Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin I Carved for The Bar

Slow Going at The Bar

I may have to start calling The Restaurant "The Bar". A had told me we were going to have a menu of small portions of hot and cold appetizers ranging in price from $4-$8. But it turns out there is no menu. We are offering complimentary appetizers each evening.

Business has been slower than I had hoped. A couple nights, I have waited on A and he has tipped me quite generously, but other than that, it has been fewer customers and longer hours than I expected.

My new co-worker, K, is getting frustrated too. I worry he will quit. I am starting to question a couple things about him, though. This is his first food and beverage job. In general, he has been a fast learner and has been doing great. He made a mistake Friday night though that cracked me up. Our red wine glasses are really big. I would guess they could hold 16 ounces of liquid, but we only pour about 5 ounces per serving. This gives the customer room to swirl and smell their wine, as red wine drinkers oft do. I did teach K the proper portion to serve and where to pour up to on the glass. He must have forgotten though. On Friday night, I went to check on some customers and came back to the bar, where there was a customer sitting with a glass of wine, filled all the way to the top. I guess you have to see it to picture how funny it looked. What is worse, is this customer had already had four martinis and was switching to a glass of wine before he left because he was feeling tipsy. After K poured half the bottle in the glass, the customer stared at it and took a couple of drinks before leaving.

I didn't work Saturday because I was in Champaign, at a marching band competition. I am wondering what I missed because someone posted on Peoria.com saying the upstairs bartender was a jerk. I hope that it was just this person's misperception, but I can see how if you aren't happy with your job, it may seem like you are being a jerk. So I hope that business picks up and K can act happy and I hope people don't think that we are stuck up jerks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Doobie Dobbie Doo

My Grandma’s dog, Doobie, has been hanging in there, but he is not doing well. He has congestive heart failure and kidney failure and allergies and is mostly blind and deaf. He follows my grandma wherever she goes and sleeps with her on her bed. He often pees in her bedroom. But she absolutely loves this dog and dotes on him constantly. I know that any little stress exacerbates her dementia and confusion, and I am often torn between wishing he would die (to end his suffering and end the problem off his disgusting urine making the air unbreathable) and dreading his death and the grief and trauma it may cause Grandma.

Mostly I try not to think about it and deal with Doobie as little as possible. I let him in and out constantly when I am home, but other than that Grandma takes care of him, feeds him and brushes him and gives him his medicine. I keep her medicine upstairs because it had occurred to me it would be possible for her to get the medicine confused. Doobie’s meds have animal pictures on the caps. He gets them morning and night and she gives them to him and marks them off on a chart we have made to keep track of whether or not she has given them. It has been working pretty well.

Sunday morning, I went down to check on her and found her shaking and crying. “I just did something awful”! She had accidentally taken Doobie’s medicine. I called poison control right away and they assured her that what she had taken was harmless to her, but it was pretty upsetting for both of us. She doesn’t want to give up any more independence and wants to feel useful. All day Sunday she kept saying she was worthless. I kept reiterating that I really hope making a silly mistake doesn’t deem one worthless, or that means she has a very worthless granddaughter.

About a month ago, he had to have some routine blood work done and I asked if he could see the vet because he had been scratching and biting a spot on his back. He had a staph infection and they gave us antibiotics. When the antibiotics ran out, he was still itching so I called and they gave him some medicine for the itching. That medicine doesn’t seem to be helping either and now he has a bloody spot on his back and is scratching all over. He looks miserable. Does he have some antibiotic resistant staph? Has my grandma been taking his antibiotics herself? So it is back to the vet today.

My husband and I have joked about just replacing Doobie with a younger lhasa apso. Would my grandma even notice? Just putting Doobie out of his misery and getting a dog that looks just like him that doesn’t pee on the carpet and need all this extra care. I could never be the one to initiate that conversation at the vet though. I cried for days when I had to euthanize my son’s fish several years ago. But I secretly wish that when I take Doobie in today, that they tell us that he would be better off humanely euthanized and then I would get my grandma another dog. It seems the route of least suffering for us all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A New Leaf for the Old Restuarant?

