27 September 2008

Grumpy Boy!!!

An anecdote from last night:

My first impressions were: Nice mother daughter (elderly mom/older daughter) combo plus one (fucking asshole) husband (of the daughter.). Don't know about wine...apparently believe they know something about wine...whoops! We've got a grumpy boy! 

Man (quivering with passive aggressive anger): The wine's a little warm, could you chill it please?"
Me (grinning with glee): Of course I can! In fact, nothing would make me happier than to get the wine to the right temperature for you!!!!!!!!!!

At this point things could have gone either way. I figured that it was going to be a completely forgettable first table, and returned with the now chilled wine. I filled every one's glass, like you do, while the man glares at me and says to mother-in-law, "I am so sorry you had to wait for the wine to chill. That's really acceptable, I am so sorry."  I'm pretty sure I was supposed to get down on my knees at this point and massage his toes whilst apologising for the 5 degree problem, so I instead took their order, oddly thrilled at the sheer douche-baggery that I was witnessing. 

What happens next was my favorite part of my favorite night of the week:
Shane approached the table, lifted the bottle of wine to refill our favorite grumpy boy's glass. Grumpy boy scrunched his face up in his best Grinch impression and slammed his pointer finger down on the copper table top. "Put. The. Wine Bottle. RIGHT HERE." Shane, totally blindsided by this confusing rage, walked away and congratulated me on table 12. "You've got a winner!" 

Poor Jack. He didn't get the memo either. While I was bringing them their plates, Jack also attempted to fill the still-empty wine glass, because we are servers and our only fucking job is to make sure peoples glasses are full. 

"I can fill my own god damned wine glass!" He shrieked.
"Oh, my god! I'm sorry..."Jack backed away, also stun-gunned. The man balled his hands into fists and cursed down at his plate, 100% furious.
My smile widened to a freakish grin. "Well sir! Is something... the matter?"
"I can poor my own god damned wine!"
"Goodness! Well this is a restaurant that you're eating in, and the staff is here to provide you with service!"
"Well it's a service I don't want!"
"That's great news! I'll tell you what- I'm just going to go around and tell the whole staff!!!! about your little preference here, and no one will bother/speak to you ever again!"

And I will tell you what- we didn't. That was the end of "service" and "verbal communication". Shane went ahead and gave me permission not to say thank you at the end of the meal, and so none of us did. But you know what- I'm ready. I'm ready, and I want to say it here.
Thank you so much for setting the bar so low- right there at 5 pm. The rest of my night was a dream, by comparison. 

23 September 2008

Weasel in the backseat

Today I hiked Multnomah Falls (or something). Highlights include: the drama of moss and rocks, posing Jacky on moss and rocks for photos, and when I found a fuzzy Caterpillar. The downsides include: My knees (how fucking old am I? One hundred? Forty?), poor snack planning, and when Hiro fell in the water because I was trying to convince him to pose on rocks and moss.

I haven't worked in four days and have escaped any thoughts of waiting on tables. I haven't woken up in a panic because the person in the other room needs a glass of iced tea (But Jenny, there isn't anyone in there! But I just have to get them the tea and then I can go back to sleep, OK?) but I also haven't had any staff meals. I did eat at PokPok tonight and had a meal so fine me thinks... well whatever, it was delicious, and as usual I had the fish sauce wangs and the glass noodles with pork belly, prawns and whisky. Dang! Try me staff meal! Try and be like that!

I watched Casino last night. Whats with me and all the violent movies? I really loved this one since I am half Italian ((pure Dalfanso blood courses through my weak, clotted veins) in my mind) and I love the lights...the jewels... the Sharon. What a psycho bitch! Seriously, tying a kid up as a babysitting method really does have some obvious genius behind it. I would try it. Plus her hair, before it reaches the 80's, is fantastic and admirable. 

I have a ladies luncheon tomorrow with my most ladylike friend, Sam. We are going to Castagna as it fits Sam's only requirement: a place that has white wine. And it fits my requirement for being a mere couple of blocks from my palace. Nighty night. 

