Mar 31, 2011

day four: a picture of your night

Celloooo everyone. Back from my blogging hiatus. Today I'm supposed to post a picture of my night. I've had some fun nights lately what with my best friend getting married and all the festivities her and Patrick's family provided us in was just a blast. Alas...I am the worst, worst at whipping my camera out and snapping pictures during important events.  I literally have four from the entire trip, and not a single one with the bride. How sad is that? For this post I thought it might be better anyway to show a typical night of the workplace. Woohoo. Let's get this overwith, shall we?

Since I've moved back to Newton, I've come to terms with the fact that I have no social life. And I won't until I'm finished with school.  It's a time thing.  Work has become my social life.  I adore everyone I work with. There's only a few of us and we get along so well, we've become like a family.  Tricia is the best boss ever.  She's so understanding when things interfere with our schedules and insists that school comes first. I've worked in the restaurant biz since I was 16, and waiting tables has become so automatic to me: I could do it in my sleep.  I may not be the chit-chattiest waitress on the block, but I'm sure as heck efficient.

I love our regulars. They always ask about tests I have coming up in school, questions about the house, and grill me to see if I'm getting enough sleep.  Most of them know my entire life story.  It's easier for me to talk about all that has happened with people I'm not close with or related to than it is with my actual family and friends. I'm not convinced it's a good thing- there have been way too many times where I've told complete strangers It's like I get the worst case of word vomit in the history of mankind.  In my defense, it always starts out with the other person asking questions! "How many siblings do you have?" I mean I don't know how to answer it. Because...I have I usually just say TWO...but if I can tell the person is really interested, I'll say, "I had two brothers but one passed away"...and then that leads to more questions...and then I have to talk all about mom...okay, see? Here I go now! My therapist says she thinks it's just part of my own therapy-- to talk about it with as many people as I need to-- because I don't want to bring it up with the same person over and over again.  That all may be true...but I just feel bad. No one wants to hear all about that depressing stuff. Especially when they're just trying to eat their chicken wings.


My favorite cook Johnny. He hates when people call him Johnny. He makes bomb chimichangas.

Steph. Sweetest gal on the planet. I worked with her at Aggie's in high school as well. She's an excellent ear when you need one.

 Cody. Our front of house manager. He makes me laugh-hard-but he also knows how to get under my skin. For some reason he takes pleasure in watching me flip and freak out. But he gave me an awesome clicky KU pen the other day, so we're cool as a polar bear's toe nail...for now.

I get cold and apparently that's not okay...sorry Jeremy (scary back of house manager).

I created this swear jar to improve the quality of our work environment.  I became inspired to make it after someone swore and looked over at me and said "Sorry, Dani" in a not very sorry tone of voice. I realized maybe I should take initiative and start fining people for their profanities....and as a result, everyone would wind up with squeaky clean mouths. Then, I was struck with an even better idea that the profits could go to my WEDDING DRESS FUND (no I don't have a boyfriend but yes I have a bank account for my wedding dress fund. my grandma and I save our change and dump it off every couple months. don't make fun of me.) John tried to pre-pay with a $100 bill and I begrudgingly had to take it out because you can't form a good language habit that way..needless to say, my swear jar has been completely ignored and sits empty on the beverage counter.

 Best tip I've ever got. How did they know I love popcorn?

Mar 3, 2011

day tree

If you're not a fan of Lost, don't even bother reading this post. You might end up thinking I'm insane in the brain and will positively be annoyed because you just don't get what I'm talking about. Kind of like when Lost was still on, and I was working at Jefferson's, and the entire staff excluding three or so people watched it religiously.... and those three people would get beyond annoyed and testy when we would talk about the newest episodes because they weren't part of the awesome club that is LOST.

Our freshman year of college, my bff Katelynn and I spent one sad, long year apart because we ventured off to different schools. I was at KU, while she was at Baylor. I remember calling her second semester and listening to her rant and rave about this show she had started watching on DVD... and when this girl rants and raves about something, she rants and raves. Every time I talked to her on the phone for two months straight she would gush about the last episode she had watched and how she couldn't wait for the next one and what was she going to do when she was finished with Season 2 because Season 3 was over on TV but not relased on DVD yet and she was getting super irritated whenever a professor assigned homework because it would intervene with her watching of the show. Usually when she would ramble on and on to me about Lost, I'd be doing a cryptoquip or miserably failing at a Sudoku...aka TONING HER OUT. 

