night bras and THEY’RE FUCKING DISCONTINUED OR SOMETHING. Like instead of the little metal ring that used to be in the middle of your boobs, they replaced it with some prissy bow and there’s more fabric than there used to be and it just doesn’t have the same va va va voom factor and now my self-esteem is pretty much gonna be non-existent and my life is over and I never want to talk to you again. I don’t care if I’m being dramatic, my breasts are very important to both me and many other people and they are not something that I really feel like fucking with. The thing about bras, for all you 3 guys reading this, is that once you find the one that gives you the proper lift, support and separation, you don’t let it go. And these Gilly Hicks ones were some sort of miracle workers and now I only have 4 and they’re all in rotation so I’m totally gonna be screwed in like 2 months when the collection needs rejuvenating and all I have is some Wonderbra that pushes the girls up so high that I occasionally stop breathing and this old lady bra I have that consists of more fabric than a track suit and looks great under a turtleneck sweater and that’s about all. I was so upset when the salesnymph told me that they had changed the style that when she asked if I’ve tried the totally rockin’ new hipster panty collection, I gave her the finger and said “In your dreams, slutbag” and ran out of the store with my cackling babygirl in tow.

Anyway, something really interesting about the restaurant business is that we get to take off on days like Monday and Wednesday, when the rest of you lawyers and investment people and teachers and bank tellers and shit like that have to go to work. We get to go to places like empty beaches, the DMV whenever we feel like it and not just during our lunch our, restaurants crammed with tailored suits during lunch hour, and to malls filled with SAHM (that’s “stay at home moms” for those of you who do not have the pleasure of being on mommy message boards when your babygirl does things like eat her clip on earring and then you have to make sure it’s going to pass through in a reasonable amount of time). In fact, other than the DMV, we hit each of these places today at least twice. Harry took me on a date to celebrate our anniversary (it’s not until Wednesday but some asshole has a “family emergency” that is apparently more important than having a high maintenance wife and has to take off instead of Harry and so goes the lovely business in which we work) and among the places we patronized were the mini golf place at Jones Beach where I lost by only 1 stroke (not including the 25 strokes that didn’t “technically count”) and then we walked into some snot bag business lunch kind of place but Harry didn’t like the carpet or the clientele in the bar area because it reminded him of an uptight Applebees and they didn’t have a cheese plate or TVs so we left there and went to some other place where there was a cheese plate and still some suits and all I could think about is how much makeup and hair product some of these bitches go through to get ready for their 9-5 job and I’m so glad that I get to dress like myself in my line of business because Office Space Shelby looks even more uncomfortable and awkward than Regular Shelby because she’s wearing like pantyhose and a dickie and a girdle, or whatever it is girls these day wear to the office. Blech. Life on a Monday afternoon is far easier when you haven’t brushed your hair yet and your sunglasses are tucked into the waist of your shorts and it doesn’t really matter if you get a little bit of cheese-plate-fig on your t-shirt. It’s also happier, because instead of trying to stay awake in those couple hours after lunch when you can’t quite figure out how you’re ever going to make it to the end of the day without napping on your keyboard, we are doing things like having a second glass of wine or running up the down escalator or diving into the surprisingly crystal clear ocean (because there’s nobody at the beach to cloud it up with all their jumping about). Yes, the best way to really enjoy life to it’s fullest is to live it up while all of you losers are at work.

But then, by the time that you would have been on the train home, or maybe even back at your house and in front of a hot home-cooked meal, (made by your SAHM’s assistant perhaps) me and Harry were with his dad and the kids at our usual haunt, The Cheesecake Factory. If you have read my blog for awhile, you probably know by now that we’ve got a pretty hardcore love/hate relationship with this puppy: we love going there, but we hate it pretty much every single time we leave. Never having learned our lesson, we plopped down in a booth with a high chair for another round of Russian Dressing Roulette.

Typically, nothing really went right. Do I need to go into detail about the hour and 15 minutes we had waited for our entrees to hit the table even though we only ordered one course? No, because I don’t want to break my streak of being an overly optimistic and sunshiny princess, so I’ll just leave out the part where I slammed my fist on the table and shouted “BLASPHEMY!!!!!” so loud that the sous chef from the California Pizza Kitchen three storefronts away came running over to check what the commotion was all about.

After my babygirl officially decided that she was done being in the building, (especially without grub) Harry took the kids to the parking lot while I waited to speak with a manager and ask for our food to be wrapped up. My father-in-law took out his wallet and I slapped it back down on the table.

“You will not need this. There will be no bill.”

