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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.

 

 

 

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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.

blind dates for crazy bitches.

30 Jan

A woman wearing sunglasses walks really really slowly into the restaurant tonight like fifteen minutes before closing. I’m like “Fuck, dude, why can’t you wasted people go to the druggie bar across the street? Why do you have to come to my classy establishment?” She inches towards me at the host station, and even though she’s wearing shades I swear she’s giving me the evil eye. Time stops. I realize that this is how I’m going to die. This woman is the mother of a waiter I fired yesterday – I thought he was a lose canon but it turns out it was his momma. Or maybe she had a bad meal and I didn’t buy her a dessert and she was pissed. Either way, she looks at me like she’s going to kill me.

Then I realize she’s blind, or something like it, considering I could’ve SWORN she got out of the driver’s side of the car.

“I’m here to meet a man who says he looks like Derek Jeter,” she tells me. I still think she’s going to strangle me, I don’t believe her. But Brittney my bartender directs me towards a lone non-Jetery man.

“Can you help me over? I can see a little, but it’s very very dark in here.” (It is not dark in here.) I hold her hand and lead her to the bar stool of a man who clearly does not have any clue that he is going on a date with a blind woman.

Why oh why did I not record the ensuing conversations? Why could I have not captured the glorious moment of the dude begging the woman to let him drive her someplace, because blind people should not be driving at night? Or the spectacular “feel-up” session in which she ran her hands up and down from his forehead to his knees for like five minutes? How could I have missed out on owning documentation of a man making choking death faces to my bartender while talking to the blind lady about her taste in music? WHY WAS I SO SELFISH TO NOT PROVIDE THIS FOOTAGE FOR YOU???

Because honestly? I was way too busy staring and sneaking into the kitchen with Brittney to piece together the mystery of the weirdest date ever ever ever. (Other than the one or two where couples went to third base whilst sitting at the bar. I’m not explaining third base, ask your teenager.) Because HOW DO YOU NOT MENTION THAT YOU’RE BLIND? IS THERE NOT A CHECK BOX FOR THAT SHIT ON THE DATING SITE??? How do you drink your wine every other day if you don’t have a blind (seeing) date to assist you in holding your glass? Why does your date have to feed you? What is going on right now???

After ordering a third glass of wine (this time “with a straw”)  and making more nasty faces at his date, the guy goes to pee, leaving Brit alone with the blind lady. Who proceeds to lift her sunglasses, look dead at Brittney and tell her that her date looks nothing like Derek Jeter.

Because the crazy bitch can see!

 

 

 

THE WOMAN FUCKING FAKED BLIND. “Because blind dates should be fun!” she said.

Then they ran off to have car sex in the parking lot and lived happily ever after.

I think it’s safe to say that match.com did an INCREDIBLE job matching up a couple of wack douchebags. Kudos to you, match.com!!! Thanks for the giggles!

 

i just got locked inside the restaurant with the motion detector on. nobody move a muscle.

27 Jan

Once upon a time I got to work in the morning with a huge ass to-do list and was so busy for the entire day that I not only got zero things done, but also added like 5 bullets to it. I’m not even talking about work-y tasks, I mean like normal human being stuff (brush hair, put on makeup, pee). This business is like the occupational version of ADHD – it is literally impossible to focus one one thing for more than a fleeting moment. Just when you think you’re gonna have some time to sit down and make a flyer for your “Afternoon Delight” Valentine’s Day special promotion, some bitch finds a hair in her salad that CLEARLY came out of her own head, but she wants a bunch of free shit to compensate for the resulting emotional trauma.

As a result of my inability to get shit done, I’ve decided to start outsourcing some of my roles here at the restaurant.

