Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the art of merging

Took an impromptu trip this week down towards San Diego way to see family & friends. The drive is always pleasant for most of the trip, but there is portions of the drive thru LA that can kill me mentally & literally.
It seems that in the course of the last few years people have lost the art of merging. I am talking about traffic though this lends itself to our lives also.
I was on the 101 S where it merges with the 405 N and this lovely woman in the car in front of me decides that she should put on her brakes. Now she was going 70 or so and we were in the far right lane due to both of us apparently wanting to get onto 405. The problem was the traffic coming onto the freeway via an on-ramp. She would have been fine to slide between the two cars coming on, however she decided to break and let both on in front of her. This caused me a moment of "oh hell" as I tapped my breaks and slowed 30 MPH in 2 seconds.
I was fine, traffic went on and I merged onto my freeway of choice.
It did make me think however, what was she like in her life outside of driving?
Does she overly accommodate those in her life, while pacing herself & her needs around theirs?
I think I have a good balance of merging myself with those around me. This means that sometimes I am the one giving way, others times they are. This is what makes a friendship to me, the merging of two different lives into a new relationship. How it works is new and interesting in each it depends upon the people in it.
As I prepare to drive home today I will try to be open to letting people in, both in traffic and my life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

things that amuse ( and or irritate your server )

I have been a waitress or bartender for most of my working career ( and yes I use that term career loosely ). It enabled me to go to school, as the hours were somewhat flexible. It gave me an insight to dining out that all should have, but trust me DO NOT. It let me live in my fabulous Shangri-la and other great beach towns. Also, gave me the ability to smile when I was not in the tiniest way happy, learn to work thru hunger, anger, sleep deprivation and hang overs. In this illustrious career of mine I have worked with the best and worst that the world of restaurants has to offer. Bosses who never heard of sexual harassment lawsuits, co-workers who were dumber than the proverbial box of rocks and people who would cover your asses just because they had been there at one point.
Now, having said all of this there are many things that amuse or annoy us as industry workers.
Calling or walking in with a large party ( let's say 15 people ) on a Friday evening and saying "oh we have to wait 30 minutes?" Um, well let's see...our tables only hold up to 6 people at them, thus a few need to be moved. It is 7pm on a FRIDAY EVENING when everyone and their family has decided to go out. OH yeah and you didn't bother to are lucky it isn't an hour you silly people.
Then there are the needy peeps who ask for more napkins, then more sauce, then more soda...ok we are here for you, but please try to understand we have 4 or so other tables. If you know you need all of this, we will be happy to do it all at once. We just dislike 10 trips when we could have taken 2.
My personal fave is people who say that they need change, you run over to the bar or cashier if your place is lucky enough to have that...make change, bring it back & they say "oh, that's for you" sweet...thanks again for the extra steps.
Let's not even talk about the people with small children who let their kids run around or throw food, it is a restaurant, not a daycare. Enough said.
Thinking we are lowly subservient types because we do this for a living. I made more in one year of serving at a beach side restaurant then my friends with a degree did a couple years back. Some of us do this because we like it, some for the hours & flexibility, but trust me we all need the money.
Uncle Sam taxes us on 8% of our sales...not our tips...our sales. So if you leave us 10% we aren't getting ahead. I am fine with tipping according to service, but the act of putting money out and saying this is your tip if you are GOOD is crap. Keep it in your pocket and tip me at the end off the meal like everyone else . Oh and verbal tips are lovely, but they don't pay my rent.
Now lest you think this is a major rant of how bad people are, here are some things I love. When people come in and ask how I am...and actually want to hear. Someone who tells me how nice their experience and service was, we like hearing we are good at our jobs just like everyone else. Regulars who follow you if you move from a local spot to another. Co-workers who joke, sing, dance etc while working & make a 8 hour shift seem like 5. Knowing that I can go anywhere in the world and work.
All I ask is next time you go out, be patient, the person serving your food is just trying to make a living like you are. maybe watch Waiting, the movie and see what happens when you can make the wrong person mad who is serving your food....haha

and so it goes...

