a completely dirty entry.

Our music selection at work consists of five discs on a changer of CDs that we change every couple of months or so. The discs that we play are sold at the front for about sixteen bucks apiece. We play stuff that generally no one can dislike, but that some people really love. That Josh Groban guy? He sells CDs, even at sixteen bucks apiece.

Andrew is one of our servers, but also one of Joe's favorites. His opinion is taken seriously, and he was allowed to order some new CDs for play. He ordered a classical music disc, picking it out by the blurb and the title and the composer, Beethoven to be exact.

The CD arrived and revealed itself as having a parental advisory and a half-naked anime-esque couple on the front. Obviously, we could not sell this at the front, though the songs simply were plain old Beethoven. The blurb on the back was all about enhancing pleasure for both you and your partner.

The CD, called Bedroom Bliss to Beethoven, is one in a series of classical artist compilations sold with a semi-erotic theme called the Love Notes series. There are others, including Making out to Mozart and my favorite, Shacking up to Chopin.

The possibilities provided by sex, classical music, and alliteration amused us for the rest of the afternoon. This is how intellectuals make dirty jokes. Some possibilities for future Love Notes releases, as provided by the staff at Vintner's Restaurant and Wine Shoppe:

Copulating to Copland
Moaning to Mozart
Getting it On to Grieg
Making Whoopee to Mendelssohn

I found this article about the series and the mini-controversy surrounding it. It's a long article, don't read it. But look at the covers of these CDs and imagine me selling one to an old lady from Florida and telling her how much I hope she enjoys it. And here's a little snippet from the article about Bedroom Bliss to Beethoven:

The covers of the "Love Notes" series feature cartoons of nude or half-nude young couples, drawn in the exaggerated style of Japanese anime and depicted in flagrante delicto. Each also has a mock "parental advisory: sexual content" warnings on the covers. Or perhaps the warnings are intended to be genuine: the extravagantly unembarrassed marketing copy on the back begins, "Love Notes are erotic fantasies programmed to maximize your pleasure, from playful overtures to fulfilling consummation." Inside, the Beethoven program begins with the nascent Romanticism of the "Moonlight" Sonata and makes its way through Für Elise, the Fifth Symphony and other selections, before culminating, perhaps optimistically, with the "Ode to Joy" from the Ninth Symphony.

The whole thing amuses me to no end. I intend to think of these all week. Come up with a good one and I'll claim it as my own to my coworkers. And there truly is no greater honor than that.


alcohol and women.

Our resident bad boy at work used to be a 35-year old dinner chef named Jarrett. In the six months that we both worked there, he'd been arrested a couple of times that I know of, and I'm generally behind on the workplace gossip.

Aside from being mildly unstable, he was perfectly obnoxious. He told me once that his only weaknesses were alcohol and women. The alcohol got him into jail, the women got him marked as someone to be avoided by all the waitresses. He had a list of inappropriate and almost clever (the first time) comments that he used to hit on everyone. No doubt he got them off of someone else with more capacity for wit. For example, according to him, he tasted great AND was actually more filling. You get the idea. He would pretend to be sorry if he saw you were offended, but conveniently forgot that you told him to back off by the next shift.

The weird thing is, he had this girlfriend who was the psychotic jealous type. Maybe dating him made her that way. She came to pick him up or drop him off every once in a while, and was always very friendly. Her existence was common knowledge, though Jarrett only ever mentioned her if he was told by a waitress that she had a boyfriend. "Oh yeah, I got a girlfriend." He also tended to forget the existence of both the waitress' boyfriend and his own girlfriend by next shift. What a terrible memory.

Fortunately, I am and have always been the dayshift queen, so I rarely had to work with him. He didn't tend to bother me as much as some of the other girls, and I ignored him as best as I could. (Though I think I yelled at him once for slapping me on the thigh with a spatula, at which point he actually remembered to leave me alone for several shifts. Unnecessary.) Some of the girls would tolerate him for the fact that he would hook them up with free food if they were civil to him and laughed at his old jokes. No sandwich is that good.

With all this in mind, it's not hard to imagine that in the same way he adored all the girls, he felt threatened by all the guys at work. Maybe he figured out that while the girls were generally friendly, even flirtacious in some cases, to every other male in the restaurant, they learned to avoid him on the very first day.

One weekend this past March, he apparently decided that he would teach one of these other guys a lesson. Not because he was actually provoked, just because he was Jarrett. So, with all the force of his 35-year old maturity behind him, he keyed a waiter's car in the employee parking lot.

So stupid.

