Monday, December 27, 2010

Taco Tales: Interactions

I was chatting with a friend about work:

Him: I never go there

Me: Why? Don't like the food?

Him: Oh, the food's fine. It's the, you know, PUBLIC.

Me: True, that is the downside.

So, I'll share a few treasures just in case you can't imagine the entertainment yourself.


Even though my workplace is a completely generic, non specific Mexican-style fast food eatery, I think the general public knows the nature of combo meals in that they come with a drink...that's the point.

So when Ms. Starving pulls into the drive-thru and says she wants combo number 5...

Me: And what did you want to drink with that?

Her: I don't want nothin' to drink!

Me: So you don't want the combo?

Her: I want the combo, just don't be chargin' me fo' that drink!

Me: Ok (removes combo and just punches in the three tacos)


I've just clocked in and am waiting to get my drawer. At the beginning of a shift, we count our drawer to make sure it's at the right amount, then we are assigned to a register. I don't have my drawer yet.

A man is lurking around the counter, looking at the menu:

Me: Sir? Were you wanting to order?

Him: (nothing)

Me: (waits for a minute, he's still perusing) Were you needing to order today sir?

Him: (nothing, so I can only assume he plans on taking a while)

Him: (after a minute or two of me standing there) I want a medium soda and a --

Me: I'm so sorry, I don't have my drawer yet; let me find someone to take your order.

I go to get someone, but when I turn around, he's gone. Huh? I get my drawer and go to open the register. He pops out from somewhere and comes up to me again.

Him: (mumbles something or other; I can't make it out)

Me: I'm sorry, what was that?

Him: (mumbly mumbly, then something that sounds like:) How long have you worked here?

Me: I'm sorry, I can't understand you....

See? You should be proud of me! I'm starting to remember not to answer just any question!

Him: (gives me a really dirty look and says:) You understood me (and then walks away)

What was strange was that I was getting the *trying to pick you up* sort of vibe which is really strange because I never get that, even when it's happening. Things have to be pretty straight forward for me.

However, that does NOT mean approaching it like the following man:

I'm at a bus stop in a shady part of Sac and a man of questionable demeanor (and dress. and smell. and age. and, well, everything) approaches me.

Bum: You got any change?

Me: I don't carry cash, sorry (truth)

Bum: (sidles a little closer) got a boyfriend?

Me: No (truth, should have lied)

Bum: You want one? (leers)

Me: No (broad lie, specific truth. Don't want YOU)

Bum: How 'bout a husband? You want a husband? (smiles)

Me: No (broad lie, specific truth. want one...with TEETH!)

Bum: (disappointed)

Me: (mildly creeped out, excited for future blog post on the subject)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cough Drops

It's a sad, sad thing when you get the the point that you start including cough drops in your daily caloric intake. Hall's Lemon and Honey have 15 calories per drop. Now, if I go with sugar free, I can knock it down to 5 calories. Those taste funny though. And while the sugar would account for the 15 calories in the regular, what makes up the calories in the sugar free ones? according the the nutritional information, there's NOTHING in them. What are you sucking on then?
This brings me to sodas like Coke Zero. If there aren't any fats or carbs or anything else (to speak of) on the label, what are you drinking? Food coloring and sucralose? Slightly disturbing....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Taco Tales: Learning Curve

When you start a new job, there's an inevitable learning curve:

You start, screw up a lot
Hmm...I kinda know my way around now...
Yay-ya! I'm not half bad!
I thinks I gots this!
Oh (expletive deleted) I guess not...
Yup. That last stage happened last night. Maybe aided by the fact that I forgot my hat on the bus from Sac (hopefully I can get it back today). Walked in early to finish changing, realized I'm missing my hat (I'm still more than 5 minutes early at this point) and I'm about to call the bus company. The girl on the register calls over that they need me to clock in NOW!
Me: "I'm trying to locate my hat. Do we have a spare?"
Her: (to shift leader) Do we have a hat?
Him: (yells over) No! We don't have any extra HATS!
'kay. I could tell he was busy. And, to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe the last 3 people came on by asking that same question.
But seriously? Not only are you going to ask me to clock in early, but you're going to get your knickers in a bunch because I was going to use that extra 5 minutes to locate said hat?!
Fortunately, they found one...eventually. When I was done with my shift, I stashed (ie HID) it in case I can't have someone get it from the bus depot by later today.
So, today's count:
Hopeful leers of teenage boys: 1
Kids I was consciously nice to keep my job: 5
Kids I probably slighted because I didn't remember to be nice to them: um...a lot?
Vans with a vase of flowers attached above the passenger's door to stick straight up out of the roof along with a Breyer-type horse super glued to the top-middle-front of the roof with a sting tied to a hoof with the other side tied somewhere inside the car in case the glue failed: 1
Women who rode in said van than wanted to tell me (and did) about morbidly obese friend who is in the hospital with kidney problems who is on dialysis who "is probably gonna die real soon" : 1
Husband of said woman of said man that was in the bathroom for around 1/2 hour and the reason I waited another half hour to check it: 1
**so...what do you think? "Taco Tales"? Slap the icon on whenever? "Bell Blogging"? Other ideas?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I used to be a bit indifferent about lawn ornaments even though I recognized that the pink plastic flamingo was the height of tackiness. (And glowing ones? Don't get me started...)
After discovering the Yard Art Game, these views changed. Now, I am a somewhat rueful champion of the lawn gnome...and of golden manatees. Which I hear are selling rather well on cafe press these days.
Which was why, when working the drive-through window at Taco Bell last night and  young man in a dented green truck pulled up for his Fat Fiesta (*ahem* His XL Chalupa) I was a bit taken aback by the contents of his truck bed.
Three lawn gnomes along with a few cuttings and a shovel.
If you know me at all, are a regular reader, you know the kinds of things I started thinking. Is it not a heinous crime to steal a gnome? Were they kidnapped? Used as payment for "lawn service"? (hey, you know what they say about gardeners and pool boys) Possible Mafia hit with shovel to bury the evidence?
Of course, much in the spirit of learning as a Walmart clerk not to comment on items bought, I wasn't going to bring the subject up. "So, uh, nice gnomes you got there...." See? Awkward....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Day in Court (but not in orange)

