Tag Archives: jews

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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ode to my newborn. (a harried post.)

13 Jun

It was pointed out to me yesterday by a douchey reader/friend of mine that I’m being selfish by not documenting the intricacies and antics involved in opening a restaurant (as that’s what I’m doing today. You? Slacker..). 

But something really interesting about opening a restaurant is that by the time I get done with what I need to do for this opening… oh wait. I’m still not even close to done yet and we crack the doors in 7 hours. So, sorry dudes but you’ll just have to believe me that it requires a lot of the following:

  • arguing
  • crying
  • shopping for a good outfit
  • picking a nail polish color that’s “professional, yet me”
  • wiping up your kid and/or puppy’s urine off the floor because they’re protesting the 70 extra hours you’re putting in a week
  • drinking beer for research
  • convincing your husband to double park on the side of the LIE to pick up 3 kegs of superman beer that maybe MAYBE 1% of your customer base will give a shit about from the back of a truck
  • eating bagels at 2am because you forgot to have breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • being sad about how bloated you are because you keep eating bagels at 2am
  • writing a blog post instead of finishing the cocktail list, kid’s menu, bar menu, dessert menu and programming the computer for all of them
  • tweeting, or as I like to call it “how the fuck to I tweet?”
  • forgetting to make a google place page until just now so basically I’m using this post as a to-do list. 
  • wishing you had time to do the laundry so your spanx were clean (they make man spanx so this applies to all of you except skinny people and you don’t count anyway)
  • making all the cocktail recipes a few hours before you open and consequently being wasted by the time anyone gets there. 

If it weren’t for aforementioned reader/friend whose name I won’t mention until the end of this post, I’d have taken a few moments to relax with my ukulele instead of writing this, but I didn’t, and now I don’t feel centered and I’m going to be a drunk, uncentered business owner off the bat, and SERIOUSLY GOOD LUCK to anyone who shows his or her face tonight to “be supportive” because it will most likely in a violent bar fight involving me, my dad, and some seriously impressive looking beer bottles. 

You can thank Sandy. 

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.

epic battle: bar mitzvahs vs. communions.

20 May

Something really fun about May is that it’s Communion season. And it turns out that my restaurant is a pretty hot spot for these puppies. With all this talk of religious rites of passage, how can I resist comparing the Communion and everyone’s favorite Jewish party, the Bar Mitzvah:

  1. Balloons. At a Communion, seven minutes before the party starts, the host brings fifteen mylar balloons with either pink or blue crosses on them and they’re all knotted together because they’ve been sitting in her car for the past 4 days getting shoved around during carpool. At a Bar Mitzvah a professional balloon crew arrives three days before the event to erect a balloon ballroom in which to house the party. Guests enter through a balloon hallway and are handed a gold plated balloon which, when popped, sends a firework into the air above them in the shape of their table number.
  2. Centerpieces. At a Communion, the centerpiece is two or three of the cross balloons tied down on some sad looking pansies or one of those giant martini glasses filled with leftover Easter-colored m&ms. To make it a little more sexy, there are some pieces of cross confetti strewn about. At a Bar Mitzvah the centerpiece is constructed from rare orchids and three-dimensional recreations of the Bar Mitzvah boy’s favorite moments in Sports History.
  3. Favors. At a Communion, the favor is a Hershey’s bar with “Jennifer’s First Holy Communion” printed on a piece of paper and taped around the candy bar. Also you get a mint with a cross on it. At a Bar Mitzvah, the candy bar itself is imprinted with a 3-D rendering of each guest’s face. Every kid also receives a camp trunk filled with t-shirts, boxers, shot glasses and hoodies that say “I got leied at Samantha’s Hawaiian Bat Mitzvah Ultra Lounge.”
  4. Music. At a Communion, the music is carefully selected by the programmer at the radio station. Occasionally the hosts play their own (2nd generation) iPods, loaded with Frank Sinatra, Amy Grant and Hall & Oates. At a Bar Mitzvah the Cocktail Hour features both the Long Island Philharmonic and Selena Gomez. The reception is done by EJ the DJ (and their gaggle of pole dancers who “get the crowd pumped”) with a surprise appearance by The Foo Fighters (rockin’ the horah, obv.)
  5. Entertainment. At a Communion, kids are treated to those really awesome little foam thingies that you can stick on other pieces of bigger foam to make exciting shit like foam visors and foam door hangers. There’s occasionally a caricaturist. At a Bar Mitzvah, kids can enjoy a world-famous freak show followed by a one-night-only performance of Cirque du Soleil. Then they are whisked away to Chinatown for dim sum and brought back in a party bus before dessert. At that point they can choose between a reading of “50 Shades of Grey” by the author herself, or a 1 on 1 basketball game with Jeremy  Lin.
  6. Style. The Communion girl dresses like an innocent bride. The morning of her party she may go get a fancy undo that’s heavy heavy heavy on the hairspray and curls, with little roses tucked throughout. Her mom might let her wear some sparkly lipgloss and Mary Janes with teeny tiny heels if she’s one of the lucky ones. On the flip side, the Bat Mitzvah girl dresses more like a slutty bridesmaid than a bride. She has 24″ hair extensions and Keratin treatment, waxed eyebrows, Mink faux lashes, and had her makeup done by the same girl who did JLo before the Academy Awards. Her jewelry is by Harry Winston and her shoes are 5 inch platform stiletto Louboutins.
  7. Fun. Communion girls and their friends practice tap dancing in the hallway between the bathroom and party. Boys play PSP. Bar Mitzvah kids are lifted up on chair while people dance around them, which in many cultures around the globe leads to sacrifice.
  8. Cake. At a Communion the cake came from Costco and cost $16.99 and has a flower cross and the kid’s name is spelled wrong and it doesn’t matter because nobody brought their camera to take a picture of it anyway. At a Bat Mitzvah, each of the fourteen (13 + 1 for good luck if you’re a shiksa) candles gets its own individual 4-tier fondant cake. Each of the 14 cakes is hand painted with scenes from her favorite films of all time (Twilight, Monsters Inc., The Lion King, Fight Club, Harry Potter, The Hangover, Half Baked and some others). The candles are made of human souls and glitter.
  9. God. At a Communion, God is EVERYWHERE – The confetti, the napkins, the plastic tablecloths, the mints, the cake that says “God Bless Redecca” and the Amy Grant tunes. At a Bar Mitzvah, there’s really good sushi and everyone’s talking about the MOBMB’s (Mother of the Bar Mitzvah Boy) new nose was still a little black and blue for weeks to come.
  10. “The Low Key Alternative.” When the family of a Communion boy or girl wants to “keep it low key” they go to the diner after the service with all the grandparents. If they want to make it special they drive an extra 3 miles and go to the good diner, not the one that sometimes there are ants. When the family of a Bar Mitzvah boy wants to keep it low key, they go on a fourteen-day European Cruise and then have a 125 person luncheon after the service with only a DJ and not a DJ and a band.

About the author:  I had lobster at my Bat Mitzvah. I also had a steel drum band, black ladies braiding hair and a casino for the kids. My dress was custom made and the dressmaker created custom matching socks for me to dance in, and there was a beach volleyball court in the corner. At the end of the party, beach balls fell from the ceiling like magic.

About the author’s brother: Brad opted for “the Low Key Alternative” although the cruise was only a week or maybe even less. The luncheon was at our restaurant, duh. He got a headache and slept through the whole thing.