Talked to my friend, can't say I really understand exactly what is going on. I guess a big part of that comes from us not living by each other and it is hard to have deep, omg this is my latest bit of crazy, convos over the cell phone. Especially when our hours we have to talk are never conducive to this type of discussions. So, part one was text, part two was late this afternoon and part three will be late this eve. Maybe I will get it, maybe I won't, but the best part of being this good of friends...I don't have to get it...just be there. This I can and will do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

um, ok

So you ever have those days that you hear some news that just throws you?
Just happened.
I have a friend who has been in my life forever ( seriously we are family now like it or not ) who just dropped a major thing on me via text. Now, in defense of said friend she has a job that involves kidlets being around & thus the topic she had was not one she could talk about at this moment. I am ok with that, understand it even. What I am having a hard time with is that this is the person I share 99.9% of my life with and I am finding out something this big kind of after the fact.
Again to be fair this isn't about is about her,. However, I can't help my reaction.
We are going to talk later today and I'll know more. Until then I think I am just going to try and let go of my hurt and think of how I can be there for her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


In looking at old pictures the other day I came to the conclusion that I have finally accepted myself for the person that I am. I am no longer looking for approval of those around me, though don't get me wrong it is quite nice to get from time to time. However, I finally feel like my life is finally coming together a bit. This comes from having it shaken up in many ways in the past year. Changes with friends, job and family made me see that it truly is what you make of it. If life gives you lemons make lemonade (add vodka & it is even better) as the saying goes. This is not to say my life is perfect, for there are many things that could improve...and I hope do! No one is ever completely happy or satisfied, we as humans are always wanting more. It is part of our basic nature. I would love to weigh less, have more time (and money) to see friends out of state, go to the shows I want and do all of the things to my house I always say I will someday.
Having said that, I love where I live, my job is keeping the roof of my little corner of Shangri-la over my head. The government cheese fills in what the job does not for now. I manage to pay all of my bills each month somehow & still go to happy hour with friends now & again. I am starting to be more comfortable in my skin. I don't love my flaws (as I see them) though they make me the person I am. If my friends think I am cool, the I must be right? I treat others with more importance than I do myself, which is something I am working on. The biggest part of this is that I am learning to value myself for the very things that I once felt were flaws.
We make our choices in life and there is no point in second guessing yourself. You make those choices based on the knowledge you have at the time and yes another choice could have put you in a very different place, but you made this choice...accept & move forward. Love yourself for the amazing person you are...we all are that amazing person to someone...if you are really lucky you are amazing to a lot of someones.

Monday, April 13, 2009

life is good

Had a day off today with gorgeous weather & nothing that absolutely had to be done. I slept in until almost 8am which for me these days is amazing! Checked my emails, all was well in my friend's lives so I thought about what to do with the day. I decided to go see if the government cheese had arrived, which it had, so off to the bank I went. I love my bank, they know my name and ask me questions about life as if they truly care. Maybe they don't, but they sure do a good job of making me feel good. Then it was off to check out a new BookCrossing shelf I heard about at a cafe in town. Had a yummy late morning snack of yogurt & granola while browsing the shelves. Found 3 books and left 3, what symmetry right?
Since I was downtown decided to head over to one of the few non chain bookstores and browse...and I am sure you are all shocked by this...I bought 3 books! Then as I was heading to TJ's to stock up on all kinds of yummy food ( my fridge was quite bare ) I hit 2 new thrift stores in town and got some great stuff. An amazing heavy glass jar from years past that was only $5, but if it had been at a antique store would have set me back at least $25. Oh, and a few more books...I really do need help with this little addiction.
After stocking my cupboards & fridge with many yummy items I came home to sit on my porch in the sun and read. I listened to the sound of kids playing at the beach. College kids joking about their nights out as they walked down to lay in the sun. It just made me relax and be thankful for what an amazing place in which I live. My life is not without it's stresses, as we all have, but when you have this to come home to it can't be that bad!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