For part of my Thanksgiving break from school, I decided to treat myself with a little day in court. Ever since I thought I wanted to become a lawyer (11th grade: don't judge me!) I knew court was the place for me. I've adjusted that a bit (to my supreme delight), but I still love the scene.
I talked the li'l bro into it, so off we went.
Following the advice of my 60-100wpm instructor, I hit up the information counter to find some juicy cases. Criminal? Heck ya!
Her: There's Family Law too...
Me: (repeating self) Just criminal sounds good.
Her: Okay, you've got Departments 4 and 5. Both start about now.
Me: Thank you. (in head: YeeeeehAW! Here we go!)
I peered through the window in Dept 4, but the seating area was M.T. Not good. I didn't want to stand out like abiding person in the midst of the (alleged) unlawful. Dept 5 was filled--much more promising.
Triple podium booth thing set up, two clerkys on the right. Bailiff with a belt sporting some serious hardware (one of which I like to imagine was a tazer) meandering about, court reporter with related equipment (squeee!), the People (skinny bald man with large white mustache--looked like a shriveled turtle), and the court appointed defense attorney (or whatever you call them).
Oh yeah. And a room full of people. And they were all innocent. It was rather amazing, really, that that many people could be called in to court like that, and all 100% hadn't done that thing for which they were accused.
(yeah, I know. guilty ppl wouldn't show up, they would just pay or go to jail. leave me my Shawshank Redemption moment)
Judge pops in and we get underway.
First case: Welfare fraud and perjury (meh, not too exciting)
Next: Petty theft from....Wal Mart. I would find that this was to become a theme. In fact, let's just get Wal Mart out of the way now. These two hoodlums (hey, I can only tell you what my eyes tell me) apparently drove to said retail outlet under a suspended licence, stole stuff, and attempted to abscond. My fevered imagination can only begin to fill in the holes on this. And it wants to. Oh it wants to. But onward!
Two girls (ahem: young women) are called up. Judge seems surprised to find they have the same last name.
Judge: Are you two related?
Them: tee hee....yes
Judge: How?
Them: tee hee...we're sisters
Guy behind us that has decided to audition for the role as "Peanut Gallery": They're SISTERS!
Me: (thinking: Duh. That's what she just said....)
Judge: You're both too young to be getting involved in a life of crime.
See, they got hit with petty theft AND burglary. Burglary, huh? I wonder what they took. I am beginning to find out that is the problem with hearings...there aren't any details. In fact, the judge even says not to tell her details because it won't affect their case in the slightest. Dang.
After a couple more cases are pulled up about Wal Mart, I realize the reason is one of three things:
1. Walmart is the only significant retailer in the area.
2. Walmart is huge, a lot of stuff must get stolen.
3. Walmart is good at catching the bad guys. (and upon discussion with li'l sis, who works there, I'm going to place a whole lot of weight on that last one, though I suspect it's a bit of all three)
And all of them get the "Stay away from the Walmart! Don't shop at the Walmart. Ya hear me? Don't go go near the Walmart!" speech. I could barely keep from giggling when I considered the line from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou where the guy says "And stay out of the Woolsworth!" after he kicks out Everet for fighting.
We had 3 or so spousal abuse cases, though strangely, it was mostly the women beating up on the guys. I wonder if that's an area phenomenon. One guy wanted to take it back, saying that it had all happened when he had four beers in him (only 4? really? He was a big guy...). The People wouldn't drop b/c the statement he had made to the Sheriff when he called was completely different with what he was saying. After discussion with friends, we decided there was a lie by omission: only 4 beers. Who knows what else he knocked back? I guess he had to be sober enough to call tho...but then again... Drunk Dial: Sheriff Edition! (I see a whole new reality show...I could help write!)
Makes me wonder how much money the county is going to lose prosecuting this guy when both of them want it dropped. But hey. Goes to show: Don't Drunk Dial the Sheriff.
We have Marijuana Man. And of course, what did he do?
Oh come on, YOU know!
He played the "medical marijuana card". Literally.
Peanut Gallery: Of COURSE he does...
The Peanut Gallery was there b/c he had missed a payment on his DUI class and they had dropped him. But oh. He wanted to go back. He BEGGED to go back. "I must finish this!" He says with earnest sincerity, "It is my heartfelt dream to finish this course and get my licence back!" The judge gets a tear in her eye. "Go forth young man and conquer!" She says, " I believe in you!" or some such dialogue.
Last type was the guy they pulled up on charges of trespassing and (get this) loitering. As my sis says "I will loiter...if I have time." Then it comes out that this guy (who must be at least 18 if he's in reg court) loiters and lurks and stuff around the house of a man and his daughter. His 14-year OLD daughter. Not cool. That's at least 4 years, and at that age, 4 years is a LOT.  Man-boy is ordered not to loiter, lurk, or otherwise tarry at said household.
Of course, as they are getting down to the last couple, the bailiff and the judge start giving us the eye. "Why are they there?" they wonder. The bailiff even comes over and says in a not-stage-whisper "Which case are you waiting for?"
Me: We're just observing...(Please don't give us paperwork!!!)
Him: Oh. (obviously disappointed he can't give us paperwork in triplicate that will ask us to divulge our blood type, name of our first born children--or prospective children-- the serial number on our home fax machine and financial information to determine whether or not we can get a court appointed lawyer. Sorry Bailiff, I know that's all you live for.)
The judge finishes up, then goes over the names of the ppl who didn't show up to make sure she can legally slap warrants on them. Every time she mentions a female name, she stares straight at me, no doubt waiting for me to jump up with the clarion call "That's MEEEEE!!!" When this doesn't happen, she asks us what case we're here for. Bailiff-man, happy to get *some* mileage out of us, pipes up "They're just observing!" I think I see confusion pass over the clerk's faces. "Oh..." the judge says.
I don't think ppl observe very much.
We left right about then.
Me: Thanks and all...Great job Judge! You really nailed that loitering case! This will make excellent material for my blog and all. (I actually only said the first word of this--probably a good thing)
All in all, great and productive use of a free morning.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sexual Harassment

What do YOU know about sexual harassment*?
I mean, I assume it's bad. What I don't expect is for you to show me a lengthy video featuring a man in suspenders and a 90's haircut in front of a large empty fish tank outlining in explicit detail how exactly to go about doing said harassment if you so chose. With "skits" of each type. (I mean, it's also possible that they WERE real, and whoever was manning the security footage let it go so's they could get the goods for a training video that they could then copyright and sell to various franchises across the country)
Sexual Harassment Option 1:
Bug people for dates even when they said no. Then, follow them into the stock room and when your backs are to each other, poke out your butt and gyrate it on theirs. You will know you are successful if you hear cries of "hey! stop it!". Then explain to the young handsome manager that touching other people in the stock room is unavoidable. This option works best if you are slightly creepy-looking to begin with.
SHO 2:
Get yourself into a management or supervisory position so you can force your minions to enter into "relationships" with you. This is an especially good option if you are a woman in your mid 30s and want a little action with some of the hot young stuff. Make sure you use the word "relationship" when making your flirty advances. This is suitably creepy, yet defendable to your superior: "I want working relationships with ALL my lackeys".
SHO 3:
Find the middle-aged man on staff (all restaurants are required to have at least one for diversity's sake). In the break room, pressure him for details about his date the previous night. Because he told two young women less than half his age about the date hoping they could offer...advice? Hangout hotspots? A shoulder to cry on when it didn't go well? Make sure you and your sycophant flank him so he can't get away easily. Then pull out the thumbscrews and grill him about his lady friend. Fun for all! (except him)
SHO 4:
This option is good for men, because I think only they can pull it off with the proper amount of offensiveness. (how much offensiveness? a LOT. Trust me folks, to do this, you need to be able to leer, and I haven't yet met a woman who could leer half as well as a man) So. You need to grab the person you want to make uncomfortable for a makeshift ruse, like taking inventory of the canned goods closet. Then, halfway through, look behind her at the woman loading up a cart with unidentifiable objects. Then say "Man, look at THAT! What a body..." Your victim will try to get back to work, but you should pepper the conversation with more snippets such as "Hot damn, how does she even work here with a body like that" and "I'd sure like to get my hands on those curves". With the proper facial expression, it will do wonders for your reputation (as a lecher).
So, especially as we got to the end, I found myself excited about all the ways to harass someone that I hadn't known about before. And then suspender man came on again and said "Sooo...all that stuff we just showed you? Yeah, don't do any of it." Me: "The why the heck did you SHOW it to me and get me all excited??!!"
I also find it interesting that these videos and courses are always about your fellow co-workers and never about the public, which happens a whole heck of a lot more.
*yeah, yeah. SH is not for the weak of stomach, or even for ppl who actually strive to be morally righteous. Perform these options at your own risk, and the risk of pepper spray. Redgirl is not responsible for your subsequent unemployment and/or possible incarceration. Be good boys and girls.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Some of you know that I'd been looking for a job, and moreover, that I got one.
Where you ask?
At "Mexi Gong", the bell of all tacos: "Mexican inspired" quick cuisine as a "Service Champion". (as opposed to a Food Champion)
And you, my readers know what this means. Oh yes. Delicious stories in the customer service field of the kind I am so good at. I doff the vest and tie for the Ball Cap of Knowledge and the Polo Shirt of Barely Restrained Enthusiasm.
To kick things off, my next post will walk you through the videos and training material because I had too....and I am firmly in the school of thought that misery and suffering loves company. (Plus I had to restrain my laughter at some REALLY inappropriate times because the manager might think I wasn't taking things like sexual harassment seriously. As if.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Taste of Adventure

