Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another Long Awaited Day Off

Another Long-awaited Day Off

We've hit that point again! (it's a good thing) My nails are so long I'm having trouble typing. They all wore off in Cambodia with all the scrubbing, clothes washing, etc.

Tuesday I got off work several hours early to race into town for the follow up on a year ago's ticket deferrment. The judge was running ahead of schedule, and once we hit the half hour, she asked all of us with the same thing to come forward, checked our driving records, and let us go with no paperwork. I celebrated by going to the thrift stores to check on some new clothes for my audition that evening. I found a pair of express jeans.

After that I raced into the gas station, filled up, raced home, mapquested, pasted a fresh resume on a headshot, redid my makeup, fixed my hair, and drove to my audition. Seattle this time. For a french film. On the way there I discovered I'd left my purse at home.

All the way I said my lines in French over and over trying to get them to roll effortlessly and quickly off the tongue. I'd been practicing the last few days at work, too. I read french pretty well -- I read Le Lion, Le Sorciere Blanche, et l'Armoir Magique while I was in Battambang. But right now the foreign language in my head is Khmer. I called Teri and asked her to run over it with me and catch any glaring problems. She fixed a few inflection things as well. Then, I made my way in, did my thing, read the English sides twice, and went to Miles and Becky's.

We watched Stranger than Fiction. Great Movie!

Yesterday morning I got up at my normal time, had to commute into work by 10. Made coffee and showered while the Logsdon's walked Jake. We had coffee together, then I got on the road. Traffic was pretty good unitl the 405 one town above my turnoff. Then I sat and sat -- and had to call work and tell them I'd be late. 45 minutes late. But they didn't have a single table, and two of the other waitresses were on already.

Work was a fiasco. A few words sums it all up. 20-top. Separate Checks. Nursing Home. No auto grat. Impatient to shop. Sign and go. No tips.

Today, I'm doing a few things later -- probably getting ready to go garage sale-ing tomorrow since I don't have to go in until evening. I haven't sold everything I bought two weekends ago. But I've listed a few, and perhaps today, after I watch a lot of tv and play, I'll get some more done.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Working too much. Very tired. But after this, only two days next schedule.

No energy to type, write, or talk on the phone except when half asleep or comatose.

Going to bed now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Successful Emailing

Successful Emailing

I joined a new auditions/performers group this week, just to see how it compares to the other I'm on, and also because it focuses on theater and film-making in the Seattle area. Hurrah! Between that and Craig's list, I've got two auditions lined up! One on the eighth for a short film, and one my next set of days off for a satirical - don't laugh - soap opera.

I can't even tell you how excited I am. I'll stay on the other site, since I'm already there and have my bio and headshots all worked up and all, but I'm so happy that I've decided to explore several options at once.

My paper still isn't finished, but I've got a rough draft done and ready for editing.

And my car, my baby, cost me $1,500 in repairs after it exploded in a cloud of smoke on Saturday. That'll keep me working a little longer than I'd hoped.

And Cai for no explainable reason has taken to walking on the piano to get my attention. Odd little monster.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Doing Stuff

Doing Stuff

So here I am, 4 out of the next 5 days off of work. Hurrah! I've been needing a break to catch up on so many things.

This morning I went Garage Sale-ing for things to sell on eBay and hit the mother load in two sales (out of three). I found vintage jewelry, vintage handkerchiefs, some wide yardages of lace, and lovely teacups. I may go out tomorrow, too, since I work next friday and saturday, which puts a real kink into my garage sale schedule. Only a couple more weeks of work left. Hurrah! (They seem to be under the impression that I'm staying for a while. I'll have to let them know one of these days)

I'm also, finally, writing my final paper that is 75% of my online grade. So far I've done the introduction, but at least I'm getting somewhere. The goal is to finish it today if at all possible. Tomorrow at the latest.