But we're all so very glad he did it, for it got him fired. I haven't seen him since, and I'm comfortable that with his poor memory, he wouldn't recognize me if I ever had the misfortune of running across him again. And I keep a spatula in my purse just in case I do run into him again, just in case he gets fresh.


have no fear! cool aunt sandra is here!

So if I've not made this clear before, my family tends to minimize holidays. We don't go trick-or-treating, we don't hunt Easter eggs, and we're lucky if we get Christmas trees up anymore. But, mister, we know how to do Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (other than Arbor Day that is, what a scream!), as it probably is for most adults in my family. There are so many of us, I come from a family of six remember, that Thanksgiving is pretty much the only consistent time that we all get together without someone having to either die or get married. It's loud, it's crazy, it is what the Chaos Theory is based on. But it's a good chaos. It's like chaos made with love and stuffing and apple pie. And we get at least one new baby every Thanksgiving. We're collecting the whole set!

I managed to get off work this year. Last year, Thanksgiving was held at my folks' house, so I ate dinner and left to come to work. It was the most miserable Thanksgiving of my existence. I decided that I was never working the blessed day of turkey ever again. I approached Joe about a month ago about getting off, fully ready to make a stand, complete with a full speech riddled with righteous indignation. I have worked every single holiday that we've been open since I started working there a year and a half ago. I was willing to work Saturday and Sunday if he gave me Thursday and Friday. He offered me Wednesday and Thursday and I took it. I didn't even have to whip out my sharp negotiating skills.

So tomorrow I'm driving down. I'm getting up early, at least I'm planning to, to make the hike down to Raleigh area. Since I have to come back early, I'm driving down separately from my parents. I'm pretty excited about the drive. I love to drive with the driving music of my choice resounding loudly in my ears. It makes me feel very free and young, but also very grown-up at the same time because I have the freedom to operate a motor vehicle with a stereo. I'm planning on making many many stops at various thrift stores along the way (as well as that wine megastore in Winston), because I am Sandra and that's what I do. The four hour drive should take me about ten hours.

Friday I'm not due into work until 10:30 (per my request), and I'm doing the early morning shopping thing with Casey. He loves to stand outside Best Buy at 5 am and wait for them to open the doors to the wonderful sales inside. It's a hardcore shopping experience, like the big yard sale at the armory but with electronics. So I'm going with him, because I am the best girlfriend ever.

I'm not sure if I'll update much in the next few days. Aside from being gone, I'm going to be working a whole bunch. Busiest shopping day of the year = lots of hungry customers. Maybe if I'm feeling frisky.

Just one more thing and then I'm off to work on a new mix cd for my fabulous drive tomorrow. This morning, Mama forwarded me a message from one of my nieces, which I have reproduced in its entirety for you, my loyal readers.

HI grandma Im sarah I can't wait for THANKSGIVING is sandra coming I hope so I haven't seen her in a long time.

I am cool aunt Sandra.


astronomy notes.

The girl who sits in front of me in Astronomy, she takes notes with a fine point Sharpie. You have to wonder about that, whether she understands what normal people use Sharpies for. Sharpies are for projects. They're for the labels on CDRs, for posterboard presentations, for things that explicity demand to be bold and/or permanent. Sharpies are not for notebooks filled with college-ruled paper.

For one thing, they bleed. They go right through the paper, leaving strange hieroglyphs on the reverse side. To solve this issue, rather than switching writing utensils, the girl only writes on the front side of each sheet. It's almost like she's trying to flaunt wealth. "I'm so rich I can use expensive markers for everyday notes - and I don't even use half the paper!"

This girl, I know her name is Laura. Her hair is dyed blond and doesn't match her eyebrows except at the roots. She wears very tight clothes, despite the fact that she is quite tiny herself. She must go through an awful lot of trouble to find clothes that tight. She wears dark eye make-up and ribbons in her hair. Pink ones, tied in the most perfect of bows.

I don't like her. I don't even know her. The only reason I even know her name at all is because she writes it in big bubble letters with her fine point Sharpie at the top of her notes. She's exactly the kind of girl who draws very good bubble letters. Some girls were always good at bubble letters, while others like me always ended up with crooked letters that grew funny tumors. I've always been bitter about my lack of bubble letter skills. The fact that Laura draws them so well only gives me another bad reason to dislike this girl I don't even know. That and the ribbons, the tight clothes, the make-up, the bleached hair, and the Sharpie abuse.