PS: A good quote from my grandmother: "Being paid a thousand dollars for a job is a good thing. Someone once offered me a thousand dollars...." (she trails into a suspicious, smily silence)

20 September 2008

The Joy of Cooking

One of my favorite cooks, Jessika, is now working Thursday lunch- my one lunch shift of the week! I am very critical of staff meal after lunch because I am usually very hungry and pissed off. Jessika knows this and she really aims to please (perhaps only to avoid certain death). On Thursday, she made a giant salad with sweet corn and this creamy tarragon lemon dressing. I know there was a lot of other stuff in there, but that combo stole my HEART. 
I wish I could say I could remember any specific tales from this past week, but it is mostly a fog of "I just had a sandy clam. What do you plan on doing about that?" and "This menu is weird. Is there anything good  to eat?"

 Meanwhile, Biscuit Land had a special celeb speckled week including two visits made by one Jack White. What the hell? We had no spotting's. I did see Burn After Reading though, and it was just like waiting on John Malkovich all over again. If only we could talk about padron peppers one more time... which, by the way, I bought at the farmers market today, along with chanterelles, tiny potatoes, sweet onions, and carrots. I'm making stew!

I did my weekly bake-off for Pine State yesterday and this time around I made Georgia On My Mind peach and blackberry crisp with pecan maple crispies on top. Jack White had better come back and get some! It was a rich batch- I had copious berries and butter on my hands and over-did it with both. But who's complaining? Not my co-workers because I made one for them too. Briggs whipped up some sweet cream and we had dessert for dinner. Yesssssssss.

The final news I will force on you today is that I got my haircut. I love it, I love my new hairdresser, and I love my new hairspray. Hairspray! What an embarassing item to own! It smells like "grandpa" according to everyone who smells my scalp- which is a lot of people. Kevin narrowed it down to "aqua velva"- which his grandpa used to wear. I told him to get ready to take his grandpa to bed, and he grimaced. At least my hair looks good.

16 September 2008


Well, the leg situation has worsened. Any time the vicodin wears off I realize that its a throbbing hot mess. So, I'm just not letting that happen! Instead I'm popping pills and relaxing. The real pain is in my heart, for now I am missing the chocolate dinner. Boooo! BOOOOOO!!

15 September 2008

Trailer living

Last night was great. We went to Porque No? for dinner, the new one on Hawthorne. The space is big and beautiful but seems like they might still be ironing things out a bit. The food was good but not quite up to par with the Mississippi location. Then we went to Plan B for a beer, and on to the weird new bowling ally by our house. It's fancy and over staffed, but sunday nights are industry nights so it's like two bucks to bowl.
We ended up at my dads and sat around the fire drinking bourbon and talking about... who knows what. Then my dad remembered that he had a bunch of my old stuff in the trailer and so we ended up looking at old photos and journals from my childhood. It was funny and mostly embarrasing. 

Did I mention that I watched American Psycho yesterday? Someone brought it up at work because I was saying how much Jacky looks like Willem Defoe, and they figured I meant in American Psycho. I really meant when he played the rapist in Wild at Heart, but whatever. It reminded me to rewatch American Psycho, which I had only seen some of long ago. That movie has so many funny restaurant scenes! "Swordfish meatloaf with lemongrass broth..." 
"Do we have reservations somewhere? I'm not hungry, but I would feel better if we had reservations."
I thought the obsessive narration throughout the film was so interesting. His fixation on restaurants, business cards and skin care is so fucked up! I was almost equally as horrified by the vapid world that he lived in as I was by all the woman-hating violence the movie depicts. The violence was really awful, and much less interesting than the rest of the film. Christian Bale is very talented, but I have to wonder what it must mean for an actor to accept such a role. I wont go to far into this, but I think that to accept that role is to further that narrative. You could say that he is just acting, but there is already too much of that kind of media out there to justify creating any more of it. So, what I'm saying is, Batman is a pig. Just kidding guys! But seriously...

