Wednesday, January 28, 2004

My credit report score is better than I'd expected. Everyone should go out an get one (or rather, three...since what you want is the combination of the three different major companies...). I found a mistake on mine...everyone go to or someplace like that and order one. It isn't free. But it's worth it to know who's been looking at your accounts...
I'm here. No where that I am staying has a computer, so I have ruthlessly stolen someone's password to get onto the Baylor campus computers. Not stolen, exactly, since he did type it in for me. It was more fun though to think I was being naughty...

I've had two lessons and a coaching so far. The lessons have both gone well. I hit a couple of walls in my coaching. I know I have extensive high notes, but I'm afraid of them a bit....afraid that they'll sound bad, which is the kiss of death. So even though I can sing in lessons to them, around them, and on them fearlessly, when I get one in a piece of music, I invariably clam up. We're talking REALLY high notes here. So anyway...that's the battle this time around. On the plus side, I haven't fallen behind any by being gone for eight months. I guess that means the technique has stuck! Huzzzah. Confidence onto the career.

I've also been moving my things from boxes into smaller boxes, from smaller boxes into bigger ones, shuffling half the stuff from one box into another and then repacking the rest with half the contents of another. I'm trying to get rid of all the stuff I haven't cared about in the last eight months.

Tomorrow I'll start shopping for storage units. And an accompanist. For the masterclass on Saturday.

And I have a choir rehearsal tonight. For Dr. Claybrooks church choir. How lovely, no?

Saturday, January 17, 2004


My tickets have been purchased, and I'm set to go for the next leg of my trip. Finally! To get voice lessons! To get songs together, and a demo, and to get on with my aspirations. My motto has been, to paraphrase Jane Eyre, "They will keep until needed." But it is nice to feel that perhaps, if I wish it enough, I can step away from my job and on to my career.

Or starving to death.

Potato, Po-ta-to.

PS. Everybody's comments are down that are by the same company. Why? I don't know. If this goes on much longer I'm going to change comment companies.
I'm better now. Stressed for other reasons. Need to stop this.

Trying to get to Waco for some lessons, and my voice teacher doesn't have as much time for me as he would like the week and a half I can come. I don't know if work will give me extra time off since I'm going to have to get more time off to sing for people, and audition for things, etc. I think I'll have to take my chances on the earlier date.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I'm in a funk. Money money money. Having my paycheck deposited tomorrow, and already the money is nearly all acounted for. And I don't have quite enough to reimburse myself for the two months worth of late loan payments that came out of my car savings. bleh.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Student Loans

Just when you think you've got life under control....bam -- more student loans are due. I just had five more loans come out of the woodwork a month ago. I remember signing the paperwork for them, but when I moved somehow the repayment notices didn't show up. So, I'm suddenly a few months behind in my payments and it's now January. Money is tight for the next couple of months. And $300 now, and another .... ouch $200 in two weeks to be caught up and paid on time. I will get these paid off. I will. Why oh why oh why didn't I search harder for scholarships. If only I'd thought about this THEN.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004



I've been watching the TV show "Charmed" recently...and although I can't say that I agree with the majority of the shows' message, I do find it entertaining. Condemn me if you will.

The main symbol used by the girls is called the triquetra, and most of them have it tattooed somewhere. Then I picked up my Mother's Max Lucado Bible, and there was one on the cover. I was confused. So, apparently, are these people. I went online to look up the symbol, and yes everyone, it is also the Christian symbol for the Trinity...interwining shapes forming a circle in the middle. It has also become a pagan symbol. However, it is NOT as that article above claims, the mark of the beast.

So for anyone out there planning on refuting the New King James Version Bible on the basis of the symbol on the cover just because it happens to be used by someone other than us...get over it. C'mon people! What are we really worried about here? Big huge doctrinal issues like Faith, Salvation, and the Godhead? Or are we going to stand around arguing over niggling little details....

There are lots of Christian symbols, rituals, and other assessories that were borrowed, changed, or assumed by the early Christian Church. We just went through another year of the big "Christians are all dumb because they celebrate Christmas in December and EVERYONE KNOWS it happened in April, or November, or whatever month they've decided it happened in .... and not in 0BC either. Probably 4 BC, or 3AD...but wait, we can't call it that either now can we. Political correctness and not offending the large masses of non Christians in the country...."