Mainly the Sharpie abuse.



originally written June 3, 2003

Mark called an employee meeting today. I hate employee meetings, and I'm not sure about Mark. He's the new manager, and like new managers in the past, he's trying to turn Vintner's around, to make it the money-making venture Joe, the owner, started it to be but has always been too inept to make it himself. New managers never last long, driven away for one reason or another. Joe being one reason, his wife Lynn being the other.

So we went over all the things we already knew at the meeting. Teamwork, friendliness, ironing shirts, etc., etc., and so forth. We also heard the spiel on upselling, which I hate. I'm not a good upseller. I hate having a server try to sell things to me, therefore I hate having to do it to someone else. Generally, everyone is bad at it, so I don't stick out too much. Bryon is fabulous at it (I swear I never said the word "fabulous" before I became a waitress.), but that's because he lies to his customers. "Just so you know, gang, in case you're thinking about appetizers, we just got the calamari shipped in this morning. I had one for dinner, and it was amazing," he says, with some eyebrow jiggling here and there for emphasis. Suckers.

All that took about an hour, and I was ready to head home. But then Mark made a surprise move. He pulled out some wine, and announced we were going to have a wine-tasting. Everyone agreed that this was a good idea. We sell tons of wine, and most of us know very little about it, though Bryon lies his way through his ignorance to sell a couple of bottles. We are handed two glasses of chardonnay, when the question I had been dreading is finally asked.

"Okay, how many of you are underage?"

Charlie the busboy and I raise our hands meekly. There are more of them, I know it, including Bryon, I realized later. I figure the game's up, maybe they'll let me go home now rather than watch them stick their noses in these glasses. Then Mark hands Charlie and I styrofoam cups and tells us not to swallow. Oh good. I'd been looking for a opportunity to spit in public.

We go through the process together. We look at the wine, talking about color and long legs vs. short legs. We smell the wine, in which case a few people must have had a different wine altogether, because theirs had apples and pepper and soft pears and oak in it. Mine smelled like wine. Finally, we tasted. I tried to taste the oak or the fruit, but never found it. I'm hoping it's an acquired skill. While everyone else talked about oak or fruit or whatever, I spit into my styrofoam cup as discreetly as possible, trying not to look at the swirling colors the combination of different wines and my spit made.

Afterwards, Mark asked me which of the wines I preferred, and I mumbled some excuse about not knowing enough about wines to know. Because, really, they had all pretty much tasted the same to me. Then I realized that for the most part, I had been so preoccupied with having to spit the wine out that I had paid little attention to the taste. Curse the evil that put my birthday where it is.

Finally, we were finished, and I threw the offensive cup away. At some point, Mark actually looked in it to make sure I was not sneaking a sip. (Although, with as little as I had eaten and as many wines as we tried, it was probably good that I, Low Tolerance Girl, did not swallow. Otherwise, I would have contributed much more to the conversation, probably insisting that I definitely tasted mashed potatoes with garlic in this wine.) He told us that we would be having more tastings in the future. I can't wait.


water management, part 2.

The leaks are all gone now, thank goodness. No more dodging dirty droplets every time I go to the sink. Ah, but there is a new dihydrogen monoxide problem.

We had major rain in Boone two nights ago. A couple of the high-traffic highways into town were closed. The final counts put as at about six inches, though I heard another town near here got nine. But oh, the water. The creek near the apartment was suddenly huge, and had we been more entrepreneurial-minded, we would have started selling tickets for white-water rafting. (Well, that and if the creek didn't go under a parking lot a little ways down the road.) The point is, there was a lot of water.

Have I ever mentioned to you that I live in a basement apartment?

I came out of my morning shower yesterday to see a long dark streak on the carpet in the living room. I stepped near the streak in what appeared to be a normal area, but no. My footstep was rewarding with squelching. Lovely. I had to change socks twice yesterday because I kept forgetting and walking out to the living room.

The whole living room was wet. We left a note on the rental office door, and the landlord came down and brought the rug doctor. We moved all the furniture but the sofas into the kitchen. You look in the kitchen now and you see a high-backed easy chair and a coffee table sitting in the exact middle. I want to sit in it with a glass of cognac and talk about this evening's Masterpiece Theatre (Actually, I've never seen Masterpiece Theatre, so I only assume that is what it looks like, mostly because that's what it looks like on Monsterpiece Theatre, the parody they do on Sesame Street). The couches were left in the living room and he just rug doctored around them.