  • Customer Service. (Unless customer is providing accolades or awards and/or going to provide a decent blog subject for that evening)
  • Employee Relations. (Unless said employee bears any resemblance to Ryan Gosling, Jimmy Fallon, Jason Bateman, the guy who played Marius in the Les Mis movie, Freddie Mercury or Ellen Degeneres and said relations involve a “private meeting about a private matter”)
  • Peeing. (There’s just no time for that shiz, plus the sink in my bathroom is always so cold)
  • Flyers. (I get to choose all the fonts, which actually takes up the majority of my design time, so maybe nevermind on this one)
  • Internet stuff other than Facebook. (This includes Instagram, because I actually LIKE being in my photos every once in awhile. My boobs aren’t going to be like this for much longer, I need to get them some screen time. I’m specifically looking for somebody who can get me like 10,000 more Facebook likes in a week. Also I don’t want to spend any more than $150 total on this person.)
  • Blogging. (I’m not even kidding, please somebody write a fucking guest post so this place is actually interesting again. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be interesting. I just don’t want to take the time to write it)
  • Selling Parties. (I’m just feeling so over false enthusiasm for your fucking wife’s fucking 40th birthday and what fucking colors the fucking balloons should be.)

Since I’m going to have so much free time with all this outsourcing, I’m going to do really exciting things that I’ve been dying to do. Such as:

  • Drink more beer.
  • Wear mascara so I don’t look like I’ve been crying for the past hour, even though chances are that is actually the case.
  • Drink another beer.
  • Make a Pinterest board for the next 5 restaurants we plan to open, as well as our Hashbrown Harry’s food trailer we’re now planning on opening in Austin because it’s the best place ever and we’re totally moving there and I don’t care if you think I’m just bullshitting you plus I’m also getting a tattoo so whatever.
  • Make a seasonal menu, which I have literally been planning to do since late August but I swear it’s really coming.
  • Load photos on a digital picture frame, as well as the awesome flyers Mystery Flyer Man is creating for me.
  • Write a book.
  • Talk nonstop to people about beer, even the people who don’t give a shit.

That’s pretty much it. I just fell asleep on my keyboard, luckily the dishwasher woke me up to tell me he ADIOS. I was like ¡HOLY MIERDA! ¡AY DIOS MIO! ¿DONDE ESTAS MI BABYGIRL Y MI TOTALLY ANNOYING PERRO???? NO ME GUSTAN RESTAURANTES. HASTA MAÑANA.

 

The moral of the story is: If you want to be in the restaurant business you’re a turd.

memoirs of an invisible blogger.

15 Jan

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is that January is supposed to be a little bit calmer than December and I’m supposed to have time to do some writing, or perhaps parenting or movie watching or January bargain shopping or sleeping. Instead, life seems to have gotten more hectic. All I really want to do is send out the 4 thank you cards I wrote out for gifts I received over the holidays and see Silver Linings Playbook. Modest aspirations, one might think. But the thank you cards have gone missing, never to be seen again. And three extra hours simply do not exist, except at 9am when I drop my babygirl off at school, but the movie theater doesn’t open that early.

I’m not sitting here having a pity party for myself. The pity is really for you, because you don’t get to read my genius musings with any sort of regularity. It’s just not fair. Seriously, fuck these people who keep calling to book their communions! I have fans to produce semi-sensical works of blog for! Screw trying to build my craft beer empire! You are losing sleep over the lack of entertainment in your life!

Anyway, these are the following reasons that I don’t have time to become a world renowned blogger:

  • I became an activist. I really can’t explain this. Somehow I’m this like political person, even though I totally don’t know the difference between a republican and a democrat. It all started when I found out that thermal receipt paper contains a staggering amount of BPA (google it. This isn’t a science blog, ok?) and my mom and I (and the rest of my employees, and you and your whole families) handle the hell out of receipts on a daily basis. So I switched to BPA free paper at the restaurant so that my mom and I can die from some other cause and I told a local Breast Cancer activist and somehow we became the “sample” business when it got introduced at the legislature and I had to go speak in front of these elected people even though I was dressed totally inappropriately and blah blah de blah, now thermal receipt paper is banned by law in Suffolk County.
  • I consequently became a movie star. Exaggeration? Um, yea, obviously. But I was on the news on 3 different channels so I think that counts. First the CW came to the house, giving us only about 15 minutes to prepare (Harry “cleaned the kitchen” by dumping any loose object in the trunk of his car, and I changed out of my pajamas and into a maternity shirt because it made me feel less nervous). Then a couple days later, they decide to sign the bill at the restaurant, and also decide that I’m to sit at the table with the politicians, and then, what the hell, they decide that I should say something. Which shows up on Fox and News 12. And now I’m a household name practically everywhere, and hopefully before that ever happens again I will have more than 1 day’s notice so I can lose 28 pounds or so.

outcast me, accopanied by handsome legislator and other people.

