Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just wondering...

...does slicing up a banana into the bowl each time justify my having ice cream for lunch and dinner today?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Look what's new...

You know how they say, "never shop when you're hungry?" Well, this is what I came home with this afternoon...


I just finished a delightful bowl of the Fried Ice Cream flavor and all I can say is...mouthgasm!!! Perhaps I'll have a bowl of the Waffle Cone for dinner....

*Update*

The Waffle Cone was good, but not as good as the Fried Ice Cream. I think it's made with light ice cream, as it has a not-so-smooth texture. But the caramel and pieces of waffle cone get a big thumbs up!

I Heart My Brother!!

I'm going to assume that the fact that I'm still running on only 3 hours sleep in the past 48 hours would account for my goofy behavior at the moment. I just burst into tears in my car a few blocks from my house just thinking about my sweet baby brother. Like I mentioned below, he showed up at about a quarter to 2 to help me close up. Well, the big geek ended up making me stay out even later than I wanted! I could have simply turned the locks, shut off the lights, and been on my merry way, getting home by 2:30. But, NO, I had to stay and BS with my brother, so I didn't walk out until 2-freakin'-35! Which would mean it's now after 3am! My son will be home at 6ish, so apparently, I'll be spending another day with only 3 hours sleep. God help me!

Anyway, back to my brother. He had asked me if I had a good night in tips, which we already know I did, but then refused to take any of it. Ugh! That's so irritating! Besides him not making any money tonight, he already paid for the movie Sunday night, breakfast Monday morning and then lunch this afternoon. I know he feels bad that I've been working so much and so hard at the bar, and especially that I've had to put about $120 more in gas each week in my car since we opened the bar. He tries to make up for it with all these "little" things. Which would be great, if he was working every night again, and making some money!! I finally gave up fighting with him after he suggested I take another $20 out of the register for myself. (One of his buddies came in with some friends tonight. One of his friends left me a $20 tip, but I realized after they left that they were about $30 short on their tab [completely unintentionally] so I just threw in the $20)

When he was walking me to my car, he suddenly got this big, silly grin on his face, and he said, "Hey, you got another half a month's tuition tonight! You'll have it all by the end of the summer." He was absolutely and genuinely happy about that, which is so sweet. Anyway, as I was driving home, I was replaying the scene in my mind, and I just suddenly burst into tears. My brother is just so damn sweet sometimes. In case I haven't mentioned it lately, I REALLY LOVE MY BROTHER!

Back to the grind...

It's 1:30am, and I'm sitting here at the bar. It's been empty for about a half hour now. I've done all the cleaning for the night, and I guess I could leave now, but we're really open for another 1/2 hour. I'm always afraid that if I leave early, someone will show up. So, I figured I take a few minutes to catch up on my friends out in the blogosphere.

I had no intention of actually coming in to work tonight. One of our regulars mentioned Saturday night that she was going to bring a big group of her coworkers in tonight to celebrate one of them leaving for a new job. I felt obligated to show up for a while, plus I really like these two girls that come in regularly (one of them lives in one of the condos above the bar.) So, after dropping my daddy off, safe and sound, I ran home to take a shower and get dressed. In the meantime, my brother (who also came to the airport) went home and did the same, and opened the bar. I got here a little before 6, and within half an hour, he was gone!!! So, I worked alone, again! It wasn't crazy busy, but busy enough. Plus, there were some very generous tippers here tonight. My friends' party left me around $65, and all in all, I have $180 in my tip bucket right now. Not too shabby for a Monday night, huh? It's a hell of a lot more than I would have made sitting on the couch tonight, right?

My brother is hoping I'll be able to make enough to cover a year's tuition for my son this summer. I'm up to 4 months worth saved now, so I just may be able to do it. If nothing else, I'm covered until the holidays. My brother wants me to be able to make the tuition money here over the summer because I desperately need a new car (my baby is almost 12 years old!) but I absolutely can NOT swing a car payment and a tuition payment every month. It's absolutely impossible. I already took on a second job during the school year to pay off my grad school tuition, and now the bar is my "third job" to pay for my son's tuition. There just isn't any more of me to go around! So, his big plan, and I believe the reason he keeps having me work (even though that means HE isn't making any money!!) is for me to make as much as possible before school starts. I told him last night that I planned to work at least one night during the week so that he can go back to school. He only needs two classes to finish the program he was in, and I want him to do it, even if he only takes one class at a time. He'll still finish by next spring.

