Slainte–I’m off to Ireland!

First big trip

The boyfriend and I have been together for about two and a half years now, although it seems like forever already. I really can’t believe we’ve lived together for so long either. It’s been over a year that we have shared accommodations. It was unofficially at first, when he left his last apartment, but was still looking for his own spot. Then we decided to cast off our last attempts at maintaining sanity and get an apartment together, officially co-habitating. We’ve lived in our own place together since…March or something.

We’re finally going on a big trip together, after all that time! We’ve been on a couple of little trips together, mostly to visit my family. None of these trips were longer than few days at most. I think only one of them was longer than a day trip because we both work so dang much. But, we’re going on a big trip. This isn’t really an announcement, but I’ve been thinking about it pretty nonstop since we bought the tickets back in June.

We’re going to Ireland!!!

It’s offical, I’m finally meeting his whole clan. I’m so scared that I won’t be able to understand that many Irish people speaking with each other… I can barely understand a few at a time, but hopefully they will go easy on me and speak a little more slowly so I can keep up. Irish accents are super sexy to most of the world. When there is more than one Irish person in a conversation, I have occasionally gotten a little lost even though it IS English.

I’m also more than a little nervous about packing for this trip as I’ve never been before and I don’t want to HAVE to buy clothing in Ireland just because I was unprepared. I want to shop because I love shopping. Haha! In all seriousness though, I haven’t gone on a long vacation in years. I haven’t been out of the country in 10 years! If anyone has any tips for packing for this trip, all ideas are welcome. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for weeks, trying to get a sense of what other people would pack for this trip, but I just gather that everyone packs the same crap they’d put in a capsule wardrobe, which I suppose makes sense. It just seems like it’s gonna be a little colder in Ireland and none of the pinners have included any thick jackets or sweaters.
Does anyone have tips for me???

Annoying little urges

I’m not entirely sure why, but I always have this urge to start a blog post with the word “So.” And it totally annoys the crap out of me because I know better. I have a bachelors in English lit with a minor in writing. I KNOW BETTER. It’s just filler…but I don’t actually start a paragraph or blog post that way very often, I just have the urge to do it a lot.

Sooooooooooooooooooo………..

How to Stay Motivated

Find things to clean

I am desperate for more to do at work, a way to stay motivated. I can’t figure out why I didn’t get the one thing I asked my previous manager for: more tasks. A way to make it worthwhile to him to have me at the restaurant, being paid. I’m bored out of my mind, so bored I’m writing at work. There’s nobody to seat at a table, there are three managers and nothing to do. So I’m writing and looking for things to clean. I want to stay motivated while I’m working here.

Be Thankful

I’m thankful for both of my jobs, I’ve learned so much from working as a host at the front door of an extremely popular supper club and jazz bar. I have become more organized and thoughtful about planning the evening. On a busy night, I’m always super motivated and I can keep moving the whole time. I’m in charge of a lot of people’s experience: both our guests’ and my coworkers’ nights are determined by how well I do my part.

I love that feeling of being necessary to the overall flow of the night. I’ve found something I’m good at and want to continue furthering my career in this path. I want to be a server and then a manager in a restaurant. I also still want to work in a restaurant’s marketing/ public relations function. I’m motivated to find a job where I fit in with the team like I do at my current two jobs, with management that is similar to my newer job.

UPDATE

I did the thing. I asked to be trained as a server. I said, “You know how I’ve been taking care of tables upstairs when all the other servers move downstairs or go home? Is it a possibility for me to be officially trained as a server?” I was caught off guard when my manager looked surprised at my proposition and said he didn’t realize I wanted to serve, but that we could definitely talk about it. So…Yay me? At least I asked… So, I’m studying with this book to keep motivated:

*affiliate link*

Hmmm….

What to write?… What to write?….

