Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Would You Rather Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Innkeeper's Assistant

Emily Dickinson Pictures, Images and Photos
In the spring of my senior year of college, my work study money was running out. I had spent the last two years working in a library and loving every minute of it. It was just me and the books. If I were to enter into plural marriage, it would be with a huge stack of books. I was sad when the money ran out and couldn't work anymore in those quiet corners shelving all the Grisham and Steel books that people love to read so much. I would love to blog about my time there, but it will have to keep for another day. This post will be about the job that came after my dream job.

I found an ad on campus advertising a position at a local Bed and Breakfast. It seemed like one step above the Subway I worked at my first two years of college. I've written about that experience before and I wasn't itching to get back to bread with pubes and cheese with eyelashes. I decided to take a chance and called the number on the flyer.

It turned out that the job entailed me alternating work at two inns that this very eccentric couple owned. They were on the same street, about 1/2 a mile apart and my home was only a 1/2 mile away from that. My college experience was all about riding the bus and walking so I was excited about commuting easily on my feet. Both inns were stunning and very old. One of them was across the street from Emily Dickinson's house! She was my ghost bosom buddy so I felt happy knowing that I could look out the window from my job and see her anytime I liked.

I called myself an innkeeper's assistant, but really I was just a maid. I served breakfast, washed dishes, cleaned rooms/beds, and did laundry. I would work at one inn and then sprint down the hill to work at another. My first day of work, I got to cook two dozen eggs in a massive wok and I was thrilled. I actually really enjoyed this job. I enjoy solitary monotonous work. Most people would loathe doing the same mundane tasks over and over, but I liked it because I could work and still be lost in my head. No matter how old I get, I love to lose myself in thought. This job was perfect for that.

As much as I loved the job, it came with its own perils. I learned very early, that one boss would take my tips if I weren't quick enough to get them. I made myself have bat ears and listen for the person handing their keys back and then fly to their room to scoop up my tip and then fly back to where I was working. People left very generous tips and since I was making only $8 an hour, 4 hours a day, I could really use those tips. I'm sure the owner must have been dismayed that I was taking my own tips, but she never mentioned it to me directly. I was the hardest worker they had ever had and since I was willing to work at both their businesses, they did not want to lose me.

The other peril of the job had to do with bodily fluids. If you are in any way squeamish, I would suggest skipping the next paragraph or two... Obviously, people don't just sleep in their rooms, they enjoy adult time and bathroom time. Most of my experience comes from bathroom time. People will smear the grossest things on walls, tubs, and toilets. I guess if you are paying that much, it's OK to be freak nasty with your menstrual blood. My bosses would always apologize if they happened to notice a particularly scary situation in a bathroom that I was cleaning. I would just breathe through my mouth, open a window for some fresh, crisp Massachusetts air, and think of England. If bedding or mattresses were soiled, I was always told that the owner's would take care of that. I recall one incident of my boss scrubbing a stain from a very old quilt while muttering the foulest words I had ever heard. I loved it and will treasure that moment always.

I think my bosses thought of me as young and naive and wanted to shield me from things. It was strange, I was 21 and almost a college graduate. I actually was very interested in all the bawdy things that can happen at a Bed and Breakfast. There was one time that a pair of randy dudes and possibly some other friends stayed a night. When I got to work, I was told that I was forbidden from cleaning their room. They had had some sort of orgy involving a lot of massage oils and I was not to see the aftermath of it. The owners locked the door and got to work. I was dismayed, I wanted to see the sex den. I had seen the two young men leaving and they didn't seem that wild. Certainly not wild enough to knock lamps around and pull mattresses down and soak most surfaces with pungent fluids. I suppose I should be thankful that my innocence was preserved and that I was not responsible for cleaning the destruction of an orgy, but my curiosity for that room has never left my head.

I worked hard every morning through that spring and into summer. I missed my own graduation because I preferred tips to standing in a giant stadium with my 6,000 classmates. When wedding parties came to visit, I often got $20 and $50 bills left on dressers for me. I would wake up early and skip to work. I really liked being a maid. It was just me, filthy rooms, and Emily. Life can surprise you and hand you bliss where you least expect it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Consignment Insanity

Four Pictures, Images and Photos
Twice a year, my town has a consignment sale held at the fire department hall. I usually check it out, never knowing when I might find a hidden deal. I got there pretty early, but there was already a line around the block. Every time I've been to this sale, I've never had to wait in a line. I was a little worried because my spirited girl does not do well in a line. Luckily, there were toddlers in front and behind me to keep her amused. I was still considering if waiting in this line was worth it. Are people queuing up expecting to find ingots of gold in those boxes and on those tables? They would let in small groups as people left. When people left, they were hauling giant bags of toys and clothing. It was like the Apocalypse was coming and they had to fight it with used onesies. Two women behind me were in a panic and one said "There won't be anything left for us!" I could feel their horror moving through the line. I was immune to it, we have multiple thrift stores in the area, there are always racks of wash worn tee shirts somewhere.

Once I got in, it looked like Disneyland in the height of summer. The racks were being stripped bare and people were pushing and shoving their way into the thick of it. One frau looked like she would cut me if I even considered touching an Old Navy holiday tee. I wanted to tell this lady that there was nothing to worry about, I buy my holiday tees new when they are on 75% off clearance. Her shirt was safe.

