Monday, August 25, 2008

The first day of my new life...

It's the first day of my new life and I'm sick... I hope that's not some sort of bad omen. No, it's not. It just shows what stress my old life put me through. As soon as I was done with it, my body went, "Okay, finally I can collapse!" I started getting a scratchy sore throat Friday night (and umm, yes that was after about 4 martinis, but I refuse to think that alcohol played a part in my downfall). Saturday I went to my acupuncturist. I've been seeing her for my insomnia since February (I swear, I really will blog about that at some point because I know I am always referring to it then saying I'll talk about it later) and I haven't been sick since. This is very odd. I'm pretty illness prone. Nothing severe, but I got a lot of colds because I worked in an old building with horrible airflow and took public transportation which can be pretty germy. On two occasions, I started to feel a little sick, saw the acupuncturist, she stuck me with some needles, gave me some herbs and I was good to go. Acupuncture can really boost your immunity apparently. But this time, it couldn't totally kick the cold's ass. It's still a very mild cold, which is good because I worked a 9 hour shift at the bar last night, but I feel crappy enough that I couldn't garden this morning (and it was the perfect day for gardening! I hope the weather and my body cooperate so I can garden tomorrow!) and I decided I better skip my writer's group. Sigh. Hopefully, it doesn't linger and I can start getting the house and garden in order tomorrow. I really would like to get completely organized and have everything clean this week, so that I can really dive into my new routine after Labor Day. Labor Day feels more like the new year to me than New Years in a lot of ways probably because I spent so much of my life in school. Maybe I'll have to come up with some Labor Day resolutions...

So last night marked the beginning of my "new" job, which of course isn't really new because I worked there before.... It was a looooooooong shift. Sunday's won't normally be quite that long. Despite feeling under the weather, it was still a pretty good time because my best friend and her husband came out and so did my boyfriend and his best friend. However Sunday is a slow night, it's gonna suck when people don't come out to visit me. (HINT: come out to visit me!) And of course I was immediately reminded of the things I like and don't like about the job. First off, no one trained me on how to make the new food, so that was a little bit annoying. But thanks to some helpful customers, I did manage to start the grill without blowing up the place (should you ever be in the position where you have to light a grill without training, the key is to light the match before you turn on the gas. That prevents accidental explosions apparently) and I was able to successfully warm up a quesadilla on it. I am not looking forward to making burgers and shit though. So don't come in and order those from me. I mean, really do you want a vegan making you a burger? Go with the chicken sandwich instead. I just stick that in the fryer. Or better yet, the pizza. I'm a seasoned pro at that. I did pretty good with the quesadilla, too.

I was excited to see some of my old regulars again and meet the new regulars and I don't know if those people that helped me in the kitchen were regulars, but they were so awesome, so I hope they come back. However, admittedly, there are customers, regulars even that are... trying or a little weird. I'm usually cool with weird, but sometimes weird crosses the boundary into creepy territory and I'm not so much a fan of that. Exhibit A: Napkin Note Guy.

Napkin Note Guy is a regular who I didn't see too much of because I worked more night shifts than day shifts, and he's a night-time drinker, but now I'm working more night shifts and he was in the bar last night. The first time I met him was on a Saturday afternoon shift. He struck me as a weird arty guy and there weren't any other customers in the bar, so at first I was grateful to have someone to talk to, especially a fellow creative type. I realized pretty quick that he was just kind of out there, like spacey-weird-art-teacher-who-took-too-much-acid-in-the-60's out there. This made the conversation a little exhausting, but still all was well until he asked to take my picture. Um, yeah, maybe I'm paranoid because I've gotten hit on too many times by older men who think because I dress "punk" and have tattoos and stuff that I'm interested in doing kinky things with them, but it generally makes me uncomfortable when men who are much closer to my parents' age than mine ask to take my picture. Now Napkin Note Guy is a photographer type, but still. I just did not feel comfortable with it and I can't remember how I got out of it.

