Archive for November, 2008

Ooh! Turkey!

It's my alien turkey! I made this! Really!

See that pinecone turkey? Yeah. That’s MY pinecone turkey! I made that when I was 4. This thing has become a tradition at my parents’ house. It’s the “alien turkey”, because the neck looks like ET. Seriously. ET phone home!

I have no idea how this thing has stood the test of time…we’re talking serious years, baby…and the only thing that’s missing is the googly eyes!

But, I’m glad it has survived…and glad that it still gets put out to laugh at year after year.

So, since everyone is doing th e list of what they’re thankful for…here’s mine…

  • My family-Mom, Dad, Margot and that Brit.
  • Isaac-I just can’t say how thankful I am for him. The kid is a wonder every day.
  • Doug-even though he drives me insane, I am truly thankful for him…some days, I just don’t know what I’d do without him.
  • Jobs that I LIKE. I don’t have to pretend to like them. I really do.
  • Bosses that are good. I don’t have to deal wtih the idiot patrol of bosses anymore…I’ve got two that are pretty awesome as far as bosses go. Come on. I had the principal tell me that as long as there’s no porn in my computer lab, I get to teach whatever I want. Seriously. What boss says something like that?
  • That we don’t have to spend this this Thanksgiving nursing a sick person. I can’t say how thankful I am for that.
  • Friends. Especially the kind that deal with me when I’m in one of my irrational or contrary moods, and don’t ever question it…and just wait it out…and humor me.
  • My students-who have made my return to teaching THAT much easier.
  • and the 90 trillion other things I’m forgetting…because when you start to count your blessings and things you are thankful for, you always forget a ton.

So, Happy Turkey Day. Go, eat too much, laugh a lot and maybe throw a few walnuts at someone.

November 27, 2008 at 6:21 am 1 comment

Ok, everyone, Meep along now!

So, one of my weird quirks is that I have a special place in my heart for that lovable, but insane Muppet, Beaker. Poor Beaker. The darling muppet epitomizes my life some days. I feel like whenever some one asks me to do something, I may get mortally wounded…but like Beaker, I keep coming back for more.

 

So, when I was cruising youtube for my Sesame Street on Friday stuff (Yes, it’s coming back..) I found this little ditty.  I couldn’t help but put it up.

So, meep along!

November 24, 2008 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

Green Apron Tales: The “special” customer

So, this morning, I did my usual Saturday morning opening shift. Usually a non eventful time. Note the use of the word “usually.”

So, CentralShift and I walked into the usual disaster. We had a broken coffee scoop and a broken grinder. Yeah. A broken grinder. The handle was completely snapped off by another barista. Lovely. Just what I need at 5:15 am. Seriously.

So, we make it through the beginning of our opening schtick, and at not even 5:25, two customers walk in, because the door was slightly ajar from us getting the newspapers and not wanting to be locked out. Plus, oru delivery guy had JUST pulled up, so, we left the door ajar for him as well. We tell them we’re not open and they huff out.

Ok. Here are some clues that we’re NOT open:

  1. The lights are off
  2. the sign on the door clearly states that we’re not open until 6 am
  3. we’re not in green aprons
  4. the music isn’t on
  5. we don’t ask if we can get them anything
  6. I AM STANDING AT THE GRINDER WITH 5-LB BAGS OF COFFEE GRINDING IT FOR THE DAY
  7. oh, and did I mention that only the bar lights were on? The cafe lights were OFF.

dipwads.

So, based on that, we knew it was going to be some sort of day. Seriously. Some sort of day.

CentralShift and I muddled through the insane onslaught until EmDawg showed up and helped us with the hell that was the morning. We had the specials of the world-you know the type-the ones who think they are SOOOO special that they don’t have to be nice, they don’t have to wait and they CERTAINLY have to have a pain in the ass drink that no one wants to make…or if they’re through the DTR, they’ve got all sorts of other issues. ARGH.

So, I was assigned to DTR, which is my little home. I swear. Is there a time I can’t be on DTR…but I digress.

Things are going along swimmingly, until we get to one of the “specials” of the world. This woman was nasty from the get go and started screaming at me, because I asked her to repeat her order because of a airplane flyover that made it hard for me to hear her.