If you've read this blog long enough, you should already know that I mostly hate people. I also hate having my personal space invaded. The crowds at this sale was bringing my annoyance level to its maximum. I had to keep my mouth shut tightly so I didn't say "it's a clusterfuck in here". It was just the one coherent thought I had in all the chaotic used clothing madness. I had a pair of $2 uniform pants for my son and a pair of $1 sparkly PJs for my daughter and I still wasn't sure it was worth it. I decided just to buy them and book it.

Unfortunately the line was wrapped all around the warehouse! If I had seen that before I came in, I would have never bothered to be part of those elbow brawls in racks. Every single person in that line had the standard huge Apocalypse blue bag of crap clothing. Since it is consignment, they have to write down every item sold and which person it belongs to and that takes forever even with a handful of people in line. Every time I've come to this sale, I've been able to get in and out with relative ease. It must be the economy that is driving people to this sale. It's like they've never heard of the Good Will.

I hurriedly put my finds back and hauled ass out of there. It was a good thing I left when I did because I saw the Four Horsemen rushing in behind me. They were looking for footie PJs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

White Trash Recipe of the Week

gandhi Pictures, Images and Photos
Gandhi's Legs

3-4 chicken drumsticks
1 pkg of Mahatma Saffron Rice

Preheat oven to 375. Put rice and the amount of water the instructions specify in a small casserole dish. Place the drumsticks on top. Bake for about 40 minutes. The juice from the legs will drip down and add extra flavor to the rice. Feeds 2 adults or 1 adult and 2 small children.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Would You Rather Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Potent Potables

Macgyver Pictures, Images and Photos
The Spa is Still Open
My daughter still continues to try and sneak toothpaste for her hair and face any chance she gets. She's taken to stealing my husband's full loaded toothbrush that he leaves on the toliet top when he's in the shower. She also managed to find some shimmering Chapstick and made up her face with it. Her face was iridescent when I found her and smelling of coconut. I'm not sure when this mania for beauty treaments will end, but it seems like nothing is safe from her experimenting hands.

Another Battle Won
After a week of having nothing shipped out from my Blockbuster queue and two fruitless emails, I decided to call. I was told that they are upgrading their shipping process to be much faster and that this is affecting everyone. I'm not sure why shipping has to completely stop for them to upgrade their system, but I managed to get a $10 credit applied to my next bill and magically, two movies shipped out of my queue. I also used my free coupon to finish off Season 1 of Big Love, so things are looking brighter.

End of Summer Garden Review
My tomato plant, Leroy, now looks petrified, but still staying in my flower bed. He's like an all knowing stone statue. I plan to keep him there through winter with my gnome. My rose volunteer, JFK Jr., is climbing up my box window. We won't have any blooms this year, but I am glad I don't have to worry about finding something for him to climb on. My son planted an orange seed about a month ago and now it's a nice little sproutling right in my marigold bed. All the neighborhood kids check on it daily.

Expert Dentistry
Tonight, my son decided to shove the antenna wire of his remote control car deep into his teeth. It wasn't even the straight part, but the curly end. He had double the wire in there. I had a moment of panic not being able to get it out. I was thinking I'd have to take him to an after hour clinic with it just hanging out of his mouth. I frantically called my husband and he suggested putting some soap in there to "get things moving". I decided to blast some spray oil in there and then MacGyver it out with a toothpick. Luckily that worked and the crisis was solved.

Soymilk Surprise
At the grocery store this afternoon, I reached for a carton of soymilk. I didn't realize that someone had already decided to open the top and me grabbing it turned into an experience not unlike Splash Mountain. I asked my son later why someone would open a carton like that and he said "They were robbers and probably wanted to drink some, but didn't want to waste money on their credit card". I'm glad me repeatedly telling him he can't have something because I don't want to waste money on my debit card has finally sunk in and he can apply it to a real life situation.

Here I Go Again
I'm not ashamed to admit that I blasted some Whitesnake as I rolled through my town this weekend. It was a warm day and my kids were in the car so we decided to have some good times. They are used to Mommy turning it up when Def Leppard or Prince comes on, but Whitesnake was a new treat. I love when I'm stopped at a stoplight and people can't move because their jaws are so far on the ground. Yes, I'm playing crazy loud Hair bands while my kids are in the car and it's fun!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Your Weekly Horoscope

Capricorn: You have some really scary cleaning that you have been putting off.

Aquarius: Your schedule is booked with watching the new fall t.v. season.

Pisces: Something sharp may jab itself into your foot.

Aries: You may find yourself lurking in shadows waiting to wrestle your demons.

Taurus: Your mind is running on optimal functioning levels.

Gemini: You will succumb to the urge to blast Hair bands out your car window.

Cancer: Your secret beauty treaments are harming more than helping.

Leo: This is a good week to experiment with new foods.

Virgo: You germ phobia will be out of control this week.

Libra: This is a good week to take an autumn stroll.

Scorpio: A family member will visit you.

Sagittarius: Your current selfish behavior is very unbecoming.