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Wednesday, November 11, 2015


So, it's a very rough time of year for our restaurant.  I am constantly checking the bank balance and trying to play tetris with our finances.  Sure, everyone warned me that it isn't easy running a restaurant.  Everyone said it's a lot of work.  Everyone said most restaurants fail within the first few years.  I knew that.  We did grow our clientele and our notoriety.  We got to a point where we foolishly thought our new low in sales on any given night was higher than the first year when no one knew we existed.

We were wrong.

Some of these nights, 2 of us could run the whole restaurant - not 5 - 7 of us.  But we don't know.  That's the thrill of it.  The unpredictability.

There's always a reason we might be slow - school is starting, school just started.  Holiday week next week.  NFL season.  The world series.  Republican debate.  Miami Heat are playing.  Street festival downtown.  Funky Buddha bottle release.  Ultra Fest.  Some other beer festival in Miami, Key West, Palm Beach, Boston, Colorado, or wherever.

We tried happy hour or "Sunny hour" as we named it.  A poorly timed article the week before we closed for vacation, and a promise of another article that never happened were our publicity.  Sure, we posted on facebook & in a newsletter.  Initially, some people showed up, but then, you know.  School started.  Lots of traffic.  Heavy rain.  Yoga night.  Walk the dogs & laundry.  Kids are sick.

So, today is Veterans Day.  On looking at instagram, I noticed that we need to do an offer for military to show our appreciation for them risking their life for our country.  Seems reasonable.  Risk your life, get a discount.  I'm game.  Someone called to ask when we open today.  They also asked what we are offering for veterans.  I said, your first drink is free.

I got laughed at.  "You're giving veterans who served your country for you a free drink?"  More laughing.  What should I give?  A free appetizer?  It's the same price.  Is that too cheap?  I'm not good with these kinds of things.  What is appreciative enough without putting us under?

 I can't really afford to pay my bills.  My car is 7000 miles past due for service.  And I'm being cheap.

A drink here can be between $2 for a soda to $10 for a glass of pinot noir.  If a veteran comes in and orders a $5 half soba noodle salad and a $8 beer, that's a $13 tab.  That's a 61% discount (and yes I did need to use a calculator.) If the same veteran comes in and spends $100 (which is difficult for 1 person to do), and the veteran also gets a $10 glass of wine included in that $100, that's 10% off (no, I didn't have to use the calculator for that one).  What would be more generous, more appreciative to our veterans, who risked life and limb, but not put us in debt?  Well, nothing, because we are already in debt.

I know the veteran who comes in and specifically wants some kind of discount or free item doesn't care about our finances.  But, I do. I care about our finances.

I never have served in the military.  I would have served in the military if called upon.  At one point I thought I wanted to join. But I didn't. I can't empathize.  I guess I sometimes feel underappreciated.  I know what that feels like.  I guess I know what it's like to be behind the scenes, helping things run smoothly while others are able to perform their jobs better because some small unseen task that I did.

But I don't really go fishing for discounts.  I did once go somewhere on my birthday to get the free prime rib.  But we still ended up spending well over $100.  We might not have spent that much if I hadn't gotten the free prime rib.

Ok.... now back to work.  End of sad rant.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Isn't it crazy how one sentence can either ruin your day or make your day great?

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I just felt that I needed to post this.

 I was in Publix (it's a grocery store) today.  I had my reusable grocery bag and it was on my shoulder but filled with stuff.  I had my purse slung across my shoulder on the other side, but it was low and loose.  I'm sure I looked flustered and disoriented as I always do when I am making groceries for work.  I was walking by the entrance aisle, and these two shady drifter looking guys passed me.  One passed closer to me than necessary.  I felt the urge to grab my purse when he passed.  But, whatever.

So, I went down the pet aisle to get cat litter.  I grabbed the litter at the far end of the aisle, and I turn around to go to the checkout.  Guess who was lurking behind me in the aisle?  The 2 drifter looking guys.  They were both close together pointing and looking at charcoal.  I passed them and then they moved on to look at swiffers.  I went straight to the checkout, and I pushed in close to the person in front of me, and I kept hold of my purse.  I turn to see the guys come from the aisle empty handed, and they passed to the far entrance and walked out.

