Monday, November 30, 2009

If I get fired, I blame it on the tryptophan

Listen, I just couldn't help myself.

I issued a loud disclaimer to everyone throughout the day.

He said no. He said absolutely not. He said it was too soon. He flat out refused me.

And I did it anyway. As soon as he had a day off, I went and played holiday music in the restaurant.

Oh yes I did.

I had to.

It's a sickness.

And here it is, 2:40am, and I am wide awake and feeling GUILTY for doing it. So much for defiance. How pathetic: my version of anarchy these days is playing holiday music too early in the season. How can something so right, feel so, so, so wrong?

I have to confess my sins. I have to take what I got coming. I have to apologize for breaking his strict edict. I am a brat. He knows this. He probably won't be surprised. But he might be mad. Plus, I only sold 3 drinks all day long. If I had sold a bunch of cocktails during my shift, I would have earned some brownie points. But as it stands, he may be less inclined to forgive because my alcohol sales sucked so badly. Alcohol sales count for something. Or nothing, when you don't have any.

So if you find me wandering the streets weeping into my apron, you'll know why.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ochre is the new black

I thank gawd every day for Blogger, because it allows me to blog with an absolute minimum amount of effort - which definitely leads to more blogging in my case. If I had to fuck around with cutting and pasting and fiddling and fonts and color and contrast I would be a miserable person which would lead to some miserable blogging.

So when I started all of ***THIS*** (gesturing wildly around myself to signify my blogspace) I just picked a format that I liked, and the black background matched my overall personality and language (drrrrrty) plus my photo was taken on a black sand beach, so, yeah......this is *exactly* why I don't design shit, people.

ANYWAY, after reading the umpteenth comment/piece of advice/complaint on the blogosphere at large I finally broke down and got rid of the black background that apparently sucks so very hard.

And voila. Minima Ochre.

I like ochre. I can live with ochre. I may mess around with the fonts a bit, but for all intents and purposes, this here is my new look. Blogger doesn't really have a lot ot choose from, honestly, so.....yeah. Ochre. Hm.

Please, feel free to tell me what you think. Marked improvement, or marking the end of your reading pleasure? Aunt Becky and Liz, in particular - this one's for you. *mwah*

And yes, I did post twice today. And no, hell has not frozen over yet. That I know of.

Lame. The Seven Complications of Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

I can't believe that I have not written anything since before The Big Day.

The big day was wonderful - there were a few complications.

Complication number 1: Working until about 2:30am Thanksgiving Morning. That was a miscalculation on my part. I did the math in my head, and figured "Hey, I can do this. Get to sleep by 3am, up by 10am, get started on the side dishes, throw the turkey in at noon, we're good to go."

There were a few things I maybe didn't think all the way through. Like, how the hell I was planning to stay awake until 3am. I am not what you would call a night owl. Insomniac, yes. But my insomnia doesn't kick in until later. So every night by 9pm, I am crosseyed with fatigue. Then I fall asleep for 2 hours, and wake up all bright eyed and "refreshed" and sit on the sofa by myself for 3 or 4 hours waiting to feel tired again. Skipping the evening nap was not easy, because when I actually DID get home and get ready for bed, I was past the point of no return.
I was bouncing off the walls. I was loopy. I was exhausted and deeply, profoundly, completely wide awake.
So I took a prescription sleeping pill. Which leads me to Complication number 2:

I took the sleeping pill before I got in bed. And then I was looking at Facebook waiting to feel sleepy, when it kicked in. Which was somewhat akin to being kicked in the forehead by a very angry donkey. Apparently. Because taking that pill is the very last thing I remember doing that night.

My husband reports that at about 2:55, a plaintive call came from the kitchen.

"Saaaaaammmmiiiiii. Saaaaaammmmmiiiiii................"

He found me, literally catatonic, leaning on the counter.

After carrying me to bed and getting me undressed, apparently I lay there talking to myself for a while before I passed out. Which leads, conveniently, to Complication number 3:

I did not get much sleep. And what I did get was drug induced. And when I woke up I was a complete zombie.

So I wandered around in my infamous lobster-print bathrobe, trying to remember what I was making for Thanksgiving Dinner. Unfortunately, I had not written any of that shit down. It was, after all, only three items. But I forgot which ones.

Eventually, dinner was put together and in the oven, and I headed out to get ice for the beer cooler. Complication number 4:

There was not a bag of ice to be found in town.

Not one.

I checked.

Mmmm. Warm beer.

Well, it cannot be helped. It is what it is. A holiday.

I went back home to finish up dinner, and to set the tables, and to discover Complication number 5: we had a bit of blustery weather blow in late afternoon, and due to a gale force wind, our outdoor seating plan rapidly became an indoor seating plan - especially when it started to rain.

