A Day Off…

A quick post before I go to bed.

I got up early this morning so that I’d have to time to have coffee and eat breakfast before work. That lasted about 10 minutes. I went back to bed and slept till almost 3:00 p.m. I was exhausted. I’ve been kind of out of it all day, but I have to admit that it felt good to sleep in and give my feet a rest for the day. I’ll go in tomorrow and try to get a shift.

A friend of mine from college sent this to me today. I don’t know if any of you have seen it but I thought it was funny.

image.jpg

Advertisements

Waiting Tables…Day Four

So I worked my first real shift today.

Sort of.

I’m not on the schedule this week because someone didn’t have enough foresight to realize that I might need a few shifts. So to get shifts I have to show up at “The Lottery” that’s held every morning and every afternoon to replace servers that call in sick. Sometimes there are only one or two people that show up. Sometimes it’s ten to fifteen. Today however, I was the only one to show up so I got a shift. Unfortunately, it was the worst section in the restaurant, and I’m about 90% sure that the hosts were told to take it easy on me. Which might explain why I never had more than two tables at a time.

When it was all said and done I had a great day. I didn’t make as much money as I would have like to, but considering how slow the lunch shift was today, I did great. I walked out of the restaurant with 20% of my sales, which is rare. Especially after tipping out the bussers and bartenders. However, more than anything, it was money I didn’t have when I started the day. Now if I can only pick up shifts during the rest of the week, life will be okay.

And the best part of the day. There was no drama. No fits. Not fights. No feuds. No egos. I have come to the conclusion though that I work with a bunch of assholes. I’ve never worked in any restaurant where the staff was so unfriendly. Usually people rally around the new guy trying to make acquaintances, alliances, and get them on their side. Not so much here. In fact there were a few people that never spoke to me at all today, even when I tried to engage them in conversation. As my roommate said, this will keep me from hanging out after work and going to the bar and drinking my earnings. Especially if no one talks to me. Personally I’m no to worried about it. I’m there to make money, do my job and go home. I’m not really there to make friends. If I do, great. If I don’t, great.

I do know this. My feet have never hurt so badly in my life. The bottoms of them feel as if they are bruised. And on top of that my toes hurt. I actually went to the gym today, but I was too tired and sore to work out. So I did the treadmill for seven minutes and said fuck it and came home. I hope this doesn’t continue. I’m tired of the soreness and I want to have the energy to work out.

ps…that’s not my foot but that’s how sore they feel.

Waiting Tables…Day Three

My feet are fucking killing me.

Enough said.

Attention please.  Maddog is finished with his training.  YIPPEE!

I finished up tonight and got approval from the manager to be able to start picking up shifts.  Unfortunately, my lovely friend Samantha forgot to put me on this week’s schedule, so I have to go in everyday and hope that someone wants off and lets me work.  It’s a fucked up sort of system, but at this point I need the money too much to wait.

As for the evening.

The spawn of Satan were present for two hours in the restaurant tonight.

I’m not kidding.

The most worst behaved children (around 7 – 10 in age) I have ever seen (7 of them in total) along with five grown men were seated in an area of the restaurant adjacent to mine.

It started when the group arrived in the restaurant.  The children were all over the place.  They were running, and yelling and doing just about everything they could.  At one point the manager found them in a closed bar of a roped off part of the restaurant.  They were putting the cola gun in their mouths and drinking from it.  They were caught twice trying to look up the skirts of women in the restaurant.  At one point they purposefully tried to trip a waiter carrying a tray of drinks.  All of this before they were given a table.

After they got the table it was worse.  At no time were all seven children ever seated.  They ran around.  They continued to yell.  The manager had to escort them out of the kitchen.  Finally when she’d had enough, she went to the table and told the men they’d have to control their children, because it was a restaurant not a playground.  An argument ensued.  They accused her of trying to embarrass them about their children and told her she had no right to tell them how to discipline the kids.  She finally told them that if they got hurt or caused someone to get hurt they would be liable, not the restaurant.  This didn’t do much good, but at least she covered her bases.

The icing on the cake.  When the 150.00 dollar check came at the end of the meal.  The men decided they weren’t going to pay for it, since the manager had talked to them about their children.  They were on their way out when another manager, Mike caught them.   Another argument ensued.  This time with all five men and seven children present.  It got louder and louder and eventually most people in the restaurant had stopped eating and were watching the festivities.  Mike finally told them that they could either pay the check or he could call the cops.  It was really their choice.  They continued to argue with him until he pulled out his phone and began to dial 911.  It somehow changed their minds.  They paid the bill and left.

