Archive for January, 2010

End of December/Beginning of January

January 20, 2010

So, Jenn and I got to go home for Christmas.  There was a lot of talking, a lot of playing with nieces and nephews, a lot of gooood eating, and a lot of relief and smiles.  I can’t really talk too much about it though because it then took about 2 weeks to break out of the depressive state that being back in New York caused.  It was wonderful being home and it was really hard coming back here.  That funk means that there really hasn’t been much going on because it took a whole bunch of work just to get up in the morning for awhile.

Work had basically forgotten about me when I got back.  The one scheduled night I got to come back to was New Year’s Eve.  An Asian-American young professionals group rented out the entire facility but left it as a cash bar so our tips were dependent on the sales we made in our section–which of course is typical for serving at most restaurants but not so much at our place with huge parties like this (groups usually pay a ridiculous sum and a gratuity figure is factored into the cost which is then split between the servers/bussers/runners that worked the party and it shows up on your check).  One highlight of my section was getting to witness the most absurd guy-dancing-at-a-party ever–if silly cartoon octopi existed in real life and they had a singles bar/club…this guy would be a go-go dancer at that club.  The lowlight of my section was that many expensive bottles were being bought in the section to my right…and many were being bought to my left…so the people clogging up my section mooched all night off those two mini-parties and didn’t want to buy a thing.  I’m pretty sure my persistence was the only reason I sold anything but even that was sad.  On a night where our facility sold over $100,000 in alcohol, my total sales were $92.  On a night where a few servers made their rent money, I got $27 in tips.  That was upsetting.  The other lowlight was staying until 6am trying to pre-clean after the most disgusting, violent, disrespectful, horrifically drunk group of people I’ve ever witnessed finally left the joint…in total shambles.

The next week I got scheduled for zero shifts.  So, we were freaking out a bit and thinking I was once again going to have to look for yet another job.  God was good, though, and two people called during the week looking for someone to cover their shifts so I was able to pick those up and remind the managers that I’m not terrible and that I, in fact, exist and can do this job well.  Thankfully that was all that was needed and I’ve been scheduled for 3-4 shifts in the couple weeks since then.  Crisis averted.

We have been rehearsing our show once a week and things are going pretty well.  As a director I’m running into the difficulty of directing Scott to be completely himself in his part (which is not as easy as I expected) and then directing Jenn to be completely not herself in her part…and then directing myself while paying attention to what they’re doing isn’t simple either but I think once we get closer and start stacking rehearsals on top of each other, things will start to click.  Finding set pieces for the show is proving to be a lot more difficult here than I’ve ever seen in Peoria.  Everyone wants to be paid for using their furniture and we don’t have many contacts.  If God wants this to be an amazing show, though, it will all come together no matter how difficult it seems right now…I know that.

Jenn was put in touch with a really cool arts center by a co-worker.  This co-worker teaches beginning ballet at this place and when she found out Jenn had taught piano and violin previously she made the connection for Jenn because the facility was in need of a beginning piano teacher.  Jenn sent references and her resume to the director and then she was told to come and to be prepared to teach the class so they could see how she interacted with children.  My wonderful and talented wife then proceeded to wow the director and the couple parents that were sitting in on the lesson and, after the parents told the director that they were planning to pull their kids out of the program because of dissatisfaction with the previous instructor but would keep their children in if Jenn was hired, they hired her on the spot.  Right now it’s only one class but it has potential to grow and she might also be able to teach a few violin classes if that program keeps growing (they have an instructor already but it’s getting close to being too big for one person).  It pays well on a per lesson basis and it makes Jenn a heckuva lot happier than answering phones.  She has also been teaching violin to a young girl from our church so those few things combined mean that she has at least one day per week now where she can focus on music and teaching and not worry about it cutting into her regular job for that day of the week because it’ll end up being better money anyway.  For now, she’ll keep the office job but at least she’s got one day.  It’s pretty cool, as well, that it’s the kind of job that you just can’t get in Peoria without being associated with a school of some sort which, without a teaching degree, is impossible for Jenn anyway right now.  So….5,000 marks on the “con” side of the board for New York living and now…uh…4(?) marks on the “pro” side.

I just recently got to meet up with a friend, Kevin Parker, here in NYC which was awesome.  We hadn’t seen each other in about 6 years nor spoken in about 4 years but it was as simple a reconnection as they come.  I’m pretty sure he’s on his way to becoming Secretary of State but if I become massively rich before then I will employ him to find charitable causes to give my money away to.  We only had a couple of hours to hang out but it was really nice and a few people in his massive box of contacts might turn out to be very helpful out here for me.

A couple of random quotes:  (my wife and I are not vulgar, foul-mouthed people but I come from a family where, at least, we are very comfortable discussing subjects that might be taboo in other families which means that since we’ve been married Jenn has become much more liberal in some of her references and I’m still getting used to it)…..While home at Christmas, we were having a beautiful meal at her sister’s house.  It was kind of fancily displayed and there was a lot of it and it was all delicious.  So, Jenn was making “mmm this is good food”-type noises and moans, so her sister asked “how you feeling over there Jenn?”  Jenn replied, “I feel like my colon should get a prize!”…………………This past weekend we were enjoying our first dinner and a movie date in at least 4 months because we had some gift cards.  After dinner we ordered this amazing double-chocolate slice of cheesecake and were sort of eating in stunned silence for awhile until Jenn said, “this is like if sex and chocolate had a baby!”  I find that confusing on a few levels but it made me laugh anyway.