And then, everything was done - all at the same time, nothing was burned, everything was delicious (except the vegan lasagne that my husband felt was much improved with some gravy and turkey meat applied liberally to the layers. Sigh.) And I was tired, which is when I discovered Complication number 6:

When you stay out until 2:30am, and then take a sleeping pill, and then wake up far too early and make Thanksgiving dinner for 15 get a little bit sleepy. Add some turkey and a full belly to the mix, and it leads to a very early bedtime - which is not conducive to hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. Especially the cleaning up part of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. So I crawled in bed and told myself that I could enjoy my pie in the middle of the night when I usually wake up.....or in the morning before I left for work. And I called it a day.

And in the morning, I discovered Complication number 7. When you host Thanksgiving, and tell your guests to bring dessert, chances are good that they will take the leftover dessert with them when they leave. Apparently. Because when I woke up and went looking for pie, there was none.

The moral of this story is: If you host a dinner, and you want to hang on to your leftovers, you can't ask anyone to bring anything - otherwise, they might take it with them when they leave....and then you'll be left with nothing but a turkey carcass and three loads of dirty dishes. And some vegan lasagne.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is not good. Not good at all.

Greetings from Thanksgiving hell.
I know. I never thought I would say those words either. Only, people are getting all up in my Tgiving plans.

It all started with the car. I have spent 2 days in a row dealing with the service department at the car dealership. We had an appointment for yesterday, but once I had dropped the car off and run some errands and was wandering around Saver's checking my watch and waiting for them to call, they called..... to tell me they ordered the wrong part, and I would need to come back tomorrow. Which was today. The day before Thanksgiving. Because I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO.

And today, instead of cleaning and cooking before heading to the dealership, I had to attend Mass with Lucy's preschool, because Lucy was having a total meltdown at the idea of entering the church. I mean, a Rosemary's Baby kind of meltdown where she was on the front steps clutching the handrail, sobbing hysterically and blubbering "NO NO NONONONONONONO." And since we never actually met her birthparents, you know, we can't really be sure what we're dealing with and I figure if her head starts spinning around I better be there to hold her down and scream "Run For Your LIVES". But of course, that didn't happen. She just didn't want to go up to the alter in her paper pilgrim outfit.
And really, who can blame her.

Once we had gotten through Mass, I had to go pick up the car. Which involved driving to the restaurant, dropping off our other car for me to drive home after work, then getting a ride to the dealership and, well, DEALING with that, and then running a few quick errands, and heading up the hill to eat and get organized in my teeny tiny head in a very short amount of time.

So I have a list, and I got started on the cleaning, but I have to take a nap before I go to work since I will be there until about 2am. And I guess that means a lot of the cleaning is going to have to happen tomorrow. Because it's a LOT. And I am TIRED.

And tomorrow, my big day, I will wake up to the same sort of pigsty I sat in all week telling myself there was no point in cleaning up before Wednesday because it would just get all messed up again.

Yes I am an idiot. I'm pretty sure that has already been established. I have to go scrub the toilet now, so poop if you need to because after this it is OFF LIMITS.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gee, thanks.

Today was my first official day of Thanksgiving prep. I would have started YESTERDAY but Sunday did not quite turn out as I had planned, and I spent Monday sleeping/recovering. Long story, and one that deserves it's very own it will get one. Later.

But today was my Thanksgiving lift-off.

I love Thanksgiving.

I don't love it like "Oh, I just love Thanksgiving !"

I fucking love it, okay. I love it like a brother. I love this holiday, and my life would never be the same without it and the holidays wouldn't be the holidays and there would be no reason to go on celebrating any of those other religion-based holidays, or holidays celebrating how fucking fantastic our country is or how we survived another year....none of it would matter anymore, without this one day.

Thanksgiving. I love the name. I love the meaning. I love the history. I love the food. I have contemplated getting a Thanksgiving-themed tattoo, I love it so damn much. (maybe a tramp stamp of turkey feathers? Or "gobble gobble" under my belly button? I'm open to suggestions.)

But tattooing aside, I celebrate this holiday for all it's worth. I don't go in for the commercialized Thanksgiving bullshit, I'm not going to have candles in the shape of pilgrims and indians, or paper napkins with a cornucopia printed on them......I'm just going to make an insane meal with my friends, and drink a lot of wine, and be thankful for my life. It's a bit of an open house vibe, so people will be stopping by during the afternoon to nibble and chat, and then at 6pm we have a dinner that I would bet is going to beat the pants off of whatever crap YOU'RE eating. Sorry, I'm thankful that I am so competitive, and I am thankful that my friends are all excellent cooks (or know where to buy the gourmet goodies and bring the good wine).

I think that being grateful is incredibly important. I spend a lot of time bitching about stuff, but trust me when I tell you that I have an attitude adjustment at least once every day about how amazing my life is, and what a gift it is, and how important it is to pay it forward, and pay it back.

This is how Thanksgiving goes around here. I sleep in. Don't judge. I am thankful for a comfy bed and a roof and doors and electricity so that I can put off cooking till later and the kids will sit somewhere else and watch a movie so I can sleep past 6am, alright?