 

  • I got fired. It totally sucked. You see, sometimes in life you say stupid shit, and occasionally it’s during a family business meeting about opening a new restaurant and your father fires you. Next time I get fired, I hope it’s from both locations. Because I’m in way over my head, and nobody seems to be recognizing this fact. Like, hello, I have absolutely no business running a restaurant. I really just want to hang out with my babygirl all day doing puzzles and teaching her how to spell her name. I’m a socially awkward film major hippie who is like shorter than most of the kids who order off the kid’s menu. I didn’t even brush my hair today. Like not once. I tried at the end of the night, but it was too far gone. It’s one giant dreadlock. So really getting fired made sense. Unfortunately I think I was rehired. I was so looking forward to puzzles. 
  • I caused my father to go deaf. It’s one of those moments that “I meant well” really means nothing, because your dad can’t hear you say it. I got him tickets to see Queen (except that Freddie Mercury is deceased, which should have been the first indication that this was a bad idea) for Hanukkah because I’m like the best daughter and so so so cool. After purchasing 2 tickets that were on exact opposite sides of the venue from one another, we endured the most horrific cover band ever. During the intermission (fancy pants shit right here) I told my dad “This is a very special concert for us to be at together because Queen is the band that made music such a big part of my life, and you’re the reason I started listening to them.” He didn’t hear me though, so he bought me another beer because I guess that’s what he thought I said. So that part was cool.
  • I threw a wedding. Ok, it was really just a big giant party that just so happened to be a total replica of my nuptials sans religious ceremony and first dance and porta potties and sweltering heat. If you were at the party, you’d have thunk that an actual professional planned it, not just some girl with a gift for creating inspired Pinterest boards and buying old farm equipment. You’d have thunk it was the sweetest combination of rustic and elegant. In fact, I may have to give up my day job and switch my career over to planning hardcore amazing parties in barns. Hopefully there is no BPA on craft paper or burlap, otherwise that would have to be a whole new legislative hurdle.

genius barn party planner.

  • I missed my first blog birthday. This is possibly the most devastating thing that’s ever happened in my entire life. I mean, I vowed to not give a fuck, I really did. But the fact is, writing on the regular is like the sort of thing that actual writers do. Like, as in writers who write professionally and publish things and call themselves writers and I did it! Still truckin’ even! (sort of) So really I missed out on a really good opportunity to publicly sing my own praises and have some sort of party with milkshakes and noisemakers and wear a sparkly dress (Restaurant people don’t participate in New Year’s Eve. We rely solely on bigtime parties where we are the guests of honor to break out sequins. It’s true.) and do showtune karaoke and eat the shelbytown cake that some of my biggest fans (of which there are at least one) baked for me, anything but red velvet because that shit is literally just food coloring.happy blogday to me.

 

  • I got eaten by a puppy. This is actually the real reason I can’t write anymore. As a result of literally being consumed by a lab pointer mix, I have resorted to writing this blog post in the dark hallway outside my bedroom door. There’s simply no place left for me to turn. 

adorbs puppy after he ate my leg.

In conclusion, thank you to Brad and Jen for the cell phone case. Thank you Susan for the platter. Thank you Mom and Dad for the Clarisonic, seriously my skin has never looked better other than all the stress breakouts I keep getting but that totally doesn’t count. Dad, sorry I’m an asshole and drag you to concerts. Next time I will give you ear plugs and a weed brownie, so it won’t be as bad. Mom, thank you for watching the Golden Globes with me after the concert. It’s the best having a mom as nocturnal as you. Thank you Harry for the trip to Texas that we are taking in less than a week. I am thoroughly looking forward to eating and drinking more than ever thought humanly possible, and also to not having my body parts ruptured by puppy teeth. Also thank you for the skateboard, you sure know how to keep a girl young.

heavy petting: secret to my success.

