Archive | the future is now. RSS feed for this section

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.

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 reflection on the most unfortunate of days….

15 Dec

I’ve been typing first sentence of my entry tonight for the past 2 hours, but the fact is, there aren’t any words. I hate cliches, but honestly, where do you start?

There’s just no way to summarize this horrible day that we all experienced, each in our own way.

Tonight, in the same party room where I celebrated my daughter’s baby naming, my father’s 60th birthday and my own personal milestone of growing the business on my terms, I had to sit down with my sweet 9-year-old stepson and explain to him that a man shot and killed children in an elementary school. And I had to watch his eyes fill with tears when he asked me how many kids died. And I had to hold his hands with the dirtiest fingernails I’ve ever seen, and I had to convince him that we will keep him safe and sound in this world drenched in horror and tears.

I think there’s enough commentary on what occurred all over the place. It’s unthinkable, and it makes you question the existence of monsters and God and destiny and hope in a way that nobody should ever have to. I don’t want to write about it because I can’t write about it, I’m just really really sad. But I do have one strong opinion:

Don’t ignore warning signs. Don’t make excuses for disturbing behavior. Seek help if your child is depressed or unsettled or displaying unusual social behaviors.

We (almost) all try to be good parents to our children. We try to create improved versions of ourselves, and as a result, we often turn on blinders. We overlook realities because we’ll have failed ourselves and our children. Maybe we’re ashamed or overwhelmed or lazy or angry but for whatever reason, a lot of children are slipping away.

There is nothing wrong with mental illness. There is EVERYTHING wrong with not dealing with it properly. 

And one more thing. Teach your children the value of a life. Make sure they understand COMPLETELY that lives are treasures. Don’t take it for granted they can figure this out on their own. SAY IT OUT LOUD. 

Anyway I made a mix. I just feel like what else can I do? It helped me to put it together, and it will help me to play it tomorrow in the car with the kids. Here you go. I don’t know, maybe a little peace for your brain.

Go hug someone. I guess you can come hug me, especially if you’re adorable. But don’t get all pissy if Harry yells at you, I really don’t know what you expect….

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.

how to survive 9 days running a restaurant in a powerless town full of complaining jews and other people.

7 Nov

Last night some friends came in for dinner and, upon observance, accused me of not once cracking a smile the entire time they were there. It’s true. I’m smiling minimally these days. Don’t get me wrong. Business is booming and I have power and my family is safe and life is special and whatever. I’m grateful for these things. But the fact is, I deal with the public.

And the public has reached the 22nd Hour.

Each September, Jews everywhere observe the holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During this time, we fast for 24 hours in order to be forgiven for the sins we have committed during the year such as driving on the Sabbath, coveting our neighbors’ wives and eating cheeseburgers. Out of the 24 hours, at least ten are spent complaining about thirst, hunger, stinky breath and supreme desire for bagels & lox. The final 2 hours turn most every Atoning Jew into a miserable, nearly unrecognizable hunger beast. By the 22nd Hour, everyone’s just a fuckin’ asshole to each other.

That’s pretty much where we’re at in the spectrum of this whole hurricane thing. The 22nd hour.

Since the stop lights went out on Broadway, (and Jericho Turnpike, Main Street and whatever woodsy street your house is on, just kidding not you because if you live on a woodsy street you are sitting in the dark inside of it and do not have a phone charger with which to power up this post) drivers have developed an inability to: change lanes, participate in an all-way stop sign, navigate around a roadblock (ie. downed wire, parked car, fallen tree, pooping dog). There is also some sort of lack of brain power when it comes to lining up for gas. I have literally resorted to directing traffic. 

You + Active Driveway = Leave a space.

That’s how it should be.

Not Me + You blocking my driveway + Pouring Rain = Me standing in the falling slush letting you know that there are 15 feet between you and the person in front of you so can you please move the fuck up.

A local (hottie) cop came in last night to pick up some dinner, and when I asked him to arrest me so I can finally get some peace and quiet, he asked if I’d kindly do the same to him. “Ummm, yeah, for sure, no problem. A.N.Y.T.I.M.E.,” I winked. (Don’t worry, Harry knows I’m totally not just kidding. Just kidding.) He said that he keeps getting calls to people’s houses so that they can complain that their dogs are cold from the lack of power, and that he has broken up more fights at the gas station in the past 3 days than he ever has in all the local crack bars. I gave him a big hug and we held hands and I told him it will all get better soon, and we stared into each other’s eyes and… oh shit, that’s for the other blog.