Oo, it's 1:45!! I realize I'm stopping mid-thought but I can lock the doors and get the hell outta here!! Nighty night all!!!

Holy crap!! My brother is here! He came to help me clean, I guess. Little does he know I'm finished!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Umm...

...anyone else see the startling resemblance? (and that's an incredibly flattering photo!) Having to look at her for 2 1/2 hours was probably the single worst part of last night. Just sayin'....

There's 2 1/2 hours of my life I'll never get back...

...I just got home from seeing Batman with my brother. Suffice it to say, I was NOT impressed. It was about 2 hours and 25 minutes too long, that's for sure. If he hadn't paid for the tickets, I would have been tempted to ask for my money back. Just for the record, my brother didn't particularly care for it, either.

If it wasn't after 2:30am, I'd catch you up on the past couple of weeks, since I've been a very bad blogger, but I'm exhausted. I have to get some decent sleep for tomorrow cuz - YAY!!- my daddy's coming home from Italy!!! I'll be picking him up at the airport in about 13 hours. I can't wait!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Is it really Thursday again already?

Where in the hell did the past week go? It's after 3:30am, I just got home from the bar, and I'm completely and utterly exhausted. Math camp started this week, so it's been a week of early mornings. I'll give details later (maybe) but for now, I'm hitting the hay! I just wanted to check in with all my friends out there in the blogosphere. I miss you! :(

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Long, sad evening...

Well, I'm just getting home from the wake, and I now have more pieces of the puzzle. Melody's mom passed away last week, from what I understand. She died of a heart attack. She wasn't feeling well one night last week, but just thought she was coming down with something. She went to bed, but woke up the next morning feeling even worse. Chest pain, pressure, then vomiting. She finally told her son to take her to the hospital because she was in so much pain. By the time they got there, the doctors said it was too late and there was nothing they could do for her. They put her on a respirator and IVs, etc. She was there for 50 hours before she passed. Luckily, the whole family was there when it happened.

Melody's family was trying to figure out what to do for the services, as well as waiting for her uncle to come in from Hong Kong, which is why they are just now having the wake and funeral. I never knew until tonight that Melody has an older brother (22, I believe). She will now be left to live with this brother, and her very elderly grandfather, who speaks no English. I'm so very worried about her. Her parents were divorced, and apparently her father has absolutely no part in the lives of his children. Luckily, she has an aunt and cousins that live nearby, and I was able to talk to one of her cousins for a good part of the evening. She's 32, and has a 30 year old sister and brother. She and her sister are both police officers. I'm really hoping they will be able to provide Mel with the guidance she's going to need in the next few years.

It was so great to see all the kids there to support Mel tonight. I originally hadn't plan to attend the funeral tomorrow, but after seeing the kids together tonight, I realized that she really needs as many people around her for support as she can get right now.

I was feeling very out of place when we first arrived, especially since we were nearly the first ones there. There was one other mom there from school with her daughter, but the few other people were all family. The brother from Hong Kong, who doesn't speak English, and the sister who lives here, but whose English isn't so great. We weren't really sure what we should do, and I was so afraid we were going to do something to offend Melody's family. My girlfriend and I, both Catholics, did what we know, and walked right up to the casket and said a prayer. A few minutes later, another woman walked in, and bowed three times in front of the portrait that was next to the casket. Apparently, the Chinese don't approach the casket the way we do, and you bow three times to show your respect. I felt really foolish. But, later, Mel's cousin reassured us that we did not, in any way, offend anyone. She said her mom understands that everyone shows their respects in different ways. She said just the fact that we came tonight was a great showing of respect for the family, so that made me feel so much better. She also explained to us about these bowls that were in the lobby with what appeared to be bundles of paper. She told us that each bundle contained a piece of candy and a quarter. As you leave the funeral home, you're supposed to take one and eat the candy right away, then spend the quarter on food the same night. The candy, from what she could explain, is supposed to make you feel better after having to attend a wake, which is unpleasant. The quarter is supposed to represent good fortune for you. We felt a little bad asking her about it, because first, we didn't want to offend or seem disrespectful. Secondly, she had absolutely no idea at first what the bundles represented. She said she just made them because her mother told her to. But, after we asked, she actually went over and asked her mother about it so she could explain it to us. So, she was thankful that we asked because now she knows what they represent as well. As much as I love learning about other cultures, I just wish I hadn't gotten tonight's lesson under these circumstances.