I'll be the first to admit that I like a a little adventure. Especially if it happens to someone else.
What I do not like is adventure on my morning commute when it might make me late for class.
*               *               *
I finally got to sleep for my 30-40 minute morning nap when I wake up to a slight smell of diesel. I know this smell well*. I go back to sleep thinking, "All these wimps in their heavy coats. I'm in a long sleeve shirt and I'm hot."
Next time I wake up, the air is stifling with fumes, the bus is stopped on the side of the road, and a voice from the rear proclaims "I see smoke!"
I'm not going to discount that, but I know from the Moorpark trip that a cloud of spraying diesel mixed with seam in cold air can look like that. Not that I'm not willing--and ready--to vacate this death trap. Or, in the bus driver's words: "If you might like to join me on that service road across the shoulder? (We are on Interstate 5, so it was a BIG shoulder).
As I stand on the service road some 60 feet away, noting the fuel puddling on the ground, I start to consider the possible blast radius. When firing a canon (3-inch ordinance rifle), we use 6-9 oz. Cannon Grade GOEX black powder, to which the safety zone is 60ft.  How much fuel is the bus carrying? What is the blast radius of a 47 passenger bus carrying 3/4 a tank of fuel? How much fuel was that? How many of the cars passing by would it take out when it blew?
These were questions I wanted answers to, though not necessarily questions that would help me in any way considering there wasn't much I could do except walk down the side of the shoulder.
Somehow I suspect that an exploding bus might cover more than 60 feet.
The next bus that morning comes by, and the more anxious (and hotfooted) of our bunch hops on.
Lady behind me after looking in: "I looks really full...I'll wait for the next bus..."
I thread my way to the back, and we leave with 3 seats open on a 57 passenger bus. After we drive off, there are more than 20 people dotting the highway shoulder who decided to wait. The next bus is only a 45 passenger and is usually 3/4 full. Even if they can get most of the people on, I'll be a few will have to stand. How many?
Probably 3.
As we're seated, I turn to the woman across the aisle. "That was different."
Her: "Yes, yes it was."
When it comes to adventure for myself, I'll stick with just a taste.
*Those who know me in my Civil War reenactment capacity will recall the epic journey back from Moorpark with 7 horses and leaking fuel injectors. Ah...for the old days!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jury Selection

So I was thinking.
Studying to be a court reporter and all (criminal, ir you cared), and I haven't really spent any time in a court room. I went once in highschool with an attourny to job shadow back when I thought *THAT* might be a good idea. Closest I've gotten in the interveening years was going for a police ride-along courtesy of Civics.
Such fond memories:
  • The woman who experienced the loss of a ceramic toad planter the size of a basketball off of her front porch
  • The discovery of a stolen car, but no one had a finger printing kit in their car (3 cars people--3 whole cars!)
  • Shown an area of the city I had always thought pleasant and told that if you wanted to swap drugs or have gay sex, that was where you went
  • Slapping the siren on and racing though town to get to the scene of "shots fired"....wasn't allowed out of the car tho *pout*
Only other brushes with the judicial system include watching crime dramas (Criminal Minds, Wire in the Blood, etc) and hearing people tell me how they talked their way out of a traffic ticket. Being a basically law-abiding citizen though (mostly don't want to deal with the consequences), I usually end up thinking "Well, you *were* doing 80 in a 60 mph zone because you spent too long on your hair this morning, so I'm kind of with the law on this one."
The point is that I would love to be called up for jury duty. Problems that I have and would prob try to mention to the judge:
  1. I could loose my financial aide with the amount of days I would be missing.
  2. I just started an hourly job, which will be my only source of income. I can't afford it.
  3. I'm a court reporting student. I'd be too busy watching court procedure, what the court reporter is doing, and thinking of the entire proceedings in steno, which means I won't be able to pay attention to the content. I mean, I caught myself doing that last Sunday halfway through the sermon on Acts.
  4. None of the above
Aaaand....reasons that the judge will probably allow:
(4) None of the above.
Plan for gettin' a little court action without the dangers?
As Thanksgiving rolls around, I get a week off. I plan on sitting in on the local courtroom for at least one of those days.2
Any interesting brushes with the law out in blog-o-land? Or purely theoretical things that may have happened to a friend of a friend? :P

Friday, October 29, 2010

Word Search

When setting out a word search that appears to be kid-friendly, one should always include a word bank. When one is absent, the enterprising adult will find...other words.
Some Halloween words discovered:
Possible Halloween words:
Words I doubt I was supposed to find:
Although I'm certain that all manner of  things can happen on Halloween, I doubt the average child would like to mar their night with the sin of a bit of avid rape.

Bus Rule Violation Shocks Community

Dear skinny Asian lady with impossibly supple neck:
I understand why you sat by me. The commuter bus was full and you needed a seat. I even get why you didn't move to an adjacent seat after the first stop (of three). After all, there weren't more than 1 or two open seats open around us. What I don't understand is why you didn't move after the next stop when EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON on the bus got off and it was just you and me, as is customary. Or why you kept trying to talk to me when I was obviously trying to read a really engrossing book.
If you can shed light on any of this, I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saving Money on a Tight Budget: Patented Redgirl Shortcuts For Retaining the Appearance of Wealth While Still Having Money For the Things You Want