Anyway, it breaks my heart that I can now determine whether or not someone has power within the first 30 seconds of them entering the building. Telltale signs:

1. They have eaten at the restaurant 3 nights in a row. The second they walk back in for a 4peat, I know they’re still in the dark.

2. No mascara. (This typically is only used for judging women, but there is the occasional man who’s looking a little puffy around the eyes)

3. Greasy ponytail. I have known some of these bitches for years, and never seen their anything less than perfectly blown out. So once that ponytail swings in, I know.

4. They enter in a single file line. Families are no longer united. They hate each other. The parents hate the kids because they’re annoying and keep staying with friends and it’s not fair. The kids hate the parents for being too cheap and disorganized to check into a hotel til the lights come back.

5. Beeline for an outlet. The obsession with technology is merely repressed, it isn’t going to dissipate with a setback like no electricity. The lack of power to iPhones is literally destroying lives. Like literally.

6. Wearing an inordinate amount of jackets. Last night there was a guy wearing 2 pairs of jeans. Someone needs to buy him some thermals, he seemed really stiff and uncomfortable.

7. They bring a board game, 2 dogs and a sleeping bag to dinner. Brings a whole new meaning to camping out at a table.

 

I’d like to dedicate this post to the following people who have changed me from a sort of negative gal to a full on bitch to everyone I encounter:

Guy with Fanny Pack and head tattoos. Sits at the bar talking to himself for 1 hour straight. Loudly. In his fanny pack, he pulls a back scratcher out Mary Poppins-style and begins to rub himself down. FROM TOE TO HEAD. Harry makes me leave the vicinity because a) EW and b) he’s trying to look down my shirt. DOUBLE EW.

Old lady who can’t stand for long periods of time and should therefore sit at a table before the other 75 people waiting. I directed her to a cushy bench by the host stand, brought her some coffee and make her wait like the rest of the pions. Just like the gas line, nobody in this place is cutting the damn soup line.

Couple who wants free shit during a time that I’d really like to direct my free shit towards those who legitimately need it.  We often run a dinner special on Tuesday wherein you get a free soup or salad, but it’s off this week because we’re offering something different. Not ok with them. When I offered to make a donation directly to the Red Cross for the difference in price, they told me that all they wanted was free soup and that they shouldn’t have to donate money if they don’t want to. “Oh,” I managed squeak out. “OK. You only care about yourselves. No problem. I’ll bring you soup.” They nodded and on the way out, applauded me for “doing the right thing.” Karma’s a bitch, medium old people.

Snobbish Douchebag wearing Argyle. “It’s very rude to bring someone a check in front of their other guests,” he tells me, looking down on me even though I’m standing and he’s sitting. Meanwhile, 4 feet away, I am trying to accommodate a restaurant full of people and help bus tables because it’s Monday night and we’re doing Saturday business. He shorts me by 38 cents because “he doesn’t have change and he doesn’t think he should have to round up.” You keep on with your awesome self, my friend.

Family who thinks the restaurant is housing their own personal thermostat. A table is cold when they get inside. So I make it warmer. Then there’s hot air blasting on them. Then there’s a light shining on them. Then it’s too dark to read the menu. Then one person needs hot water with lemon. Then another person needs hot water with extra extra lemon. Then the first person needs cold water. Then they put their coats on the table next to them, even though we clearly need to use it. Then they put their coats back on because they’re cold again.

Table that won’t leave. I get it, it’s cold at your house. But I have 20 guys from Alabama wearing orange vests and hardhats who are waiting to sit down and eat steaks and french onion soups, and you’re sitting smack dab in the middle of a row of empty tables. I understand that your second cousin put the wrong kind of gas in his generator, but we need to save these thrilling stories for another day. I’ve got mouths to feed.  And you already got yours.

Guess what. I just smiled! I’m sitting in Starbucks and a random dude just took it upon himself to carry a very large flag inside that was about to blow away in the wind. He was just being a nice guy. Humanity is saved! All is right in the world!

