Friday, April 28, 2006


The countdown to John's departure has officially begun. Ten days left. We sold the car today. I wanted to so it before he left. We posted it on yesterday, got a call this morning, lady came to see it this afternoon. She liked it, so she and her boyfriend will be by tomorrow to pick it up. We got $1900 for it - that's pretty good for a 1994 Honda Accord with 245,000+ miles on it. Then again, it's a dang good car. Still runs well, minor cosmetic damage. Sweet deal for her and for us. But every little thing brings us that much closer. John's parents are coming into town to spend John's next-to-last weekend with us. I still need to get my passport back from having my name changed, then Chantrea and I need visas. My checklist of things that have to happen before we go is getting shorter almost daily!

On the restaurant front . . .nothing too exciting lately. In case you have ever wondered if the servers make fun of people who mispronounce names of menu items. . .Yes, we do. My favorite of late: the lady who asked for more "pico de grigio" for her chicken. She meant pico de gallo, of course, but it was all I could do not to laugh at her. (For those who may not know, pinot grigio is a white wine). I've also had several tables lately that I really, truly think could not read. They kept asking me the same questions over and over. One guy wouldn't order anything not pictured. It wasn't enough that I described it for him, and he'd seen it advertised on TV (he told me what he was looking for) and it was described on the menu. Oh no. Unless he could see the picture of it ON THE MENU, he was not ordering it. Luckily I found a picture of it for him. Some rude people lately but the money has been good so I can't complain. Speaking of money, the other night I had a party of 9. Nine Italians. It was like Ray Romano's entire family. Seriously, one lady acted exactly like Marie. Everything went well though, I didn't have any other tables for most of it. Dropped the check, the guy handed it to me a few minutes later, I thanked him. Then I checked it. It's standard practice at my restaurant (and many others) to add gratuity to large parties. I had done it here. Unfortunately it's only 15% (some restaurants let you add 17, 18 or even 20%). Apparently they hadn't noticed, because they tipped 20% of the total with the gratuity. It was $187 before the tip, and there was $260 in the check presenter. I walked out the to the lobby but they weren't there, so then I walked outside and they were all standing there. I told them the tip was already included and the guy took some out, still left me a 25% tip. Here's what I don't get, though. This is the second time I have done this, and both times the parties barely said thank you. Are they insulted that I added the gratuity in the first place? Embarassed that they wanted some of it back? Shocked? I mean, I don't expect applause but I would be pretty impressed if a server did that (if by chance I was ever stupid enough to not look at the bill). Especially since I know what lowlifes most servers are. Please, if somebody has a thought about this please share. I'd be very interested.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My friend Zimm did one of these on his blog, so I figured I'd do one too - but not the same one.
They're kind of fun.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:30am - I get up when my baby gets up. Luckily she slept in this morning.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Don't really wear jewelry unless it has sentimental value, which is about two pieces.

3. What was the last movie you saw? John rented Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I was impressed at how well they condensed a huge book into a movie. The book is still better, but I was impressed at how well they did. As for the theatre, I haven't seen a movie in the theatre since before Chantrea was born - and she's 17 months old.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Amazing Race. Gives me all sorts of ideas about places I want to go someday.

5. What did you have for breakfast? Skipped it - we went to an Orioles game last night (which they won, 4-2) and overindulged in peanuts and hotdogs.

6. What is your middle name? Lee

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Thai or Italian

8. What food do you dislike? Anything with raw onions

9. What is your favorite chip flavor? Not a big chip fan, but I like Doritos

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? U2's Vertigo - brings back memories of the concert John and I went to. It was our first and so far only trip without the munchkin, and it was a lot of fun.

11. What kind of car do you drive? Honda Accord. A very old, beat up Honda Accord. We're selling it when we move overseas. Anyone want a car with 244,000 miles?

12. Favorite sandwich?I don't know - grilled cheese? Chicken salad is good too.

13. What characteristic do you despise? Selfishness

14. Favorite items of clothing? my yoga pants. Not that I do yoga, but they are very comfy.

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Hmmm. Thailand/Cambodia, then Africa.

16. What color is your bathroom? yellow

17. Favorite brands of clothing? Gap and Old Navy

18. Where would you retire to? Chiang Mai, Thailand

19. Favorite time of day? night

20. What was your most memorable birthday? My 19th birthday was really fun.

21. Where were you born? Omaha, Nebraska

22 Favorite sport to watch? College football

23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?I'm not sending it to anyone so that doesn't apply

24. Person you expect to send this back first? not applicable

25. What fabric detergent do you use?All

26. Coke or Pepsi? Yuck to both

27. Are you a morning person or a night owl? night owl - definitely a night owl

28. What is your shoe size? 7

29. Do you have any pets? no.

30. Any words of wisdom you'd like to share? I'm not feeling all that wise today.

31. What did you want to be when you were little?A vet, until I figured out that also meant putting animals to sleep.

32. What are you doing today? Playing with my baby, hanging out with my husband - we both have the day off.

33. What state do you live in? Maryland

Thursday, April 13, 2006

At last. . .

I found out last night that I passed my final exam for my senior course (which I've been working on for forever, via Independent Study). I am officially DONE with school. I graduate at the end of the month. I can't put into words how good it feels to finally be done, to know that I actually followed through. And also to know that I'm now at least eligible for the many jobs that require a college degree, and that should I want to pursue a master's degree at some point, I'm done with the BA. That's awesome. My final exam score was not stellar, but having worked in test development for two years, I can tell you there were some major assessment issues with that test anyway. It never would have passed one of my reviews. So it couldn't be that great a measure of my knowledge, anyhow.

On a less exciting note, Chantrea has to have another test tomorrow for her vesicoureterel reflux. She has to have an IV in for 30 minutes, then wait two hours, then another 30 minutes with an IV. I HATE having medical procedures done on my child. I'd rather go through labor and delivery three times without the epidural. She always looks at me like "Why are you letting them do this to me?" Ugh.

The school where John is going to teach has offered me a job. We're still in negotiations but I asked for two or three full days a week. They said they could do three. That way, Chantrea and I will still have two mornings a week that are ours, and I'll have two afternoons a week when she's napping. But, I'll still get the social interaction from working and Chantrea will get to interact with other kids and learn Thai. Perfect! Now if we can just agree on a salary, all will be well.