I didn’t state this fact because anybody had told me it was the case. But lordy lordy lordy, at this point I know how the establishment operates better than the operators – they buy your love. And in the case of never getting your food, the only way that a corporate restaurant like that can assure you won’t trash them to pieces to every person you know is to purchase your silence, which may or may not include free dessert (tonight it obviously did, although I ordered the cake that Harry wanted instead of the one that I wanted and then made him go to Friendly’s and buy me a sundae and he came home with a 5 scoop brownie sundae that was the size of a baseball helmet, and I’m not talking about those little ones that they used to make sundaes in). Unfortunately silence isn’t the case in this particular circumstance, because I waited so long that I got cranky and didn’t have any Xanax and got heartburn from eating 2 loaves of bread out of boredom. By the time Dan the manager came over to the table to tell me that he was “embarrassed” by the experience they provided us (to which I responded “Yes, you should be embarrassed, it is embarrassing to operate this way, my main man.”) I already had half of this post written and every intention to publish it even if he did seem pretty sincere (ok? I gave him credit. Happy?).

Now that I’ve done all of this trash talking, I’m actually feeling a little guilty. Unfortunately I already wrote the last paragraph and I really don’t feel like deleting it right now.


motorboatin’ with the chef.

29 Jul

A fun thing about the restaurant business is that sometimes you have to cater a party that you’d otherwise be a guest at and instead of schmoozing and boozing, you wind up clearing plates off of people’s tables and brewing coffee for 100 of your friend’s closest friends. Tonight was one such night, except that I wasn’t technically invited to the party and I wasn’t technically working it either, so I basically just put on a shit ton of makeup and chased my babygirl around a backyard for 5 hours while Harry cooked steak and my parents hung out with their friends.

Something that maybe you don’t know about Harry is that he’s a breast man to the max, so imagine my shock and dismay when my Cater Waiter(esses) showed up in the uniform that Harry instructed them to be in – white polo shirts on a day where the forecast ranged from 70% rain to 100% depending on the hour. Luckily the waitresses were Things 1 & 2 (1 has requested that I call her by her first name when she’s not in the restaurant but I honestly don’t even know what it is) so they enjoy being completely sexually harassed by their devilishly handsome nearly-middle-aged Chef. In fact, on more than one occasion I’ve walked in on Thing 2 complimenting Harry for his thick head of hair, and has even asked me for permission to run her hands through it, which I obviously granted because what the fuck do I care if a woman wants to run her hands through my husbands hair? What’s the worst that can happen?

That’s the thing about being married to the devilishly handsome nearly-middle-aged Chef. You have to compete with Things 1 & 2 for his love and attention. Luckily, I won out tonight, most likely because the weather ended up clearing up so the wet waitress uniform contest never went down and because I was wearing a Gilly Hicks weekend bra and a low cut tank top that my babygirl kept pulling down with her little feetsies every time I tried to pick her up, causing my boobs to be like totally out there. They were so out there that my mom looked down at them and was like “Where did those come from??” and I was like “I know they’re big but they’ve always been there,” and she was like “No, I’m talking about your nails,” because they’re like glow-in-the-dark neon pinkish-orangish. But that’s how big they were tonight, big enough that I assumed my mom didn’t even recognize them. As a result, I was fortunate enough to not only win the love and attention of Harry, but also I scored this totally awesome and romantic photo, taken by Thing 1 herself. I’m one lucky girl. And yes, I am flicking him in response to his lewd actions, so don’t think I’m not like a demure and well-mannered princess, because I totally am.

In other news, I saw my Gay Asian Waiter today! It was awesome! Well it was only for like 8 minutes and I got really mad at him because he’s totally scamming me and trying to convince me to to take him to some concert in Vegas that we’re both trying to win tickets to even though if he wins he’s not going to bring me because he totally SUCKS, but it was still really nice to hug him and talk some smack and catch up on gossip. So now I like totally have to win the tickets because apparently that’s the only way that I’m gonna get to go. I feel like in life, concert tickets should go to those worthy, and in the case of a festival that features Brad Paisley and Pitbull and No Doubt and Tay Tay and is hosted by Ryan Seacrest, I should have fucking front row seats. Oh and it’s in Vegas which has really good restaurants and yummy drinks so all I’m saying is that if you know someone who can get me tickets and airfare and hotel accommodations to the iheartmusic festival in Vegas, please give them my email address and tell them that me and Charlie will do ANYTHING. LITERALLY ANYTHING. for seats. This includes, but is not limited to, tattooing the likeness of the said ticket-getter on our asses and attending the concert partially nude. A special treat, if I do say so myself.

