Friday, February 25, 2011

Rain Brings Them In ♥

It's been pouring down rain all day.  I don't understand what it is about the rain that makes people want to come into the coffee shop where I work on a day like today.  You'd think they would just stay home where it's warm and dry.  

Instead, they come to this little place, full of coffee brewers, espresso machines, turning it into a sweaty, humid, crowded place.  Dozens of people,lining up around the lobby, dripping wet, laying there hastily-folded umbrellas on my counter, leaving umbrella-water puddles behind for the next guest to place her handbag in. And ick now your suede wallet is all soggy.  I'm sorry miss, I didn't realize that was let me wipe it, and can I get you a napkin?  Why am I so sweaty all of a sudden? Ugh.

And that's when I see them,  lighting up, one by one.  A hot chocolate, a vanilla latte, a small cup of black coffee.  Oh, yeah, an oatmeal.  Can you please heat up a butter croissant for me?  Could you make that extra hot?  We don't need a bag, we're staying right here.  I look around, wondering where they'll sit.  But they find a spot.  People don't mind sharing tables today.  It's very communal, homey.

Mixed in with my "regulars" is a disproportionate number of traveling folks, passers-through.  Just had to get off the freeway, it's been bumper-to-bumper for 90 minutes straight.  The kids were going nuts packed into the SUV, had to use the bathroom, starving, caffeine-deprived....All the way to Orange County, can you imagine, in this weather?

Cold and wet.  Not sitting at home, with the sudden urge to head out into the rain.  Stuck on the road, running errands, headed away for the weekend, in need of a pick-me-up.  Home isn't an option right now.  So here, in this little coffee shop, they find their warm and dry.  When I look at it that way, it's kind of nice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Have It YOUR Way - I'm Not Judging

I have been easing myself through the first week of my diet.  Translated, this means several things.  Although I have been watching my caloric and carbohydratic (yes, I made it up) intake, I have still been allowing myself caffeine.  If you have to ask why, then you don't know me very well.
What's that you say?  You don't know me very well?  Ok, first of all, I am a barista - fancy word for "someone who works at a coffee shop."  I work a lot of early mornings - like 4 a.m. early.  Caffeine is an absolute given at that hour.  Secondly, at four-something in the morning, I am filling a lighted display case chock-full of muffins, croissants, scones, cakes, breads, cookies and bars of all kinds.  None of which, I don't have to tell you, are allowed on my diet.  And third - wait.  Seriously?  Do you need a third reason?  
"Ok, so may I please have a small decaf, sugar-free vanilla, soy, no foam latte?  Oh, and could you please make that at one-hundred-eighty-one degrees?"  Seriously, do you need a third reason?  No, not "to deal with the crazies."  It's to have the mental acuity to remain detail-oriented.  Seriously.  No joke.
I love my job.  I absolutely do.  I know the names of most of my regulars, and their drink orders.  I think it's normal to order a cup of coffee with six ice cubes.  Or half a packet of sugar substitute.  I understand  the logic of a non-fat mocha with whipped cream.  For I, too, have my eccentricities, when it comes to food and drink.

When I was a kid, I ate cereal, dry, with a glass of milk on the side.  In high school, my after-school snack was a Milky Way bar and a Diet Coke.  As an adult, I used to eat so slowly that, halfway through dinner, I had to get up and re-heat my plate of food.  Sometimes, it was then too hot, so I would have to wait for it to cool down again.
I think perhaps when I really noticed my specificity, was when I was introduced to the shrimp burrito at Serrano's Super Salsa  in my home town.  First of all, this burrito is the bomb!  It's got big plump shrimp, rice, cheese and velvety guacamole. Oh, Em, Gee!  I shouldn't be thinking about it while on this diet!!
Anyhoooo, here's where it gets weird.  I have to have one mild salsa, one hot salsa, and two lime wedges.  I open the burrito, spread each salsa evenly over the entire inside of the burrito, and distribute the lime juice evenly also.  Then, I carefully re-fold the burrito and cut it in half.  I will eat one half now - well, you know what I mean - and one half later.  That's my shrimp burrito ritual.  
So when I take your drink order, go ahead and let me know that you want only one and a half pumps of hazelnut, and just a splash of breve in your iced coffee.  If you want a triple shot of decaf espresso, I promise I won't ask you "What's the point?"  And if you want a non-fat latte and a sausage sandwich, you'll probably work your way just a little closer to my heart ♥

P.S.  If anyone's wondering, at the end of week one, I have lost 4.1 pounds.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Random thoughts for today...

