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You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Month: August 2010 (Page 2 of 4)

Dollar, dollar bill y’all

I have a confession to make. I hide money. Why?

Well, you know that feeling when you put on a pair of just washed jeans, stick your hand in the pocket and pull out a $20, or even a $5?

Or even a dollar?

Shut up I’ve been out of work for a year. I get excited about a quarter.

Anyway, isn’t that the best feeling?

I think it is. In fact, I like that feeling so much that I put money places where I know I won’t find it for a long time. Long enough that I forget that I hid it in the first place.

Sometimes I hide bills our in winter coats right before they get packed away for the summer. Getting coats out is always kind of depressing because that means it’s actually really cold outside. Reaching in my pocket and finding a $20 at least makes me smile.

Suitcases are also great but since I became a flight attendant not nearly as effective. However, there are some inner pockets that I almost never use. When I get around to cleaning them out extremely rarely every once in awhile I find a $20.

I’m pretty sure those are the main places I hide money. Of course, I’m not positive about that. Which obviously is the whole point, isn’t it?

So, you better stay close to me. And hope you outlive me. When I’m ridiculously old and finally kick the bucket? Cleaning out my house is going to be like going on a treasure hunt.

Baby talk

It was the grand opening at the store today. We were so slammed with business it was hard to keep up. Now I’m dead tired. Like, can barely keep my eyes open to type tired. It was great that the store was so busy but it was hard work.

Anyway, I cannot stay coherent enough to type out a full post. Instead, here’s a hilarious reminder that toddlers? Mimic everything.

Made me giggle.

The one with the lobster

Tomorrow is the grand opening of the store. Pretty exciting. That meant that today the store was closed in preparation. We had a meeting in the morning and, since I was scheduled to work anyway, I stuck around to help out with things.

I made sure the bar was stocked and ready to go which was about all that needed to be done in that area of the store. The kitchen however had tons to do.

I have probably mentioned before that I’m not much of a cook. Plus? A cashier had been chopping carrots the night before and ended up with stitches and a thumb wrapped up like a cartoon character. Yipes. At least it wasn’t her pinky toe.*

I’m pretty confident with my knife wielding abilities (I did sell them after all) but I think the entire store would like to keep all cashiers and servers away from sharp objects for awhile.

Instead I was taught how to make the ganosh we use in our mocha drinks. Not sure why fire is better than blades but whatever. I survived. Actually making ganosh? Surprisingly easy. We make so much of what we serve in house. It fascinates me.

Not sure why that is so fascinating to me exactly.

I’m easily amused. But that’s a good thing right?

Hush.

After ganosh making I was assigned to plucking herbs for the salads. Brainless work but fun because another barista was doing it with me. We chatted and giggled and had more fun picking through leaves than I would have thought was possible.

Side note: Do you know how freaking long it takes to pick apart and fill up a container with dill? Way freaking long. Seriously, once off the stem, dill has no volume. I worked forever and it looked like I’d just been standing there. Although maybe I was just standing there. I was having an awfully good time chatting.

Anyway, while we were standing there along comes a chef with a lobster. They have lobster dishes on the menu but I didn’t really think about it.

Until the thing moved.

It was still alive.

Now I know, I know, that’s how they’re best and everything but this one looked at me.

And then the chef started petting it’s head to “make it relax”. It’s little eyes rolled around and it stopped flailing and started to look comfortable. It was like a cockroach looking dog. I have never felt so sad for something so delicious in my life.

Then cruuunnnch

And little lobster friend got a knife right through his head.

And what did I, as a rational adult do?

I freaking cried.

No joke.

Thankfully everyone was too busy with their tasks, my friend plucking mint and the chef ripping the still kicking lobster to bits, to notice.

But yeah, I cried over a stupid lobster, from which they’re planning on making lobster egg roll things. Those egg rolls sounded so incredibly delicious. I used to want to try one.

Now I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to pass on it.

If I saw all my food um… prepared? I would definitely be a vegetarian.

Meat is just so freaking yummy.

And I? Am a giant hypocrite.

*name that episode!

Wordless Wednesdays: Not really our bed

Pressure

I feel so much pressure sometimes…

To be a good wife

To keep my house clean

To train my dog well

To smile all the time

To be happy

Perky

Upbeat

To know all the answers

To be good at my job

To be interesting

To be funny

Smart

Successful

To be a good blogger

To have something to say that someone will want to read

To make people think

And feel

And laugh

Or cry

But sometimes there are nights when I feel so inadequate

I don’t have the words

I have no funny stories

No good advice

No ridiculous misadventures

There’s just me

Not knowing what to say

Wishing to make magic happen with my words

And all that comes out is rambling

And I’m left feeling like I’ve failed

Again

I’m just who I am

My days are what they are

Interesting or not, this is my life

This is where I write about it

It may not be spectacular

But it’s 100% me

Hi

Date night at Wrigley

One of our friends had tickets to a Cubs game that they weren’t going to be able to use. Of course Joel and I jumped at the opportunity when they offered to give us the seats. A free Cubs game? Always yes!