Note: when you go through a drive thru and you have a plane fly overhead, and the person then asks you to repeat, because they couldn’t hear you-it’s not because they’re stupid or anything..it was a plane. Therefore, repeating your order in….super…..slow…..motion….. is completely uncalled for.

So, obnoxious lady ordered a venti peppermint mocha twist. She gets her drink and drives away. 3 minutes later, she’s in our cafe, kvetching that we made her the wrong drink. She gets all pissy with MichyMoo (another shift) and we remake the drink. EmDawg goes and pours it out in the back, and over our headsets we hear the most profound statement of the day…

“that woman is a psycho. This was a peppermint mocha twist. What the hell did she think it was?”

Go EmDawg. What I was totally thinking…but I was on the floor. You can’t say that stuff on the floor when its busy. Seriously.

So, approximately 20 minutes later, we get a DTR rush. Nothing new there, but get what happened:

a customer comes up and gets a green tea latte (oh, ick! Grass!) and a decaf (sad) pumpkin spice latte. They pull to the window and pay. In the meantime, I get a ding.  Since our window is motion sensitive, the window closes.

The dipwad in the car starts BANGING ON THE WINDOW LIKE I’M IGNORING HIM!!!

 

Umm..give me a hot sec? Can’t you see I’m doing two things at once and your drinks are not up? Banging on the window is not a way to win me over and charm me. Come on. What? You think you’re more important than the person that’s trying to order as well? Come on!

The day kept going like this. We had all sorts of “specials” all day long.

Please, people…can we make it a priority that if you go to the ‘bux during this most wonderful of holiday seasons to sample our most wonderful holiday beverage trio (wow. I sound corporate here…wow..but that Espresso Truffle…MMMMMMMMMMMM),please, please please be nice to the baristas. Tip well and say please and thank you..and be patient. You’ll get so far with us and we may just treat you to something…you never know. If however, you are a snot and act “special,” YOU GET NOTHING! NO! NOTHING!

 

So there.

November 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again…the mid-semester exhaustion fest!

Since college, every semester, about mid to 3/4 of the way through, I end up doing a total meltdown. Just too tired to do anything but melt. I think, even though I’m not in school anymore, I’m having one of those meltdown fests. Working a 6 day week is combersome at best, and working long hours at both places does little for my sleep debt and sanity.

Right now, I’ve got so many demands on me, that it’s not even funny. Seriously. And now, with Doug back to work, the demands have increased threefold.

It’s hard to keep my head together and really have a coherent thought past  “I’m so freakin tired.”

So, here’s the short list of my pity party. I just need to have one of these, because it’s part of the meldtown/exhaustion fest. The other part is sitting in a chair, eating ice cream, but it’s too stinkin cold for that, so I think I’ll just sit and eat popcorn. That’s the ticket…

so, here goes…

  • I’m tired of being supermom. I feel like every smidge of responsibility is on me. I not only pick up Isaac, but I have to deal with Day care, ECEC and then fight dinner, lunches and clothes for the next morning. Yeah. My idea of a great time. Then, I have to do all sorts of other Isaac related things. You know, Bath, headlock for brushing teeth, and a few other things. Oh, and deal with him trashing anything that gets in his way like MY HARRY POTTER BOOKS. Yeah, that was a lovely conversation with me crying and him telling me everything was going to be ok. Sweet kid, but that does not excuse  him from the massacre of my books.
  • I really long for a mindless program to teach instead of writing my own. I also want a lab that works. I’m so tired of troubleshooting, having hard drives crash and then try to reinstall software, so the kids can do some meaningful work. I’m also tired of the teachers thinking I’m just the be all and end all of computers. FOR THE LAST TIME, PEOPLE-I CANNOT FIX YOUR WIRELESS CONNECTION. I DO NOT HAVE THE ADMIN PASSWORDS.
  • I’m tired of the behavior of some of the students and the fact that there is so little done about it. I’ve given detentions, I’ve cut off movies (that projects are based on) and told the students to get it themselves, I’m at my wit’s end. If I have to say the specific names of 4 students anytime soon, I”m going to scream.
  • I am tired of the drama from a few specific people at the ‘bux. Please, leave the drama at home. Laura is too stinkin tired to deal with your borderline personality disorder. Seriously. When I break out the DSM stuff, it’s just too late.
  • I’m tired of the attitude of entitlement of my other half. He thinks because he’s working again that he has the right to sit around when he has a quiet house and do NOTHING. Yeah. NOTHING.
  • I’m tired of fighting the other half to buy appropriate groceries in my absentia. No, 3 bags of pretzels for his snacks does not count as proper grocieries for a family of 3, where 2 of us are home at night and need dinners…and lunches packed.
  • I’m just tired in general. 2 jobs, a 6 day week-I’m just stinkin tired.

