Monday, June 29, 2009

psst. pass it on...

ok yall, i got the new gossip record, music for men, and i've listened to it about a billion times this week so i feel i'm ready to tell you that...IT ROCKS! seriously - you know when on american idol simon or randy are always talking about how the kids need to make the older songs feel current? adam lambert excluded, few can actually do it. really, artists that are really talented rarely get the job done. the gossip hits it hard, 80's style on this record. this record is what would happen if beth, hannah and nathan got into a delorian and traveled back to 1984. not sure if that's what they were going for, but it's exactly how i feel when i hear 'four letter word.' it has to be the one cut i can't wait to hear. [it's at the end of the record, so i anxiously await it.] the lead off 'dime store diamond' is funky and slow but it rocks all at the same time. the single, 'heavy cross' is good but definitely not the one i'd chose to try and "sell" to the radio - this is their major label debut and for god's sake, rick rubin produced it! i chose not to read any real reviews before i heard it and i'm glad i did. the thing i dig about the gossip is that they haven't copied anyone - they are uniquely the gossip. it's unusual these days not to hear a band or artist and say, oh, they remind me of [insert band here] it's where blues and "indie rock" collide. beth ditto is probably the best front woman of any band since frickin' debbie harry or chrissy hynde. i saw the gossip rock at the great american music hall in san francisco opening for s-k and the second she walked on stage i was like what????!!!! she was at least 100 pounds overweight and rockin the most awesome lingerie and garter. i was skeptical to say the least. when she started belting out the most authentic blues voices ever heard in "indie rock" i was captivated. she danced and sweat and sang her little heart out. the whole place was dancing to a band they had never heard of to songs they've never heard. mostly because beth ordered it. she even made carrie, corin and janet dance. it was like some crazy dance party someone throws in their basement. beth lives close by to the restaurant i work at and she's a regular customer. she has been nothing but lovely to each and every one of us and all the new hires that come from other restaurants around know her too and love her as well. we aren't shy about telling her how much we love the gossip. she says they won't be playing portland until fall - that's okay it will give me more time to listen to music for men a gazillion more times!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

restaurant woes...

"You don't really need a tip, do you?"
-customer what lesley heard while said customer looked at the tip line on the credit card slip and after lelsey had helped her with her large order

i have recently written a couple of posts that may have opened your eyes to the harsh reality of the restaurant industry. above is a post lesley made regarding one of her many mind-boggling customer interactions as hostess. my co-worker kaiya also commented on the mary* and donald duck entry reminding me of said customer's bathroom habits. thank you kaiya, i was trying to forget that floating corn image...anyway, i digress. it's become a part of mine and lesley's monday thru wednesday routine to keep a running list of blog ideas...for me to blog about. i'm still flummoxed as to why she is so shy as to start her own blog of these wacky ideas. she's quite humorous. i also wanted to use the word "flummoxed." below are a few of our ideas from this week...
*fake name to protect the innocent

let's just start big people and i do mean big: sliced beef

this guy has to be one of my least favorite customers. my girls at the door know i don't like to wait on him so i haven't in a long time. sometimes he sits at the bar when i'm there. he's strictly a lunch guy. [i don't think i've ever seen him in at dinner. kaiya?] the nickname comes from yours truly because he always orders his brisket sandwich "sliced. not chopped." no matter how many times we tell him why it seems chopped and no matter how many times he orders it, it's always the same. we've gone to just leaving the fat on for him. ewe. anyhoo, one afternoon as i was delivering his food he made a joke so i laughed and made one back. this was one of the rare times he's come in with someone. lots of our customers love to be acknowledged. it makes them feel good and hell, we're cool and it feels good to feel so welcomed by cool people like us! i can't remember the joke because i was so appalled as to what happened next. as i walked away in my foxy cargo shorts he...wait for it...pinched my knee pit. many ally mcbeal watcher's will remember the silly little knee pit joke. i ran away as fast as i could into the kitchen to tell my superior that i'd been pinched in my knee pit - ON MY BARE SKIN - by sliced beef. everyone, even our spanish speaking cooks, cringed. i saw a small glimmer in my superior's eye (only for a second!) as she loves to give a good pinch. she can't help it. our relationship hasn't been the same. actually once the word spread about the knee-pit-pinch (kpp) no one really wants to go near him. i think rosey might be the only one safe, if you know what i mean! [rosey also carries a knife ... "i'll kill you old man!"] so...lelsey writes this on our list "what does sliced beef do for a living? (a) stalk little girls online or (b) orthopedic surgeon. this made me guffaw out loud. i'm going for (b) because even sliced beef wouldn't stalk little girls. online. right? orthopedics, however, is almost less believable if you saw this guy.