Then when I am damn good and ready, we go to the beach for a few hours. This is when we call the family, and pass the phone around and try not to make too much of the fact that we are on the beach and they are in turtlenecks watching it piss rain outside in New England.

At around noon, we begin turkey prep.

This is top secret, and I am not telling you anything other then "sherry". That's it. That's all you get.

And at about 2pm I take a shower and get changed into my Thanksgiving garb, because I have a special outfit for my special day.

By 3 the wine is open and people are arriving and I am on the sofa watching the highlights of the Macy's parade.

By 5pm everyone who is coming for dinner is pretty much in the house. Music is going, wine is still flowing, I am taking the turkey's temperature, and lighting candles.

At 6pm, we eat. By 8pm I am in a food coma, and crawling into bed with the Black Friday circulars.

And so goes another Thanksgiving. Full of thanks. And giving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's 8am and I am eating my second bowl of smoked pork. Happy Holidays!

Sometimes, life just kind of takes you by the head and shakes you around. It's not pleasant, but it doesn't last long and then it's over and you can get back to your regularly scheduled programming. Only, of course, I HAVE no regularly scheduled programming. I have always gone whichever way the wind blows, while adhering to a strict meal/nap/bedtime schedule for the kids. Which is an interesting dichotomy for someone who has never really worn a watch, and sometimes forgets to pick her kids up from school. That's me.

So here I am, thumbing my nose at routine and propriety, and enjoying a second helping of kalua pig.

My tummy hurts a little bit. I'm not gonna lie.

And I slept from 2:45am (or sometime shortly thereafter) until 5:15. So there's that.

And yesterday I was on the clock from 8am-3pm and then again from 6pm to 10:30pm. That sucked.

I am this very strange blend of wired and exhausted. Sweaty and shivering. Hungry, but not. So I grabbed the first protein I could get my hands on - which was this plastic container of smoked meat from a fundraiser yesterday - and started eating methodically. After this, I am going back to bed for the day. Or for as long as I can before the dogs completely freak the fuck out and demand some attention or exercise.

The house is a sty. The yard is a wreck. I am hosting Thanksgiving and all I have is a frozen turkey. I don't technically have ROOM for anything else in the refrigerator, so I'm pacing myself here. I have to go out and deal with STUFF like the bank and dinner and buying the dogs more bones because they keep fucking BURYING THEM. I am seriously about to chain the bones to the side of the house. I thought that was just some silly fictional doggy storyline, dogs burying bones, very cute hahahaha. But those assholes really do bury them, and then they are just not bright enough to remember WHERE. So I buy a lot of bones.

But not right now. Now, I sleep. Hopefully. Ambien?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bellinis and Broads.

Tonight I had one of those small-town nights, that reminds me why I love this place - and why I need to keep my nose clean.

It was Girl's Night Out - I am talking about a town-wide event, not just "that thing I like to do with my girls once a week".

So our town was having Girl's Night Out, which translated into Bellini's on the porch of the first store we stopped in, and then refills on our glasses of champagne all night long as we made our way from boutique to heavenly boutique.

I found a dress for the company Christmas party that doesn't show my entire tit tattoo. Just enough to keep 'em guessing, know what I mean ? (wink wink nudge nudge)

And I found what I think will be a lovely top to wear with my special Thanksgiving skirt that I wear every year for Thanksgiving.

We went from store to store, and everywhere I went, it seemed like I knew about half of the people there. Small town - but more then that. It was a testament to the people I have met here, and how they have welcomed me into this little world we all inhabit in the middle of the ocean. The stores were packed with women shopping and laughing and hugging and passing clothes back and forth. No one bothered to close the dressing room curtains, because everyone wanted to see what you were trying on, and give their 2 cents about it. Every item that you touched - whether it was a pair of earrings or a pair of jeans, was assessed and appraised and enthusiastically reviewed by the crowd, most of whom were munching on spinach dip and clutching a dixie cup of booze.

Finally, completely soused on Champagne and looking for dinner, we headed down the hill to the cafe for sushi.

The cafe was booming. Who knew? Go figure - I spend the whole day standing there staring into space and mindlessly cleaning glass, and making NO MONEY - and then they get slammed at dinnertime. Ugh. Well, you can't pull all the good shifts, right? Waitressing is always a crapshoot - you never know what you're going to get. (And that is not anything like a box of chocolates, because I always follow that guide thing that tells me EXACTLY what's inside each chocolate. I always know what I am going to get, dammit.)

Speaking of never knowing what you are going to get......tonight we got to try several rolls that we didn't order, because they were brought to our table by mistake. And here's the thing about sushi....I have no idea what fish looks like what, so if you bring me the wrong roll, I'll have no idea until I actually eat it - if then. I might not ever figure it out, come to think of it. So we got a few rolls we didn't order, and then I went in search of one of the rolls we DID order. It was taking forever, and we really wanted the rolls we had ordered, and they weren't coming out. And when I got up there, low and behold one of the rolls we had ordered was sitting there. There were two plates of the same roll, so I asked "is this our veggie tempura" and the sushi chef nodded, and then pointed to table number 7. So I brought one roll to our table, and the other roll to to table 7.