The next time I saw Katy, she literally shoved Seasons 1 and 2 in my face and threatened my life if I didn't watch it immediately. It was summertime, and aside from working part-time I didn't have much else to do. A few weeks after she leant me the seasons, I absent-mindedly popped the first disc in as I was getting ready to go somewhere. The first episode came on. My brothers happened to be in the room and with each passing minute we became less and less distracted by what we were doing and more and more intrigued with the pilot. It ran about an hour long, and by the end, the three of us were all sitting on the couch, mouths open, and naturally...wanting to know what was going to happen next.  (Having re-watched the first season twice, I now realize that the pilot wasn't THAT intense or THAT suspenseful...I was just so enthralled because, despite Katelynn's insistance, I wasn't expecting it to be so...fascinating.)  So we went on to watch the second episode. Then the third. Then we finished the disc. We cancelled everything we had planned that night.

Over the next several days, my brothers and I didn't sleep. We hardly bathed. We left the house ONLY when necessary and would grumble the entire time we were ever being deprived from another Lost episode. We would not-- could not-- stop until we had finished both seasons. Each episode is an hour long. Each season has 24 episodes. It took us a little less than a week to finish both seasons...that's a lot of TV people. At first Katelynn was a bit bugged that I had taken so long to join her obsession....for about 0.3 seconds. Next thing I knew, she was constructing discussion questions for my brothers and I to do after each disc (there simply isn't time for discussion between episodes. You HAVE to click "next" right, right away. You're lucky to get a bathroom break) and would cautiously time her phone calls so not to interrupt a showing. You may think I'm exaggerating...I wish I was.  The show got more and more and MORE intriguing with each episode. I remember somewhere in the haze of our Lost week, Katelynn calling and asking "have you met the 'others' yet?" and I said, "excuse me....there are 'others'?!?!?!?!?!" Like I thought the Island couldn't be any crazier than it already was. Bahahaha, was I in for a real shock.

Waiting for Season 3 was like torture. It came out on DVD at the end of the summer, so I was able to spend another few days of living in our own filth to catch up with my brothers before I went back up to Lawrence. Katelynn and I found some other Lost groupies, and Season 4 we had watch parties at this kid's house. They had a huge flat screen (when HD was new, peeps) and we would turn off all the lights and it felt like we were on the island. It was awesome.

I starting watching Season 5 on my own, but work intervened too often and I decided I liked watching them on DVD better anyways because you don't have to wait an entire week between episodes. So I waited for it to be available and watched it over Christmas break with my brothers, right before my mom got sick. We had purchased this projector so we could show it really huge on our basement wall and a lot of the time I fantisized about jumping in the picture and participating in all the drama with the have no idea how many times Katelynn and I have wistfully talked about the amazing possibilities of one of our planes crashing and being stranded on an island...sigh.

Like I said, everyone at Jefferson's was obsessed with Lost, and one day the cooks decided to assign every staff member an identity of someone on the show.  I remember asking them, "who am I?!?!" thinking they would DEFINITELY cast me as Kate, no question, and one of them looked at me and said " first instinct is Shannon...but no, I definitely think you're a Rose." and the other cook nodded and said "oh yeah, she makes a perfect  Rose." I had started to object when they said Shannon (she's the brattiest character ever to be on TV) and then when they assigned me Rose?!?!?!  (they knew they'd get his sort of reaction out of me) I think I threw a spatula at the kitchen window and wouldn't speak to them for days.

Seth died before Season 6 was over.  A few weeks before, Katelynn had sent him a Dharma Initiative party package (it was totally cool. and yes I was totally livid that my best friend had sent my brother, and not me, a party package).  No one, and I mean no one could ever crack a joke about my brothers death--ever--period--besides Katelynn. Only because she loved him to pieces and because she gets my sense of humor and gets timing is key and all that good stuff. And this is the only "joke" she's ever made about it (actually,  she was extremely serious when she said it)...and it totally made me keel over with laughter. (I repeat: if anyone else said this, I would have beat the crud out of them.) A few days after he died, and my family and I were still in complete shock and struggling to understand why he had done it, and how he could have done it, and Katelynn and I were raking through the details for the hundredth time, she said, haha-I'm sorry Kate-she's going to ream me for putting this on here- "What I just cannot, cannot that how he could have done it without knowing how Lost ended." and then she went on to say, "Oh my you think he already knows how it ends since he's in heaven???"  She didn't mean for it to be funny at all, but of course it was. It was definitely exactly the laugh break my mom and I needed at the time.