Whew.

Of course it took the bussers almost 20 minutes to clean up after them.  The kids had dumped drinks on the floor.  Most of their food was on the floor, the tables and the chairs.  They had poured water into the sugar caddy as well as the salt and pepper.  When it was all said and done every employee present in that part of the restaurant  had to fill out an incident report because the men had declared they were going to call corporate and let them know how they’d been treated.

All this and it’s only day three.  How much more fun can it get?

Waiting Tables…Day Two

I promise this blog won’t become just about my waiting tables job.  But for the moment, it’s what’s happening.

And I’m fucking tired again tonight.  I ran my ass of tonight, just so my trainer could make a shit load of money.  Some how it’s a fucked up system but what can you do.  The night started out a little less frustrating.  I got to the restaurant about an hour early so that I could start to fill out this booklet that must be completed before I’m official.  For a company that prides it’s self on it’s environmentalism, it sure as hell produces a lot of paperwork.  So I used my little cheat-sheet and filled out about 1/2 of it while waiting for my shift to start.

And then it started.

And for as good as the waiter last night was.  Tonight’s was awful.  For the first two hours she drove me fucking bonkers.  When a waiter is super busy it’s called being in “the weeds.”  Don’t ask me why.  I’ve never been told.  Well for the first two hours my trainer was acting as though we were in over our heads and completely in the weeds.  For the life of me I couldn’t get her to calm down.  Eventually, I took her computer card (everything has to be entered under her number since she’s the one who is getting the money) and took over all the tables.  I told her to stand back and just let me do my thing and help if I needed it.  I didn’t need it.  I ran the whole station for the whole night.  Not only that, at the end of the night she walked with 20% of her net sales, after tipping out the bartender, busser, food runner, and me.  That’s right and with the amount of selling I did tonight she’s well on her way to paying rent.  I didn’t learn a lot tonight, but I realized I’m back in the groove of this and that I CAN do it.  As they say it’s just like riding a bike.

As for my training.  Seems the manager was even more impressed tonight.  So I get to cut another day off the total and will finish after tomorrow night’s shift…if I pass the test.  Of course this makes me nervous because I haven’t taken a test since 1989.  I’ll of course report in and let you know how it all goes tomorrow.

And I’ll end on things that piss me off.

I don’t understand people who find it a surprise they have to pay.

Tonight I waited on a table of 6 college age students.  After the meal, I dropped off their check so they could pay.  And I waited, and I waited for them to put out their money or credit card.  What I eventually found out was that one of them had to go and get money from the ATM.  This took about 30 minutes. (Don’t ask me why, there are about 50 ATM’s within spitting distance of my restaurant.)  The question is, who goes out to eat and doesn’t bring money?  Or a credit card?  Or an ATM card?  You knew you were going to eat.  You knew you’d have to pay.  Get the fucking money before you eat.

And along the same thought.  Why do you have to wait till the cashier has finished ringing up your purchase and put it in a bag BEFORE you start searching through your over-sized purse to find your money?  And for the record the purse is big enough to fit all of New Hampshire in it.  Did it not occur to you, while you were waiting behind the 12 other people in line that you might have to pay for what you wanted?  Did it not occur to you that you couldn’t have it for free.  You want something from a store.  You pick it out, go to the counter AND PAY for it.  This is not a surprise.  Your fucking around in the purse caused me to miss the 2:00 A.M. train home tonight, and forced me to wait 30 minutes for the next train.  Causing me to not get home till almost 3:15.  In the fucking morning.  Would they have really convicted me if I had slapped you right there in the line?  I’m just curious.  That’s all.

Is it too late to change my mind?

I  may just be too old for this.  It’s 3:30 a.m.  and I just walked in from day two of my new job.  Damn.  I’m.  Tired.  And that’s the understatement of the century.

My work day started out just as frustrating as the others.  Samantha was no where to be found when I got there, all though she did arrive about 30 minutes later.  They had no idea who was training me.  I still don’t have a complete uniform, although I’ll be tested on what exactly that is on Monday.   I’m still not in the computer system so who knows whether I’m actually going to get paid for this or not.  And of course no one did anything about any of this until the last minute and then they all ran around like chickens with their heads cut off.  And just for the record.  Samantha has the personality of a rock.  And that’s being kind.

