Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just a quick one:

Last night, I went out for appys and drinks with Coffeeboy and some friends of his who were in town for the day. Fun fun, yada yada.

The waitress, who was obviously near the end of her shift (the restaurant was closing soon) and had put up with the same crazy day as I, as the restaurant was two blocks from the cafe, came around for our drink order. Coffeeboy's Friend replied, "Just water, please, and an order of California roll."

"You want to drink your California roll?"


I tried to maintain a good first impression, but I thought I would explode laughing. I expained to her that I'm a waitress, too, and we shared laughs and high fives. Do not disturb the process! You may think it's no big deal, but when we're loaded with tables, the process is all we have!

I tipped her SO big.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Today was bound to be shitty from the get-go. It's two days after Christmas - optimal time for everyone to still have family around but be fresh out of orange juice. And fucking sick of turkey. Yet, everything else in town was still closed, for reasons completely beyond me. And one of the waitresses called in sick.

I know, I know, I should be happy about a certain leve of madness after the lull we've had. But for the first three hours, I was handling the whole restaurant on my own - that's about fourteen tables at that time of day. Then for the next five, I was splitting twenty six tables with one other girl. Yyyeah.

To be fair, it didn't go nearly as poorly as it could've. I suppose people are still all festive and shit. We didn't have any walk-outs and nary a complaint- at least not that I heard of - and while the tips weren't great, all in all people were pretty chill about it.

I do, however, have one little gem for the day to demonstrate to you the perils of being a waitress. I got a new table, shamefully explained that we were out of soup, and took an order for a beef sandwich on miche, and two alsatian pizzas. Wrote it down, handed it to the kitchen. Cool.

Flapped around like a chicken for about twenty minutes.

Realised that another table of mine, who's bil had gone in after the above one, had gotten their food first. Hmmm. Investigated. Turns out, the kitchen had somehow lost the first bill.

There are a million ways that could've happened, and it wasn't really anyone's fault. We place our bills on the counter dividing the kitchen and the cash/espresso bar, so it could've been as little as a gust of air, or someone thinking it was an old bill - food comes up at the same place, along with the bill to remind us where it goes when it's crazy - but at any rate, the kitchen didn't have an order.

Shit. These people are already getting impatient, and their food isn't even started. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I did a little 'fuckity FUCK!" dance around the kitchen for awhile, before realising that there weren't any alsatian pizzas left. FUCK.

Have I ever mentioned that whoever invented the phrase "killing the messenger" was talking about servers? The tables was not happy, and they were sure it was all my fault. I apologised profusely. I brought free appetizers. And I got another order - whew.

The kitchen, at this point, had a stack of orders a mile high and wasn't taking too kindly to the fact that I wanted to bump mine to the front. Not their problem, they said; they make the orders as they come in.

Have I ever mentioned that whoever invented the phrase...oh wait, yes I have. The kitchen was not happy, and they too were sure it was all my fault. So I apologized, I licked feet, and because I'd been going nonstop for six hours at this point, I cried a little. A sous chef, who also serves sometimes, took pity and got me bumped up at her own considerable peril. She'll be at the bar tonight, and I'll be buying her a beer or twelve, kthnx.

And not with that table's tip, that's for sure.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Disadvantages to moving in with Coffeeboy:

  1. Sharing a bathroom with a boy. Hell, sharing a bathroom with anybody. I'm no girly girl, but I've got some fucking lotions.
  2. Sharing an apartment with six people and two dogs. This is an advantage during potluck dinners. This is a distinct disadvantage at 3 a.m. when the apartment is crowded with drunken students. (Is there any other kind?)
  3. OH YEAH, I only met Coffeeboy a few months ago. No matter how supernaturally perfect this relationship seems to be, I am still plagued with the entirely realistic possibility that he will turn out to be all wrong for me and everything will go downhill and I'll be trapped there for years socially isolated and live the consequences for the rest of my life and have my parents ask about him every time they see me after and where have I seen this before?
  4. Moral obligation to give up my imaginary yet torrid affair with the mailman at work. He's also a fireman! Come on!

Advantages to moving in with Coffeeboy:

  1. The little bird family that lives above his windowsill that we watch on Sunday mornings before strolling to the cafe for cappucino and baguette and did I mention that it's perfect?
  2. The man takes uncanny joy in giving me massages. No, really.
  3. My toothbrush hasn't been out of my purse in two months. It would like a home.
  4. So would I.

Well, it looks like I've found one.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Coffeeboy and I went to a show last night. Actually, it was a Christmas party of sorts, held by a local studio that produces local artists singing about local shit. Ya know, tamborines and panflutes and waaaaaay too much acoustic guitar. Now, I get sentimental over an acoustic guitar, too, but there's a limit.

It was held at a cafe that's closing down, sadly. The Mug has been a haven for downtown artists, with poetry and music nights every week and a gaudy/cute atmosphere. Coffeboy made the poster for the show, and being a downtown event, we both knew the majority of the people performing.

Now. When M. and I broke up (New years resolution? Shut the fuck up about M.), I had to attend my sister's wedding a few weeks later. Well, it was a bit more than 'attend' - I was the maid of honour, so I had to drag myself out of the ice cream phase and shuffle through the whole white-wedding true-love thing for a day. Mmmm, fun. I kept my mouth shut, though, and I don't think anyone was the wiser that it was a miserable day for me, even when my entire extended family asked me, one by one, 'where's M? What happened to M.? We liked M.! Hey, where's M.?"

Naturally, I got drunk off my ass.

Afterwards, Bestfriend (who was my date) took me, as only Bestfriend could, to my first single-girl raging party. Let's look at the math: professional hair and makeup, way too many minty shooter things, a miniskirt, no idea whatsoever how one should navigate as a single girl, and a slowly rising burning hate of M. and acute desire to exact revenge. Bestfriend disappeared to tongue wrestle with a tattoo-laden drummer.

And that's how I met Ex.

Ex was a good guy. He's sweet and gentle and funny and was the first to show me that relationships need not be hurtful. Some people will love me for me. I still have trouble with this. We dated for a few months, but it was, of course, horrible timing for me. I broke it off, citing that I needed to learn to be alone before I could be with someone else again. He took it badly and refused to talk to me for months. Honestly, it had been a long time since I`d thought of him.

That is, until I ran into him at the Mug last night. Actually, I knew he would be there well in advance, and it was a good deal of why I wanted to go. (The name of his band was plastered across the poster Coffeeboy made, so he was well warned, too.)

I walked in and saw him there, and he promptly looked away. Made an excuse to leave for half an hour. Pretended I didn`t exist for the better part of the night. Oh, the awkward. Finally, I passed a little note to Coffeeboy, saying `this is going to be awkward as all hell`, and walked over to where he was sitting.

I put my hands on the back of his chair, leaned over, and whispered, `Are you going to ignore me all night?'
'Well, that's downright silly of you. Come outside and talk to me for a minute.'
'I don't see the point.'
'Ex, you're already putting your mittens on. I know you're going to.'

So we went outside. Did I mention the snow? And the cold? I've never experienced snow or cold like this before, especially not around here. At that time last night, it was starting to dump down what has become another foot of snow, and is still coming.

'How are you?'
'Did you really drag me out here to ask me how I am?'
'No. Well, yeah. I mean, I want to talk to you. I don't want you to ignore me. Don't hate me.'
'I don't hate you. I nothing you.'
'Well, I suppose I can take that,' and he chuckled a little despite himself. 'No, actually, I wanted to apologize to you. I hurt you. You didn't deserve that.'
'I never believed what you told me about why you left.'
'It was true.'
'We could have dealt with that! What can I do to help you?'

I realised that he didn't know about Coffeeboy. And it was weird, and totally new to me, to be standing there with someone I cared deeply about but left anyways. I still cared about him, and it felt odd that I was with him and not holding him. But Coffeeboy was inside, and Coffeeboy is even more different and strange to me, because it's so much better and so much deeper. There's nothing wrong with what I had with Ex, but it didn't scratch the surface of what I have with Coffeeboy.

