2nd Place

I entered the story below in the Blogapolloza contest on Waiters Today and I won 2nd place…$250.  Many thanks for voting for me!  I’m using the money to buy a Kindle and get my son’s dog, Arlo, neutered.  I’m excited about the Kindle, Arlo isn’t so excited about the ball chopping.

Anyway…just as the people in my story behaved badly when faced with a special gift, some of the members of Waiters Today showed their ridiculous sides when offered cash prizes.  One guy cheated by hiring a company to get Facebook “likes” for him…I’m not sure what that means, but he had around 50 page views and 1000 “likes”.  So he was disqualified.  He defended himself by saying he was “driven” to win.  I didn’t realize “driven” was synonymous with “cheater”.  Then the insults and threats started flying and before you could say “Sore Loser” all the trolls revealed themselves. 

It’s nice to know that wherever you go on the internet, people stay the same when they are protected by anonymity. 

The Cowboy Christmas Party

Published on Waiters Today on 5/3/12

Christmas parties are a drag.  In my experience, a Christmas party is two or three hours trapped at a table trying to make polite conversation with people I avoid at work .  I’ve attended parties where my fervent wish was to choke on a chicken bone so EMS could rescue me from the misery of forced cheer. 

I viewed the Cowboy Christmas Party with the same anxiety and dread.  I knew there was going to be a dinner, an open bar, a gift exchange and some games.  Mind you, the only games I wanted to play with the majority of my coworkers were the kinds of games cats play with mice.  Right before they eat them. 

It turned out, the atmosphere of the Cowboy Christmas Party was like a typical bar.  People mingled, ate and drank while the jukebox played.  The after dinner games were fun with some really great and occasionally expensive prizes.  It was the best Christmas party I’d ever been to. 

 Then came the gift steal.

We were told to bring a $10 gift.  I brought a rooster tea kettle.  Someone else brought a cooler full of little bottles of booze.  There were some homemade items.  One guy brought some fish balls made from halibut he caught in Alaska.  There was also a bunch of crap.

The object of the gift steal is everyone draws a number.  The person with Number 1 picks the first gift and unwraps it.  The person with Number 2 can either take that gift or pick a different one.  Number 3 can take either of the first gifts or choose an unwrapped one.  And so on.

This is an average game when people are sober.  By the time we got around to the gift steal, 98% of the participants were trashed, and the 7 drunkest people wanted three things:  the fish balls, the cooler of booze (hello?!  open bar) and the rooster tea kettle.  The gift steal was over within 15 minutes for all the sober and slightly drunk people.  The fight for the tea kettle, the fish balls and the cooler of booze entertained the rest of us for more than an hour.

Alliances formed.

Secret deals were made.

It’s possible firstborn children were offered up.

Grumpy wanted the fish balls.

Dopey wanted the fish balls (but only because she didn’t want anyone else to have them).

Doc wanted the rooster tea kettle.

Bashful, Doc’s wife, wanted to use the tea kettle to bargain for the fish balls to give to Grumpy. (Doc didn’t care if Grumpy got the fish balls.  He wanted the rooster tea kettle.)

Happy wanted the cooler of booze.  (Strange because she brought it.  If she didn’t want to give it away, why bring it?)

Sleepy & Sneezy (a brother and sister team) wanted the cooler of booze.

Let the games begin!

Grumpy got the fish balls. 

Dopey stole them. 

Grumpy started crying. 

Bashful stole them from Dopey. 

Dopey took the cooler of booze. 

Sleepy took the tea kettle. 

Doc stole the fish balls. 

Bashful started crying. 

Happy stole the cooler of booze. 

Dopey took the fish balls. 

Grumpy and Bashful held each other and cried while they struggled to work out their next move. 

Happy took the fish balls.

Snow White passed out and fell off her bar stool. 

Doc got the tea kettle and hid it in the restaurant. 

Sleepy stole the cooler of booze, and he and Sneezy rejoiced at their win. 

Grumpy took the fish balls. 

