A retired Vegas Showgirl walks into a bar…….


New Girl

I remembered ‘her’ because trainer Holly remarked about the ‘new girl’ after her first training day.  “She said she served and bartended before, but I swear she doesn’t even know how to carry a plate”.  After her fifth day in training, Holly had little encouragement for the rest of us, “Today is her last day.  She’s supposed to begin service tomorrow and she still doesn’t know how to close a check”.
‘New Girl’ wasn’t allowed to start on the floor as a server.  Instead she was given the position of food runner (deliver food to tables and nothing else) until matters improved.
I was in the middle of dinner shift with half a voice when my vocal chords decided to give up on me completely in a coughing fit of tears.  I surpressed the epiglottal seizure long enough to run walk to the nearest exit. 
My manager saw me dart out the door and came after me, “Are you okay?”
I whispered as I blotted my streaming mascara, “I feel fine, I just can’t talk.  Do you want me to food run?”
Sending a non-contagious body home on a busy night was not a managerial option.  Thus, I became a  food runner and ‘new girl’ food runner became a food server. 
New girl was thrown into the mix.  I kept an eye on her as I much as I could and treated her tables like they were still mine.
She placed incorrect food orders and forgot which tables she were hers and didn’t know if a baybreeze was rum or vodka based, and tried to process a credit card we did not accept.   I got refills and to-go boxes, and accepted dessert orders and dropped checks and cleared empty plates and all other server duties that don’t require vocal chords. 
Despite all her mistakes, never once did she panic.
Hopefully in a few more weeks she will learn her drink recipes and memorize the menu and master the computer and second guess the guest.  If she can do all of that, she will be a very good server for one main reason: calm within the storm cannot be trained.

Check Engine Light Revisited

It came back on.  The boys at the shop gave me a free diagnostic check and cleared it. 


They said drive around, probably a loose gas cap.

“If it comes back on in he next few days we will delve a bit deeper.” 

I drove home.

     As I pulled away from the shop, the familiar yellow indicator glared at me.

The delving of the deeper produced a neccessary valve replacement.

     The replaced valve price I was quoted was a quarter of what I expected to pay.

           So here is my question: Last time I visited “Italy Service” I cooked for the boys ‘Fresco Timpano’.

When I returned to shop with Fresco Timpano in hand,  I discovered they have no microwave, no refrigerator, no formal table nor chairs nor dining utensils.  It is an open garage.  

There is no heating system so warm dishes will get cold. Sandwiches are an easy answer but I would love something a tad more satisfying and hearty in winter. Something they can go back and enjoy during the day.  What can I bring to offer as a thank you?

The Many Uses of Spoons

I caught an episode of Dr. Phil.  In videotaped clip, I watched his guest walk into the kitchen stand next to the refrigerator and ask her maid for a yogurt.  She then turned, left the kitchen for seating underneath a patio umbrella and waited for her requested yogurt.  The maid stopped what she was doing, walked to the very refrigerator the hungry woman previously stood next to, and then removed the requested snack.  The next clip showed the maid with plated yogurt serving the woman on the patio.  Dr. Phil stopped videotape and looked to his guest for an answer.  The guest excused her behavior by saying she feels cared for when others do things for her.  Dr. Phil noted the woman could have consumed the yogurt in the time it took her to find the maid, request the snack and wait for the snack.  I flipped channels soon after.

As I surfed, I chuckled and I mused.  I wondered how long it would take someone like the maid in the Dr. Phil clip, to crack and rebel in her own way.  I wondered, when the cameras had stopped filming, if the maid might have abused her abuser.  I wondered what sweaty orifice the maid might have ran the spoon over before lovingly plating it aside the yogurt.   Did the maid have time to open a few blouse buttons and wedge the silver utensil into her arm pit.  Or did she possibly use the spoon to dig a little lint out of her belly button.  If the maid wore slip on shoes she might have been able to shove the spoon in between support hose and bunion-ed toes just before offering it up to her boss: the boss that is so insecure and empty she needs to misuse her position over others to proclaim her own worthiness in the world.

My guests at the brewhouse are not at all desperate or empty.  I look forward to seeing them and talking to them and doing things for them.   I’m very happy about that.  Also, I don’t wear slip on shoes.

