Sunday, July 31, 2005

a journeys begining.

And so it has all begun.

Today I woke up as calm and relaxed as I have been for months. Moving to Alaska is something that someone else might do.

It had not yet hit my that this was my move to make.

I put the finishing touches on my suitcases.

I loaded my rental car with my most prized belongings.

Still calm. Still relaxed.

I picked out an outfit for the day.

Cool as a cucumber.

I took a shower.

I was shaking with nerves by the time the water stopped running.

I am moving to Alaska. To the middle of nowhere. To a lack of civilization.

My head spins at the prospect.

Now, miles about the earth I see the world I have known sitting peacefully below a layer of clouds. The world I am entering stretches ahead.

The now familiar butterflies morph into a knot of snakes.

I know this is the right move to make.
I know that this is a great career move and will assist me in my future goals.
I know that this is the adventure I have been yearning for.

I know that I still feel too young to be a teacher.
It was just yesterday when I was the one sitting in a desk looking toward the teacher to impart their knowledge, or rather, waiting for the bell to ring to save me from the “excitement” of yet another class.
Now I am the one to stand at the blackboard and make futile attempts to keep everyone awake and interested.

Friday, July 29, 2005

road trip

15 hours of pain and suffering at the hands of construction workers everywhere.

Before the big move I made a “short” road trip from Northern Kentucky to Florida. The entire journey down reeked of the torture that only interstate 75 can provide.

As I sit on the plane making my way back to Kentucky I can only think: “thank god I’m not driving.”

Maybe I’m getting old, but I simply can’t handle a road trip like I used to.

Georgia, I hate to say, is an unknown level of hell. It is the longest and most irritating state I that I have had the misfortune of visiting. Atlanta is a disaster. The highways are 7 lanes across in each direction. Thousands of poor souls enter the motorways daily, thousands of people fighting to use the same exits.

They cross their fingers in single passenger cars, hoping not to be caught in the carpool lane.

And they love to honk their horn.

I expect the song of the car horn in New York City.
I welcome its shattering screams in Chicago.
I expect its existence on the oily and dirty black topped paths of Detroit.

However, when traveling the lush, peaceful highways of Georgia the bleating of a car’s horn is just another reminder of the multitude of methods we pollute this world.

I thought the south was supposed to be slow paced.

I was passed by an old couple, wrinkled and hunched in their painfully aged Lincoln Towncar. They traveled along at the brisk pace of just over 95 mph.

I felt a stereotype shatter at my feet.

As the pieces of assumption glittered on the floorboards a wave of guilt and shame washed over me.

They passed me on the right.

No doubt muttering “damn young people”

I hate Georgia.

real estate

This morning I was awoken by shrill ring of the doorbell.
9 in the morning.

This is vacation, if I get up before noon it’s cause for celebration.

At the door is an old woman with a perplexed look on her face.

”Who are you?” she asked.

Isn’t that supposed to be my question?

“I am a friend of the owner of this house… and you are?”

“I am the real estate agent trying to rent the house out. I have a showing this morning. Why are you here? Didn’t anyone tell you?”

The owner of the house is a pilot. He cannot regularly answer his phone.
This woman is so flustered I get the feeling she is trying to remember if she even called. Making mental notes to check her call logs.

She asks if she can come in.

I stand bleary eyed. Still in my pj’s, I invite her in.
I need to put on a bra and more substantial pants.

When I get out of my bedroom, after adorning clothing and cleaning the place up a bit, I see this aged tornado zooming about the living room attempting to create the illusion of a completely uninhabited house.

She was hiding our shoes under the couch.

I cleaned the necessities. The place looked great. I let her play with insignificant details. Constantly muttering how sorry she was that she ruined our entire vacation.

Very egotistical notion, if you ask me. The idea that she alone can ruin my trip to the beach is ludicrous.

She attempted to banish my jacket to an uninviting kitchen cabinet

Ah well.
Though I would much rather have finished the dream I was having which starred Captain Jack Sparrow and his big ship than wake up to a tiny wrinkled agent of the unstable real estate gild, it happens. It made me get dressed at a reasonable hour and get out of the house. Good excuse for a little window shopping.

the journey home

Now, I am several miles in the air awaiting clearance to land in Atlanta.
I previously mentioned Atlanta, and noted it was something to the liking of a hell dimension.

Evil has once again reared its ugly head.
This flight was delayed 45 mins from Melbourne to Atlanta due to a storm hovering over the city of my pain.

