Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Read at your own peril.
Here’s how the conversation went:
“Mrs. Teri, when we vacuum your room, we sucked up big black straps that were attached to bed. Vacuum no like, so we turn over and pull straps out.”
“Then my wife, good Christian lady, get down on floor to help pull straps out. Under bed she reach and pull out pink plastic missile. She scream.”
Me: “Ummm, let me explain.”
“No Mrs. Teri, no needing to splain. We can’t clean your house no more. Games you and Mr. play, my wife no like. Glass vase with hoses and holes down sides, we not like either.”
Me: “But you clean my toilets better than anyone! What will I do?”
“Find new maids with big brush, and open mind.”
So I am looking for new maids that don’t mind the Hookah collection or the relaxation techniques empty-nesters employ.
Monday, May 25, 2009
It takes up a lot of your time. And then you die. What's that? A bonus? I think the life-cycle is all backwards.
You should die first and get it all over with.
Then you live in an old age home.
You get kicked out when you're too young.
You get a gold watch.
You go to work.
You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You do drugs, alcohol and party.
You get ready for high school.
You go to grade school and become a kid.
You play. You have no responsibilities.
You become a little baby & go back into the womb.
You spend your last nine months floating...
Then, you finish off as an orgasm.
Friday, May 22, 2009
ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, or spend all you have.
FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it.
FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye and mean it.
SIX. Be engaged at least one year before you get married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams
don't have much.
NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only
way to live life completely.
TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer,
smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great
FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't LOSE the lesson
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others;
and responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps
to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone and write. Someone will find it one day and be inspired.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
My husband and my first trip away together came as a surprise. We suddenly had two weeks off from our business and children (why is a whole other story). We found out on a Sunday. I combed the phone books looking for an open travel agent. I found a sweet older lady who had recently retired, got bored and opened her own travel agency. She went to work planning an impromptu vacation to the Caribbean. She was amazed at how easy the reservations went, everything I wanted was available at the price I could pay. She booked us to leave on Tuesday. As I was leaving, she snickered and said, “Don’t forget to join the Mile High Club.”
“What is that?”
She smiled over her computer and explained, “The Mile High Club is when married people make love on the plane while in the air.”
“How do they do that?” I asked, still in Mommy mode.
“You get creative.”
I left with tickets in hand, pondering the possibilities. I made the mistake of mentioning the Mile High Club to my husband, who soon became obsessed with it.
“No, not ever, no way, don’t even ask.” Was my response.
Off to the Caribbean we flew and had a great time. No mention of the Mile High Club on the way there.
On the second to last day of the vacation, with too much blood in his rum stream, my husband decided it was a great idea to jump off a local waterfall. He stripped naked like the native boys and launched off a 150-foot waterfall. His spine connected with a rock on the way down breaking his two bottom vertebrae. With only a M.A.S.H. unit available and nothing stronger than an aspirin anywhere in site, we booked a flight home and dosed him with natural painkillers and more rum. I thought the Mile High Club idea was gone for good when he couldn’t even put his seat and tray in an upright position at take-off.
The last leg of the flight was overbooked, so we sat five rows apart from each other. After the captain turned off the seat belt sign, I was passed a note from my injured Hubby, instructing me to meet him in the back bathroom for my induction in the Mile High Club. Knowing I was truly dealing with an insane person, I ventured back for this impossible task. He convinced me it was the only painkiller that would work. We got creative.
Suddenly there was a knock on the bathroom door. I panicked and told him to leave first, and that I would follow five minutes later. He left, I counted to 60 five times and opened the door. To my horror, there were around thirty people standing in line for this bathroom. Thirty people who saw my husband come out first. Thirty people I had to pass and say, “Excuse me” to get back to my seat. Thirty people who gave me the hairy eyeball. With my face beet red and about to die from embarrassment, I passed my husband’s seat. He looked up, smiled and shouted, “Thanks, Mam!
He had a ball telling my sweet little travel agent the story. I will never fly that airline again as I am sure my picture is on each plane labeled as deviant.
So now, I consider myself an expert on romantic tryst while traveling. Here are some tips:
If you’re flying and in need of privacy, go to the back of the wide body plane, use the center row and lots of little blue blankets. On the other hand, if you can afford it, buy up the entire first class section. If the restroom is your only option, it will require gymnastic like maneuvers. The bathrooms for handicapped and mothers changing tables have the most room.
I have a friend who was a stewardess for Pam Am that used to fly between Japan and Hawaii. She tells of half the flight being full of honeymooners with no patience to wait for over threshold traditions. She would move them to the back and give the stodgy passenger up front headsets in which she played the movie at maximum volume.