Wendi's comment on my previous post on a proper diet sparked new, exciting thoughts. After all, people out there are getting rich on self help books, advice columns and the like. Why shouldn't I get a piece of that? It doesn't seem to matter if they know what they're talking about or not, and since I KNOW what I'M talking about (*snicker*), I could be ten times better at this business. Let's kick it off with a little financial planning! Especially in *this* economy. (I just had to get that in. It annoys me when other people say it, so I thought to help you feel my pain)
I know how it is. You live in your 4.5 bedroom house, drive your Hummer to and from work, but can't save money to go to Africa for that Mighty Roar Big Game Hunt you've had your heart set on for years. You have 649 channels on your HD TV, but can't afford to upgrade your 20-gauge shotgun to that Browning Over and Under you've had your eye on since you had your first attempted robbery last year.
Fear not! What you need are just a few simple money saving tips to fill your coffers.
The idea is not to give up life's pleasures. Without a Hummer, what's the point of even going to work? You wouldn't be able to park next to that little crappy Toyota* your boss drives and edge in on his parking space.
To start with, look down. How many kids do you have? If you have more than 1 or 2, you have too many. You have options with the extras. I firmly suggest reading A Modest Proposal for one idea. (If you don't have time to read now or have never read it--shame on you--the basics are that poor countries can use excess children as a food source) If your child has passed infancy, consider selling or leasing them
Set up a still for a lucrative home business. Especially in an urban setting, no one will know what it is, so you have less of a chance of being busted. Because city folk haven't sampled the joys of a little white lightning, your market will grow exponentially once everyone knows where to get the good stuff. Think of this untaxed, unreported income as your retirement plan.
Hummers take a lot of gas. A Prius doesn't. These are facts. So, help a Prius owner out and take some of that gas off their hands. Don't mention it to them though, they'll only be embarrassed at having to thank you.
Keep an eye out for stray animals and "Missing" pet posters. When you find two that match, go to it. Rewards for "finding" lost pets can add up over the long term. In fact, if you want to be really enterprising, set up a mini kennel in your backyard so you can grab likely looking animals as you see them. The only down side to that is that you'll have to feed them. Of course, if your turnover is good...
Make some friends in Nigeria. If you're always going in the bank and cashing checks, you can certainly keep up the "appearance of wealth" part.
***Persons reading this advice should use only if right for their current situation. No refunds for YOUR bad decisions. I am a licensed professional. Getting arrested isn't fun, but I hear the prison wine is to die for. The buck stops here. 
*I drove a Toyota for years. I loved it more as each part ceased to function. It now shambles faithfully around under the firm guidance of my little sister. I will say this though: Their public relations department reacted in a less-than-ideal fashion after this year's recall over shoddy brakes.

News From the Home Front

As anyone in NorCal can remember, we had a pretty epic storm this last weekend. As with any good storm that comes visiting, it left us a gift.
No, not those two inches of rain. Not the branches everywhere.
Rather, it took out the phone lines. Dial up sucketh greatly, but this is a new opportunity for further sucking.
And since we're rural, I get the feeling they're going to take their sweet time fixing it.
But because the phones are out, we are able to have great moments of meaningful family time.
Dearest Mother was wistful about the days of going to the local pumpkin farm when she would watch us all play (?).
Father: We can still go...
Mumzie: It's not the same! I loved to sit and watch the kids play, but they don't go anymore.
Me: You can still go and watch kids play. Other people's kids.
Mumzie: ?
Father: (has some idea where I'm going with this)
Me: Of course, they generally call you a pedophile when you do that...
Isn't it interesting all the things you can do with your own family/people you know that you couldn't get away with otherwise?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Redgirl's Guide to Healthy Eating

Tired of munching on Twinkies and ice cream as your main fare? Want something that doesn't give you that "I fell off the wagon" feel in the morning?

You've come to the right place! Eating right is easy; just follow a few simple mostly color-based rules and you'll be dining high in no time.

If it's green, it's healthy for you

Just like it sounds! If you're colorblind, and can't tell green from blue, ask your neighbor. If it's growing, it's usually green. Foods and food-like substances in this group include:

artichoke hearts
cucumber-vodka cocktails*
anything with green food coloring in it.

*I know! I was surprised too, but it was green, so what can you do?

If it's white, it has no calories

This one may come as a shock, but if you come from the (proper) school of thought that the colors are where all the calories live, this makes perfect sense. Luckily, there are a LOT of white or nearly colorless foods out there:

string cheese (mozzarella)
boiled eggs (the yellow yolk is on the inside, so it doesn't count)
Crisco (the regular stuff, not the butter flavored)
extra white-white vanilla frosting

If it's red, it's awesome and therefore healthy for you as WELL as having no calories

Red, being the best color in the world is available for consumption in any food. Examples include:

Rare steak
shrimp (close enough, anyway)
red velvet cake

A few other rules of thumb are:

Blue is kind of unnatural, so approach with caution. Orange has some red in it, so it's all right on occasion. And stay away from tequila. It's not your friend.

***consult your doctor before making any drastic diet changes. The Redgirl Eating Plan may not be right for you. Don't swallow sharp things like caltrops. No refunds. Check for a working sewage system before buying a house.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Words That Descibe

Musings from today's trip. Starts with reality, ends with...something else. Hey! That should be my motto!

Motto s of Sac Denizens

Sheridan Valets:
Not only will we park your car, but we'll look damn good doing it!

the cafeteria (restaurant):
We make money by trying to sound unpretentious and failing. Miserably.

Sac Regional Transit:
If we're on time, we'll pay YOU a dollar!

Shoplifter from local outdoor mall: *Pant* If I can *Pant* fun faster than the cops *Pant*, I deserve to keep this stuff!

We only ignore traffic law in an emergency. It's usually an emergency.

Lady sitting in front of me:
If a chair can lean back, it should always be leaned back. To the fullest extent possible.

Foremost in Fuzziness:
Even after cutting my hair, I'll wear sweaters a sheep would die to own!

Hoodlums at school: Don't worry, we can spoil your day too!

....and it glows in the dark!
Lightning free for over 25 years!

Woman I saw at bus stop:
I just look like a man!

Road Narrows
(repeat as needed, or just anytime you feel like watching their eyes get all scared)

Inventor of the deep fried turkey:
But have you tried deep frying it?

Squirrel (my cat):
Helping you....feed ME every day, all day!

Seagulls everywhere after watching "Finding Nemo":

What I wish the Judge would have said instead of 4 repetitions of admonishing the jury not to discuss the trial or decide the case that I read in Mock Court today:
Shut your traps and no thinking (about anything) at ALL until you're in that Jury Room. Or I'll slit your help me God.

Financial Aid:
We're open EVERY day not ending in "Y"!

Starbucks and Makers of Spiced Pumpkin Ale:
Keepin' you comin'
In for the Pumpkin!
99 Years of restricting
when you can have
pumpkin ANYthing

Yes, I am bitter. Why does the pumpkin spiced latte have to come back? Can't it stay for a bit? Like...FOREVER???

Putting the "play" back in Bubonic Plague

Chuck Norris:
Mere words cannot contain Chuck Norris.

Next time: Redgirl's way to eat right!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tour Bus to the Ghetto (p 2)