The Bachelor

So last night, just as I predicted, The Bachelor's Brad Womack sent home Shawntel N., the beautiful funeral director from Chico, California.  I really don't always like being right.  But come on, she took him into the embalming room and had him lay on the table - where who-knows-how-many dead people have lain. When she asked him if he wants to be buried or cremated, he said "Never thought about it."  Yeah.  Welcome to Chico.

In the end, Brad said simply that, when Shawntel told him she had fallen in love with him, he didn't feel the way a man should feel when someone says that to him.  In my opinion, the final nail in the coffin (yes, I said it), was her dad's plans for Shawntel to succeed him in the family business.  Brad is clearly squeamish about death, and the thought of taking a girl away from her family and her (albeit ghoulish) profession, played a factor in it all.

I'm a GleeK 

Since I have started my little blog, 6 days ago, I have received nothing but love, support and good information.  My friend Traci referred me to The SITS Girls and I have been flitting around here and there and everywhere, mostly through links on their sites.

When Mary, of The Mama Mary Show commented on my blog, of course I returned the favor.  What a pleasure!  Immediately a post about Glee caught my eye. She was having a contest about who your favorite Glee character is, and why. The winner receives a copy of Glee Karaoke Revolution!!  I posted my choice ("Mercedes Jones, because she rocks"), and went on to read more Mary.  

The next day, Mary tweeted me to check out her blog. Me, the girl who never wins anything, won the contest!  They said it was totally random, but I know it's because I rock it. 

   Mary, I love your blog ♥  Oh, and I do know the plastic bag song.  I realized later that it was featured on Glee a few weeks ago.  Which leads me to the stupid song whose random lyric sticks in my mind.  It's on the playlist at the coffee shop where I work...all I ever hear of this song is "Kill the shark..."  Aaarrrgh!

And now, I have to go watch Glee.  I hear Rachel kisses Blaine tonight.  ♥

Monday, February 21, 2011

Regarding Coco ♥

Several years ago, Mike had a dog named Tramp.  He often spoke about how much he misses Tramp, and that he wants to go to the mid-west to retrieve him from the ex.

Now if you know Mike, you are probably picturing that he would have a pretty macho kind of dog, like a Pit Bull, a shepherd or a labrador.  This is pretty much what I was imagining.  But the breed of dog really didn't matter, just the fact that he missed his companion so darned much.

One day, Mike told me how he got Tramp.  He was driving home one cold dark night, and saw this dog off to the side of the road.  He was worried, because the dog was alone, and was concerned that he might get eaten by a coyote.

What? Eaten by a coyote? "Wait - What kind of dog is Tramp?"  "Deer Chihuahua" was the response.   Apparently enough time had passed that his ex would not even consider giving him back the dog.  A plot to kidnap Tramp, involving a crazy non-stop road trip to Missouri, had been loosely formulated between Mike and a good friend.

There had to be a better solution.  Amused by this story, I relayed it to a woman who works in my chiropractor's office.  She has a darling little chihuahua who comes to work with her.  I mused that maybe we could find him another little dog to replace a clearly irreplaceable dog.

She said it was funny that I told her this story.  Another patient of hers was looking for a home for his chihuahua.  His new landlord would not allow a pet, so sadly, he had to part with her.  I was so excited to go home and tell Mike that we really had to meet this dog.  "I need a dog like I need a hole in the head" he grunted.  I sighed.  I felt deflated, but decided to let the idea sit a day or two.

Several days later, with the understanding that there was no obligation, Mike agreed we would meet the owner at our chiropractor's office so that we could see the dog.  As we parked the truck, Mike said "I can't believe I let you talk me into this."  We went inside.  

After a few minutes, they arrived.  The owner came in with Coco.  By this time, there were about six people in the lobby of the office.  The owner took off Coco's leash.  She immediately ran all the way across the lobby, leaping up onto Mike's lap.  Coco warmly licked his face, like she had just been reunited with an old friend.

And Mike simply melted.  

And that's how we got Coco.
Coco watching the Daytona 500

Coco & Mike

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We've Been Inked @ BenInked

 On my Birthday, I got a new tattoo.  Now, I know what you're thinking. "Gina, seriously?  You don't strike me as the tattoo type."  Well first, let me clarify.  I'm not going out and getting a full sleeve of skulls and flames down my arm anytime soon (not that there's anything wrong with that).  I am strictly a floral, "girly tattoo" kind of girl.  I especially like daisies.