'Just don't play to zombie song. I had a nightmare about zombies last night.' He laughed a little, and then cried a little. But he didn't say anything more.

He played the goddamn zombie song, and a song I helped him write one Sunday we spent in bed. It was a great set, and they got more applause than anyone. He left right after without saying goodbye.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's been snowing. Where I live, we don't normally get snow; well, we don't normally get snow that doesn't turn into our more standard rain by noon. But there's been snow on the ground for a few days now, and we're getting more as I, er, type. It looks like we might even be in for a --- you know. That thing.

Snow means a few things:

1) It's fucking cold.

2) Sister, who doesn't like driving in the snow, is more or less stranded in the house. This makes Munchkin cranky, which makes her cranky. Why, just now, I was barked orders to leave my shoes outside - did I mention it's snowing? - lest the white devil GET ALL OVER THE GODDAMN FLOOR OMGZZZZ!!!!!!11

3) It is, however, kinda pretty.

4) The restaurant has been dead. Like I said, we're not used to snow, and people will not drive anywhere in it. I worked three and a half hours today. I'm therefore worried, and stressed, and losing sleep and yada yada did I mention the anxiety? over money. All that jazz about the shitty economy, you know, hits the service industry first, and I can't live without decent tips.

Bleh. Shitty stress aside, we had an eventful morning at the cafe. Our pastry chef basically kicks ass. She's always running around giving lectures at the college and winning awards and shit, and today! managed to get a TV crew into the restaurant. I was told that they were showing up about an hour before they did, and then proceeded to run around like a chicken with my head cut off dusting, and polishing, and clearing, and....and.... did I mention the anxiety?

They shot mainly the kitchen, and mainly Pastry Chef preparing a little desert square named after my hometown. Cameras in the kitchen, by the way, make for much less cursing and off-colour jokes.

And, in other completely random news, Coffeeboy and I are making yogurt tonight. He stumbled across his old roommate's family legacy of bacteria culture left in his cupboard, from when it was passed down to her - the roommate - from a grandmother who died. The roommate, being a leather-clad lesbian, was slightly opposed to the idea of incubating curdled milk, and there the bacteria sat, forgotten.

That is, until Coffeeboy found it. Coffeeboy grew up on a farm, and knows all sorts of weird things like How To Propogate Jade Plants, and How To Compost Under Your Kitchen Sink. After extensive googling, he also knows How To Make Yogurt. The centuries old family bacteria culture will not die, it seems, at the hands of my hippy-assed boyfriend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


About the coalition.

I know Harper is telling you guys a lot of shit. And I know it's really, really tempting to believe it. But we need to set a few things straight:

1) This IS democratic. There's a lot of confusion around how our parliamentary system works - too much weed and not enough high school, a plight I plenty understand - so let's clear it up. We elect MPs, not Prime Ministers, to make our decisions for us. 65% of Canadians did NOT vote Conservative, which means that 65% were pissed when they got in.

2) It's perfectly democratic to vie for a vote of no confidence, especially in the case of a minority government. Nobody is breaking any rules. Google the King-Byng affair, and be amazed! that this has all happened before. It just doesn't happen often. That's how pissed we are about Harper.

3) Now, this is touchy. The Bloc. First, it's incredibly ignorant and, well, kinda mean, to assume that Bloc = Seperatist. While we're on that, let's consider how slanted our media was of them, too. Harper is trying to scare you with horror stories of - oh noes! - THE FRENCH. (Insert flying monkey theme.) Now, even if the Bloc WERE dreadful and aweful, they still wouldn't be a part of the proposed coalition government. The sum and total of the Bloc's involvement is this: they've agreed not to vote against to coalition for 18 months. That's it. Contrary to what Harper would have you believe, the Bloc does not have veto power.

All I ask of you - plead, really - is to be informed. I know it's hard to find unbiased information, but at least read both sides and decide for yourself. Learn the ins and outs of the parliamentary system, especially if you plan on accusing acts of being contrary to it. If you still want to support the conservatives, be my guest. It's not rightys who piss me off, it's ignorance.

On that note, I attended a pro-coalition protest the other day. There were two, but I had to miss the first last Saturday because of work. Apparently, it was a good'er, with rightys on one side of the street and lefties on the other, waving signs and generally being ornery Canucks. The one I went to was much mellower, held outside our MPs office, who s0 didn't think we'd be willing to haul ass to the north end, right next to Wal Mart in all it's plastic glory, to protest. There were speaches, and there were crankyfucks, and there was a TV crew. But it was a small group and dispersed pretty quickly.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I told everyone I left M. because he forced the whole baby-hetero thing on me. He told everyone it was because I was cold and hated families, and couldn't stand that he didn't. The truth, of course, is somewhere in between.

My brother in law was in a car accident yesterday. He was riding his bike to work. He's alright, after a minor surgery on his leg today. My sister, of course, went to stay with him in the hospital, and left Munchkin home with me.

At 9:30, he started to cry. By 10:30, he was kicking and screaming for mama. I tried to be calm and soothing, but the very sight of me made him angrier. Not only was I not his mama, I wasn't anyone's mama and it was ridiculous to try to pass as one.

I know, I know. He was scared. Yada yada. I shouldn't blah blah myself so yada yada for gobble. But this is my irrational freakout, and we're playing by my rules.

The truth I mentioned? It's that he's right. I'm not. He knows, M. knows, and after a real mama got home I walked upstairs to a tiny bedroom alone and drafted this. (You think this is irrational? You should see the rough draft.) Everybody knows. I can't even cook.

I'm no one's mama, and chances are, I never will be. Even if I got my shit together long enough to properly want it, there's a significant chance my uterus is damaged and it won't happen. Little ones can smell it on me, I know it, and so can guys like M. and mothery-types like Sister. I once consoled myself with the fact that I do other things, but I've barely written a thing in a year. I'm just a waitress.

The only one who doesn't seem able to smell this on me is Coffeeboy. After getting myself sufficiently worked up last night, I went over to his house. I was still crying, and only realised that it was stupid when I couldn't explain to him why.

"They know! They look at me, and they just....know!"
"Know what?"

And I couldn't answer. I'm still trying to find the words. They know that it's not only I don't want to, but also that I probably couldn't if I tried. And it's expected that I do.

To my surprise, Coffeeboy laughed. That's when I realised just how irrational I was being. He kissed the tears off my cheek and joked, "Well, if you cain't raise me no sons, I's leave'n you."

And then we went to sleep. Not in this house that always reminds me of what I'm not, but in his apartment that's even tinier, even draftier and in every way shittier....except for the fact that it houses five broke artists, and one waitress who finally feels like one there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coffeeboy and I were grilling red peppers the other day when it dawned on me. Food and sex are inextricably linked. I never cooked much before the days of Coffeeboy, and despite having worked in multiple restaurants and being a horny little bugger, this somehow escaped me. Me! Missing out on an aphrodisiac!

But it's true. As we stood there over the heat, all sorts of aromas wafted up - some spicy, some sweet, some savoury. I looked at him and blurted it out, right in front of multiple roomates, "Food makes everyone horny, doesn't it?" He turned bright red and laughed. Everyone else laughed, too, but I got to thinking.

There's a reason first dates are always for dinner. I see couples in all the time, clearly on first dates. I have a personal theory that when two first-daters both order dishes with lots of garlic, the date is officially going poorly. When they ask to split desert, I know they're going home together.

It can't be coincidence that kitchens are so full of dating drama. Who's dating whom behind who's back is always a challenge to keep up with. That is, until you walk into the ladies' room at the wrong time and find two - or more - smooching. Yup, that's a good way to keep up.

