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musings on being lame.

17 Jul

I’ve just been accused of posting something lame by one of my “friends.”

You know what, dude? I try really really hard not to be lame. In fact, one might argue that I am the least lame girl in town.

The following are examples of how not lame I am.

  • I sport like 6 bracelets at a time from (chain stores) all over the world.
  • I didn’t get the anti-reflective stuff on my glasses so as to fully achieve the “nerd chic” look, which is all the rage right now.
  • I wear Tory Burch flats to work because I work in Plainview and in this town, conformity rules.
  • My babygirl wears a vintage charm necklace and can perform a one-man version of Macbeth. She’s 2.
  • I can’t remember if in the olden days when I wrote these posts, I used all lowercase letters or not. I feel like I did to be stylish, but it goes against nearly everything I believe in. (If you spell a lot as one word, please stop reading now and never ever ever ever try to contact me again. You are dead to me.)
  • That’s all I can think of. Maybe you’re right, Sandy.

In other news, being a mommy to two restaurants is really annoying for me, and potentially interesting to you. So maybe I’ll actually write about the business again.

Today was my first day back from vacation (Naturally, we went to Disney World. Because there is nothing more relaxing than chasing hungry and tired babygirls/stepkids/dads around multiple theme parks and hotel lobbies for 7 days. The highlight is a tie: the Jr. High Miss America Pageant and a child talent scouting conference, both held in my hotel. Exploiting children is one of my favorite hobbies, that and car singing). I spent my first 4 hours back at the restaurant working on a list of things to do so that I can be focused and completely on my game. It currently consists of the following items:

  • call farms.
  • make an about page on the website.
  • plan a beer halloween party.
  • reboot hashbrown harry’s. 
  • “email.” (I don’t remember to whom I am to send one)
  • find miniature disposable tongs.
  • refinance house.

The to-do list was all I did. Oh no wait. I also bought a stamp and a smoothie. I was trying to do other stuff but then the whole lame fiasco went down and now all I can think about is how true it truly truly is.

The new restaurant (Wait, have we even talked about the new restaurant?? Ok, we opened a new restaurant. It’s fucking baller. There’s incredible beer. My belly is like, dude, stop drinking that shit, you look preggers and it’s too hot outside for more than one layer of Spanx.) is getting on nicely. We’re yet to be reviewed by the newspaper. The food is yummy and I play Lumineers radio on Pandora, so basically we’re guaranteed a perfect rating. If we don’t get a perfect rating I’ll basically go into a state of depression so deep that people will confuse me with Wednesday Adams and my daughter will cry every time she sees me. I sure hope the reviewer is reading this so she realizes the potential damage she’s doing to an adorable Shakespeare-performing babygirl.

On Tuesdays we have Taco Tuesdays, and it gets super crowded,  which I find really confusing since the menu is in no way Mexican and we don’t have guacamole, and why would you want to go someplace that doesn’t have guac for your tacs? Alas, people are entitled to make the decisions they make, even if they are wrong, and show up at my restaurant on a stupid night of the week. Fools.

The new restaurant is in a town so deeply Jappy that I started talking like I’m from Long Island again, a habit I happily kicked when I was in my tweens. I sound like Fran Drescher. I constantly make myself want to puke. It’s so Jappy that I think I’m going to have a CAMP viewing party on Friday nights. Oh shit! Something to add to my to-do list! No, like I really think I’m gonna do that. Not taking advantage of being a Jewish business owner in this town is like not taking advantage of being an Eskimo on a college application. For instance, I’m currently planning a “Jews and Brews” charity event, and there’s a farm-to-table Rosh Hashanah menu on the horizon. Also a weed dinner (dreams do come true!!!) but I probably shouldn’t talk about that because my mom totally reads this and she’ll be all disappointed in me and lecture me and say “Shelby you can’t sell weed!” and I’ll say “But moooommmmmmm!!!” and she’ll say “I said no.” and I’ll say “I hate you mom! You ruin EVERYTHING!!!” And then I’ll do it anyway.

OK. Let’s talk soon, alright? Because seriously, I really do miss you.

 

 

 

an open letter to spring celebrations. (aka fuck you, party season)

18 May

Dear Party Season,

I hate you. You are destroying my life, one child bride at a time. I must’ve missed the memo that every communion, shower, PTA meeting and bowling end-of-the-year dinner needs to go down in the same 8 week span. My brain has melted into a peanut buttery pile of mush. Please, please, please end as soon as possible. I need to catch up on Mad Men.

