Saturday, May 29, 2004


The first Saturday Night Barbeque is over. The only brief excitement was the maintenance department forgetting to turn off the timers to the automatic sprinklers. The ones next to us came on, giving us half an hour to figure out how to turn them off or put on a happy face with a wet t-shirt contest.

More trials with the girl who won't work. I clocked in watching her try to take an empty golf cart to go "check out the scene" while the bartenders were trying to haul their stuff out. Golf carts are a precious commodity. Tonight she "went to the bathroom" and came back twenty minutes later...with the score of the Lakers game. Then she went to put on her makeup -- half an hour. After Anjie and I loaded the entire wine station, hauled it out to the poolside and set it up, here she comes half an hour later with two wine racks she's just polished....on a slow day it takes 10 minutes a rack, and we already had plenty. She took a 25 minute dinner break, then came back and asked "shouldn't we start clearing glasses?" We'd been DOING that for quite some time. She decides to go follow the food cart back to fill up to go boxes for her family. (That alone is worth a write up -- they're very strict on take home food. Official quote: "We don't mind feeding you on the clock, we just don't want to feed your entire family, too.") Then Anjie and I break down the wine station, take two full golf carts back, and she wants us to bring back the golf cart so she can put three trays and a rack of glasses on it....I don't think so. You can carry that and save yourself a trip. I spoke to a manager. It really irks me that I haul myself around doing my work and hers, and she gets four evening shifts next week. I. Work. The. WAGONTONGUE. All week. It takes a lot of milkshakes to make up for not working in the dining room at fifty cents gratuity a shake....

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Another night at Fess Parker's soiree. I'm going to see and be seen, and see if I can schmooze enough to get someone to recommend me to an agent. I've sent a letter to the one who was interested in me earlier reminding her of that fact. Maybe if I bug her enough she'll take me on just to get me to leave her alone. The old Shawshank Redemption trick. But I only have until September 6 to get the ball rolling. After that I'm moving somewhere...if I have an agent here, LA seems prudent. If not, I have a mutual student of my voice teacher who could give me lessons in NYC. That seems prudent too. I've been over a year without lessons (except for those I got in January) and could use a tune up.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Last week Chloe was ill and to the tune of $47 I was told by the vet that she needed to eat different food. Last night I came home and Cai was sitting on my chair...surrounded by blood. For $56.50 I found out that he'd been in a catfight, the puncture had abscessed, and last night it burst. (Cai is not a chin scratcher, so I didn't feel the abcess before). I now have pills that I can't force him to eat...

Doesn't bad news usually come in threes? Great....

I got bit again...

By a milkshake machine this time...

Monday, May 24, 2004

Two days ago was bad at the alisal. How bad was it? The YPO's were the nicest people here. That's saying a lot. Even Wendy, the eternal optimist, the last person to lose her patience, the one who tries to find something to like about everybody, declared over a bottle and half of wine (shared with three people) that "People suck!" I'd already drawn that conclusion three days earlier. And then in devotions I came to that verse about it not being any credit to treat people well who are nice to you. Every day before work I remind myself that, but three hours in my patience is again shot, and I've failed miserably in the Charity department. Eye rolling on the way to the bar would have cost me my salary by now (my parents used to charge a dollar a roll). At least C. S. Lewis admits that charity doesn't mean trying to convince yourself they they aren't such bad chaps after all...
Quote of the day:

"I can't wait until I'm my age!"

I'm having trouble again with my blog...will try to delete the multiple postings.

I worked today at the golf lounge. It was very slow. I read the entire first Harry Potter book, save one chapter.