If you are stuck in the airport for a long time and the romantic bug hits, I would suggest finding the Admiral’s Club. This will not only drive those dot com executives crazy, but will give you a break from the crowds. If that is not a possibility, go to the last gate in those long corridors. Make sure that no flight is expected for at least three hours. Go behind the airline check-in counter, as they are empty between arrivals and departures. My last suggestion is the most comfortable. Take the shuttle to the local Hilton, find the pool and have a great time. At least there he can buy you a drink and a sandwich at the bar afterwards.
If you are driving in the car, please pull over. No matter how exciting the idea may be, driving and loving is worse than drinking and driving. There should be a law. Rest stops usually have park like settings with proper trees and big bushes for cover. If you can’t wait, “30 miles to the next rest stop” then try a truck stop. Wedge the Honda between 18-wheelers and have at it. The truckers won’t mind, it gives them road stories.
Everything you ever needed to rekindle the romance in your marriage is on the road. So have fun, be creative and love well. Just remember you will have to explain to your daughter when she turns 18 why her name is “Lavatory”.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I was asked to be a judge in the Second Annual Central Coast Vodka Martini Shakedown contest for charity. This event was held last year at my favorite restaurant, Rosa’s and I had a ball…………….and a hangover for three days. It is held on a Sunday at noon, so I didn’t eat much before. This year, I got smart and loaded up on pancakes and eggs, to absorb all the alcohol. Here is how the contest works:
Ten of the areas best bartenders are brought in and given portable bars. They each make their own unique martini. The guests can drink as many martinis as they want and there is a huge spread of gourmet food and jazz music playing. There are silent auctions, raffles, and giveaways. It is a blast. It raised over $6,000 for the food banks. Drunks for food, how poetic. Charities benefactors were the Food Bank’s Back Pack Program and St. Patrick’s Outreach open cupboard food program.
As a judge, I am whisked into a sequestered room with 10 other people (this year there was only 8) and the waitresses bring us one martini at a time. We don’t know which bar is making which martini. With each martini, we have a recipe card, and we taste and judge them on creativity, presentation, tastes and aroma.
After four martinis we are all soused. We become our own private club, we argue and joke and have an enormously excellent time. Then we have to pick top three. Problem is that there is regular martinis, sweet ones and desert ones and they are hard to judge against each other. I put them into these categories for the drunken debacle the judges became:
1. This is what you would drink after having a bitch of a day and you just wanted to get hammered and forget it all.
2. This is what you would drink on a hot day or a Sunday brunch. It tastes like Kool-Aid but will totally fuck you up.
3. This is a drink you would have after dinner instead of chocolate cake.
The comments are hilarious, judges bit each other, spilled on each other and the photographer got some incriminating photos. We became instant friends, and friends like that last a lifetime or until the ice melts. We didn’t care, we were bound together with vodka and the awesome responsibility of picking the best drink.
Here are some of the recipes we tried:
*Charlie and the Chocolate Orange: made with Level Vodka, Cravella Orangecello, and Godiva Liqueur.
*Absolut Tropic-Tini: made with Absolut Raspberri, Hpnotiq, Champagne, Chambord and orange.
*Das Strawtini: made with Absolut Vodka, Cointreau, strawberry, lemon and sugar
*This-is-itini: made with Absolut Raspberri, Grand Marnier, Champagne, rasberries and sweet & sour.
*Ginger Moscato Martini: made with Absolut vodka, late harvest wine, ginger juice, ginger sugar, grapes, toasted almonds and grape juice. (this one was the most creative, it would have won if not for the ginger being too strong)
*Prickly Pear: made with Absolut Pear, Malibu rum, apple pucker, sweet & sour and pineapple juice. It had a sliced pear floating in it, a phallic looking fruit. The drink became known as the “vagi-tini”.
First place was Paula Nichols from The Quarterdeck (same girl that won last year, she cried, it was sweet). Her drink was a Toes In The Grass, made with Level vodka, cucumber, honeydew, simple syrup, and green tea. Garnished with a slice of cucumber.
Second place was a PedroTini made by Cathleen Moore of Gardens of Avila (a tribute to Pedro who just passed away) it was made of Absolut vanilla, Bodegas Dios Baco “Pedro Ximenez” Sherry, Frangelico and orange juice. The rim was covered in Cinnamon.
Third place was made by Stacey Ciordanengo and Kristina Evans of the Corner View Restaurant and Bar. It was a Wicked Wahini Martini made with Absolut mango, orange juice, sweet and sour, guava nectar, orange, and jalapeno. It had a candied lemon rind, dipped in chocolate as a garnish.