The weather turned out to be perfect. It was the kind of evening that you didn’t even notice the temperature because it wasn’t too hot or too cold. Just a perfect, cool summer evening. Lovely.

If you know me, you know I think baseball is just about the most boring sport on the entire planet. However, I genuinely love going to the games. The atmosphere can’t be beat. Joel and I have only been to one other Cubs game together so this was a real treat to get to go, just the two of us.

We had pretty good seats.

Although everything seems far away to me after the last seats I had. I’m spoiled I guess. Not too spoiled to have a blast in any old seats though.

Taken by a nice usher. Once the sun got low enough that it wasn’t blinding us, the sunset was really beautiful. Have I mentioned how in love I am with Chicago? Why don’t I live there again? Oh right. Money. ::le sigh::

This is the picture we were taking that prompted the usher to ask us if we needed help. I like the one she took but I think we were doing a pretty good job on our own. Traveling alone constantly? Makes you an excellent self picture taker. Fact.

In true form the Cubs were sucking it up. Since the game was just downright depressing to watch Joel and I used the time to talk and reconnect. Me working all of the sudden has made us miss each other. It was great to have some bonding time to just talk and laugh without being distracted by computers in our faces.

We stayed until the 7th inning stretch. Because seriously, it’s my favorite part of any ballgame. Who couldn’t love this?

Even with half the crowd singing completely out of sync was still the best part of the game.

After the song we decided to take off. If you’ve ever had to drive home from Wrigleyville after a Cubs game you’ll understand why. Not to mention the game wasn’t even close. When we left the Cubs were down 5-0. Some exciting things must have happened because the final score was 9-5. So at least they scored?

I have a feeling it would have just gotten my hopes up. Something I’m admittedly used to with the Cubs. I’m not sad we missed the last two innings.

It was so great to get out, eat some overpriced junk food and enjoy some quality time with the love of my life. No matter what we do, I always have a fun time when I’m with Joel. Being at Wrigley was just the cherry on top.

I have a finger I would like to show this thumb

How do these things happen to me? I’m afraid I broke my thumb. How?

No effing clue.

Seriously I have no idea.

All I know is, I’m in extreme pain suddenly and inexplicably.

Only when I move my thumb though. So that’s… good? Oh right except do you know how much you actually move your thumb? Or bump it? Or twist it?

Turns out quite a lot.

Thank goodness I’m right handed because otherwise I would have been completely useless at work. I just yelped occasionally. Ya know, perfectly normal waitress behavior. Random yelps. Cute.

Oh and do you have any idea how difficult it is to put in a ponytail without using one thumb? Try it. Basically impossible. And since I work around food my hair is required to be up. I have so far succeeded in not passing out from the pain. Stars have been seen though. Other cute waitress behavior? Fainting. Or so I’m told.

Now I’m not really sure what to do. I don’t want to spend the $100 copay it costs to go to the emergency room just so they can tell me I’m a crazy person. I already know that.

Seriously though. How does one seriously injure themselves without noticing? I frequently have bruises that I can’t explain but I’ll usually have a vague memory of thinking “Ow, that’s going to leave a mark.” If it were actually a seriously injury like a break or sprain I should have noticed when I did it.

You’d think anyway.

Oh, also? There is no indication of injury except for the pain. No bruising, swelling, heat, or marks of any kind. My thumb looks perfectly normal.

It just hurts like a mother effer.

I have to work in the morning. Considering how much worse it felt as the day went on today that makes me nervous. I’m not calling off though. Not happening.

If I just ignore it what’s the worst that could happen? I mean, even if it is broken they can’t really put a cast on it right? They’ll just get me one of those sexy braces that I can buy myself at the drug store, right?

I’m so cheap broke. I also don’t want to call off work to go to the doctor and I definitely don’t want to waste money on a copay. Especially if nothing is seriously wrong.

Someone tell me it’s no big deal to just ignore this.

Thanks.

Full of win

Today, as the title of the post says, was full of win.

And also stress.

But mostly win.

Before today, at the store we had one manager for the baristas, cashiers and servers. Now we have three. I’m one of them.

Woot!

Also? Ack!

I’m not at the same level as the other manager (thank goodness) but I can do all kinds of managery things. The way my personality is I tend to step into a leadership role if no one else has anyway. It does make me nervous to be officially in charge though. If there’s a screw up it’s ultimately my fault. Everyone is learning though and nobody has everything figured out yet so I’m sure there will be grace for any minor mess ups until we have all the kinks ironed out.

The only thing I’m truly nervous about is the money part of it. Gah, I hate math. And numbers. And all numbery mathy type situations. Counting drawers? About the least fun thing ever. Thank God for calculators I guess, right?

Anyway, today was the first “full” day we were open. Eventually our hours will be extended more than what they are right now but there aren’t piles of boxes laying around and everyone is in full agreement that yes, we are in fact open. Yesterday whether we were open or not depended on who you asked. Kind of funny when you think about it.

Oh by the way, this store? Is incredibly fantastic. I can’t say that enough. I can’t wait until everything starts running smoothly. It’s already going better than it did yesterday so that’s encouraging.

Anyway, enough about work.