I’ve been working few hours at the Strip Club, and enjoying my freedom to spend time with the family and friends. Within the last month, I had heard that A had a new co-owner for The Restaurant. J and his partner, B, have been at The Club, having meetings or sitting at the bar. No one introduced them to me; I made my own introduction. I told them I used to work at The Restaurant and asked what they were doing with the place. I was told they were making a lot of changes including a new staff. OK. I thought, “Good, I wouldn’t want to work there anyway.”

So what did I say on Wednesday, when A called me down to the office, to ask me to work at the new place, starting FRIDAY? “Oh, yes, sure, that sounds exciting!” I don’t know what my problem is. I can’t say no to that man. They want me to work at the upstairs bar, which is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, for now.

I have to admit, it is a little alluring, a little exciting. I love the upstairs area. There is a fireplace, a gorgeous view of the river, small quiet areas with couches and coffee tables. It is so romantic and cozy. I got a little busy Friday night. Saturday night was pretty slow. I mostly stood around, getting to know my new co-worker, K (who has never worked in a bar or restaurant before, ever).

I hope the new place does great. I think it is an awesome bar and has a lot of potential. But I’ve thought that before about The Restaurant. And no matter how busy or wonderful it is, I don’t think any bar can compare with the money making potential of working at the Strip Club. I am going to give it a try for awhile. My husband isn’t thrilled with my new hours. My grandma isn’t adjusting well either. She won’t go to sleep until I am home. I am going to see how it goes for a month and promise myself to make a decision about whether I enjoy it and find it valuable at that time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"I'll Love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as your living, my baby you'll be"- Robert Munsch

My older son, Big E, is a sophomore. He has a challenging course load. He is in the honors track for English, Algebra, Chemistry, and Political Science. He is also in marching band, which fills his schedule in the fall. He struggled a lot with honors English last year, and I really questioned whether he should continue at honors level this year. He really wanted to and we agreed to let him. I feel frustrated with his mediocre grades but try not to be a perfectionist. What really bothers me though, is he does not like to read.

I read to him in the womb. When he was born, we chose Atticus for his middle name, after Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. His earliest “toys” were board books, Pat the Bunny, Goodnight Moon, Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs and the whole Sandra Boyton collection. When he was a toddler, we spent hours with Dr. Seuss, Arthur, Little Bear and Thomas the Tank Engine. When he was four, he started reading to us. It started with Where the Wild Things Are, which he may have memorized, but soon he was reading and loved to do so.

All through grade school we read as a family every night. Junie B. Jones, Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket. Of course we included your childhood classics, Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, Bridge to Tarabithia, etc. We finally decided both kids were ready to experience the book that I loved from first reading in 8th grade, the book that shaped my morals and impassioned my love of justice and longing to be a loving parent, To Kill A Mockingbird. The boys liked it. We watched the movie. A little while later we read it again.

Somewhere along the line our bedtime readings gave way to bedtime audio books, listened to in separate bedrooms. Somewhere along the line, audio books fell to T.V. And somewhere, Big E lost the joy of reading. He now says he hates reading. Ouch. How can this be? I realize it may be a phase. I realize it may be a personality trait or just something we differ about. He is becoming his own person with his likes and dislikes that are usually quite different than mine. It’s hard to let them grow up. He has a C- in English right now. He got 2 Cs and an F on the last 3 quizzes. I implored him to read and study for the final test and he got a C. What book are they reading? To Kill A Mockingbird! I don’t understand what he could possibly not understand about the book at this point. I think I need to read it again and ask myself, “What would Atticus do?”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It has been almost a year that I have been blogging. I still feel like I don't really know what I'm doing and don't have much focus. Maybe I need to rename and refocus. I'll think about it the next couple weeks leading up to my one year anniversary. But I do want to make a commitment to write more frequently. My goal is to write at least once a week.

I am not working very much and don't really have much to write about work. The Strip Club is really pretty boring. I haven't had any more problems with the dancer, D. I don't have any exciting tales to tell or any entertaining stipper stories.

I imagine I will write more about the kids, the pets, the grandma. Maybe occasionally peppered with tidbits from work. That's pretty proportional to my life actually.