So even though I stepped in dog shit this morning and the wifi doesn’t work up in this joint and it’s FUCKING SNOWING, I still think it’s gonna be a good day.

HOLY SHIT.

5 Nov

That’s all I can say. Holy shit. Right? Like what the fuck? Did this week just exist?  Where are we on the spectrum of this subsiding a little bit, because I’m so just exhausted/overhwelmed/heightened/dfgohajsldfkjsfogasldkfj that all I want to do put on some Uggs and go to an Islanders game and have a beer and then go home and go to sleep and have my cat Kitty sleep by my feet. Does tomorrow start feeling a little normal again?

I am lucky. Nothing was destroyed. Nobody was hurt. I didn’t miss any prime time shows or DVR recording. Starbucks opened relatively quickly and they weren’t out of my favorite drink. I have power and I don’t need to submit any insurance claims. I am lucky.

But that in no way means I can’t complain.

I feel like I haven’t written in like a week! Because I haven’t! Wanna know why? Cuz I’ve been too busy dealing with all you cold, hungry,cranky,  gas-zombified powerless peeps. You have kept my restaurant so crowded with your sitting-forever-because-the-house-is-so-fuckin-cold-so-you-cause-a-3-hour-wait antics that we ran out of all the food 4 nights in a row.

So since you’re SOOOO CURIOUS ABOUT MY TOTALLY SUPER EXITING LIFE, here’s a little rundown:

Pre-hurricane Day: Harry and I decide that our getaway to Shelter Island for the night ain’t a great idea. We are devastated, because we were really looking forward to hitting up one of those super scary haunted houses out east even though I’m totally too much of a chicken to go inside. As I have never shopped for hurricane supplies, I prepare most interestingly for the storm, and I spend more at the grocery store than I have ever spent in my entire life except when I did Hanukkah at my apartment when I lived in the city and insisted on purchasing the entire cold cut meal at Zabar’s (I left Harry to order at the deli counter so I could “fill-in” and he got a pound of Genoa salami and that’s how he became the laughingstock of my family for not knowing about Hebrew National. Talk to him about it sometime). I spend my money mainly on multiple varieties of ramen noodles, off-brand peanut butter, Milano cookies (hid that shit) and a case of shelf stable milk. I justify this ridiculous purchase by reminding myself that $15 of that was cat food so it really wasn’t all that much. I conclude my night by refereeing a sword fight between my 9-year-old Stepkid and my 2-year-old naked Babygirl. Cabin Fever begins to set in.

Hurricane: My day consists of watercoloring with my Babygirl while Harry and my stepkid nap, putting purple and navy glitter on a dozen masks while my babygirl and Harry and my stepkid nap, and watching Mary Poppins 3 times while Harry and my stepkid nap. We lose power for 2 hours, but Harry is napping so he misses that. Harry kindly wakes up and cooks dinner for me, the kids and Ryan The Work Husband. Harry tells me he’s going to take a drive to check out the waves. I tie him to a chair. I also notice that the severed hand we had hanging from the shingles has blown away in the storm.

First Day After Hurricane: The hand surfaces on the lawn next door. We’re all pretty psyched. Harry wants to take a family drive, because the winds have died down to 50 MPH. We go check out the restaurants. The lights are out at my restaurant but on at the other restaurant so Harry drops us back home and goes to work, leaving me inside with the kids for the 3rd day in a row. Even though there’s power, I am still not doing well. I’m going deaf, covered in fucking glitter and all the Play Dough in the house is now one big glob of purplish-brown. It is not yet Halloween so I have no Fun Size candy bars with which to drown my misery. No offense, kids. I spend naptime glittering more masks, not even sure if the Bat Mitzvah will go on because the kid will only have a party if there’s a T-Shirt airbrusher, and the airbursher needs a functioning outlet for sure.

