Thursday, December 9, 2010

LMT to LBD to OT

A simple, but vaguely annoying reoccurring theme in my life is that I constantly change my mind on what I want to pursue, and I have no idea what I want to do.

Since moving after my undergrad degree in May, I've wanted to be a high school English teacher, an MFA student, an ultrasound technician, a family and marriage counselor, a doula, and a massage therapist. I am now currently looking into pediatric occupational therapy. Intersperse in the middle lots of research about those positions and lots of not knowing what I want to do.

However, the one thing that actually thrills me is there is a theme developing. I've long since known that whatever job I end up pursing will be in the field of directly helping people. I just have no idea what form to take that in. But looking through the past occupations that have interested me, they all have some form of therapy involved, and most of them involve families or children.

Unfortunately, my problem is that I get bored fairly quickly. I need a position that has a constantly changing environment, but still with some routine. This is what appeals to me about being an OT. The other day when Lina was watching the twins, two OTs came to their house to assess how the twins were doing and give evaluations and recommendations. That sounds awesome to me.

After looking in becoming an occupational therapist, I realized that I kind of missed the track for schooling. Usually the people who pursue that study science in college, or even pre-occupational therapy, then get master's degrees. However, I could become an OT assistant with a two year associates degree and still make a fairly decent income.

So, that's currently on my brain.

I knew my random interest in anatomy and physiology had to come in handy for something.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Phineas is your Father

Since I am a full fledged nanny now, I need to put my kids names on the side for your easy viewing pleasure, so I'll get to that.

In the mean time, I babysat a 3 year old boy today. We spent the afternoon finger painting, having a sword fight, and shooting nerf guns. It was awesome.

Nannying work is starting to really pick up for me, which is both amazing and a huge relief. I still need a little more work to round out to a better paycheck, but things are looking up. I have a regular sitting position on MWF, I sit occasionally for two to three families right now, and I keep giving out my name and contact info to other parents. So, that's definitely something. And it's a something that's a whole lot less stressful than working in a restaurant.

I mean, my name was Jack Sparrow and I got to charge at a three year old while holding a light saber today (when he was holding the light saber, he was Darth Phineas).

I'll take that.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"I don't." But I will now.

When I was a kid, my biggest dream (fueled by my mother's ambitions for me) was to get married and have children. Somewhere along in college, I realized that I could have my own ambitions, and by golly, I didn't want kids, nor did I want to get married.

Rebellion was a sweet and churning emotion.

And rather confusing.

I'm engaged now, and I absolutely cannot wait to marry to my sweetheart. But, not for the reasons that I thought when I was younger. I honestly didn't have any reasons when I was younger. After a trip to the side of, "Marriage? Why marriage?" I can say that my reasons are totally different now. Getting married is not a status symbol to me. Nor a reason to have sex. Honestly, marriage is becoming pretty useless is my opinion. Aside from tax breaks and benefits from the government and hospital visitation rights (which are now being worked on), marriage is just a symbol.

So, after taking a foray in nomarriageland, I realized that, like most everything else, it all comes down to your motivations. I want to get married now, not because I can flaunt a giant ring on my finger and have "girls' nights out" with other wives (shudder). I want to get married because it's a public proclamation of my devotion to my beloved. And we're going to have a kick ass party with our friends. That seems more like marriage to me.

Not fifteen thousands dollars in debt because we can't afford it. Not a four hundred person wedding because we feel the need to invite everyone we know. Dresses from thift stores and our friends who supported us. That sounds just about right to me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Would you like your martini, uh, milk, now?

Honestly, I probably should have been documenting my final 2 weeks as a bartender, but I really didn't want to. I didn't want to do anything else that related to that job. So, a bit of a recap:

After I (attempted to) put in my two weeks notice, the assistant manager told me that I needed to have my notice in writing (my bad, because I definitely knew that), and that I couldn't turn in my notice until Tuesday because that's when the payroll week ended/started. I was tempted to call BS, but I just nodded, said that made sense, and left the office. Let me also say that we had this conversation on a Wednesday.

Let me interrupt to say that I am extremely non-confrontational. So much so, it is usually a huge detriment to whatever I'm trying to do (see above). I was already shaking so badly during the conversation, there was nothing I wanted to do more than walk out of the office and sit down for half an hour. Which is why I didn't say anything.

I did, however, tell one of the other bartenders what she said, and he looked at me and was like, really? He proceeded to tell the other bartender who had just quit as well what she told me, and he called and left a voice mail on my phone saying, "She's full of shit and can't do that. If she enforces it, I can give you the number to corporate."