the "self-seater"

all of us who have worked in a restaurant that clearly states PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED hate, hate, hate the self-seater. first, it pisses off the hostess. she/he is not there just to look pretty. there is a flow to keeping a restaurant running smoothly and when a customer just walks in and helps themselves, it can ruin the pace. it pisses off the server because often you've already got too many tables you haven't gotten to and you have to go get the self-seater water and menus. this in turn pisses off the kitchen as they've been pushing your buzzer for the last 5 minutes to come get your frickin' food. it's a vicious cycle, people. please be patient - you're all going to get a seat and food. i promise.

hand prints...

it's really quite revolutionary to have bosses that care so much about the appearance of the their restaurant. they believe it's in the details, the quality, the service and consistency. they follow through with this is many ways. for example, everything we use is of the highest quality possible while keeping the prices low. they insist on quality service as it's part of who we are. let's try to give people a good experience every time and may our food be consistently delicious. and lastly, for god's sake, keep the glass clean! perhaps it's from our days in the corporate coffee business, but a glass front door with paw prints on it is not appealing. for some just walking into a restaurant is part of the experience. if the glass is gross with prints, what does that say about what it might be like in the kitchen? do you want to sit in a cozy window seat with some little tykes hand prints and smeared yams? i didn't think so. the front and side doors are a serious mystery. how do they become covered in hand prints. not just little ones either. both of these doors have push bars on them. why on earth would you push the door open directly on the glass when you could use the bar? most of us have lived our entire lives with push bars - this is not a recent invention. this could also lead to holding the door open when it's 15/100 degrees outside. as mom always said we're not trying to heat/air condition the neighborhood!

the sliced beef story really took it out of me. it's traumatic. more stories to come i'm sure. lesley won't let me stop. she's a real slave driver. nice to have you as well kaiya. feel free to add to the list. here's what i've got so far...

  1. inside v outside seaters
  2. blue shirts v orange shirts in a knock down bloody battle. who would win? don't worry, i don't get it either. i'll just write something about blue and orange shirts...
  3. customer conversations
  4. do you take visa? uh, are we living in the 1800's? this could also lead to taking the wrong cc slip...
  5. similarities between mary* and the tv show battlestar galactica. hmmm. i better research that one
  6. co-workers who want time off but never help others who need time off
  7. managers who get too big for their britches (yeah, i'm talking to you!) just kidding...

Monday, June 8, 2009

on this day ... 1953

the supreme court ruled that restaurants in the district of columbia could not refuse to serve blacks

actor jerry stiller is 82!
"serenity now!"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

caught in the act!

saw neko case last night at the crystal ballroom. need i say (again) how much i hate the venue? i managed to get :23 seconds of neko singing one of my all time favorites before getting caught by the ballroom police. view it below. don't blink...

as always, neko didn't disappoint. also, as i found with her last album fox confessor brings the flood, the new songs came more to life during the live show and i've already put middle cyclone on this morning. i'll tell you the number one problem i have with the crystal ballroom. the sound is not good. if you are not directly facing the stage or close enough to read lips, you can't really understand the talking. neko and her background singer are known for their silly banter and funny stories. it's part of the live experience. not at the crystal. so many of my favorite bands and artists play there because it really is the perfect sized venue for them. not as big as the schnitz or theatre in the clouds but not as small as the superior roseland or wonder ballroom experiences. as it is neko's playing two shows here so i suppose she could go a little bigger, but it would lose a lot of intimacy.
the nana's partied until a whopping 11:30 pm! we even walked down to voodoo doughnuts for a midnight snack. i ate this oreo doughnut that totally rocked my world. fantasia got two maple crawlers. she loves em! johnna? you guessed it, plain glazed. you can never go wrong with the basics. "the magic is in the hole" [the last edition of the amazing race made a stop at voodoo doughnuts.] i think the kids would love this place. i'm going to try and get them there while they visit.
can you believe that kris won american idol? i'm telling you, that kanye west song put him over the top. really great interpretation. adam will no doubt make something of himself. he is an amazing singer. so you think you can dance has picked it's top 20 and i can't wait for next week. fantasia loves it too so we have a standing wednesday night date for the show. anyone who wants to join us may. the more the merrier.
ok. run out to yr locally owned record shop and buy neko case's new record middle cyclone. and if neko is coming to yr town or anywhere within driving distance i highly recommend going. as always, thank me here later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

pet peeves: part deux!

my pushy co-worker, lesley, [holla!] passed me a note in study hall that said the blog idea: similarities between mary* and donald duck. i didn't know what it means [honestly, i still don't!] but i surely thought it was funny. i actually missed someones sides on a to-go order over the phone because i was writing down other ideas for blog entries. i wrote down mac and cheese but i didn't write down the second. i got the bread order though. i think they ordered potato salad. i tried to explain to lesley why she had to ask that person what the sides were when they came to pick it up. she looked at me like i was crazy. [she looks at me like that a lot. we're going to have to talk about this,] i told her it was because i was writing down more blog ideas. the one that got me in trouble was please have everyone's order before you call the restaurant for a to-go order. below are the ones we came up with today. enjoy!
*name changed to protect the innocent.

