70s Music

At work we have about a dozen music channels to choose from and 70s music is the only stuff that doesn’t make me want to ram ice picks in my ears.  Certainly there are songs that make me laugh and wonder when we stopped being such sentimental pansies (Seasons in the Sun, Billy Don’t be a Hero, One Tin Soldier) and there are songs that make me stop working and shake my bootie (Boogie Man, Dancing Queen, That’s The Way).  I remember some of the songs from when I was a kid living in southern California (Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, Brandy, Crocodile Rock) and some from when I was a teenager living in Wyoming (Smoke on the Water, Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room, Smoke from a Distant Fire), but most of all, I remember listening to an all 70s radio station out of Denver the year I divorced.

While attending college part time, I also worked for Pepsi and had the University route.  I drove from building to building in a white panel van filling the machines, as well as supplying three small out of town accounts.  This gave me ample time to listen to the radio.  I remember sitting in traffic one day and Nine Inch Nails rasped, “I want to f*&k you like an animal…I want to feel you from the inside.”   At 10 o’clock in the morning.  The very absurdity of it made me start giggling.  Then they said it again and I howled with laughter.  I know the people around me thought I was insane.  I decided there had to be something better on the radio.

Doesn’t he look like a ton of fun?

I can’t remember the call letters of the station, but I never changed it after that day.  This guy was the early morning host and a woman named Jill took over at around 10.  Later they teamed up for the early morning show and they were hilarious without being vulgar.  For some reason people think they have to be shocking to be funny, but vulgar is vulgar and it gets old really fast.

One morning while getting ready for work, I heard a cat meow.  Animals in student housing were a big no-no, as in immediate eviction.  I looked around for the cat, wondering if it somehow snuck in.  I decided it was in someone else’s apartment and wasn’t my problem.  I heard it again on the way to work.  I looked in the back seat and when I got to work I checked my clothes to see if I had a cat in my pants leg the way some people get a dryer sheet stuck there.  No cat.  I filled the van and started for the school.


There it was again.  Meow.  WTF?!

Then the morning hosts started playing phone conversations of people calling in detailing their desperate measures at finding the kitty.  Oh, good one.

These were the kinds of tricks they played and the type of humour they had.  They played happy music, made me laugh and in some respects became my friends.  It was a scary time for me; newly divorced, single mom of two, trying to work and go to school and be a good mom.  It was also a time of triumph because I didn’t cave in and go back to my ex-husband, I finished school, and I was a good mom.  I had to give up the job at Pepsi because, well, shit happens.  That’s another story for another time.  I struggled and I survived, and if I had to pick a time that I regard as The Best Time of My Life, this three year period would be it.

So every time I tune in to the 70s station at work, I’m actually taking myself back to some of the best days of my life and it just doesn’t get any better than that.


Try the Soup

As soon as cooler weather set in, Crissy started making homemade soup.  Because she throws stuff together, adds water and simmers until everything tastes good, very few of the soups have recognizable names.  Sure we have beef noodle, or French onion, or chicken vegetable, but for the most part, we have to make up a name and provide a description.  Therefore, I was delighted the night we had tomato bisque soup. 

I thought everyone knew “bisque” was just a fancy way of saying “cream of” and I figured the name would be self explanatory.  Again, I underestimated the stupidity of the general public.

“I’ll have the (whatthefuckever).”

“Would you like soup OR salad.”  If you don’t emphasize OR, people expect a super salad and get pissed when they get a side salad.

“What is the soup?”

“Tomato bisque.”

“Ohhh…that sounds good.  Explain it to me.”

“Uh…it’s creamy tomato soup.”

“Yes, but what about the bisques?  What are they like?”

This is where I fail as a server.  What I want to say (ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED?) pounds at the front of my head until I can’t come up with a polite response.  I’d slap my kids for being that stupid, but this woman sat staring at me, semi-drooling at the prospect of a “bisque”, patiently waiting for me to describe some new delight.

“Uh…bisque means creamy.  It’s a creamy tomato soup.”

“Yes, I got that.  But the bisques.  Are they like biscuits or crackers or baked bread?”

This is where I lose my shit most of the time.  When a customer is being ridiculously dumb, yet they act as if I’m the stupidhead, it becomes nearly impossible for me not to tell them off.  In the end they can tell from the look on my face that I want to remove them from the gene pool and then they are mad at me.

“No!  There isn’t anything in the soup other than tomatoes and cream.  Bisque is a fancy word used to mean “creamy”.  If you were in a diner, it would be Cream of Tomato soup, but since you are in a fine dining restaurant, we say “bisque”.”

“So there aren’t any biscuits?”


“Well, I’ll have the salad.”


