My weekend starts tomorrow…

It’s been a very interesting evening.

It started out at my restaurant.  The slow season is upon us.  Now that the holidays are over, no one is in the city.  It’s amazing how different things are from last week.  This means that we are much slower at work.  We were barely on a wait at all tonight and they cut the first round of waiters at 8:00.  This was good because it meant more money for the rest of us.

By 10:30 the restaurant was a ghost town.  Well for us anyway.  There were still a lot of people there but not nearly as many as we are used to.  By 11:30 it really was deserted.  I convince the manager to let the only other cocktail server go home.  He was wary but relented.  No sooner was he off the floor that we got a little rush.  By midnight I had six tables going, one of which was a six top.  I think this had something to do with the fact that no one else wanted tables and they all wanted to go home.  This was great for me, I was busy, and I was making money so I didn’t care.  It did mean that I didn’t get off till late.  The six top didn’t order their food until almost 12:30 and by the time they got it, ate, did shots of tequila, had me bring out the birthday cake, it was almost 1:45.  I didn’t mind so much though because they had a 300 dollar tab and the gratuity was included.

At around 11:00 or so a fellow server cornered me in the kitchen wanting to know where I lived.  I don’t know how she knew it but she knew that we lived near each other.  And why is this important.  Well it meant that we could share a cab home rather than riding the subway.  The subway can take almost an hour fifteen door to door and a cab is about 20 minutes at night.  It costs, however, almost 30 bucks to cab it home.  So only on a couple of occasions have I splurged to get home that way.  It’s not so bad though when it’s only 15 bucks.  So Mandy waited around for me and we took a cab home together.

I’d only been home a couple of minutes when I got a text message from my friend Lee.  Lee is my friend I mentioned a couple of posts ago who is going to Hawaii for three months.  He left today and as it turned out due to unseen circumstances had a 12 hour layover in San Diego.  He was texting me to tell me how awful the city was and that they were on their way back to the airport to try and sleep.  I immediately picked up the phone and called him.  There was no way I was going to let a friend of mine sleep on the airport floor when I knew a million people in the city they could stay with.  I hung up the phone and within just about 10 minutes had arranged a place for them to stay.  My friend Angie is house sitting so her bedroom was empty.  They could stay there.  So I called Lee back to tell him the good news.  It turned out not to be good news.  The friend he is traveling with is a bit neurotic and refused to change their plans.  He was only willing to go back to the airport and sleep.  I hope they are comfortable in the plastic chairs.  I had done as much as I could.

Of course in all of my excitement to find them a place to stay, I managed to wake up my roommate.  I hadn’t realized I was talking as loudly as I was, until he came out of his room in his robe.  He wasn’t angry, but I probably wouldn’t have felt as bad if he had been.  We chatted for a few minutes and he went back to bed and I lowered my volume.  As he said though, it was really strange because most nights he’s not even aware that I’ve come in.  And god knows I never hear him in the morning.  I sent him an email apologizing, and will probably apologize about a million times more tomorrow night.

After Chuck went back to bed, I called my friend Angie back to tell I didn’t need her apartment after all.  We talked for almost 90 minutes.  We hadn’t had a real conversation since last February and it was nice to catch up.  I told her that I thought it was amazing that I could call her up after almost a year and tell her that I needed a place for my friends to stay and that she would let them stay with her.  I think that speaks volumes of the kind of person she is.  We chatted about a million things tonight.  But probably the most significant was that she has in the past three months come out of the closet.  She has come to terms with the fact that she is gay and has since started seeing someone.  It didn’t surprise me, but I’m glad she is finally realizing that she is gay.  She seems to be adjusting to it well.  The whole conversation went there because we were talking about the Presidential Elections and who she supported.  And then I mentioned their stances on gay issues, which led to her telling me.  I’m glad that she trusted me enough to discuss it with me.

And now it’s 4:24 and I’m not in bed yet, which sucks because I wanted to be up early tomorrow.  I have a million things I want to do like go to the movies, get my hairs cut, go to the bank.  Now it will be 3 p.m. before I even leave the apartment.  Oh, well what can you do.

Have a great week guys.

Rethinking My Bad Day…

I was all prepared to bitch about my night.  I was going to tell you that it was 5% night at the restaurant and that I barely walked with 10% of my sales.  But I just got off the phone with my friend Todd and and our conversation has put things in perspective for me.  At least for the moment.

He lives in San Diego and has for many years.  Tonight he’s watching the news to follow what’s going on with the fire that’s just north of San Diego.  In 2003 a fire that started in nearly the same location  and moved southeast destroyed three buildings in his condo complex.  Although he’s in no immediate danger the fire seems to be following the same path which means that if it continues to do so, in the next day or so his house could be threatened.  So tonight he’s preparing for the possibility of having to evacuate.  A friend of his actually lives in an area that’s been evacuated.