People’s choice was from Steamers of Pismo, Bartenders Jared Moore and Jay Britton. It was called an Apple Coconut Mojito Martini and was made with Absolut vodka, Malibu rum, apple pucker, lime, mint, 7-up and soda. It was garnished with peeled lime and mint. (This was my favorite)
The judges were Me (Teri Bayus, Food and Film Critic), Mary Ann Reiss, Mayor of Pismo Beach, Raine Ross, with St. Patrick’s Outreach, John Shoals, Mayor of Grover Beach, Evan Treadwell, Executive Chef from Lido and Steve Watson from Absolute (who passed out after trying all 10 martinis never to be found again HA-HA). Judges had too much fun and we were planning on all flying to Vegas together, but that was forgotten once the vodka wore off.
Rosa’s Rocks http://www.rosasrestaurant.com/ with amazing food like scallop Florentine, pesto pot stickers, shrimp, salmon and the most amazing stuffed and dipped strawberries (Gary ate 12). Delectable cheese and fruit plates complimented the martinis. The food was impressive and there was plenty to go around.
We stayed too long, I started mixing martinis and pretty sure I accepted a marriage proposal. But I pray that I am invited back next year to be a judge.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
1. What is a Bako
a. Tourist that needs to be shot
b. Someone who wears Uggs and Daisy Duke Shorts
c. A person who lives in the Central Valley
d. All apply
2. What do you do at Splash?
b. Eat award winning clam chowder
c. Use squirt guns
d. Watch tide pools
3. What is Kook?
a. Someone who can’t surf but is out there in the waves any way
b. A comedian
c. A tide pool creature
d. An escapee from Atascadero Mental Hospital
4. What is decorated each holiday in a different outfit?
a. Our mayor
b. The local post office
c. Huge clams residing on the side of the road
d. Our dogs
5. What is a set time?
a. What time the band starts
b. Time between waves
c. Time that all hairdressers start work
d. A movie term
6. What do you do at Comp Hill?
a. Compliment each other
b. Plant trees
c. Race ATV’s and lifted trucks
d. A competition on a wave
7. What is sand highway?
a. The sand trail that follows you after walking on the beach
b. A highway that leads to the beach
c. A road in the sand dunes that you drive on
d. A beach toy
8. Who is Giuseppe?
a. Gepetto’s Dad
b. Owner of the Italian eatery in Pismo
c. Guy who makes surf boards
d. A surf term that means your boards too cheesy
9. How do you say goodbye in Pismo?
b. See ya
c. See ya
10. What is Yogi-Bearen?
a. Barring your bottom at the beach
b. Stealing whole ice chests from RVer’s
c. Name of bear that is Pismo Mascot
d. A baseball coach
11. What is a Dunite?
a. A bunch of people who lived in the Dunes in 1920’s
b. A person who comes with ATV’s to ride in the Pismo Dunes
c. A local who regularly has bonfires at the beach
d. all of the above
12. What is the name of the Annual Festival?
a. The beers so good here we Piz-mo
b. Pismo Beach, home of Bugs Bunnies the right turn
c. The Clam Festival
d. Surf Days
13. What is a Grommet?
a. Hole that keeps banners in place
b. Young Surfer
c. A part of your jeans
d. All of the above
14. What is Harry’s?
a. Beach Bar
b. Tide Pool
c. Cool T-shirt shop
d. A kind of taffy
15. What is surfer butt?
a. A cigarette smoking beach bum
b. A mean surfer
c. That peak of a behind that is seen when surfer is removing wetsuit while towel is wrapped around their waist
d. A seaside creature
16. What is a snowy plover?
a. Stupid little bird that makes nest in tire tracks
b. An endangered bird that is afraid of kites
c. A huge battle with environmentalist vs. dunites
d. All of the above
17. What is “Mobbin’ it”
a. Joining the Pismo Mob
b. Eating at the Mob restaurant
c. Driving your car into the Dunes
d. Throwing kisses to the mobs on the beach
18. What is Pirates Cove?
a. A place where pirate treasure was found
b. A shell shop
c. Barring your smile at the beach
d. A nude beach
19. What is blown out?
a. A hairstyle technique
b. When the winds take the top off the waves
c. A way to get ushered out of town
d. A sea creature
20. What is a paddle tire?
a. A way to paddle thru waves
b. A bulging mid-drift from too tight jeans
c. A special tire used on ATV’s and Motorcycles to ride in the sand dunes
d. A way to dig in the sand
21. What is Mail Plus?
a. The best place to buy stamps
b. Home of a mean red head
c. Gossip central of Pismo Beach
d. All of the above
If you got more than 15 right:
You not only live here in body, but also in mind. You are an indisputable Beach Bum who uses and enjoys living in paradise. More than likely you where “Miss Clam” when you where 13 years old and learned to drive on the beach in your Dad’s old truck. You worked at Old West Cinnamon Roll’s or Splash at one point in your life. Your senior pictures were done at the beach and your child learned to paddle a surf board before he walked.
