Tag Archives: admiration

Holy Cow, I love you!

30 Jul

I’ve got a pretty great job, if I do say so myself. I spend my days around one my favorite things in life- cheeseburgers. When you hate your job, or dread going to work each day, or bring stress home with you, the whole quality of life thing really degenerates fast, so it’s good to be in a place that makes you happy. And I am.

We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of our little burger joint, and it really made me think about all the things that place means to so many different people. It’s more than just a paycheck – it’s a tiny family. We all care about the success our little burger joint. A successful first year for a small business is really quite a feat.

The servers all chipped in and had two bobble heads made in the likeness of our two owners. They were pretty funny, I must say. We also brought breakfast for everyone, and had a cake at around four. It was a nice day.

Over the last year, as we were learning and finding our stride, we have made a lot of friends and seen a lot of stuff. So here are a few of the highlights.

The old man who used to come to the old Bob’s Fish and Chips with his son in the seventies. Now his son is dead, and he sat tearing up on the patio while eating his burger because of all the happy memories it brought back.

That time we tried to serve breakfast- it was a total fiasco.

Right around the time we opened someone pooped on our back door.

When the feral cats of the neighborhood started hanging out at our dumpster- and reproducing like crazy. We still have about seven cats that we feed and water. We call them the Holy Kitties.

The brother and sister duo that stopped in during their road trip from California to Florida.

When Mark Ruffalo came in on opening night.

When we got the new air conditioner for the kitchen and it caused the computers to crash.

The kidnapping. Late one night we were cleaning the restaurant and a car sped down the street and haphazardly into the parking lot next door. The back door opened and a woman fell out. The driver then put her back in the car and sped away.

That time a bus pulled up and unloaded all of the residents of a local nursing home into the restaurant. (This now happens on the regular, but that first time was a doozy.)

That time a hooker and a pimp came in to get out of the cold, and when they were asked to leave the man started screaming about how the restaurant had rats and that he was “too fucking classy” to eat there.

When we bought the bad batch of pens and they started exploding everywhere and on everyone.

Our salad cook was waiting at the bus stop after a day in the hot kitchen in the middle of summer when a religious group, thinking she was homeless (she did look pretty rough), gave her a paper bag with “God Loves You” written on it and containing a mashed up PB&J, a bottle of water, and cookies.

The little kid who, as he was putting his burger into a to-go box, said “See ya later”- to the burger!

The little boy who told me ‘Happy Mother’s Day.”

The Finnish motorcycle gang who stopped in during their tour of old Route 66.

When one of our servers told a guest to “chill out and relax” when she was very clearly not into being chill or relaxed.

When the salad cook accidentally coated a server from head to toe in cucumber Greek yogurt dipping sauce. That was awesome.

When one of our bosses tricked a server into drinking a ranch milkshake by telling her it was a new menu item.

That time I got off working two doubles in a row and discovered that during my shift one of my coworkers had filled my purse with apples and sugar packets.

That time when they got to work to open and discovered that during the night someone had left a wedding dress drenched in human poop on the corner of the patio. That really happened, yes.

Someone once drove their car up the sidewalk and literally to our front door.

When it got really hot and we had two new air conditioner vents installed- and then the rainy season started and the vents leaked buckets of water into the dining room.

Our slew of fun and weird characters that make a second home out of the joint.

And all the ups and downs, highs and lows, that go into a year in an emerging small business.

Things I Remember About my Father

7 Mar
Fifteen years ago today, one month after my twelfth birthday, my dad succumbed to his long, arduous battle with Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We all still miss him very much. Fifteen years ago Floyd came into the world and befriended me during that sad time. I wish she had gotten to meet him. Here are some of my memories of him that I tell her about.

His smile. He smiled a lot.

His love of water and boats.

He loved me lots.

He could learn and master anything- and quickly.

He liked to travel. He always meant to revisit Japan.

He was very independent.

He had a great memory, especially of people.

He was really good at math.

Our house was never empty- he was a true socialite.

He could pop his shoulder out of socket because of the way his bullet wound healed. (He got shot in Vietnam.)

He scared the shit out of the other kids.

He had red hair.

He once killed a tiger.

He sang along to the radio in his truck.

His hugs.

A Piece of the Peace

26 May

I spent the morning at her house.  She wanted me to organize an armoire for her.  It was brilliant on her part.  She picked me up at my house on the way home from grocery shopping and we ate grapes as she drove us to the North Valley.  She asked if my summer was going the way that I had hoped it would.  I told her no, but that I wasn’t sure what I wanted or hoped for anymore.  She told me that it didn’t matter if I didn’t know, that things had a way of falling into place.  She asked how I ended up here, if I liked it, why I stayed.

She told me about her first love.  She was living in California.  They used to swim in the ocean together every day.  There was a big rock that was underwater but that protruded when the tide was out.  One day he insisted that they swim out to the big rock, so they did.  She was so scared, climbing the slippery, steep, sharp rock that she wasn’t paying him any attention.  Once she got to the top, however, she realized that he had been right behind her the whole time, spotting her, watching after her.  Atop the rock is where he first told her that he loved her.

She talked about her daughter, and her grandchildren, her husband and her house.  She barely mentioned her work.  I met her chickens- all six of them.

It was sneaky.  As I cleaned out the armoire I found family photos- relics from her past.  I found souvenirs from beaches in Mexico, driftwood from California, folk art from Georgia.  I saw the shoes her daughter wore as a child.  I found half finished art projects that her granddaughter had started and abandoned.  I found evidence of a full and wonderful life.  I saw a glimpse into her happiness, and she sat beaming at me, proudly watching as my archaeologist’s mind dissected her past.

I saw in her more than a woman, a wife, a friend, a mother and grandmother.  I saw a person who has life figured out, and she laid it out simply for me, in easy terms: be happy.  Her life is full of happiness.  Her mind is younger and fresher than any other I have ever met.

She made me want a piece of the peace.

Why Can’t I Be You?

25 Jan

Someday I want to be just like her.  She is completely interesting in every possible way.

Upon arriving today she promptly told me her plan of working Rolling Stones references into as much of her conversation for the day as she possibly could.  At that moment, my boss walked past, grumbling about how the copy machine was always broken and would never do anything that anybody wanted it to do.

She looked at my boss with a completely straight face and said “We can’t always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need,” and grinning back at me proclaimed, “Ah. I just love Jagger.”

With that, she walked away.

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