Farewell 2010

I thank you for many things, but I am also happy to see you make your timely exit.  You were slightly better than 2009,  which was slightly better than 2008. 
I’m going nowhere but up.
I am ready to receive you, 2011.  I am reminded that you are not only another fresh year but another fresh decade. 
Where was I ten years ago? 
Where can I make myself be 10 years from now?
How I love that word.  

Cleaning House

My internet reception has been patchy-at-best since Monday (I was lucky my Betty White entry made it into cyberspace at all).  So while waiting for the world wide web air waves to unknot, I’ve been prepping for the new year; by cleaning.
Dusting and vacuuming were yesterday, kitchen stove and refrigerator were on today’s list, tomorrow I need to finish the bathrooms and spot steam clean the carpets, then I can greet 2011 with a clear conscience and even clearer glass surfaces.
I will be working New Year’s Eve at the brewhouse, though I’m sure I will be clocked out and long gone before the clock strikes midnight.  I will find a quick glass of champagne somewhere.  Then I need to turn around quickly to open the restaurant on New Year’s Day.  No big Las Vegas style parties for me this year, I’ve had my share in the past.  I’m looking forward to a quiet evening.  My morning routine however, will be one a bit more structured.
Years ago I came across this article in the “Las Vegas Weekly” and I kept it.  For many years it was taped to my refrigerator.  Every year I turn to my yellowed, tattered copy to follow the same New Year’s Day ritual.  It is, as author “Mystic Mona’ says, “A harmless way to create the best energy possible where you live.”
I’m not saying it helps, but it doesn’t hurt, and it is nice to start the year with a clean house and something as simple as fresh ice cubes.
Adapted from “Revving Up the New Year”: first published by The Las Vegas Weekly, 2003
Purchase some dried sage or cedar burning stick. Some sandalwood incense or mini-charcoal burning disks (seen at Whole Foods or a health food store) would work just as well. When you awaken on New Year’s Day, take a salt bath; one cup of salt (epsom or sea salt) in a tub of water. Feel free to enjoy your morning cup of coffee while soaking, I do. After five minutes of immersion, lather up and finish your normal grooming routine. Dry off with a freshly laundered towel and put on freshly laundered clothes.

 Light the sage stick or cedar or charcoal disks according to directions and wait until it begins to smoke. Begin at the front door. Make a counterclockwise circle around the perimeter with the smoking sage/cedar. Then going to the left (counterclockwise) walk the entire perimeter of the house. (If the house is two stories or more, begin at the front door and then go up and circle each next floor counterclockwise. If there is a floor above and below, do the main level first then the next level up, then below).

 This counterclockwise circle releases negative energy.

 Once back at the front door, still keeping the sage and cedar smoking, make a clockwise circle of the perimeter of the front door, then turn to the right (clockwise) and follow the perimeter of your home again. When you’re back at the front door, do one more clockwise circle at the door. The clockwise circle seals in positive energy.

 Then go to the kitchen and pour enough water on the smoking sage, incense etc, to make certain it isn’t a fire hazard before you throw it away.  Open every window in your house and turn on the fans.  That will clear out the smoke and bring fresh air into your house.

 While the house is airing out, go to the freezer and dump out all the ice into the sink.  We’ll even begin the New Year with new ice!

 Close all windows and turn off the fans.  Your house is now ready for a new beginning.  Have the following four items at the same meal before midnight. 

     Black-eyed peas: This is for luck in the New Year.

     Some sort of leafy vegetable: spinach, collards or even lettuce.  This is for money in the New Year.

     Meat from an animal that doesn’t scratch backwards (chickens and turkeys scratch backward).  Pork is a good choice.  This is so you don’t go hungry in the New Year.

     Something sweet: cookies, candy, cake or ice cream- so you can count on sweet surprises in the New Year.

To My East Coast Friends and Family

Betty White delivered this monolouge in an old episode of The Mary Tyler Moore show.  I thought it was appropriate.

“Snow always inspires such awe in me.  Just consider one single snowflake alone.

So delicate,

so fragile,

so etheral.

And yet, let a billion of them come together through the majestic force of nature,

they can screw up a whole city.”

Joyeux Noel!

Eat well, be merry! 


I love you my family and friends. 



and headbutt.