Working Overtime

June 28, 2008 at 7:22 pm (Alice in Chains, Music, Work)

That would be me… and my spiritual DJs.

Tuesday, I was scheduled to work 9-7. I left work at 11:45.  The big festival the Capitol City has expanded this year from 3 to 10 days, so our part of town decided to get in on the action. Our part of the festival was from 6 -9 and the unofficial mascot of the festival is a catfish. Executive Chef made catfish gumbo… 30 gallons of it. He sold 27 GALLONS of gumbo. That is a lot of okra, folks.

We were wall-to-wall people, inside the restaurant, for 5 hours. They had hoped that 500-600 people would come up… 1200-1500 actually made it. Insanity. Pure insanity.

Yesterday I was scheduled a double (9a – 10p), but I got to leave at 7:45. We had a memorial service in-house catering type deal, where they take over one side of the restaurant.  The widow called about 30 minutes beforehand and said, “Oh, the count went from 35-40 to 50.” YIKES. So much for one side of the restaurant. We set our private dining area as well and everything went off without a hitch, except it was just loud and full. The other side of the restaurant was packed as well. It took us three hours afterwards just to clean and polish the silverware and glasses.

Good money, but exhausting.

I was putting out butters one morning this week, maybe Thursay? Maybe it was yesterday (the days all run together), and I was thinking of this whole Jerry counseling thing and yeah, an Alice song came on the radio (Don’t Follow), then was also thinking about it the other night as I was coming home from the local gas station. Actually, I wasn’t really thinking of it, a lot of things were just floating through my thoughts and that one popped up and then “Down in a Hole” popped up on the radio.

Down in a hole/and I don’t know if I can be saved/See my heart/I decorate it like a grave…

I sat in my car in front of my house and listened to it, even though I have at least two versions on iTunes and the MTV Unplugged video.

I am down in a hole, but I’m pretty sure I can be saved. 

Case in point:  Last night I talked to Jeff. He and I were discussing Nate’s insurance and some medical expenses his insurance hasn’t paid, namely the $1400 of prescriptions they haven’t paid out on. I could tell he had either taken his meds, was drinking, or both. Since it was 9:45 and he was semi-coherent I figured it was his meds. Before long he was talking in circles and asking me if I hated him. I have every reason to, asshole, but I don’t. I just cut him off and got off the phone. I’m just not dealing with him like that anymore nor discussing that type of subject matter. its useless and a waste of time and energy I don’t have anymore.

THEN, AZ called and then he stopped by. He said, “Come outside and give me a hug.”  Before, I would have gotten that “feeling” in the pit of my stomach, something. Before, when I used to hug him I actually felt something, love, hate, love, something. The conditioned response was to run outside and hug him, so I did, but I didn’t feel anything. No love, no hate, no love.

I talked to T-Bird directly afterwards and she asked, “What did he want after so long?”  I had no answer. She said, “He always wants something, what did he want?”  I have no answer. Maybe he just wanted to see me (he’s gained that marriage weight, by the way). I told her I can no longer read anything into what he says or does. He stopped to see me, to say hi, and that is all. I can’t remember the last time I saw him in person.

I told her how I felt and she said, “You’re turned off. You shut yourself down and now you’re trying to turn yourself on again and in order to do that, you have to deal with Kevin, AZ, the fire, and Jeff, in that order. Jeff will always be around, so deal with him last.”

I said, nope. Jeff is first, because he sucks the energy out of me to deal with the other stuff. I’ve already taken strides, big strides to do that, and I continue to watch for those cues that he’s trying to suck me back in.

I’m really tired of feeling numb. Time to start peeling the onion again.

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Spiritual DJs

June 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm (Alice in Chains, AZ, Crazy Shit, Music, Relationships)

John Edward made the observation that the coolest job on the “other side” would be that of “Spiritual DJ” – the lucky soul who gets unlimited access to every song ever made and then must coordinate the seemingly coincidental playing of that “special” song at opportune moments – She’s getting in the elevator — cue music.

Somewhere between john Edward, Napoleonic dreams, dreams of lose teeth, letters to Sherry, and 600 miles, I realized that I really haven’t dealt with some things… like AZ getting married. Maybe I haven’t dealt fully with the fire or with Kevin’s death or even Hermione’s, but definitely AZ getting married is the one thing I shoved furthest down. The one thing I simply had no more energy for.