I have at least part of this chalked up to the ammount of (seemingly) inadvertant touching that goes on behind the scenes. The till and the espresso bar, for example, are right next to each other, and both are pretty high traffic areas for us. It's not uncommon to be desperate for a coffee mug mid-rush, needing one NOW, and come back to find four people crammed into a two-foot radius. The only thing to do is get on in there, squeezing between as many people as necessary. It's a cozy job.

Between the food=sexy atmosphere, and the fact that the restaurant industry is so shallow as to hire primarily attractive people, I've been often suspicious of brushes and nudges that seem a little....unnecessary. Often strategically placed. But all seemingly innocent and, to be completely honest, nothing a healthy young gal like myself might complain about. Ever wonder why your server always has that 'vibe'?

And the kitchen. Tender dripping roasts. Sizzles, more cramped quarters, and the addition of some sweat. Perhaps they have it worse -- or better. Last weekend I found one of the cooks and one of the waiters tongue wrestling at a show, and I can't say I blame either of them.

Back to the other night. Grilled red peppers? Amazing. Out of nowhere, Coffeeboy looked up at me and said, "Didn't you ever wonder why I love cooking? And who better to throw down on the bed than a waitress?"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I never really thought about the day when the insanity of waitressing would seem like routine. The learning curve was not as long as I thought it would be, which leads me to believe that this all has a lot more to do with inherent qualities, like a level head and thick skin, than the ability to remember a PLU. But it's hard to be introspective about something nobody ever really thinks about. Most customers look at me the same way they look at the giant plant in the middle of the dining room.

But at any rate, it has all become quite routine. My fingers know how to roll cutlery without me even having to look at what I'm doing. My apron is beggining to wear at the hips, where it rubs when I walk across the dining room; I can balance just about anything in one hand and use the other. I have bad ankles, and even on my days off I half expect them to start hurting at around noon, and I'm always surprised when they don't and feel a bit off kilter. I've become accustomed to a little lift when I pick of a plate and feel it warm on my palm, because it's always cold in the restaurant.

G. likes an extra egg on his croque madame. S. likes her cappucino extra hot.

I try not to notice that my tips are higher when I wear a particular skirt of mine that rises well above the knee. I try harder not to notice myself wearing it more often shortly before rent is due.

It made my day on Tuesday when Austria complimented my service. I remembered his small water glass and extra napkin to hold his sandwich. When he gruffly told me that I "may serve him again", I actually grinned from ear to fucking ear and bragged to eveyone in the kitchen. It took Coworker, who Austria once brought to tears, telling me not to take that bullshit from him for me to realise that that was, in fact, bullshit.

I serve people high quality food all day, and tonight I had dinner at a fast food place after counting my change to make sure I could. Austria had been weighing heavily on my mind. I haven't saved a penny, and I only went out to escape the fact that I float on the surface of my house, trying not to notice how out of place I am. Nobody ever philosophizes about waitressing, nobody ponders the effects an eight-hour day without breaks might have - if anyone is thinking that hard at all, it's about Bigger Questions, sitting in some cafe, looking at their waitress like she's that goddamn plant.

I don't think about Bigger Questions much anymore. I only think about remembering to fold the napkins. Every once in awhile, though, I sit in this tiny bedroom on my broken bed and wonder what I'm doing when I can't even tell the days apart.

I'm reading a book, slowly, that is the memoirs of a waitress. It wasn't exactly a big seller, obviously, and I don't think anyone except other waitresses ever read it, but every once in awhile I nibble through it when my brain is too tired for the Shakespeare I promised myself I wouldn't stop reading. I was reading it over 'dinner' tonight, and I almost cried when I read this passage:

"Perhaps, when he first met me, Dominic mistook me for an image of some diner waitress he had in his imagination: a poor working girl struggling to raise a kid on her own and desperately in need of a man to fix everything for her. I couldn't fault him too much in this. For a brief while, I thought I was that waitress, too. In any case, though, I'd been paving my own way for much too long to become the 'girl' Dominic was looking for."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This week has been much more mellow than most. The reason is that Stressball Boss has been out of town on - vacation? Fuck if I know.

Don't get me wrong. I love my boss. She's wonderful and fun and maternal towards all of us young 'uns. But Dear God, that woman can stress like none other. And it's the contagious sort of stress, wherein every lunch rush, we'll be plugging along just fine, until...


And next thing we know, we're all likewise. It's bad enough that several of the baristas have started pulling her decafs to help ease the situation.

With SBB gone, however, things have been much calmer. Today was a bit nuts for awhile; not because of business, but because the Incredible Genius' of the Fridge People decided that, yeah, 12:30 is a good time to show up at restaurant to istall a new fridge.

Yeah. 12:30. You won't be getting in anyone's way THEN.

(Our old fridge was quite the curmudgeon, in it's own nearly-charming way. We'd had it repaired about three times before, but once every week or so, we'd show up to find all of our milk soured. A morning without cappucino is not a good morning at all.)

The whole week-without-boss theory was all well and good until today, which was supposed to be tipout day. I came back to work about an hour ago, as prescribed, to pick up my tips, and found that I'd only been left tips for yesterday, instead of for all of last weeks. Uh. No. But, since SBB was absentee and her husband had again left for their other restaurant, there was nothing to be done. So I pocketed my shitty tips, and vowed to raise hell tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My luxurious three-day weekend is going to come to a screeching halt tomorrow morning, when I have to get up at Fucking Early o'clock for work. Oh well. Everything has been closed for the past two days, and if I don't get a decent cappucino in me soon, ugly things will happen.

I was walking home from the elementary school, where I mentor a sweet little girl once a week with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and I came across an apple tree, slightly off the road, loaded with apples. I mean loaded. I mentioned it to Coffeeboy later, and next thing I knew, we were stealing away after dark with canvas bags, on a full-on fruit glean.

It really angers me to see fruit go to waste like that. Half of them were already rotting on the ground. Perfectly good apples! There are people starving!

It also really amazes me the capacity this area has to grow food. I live right in the area where the 100 Mile Diet took place and was written. While reading, I flapped around with ridiculous glee every time the authors mentioned a place I'd been. Hey! Hey everyone! It's a book! And they're talking about that place I went!

A single apple tree yielded twelve pounds of apples. We started just picking the ones at arms length, but it was infuriating to pick through tiny-assed brown apples and watch plump, red ones sway carelessly above us. So the tree was climbed, Coffeboy's shoulders were sat on, and we gleaned that tree's ass off.

We also stumbled across an abandoned grape vine right next to it, obviously not tended to in years, growing on a rotting trellace. Best grapes ever. Most were red, some were green, all were tart and the most flavorfull grapes I've ever eaten. They were turned into awesome juice at 2 a.m. this morning.

I picked up some jars today, so Coffeeboy and I are making apple butter tonight. There will be pie. And applesauce.

Did I mention that Coffeeboy grew up on a farm? My little urbanite! He knows all sorts of useful farmish things, like What Kind Of Apple This Is and How To Can It. There were pigs, there were birds of all sorts, there were 88 acres. I'm starting to feel a bit farmish myself tonight.

Friday, November 7, 2008


M. called me last night to make sure I was going to karate. He wanted to go grab a coffee pre-training, and 'talk about some stuff'.

Turns out, he's seing someone new. I didn't have a real strong reaction to it - it seems a bit odd for me to imagine, but on the whole, I'm pretty OK with it. I've had some seriously mixed feelings towards M. for the past couple months, ranging from what I'm now calling a relapse, to platonic friendship, to some pretty severe resentment (not having to do with our history, more along the karate lines.... 'nother story) to a weird sort of void that I have right now. I don't really feel anything towards him, good or bad; in fact, I probably wouldn't notice if I just lost contact with him.

Which, on one hand, is incredibly sad. We were inseperable for four years. He was the best friend I've ever had, even if he's not anymore. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to hear that he's seeing someone and not have a huge load of drama. It's weird, it's a bit shitty, but on the whole, it's OK.