Now in the air, circling Atlanta, we have run into a second problem. The storm has grown to such intensity that the airport has closed to all traffic.

We stayed in the holding pattern for over a half an hour.

The pilots voice over head mentions that the storm is showing no signs of retreat and the fuel level is getting lower and lower.

Very tactful move, “This is the pilot speaking, we are running out of gas. Enjoy your flight.”

The girl on my right is in tears.

We are being diverted to Savannah.
Now, as we circle Savannah, the pilot informs us of a storm growing here as well.
We will, however, be able to land shortly.

Check that, a storm has opened up over Savannah. Charleston is our new destination.
This has got to be some kind of cruel joke.

We have been in the air for 3 hours. The flight had a scheduled time of 1 hour 6 minuets.

As the pilot informs us of this unlikely turn of events a smattering of uncomfortable laughs and groans echo around the cabin.

All of Georgia has rebelled against me and is forcing a flight to an entirely new state.

I just want to go home. Wait, homeless.
I just want to go to someone else’s couch.

We land in Charleston. The gates are all full, the plane cannot get anywhere near the airport.

The child behind me starts crying.
Good times.

Two hours later the fuel truck pulls up beside the plane. A roar of applause, started by yours truly fills the cabin.

Pirates of Caribbean is playing on my laptop. The child behind me stops crying and begins to watch the movie. I look around and people in several rows are craning their necks to watch the movie along with me.
Thank you iBook, thank you Johnny Depp.

Eventually the plane takes off and moves us slowly into Atlanta.

Landing takes awhile but is otherwise uneventful.
We have, of course missed our connecting flight to Dayton, Ohio. (This is an airport about an hour from where I live, but the prices were better.)

We board the next flight a beautiful 6 hours after getting on the first.

The flight to Dayton, estimated time of 1 hour 15 minuets, takes 2 hours 30 minuets.
We are relived by the speedy flight.

At the moment of landing in Dayton we gave a cheer. We are almost home.
Nothing can go wrong now!

Famous last words.

The man who is to pick us up from the airport and deliver us to our comfortable homes is not here. He went to the wrong airport. He is waiting in Cincinnati.

Another hour of fun times in the airport.
I will never get home.
I will never get to someone else’s couch.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


well, the big move has begun.

i am now homeless.
friends who wished to posess my furniture came a week earlier than expected.
but as that was the only day they could get the stuff, i could not argue.

i am, therefore, homeless.

i realize, now, that i have taken my apartment for granted. i never truly recognized how often i simply sat and relaxed in my own home until that home was gone.

moving on. reason for the lack of a bed of my own?

it is finally upon me. in one week i will pick up my patiently packed and waiting luggage and begin my journey to alaska.

this summer has been moving at a slow gait toward my departure and even with but one week separating me from it, i find myself feeling no closer.

the whole thing still doesn't feel real.
more like a short vacation or a trip for someone else.

i am moving to alaska. i am leaving everything i have ever known and delving into the complete unknown.
images from northern exposure flit through my mind.

the idea of jut moving to alaska is something that has seemed ludicres to even my best friends. i get strage looks and comments when i mention my plans.

even in my own mind it seems like something out of a badly written adventure novel. who knows, maybe it will become one.

ah well, the coffee shop who's internet i am happily stealing is closing and i must put an end to my ramblings.
i hate not having internet of my own anymore.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


this is a story from awhile ago but recent events made me think of it.

i was at the diner when a party of 5 walked in. three children two adults. they seemed to be from the more upstanding mold of rednecks. i walked to the table and did the usual introductions and asked for the drink orders.

each ordered a coke. i respond in a joking fashion "well that's easy, and i was looking for a challenge"

the "man" of the table looks at me with a scathing expression and utters "if you want a challenge maybe you should try college." his automechanic's uniform glints at me.

wrong waitress, wrong day.

in the back of the house on a small corner table were my textbooks. finals were approaching for one of my most difficult semesters of school thus far. every free moment was spent making notes and checking them twice.

class list: physics 211, biology 234, chemistry 132, and art history (for some light reading)

i grit my teeth and leave the table. i'm not going to do anything rash. i will not retort. i will not retort. i will not retort.

i bring the drinks to the table, he acts as if i was not there. i am beneath him.

i grit my teeth.

i forgot the straws.

he says "straws too complicated for you? it must be tough to know you'll always live at the expense of decent hardworking people."

i leave the table.

i slowly proceed to the back of the store.
i will not retort.

i pick up my textbooks.
i will not retort.

i move toward the table.
i will not retort.

i place the books on the jackass's table.
screw it, time to retort.