I've spent most of my free time having gone back and forth to the post office, and taking a few things in for repair. My silver necklace I've worn for seven years broke its chain, my mother's watch stopped ticking, and my black leather boots need re-heeled. Also sorting through my stuff again, getting rid of supurfluous things, and trying to prepare for...well, whatever.

Lots of emailing about auditions, several headshots gone off in the mail. A few takers, but none I'm very very interested in at this point. Filming going to happen in Portland in a few weeks.

Ebay sales are creeping closer to a plane ticket to Chicago. Very excited about that.

A very interesting couple in at work a few nights ago. The night after my big long bad attitude, foot in mouth day. The next day, by the way, was one of THOSE days. When you've determined that today you will not complain nor think bad thoughts about anyone, instead remembering that all people have value, and that God loves them all at least as much as you, etc etc. Then everyone is impossible to please, buys very small amounts of food and splits it many directions, sends you back for endless condiments, and complains first that the food is too expensive, that they don't want a lot of food, then that what they ordered is too little.

But at the end of it, a couple comes in. I chat a little with them before the meal, then, as I'm clearing up, I ask them what they're doing in the mountains. They're up camping, they tell me, but they love just travelling around. They're recently retired and enjoying the freedom. They said too many of their friends are too tied down by the debt, the boat, the cars, the house, to go out and do or see or eat anything. They've sold all but their house, and now travel around, following byroads, dirt highways, and taking scenic tours at random. Before they met, she gave up everything, loaded up her car, and lived off her Alaskan teacher's retirement as she toured the country visiting people. Put 10,000 miles on her car in three months. Sometimes she stayed with friends, sometimes she camped, sometimes she slept in the backseat. But she said it was the best time she ever had.

I find that inspiring.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Open Mouth, insert foot

Open Mouth. Insert Foot.

So now its true confessions time. After all of my many, many (probably too many for those of you reading my blog all along) posts about crappy tippers, difficult customers, and especially crappy Christian's how I failed yesterday.

It was slow yesterday (merely to set the stage, mind you, not excuse me) and my first or second table was a couple of ladies. They wanted to split a breakfast, one had coffee (decaff) and one wanted hot tea. Hot tea makes most waitresses at our restaurant cringe. Unlike coffee, which only needs a cup and maybe a creamer, hot tea requires a tea cup and saucer, a small teapot and matching lid, filled with hot water, a box of tea packets, and perhaps creamer and honey as well. This particular customer only wanted Earl Grey -- which in our "Passion" and "Calm" teas selection, means decifering attractive labels of soothing nothing-much-to-help-you. I brought the tea. After quite some time, one person ordered a meal. They asked if it was too early for a hamburger (at 9:30). I was determined to dislike them. Especially after the lady wanted a refill on her teapot, and if I wouldn't mind, I could just put a fresh teabag in there for her, thanks. The other lady was a gusher. Everything was just wonderful from the china pattern to the poached egg. I'm not great with gushers in the morning. Then, came the crux of it all, an hour later. I cleared their plate away and one went into thoughts and prayers she'd been praying for the other. Oh I was set to hate them, now. Early morning, hot tea, one breakfast, sitting for hours, and now PRAYING. I could be they'd leave a crappy tip....

$6 on a meal less than $15.

Slightly shagrined, I asked forgiveness for my bad attitude as I washed the table.

But I hadn't learned anything later on. There was a couple in for lunch. No drinks. Maybe one coffee. They weren't ready yet. They weren't ready yet. Still not ready. Maybe just a touch more coffee, and lets discuss the menu, shall we? Ok. I couldn't possibly have them make just a (something we didn't have on the menu). No? Well, I guess.... They were polite, but they ate and ate and ate deliberately. Fork in one hand, knife in the other, European style, put down between bites, and chew like its your last meal on death row. His plate is empty, she's still chewing. Still going. Still cutting tiny slices and talking. I check on them. Ten minutes later I check again. I offer to take his plate. Oh, lets not do that until....rueful shrug. I walk away annoyed, determined to let them sit for a LONG time now. Finally they let me take their plates away. I bring the bill. He pays, and they both head to the bathroom. Cash. $6 tip, 20%. Oh. And they've left $5 more on the table. Crap. I go up to talk to him, ask him about themselves, and a conciliatory act (some of my faulty memory wants me to think that I went to talk to him as I took the money, not sucking up after he gave it to me. Can't remember now. Oh wait, I did. Because I saw the money on the table after I talked to him, and called after him "oh wait, you've given me far too much" as he headed to the bathroom). Where are they going?