Think it through people. Yes, Christmas was celebrated at the same time as a large Roman holiday. What better way to hide your Christmas celebration when any second someone could come bursting through your door, haul your whole family off, and have you tortured to death for drawing a little fish symbol in the dirt. How many Jewish people in the Holocaust do you think celebrated during Christmas to keep the Germans from finding them out? And Easter, I don't know where the chocolate and bunnies came from....Fertility symbols...but I don't imagine early Christians or the puritans dyed easter eggs so it must have been added with the commercialization of all the rest of the holidays. And for those out there wondering...we also know that the wise men took a while to get there. So long that Mary was in a HOUSE by then ... no, she did not hang out in a stable for three years waiting for them to show up with rent money. And sorry people, Jesus had brothers and probably sisters, so Mary probably was not immaculate after Jesus was born....all my Catholic friends please don't disown me.

I really got off track here. Where was I....oh yes, misused and borrowed symbols.

How many people do you see wearing cross necklaces on a velvet ribbon that probably wouldn't step foot inside a church? Are we going to get rid of all Bibles with THAT symbol on it because a lot of people out there use it irreverently? And check your FACTS before you publish a web page telling everyone to throw out your bibles because someone put one out with a pagan symbol on it. With all the years of work that went into checking every greek verb for the best possible translations (because in Greek, you know, sentence order makes little or no difference...) they would neglect to research what went on the front? C'mon people! Lets think this through!

Stuff like this really drives me up the wall....


I've just returned from Spokane. Lovely city...we looked for Andrea's apartment for next june and found one I'd love to live in. Built 1906. Hardwood floors, clawfoot tub/shower...little bitty old fashioned kitchen and a radiator.....fab! Must find one the next place I move. Will fit in well with my furniture -- which is currently spread thither and yon around waco.

Also saw the Jenkins today. They moved from Waco to Spokane and we all went out to Thai. A fun time was had by all.

Lots of leftovers if anyone wants any.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Health And Beauty

I have now spent at four consecutive days primarily laying on a futon and reading/napping/having my own private pity party. How long am I going to have to recover from the spring-break-to-august-hell. I cannot WAIT to get a 'real job.' One I'm actually trained to do. That involves singing and all that. I'm quite keen on auditions...have several in mind...we'll see.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Health and Beauty

My face, should you ask....which I wouldn't know if you did because comments are on the fritz, is recovering nicely.....However I've spent the whole freaking day in bed unable to get up without dizzy spells. And one eye is completely bloodshot for no reason. So anyone in Yakima who is upset because I haven't been in contact, I may have the plague.

Finding Nemo sure was funny...

Not as funny as Monsters, Inc.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Health and Beauty

My face does not agree with Yakima Water. I remember thinking I looked bad in highschool but miraculously coming out of it in college and beyond. I think much has to do with the water. Right now I look like a post-pubescent freshman who has just dunked in a pool of chocolate

No really.....

(the sugar giving oomph to the zit development, not that my skin has changed nationalities)


Another wonderful baking failure. The sugar cookies won't rise, and the frosting won't set.

Saturday, January 10, 2004


Who'd have ever thought...

Ok, Who's bright idea was it to let the 80's back?

I went to the mall last night, and there on display was a mannequin wearing scrunchy leather boots, leg warmers, a short neon asymmetrical skirt, and a half off the shoulder neon striped sweater. Did we learn NOTHING the first time?

And just a month or two ago I saw an article in a magazine about how terrible scrunchy boots are -- so 80's.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Letter Writing

Here's another great site with letter writing accessories....


A small victory!

My web got pushed for one brief moment on the blogger mainpage as a "recently updated blog!" Small news, I know -- but it does mean I'm officially a public blog!

Letter Writing

I found this amazing site while looking for wax seals on ebay. Check it out....


More stories of the train ride.Train riding is a far more civilized way to travel. For one thing, you needn't go through customs. For another, they let you keep your shoes on. I, for one, wouln't never ruin a perfectly good pair of NineWest shoes by blowing them (and myself, presumably) up.

We had just your standard sleeper car, which we were warned in advance would make our dinky apartment look like Buckingham Palace. It was very comfortable. Opposite each other across a picture window. The second bunk fixed to the ceiling above. Nearly complete reclining options (as opposed to "airline recline"). Wide seats. No overweight smelly man hanging into more than his fair share of the seat. No one asleep and leaning precariously into your space. No need to plaster oneself against the window for some breathing room. And, the coupe du grace, hot showers in every sleeper car (for the big bucks you could have one in your room).

