Not Your Everyday News

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Characters Welcome

There is a television network, USA, that is running an ad campaign
where they say 'Characters Welcome'. Well, I may as well use that
slogan myself when it comes to the restaurant...we are simply chock
full of characters, comprised of both staff and clientele. Annie, one of
the gals who currently resides at the local state hotel (3 hots and a
cot!), is definitely different. She has this great southern/country
accent, all her words slowly drip out, and you wonder how someone
like her ended up in a place like that. She has opened up to almost
all of her co-workers, as well as to several of the regular customers.
Just the other night, she served....and befriended....the Thompsons.
Annie showed them pictures of her children and grandchild, and
spoke of some of her plans after she is a free woman (in May of this
year). In the midst of all the sweet, sugary family sentiment, Annie
proceeded to explain exactly how she was finally able to get a divorce
from her low-life (as she put it) ex-husband. (sneakily, but technically
legally!) She admitted that when she did get married, she thought it
would be forever, but it didn't quite work out that way. It was at that
point where she uttered a line that simply had the Thompsons and I
almost crying for how hard we laughed. Annie had been speaking about
this friend of hers who is a baker and specializes in wedding cakes, and
how this friend had made the cake for her special day. To reiterate how
special her friend's cakes are, Annie stated how she still had "a tier of
the cake in the freezer, it lasted longer than the marriage."
:) !!!!!!!!
What do you say to a comment like that? What can you say? I almost
fell out of the booth laughing, and I saw the Thompsons turning red
and reaching for their water glasses. The stuff I witness at the restaurant
is just too good, impossible to make up, or duplicate for that matter.
Seemingly innocent utterances like the one from Annie is what makes
me love my job, and makes it seem like anything but a job, but sheer
entertainment. Each time I walk through that restaurant door I am
entering a new adventure, as I never know what the night (or day
occasionally) will bring. And that, my friends, despite all the negatives
surrounding this business, is what makes it magic nonetheless. Drama.
Laughs. and most of all - Characters.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

High Maintenance -----

It appears that Seattle, Washington and its surrounding suburbs
are the U.S. version of Holland. They aren't quite as risque and
outrageous, but definitely have their share of controversy. Last
month I reported on the HOT cups of java being served by several
Seattle area coffee shops - by scantily clad baristas. Now I have come
across a story that has a personal touch for me (those who know me
will understand why immediately!)
Seattle residents Lori and Ryan
Pacchiano, brother and sister, recently
opened a pet store that caters to
extremely pampered pets, particularly
the female kind. Yes, it sounds enterprising,
but what is the big deal? Well, the name of
the store is actually the big deal - 'High
Maintenance Bitch'. LOVE IT!!! Lori states
that the fledgling company "is probably the
most high-end pet brand in the world."

She and her brother hope to open 10 more stores over the next 3
years at the cost of $200,000 each. (hhmmm, maybe time to find
some investors!) Some of the products they sell include Gel-ous
Bitch bath gel and Street Walker paw cleanser. Of course, neighbor-
hood residents and business owners are complaining, especially
about the store sign, in which 'Bitch' is in large, visible print. Folks
are concerned about explaining the word to their children; Lori
claims that she is merely trying to reclaim the word to it's original
meaning, which as we all know, is female dog, as opposed to a dero-
gatory word for women (I mean come on, alot of us have watched the
Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the commentators throw that
word around all night long!). Personally, I do NOT see the problem
here other than puritanical do-gooders with too much time on their
hands getting all huffy and puffy....get a life and a grip!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Good for birdcages...maybe