I finally got a schedule out of her.  I’ve been trying for the past three days to find out what days I’m working, what time I’m working and how long I have to train.  So I finally cornered her tonight and made her decide.  She explained that I had to do six training sessions and that even though I was an old employee I still had to do it all.  She said she was as stickler for every employee going through the full training schedule.  This is kind of funny, because it’s the third time I’ve trained with this company, and as of yet I’ve never done the full training sessions.  So I ask if I could do it over the next six days.  Straight through no breaks so I could get trained and put on the floor making money.  She hesitated but finally said okay.

And my shift started.  The woman training me is quite good, although she’s a little too “by the book” for me.  There are no hard and steadfast rules when you are dealing with the public.  You get about 6 seconds when you walk up to the table to figure out what they are going to be like.  Are they bitchy.  Fun.  Angry.  Easy Going.  It’s impossible to tell until you get there and start to talk to them.  Unfortunately, Ms. Trainer believes that every table should be treated the same.  And so I tried to do that, knowing that in a week when I’m on my own it won’t be that way at all.  That being said, she knows her stuff.  And I learned a lot tonight.  I actually handled her entire station for most of the night.  I only needed help a couple of times for the most part.

At the beginning of the shift she had me set goals as to what I was going to accomplish for the night.  How many desserts could I sell?  How many side items?  How many this?  How many that?  I thought it was kind of silly, so I chose high.  I added about 15 to what I really thought I could get.  She was a little annoyed with me, and told me to be more reasonable.  I then replied with a “why not shoot high.  What’s the worst that could happen.”  When it was all said and done I met every goal by several items except for one.  And in that case I was short one dessert.  She was more than impressed with my abilities.

At the end of the night, I had to meet with Samantha.  She sat down with me, and proceeded to tell me what a wonderful job I was doing.  So much so that she’s changed her mind and I WON’T have to do the fulling training schedule.  I guess that makes me three for three.  Yippee!

So I’ll be done on Monday, and if I pass the test I can start working on Tuesday.  Which will be great since I’ve had no income since July.  I’m starting to get a little poor.

An an entirely different note.  Years ago I worked out at a World’s Gym just north of SOHO in the Village.  It was a small gym, but great equipment.  The nice thing about it was that it wasn’t crowded and it had the best scale for weighing yourself I’ve ever seen.  The scale is about 6 feet tall, with a huge dial that turns when you step on it.  There’s no way to adjust it so it always reads the correct weight.  Long story, short.

(I know it’s too late for that.)

I decided to work out at that gym today.  That location was bought by New York Sports Club several years ago, so my new gym membership works there.  The reason I went was because I wanted to weigh myself.  My home scale is about as reliable as the weather.  I can weigh myself five times and get five different readings with almost a ten pound variance.  It’s a little frustrating when every ounce is important to you.  So I got to the gym and weighed myself.  My weight was exactly what I thought it would be, which made me happy.  More importantly though, the gym was empty.  There were only two people lifting weights and about 3 or 4 doing cardio.  This excites me, because I get nervous thinking about lifting in a crowded gym with a bunch of ripped muscles boys.  This way I can lift, and not be embarrassed because it’s only 5 pounds and can really start to get back into the swing of things.  This gym is a little out of my way, but in the big scheme of things if I’m more comfortable working out there it seems to me that it’s the right choice.  So that’s what I’ll be doing from now on.

Waiting Tables…Day One.

 cheeseburger.jpg

I’m tired and greasy.  There’s enough grease on my forehead and in my hair to cook up a batch of McDonald’s french fries.  I don’t remember the last time I was this greasy.  And I don’t mean in the used car sort of way.  I mean literally, greasy.

Tonight was my first real day on the job and it was exactly how I remembered it.  But first I’ll catch you up.

I think I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve worked at this restaurant before.  From 1998 to 2000.  And from 2002 to 2003.  So I’ve had experience with what to expect and how things will go.