After that, he came in rather regularly and once he brought me some of his photographs. It was a little weird. Then the napkin notes started. Now he is Napkin Note Guy because he writes napkins notes to other girls, too. Jme, another female bartender got them, as did Liz, a customer. So I guess that makes it slightly less creepy, but still. Also ever since the book came out Napkin Note Guy is extra insistent on wanting to take my picture. I bartended a few Saturdays ago and every time I brought him a beer, he pleaded for a picture. He even asked my boyfriend ("my old man" as he kept calling him, which also seemed weird 'cause uh, among other things, Scott is younger than me) to ask me if he could take a picture. I was completely slammed that night so I repeatedly answered, "No, I'm busy."

Last night, Napkin Note Guy came in and while I was telling Katie about him and she was telling me that my excuse should be acting more important than I actually am and saying, "My publicist has advised me not to let anyone take pictures of me," he started just taking candid shots of me and her talking! Argh! Now I didn't say anything because I am way too nice and he is a regular, but dude, really... I also didn't talk to him much and he paid up his tab pretty fast, but sure enough right before he left, I got the Universal Sign of the Napkin Note. He pulled a stack of cocktail napkins out of their holder and asked, "Steph, do you have a pen?"

He then proceeded to write me a 3 napkin note! 3 whole napkins! When I saw him being so prolific, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe he is taking notes on something. But no. When I walked passed him, he folded up the napkins and pressed them into my palm telling me it was "a three page short story." Umm dude, it is not a short story when it starts, "Dear Steph." Now, the napkin notes are harmless, as Scott puts it, "They read like something your wacky art teacher would write in your yearbook." But still, it's just awkward.

I'll spare you all three napkins worth of the ramblings and cut straight the point so you see what Scott's saying. Here is the last napkin's worth and please note that the hyphen's instead of actual punctuation are all him: "If for nothing I- wanted to tell you this- and more than anything- to tell you from me to keep going- always- even in silence-never stop- hold on- listen always- even in silence- you'll be ok-"

Um, what? Am I dying? Am I on the verge of giving up on myself? Yeah, so that is Napkin Note Guy. Harmless, but still creepy. The photo thing is going to get on my last nerve and as for the notes... Scott says I should save them and I think I will. If anything I guess this illustrates my point that even the crazy, obnoxious shit that happens at the bar is fodder for story or at least a good blog. Nothing at the office was ever worth blogging about like this.

ETA: I just want to clarify that this guy is totally harmless. I'm not saying he's a sicko or anything like that. It's just weird and it creeps me out at times, just because when you insistently ask someone to take their photo and they always decline, just stop asking. Maybe my reasons for being uncomfortable about having my photo taken are off-base, but that fact is he doesn't know me and what I've been through in life and why this might make me uncomfortable. But for the most part, I just view him as more than one person has commented, as one of those bizarre experiences that you collect to keep life (and storytelling) interesting. So, don't get the wrong idea. I was just trying to illustrate how I was immediately reminded of why bartending is a much more interesting (albeit tedious at times when you are trying to work and people keep bugging you for something) profession than office work. Perhaps I am not coming across clearly due to snotty head.

Okay, I'm off to drink tea and OJ and read or watch TV or do something sick people should do in hopes that my body will get better by tomorrow so I can do the things I want to do. But before I go there were a few last interviews with me from the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit that I wanted to share! Carrie Jones gets me talking about love, duct tape, and inner critics (I chose a really interesting one, check it out!) Amanda Ashby asks me about my biggest inspirations and I reveal the coolest thing that has happened to me since becoming a published writer. Laurie Stolarz asks me in survey format (and I love surveys but have had no time for them lately) about my guilty pleasures. So enjoy and send me healthy vibes.


jupitersinclair said...

I hope you feel better soon! Starting a new life sick is no fun.

Napkin Note Guy is one of those people you have to collect in life, just wouldn't be nearly as interesting :)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Jupitersinclair, I totally agree with you. In fact you inspired me to edit my blog to clarify.