Thanks,

Shelby

PS. See you next year! Can’t wait!

~~~

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is that sometimes you get so stressed out that one day you wake up deaf in one ear. Which is really annoying because I AM SO FUCKING BUSY and I really really don’t have time to do things like figure out why I can’t hear anything out of my left ear. Plus it is putting a MAJOR damper on the new Spotify list I made, as I have an inability to listen to it. Also I was horrible on the audio round at trivia this week.

When did I get to the point in my life that I’m too busy to watch the first episode of So You Think You Can Dance? I don’t understand.

The following is a list of things I’ve been busy doing because my job is super important and exciting:

  • Beer Pong. Because when you’ve got nothing but no time on your hands, a really good idea is to spend 8 hours figuring out how to draw the perfect bracket.
  • Instagram. 90% of this is just refreshing my feed and being sad that there’s no way to easily toggle between two accounts.
  • Opening a new restaurant. And by “opening,” I mean “obsessively searching for cool fonts.”
  • The beer list. This takes up a good majority of my work week, because EVERY TIME I print a list, another keg kicks.
  • Tattoo brainstorming. As we’ve established in the past, I’m all talk with the tattoos. However today, I really think I came up with THE ONE. I’m going to have a blank to-do list tattooed onto the inside of my wrist. Because girl’s clothes (the good kind, at least) never have pockets. And Harry told me I have to stop using my bra as a wallet in public. So there’s no place to hold my damn to-do list. I mean, I can write it on my hand but then it looks unprofessional. Unless it’s on my to-do list tattoo! Genius!!
  • Avocado. My mom got me Beats headphones for my birthday and they’re so baller that I felt like I should go running (walking) at the park all the time, which made me feel obligated to eat more avocado so I can pretend to be healthy. Let’s face it. Running a restaurant is basically a holding area for heart attack victims.
  • Locating the perfect Mint Julep Cup. So important, you guys. So important.
  • Shopping for the perfect stick to skewer pickles. Softball tournament on Sunday. Nothing says ballpark like a pickle on a stick.

Seeing as it turns out I have no creative energy left in my short little self, and we have a 350 person charity event in like 5 hours from now, how about you just read some other post I wrote a really long time ago.

a conversation with the coolest girl i know.

2 Dec

Once upon a time, like three weeks ago, I didn’t know anything about beer except that I like pretty bottles, and I prefer Bud Light when I’m at like a house party (those are really common for working moms these days, seriously, we throw keggers like as soon as the kids are in dreamland). My beer selection at the restaurant totally blew, and then one day I woke up and had a mirror conversations that went something like this:

Me: Ugh, I have so much to do today, such as catch up on the pile of paperwork that is teetering off my desk. Babygirl just started calling me by my first name, I was thinking of trying to retrain her, but first I have to take her to gymnastics class and chase her around for an hour. I wish I had something to distract me from the chaos in every square inch of my life!

Me: Oh really? I have something perfect for you! Why don’t you serve craft beers at the restaurant?

Me: Craft beers? What are those?

Me: I seriously have no idea, but there are a lot of them in Brooklyn.

Me: Brooklyn seems pretty entertaining. I love mason jars!

Me: Totally!

Me: I also love skinny jeans in all different colors and textures!

Me: Having craft beers would involve things like drinking all day, and figuring out what the fuck it means to be extra special bitter instead of just regular bitter. It would attract both hipsters and faux-hipsters and avant garde performance artists who live in the back seat of their SUV even though they’re also investment bankers on the side.

Me: Cool! Would it also mean that I would get to spend every single night prowling beeradvocate.com? Acting like I know what I’m looking for? And then talking to customers as though I have even the most remote bit of credibility? And they’ll believe me and spend $8 on a beer???? And maybe I’ll never ever ever sleep again because all I’ll do is google beer things and figure out how to be a cool beer person?

Me: Totes!

Me: This shirt is not your color.

Me: Thanks, bitch.

The end.

suck it, wine. there’s a new bottle in town.

28 Nov

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is that I fucking hate wine.

For like however many years, I’ve been acting like I give a shit about the wine list, but the truth is, I really truly honestly completely don’t. There’s like a mute button on the remote control of my life, and, like clockwork, it immediately detonates anytime vino comes up in the convo. For instance, the chick who sells the wine for the liquor company. She comes in and talks to me about blah blah blah barrel aged blah blah dry blah blah blah. And she pours me a sample and  my response is always “I’m pregnant” and then she lays off and rubs my belly which is in actuality just filled with iced tea and Today’s Soup. I feel sorta bad for restaurant people in my boat who don’t have ovaries and various other necessary reproductive organs, and therefore have absolutely no excuse as to why they can’t drink stupid wine.

The reasons wine totally blows are sort of endless. Some highlights:

  • Wine is not refreshing. Nobody* says “Ooh, that shit is spicy! Let me wash it down with a lukewarm glass of water!”