And that veggie tempura roll was goooooood. But it wasn't ours. Yes, it was the roll we had ordered, but it belonged to another table, who I guess had to wait a bit longer for theirs. And that nod had been totally mis-interpreted I guess, because he wasn't nodding to say "yeah, one of those is yours" - he was nodding about something else....I guess. But after 3 glasses of champagne and 3 enormous bottles of Japanese beers, the details eluded me.

Suffice to say, the evening was fun and chaotic all at once. And the sushi chef at the cafe might kick my ass later. I'll let you know how that works out for me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The dogs eat better then we do. The transformation is complete. I am "one of those dog people".

When we last spoke, I was on hold - and then off - with Chase Bank.

Since then I have spent 75% of my time online or on the phone, wrangling and arguing and pleading and rationalizing and debating and hoping to negotiate.


So I don't really have a lot to report, honestly. Tuesday I slept all day (because I was on the phone with Chase until 4am) then I went to yoga and raced home to get Max from school.

Yesterday wasn't much more exciting: I spent an hour choosing a new dogfood. Let's talk about that.

Holy Shit this was complicated. I had purchased a bag of Ol' Roy gravy and crunchy blah blah blah, and while they were happy to eat it, they also started taking these monster dumps everywhere, which led me to believe that perhaps they weren't actually digesting it, or getting any nutrition from it at all. So I went to the feed store to get "the good stuff". I had been informed that dogs actually eat LESS of "the good stuff", because it fills them up more efficiently. But how "good" are we talking about? If I get the most expensive kind, I would feel like the world's biggest sucker. Taste of The Wild, for example, had choices like Wild Fowl, and Bison. BISON !!!! Sami calmly explained that a dog who is just as happy to chew on the side of the porch, does not need to eat better then we do. So I sadly stepped away from the crazy expensive brands, and went to the next. Still no filler, still nutritious, still involving fowl - this one is sweet potato and duck.

I am not kidding.

I love sweet potatos. And duck. This dogfood smells good and I have to be honest, I totally considered eating some. I am not embarrassed about this - a fact I admit. Oh the irony.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chase, you're wearing me out. And what's with Ethel?

Good morning (yawn).

It's....let's see here......3:30am, and I am just about to pick up the phone for the 4th time in 30 minutes, to try to speak to the correct department at Chase Bank.

Everyone is so horrified by the extended hold times when trying  to reach a bank representative these days. I can tell you what the problem is right here, right now.

Departments. I sit on hold for hours being transferred from one department to the next...and remarkably, no one is able to help me. It is just........breathtaking in it's inefficiency.

But this morning, in 10 minutes, I got the answer I had been waiting 7 months for.

They can't help me.

Refreshing. I don't need to call or write or fax or email anymore. Chase can't help me, and Bank of America can't either, and they're real sorry about that. Mmmm. I'm sure they are.

So I'm sitting here, staring at my split screen, with on one side, and Facebook on the other, and it's 3:43am, and Facebook is suggesting that I add Ethel Miller as a friend. Who the fuck is Ethel Miller?

What is going on with the world, that electronic social networks are telling me who I should be friends with, and banks, of which I am a paying (sadly, very highly paying) customer, can't work within the confines of common sense? No wonder the world's finances are going to hell in a handbasket. I'm going to take my pathetic retirement fund and cash out and go make micro-loans in Thailand or something.

Because this? All of THIS? Is bullshit.

I wanna hang out with my kids, snuggle with my husband, and enjoy my dogs and eat well and drink much and love life. Not sit here at 4am trying to get some anonymous call center worker to give a shit about me and my questions. Of which, as we all know, I have many. Not all of which involve the banking industry. But still. They're not helping me and I'm damn sure they aren't helping Ethel, either.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Part 2 : No, I'm pretty sure you didn't - Deluxe edition

I am afraid that during the holiday season, this blog is going to become a laundry list of "Tales from the Table" where i recount the horrific things that I have witnessed in the restaurant that day.

Blog Fodder indeed.

In our latest edition, I was rushing around - as I have been known to do - when out of the corner of my eye I saw something. Now, I wasn't exactly sure if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. I hoped that my eyes were failing, or that I was just imagining the whole damn thing.

But I wasn't.

There, on table 8, in the MIDDLE OF THE RESTAURANT during BRUNCH, a baby was having it's diaper changed. It's poopy diaper. The baby was lying there, all spread-eagled on the table top - DIRECTLY ON THE TABLE TOP - getting shit wiped off it's ass.

Yes. Yes she was.

I almost died. But I was not nearly as upset as the people EATING at the next table.

We all just stood there, not really knowing what to do. I mean, it was already almost a done deal. It had already happened. The shit had already hit the fan, so to speak.