So. I took in my written two weeks notice the following day, with the date of the day before (Wednesday). I copied it and gave it to both her and the general manager. I heard nothing else out of her.

I like to view my form of confrontation as silent.

Some people call it passive-aggressive.

In the end, my two weeks came through from the date I requested. And even better, there was miscommunication of sorts and I ended up only having to work one week after I put in my two weeks, instead of two. I was not about to complain.

Even better news--I was just offered and accepted a job yesterday as a part time nanny for a family just a mile from my apartment. And they seem amazing. And I just got back from another family this morning who wants to use me for occasional sitting. It was only four hours, and I made as much as I would have on a 7.5 hour day shift with bartending, and the worst I had to deal with was some crying when the four year old girl was determined she needed a band-aid on her non-hurting toe.


I probably won't be calling nannying "heaven" much in the future, but wow. Today was so different from a day in the restaurant industry. And I am so grateful.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two weeks

While it hasn't been two weeks since you looked at me (thank you Bare Naked Ladies), in two weeks it will be my last day at work.


That is, when I go into work today, I will be putting in my two weeks.

It's me going out on a limb. It's me admitting to myself that I can do better. That I want better. So many people I work with complain at their jobs. "I hate being a server," "I can't wait to put in my two weeks," "I'm looking for another job." But they're still there. And as one conversation with a manager went a few weeks ago, they'll probably still be there in five years.

But, I've never been one to stick around in situations that I didn't like. My practical side is very up in arms at the moment, but I'm deciding to take a risk and put in my two weeks without any other job solidly lined up. I have potentials, but nothing grounded.

So, I take the risk.

The good news is, I have two weeks to nail something down. Give or take. More good news is that Lina is fully supportive of this, and is actually pushing me toward the decision because I "don't want to make my managers upset." We can survive off of her income for a bit if I don't find anything right away, which is also good.

While I am really not looking forward to this conversation with my manager, the dry erase board on the fridge here is really happy and has "two weeks!" in comic-writing form written on today. So, that settles it. I can't dally because it would be an affront to the dry erase board which has our days wonderfully scheduled out.

Two weeks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New horizons

I have a babysitting job this Saturday night! The parents are going to a Halloween party, the children will be in bed, and I'll be getting paid to read.

And it could turn into something regular.

And I am meeting another mom on Thursday to see about a potential job as well. Another mom told me she'd call last night, and hasn't, so I'm not holding out too much hope there. But.. people want me!

In other news, I open tomorrow.
Can you feel the drastic mood change?

Monday, October 25, 2010

And a change

I've come to realize in my life, based on past evidence, that when I come to a decision, I move quickly. That said, I've decided to look for another job.

Lina and I have talked about it a lot, and we've come to realize that a lot of my general unhappiness, my abounding stress, and my overall jumpy mood can be attributed to my job. It's just not a good fit for me. Not only does my bartending job not fulfill the part of me that desires to help people and be an influence in someone's life, I don't feel valued or appreciated.

I will admit, I have a horrible syndrome that causes me to believe I am capable of much more than I am, and this has caused me to do a half-assed job on things that were very important. However, I haven't done this here. I have worked and worked and worked. Training kicked my ass, but I kept at it. And the job is still kicking my ass. It's not that I can't do it. I just that I don't understand why I should continue to do it.

Of course, this decision has come after a ton of talking with Lina. Obviously I'm not going to put in my two weeks before I have something else to fall back on. But doesn't this make me look like a flighty person who can't keep down a job? Well.. maybe to some people. Lina said I would drive her crazy if she didn't know that the force behind this is my personality.

I'm looking into tutoring, nannying, and babysitting. A venue where I believe I will be appreciated for the work I do, where I'm not working forty hours a week over four days, and where I have a lot more of a say in the work I do. We'll see what happens. The current bartending situation is: today and tomorrow off. Wednesday starts a new "code," whatever that is (another reason to leave now--a lot of shit has hit the fan in the past week and no one is happy), and Saturday is an early morning mandatory meeting for all employees.

I'm sick of corporations. I need to stop trying to work for them.

And I actually think I'm going to do something about that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jobs jobs jobs

I am sitting curled up on the bed, eating ice cream straight out of the tub. People may rag on the Midwest, but you have to admit, it has damn good ice cream.

I don't have to leave for work for another half an hour, which is nice. But being a bartender has its drawbacks. I don't have weekends anymore. My days run together until I realize it's Friday because the restaurant is packed and people are praising the coming weekend. I smile and nod, and try to forget that I have to be there are 9am on Sunday to open. I do like the varying schedule though; sometimes I get to sleep in, sometimes I get to stay up late. The only annoying thing about that is it changes from week to week.