Also in other news, I’ve been working on considering becoming a beer expert, in the sense that I’m going to buy new beer for the restaurant, like maybe the kind that looks like wine but is really an IPA or a Stout or something. I really have no intention of ever drinking anything that even remotely resembles a hoppy or heady or bitter brew or whatever it is they say, I will still only drink Bud Light. Although I tried a cider and it was really yummy, like wine coolers for snobs or something. So if you have any ideas on what beers will give me mad street cred, comment on this post. Ok, fine I’m just trying to get you to comment because like nobody ever does. Ok I’m really just testing to see who gets to the end of these posts.

how to make a waitress hate your guts. (part 3)

26 Jul

Now that I’m all settled back in at work, I’m beginning to remember what sets the restaurant business apart from most other businesses. It’s hungry cranky fuckers like you and me who inadvertently cause strife in the lives of waiters and waitresses. Since it’s been a bit of time since we last discussed this topic, let us review some of the many annoyances restaurant people incur on a day-to-day basis:

  • Let your child scream at the top of their lungs
  • Ignore the server
  • Fill up on complimentary starches & cancel your food order
  • Order soft drinks before being sat at a table
  • Send food back to the kitchen for changes that can be made by you (i.e. no bun on your burger)
  • Start a sentence with “I never really complain but…”
  • Never be satisfied with the climate in the dining room.
  • Think that an 18% tip is impressive.
  • Be gluten free*

Ok, now that we’ve reviewed, let’s move on to some more stuff that makes us want to smack you silly and ask you to please shut the fuck up. Tonight the theme is “shit that directly applies to me as the owner/manager/hostess.” Because in an odd turn of events, I’m more focused on myself tonight than on other people. When you finish passing out from the shock of this rare narcissistic behavior, kindly adjust how you act in the following situations:

  • Accuse me of being a liar. Sometimes people call to make a reservation and insist that last time they were here they sat at a round table, but the truth of the matter is that they’re totally totally mistaken. We don’t have round tables. Breaking the news to them is always difficult because the customer is always right (Oh shit, now I’m lying to you!). And most of the time, when I break the news to them that they cannot have a round table because I don’t have a saw that cuts in a perfect circle, they accuse me of lying to them and ask to speak to the manager. “But I’m the owner,” I tell them and they respond by insisting that the last time they ate here they 100% sat at a round table. As a loving, caring, beautiful owner, I vow to you as my customer that I have no need to lie to you unless it is a fake phone call because you’re talking my ear off and I have someone more interesting than you sitting at the bar waiting for me.
  • Feed yourself whilst chatting with me. Let’s make a deal, folks. I promise you that I will not conversate with you once your meal hits the table, if you promise me that you will not flag me down and insist that I listen to your granddaughter’s wedding plans while you spew your jambalaya in my face. I typically love the outfits I wear to work, and don’t need any food particle accessories to accent them. If you need to ask me or your server for something, PUT THE FORK DOWN. Swallow whatever it is you’re chewing, take a sip of water if you need to, breathe for a second, and then ask for what you need, and then when I’m at a safe distance, pick the fork back up and continue on your culinary journey.
  • Complain at the end of your meal. This one confuses me on a multitude of levels. First, why did you just eat something you didn’t like? This isn’t your mom’s dining room table, you are paying for a meal. So this means that if you hate something, you aren’t forced to eat it. Second, there is no way for me to identify the problem if you have left no evidence of it. Frankly, the conclusion we’ve pretty much made about people who complain at the end of a fully consumed meal is that they really just want something for free. And that makes us want to do less for you because we hate your grubby guts. If you truly don’t like something, complaining off the bat is a win-win situation – you get to eat something that doesn’t make you want to puke and we get feedback on a dish that we may not otherwise know needs altering.
  • Never acknowledge me even though we see each other 2 – 4 times a week. I see many of my customers far more than I see all of my friends and family combined. The vast majority of these people hug and kiss me and/or Harry (people have their favorites, most of the time being me unless they’re a tween or a 50-year-old divorcé). But then there are these few super special asswads who just won’t give us the time of day. Seriously, even though you’re a regular customer and I try to be friendly and wave and grin and say hello and accommodate your entire family’s needs (she can’t have gluten, he can’t have meat or rice or milk or nuts or yeast or sunshine, I can’t have french fries unless they were fried in the oil of a chicken named Steve, my daughter doesn’t speak so you have to look into her brain and figure out her order…) you still never crack a smile or acknowledge that we’ve ever seen each other before. A long time ago, before I could immediately fact check on Google, I got a memo that it takes more energy to frown than to smile. Did you not get this memo as well? Why can’t you just be friendly and nice? Is eye contact seriously that much of a challenge when it comes to loser blue collar workers like me? Were your parents this grumpy and they passed it on to you and your wife?? Am I not pretty enough for you? I think we all know this is not the case… but what I’m really getting at is that you should be nice to the owner of the restaurants you frequent. I promise, we come in very very very handy.
  • Bathroom? This word is neither a sentence nor a question. Kindly try to expand on this thought when you’re asking me where the toilets are located. I totally understand that we are in a world where we no longer use the uber-long forms of the words “you” and “are” when we type, but looking at me and saying “bathroom” is really kind of gross-a-roo. I totally empathize with you that you’ve gotta pee or poo. But it just takes 2 more syllables (“Where’s the”) to eradicate this grammatical disaster. If you say “Excuse me” or “Thanks” or heaven forbid “Thank you,” you can bet your ass that I’m throwing some major cred your way. Expect a free bottle of wine at the very least.