What bothered me more was when he asked me for his spare keys back. He'd given me my old key back when we 'relapsed'. And, in retreospect, that was fucked up - it was like I walked into my old life, and just picked up where I left off, barely noticing the year-ish lapse.

I hadn't thought about the keys in a long time - I think I forgot I had them. But I dutifully, and a bit awkwardly, pulled them off my keychain and gave them to him last night. And don't think my head wasn't spinning metaphors about one direction being closed off the me, completely, now. Before I had the mindset of a standing offer from him; should this all get too scary, I still have the keys and I can still walk back into my crushingly empty, mercifully easy life.

Not anymore. That offer is gone, and it's very likely that someone else is using my keys, to get into my home, to sleep in my bed, tonight.

Bitch better not pet my cat.

(I kid, I kid.)

This all got me thinking about my home. As I`ve said, it`s not really a home to me right now. It`s more a place to keep my clothes, and I wander in and back out of it for about an hour a day. Still, I`m not ready to accept another standing offer, this one from Coffeeboy, to officially pack up my clothes and move them to his house. He has more than ample closetspace, but I still come with a lot of baggage, and I came to the decision that I need to drastically reduce it before trying to cram it in said closet. So we`ll continue as we are for now, even if it does feel filthily like camping.

He was a bit hurt, but reassured when I said it will more than likely happen in time. He has a similar skeleton in the closet, a three-year deal that wasn`t live-in but close. He understood. Still determined to take a step forward, however, Coffeeboy came up with a plan.

He showed up at the Cafe today. It was a very busy day - the sort where I wind up working 8-5 with no break. When he showed up at around 3, I was running around chasing after drinks, standing listlessly by while customers took a table vote on whether to get baguette or miche while the cook shouted frantically that my food for 5 was getting cold, and explaining the goddamn specials every five minutes. I finally had a second to say hi, as I was rolling the cutlery we inevitably ran out of. He said, `here, this will cheer you up - hold out your hand.` And he handed me - yup, you guessed it - one brand new silver key.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well, at least it's nice to hear of some politics that don't revolve around who-said-what-to-which-Sensei-in-who's-dojo bullshit.

And it was certainly nice last night to get involved in some local politics, instead of getting caught up in the American stuff. Coffeeboy and I went to our city council's open forum to hear them discuss local issues, like the fact that we sunk $72.5 million last year on a goddamn conference center, and have yet to build a hotel that can hold $72.5 million worth of suites for me to serve coffee to. (The conference center is about two doors up from the cafe). Well, dur, of course it hasn't paid for itself yet. And the fact that homelessness around here is rampant, which is easy for all the North-enders to ignore, but a little bit more difficult to dismiss when you, like most downtowners, know the names and history of at least half a dozen of them. These people where our neighbours, not too long ago,

(Sidenote: Coffeeboy and I both made plans to go before we even talked to each other - me because I read about it in the paper, and he because he got an email from our local Popular Participation Movement. And he had a hand in organizing a massive protest against said homelessness on campus, involving dirty students getting even dirtier as they are currently camping out in mock-homeless style. How goddamn awesome is he?!)

I heard interesting theories from a few candidates. My favourite was the awesome! idea of inviting MORE big box stores to our already swamped small-ish town. Yeah! They save the consumer money! Never mind the fact that the consumer can't spend ANY money if her small business / her employer's small business is run into the ground. Whatevs. Walmart, ho!

There was one candidate, as well, who gave a bad name to lefties. Purely insane. It looked a lot like a like fire-and-brimstone righty, except, well, left. I suppose both sides have their ace flyers.

I'm super glad I went, because I revised my vote a lot. As in, it's almost completely different now. There were 26 candidates, which is far too many if you ask me, because I wound up resorting to note-taking to keep track of who said what. But I think I've got it sorted out. I was really happy to see downtown represented, including both my old boss from Rowdy Fast Food Place and a friend who's pamphlets were all designed by Graphic Designer Coffeeboy.

Unfortunately, I have to miss the mayoral forum tonight for karate. 'Cuz, as much as I love heckling our assmunch of a mayor and then awkwardly having to serve him his sandwich the next day, I'm getting a big round these days from a lack of training.

But the point of all this, people, is as such: go vote. Sister confessed this morning that she's never voted, doesn't know any of the candidates or anything about our political system, and thinks that 'The American election is the only one that matters, anyways." Ugh. Never have our differences been so glaringly obvious. People, if you don't like the way shit is, excercise the most powerful tool against it you've been given. Hell, if you do like the way shit is, keep it that way! For God's sake, just go vote!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I love my neighbourhood. I live in the downtown core of my city, which is a pretty kickassed downtown, if I do say so. My town is smallish, at about 80 000 residents, which means that downtown is a few concentrated streets lined with cafes and boutiques and everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows, for example, that the Camel isn't serving espresso anymore because their barista, G, is moving on up and opening his own cafe just as soon as he gets through the red tape and can set up in the art gallery. I., owner of the Camel, is happy for him and wants to concentrate more on his organic, fair-trade middle eastern food and continuing to make the best damn falafel ever. I., incidentally, used to live in what is now my house, specifically in the bedroom where I now write this.

See? That kind of place.

But as much as I love downtown, I'm not real stoked on my living situation. I have that rule about not posting super personal stuff, so I won't go into detail - besides, this post has a different direction.

I've been talking about finding a new place, but that's difficult when you're as bloody determined to live somewhere within a six-block vicinity as I am. I was ranting about this to Coffeeboy the other day, who lives smack dab in the middle of things, literally a stones throw - or toss, rather, it's right across the street - from the afformentioned Camel.

"well, why don't... I mean, in awhile maybe...I mean, you're always here, why don't.... why don't you, like..... move your stuff over here?"

And it didn't scare me. What the hell? I'm supposed to be a commitmentphobe here! Our relationship is SO not old enough to be talking about this sort of thing. For God's sake, I smoked weed last night purchased on the same night we got together. Granted, it was really dry weed, but smokeable, nonetheless.

I love that apartment. I love his roommates. And, of course, I love him. I should be terrifed of this. And - careful, because this is going to be disgustingly cliche- I've never felt quite like this before. I've only ever flet that rush-excitement kind of love, or the comfortable easy-going kind, but never all together in one.

I told him I'd think about it. And I am.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I had a woman accuse me of prejudice yesterday at work. It's really bothering me. She and her husband sat down, ordered drinks, and said they were waiting for their daughter to arrive before they'd order food.

So I went about my business - I had a full section of 8 or 9 tables - and didn't notice right away when their daughter came in. I think I brought food, or took an order, or something from the table next to them.

Next thing I know, this woman is at the till complaining to the barista about me. Then Boss came over, and the woman accused me of being racist! My heart sank - I felt sick to my stomach, even though I know there was absolutely nothing racist about it.

I didn't want to serve them after that, so Boss took over for me. As they left, they apologised, and smiling and happy and whatnot, saying they didn't want to get me in trouble and I was 'a very good server'. It was no problem, they said.

No problem?! Big fucking problem! Do these people think they're being discriminated against at every (imaged) slight, or was it just me? Boss stood up for me, which was a relief. I've been involved in activism against racism, which can be rather rampant around here against our indigenous population, and the thought that I might've done something to seem racist is still bothering me today.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I don't know why people think that their servers are there for abuse. I had a woman the other day yell - yes, I do mean yell - at me because there was no whole wheat baguette to be had. She then complained to my boss, as if a lack of baguette were somehow the result of my poor service, and left without paying. My boss, of course, was cool about it and stood up for me. People! Firstly, it's a bakery. Sometimes? We have to bake stuff. Secondly, even if it were somebody's mistake, it's not mine, and believe it or not I'm a person, not a waitressing robot, and I think I'm due to the same basic respect as anyone else.