So, a few months back, my friend Ben, a tattoo artist, announced that he would be doing free pink ribbon tattoos to support breast cancer awareness.  To qualify, you, or a loved one has been affected by breast cancer.  As one of my aunts is a breast cancer survivor, I was immediately interested.  Additionally, pink is girly, right?  So my wheels started turning.

Ben incorporated daisies in this, the original sketch. ♥

When it was finished, I was amazed! 

So, it's on the back of my right shoulder, and I love it!! ♥
Thanks to Ben at BenInked !!!

Little did I know,  but Mike had been craving a tattoo for a while.  He talked about covering up an old tattoo for quite some time, but now was kicking the idea into fruition at a high rate of speed. 

People have asked what he is covering up? The date of a failed marriage, a la Eva Longoria?  The name of an old lover?  A drunk-weekend-in-Vegas tattoo?  No, it's nothing like that.  Sorry to disappoint you.  It's simply a feather in the center of his chest.  He was never completely happy about the way it turned out.

Mike fell in love with a cross and tribal design, a much larger tattoo, and thought it would make for a great chest piece.  It's substantially larger than the original tattoo.  Some things, with Mike, have to be larger-than-life.  And that's just fine.  But we'll talk about that later. (Think, "I'm turning FIFTY so I gotta make a Bucket List!")

So here's the initial sketch:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

That Box of Chocolates

So, remember I mentioned the heart-shaped box of chocolates that Mike gave me for Valentine's Day?  Ok, so last night, I was sitting right here, in this very spot.  Well, I know you can't see me.  What's your point?

Anyhoo,  I hear Mike behind me, talking to our dog, Coco.  "Let's see if mommy ate all the chocolates.  I bet she ate all the chocolates.  Let's take a look and-"  Jeez!  Just open the darn box and look!  And do you really think that dog understands you?  And what does she care?  It's not like she can have any of the chocolates.  I mean, actually, that's kind of ironic, seeing as her name is "Coco", but I digress...

"Oh, mommy left a few chocolates in the box!"  He bites into one, instantly making a face.  "Do you like chocolate and raspberry?"  Stupid question.  Of course I do.  He handed it to me and I popped it into my mouth.  It was delicious.
Chocolate doesn't last long in our house. ♥

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eat, Drink & Be Merry, For Tomorrow, You Diet

So I think I mentioned that I started a diet yesterday.  Did I also mention that when you live with a man who loves to cook, and you, yourself, love to eat, that the pounds can pack on pretty darn fast?  Well they can, and they will!! 

So they say (whoever "they" are), that between Thanksgiving and New Year's, the average person gains 10 pound.  Only 10?  (Now I'm wincing.)  I think I got mine and those of two other people, so if you see those 2 skinny girls who didn't gain their holiday weight, you send 'em my way. I'm about to give them their belated Season's Greetings.

And by the way, I think that the holiday weight gaining period should be liberally extended to include Super Bowl Sunday, and Valentine's Day.  I mean really, what sense does it make to start a diet on New Year's Day, knowing full well I am going to eat my fair share of guacamole and a big fat Rib-Eye steak during the big game? I mean, really!   And you know my boyfriend naturally bought me a pound of chocolates in a traditional heart-shaped box just 4 days ago.  Yes he did. Oh, yeah, he knew about the diet, "but it's Valentine's Day!"  Sheesh!!

And so, there you have it.  I cannot button my pants.  My favorite jeans are the ones with the magic stretchy denim.  They're my fave because I can still button them and wear them out in public, with a long shirt that covers my holiday bulge. 

Butter lettuce blend with Roma tomatoes and red onion.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

P.S. - Not Always a Vacation Destination

Mike read my first post, Here I Am - As in "Amateur" 
"Why isn't there anything there about me? I mean, there is - you say that I blamed you for the truck breaking down, and for all they know, we broke up!"

(Sigh.)  Okay, so here's more of the story.  

Mike got a call on a Monday.  Mike's sister was at Desert Regional Hospital in a coma.  His brother-in-law said "I think you guys better come out here."  That usually means it's bad, right?  We packed a few things and headed towards the desert, picking up Mike's brother along the way, and arriving in the desert late that night.

Tuesday morning, Mike and his brother-in-law met with the doctor.  The mood in the waiting room was somber.  I did what I could to provide moral support, but found sitting in a hospital all day, quite frankly, exhausting.  Finally, visiting hours were over.  We headed out to check in to a motel.