Well, my wife is suffering from cronic kidney failure and the doctor says this is our last trip into the mountains.


I almost cried. Then I almost threw up. How can I take their money now, with all the horrid thoughts I thought about them all through dinner. I can't go up and hand it back -- that might assuage my guilt, but it'll make them feel terrible if I walk up and say, "I don't deserve this 'cause I was thinking aweful things about you for over an hour." So, after I failed to catch his attention, I waited for them to come out of the bathrooms, and I bought them dessert, on me, to take with them on their last hike in the mountains. Both, whatever they wanted.

And she hugged me when I brought it out, like I'd made a dying woman's last day so happy.

I still feel sick. I'm crying while I type. Still. A whole day later.

Saturday, September 08, 2007



Just to do a bit of shameless self promotion...

The 1-7 Harry Potter Boxed set, the reason I haven't bought any of the Harry Potter books so far, except paperbacks, secondhand at Goodwill, will become available on September 11 in the UK, and October 16th for the US version.

My birthday is coming up.

In three months.

All I want is the Harry Potter boxed set, preferably the UK version so I don't have to grumble my way through the boot/trunk, jumper/sweater, bogie/booger conversions. Put your heads together, join forces, do it anonymously if you feel you simply cannot give more money to the thing eroding the very foundations of our society....

Harry Potter, boxed set, 1-7.

Actually, though, the US version does come in a lovely little carrying case that is kind of nice, and would look good next to my Lewis box sets, but the UK adult version, with its sci-fi cover, would look well next to my LOTR box sets.

Think about it.



This has been a very 'wasted' day off. I've been sick all week, so instead of spending yet another precious free day driving to an audition (about hypocrital christians in an urban family -- maybe not something I'd want to play anyway...though this week at work tipped me over the edge the other direction), I stayed home today.

Last night was wonderful! I walked to Blockbuster and rented Sense and Sensibility (Alan of my favorite actors), Closer with Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Julia Roberts, and He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not with Audrey Tautou (from Amelie). I walked into the new pottery and glazing store to check out prices, and then to Shopko and bought myself a mermaid coloring book. The urge to color with good crayons has been quite strong. Especially since I've been buying box after box of fresh, new, never opened 96 Crayolas for our Operation Christmas Child boxes. So I got out my old box of 120, given to me by Adrian some birthday back in college, and my new Mermaid generic $1 bargain book and drew pictures for my kids in Tanzania and the Philippines. I watched two movies in the bargain.

Today I finished the book I've been working on between endless work shifts, White Oleander, and had a few naps. I still haven't finished my Lewis final paper, which I want to write, but want to do well, so I'm waiting for a good stretch of time. Today would have been good, but it feels SO GOOD to nap and loaf around. I haven't had a free day at home in weeks. I've ordered a carry out pizza and will watch the Audrey Tatou movie over dinner. Hard to read subtitles and color at the same time.

I spent some time this morning tracking down a director I worked with last fall who hasn't sent me my reel, and putting another item on eBay to see if I can sell enough to buy a plane ticket to Chicago in November.

