Monday, September 11, 2006

What I did over the weekend

Ideally this post title should have had the word "who" in it instead of "what" but alas, it was not that kind of weekend.

After going through hair hell on Friday, I finally managed to get my butt up around 6 p.m. on Saturday. I woke up before then a few times but B&N kept convincing me that it was time for another nap. This gave me just enough time to clean myself up so that I could head out. I met up with Grasshopper only to discover a bar full of ugly men. *sigh* But our fave bartenders were there -- and they're hot enough to make up for most of the ugliness that was around us. Bottom line is that I am still a frustrated girl.

When I finally awoke on Sunday, I called my dad to see when I needed to show up in Sack of Tomatoes. (Sunday was my stepmother's birthday. Also I needed to make my payment on the money I received from B of D. B of D requires personal appearances in lieu of monetary payments.) I hit traffic so I was 30 minutes late. I went with my dad, stepmother and stepbrother to a new restaurant in Elk Grove. The restaurant probably will not last long. The food was OK. The service was great. The manager is a brainless twit. We had finished our meals and had received the check when two of my dad and stepmother's friends showed up. They just wanted appetizers and so joined our table. The manager took it upon herself to take back our check to make a correction. It seems that now we were a party of six and so she had to add the gratuity. Never mind that my dad had had the check for a long enough period of time before the arrival of the friends that he could have paid it. She did the same to their check as well. My dad questioned her on this. She said, "But now you have six people sitting at the table." The gratuity was for 15%; my dad had planned on leaving at least 20%. He told the manager this. She said that she would "do us a favor this time and remove the gratuity." My dad said he would pay it but that she should let the server know that by her actions, she cheated the server out of extra money. The whole ride back to the house my stepmother ranted about the whole thing. My stepbrother, the photojournalist who used to occasionally dine with a food critic at his newspaper, and I said the whole problem was that they added the gratuity after they had given us the check. We also said that if this was their management style, they probably would not be in business six months from now.

I just realized that I probably have not spoken of my stepbrother and his ordeals. A few weeks ago, he was leaving work and passed out. He was rushed to the local hospital where they discovered that his kidneys had failed. He just got out of the hospital a week and a half ago. Because he is not completely well, he needs someone to drive him to his dialysis treatments. His apartment is a studio so there is no room for someone to stay with him. His mom and my dad decided that he should stay with them until he is well enough to take care of himself. Thankfully my stepmother just retired back in May so she has loads of free time.

Oh, and while in Sacto on Sunday, I found out that my cousin in Nashville's husband is now in the hospital. Something about congestive heart failure. Ummm. He's in his 40s. I am so tired of illness in my family. Just when I think that I am out of tears, I discover that I was mistaken.

On my drive home, I decided that I needed some entertainment. I called up the Chef. He hasn't had a day off in so long that he can't remember when his last day off was. He has promised to call me next Sunday. He thinks that the following weekend, he can finally take a day off and we can go out. If he wasn't so cute and cool, I would have written him off long ago.

And today? The morning of September 11, 2001, I was hopping into a rental car in Hampton, Virginia to drive up to DC. I had a flight out of Reagan National that afternoon. I had been attending the second funeral of a close family member in a three week time period. I ended up staying in Hampton and flying out of Norfolk. Nothing like staying in an area with loads of military installations while the country is under attack. And I will never get the image of the second tower collapsing live on TV out of my head. During that same time, my father had had a heart attack and it was the one year anniversary of my grandmother's death. Oh yeah. And I was interviewing for a new job because I was about to be laid off. By November of that year I was in therapy because I was so depressed. The therapists told methat I was supposed to be depressed. December I flew to London for a week because I had sworn that the next time I got on a plane, it would be for a happy occasion. January I decided that I hated my new job and that I would go back to school to get my teaching credential. Actually I decided in December that I needed to find a new job; January was when I knew what the new job would be. 2001 was a painful year but I also know that I would not be who I am today if I had not gone through that pain. The next time I need to make a major life change, I hope it's a little easier. And no one should have to die.

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