Friday, February 15, 2008

My Valentine's Day Lovers....;)

Which do not include a date, but DO include a flamboyantly gay man, Bubby, Bubby's dad, and some good girlfriends.;)

All right, let's get THIS out of the way first. I promised I'd post this video for my "Will" because he's more of a woman than I ever thought of being. His sweety is in Boston and has to work.

Happy Valentine's Day, honey. :) However, I refuse to autoplay it; I'll just post it at the bottom and you can play it yourself, lol.

Okay, okay, I admit it;The Prayer/La Preghiera really IS a beautiful song, particularly the end is chill-giving, though it isn't the best recording....and it IS full of cheese.

For me, Valentine's this year ended up being unexpectedly one of the best I've ever had, but not for the usual reasons. I worked both jobs yesterday and had no date, BUT....I received more cards, candy, flowers, and hugs than I could ever want, everyone was in a great mood, nobody really got any work done...probably because of the chocolate.

You DO realize, chocolate produces the same neurochemical in your brain that makes you feel as though you're falling in love. Who needs love when you have an endless supply of free chocolate?

Not that I didn't have any men interested...the usual freak-magnet set. For instance, here's the line of one guy I waited on...

Me: "So how is everything, anything else I can get for you?"

Mr. Overly Practiced and Smooth: "Just your phone number, and we're perrrrfect."

Groan. Retch.

Then there was a guy alone, seemingly normal at first, but they always are. He had no wedding ring and admittedly had no kids, but said that he loved kids and wanted to have them one day...THEN he pulled out his credit card...WHICH CURIOUSLY HAD ALL OF THE DISNEY CHARACTERS ON IT.

What the....????

He said he just loved all things Disney; he was obsessed with Disney characters.

Either he's lying or he's just freakin'...weird.

That sort of thing is enough to make a woman do a permanent Kegel even the jaws of life couldn't open.

For whatever reason, my adopted "little sister," Brea, decided I needed two straws with hearts on the end of them in my pulled-back hair, so that I ended up looking like a geisha. Will said I looked more like Sacajewea and I needed more bling, so everyone decorated them throughout the evening with metallic candy wrappers. It still wasn't fab ENOUGH, however, for Will.

"Hey, Sacajewea...Lewis and Clark went that way. They said for you to lose the hair straws before they'd hang out with you again."

"No, Will-son, IIIIII am to become geeiisha...I dance for you" and proceeded to bow and do some bizarre version of Sayuri's "Memoirs of a Geisha" snow dance.

Will just...walked away, lol.

Hey, I had my mojo working, but it "just don't work on Will." I'm SURE it's because he's gay and of course not because of my enticing dance.;)

Two seconds later, he's back, laughing, hugging me, and saying, "You are not allowed to quit working here, ever, without my permission and until I quit...I love you."

Right back atcha, Will...mwahh. Chai Raspberry next time?



P.S...Bubby has a date to the V-Day dance tonight, wish her luck. He's a pretty good boy boy, I have to admit.:)

CHEESE VIDEO: I remember watching this performance at the Grammy's, they brought down the house. Some people sound crappy live, but they were in perfect harmony, perfect pitch; it really was a "legendary performance," as trite as that phrase is.

Chrystal Smith/Southernspeak4

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Restaurant Stories...

From my weekend job...

I swear to God, I'm often tempted to just pull up a chair with some popcorn and watch the kitchen staff, especially when Sally is the window manager. She is normally the service manager, but they alternate to break the monotony.

She is hands down, one of the funniest women I think I've ever met. Making her even more interesting is that she's a sincerely good person, instead of using her wit as a weapon over other people unless she has to. (For a good Sally story, read a few posts down.)

She has a knack for motivating people...okay, perhaps blatantly threatening get things done, lol.

Last night, we didn't have a food runner, so it was a bit chaotic, but when ISN'T the restaurant business chaotic?

Every two minutes, she'd scream...."I need runners...RUNNERS ALL DAYYYY!!!! HOT food, people, out of my window NOW....don't make me punch you in the head, I'm serious...oh, how I'm serious....oh, I'll hurtcha...HURT..CHA!"

Then she turns towards the side, despite no one being there at all, and does some kinda weird ninja move that looks more like tai chi gone horribly awry.