This is what happens when too many things pile up and this is what happens when the remaining energy you have to deal with grief and loss is gobbled up by a soul sucking alcoholic. I didn’t realize this until I no longer had to deal with the alcoholic, at least not on a daily basis.  This further compounds until you are carrying around the 500 lbs. of grief that John Edward talked about. It is a heavy burden.

I realized I had a problem when I spoke to AZ from Detroit International.  He had his usual complaints about work and work and work but said his home life was going great and wasn’t causing him any grief. My conditioned response of, “Oh, that’s great!” barely beat out, “I don’t fucking care about your home life and I don’t want to hear about your home life and I want to slap your face everytime you mention it.” I definitely have a problem here.

Its a mixture of seething, spiteful anger and a broken heart, a betrayed heart, a scorned heart – the most dangerous mixture on the planet.

I really have no need to have anyone to agree or disagree with me. I feel the way I feel and nothing will talk me into it further or out of it.  Not that comments or suggestions are not welcome and appreciated, but, I’ve already found the perfect sounding board. It may seem a bit odd, but I do tend to be a bit odd, its part of my appeal, but even I have to admit, this is one of the ODDEST ways I’ve ever dealt with a problem.

*TANGENT* Not really a tangent and sort of part of the story. Anyway, since I had my Come-to-Jesus talks with Jeff, I cut back on the Alice in Chains, at least for a while.  You can usually tell what’s going on by what kind of music I’m listening to and I thought by maybe changing my music, I’d actually change what was going on. That didn’t really work. Instead of not listening to Alice, I just started listening to different songs by Alice.  Because with Alice you have the “Fuck, my relationship ended and I feel like shit” songs, the “Fuck, my daddy was a drunk bastard” songs, and the “Fuck, my relationship ended and she was a psycho bitch so I’m glad to be rid of her” songs, and the “Fuck, life is fucked up sometimes” songs.

Instead of simply shifting focus, I also shifted songs.

*END OF TANGENT THAT ACTUALLY GOES WITH THE STORY YOU JUST DON’T KNOW IT YET, BUT YOU WILL*

The other night I was laying in bed and I started chatting and telling this person about AZ as though he were dead, because in so many ways, he is dead to me. Its the same feeling. Its the kind of loss that has a heartbeat.  I cried, not big gulping sobs, but, more than I have and I felt a little better. And this person didn’t do or say anything because, as you probably know, he’s not really here, physically, or any other way that I’m aware of, except through his music.

Its Jerry. You know, that guy from Alice in Chains. Yeah. No, don’t send the men with the straitjackets. I quite possibly feel more sane these days than I have in over a year, don’t spoil it for me.

Now, please don’t believe that I came by this very eclectic counseling tool lightly. I feel as though I’m self-aware enough to know when I’m truly heading over the deep end of the sludge pond. I was contemplating this as I drove home the other day and I thought, “Geez, its like I’m crying on his shoulder.”  She just thought “crying on his shoulder”… cue music.

Immediately, and I do mean immediately, I heard the opening acoustic riff to “I Stay Away,” by ALICE IN CHAINS. Not just any Alice song… but the song which has recently jumped to the top of my Alice song rotation. The one with the lyrics… “Tears that soak a callous heart.”  Not that I didn’t listen to “I Stay Away” before, I believe its been quoted here before, but, not nearly as much as “Sea of Sorrow,” “Bleed the Freak”, “Angry Chair,” “Anger Rising,”  ” No Excuses”, and “Don’t Follow.”

I said, out loud, “You gotta be shittin’ me!” 

See, I know you were wondering when I was going to tie in that “Spiritual DJ” thing. My work here is done. Draw your own conclusions.

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When It Rains, It Hails *Updated With Photo*

June 22, 2008 at 10:04 pm (Beading, Cats, My Travels, T-Bird, Work)

Yeah, we had a massive hailstorm today. First one I’ve actually experienced in person. It was… scary, but cool. I was just glad the hail was not big enough to do a lot of actual damage to homes and cars, it just damaged the vegetation.  We got about an inch of hail in 10 minutes.  North of here they got 2-3 inches, looked like winter time.