If you think that I’m done letting you know what bothers restaurant people about you, you’re sadly mistaken. So don’t worry, if nothing over the course of this series has applied to you, there’s always tomorrow….

*Sidebar: This whole gluten free thing is getting worse and worse. It started out that the people were just irritating. But now I’m convinced that there is a direct correlation between wheat consumption and brain cells. I received a phone call yesterday from a Gluten Free chick who was looking to come in for dinner. I explained that we accommodate all gluten free diets. “Are you sure?” I told her that I was sure. “So you mean I can get a burger without a roll?”

“No,” I told her. “I’ve made an error. It is not possible for you to purchase a hamburger unless it is attached to a roll. We are experimenting with a new cooking technique wherein we bake our bread with beef patties attached to it, and it becomes so sticky in the process that it is scientifically impossible to remove the meat from the roll. Deepest apologies.”

Just kidding. What I really said was “You gluten people are getting dumber by the second, aren’t you?”

short skirts for business girls.

24 Jul

This evening during Happy Hour I was rudely interrupted from doing my liquor inventory by an old man bar customer who told me and my breasts that I’m “You know you’re really looking good and doing a great job keeping yourself fit.” I peeked my eyes over the clipboard, making sure my pursed lips were covered so he wouldn’t notice me holding in the puke that was rising through me and how hard I was trying to keep myself from hysterically laughing in his wrinkly face. “What do you do to keep yourself looking so good?” he asked me, and I think he may have been serious.

“Well Brittney and I were just discussing what types of candy bars to buy at Hess. I’ll walk there and buy them, and then I’ll eat one and I’ll wash it down with either a diet coke or some iced tea, and that’s how I keep myself looking so great.” I curtsied and found another activity to do that didn’t involve bending over to count bottles in a cooler or being undressed with an old dude’s eyes.

But for some reason, no matter what activity I engaged in today, from packing up hamburger takeout orders to plugging in a new stereo, some random weirdo was hitting on me. ALL. DAY. LONG. Like, I know I got a really good tan on vacation, but it was like seriously excessive. “I’m not wearing any makeup. Not even mascara!” I wanted to shout at them. “I didn’t brush my hair this morning! I have an itchy mosquito bite on my ass and my pinky toe has a nasty blister!” Anything to make it stop, I felt like totally objectified; like a hot ass piece of meat with an adorable outfit on. For hours I pondered the strange attraction that all these men were clearly displaying. Could it have had anything to do with the fact that the hem of my dress was about 17 inches above my knees? Eh, who knows?

That’s the thing about super short skirts. Every routine activity I participate in suddenly becomes a sexual thing. Like, if I want to change a light bulb and all I’m wearing is a little dress, this doesn’t mean that I want you to take a gander at my Superman Blue boy shorts. It means that I want to illuminate the ground below me. And if I want to erase the chalkboard while I’m standing on a countertop, it’s because Father’s Day is over, not because you’re curious if the curtains match the drapes. And if I bend down to pick up a mess on the floor, it’s because you can’t control your children and they are dropping every other piece of macaroni, not because I want you to stare me down in front of your wife and kids.

I don’t mean to miscommunicate my intentions; these skirts are truly important to my everyday work life. For instance, it’s summer and it’s like really hot out and the only way to not overheat is to have as much of your skin exposed to the air conditioning as possible. And when I wear pants they are constantly getting dirty from dragging on the kitchen mats and I’m trying to save money on my dry cleaning. Also my skirts have pockets (ironically their legged counterparts do not, for the most part) and I have some major shit to carry and without them I have to keep things like $10 bills and keys and phone messages tucked into my bra and I get paper cuts and rashes. Plus, they get me ANYTHING I WANT FROM ANY NON-RELATIVE MALE AND/OR LESBIAN WITHOUT EVEN TRYING.

So guys, kindly get over your weird librarian/teacher/restaurant manager porn fantasies and let us ladies wear our skirts at whatever length we choose without assuming that we have any interest in performing sexual acts on you. We most likely would not touch you with a ten foot pole.

Unless you’re really hot or look good naked.


what i didn’t do on my summer vacation.