ME: "Sally, I WILL run food for you, despite that.... weird karate kid move you did, just now."

Sally: "JP, Chrystal just said she never wanted to see my ninja moves, ever again, do YOU like them?"

JP rolled his eyes and walked away.

JP is our singing cook. He has no shyness problem whatsover. He will sing any song, any time, and people in the back of the restaurant can hear every word he's singing and saying. In fact, many regulars ASK to sit in the back so they can listen to JP's songs and general improv. However, don't ask JP for requests...he sings whatever he feels like singing...or not at all. You...don't want JP in a bad mood, trust me.

Last night was apparently some sort of 80's Rewind Night, because I swear to God, I think I heard every song played at my prom. Sam often chimes in on duets and back-ups, and their particular favorite last night, heard at least five times, was The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be, " complete with thick Scottish brogue. Check the video...Bubby's gonna flip when she gets home because, of course... Johnny's in it, hehehe.

(JP's solo): "When I wake UP, yeah, I know I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be the man whooh wakes up next to youah.

"When I goh oUWWT, yeah I know I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be the man who goes along with youahh"

Music Video Codes by VideoCure

This sort of thing makes JP one of the most entertaining people I've ever met. He's getting his Master's degree in European history, and he's just applied to Oxford for his PhD...making him also one of the smartest people I've ever met.

The problem is, unlike Sally...he knows it.

He and New Hot Bar Manager got into a intellectual pissing contest through the window the other night, like Alpha males often do. I've...actually begun to take an active dislike to New Hot Bar Manager, as have most people. So their slight sparring competition went like this:

JP: "Yeah, I'm working in a restaurant next to you, despite graduating Magna cum Laude for FUN, assholes."

Hot Bar Manager: "Hey, a college degree isn't everything...look at me, I graduated with honors too, and I'm now a lofty bar manager."

JP: "Oh yeah? I'll be sure and remember that about you and everyone else here, when I'm at Oxford next year."

Which was overly shitty and sounded a bit superior. HNBM's face is turning bright red, now...he's...mad and trying NOT to go apeshit, like he usually does.

So despite my dislike for Hot New Bar Manager (and if given the choice, would choose JP over him for company any day), I decided that he had taken things too far; things were tense... so I decided to pop a pin in the overly large ego of JP, for the moment...hehehe.

"Really, JP, that's've been accepted, then?"

Everyone stops what they're doing, it's dead silent, lol. I'm wiping down counters casually, with my back to him. They slyly smile and look from me over to JP.

"Well..not yet, but I'm sure I will be, with my GPA and history."

Bar Manager looks at me and winks. I have on my innocent poker face, which I actually have a hard time doing, usually. Hehehe...ain't I a stinkah?

I decided to smooth it over with him too, so he knows it's just a brief humbling session for him, but I really do think it's cool.

"Well, when you go... will you at least take me with you?"

"Okay, I will."

He's always really polite with me, I'm not sure what that's about. This is a good thing because I'd never want to get into a verbal tete-a-tete with JP, he'd... kick my ass.

However, later, he's mouthing loudly about how 90% of the people working there are idiots. He reminds me, loudly, that I have not put an upcharge on adding bacon at least three times tonight.

Me: "Thanks for reminding me, JP...I'm sorry."

JP: "No seriously, you need to do that."

Me: "Okay, you're right, I'm sorry...thanks."

JP: "Upchargggeee on bacon."

Me: "JP...I GOT dis, thanks."

JP: "It really bugs me for you guys to be asking for stuff and then not ring it in later."

Me: (loudly now): "Yes, I can tell...once again, I'm sorry...and THANK you, JP...for showing me the err of my ways. I can honestly say that I am now a better person, because of you....thank you, from the bottom of my heart."

Bar Manager spits out his sweet tea and everyone is laughing.

JP raises and eyebrow at me and says, "You're...welcome."

What could he say? Probably a lot, but he didn't...thank God.

That man could shred me verbally within seconds. I could put up a good fight for a little while, but I'd go down in the second round, I'm pretty sure of it.

Otherwise, it was mostly an uneventful evening of truckloads of rednecks coming in from the outlying areas, having just received their tax refund checks; coming into to the big city to eat steak and Miller Lite drafts or Beam and coke and tip us approximately 8.6 thank God for some of the people I work with for the entertainment, or the evening would've been a total loss.