Friday, T-Bird and I left for Washington, D.C… and we all know how much I love D.C. traffic. I hauled ass up there, knowing we would get stuck in rush hour traffic since T-Bird couldn’t leave until noon. We had to be at the DAR Hall at 7:00 for our evening with medium, John Edward. No, we didn’t get read, but it was totally worth it. The folks in front of us were read and that was exciting enough. John was talking about carrying around grief with us and how its like 500 lbs. of negative energy. When he talked about that, I knew I was done and I had heard what I needed to hear and I could enjoy the rest of the show.

We stayed with Troy and his wife afterwards. It was Troy who actually got us to the DAR Hall in time, well, with two minutes to walk a block and a half. We went out to a local bistro afterwards and it was good but not any better and probably not as good as where I work.  We hauled ass back to WV on Saturday morning.

I woke at 6 a.m., not by choice, but fell back asleep and had a dream about Napoleon. Not the little guy from France, but my cat. I woke up with a very good feeling although the dream was kind of skewed and now Tango has decided to take on the Napoleonic traits of purring loudly and licking! I HATE LICKING! Ever try to sleep with a cat licking you??? Yeah.

I took a nap when I got home and then went to eat at my restaurant, as I’ve never eaten dinner there. It was so freakin’ good! Oh my hell! I wish I could afford to eat such good food all the time!

This morning, Nate was determined that I rise and go to watch the implosion of some old smoke stacks at the Dow plant… at 8 a.m.  One of the towers fell as expected and the other stubbornly refused to budge. It was anti-climatic.

I joined Eharmony. I did meet someone and I have gotten quite a few matches. The problem is… so many of them don’t put enough information in their profiles. I keep wondering if these guys are as boring in person as they are on paper… I just close the match and move on. Chuck wasn’t boring. His profile made me laugh and we talked on the phone yesterday. He lives in South Carolina and he’s a bartender.

My former Assistant Manager had this to say:  Well, you know how bartenders are, they can get laid any time they want.  I wouldn’t say that’s a good move to make.

I told her, Ms. I-attend-three-churches, exactly how judgemental I thought she was being, especially not knowing him. Not that I do, but if I start making judgement calls like that, I’m in for a hell of a rough road. I pointed out that, I, indeed, am a bartender and I’M NOT GETTING LAID! At least not regularly. Hell, at this point, I’m lucky to get laid AT ALL! I recently broke my dry spell… however, I want something more.

It really pissed me off, especially considering she’s still a “newlywed,” which she pointed out at family meal the other morning and then grossed us all out by referencing her husband and nookie, which I didn’t find palatable family meal conversation… considering her husband has a serious case of Dick-Do, meaning his belly hang out far more than his dick probably do.

She’s seriously gotten a complex since she stepped down from management. I’m working my first “Manager on Duty” shift on Friday. Because she was previously the Assistant Manager, if both the GM and Exec. Chef were gone, she took the MOD shift, but they decided that I should, since I’m the one who is actually Quasi-Management.  Trust me, I had nothing to do with it.

Anyway, she said, “Oh, I’ve been demoted.” I said, “No you weren’t, you chose to step down from management because you wanted to spend more time at home and with your horses.”   She’s driving me a bit crazy.

I made an awesome find at the local antique mall!!! I found a French steel cut beaded purse, hand-loomed, about 100 years old, in fantastic shape. I took it apart to access the damage.. a few rips where it was attached to the frame (which is brass), and some rusting, which I worked on today with a soft nail file. I also got some Naval Jelly, which is used to dissolve rust on antiques. I’ll try it out tomorrow on what is left of the fringe. I’ll have to invest in some matching antique beads so I can remake some kind of fringe on it.  It is very beautiful, heavy as hell, but beautiful. Once I restore it, I’ll probably be able to sell it for triple what I bought it for.

Life is good.