All of this makes my bad night at work not seem so bad anymore.

As I was talking to him, I realized that I can’t really complain.  I have a money in the bank, a home that’s in no immediate danger, friends who care about me, a job, food in the fridge, and unless someone knows something I don’t, I’m healthy.  My bad night seems quite insignificant when I think about it.  Of course, I have to make myself stop and think about it to keep it all in perspective.

I did make Todd promise to keep me informed about what’s going on.  Because this is not the fire in Malibu it’s not getting nearly the national attention so it’s hard to follow.  But I also don’t want to lose any sleep worrying about him.  Of course, I’ll be checking out the San Diego new’s websites tomorrow to keep up on what’s happening.

On a different note, something did happen at work tonight that concerns me.  I’ve been taking medication to help stabilize my mood for about six years.  It’s worked for me since the first day I’ve taken it.  It wasn’t exactly a miracle but it’s made a world of difference.   I still get angry and upset, but I’m less unreasonable about it.  Until tonight.  I got to work and sat through my pre-shift meeting and I was in a perfectly good mood.  And then my shift started and something happened.  For absolutely no reason, I was pissed at the world.  I was angry and was not even pretending otherwise.  I growled at a couple of tables, in one case so badly that they moved.  I yelled at the girl making desserts and had to apologize later, and snapped at one of my favorite co-workers.  The entire time this was happening, I was conscience of the fact that it was happening and that there was no reason for it.  I was even aware of the fact that if I continued I could likely be fired.  And yet I was powerless to stop it or control it.  This lasted for about three and a half hours and then it slowly lifted.  The rest of the night I was still pissy, but normal pissy, not unreasonable pissy.

I was actually scared by the events of the night.  I can’t afford to be fired and don’t want to be fired.  Most days I actually don’t mind my job.  I also don’t want to become the person I used to be.  In the old days I was a regular Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.   With no provocation I could turn on a dime and become just hideously ugly.  It explains why I was fired from most of the jobs I held during the late 80’s/early 90’s.   I hated that person but was unable to control myself.  I’m not sure if I should just hope that it was a freak occurrence or if I should call my doctor and talk to him about it.  The problem with not taking action is next time I might do something I really regret, like throw a tray filled with drinks at a manager.  I would get fired for this, I’m quite sure.  And I know this from personal experience, because the last time I threw a tray filled with drinks at a manager I was fired.  Go figure.

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

As of 45 minutes ago, classes and all activities have been cancelled for the rest of the day in anticipation of the snow storm that is headed this way. Only in Iowa do you miss school for snow that hasn’t even happened yet. Although, rumor has it, that I-80 has been closed west of Des Moines and that a full scale blizzard is going to start any minute.

When I arrived home on Tuesday, it looked as if a tornado had struck. There were trees down everywhere, including my front yard. In fact, my driveway is blocked by a huge limb that is still somewhat connected to the tree in my front yard. This is all a result of the huge ice storm that came through over the weekend. There are still a number of people who are without electricity and won’t have it until the end of the weekend. I don’t have cable and Internet, but I do have power. Of course in the middle of nowhere, cable and Internet are essentials. I actually left home an hour early this morning so I could get to school and check email and read a few of the blogs that I read. I’ll keep you posted on whether the weather arrives.

I told you I would report on the weekend. I’ll start with my friend’s memorial service. It was actually quite nice, for a family man, with a son. The were co-workers singing his praises, a wife who told funny stories, and a band that played a medly of songs from a show that he was known for designing. All of this would be fine if it fit the person. What they forgot to mention is that he had left his wife more than 15 years ago to be gay, was a teacher with students who loved and hated him, and that the leader of the band refused to work with him anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think his dirty laundry should be dragged out for everyone to see, but let’s not forget that he was human and made mistakes. How do you ignore the fact that he’s gay. GAY!!! It was mentioned once in two hours and that was barely in passing. In fact in the final thank you’s his ex-wife was referred to as his wife even though they haven’t been married for years and she’s been remarried for years. Let’s forget to mention that he’s had two significant lovers in the past ten years and even had a commitment ceremony with one of them. It was as if we pretended that if we didn’t say anything, then it never was. I wonder if this works with living people.

Next, we have to discuss the band that played. They were really good and the medley they played was quite uplifting. Putting that aside we have to look at the political implications. My friend C.P. hadn’t worked with the D.M. in years. C.P. made it very clear that there was no love lost between the two of them and that D.M. was pretty much an ass. And yet, standing on stage, as though they were long lost friends was D.M. singing his little heart out. The hypocrisy makes me shudder.