"i am in school. i am in my third year studying pre-med (small lie, actually studying to be a science teacher, but the books make it look true.) this job helps me get through school. you seem to believe you are above me. would you take my finals for me? or is this too below you?"

i pick up the books. i walk away. i am not gritting my teeth. big smile for the camera.

i call in a favor and have another server take over the table, i will not serve trash like that.

get over yourself asshole.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

mom's night out.

it's two in the morning.
my phone rings. it's my mother.

she flew in today to help me pack and to visit family. tonight she is suppost to be staying at her mothers'.

"daughter, what are you doing?"
um... it's two, take a guess. what are you doing?

"i'm at your aunt's house, will you bring us white castles?"

"we need white castles. we have wine, but no little burgers."
zoom in on my look of suprise.

i look at my watch, i bang my head repeatedly on the wall.
fine. how many do you need?

"well, it's your aunt, uncle, and me. you think 20 will do it?"
dear god.

my mother is not a lush. she is a sweet woman with a good, if not sometimes lite, head on her shoulders. she just occasionally drops her better judgement for a more fun loving attitude.

i arrive at the house with three bags of drunk food.

they are sitting at the table giggling like teenagers after their first beer.

"what took you so long? we're hungry"
i live on the other side of town.

two huge, nearly empty, bottles of wine sit in front of them. one red, one white.
before i can even sit down, they pour me a glass.

heavy eyelids look out at me. slightly slurred speech speaks goofey sentence fragments.
they scarf the burgers.
they giggle at the dog as it trys to help them with their snack.

by the time i go to leave, it's 4 in the morning.
my mother attempts to convince me that she can drive.
she walks a wide swerving line while tapping her nose. giggling
she does a dance reminicent of something from Leaving Las Vegas down the same line.
she asks with a slur in her step if i would let her drive to my place.

i respond with a very firm "no"

"you can't tell me what to do, you are not my mother, i'm your mother"
she actually started that sentence with a serious tone, but ended with a fit of giggles.

i grounded her and sent her to her room.

oh, how the tables have turned. i remember like it was yesteday when she taught me the dangers of drinking and drunk driving. i remember when i was the irresponsible one.

i am my mother's keeper

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

using a squigy for fun and profit

i went to the diner a little early today.
my car was in the shop across the street and, not knowing how long it would be, i ducked into my place of employment for lunch before my shift.

as i sat, reading my book and munching on a wrap, my manager approached. from the look on his face i knew nothing good could come of this conversation.

"the dish guy called in and we are short a cook. i can't do both"
somehow this is my problem

he does not ask the question but i can read it across his face.

"fine, i'll dish, but your buying me dinner."

great start to a day. not only am i on dish for the evening, but i am going to close.

i have done dish at other resturants before, but never here.
oh well, you learn something new everyday.

the evening started out pleasantly enough. i like spraying things with water and playing with a squigy always brings hours of fun.
i wrote a song, which the kitchen crew got a kick out of. it was entitled "dishes are like fishes" though the words are lost on me now.

i titled myself the "dish fairy" and brought stacks of china goodness to all the good girls and boys.

at about 9, however, the fun left me.

hell, friction left me.

my shoes became ice skates as the mats on the floor were rolled up for cleaning.

suddenly the simple act of walking became a perilous game.
i named the carpeted floors outside the kitchen "friction world"

i hate these damn shoes.

there where moments where i felt like the cartoon cat when he slids out on the ice. paws flying everywhere.

i wrote a song about life on the slippery tile. somehow i managed to get the phrase "clumsy triple sow cow" into the lyrics without missing a beat. or, rather, without slaughtering it.

the last song of the night dealt with an incident with a brown gravey laddle.
to save face and avoid embarressment i will refrain from telling that story.

i will leave it with the simple truth that two hours later i was still picking brown gooeyness out of my hair.

i walked from the resturant with a burn across the back of my hand, a bruise on my shin and backside, and an overall feeling of moisture and grease.

when i got home i had a difficult time deciding whether or not to take a shower. not that i enjoyed the dirty greasy feeling, but after spending 8 hours of perpetual dampness i really didn't know if i wanted to submerge my self in more water.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


today was a long day.
i woke up exhausted and it just went downhill from there. the only "redeeming" quality was a table of 3 that was just shocking enough to keep me going.