Now we have a dehumidifier running full-time to dry up the rest of the carpet and a funny smell greeting every nose that comes through the door. We have to rotate the couches so that the area under them can dry. One is standing on its end with the other sitting down at odd angles. Our living room looks like a performance art piece. I keep expecting to look out and see a girl with a blindfold on reading the newspaper while sitting on the upturned couch.

The carpet looks much cleaner. And no worries, there were no damages to important stuff, though my green loveseat may smell funny from now on. Well, it smelled funny before, but now it's a whole new brand of funny. I started thinking a few days ago about whether I had anything important in the floor of my room in case of a flood. I was rather impressed with myself that I didn't, and then I realized my computer tower was in the floor and properly freaked out. (However, if it were ruined, perhaps I could get the rental company to buy me a new one. Do I hear flat-panel monitor?)

The rain has stopped now, the dehumidifier is doing a good job, and soon we'll be back to normal. We are all waiting to see what kind of new water problem we develop next. Perhaps Krystal's water bed will burst. I cannot wait.


mr. morton is the subject of the sentence, and what the predicate says he does.

So this paper I turned in Monday. 6 - 8 pages, single-spaced, 10 point font. On caching. But don't get me started.

Now that we've turned in our own papers, we have to review the papers of others. We fill out these review sheets and go through the paper, reading and correcting, red ink pen in hand.

I haven't edited someone else's paper since high school. My senior english teacher used to make us have "conferences" with our classmates where they read it and made suggestions, corrections, etc. I did not do this. I'm a private girl, and I didn't want other people to read what I wrote, much less make suggestions about it. So that's why I started an online journal, eh?

But other people would ask me to read theirs, or at least a girl that sat next to me did several times. I couldn't stand her. I don't know why she asked me to read her paper, since she had to have known she was low on my list of favorite people. Then again, no one liked her. Maybe I was just closest.

It was painful to read her papers. She thought she was some sort of fabulous writer, and maybe she would have been if she had ever gotten ahold of the run-on sentence concept. She honestly did not understand basic sentence structure. I read the papers, and I made corrections, but not many because it was just pointless. I filled in a couple of commas, fixed a couple of misspellings, and maybe connected a couple of fragments if I was feeling frisky. But I really didn't put forth much of an effort. It was like trying to fix a car that had hit a tree, fallen off a cliff, and then been chewed on and spit out by griffins. It would have taken the bulk of my senior year to explain to her what was wrong with her paper, so I did the bare minimum and let it go. I should make her a mix tape of Schoolhouse Rock songs. It might help.

I was dreading these reviews this week, I guess because my experience with editing other people's work has not been pleasant. I was surprised. I didn't hate it, no, I enjoyed it. Editing is not bad when you're actually editing, not rewriting.

Anyone who knows me should not be surprised that I enjoyed the red ink experience. I've been known to look at the class notes of my friends and make spelling corrections. In the notes, mind you, not in anything that is turned in. I did it last week, actually. The guy looked at me, looked at his now correctly-spelled test notes, and then moved on, when the appropriate response was probably closer to kicking me in the shins. I know it's obnoxious, and I'm trying to quit. Fortunately I have very tolerant friends. And they're pacifists.

I read a story in a book once where this girl wrote a love letter to her english teacher. It was a series of expressions of her undying love separated by ellipses - no sentence structure at all and rotten spelling. He red-inked it and returned it. She killed herself.

That story is my inspiration.

I do not wish for you, dear readers, to take this entry as encouragement to drop me a line telling me of my dropped commas or where you feel that the writing just doesn't flow right. It wouldn't even do you any good to do it anonymously, because I will immediately realize that you are a blood-relative. And I am not a pacifist.

Plus, I just may kill myself. And then what would you read?


the circle of life.

I take my throwaways to the thrift store. It's only fair, and I would be some kind of hypocrite if I threw them away or some kind of person with no space at all if I just kept it. I periodically go through my stuff; there's no scheduled time, just whenever I'm avoiding a particularly big project or I get bored enough to actually part with my things.

It's hard, really it is. The t-shirts are the worst. I love my t-shirts, probably unhealthily so. And I have to get rid of some really great ones. You have to be perfect to make it into the rotation of use. Let your size be off by just a little bit and you won't get worn. Many a good t-shirt has been passed along to the roommates or Casey or taken back to a thrift store. Then I see them on a roommate and I say, "Why did I let them have that?" But I have to do the t-shirts more often than anything else, because they are what I buy the most, and I just don't have the room to keep t-shirts I never wear. It is indeed a hard fact of life. My life is so difficult.