  • Wine is high maintenance. You need to let it breathe. You can’t leave it too long or you need to throw it out. You need to constantly check its legs. It is positively far more difficult to drink a bottle of wine than it is to raise a 2-year-old.
  • Wine bottles are really big. That’s like a serious commitment. Beer is like a few sips and onto a different one. Iced tea is free refills. Wine? It’s like Chinese takeout – no matter how much you have, there’s still a bunch left. The only time that changes is after you’ve finished the first bottle and then it just goes down way too fast and you do silly things like strip karaoke to “Don’t Stop Believin'” at a gay bar or drunk dial your mom to thank her for “just everything” while sobbing like a bipolar madwoman. Or madman.
  • I burned my taste buds on a hot piece of Toaster Strudel when I was in high school and it destroyed my ability to tell the difference between a cabernet and a merlot. It’s a sore subject and I really don’t want to talk about it, ok? Just lay off.
  • There is no way to taste wine without either looking like or feeling like a total schmucko. I naturally feel and look like a schmucko on the regular without any involvement with fermented fruit, so why participate in more awkwardness?
  • No matter how much you know about wine, you don’t know anything about wine.
  • I would rather pay my mortgage than drink wine. If we could all take an honest vote, how many of us can truly (stop lying to yourself, yo) tell the difference between a $42 bottle and a $15,000 bottle. Oh don’t go acting all high and mighty, you’re just saying you can because nobody is testing you. Watch your back, I may just call your bluff.
  • Have you ever gotten lost and somehow ended up by the vines on an Italian vineyard and stolen a few bunches of grapes for a yummy afternoon snack? That shit is nasty. Unlike my cougar mom, grapes simply do not improve with age.

In other words, I switched to beer.

More on that another time, though. (Like maybe tomorrow or something)

Don’t get the wrong idea. There are lots of things other than wine that I hate about the restaurant business. :

  • Mussels.
  • Grammatical errors on menus.
  • Servers with dirty aprons.
  • Customers who get physically abusive upon learning that we don’t have matches. We’re not a 1950s catering hall, ok?
  • Missing the Green Day concert at Giants Stadium because there was a big reservation and I felt guilty about leaving the place understaffed.
  • Ugly people who sexually harass you.
  • Cold garnish on a hot dish.
  • Drinks made with Blue Curacao.
  • Cilantro.
  • Anonymous Yelp! reviews from disgruntled douches.
  • People who try to stick their empty pack of cigarettes in the slot on the ashtray that’s clearly meant only for cigarette butts and maybe a peppermint wrapper.
  • No-shows on parties larger than 6.
  • People in general.

In conclusion, if we go out to dinner please don’t ask me my opinion on the bottle of wine we’re all sharing, because I probably hate it and have absolutely nothing intelligent to contribute to our conversation. Unless it’s Manischewitz on the rocks and it’s Hannukah or Passover or frankly just a Tuesday, ’cause that is one YUMMY GLASS O’ WINE.

*Note: Some people in Europe may prefer lukewarm water to ice water, but that’s just because there’s no ice in Europe.

underage drinking in your hometown during the holidays for dummies.

19 Nov

Aaahh the holiday season is upon us!

You never really remember how quickly it hits. One minute you’re milking a pair of flip flops and totally excited to maybe keep a thing of mums alive for more than a week. Then, in the blink of an eye, you’re trick-or-treating in a blizzard and are literally incapable of making a purchase in a store without waiting 35 minutes.

The arrival of Christmastime is marked most notably by the return of the sweatpant-clad college set. We in the restaurant business devote a lot of time to complaining about little brats and high school kids, and then suddenly a bunch of punk 20-year-olds roll into town to put it all in perspective.

  1. We know you’re not from New Jersey, so please put your fake ID away and stick with the Root Beer. We also know you’re not from Michigan, California, South Dakota and New Mexico. Know how we’ve figured that out? Because NOBODY COMES TO LONG ISLAND FOR THANKSGIVING UNLESS THEIR MOM MAKES THEM.
  2. When we mention Amateur Night, we are specifically referring to you. If you are from New Mexico, Michigan, California or South Dakota, please don’t eat at my restaurant on Thanksgiving Eve. Unless you’re one of those dorky groups of friends who’s yet to “break out of their shell” and then I love you and your sober asses. You’re adorbs and I’m super glad you came down to play Trivia Night.
  3. College isn’t real. It feels totally real. I know. I was there. I still bleed Orange. I lived in a house where I paid a staggering $600 a semester, and I was stoned morning, noon and night on awesome weed that my friends’ parents had essentially purchased for them. (I’m really well behaved and spent all of my parents’ money at CVS.) But when you’re at school, you’re really in some sort of idyllic microcosm of life where a basketball game is considered a holiday. So please remember that while you’re amongst us regular people, you are required to follow our regular people rules. Like tipping your server, and ordering more than a diet coke and side of fried pickles as your meal.
  4. It is not mandatory to play air guitar to every classic rock song. We are all very proud of you for knowing an Eric Clapton song. But you don’t have to prove it. Because really? You look really really really silly when you and all of your friends have your eyes closed and are rocking out on your invisible instruments in unison when Layla plays at my bar.