Halloween: Still no power. Harry goes to work, leaving me with the kids one more jolly time. Today we make sculptures out of all the unused candles I bought, eat Cup O’Noodles with our fingers, (“Because that’s the right way. It only burns for a few minutes.”) and go to Chili’s for a surprisingly delicious lunch. (That is the last nice thing you will most likely ever hear me say about Chili’s, although I think I like the nachos.) He comes back in time to go trick or treating with the kids even though I believe Halloween might have been cancelled. I can no longer take being home. I try to convince Harry to allow me to open the bar and sell warm beers and “European style” room temperature vodka cranberries by candlelight. I will throw an impromptu Halloween bash. He calls a babysitter and instead we go to Dave and Busters to play Trivia with Ryan. I’m totally the 3rd wheel. Also I’m not dressed like a prostitute. What an odd Halloween…

Day After Halloween (we’ll still refer to it that way even though it was called off or whatever): Pre Bat Mitzvah day. I spend the entire day with a hot glue gun in one hand and a waitress pad in the other. We have sporadic business as a result of our next door neighbors being a Hess station. I walk over to try and bribe the Traffic Director Hess dude with a cheeseburger or a steak. He obliges. I get gas with no wait. I think I’m the luckiest gal ever until I get a phone call from the T-Shirt Airbrusher. She can’t get gas, she can’t get to the party. I panic. I beg. I hold my breath. I sell Hurricane shots for charity. The restaurant is so crowded that I have blocked it from my memory permanently, but I believe there were 4 different families who brought a deck of cards to play while they took up my tables for 4 hours at a time. It was endearing (also, LEAVE ALREADY!). I feel like I haven’t hot glued enough and that I’m going to fail at being a world-class Bat Mitzvah Planner. I leave the restaurant at 1am after erecting the Bat Mitzvah girl’s name in an arch made of 3 foot gold balloons. Harry and I devour an entire (fresh and AMAZING) pizza from Little Vincent’s.

Bat Mitzvah Day: Spotify recommends that I listen to Christmas music so I spend an hour listening to Fiddler on the Roof instead, just to fuck with it. 15 minutes before the party begins, there is a car accident right in front of our parking lot, courtesy of the Hess line. I maintain my composure, even though I haven’t yet taken a Xanax, but I do nearly get in a fist fight with a 250 pound thuggish guy. I yell at him that he is ruining a little girl’s Bat Mitzvah and she doesn’t get this day again. Ryan walks in the middle of the 5 lane road to direct very handsome. My skirt doesn’t have pockets so I don’t have my phone on my to take a photo. It’s fucked up that men’s clothing all has pockets. The police spend the afternoon in our parking lot. Lovely. Airbrush chick shows. So does the hot dog cart, photo booth and VJ (oh yeah, fancy shit). The party goes off without a hitch, except for the fact that most of the guests didn’t have enough gas to get to the party, and that I forgot to order a challah so they did the prayer over a loaf of sourdough bread instead. Also the DJ plays an uncensored version of Grease Lightning, during which John Travolta screams “Well you know that ain’t no shit/I’ll be getting lots of tit.” And Gangnam Style, which is right about when the 10-year-old sister learns how to air-hump an imaginary horsey. Bat Mitzvah night arrives and I spend the night wrapping all of my regular customers in wool blankets and rubbing their shoulders.

Today: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! – I just love wearing opaque tights and inappropriately short skirts! I want to go shopping in the kids department but  there’s simply no time! I can’t walk in my office without stepping on a pack of peacock feathers or leaving a footprint of glitter. My pile of things to do has reached the ceiling but it doesn’t matter because the today is the first day of Long Island Restaurant Week (total ploy brought on by one very smart PR company, but we’ll discuss that another night…) and I have to design and print the menu, and also program the computer, which takes a day or two generally speaking. pen my Party Room as a warming/football/charging/wifi station. I offer free candy (Bat Mitzvah leftovers, so naturally it’s all blue and purple) and coffee. One person comes and she works for me. Still counts, I’m a hero.

Tonight, worst part of the whole week: I ask the guys to just make me some sweet potato fries just as the kitchen is closing. I fantasize about throwing some ketchup in the tin and snacking on them while I watch Homeland. Happiness. Pure, unadulterated happiness. But then an hour later I go to leave and THE FUCKING SWEET FRIES ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. I pout and throw a medium size temper tantrum. I have been wearing 4 inch boots for the past 4 days and I’m THISCLOSE to going home and getting into bed. But not without sweet fries. I remember that Wendy’s has them now. I go to Wendy’s. They don’t have sweet fries. I go to McDonalds. They don’t have sweet fries. I call my Work Husband for sympathy (Harry doesn’t realize the severity of these scenarios, so I have to stick with Ryan when it comes to caring). He tells me to go to Burger King. I go to Burger King. Burger King is closed.