23 Jul

Well I’m back in town, currently buried under a sea of wrinkled tank tops and jean shorts and cover ups and crushed adorable dresses which I packed just in case my low key vacation to the Outer Banks magically morphed into a week on the Italian Riviera and the evenings consisted of romantic jaunts about town that didn’t include Ben & Jerry’s or mini golf. I don’t want to write because I haven’t been back to work yet, and frankly I’m not really angry enough to have anything remotely interesting to say. In a perfect world, my vacation with Harry’s family would have been shitty as hell and I’d have so much to bitch about that you’d be reading until tomorrow afternoon. But you know what? Making your own bed (and breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks) on a vacation wasn’t nearly as bad as I had originally imagined it would be. Also not as bad as I thought it would be was the beach (an inevitable aspect of the beach vacation) which I generally fucking loathe, due to sand all up in your shit and evil things lurking in the surf such as Man of Wars, Sharks, Moray Eels, the teeny tiny Sand Crabs (which my babygirl thoroughly enjoyed hoarding and occasionally crushing until their guts fell out. Give her a break, she isn’t even 2 yet). The beach was so not shitty, in fact, that I didn’t do anything that I drove down hoping to do. Basically all I did from sunrise to sunset was make my bed and sun myself, with occasional parenting and wifing thrown in for variety.

Here is a list of what I failed to accomplish on my summer vacation:

  • SURF – Our plan was to purchase some longboards and sex wax and some pairs of Roxy board shorts and hang ten like really hardcore every morning in the waves and then tie them to the roof and come back to New York looking way too cool for school. But then this thing happened, where surf boards are REALLY FUCKING EXPENSIVE and also this other thing happened where we have kids to chase and not necessarily any time to do things like catch a wave. So we nixed that. I did go on a boogie board, and it turns out it’s probably better that we didn’t buy the rash guards and accouterments because I like totally SUCK. Water sports I excel at? Outdoor showering.
  • KAYAK – I don’t understand why Harry’s family is too fancy for kayaking, but apparently they are. I would have gone alone but I couldn’t even get a ride to the place. They were all intimidated by my sportiness I think. Or they didn’t want to get roped into my antics. Because I would have made them race me for sure.
  • FISHING – Me and my sister-in-law had some pretty solid plans to go out fishing on one of those boats with sexy mates who load your hook with their bait one morning before the gang even woke up (we are both like totally vital to our families functioning properly so we wouldn’t be able to miss waking hours without husbands and/or children having temper tantrums). But then we realized that waking up early meant that we would have to wake up early, so we nixed it and decided to pursue renting poles at the pier, but upon discovery that it required baiting our own hooks we were like “Fuck this shit,” and we went shopping and drinking instead.
  • DRINK 7 DAYS STRAIGHT – I was SO PSYCHED to float through this vacation in a total lackadaisical buzz, clinging to a solo cup filled with coconut rum and pineapple juice or high-fiving my beer pong partner as we sloppily lost in the championship round of the family tournament. But then it was really windy on the porch so the tournament never went down and I ate so many chocolate chip cookies everyday that I couldn’t bring myself to consume the sugars in the boat drink, and so I remained basically sober save one night at this place called Señor Dicks where they were doing Shag Dancing lessons and had really really really cold beers and a guy named Tony who got dumped that afternoon and was sad.
  • READ 1 MAGAZINE – I was thisclose to finishing one, but alas it was not meant to be. It was Parenting Magazine, which is like such a waste of a publication because no parent has time to read a magazine.
  • WRITE “OBX” IN THE SAND AND TAKE A PHOTO – I’ve been contemplating heading over to a Long Island beach and doing it and just saying that it was in North Carolina, but now I just told you so I can’t even do that anymore. Darn. Why did I tell you? We did take a gay family photo on the beach wearing matching white shirts and jeans. Perhaps I’ll post a little photo scrapbook later this week of incriminating family photos and this will be one of them. It will all depend on how my hair looks.
  • WITNESS BABY SEA TURTLES HATCH + HEAD TO THE SEA – There’s no “s” in the sea turtle we saw. But one was enough to inspire me to get a tattoo of a baby sea turtle with a little peace sign on it’s shell. Thanks, little guy.

That being said, the week was not without its productive moments. Here are some surprising accomplishments. Don’t fall over with excitement, although it’s a pretty intense list:

  • PLAYED CORNHOLE WITH MYSELF – It would have been with the siblings, but they weren’t into it. Hey! This probably sounds really dirty if you don’t know what corn hole is. Don’t worry, I didn’t either until like 3 weeks ago. It’s beanbag toss, fellow Yankees! Like a tailgating game for hicks. The boards were really far apart and there was technically no light outside of the bar where we were (I was) playing, but it was still THE BEST.
  • FOUND OUT THAT IF MY MOTHER-IN-LAW COULD CHOOSE ONE PRODUCT TO BE SOLD IN A VENDING MACHINE, IT WOULD BE COCAINE – Regardless of whether or not this was a joke, it is not OK that this occurred. New rule: no more board games that say “Adult” when playing with parents, especially when any alcohol is involved.
  • COOKED AN ENTIRE BOX OF PANCAKES IN ONE POP, SANS GRIDDLE – Perhaps the most challenging hour of the vacation.
  • HIT A FOUL SHOT BACKWARDS OVER MY HEAD DURING A GAME OF HORSE – That being said, I lost every game we played. I also lost at Kanjam (I’m a better Jammer than Kanner, I have learned, AKA I can’t throw a frisbee for shit) and I lost at Hearts and if it is possible to lose at jigsaw puzzle then I lost at that too.
  • DRUNKENLY INTERVIEWED A 6’5″ HANDLEBAR MOUSTACHED BOUNCER AT A COUNTRY BAR ABOUT HIS TASTE IN MUSIC – I then proceeded to thank him for giving me the greatest night of my life (because the jukebox had lots of good country in the Top 100) and accused him of not being openminded about New Country and complimented his incredible mechanical bull operating skills. We had this conversation all without him cracking a smile, or showing one speck of emotion. I think he really enjoyed my company.
  • PLAYED JAX – The bouncy ball was a little puny for the size of the Jax and there were only 8 instead of 10 and my step kid is REALLY BAD at playing but REALLY ENTHUSIASTIC about trying, which makes every game take like 7 hours instead of 7 minutes, but it obviously kicked some summer ass.

All in all, you should be really jealous that you weren’t invited to my family vacation, and you should invite me on yours so that I an assure you’ll have a great time. According to me, I’m totally the life of the party. Especially if there’s a kayak.

confessions of a wandering jew.

15 Jul

The thing about being a Jew is that we don’t make our beds, specifically on vacation. So it’s a little alarming that I spent two days heading down the East Coast in a Volkswagen filled with pillow pets, swim diapers and Pirate Booty, final destination being a beach house on the Outer Banks with no housekeeping. For a week. This is literally the least Jewish thing I’ve ever done. Less Jewish than the corned beef sandwich I had the other day with swiss cheese, less Jewish than the Italian guy I married, less Jewish than the Christmas Tree I decorate every year since marrying the Italian. At first I was disgusted by myself for how horrifying I find 7 days and nights of cleaning up after myself, thinking that I’m a super spoiled lazy bitch who wouldn’t appreciate a good vacation if it smacked me in the face and told me it loved me. But then I started to casually interview some other Tribe members, and it turns out that as a Jew, I’m actually conditioned to take things like mini bottles of Molton Brown shampoo & my toilet paper folded in a V every morning completely for granted. As it happens, the majority of Jews I spoke with (there were at least a dozen, so don’t think that it was just my bartender I asked or something) absolutely do not do anything more than pull their blanket up in the morning upon exiting their beds. One couple puts the decorative pillows and shams and shit back in place every AM, but they apparently started that only recently after their children left for college and they had some spare time.

This whole road trip thing is pretty new to me as well. Before embarking, I called my mom to find out what I should pack for the kids to do in the car for the long haul to our first stop, sunny Williamsburg, VA. “I have no idea. We never went that far.” Upon reflection, I realized that the furthest we really ever went as a family without heading to JFK or LaGuardia was Hersheypark or Lake George. And other than that, the most extended time I ever spent in a car was an unfortunate trip from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to Howe Caverns with a friend from college during which we drove in wrong direction for hours on end. The silver lining of the day was that we decided to backtrack and made it just in time for the last cavern tour of the evening at the conclusion of which they literally shut off the lights in the cave. I don’t believe that the whole driving-to-a-vacation thing is exclusive to non-Jews, but then again, Harry is sooooo much better at license plate bingo than I am.

Among my Jew panel, one thing was absolutely certain: WE DO NOT MAKE OUR BEDS WHILST VACATIONING. We simply lock our valuables in the safe, sit around drinking our Poland Spring and white wine spritzers (and miami vices if we’re on a cruise,) and wait for housekeeping to tidy up & refresh our mini shampoos.

Not so much on this trip.

Upon arrival at our house “Big Daddy,” (which is beautiful and beachfront and I didn’t even know that places like this existed outside of the Hamptons to be perfectly honest and other than an insane fear of being eaten by sharks it’s totally paradise) we divvied up the rooms and were handed SARAN WRAPPED PACKS OF LINENS WITH WHICH TO MAKE OUR OWN BEDS. So not only was there going to be nobody to make my bed each day and hang a USA Today on my door, there was also apparently going to be nobody to put the sheets on in the first place except for lucky lucky lucky me. So I made 3 beds on the very first day of my relaxing vacation. And you know what? Even though I bitched Harry out the entire time for making me love him and marry him and be a part of his family and subjecting me to this awful form of torture, I did some kick ass hospital corners and the beds came out top notch.