the many sides to life

There are ever so many facets to us human beings. We are so complex that there are few people in our lives that see us in our entirety. Each person in our life sees the portions we let them see, even if we are not aware that we are doing it. Your parents view you in one way, while your significant other sees a completely different aspect of your personality and life. I have friends that I consider myself very close with, but at the same time know that when I am upset about something they will not be the ones I call. While I am close to both my parents,
(in very different ways)
I am sure there are things we will never discuss that I would amongst my friends.
When I sat down thinking about this the other evening I came to a conclusion. For all the emotion I share with the world, I hold quite a bit in. One of my basic tenets of life is that I won't say something behind some one's back that I would not be willing to say to their face. From this comes the habit of occasionally swallowing a thought. Lest it sound as if I am being judgemental, trust me I am harder upon myself than I ever would be to another person.
Due to this over the years I have let some of my friends slide to the sidelines of my life. The reason for this is there is only so much you can give and I grew tired of being the person who made the majority of effort. Some were the toxic friends that never saw that it could & should be a two way street when it comes to friendship. Some were just friends that time showed us to not have much in common other than proximity. I let myself be ok with losing a friend who didn't care enough about me to wonder how things were in my life or who always needed something; be it money or a ride somewhere, but could never return the favor.
I don't ask for much, I just want back from the world what I put into it. I don't require pretty presents or lavish meals out. I require honesty, respect and loyalty...all of which I will give back to you tenfold. I treasure the friends I have keep in my life, some are old friends who know all my silly hs dramas. Some are people I met college or work that helped shape me into the person I am today. Some are friends I met in strange places or from other friends who are no longer in my life. All of them would hold my hand during medical testing as quick as they would hold my hair back while I got sick. They see enough of me to love me, thus making me love myself more. In the eyes of my friends I see the person they see...and it makes me a better person. So, I will keep getting to know the various aspects of myself from the eyes of those in my life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Do you ever have those days where you just feel bleh? I do have some cause for it today with what is going on with my gram, but that is not it. I got that news last night and when I got home wanted to call and talk to someone. However, it was a Friday eve. For my local friends this means Farmer's market, drinks and fun. For my friends south of here in "cities" it means the end of a long work week and time with family. So, being the good friend I didn't call any of them and bring them down. Now by no means am I saying that they wouldn't have talked to me, because every single one of those people would pick up the phone if I really needed them. It is that I think for the first time in a long time I missed having that significant other to sit with me and tell me things were going to be ok. I wanted a good cuddle on the couch with a loved one. Sadly this is not something I have right now.
Got some sweet words of support from friends via FB and talked to my brother, mom and dad today which makes me feel quite a bit better...really. I guess it is just everything has been so hard lately. At some point isn't it supposed to get easier? When you are little being an adult seems like ever so much fun. No one telling you what to do, where to go or anything. Reality is showing me that there is fun, but it comes along with stress, money worries and serious omg, what am I doing with my life moments. I am thankful for all I have, I have had worse times in recent months & there is a light (far away) at the end of the tunnel. I just want a carefree life like when I was little. A life where when you fell down your loved ones picked you up, dusted you off and gave you a hug to make it all better. Is that too much to ask for?
Well, I am done with work for the day and have no pressing concerns that I need to leave my house for so I can sit, be mellow and think that tomorrow will surely be better!

Friday, April 10, 2009


My gram fell down and was taken to the ER today. I found out about it while playing on FB, my cousin messaged me to let me know she was headed to the hospital. I just got an update from them that she is being held overnight, but is doing well. She has black eyes, a concussion and due to the fall will most likely lose all of her top teeth. The question we are waiting to get answered is did she black out, thus falling or did she fall and black out. Big medical difference there. Blood work and a CT scan were done, more heart tests being done tomorrow. I am so happy that she is ok, work was hard for the past few being perky when your mind is on crap like that. It drives home to me what frail creatures we are. My gram is in her mid 80's and has lived a healthy life so I would love to think she is going to be around for years to come. In my heart I wish for that, but my mind knows that she is getting older, and yes more frail. This is my last remaining grandparent in my life. I loved all of them, but my gram holds a special place as she lived with us when I was younger. She was there for me so often in my life and I truly hope she knows how very much everything she has done for me means. For now I am going to be thankful for the time I have with her and wait to hear more news.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I ventured out of my cozy little beach house in Shangrila last eve to head into "town". There was an event at one of the bars there that a friend was going to be a VIP at and could bring a couple people along. I don't go out too much in town as the bars there are full of young college kids trying to kill their livers & brain cells in the cheapest, fastest way they can. This usually involves them being a bit stupid and loud. I found the excursion to be amusing though just for the people watching. Damn, but there are some people who think they are special that just are not, and no I am not going to add more to that statement.
We got our own little couch and table area with a bottle of Blavod, black vodka. Can I tell you it looks even worse when you add cranberry juice to it? The place the event was being held at is nice, but it is trying so hard to be a hip Los Angeles type club-bar that it almost hurts a person. This is a fashion show type event with the theme being barley dressed body painted people. Sadly the guys participating in the show had the build of pre teen boys so it wasn't that exciting of eye candy. Had a blast with my friends though and really that is all that matters!