I guess the last thing that bothered me was that there was only one student who spoke. Besides his immediate family, I would like to think it was our lives he touched the most. I will never pick up a pencil again to start a design without thinking of C.P. I won’t choose color, or a light without thinking of him. I will never forget his dry British sense of humor. I won’t forget how cheap he was. I also won’t forget how talented he was and how generous it was of him to share his knowledge with us. None of these things were spoken at his memorial. I don’t think it should have necessarily been me to speak. But the voice of some of his students should have been heard. His design work aside, his teaching is what he’ll be remembered for most.

Other than those things it was a very nice event and I’m glad that I went. I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while. Besides if I’d stayed in Iowa, I would have been without power all weekend and sleeping in my office.

Two Days of “Not Existing” AKA…United Airlines Sucks

I’ve missed you guys. I haven’t blogged or read any since Friday night I believe. There has been very little time with socializing, memorial services, and getting into trouble. I’ll deal with all three of these items this week. Today I’m going to deal with travelling. UGH!!!

I was scheduled to fly out of San Diego Monday afternoon at 3:45. It was a quick jaunt to Denver, get another flight to Des Moines, rent a car and drive an hour east and I’d be home. Just like the responsible traveller I am I got to the airport way in advance of my two hour required window. I returned my rental car, jumped on the shuttle to the airport and was there in plenty of time. I entered the terminal by crossing the bridge, going down the escalator and then turning to move toward the line for United. From my view things didn’t look so bad so I continued walking forward. And then I realized what was happening. The line for United didn’t look bad because 99% of the people in line weren’t in the terminal. They were outside, snaking down the sidewalk. Annoyed but realizing if I wanted to fly I had to stand in line I went to my place in line. The staff was giving us very little information so I called United to make sure that the flights were not cancelled. They weren’t. They were just delayed.

The line moved very fast and I had some nice people to keep my company. There was the rich southern California woman who was sending her mother home to Nebraska and kept asking me to watch her things. There was the cute boy behind her who was chatting with everyone. There was the bear, two people behind me, who spent 45 minutes explaining to the nice but dense girl behind me what the problem was. And then there was Bubba. Bubba was pissed. And he was taking it out on the world. Most of the time he was yelling at United employees on the phone. “IF YOU CAN’T GET ME HOME TONIGHT THEN FUCKING CONNECT ME TO AN AIRLINE THAT WILL””HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON IN SAN DIEGO WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PHILIPPINE’S.” “GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR–AND HOW LONG IS A MOMENT”YES, BOB I WANT TO KNOW WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE IN BEFORE YOU START TALKING. NEVER-MIND GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR”. This went on for the 2 hours we stood in line trying to find out what was happening.

Finally, just as I was getting to the door and was going to be allowed in, the lady doing crowd control, came by and explained that yes I could get to Denver but I wouldn’t make my connection. Okay. At least I know something now. It’s not awful. In fact I have a choice. I can stay in San Diego, meet my friend J.S. for coffee and then go hook up with some boys, and then head to T.M’s house to hang out before bed. Or I could fly to Denver and meet up with C.T. who lives there and hang out. I decided since there was the opportunity to play with boys I would stay in town.

At this point I’m still in line. I’ve been told I can wait and deal with my ticket at the counter or I can deal with it on the phone. I call, talk to some really nice guy with an accent and set up a plan. I would leave on United Airlines Flight 718 (I remember this because it’s Brooklyn’s area code) at 8:10 tomorrow morning. My connection gets into to Des Moines at 3:00.

I get out of line and head to the rental car phones. I call three companies before I find one that’s somewhat cheap. I get the shuttle and go to get my car. I get there fill out all the appropriate forms, insurance etc. When the grand total comes it was well over $100 just for 12 hours. This is fucked. But what can I do. I have to have a car if I am going to get around.

I then head to Starbucks in Hillcrest to have coffee with J.S. We chatted for about 2 hours. Mostly about the memorial service and the psychotic tendencies of our friend A.N. We end the conversation by walking to my car and I gave her a most beautiful blue scarf that I had crocheted for her. She loved it. We said our goodbyes and then it was time for boys.

If you have been reading my blog for a LONG time you might remember a place that my friend T.M. and I call The Watering Hole. It’s a place where one goes to meet men and do things with them. Things like have sex with them. I’m not proud that I go to these places but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. So since I had time I wandered over to The Watering Hole and had some fun. I was there for about 3 hours having a last hurrah before I go back to the Land Of Giants and No Gay People.

At home I check email. Call Enterprise to change my reservation from Monday to Tuesday. Uh-oh, another snag. They have cancelled my reservation and there are no cars for Tuesday. I’m SOL. What that means is I have to rent a car from another car rental place drive home, and then the next day drive back to Des Moines to return it and exchange it for an Enterprise Car because Enterprise is the only car rental place in a million miles of where I live. Damn…Now what am I going to do. The lady at Enterprise recommends calling tomorrow to see if things have changed. I say that I will.