Speaking of things I learned in sleepaway camp and brought with me to the beach house, I also played a pretty great game of Jacks against my mother-in-law, and although I tried to teach the step kid, I quickly decided that this is not his sport and that maybe he should instead consider becoming a professional sand crab hunter or boogie board faller offer. My babygirl, on the other hand, is now a living legend in Harry’s family for being that chick who pooped on the deck.

Regardless of their habits, I am so thrilled to be passing on my admirable attributes to my children. After exploring the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo at our two-night halfway point Williamsburg stop, he discovered that our bathroom boasted a feature that his did not. “It’s not fair!” he stomped. “My bathroom doesn’t even have a jacuzzi!”

I think it’s safe to say my work there is done.

how to make a waitress hate your guts (part 2)

12 Jul

This evening at our daily ritual of not ever cooking, we spent the majority of our dinner trying to get my babygirl to stop wailing at the top of her lungs because she was overtired and hungry and perhaps it was her time of the month, I’m really not quite sure when that sort of stuff starts.
“We’re the people we hate,” I shouted to Harry over my kid’s whines. He couldn’t respond though, cause he was totally consumed with how much the the food totally sucked and he was mentally plotting where he might stop to pick up a second round of (more satisfying) dinner.
“All the waitresses hate our guts.” But then I looked at the floor and there were no crumbs, forks, sugar packets, menus, silly putty or banana peels so I concluded that they wouldn’t hate us for long and accepted our status as only mildly irritating.
Here are some other things that annoy the shit out of servers. And just so you know, I’m not pulling this out of thin air. These complaints were compiled by me and my staff over a series of dinner services and chances are at least all of them apply to you in some respect.

– IGNORE THE SERVER – The practice of treating the waitress like a boring ghost and not acknowledging her presence except if you’re complaining or need more wine typically occurs in groups of 3 or more women and 6+ coeds (because that makes it 3 women anyway). Add one person for every 100 miles you get from NY because domestic foreigners have good manners.

– FILL UP ON BREAD/CHIPS AND CANCEL YOUR ORDER – So let me get this straight. If you go to the supermarket and buy food and shit and cook dinner but then you have too much Costco edamame, do you throw the said meal in the garbage even though you spent money on it? Then why do you try to do that to us? Be a man and wrap your salad up for work tomorrow.

– ORDER YOUR SOFT DRINKS FROM THE BAR BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN – {note: this is a scam and if you find yourself enlightened after reading the following, kindly refrain from implementing it at my restaurants. I’ve got bills to pay} It happens every day. A guy comes in waiting for friends. “I’ll just wait at the bar,” he tells the hostess and heads over to order a diet coke from the bartender, who doesn’t charge him because it’s highly unusual practice for a customer to be charged for a soft drink at a bar. Two minutes later he visits with the hostess again and says “You know, I think that table now. They should be here any minute.” And like that, dude’s got a soda. The most astute and bitter bartender/waitress duo will slap that drink on the bill, but in most cases you’re in the clear.

That’s all for tonight, stay posted for other things that make us restaurant people kind of want to kick your ass.

the official shelbytown summer 2012 self-serve fro yo challenge. (day 2)

10 Jul

So just to review, we’re testing the following self-serve frozen yogurt theories, all based on Yogurt Crazy:

#1: It is impossible to spend less than $5 per yogurt.

#2: No matter how many yogurts you are purchasing, you are always asked if you want a lid.

#3: You are also asked if you want a bag.

Tonight, in an INSANE turn of events, I went to a new yogurt place called Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt. SIMPLY WORLDS APART FROM  the other place. Just kidding. The only difference is the name and that one place has tile floors, one place has wood floors.

Night #1: July 10th, 9:27pm

Number of yogurts purchased: 1

Topping Highlights: Crapola. 2 chocolate covered almonds, which are inappropriately large to be placed on top of a sundae.

Total cost: $4.48!!!!!!!! (This was a result of the crapola toppings, so don’t be all proud of me. I left the place totally depressed. HOW DARE a new yogurt place not offer rainbow cookies as a topping. That is ludicrous.

Average cost per yogurt: $4.48 – nearly 10 ounces of total misery except that the flavor is thin mint which is my favorite but it looked really icy.

Cashier gender: Female

Tan: Deep orange.

Additional Employees: 3 female, 1 obnoxious male.

Tans: The color of Otto, the Syracuse mascot. A staff that tans together stands together.

Asked if I need lids: NO… because the lids are SELF SERVE!!! Genius!!!

Asked if I also need a bag: No. Bags were neither self serve nor employee serve. They were simply non existent.

Cashier placed the yogurts in the bag: If, by “placing the yogurt in the bag” you mean “stared at me critically while I put my toppings on and pumped my caramel,” then yes.