I take them out of the drawer in little piles and make more little piles. I refold them as I go, since they've gotten a little out of whack from being in the drawer. I make a stack of things that I definitely will keep. Then there is another stack of shirts that may not make it back into the drawer. It's the sad stack. After I put all the shirts that made it back into the drawer, I go through the sad stack and make the final cut, sometimes trying my own shirts on to remember how they fit to aid in my ultimate decision. Some of those shirts have been in the sad stack five or six times, but always make it back into the drawer.

But every once in a while, I have to look through the other clothes, too. Particularly the closet clothes, as I tend to run out of hangers. I know which things I haven't worn, but that doesn't mean I may not ever wear them. Today, I picked up a sweater, and this actual scene occured in my bedroom.

"Why did I buy this? This is ugly."

(short pause, examining sweater)

"Well, I might wear it someday."

(puts sweater back in closet.)

(end scene.)

It really is an ugly sweater, but it still is in my closet. I bought it fairly recently, at a bag sale, I think, and I am still giving it a chance to become lovely.

Ashley watched me go through the t-shirts this evening. I gave her a couple that were a little small. She listened to me and laughed, because I could name off where I got pretty much every single thing. "I got this in Kansas. I got this at a yard sale in Lenoir. I got this at the flea market in Rutherfordton. I got this in Atlanta", etc. It went on for quite a while. Had I thought she was interested, I might have been able to tell how much I paid for each one as well. And yet I can't remember who ordered the decaf coffee at a table of two.

So I've done another cleaning. I put the stuff in a bag, asked Nick and Ashley for their contributions, and made a list of everything in the bag. Then I take the stuff to the thrift store of my choice and give Mama the list for tax purposes. So all the stuff eventually comes back to the thrift store so some other freak can buy it and not wear it either.

Someday, somewhere I know this will happen. I will see one of my things at thrift store after I have donated it. And I will buy back my own item from said thrift store. And then I will know that I am indeed a very sad kind of person.


a little of this, a little of that...very little of that.

What started out as a seemingly easy semester has turned into the Incredible Semester of Big Projects Assigned Two Weeks Before Exams. Hence the lack of regular writing. I apologize to my faithful readers but trust that they understand that though schoolwork isn't necessarily more important to me, I realize that it should be and strive to make it seem so. If you would like to see more writing, I encourage you to write a paper on cache replacement policies and also a socket server program. Thanks.

While I'm here and typing, I might as well write a few things of interest.

I waited on Bob Timberlake a couple of weeks ago. However, I neglected the golden opportunity of looking at his signature on the credit card slip to see if it matched the signature on his company logo. I could have totally exposed him as a fraud. A little Bob Timberlake trivia for all you big fans out there: he ordered a turkey reuben with a seabreeze, and his wife had a salad with water. They tip in the 20% range. I was a little disappointed. I think if I were a millionaire and my waitress had been oh, so charming, I would have left her a couple grand. The busboy found a quarter in his seat after he left and said excitedly, "I've got Bob Timberlake's quarter!" It's the little things that make a body happy.

It's freaking cold in Boone. The Sandra signs of impending winter have occurred. (1) I wore my big wool coat to class. (2) I wore my polyester winter work shirt to work today. (3) I turned on the heat in my room.

These are important signs, the last one especially. I'm too cheap to turn on the heat unless there is a real danger of hypothermia. Last winter, I resisted until I found myself typing in gloves, and you really get no speed or accuracy that way. Plus, it was just a bit pathetic. I'm not poor. I'm glad to start wearing the winter work shirt. I wish I could wear it all year long, but it's 100% polyester, straight from the 70s. I could serve food off of the collar. The best thing about it is that I can take it off, throw it on the floor, stomp on it all week long and still pick it up to wear the next weekend without a trace of a wrinkle. Not that I do that to my clothes.

I'll close with a little story.

A friend and fellow CS major came over last week to work on a program. I was not expecting him, so my room was only moderately clean, and this is in my loose standards. We had to look at something on the computer, so he came into my room and started looking around. After a few seconds, he enthusiastically told me I had a great room. I asked him what he meant, because, well, it's just a room. The guy, who is a total hippie and just kind of a funny guy in general, said, "It's cool that everything doesn't have to be in its place." So, he was genuinely complimenting me on the fact that my room was messy.

See, Mama, it's not messy, just free-sprited.


the breakfast chef review.

As the breakfast shift queen, I feel that I am in fact the most qualified to write The Breakfast Chef Review. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who cares enough to do it. So here it is - The Breakfast Chef Review, the history of breakfast cooks at Vintner's since late July 2002.

