Tag Archives: restaurants

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.

evolution of a new hire.

24 Feb

Holy fuck, it’s been so long since I’ve written on here that I forgot my username.

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is that I totally loathe new people. They make me want to puke, for the most part. Occasionally there’s one with a personality or a magical air about him/her and I don’t want to punch him/her. But as a general rule of thumb, I wait :

  • 2 days to speak to a new hire
  • 5 days to make eye contact with the new hire
  • 10 days to smile at the horrible jokes the new hire keeps making to try and impress me
  • 2 weeks to joke around within earshot of the new hire (although never directly to them so they don’t get the wrong idea)
  • 3 weeks for simultaneous smiling and eye contact (although not everyone ever gets to this point, I’m extremely selective at this stage).
  • 4 weeks to ask the new hire any personal questions, such as “what’s your name again?” and “how was your weekend?”

Once we’ve conquered these hurdles, we’re good to go. Unless you give me a nickname prematurely. If you develop a pet name before we have worked at least 20 shifts together and you have told me how much you love country music and we have bonded over that fact, you suck and I hate you eternally.

This post is dedicated to the fuckin’ waiter who keeps calling me Shelbs. I’m going to fire you tomorrow, just so you know.

all my daughter’s future exes live in texas because we’re moving here.

23 Jan

Something really interesting about blogging in Texas is that it’s nearly impossible to do with a piece of pork in one hand and a beer in the other. And while I typically blog at night, and could perhaps aim for an AM writing session, the bacon/beer scenario still holds true mere minutes after we’ve arisen. Luckily today Harry’s food coma seems to have been a little more severe than mine, so I’ve bought myself some writing time before we head into Hill Country to explore hidden BBQ pits and donut places and backyard brewers. What I’m trying to say is that all I plan on focusing on for the rest of my life (or until it happens) is bothering Harry about moving to Austin. You should come too, Mom and Dad!! But enough about my goals and aspirations, let’s talk about the food!

As I may or may not have mentioned, Harry and I headed to Austin with the intention of eating, drinking and stealing enough good ideas to open 100 new restaurants in NY. Also we came to hang out with Nicole, one of my oldest dork friends from Elementary School. She moved out here some years back and now carries a handgun in her Burberry bag, as well as about a dozen calligraphy pens and sometimes a puppy. She quilted my babygirl a blanket and made jewelry out of bullet casings from the gun range that she frequents on the daily all in the same week. Her most admirable qualities are that she’s really held her own with me and Harry’s eating marathon this week, she shot the FUCK out of a target when we went to the gun range (I shot a Glock! I’m a girly spaz!) and she is designing a tattoo for me to get while I’m here with some of her new fancy pens.

Shit man, I keep getting distracted from food. Maybe it’s because I know that if I write just how much we have consumed over the past 3 days, you will vomit and never read this shiz ever ever again. So I’ll just stick with the highlights (which will still  be vomit inducing so just let that be known. Read this by a bathroom.)

We ate 1 pound of fatty brisket, 5 ribs, 2 sausages, pulled pork, 1 side of cole slaw, 1 side of potato salad and 2 slices of white bread after waiting in line for 2 hours at a place that was declared by Bon Apetit magazine as the best BBQ in the world. And guess what. It was. (We had leftovers so shut up)

We ate at Uchiko, where Nicole is a regular, so she brought us on a culinary tour through the place. The most hardcore Brussels sprouts ever known to man, kale chips with candied quinoa and trumpet mushrooms. A yellowtail hand roll that I had a sex dream about. Some jar of duck that when it was opened at the table, shot us with a blast of rosemary smoke that lingered for like ten minutes. Bourbon and birch dippin’ dots with other shit on a plate. Heavenly meal.

We ate at a hot dog place where Harry had a bacon infused bloody mary with a piece of peppered bacon, chunk of cheddar cheese and other shit on the side of it, and a hot dog stuffed with cheese, rolled in bacon, fried and topped with cole slaw. I ate a freshly made sausage with a whole bunch of shit, topped with spicy BBQ mac & cheese and served on a pretzel roll. It was called the Notorious P.I.G. That’s why I ordered it.

We went to a gastropub to steal ultimate ideas for the new place. Chicken fried chicken egg. WHAT??? You don’t even know. Trio of pig – pork loin, bacon, pig face sausage. Yeah, pig face. All of it. We asked the chef at this particular place (you sit at a counter and watch the kitchen, so we were next to him while he put out all the food, it was very very cool) why he didn’t have any beef on the menu. He told us that he couldn’t find cows as much as he liked the lambs of this local woman, but he’s working on it.