The other sometimes annoying thing is that I have to remind myself to like my job. These times don't happen often, usually it's after I've worked a full week and need a couple days off, but they come nonetheless.

Last week was a particularly trying week, as I had to work more hours to cover for a bartender who went on vacation, and I found myself thinking that my job was pointless. Sure, a lot of people love bartenders (Lina and I went to a newcomer's welcoming reception at the Episcopalian church we now are trying to call home, and it seemed everyone wanted to talk to me after they found out I was "tending bar" as the older men put it). And well, the people who come in to have their whiskey manhattans on the rocks no cherry don't think my job is pointless either. And I'm bringing home an income, right? So, I went on a research kick.

I am in love with the Meyers-Briggs typology indicator, so I turned to that first. I found out back when I was in high school that I am an INFJ, and I've periodically retaken the test to see if I still fall in that category. After digging around online a little, I discovered that my personality type is not driven by monetary success, and is drawn to careers that allow for creativity and interaction with other people, and INFJs enjoy analyzing relationships and working with people to develop their full potential.

There's a whole lot more to that, but basically, I discovered, I felt like my job was pointless because I wasn't helping anyone. I'm kind of back on the "right" track now though (you know, rent), and I'm looking into many possible career choices. After of course, being stable at this job for a while.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The small things

It's fall. And it's lovely.

This autumn is starting off magnificently, and I am trying to keep it as such. I haven't had a good fall since 2006 when I was just starting my undergrad degree.

A person I loved left my life, a person I would come to love entered it, and a person I probably should never have loved but did anyway would continue to complicate matters for then and for many years to come.

Fall is a complicated time for me. But there is currently a kitty curled up on my lap, and I can fully enjoy that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Purse strings and heart strings

I've decided something: I love having an income.

I had an on-campus job when I was a student, but with the time to work only about 10-15 hours a week, if that, there wasn't a lot of money pouring in that didn't go toward rent and ramen.

When I put in my application to be a bartender, I specified that I only wanted to work 20-30 hours a week. I didn't think I could handle much more than that, at least to begin with. Well, the bar has been short-staffed for a while, so my 20-30 hours magically multiplied to full time. Some weeks it's a little more, and some a little less, but overall, I've been working a ton.

Lina, who nannies regularly for two families and picks up odd nannying jobs for another two, has also been pulling in a fairly decent amount. Now, I'm not saying that we're rich. I'm just saying that we have an income.

It's wonderful.

We can afford milk and butter that come from cows that haven't been treated with hormones; we realize over a week before rent is due that we actually have that in the bank, and that we'd already paid our other bills, and we still have some to put in saving; we don't feel guilty if we splurge a little at our favorite thrift store.

I also hadn't noticed how being a college student had made me stingy.

It's hard to share your plenty when the plenty is scarce, when "abundance" means you can buy Shredded Wheat cereal in the box and not the knock-off in the bag. I hadn't noticed how accustomed I'd become to a look out for yourself first mentality.

But now I find myself with an income. And for the first time in a long time, I find myself wanting to give. This past Sunday Lina and I visited an Episcopal church that we both fell in love with, and they have lots of ministries. And I want to be a part. I want to fill the little plastic wagon in the narthex to the brim with juice boxes. I want to pour out because I can.

Because I have an abundance.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And the party goes on and on...

"Hey, Tori, how was your birthday?"

I pulled up short, looked around the bar, and spotted the friendly regular who had bought me and my two friends shots of Patron for my "birthday" a few days previously.

"It was great!" I said, stammering in my head. I busied myself and walked away quickly. I'm a horrible liar.

But, the bar is set up in a circular form, and it wasn't long before I was back in front of him again, still holding the bar rag that I was cleaning with.

"Was your Patron good?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah, it was great. Thank you so much." I neglected to tell him that the bartender I work with poured us all rather large shots of Patron, and I definitely had a hard time finishing mine. I also neglected to tell him that I didn't finish it, but rather poured the last little bit into my water glass (I hear that Patron is amazing tequila, but I like my tequila in a margarita).

"I was gonna keep them coming for you."

"Oh yeah, sorry about that, we had to leave."

"Really? Where did you guys go afterward?"



Oops. Bad answer.

"Oh yeah, home. We hadn't seen each other in months so we caught up. And made more drinks, of course!"

See? Bad liar. I walked away quickly again and was met by a couple on the other side of the bar who said they were playing a game about guessing how much I weigh. What is it with these people?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Party like it's your birthday

Creepy comment of the week award goes to a stringy-haired man likely aged in his mid fifties who told me I was cute, and that if given the chance he would adopt me as his daughter because he "doesn't have a daughter, just two sons."