1 Jan

So lately at work, like for the past year or so, there’s been some heavy petting going on between Harry and Thing 2, one of my middle aged spinster party waitresses. I let it happen because I like to keep morale up in my joint, and what the hell do I care if some weird lady wants to pet my husband’s hair?

Oh wait, did you think I meant that he was like feeling her up or something? Yeah, no. She just really likes to run her fingers through his thick locks. And I’m like “Whatever, Thing 2. I’m just gonna sit here and watch you pet my man,” and she’s like “Oh man, Shelby. Thank you so much, it just makes me feel all hot and bothered” and me and Thing 1 just sit there rolling our eyes at them.

That’s the thing, you guys. You need to keep your employees happy. An upbeat work environment makes for a productive staff. Even if said employee is unhealthily obsessed with your spouse and it requires essentially pimping him (his hair, let’s not be dramatic) out.

This weekend Harry and I are catering our wedding for some other couple in a barn someplace on Long Island. An event like this requires a team stronger than titanium (and I need like sooo many Xanaxes and weed brownies) to run smoothly. Naturally, Things 1 & 2 are vital components to this team, because they know that I’m an anal bitch when it comes to certain party details (angle at which to place tables / level to which water glass should be filled / EXACT time candles must be lit) and that they should BACK THE FUCK OFF and just do whatever I say, and they always have a good stash of pot for the end of night. Knowing these facts, I remain content, which, in turn, keeps Thing 1 cucumber cool. Thing 2 is a different story. She gets a little snippy if I don’t let her fondle my husband, so that’s a concession that I make. Just for her.

It also keeps Harry feeling young and virile, like he’s some strapping pornstar celebrity chef. And in case you didn’t know this about the restaurant business, a cranky chef is a FUCKING DOUCHEBAG. Ask anyone who works with Harry. I mean, a chef. Not Harry, he’s like never cranky. Like ever.

Anyway, Charlie is also working the party. I got him to do it by telling him that I knew for sure that there are going to be some hot guys as guests. Charlie never turns down the chance to rip a heterosexual out of the closet, even if it’s only for a few hours. I’m paying him in bottles of vodka and condoms. There’s also a redhead working the party. But if I write about him he may lose his day job. So we’ll just call him Gregory and say that he would also like to be paid in vodka and condoms, but substitute the vodka for Charlie.

Do we know how to throw a party or what?????

Ya we do! We’re so good at throwing a party that I WROTE A HAIKU ABOUT IT!!!!!!

PARTY PARTY PARTY

Hire us for fun.

There may be weed in your apps.

Pigs in a blanket.

Also, this happened today. It is a clip of me being interviewed by the CW 5pm news about something really crunchy and professional. Which proves that you can be a hippie who wears inappropriate footwear to a legislative session and skateboards around her development on a custom neon pink Penny Board, and still occasionally appear to be somewhat of a responsible adult.

Disclaimer: I like never ever ever associate my blog with my actual restaurant, but due to extreme vanity and egomania, I am doing so this evening. Kindly do not sue me because suddenly you’re putting 2 + 2 together and you realize that I’ve been writing shit about you all along. Moreover, don’t be scared to bring your children to my restaurant just because I talk like a sailor and have a brain like a pervy fifteen-year-old boy. Thanks dudes.

if i could change anything about you it would be this:

30 Dec

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that I’m like thisclose to publishing 200 posts this year, and that’s like fucking amazing considering the last time I wrote on a regular basis was never. We sure have been through a lot together, not that I have any clue what it is because I’m way too busy to reflect on the writing I’ve done from like January through December 15th. But what I do know is that I’m terribly interesting to approximately 35 people, and just for those chosen geniuses, I vowed to get to the magic 200.

But vows are made to be broken, my friends, because there is no fucking way I’ve had enough time to do things like open my computer and type six sentences. Just hasn’t been in the cards.