And the meals. I had lamb shank, 12 oz steak, French Toast, Quiche Lorraine, and a bacon cheese burger. Everything was included in the fare...And they weren't stingy with drinks and desserts....Even the alcohol wasn't rediculously overpriced....

There is something to be said for just getting there and getting it over. But what airplane has it's own movie theater below the parlor car?

PS, I kicked butt at Monopoly...


I made it home! (No, no. No cheers and excitement please...ok maybe a little) Our arrival time was supposed to be 3:40 -- we pulled in around eight. We were just happy to get there. We're not sure why we were so late. It sure wasn't the ice. Once we had to wait for an hour for a new crew. Then at the next stop that crew got back off and went on the southbound train...for no reason. We'd finally gotten underway, when headquarters (which we assume is a guy named Joe in the bahamas with a cell phone) called and said that there were THREE SOUTHBOUND TRAINS headed RIGHT TOWARDS US...and we'd better pull off to a siding right away until they all passes. Two and a half hours later we were still waiting for the third train to pass...and playing a round of "Sorry!"

We pushed off again and were warned that ice may make us lose more which point my buddy Nathan from one cabin over said, "well strap me to the front of the train with a scraper!" More on all the fun strangers I met later.

Would you rather hear about Nathan from Everett, George from Riverside, or Nick from new Orleans? You pick.

Monday, January 05, 2004


Alright People! I've almost made it. 23 minutes until I'm officially on vacation. Discount everything I've said about how freaking long the monday night shift is, because it's almost over and I'm not dead. Or killed off by some slasher maniac wandering around an empty hotel at night. It's a good thing I've never seen all of the Jack Nickelson movie about being trapped in the haunted hotel. What was that called again? It was creepy enough having to go into a dark kitchen to get a bottle of champagne for a guest.....

Anyway. All you out there, you know where to reach me....My cell will be on. I'll be on a train until Wednesday afternoon, and then in a car (assuming the passes are open). Yakima folks, look out -- here I come!

Small wonder I like this book so well. It's by the same man who wrote "The Agony and the Ecstasy."


Toughing out the last eight hours...

I hate this shift. There's not a soul here. It's warm, quiet, and I have a new book in front of me (that was supposed to be saved for my trip tomorrow, but is being utilized now...). Everyone has gone home. The guests are in their rooms. The phone has mercifully stopped ringing....I'm getting sleepy.

I'm having difficulty with my attitude. I don't want to be here. I should be home packing and cleaning, and leaving lengthy notes to my cat sitter. Instead I'm just sitting....


Lonely..and peaceful.

Reading the fictional history of Jessie Fremont...wife of an explorer (now, although he became quite famous later). She was quite a woman. Independent, but not radical. Emotional, but clear thinking. Intelligent and well educated, but not overly aggressive.... Determined in pre-civil war Washington DC that a marriage should be an equal partnership. Each contributing to the other. The woman not relegated to the domestic sphere, but standing shoulder to shoulder with her husband. Supporting, helping, small feat in that day and age....I'm impressed so far.

New favorite quote from the book....John Fremont comes back from a six month expedition to his nine month pregnant wife.

"I'm sorry I'm so bumpy, darling. It would be nice to be ravishingly beautiful for your return."

"If you hadn't been so ravishigly beautiful before I left, you wouldn't be so bumpy now."

I hate this shift. I'll enjoy the money when I return in a few weeks, but right now I'd rather be doing anything. Travelling already. Something....

A Woman in a lonely Home
Hearing like a sad refrain
Be faithful, love and love will come
In the gentle falling rain.

Sunday, January 04, 2004


The Art of Packing...

I realized tonight that packing for this trip is going to be very difficult. Partly because my wardrobe for the last six months has equaled roughly two suits and one uniform.

Partly because I've moved to Texas and California for the last five years and have no cold-weather clothes.