Thank you creepy man, for creeping me out.

I am curious though, are people in the midwest heftier? Maybe it's all the German blood and bratwurst they consume, but I haven't really noticed any additional heft here that isn't present in any other communities. The reason I bring this up, is that since moving, I have received an unremarkable number of comments about my size. I am tall, and fairly slender, but I'm not gaunt or anything that I feel would warrant a comment. But an unprecedented number of patrons comment on my size at work.

This just leads me to say that a regular was in yesterday (on a particularly windy day), and he commented that he wasn't sure if I would make it in to work because of all the wind. I'm assuming he meant because I'm so small I would get blown away.

The evening was fairly busy, and even with four bartenders, we were all running around. Life didn't start to calm down until well after happy hour ended. Then, Lina and one of our really good friends we haven't seen since May showed up to at the restaurant to surprise me. I was a middle shift last night, so when they showed up and we got slow, they went ahead and cut me so I could eat and hang out with them.

After chilling out over dinner, we decided to order a kids dessert, and when one of the bartenders I was working with that night brought it out, he had rounded up the rest of the servers in the restaurant and, gathering around me clapping, they began singing our restaurant's version of Happy Birthday. He cut in and began singing "Hey, Shorty, it's your birthday, party like it's your birthday."

The great part is that it was not my birthday, and earlier that night I'd won points with this bartender for telling him that he should pretend to be a tie fighter for the night. He asked the only other female bartender who works there if she knew what a tie fighter was, and he received a blank, confused stare. Thank you, previous boyfriend of mine, for making me learn the Star Wars fighter crafts.

Due to the eight people surrounding me singing Happy Birthday, the rest of the bar was efficiently clued in to the fact that it was my "birthday." Next thing we know, a semi-regular at the bar bought all three of us shots of Patron.

This is after one of the other bartenders accidentally began making a drink that he didn't realize had already been made, so he brought the extra over to our table. The drink was pink and fruity, and tasted great. For the rest of this story, it should be noted that this bartender is gay:

The visiting friend commented when the bartender came over to the table, "This tastes like girl in a drink."
"I shall call the drink 'Vagina,' then," he replied.
"Well, you do Vagina's very well."
"I don't do Vagina's often, but when I do, I do them right," he said.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Overheard: Just be yourself

I feel like today was a progressive day in how I view my sexuality.

Lina and I had one of our days when we just couldn't stop being in love with each other. We talked about our future and our life together. It was a great morning.

Then I had to leave to go into work at 3, and about half an hour before I left, I had an upsetting email from my mom. She emailed me a link with an article, and the article is titled:

Redeemed! 10 Ways to Get Out of the Gay

Life, If You Want Out

(Just like that. I decided to leave it in the annoying font so you could see how annoying it is.)

I called for Lina to come into the room, and I spun the computer around to face her. I was shocked. I would have expected my mom to send me this when I told her about mine and Lina's relationship back in April, and I was surprised when she didn't. But not now. Now, instead of feeling what I'm sure would have likely been exasperation, I'm feeling hurt and offended. The one catch point I have with my family, is that I want them to understand this is a real relationship. That I work just as hard at this relationship as any other. That I love her just as much (although, I always say more). That we're just as legitimate. But, no. It's always seen as something to change out of, something to strive against, something unwanted. Well, I want it, damn it.

So, this sent me to work in a bad, hurt mood. But on the drive there, I realized something important, and very obvious--I'm not my mother. She may want me to change, and it may hurt me that she wants me to, but well, I'm my own person.

At work, two of my favorite regulars were in, along with another bartender that I would be working with for the evening. She was talking to the two guys, and she pulled out the paper and began to read all their horoscopes. I walked over, and one of the guys goes, "Oh, read hers, read hers!" I've never been big into horoscopes because my upbringing effectively stamped out any interest when I was eight, but she scanned down the line for Leo and read, "Stop acting how others want you to act, and just be yourself."

This kind of blew my mind. I made a deal with myself that if one of the guys made any mention of any kind, I would tell them about my relationship with Lina. About five minutes later, one of the guys looks at me and says (already knowing that I don't have a boyfriend--he spends a lot of time at the bar just hanging out and being awesome and friendly), "So, you really don't have a boyfriend?" (how come this baffles everyone?). "Well, not a boyfriend," I replied. "Ohhh, really??" he said.