Last week, we boarded the tour bus. Let's continue our trip to the ghetto!
If you'll look out the window to the left, you'll see the circus is in town.
The circus? Where? Waaait a minute....all I see is "The Pancake Circus"
Or rather, the Pancake Circus. Ha ha ha...that's a restaurant
Ha. Right. Not really that funny.
Other landmarks include the Rio Vista Hotel that always has vacancies.
All I see is a sign and an empty lot.
These innovators have obviously taken a new approach to the travel industry, as it appears to be a "bring your own cot, water, and portable bathroom" sort of place. No one appears to be taking advantage of the hotel right now, but we're not exactly in season.
That place will never be in season. Someone had a little too much to smoke this morning....
On the other side of the street, I'll draw your attention to the large panel on the plaza sign that reads "After 75 Years, WE QUIT"
Who quit? And why would they put up a passive aggressive sign about it?
There are many theories on this sign. One is that the building was razed, but none of the remaining plaza stores cared to remove the old signage. Another popular idea is that there is a store by that name. If this is the case, it's the holy grail of Orange Blossom Plaza, because no one's been able to find it.
It's like a ghost story: "The Business that Wasn't There" 
And if it DID disappear, think of all the people that could have been inside when it did, and are now lost to us forever...
Tripe. Gag me with a SPOON.
As we approach this next bus stop, inspect the incoming passengers.
There's only two. A really old Asian lady and a young man that probably has a somewhat dubious reputation. Which one?
Exhibit A: The Asian Lady. Notice how she's talking to the bus driver in her native tongue? He -obviously- doesn't speak her language, but she somehow thinks she'll get directions for a place that might not even exist. Rule #2 for buses: Drivers know everything. About other routes, you ask? And how about intercity bus routes that aren't even run by the same company? Ditto I say! That bus driver has the knowledge and skillz to get you from here to the Berkley Pit on nothing more than local city buses, a tandem rental bike, and a one-eyed sway-backed mule named Zonks.
If he really knew everything, he would have a way to turn you into a GOOD tour guide.
Now, perk your ears towards exhibit B.
Perking...oh my stars!
Notice his turn of phrase while talking to a fellow hoodlum, " I saw the cops, so I got on."
I want to change seats now. Who knows what he did.
Obviously, Hoodlum 2 knows why he would want to get on if he saw the cops. Hoodlum 1 wants to alert Hoodlum 2 that cops are around, so as to prevent him from doing anything untoward, prove he's not a pansy for riding the bus for one measly block, all with leaving opportunity for speculation as to the cause of his concern. Way to go Hoodlum 1! Point for Team Ghetto!
I'll bet he killed someone and buried their body in that empty lot. I know I would run from the cops if I had strangled my buddy over a contested backwoods meth lab. I'll bet that's what went down.
Hold on to something.
You're now experiencing a "sudden stop". This is achieved when A) the bus driver forgot about the stop and sees someone standing there at the last minute or B) when someone pulls the yanky "stop" string at the last minute. Often, perpetrators of the latter are students; both from inattention to surroundings or malicious fun.
My coffee spilled. You suck.
Follow the progress of the students. Notice how they dash across the middle of the road like a diseased rabbit whose brain is filling up with fluid and a temperature through the roof causing it to start having delusions about what is where and when it is safe to cross.
I can't believe you just went there.
Unfortunately, these students don't realize they're acting like a group of lemmings jumping off a cliff and hoping they'll know how to swim when they hit the bottom when they've never seen water before. If we're lucky, we may see one get hit.
Enough with the animal metaphors. I feel like I'm watching the Discovery Channel....ooooh! Almost got one!
One day, a member of this pack will be slower than the rest, and get dragged down by a Such is life in the ghetto.
Now. Notice how a female in the back of the bus yelled, "Come on driver, it's HOT in here!" ?
And now that man said "yeah, and I can see the fleas!"
YUCK. I'm done now.
This is A) offering encouragement to the driver to go faster--this never works---and B) an example of a crazy smelly person who thinks they're being intelligent.
Really too much information there.
That's what she said.
Wait a second......
That's actually what she said. The woman behind him said that.
Hold up...can you hear me??!!
That concludes our tour! Upon exiting the bus, the attendant will give you souvenir; a limited edition poster that was found on several street corners in block handwriting last week. We hope you enjoyed your "Trip to the Ghetto"!
And yes. All of this did happen at one time or another...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tour Bus to the Ghetto (part 1)

Hello! Welcome to CapTours! Get it? Get it?! CapTOURS? Hahahah....Anyway....
I get it.
*Ahem* With CapTours, the tour's the thing--we show you the capital like you've never seen it before!
...That's why I'm here. I'd like to take the "Rose Garden Tour"....with no bees please. sorry. The Govenator used the center quadrant of roses for target practice, so it's closed for replanting. We do have an opening in another tour though.
Which one?
It's called "Down and Dirty: Trip to the Ghetto".
I don't know about that....
It's one of our most popular tours! I'll even throw in the "Premier" package :D
(suspicious) So what's in this "premier package"
Oh, I wouldn't want to spoil it--and look! There's your tour bus now! Hop on!
Who are all those other people and why are they getting on? I thought this was personalized...
You'll see....
*takes out headphones and plugs them into wall jack for tour info*
*Static* Welcome to your personalized trip to the ghetto! The people you see around you are part of your premier experience--to provide you with full sensory adventure as you progress. As we approach our first stop, you're probably thinking "this looks like a normal city. where's the ghetto I paid for?"
I'm not sure I what what I paid for.
Fear not! We start downtown, and then approach our destination through varying degrees of the landscape. Entering now is a local creature; a young man of African decent with his pants nearly around his ankles. This is done by manufacturers in return for a payoff from women who have a hard time catching men unless movement can be impeded. A little known fact: Police Departments also subsidize the "low and baggy" clothing trend as it makes criminals easier to catch.
The sculpting job on that hair makes his head look like a badly trimmed topiary.
He's going to sit in front of you so you can examine the hair more closely.
uuh...thank you?
If he trimmed it himself, he would appear to be right-handed, as the left side of his 'do looks more misshapen. Now, turn your attention to the woman getting on now.
Why? Hey! she passed a perfectly good empty seat and now she's trying to sit down on my briefcase! Geeze lady, I'm moving it already...
She just violated the "empty buss seat rule". Notice how she passes whole empty seat units. There are several rules like this. If you'll crack on earphone, you'll now get to hear another one in the process of being broken.
There are now 2 girls sitting behind stars, they're trying to sing! Egad, my ears!
Head phones are acceptable, but some folk take a private experience and turn it into a public one. While "I Love the Way You Lie" is one such example, sometimes songs can be explicit. When this happens, make sure you've packed your duct tape to perform damage control. The couple boarding the bus now do it the right way, albeit peculiarly.
I've never seen a bosom that covered someone's entire torso before. Jus' sayin'
Notice that the female of this species seems to be in charge. She yanks on his arm as he tries to sit in a seat not of her liking.
Why is he carrying a radio--especially the size of a philandering businessman's briefcase?
You may notice he is carrying a radio. Watch as he sits with his wife and--in the middle of her diatribe--plugs his headphones into it and proceeds to ignore her with his monolithic Walkman. She either does not appear to notice, or this is a regular occurrence, because she blathers on without a hitch.
To be continued in hopefully a few hours....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Supermarket of Loooooove