I spent the rest of the shift listening in to the golfers' conversations. Whoever said rich people don't talk about money aren't quite correct. They'd never stoop to discuss a new deal, but they spend a great deal of time talking about real estate and the stock market. I tried to listen for good tips while reading the business section of the paper. Dry reading, that. Except for an article on the recent collapse of the airport wing in Paris. And a trapese artist in Wisconsin fell without a net and died. I don't know why that counted as business, but oh well.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The every changing standard of women's beauty:

A girl walked through the bar today. She was today's perfect Hollywood standard; tallish, thin, no hips, no butt, no chest. She wore terrycloth boy shorts rolled down futher, and a bikini halter top. She didn't have an ounce of fat on her body -- we would have known. There was no place to hide it.p> Female beauty is constantly evolving. Before the industrial revolution, apparel (and thus the preferred physique) changed about once every century. The industrial revolution pushed the revolving standard to every twenty years. This past century revolved about every decade. And of course women's looks have altered much more drastically than male , I think. The suit, for example, has remained remarkably the same since about the late 19th century.

C. S. Lewis, in his book "That Hideous Strength" talks some about how every new fashion change alters a woman's role. (He is referring mostly to the Edwardian Period, where restrictive clothing encouraged women to be inactive and helpless, and the following Jazz age, when women wanted to be youthfull and boyish)

In the 12th and 13th century, the dresses were long. An underdress was covered by a tunic with arm openings below the waist, and a hip belt. (Think Eowyn in Lord of the Rings) Women were to be thin, tall, and stately. The next fashion was high waisted dresses. The skirt was tightly gathered just beneath the breasts. To be a virtuous woman, one was to look pregnant.

The 17th century (I hope I'm getting my centuries right. All of my costume books are in a box in Waco), bodices were tight, skirts long, and a large ruffled collar was vogue. (think Elizabeth)

In the eighteenth century, whalebone corsets were introduced as high fashion. Bucket panniers held the dress away from the body, and breasts were pushed high and exposed. To be in fashion, women took baby steps, and breathing was so restricted that any exertion was liable to bring on a faint.

Possibly the least restrictive clothing for women in 2,0000 years was the neo-classical period. (Think Jane Austen) The skirts were above the foot; dresses were made of cottons instead of heavy velvets; women were encouraged to have "correct" figures, usually referring to greek statuary.

From here on in history, the "ideal woman" becomes impossible and absurd. (From my perspective, at least in the 19th century a woman had corsets to help her assume the correct shape. Now we have no recourse but to diet, lift weights, or stuff) The mid-19th century favors plump women with sloping shoulders. Ten years later tight bodices emphase the waist, breasts, and hips. Then, the S-silhuete comes in. You've seen the pictures of the Gibson Girls with the wasp waists and large busts. The twentieth century favored, in this order: trim, geisha, boyish, glamourous, trim and boxy, hyper curvy, slim and leggy, stick thin, (who the heck knows for the eighties -- that was the worst of all possible fashion decades, and those who seem determined to bring it back ought to be shot), unisex, and now -- boyish again.

Where is all of this leading. Right, the girl in the bar. This isn't a lecture on the evils of fashion. I like fashion. I like costume history. I think it's fascinating to read how closely current events are mirrored in the change in clothing. (From about 1500 on, it was preferable to be overweight. It was also vogue to have white skin. Why? Because that meant you had enough money to eat, and didn't have to work outside in the sun to get it. Why is being thin and having a tan vogue now? Because it implies you are rich enough to exercise hours every day, and spend the rest by the pool/golfing/at the beach.) What disturbed me about this girl was how young she is, and how well she's bought into the Hollywood standard. You know the type. Brittany Spears, the Olson twins, any number of underweight stars. (They do have the excuse of fifteen pounds. Everyone knows the cameras add that much. But, given that excuse, they should look "normal" to us until we get up close) This girl is walking around, probably starving herself to achieve an ideal look that is going to change in another couple of years. After that, she will likely be out getting implants when butts are back in, liposuction when they aren't. Silicone, and collagin, and the latest diet. All for what. The advantage our predecessors had was that beauty then WAS only skin deep. The body shape was altered by external means -- through fabric and boning and alterations of style. Now our fashions mean changing our metabolism and diet, excersize, and very shape. It doesn't give us much room for error.