 I miss both of my baby brothers and it was so sad to watch the last season without them. Eli is on his mission obviously, so I'll get to watch it again when he gets home. I remember on the day of the season finale (which ended the show PERFECTLY, seriously, there couldn't have been a better ending) I sent him one taunting sentence in an email, "I know how Lost ends, and you don't." My mom got so mad that I was trying to torture him while he's on his mish but I couldn't resist.

Bottom line: Lost is, and always be, the best show ever to hit network television.

Mar 1, 2011


I've been best friends with Kimberly Noelle (not for long!) Julian since the two of us were in diapers. When my parents moved into the Newton Ward, our moms became fast friends once they realized their daughters were only a month apart in age. The two of us were dragged to Relief Society events as toddlers, played together in nursery, and entered our first Sunbeam class hand in hand, sporting identical bowl haircuts (it's times like this I really wish I had a picture scanner). Kimberly's family lived in McPherson (30 miles north of Newton) so when we'd have sleepovers over the years, our parents would pawn us off on each other for three or four days at a time, especially during the summer.

I really can't think of one time that Kimberly and I played Barbies or house or made up dances or bothered with any other kind of girly games growing up. Both of us were raised in households with only brothers so we were more interested in climbing trees, jumping from roof to roof on the houses in my neighborhood, riding bikes, or swimming in the creek a few blocks a few blocks away. One of our favorite (but strange) things to do was wade up to our knees in the creek and throw huge wads of moss up on the walls of the bridge above us. One particular summer day as we were making our way "back to shore" from a moss-tossing session, I felt a sharp pain on the bottom of my foot, lifted it out of the murky creek water, and saw that I had sliced it on a piece of broken glass. Of course I immediately started bawling, and Kimberly, who was already up on her bike, threw it down and yelled "I'll be right there!" She yanked off her sandles (I think they were those AWESOME gel shoes that were all the rage that summer) and ran down the hill back into the creek. A few leaps in, I saw her face change into a horrified, pained expression. She lifted her foot out of the water and I could see the blood dripping from a small cut on her heel. She had stepped on a different piece of broken glass (one of the million reasons why we were strictly forbidden to swim in this nasty creek). We both were sobbing and trying to hop out of the water, literally crawled on shore up to our bikes, and peddled with one foot all the way back to my house.  When we reached the front door, it was locked, so I ran the doorbell over and over (we were both still wailing in pain). My mom answered, saw both of us standing like flamingos with blood dripping down into a small pool on the porch, and started laughing. "You girls! Is that ketchup??? Wash it off with the hose, you know we just replaced the carpet!" and then she slammed the door shut. I rang the doorbell fifteen times again before she opened it back up to realize that we were seriously "injured" (they were just tiny cuts-- naturally, we were behaving like dramatic seven year old girls).  Of course she brought her neosporin OUTside to fix us up (new carpet, remember?) and we proceeded to skedaddle off to find some other tomboy activity.

I could tell so many stories about our adventures over the years; her attempt to save me from nearly drowning at the age of three ("use big arms, Dani, big arms!), us mooning all the cars that drove down our street (only to have our neighbor call my mom and tattle, causing us to collapse on the ground with remorse and worry ourselves sick over our eternal salvation), our awkward middle school phase, girls camp (where we thought we ruled the prairie), our first boy crushes, and dozens of moments from our freshman year at KU, where we were roommates in the dorms. She is such a loyal, compassionate friend.  We know each other so, so well. We have the quirkiest humor-especially when we're together- and she always knows how to get a laugh out of me even when I'm down in the dumps. She's smart (I call her whenever I'm faced with disgusting math problems), sarcastic, and gives the best recommendations at new restaurants (seriously. once she's suggested a dish to me, and I try it, I never order anything else on the menu).  I'm so grateful that, even though she lives far, far away in Utah, we can talk on the phone several times a day and know every little tidbit of what's going on in each other's lives. It feels like Christmas each time she comes home for a visit. In just a couple of weeks, I have the great privilege of being maid of honor at her wedding to the dashing Patrick Cannon. I can. not. wait! Love you Cranbarryl.
 our song:

I mean...what's not to love about this girl?