Tons of fun

Darc’s Falcon asked, “You’ll need to fill us in on the “ton of fun” you had during your friend’s visit.  Like, did she give the roommate any grief?  LOL  :)”

What Michele and I did a lot of was work.  Outside work in the sun.  It feels good to get stuff done, things cleaned, junk hauled off, so the fun time is not filled with regret or guilt about what we should be doing.

One day (before the broken foot) I had to install a window.  I told MDR for days that he needed to help me get the window in the hole and I planned to nail his foot to the floor to keep him from running off to the bar.

So Michele raked the yard while MDR and I installed the window.  I could tell after the first screw he put in that he was doing it wrong.  I was twitching thinking about the work I’d have to redo and he was twitching thinking about the beer he was missing out on.  In the sun.  On the hot side of the house.  I looked around for a hammer before I told him I could handle it on my own.  He scorched the dead prairie grass in his haste to get in his Jeep and get the hell away.

“WHERE IS HE GOING?!”  I heard Michele screech from the back yard.

“I told him to go away.”


“He was annoying me.  He was jonesing for a beer and he was doing it wrong.”

“He was putting new screws in old holes.  How can that be wrong?”

“It just was.”

Michele has the opinion I should work MDR like a rented mule until he either moves out or sobers up.  I have the opinion that he should pay rent and stay out from under my feet.

What do you think?

“It Doesn’t Matter”

First, some bitching:

When I work a day shift, I’m the server, cashier, hostess, buser, and bartender.  Yep, I’m pretty much by myself.  Pro Rodeo helps out of we are busy, but for the most part I’m on my own.  So, when seating people I try to keep them in the front dining room…it’s closer to the kitchen, bar, and register, the tables are easier to clean, and I can spend less time running around and more time actually serving customers.  When I greet people at the door I ask if they would like the front or the back dining room.  Four out of five people say, “It doesn’t matter” and then immediately change their mind when I put the menus on a front table. 


Keep smiling. I'm going to slug you in the gut before long.

“It doesn’t matter” means just that…you don’t care where you sit as long as you sit.  “It doesn’t matter” doesn’t mean you don’t care as long as I can read your mind and give you the table you want.  I’M NOT A MIND READER and this shit makes me want to punch people in the stomach as I walk by (ala Steve Martin to John Candy in ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’).

Now a story from when I was gone.

Michele left last week and I’m lonely.  We had tons of fun in the 2 1/2 months she was here. 

Why was she here an extra 2 weeks? 

Because she broke her foot cleaning my yard. 

People who know me accused me of:  pushing her down, stomping on her foot, or running her over.  Those are vile people. 

The truth is, I was on my deck picking a sticker out of my sock when I heard a thump.  I looked over and Michele was on the ground with her foot in a trash can of grass clippings and dog shit while Sienna stood over her with a ‘WTF?’ look on her face.  My first thought was that Sienna (who outweighs Michele by 10 pounds) knocked her down.  My second thought was, “Kwitcherbitchin’.  You can’t break your foot by toppling over.”  I was wrong on both. 

Sad thing is, we were sober.  It would have been much funnier if we were drunk.


I’m So Tired

I’ve been away so long WordPress changed the format on my home page, and I don’t think I like it.  I guess I’ll get over it, but I can’t help but feel it’s their little way of punishing me for being a negligent blogger.

Today I made a doggie dooley (I’m sure that name is trademarked or something so here’s a link to keep from getting sued.  Or something.)  I hope it works because the piles of dog shit really add up fast.  I’ve considered bagging it and selling it to people with enemies, but I might get it all back in flaming little bags.  I’m also hoping my dogs are smart enough to stay out of if ‘cuz Lord knows they weren’t smart enough to use the pet door I installed.  It took them several days to get the hang of it and that was more than a little disappointing.

I also hauled 8 five gallon buckets of pea gravel from my van to my back yard.  Why was the gravel in 5 gallon buckets?  Uh…the highway department has two big piles of gravel in town that they “forgot” about.  One of the highway department guys said I could have some.  Define “some”.  The area by my back steps turns into the biggest, slickest mud pit every time it rains/snows/thaws/melts, and more often than I care to think about I end up on my knees/ass/elbows in the mud.  I’m hoping to get enough gravel to make a nice walkway before I get caught and have to go to jail.

Michele’s still here and we’re still having fun.  She won the boot that was sponsored by the Spaghetti Western (by artist Berna Ost).  I admired that boot all summer and never bought a ticket.  Ah…such is life.

I have some stories to tell and some catching up to do, but there’s work to be done around my house and I need to concentrate on that while I still have help.

Major Suckage

Winter in Wyoming

It is eight degrees below zero right now (For those of you on the metric system, that means it’s freaking cold) and we have 6 inches of fresh snow.  I’ve been home for about 2 hours and the wood stove is finally overtaking the chill enough that my teeth have stopped chattering.  I hate winter.