Between that and the Austrian, some days are just so taxing and stressfull that I feel like walking out. The Austrian, by the way, had another of our servers in tears the other day. Nobody deserves that kind of bullshit just to make a living. Some of the servers at work can be forgetful and/or slow, but there's not a damn one who would make anything short of their best effort to help our customers, and I think they deserve some respect for that, especially given what we're paid.

And people! Don't tip the server based on how the food tastes. We didn't make it.

I cheered myself up today, after all that madness yesterday, by buying the coolest hat the world has ever seen.

Things with coffeeboy are wonderful. Positively, absolutely, splendidly wonderful. There have been poorly-disguised implications of a real future between us, coming from both sides. I'm trying not to excited myself too much. These days, however, I'm spending more nights at his place than mine.

Finally wrote something -

Once when we were young & fresh with kisses,
slurps, bites, little slaps
in your truck -
I sat half-drunk and oozing sweet sex
the ride back, country road, deep night

and you swerved
suddenly, there was a rabbit shockwhite
in front of us -
bugsbunny ears -
and blood on the pavement.

The truck doors flew open like hawk wings
and we out, to imagine
the horror of little bones sticking out, little
brains mashed up little cute bunny dead.

I cried.
Your hand on my shoulder as it twitched
last nerve pulses,
I cried. We went back for more.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My new nephew, babytoo, was born early Saturday morning at home. Nine pounds, five ounces, which I'm told is a very big baby. As if I know anything about babies. Other than, of course, he's cute as all shit and makes these high-pitched squeeky noises that make me mistake him for one of the cats a couple times a day.

I won't go into detail about th birth, partially because I don't know shit about birth and partially because, well, this isn't a mommy blog.

When I got the phone call to come home because Sister's water had broken, my first thought was, "already?" It seems like just yesterday she was getting married and finding out she was pregnant, which incidentally happened on the same day. That was in late February, for those too lazy to do the math.

It certainly seemed like not that long ago. In fact, the whole past year has been a blur to me, the passage of time only recently coming to my attention with the changing of the seasons. Fall and winter have always been hard for me, because they're filled with family-ish holidays, and while it could be a lot worse, I'm not exactly close with mine. We're working on it. But last time this year, I was beside myself with happiness that M.'s family was so welcoming to me, and I was thinking about marriage and about starting a family of my own in a few years.

I think I sunk into myself for the past year. I didn't really notice it go by, despite having had some of the worst and plenty of the best times of my life. I've been emotionally hibernating, so to speak, not seeing what's going on around me.

But lots has been going on. There's been a new life growing right before my eyes. I was in my room trying to stay out of the way at 1:47 a.m. Saturday morning when I heard Sister's cries get louder and louder, then peak as they were joined by the high-pitched, righteously pissed-off squall of a newborn suddenly realising that it's fucking cold out here and could I get some boob already?! As Matteo screamed his first scream of what I'm sure will be many, I felt myself quite violently snapped back to the present, to this time, and to this place, where I've found myself.

Shit. It's nearly been a year. And, in the context of new lives, my little woes seem pretty, well, little. I've missed a lot, between trying to get on my feet and trying to sort out my whole life rightthisinstant, and I've been too hard on myself, and I've failed to live in the moment.

I feel like I'm waking up. It's a strange feeling to have while winter is approaching and the rest of the world is going to sleep. But I'm looking around and living right now, remembering to breathe in, breathe out, breathe in.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I only have a few minutes to write this, because I'm going out for a well-deserved end of the week drink with a good friend from karate.

There's a regular at work who everybody hates. The Austrian. That's not a psydonym; we all actually call him that - well, it's often The Angry Austrian - because nobody knows his real name.

Me and The Austrian had a go-around yesterday, when I told him there were no more ham and cheese croissants. (It's a bakery! Deal with it!) I then had to bring out an order of croissants to the couple sitting next to him. They ordered the last one! The Austrian was quite upset that he couldn't have one, seeing as he'd 'sat down first'. Sitting down first doesn't undo twenty minutes of reading the menu. Sorry. He was getting so angry at me yesterday that I eventually sent my boss over to deal with him. Fuck if I'm putting up with that.

Like a moth to a flame, The Angry Austrian sat in my section again today. We divide sections differently every day, based on who's working and how busy it is, so there's no reason other than cruel fate that I should be stuck with him all. the. time.

First, he sent back his glass of water because I'd brought him too much. He wanted a small glass. Too much! Water! You're not even paying for it!

"I like a small glass. Remember that next time."

After that, he interupted me while I was talking to the table next to him to say he wanted a san pelegrino, like the one I'd brought the man he interupted, instead. Don't think the table he interupted wasn't pissed, either; they asked to be moved to another table - oh, like that one - which meant I had to toss a table of six, half ordered, to a coworker's section when the poor guy was already bogged down. Coworker was then pissed at me, and the kitchen was pissed at Coworker for subsequently swapping table numbers on the orders that had already gone in. Thanks, Austrian!

I asked him how his meal was, and he grumbled, "fine, I guess."

Austrian was then pissed because we have a new barista who was going to make his cappucino after his meal. "Why isn't T. here? I only like T.'s cappucino."

Well, Austrian, I hate to break it to you, but your favourite barista doesn't actually live here. We have other baristas. T.'s cappucino does kick ass, but C.'s is nothing to complain about - much better than anything you'll get at the cafe up the road - so deal with it. Ugh!

I've gotta go. Nothing drives me to drink like this guy. And the knowleadge that I'll probably serve him tomorrow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I usually have a rule against posting about more personal topics, but I just have to rant about this one. And, should it ever be read, I'll stand my ground, because this is just Stupid with a capital S.

I got an email from M.'s mom, who basically runs the karate club, nagging me about membership stuff, which was all duly deserved and I hang my head in utter shame YADA YADA. At the end of it, she says, "If this is a problem, you can talk to M. about it if you feel more comfortable."

Now. M.'s mom was never my biggest fan. We clashed on a lot of things, which didn't really heat up the first two years of our relationship, until M. and I decided to live together and he moved out of his parent's basement at the unheard-of age of 22. (Yeah.) We had our tifts in the past, more because we're both stubborn and outspoken than because of anything too difficult to work around. Since Breakup #2, she hasn't said two words to me, and makes a habit of shooting icy glares at me from the back of the dojo.

#1: M. and I have a precarious relationship these days. We're best friends. Always will be. But it's been tough dancing around every other conversation topic that will be be awkward and/or hurtful to someone. The last thing I need to do is talk to his mother through him, which had more than enough to do with Breakup #1. I'm not sabotaging a very important, very finicky friendship because M.'s mom wants to be childish.

#2: Nor am I bringing my personal life into the dojo. I've always been very, very careful to leave my relationship with M. at the dojo door, because that sort of shit just doesn't have a place among dojo hierarchy, respect, and the odd smash to the face. M. and I have always managed this just fine, with a bit of tongue-biting here and there. If we can do it, so can she.

Well. I've thoroughly broken my rule. I've also left a lot out. I'm going to deal with this by swallowing my pride tonight, plastering on a smile, and dealing with this face-to-face with her, whether she likes it or not. Fuck if I'm letting this get worse.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm turning over a new leaf.

After my breakup with M., I allowed myself very little healing time and jumped right back into dating. There was one sweet but brief relationship, followed by a string of almost-boyfriends, one or two almost-girlfriends, and, er, general funsies with multiple people.

Yes, it was hurtful and a mistake, all in all. Live and learn. Had some fun along the way, learned enough about myself to know that it's time for this phase to come to a close. It lasted for about a year, during which time I figured out first that I don't need a partner to feel complete; and secondly, that I don't need to fool around with random people to remember that I don't need a partner.

Things are going well with Coffeeboy. It's new still, so I try not to spill the beans too much. I know that, at this early stage, I would normally run for the hills should someone utter "I think this is going somewhere" to me, so I generally keep my mouth shut, even though I secretly think it is.

He's sweet, but not in a boyish way, and funny, but not in a stupid way. I'm always laughing with him and I feel comfortable with him, just as I am, even with the lights on. He never, ever plays mind games. And we're into all the same stuff, if you know what I mean.