Where can fashion go from here? Well, unless Star Trek is right (look out ladies!) the next move should be a swing in the opposite direction. We'll rediscover that clothing is a good thing. The more the better. If not, start the Atkins diet. Because we'll be walking around naked next.

This one's for you, Dad.

A gentleman walks into the bar. "I want a smoothie that is predominantly orange and banana."

So which do you want to predominate; the orange, or the banana?


Quote of the day:

From Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers.

Background; Lord Peter Whimsey and Harriet Vane are making a list of all the suspects in a murder case.

"Henry Weldon.

Things to be noted:
1. Personal characteristics: tallish, broad, powerful, resembles hi mother facially; obstinate, illmannered, countrified; apparently not very intelligent.

Things to be done:
1. Kick him. (P.W.) Well, no, that woudn't be politic. String him along and see if he is really as stupid as he makes out. (H.V.) All right, but kick him afterwards. (P.W.)"

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Peter Pan

Yes, it's a kids movie. But I really liked it when I saw it in theaters. I liked it more than I remembered when it came out on video. I think Jason Isaacs is the immortal good/bad guy (the same actor plays Mr. Darling and Hook in the stage tradition). They play up the emergent adolescence angle, and I think it adds a nice spin to an otherwise one-dimensional plot.

Mrs. Darling has one great scene when she discusses how brave their father is. The kids doubt her, since he doesn't fight pirates or indians. She tells her children that he has many given up many dreams for his family. They ask where they went. She replies that they are in the top drawer of his bureau, and every once in a while he gets them out and looks them over, and puts them away. I thought it nice to see Mr. Darling have more character than usual. Often he is just the blathering idiot who blusters his way into the nursery and destroy's Wendy's youth in a fit of anger (watch the animated version). He has more depth in the stage play, where he confines himself to Nana's doghouse as punishment.

The kid who plays Peter Pan is going to be the new teeny bopper star in a year or two -- he's fourteen now. The only non-british cast member.

The fairy dance scene is divine on the big loses something on video. The score is beautiful...the composer must be a student of John Williams style of writing. The sound is similar to the Harry Potter soundtrack. I was so relieved that they exchanged the "clap if you believe in fairies" thing for a very cool chant. (I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!) It looks cheesy in writing. You'll have to watch it. Musicians, prepare to cringe just a bit as the chanting falls out of synch with the score, but it is breathtaking. It's almost better in French. (Je crois que les Fees exist! J'y crois! J'y Crois!)

An honorable mention to Tinkerbell; a french actress who spent the entire filming reacting to nothing in front of a bluescreen.

Eric, I was in the middle of an email to you when my computer crashed. I will try again very soon. These half hour time limits are quite annoying.
The Santa Barbara library is huge. HUGE! Compared with the Solvang library that is maybe four times the size of my Waco Apartment. The selection is very good for a small library, but I've read nearly everything in one year that caught my interest. I picked up three more Lord Peter Whimsey mysteries. The one when Harriet Vane is put on trial, the one where she finds a corse, and a third one that I can't remember. Then I picked up the latest in Stephen R. Lawhead's Grail series. I picked up three books on English cottage decorating, but flipped through them all and didn't check them out after all. It's too dark and wood panneled. I find I like French Country better. The one room in my dream cottage that has dark wood pannels and floor to ceiling furniture will is my library.
Huge big screw up today. HUGE. I thought I worked the evening shift so today Wendy and I went to the Santa Barbara library. Guess who was supposed to work the Waggin' Tongue Bar this morning. Yeah. So I got a free day off. Luckily though, no one noticed that I wasn't there. I don't know whether to be happy that I wasn't written up, or miffed that I'm so dispensible. Ah well. Free evening. Time to balance the checkbook and my ledger.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Congratulations to my Sister (over at Heather Hannah's Horse) who won seven first places and one third place at her latest horse show! And one of her first places was her first time every competing in lead changes.
A day at the beach!