…..

Oh right that’s basically all my life is right now. Work.

I’m cool with that though. Things will calm down eventually and I’ll get into a rhythm. I do miss being on Twitter all the time. I feel so out of the loop. I’ve made some really great friends on there in the past six months or so. Twitter seriously saved my sanity when I was unemployed and stuck at home almost all the time.

Now I’m at work for most of the day and when I come home I want to focus on Joel for a little while. Then I basically pass out from exhaustion.

Rinse, repeat.

There’s not really any Twitter chat time and that makes me sad. Oh well, such is life as an adult right?

The other win today was literal. The lovely Eileen from Bringing up Bronwyn had a giveway that I entered and I won! I almost never win anything! It made my day because Krust makes the most adorable headbands and other accessories. You must check out her Etsy store because AH-dorable! The hardest thing is going to be picking out just one item.

So, overall it was a good day today. Now that I’ve been home a little while I’m almost completely de-stressed. I have a feeling once I finish this

and snuggle with Joel for a little bit my stress will melt away completely.

I’m going to get on that right now.

Inspired by Iceland

I’m always day dreaming of trips I’d like to take. As long as my list is, it would probably take me three lifetimes to complete. It probably doesn’t help that I’m constantly adding new places to it.

This video is probably one of the best tourism commercials I’ve ever seen. Iceland was never very high on my list of places to go but after watching this video it’s moved way up my wish list.

Also, the song is so fun and catchy. One of my new favorites.

What’s on your travel wish list?

Cruel irony

When Joel first started working where he has for the last four years it was a good hour or two commute from where we lived. I was unemployed at the time so I did a lot of sitting around the house, watching tv. (sound familiar?)

One day for some reason (either I was bored or we had somewhere to be right after he got off work) I went with him to the little town where he works. It’s an adorable little town and while he was working I walked around and explored. While exploring, I wandered past this cute little toy store. What drew me to it was the beautiful display of Madame Alexander dolls in the window. I thought how fun it would be to work in a little toy store like that.

As the thought went through my mind I noticed the help wanted sign in the window. I took it as a sign that I was meant to work there. I walked in, filled out an application and not long after I was hired. It wasn’t a high paying job but because Joel already commuted out there for his job I just rode along. Even though it was retail they gave me a Monday through Thursday 9-4 schedule so that it coordinated with Joel’s work. We even got to eat lunch together every day.

It was one of my favorite jobs ever. I was basically playing with toys for a living. If we got a new craft I got to try it so that I would be able to recommend it to customers. A new Lego set? I got to put it together. Vendors actually send kits specifically for that purpose! One day I spent my entire shift figuring out a Rubik’s cube.

Other days I’d have to rearrange stuffed animals, straighten shelves or set up displays. Breaking down boxes was about the most intense the job got physically. I also got to wrap presents for customers. It was a dream. Not to mention the ladies that I worked with were wonderful. Since it was small place there were only five other employees. We talked and laughed and had so much fun. I don’t ever remember thinking I didn’t like my job there. Not once.

Photo credit : Erica Benson

The owner was a prominent man in the community. He was an older gentleman so he didn’t spend a ton of time at the store anymore. He was one of those white haired, grumpy looking old men. Despite his grumpy exterior he was a very generous, good employer. He also didn’t act old for a minute. He traveled all over the world on a regular basis. From China to Brazil to Europe and everywhere in between. I feel like the year I worked there he spent more time on trips than at the store. He was past the age most people retire though so it was well deserved.

Around Christmas time was the best time to work at the store. People would come in and make massive purchases. I’m talking hundreds of dollars worth of toys. Then we’d bag them, label them with their name and address and store them in our basement. We’d later wrap them and then on Christmas Eve they would be delivered to their house. We were seriously Santa Claus.

The only thing about working there in the winter time was the owner was obsessed with keeping the sidewalks clear in the front and back of his store. In case you weren’t aware, in Chicagoland in the winter? It snows. A lot. We constantly had to go out and shovel and salt things down. If the smallest layer of ice was left he was very unhappy about it. Even if it was still snowing we had to go out and shovel things.

I could have worked at that store forever but in April of ’07 I was offered my job as a flight attendant. Since being a flight attendant was my dream job the choice was obvious. I was still sad about leaving. It was just such a great place to work.

Not very long after I left, the owner sold the store. It remained a toy store much the same as it was before but he was free to travel and live out his retirement without worrying about running a business. It seemed like it was going to be a great thing for him and his wife. They even were high mileage members on my airline so I always hoped to have them on one of my flights.

Unfortunately that never happened. This past winter he was going to a Bible study at church. He slipped on some ice on the stairs and hit his head. Because it wasn’t a busy time they’re not sure how long he lay there before he was found. He never regained consciousness. It’s so bitter and ironic that something he was so insistent about was what killed him. It’s just unfair. He was a good boss and a great man. He was well loved and is very much missed.

I was reminded of all this because tonight they dedicated a street sign to him today. We missed the ceremony (don’t ask) but it brought him back into my mind. He lived his life making children and people happy. I will always remember him as one of my most favorite bosses.

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