Additional notes: The ambiance in this place is not to be missed. It looks like a watermelon threw up in an Ikea while basking in the bright Alaska summer sun. I think I may have gotten a fake tan just by standing inside the place. There are adirondack chairs outside* so other than the shitty toppings, icy yogurt and vomitacious atmosphere, it’s definitely the best yogurt place around. I will not be back for sure.


*Sidebar: As the yogurt place is next door to a 5 Guys, my plan is to grab a burger next week and chill in the adirondack chair, maybe take a nap, read a book, catch some rays…. maybe I’ll even start posting from there. But until they get rainbow cookies or fruit loops I’m not going back inside.

how to make a waitress hate your guts. (part 1)

10 Jul

Unfortunately, this post applies directly to you. Generally speaking, you are well behaved in restaurants, and consider yourself a good tipper who never makes a scene. I hate to break it to you, but this is totally not the case. Here are some inadvertent things you do that really irritate your server:

  • Send food back to the kitchen unnecessarily – If you don’t like asparagus and it shows up on your plate, do not ask the waitress to send the plate back to the kitchen in order to have the asparagus removed. At many restaurants, forks are provided. These are not only useful for eating, but also for removing large ingredients from the plate (and placing them on a separate plate, perhaps a bread one or a side one). Oddly enough, you are also in full control of which items become loaded onto the fork, and which ones enter your mouth. It’s pretty incredible, if you take the time to think about it.
  • Complain that it’s too hot, then complain that it’s too cold. – Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to do anything about it. Yes, I’ll adjust the thermostat a degree or two, but in all honesty you are never going to be happy. No matter what temperature the restaurant is held at, it is never going to be as cozy as your home. Also, being seasonally specific, complaining that a restaurant is cold during the summer is ridiculous. By the time you become an adult, you need to learn that if you tend to be chilly, you should bring a hoodie or a cardigan with you while indoors. That’s the thing about air conditioning. It makes places cool on a hot day.
  • Start a sentence with “I really never complain, but….” – Once that phrase cruises through your lips, we automatically translate whatever comes after it as “I want free shit.” It honestly doesn’t even matter what you’re complaining about, chances are it will be dealt with in the following way:  1) We’ll try to buy you dessert, which you will decline even though you totally want it, but are holding out for a better deal. 2) We’ll give you a card that’s good for an appetizer or dessert on your next visit. We’ll tell you that the calamari is delicious. You’ll tell us that you don’t think you’ll be coming back because we didn’t fix your problem. Yup, you’ll still be holding out. 3) We’ll lecture you on why it is important to complain before you polish off an entire entree that you don’t enjoy as opposed to when your plate is totally empty, that way we can rectify the situation. 4) You will give us a look as if to say “I obviously am playing you in order to get you to take my food off the bill.” 5) I will show you a photo of my babygirl and mention that you’re literally preventing her from playing tee ball because of the money we had to take off your bill. 6) You will accept the discount and we will make faces at you because we don’t like you. 7) You’ll come back next week, hopefully when the other manager is working, and try it al again.
  • Be Gluten-Free. – This doesn’t apply to every person who has Celiac Disease, just most of them. Because not knowing what you can or cannot eat when you’ve got a gluten allergy is fucking ridiculous. Fine, you have a question on a particular sauce? I get that. I would constantly wonder if I can have the horseradish mustard sauce that we serve with the salmon, because it’s damn good and definitely wishy-washy as far as potential ingredients go. But please don’t ask me if you can have chicken parmesan. That doesn’t even make any sense. You manage to function every other day with your allergy, why today can you not figure out that you should eat a plain piece of steak, some sautéed vegetables and a fucking baked potato? I will humor you and make your damn gluten-free menu, masses. But don’t get all cranky pants when you find us all making fun of you in the server station.
  • An 18% tip on the subtotal is not a good tip. – The general rule of thumb for a “good tip” for restaurant people is 20% of the total bill. So if the bill comes to $50, $10 is like the minimum amount that would constitute a good tip. Writing “thanks for the great service” or whatever else on your charge slip is like automatically making your server the greatest hero in the history of the world according to his managers. So if you really appreciated your experience, leave a 25% gratuity and a little thank you note. It takes like no time and maybe a couple bucks, but goes a hell of a long way to your server. On the flip side, if you are a regular customer who routinely leaves 18% on the subtotal (one guy shows his work… super bizarre) then don’t be surprised when you are always dumped with the shitty new dork socially awkward drink-spilling waiter. You did it to yourself, my friend.

If none of these applied to you, don’t get all cocky and think that you’re one of the good ones. This is simply part one of a LONG LONG LONG series of irritating things that customers (even you!) do in order to make waitress hate your guts. I’m totally one of you, if it makes you feel any better. I order an iced tea and a water at the same time, I let my kid jump on the booth, I’m allergic to tables when there are booths around and I never ever ever remember a server’s name. There, do you feel better? You’re not the only shitty customer in town.