I looked around frantically. The customers were doing the same, there was a lot of eye contact and raised eyebrows.

I made the decision to let these parents finish up their little hazmat project, and then drag the table out back and burn it. Along with the chairs, the salt and pepper shakers, the sugar packets, and the tobasco bottle.

And then, for good measure, I sprayed the entire general area with Lysol for good measure.
And lit a match.

And then we all stood there, like we had witnessed some sort of violent crime. Stunned and sickened.

What the hell is wrong with people?

The only positive thing I can say is, at least they took their shitty diaper with them. If they had left it on the table, I would have thrown it at the back of their heads as they walked down the street.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

No, I'm pretty sure you didn't.

Today I fell for The Oldest Scam in the Book.

I am so disgusted with myself, I just keep sitting here playing it over and over again in my mind.

It was a crazy breakfast shift at the cafe, and between racing around with plates of Eggs Benedict and mixing bloody marys, I was a little strung out. 3 tables were finished eating at about the same time, and they came up to the counter, wanting to pay their tab, and asking for change to tip their tour drivers.

"Of course!" I said. "I'd be HAPPY to!" I said. "My PLEASURE!" I said. "No problem at ALL!" I said.

So I printed check and ran credit cards and made change. And when I got to the last customer, he asked for a $10 and two $5 for his $20. "Hm." I said. "I think I am out of 10's. Can I give you 4 $5 bills?" "Sure." he said.

So I counted out 4 $5 bills, and handed them over, and waited for the $20. "Did I already give it to you?" He asked. "No, I don-" "Yes, YES he did." interrupted his wife. "He already GAVE you the $20."

Well, no.......he didn't. But since I was sitting there with a stack of $20, it was impossible to prove it.

And since they insisted that they had given me the $20, and I couldn't prove that they hadn't, they took my 4 $5 and walked out the door.

It wasn't the money. I mean, that sucked, and I was frustrated about that...but it wasn't the money.

It was the fact that they made me feel as though *I* was trying to get away with something. Take something that wasn't mine.

It was that I had done them a favor, and they had returned my goodwill with a steaming pile of...well.

It was that from now on, I will be loathe to give ANYONE change. And I will have to make a big production out of it. And every time I DO give someone change, I am going to have to think about this one time that someone stole my $20 and tried to make it look like I was stealing from them.

Do you have change for a $20? I don't.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A wild night

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been able to tell when a storm was coming. Snowstorm or thunderstorm, I don't know what it is, but I always know it's going to happen. If I lived 100 years ago, before The Weather Channel, I would be the village weather girl. I would be on my horse like Paul Revere, riding through town hollering "the lightning is coming, THE LIGHTNING IS COMING."

It's a skill I have.

So this morning, when I woke up feeling a little off, I knew. I knew right away that something was coming. I didn't feel "it" yesterday (though the weather forecast was full of flood watches and high surf advisories). And honestly, I hadn't felt "it" in a while....for so long now, that I almost forgot what I felt like when a storm was coming, because we don't have storms here in Hawaii. Not really. Not like the ones on the mainland. So this morning, when the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and my skin felt all tingly, and it sort of felt like I was underwater - and not just because humidity was at about 99% - I was confused...because it was a pretty nice day. There was definitely SOMETHING coming. But what? And when? I was waiting, waiting for the wind to shift, the air to change, the smell of dirt to fill the air almost as if it was anticipating the thirst-quenching raindrops. I was waiting and watching and listening. The sky darkened, there were a few passing showers, and I started to get a migraine from all of the pressure, from the closeness of the air and the damp of the wind.

At 3pm, when I started to hear some rumbling....I knew it wasn't a truck driving by, and I hoped it wasn't the volcano erupting (because if I react so strongly to a thunderstorm, I can only imagine the physiological reaction to an eruption). And after about an hour of intermittent rumbling - there was a burst of light across the darkened sky.

Now, you have to understand that this just Does Not Happen in Hawaii. We have rain, for sure. But not electrical storms. Which is why, when the first bolt of lightning lit up our living room, both kids screamed and ducked. Because for them it might as well have been a rocket grenade landing in our yard. Their reaction was one of total fear and panic and confusion. Lucy was squatted down on the floor, and Max put his hands over his head, and then just as quickly he was up on the sofa, nose pressed to the window watching to see if it was going to happen again. And just as Lucy got up, there was a crack of thunder so sudden and so loud that she dove back down for cover.

But once it had happened - a full cycle of lightning and thunder - and they had survived, and I had explained what exactly was going on out there, they were enthralled. They watched for the lightening to race across the sky, then counted together - slowly and carefully, as only a child still learning their numbers can count. "One One Thousand. Two One Thousand. Three One Thousand......."and as the numbers climbed higher, the counting slowed, as they anticipated the BOOM that they knew now was coming.

We spent a half hour like that - stretched out along the sofa, watching out the window, counting together, waiting for the call and response of the storm. Flashes and drumrolls and the wind whistling while the rain pelted the glass.