The moral of the story is: You are so lucky I’m back to writing again!

On a serious note, the best contribution you can make to the Relief efforts right now is to donate blood. Many drives were cancelled as a result of the storm, and much blood was lost as well. My mom told me that my blood pressure is too high so my blood isn’t good enough for them, but you should ignore my mom and just do it. She’s just weird. Supplies, food, clothing and money are also being collected at a ton of locations all over the area. Best place I’ve found to look is your local Patch.com site.

And leave the lightest Ecological Footprint you possibly can. And stop beating people up in the gas line. And listen to country music. And don’t forget about the Pop-up on November 28th.

a jew walks into a bar…

25 Oct

So today I found out that one of my new waitresses is a Jew and it was like big, shiny, dreidel-shaped fireworks going off when we made the connection. Because something maybe you don’t know about the restaurant business is that it isn’t necessarily overflowing with Hannukahs. It’s mostly you Christmases with your Lent and your pasta and your admirable height and athletic prowess. Perhaps it’s due to the manual labor, or maybe the fact that it requires working on the Sabbath, but for whatever reason, we’re in short supply when it comes to strapping on an apron and dishing out burgers. And when we find each other it’s just magical. Nearly as magical as when you discover that your camp bunk mate is best friends with her brother’s intern in a game of Jewish Geography (vocab of the day: Jewish Geography is the game you play to see how many Jews you have in common. Like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but with the guy who asked you to the Purim Carnival instead of Tom Hanks). Now there are THREE JEWS AT WORK! It’s so very very very exciting. It’s nearly a minyan!

The reason that I knew she was Jewish is because she told my liquor rep that she looked familiar and asked if she had ever been a camp counselor.

Rule #1 for identifying a Jew (especially in this neck of the woods, not sure what it’s like in Michigan or whatever, where there are camps for Christian people and Mormons and shit): Camp. Not sports camp, just regular camp. There’s a serious difference and if you don’t know what it is, then you aren’t one of us.

Here are some other Tribal Traits:

  • We love love love rainbow cookies
  • We find many forms of fish (smoked, canned, gefilted, Swedish) both tasty and acceptable.
  • We have had at least one form of elective plastic surgery.
  • It is said what we do not enjoy giving blow jobs. I have figured out that this is most likely an urban legend. I wasn’t positive until today when a Tribal customer said the word “vagina” really really really loud, and if the prude Jewess ever existed, I assure you she’s long gone.
  • We don’t accept flowers whilst mourning a loved one, unless it is of t the Edible Arrangement variety. However, we much prefer rainbow cookies.

    My shiksa doppelgänger Nicole en route to a Shiva call. Thanks to me she has the perfect form of condolence! YUM!

  • We all play tennis or golf. Or got a Tiffany’s box for our Bat Mitzvah. Or all of the above.
  • We never wear the same outfit twice to temple. Or anywhere.
  • We all fear picking up a penny on the floor because we’ll be ridiculed for being “typical,” but we absolutely cannot resist a quarter.
  • We are all extra religious when it comes to leaving work early for holidays, buying new dresses for parties and eating at our mother-in-law’s house for a holiday.
  • We use the fact that we can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery as our reason for not getting inked, when in actuality we’re just really scared of pain.
  • We are all connected to Billy Joel in some way.

Interestingly, if I had used “they” instead of “we” on this list, you’d be totally accusing me of being a prejudiced whore (I threw in whore because I discussed oral sex and that’s not ladylike at all). Lucky for us I had a Bat Mitzvah so the same exact shit now comes off as educational.

Like seriously what’s the deal with this. Why is it that we can stereotype ourselves but not others??? My professor from college wrote this book or two or three and won some serious (Pulitzer Prize) acclaim. And it’s like basically just Spanglish and bitches. And it’s like, wait. Hold up, ese. I can totally write Spanglish and bitches! Where the fuck is my Pulitzer? Or at least where is like a paid advertiser on my blog? I asked a Spanish guy at the restaurant how much credibility I’d have writing a piece of fiction about a Guatemalan dude and you know what he said? NONE! Like, it’s fiction, Spanish guy! Am I not entitled to spout out stereotypes as though they’re complete truths even if I have pretty much no exposure to the private lives of Latinos except for Mexican Poker with the line cooks when I was in high school? Why do I have to stick with my people??? Have we not established that the highlight of our existence is colorful pastries and misshapen chunks of ground fish and ???? THAT IS BORING!