And this launched me and the two of them into a long discussion on sexuality, upbringing, family, and the church. One is Catholic and the other said he was Protestant, and when I said that I was raised Pentecostal, both their eyes got wide and they gasped. "So, that must be really difficult for you, huh?" said one. I told him that he had no idea, and then I told them about the email I received from my mom just an hour prior. They both looked shocked, and the guy who had asked me about a boyfriend looked me square in the eyes and said, "You are not a sinner." They both then launched into a full out conversation about how love and happiness are most important. They asked me if I loved my girlfriend, and if I was happy. I said yes to both, and one guy held up his fist, and said, "Pound it."

By this time, we'd spent about fifteen minutes talking, and while the bar was slow, I'd been neglecting some other guests. So, I walked around, and began talking to a guy a few stools over. He's a bartender at a store down the road, and he told me, "I couldn't help but overhear. I don't want to be prying or anything, but that was really brave of you to tell that to two tip-paying men." I said, "No, I know exactly what you mean. I wouldn't have done that if they weren't regulars." I told him about how I get asked all the time if I have a boyfriend, and how wonderful it is to say, "No, I don't," and enjoy the perplexed looks on their faces. He laughed and said he understood, and commented about how great it was that I didn't have to lie.

I might be a feminist, but if being a girl gets me more tip money, hey, I'm all for that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brownie Points

Apparently, if you give a manager a brownie...
...they'll love you for the day.

I can deal with that.

A couple nights ago, Lina and I invited one of the families she nannies for over to dinner. The evening went great. Lina made her mom's recipe of cranberry pork in the crockpot, and I made mashed potatoes and brownies. Everything turned out great, and we had great conversation. The parents of the kids are in their mid thirties, and he is a sommelier and brought two bottles of very good wine.

We ended up with lots of extra brownies, though, so I took some to work. One went to a manager, who was having a really rough day.

"Hey Joe," I said. "You like brownies?"
"Are you kidding me? I love brownies!"

The rest of the day he seemed a little bit better. By the end of the day, another bartender came in, and I gave him a brownie, and I gave the rest of the managers that showed up brownies. Best response:

"You're on my Christmas list now!"



Saturday, September 18, 2010


Work went very well yesterday.

A forty something man told me I looked like a model and asked me if I had a boyfriend (not in a creepy way, although, that has happened).  I said no (because I technically don't), and he seemed baffled.

"Now, I don't want you to think this is some black people and white people thing," he said (he's black).  "But black men are different from white men.  We see what we want and we go get it.  We don't waste our time.  White men just stand by."

He told me I was beautiful, then he left.

Then a group of high school teachers came in for happy hour, and they stayed for most of the evening.  The ladies were amazing, and either well or ill-timed.  I've been going on a recent of kick of wanting to be a teacher, and seeing them did not help.  Sitting around with tall drafts of Miller Lite, they all laughed and talked about a certain kid who got on all of their nerves.  They had a camaraderie that I admire and want for myself.

Today, however, was not as beneficial to my self-esteem.   Nothing too notable happened; it was just a day of extremes.  The day started out great, then no one came in (I opened).  For about 2 hours.  Then a lady left me less than 10 percent after telling me how much she enjoyed my company.  Then I got slammed by a half packed bar and the manager had to come out to help me.  Oh, the food industry.

So I came home and went to Michael's.  I plan to make a clock because I can't find the right one I want a thrift store.  

In other news, Lina ordered wifi for our apartment!  So, that means soon I won't have to sit at Starbucks for the internet.  Of which I am tired of now.  We may be visiting a church in the morning though, so, updates following.

Friday, September 17, 2010

As Introductions Go...

It is a grayer day than usual, and I miss writing.  

I do not intend for this to be a blog of large words and introspection over coffee (I don't even like coffee; but I am at starbucks), but the day is gray, and those damned gray days have been known to put many a writer into the "funk of writing."

I do, however, have no idea what I actually intend for this blog to be.  I've been wanting to start a blog for a while now, but I haven't because I feel like I'm too varying.  I could have a blog about crafting.  Or my wonderful relationship with my wonderful girlfriend (and all the problems therein because I am a girl, too).  Or about how I'm trying to become a greener person and eat food without high fructose corn syrup or artificial coloring.  Or a blog about my job (bartending), and my search for what I really want to do in life (teacher; writer; doula; small business owner; orca whale trainer).  Or a blog with my writing in it.

So, I've decided to not simply have one vein to follow in this blog, but many.  I know blogs don't tend to do that, so I've chosen Walt Whitman to back me up.  

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Take it up with him if you don't like my amalgamated blog.

So, hopefully that explains the title of my blog.  I have a lot of parts, and I'm trying to figure out how to make them all come together.  And I mean, c'mon.  It just sounds really cool.