So I go to bed and go to sleep. At 5:00 a.m the alarm goes off. I snooze it a couple of times and finally roll out of bed at 5:25. By 6:00 a.m. I am in the car headed to the airport. I drop off the car, get shuttled over again and get in line for United. A much shorter line I might add. I get called to be next and I go over to the “easy” self check in counter, swipe my card and am told I don’t exist. Please pick up the phone and talk to an agent. He confirms that I don’t exist. I am not in the system at all. Not only am I not in the system, there is NO FLIGHT 718 TO DENVER AT 8:10 in the morning. There’s no 718 at all. They do have a record of my reservation yesterday but that was listed as a “NO SHOW” and was taken out of the system. I’ll have to talk to a “REAL” person in San Diego.

I stand in line some more and the “REAL” person confirms that yes I don’t have a reservation, and yes there is no Flight 718, and he’ll see what he can do. So he starts looking. At first he tells me the best he can do is get to me to Des Moines around 11:00 p.m. through Chicago. I explain that’s not an option. He gets back to work. Finally what we agree to do is book me through Chicago on the flight that gets in at 11:00 but let me stand by on earlier flights and pray that things go my way and I make it earlier.

I’m rambling on, but that’s what happened. I got on the first flight to Chicago at 8:30. In Chicago I had to wait three hours but I got on the 4:50 flight to Des Moines. During this time I continue to call Enterprise where I am assured that they WON’T have cars, but to keep trying back. At around 6:15 tonight I landed. What luck my bag was one of the first to show up. I went to Enterprise and waited behind 5 people — all returning cars. Therefore I could have one of the newly returned cars if I didn’t mind if it wasn’t cleaned first. I was finally given some ridiculously large van and sent on my way.

I got home at around 7:45. There is power on my side of the street. The other side of the street not so lucky. I have no cable thus no internet…I’m at school right now. All of this is the result of a hideous ice storm that came through on Saturday. I’ll take a picture tomorrow but a big chunk of the tree that used to sit in front of my house is now in my drive way.

Through all of this I stayed somewhat calm despite the fact that I am supposed to be starting round two of my interview tomorrow complete with a portfolio review at 4:30. Luckily, they have given me the day off tomorrow and I’ll get to sleep late and then come to school and put my presentation together.

Remembering I am powerless over most of the world is a wonderful thing.

I’m still a sick Maddog. I’ve come to the realiza…

I’m still a sick Maddog. I’ve come to the realization that breathing is highly over rated. Especially through the nose. If God had meant for us to breath through our nose he wouldn’t have given us other options. Right? I’m going to try and get to bed early tonight hoping some good rest will hit the spot.

In other news, I’m travelling to San Diego tomorrow. I’ll be there until Monday. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to being around other people. I haven’t had a non-school related conversation with someone face-to-face in almost six weeks. It’ll be great to talk about politics, and movies, and drink beer with people that I know. If I weren’t sick I’d be jumping up and down with joy right now.

In Iowa news. I had another mediocre meal tonight. I’m now o for 10 in the food world. Ten meals out of ten mediocre meals. Tonight the chair of the department treated all of us out for dinner to welcome me to the department and to treat the woman who is here designing scenery for the spring show. My big question is: How is the meat tough? By my best guess, it was alive on a pig farm down the street two minutes ago. It was probably eating breakfast this morning without a care in the world and now it’s sitting on my plate covered in yucky barbecue sauce and so tough it would take 3 days to chew through it. And to make matters worse the portions are huge. I wouldn’t mind so much, if the food was good. But why make a situation worse by giving me more bad food than I would ever want. I’ve decided to give up eating out in Iowa. Maybe I’ll treat myself to Hardee’s, McDonald’s, or Dairy Queen. At least then I know what the food will taste like and I won’t be expecting more than I get.

On a better note the temperature has been in the 50’s for the past few days. Which is good and bad. Good because I was just about done with the extremely cold weather. Bad for two reasons. The first: The warm weather melts the snow during the day. At night the temperature drops back down below freezing and for the past three days I’ve ice skated home. And if any of you know me, you’d know how non-athletic I am. I’ve almost hit the ground at least a dozen times. This leads to me bad reason number two. There are no street lights to light my way from school to home. I walk home blindly lit by the passing cars or what little light spills from the living rooms of the houses I pass. Therefore, it’s impossible to see the ice on the side walk until you are already skating across it. Or even better, you can’t see the puddle in the middle of the walk until you are ankle deep in ice cold water. Both feet were soaked tonight before I got home.

Did I mention that I was going to San Diego where it’s always warm and never rains. Somebody slap me the next time I say I miss winter.