Wendy and I took our morning off to go do our spending logs by the ocean. It was a perfect day. Warm and slightly breezy. The seagulls were out in droves, but there were only two other parties there. Tomorrow is payday! Huraah!

Monday, May 17, 2004

I watched the news today for the first time in a million or so years. I'm glad I don't own a television. I switched to HGTV as soon as people left the bar. I know I shouldn't bury my head in the sand; I'm so far out of the loop about current events now that I don't dare express any opinion at all- even if I had one. And Southern California is not the place to get unbiased reporting. Hence why my blog doesn't cover current events. But some days I think God would still be better off just to scrap us all and start over. Forgive the blasphemy.

I'm having trouble finding a church here. I've been to the Episcopal,the Presbyterian, and an Assembly of God off and on since I moved here. I like the pastor at the Presbyterian church the best, but they're doing "Purpose Driven Life" at the insistence (I rather think) of the Elders. No thanks. Three chapters of the book was enough for me. Is there anywhere to go to find Christian fellowship without the "stuff?"

Add to the talley. Cai brought a rat in at three this morning. I had to dismantle my entire room to get it back outside. At least this one didn't bite me. Please God, not a snake. I'm not afraid of them, but they can hide more places than a rodent or bird.

At first I locked Cai in the bathroom and tried to get it back outside. But I lost it. So I let Cai do the dirty work and then caught it in a pillowcase. Nasty little rodents.

Also, Milk and Honey by Faye Kellerman is quite good. I'm not much a fan of Mystery writers, with the exception of a few authors. As promised by the cover, this book goes deeper than the myster into character development and back plot. If you're already familiar with Peter Decker and Rena Lazarus, you'll want to read this one.
"Gaudy Night" by Dorothy Sayers.

I really like her heroine. Every forward and afterward declares that Harriet Vane is unlikable. She's sarcastic, unemotional, and leaves Lord Peter hanging proposal after proposal. She's favors intellect over feelings. She's quite intelligent and very witty. She and Lord Peter play quotation games in nearly every conversation. She also has occasional urges to write poetry. What's not to like?

This time around she's investigating a poison pen letter writer at a fictitious college at Oxford. Ironically, Magdalen college is mentioned fairly frequently. (Really, that's not glaring to anyone who knows the University well, but that's the college where C. S. Lewis taught.) I highly recommend anything by this author. This book is especially good for character. It doesn't have quite enough of Lord Peter. That works very well for the twist at the end. More humor comes from a group of single woman academics sniping at each other as tempers rise.

I really hate "Beth" from Matrix Direct.
Another day in paradise.

Every week they tell us this is the last slow week. The house count will be picking up. Then the new schedule comes out. I can't afford to make what I'm making and pay off my car. That was my goal for the summer.

I only have two night shifts this week; four day shifts. But daytime shifts don't make as much money. Anyway. Enough vulgarness. At least I have a job. The average farmer in India working full time makes $22 a month...

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I hate not having internet. I'm so sorry for all my friends whose blogs I'm neglecting to see very often. There were rumors abounding that the Alisal was connecting to DSL, and they are, but they aren't making the service available to the employee housing -- even though we offered to pay for it. Our cable is tapped into the main line and therefore free. So, I'm bummed. But I have more time to go to the library, so hurray!
Reading "Shabby Chic" by Rachel Ashworth...I think that's her name. I'm in the direct center of another decorating urge. I recovered a wingback chair and an ottoman last night with three white sheets and two ruffled white curtains. It looks very chic. I'm quite happy with it...but I think I need to get another wingback chair. The two straightbacked ones that form my "living room" look dwarfed next to my huge dresser. Besides, this month we're saying in Country Decorating that using oversized furniture makes a room look bigger, not smaller. I also have too many focal points in that corner. Must consolidate. Back to the recovering!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Lompoc Library is so huge! Compared to the Solvang one, that is. I've now picked up three decorating books, one French Textbook, two Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries, and one copy of "L'Arbre au Grand Coeur" by Shel Siverstein.