Today was the last river trip of the summer (probably.) We got some friends together and went tubing down the sandy river. I was thrown from my tube during a rough patch and banged the shit out of my leg. The bumps and bruises are spectacular. Its oddly relieving when you get hurt to get some visible results. It's proof or something- see how much that sucked???. This experience could have been a lot more painful judging by the bumps I have on my shin. It looks like someone put a chinook salmon under my skin and then punched me till I bruised. Other members of the floating team got bumped on their bums- I'm happy to say my ass is bruise free and very happy to be out of the cold water. Maybe I really am ready for fall.

Back to work tomorrow night. I am working our chocolate dinner- what could be better? Going to the chocolate dinner. Every course is wrought with chocolate. Sigh.

14 September 2008


Yesterday was the final day of my shitty work week, which was appropriately followed by no staff meal. To make up for such pain I went to my favorite bar, the Victory, with Sam. Check out what she had for dinner- a P.B.L.T.. That's a pork belly, lettuce and tomato sandwich if you couldn't guess. And if you couldn't guess, please- get on track. I had amontillado sherry for dinner, and boy was it tasty as always. I could use one of those sandwiches right now, but I am having tacos for dinner instead which probably won't be as good. 

I had a piece of really good pie for lunch today made by my Aunt Leslie. It was my grandmother's recipe, and it is a peach with sour cream and brown sugar custard pie. Give me a break, it was delicious! We were at our friends house in Milwaukee for a small pool party and sat under some banana trees while we ate the pie. My cousin Pearl, who is both 6 and naughty, sat on my lap and made fun of me whenever she got out of the pool, so that was nice too. 

Kevin and the dogs and I are going to sleep over at my dads new house tonight, but in one of his crazy trailers. Jacky is especially excited. 

12 September 2008

Good Year for the Roses

Seriously, as soon as Jack gets back from his honeymoon, he is DEAD. Work is really starting to get to me. Even if we had milkshakes and waffles for staff meal I would still probably feel this way. This is an example of why I am full of resentment and hatred: 

A conversation between myself and that mother daughter combo I previously mentioned
Me: Can I get you two anything started?
Me: Looks like you need more time. I'll be back in a few minutes.
Mother: No no, hang on. Um.............................................................................Hmmm...................
Me: Would your little girl like some pasta with cheese?
Mother: Oh she eats fine dining all the time. It's just... usually we can find things we like! What I really want is a little duck breast with a port reduction, but as a small plate.
Me: Interesting!
Mother: Or this gnocchi- I would really like it with brown butter and sage.
Me: Well it seems like you might think you are in a different restaurant right now, so I'm going to give you a few minutes to adjust and read the menu our chef has prepared. 

It goes on, ending with me feeling like other people might want to hear this story and writing it on my blog. It's not funny, or all that unusual, it just INFURIATES me. I really shouldn't include the daughter in the story because she was just a kid that will grow up to be a horrible bitch but just hasn't reached her potential yet. I would like to believe that "No! Maybe she will be sweet as pie to rebel against her mom!" but I read her future and that's not it. 

Back to about a week ago before I was tired and mean:
We went and saw the Chapman swifts! We packed a picnic of cheese, figs, olives and wine, and my dad brought his own eggplant caponata. Shane brought some pot, which we smoked inches behind my dads back. If only I had known in high school how easy it could have been! He did catch on later and found it to be very funny. Anyway- this all added up to quite an evening.  There are so many tiny swifts flying around in these beautiful formations, and then in the end they all swirl down into a big chimney like it is sucking them in. A falcon flew in during this and picked off one of the birds- it caught it mid flight! Everyone was cheering for the falcon getting a meal, but I was a little off my rocker and found this to be a small tragedy. 

The weather is beautiful this week. My dad and I went to Sauvie Island and picked a 5 gallon bucket of farm flowers which are now all over my house. We took the doggies to the beach where they went totally wild, and we had grilled corn and sandwiches at Kruger farms. 

That was before. Now I am in the depths of this horrible work week and I must return now to work lunch. Cross your fingers that I make or find a million dollars today.

10 September 2008

double the fun!