I am more and more convinced that the local newspaper that we have
in our fine city is much less than fine...actually, calling it a rag may be
a compliment. I have noticed on several occasions that certain topics
that I have written about here, which are actually newsworthy, (because
I must admit, some of the things I do write about aren't exactly subjects
CNN covers!) don't get coverage in our local rag until 1-2 days later. The
most recent example of this was my blurb about the removal of most
trans-fat from the famed Girl Scout Cookies. I wrote on Friday about
it, and the story was still fresh, but not HOT off the presses; our local
'news'paper didn't have an article about it until yesterday. The post
about the peanut butter recall is another example - I wrote about it
a couple of days before the local daily decided to give it press. I guess
that is why so many people read the paper from the state capital, as
well as the nation's capital; heck, I even know loyal readers of the
famed Big Apple publication. Unfortunately, this city is not big enough
to support a 2nd daily news edition; I can remember when someone
tried to put up a rival in the past, but failed miserably. Furthermore,
we do rely on the local edition for obituaries, court reports, comics,
movie listings, ads, and naturally all the local semi-scandals. But for
any national or international news, folks simply go elsewhere, as they
know full well it won't get covered locally at all, or only after several
days. Personally, I check all news headlines on CNN TV when I have
breakfast; I also check 3-4 news sources on-line (and send the raciest
stories to Lola!). Then, if and when I have time, I will actually peruse a
newspaper, usually at the restaurant over a cup of coffee. Need to stay
informed and up-to-date, never know what non-restaurant topic may
grace this blog in the future!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Space - The final frontier

Well, I may actually be speechless for once. I mean, basically all I can
do is just shake my head, both in pity and amazement. There are 2 new
girls working at the restaurant, one as a waitress, the other as a jack of
all trades, at whatever post we need her, be it waitress, dishwasher,
busser, or kitchen prep. They are both like 19 or 20, and you would
think, with a full life ahead of them. you would think. But they are both
just so out there, complete flakes, even flakier than my breakfast cereal.
You know it's bad when the regular customers, who usually try to be
diplomatic about the restaurant staff, have offered commentary about
these girls - in outer space, not residents of this planet, floating, unable
to focus - the list goes on. (No, I did not hire these space cadets, they
were given a try by my dayshift counterpart, who is turning out to be
quite the bleeding heart!) They are not bad girls, I actually feel sorry
for them, as it obvious that they are poor and with little or no parental
support (and absolutely ZERO parental guidance or supervision). But
I have a hard time believing they are going to cut it in the restaurant,
where the pace sometimes is beyond frenetic. Maybe part-time, on the
slower nights...maybe? We shall see. The only thing I can say is that it
isn't just our restaurant where the help isn't exactly top-notch. My
husband and I went to one of the famous chain restaurants the other
day, my favorite one of the bunch (known for its ribs, Tex-Mex, and
burgers). Our waiter could easily be related to one of these girls that
I have just mentioned. He tried to make a joke that died after the first
line, fidgeted with his hands constantly, and had this vacant look and
laugh. He then proceeded to forget our re-fills; he disappeared for the
bulk of our time there. He suddenly reappeared well after another
server got us our drinks. We still left him a tip, but not our standard
20%. Hate to sound cliche, but sadly, good help is hard to find.

Friday, February 23, 2007

#200 - all about the Girl Scout Cookies!

Believe it or not, Not Your Everyday News has just hit yet another
milestone - post #200! And I feel that I have definitely kept in line
with the title of my blog, I mean, after all, different kinds of beers,
the antics of the Dutch, Anna Nicole Smith scandals, my drama
plagued restaurant staff AND clientele, and naturally my fascinating
friends have provided me with fuel to keep this engine going. Plus
I can count on news headlines to fill in any blanks I may have; some
food or food service chain is bound to make someone sick, or a new
politician entering the national scene will definitely send us scurrying
for the Tums and Pepto! But I do have a bit of good news to report
today - Girl Scouts of the USA have announced that their delicious
cookies are now almost trans-fat free! The 2 bakeries that make the
cookies conducted numerous experiments on the recipes and found
that the flavor and texture were not compromised with the changes.
The Girl Scouts do acknowledge that most cookie varieties still have
partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, the primary source of trans-fat,
but as the amount is less than 1/2 a gram, they qualify for a zero
trans-fat label under FDA rules. The cookies are still high in sugar
and saturated fats, so they are certainly not a health food, and thus
must be eaten in moderation. hhhmmmm, when it comes to those
yummy Tagalongs, that might be easier said than done!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not Your Everyday...Beer