Chrystal Smith/Southernspeak4

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bubby and Bob Dole? ;) Why My Daughter Rocks The Universe...

I just have to give props to my daughter, McKenna, this morning, for being the complete goofball she is and making me laugh...every single day. :)

While taking her to school this morning, she told me this story about her, her dad, and her dad's new car. For those non-real-life readers, McKenna's father is Zack, who is NOT the ex-husband I've mentioned; Zack and I never married. We're very good friends, but we're too...different to ever get married.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the man dearly; he's very funny and does little voices, laughs easily at he just doesn't do "silly" or "absurd" very well.

For instance, she called him after watching MadTV at my house the other day, contorted her face, and said in a perfect "Antonia" lispy voice: "Hello. I have a cat named CC."

Her father said, "Really, McKenna. Did you fall unconscious recently?"

Here's the real antonia, so you can get the idea.

Anyway, her dad just bought a new BMW because he is always Mr. Stereotypical Blue-Blazered/khaki-pants-ed Republican, always about "status." I laugh at him on a regular basis for it. The only indication that he has a wild streak anymore is the left scap (shoulderblade) tattoo of a cloud and a lightning bolt with his fraternity letters on it, which I initially thought was an ice cream cone.

He bought this car in black, for some reason.

So McK decides to mess with him a little, and apparently she says to him, "Hey Dad...are you in the mafia? All my friends think you are because of your car. Dad... fess up, are you? "

"No, McKenna, I'm not in the mafia. Are you serious? DO people really think that???"

"Yep, dad, they do. In fact, everyone calls you 'Fat Tony."

"Wh-a-a? I'm...not fat."

"DAD...I'm J-O-K-I-N-G."


I don't know WHERE she gets that mischievous sense of humor, do you?;)

And ohhhhmigod, people, guess what? We've just finished her HIGH SCHOOL schedule for next year.


AAAAAKK! I'm pretty sure it was just yesterday I was holding her in "feety pajamas," pretending to chew on those chubby little toes to make her giggle.

Wasn't it just the other day that I had to chase her around the public pool, with her giggling like a-madwoman all the while, because she had completely disrobed from her Barbie bathing suit?

Wasn't it just last week that she and my former stepson shot my tampons as rockets into the toilet to watch them expand, leaving them there when my brother-in-law visited for the first time? (Luckily, I found this experiment in time.)

Now she will have completed high-school algebra and will be in Geometry already, as well as in Honors English and Honors Biology. Where did the time go?

I also laugh when I remember how bright we found out she was at such an early an age. Well, I guess we already knew, because she started talking at six months.

But about a year later, she began some bizarre fascination with Bob Dole that still defies explanation. I found THAT disturbing on so many levels, I can't tell you...I was horrified, lol.

You know what? I'm blaming her father.;)

Every time Bob came on the news, she was mesmerized. I seriously waved my hand in front of her face, but she was not to be deterred. She would wander around holding a newspaper with his picture on the front, it was just plain scary.

I was talking to her dad on the phone during a visit with him and told him to test her because he didn't believe me that she knew who he was and his name. So while on the phone with me, he pointed to a pic of Bob Dole in the paper and said, "McKenna...who is that?"

"Das BobDole."

His name was one word to her, bobdole.

"Heeyyyyy! That's right, honey, that's Bob Dole!!! All right! Who you gonna vote for?"


ME: "All right, now, that's enough, Repubic-man. Don't make me come over there and do a Dem Intervention."

"Hehehe. Hey Chrys?"


"Our daughter is a genius."

"I know, duh."

For years, for Christmases after that, her Auntie Kim and Uncle Matt gave her one Christmas gift that said, "To, Bob Dole" for our amusement. I think she really thought he was some eccentric uncle she'd never met that gave her treats at Christmas.

She doesn't believe me now that these things ever happened and flat out refuses to admit it, but I remind her that, guess what? We have video.

Gifted kids are weird, sometimes, what can I say. But everyone should have a Bubby, you should get one...except you can't have mine...I'm holding onto her a little while longer.:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's Lent/Ash Wednesday. Argh.

So I'm talking to my sister, Ruthie, today, trying to decide what I'm going to give up for Lent before Ash Wednesday service tonight, when I will get all ash-headed and reverent.