Do I think I was being paranoid?  Fuck no.  Who looks at charcoal and then swiffers and then leaves?

It reminds me of my friend's story from years ago about a guy or maybe more than one who would target a woman at the grocery store and follow her home and try to assault her.

Anyway.  All I'm trying to say is be careful out there.  Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you got a lot of shit going on and are not paying attention!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


So, last year on my birthday, I was brushing my hair and I found a long long silver hair.  It was long.  And white.  Yesterday, on my 40th birthday, I noticed a cluster of varicose veins and spider veins on my leg.  I had previously noticed a cluster on my ankle that was mildly sore, but the new one was frightening.

So, here's my dilemna do I go for support hose, or do I start tattooing my legs like my brilliant bff has been doing....

Because, there is no way I'm going to get more time to get off my feet and elevate them more often.  I could do stretches and exercises, but at the end of the day, being on my feet for 10 -14 hours isn't going to help alleviate the varicose veins and spider veins.....

So, happy birthday to me.  I'm going to eat my 3 cakes and admire my flowers I got!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beach Balls and Dolphins

So, I haven't been around much - around the blogs, that is.  I've been busy.  Sure, I could have probably made time if I really really wanted to, right?

Anyway, we opened a restaurant 6 months ago on October 6.  October 6.  The same day that we closed the restaurant for a week long break.  And here we are (the FP and me) in Austin in a stranger's condo that we rented on  We came here for ACL, otherwise known as Austin City Limits Festival.

So, the driving force that compelled us to take a week off and come to the festival was that fact that the FP's 2 favorite bands, and 2 of my favorite bands, were headlining.  Why do I say it all weird like that? Well, the Cure is probably still my favorite band, but Depeche Mode is not really my second favorite band, if they ever were.  I still like them, but I haven't been really impressed with most of the past couple albums.

There.  I said it.  Sorry Chris Schiefen.  I know they are like your god band.  I understand, but I don't feel the same way about them that you do.

Also, I've grown tired of Dave Gahan's weird and sometimes pedophilliac antics on stage.  What do I mean by this?  Well, like when he sings Question of Time and grabs his crotch while singing, "You're only fifteen, and you look good."

And furthermore, I feel like the last 2 shows I've seen, Depeche Mode was partially phoning it in.  I felt that they really were ready to get off the stage last night.

So, I didn't mean to go on so much about Depeche Mode.  I still like them.

Anyway, The Cure played tonight, which was the main attraction for the weekend.  You could say the FP and my relationship was based on the Cure.  Basically, when we first met, the FP asked me who my favorite band was.  It was a quiz, and I answered right.  So he decided to pursue me and make me his girlfriend.

So, our whole time at the festival today was leading up to us getting to get a good spot to watch the Cure. We got there in time to watch the Silversun Pickups, which was great.  All this time we've liked them since Lazy Eye came out, but never saw them live.  After that, we tried to see Grimes, but weren't really feeling her vibe, so we went to the far side of the Lady Bird stage.  That was where the Cure were going to play, but Passion Pit was going on first.  So we sat on the side and listened to Passion Pit.  It was interesting to see the band live, especially because their songs always end up on our Pandora mixes all the time (shhh... don't tell ascap).

So anyhoo, as soon as Passion Pit was over, we jumped up and headed into the crowd to get a spot.  We got a pretty good spot, about the same as last night.  So, then, we waited.  And then finally the Cure came on.  And they sounded great.  And they were in good spirits.  And they appeared sober.  And it was amazing.

But there were these beach balls.  They were being hit and floating around the crowd.  Just once, I wanted to hit one.  They kept passing near, but not near enough for me to hit them.  And then, I felt something by my head, but by the time I realized it was a beach ball, someone had already hit it.  This happened a couple times.  But finally, one floated to my left, and I got it.  I was so surprised, that I kind of threw it.  It wasn't the hit I wanted, but at least I got the opportunity.