similarities between mary & donald duck
i'm not sure what i can really say about this. mary is a customer that comes in almost every day. you read it right folks. every day. it started out nice, became annoying, and has come full circle back to flattering. the only problem with mary is that she has hideous style and the longest rat tail known to man. my oh my people. i know this thing doesn't have anything to do with donald duck, but i don't care - i must vent. this thing is an entity unto itself. i'll never forget the day that diane walked up behind mary grabbed the rat tail and said one of these days i'm just going HACK THIS THING OFF! it ruled. i'll never forget it. mary also puts ketchup on her pulled pork sandwich no slaw. i know all her orders. the formally mentioned sandwich is accompanied by fries. do NOT bring the cajun mayo. she'll make you take it away. the chop salad - sub chicken, no beans, no cheese, no onions [pretty much everything in the salad!], no bread. every now and then she'll bust out a sausage link sandwich, no bread and fries. i asked mary why she won't have any of those things in her salad and she said the doctor told her she was overweight. uh, first of all, she's not. second, if she eliminated the dressing, or put it on the side, she wouldn't have to lose the other items. no, that's crazy talk! ok. that's enough of that. i don't know any similarities between mary and donald duck. [lesley, if you know what they are, post it here or GET YR OWN FREAKIN' BLOG!]
know what you want to order before calling the restaurant for a to-go order
some people call the restaurant expecting the person on the other side to read the menu for them. seriously people. the person on the other side does not have time to go over the entire menu with you. we are too busy. go to the website to check out the menu. then call. oh, and make sure you know what everyone wants before calling too. this is the conversation i had that caused me to miss that second side. hello, caryn speaking yeah, i'd like to place an order to go. great. sock it to me. [deep sigh] ok, are you ready? yep. [apparently the sock it to me part was overlooked.] so she rambles off the first 2 orders like a pro. then she gets to the last one and this is what i hear on the other end...JIMMY? WHAT KIND OF SAUCE DO YOU WANT? medium. and the sides? JIMMY! WHAT SIDES DO YOU WANT? macaroni & cheese and [what i thought i heard] potato salad [or pot salad as we label the boxes.] cornbread or toast? JIMMY! CORNBREAD OR TOAST? cornbread. is that it? [please let that be it - my earball is killing me from trying to drag out of jimmy what sauce and sides he wanted!] yeah, that's it. oh, thank god i said to myself. ok see you in 15 minutes. ok. we hung up. this is when i realized i had completely spaced on what his second side was. lesley, what was it? was is potato salad? this is a daily occurrence. take more than 10 seconds to decide what you want to eat. why is everyone in such a big hurry? i don't get it. people get irritated when you won't read the menu to them over the phone. hey, i've got 9 tables looking at me going, uh, we need more sweet tea over here. that's when you say can you hold please? thank you. LESLEY you have a call on park 1 and run like hell.
"hotboxing" chicks.
ok. there was a guy who came in today acting like a total douche. he told lesley that he was meeting 2 chicks and he was going to "hotbox" them. now, i've been around, and "hotboxing" means one thing, and one thing only, to me. the confusion was overwhelming. what does that mean? to quote ellen degeneres, you heteros are weird. seriously. what is that about? "hotboxing" is what spicoli and his buddies did right before they stumbled out of the van in the parking lot of all american burger [no shirt, no shoes, no dice!] come on people, everyone knows that. why would a man say that to a hostess taking you to the table with said "chicks" for "hotboxing." boys are dumb. [lesley, i don't know if you saw but that man ended up wearing a bib. i thought it amusing. hotboxing. please.]
side by side seaters
i have a real problem with this. i don't understand side by siders. why on god's green earth would you want to sit directly next to somebody in a restaurant where you're tyring to have conversation? and, i want to see all hands on deck. hands in clear view. no touching the knee under the tablecloth. no nuzzling your partners neck. no going into the men's room together. don't feed each other. this is a family restaurant folks. keep that in mind.

i don't have it in me to talk about my last pet peeve, sliced beef. i'll save it for another night. it's late now and i have to treat the beast and go to sleep. [i just re-read that sentence and it sounds, well, not so good. treat the beast means giving scully her nightly treats of cat nip and kitty treats. get your minds out people!]
lesley, i think i'm going to make you a lable so people can go right to lelsey posts.

i heart summer tv

definitely my favorite summer program ... until my guilty pleasure big brother starts...

kathy griffin: my life on the d list has to be one of the funniest shows on television. the first 2 seasons were the funniest but she still kills it. i love this picture of her trying to get photographed by the paparazzi. hilarious.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

3 seconds of fame!

if you go here you can witness me and pilar having 3 seconds of fame. you only get to see me from behind, but pili got some face time!