Hhhmmm, so this is how Santa keeps his
fine physique! I got this from a joke Lisa
sent me today: A guy walks into a bar
and asks "Bartender, got any specials
today?" The Bartender replies "Yes, as
a matter of fact, we have a new drink,
invented by a gynecologist patron of ours.
It's a mix of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and Smirnoff Vodka." The
guy then asks "Good grief, what do you call that?" to which the
Bartender replied "It's a Pabst-Smir!" I know - GROAN!
But it actually sounds better than a new beer that has hit
the scene in Japan. Called BILK, it was introduced in Japanese
liquor stores earlier this month; it combines a low-malt beer
with milk. Approximately 30% of the brew is milk and
apparently looks and tastes like beer but has a "slight milky
scent". It supposedly has a fruity flavor that the brewers hope
will be popular among women. Bilk is presumed to have a lower
alcohol content and be higher in calcium. The idea was conceived
last year after a large supply of surplus milk was thrown out; milk
consumption in Japan has gone down markedly over the last few
years. So I suppose some folks figured that Japanese citizens had to
get their calcium somehow . However, I seriously doubt that
Anheuser-Busch and the other major brewers are getting nervous
about possible competition in the future. I mean, EEWWW! (heck,
the Dutch beer for dogs that I reported on last month sounds more
appealing!) I love milk, but I find beer bitter, with an aftertaste,
plus it gives my bladder the yips. I cannot imagine destroying the
taste of delicious cold milk! Bring on the Life, Golden Grahams,
Frosted Mini Wheats, and Oatmeal Almond Crisp cereals!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This just in...

Was just checking the headlines before I hit the hay, and I came across
an interesting tidbit - the 2 satellite radio operators, XM and Sirius,
have made a tentative agreement to merge. I say tentative because the
merger still needs to be approved by the FCC (Federal Communications
Commission); it would also need to meet the anti-trust standards set by
the U.S. Dept. of Justice. It was just a few years ago that a merger
between the 2 providers of satellite TV, Dish Network and Direct TV,
was attempted but rejected due to heavy opposition to such a monopoly.
The National Association of Broadcaster's have already urged policy-
makers to reject the satellite radio deal, calling it an "anti-consumer
proposal". Both XM nor Sirius, despite having a combined 14 million
subscribers, are still facing financial losses. Neither have determined a
name for the company if the merger goes through. It would not affect
programming, but simply give listeners more choices (and higher
subscription rates perhaps?), from shock jock Howard Stern to diva
Martha Stewart. It should be interesting to see how this will play out
over the next few months.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Dutch are at it again

I have never been to The Netherlands, and know only a couple of
people who have. It appears to be a fairly attractive country, with
a bit of history as well. But as I have reported in this blog previously,
the Dutch folk are a bit on the liberal side - a statue dedicated to
prostitutes being a prime example of this. Now they have taken
open-mindedness to another level. A gym in the town of Heteren,
starting March 4th, will begin offering training sessions for nudists.
Every Sunday morning, nudist gym members will be allowed to, as
the CNN headline to the story stated, "get buff in the buff." Well
alrighty then! Gym manager Patrick de Man said that the Sunday
sessions were introduced due to popular demand but that "anyone
who shows up just to ogle will thrown out." Furthermore, staff
members will remain clothed and will pay special attention to
hygiene, making sure the au natural clients use towels or disposable
covers on bikes and other fitness machines. Nude gym sessions -
what's next, special times for nudists to grocery shop in the buff?
OOPS, I probably just gave some Dutchman an idea!

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Friends...and a video clip!

Another night, another short-handed shift at the restaurant. It is simply
ridiculous how low the work ethic has sunk, and it seems to just go
lower and lower. But as always, we got through it; it didn't hurt that I
was visited by some of my fave people. Naturally, the Thompsons top
the list. I know Mrs. Thompson enjoyed the sights - a rugby team from
another state university came into the restaurant to eat, and she had
a prime seat, able to view all the eye candy (yum!)! Unfortunately, you
could tell these handsome boys played a contact sport without a helmet,
not exactly the sharpest pencils in the box! The Browns were in also, as
were Lisa and Peter. Lisa has been quite ill lately, and her doctor at
first thought she had pneumonia; now her illness is undetermined, and
she is just miserable. Usually it is Peter who is a bit under the weather.
Hope they are both back to normal (or at least normal for them!) soon.
I then got a late-night phone call from Sandra, who was NOT a happy
camper to say the least due to a situation with work. I hope she comes
in to see me tonight (hint hint) - 2 heads are better than one, maybe we
can come up with a plan. Last but not least, yesterday I received a link
for the new video by one of the Goth bands that come into the restau-
rant. It is a remake of the the 50's classic 'Earth Angel' by the Penguins
(and remade several times over the last 1/2 century). Well, let me just
tell you that this version is very well performed; as for the video, it is
definitely DIFFERENT - to see it, click on the title of this post, it will
take you to the website where you can click on the video clip. The boys
are not in their usual black jeans and leather with chains, but in nice
suits. However, their hair is still in fine Gothic style! (hmmm, 2 posts
in a row where I have discussed I getting obsessive?!) ;)