She has already decided to give up chocolate, which is a major thing for her. You don't understand...the girl actually makes satisfaction noises and is not to be disturbed while eating chocolate, so this is a very big deal.

Apparently, a coworker came up, while we were talking, with a chocolate cream pie and said, "Gee, Ruthie, wouldn't you lovvvee to have some?"

"You ARE the devil, you know...hey, shut up, or the pie goes in your face."

Did I...mention that she works as an admin at a church at present? Hehehe.

Like me, she too gave up her 60+ hours per week professional job as an advertising copywriter six months ago, when grandma took a turn for the worse; ready to step in for her turn if/when Mom gets exhausted.

A pretty cool and uncharacteristically noble thing for the previously spoiled family baby to do, she's grown up nicely...mostly...

Anyway, she gets all kinds of funky calls, working at a church, so it's very fun to prank call her with strange voices and stories and see how long it takes before she figures out it's me, hehehe.

So I thought about giving up cigarettes, but that's a bit too...stressful to tackle right now when things are finally settling down. Plus I've tried quitting before and I'm a real bitch when I do, and nobody wants THAT. I thought about giving up cursing and the word "fuck", but I did that last year and obviously it didn't hold.

So then I tried justification..."Hey Ruthie...isn't like...the whole point of Jesus' death supposed to be that he made that sacrifice so we didn't have to?"

"Nice try, Chrys, but it's about relating to his suffering, dumb ass."

"I think you should've given up calling me 'dumb ass' for Lent. Try not to think about your coworker's chocolate cream pie, there, shithead. I love you anyway, sissy."

"Love you too, sis...bye."

So Wednesdays are my day off, and of course, I get a terrible cold today. One of the reasons I decided to take one full day off of everything is because I need one day off from everything to AVOID getting sick, but apparently this strategy isn't working.

So I'm struggling to get lunch in with McKenna at school, pick up dictation tapes for that new doc as my third job one day a week, go to an appointment, clean my house and do laundry, and type some transcription today before services tonight...and I'm all cranky with a 100.2 fever.

I call K, MY church secretary, to find out what time the service is.

"K, what times are services today?"

"12 p.m. and 7"

"K, 12's no good, I have lunch with McK at school. I'll be there at 7, with bells on. I have no idea what that expression means, actually, and I better not wear bells, being as it IS lent and I'm supposed to be all..reverent."

"No, bells are more of an "epiphany" thing, you can wear them then."

"Hahaha! Excellent, I'm marking that down on my calendar...'Epiphany...wear exotic bells for no apparent reason."

"I'll call you and remind you to wear them."

So then I'm driving to my appointment, hacking away with a cough, grabbing quickly through a drive-thru, then eating, a Big Mac, dropping the "special sauce" on my jacket and cursing about it, when I come down the hill, around the bend, from the south side of the city.

Ever since I was a kid, this has always astounded this city just suddenly pops up from behind two hills once you round the bend, it literally catches your breath.

Today, however, was particularly awe-inspiring. The moment I rounded the bend, the sun came out, just briefly...after some pretty heavy-duty storms...and a very thick, very large rainbow rounded over the entire city, right over Carew was absolutely breathtaking.

I looked at the people in the cars to the left and the right...and we all were smiling at each other and pointing, kind of a "bonding with strangers" moment..."Can you see that? It's beautiful!!!"

I remembered my learned gift over the past few years of finding the slightest bit of joy out of the simplest things in life, which I learned at a time when there was virtually nothing left of my previous life and things in the city in which I lived were literally in tatters. I learned that immediately after Hurricane Ivan, in fact. The slightest thing can make me full of joy, the tiniest kindness from a learn to appreciate the small stuff and take time out to admire it. :)

So, methinks...

"Ooops....okay, God, okay....sorry about me getting all wrapped up in my own...crap today. That was a pretty amazing sight, master scientist, thank you...for allowing us all to see that today."

So guess what I'm giving up? Cursing, junk food...AND I'm cutting down on smoking...we'll see if it holds.;)

I didn't have a camera with me, but here's a good stand-in photo for the same effect...actually, I'd have to say the effect of coming around that bend and the rainbow over the entire city was actually better, but the cathedral in another city photo is a cool additive.

Time appropriately taken out, rainbow admired...back to the schedule now, shhh...;)