In other words, Coffeeboy is an entirely wonderful idea.

Dishboy, however, is not.

Dishboy started at the restaurant washing dishes a few days ago. He is very, very cute. When I asked him what he'd been doing prior to washing our dishes, he vaguely mentioned travelling, and when I probed farther, I found that he had been travelling Canada, the US and Mexico for the past two years working oddjobs and surfing.

When someone mentioned marriage, Dishboy scoffed, "pfft. Patriarchy." and then went on a long-winded feminist rant.

Dishboy believes in full liberation, including sexual, and is 'quite receptive' to new ideas.

In other words, Dishboy is the absolute epitome of all that is bad for me yet utterly, utterly tempting. This situation would normally play out as follows: I would go out for drinks after work with him one night and wind up in his bed. We'd have awesome sex and then pillowtalk that would last hours and convince me that this one really IS different. Then intellectual talk over breakfast. Then I'd leave my number and waltz through the day like a blithering idiot. He wouldn't call, or maybe he'd leave a nonchalant voicemail just to fuck with me, but I'd never actually go out with him again. And I'd be heartbroken.

Old Jamie didn't realise this. She would've gone out with him.

In fact, I did have coffee with Dishboy yesterday. We ran into each other at a cute cafe that makes terrible cappucino. And we talked, and we flirted, and as I left, Dishboy tried to kiss me.

I didn't let him. I turned my head, mustered up a 'sorry', and walked home.

A few hours ago, I ran into Coffeeboy at another cafe (I promise, I do do other things than just drink coffee. Really. Sometimes.) I just feel better around him. He invited me to a show at the bar he lives overtop of tonight, and I'm going to go, and probably wind up in his bed. Again. And what I haven't learned from this yet, but plan to, is that I'm perfectly strong enough to be without him but want to be anyways.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Since I wasn't enough of a cliche already (SNORT), I've taken a step further in the cliche direction by becoming involved with a regular at work.

He's my age, ish, which is about ten years younger than the average clientele. He comes for the decent lattes, and stays for people watching, just about every day. We had something of a mild flirtation for a few weeks, and I often sat and had coffee with him after my shift. Rumours, I may add, where flying long before anything actually come of it.

I like him. A week ago, I swore I was off dating forever and ever and ever (see vague reference to 'drama' in my last entry - let's just say the cops were involved). And I really don't want to do the whole mind-game dating ritual. Honestly, I wish I could skip ahead a few weeks and really know what's going on. Dating is exhausting!

I've been getting really mixed signals from him. I'm seeing him tonight, and I think I'll just be honest, say I don't want to play games, and what the fuck ARE we?

...and then have more mind-blowing sex. Oh. My. God.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I haven't been posting because of drama that I don't want to write about, yet can't seem to stop thinking about for more than two minutes to tell the world about some restaurant ettiquette.

But, while we're on it, here's a mini-rant:

Have some fucking common sense. The process of you getting your food is not a difficult one to master:

1) You are seated and look at a menu.

2) I, your ever-pleasant waitress, are informed by you what you would like to eat.

3)I then inform the ever-pleasant kitchen staff (those who have waitressed are giggling right now) what you would like to eat.

Note: if there has been any disruption to the above process to date, I will be shot on sight.

4) The kitchen staff will prepare your meal.

5) I will deliver it.

6) You will eat it. I will then ask if you want dessert, which you probably don't, but I do need my daily dose of futility.

7) I will bring the bill, and you may choose to either pay me or take your bill to the till, where the nearby barista will assist you.

A few variants on this process that simply do not work:

1) Ordering one meal, then five minutes later ordering another for your dining partner. Actually, scratch that, that's all very well and good. However, have some common sense and realise that we're now dealing with two orders, the first having been submitted to the kitchen already, and they will not be up at the same time. Sorry. Next time, make a fucking decision or deal with it.

2) Ordering something that's not on the menu, proclaiming nonchalently in front of your 20-something double-D girlfriend, "I'm a regular! Boss does it all the time!"

Well, that's great. But Boss isn't cooking, and Chef does not appreciate deciphering my notes on what you think you want, but you can't remember, gee, were those tomatoes? Or red peppers?

3) A literal translation of "shooting the messenger" is "snarking at the waitress". Should something go wrong in the process, it's probably not my fault. Look, we're a bakery. Sometimes we run out of croissants. Snarking at me about how we had them yesterday isn't going to magically bake a batch. Sorry.

Likewise, snarking at me for delivering an order with potatoe rye substituted for miche isn't going to make the customer's dentures strong enough to handle the oh-so-chewy miche they couldn't eat last time. For Christ's sake, SORRY.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The restaurant where I work is kinda of a peculiar place. That said, I don't think it's hard to stick your nose in the door and get a general sense of it for yourself. Firstly, it's a decently sized place with a full kitchen, which should give you some clues right off the bat. Secondly, there's a full barista station and servers running around like mad - more clues.

Here are some things the restuarant is not:

It's not a corner store. Right now is the height of tourist season, and as awefull as it sounds I have to say it: the thicker the drawl, the thicker the customer. I had a woman come in yesterday and ask me if we had anything "that aint so fanc-ay. Like a good 'ol chocolate chip cookie." If we did have a chocolate chip cookie, it would probably cost you in the area of $7 and be the best damn cookie you've ever had. We're not pretentious, but we do appreciate decent lard and will never, ever sell anybody anything that isn't top of the line.

It's not particularily kid-friendly. Good kids do well there. A tablefull of screaming banshees? Not so much. There's not really anything on the menu for kids, unless you have the only kid on the planet who appreciates portabellos. I should have expected it when a group of four redneck mamas donning torn sweatpants came in with at least a dozen under five, but they didn't order a damn thing that was actually on the menu and I got several complaints about the kids, one of which ran straight into the kitchen while Mama was changing a diaper - yes, that's right - on the table.

It's not a whitespot. Off the same cruise ship, I had a man flabberghasted that we didn't have burgers, or even ground beef on the premisis. There's a burger place right across the street! I don't know what part of 'authentic French cafe-bakery' made this man think 'greasebomb', but it did. And no, nothing comes with fries, and yes, the food is portioned by European standards, which basically translates into 'an ammount that won't leave you bloated and uncomfortable all day'.

And for God's sake, it's a bakery. By the end of the day, we run out of some shit. Ya know why? Because we can't just go into the back freezer and get more.

In other news, I'll soon be a barista. The barista who's training me is very, very passionate about espresso and gave me a stack of books to read on the subject. Barista said I was chosen to learn because I've shown a passion for tea - you're right there - he hopes to see develop for espresso. And it is. I haven't actually wrangled the espresso machine much yet, but he gave me a stack of books to read that I'm working my way through. I'm loving it so far.

In the manner of the French and all things compressed and pressurized for zing, I've been dabbling with my old friend Imagism. So here's a glimpse into my current poetic fancies, just how my weekend went, and what I think of my new piercing:

I loved it best
When a wet leaf slapped the window
We fogged.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I've kept two jobs out of necessity for the past little while, but I really can't wait to go down to one. I've been double-booked a couple of times in the past week, trying to wrangle my way out of shifts without coming off like a complete jerk. But I think I have. I've been trying to prioritize my new job at the bakery over my old job at the tea room, simply because I only have one week left there and it doesn't really matter if I piss them off. Thing is, it does matter, to me anyways, because I honestly care about that place and about the people.

Which leads me to tomorrow. I'm scheduled to work the evening at the tea room, and was just talked into taking a shift in the morning at the bakery. Not only is it going to be a thirteen hour day, it's causing me to cancel my date with Certain Boy.

I'd given up on him, and wasn't sure whether I minded. Then I ran into him the other night, outside a tattoo shop of all places, and we made plans for tomorrow. My head has been so swarmed with different things, I haven't been able to give it much thought, but he was in this morning for coffee, and he's definately still cute. And charming. Damnit, that's a deadly combination.