On another plus side, you may sign up for an hour on the internet by phone. How cool is that?


My new hobby: Learning French. I took a years worth with a great teacher my freshman year. I wanted to continue with him, but my choir director wouldn't think of letting me out of his class for a semester. I, being dumb and a freshman, believed he actually had power over my scholarship. He didn't, and there were several choirs I could have switched into. So, here I am at 23 (which is a much harder age to learn a language...or so they say) trying to fit 333 verbs into my head. I need to go buy flashcards...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


"Is there a bartender running this bar?

"I am."

"I bet you are. After you honey."

"Can I do something for you?"

He looks me up and down. "I don't think you want me to answer that honestly. Dewars on the Rocks."

I shoot him a glance of thinly veiled disgust. His twelve year old daughter was in a minute ago buying a smoothie.

"Anything else?"

He took the hint.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sorry about the long waits between blogs. We have a cocktail waitress out sick now, on top of the bartender who is out for another four weeks. I've been picking up a lot of last minute shifts. I'll do the best I can to update often! See you guys around! Keep commenting so I know you're out there!

I finally met her

Remember the woman in Screwtape letters? The one who always sent back a meal if the plate had more food than she happened to want to eat? I served her table last night.

"Oh great! I have my choice of tables."

"Actually, Ma'am, all the tables are assigned. This one is yours."

"Oh no! I couldn't sit there. Not in front of the door. I want that one in front of the fireplace."

"I'm sorry ma'am, that table is spoken for." Mike gave her a choice of several other empty tables. She wanted neither. She sauntered over the the baby grand. "Will there be a Pi-ah-no player this evening?" There would not be. "Well, darling. What do you think? Here will be fine. There's carpet."

I have no idea what the floor covering had to do with the preference of the table. But at least she was sitting. For a second.

"Oh dear, no. I need a different chair. This one is all scuffed and chipped. I just couldn't." Another chair was provided. "There, you see how that one was all worn? This is much better."

Then her husband had a turn. "Do you have low-carb beer." No low carb, but a few light beers. "You don't have low carb? What about Coors light Aspen blend? No? Miller light then."

I went to retrieve it. The bartender was pouring, when the man came up behind us. "You, you know something. You don't have low carb beer?" Repeating the entire coversation we'd just had, he was finally satisfied with the now poured Miller Light. "Alright," he said staring at it. "I'll take that one." he turned and walked away sans beer.

Later that evening, "Oh, could you take this napkin from me. It fell on the floor." It couldn't be left on the floor, or set on the table, or set on one of the chairs until they left. It so offended her that it must be hand carried away. She didn't want another.

I have met C.S. Lewis' lady.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

I finished the book "Children of God" last night. It was more a book of philosophy or religion than science fiction. I really liked the narrations, and philological parts --most of the major mistakes made by the exploration party came from misunderstanding the meanings of the words, even if they knew the definition. For example, the phrase "serve others" gets misinterpreted to the detriment of one of the Jesuit priests. In the second book, many of the aliens who were somewhat vilified in the first get deeper characterization. Once you get the thought process behind them, some of their heinous decisions become tragic mistakes.

The entire world undergoes revolution. The aristocracy falls. And the ruling carnivores are almost extinct by the time the Jesuits send their second mission. One human thought to be dead turns up again on the planet. She dedicated her life to freeing the herbivores. She and her autistic son transform the planet. The ending is not a perfect "everyone lives happily ever after," but it wraps up enough loose ends to bring some comfort after two very emotionally charged books.

Ahhh! Another hot day in California. I'm hiding out in the library for an hour or so.