The mom that was the first to arrive thought it would be nice if the kids could get together and present Melody with some sort of gift from her friends. Her daughter and my son's best friend put their heads together, and they came up with this. Melody is quite an accomplished musician, and plays several instruments (violin, guitar, piano, drums are all things she played in the school band, but I think there are probably a few more) so the kids decided to get a box of guitar picks, and have each of her friends write something on them for her. Some of the kids wrote just one word, some wrote little messages, and then they all signed their names. It seems like such a silly thing, but I think it will mean a lot to Melody. It's something she can just keep in a box, and then open it and look at them whenever she's feeling down. Or, she can obviously use the picks, maybe feeling her friends are with her in spirit. I don't know. I just hope it helps her in some way. What exactly should you do for a 14 year old girl who has just lost her mother? I haven't a clue.

We had planned to go to dinner after the services, and after we learned about the tradition of having to spend our quarters, we decided to go to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants for dinner. Another set of parents joined us, and we actually had a really nice time. We started out by toasting Melody's mother, Amy, with our tea. I'm a little nervous about tomorrow, because I'm not sure what to expect. I guess we'll just go with the flow.

If you're a pray-er, please say a prayer for Melody's family.

Oh my....

...I still can't wrap my head around the tragic news I received from my son last night. One of his friends, that he just graduated with, lost her mother yesterday! I can't believe it! Oh, poor dear sweet Melody, I'm so very sorry. I can't even begin to imagine what she's going through right now. This is probably the most critical time for a little girl to have her mommy around. She's about to start high school in less than two months. Oh my God, I can't take it! We'll be going to the wake in a couple of hours, and I still can't get myself mentally prepared for it. I know all the kids from class will be there, along with their parents. One month ago, we were all gathered together to watch our children cross the stage and receive their diplomas. This is just wrong. Ok, I guess I'd better start pulling myself together. I know I'm going to be emotional just from seeing my baby, who apparently decided to move in with his father, without telling me, for the summer. But, that's a whole other post....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jeezaloo...

...when did I become a senior citizen? I feel like I've been run over by a mack truck. After taking Thursday night off from the bar, then being closed on Friday for the 4th, you would think I would have recovered. But, then I worked open to close again Saturday and Sunday, so I'm feeling it again today. I realize my brother has been doing this for months now, 7 days a week (and for years at the bar he used to own downtown) but hell, he's significantly younger than me, as he happily pointed out the other night. The little shit! I couldn't even be bothered/insulted by it though, because I had the exact thought even before he mentioned it. He's actually a little worried about me. I love my baby brother!

In case you were wondering, he's feeling better, but still not 100% yet. He came in Saturday night at about 9, and just mostly hung out with me while I worked. Yesterday, we met at Sam's Club before "work" to get some things for the bar, and then he was going to go home and take a shower and change before coming to the bar. Instead, he ended up meeting me there, and somehow ended up going outside and washing the windows. After that, despite saying 10 times that he was going to go home and shower and change, he never left. He just kinda hung out with me, which was fun. I was slow enough that I could handle all the bartending by myself, but it was nice to have him there to answer questions for me. One of our cousins stopped by at one point with his boyfriend, and luckily there weren't any customers there at the time, so we got to visit for a while.

Luckily for me, the handful of customers we did have were all great tippers, so I made some nice money again. I'm feeling horribly guilty, though, that my brother won't take any of it. He did the same thing Saturday night. He only worked one night this week, so I know he needs the money. His tip money is what he lives on and pays his personal bills with, so I feel really bad that he wouldn't take any of it on Saturday or last night. On the flip side, I know he feels bad that I've been putting in so many hours, mostly alone. He made reference the other night to my being able to make enough money this summer to pay my son's tuition for the year. Now, believe me, that would be great, but I don't want it to be at my brother's expense. Jeez, why can't we just hate each other and not care what happens to the other? Let me reiterate - I LOVE MY BABY BROTHER!
I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. ~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H

Saturday, July 5, 2008

It's 12:02 AM!!