I was told about two weeks ago that my first day would be September 19.  I was to show up at 9:30 for orientation.  This is standard procedure.  As this is a chain restaurant, there is a formalized training program.  The first day consists of filling out paper work, watching videos about sexual harassment and job safety.  It also involves discussing all the corporate policies like vacation, insurance, food discounts, etc.  Then you are given a tour, fed lunch and after about 5 hours you are sent home.  All of this is done as a class with anywhere from 5 or 6 people to 15.  This is what I was expecting.

What happened was:

I got to the restaurant around 9:15.  I waited in the lobby trying to look inconspicuous.  I was asked by at least three people why I was there.  It was clear no one knew about orientation.  I waited and waited.  Around 9:40 a guy walks by and introduces himself and asks if he can help me.  Turns out he’s the GM.  (General Manager) (He’s cute too, but I’ll get to that.)  He gives me directions to the office and tells me the manager I’m looking for is there.  We’ll call her Samantha from here on out…that’s not her real name.  I find Samantha sitting at her desk working on her computer.  She looks up and says, “Oh.”  It was as if she forgot I was coming.  She then starts searching through papers on her desk. This is of course after she’s called me Scott.  I tell her I’m Jeff and she finally finds the paper she’s looking for.  She then pulls out a huge folder and tells me to follow her.

As we walk, she explains that it turns out I’m the only one.  She doesn’t explain why, or how come.  This sort of annoys me, because that means I could have trained two weeks ago and been making money already.  But I digress.  She sits me at the bar and tells me to start filling out paper work.  She explains that she’ll get the day shift going and come back to me.  So I start writing.  Getting into the CIA would probably consume less paper.  There were of course the standard tax forms, I-9 forms, and insurance forms.  But there were training forms, harassment forms, uniform forms (that’s hard to say fast), direct deposit forms, security forms, stealing forms, credit card forms, safety forms…you get the picture.  Most of these forms required me seeing some sort of video or reading something from the training manual.  But since neither seemed to be happening, I signed them anyway.

I finally finished and she comes back over to me.  She then explains that that’s pretty much it for the day.  So she takes me back to get a shirt for me, and asks me if I can wear a large.  Okay so I’ve lost 40 pounds and I’m proud of that fact.  But I still weigh 260 pounds.  I’m fucking fat.  Six months from now I’ll be lucky to wear a large.  There’s no way my left arm would fit into a large right now.  And it’s pretty obvious.  I explain that I’ll need at least an XXL.  At which points she sighs and says she doesn’t have any.  And it will take about a week to get one.  She starts to say, that we can schedule training then, and I interrupt and explain that I haven’t worked in two months and I need money.  So I need to train as fast I can, with or without the shirt.  She then agrees to let me wear a black t-shirt until they get me the real uniform.  I thank her and I’m on my way.  Oh, and she tells me to show up tomorrow (today) at 4:30, come find her and I can start my training.

At this point, I should point out that the location of the restaurant I worked in before has changed.  So everything is different.  The menu is the same, the uniform is the same, but that’s about all.  At no time did she offer me a tour.  Which is only a problem because when I got there today, she was no where to be found.  And I don’t know where anything is.  You know, like the locker room, the dish room…the kitchen.  Seems it was her day off.  Whoops, she failed to mention that.  I find the office again, and there are 5 male managers there.  Each one cuter than the next.  This could be all right.  I ask for Samantha and they tell me she’s off.  They have no idea that I’m supposed to be there or what’s supposed to happen.  It takes my explaining about 15 minutes till someone steps up to the plate and deals with me.  I’m told to go sit down and wait an hour then come back and they’ll figure out what to do with me.  (So I could have shown up at 5 instead of 4.  Ugh!)  So I find a corner and I hide.  And wait.  And wait.  Finally 5 arrives and I go find the manager again.  Once again he doesn’t know what to do with me.  I explain what I’m supposed to be doing today, and he tells me once again to stand in the corner and wait.  And so I wait.  And wait.  Finally someone comes over to me and tells me that to do the job I need to do tonight, I need a hat.  I should go find another manager and get a hat.  I go to his office.  But he’s not there and no one’s seen him.  I wait.  And wait.  Finally, some stranger asks if he can help me.  I tell him I need a hat.  He tells me to wait.  And I wait.  And wait.  Finally he comes back with a hat.  Whew.  One step down.