So thank you for attending my pity party. Now I’m going to go and roll myself in bed and eat pop tarts. I found those…because I don’t have ice cream, and it’s too cold for ice cream, and I’m really too tired to pop popcorn…

November 20, 2008 at 10:33 pm Leave a comment

Student Council Hell

How I get myself into these things, I surely do not know. Seriously. I wonder if it truly is my lack of attention at faculty meetings, where 90% of the items don’t apply to me.

 

Ahh. The joys of being a “specials” teacher!

 

This year, I got saddled with Student Council. Normally, not so bad, but for cripe’s sake, give me some lead time to get things done. In a 3 week period, I not only had to GET the items for student council, get students to run for office and today, we’re conducting elections.

AND all of this and teach my classes at the same time.

So, the students were responisble to get a petition to me with 10 signatures, the signature of one of their teachers certifying they have a B average or better in their core subjects and then the principal had to sign off on it certifying that she knew they were running and they would be ok to run for behavior.

WELL, Friday, all of a sudden, I see these random posters up that one of the VP candidates put up and a Presidential candidate wrote his name on. I quickly went through my stuff (that’s organized! Write that down!) and didn’t see any sort of petition for this guy. At all. End of sentence, end of story. So, I go and grab him. He goes and FINDS HIS PETITION that he TURNED IN TO THE SECRETARY and it’s all signed and ready to go. WOW. Ok. Ballots are done at this point, everything is set…so I made him a write in candidate.

Now, this makes things a bit more interesting. We have students attempting to write in a goofy kid candidate, and then we’ve got kids who are acting like they’re not on the ballot. ARGH. And who would have thought the 4th graders would have been the swing votes? Seriously. Those kids took what we all thought was going to happen and turned it on its ear, making some things too close to even call (Like 4 votes!!) and the other things a landslide. Wow.

 

So, let’s get into the funny of the week.

Monday morning, I was running to the bathroom, and the teacher’s bathroom was totally occupied. Since it was before students showed up, I figured I’d use the kids bathroom. Clean and no kids to run into. Not a big deal.

So, I go into the first stall and close the door. On the back of the door, was a poster for the VP candidate. She had spelled her name wrong. Yes, you read that right, she SPELLED HER NAME WRONG. I couldn’t stop laughing. I was laughing so hard…the 7th grade teacher came in and asked if I was OK. I sent her into the stall and she about died as well.

So, the kids come in and I go and grab said student. Send her into the bathroom and tell her to look at her poster. 30 seconds later, I hear her scream and laugh. She totally realized what she had done, and then was laughing as hard as I was. The worst part of this? We both had to stand through morning prayers trying not to snicker.

 

So, let’s see what happens on Monday when I meet with the officers-and the one I’m going to “appoint” if he gets his grades up by the end of the quarter.

November 16, 2008 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

Green Apron Tales-Newbies! Newbies! Newbies!

Time for another installment of the Green Apron Tales!

Things have been pretty quiet at the ‘bux-Big W was away in New Orleans-where they got to hear flippin’ BONO speak. Must be nice.

So, on Thursday, I worked a usual insane shift, you know-buttcrack of dawn to 10:30am. Worked with the usual suspects…Senior Shift, McSPants and EmDawg. After the shift was over,I figured I’d go home, take a nap, get some things done and then get Isaac at his new aftercare program. This, of course was not to be. We got a call from another store…the poor Barista was sobbing. She had some wisdom teeth pulled (OUCHIES! Been there, Done that…so glad I don’t have to repeat it..) and was infected to the hilt. She needed to get to the doctor, and she needed someone to cover her shift.  McSpants took the call and was asking around. I asked him what times, and then thought better of it, and said “Let me talk to her..” and I got on the phone..and the mommy thing kicked in. I couldn’t stand to her her sobbing, so I said “Ok. I’ll come down RIGHT after I get off here, BUT, I have to be done by 3:30 at the latest, because I have to go get my son.”