For one thing I got a puppy. So most of my days are spent wiping up urine and washing my hands. I’d say a good 77%. This is my first foray into raising non-human babies (unless you count my new 8-line beer system, which I obviously do) so I had no idea that all puppies do is shit where you don’t want them to, pee where you don’t want them to, whine and eat your 2-year-old Babygirl. Alas, I have been preoccupied in the evening when I roll home from work, doing things like buying stock in Brawny and putting a second coat of Neosporin on my bite marks.

And I’ve actually been having to WORK at work, which is such bullshit. Place has been so busy that I had to call my mom and dad (aka The Big Guns) for a bailout a couple times, because I couldn’t handle the volume on my own. The funny thing about calling your dad for help when he hasn’t come to work in six years is that you still fight like it was yesterday. We didn’t even make it fifteen minutes before I was whining to Harry and my dad was bitching about me to my mom. Just like the good ole days! Except this time he quit and fired him.

So yeah. No 200 blogs. I know you’re really upset.

To make you feel better, I made a list of things I’d like you to stop doing in 2013.

  • Get off your phone at the dinner table. The only excuse you have to be on your phone is if you and your kids/boyfriend/waiter are arguing a fact and you desperately need to google something. Otherwise, put it in your pocket and have some real human interaction.  Whether it’s your fourteen-year-old sexting at the table, you playing Words with Friends under the table or your husband “checking work email,” give it a rest. You don’t get this time back. 
  • Stop being allergic to everything. It’s so annoying. Get an Epipen and eat those peanuts, friends!
  • Please please please don’t ask me to put something “regular” on tap. I have just spent the past 3 months completely immersed in the craft beer segment. And if I’ve learned nothing else, it is that Bud Light tastes like ass. So if I’m doing you the favor of turning you on to something that is actually worth your time and calories and money, do me the favor of shutting the fuck up about Amstel.
  • Don’t be a vegetarian. Life is too short not to eat a cheeseburger with sautéed onions and fries. Seriously get over it. 
  • Don’t tell me that you “used to be in the restaurant business” and that I’m “doing it wrong.” You just waited 45 minutes for a table on a Wednesday night. I think I’m doing it pretty right. 
  • DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT order a turkey burger or a cobb salad if you’re on a diet. I don’t have time to be a nutritionist, but Tuesday morning when you wake up with your big lose weight resolution, please don’t come by my place and order one of these items.
  • Seriously just get off your phone. If you make no other change this year, make it that. If you don’t know the color of your father’s/son’s/boyfriend’s/waiter’s/gorgeous restaurant owner’s eyes, then you’re sincerely missing out on the finer things in life. Such as life. 

In other news, my personal New Year’s resolutions are to hang out with Charlie more often and FINALLY get a tattoo. And get my dog to stop eating my kid.

a public service announcement to those of you who are interested in opening a restaurant (aka idiots).

19 Dec

Tonight on my way home from work I called my mom to ask her if she can babysit my kid on Thursday night because I have a party.

“Who’s party?”

“I don’t know. Some dude.”

“Oh, I thought you were invited to a party. I didn’t realize you meant for work.”

“No, mother. I was not invited to a party.”

“I got so excited!”

“Yeah, well sorry.”

“I didn’t mean to make you feel pathetic.”

“I don’t feel pathetic. In fact, I’m going to blog about how the only parties I ever attend are the ones I’m throwing for somebody else and that I’m seriously an awesome party planner.”

“Well maybe you shouldn’t write that. It really does make you look a little pathetic. Stop letting people think that you’re a bigger loser than you actually are.”

Um, no, Mother. I’m being pretty fuckin’ accurate. At some point in time, I went from being the life of the party (TOTAL EXAGGERATION) to the host of the party who doesn’t know anyone except the person who booked it, and they pretty much ignore me the whole time to do things like talk to their friends and drink all-they-can and sexually harass their employees. The holidays are a super busy time for me and Harry, so I get that people don’t want to make us feel bad for declining. That’s obviously why we don’t get invited to do anything festive. But they’re making a big mistake! We’re very valuable guests!!!!