And mostly because I threw away my suitcases....My parents will wonder why I proceeded to throw away perfectly good suitcases. My answer would be that my suitcases were at best, temperamental. One had a clever trick of rolling onto one side whenever it had the notion. Especially when on a cross walk in front of a bus. The pop up handle only 'popped' when the bag was happily stationary. The zipper, we'll call him Bob, took a pair of pliers and a pep talk to close. To open, one had only to look cross-eyed. Or perhaps had a few pairs of scandalous underwear that you didn't want airport security pawing through. (Do I even own scandalous underwear? Isn't underwear scandalous by very nature?)

He spent several weeks sleeping in a corner after we moved here. Then he hibernated in the closet. The cat adopted him as a bed for a while, then he spent a while at the foot of Andrea's bed. Finally it was decided that my suitcase had seen enough of the world, and needed to find retirement. Which he did. The last I saw of my suitcase, and Bob the incorrigable zipper, they were reclining together near the People Helping People truck. Happily jaunting off to new adventures.


Huzzah and Hooray! Jerah cleaned out the lost and found today, that hasn't been cleaned since she started working here months ago. I got a silk scarf, and a pair of brown leather cashmere lined gloves. Luckily I have the smallest hands of anyone working here....except maybe Catherine, but I got here first! HA! I needed some brown gloves..I have black ones...but one musn't mix colors....


I'm almost done. Two more shifts. That's it. Two. I had last night off and didn't quite know what to do with myself. So I put a couple of loads of laundry in the wash, and copied a poem into my journal...filled out my "read the bible in a year" plan into my day runner. I love my dayrunner. It's way too much fun to be organised. Huzzah. Of course the next four weeks are pretty much a waste of paper... (January 8th. sleep. January 9th. do nothing. January 10th. watch tv and take nap.).....Which reminds me. I also need to book flights for my Waco side of the trip. Whenever that happens...I can't wait to get on that train tuesday. Forget turndown service. Sleeping as soon as I get on take the bunk off the wall and lets get the napping started. With 'convenient reading lamps and power outlets.' If Drea and I plan ahead we can watch DVDs on board too. And eat in the dining car!

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Highlights of last evening

Highlights of last night...

Last night I was supposed to have the night off. I had just gotten home from work, changed into my yoga outfit, and crawled underneath the covers for a well deserved nap when work called. They needed me to come in that evening. So, I groaned and rolled over...slept for a few hours and then dragged myself in. It's taking longer and longer every day to wake up. Even with EmergenC's and Pepsi.

We're all so tired. All the servers are fed up with people, and food, and attitudes, and grumpiness. On the plus side, that makes for some great moments when the servers politely tell the customers where to get off...

Some of my favorites...

At table 1..."Can I bring you a winelist?"
(To the others dining) "I don't need a winelist. There's only one chardonnay on there."
"Would you like Hawkcrest or Rusack?"
"Oh. Well. Hawkcrest."

With a gentleman at the bar...with an empty glass in front of him.
"Bring me a martini this time. And make sure that bartended doesn't make it. Doesn't know what a Long Island Iced tea is supposed to be. This last one was terrible."
(Picking up his empty glass) "Which bartender do you want to make your drink?"
"That one there. The one on the left."
Walking to the bartender on the left..."I need a martini, and I need 'the-one-on-the-left' to make it." The one on the right was the only one free, so he made it while I blocked him from view, and 'the-one-on-the-left' handed it to me when he was done.
(Taking it back to the customer) "Yes..That's what a drink is supposed to taste like. Make sure he makes all my drinks." Pretention is funnier when you know they're oblivious...

And speaking of Things-to-the-left...Some ladies ordered a very expensive bottle of wine. I grabbed the one next to it when I shimmied up the wine cabinet. Brought it back to their table for inspection and tasting.
"Here you are Gladys. You'll love this stuff. It's so much better than the stuff we drink at home!.....Yes, it's just perfect. You can really tell the difference!"
Half an hour later they realised that I had brought them, literally, a bottle of the 'stuff they drink at home.' Luckily they weren't mad, but I have to get every bottle of wine checked out by a manager before I deliver it....on principle.....And my boss scraped a label off a bottle of Stags Leap and pasted it to a white zinfandel as a joke, labeling it "Kunze Reserve." It will have a place of honor in my future wine storage....Trophy of the endless ribbing I'm getting......

More wine pretention.... "Miss, could you bring me another glass of syrah and try to prevent this from happening (referring to sediment in the bottom)....she poured a glass from the same bottle...and walked away muttering "What do you want me to to? Decant your glass?"