This just never happens in Hawaii.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hey you over there. What is your PROBLEM ?

It's 11:22pm, and gentle reader you KNOW I like to be asleep by 10pm, so that I can be well rested when my body snaps awake at 1:53am. Because those precious 4 hours of dreamland are so blissful I don't want to miss a minute !

But tonight, like last night, there is some sort of HUBBUB outside. It's not the dogs - they are usually responsible for any sort of disturbance, but I can say with 100% certainty that this is not their fault.

There are people moving in across the street. At 11pm. A woman and three kids and a Dodge Neon with a loose muffler. And they are loud. Each and every one of them (including that fucking Neon) is making an unecessary amount of noise. They are obviously under the gun to move out of wherever they are coming from, if they need to be moving at 11pm. And I hate moving, so I have sympathy.

But they need to shut the fuck up.

There is no need - NO NEED AT ALL - to stand in the driveway at 11pm, and SHOUT.

And tonight, I had just gotten home from work, and was about to get in the shower, when they arrived with yet another load of their crap, packed into the trunk of that crapbox Neon (sorry owners of Neons, they are cute cars but this one is a Piece Of Shit) making a crapload of noise. That's a lot of crap. And as the yelling escalated - calling to people inside the house, bickering in the driveway over who was going to carry what where and when they were going to do it, the dogs woke up and started barking. And the only thing that finally got everyone to stop making all of that noise, was a voice screaming "SHUT UP !" in the darkness of our formerly peaceful sleeping neighborhood.

They continue to move in over there, but at least now they are doing it quietly. For which I am very grateful.
Because I know moving sucks.....but you don't need to shout about it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My version is better

This weekend was Sami's birthday. His 41st birthday. He is north of 40. He is old.

I am married to an old guy.
How did this happen?

Last night at dinner, I was telling the tale of how, exactly, it happened. That we happened to meet. And fall in love. And get married 11 years ago. Someone asked how old I was when we got married, and I started to tell the story, and Sami picked it up and ran with the far opposite direction of what actually happened. Turns out, Sami's version is TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM MINE. (Which is to say, wildly inaccurate.) While I didn't realize the story needed to be clarified in his mind, clearly it does.

You know, I have heard that as people age, the memory is the first to go. They were totally not kidding.

Here, for the record, is how we ended up married.

We had known each other for a year or so. I had just broken up with a long-term boyfriend, who had informed me that he was not interested in marrying me. Ever. (Yeah, that sucked, but we were not right for each other because I was depressed and he was an asshole. Obviously. I'm not bitter. And he really was acting like an asshole.)

So anyway, one night in a bar near Fenway park, my buddy Sami told me he "didn't want to be my friend". Actually, he shouted it. Twice. It was loud in there, and I thought I had misunderstood him the first time. But when he repeated himself, and I was certain that he had indeed said that to my face, I basically said "Well, fuck you - I don't want to be YOUR friend either."

He hastened to clarify. He didn't want to be "just friends". Girls always thought of him as a buddy, someone they could confide in. A sidekick. The ultimate wingman. Not a potential date. He was sweet and shy and soft-spoken, and not a lean mean dating machine (as evidenced by what I guess was his....what? His pickup line? "I don't want to be your friend" is how he was picking up chicks. Which would explain why he was still single at the time, I'd wager).

So after he clarified, I pulled him over to the side where the music was slightly lower, and the lights slightly brighter, so he could see my face.
"You told me you never wanted to get married."
"I don't."
"Or have kids."
"I don't."
"Well, I DO. I really do. And you KNOW that. I just went thought this with The Asshole. I don't want to try to change you, or hope you'll come around eventually, or try to convince you to go along with what I want. I don't want to date you and then get sad because you don't want to marry me. I don't want to get pregnant accidentally and have you think I "trapped you". I don't want to miss out on my chance to have a family, because I was dating someone who didn't ever want those things. I don't ever want to have the conversation where you say "I told you from the beginning I didn't want to get married and have kids." I am not that girl. I definitely want to get married and have kids, and dating someone, or even just sleeping with someone, who doesn't want that is a waste of my time. And yours."

He was quiet. 'Well, maybe I do want those things."

"No, you don't. You just told me you don't."

As I put my coat on, I told him I was not interested in "friends with benefits" but thanks anyway. It was all very clear in my head. I was not going to date casually. I was going to take some time, and get my life together, and make a plan for my future...and just hope to god that eventually someone would want to share it with me. Walking out the door, I felt good about having been so clear and honest.

And then I realized that I had been so clear, and so honest, because I really cared about that guy in that bar. The one who didn't want to be my friend. By the time I got home, I was crying. I was worried that I had just lost a friend by being so blunt. I was afraid I had hurt his feelings. He was so NICE and had probably taken a long time to work up the nerve to awkwardly tell me how he felt, and I had just shot him down.

I felt like a total asshole.

He called me at work 2 days later.

"I have something I need to tell you."


