vendredi, juillet 29, 2005


there are two choices:

either you educate and discipline your children so that they can sit in a restaurant quietly, order some concoction off the menu, and generally act pleasantly...

or you can arrive at the restaurant, assume that the servers are your built in baby sitting device, and let your progeny run wild to the horror of 100% of the staff and 99% of the other patrons.

When I run the world, those who choose the latter option will have to muzzle, leash and sedate their spawn upon entry to anywhere where the napkins are not made of paper.

jeudi, juillet 28, 2005

some cheese with that wine?

Work, over the past few days, has been interesting. At risk of turning this rather eclectic bit of self absorbed mental masturbation into a restaurant blog...

and no, I would never dream of usurping the throne of the master

I am on my 12th day of work in a row. At this point, customers cease to be viewed as humans and more as biological waste disposal units with a peculiar function that allows them to choose what they ingest.

At point in time, after working 2 doubles in 3 days, I am only just hanging on to maintaining my general public-worthy smile and I am blatantly making things up. The vegetables with the halibut? Carrots, Chinese broccoli and mashed potatoes. A wine pairing with the duck? Whatever the hell you want. The cooking method used on the salmon? LADY, LOOK AT YOUR FUCKING MENU... IT SAYS GRILLED SALMON FOR A REASON!

(Does Chinese broccoli exist? Only God, and the Chinese know- and realistically, if it does exist I am sure there is a perfectly acceptable name for it in Cantonese or Mandarin that is not replete with neocolonialist connotations.)

I have taken to accruing a particular pleasure in watching yuppie men order a bottle of our most expensive wine to impress the friends they are taking out to dinner. The farce unfolds in the predictable manner: he orders a completely inappropriate bottle for their food choices but one of the most expensive on the list. I bring bottle, present it, open it, and pour a taster for him. Throughout this process he ignores me completely. He lazily reaches out a hand - with not quite metrosexually buffed nails but dammned close - and grasps his glass by the bowl. Swirls the wine around and takes a deep inhale of the bouquet. By this point I am wondering if he will be able to smell anything at all other than his own inflated ego and the mere pick me up of white powder lingering in his nasal passages. But of course, although the wine is about 4 degrees too warm and should most certainly NOT be paired with duck breast, he pronounces that "It'll do," and I make my round of the table; dousing the yuppie, his friend, and their wives with wine. When I make my way back to his glass, the ordering yuppie graces my presence with a glance.

"How do you find the difference between the 1998 and the 2000?" this is a test. I have to say what I think he wants to hear. If I deviate from the script, all - and by all I mean any hope in hell of a tip - is lost...

"Well sir, I haven't had a lot of experience drinking the 1998 as it is quite rare and highly sought after," (this to soften up his ego... He is drinking exclusive wine, and I, a mere mortal, cannot afford to indulge so often,)

"But I must say that the 98 has a fuller body and a more complex bouquet than the 2000 which is just coming into fruition."

...take that you platinum credit card, presumptuous bastard: I said 'fruition' to you...

The trump card is that we don't carry the 2000 vintage on our wine list, so that, unless he has extensive wine experience, he will never know what I am talking about. Nor does he care. He's just watched Sideways a few too many times and wants to come off as a sommelier in front of his golfing buddies. He really wishes he were drinking beer, and his botoxed and scalpeled wife/trophy girlfriend/highly paid escort would rather have a wine spritzer. Nobody at the table is happy with the possible exception of the hapless friend who -based on my previous conversation with his friend the yuppie - thinks that he is drinking the nectar of the gods. Even if he thinks the nectar of the Gods is a bit warm, it's nothing to scoff at.

mardi, juillet 26, 2005

clearly, we also make grape flavoured gin.

"I'd love a beer, what do you have on tap?"

"I'm sorry sir, we are a winery restaurant and only licenced to sell the wine we produce."

"So you don't have any beer?"

"No sir, but we do have a very extensive wine list and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about our wines."

"No, that's ok. I'll have a martini."

samedi, juillet 23, 2005


I find it chronically wierd when, upon seeing somebody that a year ago I would have gone to the moon for, there is no expected leap in heartbeat.

"I don't love you anymore, goodbye."

mercredi, juillet 20, 2005

how to annoy me

-call me honey. at any time, at any place: I will rip your face off.

-ask me to recite all the desserts on offer, ask me to repeat them, then order 2 coffees, 1 decaf and a peppermint tea.

-San Pelligrino. With lime, NOT lemon.

-dishwash slowly. I know you are tired and it's a shitty job, but I did it too and I was faster than you on my slowest day. Speed it up and you will escape the dishpit far faster. Also, I will have some forks to reset my tables with.