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's all about the hair

Opened up my mailbox the other day, and what did I see but the annual
'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit issue. Inside I found about 20 scantily clad
bombshell models, naturally with names such as Fernanda, Veronica, and
Selita (have you noticed that there are never any models named Jane or
Mary?). Every year there is controversy about this certain issue of what
is probably the best sports news periodical. People get all up in arms,
screaming that almost nude babes is not a sport, that the one issue
diminishes what is otherwise considered a family magazine, how it is
just another example in the long line of exploitation of women, and on
and on. Then you will read the letters to the editor from people who want
to cancel their subscription. This year, 'Sports Illustrated' did something
different. A few weeks ago, they sent a notice along with the magazine,
asking you to advise them if you did not want to receive the Swimsuit
, and if so, they would extend your subscription by a week. Obviously
they are hoping to avoid the screaming "cancel my subscription" letters
from puritanical folks with too much time on their hands. Anyway, back
to this year's edition. It features several photos in 3-D - yes, glasses are
provided - as well as a free I-Tune music download. Naturally the mag is
chock full of advertisements aimed at men - cars, motorcycles, cologne,
and beer. And of course, there are the swimsuits themselves, or in some
cases, slightly oversized bandaids, worn by the lovely young ladies.
'Sports Illustrated'
always features "veteran" models while introducing
"rookies" (hey, they need to try to stay in the sports theme somehow!)
It is all good fun, I mean, I will never be able to wear these swimsuits, at
least not in public, and will never be as slim and trim as these girls, but I
am not really envious of all that, but of their hair! Some of these girls
have simply terrific hair - long, thick, and wavy. Every single one of the
20 girls have long hair - no short haired models. I remember one issue a
few years back when they tried a couple of short-haired girls; it was NOT
one of the most successful issues, evidenced by the fact you never saw the
short-haired models in their pages again. Obviously, for me anyway, the
dark-haired gals have the best hair, but even a couple of the blonder girls
have gorgeous tresses. Then I look at my dark, thin mane that I can't grow
too long because it gets weaker and even thinner, and the envy starts to
grow. I am tall, have above average boobs, and could be that thin if I
didn't eat from now 'til 2009, but I could never get hair like those models.
And that, my friends, is what really burns me up! It is all about the hair!

Labels: ,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Peanut Butter

Just got home from doing some grocery shopping, where I made a point
of going to the peanut butter aisle just to check things out. For those
who haven't heard, ConAgra recalled Peter Pan peanut butter yesterday.
(and yes, there were a couple of gaping holes on the PB shelf at the
grocery store I went to.) Apparently a salmonella outbreak in the U.S.
has been linked to Peter Pan. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) noticed a spike in salmonella outbreaks since August
2006; once the peanut butter link was determined, the CDC notified the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Investigations led authorities to
peanut butter made after May 2006 at ConAgra's plant in Sylvester,
Georgia. It is likely that the contamination was caused by dirty jars
and/or equipment. A ConAgra spokesman stated that the company
randomly tests 60-80 jars of PB a day for salmonella and other germs,
but "had no positive hits on that going back for years." The FDA last
inspected the plant in 2005. (um, can we say OOPS?!?!) Most states
have had cases, the majority have been in New York, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Missouri, and yes....Virginia. This naturally makes me
happy and relieved that my peanut butter of choice is Skippy (and
those who know me know I love my PB!). So I urge all Peter Pan
eaters to switch to Skippy - all 3 major flavors are great, whether it be
creamy, chunky, or the new natural - you can't go wrong!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lazy and shiftless