my diner does not pride its self on heathly eating choices. most of the menu features fried food coated in tartar sauce. so i am more than accustom to the overweight clientele.

a group comes to the door. i know from the moment they arrive they will be in my section. i have all the tables and they will not fit in a booth.

to say that the two women where large would be a sever understatement. they could wear circus tents and find them a little tight around the mid-section. the man with them overshadows them.

he is huge. wearing shorts i am able to see his fleshy calves. they are as big around as a tree trunk. he does not simply have "cankles" but looks as if he has a tutu around each ankle.

i am already preparing my self not to laugh when they order diet cokes.

i approach my self, attempting to not stare at the rolls looming ahead.

i do my speech. the woman order diet cokes, shocker. the man, however, orders a 32 oz cherry coke with lots of extra cherry. for those counting at home, one squirt of cherry syrup has 80 calories, a 32oz typically gets 3. i bring the drinks, his with 5 shots of cherry goodness.
there is not enough cherry. he asks me to double it.

i ask if they are ready to order. now, typically when a heavy patron orders a diet they seem to think that they are doing well toward their diet and can get something greasy. after all it is a diet coke they are drinking.

the women each fulfill this age old tradition, ordering our double cheesburgers, but asking us to hold the tartar sauce. they site the reason as "they are trying to be healthy" of course they get fries.

the man, however, goes above and beyond. "diets are for pussies" he states. he orders. two double decker burger, extra tartar sauce, fries, and the soup and salad bar. his triple chins waving with each word.

"you must be hungry," i say in my best server voice.

"oh no, that's what he always gets," one of the women laughs. everything on her jiggles.

really, then how do you keep you figure, i want to say. i urge myself to repress any and all of the comments spilling into my brain. i need a response.

go on a diet you fat slob! is on the tip of my tongue waiting to spring forth. if i try to say anything i will fail. system shutdown. auto pilot kicks in.

cue fake server laugh, cue endearing smile, cue quick dash to the kitchen.

i can't run their food, i con a coworker into taking it out for me. she checks for refills.

they all need more pop. damn. i must approach the table. refills in hand.

food is spilling out of the man's mouth as he thanks me. tartar sauce coats his mouth and drips from his thick fingers.

i taste vomit in the back of my throat.

they eventually order desert. i take it out, clean up the wreckage of their meal, and drop the check.
hot fudge dribbles as they smile at me.

i scurry to the kitchen again and refuse to come out until they have waddled from our restaurant.

they left me 10 dollars on a 23 dollar check. great tip. but not worth it. i felt like a drug dealer, peddling an early death to these people.

Friday, July 01, 2005

the next generation

i know that as we age we have the right to look back on our younger years and see all the good. the aged rarely remember the truth and rely instead upon how they think they should have acted or what they should have done. this being said, i must say, i was never as bold or "aware" as those in the teenage generation.

we just hired a new kid at the restaurant. he is 16 and looks about 12. he is our new busboy and is currently training to work the cash register.

he seems to think that he is funny and appealing to the rest of the staff. he makes comments about how cool he is and is critical about how we do our jobs. it's difficult to keep a strait face when he attempts to fling an insult.

i remember when i took my first job. though i am an outspoken person, i refrained from saying much outside my job description for several months. i was petrified of my co-workers thinkinng of me as a stupid teenager.
i waited until i was comfortable in my position to begin the insult slinging that is common in the food service industry.

kids today have no respect.

as i left the restaurant today he followed me out. i asked him what he wanted. "your taking me home with you," he joked.

i laughed and thought to myself, 8 years. this child is 8 years my junior.

he then stated, "i have always liked older women" followed by, "i may be young, but sometimes it's good to be fresh".

i continued the laugh of the confused. i would never had had the balls to make a comment like that, seriously or in jest. especially in the first week of my employment.

what has happened to this generation?

i had a table today comprised of 14 and 15 year olds. two boys, two girls. they seemed nice enough and i have waited on the girls before. sweet kids.

as i passed by the table several times i heard words that i, at that age, did not even know the meaning of.
the word "clit" was mentioned, as well as several sexual positions.
they talked with the confidence of someone well versed in the topic.

these are children.

i felt myself blush when i heard their conversation, though i doubt they understand that it was blushworthy.

someone needs to take the entire generation over their knee. have we coddled them too much? have we given them too much free-rein? have parents bought to much into this nonsense of children's rights and have turned out a generation of miscreants?

i don't know the answer, but i see the problem every day.

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