We ate at the food truck of Paul Qui, that dude who won Top Chef Austin. It was in the back of a college bar where I got carded 3 times.  It was also mere hours after we inhaled ridiculous amounts at Uchiko, but all decided that we had digested enough to give it a go. Ramen noodles with a fried egg, pork belly and REAL corn (no dehydrated foods to be seen in this puppy!!). More off the hook Brussels sprouts!

We ate at a doughnut burger place (and watched Syracuse win!!) where we got donut burgers and donut desserts.

I’d say I’m gonna go on a diet the day we get back to NY, but that’s not going to be possible because my stomach has stretched to the size of John Goodman’s. It might take a few weeks to ease back into less than 4000 calories a day…..

In conclusion, I have a tummy ache.

Just for the sake of comparison, I’ve compiled a list of places on Long Island that are as serene as the lakeside ledge on which I’m composing this post:

The lakeside ledge is so serene, in fact, that Harry referred to it yesterday when we spotted it from the pool as “the perfect place that someone would dispose of a body.” Naturally it was where I decided to head this fine morning, knowing that it is the ultimate place to feel inspired, second only to a crowded Starbucks. It took me twenty minutes to find it, and I passed zero people which means that nobody knows I’m here. On my way there was a door decorated as a reindeer, so probably nobody has even walked down the hallwayI’m so far below the hotel that the wi-fi isn’t even an option on my laptop, and the seats are sopping wet with morning dew and my ass is FUCKING FREEZING.

Speaking of the pool, it’s a multi-tiered infinity number, which he used as a “sea lion act” and rolled over the top ledge of into the next pool down subsequently throwing me over the side of it and giving me a boo boo because according to him I’m much heavier than him and didn’t contort into the proper rolling position, which duh, Harry, how am I supposed to do when you are literally forcing me against my will? And so what if I’ve gained a few pounds while I’m here? IT WAS WORTH IT.

Oh man, a boat is coming to destroy my peaceful existence. Luckily the fog is so thick I can’t see twenty feet in front of me, so my view is still unobstructed. However I no longer have feeling in my ass and I’m starting to wish Nicole were with me because the trees are rustling and I feel naked without a firearm. Talk to you later when I may or may not have a tattoo and a new pair of (larger) jeans.

Addendum: On my way back up from the lakeside ledge I realized that the rustling was a deer! It’s a good thing Nicole wasn’t there after all.

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.

if i only had a penis. (a poem)

9 Dec

Like any typical Saturday, tonight I spent part of the evening having extremely super professional craft beer discussions, and the remainder lurking in a dark corner of the restaurant, checking out who on my staff sucks and things like that. I’m not necessarily into voyeurism, but I will say that when people don’t know you’re watching, you get to see awesome things such as sexual harassment, deep wedgie pickings, and your manager standing behind the host station daydreaming for ten minutes while the restaurant functioned around him. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I mean we’re obviously all entitled to completely tune out our job after a nearly-completed work week filled with a shit ton of drunken Christmas parties. What I am saying is that I watched Ryan stand at the desk for an extended period of time, staring at nothing in particular, just maybe reflecting on who he still needs to buy gifts for / where he’s going to drink after work / how bad he has to pee but someone is taking a really long time in the men’s room. I cruised over to where he was to wake him up and to grab a very important document, (the Costco coupon book, if you really need to know) and he scampered off to check on a table or whatever. Moments later a man who had been sitting no more than 3 feet away from Ryan the Dreamer approached me.

“I just want to make sure that you have our reservation down. When will our table be ready?”

“Oh, I apologize, I just came over here to retrieve this very important document. I’m not actually in charge of seating, but I will find out if your table is almost ready from Ryan, who is.”

“Oh, I just assumed that because you have tits, that you are the hostess,” he didn’t say.

“No, sir. We are an equal opportunity employer. We let people with breasts AND without breasts bring you to your table,” I didn’t say back.

“Wow, I didn’t realize that men could be hostesses. I thought they could only play golf and make chauvinistic comments about chicks and eat steak.”

Ok, so the conversation was somewhat more lighthearted than that, and I obviously got him his stupid table. And I ALSO WROTE THIS AWESOME POEM!!!!!

IF I ONLY HAD A PENIS.