Despite his worries, Mike asked if there was anything I needed.  I really wanted sugar. Gummi worms, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream....and some Arizona Peace Ceylon Tea.  I picked up a pack of cigarettes for Mike.  I don't like that he smokes, but now's not the time to quibble...

When we went to leave, the truck wouldn't start.  Stress and frustration reached it's limit. Mike blamed me, cuz it was my idea to stop at Rite Aid, and if only we hadn't, the truck wouldn't have know, perfectly logical.

Well, I wasn't about to take the blame for the truck's mysterious ailment. I grabbed my bags and headed off in the direction of the Motel 6, momentarily forgetting that I didn't even know where it was. 

After a few hours, Mike and his brother, having towed the truck to a service station, arrived at our room.  I could tell he wanted to talk to me, but was waiting for a private moment.  When his brother went outside for a cigarette, he spoke.

First thing that morning, the doctor had advised that his sister wasn't going to make it.  They should say their goodbyes, and consider making her final arrangements.

What? Why wasn't I told this? Wasn't I supposedly here for support?  How can I be supportive if I don't know what the heck is going on?

All he could say was how sorry he was.  The pressure of the day, the shock of the doctor's news, the heat (ugh!) of the desert, and then the final straw, the damned truck breaking down...He loves me so much and is so grateful to have me here with him.  He also noticed that I got a room right by the pool, which both he and his brother really wanted, and that I cranked up the A/C so that it was nice and cold when they got there.

There were also plenty of extra towels, I told him. "Oh, and one more thing..."  Out of a plastic Rite Aid bag, came the piece de resistance - a pack of American Spirits (Blue).

I think that may have been a tear I saw in his eye....

Thursday morning, Mike's sister woke up.  

Thank God, sometimes doctors are wrong.

Reality Check

(From February 16, 2011)

Monday night, I felt myself smirk with a kind of dirty satisfaction as I watched Brad Womack, (The Bachelor, Season 15), send home Michelle Money.  "Thank God," "Finally!" and "That's right, witch, you're goin' home!" were just a few of the thoughts going through my head as he walked her out to a waiting limousine...

Each season of The Bachelor has what I like to call "The Psycho Girl", and this season did not disappoint.  After weeks of talking smack about how all the other girls aren't right for Brad, and need to be sent home, you'd think her camera time in the limo would be full of good stuff, right? Wrong.

"Miss Hell", as fans have dubbed her, said nothing. Not word one.  The only thing she did was blink repeatedly, like she was trying to get her eyes to water...after all, if she really cared about Brad, she would cry at a time like this, right? LMAO

Ok, so reality television isn't scripted, but it is edited so that we, the audience see what they want us to see. And let's face it, WE LOVE IT!!!

What I wonder though is, how will life be for a woman who was wined and dined (on ABC's big budget) once she is living the life of a bar owner's wife? I mean, I'm sure he makes a good living, but every special occasion isn't going to begin by being whisked off in a helicopter only to be told "You are about to rappel off a waterfall! At the bottom, there will be a gourmet picnic awaiting us....And then we will be serenaded by Josh Groban."

"Wow, when Brad told me he had a special day planned, I mean, wow! I had no idea!!  He is such a great guy."

Next week is the "Home Town Dates" week.  I call it the "Any more skeletons in your closet?" week.

Ah, my Reality T.V. palate is already watering....

Here I Am - As in "Amateur"

In case you're wondering how this all began...

Last week I wrote a facebook note to my friend Traci.  She was talking about how the women in her family have this thing for running their vehicles out (or almost out) of gas on a regular basis.  This is the note I wrote in response:

"Re: ProGAStination:

My landlord/Mike's boss is a big fan of running on fumes. We took his Ford truck to Palm Springs when Mike's sister was in a coma (that's a whole other story). When we came out of Rite Aid to go to the Motel 6, the truck wouldn't start. Mike blamed me, cuz it was my idea to stop at Rite Aid, and if only we hadn't, the truck wouldn't have know, perfectly logical. If you didn't need your god-danged Gummi worms and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, we wouldn't be in this stupid mess!

I got my bag, & headed for the motel on foot, figuring we were through. The next day, we found out it was the fuel pump, and caused by the owner letting the tank regularly run dry for years.

Be careful! Your ProGAStination can wreak havoc with someone else's relationship!!  Not to mention, that it cost nearly $1000 to fix"

 Traci's comment to that stuck in my mind. She said, "I think you guys would make for a great blog."

So with the (not so) New Year, come new beginnings...

I hope you will enjoy my posts...Stay tuned...I started a diet today. God knows I'll have something to say about that!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...