The following is a list of reasons that we should definitely be invited to parties of people we actually are acquainted with:

  1. We never show up empty handed. And I’m not talking a cheap bottle of wine. Maybe we’ll bring a totes gorg fruit platter on a bamboo cutting board for your brunch. Or maybe even a 1 pound block of butter. Throwing a cocktail party? We’ll show up with hors d’ouerves for like 50 people, just because we’re that nice!
  2. I mix a mean martini. All this self-serve bar shit means that most of the drinks will have the incorrect balance of vodka to mixer. But helloooooo I’m like a bartender. I can make creative, seasonally appropriate, refreshing cocktails with simple ingredients you can find laying around the kitchen! I’m the MacGuyver of Holiday Booze! In addition to mixing a great drink, I also mix a great Spotify list. Just in case your boring lame-o Pandora station blows as much I’m assuming it does.
  3. I have compiled a VERY LONG list of potential hostess gifts that I am DYING to purchase. I literally don’t care who I buy one of those trendy aprons from Anthro for. You can be the lucky winner if you just send me a damn Paperless Post. And I bet you’d be super happy if some special guest of yours showed up with one of those Pop Phones that you secretly want but can’t think of any legit reason to purchase. Just sayingggggg…..
  4. I have an arsenal of interesting topics to discuss with fellow partygoers. For instance, the best food I ever ate in the parking lot after a Phish show / how I still mourn Amy Winehouse on the regular / my parents have a rat infestation / motor homes are the best / my brother got bullied at theater camp.
  5. I am an extremely entertaining drunk. It’s just that I never get the chance to prove it! Like, do you know HOW AMAZING I can sing karaoke? Neither do I!!! Because I never remember it the next day!!!!!!! But how the hell did I get that huge ass bruise on my wrist?????

In conclusion, if you open a restaurant, you will be a SLAVE to that restaurant, and you will never be invited to a party ever ever ever again unless your friend throws a party at your establishment, and then you will go from talking to him about business and shit like that to bumping in to him while you’re trying to carry a bus tub of dirty glassware into the kitchen and slipping and nearly dropping the whole lot of glasses attempting to keep your breast inside your shirt because you’re good friends but not that good. Not that this scenario happened to me tonight or anything…..

 

naughty (and nice, i guess) holiday party roundup.

12 Dec

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is Christmas Parties. (Oh, hey guys, remember Hanukkah? The holiday that it ACTUALLY IS right now? Can SOMEBODY bring a fuckin’ Secret Santa gift that’s wrapped in blue and silver paper for once??? Whatever, maybe next year. Anyway…)

drunk christmas

Right now we’re deep in the heart of party season. What this means for you is that you get to drink with your colleagues and eat a free meal. What it means for me and my staff is that if we could all crawl in some sort of hole and hide from all of you freaks, we definitely would.

No offense, but the holidays bring out the worst in you. Like, we get it. You’re stressed because your kid hates you but you still need to buy him a skateboard (Yo, did I mention I got a skateboard for Hanukkah? A pink one with green wheels? Because I’m a woman-child? And I’m going to break my face open and post gruesome photos of it? And it’s going to be so awesome?) But that’s no reason to be scroogey/too happy/wear terrible festive clothing/berate me because you drank 13 double Jack Honeys on the rocks and we ran out.

What you may not realize is that you don’t all suck in the same way. There are many, many different types of Holiday Parties! And with each party, a different Spotify list is necessary. Spotify lists are essential to the success of a holiday party, because at my particular establishment, we have carpet and so bosses have the perfect excuse to not pay a DJ, disappointing millions of horny secretaries who are sincerely looking forward to grinding on a doctor or partner or other secretary or whomever. Because the best part about the office holiday party is most definitely the one-night-only lift on the company sexual harassment policy. Gotta take advantage of that shit.

Merry Christmas Party Season to the following partiers:

1. Christmas Over-Enthusiasts. These bitches show up an hour and a half before the party starts to “accent” our holiday decorations with their own. Poinsettia leaves strewn across the tablecloths, cinnamon sticks in the water glasses, reindeer antlers hanging on the wall and a personalized rudolph nose for each guest. They play every classic holiday game there is, including an ugly sweater contest, “pack santa’s toybag” and other shit that nobody wants to participate in. PLAYLIST: 100% Classic Christmas, highlighted by the Mariah version of “All I Want For Christmas is You” and “The Hanukkah Song” and the ever horrible “Dominic the Donkey.” They sing along to nearly everything, except when they’re laughing-til-they-cry during the “Naughty or Nice gift exchange.”