The New Inklings: Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

Nerd Nights

My friends, John and Chris, and I got super nerdy the other night at my favorite bar. Somehow, we started talking about The Lord of the Rings. I assume we started talking about movies and then got to that specific series of movies. Then we segued into how the books were so different from the movies. The changes that the directors made were not all acceptable to us, nor did we view them as necessary increase the ticket sales in movie theaters.
For example, one change was removing the beloved, though oft overlooked and/or forgotten character, Tom Bombadil. I understand that his is a very slow-moving part of the book, but it would not have hurt anything to add those character-building scenes with him interacting with the four young hobbits. I can honestly say that leaving out Bombadil was detrimental to my experience of watching the movies.

Uneccesary Romance in The Hobbit

Another thing we talked about was how in The Lord of the Rings they overemphasized the love story between Arwen and Aragorn. The argument entailed the logic that while it was definitely unnecessary to the furthering of the main plot, Aragorn is such well-beloved character that nobody minded the extra scenes with Liv Tyler in them. However, this is not the case for the entirely fabricated love sub-plot in The Hobbit movies between the elf warrior-girl and dwarf treasure hunter-boy.

That one pissed me off. I did not enjoy The Hobbit movies in their entirety as much as I like The Lord of the Rings, probably because I always liked The Hobbit book more than The Lord of the Rings. The story is shorter and more focused. The movies just didn’t have the same vibe as the book and there were too many large, unncessary changes that were very odd choices. It was a book about adventure and treasure and friendship and NOT ROMANCE! I mean, they added an extra character simply to add a romance into the script. It was a simple little slap in the face for a purist like me. Oh well. Enough ranting.

Boyfriend’s 39th Birthday

Early Beginnings

I did my best to make my boyfriend’s birthday extra special this year because I couldn’t even remember what we did for his birthday last year. Turns out, we went to one of his favorite restaurants, House of Prime Rib with a group of our friends. This year, we got a little more activity going. First things first, I woke my butt up to move my car for street cleaning at 8 am. Then, since I was already awake and excited about his birthday, I went to the grocery store to get supplies for breakfast. And I mean breakfast!

I made him what I believe was a full Irish breakfast, baked beans, eggs, bangers, bacon, Irish soda bread, orange juice and of course, Barry’s tea. I even baked a little cake, but it looked somewhat pathetic to me. I realized whilst whipping up the batter that I didn’t actually have anything to bake it in. and yes, we did just move in, but I swear that I used to have baking supplies of all sorts. Of course, I could be making that up in my mind.

Birthday Breakfast

While I cooked the things that needed less attention, I hung the Star Wars themed banner that still has yet to be taken down Find a similar one here through my affiliate link: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens Jointed Birthday Banner. I cleaned a little bit around the house and took out a lot of trash and recyclables. Needless to say, I was slightly relieved that he slept until noon because I didn’t realize how much I’d wanted to do. I did have to lock the cat out of our bedroom to try to assure he could sleep as well as possible. She likes to get rowdy when she thinks the hoo-mans need to wake up and pay attention to her. When he finally got out of bed, he was super quiet and I was so surprised that I spilled coffee grounds all over the kitchen floor!

He was slightly astonished when he saw the spread I made for him, but didn’t get the full effect until he put his contacts in, as he’s very blind. When he realized the banner was Star Wars themed, he got even more excited, knowing that this breakfast was a good way to start his birthday, even though he had claimed he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the occasion. I’ll skip the details of the card I gave him, but it was slightly sappy and also funny.

Skip a few hours of getting ready for the next part of the birthday celebrations.

We went to his favorite restaurant in the city, if not the world, for a pre-Giant’s game dinner. Now this was only the second time I’d ever been to Kokkari Estatorio, but I had already decided that it was “no longer his favorite restaurant…it’s OUR favorite restaurant,” the first time he took me a few months ago. So I was flabbergasted that I was able to make the reservation only two weeks ahead of time and decided to snap up the time slot. We had an amazing meal, which I’ll describe at another time.

We had the best server in the building; I’m sure of it. He was sassy, fun and decided for some reason that he liked me too! And even though we ordered no dessert, he brought us a free chocolate cake for D’s birthday. I thought that was very sweet, especially since at my restaurant we don’t have a complimentary birthday dessert…

Let’s Go Giants!