If I had a penis, oh the things I would do!

I’d have a firm handshake and a secret one, too!

I’d wrestle with dudes but still say that I’m straight,

And not use shampoo, it would be fuckin’ great!

At Home Depot no one would ask to help me

Because buying tools as a dude is so easy.

My martini’d be cold, because men can shake harder.

And I’d know so much more, because men are just smarter.

Probably I’d have to drive a Ferrari

And when my wife got mad I’d never say sorry.

My job would be more important than yours,

Because women are mostly just teachers or whores.

I’d open a bar and then when I went broke,

I’d hire an experienced chick to consult.

‘Cause when a man and his penis are poorly maintained

There’s no better fix than two tits and a brain.

In conclusion, it’s a man’s world. Just kidding.

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.

how to tell when you’re being kicked out of a restaurant.

5 Aug

SPOILER ALERT!: I wrote this post in January, so if you’re one of the 7 loyal readers since the beginning, it may look familiar to you. Although probably most of the people who have stuck with me from the getgo are either weedheads or my parents, and either way you probably tuned out my ramblings in all this time. I wanted to write tonight but zombies can’t write blogs about restaurants and I am a zombie as a result of birthday weekend and not sleeping in awhile and the amount of sugar and carbs I consumed today draining what was left of my energy. I miss So You Think You Can Dance. These Olympics seem really long. Not that I’ve watched anything because I don’t want to feel tempted to out anyone when they win a medal or do something like be the best vaulter in the world but not be able to land on her feet during the most important vault of her life thus far and then be really ungracious when the girl who beats her goes to hug her. Nobody cares when I write about SYTYCD so I just want it to come back on so I have something to write about again.

Ok, without further interruption, an encore presentation of an old favorite….

 

Occasionally we have meals with such beloved and exhilarating people that we wish it never had to end. But all good meals must come to an end. We in the restaurant business prefer that end comes sooner, rather than later, especially on a busy night.

Here are some insider tips to know when you are no longer appreciated at your table:

  1. It took you more than an hour to decide on an appetizer. No matter how the rest of the meal goes, it’s time to get out.
  2. You have been asked if you’d like a refill on your coffee more than twice.
  3. The server, hostess and busboy have all locked eyes with you for fifteen seconds each. They don’t think you’re hot, they want you to go home (or to Starbucks, they don’t really care).
  4. You try to go to the bathroom but the amount of people waiting for tables won’t allow you to get there.
  5. The table to your left and the table to your right have been sitting vacant for almost an hour, even though the restaurant seems packed.
  6. Your waitress approaches you every 45 seconds offering to bring you change, even though you have quite obviously not looked at the check yet. She’s subtly telling you that you need to stick the card in the check presenter and at least give her the hope that you’ll get up shortly.
  7. A small gang of unruly children stands a few feet away, staring at you/pointing/making ugly faces. Their parents stand three paces behind them staring at their watches/pointing/making ugly faces. Hey, they wanted to see where their table was going to be… it isn’t my fault if they get aggressive…
  8. There is LITERALLY NOTHING on your table. The busboy has taken your water glasses, your mugs, your napkins and your car keys, so your vehicle will be nice and toasty when you get into it. NOW.
  9. After sitting open for about an hour, the vacant tables on either side of you suddenly get decorated with giant “reserved” signs. Facing you.
  10. Even though you have already paid, your waitress visits your completely empty table every fifteen seconds to ask if there’s anything else she can get for you.
  11. I am standing over your table hysterically crying because hungry people who have to wait too long get like totally verbally abusive.
  12. The lights are turned all the way up, the music is turned off and the vacuum is the only sound other than your WAY TOO LONG conversation.
  13. Your waiter is wearing his street clothes and jacket, glaring at you in the corner because he can’t leave until you do.
  14. Finally, if it is between 7:30 and 8:30 on a Saturday night, please please please eat and get out. We’ll be your best friend.

Saturday night I served over 250 happy, full-bellied customers. But at the end of the night, the last party of 5 had no place to sit. I pulled out all the stops, particularly #2,3,6 & 7, but nothing. Nobody budged. So i went to my office concealing #11 because the party of 5 couldn’t take the wait anymore, shouted in my face and stormed out the door, still hungry. I know that I try to be lighthearted with these posts, but I can’t tell you how deeply terrible I feel if you have to leave with an empty stomach.

Luckily the shouting man looked a little like Liam Neeson so I was really excited to meet a celebrity.