If you got more than 9 right:
You spend weekends and summers in Pismo Beach, but haven’t absorbed the lifestyle. You need to rent an ATV and spend every night watching the sunset on the pier and take some surfing or boogie boarding lessons. Move from the big city and come live the good life!
Less than 5 right:
You are a Poser! You may live here or visit here, but you don’t get it!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
A person just asked me why I always seemed to be so happy. It's true, I am almost always in a good mood, and when sorrow or tragedy does set in, it doesn't take me long to get over it. First, I am like a raging fire, then I accept the consequences and move on.
I'm cheery because when I get up out of bed, I have two choices. I can be in a good mood or I can let circumstances, biochemistry, or any number of other things affect the quality of the day. I choose to be in a pleasant frame of mind, it's that simple.
When I was 18 my best friend Kim was killed. It was two days after finding out she was pregnant. She was hit by a UPS Truck driving too fast in the rain. In her car she had five dogs and was pulling a trailer with her two horses in it. Her new husband was following in his car. Everything but one dog was killed instantly.
From that horrible phone call in the middle of the night, I developed two habits:
1. I never answer my phone after midnight. If it is terrible news, it will still be there in the morning.
2. Live each day like it is my last.
Kim didn't get to experience her dream of owning her own horse ranch, which she was waiting for until "the time was right." She didn't get to do a lot of things she wanted to do. I'm sure she would have traded all her dreams to see her daughter grow up, but she didn't get to see that happen either.
Sometimes, someday never comes. I don't know how much time I have left in this lifetime, but I'm not going to waste it by being unhappy. I don't wait until the timing feels right before trying something new. I just do it.
Don’t wait to charge for your dreams, buy that business, open a new store, start your dream charity, write your story, dance on stage. Don't wait until a holiday to eat off the good china. Don't wait until your kid does something great to tell him how great he is, tell your daughter how happy she makes you just by being herself. Don't wait for a birthday to buy your spouse a present, surprise them no reason other than love. Ladies, don't save that expensive perfume for special occasions, the mailman and girl at the copy center have noses too. Wear it when you want to feel special - every day if you want. Don't wear uncomfortable clothes, ever.
In short, don't wait for your ship to come in before celebrating life, celebrate life now. Life is a mystery to marvel about and unravel, an exciting realization of little triumphs when we learn to appreciate them, and a bounty of glorious moments when we have the attitude to recognize them.
Experience the thrill of trying something new. Make someone's day by surprising them with an unexpected act of kindness - even a stranger. Choose to be happy, each morning. Choose to revere each day just because you're alive and you have another chance to make someone happy. You'll be surprised at how contented that makes you, but when you've done your good deed, throw away the scorecard. It only diminishes your own happiness to keep score.
Don't put off life waiting for the right conditions, the right moment, the right feelings, the right person, the right anything...don't stall, live. Just live. Throw off the shackles of fear and the illusion of security. You don't have to realize your dream world of tomorrow to enjoy life today.
I have been through two different window washers at my store in the last month. The windows do not need washing more than once a month and my original guy charged $15 each time. My pane launder quit to go be a professional game show contestant. The employees tried to wash the windows, but according to them, “I didn’t have the right equipment.” Buying the supplies was going to cost me over $50.00.
Streaks and spots make the store look dirty so I acquiesced when a man with a heavy Dutch accent came into the store. His pitch included the fact that the Dutch are the cleanest people on the earth, thus the best window swabbers. He seemed weird, but harmless, as are most my customers. We agreed on a $30 price, because of the desperation of my windowsills. He came back the next day, which just happen to be the hottest day in Pismo history. 105-degree winds blew thru my back window from the ocean. It was so hot, the computers just shut off. He sweated and grunted. He dripped on my copy machine. He also spent a lot of time on his cell phone arguing loudly in that clean Dutch language. He was over 60 and hitting on my 20-year-old employees. He broke my neon “Fax and Copy” sign.
My other washer took all of 15 minutes to do all my windows, in and out; this guy was on his second hour when I finally left to go have lunch somewhere air-conditioned. My employee called my phone while I was gone. She said he finished and demanded to be paid $90. I was not there, so he threw a fit, scared some customers, so she paid him out of the register, and told him to take off. He said he would be back every month. I was pissed.