I have one bone to pick, again, about waiting on Christians tables. I've said it before, but here's another friendly reminder from a person who is very glad that SHE has to wait on them, because they aren't going to harm their 'witness' to me, just annoy me very much and give me something to blog about:

This week has been church visits week. Pastors meetings, church groups, individuals. So far I've enjoyed the pastors and the couple from Georgia who have done a lot of missions trips the most. One group of women last week didn't like anything I brought them, everything wasn't how they'd pictured it (their fault, not mine, I'd brought everything they'd ordered out correctly). They didn't want croutons, and I can't remember what all now, but everything was very Screwtape Letters chapter 17 which I have dogeared since Solvang. Then, as I finished pouring fresh ground pepper on their salads, they all bowed their heads and told Jesus how greatful they were for the food. Huh. I wasn't fooled and I'm willing to be he wasn't either.

Thursday night I crawled off my pre-cold death bed and came to work hoping it would be busy since the prime rib buffet in the bar usually means a lot of overflow for the restaurant. Not the case that evening, and the three of us plus busser stood around. At 8:00 I was about to leave when one more table came in. A young couple on their 10 year anniversary. It was my turn, and they ordered appetisers and expensives meals, so I decided to hang on anyway for the tip at the end. They bowed their heads and prayed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The average meal lasts 40 minutes to an hour. An hour and a half later, they were still talking, kissing, holding hands. They wanted dessert. They were taking pictures of each other. I offered to take one with them both in it, and took two at their table, two in front of the fireplace. The other waitress took pictures of them down the hallway on a large couch. Then...they disappeared into the bathrooms. We waited. Their dessert was uneated. 10 minutes later they still hadn't come back, and neither of us wanted to go check on them. Finally they reappeared, ate dessert, paid their check, and left a $3 tip on a $60+ tab, and a comment card with all tens and a "keep up the good work!" Huh.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Creme Brule

Quote of the day, week, month, and possibly year

From a comment card at work: "Creme Brule was burnt."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another Murphy's Law Day

Another Murphy's Law Day

This week I've been communicating a director in Vancouver, BC. Everyday I checked my email before I went to work to see if I had an audition. Thursday I still hadn't heard from him, and knew that if I didn't, I'd have a message on my phone when I reached mile marker 115 telling me that I had one that evening.

I should learn to listen to my sixth sense. On my way home, sure enough, was a message from Rummi re-confirming my 9:30 audition. (Reconfirming? That implies it was confirmed at one point.) So I called Becky to see if I could crash there, and called the director to reschedule for 10:25 the next night.

Friday was my day off. I did errands, shipped ebay items out, got my rock chip repaired, and was ready to leave town from getting gas on 16th and Lincoln. On my way out I remembered that I'd forgotten my headshot. Ran back home. Went from home to deposit my last tips for gas money on 1st. Had a litle more time, so stopped in at the Lighthouse to talk to Nancy for half an hour. Left the Lighthouse and drove to Ellensburg. Four miles outside of Ellensburg I remembered another crucial tidbit. While I was in Cambodia legislation was passed that you can't cross the border now without a passport. Mine was in a drawer at home.

I called Miles to make sure there was no way I could cross. Then turned the car around and drove back to Yakima, got my passport, and turned around again, now two hours later than I'd intended.

Finally on the way I talked to Kristina. I pulled into Seattle at 6:30 -- just in time for dinner with the Logsdons before finishing out my trip to the border by 10:00. At 7:30 I got on the road again, making good time. The director called again to ask if I could be there an hour early. Not exactly. I told him my eta was 10, and I couldn't get there any sooner.

9:30 pm I reached the border, with 25 miles to go. And there I hit a major snag. A line stretched out for miles from the border. With the clock inching towards 10, I finally had to concede defeat and call the director to tell him I would be there neither at 10, nor 10:30, but more like 11. He sighed and said his crew had a long two days, and he couldn't keep them any longer.

So I pulled off the road at the last mile marked in the US and got gas, got coffee, and called the director back to talk to some of the other directors who were auditioning the next day. None of the shows sounded worth spending an hour and a half crossing the border plus buying a hotel room for. I turned around and drove back to Seattle.

The plus side, in 6 weeks I can try this again for three shows that all sound really interesting. Every cloud has a silver lining.