Tonight is going to be very crazy. One of our cocktail waitresses went into labor last night. She's due at the end of August. It's really pridefull. She won't let any of us help her. She won't take it easy, or carry less, or let us do the lifting in exchange for doing the sidework. I hate polishing glasses, so I'd be happy to let her take that over in exchange for carrying wine cases. We haven't heard how she's doing, but I'd assume she won't be in to work for the next couple of days. Probably the doctor is going to enforce bedrest. That puts us really understaffed.

In other news, Phil the bartender is going to be out for three or four weeks. That means lots and lots of double shifts and more bartending. That makes me very happy. Especially the double shifts. Just working days cut my pay a lot. But if I can do both, I get night gratuities and overtime. THAT makes me happy.

I cleaned off my little patio two days ago and set out a rug and my folding rocking chair. If only porch didn't have a window into the mens bathroom, it would be a perfect reading nook. As it is, I'm going to have to get a plant to hang to muffle the sounds. Why do guys insist on singing, whistling, and talking to each other? It's rather noisy...and not in a good way.

Last night there wasn't a single good table in my room. Every one of them was "Um, miss? There's no one sitting here. You can just take that setting away."

Oh. Can I? Please? Because I'm not carrying a full tray of drinks or anything. Wait, here. Let me just drop that somewhere and take away the offending napkin.


Ooh. Bad week financially. My paycheck was 300 less than the last. Doesn't that suck? I had plenty to pay the bills, but not much else. I really wanted to pay off some more of my car loan principal. On the plus side, I do have my freedom account partially funded. Some of those funds are discretionary.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I think I have it....maybe.
Well, I had archives. Now I'm missing half of my sidebar. This is really frustrating.
Pam, I have archives again!
Yesterday was a day off. Wendy and I went to Ventura to buy more flowers. My garden is so pretty! I got a new mini rose and a fern.

On the way back she needed coffee, and what better place than Barnes and Noble. I bypassed a boxed set of Peter Mayle and went for "Children of God" by Mary Doria Russell. I'm halfway through. Work was very slow.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Tomorrow for my sister's birthday, we'll be having margarita pedicures. Doesn't that sound decadent! I need one too, my feet are in bad shape!
Read Peter Mayle, anyone with a traveling bug. He writes verbal pictures of provencal life. Born English, then became American, then moved off and on again to Provence, he can make snails sound appetising. His books are full of decolatage Patronesses, stations without a single train, the town ex-patriate, olive trees, lavender, summer breezes and country markets. And the food -- heavens all the food. It rivals Brian Jaques mouth watering accounts. All of his books will soon grace my shelves.
I got the nicest email the other day from Eric. It made my day!
I worked a double on sunday. Bartending in the main building, then cocktailing at night. It's been a bad couple of days...lots of people and not enough me. And then the bartenders keep mysteriously disappearing so I have to do that too. Yesterday I was at the golf lounge. A guy came in whose wife and daughter were playing all 18 holes. We'd just gotten through a huge rush -- when the temperature hit triple digits every single person came off the golf course and wanted lunch. Being a monday, there was only one server. Guess who got to fill in!

So he sat for two hours while they played the back nine. This is the part of bartending I really like -- getting to sit and talk to the patrons. He was a substitute teacher for years and had story after story. And for the last hour I had half a dozen people there. Strangers, but all friends for the afternoon. Say all you like against alcohol and bars, but it IS pleasant when it more resembles a pub...

It is soooooooo hot! 105 or somewhere around there. I went to the nursery today and bought two more miniature roses, some false sage, white climbing stuff whose name I can't remember, and another double impatient. I cleaned off my patio, scrubbed the lattice that holds up my honeysuckle, and transplanted a few things. My garden is looking very nice indeed. If I do say so myself.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

It's settled. Sketchbook at the beach it is...and "At the drop of a Veil."
Add a mouse to the talley. It tried to bite me, but I was too quick for it. HA!