Chatting with school chums the other day (chums!! that word is so Hardy Boys) about a theory my professor went over in Psychology, and they wanted me to post it.
And you, gentle reader must know from reading other such entries one truism:
Rarely does a simple theory stay so after I get my hands on it.
So without ado, here is The Supermarket Theory
We all subconciously know the laws of attraction. We assign other people with quotients; the quotient is obtained by combining the number of attractiveness with any percieved flaws. A woman who is very attractive might have bad body odor, so her quotient, which might have been an 8, drops to a 6 (or lower depending on how bad the smell is lol). The quotient is also known as the price.
So there you are. In the market for love. Where do you go?
You go to the supermarket of love, down on 3rd and K.
Inside the supermarket, there are aisles. Above each of the aisles is a number, one through ten all in order. You evaluate yourself. "I'm a 7...7.5" you think. That means you have 7 points to spend.
Do you start in Aisle 1?
Of course not!
You want to shoot for the 7 aisle, but you may take a glance down the 5/6 aisle. Sometimes items are miss-marked or miss-filed, and you might find a real deal. But remember, you want the most you can get for your money.
So lets give those aisles a quick glance and move on to what's in our price range.
Hmmm..the shelves are pretty bare here. Not only that, but there are other shoppers looking for the same thing we are. Slim pickings though. Lets take a peek at Aisle 8. There might be a discount.
Note: Discounts can occur if the man (or woman) is feeling especially vulnerable, on a rebound, or drunk
You don't see anything right away, and, since you're over here, you might as well do a little window shopping.
There's really no hope of being able to afford something in the 9/10 aisles. They're just too expensive for our purse except with the most stringent discount, which can be scary. Liiiike....he's a stunner in the looks department, and he's really a nice guy....who was just released from prison playing baseball with robins. (caveat emptor, people)
Then why are we going, you ask? We're going to do a little window shopping...admire some very nice products. (and maybe meet a nice plastic surgeon *snoink*)
But back to business.
We go back to Aisle 7 to see if it's been restocked yet. It was...but another shopper has already laid claim. Drat.
We now have two choices. We can shop down, and hope that we don't have to go too low to find something in the range of acceptability. Or we can put ourselves on display and hope that someone else is shopping down. And remember, the longer we are in the supermarket, the greater our considered eligibility pool grows.
Let's say that you've found what you are looking for. WAIT. Don't buy yet. Carry him/her around for a few minutes and decide if you want to keep them. If you don't, put them back. (There are dangers to this, however. These will be addressed in the "notes" section at the end.)
When you've finally made your decision, head to the checkout stand. The only question you have now is when the bagger asks "gold, white gold, or platinum?" (If you leave without checking out, that's shoplifting)
Ta Da!
If you're always taking items, but you can never make up your mind, you'll get a reputation for a permanent browser; like one of those people antique shop owners hate because they come in, mess everything up, and leave without buying.
There ARE people who may want/need to return their initial choice. Most stores will accept returns. Just don't do it too often. A) You'll get that reputation and B) People may think that you were the one returned, instead of doing the returning.
If you're in the store too long because you're picky or you can't find anything in your price range, you A) Begin to become one with the furnishings and trust me; you don't go to the produce section to buy bins that can hold apples, you go to buy apples. B) Get that harrowed, desperate look, and that drops you points. In fact, you may end up in the:
Bargain racks are places where you need to be careful. Here is where you find the most heavily discounted items, as well as those near their expiration date. These can serve their uses though. Maybe you don't need it for very long, so the fact that it's close to the expiration date doesn't mean anything. Or....maybe there's one that is visually appealing and was discounted for an internal thing. Carrying around this item may make someone else think you have more points than you do. Just don't carry them around too long, because their points will have a negative effect on yours.
And finally, be wary of the "pre-prepared." They have a higher likelihood of germs.
If you find yourself confused by any of my metaphors let me know :P

Monday, August 16, 2010

Color Coordination

Some things in life are set in stone. Not only are they the way they SHOULD be...that is the way they ARE. A citrus/lime (w/e) soda comes in a clear or green bottle, with similar labeling. Generic cola is red. When you invert colors and add lots of white, you are selling a diet drink.
Tonic water is yellow, ginger ale is green, and, no matter what they call it (*ahem* seltzer water), blue is club soda.
So when I bought a package of green gum by Eclipse last week, naturally I expected it to be spearmint.
And when you want spearmint, when you need spearmint, when you expect spearmint. it is horribly cruel and unfair to realize you're chewing on a square of lime/melon gum.
I almost cried in public.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bus Drama

I really didn't think it would take this long to have some juicy bus stories to share with y'all. I suppose patience is a virtue (along with having over 4 hours of potential witnessing opportunities every day). It was bound to happen!
And so, brought to you by virtue of my combined monthly bus pass sponsored by the Redgirl household....
I give you two short productions.
We'll start with "Black Market on a Blue Bus," then progress onward to "Accidental Encounters of the Worst Kind"
Sit back and pull off those headphones for a little people watching (and listening!) expedition!
Black Market on a Blue Bus
Jim skulked in his blue fuzzy bus bench with the scooped out plastic seat. The places you have to go for shady business, he thought. But he was here. And already 20 minutes had passed without anyone approaching him. Jim checked to make sure the signal was in place: left shirt tail untucked with a small red dot sticker on it. It was also possible that with the bus so close to empty, it would look strange if anyone sat next to him. (y'all know how that works...I'll have to do a post on the unwritten rules of bus riding later...)
There was a stop ahead that looked pretty full. Maybe things would look up.
He glanced over as the students and commuters filed on. One woman flashing her single day bus pass caught his eye, and he glanced down to his shirt tail. Her eyes followed his down to the signal, and she gave a small smile sat down next to him. She set her pass on her knee, fully visible to Jim. It was in good condition with a slight crease on the upper right hand corner.
She kept her voice low, "Interested?"
Jim opened his mouth, but unfortunately forgot to use his inside voice. Or he would have forgotten if he had had an inside voice to use at all. "How much?" He asked at a level approximating a low yell.
"I paid six, but I'll give it to you for three." she said. "Don't have no use for it now. I'd still have time to buy 3 bottles of wine at the 99 Cent Store."
"Three dollars it is!" Jim near shouted and the exchange was completed. The woman had traded her creased pass for 3 slightly damp and crumpled, but still spend-able tokens of US currency.
Almost immediately, the bus slammed to a halt at the bus stop on Broadway and Riverside.
"Ma'am, your stop!" the portly bus driver with a mustache not appropriate for her gender.
"No it's not..." the woman said.
The bus driver sighed. "You used a day pass as your fare. You no longer retain that pass. Therefore, you are no longer entitled to be riding the bus." She decided to give a little advice to prevent future faux pas' that she would have to get involved in. "If you had just waited to sell it until your stop, you would have been better off. As it is, there could be an inspector aboard this bus right now. I couldn't help but hear the little transaction right under my nose."
The woman gave Jim a dirty look and made him trade back.
Jim was hurt; damn that woman and her infernal timing!
Accidental Encounters of the Worst Kind
Redgirl was riding her bus, rockin' out to a little nostalgic Creed when she heard raised voices from behind her shortly after a stop. It sounded interesting, so she figured the music could wait. Casually, she reached up and popped her right ear bud out to let in the unsavory sounds of the city and the delectable sounds of an argument she was not involved with in.
After listening for a few expletive-filled minutes, she pieced together a bit of back story.
A young man had been riding the bus. A young woman, with rather dubious looking tattoos got on the bus and made her way to the back. Upon recognizing the young man, she sat next to him, hemming him in the corner, to have it out.
To have what out?
The truth. And her feelings. With a few printable words sprinkled in between.
We'll call them Molly and Charles.
Molly: You! I fed you! I let you sleep in my f***ing house! I treated you like a G**d***ed brother! And you f***ing STOLE from me??!! You go into my f***ing wallet and you f***ing STEAL a hundred dollars??!!
Charles: I--
Molly: No! F*** you! You f***ing listen to ME! I (repeat previous) and you run out with my f***ing money! You better hope that Trevor still lets you come 'round, 'cause if he don't, you're going to be the loneliest f***er around. I hope you're lonely! I hope you're the loneliest g**d*** motherf***er ever you piece of s***.
Charles: Look, I'm sorry...I've got forty dollars right here--
Molly: I don't want your f***ing money you piece of s***! I don't want anything until you walk up to my door with a hundred dollars in your hands and you give it ALL back. I (repeat line one...again)
(sound of a slap)
Charles: I'm trying to give you the money...take the forty dollars--
Molly: Keep your f***in' money away from me. F*** you!
This continued for some time. Redgirl, previously having hoped that she would learn NEW words, morosely discovered that some people, when they get hold of one or two words in the base vernacular, don't seek to expand their vocabulary arsenals. What a sad fact, she pondered.
It was all I could do not to write Molly's "you're"s as "your"s. Because, you see, that's how she probably thought them in her mind :P
Ah, mass transportation stories! How I do love thee....and thee and thee...
I know you've all got them too! Comment with your worst (or weirdest) encounter for general (and specific) amusement! (mine)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letter to Whomever Invented the English Language