2. Cheap Boss. This guy calls in a lunch reservation for 8 people so that he doesn’t need a party package, and throughout the month he needs to “add a couple folks” until the number has topped 40. He fancies up the non-private room with one bouquet of Trader Joe’s seasonally appropriate flowers and gifts his staff with leftover giveaways from the pharmaceutical rep. Half of his staff “goes to the bathroom” together and hits up the bar to take a bunch of shots, because he has decided that booze is not appropriate to celebrate the holidays. After party is back to work.     PLAYLIST: Fuck that, we’re listening to country music. If this isn’t technically a holiday party, then I can technically listen to my regular playlist, and sing at the top of my lungs to every other song.

3. Funeral. Someone needs to tell these people that they’re at a party. They are so dull that if we talk about how boring they are in the server station too loud, they will all hear us and start crying. They all wear festive clothing, which is all ugly. They sit down the second they get to the party, which makes for an awkward cocktail hour with passed hors d’ouerves.  After party is the next morning on Facebook, with elegantly posed photos of each attendee.     PLAYLIST: The Michael Buble Christmas album, followed by the Charlie Brown Christmas album by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, followed by a funeral death march performed by a local high school bagpipe band, with a finale of “River” by Joni Mitchell on repeat for the last hour.

4. Drunken Fools. The holidays are the ultimate time to attempt a sexual encounter with your boss and/or his wife, and there’s no better way to do this than to drink yourself silly. At some parties, this scenario is a sure thing. Except you can’t really fuck a boss who’s passed out in the corner, so there goes that theory. These party people decorate by coming early and taking shots at the bar. After party is at the strip club. After after party is at work the next day, where everyone is still drunk.     PLAYLIST: The Chris Brown Christmas Album, along with whatever else the DJ chooses. Your boss hired a DJ for this one, because he wants to show off his moves and he’s seriously hoping to get his wife laid tonight.

5. Teachers. Teacher parties fall into 2 categories, both of which involve karaoke. Both after parties are bed, there’s school to be taught tomorrow! Except for this one guy. It look’s like he’s gonna need a sub.

  • 5a. Drunk Teachers. Choose the cheapest food package possible. Complain about everything from the very first day of planning. Old teachers are the life of the party. Pay in singles.      PLAYLIST: Karaoke machine. Then the Chris Brown Christmas album.
  • 5b. Sober Teachers. Require more food than drunk teachers, but want to spend less money than them. Complain about nothing except how they don’t have enough food. Young teachers are the life of the party. Pay in singles.     PLAYLIST: Karaoke machine. Then the Michael Buble Christmas album.

6. Segregation City. This group is a mixed bag of blue collar and white collar workers. The sales department and the warehouse guys. The queen bees and the worker bees. People who hire cleaning ladies and people who are cleaning ladies as their second job. This is my preferential group, because it’s sort of like having two parties at one time and it makes me feel more accomplished. Like I brought together separate worlds with my pulled pork sliders. This party typically starts slow and ends with some crazy ass afterparty at the local Spanish bar.     PLAYLIST: Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano and Pitbull and Gloria Estefan and JLo.

7. Cool People. I’m not gonna lie and act like there’s more than one of these a year. It’s a needle in a christmas tree farm. These people drink enough to have a hefty liquor tab, but stay sober enough to not urinate on the party room floor. Everyone is dressed fantastically and many of the women wear amazing sparkly platforms that I try to steal. They smoke pot in the parking lot. We all get contact highs. They leave in a timely fashion and tip extra. The after party is a PJ party in someone’s basement apartment and everyone lays around watching Christmas Vacation until the sun comes up.     PLAYLIST: This.  Because I save cool playlists for cool people.

*Note: I am not exempt from this list, but I fall into sort of a hybrid category. My Christmas Party is a lovely combination of #6, #2, #4 and mostly #7 based specifically on my presence. Plus we obviously have a naughty or nice gift exchange.

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.