Seth - There is little for me to say about Seth. I had to think for a couple of minutes before I could even remember his name for sure. He was the breakfast chef before I started working breakfast, back when Joe thought I was commuting from Lenoir and didn't put me on the schedule any earlier than 10:30. Seth worked there a long time, though he was at the end of his term by the time I got there, and seemed to be a nice guy. I heard that Joe used to forget to schedule morning servers, so Seth would take orders and then cook them, which is an amusing image for me. Then one day, Seth decided to just stop showing up.

Joe & Taylor - Let me clarify that this is not my boss Joe. That Joe is old and white, while the one that cooked breafkast was young and black and had a great big crush on me.
This was our only breakfast chef team. I'm not really sure why we needed two of them, as Joe was more than able to handle it for himself. They really weren't all that bad. Only at our busiest did they ever really fall behind, and they seemed to work well enough together. They lasted for about four months, when Joe's grandfather died, which apparently inspired him to move to Atlanta and marry his ex-girlfriend.

Taylor, solo - This is the same Taylor. While he wasn't bad in a team with Joe, by himself, Taylor is slooow. I didn't even realize it until we got other breakfast chefs and I realized how fast breakfast food could come out of the kitchen. And when Taylor gets behind, he gets stressed out in a hurry, and it's best to just leave him alone. He's fine in the winter, though, when we don't have enough business for him to fall behind. And he's a great guy. He is the most likeable person at the restaurant, which has kept him his job, as he has frequent difficulty showing up on time. As another note, Taylor is the only person that has been there longer than I have and does not own the place.

Sean - I liked ole Sean, though his political views were always much farther to the left than I could see. He wasn't a bad chef, either, a little faster than Taylor with the food being pretty consistent. He was the one who created the much-debated new breakfast menu. He would make us sample dishes from the new menu, and they were fabulous and vaguely exotic, things you would never taste at Denny's. However, he moved away, also somewhere south, before the new menu was ever put into effect. He moved because his girlfriend, who he had been with for something like a decade was moving and taking his son with her. Sean had some pretty strong anti-marriage views, and I think he may have pitied me with my traditional semi-conservative southern ones.

Taylor - Again. Taylor acts as our interrim breakfast chef, the guy who is our back up in between the time the old guy gets fed up and the time the new guy comes in.

Amanda - Under Amanda's breakfast reign was when I discovered how fast breakfast can be. I loved her. The food was fast, it was consistently good, and she was great. One of the best things about Amanda was that she had no issue with making the servers free breakfast if they desired it, which we usually did. She actually thought it was her duty to feed us. Amanda left in the state of transition for the kitchen. When the old kitchen manager left, she went with him. She would have gone anyway, as Joe kept trying to make her cook breakfast and lunch, which had not been per their agreement. Plus there was some friction between her and the new kitchen manager. There is always drama in a restaurant.

Donna - In The Breakfast Chef Review, Donna's role was the shortest. I'm not even sure that she lasted a month. Her brother or someone in her family was involved in a motorcycle accident shortly after she was hired, and he was in the hospital a couple of hours away. She would go visit him after her shift and come back before her next shift, with no sleeping hours in between. She'd also come in drunk, and make frequent visits to her car to keep up her drunken state. The management tried to be sympathetic about her situation, but she was rotten. She was slow and the orders tended to be wrong if they came out at all. Apparently, you cannot cook breakfast well when inebriated. There was an infamous morning when the manager had to help her cook, at which point Joe and the kitchen manager probably started trying to get him to join the kitchen staff.

John - I'm not even sure if John is worth mentioning. He's only cooked a few times, and is actually the sous chef. He's moderately fast and the food is moderately good. Sometimes things get a little burnt. If nothing else, he's a very likeable guy and never gets stressed out, even when there is a line of tickets as long as three of my arms. I love him for that.

Brit - My all-time favorite. I said that Brit was the best breakfast chef we'd ever had once in the kitchen, at which point they looked at me and said quietly, "Even better than Amanda?" I thought about it for several moments, realizing the magnitude of the idea of being better than Amanda, before finally saying "Yeah." Brit, real name Britain, was actually a waitress before volunteering to cook breakfast. I don't remember hearing that she had previous experience, but she surely must have, because she is good. The food is always good, the orders are always right, and she can cook it faster than we can serve it. She makes special order eggs that are not on the menu and even makes those stupid omelets that people figure they can create on their own rather than just pick one off of the menu. Brit has been trying to quit recently; I think her schoolwork has been suffering. The trouble is, she's just too nice to just quit and always gets coerced into working some more. I think the kitchen manager realizes he should hang on to her as long as he can, and while I agree with that, the poor girl hates it there.