Dear Sir or Ma'am,
I'd like to start by saying I appreciate the hard work you did in standardizing the written word. I know that it can't have been easy..with all those sound-alike words and look-alike words that sound differently. You even invented names for those contingencies! What I have to say to you may seem acerbic, but please understand that only now (being in school for court reporting) am I beginning to have an issue with some of your spelling choices.
I present (have) read and (to) read. There is a perfectly serviceable word out there spelled "reed" that is a noun. Think of it! There would be no confusion!
Or how you decided that having only one combination to make the "f" sound. I do admit that ph together make an aesthetically pleasing combination, but I can't help but feel that were were trying to achieve something dastardly. Was it your plan when little
Victor is trying to spell the word "knife" that the teacher says "look it up!" that he spends the next 3 hours combing the "n" section?
But those are not the biggest flaws.
As a court reporting student, I care not for the spellings. It is the sounds that concern me. If one (such as yourself) is to decide that "loose" should be spelled such, and "lose" so, it seems natural to follow this law to its conclusion. However, you failed to do this. You failed MISERABLY. (and yes, I just threw caps at you)
Why would you think, then, that "choose" and "chose" should be spelled the way you did? And these are not isolated examples. It might have been forgivable had that been the case, but no. We have "noose" and "nose" as well.
Even more so do you lose points on the "auw" words. "Caught" and "naught," but then "thought," "bought," and "cough." Really, what were you smoking?
There are a lot of other things as well, but to go into them now would be nit picking.
I just hope that next time, you take more care.
Thank you,
Note to readers: What annoys YOU most about the English language? Also, I am now mostly posting from a server that blocks blogger (grrr) so if you've noticed a lack of commenting on my part, that's why.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Which I Observe My Commute

Living north of Marysville and schooling in Sacto means I have a commute of roughly 2 hours each way on the bus. After a while, I have begun to notice:
Number of auto related businesses: 35
Number just selling parts: 14
Number just selling tires: 17
Number selling Firestone tires (snicker): 1
Number of random murals: 8
Number that might possibly actually be classy graffiti: 1
Graveyards/Cemeteries: 5
Tombstone (ahem) "Monument" outlets: 1
Number of Monument outlets located across the street from prospective customers: 1
Chase banks: 6
Number of business that I honestly thought were single-location stores in my last town of residence and apparently are not: 7
Liquor stores: 10
Adult book stores: 4
Percentage of houses with fences: 81%
Percentage of those (with fences) that *must* be protecting diamond mines because they could withstand a tank while the house inside collapses from the mere ground tremors from its approach: 97.3
(Hey, if I lived on Broadway and Stockton, I'd not only have fence, but a moat filled with starving piranhas)
Number of restaurants with the word "dragon" in the title: 6
Number of restaurants that probably have "dragon" in the title but I can't read them because of the language: 17
Number of DMV employees that ride my morning bus: 6
Number of said employees that asked me (on observance of smashing demeanor?...Briefcase?) if I worked for DMV as well: 2
Number of SMUD billboards featuring a girl that looks like she doesn't have a financial care the world (let alone over 15 years old) giving us financial advice: 3
Average sizes (too big) of the males' clothing: +3
Average sizes (too small) of the females' clothing: -2
3-2=+1 <--- Average ill-fitting-ness of clothing
Number of women this week I have mistaken for men longer than 15 minutes: 5
Number of suspected meth users spotted today: 1
Color of her lipstick: indescribable
Points of difference on the aroma scale between the Regional Transit bus and the commuter bus: 7.5
Time spent on said buses in relation to aroma score received: None Proportional
Overall conclusion of the bus situation if this persists: Not Good
Number of hair pins lost sometime today: 10
Number of them that are probably still in my hair but I just can't find them: 5
Number of people that I spied on in their cars while looking down from my bus so they couldn't see me: A Lot
Number of questionable activities seen: 1
Number of cars I looked in after I saw that which I wish I had not seen: 0
Cups of coffee consumed today: Too Many
Hours of sleep attained: Not Enough
For those of you who haven't picked it up, I have quit my job at the Happy Hotel so that I can go to school full-time as a court reporting student. This is not to say there won't be hotel stories...I have notes that have yet to be written up. The observations flavored with snark are all the same, only the venue has changed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Under New Management

I love this sign...
So many implications!
When you see this, the subtext screams:
Under NEW management. Not that there was anything wrong with the old management...well...yes there was. Because you see, the fact that there is now NEW management will make all the difference. Like....people--such as yourselves--might actually try visiting again.
Like you, Mrs. Cole. We truly regret that the last manager, Mr Swinksy, made the "loser" sign at you because he thought you were blind and couldn't see what he was doing. You do have to admit, though, those big black wrap-arounds are a little extreme for the average sun-sensitive elderly woman. I suppose the universal gesture for craziness when you tried to use a coupon didn't help. But yeah, we're really sorry about that.
Mr. Frost, we here at the "Happy Shack" want to extend an apology--from all of us--about your last visit. Ouda (our chef) sometimes mixes up cuisines from here and where he moved from. He had a late night and lost his bearings a bit. In other countries, locusts are considered quite the delicacy, and cooking them can be tricky. Maybe it was too rare? hadn't ordered locust. Hmm. Well, we CAN tell you that Ouda doesn't work here anymore. Yup. We've replaced him with his twin brother Oudal. Luckily, Oudal knows the menu very well, as well as fitting his brother's chef's gear. (savings that we pass on to you, the customer!)
We understand that during those renovations we had (you know, the ones where we didn't really do anything except paint a few walls to give it the feeling of newness) there were a few issues. As a guest, you have the right to expect that the bathrooms will work, that the doors and locks are fully functioning. Under the old management, we had a few problems, namely patrons being locked in the bathrooms overnight. We know that paint fumes can be strong, and, well, coupled with that medical condition....And it wasn't that Management ignored your screams! Oh no! Our bathroom doors are very solid, we're proud to say. In fact, that very bathroom doubles as a bomb shelter, purely for the safety of patrons such as yourself in case of that contingency!
We do acknowledge that Mr. Swinsky's discovery of you after you dug through the drywall and were found collapsed in the lobby scrabbling at the front door for escape and subsequent  words of "get out you filthy bum!"  and assistance with his foot to help you out the door was an overreaction.
We're only telling you this so you know how much BETTER we're going to be!
We're not just better...we're AWESOME now! Our staff is so friendly, our NEW management so competent that a permanent metaphysical RAINBOW spans our roof! Our food tastes of heaven! Our drinks, ambrosia! Renovated interior! Better quality cutlery! Improved atmosphere!
So yeah. You should totally stop by.....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

100th Post: Caffeine!!