Let’s fast forward to being at the Giants-Dodgers baseball game: it was over quickly, but the one highlight was the event of the foul ball that came our way. I was sitting on the boyfriend’s lap for a second, when all of a sudden, he practically pushes me off to try to reach for this random object flying toward us. I’m somewhat bad at watching sports when he distracts me by being super cute, so it definitely didn’t process that there was a foul ball coming toward us until it was over our heads. He claims that he could’ve caught it.

Luckily, he loves me a little bit more than catching a foul ball. But he tells a story about how he dropped a full beer that he’d just bought to catch a ball. Now that he’s combined these stories, he’s told people the last few days that he didn’t want to be the person who dropped his girlfriend to catch one. However, in my attempt to get out of the way of his efforts, I landed with my ass on one of the armrests and I now have a huge bruise in the middle of my butt cheek. And it’s painful…

The Next Day

The best part about all of this was when he told people we saw the next day that it was his best birthday since he was five years old, when his beloved father took him to the Irish premiere of Return of the Jedi. He sat between the actors who portrayed R2D2 and C3PO. –Did I mention he’s a huge Star Wars fan?– I feel like that’s impossible, there have to have been even more awesome birthday celebrations in those 34 years, but I’ll take the credit! I did do my utmost to make it a special one. Now I just have to start planning next years’ birthday now to be able to exceed expectations. What would you want to do if you were turning 40?

New Hair, New Career Path

Quick shout out to the only two people who consistently read my blog posts: my Mom and Grandma Sandy! If you are also a reader, leave a comment so I know you’re real. Thanks!

Hair Update

As some of you know, I’m now a redhead. It’s a big change from the blonde look that has been my go-to for a couple of years now. It is not easy to put color back into your hair when it’s been bleached to hell. Juuuuust saying. my hair looks very much like an apricot right now. while I am definitely ok with it, it was not my desired result. I was going for something a little closer to Isla Fisher than a fun, unnatural pink-peach-red color…But like I said, it’s a challenge to go from very dark hair that has been bleached to a very light blonde and then put a red over it and not get a pink-toned outcome. I knew this from the start, but I’m willing to play around until I get to my intended hair color. I’m going to change topics without a segue because this one isn’t thaaaaaaaat interesting, even to me.

Job Development

I’m really excited about a new development at my job: I’m going to be trained as a server! I’m not sure how official this is, as my manager loves to just come up with ideas and surprise me with them. Like when he gave me a raise to do office work in addition to hosting. I think it’s awesome that he trusts me to do things, but I don’t really care much for being thrown new tasks as if I know what I’m doing. I NEVER know what I’m doing.

I only know I can learn to do anything because I’m a student at heart. Always observing and trying to learn. Anyway, I’m planning to take advantage of this new bone my boss is throwing me and I’m gonna make my way to assistant manager as soon as possible. I want to be trusted to and useful. I want Black Cat to be the sleek-est, sexiest, Michael-Bauer-can-suck-it-because-we-ARE-amazing restaurant, ever!

Serving it Up

Hopefully, being trained as a server will also make me rich, haha. Or at least help me pay off my student loans, which being a cook never did…I also really like the idea of taking care of people, which I can do as a host, but not as much as being a server. It’s more direct during dinner service. Kind of as if I get to spoil my friends and take care of them all night and show them a great time, except, I don’t know them and I’m getting paid to take care of them. Hopefully, the kitchen will go easy on me while I learn the seat numbers all over again, and learn the ins and outs of serving. I know it’s not really that hard, as long as I don’t get lazy and comfortable. I think that really is the difference in most aspects of life. Things are usually easy to do, but becoming too comfortable is always your downfall.

Brand New Apartment, Brand New Life

New Apartment

This is a big step, for me, for him, for us. It’s extremely cliché; I know it. We signed a lease together and I’m going to write this post even though he’ll probably be embarrassed. However, since many of you out there don’t know who HE is, he can relax, knowing that the ones who do know won’t make fun of him for too long.
My man and I lived together for a few months out of necessity and, I’d have to wager, a bit of laziness on his part. Or, maybe it was his sneaky way of a test drive. Whatever it was, living together at my last place of abode led to us signing our first lease together about one month prior to this post.