So I realize this entire entry has no bearing upon anything whatsoever and probably wasn't even all that interesting. That's okay. I interested myself writing it, and frankly, you are lucky that this didn't turn into a lecture on how to behave as a customer when eating breakfast out. Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about the lunch guys.


anthony's song.

A side note: This entry had been up for a couple of hours before the rightful title came to me while walking down Depot Street. Apologies to those who read it earlier and shook their heads at the fact that I missed such an obvious opportunity.

So I've been thinking about the living situation.

Living here has been good. This is your stereotypical first apartment: cheap, borderline-condemned, with lots of character. But I think I might be getting past the stage where I want to live in a place with this much character.

I'm not really sure how we'd handle next year anyway. We all have one more semester to go after this year, and then we're left with an apartment for six more months. I don't want to deal with subletting.

I think it was Scott that put me on the idea of moving out. He asked me if it scared me that I may never experience living alone. Since marriage is a possibility after I graduate, he's right that I may never live alone, at least not for another fifty or sixty years. (Pretty sure I'm going to outlive Casey.) Frankly, it doesn't scare me at all. There are lots of other things that I will never experience, and most of them don't involve paying for full rent and utilities. Still, it is something I would not mind experiencing, and this may be my only opportunity. So why not?

Ashley and Nick would like to move out if they could afford it. Newlyweds don't really want extra roommates. Krystal knows plenty of people that could live with her. And I'm ready to try the by myself thing. So I've started an informal search of cheap one-bedroom places. Man, I sound like an adult.

Now that is scary.


the fabric of our lives.

Thankfully, I am not one of those people that has an inordinate amount of embarrassing things happen to them. I have friends like that, and as a result they handle public humiliation very well. I manage to stumble through without blushing too often. But it happens.

Last year, our apartment was like an endless stream of Krystal's friends. It still is, but to a much lesser extent. People would come into our living space at all times, people we had never seen before. If I was feeling fiesty, I would make some sarcastic comment about whether or not they knocked, and it always went over their heads. These people had a sort of free reign over our apartment, because Krystal was very gracious with her and our things.

There was one day where I did laundry, but for some reason or another, I didn't or couldn't dry anything. So I just hung everything up in my room to try, off furniture, from the ceiling fixtures - nowhere was safe. It looked like I actually wanted to decorate my room with underwear and t-shirts. Then I went to bed and left it.

The next day, I had to work fairly early and didn't have a chance to take down my cotton decorations. When I got home, lo and behold, I found two of Krystal's male friends in my underwear-strewn room, using my computer.

I had a little talk with Krystal that day, and people are not allowed in my room when I'm not there anymore, regardless of the state of my underwear.


the week of leaks.

Our super, as in superintendent, not that he's just really great, is a good ol' boy named Charlie.

He gets up at 4:30 am every morning, though I'm not sure why. But whenever we have a problem he needs to fix or look at, that puts him knocking at our door at about 7 am. For those of you not in college, that is not acceptable. He's always very friendly, friendly in that slow southern way. He has a daughter about our age, and sometimes he tells me about her and how she uses a computer all the time, but he just doesn't understand them.

We see Charlie every once in a while, more in the winter when he comes down to put salt on our walkway. We saw an awful lot of Charlie this week, on account of the leak above the sink. First it was a drip drip drip whenever the people upstairs took a shower. So Charlie came by, felt the pipes some and did some caulking.

The next night it was a drip drip drip in three different places. So we wrote a note and left it on the door of the rental office upstairs which led to Charlie's second early morning visit, which also did not help and appeared to make the problem worse again.

These visits would not be so bad if he were doing some quiet like standing still in the middle of the kitchen or making us breakfast. Unfortunately, the leaks require him to be banging on pipes at early hours.

After the unsuccessful second visit, Charlie decided the issue required the calling of professional plumbers. Luckily for us, the problem was upstairs, so our upstairs neighbors had to deal with about three plumbers in their apartment banging and drilling all day long for a problem that wasn't even theirs.

Charlie came back again on the fourth day at 7 am just to check on us and see if there was any sign of leaking. Thankfully, there was not.

It's easy for us to complain about the early morning invasion of our apartment, but we would have been complaining a lot louder had he not tried to fix it so promptly or had the ceiling above our kitchen fallen in, bringing the neighbors bathroom with it.

This was the first morning in several that we haven't heard Charlie's knock at 7 am. Not that it mattered, since the phone rang at 6 am. Completely unacceptable.