Looks like I'm going to be trained as a barista in the bakery. I know just about all there is to know about tea, and spent the slower part of today building boxes and swapping tea/coffee lore with the current barista. I don't drink much coffee, so maybe I'm not the best person for the job, but hey. It's probably better than serving.

At which, by the way, I'm getting much better. I didn't drop a single damn thing today, and I only had to hold up the till like a jackass checking prices on the menu a few times.

I'm volunteering tonight for the karate club, running the local bingo. Glamourous job. It generally includes empyting ashtrays and clearing tables. It will be made even better by the presence of M., who didn't show up for training last night and who I haven't seen since The Breakup. The only buffer will be our mutual friend, who I'm pretty sure doesn't know we've broken up yet. Or does, and was too polite to say anything.

Disjointed entry. My mind is still frazzled. I'm going to try to catch a nap before I have to go out again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sister and I are both on very feminine kicks. They may be quite different, but there's a whole lot 'o estrogen flying around this house.

Sister is seven months pregnant. I expected that 'nesting' would end with her incessant knitting, but nay. Yesterday, it meant that all the furniture in Munchkin's room needed to be rearranged RIGHT THIS SECOND AND CAN I HAVE SOME PIZZA HERE. Since, however, she is rounding the corner of too big to get off the couch easily, and Brother in Law was at work, three guesses who got to do the actual moving of furniture. Yup, that's right.

If my life were a book, two things would happen: there would be a lot more interesting dialogue, and there would certainly be a clever character foil between Sister and I. Especially now that we're under one roof. Sister is head of the mom's group, runs a charity for natural mothering, and knits matching santa hat's for this year's Christmas card / birth announcement. I, however, write satirical one-acts (still working on it!) and attend pro-choice rallys.

It's actually grossly cliche. Not that I don't support Sister's lifestyle, because I do; I truly respect it, because I know that if I had to spend one day inside knitting and watching 'teh-behs' (teddy bears), I'd off in a heartbeat.


My feminine kick is my usual post-breakup ritual. Revenge diet. A penchant for waxing. The sudden urge to buy a miniskirt, which, when paired with a fashonista shoe-salesperon best friend, usually ends in far too much exposed leg given the red, post-waxing skin. A haircut is in order.

And, while we're on it, an upcoming consultation for a piercing in a region where I'm saving the wax for the weekend.

(Off-topic: CORSET PIERCINGS. I was so sad when I found out they're temporary. Seriously, sexiest thing I've ever seen. Next time there is a formal event, you bet your ass I'll be getting holes punched in my back.)

All of this estrogen in the house has led to a surge in the ammount of shoes ceremoniously hauled downstairs to clutter up the doorway. And lipstick. Egads, the lipstick.

I need to go to karate and get my shit kicked right out of girly-town.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 hard to do.

I should've known it was coming when I suddenly got the urge to clean, which for me can be either extremely therepeutic or extremely aggravating. I felt the need, I think, to reclaim my room of one's own, so to speak, because I'd been spending far too much time at M.'s and it had gone pretty much to shit.

(To the point, as we've seen, where I've failed to notice my rat's to-be-fatal tumour and that my nephew can now inform us "I no seepy!" about half an hour before bedtime like clockwork.)

We were spending a few days apart, mainly out of inconvenience and other plans, and I happened to have those few days off. So I scrubbed. And dusted. And did more laundry than I care to admit was dirty.

Then, on Sunday, I ran into a Certain Boy who I had something of a crush on during second semester. Second semester, however, was a turbulentm time for me, what with the breakdown of the three-year relationship with M., ensuing depressing and oh-my-god-where-will-I-live stress, blossoming bisexuality and a sweet but ill-fated relationship (talk about bad timing).

Anyways. I ran into Certain Boy in a greasy fast-food place. Shortly thereafter, I realised that I was having feelings I hadn't had in a long time and had been trying to convince myself were a trick of my memory.

(No, nothing happened. I gave him my number, but he hasn't called. And even if he does, I'm not sure I'll answer.)

So I broke it off with M. Just now. He took it well.

I told him that I was in a horrible place when we got back together (which I won't go into - that's another story best told after a stiff drink) and shouldn't have been making decisions. I told him that it wasn't him, and that's not a line, it really wasn't - he'd done miraculous things to change those things about him that ruined our relationship in the first place. I was expecting to magically love him again after that, but it doesn't work that way; it had just been too long since I'd seen that side of him. I think I was over him long before it ended.

So here I am, sitting in my room that's already started collecting some clutter. On the floor. Staring at my old engagement ring which I'd taken to wearing around my neck for the past month, and wondering how I'm going to summon up the courage to ask customers tomorrow if they prefer a baguette or croissante with their nicoise. Knowing that I will.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I was walking home from work a few minutes ago, thinking about a lot of things that seem to be conveniently connected at the same time.

First, that fall seems to be here suddenly. We're winding down the summer at the ice cream shop, trying desperately to fill shifts in September when everyone goes back to school but there's still enough business to need them. (This, by the way, resulted in a minor promotion for me - too little, too late, I suppose.) I can't say I'm too sad to see summer fade away; I had kind of a crappy one, and can count on one hand the number of days I spent in the sun (three). We shut 'er down a few hours early tonight because the grand total of the day was $154; it rained enough to make the pigeons take baths in the puddles on the boardwalk, and it was so winter-y there wasn't even a rainbow to show for it.

Secondly, I've decided to put my cancerous rat down. Her tumour rubs against the cage bars when she climbs, and it's become raw and infected. She doesn't play anymore. It's time. Since my vet won't do it (grr), I'm employed a good friend of mine, who's a research biologist and trained in the art of killing things humanely. I told him I'm going to go for a walk, and while I'm gone he's to take Ozymandius to live on a farm.

OK, it may be silly, but I'm sad. She was my first real pet - 'real' as in one I could pet and play with. Oz was skittish as hell from day one, but we bonded, eventually, and even re-bonded when I got her back from M. upon moving into my new house. I got her to keep me company while M. was working out of town one time, and I got bloody attached to the little bugger.

Finally, one of the regulars from the tea shop is in the hospital. He had a stroke a few weeks ago, and we haven't seen much of him since, which has been strange because he used to spend entire days staring out our window with a cup of red rose tea. He was friendly, but quiet, and everyone's favourite. He has a pacemaker now, and can't get out of bed - - it's not looking good.

I was thinking about this one the way home, trying to decide how to write about it, when I realised I was being followed.

I thought. I wasn't sure. How long had he been behind me? Was his foot-shuffling getting closer?

I caught a quick glimpse behind me, and scaled him up. Big guy, but top-heavy, so I knew I could take him to the ground if I had to. I ran through self-defense scenerios in my mind, knowing that the only thing that would save me would be instincts from years of training.

Lesson One in self-defense is that prevention is far, far better than any other skill. So I turned around, clenched one fist and stared him in the eye. With the other fist, my better punching one, I grasped my keys so that one stuck out between my fingers. I gave him my best "try me" look.

(It's all about attitude, you know. Victims look like victims.)

I turned up my street, and he didn't follow.

So I never did decide what I was going to say about fall, Ozymandius, and my favourite regular. But while I was too busy worrying about natural mortality, the dangerous unnatural kind almost snuck up on me, and maybe that's what I can take from it.

On another note. I've been writing an oh-so-satiral one-act that's been rolling around in my brain, and I'll post it once a) I finish it (to some degree) and b) I figure out how the hell to use adobe.

For now, a villanelle I wrote recently that vaguely fits the subject at hand:

I haven’t seen a salt-gnarled tree
Or heard a gull shriek for a clam –
Three long years since I’ve been free;
Three long years spent from the sea.

In my sea-shack the drapes were dingy
And hung less stiff than where I am,
Now three long years since I’ve been free.