"I want to tell you in person."

"Tell me what?"
Briefly on the phone, and then in more detail in the car later on, he told me that he had been thinking a lot about what I had said. That he had talked to his father. ("YOU WHAT ?! You talked to your FATHER ?! About what ?! What did you tell him ? Jesus, Sami. Your FATHER ?!") That he had taken long walks on the beach, alone, and thought long and hard. And decided that he actually did want to get married, and have kids. With me.
I was suspicious. Was this just some sort of scheme to get in my pants? I have heard guys come up with some pretty crazy shit to get laid. But he was, in fact, quite serious. And we got married a few months later. And by the time we celebrated our second anniversary, I was massively pregnant. And now, here we are. Very definitely married. Very definitely with kids. And, still and always, friends.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

On Not Sleeping, and all that it entails


Good Morning !

I am wide awake, and feeling so rested after 3 solid hours of dreamless slumber.



(No, really. There are a ton of crickets outside.)

This sucks. (Stops typing, twiddles thumbs. Starts typing.)

The no-sleep thing has been going on for a while. It started about 9 years ago, during the monumental hormone shift of pregnancy. For the first four months I slept All The Fucking Time It Was Ridiculous. And then, coincidentally as soon as the nausea ended and I stopped feeling like I might die, I was wide awake off and on all night long. Eating cheerios at 2am because my growling stomach had woken me up.

I don't have that excuse anymore.

Then I had a new baby that woke up every hour to eat. Sometimes, he just ate all night long. I fed him, because he seemed so hungry. Even when the doctor insisted that he was a big healthy baby and did NOT need to eat during the night, I still fed him. He was hungry.

And then he slept through the night, and I was still awake. No excuse for that.

And the sleeplessness just....progressed. Some nights are worse then others. A new baby brought new reasons to be awake. But then she started sleeping through the night too, and it was just me again. Sitting here in the house. Awake. All Night Long. No reason. No excuse. Just.......up.

The thing about being awake in the middle of the night, is that it gives you a lot of time to think. To worry. To assess your life, your work, your PATHETIC housekeeping skills.

You can't do anything about it, however. Not really. Not at (checks clock) 12:15am. Everyone else is sleeping, you have to be quiet. So you are forced to sit there, in the clutter of your house and your mind, and try to ignore the piles of laundry that need putting away. And the vacuuming that never seems to get done during the day. Personally, I can't deal with the bills - which is something lots of people do at night when they can't sleep. I don't do that, because then I'll start thinking about money, and I really don't like to think about money. At all.

(sigh) What to do, what to do.

I could clean the stove - it needs cleaning - but I might wake up the dogs.

We do not wake up the dogs, because the dogs are not quiet creatures. Better that they sleep now.

I could watch a movie - with headphones on - but that is almost worse then doing nothing. That is choosing to do something, but not the somethings that need to be done, and then I feel lazy and pissed off at myself for not doing all of the things that need to be done during the DAY when I can do them without worrying about waking everyone up.

Sometimes I make a to do list. So that in the morning, I will remember all of the things I sat here obsessing about. But in the morning, I am so exhausted from not sleeping all night, and from writing a 10 page to do list, that I can barely work up the energy to brush my teeth. Once my teeth are brushed, I contemplate a nap.....but then I feel terrible for even thinking about napping when there is so much to do. So I pick the least exhausting task on my list, and do it.

And then I get distracted by an email or a phone call or some other damn thing....and nothing else on the list gets done, and then before you know it it's time to get the kids again, and then I bring them home and try valiently to stay awake and supervise homework. And make dinner. And drive to tae kwon do. And back.

Eight o'clock hits like a ton of bricks. Sami handles bedtime for the kids, because I have already climbed into our bed where I am forcing myself to stay awake until (at the very least) he comes in to say good night. HE doesn't have insomnia, so he doesn't fall asleep at 8:30pm. HE goes to bed at a normal, grownup hour of 10pm. I think. I mean, I don't really know, because I'm asleep. And by the time I am awake (at sometime between 11:30pm and 2am) he is out cold.

Sleep looks so.....restful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Daddy's Little Deadhead

Maui is over-run with a group of people some of us refer to as "Daddy's Littel Deadheads".

They arrive on a plane from god knows where, with a hiking backpack that cost them several hundred dollars, pack with the very latest in gear. They have a cellphone, a platinum Amex, and an attitude.

They are "peace loving" but they are frequently drunk, or high, or both - which leads to numerous confrontations.

They hitch hike. (See above: they are usually too stoned to operate a vehicle...or remember where they parked it.)

You will see them sitting along the planter in front of Borders, charging their GPS-enabled worldphone with the outlet on the outside of the building.

They have dreadlocks, but mostly by default. That is what happens when you don't bathe very often. And no, swimming in the ocean does NOT count.