Cold weather means fewer people are willing to eat out.  This sucks because not only is the restaurant making very little money, but all the locals who think a $2 tip on a $40 ticket is cause for celebration are driving me into the poorhouse.  If it wasn’t so cold out I’d chase them down in the parking lot and tell them what cheap fucks they are.  For the last week, I’ve made enough each night to put gas in my van so I can get back to work.  I have GOT to find a second job.

Freezing temperatures means I can’t leave my house to visit my kids in Laramie for Thanksgiving.  That’s right, I’m stuck here alone and broke for the holiday.  It’s swell to be me.  I’m sure I’ll end up hanging out with some coworkers on Turkey Day, so it won’t be as bad as it seems right now, but I feel like wallowing in self pity for some sympathy.

One nice thing, a friend spent the night last night and it was fun having someone to hang out with.  I made turkey pesto pasta and we watched movies until the sun came up.  I never have company and it upset Maggie so much that she crapped on the floor and puked all over the kitchen.  She puked on my bed again today just to show me how unhappy she was with the whole deal.  Stupid dog, you make me look bad.

What I Did on My Time Off

My friend Michele, from The Bronx, got here in September and we had more fun than should be allowed.

We spent a day in Yellowstone Park.  Even though I live a stone’s throw from the Park, it had been years since I visited.  The two highlights of our trip were seeing a grizzly bear in a meadow, and a buffalo in a standoff with a tiny sports car.

Norris Geyser Basin

The Last Soldiers

Mammoth Hot Springs is happy to see me!

Mammoth Hot Springs

I have a billion pictures of Mammoth Hot Springs because Michele wanted to walk to the top.  I had to keep stopping in order to keep my lungs in my chest so I used the photo op excuse.  Imagine my surprise when we got to the top and found a freaking parking lot full of cars.  Obviously, we missed the turn off for the Scenic Area.  Doh!

Every morning started with food at Michele’s house.  She made swiss mushroom Quiche, breakfast burritos, strawberry pancakes, apple pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, and plain old eggs and pepper bacon.  I would show up with one eye open and there would be good coffee and food in front of me.  Talk about being spoiled.

Dinners were just as good:  pork fajitas, Mexican meatloaf, angel hair pasta with fresh made pesto, fried green tomatoes, homemade salsa, and chicken burritos.  All that great food should have made me fatter, but I actually lost weight.  Maybe because Michele is something of a slave driver…

My yard was a disaster.  I had a huge trash pile in my yard in addition to mountains of dog crap and clutter.  It took three days, but we cleaned all of it up and hauled it away to the Dumpster.  I’m basically lazy and Michele lit a fire under me.  My yard looks so nice now.

She was also with me during the Great Washing Machine Breakdown.  My washer started making a funny noise one night, then it stopped working all together.  I thought I could fix it, but I couldn’t.  I was one second away from having a complete mental breakdown and setting my house on fire.  I bought a refurbished washer and Michele helped me move the old one out and put the new one in before I jumped off the bridge.  

On my nights off, we went to our friend Lee’s place and played Dance, Dance Revolution, pool, pinball and Guitar Hero.  We spent a few days at the lake playing with the dogs and picking up driftwood for the fire pit.  Some days we sat in the lawn chairs at her house and watched the planes fly by.  Those were the relaxing days when the stress melted away.  

Michele also helped me put together the quilt I made for Boy Cook Jarrod.  The quilt top is easy, putting it together with the batting and the backing is a bitch.  We used Lee’s pool table to lay it out and pin it and really, every quilter should have a pool table.  The quilt started out as a joke.  I had lots of Halloween fabric and I went with a basic pattern I could complete quickly.  The end result was fabulous and I really hated to give it away.

Boy Cook Jarrod's Happy Halloween

I also finished Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and I have to say, I was very impressed with the series.  It has to be one of the best things I’ve watched on TV.

Michele left for home on Tuesday and I’ve been very sad since.  The people I work with were tired of hearing how much fun we had and what good food I ate, and now they are tired of me whining about her leaving.  She won’t be back for 10 months, so they better get used to the complaining.


I am alive.

I’m very healthy.

I’m happy.

Other than a washing machine that nearly made me suicidal, there haven’t been any catastrophes.

I have been busy making an awesome Halloween quilt for one of the boy cooks.  I will post some pictures.

I have been spending time with friends.

I have laughed myself silly nearly every day for the past two weeks.

I have been cleaning my yard and getting ready for winter.

I will be back with stories from the restaurant, but for now I can’t sit still at the computer long enough to compose anything.  I’m living a lot of life right now and having more fun than should be allowed.


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