Enough already!! It's after freakin' midnight, you douchbags!! I'm so exhausted, I can hardly keep my head upright, yet I can't go to sleep because of the constant explosions outside. I can't remember the last time I was this pissed off.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Exactly when...

...did I turn into a crotchety old lady? I've been sitting here, pissed off, for most of the day now. My freakin' block sounds like a damn war zone!! These fuckin' people are really pissing me off! I've been tempted to pick up the phone and call the police (since fireworks are illegal here) but the asshole across the street blowing off the majority of the fireworks is a Chicago cop, so what good would that do really? I can't even hear my TV, despite having it turned up almost as high as it goes. It's very cool here in Chicago today (thank you, Jesus) so I have my windows open, and closing them is really not an option, as I really would like to enjoy the fresh air. Assholes! I've been dying to go down the street and pick up some Chinese food, but I'm seriously afraid to even drive down the street because of the sheer amount of explosives being set off right now. Ugh!! I'm even more annoyed by the fact that I'll have to clean up the mess tomorrow from all these jagoffs, just like I have to every year! God, I HATE this holiday!!! Why can't there be a better way to celebrate our country's independence?

Happy Fuckin' 4th of July!! I hope you blow a finger off!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm far too old for this...

Four nights in a row of working open to close by myself have taken their toll on this old broad. But, on the upside, I made enough tips to almost pay one month's tuition for my son's high school. Too bad I already had to make the first payment July 1. Can you believe that? He hasn't even started school yet, and they want their tuition. Go figure! But, hey, I'm ready for next month!

I'm debating with myself about whether or not I want to work again tonight. I have a feeling we're going to be really busy since nobody's working tomorrow. My brother is having the new bartender come in, but we'll probably need two people. The devil on my shoulder is saying don't do it, because then my brother will have to work instead of taking his "girlfriend of the week" out to dinner for her birthday. Yes, I do know I'm a bitch, thanks. But, hey, if he's well enough to take her to dinner, he's well enough to work, right? Plus, I don't particularly care for the new bartender (she kinda bugs me) and I don't really think I'd be able to work with her behind the bar all night without being bitchy. After all, she works for me, so I don't see a problem with saying what's on my mind. My brother is much wussier about that kind of stuff.

Either way, I suppose I'd better decide soon, because it's almost time to get going. The fact that it takes me at least 45 minutes to get to the bar is REALLY starting to bug me! In the middle of the night, when I come home, it's only about 25, but that's just as bad when I'm fighting to keep my eyes open. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.... Maybe if I tackle the ginormous pile of laundry I have waiting for me, I might gain some clarity. Or least have clean underwear ;-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm vewy, vewy sweepy....

OK, so I just got home from Day 3 as a "real" bartender! Again, I was there, open to close, all by my big self! I can't believe it, either! It wasn't nearly as busy tonight as it was last night, which made the night drag at times. I made my new martini for a few friends that came in, and it was a big hit with all three! Yay! I was a little surprised, because they were all men, and wasn't sure if a chocolaty drink would be something they would like, but they did. Actually, one of the guys is my brother's buddy who bartends for us on the weekends, and he loved it. He made sure I wrote it down for him so he can make it at the bar. Too cute!

I went in a little early today, so that I could dump the garbages I didn't dump last night, and do a little cleaning. Even though I left right away, all in all, I was on my feet for over 10 hours straight. My dogs are barkin'! Actually, my legs hurt much more than my feet do. Because I tend to lean across the bar when talking to people (mostly so I can hear them), I've noticed I hyper extend my knees, and that's what hurts. The backs of my knees are killing me!

I let myself indulge in a drink tonight (I made myself a "new" martini when I made them for the boys) so I'm more tired than usual. I'm gonna hit the sack. Hmmm, perhaps I should start a separate blog for my Adventures as a Bartender. Wait, didn't I already write about this once? Maybe if I sleep on it, things will be clearer in the morning... Good night!