That is what I have to call some of the folks who work at the
restaurant. Yesterday, one of my dastardly dayshift days, we had to
open late due that snow/sleet 'storm' that we got here in Central
Virginia. I hesitate to call it a storm, as we got less than 2 inches. But
the way people acted and reacted around here, you would think we
had been hit by a blizzard of mountainous proportions. Naturally,
almost the entire dayshift staff at the restaurant didn't show up; we
didn't even open until 10:00 am just to give everyone enough time
to get out and drive in safely after the sun had come up. BUT NO.
Even with the sun shining, melting everything away, they were fran-
tically declaring on the phone that they couldn't out of their driveway,
trees had fallen, cars were stuck, bla bla bla. These 'people' (and I
hesitate to use the word people in this case) simply had NO intention
of coming to work, it was just a extra day off for them. So a waitress
had to come in on her day off to cover for her lazy colleagues (Thank
you Brandy, my ole reliable!), one of the cooks had to come in on his
day off to cover for another guy. Simply PATHETIC. And worst of all,
there is really little we can do about it, as the restaurant is short-
handed anyway. It is not like we have this backup team waiting to come
in and take over, so we have to keep these shiftless losers. Just SAD.
Yesterday was a prime example of one of the low points of the restaurant
biz. They say good help is hard to find...heck, at this point, I would settle
for fair to middling just to get rid of these indolent freaks, but even that
seems a stretch these days. Oh well, on to the run of concerts and
basketball games coming up, should make for chaotic times!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Has everyone given and/or received their flowers, chocolates, teddy
bears, jewelry, or electronic gizmo (that's for guys like my husband
of course!)? Valentine's Day has become, like all other holidays, quite
commercial, a bonanza for retailers. Couples who are deeply in love, and
people who truly care about one another, celebrate year-round, not just
February 14th; even so, there is always something special about this
mid-winter holiday. Chocolate covered strawberries might be at the top
of that special list! But how did we get on the road to adorable stuffed
animals and red roses? The history of Valentine's Day and its patron
saint is cloaked in mystery. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today,
contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Today,
the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named
Valentine or Valentinus; all 3 were martyred. One legend contends that
Valentine was a priest who served in Rome during the 3rd century. When
Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than
those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men, his
crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree,
defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in
secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that
he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been
killed for attempting to help Christians escape brutal Roman prisons,
where they were often beaten and tortured. St. Valentine's Day became
known as a romantic holiday in medieval times; the earliest surviving
written Valentine greeting is dated from 1415. It became a commonly
celebrated holiday in Great Britain in the 17th century; it was imported
to the U.S. a century later. Hallmark and American Greetings can thank
Esther Howland of Massachusetts for their huge February cash register
receipts. It was Howland who, in 1847, produced the first commercial
Valentine's Day cards. Her father ran a large book and stationary store;
after Esther received a Valentine from England, she decided to make her
own out of colorful lace, ribbons, and pictures to sell in the store. As
they say, the rest is HISTORY!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another hat in the ring

Mitt Romney. Y'all ever heard of him? If you are politically savvy, you
know he served a term as governor of Massachusetts. Well, today he
announced he was running for president. Mitt. Is that a nickname? Is
it short for Mitchell? Or is his name really Mitt? Catcher's mitt, oven
mitt, and now Mitt Romney. But I am going overboard here about his
name - moving on to his record. A native of Michigan (where his father
George served 3 terms as governor), he served one term as Massachu-
setts governor. As a Republican, it was quite a feat to win that election
in an overly Democratic state. He rose to fame originally when he
served as president of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic organizing
committee, which prior to his service, had been mired in controversy
and financial scandal and mismanagement. Romney was able to
reorganize the situation, culminating in a successful Winter Games.
Salt Lake City also serves as a backdrop to what may be the most
controversial issue about Romney's candidacy - his religion. Mitt is
a Mormon (he even graduated from Brigham Young University, the
famed Mormon institution), and we all know that about 80-90% of
all Mormons are in or from Utah. There are a great deal of misunder-
standings about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; most
conservative evangelical Christians, a major Republican voting base,
consider Mormons a non-Christian religious cult. While I don't
consider the Mormons a cult, I would definitely classify them as
non-mainstream. Thus Mitt will need to clearly communicate to the
conservatives what Mormonism is and in the values Mormons share
with other religious denominations. It will be an uphill battle, but
it should be a fascinating one. I am just waiting for Pat Robertson,
Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan, and Rush Limbaugh to say something
ridiculous about Mitt, sticking their foots in their mouths in the
process. Maybe we should just tell those fanatical maniacs to stick
a sock in it, or better yet, a mitt?