Happy, red faced and angry, stole the cooler of booze and left Sleepy & Sneezy with a kid’s night light.

In the stunned silence of the game finally ending, the man who brought the fish balls yelled to the defeated brother and sister team, “Way to go!  You’ll be lucky to get a hand job with that.”

It was an absurd hour; crying over fish balls, fighting for a cooler of booze while at an open bar, drunks trying to plot and plan, but it was just the train wreck I needed.  Years later I still laugh until my sides ache thinking about the tears and recriminations of the gift steal.

Welcome to the Cowboy Bar:  It’s not a party until somebody cries.

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Help Me Win

I entered a contest at Waiter’s Today and I need your help to win.  All you have to do is click here to read my latest post entitled The Cowboy Christmas Party.  You will have to “like” the post by clicking the Facebook icon at the bottom of the post or maybe comment on it.  So I guess that’s two or three things.  Yeah, there might be some work involved to help me win money.

Will I share that money?

HAHAHAHAHA!

No.

Sweaters!

I crocheted two sweaters, one for me and one for my daughter.

Mine is orange and hangs down to about mid thigh.  It’s for cool summer nights, but it works for warm spring days as well.  I have to redo the arms because they are about 4 inches longer than I like, but I’m quite proud of my first attempt.  The total cost for this gem was $5 in yarn and about 2 weeks of work.

It's ORANGE!

My second attempt is a short sweater for my daughter.  It has a ruffle trim and ruffles on the sleeves.  She’s more girlie than I am so ruffles are okay for her.  The total cost for this sweater was $12 in yarn and 10 days of work.  I used more expensive yarn for hers since I knew the pattern worked.

Now it’s time to go through my patterns and find my next project…

Update

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.

Cheers!

In My Free Time

When I’m off work, it’s not all keening and rocking in the corner or punching holes in walls.  I do have hobbies.

9 Patch

This was my first full sized quilt.  It’s not perfect, but it’s seen lots of use.

I used high loft batting (wrong) and very inexpensive fabric for this, but it’s held up well.

Rail Fence

This is the exact opposite of the 9 Patch.  I have more than $200 in fabric in this quilt.  It was a gift from me to me, since I rarely treat myself to luxuries.

I used the felt type of batting for this and it’s super warm without being heavy. 

The Gay Pride

I raised my children to be politically correct.  Fat lot of good it did me.

One night my daughter called me and asked what I was doing.  I said I was working on a quilt. 

She said, “You’re gay.  You should be out with your friends.”

I said, “But it’s a really cool quilt.  I designed it myself.  It’s a rainbow.”

She said, “Queers like rainbows.”

Again, very inexpensive fabric, but lots of fun.

Pixi’s Unfinished Chenille

I started this quilt before my friend’s daughter Pixi was born.  She’s nearly 3 years old now.  Wow.

The chenille is created by stacking several layers of flannel fabric, sewing diagonally, then cutting between the stitches.  Sounds easy?  It’s a pain in the ass.  I’ve made 3 of these for babies.

Chloe’s Fairies

This is for Pixi’s older sister, Chloe.  I can’t give Chloe something without gifting Pixi so this sits in my daughter’s abandoned room waiting for an owner.

Zach’s Gigantic Scarf

I knitted a baby blanket for one of my coworkers and Boy Cook Zach begged me to make one for him.  I don’t know what I did (counted for myself, I guess), but the “blanket” is more like a scarf for a fat person.  Hope he likes keeping half of his body warm.

Cody’s Baby Blanket

I knitted this for Eye Candy Cody’s baby girl, but he quit before I finished it.  I’ve dragged it to work with me for weeks, and I’ve just about given up on him stopping in to pick it up.  The next baby girl born has a present waiting for her.

Boy Cook Jarrod’s Happy Halloween

This kind of started as a joke and a way to use up my supply of Halloween fabric.  The finished quilt was unbelievably awesome.

I’ve made many other quilts and afghans for friends and family as gifts.  It keeps me occupied, mentally healthy and it makes me happy knowing my people are warm.