  5. Put your phone down for like 30 seconds and have a conversation with your parents. For 9 months out of the year, all I listen to is your mom telling me how proud she is that you’re double majoring in Communications and Poli Sci. Your dad tells me that you’ve “figured out how to balance getting good grades with studying abroad in Amsterdam.” Please don’t make them look like fools, believe me, they already do enough douchey stuff the rest of the time for that to happen.
  6. Sweatpants are pajamas. Also, Uggs are slippers. And when did this whole don’t-bend-your-hat-brim thing start, because I fuckin’ hate it. Dress like a grownup, because you never know if the owner of the restaurant you’re eating in is looking to hire an intern for her weed bakery business, but only wants someone who will dress business casual. It is a very very serious operation. If you don’t want to dress like a grownup when you’re popping by for a burger, that’s fine. But at the very least GET DRESSED!
  7. My restaurant is owned by old people. And that old people is me. Right? Like, I’m such an old fart! When did this HAPPEN??? Like, I’m bitching about wearing UGGS when they are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE FOOT COVERING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD EXCEPT FOR THESE BAMBOO SOCKS I HAVE!!!! I don’t get it, I used to be so fucking cool (You know, after I came out of my shell).  Really I’m just jealous. Not about the air guitar thing though. That’s just lame.

Anyway, so the college kids have landed. The holidays are here. And in case I had instantly forgotten about The Arrival, as a final reminder, tonight I stepped in a lone pile of vomit on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.

Thanks, college friends. Merry Christmas.

how to score a perfect rim job and also i was abducted tonight at the gas station.

6 Sep

One of the most difficult decisions a restaurant owner is faced with making is how to get the cinnamon sugar to adhere to the rim of a pint glass when pumpkin beer season rolls around. For me, today was this such event, and I spent no less than 80% of my time at work establishing the perfect sugar-to-cinnamon ratio, and then toying with maple syrup and lemon juice options in order to make it stick effectively. Oddly enough, the I came to the conclusion that the best adhesive is simply the frost on an icy glass, and thus destroyed hours of rim testing and beer drinking. I was so wasted by the late afternoon that I completely forgot to tell all of my servers that we had actually tapped the beer, yet got extremely angry at them when they didn’t sell it. “What the fuck? We need to sell the fucking pumpkin beer!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, spilling some of my brew on a waiter’s apron. “Get your fucking apron away from my spillage, bitch!” I apparently get angry when I’m fictionally drunk. The moral of the story is, my rim job is the best in town and tomorrow I’m going to show my bartenders how it’s done right.

Lately all I want to write is complete lies. Actually, since I’m a famous writer now, I get to call it something else.

Lately, all I want to write is fiction. For instance, tonight I went to the gas station to put some air in my tire (hey, did you know that Hess give you free air, which is like so very ironic, but anyway that makes them the best gas station in the history of the world but I’m also taking the truck into consideration so they sort of had a leg up on the competition to begin with). And I was bending over to attach the little hose to the thingy on the tire (very car savvy) and singing the rest of a country song that had been on in the car and when I stood up, there was this scary dude who’s race I won’t reveal because I don’t want to be politically incorrect and pigeonhole any nationality into being a bad guy but I will say that he wasn’t Asian and he was like “Nice tits*” and I was like “It’s a Saturday bra.” And he tried to grab me and pull me into the back of his 4 door Wrangler but I kicked him in the testicles and made him fall over and then I jumped into my passenger side, locked the door, climbed over the seat and ran him over.

Fine, it didn’t happen exactly like that, but the corner of the gas station where I was filling my tire was like really dark and that’s the sort of thing that could legitimately happen to an innocent amazing girl like me. The ironic thing, had I been abducted by the non-Asian would have been that Harry was a mere 100 feet away because the gas station is right next to the restaurant and you can even look over the fence from the dark air corner and see all the chimney-waiters chilling in the back.

Tomorrow since I was way too intoxicated to do it today, I’m going to decorate my tap handle with one of those little pumpkins from the craft store so everyone will know what it is. My favorite thing about the craft store is that since school started today, it’s officially time to start selling Christmas decorations. Which reminds me that it’s time to start seriously considering how I’ll be dressing my kids up for Halloween. My babygirl is only 2 so it’s a little soon to make her a slutty angel. And last year I made them be Pebbles and BamBam so my stepkid was that boy at the school Halloween parade wearing a skirt. This year I’m leaning towards my babygirl being a Jazzercise instructor and my stepkid being The Dude from the Big Lebowski because I’ve got this bowling bag laying around. But I’ve got at least 36 hours to decide, so we’ll see.