-go home with the pen I put in your bill fold so that you could sign your credit card bill. I am not your personal stationary supply. Bic pens are not collectibles.

dimanche, juillet 17, 2005

Departure Bay

I'm crying while I fold my laundry. Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap is on CBC, and he's playing Canadian female musicians and he plays Diana Krall's song Departure Bay. She's from Nanaimo, and so am I-in a round about way: my dad grew up in a house on Departure Bay Road- and this song hits me from so many angles. If you can, get a hold of it and listen: there's a chord change in the line, "I just get home, and then I leave again," that breaks my heart.

The fading scent of summertime
Arbutus trees and firs
The glistening of rain-soaked moss
Going to the dairy queen at dusk
Down narrow roads
In autumn light

The salt air and the sawmills
And the bars are full of songs and tears
To the passing of the tugboats
And people with their big ideas

I just get home and then I leave again
It's long ago and far away
Now we're skimming stones and
Exchanging rings
And scattering and sailing from Departure Bay

The house was bare of Christmas lights
It came down hard that year
Outside in our overcoats
Drinking down to the bitter end
Trying to make things right
Like my mother did

Last year we were laughing
We sang in church so beautifully
Now her perfume's on the bathroom counter
And I'm sitting in the back pew crying

I just get home and then I leave again
It's long ago and far away
Now we're skimming stones and
Exchanging rings
And scattering and sailing from Departure Bay

A song plays on the gramophone
And thoughts turn back to life
We took the long way to get back
Like driving over the malahat
Now a seaplane drones and time has flown

I won't miss all the glamour
While my heart is beating and the lilacs bloom
But who knew when I started
That I'd find a love and bring him home

Just get me there and one we will stay
A long time off and far away
Now we're skimming stones and
Exchanging rings
We're scattering and diving in Departure Bay

samedi, juillet 16, 2005

I was wrong

I actually did start work today.

(insert gospel choir here singing "Praise the Lord and Hallelujah")

It was not quite the miraculous experience that one may have expected having lunch at a rather fine restaurant in a rather spectacular location. All I was praying for was another set of arms and that time could move in two separate dimensions: slow for the front and super fast for the kitchen...

Needless to say, the whole time-travel thing didn't really work out in my favour, which left me explaining to my darlink tables that really, an hour wait for a sandwich was a perfectly acceptible timeframe. It's amazing how easily people can be bought: a basket of bread keeps them happpy for at least 45 minutes.

Lesson of the day for future restaurant experiences:

If you are so starving hungry that you HAVE to order your appetizers right NOW, and will order your mains later; BE PREPARED FOR A LONG WAIT FOR YOUR MAINS!!! This is not our special way to fuck with you, there is method behind this waiting. See, here's what happens: When I ring in an order with the first course and the second course on it at the same time, the kitchen begins to prepare the mains at the same time they whip out your appetizers. When you finish your appetizers, I clear your plates and tell the kitchen to pick up the mains for your table; they then finish up cooking your mains, plate them and I take them out to in (what is hoped to be) a matter of minutes. This all happens because main courses take longer to cook than salads- thus, while you are masticating your mixed organic greens, your medium/well steak is being fired. DO YOU INFIDELS KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO COOK A MEDIUM/WELL STEAK??? I didn't think so. So, if you insist upon ordering your mains after you order your apps, then your mains will not have the cooking grace time of how long it takes you to eat your apps, and you will be waiting 'till the cows come in to nosh on your overpriced pasta and your roasted chicken breast panini.

Just sos you know.

vendredi, juillet 15, 2005

Yes, you too can pay 40$ for eating sandwiches and inhaling the fumes of cow anus.

The bulldozers are still in front of the restaurant. I have not the arithmetic skills to calculate the probability that I will actually WORK tomorrow; I'm guessing that it's something close to a snowball's chance in hell, or that my leg hair will miraculously disappear for ever.

Also, the landscapers have put a huge load of manure on the newly planted flowers and shrubs so the whole place smells like shit.

lundi, juillet 11, 2005

5 am

is the hour that I awoke this morning. A combination of the lingering effects of one glass of red wine too many, and the gut wrenching pain of menstrual cramps. Now I would like to think of myself as stoic, but the sad reality is that when I have cramps I would sell my first born child to the white slave traders if they had a bottle of extra strength advil on hand. (Yet another reason I should never beget offspring.)

Seriously, I long for the days when a woman's monthly bleed was a time of rest and rejuvenation and maybe a few afternoons spent in a sweat lodge or a sauna. Those times, at least in my current cultural habitat, are long gone sadly... Instead I have a full day ahead of me, a day that has to start with getting dressed and pretending to be human.

It's only 6:30 though, being human can wait.

dimanche, juillet 03, 2005

port hardy

has attitude and a rugged worn-down look that belies its steel and perseverence.

the kind of place where change comes slowly and what's good enough for the parent's generation is good enough for the children.

a town that has no problem giving the pretentions of anything south of Campbell River a big Fuck You.

I admire that.