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 12, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Well, it didn't take long. Just one week after the disappearance of Chad
from the restaurant, it was Shaniqua's turn. Yes, her brief return was
indeed brief and is now mercifully OVER. Sadly, she had a complete
meltdown last night at the restaurant. I know folks have personal issues
and problems that they deal with on a daily basis, but to bring them to
work and then air them in public while making a scene is uncalled for.
Folks sitting in a restaurant, any restaurant, don't want to see or hear
that. Take it out back, or get out.....she chose option #2. But enough of
that, on to some better news! Some of you might remember the very
opposite sisters that frequent the restaurant - preppy Francesca and
ultra Goth Lilly. Both visited over the weekend. Lilly dropped in with
other Goths, including her possible/probable new boyfriend, who is
member of the other Goth band, not hers. Ah...birds of a feather! I do
hope this relationship works out for Lilly; her last boyfriend, both
Francesca and I agree, was not good to her. This one, I will call him
Sven here, just seems really nice, even when adorned with his brightly
hued mohawk! As for Francesca, YES, she has yet another new love
connection; she dumped her last boyfriend about a month ago because
he was too BORING (a common thread amongst all her chewed up
and spit out amours). Then this guy that claimed he had seen her at a
few parties (Francesca didn't remember him, but then that is really not
a shocker) ran into her at the clothing store she works at, and then
again at a burger place. Apparently they exchanged phone numbers,
and now have kind of sort of been seeing each other for about 3 weeks.
The new guy has promised to take her on a cruise in May once the
semester is done; both Lilly and I have predicted that Francesca will
have long broken up with him by then, probably for being.....boring.
Anyone remember the Hall and Oates song 'Maneater'? "She's sitting
with you but her eyes are on the out boy she'll chew
up" - folks, look no further than Francesca!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Politics are funny

Having a hard time keeping up with all the various goings on. I mean,
first the astronaut love triangle, then Anne Nicole Smith buying the
farm, different politicos jumping into the 2008 presidential race almost
daily - what to do!?! Just a couple weeks after Hillary Clinton announced
she was running for prez - to the surprise of NO ONE (wait, wasn't she
already president before, I mean, she kind of was, Billy boy was rather
busy if you know what I mean!), Barack Obama has tossed his hat into
the political ring. Thus the Democratic party is setting itself up to try
to elect either the first woman or first African-American president. I
would welcome either eventually, sooner rather than later, but NOT
with these 2 candidates as choices. Have people forgotten all the various
scandals of the Clinton presidency, and I don't mean Monicagate - let's
see - Whitewater, the travel agency thing, Hillary's talent for turning
junk stocks into 6 figure gains (and they sent little ole Martha Stewart
to prison for insider trading), and more. The fact that the Clinton's
were teflon snakes, able to slither away untouched from everything, is
still unfathomable to me. At least the junior senator from Illinois does
not have any scandal attached to him, but then again, he hasn't been
around that long...I mean, like maybe 2 months? Ok, he was elected to
the U.S. Senate in 2004, after serving in the Illinois state senate. How
on earth did someone who has had very little political experience on the
national level capture the attention of so many people so fast? He may
simply be the fresh face people are looking for; indeed, he has struck
many folks as being a decent fellow. But this meteoric rise coupled with
such a lacking political background just seems rather odd. I do want to
bring up the point that Obama is from Illinois, the state where Chicago
is, home of some of American history's greatest political machines and
scandals. I don't want to think that Obama is being backed and propped
up by one of these notoriously shady enterprises. No, let's not think that,
but his coming out of nowhere so quickly is rather striking. And we are
still 21 months away from the 2008 presidential election! I see all kinds
of political fun and games on the horizon!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith

Folks, mankind has lost the true icon of crass brassiness, brash trashiness,
and scandalous adventure. Anna Nicole Smith stunningly and suddenly
died yesterday; an autopsy is being performed today to determine cause
of death. Obviously, if drugs are involved, and we ALL know that this will
be proven to be the case, then it may take weeks to get the final results.
CNN, in a developing story just splashed on their website, has announced
that "large amounts of prescription drugs were found in Anna Nicole
Smith's hotel room." WELL DUH - surprise surprise! Smith was found
unconscious in a Florida hotel room, and when efforts to revive her failed,
she was taken to a local hospital, where Smith died soon after at the age
of 39. A tragic and dramatic end to a tragic and dramatic life. We all knew
her as the tramp who was on the cover of 'Playboy', was a Playmate of
the year, and at age 26, married a 90 year old billionaire oil baron. Smith
would then take the oil baron's family to court to fight for the millions
that she believed were due her after the oil baron's death; she had won
the last battle just last year, winning an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court.
But in the last few months, her scandal-filled drama took a sad turn; just
2 days after giving birth to a daughter (um, father of this baby is, at
this juncture, unknown), her son from her first marriage died of a drug
overdose (notice a pattern developing here). What I find rather unreal
at this point is the trend on the various TV stations this morning, where
Smith is being compared to Marilyn Monroe. Monroe, the most famous
vixen of her era, died in a hotel room of a drug overdose at the age of
36, in 1962. (naturally, there is controversy and scandal about this
'overdose', if she did it intentionally, unintentionally, or if it was
administered to her - remember Marilyn's scandals involved President
Kennedy and his brother, the Attorney General.) While I see the
dimwitted blonde bombshell, the drug use, the scandal driven lifestyle
similarities, I really don't see valid comparisons here. Monroe had
made several movies that, while not Oscar material, are still considered
classics today; Smith's reality show was a hit too - for those of the
trailer park trash culture. Monroe was a movie star, Smith a topless
dancer who won the lottery when she married the ancient oil baron
relic. But all barbs aside, it is sad to see this raunchy chick go. She
provided my pal Lola (who had actually left me a message on my cell
yesterday afternoon informing me that something had happened to
Smith) and I countless e-mail banter and jokes galore; we will need to
find a new 'victim' to sink our verbal claws into. Until then, let's just
hope that Anna Nicole is happily reunited with her son while dancing
and exposing herself to all oil barons in the sky!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Busy news day

Wow. Just finished perusing the headlines on the CNN website, and am
rather amazed at some of the stories. The top story, of course, is the love
triangle amongst those crazy astronauts at NASA. One space chick drove
900 miles to confront another space chick and warn her off her fave space
boy - by trying to kidnap her. You know, as I was reading that story, I
could only shake my head in amazement - you would never think bookish
rocket scientists would be in the middle of a scandal fit for the trailer
park! Goes to show you just NEVER know! Then we have the women who
died after using too much numbing cream on their bodies after cosmetic
procedures. The FDA has reported that apparently these creams were
toxic and overuse of such creams caused 2 women to have seizures, fall
into comas, and die. It reminded me of a story a couple of years ago, when
a woman died during liposuction. Ladies, there are limits - go overboard
trying to be a sexy bombshell, and you end up being a sexy corpse. The
next story is alarming, but not terribly surprising. The Ku Klux Klan, or
KKK as most folks know them, is experiencing a revival. The reviled racist
organization, whose influence and memberships declined in the 90's, is
growing again thanks to new victims arousing their hate - immigrants.
The KKK was always anti-immigrant, particularly in the 1920's (against
Catholic immigrants), but for the most part they were content on making
life miserable for African-Americans (in the past). But now with anti-
immigration sentiments on the rise, the KKK is focusing their poisonous
vitriol on Hispanics, whom they blame for higher crime rates and rising
unemployment. *sigh* as long as there are ignorant folks running around
rampant, this will be the result. Last, but by no means least, toymaker
Hasbro has recalled almost 1 million toy ovens! 985,000 Easy-Bake toy
ovens made after May 2006 have been found to be defective. Apparently
29 children got their hands or fingers caught in the oven's opening; 5 of
these children were burned. Hasbro did reiterate that the oven is only for
children 8 years or older. Consumers who notify Hasbro will receive a
free retrofit kit. Phew, thank goodness, now we won't be deprived of Dora
the Explorer Cinnamon Sticks!