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Strange Days

June 16, 2008 at 7:02 pm (Crazy Shit, Family, Memories, Nate, Relationships, Work)

I’m sure I’ve posted a blog with a title like this before…

First, I still have the remnants of this effin’ cold. Any given moment I may spasm with breath-stealing, choking, wheezing, gagging, gurgling sounds. Really, I haven’t passed out yet. It may happen when I’m serving your food, it may happen when I’m sleeping soundly at 3 or 4 or 5 a.m.  I may not have any symptoms for a day or so, then suddenly I sound like an asthmatic in a goldenrod field.

Jeff was civil today.  Wonders never cease. This is the first conversation we’ve had since I hung up on him last week. I didn’t even speak to him yesterday when I picked Nate up. I really don’t have much to say.

When I cleaned my house, I found something Nate had stashed away with some of his toys – Jeanette’s Christmas CD. Can you say “Christmas in June?”  THANK YOU, JEANETTE!!! 6 months late…

Its almost the full moon. So soon????

We had a crazy lady at the restaurant the last time I evening bartended. I recognized her but couldn’t put my finger on her name or where I knew her from. Come to find out, she’s the owner of another restaurant in town, one which I’ve eaten at and always enjoyed. As it were, after I almost tossed her out on her drunk, belligerent ass, I saw her sous chef at a local bar that night. Her sous chef is the son of one of our former hostesses and used to work at our restaurant. I informed him of what a joy it was to serve her. 

Our capitol city is so small that my GM knew within 48 hours that her date had severely under-tipped the server at another restaurant because that server had worked with one of our servers and severs talk. Our server tipped off our GM who then rectified the situation by sending the other server a check with her thanks and apologies. Moral:  DON’T FUCK WITH SERVERS!

I was sitting at work the other night (rare, because I never sit at work, but had to because my feet were hurting so bad from the high heels I was wearing because I was hostessing) when I suddenly thought of Lex, my ex, the one who introduced me to blogs? Yeah, him. It was like a rift in time. I missed him a great deal, which sucks.

I forgot my blogiversary… it was at the end of May. Four long years.

Our family reunion was yesterday. I saw a couple of cousins I haven’t seen in four years, one who now has a baby. And she is the sweetest baby ever!  Which is good, considering they never intended on having children. She said she had a hard time coming to terms with being pregnant and becoming a parent, which I fully understand. However, Kiera is much loved and adored by her parents and the rest of us think she’s pretty swell too.  They’ve been married for 12 years and I know this because I was full-on preggo with Nate when they got married.

My niece and nephews were also there… for as long as it took them to eat, change clothes, and spend 10 minutes there until their mother took them to the pool. I didn’t see them again. My aunt remarked later that my brother was still waiting on my SIL as we were all leaving. I said, “That’s his fault. He married her.” IMHO, he should have brought the kids and left her at home.

When I get a chance I’ll tell you about my crazy Hungarian hotel neighbor from Milwaukee.

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Insomniac

June 10, 2008 at 11:02 pm (Alice in Chains, Black Stone Cherry, Cats, Crazy Shit, Music, Nate)

This is the first cold I’ve ever had that included insomnia as a symptom. It may also be the violent coughing fits that strike at the most inopportune moments, like at 3 a.m. I’m not certain this isn’t some sort of multi-faceted cold/sinus/allergy fucocktomy versus your common everyday cold. If I take stuff to dry up my nose then my coughing abates. There isn’t anything in my chest, because I know when that’s the case. Its all in my head and throat. 

The bad thing about this insomnia is… I’m so tired I can’t do anything other than wish I was sleeping.  I made the mistake of taking an Advil PM and was rewarded by a 3 a.m. coughing fit in which I was so sleepy I could barely hold my head up to cough. Oh joy and fun.

Hasn’t helped that Mother Nature has issued the heat smackdown and temps have been in the upper 90’s for fuck’s sake! The power outage last night didn’t help anything. Once the breeze cooled to a comfortable level after 1 a.m., the power came back on at 2:04 a.m. I know this because my bedroom light was on and, oh yeah, I was awake.

Mother Nature is smacking everybody down. God rest ye weary souls in the Midwest.

Nate has started summer camp and is coming home blissfully tired every evening. Jeff is none too happy and expressed his displeasure last night. Like I give a fuck. He said something to the effect that I had a job to go to everyday and he didn’t have anything and he was really looking forward to having Nate for the summer. I told him something to the effect that he should have thought of that before he got tanked for three weeks straight and decided not to deal with his anger issues. I told him something along the lines that he was a mean, hateful, angry, abusive person. Not just a mean, hateful, angry, abusive drunk, but person, period.