We’ve been officially moved-in together for about three weeks; I think it’s going well! We even had our first houseguests over, including one of our favorite couples ever over for a hilarious evening of food and wine. I made boeuf bourguignon a la Julia Child (because I can’t resist making a mention of her wonderful legacy) and he made the most wonderful salad. Of course, the walnuts were raw, yet still scrumptious because, as we discovered in media res, our oven wouldn’t heat up…

New Life

In other news, I’ve gotten what one can only call a promotion of sorts. It’s funny how getting a raise and promotion only means new (and more) work. At least that’s what I’ve observed in the movies! Ha! I’ve just gotten my first one of either sort. Although, I’m not sure if I can really say promotion, but my hours of work and play have dramatically changed and, as of this payday, so will the number of dollars in my direct deposit.

Looking Backward, Just for a moment

It’s amazing to think that it was three years ago to the day, I was fired from my first job in the city, for being trained improperly. I still believe there were more motives than that at play, but who cares at this point? The only reason I even know that it happened is that I wrote a draft labeled March 22, 2014: “Being fired and moving on…Yes, I was just fired from my job yesterday.”

I’m not sure I even want to open the draft to read the rest–I can’t believe how different my life is now. I can’t believe that back then I could even begin to fathom that I was happy–I was not nearly as happy as I am now……

Took the time to read that draft and I’m amazed at how positive I was about being fired from a job I loved so much…Of course, that’s how my momma raised me!

unenthusiastic​ right now

Someone give me a push

I have a couple of jobs on the table right now, none of which I’m ecstatic about, but all of which would present me with different opportunities. Two would mainly be me helping friends in need of pastry cooks. The other would be good money while I continue the journey to becoming a restaurant marketing professional; a woman who doesn’t have to wear a uniform or non-slips. Not that I loathe my uniform or non-slip shoes, but I’m ready for something different.

However, I have one business opportunity in mind that would combine my favorite people and my favorite place. However, I’m not sold on that idea myself, nor would anyone else involved be interested if I’m not ready to pitch the idea. I’m most interested in being a front of house restaurant employee right now because that would enable me to go to classes and still make more money than I do on unemployment. In addition, I wouldn’t be nearly as bored as I frequently complain that I am.

push harder, please

I have a laundry list of things I wanted to do these past three months and that I never managed to get my ass in gear to do, even though I had no excuses whatsoever. I hate that about myself. I need outside motivation/impetus to get shit done and I guess that being unemployed is just manifesting my laziest qualities. I’m not even sure why I haven’t done any of the things I’d been so excited about before Aziza closed. It makes no sense not to do things you were excited about. I used to be super excited to go to karaoke and then almost skive off at the last-minute. Mostly, I’m enamored enough with karaoke that I usually go when I can, when I have the energy.

 

I’ve Set a Goal, Made a Plan

For the first time in a long time

I’ve set a goal! Goals are difficult, but this one shouldn’t be too bad. I just decided, whilst perusing Pinterest, that I want to have a job by Halloween. This gives me a deadline for my goal, which makes it a plan. Plans are easier because of the deadline aspect. If I know when I need to complete my goal, it makes me feel like I’ve got to do the thing. Which, if you know me at all, I am lazy and don’t like doing things, even when they’re good for me.
I know I can do this simple goal. I’ve figured out, for the most part what I want to do, and I can do anything I set my mind to doing. I just have to find someone to hold me accountable to my plan. It’s always easier to stick with something–if you really want it–when you have a friend to remind you of your goal. All I really need, however, is to remember that unemployment funds don’t last forever and I’m halfway through my allotted six months.
I know this was a short post, but I’m tired as it’s far past my bedtime (I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tonight). Did anyone else read it yet?

You can buy it through my affiliate link below:

 

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