And then there were the bartenders... Who didn't want us helping in the bar during the reception, though it was hosted, and didn't need us in the room, but still expected us to pick up the bar glasses afterwards....they are perfectly capable of picking up a tray, I think. Lazy bums!

And then, the crowning moment of the night...from one of the servers....

"Rachel, table five needs a bottle of Qupe Syrah."
"Which one?"
"Table Five."
"I mean, which bottle of Qupe."
"The one on the winelist."
"There are two reserves of Qupe Syrah on the winelist, which type did they want. We have one, and we're out of the other."
(Throwing the ticket in my face) "I don't have time for this. You go figure it out."
I was FUMING! If the servers don't know enough to take the orders, they have no business doing it. Especially when there are three cocktail waitresses on that evening, who DO know what they're doing.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

*Much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth*

Oh, no more sighs of relief. Nope. Finally found out why all of the loan consolidation people keep calling me. Seems I have not one student loan as I'd though, but 5 more waiting in the wing. Oh huzzah. And I was so thrilled that I was within a few hundred dollars of being done. Now I'm just a few hundred away from being done with one. Bye bye sporty little sebring Convertible.


Oh, tentative sigh of relief. My $200 oversight, once futzed and calculated, and computed, and stared at, and sweated over, and added a thousand times, and prayed, and fretted (can you do both at the same time ... probably CS Lewis would have an excerpt on faith to answer that), and steamed, and stewed. And erased. Now I have four pages afterwords to correct the balance on. Terriffic. But I think it might be fixed. And if not, I'll have to find out where the problem is later...

Happy Freakin' New Years!

I MADE ITTTTTTT!!!!!! Oh my gosh. I had a lady yesterday ask me how I can smile so much, working double full time this holiday. My assesment this morning (as I drove to work 15 minutes late because my alarm didn't go off) was: I'll cry if I don't keep smiling. I have a nervous breakdown walking around the back of my psyche, poking his head in from time to time to see if "now is a good time." Tonight is my last evening at the alisal unless I get called in sunday. And, well, I was only supposed to be working through sunday, but looking at the new, revised schedule -- seems I got put on Monday too. Huzzah for the 7-day, 75 hour work week. Isn't it fabulous!

A wonderful time was had by all last night at the Alisal. Someone had the bright idea to put all sorts of blowers and noisemakers on the tables. Good plan, whomever. So the evening went something like this...."Hi, I'm (HONK), I'll be your cocktail waitress tonight. Can I (HONK)?" "What?" "May I bring you a (HONK)?" "Oh, yes I'd like a (HONK) (HOOOOOOONK) on the rocks with a twist, and a gin (HONK HONK HONK FWEEEEEEEEET) with an olive." "Excuse me, can you repeat that?" "Sure. I'd like a (HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK TOOOT HOOOOOONK)." Um...............I'll have that right back sir. (Whatever the heck he just said.)"

By the end of the evening, tempers were flaring. The room was dividing into two camps. The "I've been coming here for forty years, and its just too noisy, and I pay good money for a relaxing evening" crew. And the "It's freaking New Years and its time to PARTY! crew." About 9 last night the two fronts crashed. One lady had gone around to all the tables around her asking them to shut up, and then told our manager to do something about it. He went to the closest table and got out "Excuse me...." when the rather intoxicated woman looked straight at the other woman and yelled something that rhymes with 'duck fur.' blink. blink. Mike picked his jaw back off the floor. "I've been coming here for 5 years, and it's freaking New Years. So if she doens't want to party she needs to get off the freaking planet! Duck! Fur!" Mike walked back to the complaining table and said, "Well, you heard how that went." I went back to the duck fur table and offered to make her a cappucino. It was too refreshing to have a guest tell another guest what we aren't allowed to: GET A LIFE!

Aside from that, we had several tables who decided to change places for no good reason. One guest, when told he couldn't sit at someone else's table put his bread on the floor. Why? We're not sure. Presumably to complain about the size of the table. Which was exactly the same size as the table he wanted. One table over.

Two tables in the same party kept sending messages to each other by way of the waitors telling the other that they were too noisy. Which of course precipitated several "who can make the most noise" contests with the honkers. Bonnie's table lost. And the adults easily drowned out all 4,384,328 children who were letting out stray honks all evening.