I forgot to mention, however, that I’ll be flayed, salted, and screaming before I send my almost 12 year-old to babysit his drunk daddy for the summer. How pathetic.

A new acquaintance of mine stated recently, “I always said I would die for my girls, yet, I stayed in this abusive relationship.” Her girls, like Nate, wised up before we did, and one of her girls was actually reviewing the real estate page to find them a place to live. She has left the relationship but when she said that, she spoke what I had been thinking myself. 

I told T-Bird after I came home from Milwaukee that this thing with Jeff is not really about what the court decides or doesn’t decide. Its really about me standing my ground. Its really about me standing up to him and speaking the truth.

Here’s a truth. I’m really bad about making allowances for Nate because of Jeff.  I’m not doing that anymore. Nate has to be held accountable for his actions, not that I don’t face resistence from Jeff for that, even though he’s the one who says I don’t hold Nate accountable enough yet doesn’t back me up when I try to hold him accountable. Okay, that Round Robin could just keep spinning but I’m plucking out its tail feathers.

And its not that Nate is this horrible kid. Nate is kind, considerate for the most part, very compassionate, loving, but also a kid, and prone to playing two ends against the middle and wiggling to get his way. I let him wiggle too much at times and I have to work on not letting that happen.

I have found, since booting Jeff from our daily existence, that Nate stops a lot of the behaviors that constitute what I call “wiggling.” Its probably because I’m less stressed and less exhausted mentally that I don’t give in but I’m not sure why he gives up easier, perhaps because he too is less stressed. You’d be surprised how much calmer he is now and how much better he listens and helps around the house.

Perhaps it is also that he sees and hears me standing up for myself and either has more respect for both me and himself or figures he’d better not mess with the sleeping bear or a little of both. Regardless, the next great hurdle is 7th grade. I simply am tired of the bullshit school turns into every year.  I won’t accept any less than I know Nate is capable of, period. I hope he gets that message over the summer.

In happier news, Black Stone Cherry is releasing their 2nd CD on August 19th, entitled, “Folklore and Superstitions.”  Right up my alley, boys! Woot!  I’m chompin’ at the bit, waiting to hear the new music, especially since it is based on two of my favorite things. The song titles sound very interesting!  AND, Alice in Chains has tracked the demo tracks for their new CD… release date unknown, album title, song titles, and lyrics not allowed to be disclosed. It was initially thought they were actually recording the album but Baldy set us all straight and said to pack the cooler and lawn chair back up because it could still be a while.

“Not a Guns ‘N’ Roses Chinese Democracy while, but a regular band while,” so sayeth the Baldy.

One thing they did leak was ” the horrific assemblage of facial hair that has overtaken every member of” AIC… which you don’t get to see because it won’t load. Some women don’t like facial hair, but I love it. The more the merrier, well, except in cases of EXTREME facial hair. Regular ole facial hair is okay.

Anyway, and to make you all feel better, Jeff is good for something. He did find some kittens for us to adopt. We’ve picked out a little girl and a little boy (I know, I know). We’ve named the girl Luna in memory of our other Harry Potter kitty, Hermione. The little boy we haven’t decided if we’re getting and if we do what we’ll named him. I think I’ll secretly call him, “Alice.”  Hey, if Johnny Cash can have a boy named “Sue” then I can have a boy named “Alice.” LOL!

Good night, hopefully.

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Home Again…

June 4, 2008 at 10:13 pm (Beading, My Travels)

From the land of cheese beads beer. I love Milwaukee. Lots of beer. Lots and lots of beer, which I drank a lot of while I was there. Well, more than I normally drink. Met lots and lots of interesting people, including my bead heroine, Sherry Serafini. I learned a lot, but I had a horrible cold the entire time and didn’t sleep well. I spent a lot of money and learned a couple of new bead stitches and was greatly inspired by the ladies in my class and my teachers were the bomb.

I met so many interesting people, can’t wait to tell you about them. All is well on the home front. I’m really tired and I’ll be back later with stories of The Land of Beer.

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