Greetings Friends!!

As the astute among you might have noticed (or inferred from my clever and subtle title), this is my hundredth blog post since I started back in January 2009. I could spend this entire post waxing on how much I've learned, what exactly it is that I have learned, and the profound impact on my life.

But you're not here to read about that.

And honestly, I don't think I could suppress giggles and feeling of hoity-toityness to get it done.

Instead, I will highlight that which has been my close companion this year and a half.

And what has often brought you late night blog posts.

So without further ado:


Saturday nights/Sunday mornings are usually pretty rough. Often, I get out of work pretty late, and then have to turn around and get up for church which starts at nine. Lately, it's hit or miss on if I make it.

This last weekend, I decided enough was enough. Was I going to church or wasn't I?

I was.

For those of you who say "If you ask God for the strength to stay awake, it will be granted. You have no excuse!" I are correct. I have done that. But that is not to say that He does not also provide tools for us to use if we are willing to pay the price.

The night drug on further than I would have liked and when I finally bunked down and looked at the clock, I would have to be up in less that 2 hours. More like an hour and 15 minutes. What was the point of sleep now?

Kick in the overdrive.

Since my coffee pot died, I've been having a morning cup of espresso instead of my morning pot. I really do like lingering over several cups, but there is something about getting your entire pot's worth in one cup.

And it is very revitalizing.
So. Take a look at this:

It may look like an innocent hot chocolate container given to me by a friend at Christmas, but it also doubles nicely as a water-tight espresso thermos. You see, I knew I could drink all I wanted before church, but I really need that extra jolt between the two sessions.

So I made one batch, and poured it off to cool. I waited a bit, then thought I needed to get the second batch done. Anyone who has used an espresso machine knows that you leave them to cool off because of the pressure and remnants of steam.

I gave it what I thought was sufficient time, grabbed a potholder and attempted to loosen the lid. It was on tight. So I figured I would get the coffee part out of the way. I reached up and loosened that little coffee thingy.


Coffee exploded everywhere. All over me, the counter, and the machine.


Of course that meant that the top would come off because there wasn't a head of steam anymore. My thumb only got a little red from the steam the dried out the coffee grounds instantly as it flung them around like powder. The time I spent cleaning up THAT mess would have been ample time to allow it to cool down. Ah well.

By the time I was done, I had my cup and a half of espresso (equivalent to roughly 5 shots) and had the other 3 encapsulated in my little container. I jumped on my bike and twiddled off to church.

When the break came, I went back into the narthex. Time to down my elixir of life. But somehow, it didn't seem right to just bust it out and knock it back in the light of day. It felt too much like shooting up drugs during the family dinner at the table. With the Pastor over. (not that I would know what that feels like...honestly!)

So I went into the bathroom. And felt even more illicit when I knocked it back. I could feel the caffeine hit my blood...wheee!
I put my twitchy hands under the faucet to further the illusion that I had been in the stall for the intended purpose.

I had slight problems paying attention. My stomach felt a little funny. My eyes were very shifty and my writing was not the elegant scrawl it normally is. (I normally have very nice handwriting). But no matter, I would go home and have a nap before work at 3.

Except that after church, some good friends wanted to go out to lunch to catch up. Couldn't pass that one up, could I?

My stomach is increasingly feeling queasy, but I'm allotting that to the amount of espresso. I end up getting a soup for lunch...not something I normally do...and feel increasingly ill.

I go home and fall into bed for a half hour, hoping I will feel better when I get up.

Nu-uh. Doesn't happen. In fact,when I wake up at 2:30, I feel worse. I call in to work...there's no one who could cover for me because Graygirl and Greengirl were doing an overlap. Graygirl has left, but Greengirl doesn't mind staying for another hour or so. I go back to sleep.

When I finally get to work and have a chance to just sit, I recognize the signs of food poisoning. (I've had to go to the doctor once for a bad case)

So all that angst about it being ME that had brought that horrible condition on myself through over consumption of caffeine, it was something else all along. So it really serves me right for breaking the unspoken rule about what you're allowed to expect from your body.

I would like to think I've learned my lesson.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No One is There. And We Do Not Have Your Stuff.

Our nicest suite, which I will henceforth dub "The Bridal Suite" was the center of all *sorts* of excitement yesterday.

Our journey begins with the reservation. The guest staying the night was upgraded at no charge per Lindsay (GM). Let's call this guest Maggie. problem. Our online reservations had kind of overextended us on our Single King rooms. So right and left, I was upgrading my favorite guests to various suites. Looks like Lindsay had beaten me to it.


I just get on shift at 3 when the phone rings. It's a woman with child/kitchen noises in the background wanting Room 888 (Bridal Suite, for our current purposes).

"One moment please." I mean, she could have checked in early.

Hour and half later:


Her: Room 888 please.

Me: One moment.

I start to think. Did she check in? Hmmm....

She hadn't.


Hour later:


Her: Room 888 please.

Me: I can transfer you, but I thought I'd let you know that they haven't checked in yet.

Her: What??!! They were supposed to be there hours ago!

Me: Who exactly are you trying to reach?

Her: The Huxleys.

Me: (searches) The Huxleys aren't staying in that room....In fact, I have no record of Huxleys staying here currently or coming in at any time.

Her: (goes through the classic stages of mourning, K├╝bler-Ross style. let's start with denial!) That can't be true!

Me: I'm afraid it is. (I go through first names too...)

Her: (loses it. of course we made the mistake. she says belligerently...) This IS the Snappy Hotel is it not??!!

(anyone?? that's right. Anger....grrrr)

Me: Ahh, no, this is the Happy Hotel.

Her: The Happy Hotel. That can't be right. (we argue back and forth for a few minutes. though how that will change the name of our location...oh yeah. that would be bargaining rearing its ugly head)

Her: This is horrible! They were supposed to be here! How am I going to find them? What am I to doooooo?? (ok, I emphasized a tad, but that's what the caterwauling felt like. starring: depression)

Her: Do you have any Snappy Hotels in the area? Do you know their numbers? Can you get those for me? (finally. acceptance. except now she won't stop trying to get me to help her. I don't know where a Snappy Hotel is. dang it.)

Finally, she hangs up


The joys of Room 888 are not over, however.

A woman comes into my lobby. She's stayed here last week. She left a pair of glasses in the bedside drawer she says.

"I'll call housekeeping to check their archives" I say.

But this will not do.

Ms. Botheru says "is anyone in the room now?"

Me: Someone is in it for tonight...

Ms. Botheru: But are they in the room now?

Waaait...are you really asking what I think you're asking?

Ms. Botheru: Because they probably missed them when they were cleaning. Do they even check the drawers? I could just run up and check-"

Ah. You are. Very well then. War!!

Me: I'm very sorry, but the room is occupied. (remember, I've been getting calls, and at this point I assume the room is occupied) I can't let you enter.

And why you would think that would be OK is beyond me.

I call housekeeping and they check their lost and found. Nothing. I check the room and *shock* no one was in it yet! I asked Ms. Botheru where exactly she is so sure she left it, then send housekeeping up.


Ms Botheru: Are you sure I couldn't just...

Me: Yes.

(she leaves)


And guess who it was?

It was Maggie. Cancelling her first night in Room 888

Enough already! Troublesome room....

Lost: One set of Huxleys and eyeglasses