And then, there was this happy looking looking inflatable dolphin that they were batting around the audience.  I just wanted to get a hit in with that one too.  The FP got a hit or two.  But not me.  And then finally, I got to touch it.  I didn't really help propel it in the air, but I touched.  I was satisfied.

Then later, it poured, and people put their umbrellas up!  Those of us behind them were pissed.  There was one person that left their big black umbrella up and high.  So, everyone started hitting the balls and the dolphin towards the umbrella.  It took a while, but the person finally got the picture and put the umbrella down.  Later on, the dolphin got deflated.  It was sad :(

But the Cure were amazing!

Friday, September 20, 2013

first post in a while

So, I haven't blogged in a long long time. Before we started working on the restaurant, I had ideas of blogging every day about the progress.  As if I would have time... 

Now, it's difficult to just pay the bills on time!  

But here I am in the Philippines, taking an unleasurely trip which so far has consisted of lots of travel and now waiting around for my sister to arrive.  In-between hearing of a super typhoon that we missed - but it is on its way o Macau where my bff is.

My sis was delayed in Denver first because of the flooding, and now she is delayed in Minnesota due to engine trouble.  

We are outside of Manila, and we are supposed to go to Calapan City, Mindoro, which will possibly be a 5 hour trip.  The plan was to leave today, and then I would come back on Tuesday before my early flight on Wednesday morning.  Now we are not sure when we will go.  

But we sit here and wait.  Meanwhile, I don't know what is happening at home.  Only a few texts back and forth with the FP, no face time and just a couple texts/emails.   

Oh well. I just try to "relax" as the typhoon heads west, and my sis waits in Minnesota, and my other half is sick and running the restaurant without me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Three years ago

Three years ago today, sometime around lunch time, my mom passed away.  She spent a month in the hospital, mostly in ICU, after a stroke with hemorrhaging that wouldn't stop, before finally passing away.

That month was the most difficult time in my life.  I wanted her to fight for her life.  But I felt like I wasn't there enough for her.  I'm not a good cheerleader.  Maybe it was too much for her to look into my eyes and see the sadness and worry that I could not hide.  Maybe she was just tired from her long life of taking care of others.  Maybe it was just biology.

I'm tired today.  Mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Trying to grow a business organically when you don't have many connections is tough.  Trying to muster that enthusiasm and optimism you need to continue every day is difficult.  I feel it's even more difficult without my mom, my personal cheerleader, to spur me on.

I didn't cry much for a while after Katrina.  There was something in me that turned off after that life changing event.

I cried all the time after my mom died.  I don't cry as much anymore, but I still tear up more often than I like to admit.  Sometimes, I can be having a rough day and think about how I wish I could call my mom, or I recall a moment with my mom, and I tear up.  When I am alone and watching really bad sad movies, I cry.  I cry as much for the lost time with my mom when she was alive, as for the loss of her life.  The last few years she was alive, not only was I far away by miles, but also by involvement in her life.  At the funeral, there were so many unfamiliar faces.  Some of those people knew more about my mom and her life after retirement than I did.

My mom's passing away is such a personal thing.  I feel like everyone who knew and loved her has their own way of dealing with her death, their own memories and stories.  To be in a room full of her loved ones and to hear stories, a stranger would think she was a fictional character.  But she was real.

She wasn't perfect, but she could be selfless to a fault. Even with the little things.  I remember she loved coffee ice cream.  When I was a kid, we would usually buy a couple different flavors of ice cream.  I would eat the flavor I chose in no time.  Then we would be left with the coffee ice cream.  I didn't like it as much as she did, but I would usually eat most of it, not leaving much for her.  I know I was a kid, but when I look bad on things like that, I feel like there were too many times when I didn't appreciate my mom enough when she was alive, and reciprocate the selflessness that she showed me.

Mother's Day has passed, but every day, I think of my mom.  But for today, I will think of her only with good feelings and only remember the positive.  I think that is what she would want from me.  And for me to pray.

These are the last pictures I have with her.