Sweet, temperate mornings the wind rose gently
And I woke to salt and brine, before
Three long years spent from the sea.

By night, the wind and waves would roll; we
Forget we’re moving till we reach our shore.
Yes, three long years since I’ve rolled free.

The pebbles seethed when they came for me
As the ocean drew a last wave away
For three long years spent from the sea.

This spring is coming happily:
They say it is my final May.
Three long years since I’ve been free;
Three long years, back to the sea.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Going camping for the weekend with the karate club. My vacation time was supposed to be four days - given that I haven't had more than one consequitive day off since June - but it was cut down to two when one of the girls called in with pinkeye last night at the ice cream shop / tea room and they were pretty desperate. And I agreed to work Sunday night, because I'm a sucker like that.

Last night. Oy. I'm not going to write much, because I'm supposed to be sipping pina coladas and letting all my stress melt away, but. We were out of chocolate, strawberry AND vanilla, AND we had to move a few dozen buckets of ice cream up three flights of stairs to make room for today's order. And the dishwasher blew. And one of the tills. And there was a certain power-trip issue that I won't get into now.

Anyways. Camping. I expect there to be some scandal when M. and I share a tent tonight, and I'm kinda sorta masochistically looking forward to it. I'm aloof like that, ya know - people can say and think what they want.

(Total lie. I'm worried sick.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

what doesn't kill you...

might kill your customers. Oy. I had quite the stellar moment today. I daresay I impressed the boss my first day at the bakery - but, to be honest, it had more to do with three espressos and a good night's sleep than anything else. A hangover paired with an old donut and half a glass of orange juice? Not so much.

The single dumbest work moment of my life came today when, in a moment of true brilliance, I placed my beautifully packaged to-go meal right in front of the cash drawer (you can see where this is going). I even managed to ring the man up without doing anything dumb. Then I opened the till.

Cha-CHING! went the cash.
CRASH went the meal. All over the floor. Smooth. Thankfully, the guy was cool about it and just laughed. Don't think I didn't buy his coffee.

My boss, who is also pretty nice and easy going, laughed as well. She told me she might give me shit if she didn't think the embarassment were punishment enough. And oh, it was.

I was out with the tea house gang the other night to celebrate one of my coworker's birthday. A few Long Island iced tea's later (what the hell is IN those to make them so sweet?) I was feeling no pain and thought myself rather invincible.

I was sitting with a coworker who I'd until then gotten along with very well - she was easily my favourite supervisor - when we spied two girls kissing at once of the tables. Apparently Katy Perry has that effect. Anyways, she leans over and says to me, "God, that's so gross!

Me: "Why, that two girls are kissing?"
Her: "Yeah! That's nasty!"
Me: "So I guess this wouldn't be a great time to come out."

She didn't even answer, just got suddenly tired and 'had' to leave. I sat in a pout for awhile before leaving, too. Seriously. If you don't like it, which is ridiculous enough to start, don't look! I really liked this girl, too. I've always sensed some homophobia at work, but it was never anything more than a few jokes before this. Ya think you know someone.

Took M. out to my parents' cabin last night, which was a coming-out of sorts. I really had trouble figured out what they thought of it, but hey, at least the secret's out now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesdays are my only day off right now, so I don't easily let them go ot waste. Today I arrived at the local animal shelter with a hefty donation of mostly cat food - it's that time of year, after all, when all the foster kittens are coming back, and holy shit, were there kittens.

I spent most of the afternoon there. It cracked me up that when I first walked in the cats barely opened their eyes to greet me; yeah, whatevs, another person to pet us. But as soon as I shook the treat container, all eyes were suddenly on me. One cat got so excited he fell off the window ledge. Ever had twenty cats rush you? Intimidating, to say the least.

I fell in love with two cats in particular: one, named Sashi, was a beautiful creamy white with orange points who wanted cuddles more than treats (which is cat blasphemy, by the way) and literally lept into my arms when I tried to leave. There was another, an older black male who's name I couldn't find, who was about equally as affectionate - and who I watched leave later with an old woman taking him back to the retirment home. Don't think I didn't blink back a tear.

I played with the puppies for awhile after that. I normally call all dogs "puppies", but there were a few legitimate puppies that quite ripped my heart out of my chest. Or at least licked the shit out of it. I also met two dalmations, a great Dane, and a very old yellow lab named Rocky. I have a soft spot for old animals, which explains why both my my - er, M.'s - cats are twelve and thirteen.

I've always wanted to volunteer at the shelter, and maybe now I'll have enough spare time to do it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

M. and I are in a weird place. At first, I had a "friends with benefits" thing in mind, but of course, there were feelings there, and has anyone ever made that work? Didn't think so. So we tentatively got back together, and I proclaimed quite adamently that I was not giving up my hard-earned independance and we were not that serious.

It has come to my attention that my independance has been lacking. Not from the not-so-subtle complaints of my friends who have barely seen me, or the fact that my bedroom - which until recently was my spotless pride and joy - is now littered with laundry and starting to smell like hamster shit because I'm just never here. Nope, I noticed this because my rat, Ozymandius, has a giant tumour bigger than her head that I've just now noticed.

Cancer is generally the way rats die, and Oz is getting on in age, so I'm not really surprised. But these are my first rats and I'm not really sure what to do, and trust me, it's pretty gross.

Tumours like this don't just sprout up over night. How long has it been since I really spent time here? I'm getting scared now, because it was a very long road to being able to spend a night alone here feeling content. I think I gave that up a little too easily. A woman I work with tonight said she's been through something similar, and it's impossible to get back together without reverting to the seriousness you once had - which for me means digging out a ring.

I don't want to give up my independance just yet, because I'm not quite convinced enough that things are different this time. But I don't want to be here in this room tonight with only the rats to keep me company, because to be honest, all I'm doing is thinking about him.

Friday, August 8, 2008

nerdyjamie pirouettes onto blogger...

...or rather, trips and stumbles into it, knocking over a few glass vases, which is really more her style.


Now is a good time to start a blog. I`m a writer, ya know, and fish gotta fly. Or something. I figured this is a good time because I just started my new job yesterday, which will turn into a full-time endevour in a few weeks. I`ll be serving tables at an authentic French café-bakery; a job I got by drastically embellishing my experience in my current job, at a ice cream scoopery-tea house, where I do much more of the former and very little of the latter. I actually know very little about serving, baking, or French cuisine at all, but goddamn, I know a lot about pretending like I do.

How I wound up here requires a little back story. I won`t write much about it; it`s boring, and besides, I`m all about mystique, ya know.

In February, things were very different. I was with my then-live-in-boyfriend, M., and attending school full time in a variety of writing and sociology classes. Very few people knew that M. and I were desperately unhappy. I started dating M. at the young age of fifteen, which everybody knows is too damn young to date anybody, let alone somebody you plan to spend the next four years with. But we lived together anyways. Talk about having all your eggs in one grenade.

One day, a trivial argument was the end of it.

I lived with my best friend, S., for a few monthes while I got used to this whole `single` thing. And once I got the hang of it, boy, did I run with it. There was a brief but passionate affair with an unemployed actor; then, afterwards, there was an unnoficial affair with his (female) roommate. There was (and is) a whole lot `o the feminism. There was beer. Egads, the beer.

I`m living now with my Sister, her husband Brother, their son Munchkin and second-trimester fetus Babytoo. I`m not going back to school, at least not yet, which leads me back to the bakery.

I know what you`re thinking: art student dropout waiting tables smells like a whole lot of nihilism. But not at all. I`m all about optimism. I`m trying to think of this as a different kind of school, with more tests but less homework, which sounds OK except I heard a rumour that it`s not fair. And I`m trying to think of `croissant or baguette?' as more of a cute catchphrase than a death sentence. I haven't been able to find existentialism in ice cream - yet - unless carpal tunnel counts.

Oh, and M. and I are back together. Secretely, of course.