Monday, July 31, 2006

Middle East Situation

Here are some other places to go for a much more informed discussion than I could ever lead:

http://ampmramblings.blogspot.com/
http://perpetualrefugee.blogspot.com/

Other suggestions?

(A temporary cease-fire has been violated by Israel "only" to defend its ground forces or to head off an direct attack??)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hiatus

I just can't blog about my usual trivial crap when Israel is bombing the hell out of Lebanon, even more outrage at the U.S. (for not doing what it can to stop it) is growing everywhere except in the U.S. and Israel, and we are once again seeing the Bush administration's foreign policy for the horrible joke it has always been (yet way too many Americans are still not seeing it). So I encourage people to look at blogs that are relevant to what's really important, like The Truth Laid Bear or Hysterical Blackness, but certainly not mine. Not today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cake

In response to everyone's comments about my 40th birthday: the 30's sucked dog penis. I can't say it enough. If the 40's contain half the desperation, loneliness and suicidal fantasies, they will be better.

Yes (Mr. Underhill), birthday cake! I have had lots of it over the past two weeks and it's not over yet. Chocolate, yellow, carrot and lemon, homemade, store-bought and gourmet, eaten with others in celebration and scarfed down alone in my kitchen (I at least tried to sit down). Birthday cake is my main binge, my main addiction, The Stuff. The month of July contains as many sugar-sucking triggers for me as December.

Oddly, I've noticed that since my new job has taken SO much of my time, I've lost weight in the past few weeks. Partly it's because I haven't had time to get in as many solid meals as usual. When a shift starts at 4:00 p.m. and ends well past my dinner cut-off time, I end up skipping meals. But it's also because work has cut into my gym time and I've all but stopped my usual weight resistance training. I think what I'm losing is muscle mass (Jo Anne). I've gone from weighing 122 pounds (my springtime goal) to 119 because I've stopped exercising. Weird. Maybe I'll never exercise again! (JOKING)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Happy 40 to me

Thank you all for your birthday greetings. I sort of felt down about this one. It's the first birthday I've felt that way about. I guess I'm not immune to the so-this-is-40 blues. But I had a great time going out for dessert with friends tonight and Bob even made an appearance and now I can go to bed feeling much better. Yesterday Bob took me on a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan and that was great, too. And I do have hope that the 40's will be good for me because they better be! I think I'll remember my 30's as the decade of the increasingly desperate manhunt and the decade during which I went on anti-depressants, OH yeah...

I remember being in college and imagining 45 as the ideal age. I looked forward to it. My reasoning was that by 45 I'd have enough of my life figured out that things wouldn't be quite as painful as in earlier years. I'm still hoping for that. As a woman in her 40's I just feel like I carry more life weight. Life weight is good because it keeps you from being blown away, pushed around and knocked off balance. At least it helps. At least it better.

Today I am 40

Today is my birthday. I am 40. More later.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Like loud noises and car exhaust

After seven months of under- and unemployment, I am FINALLY employed full-time. In fact, right now my restaurant is short-staffed, so I'm currently working seven shifts a week with one or two days of double-shifts each week and it's feeling like quite a load. My sore feet are trying to adjust to the sudden windfall of work, but my bank account is finally functional. All the employees at this place are stretched pretty thin these days, but another group of new hires is on the way, so I hope in a few weeks to be working the full-time hours I want. (This is also why I'm not blogging much these days. Too busy!)

One thing I go through at each job, is establishing all over again that I don't drink. Irritatingly, when I tell someone I don't like the taste of alcohol they -- almost without fail -- offer me an alcoholic possiblity I might not have tried yet. I say, "I just don't like the taste of alcohol" and they say, "I know a drink you'll like. Have you ever tried XYZ?"

Why? Why do they offer these suggestions when the plain truth is that I just don't like alcohol? Why is it so hard to believe that I HAVE tried every liquor, every alcohol, every mixed drink, every wine, every beer, every malted liquor beverage and I have no interest in testing any of them again? Why is it so hard to believe that I'm not on some lifelong search for the drink I'll actually claim as my own? Why is it so hard to believe that not only do I not drink, but I have no interest in drinking, the experiment is run, I'm done, I've excused myself from the bar counter and I can conclusively say I have no interest in alcohol?