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Invasion of the rednecks

A simply crazy weekend at the restaurant is almost behind me. It started
out very disappointing. Earlier this week I had mentioned about working
with the various members of the waitstaff. Well, one member I didn't get
to work with was Chad. He called me Friday late afternoon, informing
me he was running about 1/2 an hour late. He never showed, and never
answered my phone calls. Obviously he didn't make it in yesterday either,
so his return to the restaurant was very short and not at all sweet. After
calling me for almost 3 months trying to get back on the schedule, even
if only part-time, and me pulling strings to help him out and do so, this
was the result. Naturally, both Friday and Saturday were very busy,
which only heightened my angry disappointment (as the 2 waitresses I
did have are not exactly world beaters). Let's just say Chad better not
make any appearances at the restaurant when a certain little red
Protege 5 is parked outside; I don't want any phone calls either. (*note
to those who don't know me - do not get on my bad side after I have
stuck my neck out for you.....not a good idea.) But at least last night I
did have some nice visits and entertainment. The Thompsons came in
for dinner, as did the Browns. Then I got a visit from Sandra, who
proceeded to receive the attentions of several male customers of the
restaurant (and then she wonders why I call her the biggest flirt
ever?!?!?). Oh well, at least she brought me Lindt chocolate truffles;
hey, my friends know me well! The night ended with several groups of
customers of the redneck variety coming in after some kind of
hoe-down (or whatever rednecks attend on a Saturday night). The
majority of them were intoxicated, but at least they were happy drunks.
One tried to pay with a very colorful million dollar bill, then showed
me his "redneck driver's license" as a form of ID; the photo was of a
toothless man who very obviously had had too much moonshine! The
back of this "license" also had some rules of redneck etiquette, such
as never bring your sister as your prom date, and to make sure to
brush your TOOTH nightly! Ah, love 'em or hate 'em, one must admit
that the world would not be as amusing without rednecks!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Basketball is almost as cool as football

ALMOST...not quite...but almost as cool. The local university basketball
team scored a big upset over a Top 10 team last night at the arena up the
road. It was exciting to hear on the radio, I can only imagine watching it
on TV or better yet, being at the game itself, as it went down to the last
second in overtime. Naturally, the restaurant had a very good business
due to this game; alot of folks from both schools came in for dinner
before the game, and some for dessert afterwards. The varying emotions
are always fascinating to watch, especially from the diehard fans - peaks,
valleys, and everything in between! Many people get completely wrapped
up in sports and in the teams they support. Others get interested only
when a big event comes up, such as the Super Bowl, World Series, or
Final Four. And then there are those members of the population who
simply don't know a baseball from a hockey puck, have no idea what a
Boston Bruin or Celtic is, who think a Baltimore Oriole is just a bird and
a New York Jet some kind of airplane. Football, soccer, basketball are
my three fave sports, but I also like to follow hockey, the major tennis
events, and I try to not miss horseracing's Triple Crown. I immerse
myself in soccer's World Cup every 4 years; I also enjoy watching the
Olympics every 4 years as well, as they provide a chance to watch some
of the non-mainstream sports, such as skiing, skating, swimming, and
diving. There are SO many different kinds of sports around; I find it
hard to believe that some people simply don't like ANY of them. I
mean, I can understand someone not liking baseball or golf - they're
with a capital B. But no interest in football or basketball?
Well, to each his/her own, if everyone was the same, the world would
be monotonous, and no way can we have that!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Discount shopping

Not sure if it's the weather, but kind of have that 'in a rut' type
feeling. Maybe because nothing particularly scandalous or
outrageous has happened at the restaurant the last few days
(very out of character I know!). But I figure to get out of that rut
soon, as starting tonight, for the next couple of days, (if we don't
get the snow they are calling for, and I predict we won't, or will
get practically nothing) I will at some point be working with both
of our residents of the local state hotel, Shaniqua (ghetto fab),
Chad (ex-drag queen), and, I am sure at some point, will get to see
the dapper Philip (and his twisted mustache!). Yesterday I got to
work with the one and only Tiffany, who was gushing about a
5 piece sectional sofa, 1 of those sections being a chaise, another a
recliner, that she got for only $200! It is almost brand new; she
got it because a friend of hers found out his girlfriend was cheating
on him, so he dumped the girl and is in the process is getting rid of
everything of hers as well. The cheating ex apparently had bought
this sofa, so as Tiffany has friends in all kinds of places, she was
able to score the sofa from her heartbroken buddy. I have gathered
from alot of the staff at the restaurant that one way to pick up
gently used furniture, appliances, or even a car inexpensively is to
simply to be in the right place at the right time; be there when a
friend or family member is ditching something for fast cash, (for
some of our staff, it could be money needed for bail!) or in an
effort to cleanse oneself from a negative life experience. TA-DA,
an almost new sofa, stove, or vehicle - dirt cheap!