So I go back downstairs, and I find the first manager and ask him what I should be doing.  He tells me to hang on a second.  And so I wait.  And wait.  FINALLY, the kitchen manager comes by and tells me what the deal is.  He introduces me to the two guys who’ll be training me and so I start.  One of them looks like a Charles Manson sort of fellow with weird tattoos and long hair, the other one looks like a thug from the Bronx, with his pants around his knees.  Turns out both of them are nice.  This might not be so bad afterall.  They start out treating me like I’ve never worked in a restaurant before.  I let it go on for about 15 minutes and then explain that not only have I worked in restaurants for over 10 years, but I was a certified trainer in this restaurant.  They left me a lone the rest of the night.

We were working expo, which is the position that takes the food from the cooks, finishes garnishing it, and then gives it to the servers.  It’s a fast paced, high stress job.  It started out sort of slow but around 7:30 became a zoo.  I was helping as much as I could, which meant staying out of the way for the most part.  I was amazed at how much I remembered about the plate setups and how things were dressed before they go to the table.  I also remembered most of the food items which is one of the harder things about working at a restaurant.  How to tell the food apart.

Finally at 9:30 I was told I was done.  I could go home as soon as someone quizzed me on the evening and filled out my paperwork.  There was a lengthy discussion amongst the managers about who had to do this.  The kitchen manager lost.  So instead of just doing it.  He tells me to order food.  Go sit at table 600.  And then come back in 30 minutes.  Just what I needed.  More waiting.  I order food.  The menu is certifiably unhealthy.  There’s only one thing that I can eat.  Grilled Chicken.  And Broccoli.  I  get my food, a diet Pepsi.  (Don’t start).  And then ask someone where table 600 is.  Of course no one has thought to give me a seating chart.  I go sit down and eat and then wait.  And wait.  Finally after 30 minutes I go find the kitchen manager.  He tells me to stand where I am…and you guessed it.  Wait.  And so I wait.  Finally he comes and fetches me.  He takes me to the office and fills out my paperwork.  And so I’m on my way.

As I was just getting ready to leave, I ask when should I return.  The manager on duty tonight, says why not come back tomorrow and Samantha will be there and she can sort it all out. Which is fine.  But it would be nice to know how long training’s going to be.  And what my schedule is going to be.  And when I’m going to work.  And what I’m going to be doing.  And well you get the picture,

One night down.  A million more to go.

And on one last note.  The very comfortable tennis shoes I bought to work in while I was in Maine are awful.  All night it was as if I was walking on ice.  I almost fell at least 10 times.  So after work tonight, I stopped at the Skecher’s store and bought slip resistant shoes.  Now if I can only stop spending money and finally start making some.

Weight/Waiting

It’s a quick post tonight.  I need to get to bed somewhat early.

I haven’t mentioned my weight in a while.  Thought I’d let you guys know that as of today I’ve lost 39.2 pounds.  That’s a small child I’m no longer carrying around.  I only wish it were more.  I’m so tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a fat man.  I want to look in the mirror and see a relatively normal size guy looking back.  I know that if I keep up the walking, working out, and eating right it will happen.  I just want it to be now.

Okay enough whining.  My weight is what it is and I can’t lose it any faster than I am.  As I tell people all the time.  I didn’t get fat over night.  I won’t get skinny over night.  I just have to keep my eye on the prize, stay focused and the rest will follow.  I’ll keep you guys posted as to my progress periodically.

I start my restaurant job tomorrow.  I’m a little nervous to say the least.  I haven’t waited tables in more than five years.  What if I don’t remember how.  What if I suck at it now.  What if I slap some child whose being a pain in my ass.  I’ve had several nightmares in the past week about work.  I realize that it’s all in my head, but I’m still a little apprehensive.  But I guess I don’t have to worry about it today.  In fact I don’t have to worry about it tomorrow.  The restaurant I’m working for is a chain restaurant and so tomorrow is the orientation part of the training sequence.  I have no idea how long I’ll be there, or what to expect besides filling out tax papers and insurance forms.    It will be nice though, to finally start.  I can use the money and it’ll be good to finally get all my fears behind me.  Tune in on Thursday and I’ll give you a full report of my first day.

Puttin’ on the Ritz…

Where has the weekend gone?  Just yesterday it was Thursday and now it’s Sunday night.  Geez.

It’s actually been an event filled, busy, and yet fun weekend.