I've never been big on Halloween. My family tends to minimalize every holiday but Thanksgiving, which is when we compensate for all those other holidays in the year where we didn't even notice their passing.

I went trick-or-treating once. I was eight, I think, and I don't even remember what I dressed up as. The only reason we went was because I begged. I apparently wasn't even all that impressed with it, since we didn't go ever again. My parents were not anti-Halloween or anything, they just didn't give it much notice. If there was a Halloween party or "harvest festival" at the church, then we would go and bob for apples and enjoy a hayride followed by s'mores, but that was pretty much it.

My friends now are always a little horrified by my Halloween history, since they have this array of fond memories for every holiday. Ashley and Nick brought home a pumpkin and a pumpkin carving kit one day. It was maybe the second pumpkin-carving I'd ever assisted. And then I dried the seeds for roasting, since I'm generally not trusted with the oven.

On the day itself, Ashley and I went to thrift stores looking for costumes. Had we been more invested in the project, we probably would have gone sooner. My costume cost me 60 cents. I bought a tie and a personalized coffee mug that said "Glenn". I wore a button down shirt and my new tie, carried my mug around, and when people asked what I was supposed to be, I acted like they were idiots, held up the mug, and said, "Um, I'm Glenn."

A lot of them didn't get it.

I ended up heading down the street to a party with the roommates. Amazing how many people were there, and yet I still only knew the ones who lived with me. (Okay, so I knew a few of them because they are Krystal's friends, but it was a very small percentage.) There were just too many people, and they were all just too drunk, so I left a little after 1 am, thinking about the hour and a half of my life that I would never get back.

So that was my Halloween. Frankly, I'm still not that impressed with it.


love and marria...no, just love.

I'm tackling love tonight.

I came into the dating world with an eager heart and a head full of misconceptions. I had seen a shade too many romantic movies and even though I realistically knew it would never happen like it happened for Meg Ryan, I still had hope.

I lost the misconceptions the hard way, basically by acting on an idea I had and having it all blow up in my face. Having never been in a relationship before, it came as a real shock to me that I had no clue how to handle one. Luckily, Casey apparently had expectations as low as mine were high, so he stuck with me.

I believed in soul mates and love at first sight until I fell in love. At some point I said, "No, this is not what it's about. There's no symphonic swelling music, and there is never going to be." And so I stopped looking for those things and began enjoying the things that had been there all along.

I asked Mama once how she felt about all that mushy stuff and this is basically what she told me. Mama believes that there are many many people any given person could fall in love with and share a lifetime of happiness. Naturally, you're going to be happier with some than others, but you'll never have any way of knowing that. It just boils down to whoever you meet at the right time and place in your life.

It's unromantic, but it rang true from the beginning, so I stole it. I've since decided that sometimes love is just finding someone whose faults don't irritate you too much and whose qualities make you happy.

This is not to say that I know everything or even anything at all about love. I've noticed a disturbing pattern in my life: whenever I begin to think I do know everything about relationships, some greater force throws a whopper of a curveball that leaves me stranded and wondering how anyone ever got through a relationship alive. The last time? Casey was diagnosed with diabetes.

If I were more ambitious, I would come up with a point here, a nice closing paragraph that wrapped things up. But the nice thing about this journal is that I don't have to be great, just good enough for you to come back tomorrow. Actually, some of you have familial obligations to come back anyway, so I don't have to even break mediocre.

So those are my thoughts on love and relationships this evening.


on the way to the mountain house.

We hold a conversation, hold it in our tiny little hands with our fingers held together in the shape of a cup so as not to let any words slip through.

We gripe as coworkers do, both talking more and more excitedly, building on the excitement of the other who is building on my own. We have thought these exact same thoughts that we now put into words, thought them earlier today in fact. They did not make us angry then, but now, someone agrees with us, and we are full of our righteous indignation.

We argue the same idea, and though no one disagrees, we feel the need to illustrate the idea with many examples and what we consider to be very eloquent and well-thought-out points. We continue to argue our popular point as if it were threatened, as if anyone present felt the slightest bit differently. We gesture dramatically because these gestures also illustrate the opinion that we both share.

We do not listen to each other. We listen to the tone to make sure the other still agrees, listen to the voice without listening to the words to know when they are done so that we can tell yet another relevant story.

After it is all over and we are left with nothing but the glow of our anger and excitement, we could not recall for our own lives anything the other said, but we leave with the idea that it is in fact that best conversation we've had in a long time.