I have to work every day this week and also a double today. If you know me even a little bit you know that I try to avoid working at all costs. What I'm saying is; this is unheard of! I have been doing A LOT of whining about this crazy schedule and damning all people who go on "honeymoons" and "vacations". 
I don't have time to tell all the tales of the past few days but here are the highlights to look forward to:
Mother-daughter bitch duos!
Duck in the closet!

yours truly.

07 September 2008


Read this, RIGHT NOW!

06 September 2008


Tonight sucked for reasons I can't really remember. I'm always so appalled by certain things that happen like "I can't believe that person just asked me to re-polish their wine glass- what an ASSHOLE!!!!!!". And in my mind, it's just like that- 6 exclaimation marks or maybe even more. They aren't asking for much, but I really hate them for it. It's all about the timing. Sometimes I can understand why a person might want to save the cork I just threw away, or why they want their perfectly cooked lamb brought up to medium, but not on nights like tonight. So what was it that pissed me off tonight? Everything, and for no specific reason. And there was no staff meal. Ok, I'm done.

Weird Plate

I find that most of the meals I eat at work are piles of strange foods. Last night for example: bean-zucchini pile plus arugula-beet pile plus shrimp salad on weird crackers pile plus tiny salt cod fritters. These things are scraps from other moments in time, like the moment when the cooks are plating up actual meals. Whenever I work private events, there are always small strange piles left over. This is how I came by "dinner" last night. But here is the thing- we are very excited about these and spread the word amongst the other servers very quickly. Here's how it went last night:

me: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED in the closet.
shane: what are we talking?
me: small balls, shrimpies, and tuna beans!
shane: oh shit!
holly: the small balls are so much better.
me: tell me about it.

And then we all creep into the employee changing room/mop closet and stuff our faces like rabid animals for 30 seconds. Minutes later, back on the floor with clean hands and smiling faces, we are acting so casual we don't even believe we could have ever been so savage. But we are. Behind closed doors, we are hungry, crazy monsters just looking for some leftovers.

04 September 2008


I don't normally work on tuesday nights, so when my section was empty and I wandered into the kitchen to look for a snack I was SHOCKED to see malted cherry ribs and a bowl of polenta. Do they always get so pampered on tuesdays? Was this a mean joke? No, DP just decided to make up for the utterly bizarre lunch offering of spatzle with olives, cheese, meat and a cup of salt by making us something special. What I admired about this staff meal was the obvious effort involved- this took planning in advance. It showed some respect for both us and the food being prepared. We'll see how today goes, although I know who's behind the staff meal wheel and this guy seems to HATE US. If we have crostini with ham sauce again, I'm slashing some bike tires.

PS Don't you think I should get that dog pictured at the top???

02 September 2008


The day after the pie-off I was feeling so happy that I made another pie. This one would have been a real winner too- if only I had known the wonder that is the peach pie! This one, again with the lard/butter crust, was peach basil. Rather than making another herbal simple syrup, I just put in fresh basil from my porch garden. It was delightful and the inside was exactly the right consistency. The pie-off really made me rethink my relaxed attitude and has sent me into a world of very serious baking. No more laughter or games, that much is obvious. 

Last night we went out for some whatevs Cuban food and then to see Encounters at the End of the World- the Werner Herzog film about Antarctica. The audience we were watching the movie with was so dumb! They were laughing at all the wrong parts, including when the confused penguin wanders off in the wrong direction, towards the mountains and certain death. I can't think of anything more sad, unless maybe if it was Jacky. 
The movie is weird, and makes me not want to go to the south pole. However, it did make me realize that scientists are the real crazy people in this world. Forget artists and restaurant people- anyone who chooses to put on a waterproof snow suit and spend three months locked in a tent with a bunch of other nerds, occasionally SWIMMING AROUND UNDER THE ICE WHERE CREEPIES LIVE, is nuts. They are totally nuts! Another group of crazies have decided to spend their time crawling around on the side of frozen volcanos trying to avoid "lava bombs" and also frost bite. Confusing and conflicting temperature dangers! And all for the love of information. I'll stick to pie.