Yesterday I slept late, which I’m enjoying while I can, because I figure in the next few weeks it’s going to get harder and harder to find days that I can sleep in.  When I finally got out of bed I moved to the living room to catch up on the news.  As it has been for the past few days it was a slow news day, so I ended up watching HGTV for about 90 minutes.  I become obsessed with it, once it’s on.  I have a million ideas that I’d like to do to my apartment.  Of course I don’t own it, nor do I have 30 or 40 thousand dollars, so none of them are likely to get done in the near future.

I eventually got up and showered and headed downtown.  I was off to see The Brave One starring Jodie Foster.  I had seen a couple of previews and it looked good, so I thought what the hell.  I liked it.  Some of it is a little hard to believe, but it’s all about the suspension of disbelief.  The really fun part of the movie is that the last couple of big scenes take place in my neighborhood.  She has a bit of a breakthrough in a subway tunnel, that I walk through everyday, and the last scene of the movie was shot on my street.  It’s always fun to see movies that are shot in the locations you live in every day.

After the movie I met my roommate for dinner.  We were on our way to the theatre.  We had gotten a discount coupon for preview tickets to The Ritz that’s opening on Broadway.  I was vaguely familiar with it.  It’s a farce, that deals with mobsters, shooting guns, and caberet performances.  And the best part.  It takes place in a gay bath house called The Ritz.  In a word it’s hysterical.  From almost the moment the show starts, it’s a laugh out loud romp.  The performances are amazing and there are a couple of scenes that bring down the house.  Of course the best moment of the show is Rosie Perez’s caberet performance at the end of Act 1.  In the show she thinks that a big Broadway producer has come to see her show.  So she pulls out all the stops and does a medley of showtunes that lasts about 15 minutes.  And the joke.  She can’t sing.  She does the whole thing off key.  And it’s not just overacting, not being able to sing.  She comes out and does her best to sell the number.  It’s clear the character thinks she can sing, and she occasionally hits the right notes, but not enough to save her show.  At the end of the number the crowd went wild.  If you are going to be in New York, it’s a must see.   It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a supporting cast that runs around in skimpy little towels for the whole show.  There’s no frontal nudity, but there are several scenes with lots of very nice butts.  And you get Ryan Idol of porn fame as the Crisco Patron.  In case you don’t know Ryan…here you go.

msc009x_6.jpg

Today I got up early and did the unmentionable.  Sorry Dr. Spo.  I had to do it.  I went to Ikea.  It’s quite an adventure in New York.  There are free shuttle buses from the Port Authority on Saturday’s and Sunday’s.  I got downtown around noon.  It only takes about 30 minutes to get there.  I had actually gone there last week and found some chairs that I liked to replace the broken ones from my dining room table.  So today I went and bought two of them.  The only catch with going there is that you have to make sure you can get what you are buying back on the bus and then carry it home.  The chairs weren’t heavy but they were a little ackward.  But I got them home without many problems.  They were also the easiest thing I’ve ever bought at Ikea to put together.  It took about 10 minutes and they were done.  And they look great with my table and the best part is that they didn’t cost a fortune.

After the chairs, I cleaned my room.  For the past week I’ve had little piles of things that needed to be put away.  My room is about half as big as it needs to be to hold everything in it.  And I have about a quarter of the closet space that I need.  So I have had to be creative to make it all fit.  I wouldn’t say it all fits now, but for the moment everything has a home and so I guess it will do.

And then it was time for the Emmy Awards.  I don’t know that I’ve ever sat down and watched the whole show before, but my roommate wanted to watch so I was game.  It was kind of fun.  There were some upsets and surprises.  Of course I haven’t really watched TV much (at least prime time) in the last year so I didn’t know all of the shows.  It will be interesting to see what everyone else thinks about the winners.

And that my friends is my weekend.  Not bad if you ask me.  I’m off to bed.  I have to be up early in the morning.

Haircuts, News, and Yard Sales…

Earlier in the week I went to bed and completely forgot to write a blog entry.  I was on my way to bed tonight and realized I hadn’t written a post today.  I wonder what that means.  I hope it doesn’t mean that I’m getting tired of writing my blog because for the most part I still find it enjoyable and fun.  I guess it’s just something to think about.

There’s really not much to report today.  I slept late and then moved to the living room where I watched New York 1 (our local news channel) and then CNN Headline news.  It was quite the slow news day.  You know it’s a slow day when they are doing stories about a monkey who’s in love with a pigeon and a woman who has been told she can’t keep her pet deer enclosed in a pen in her yard.  It was enough though to keep me entertained for a couple of hours.