 A chick I know (FROM CAMP, HOW’S THAT FOR IRONY???) started writing this blog about her adventures around the boroughs wearing an afro wig and it’s catching a lot, like a LOT, of slack for being racist and [other mean words] and ignorant towards the deep cultural history of the fro, dating back to slavery. If she were a black chick (wait, do I really need to clarify that she’s white? I did just tell you that we went to camp together, did I not?) people would be singing her praises for talking about something REAL. But here’s someone thinking out of the box, and delving into someone else’s stereotypes for a change. Because honestly? Writing about the underworld of the New York Area Jew gets real old real fast (oh who are we kidding, it doesn’t get old because we’ve got botox for that). So kudos to you, Michelle Joni, for being bold enough to participate in some cliché other than bagels on visiting day.

Speaking of stereotypes, I miss Charlie so much. I have like no Asians in my life now except these random customers and some kid in my babygirl’s nursery school class who dresses way too well (no offense Chaz but he’s giving you a run for your money). And there’s this gay hole in my heart to boot! Now when hot guys come into the restaurant, I have nobody to talk to about it except Harry, and that gets like super awkward.

#fuckingobsessed #whenwillthehashtagsend? #drinkmybeerbeforeicry #xanax

25 Aug

Tonight’s post is going to have to be extremely brief because I’m totally distracted and like literally completely obsessed with getting Instagram followers for the restaurant and I’ve been working on this sentence for 3 hours. Damn you, interesting Facebook conversations, text messages, iMessages, iChats, movies starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, raspberry peach Briemere Farms pie, IMs, new hipster pizza places that I found on the internets, #Instafriends, #Instaphotos, #Instaenemies. I feel like my life has turned into one ginormous hashtag. I’ll never look at tic tac toe the same. Hashtagging is literally a huge component to the de-evolution of society. It feels like yesterday that we started shortening the word “you” when we wrote our away messages, and now we’re suddenly typing “#ESB” in some blank space on our phone to be consequently SLAMMED with realtime photos, videos and news about a shooting outside a building in a huge city, making this big world the size of an iPhone (or Android, if you’re a loser). #crazyhowthisworldischanginglikefasterthanyoucanreadthisblogpost

Also, I’m freaking out about the craft beers. I started the list tonight and sold a whopping ONE, (to one of my employees but it still totally counts) yet I’m so excited that you might mistake me for a Bat Mitzvah girl, not just a pretty restaurant owner. I did weird things with the beer like talk to people about hops and drink a bottle of stuff that didn’t taste like water. I organized the beer cooler and fondled each of the beautiful new bottles and read the labels and had an Instagram photo shoot. I spent so much time in the cooler that when I cut my hand open on a piece of glass and I had to leave it to get a BandAid, my glasses fogged up and I fell up the stairs.

I LOVE MY NEW BEERS.

But that’s where the panic starts to set in. What if nobody else does? What if I only have 20 #Instafollowers FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE??? What if people see the fancy beer and see the Corona and say “That’s nice, but I’ll just stick with the Corona.” What if that really happened tonight?

In this fit of anxiety is where I found myself frantically signing up for every online beer thingy that ever existed, namely some thing called beermenus.com where you input your whole selection and what size glass you’re using and whatever and they organize it for you and make you easy to find. And there’s even an app! Like, if you’re on an app, you’re golden. It makes you super fancy. And then someone Likes my link to the post and even though I know it’s my hostess using her phone in the bathroom, I still consider myself a smashing success and I give myself a promotion.

Just so you know, I’m going to be writing a new blog, sort of related to shelbytown except I’m going to be associating it with the restaurants so I can’t say things like about how much I fucking hate so many of my customers. (Just kidding! I only hate like a couple. And probably it isn’t you.) I’ll keep you posted, and if you want to read about boring things like recipes and interviews with bartenders, you can indulge. But don’t worry, I’ll still be writing about the sex lives of line cooks here.

#instaseeyalater