And last night, I saw one of them, sitting so smug and self-assured.....and I just had to shake my head and walk on by. This guy was sitting in the middle of Costco. He was sitting on a floor model desk chair, with a massaging back pad. He was leaned back (almost reclined) with this stupid, stoned-out-of-his-gourd grin on his face. He was dirty. He was greasy. He was really enjoying that massage.

And he was wearing a shirt.

It was a plaid, flannel shirt. It was from the stack of flannel shirts across the way. It still had price tags and the sticker on the front showing the size (Large).

And there he sat. Porbably taking a break between picking up his free samples of food being handed out, maybe thinking about taking a dump in their nice clean bathroom and refilling his $50 stainless steel waterbottle from the fountain before trying on some new socks and underpants. Oh wait, he probably didn't wear either of those.

But I digress.

I was walking through Costco, worried about the bills and the jobs and the kids........and this guy was just sitting there, happy go lucky. Not a care in the world.


And for a minute, just a tiny, flash of a moment in time, I was jealous.

No bills.
No job.
No responsibilities.
Enough time to find joy in a massaging desk chair in the middle of Costco.

Must be nice.

High Adventure and Road Debris

Today I had to go and meet with my insurance investigator, so that he could inspect the Mini Cooper "Henny".

Yes, it's a new car. Yes, it still has temporary tags on it. Yes, my husband drove it over a shovel on Tuesday night.



So, the moral of this story is, don't buy a new car if you cannot bear to see it damaged. Trust me on this. Because when I got the news, I immediately felt nauseous. Then upset. Then MAD. It was like watching one of those mood rings change color, from green to blue to purple to RED.

So I met with the insurance guy, who was there with another guy, and thankfully not the insurance guy who was there when I did THIS back in January:

Let's put it like this......if we are able to renew our car insurance this year, it will be a miracle of the first order.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Keep it down now, voices carry.

Last night I was working a dinner shift at the cafe - something that hasn't happened in a long time. Our restaurant - and this island in general, tends to wind things down pretty early. Visitors to the island are all experiencing some sort of jet leg, since in Hawaii we are several time zones away from everywhere else. People who live here generally have to work - sometimes several jobs - and so most are up early. And we live in a place where outdoor activities take precedence in many lifestyles, so people are out at dawn to catch the surf before work, or get in a swim, or a run.....the weather is hardly ever nasty, and regular outdoor time is a part of everyone's routine. So we turn in early around these parts, is what I am trying to say

And my point was........what. Hm. Oh yes, early. So the cafe closes fairly early most nights, usually we are serving our last dinner at around 8 or 9pm. Last night, all of the tables cleared out by about 8pm. We were discussing whether to close, or hang out for a bit and see what happened - and a couple walked through the door. They seemed pretty chipper. They were excited to have some indian food. I was excited to have customers. It was a mutual admiration society of the first order.

They ordered some chai. Then some samosas. They were chatting and sipping and I put the order in and then, in the quiet of the cafe, where there was only one table - voices were raised.

Ut Oh.

I tried not to look. I didn't want to look. I didn't want to know. I definitely didn't want to listen.

What I wanted to do was crawl under a rock somewhere far far away and have someone else bring them their food.

If they stayed that long, that is.

So I was standing there, staring at the computer long after the order had been sent, willing myself to stay strong. To stay detached. To stay aloof and oblivious and professional and friendly but not appear curious in ANY WAY.

I took a few deep breaths and focused on the menu screen in front of me.

This is not you. You are not living that life anymore. You don't have fights in restaurants. You don't slam dishes on the table, and bang your silverware down for emphasis. Not any more. Not you.
This is not your fight.

It was me, you know.

12, 15 years ago? It was me. I was in love and angry and young and hot tempered and big mouthed and I didn't have boundaries and oh, boy, could I yell.

I mean, I still can - but in general I keep it private, not in public. (Oh, the neighbors. Sorry guys. Yeah, I keep it mostly private. Let's just say I keep it in the neighborhood.)

So tonight, when I heard the raised voices, it was the craziest, wildest deja vu moment ever. I knew exactly what was being said without hearing a thing. The low, angry tones, rising to the yelling. The questions asked loudly, the answers muttered. The glares. The final pronouncement. The grand exit, purse in hand. The squealing tires and the lone figure left in the booth looking defeated and pissed and mortified.

And then I had to approach the table, knowing all that had just gone down - I mean, I couldn't ignore it, could I. She wasn't THERE anymore. Her samosas left untouched. Her chai gone cold. It was, in a word, awkward.

I held out the check, and a take out box, asking only "Are you ready for these?" in a voice just barely above a whisper. She had been the angry one - there was no anger here at the table anymore......just a face that was a mix of grief and frustration. I couldn't tell if he was upset with the girl, or with himself. I didn't want to know, I just wanted it to be over. I wanted to lock the doors on that cool rainy night and go home to my mellow, loving, goofy and forever patient husband, stretched out on the couch hoping for a bite of my leftover chicken curry and maybe a cuddle before bed.

That's not me anymore. That is not my life. I can go home.