If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


It's been a very busy week. Extra work hours on Sunday and Tuesday have eaten into time that would have been spent doing fun things, like laundry and school. Unfortunately I committed to work those hours months ago so there was nothing to be done but prepare accordingly. Toss in a few odd appointments (dentist, doctor--more fun stuff) and start the new session of archery lessons, and to put it bluntly this week was almost shot from the start.

We have managed to keep up on school, which was my main concern. The schedule has had to be adjusted, but that's the case with homeschooling anyway. I have had to accept that I can not prepare her fully for high school without sending her to school. She won't have as much self-directed study time in high school, but it will be an essential skill in college. Chances are fair that I won't be there for her in college to look over her shoulder and ask if she's done her English homework, so being able to budget study time will be important.

Other things have gone by the wayside. I have gotten no writing done, and it's starting to get to me. Characters keep drifting into my head while I'm washing dishes at work, whispering about what they want to do, while Patsy Cline croons in the background. ("Crazy." Get it?) When my writing time gets curtailed, I almost think I can understand a little what it's like to be schizophrenic. My characters don't tell me to kill living humans, but they're not above telling me how they'd like to kill each other. It's just the plot machine ruminating, but if it doesn't get emptied from time to time, it builds up and gets gooey.

We have this morning free for school. I have already told the coordinator for our afternoon gardening class that we might be late today. I'm hoping to get some writing done while Vicky is doing her work. I also need to harvest and dry basil, and put something in the crock pot for dinner. Have you figured out that the 'crazy' is here to stay for a while? This is the reason I can't think about taking classes of my own until next fall. I'm quickly becoming a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, and it's only going to get worse for the remainder for the calendar year. We have had Christmas parties booked at work for two months, with more to come, no doubt.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Crazies have found us

I've been reading the Diary of the Food Whore and Waiter Rant for months, chuckling over their customers from the netherreaches and thinking that The Crazies must be in the big cities. Then again, maybe not. We had a bridal shower this afternoon, and while there wasn't very much unusual about it, the little oddities added up to make it a very strange experience.

It was supposed to start at 1:00, so it wasn't strange that there were people there when I arrived at 12:30. What was strange was that when I came through the back door, a man was coming in the front door. A man? At a bridal shower? He turned out to be the bride's dad, and he was coming to blow up the balloons. Apparently it takes the better part of half an hour to fill 30 or so helium balloons that have little messages or something inside. We've never had balloons for a shower before, but we turned off the nearest ceiling fans and everything was right with the world.

While the balloons were being stuffed and filled, one of the guests came to the counter to ask if our iced almond tea was included in the drink list. The assistant manager told her that only tea, coffee and water were included in the price. She seemed disappointed and told us how much she loved the almond tea, but thankfully she didn't press the issue.

We served lunch--soup and salad, very low maintenance--at 1:30, in spite of the fact that four guests had not shown up yet. Again, it's not unusual for someone not to show up. These four did, however; a pair and two singles, the last at 2:30. Who shows up an hour and a half late to a shower? Apparently, the daughter of a control freak who didn't really want to be there in the first place. Her food came back untouched.

Did I mention the kids? There were at least three. I was trying to stay out of the room, so I didn't count. I know there was a toddler because he kept heading for the door. There was also a 7-year-old girl with pink ribbons braided in her hair and plastic high-heels; she insisted on clomping back and forth, chasing the toddler and scolding him loudly for not staying with her. She did not like the soup and salad, so she did not eat, which gave her time to set fire to the center piece on the table. Luckily a staff member was close by, put it out, and brought it to the kitchen to be drenched and disposed of.

After they ate, the picture taking commenced. I'm guessing that's what they were doing because while I was washing their dishes a pair of 20-somethings came to the counter and asked the assistant manager if we had any AA batteries. We made a show of looking; if we'd had any we would have denied it. For pity's sake, people, there are two stores within a mile that are open if you're silly enough to forget spare batteries.

Then there was the other fire. I didn't see it myself, but those who did said that a lady was taking pictures and backed up into a table accidently. The votive must have been closer to the edge than she'd realized because the back of her dress caught fire, and when she turned, she also got a ribbon on one of the presents. It was caught quickly, of course, and no one was hurt. It's a first for the restaurant, though, that's for sure.

To top it all off, they had to pop all the balloons they'd filled earlier to remove the extra contents, and they waited until it was right at naptime for the toddler. The crying was an interesting accompanyment to the exploding balloons.

Finally, about 3:00, the little girl got bored past the point of toleration.* She brought two glasses to the counter and announced that there were a thousand glasses left and people were starting to leave. We were happy about that; we were ready to get the rest of the dishes so we could get out of dodge. Unfortunately, her assessment wasn't quite accurate. The ladies were happily milling around, visiting, and I was able to clear out a half dozen glasses before I retreated to the safety of the kitchen. It was another twenty minutes or so before they had cleared out sufficiently to see which glasses were abandoned and which still had owners.

Needless to say, the door wasn't fully shut behind the last guest before the assistant manager was reaching for the key to lock the doors. And, oh happy day, we have another party on Tuesday. I need to see what wine I have left in the fridge.

*I developed a theory about kids today. We don't teach them to be bored anymore. We bombard them with stimuli while they are still in utero, all in the name of making them smarter. OK, maybe they're smarter, but that means they get into trouble younger. Smarter isn't necessarily better. There is a reason kids didn't used to start school until they were 6 or 7. They were home with Mom, beating pots with wooden spoons and learning their manners.