If I said, "I don't like loud noises," they wouldn't say "Here, listen to my car alarm. Very few people don't like how loud it is." If I said, "I don't like breathing auto exhaust" they wouldn't say, "Well, you should lean over the tailpipe of the buses in Denver, Colorado. Their exhaust smells different from other petroleum-based emissions." If I said, "I don't like hot weather" they wouldn't say, "Don't say that until you've experienced high summer in Arizona. The temperatures go well over 100, but it's a dry heat. No humidity at all. I'll bet you wouldn't mind that."

What the hell?? When I say I don't like alcohol it means I don't like alcohol. Why do people keep trying to ply me with the exact substance I've just expressed a distaste for? I enjoy alcohol as much as I enjoy painfully loud noises. I enjoy alcohol as much as I enjoy inhaling urban exhaust fumes. I enjoy alcohol as much as I enjoy weather that's so hot you can't move, eat or sleep. MMMmmmm, alcohol.

Why don't people believe me?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I Got My Money

The office manager figured out what went wrong: she clocked me in for that shift incorrectly, causing the computer to mess up my cash-out tape. She handed me back $30 yesterday, plus had me re-do all my tipouts (the amounts I give to the bartenders, bussers and foodrunners) in considerably smaller amounts. In the end, I actually got to bring home $102 for my Wednesday night shift, not $51. Thank god.

Between the incredibly busy dinner shifts that leave me physically exhausted, the late hours that have me a bit sleep deprived, and getting all the details of the cashout procedure correct, I'm feeling like I already need a vacation. And I've only been working as a server at this restaurant for about a month! Time for a bath...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

work

Had a great night at work last night. My second dinner shift. My personal sales were over $1,100. I made over $180 in tips, tipped out $68 total to all the bussers, bartenders and foodrunners and should have come home with a good wad of money, over $100.

But at the end of the night when I counted my pile of twenties and ones, it all added up to $51.

Fifty-one dollars? I'm walking out of the restaurant after a night like THAT with $51? I was the last one to leave at 11:30pm and I went over all my paperwork and cash with the manager. He couldn't figure it out either. I had gone through every plastic check presenter in the restaurant. There was no extra cash in any of them.

I lost over $60 in cash. Just gone. I tipped out $68 and I got to keep $51. What the hell is the point?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Almost starting to see the light

Lucky for me my new restaurant is experiencing a shortage of staff and it's getting me more shifts and better shifts than I would normally get as a new server. I finally worked my first dinner shift last night and I finally made some actual good money. If I could just get scheduled steadily for dinner shifts, I could stop sweating the rent. I mean, I will get scheduled steadily for dinner shifts in a matter of time. I just want it to happen as quickly as possible.

Inhaling, exhaling...

P.S. In exactly two weeks I turn 40!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Togetherness

Here's a question for those of you who are dwelling in the same living space with the person you're in an intimate relationship with (married couples, unmarried couples, etc):

HOW do you handle spending so much time with each other? Seriously, how do you do it?

I can only handle so much time with my boyfriend (of six months) before I need to be alone again. At the moment even talking on the phone every day seems like too much contact to me.

I don't understand how couples who live together can stand each other. I realize this might distinguish me from everyone else on the planet. Maybe my bafflement with this lifestlye indicates that I'll never be capable of marriage or anything approximating it (which would be consistent with how badly I suck at relationships). And so my question stands: how do couples who live in the same living space not hate each other at least half the time?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Reluctant Apathy

(wow, when even apathy is reluctant...)

Mick, otherwise known as White Rose Boy, is vacationing in Chicago right now and I promised him I'd play an open mic while he's here. So for those of you in Chicago, it's an increasingly rare chance to see me onstage:

9:00 p.m. (hopefully I'll be on before 10:30)
Open Mic Night THURSDAY NIGHT
Red Line Tap Bar
7006 N. Glenwood Avenue, Chicago

I haven't performed since January and I'm feeling very much NOT like a musician anymore. Why the great apathy towards my music? It was so important to me for so long. I used to do regular gigs, I recorded stuff, I practiced, I wrote new songs. It all mattered so much.

Now nuthin'. Was it all just a response to my loneliness and lack of a man, and now that I have a man the music can just go down the toilet? Maybe. It's the only thing I can figure. Oh, and I'm going to be 40 years old in 19 days.

I wish I still liked music. At least then I could call myself a musician. Without that, there's nothing I can call myself. A breather?