After the news I got up and showered and headed out into the city.  It was a beautiful day here.  Overcast but cool.  I took the train down to the Village and then walked to the East Village to get my hair cut.  I’ve been getting my hair cut in the same New York location for about 8 years.  I used to get it cut by Mike the VERY cute Russian who liked to massage my shoulders as he cut my hair.  Unfortunately he had moved to a different place when I returned to New York and for all my pleading for the guys that were left to tell me where, they wouldn’t.  So now I get my hair cut by Eddie.  He’s also Russian and gives a good haircut, but he’s not cute.  I guess that’s what I get for going away for three years.

I’m sitting at my computer listening to a bunch of guys argue on the street below.  They are screaming at each other, but I have no idea what about.  It seems to be all show, so I don’t think I’ll have to call 911 tonight.  What I would like though is to be paid a nickle for everytime the word “nigger” is shouted on my street corner.  I’d never have to work again.  It’s used sometimes in anger, sometimes as a friendly greeting.  But it’s used often.

I deposited  my “yard sale” items in the lobby tonight.  I had collected quite a pile of stuff in the living room over the last week.  Most of it was stuff that I should have never brought to New York with me.  An old Polaroid camera, a purple bedspread, a bunch of clothes, lots and lots of books I’ll never read again, a palm pilot, several gym bags, a drafting table…the list goes on.  More than anything it was stuff that I no longer wanted taking up precious space in my bedroom.  So out it went.  I put it all in the lobby with a sign that said, “Free Stuff.  Help Yourself.”  I figure people will take what they want and anything that’s still in the lobby on Monday I’ll take to the garbage.  I know, I know I probably could have sold it, or donated it for the tax deduction but everything’s a little more complicated in New York, when you don’t have a car and getting anywhere with the stuff is a challenge.  This way people who want it can have it for free.  It’s like my own little public service.

A Day In The Life…

It’s been much calmer in the hood tonight.  The police went by with their sirens on earlier, but they drove right by my block.  Let’s just hope it stays that way.

It’s finally cooling off here in the city.  Last night I finally slept with the windows open.  Which was nice because the breeze was blowing and the temperature was quite nice.  But it sucked because every ounce of noise also drifted through the window.  I was finally able to tune it out around 3:00 a.m. and get to sleep.  What I wasn’t able to tune out was the jackhammer at 8:00 this morning.  It was like a drum pounding inside my skull.  I tried hiding under the comforter, putting all four pillows on my head, but nothing seemed to work.  I finally realized that sleep was a thing of the past and got my butt out of bed.  Let’s hope Time Warner Cable’s repairs that are happening on our street don’t take too long.

On another note, I’ve spent the last week cleaning.  Over the weekend, I cleaned every ounce of the living room, dining room, office and kitchen…and let’s not forget the bathroom.  Since Monday I have been working on my room.  I have a pile of things by the front door to get rid of.  On Friday, I’m going to cart it all down to the lobby and put a “free” sign on it and hope that people take it.  Whatever’s left on Sunday night I’ll cart out to the garbage.  It’s mostly stuff I should have dumped before I ever moved back to New York.  I think my favorite item that I’m getting rid of is a bed spread someone I know crotchet for David and me about 5 years ago.  I’ve never used it, and it’s been stuck in a  box taking up precious space since I got it.  It would have been great if it had been an afghan, or a throw but it’s big enough to fit a queen size bed.  Oh, and it’s purple.  Just what I’ve always wanted a queen size purple bedspread.   As I said, I’ve been working since Monday and I’m still not finished.  I have about twice as much stuff in my room as should be there.  The worst part is that I have clothes for the skinny me, the medium size me, the large me, the extra-large me, and the extra extra-large me.  The medium and large clothes are very nice because I tend to be a clothes horse when I’m skinny, so I don’t want to get rid of them.  Just in case I actually make it to skinny on the diet this time.  It will probably take the rest of the weekend to get my room complete.

And I should probably let all of you know that I finally got the start date for my waiting tables gig.  I start next Wednesday.  It’s orientation day.  I don’t know much else.  I have no idea what my schedule will be like for the next few weeks, which is kind of annoying because I can’t make plans.  But a job is a job so I’m not complaining.