Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fifth Guest

Fifth Guest.

I don’t know if fewer restaurants are taking reservations or if I’ve come to a point in my life where I can’t plan ahead far enough to make a reservation. Or maybe I no longer frequent eateries of that standard. Regardless of why, I now find myself on wait-lists a few times a week. How long I’m willing to wait depends on a few factors. If it’s just me and my boyfriend the maximum is about thirty minutes before we toddle off to find some place less popular.
If, however, we have conned other people into eating dinner with us then we’re willing to wait a little while longer portraying ourselves as a laid back and patient couple willing to go along with whatever the world has to offer. Sometimes I’m even able to convince myself that we are that couple. Unless, of course, there are five of us.
Once you pass the magic number of four the wait changes significantly. Now, instead of one table of people leaving to make room for you, it often takes two tables of people to leave at about the same time then a rearranging of furniture.
Nobody is happy about this arrangement not even the hostess. “How many?” she’ll ask with a smile. But when you tell her “five” the smile fades. You can see in her eyes she wants to tell you exactly how inconvenient that is. That she’ll have to save an empty table and hope that a second one opens up in the near vicinity. She will have to fight off the complaints of serving staff that have one table sitting empty during prime tip collecting times and of patrons wondering why they have to wait in a lobby when there are obviously seats available.
If I haven’t managed my food intake very well that day and I’m hungry it is about the thirty minute mark when I start to evaluate how close I really am to these people. Or specifically one of these people. The fifth one. The one that is making me wait by his mere presence. I never liked him anyway and if left right now I wouldn’t even care. If there is another couple in our odd group of five then it’s probably their fault. They’ve invited some friend of theirs I never liked. They should take their friend and go find their own table.
Of course sometimes our single friend invites a couple. Who does this anyway? Just invite people to dinner because you like them. If that couple left we could get a seat fast.
Maybe we could break up the couple. Is it too late to start a rumor of infidelity? The short guy is probably insecure I can go after him. I realize the one left to have dinner with us will be upset but at least we’ll be sitting down during the crying.
If an hour goes by and we’re still waiting I start considering breaking up my own relationship. Yes, I do love my partner but we’ve had a good run. Besides, it has been an hour. Really who could blame me? I could also just pick a fight and go home. Leave in a manufactured rage and stop by someplace to eat on the way. Some place with a drive through.
I guess the easiest way to avoid this situation is to stop being so damned friendly. Fewer friends means the chance of us having an even number goes up. As the hostess seats us I make a mental note to be less personable.

30 jobs in 30 years

30 jobs in 30 years

Call it A.D.D call it an interest in exploring new horizons or call it a hard time keeping a job but I’ve had over 30 jobs over the last 30 years. I’ve learned a lot about several different industries, management styles have run into a lot of crazy characters.
Here’s the list...

Newspaper route
Kid model
Babysitter/dog watcher
Black Market candy/liquor sales
Fast food restaurant (Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, Dominoes)
Non-fast food (Brown Derby, Casa Amigo, TGI Fridays)
Pet Sales
Aquarium maintenance
Ice Cream scooper
Private Investigator
Ballroom Dance Teacher/competitor
Cruise Ship Group Escort
Massage Therapist
Candle Manufacturer
Coffee enema consultant (Gerson Institute)
Travel Agent
Real Estate Agent
Computer trainer
Business Networking Trainer
Stand-up comedian
Substitute school teacher
Concierge in a retirement home
Property Manager
Flight Attendant
Waker Upper for a narcoleptic

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Found on the ground

Found on the ground.

I’ve always found some cool stuff on the ground. So much so I’ve decided to make that a topic of an essay in my upcoming book. Today, for example, I found coins from Mexico, Denmark and Spain on the streets of Atlanta. They were just laying there like they had been spilled from a piggy bank or discarded by a thief who realized he couldn’t spend them.
I’ve kept a tally of what what I’ve found. A gold necklace, cash, and, strangely, high number of shoes (the shoes I leave behind in case the owner comes back to find them). I think the most fascinating thing I’ve found is a huge “marital aid” roughly the size of a paper towel tube complete with remote control.
I didn’t pick up the dildo but it was in my regular walking path and, after a sleepless night wondering how it could have found itself on the side of the hiway, I wanted to see it again. It was gone when I came back. It wasn’t a well walked road so I’m guessing it was carried off by a near-sighted coyote.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I don't have writer's block... really

I've always thought that writer's block referred to not knowing what to write about or not coming up with anything unique. I must not be alone in that thought because every few weeks someone says to me, "Oh you're a writer? I have a story. You write it and we'll split the money". I smile and say "ok" to their faces but "Screw You" in my head. The only reason I agree to it is because these people obviously aren't motivated and won't bother me again anyway.

I've never been at a loss for words. My block comes in the form of too much choice and the gremlins of life that pop and act more important. Like today. Should I write that short fantasy I have outlined about the dwarf and his wife for a contest or should I start on the sequel to the book that I just finished? Oh wait.. is it laundry day? I better check my sales again for the fifth time today... I should dust.. I need new shoes. Oh I know.. I can post a blog...

The amazing journey to getting published

It's not amazing.. it's a tedious and annoying process. It doesn't help that I'm doing all of this in a time when the publishing industry changes nearly every day. Every opinion or suggestion on how to get things done properly has an expiration date and too often the author doesn't bother to date his statement.

That being said... I really feel a sense of accomplishment with this first book being available for sale. Electronically for now but my proofs of the hard copy are due to be here next week. It's about time. I'm so tired of looking at this work. Every time I see the title or any of the content I look at it like a husband I want to kill. "Oh.. you again.. go away".

I'll have to get over that since the idea is to do readings of my own work in front of people that give me money. I have a lot of practice saying the same thing over and over and over so maybe it will be something I'll just get used to. It will be nice to have a rotating audience that isn't sick of my stories yet. Unlike at home.