This was also to protect my sanity, because I had been working since 4:45am!!

I was then told that I’d be out by 1:30. Ok, fine. Not a problem.

So, I get out, and gun down to the other store, where I meet the person I’m covering. The poor thing looks like a chipmunk. Argh.

On top of it, there’s a newbie training. She’s got her book out and is asking questions and going through the mandated training we all go through. She was asking all sorts of questions she was supposed to find out on her own. Argh.

So, finally, she puts down her book, and gets behind the bar to start learning how to brew coffee, steam milk and make basic drinks that everyone starts out with. I’m teaching her to steam milk and she’s totally afraid to do anything. She’s complaining that the coffee shuttles are “heavy” and that she doesn’t want to shuttle them. She won’t do the required espresso shot, and is flinching at testing any drink I make extra of for her to try. Come the heck on. She’s supposed to try every coffee, and it’s good to try as many drinks as you can, especially the seasonal beverages. Every single thing she was asked was met with a whine and a complaint that it was “hard,” “heavy,” or she was “scared” to do it.

Oh, my lord. This girl isn’t going to make it past the end of the week if she doesn’t get over it. Seriously.

Then, the next crop of newbies showed up for their indoctrination First Impressions class.  This poor manager. These 3 whooped and hollered their way through the first impressions section and then were all sorts of sitting and not doing anything that they were supposed to do. Oh, save me.

 

So, while this was going on, me and one of the Shifties were working the bar and register. This store has no DTR so I was thrilled NOT to have to wear a headset. We spent the time making drinks, ringing people and doing impressions of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. Customers were alternately thrilled and horrified by the entertainment that we provided. Then again, some of the drinks that came through were more anal retentive than any that have ever come through my DTR at my store.

So, after Whiney-Newbie-who-is-scared-of -everything left, I asked shiftie what his impression of her was because I was very, very concerned about her making it. He said “Me too. But I’ve seen worse.”
Man. I hope she makes it. I know she’d die a slow and painful death at my store. I hope her store is kinder to her and the customers stop being totally take aback by her and the way she calls drinks and scares them senseless.

 

So, wanna hear the line of the day?

Today, I went in for a drink-not working-just went in for tips, markout and drink. Brought Monkey with me. Big W was on bar. I do not feel quite safe with him making my drink since the last two sabotage attempts on my drinks. First the 7 shot white mocha and then the horror of all horrors-the decaf drink.

So, I asked Isaac to tell him not to do anything insane, and not to put decaf in my drink. Isaac looked at Big W and said :
“W-Don’t put decaf in Mommy’s coffee!”

 

Smart, smart child. They need a pre-barista program for him. He can learn all of this stuff!

November 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Now is the time on Sprockets when I feel as old as DIRT

One of the reasons I vacated this area in the first place was that it’s so stinkin small. Seriously. This place is so tiny, it’s almost claustrophobic. It’s impossible to hide yourself in any way, shape or form. That’s what I loved about SoCal. It was easy to hide myself among the tons of people who looked just like me. Well, here, not so much. Prime example:

The other night I went to the Co-Op for meat and things for lunches for the week. It’s so much better than going to Price Chopper or Hannaford. Plus, it gives me the bonus of catching up with my deli pusher who is a (gulp) Rangers fan. Sad, sad, sad…but I digress.

So, I’m parusing the frozen meat case-all sorts of goodies at good prices-yummy premade burger patties, thin sliced steak for sandwiches, chicken…and I look up and notice someone. I’m looking at her, she’s looking at me…and we both know we know each other, but the question is WHERE did we know each other from..

Well, we start asking questions, and I ask her if she’s got kids…and then, out of nowhere, I pop out with her youngest’s name-and that I taught him swimming…when he was 4. I was working at the Jewish Community Center before I moved to SoCal. Wow.

We spent some time catching up,and she saw pics of the Monkey who she couldn’t believe was 4.

It was tears and Oh, my good lord’s all around.

 

I had both of her kids in swmming…and it feels like yesterday that I was in the pool EVERY stinkin day teaching, to the point where my hair was fried and I smelled like chlorine permanently.

 

Wow. When did I get older. When did my swimming kiddles grow up and end up in high school.

 

Pass the stop growing brick, please!

November 11, 2008 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

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