Having just taken a bath from this guy, I called and told him NEVER to return. He didn’t understand. We argued and argued. I hung up on him. He still comes into my store and tries to get us to let him wash the windows. I have had to throw him out four times. He sends me emails, offers to do windows free. He calls, I hang up.
So while out fighting with City Hall the other day (yes, I won again! Long live the Red Head who will fight parking meters to the death) a new window washer comes in. He tells my new manager he can do all the windows for $30. In and out. She agrees, half way thru the first window, she realizes he is talking to himself. Not in a mumbling way, actually having an argument with himself. Then he says the owner across the street has murder in her eyes. What? She is a sweet girl. Then he talks about the aliens. When I walk in, he has his stuff strung out all over the store. There are streaks on windows he just finished, there are screens lying in the middle of the store.
I immediatly fire him, but he will not leave either. He keeps writing his name on a piece of paper and telling me to check. Check what? We finally deploy the BIG DOG, Mr. Bayus and he chases him out.
I told the employees to buy a kit and learn to wash the damn windows. I think the ammonia has rotted all the “professional” brains.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Our dear departed Dakota had been with God and not howling at our table for a year and it was time to get a puppy. We have discovered through the years, that the old dog teaches the puppy its most valuable assists. Being practical people who have seen the value a well-trained dog, we decided to to let Tripper, our current genius, pass on his wisdom to a new puppy. Our current dog can open doors, thus never requiring us to get up at ungodly hours like 9:00 am to let him out. He can surf, chase shore birds, but not hurt them. Bark when a bad guy is at the door, but squeal with delight when it is a friend. He also stops us from fighting. For a raised voiced or an initial insult will result in a bitten ankle. He takes himself for a walk when we are too injured, drunk or lazy to attach his leash and is always back at our front door within 30 minutes. These traits have been handed down by three generations of dogs, and not of the same breed. It is a miracle of training, instinct, and determination.
We ventured to a residence that housed eight puppies that we were sure one would capture our hearts. When we came upon the front year, our first thoughts were chaos. Big wheels and bikes littered the yard, cat houses with fringe, food bowls and catnip lined the front porch. Upon entering the house, we saw three fish tanks, one boa constrictor, a rabbit cage in the kitchen and two parrots. There were also five assorted children from a bawling toddler to 9-year-olds with eyeliner and too much attitude on. Five adult dogs scratched at the back door. The puppies were housed in the laundry room with a baby gate keeping them from the general population.
We hopped the gate and squatted Indian style with the puppies. They were sleepy, but easy to wake. Huskie, Malamute and Rottweiler mixes with icy blue eyes. The epitome of cute. They nipped at our lips, chewed on our hair and sleeves, and won our hearts. Then they begin to pee, a shocking thing to me, they stopped eating our shoes to squat and pee. Then the poop started. Next thing I knew I was covered in puppy pee and poop. It was on my key chain, in my hair, soaked into my pants and covering my sweater. Gary was covered in more shit and looked worse.
We escaped the puppy prison and all but ran like we were on fire out of the house, thanking the nice people for their hospitality. When we got to the car, I made us both change, right there in the street. No puppy shit was going to soil my Jag. All I had for Gary was a tie-dye mu mu, but he dawned it without too much fuss. While giggling and changing, we agreed that anything that sat in its own shit was not welcome in our house.
Here is the funny part, we were these people not five years ago. I had 4 fish tanks, three dogs, two cats, 15 birds, 2 rats, 2 lizards and uncountable amount of children. In the midst of it, we never thought to be bothered. Picking up shit of many species was a daily event. Now it is not even an option, no matter how cute the depositor is.
We are going to the pound to find a nice, potty trained dog for Tripper to train. He will be grateful and good because we saved his life. Or maybe we will just let Tripper live out his life as the king of the castle.
When the Grand babies come, the shit rule will stay in effect. I will keep them until they are soiled and then call their parents. I am out of the shit game.... forever.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I don’t like being a retail hostage. Where the blaring Open sign screams to the world that you are at the customers beck and call until the close sign drops. Although I have a great sign I put on the door that reads “Gone to fight with my husband, back in 10 minutes” works wonders. However, I’m a capitalist pig that wants every nickel I can squeeze out of the world, so I have to be sure I am going to win a fight before I close the store during regular hours.
I detest being a cable hostage. For three days now, the internet/cable company has made an appointment with me to come and fix the snow the permeates my TV and “Sorry, Internet Explorer” is all I am surfing. Three days, each with three-hour windows, I have been held captive. Computers call me to confirm and then nothing. No knock on the door, no dog barking uncontrollably, no cable butt crack showing as he climbs behind my TV. Today after the fourth hour of waiting and doing chores I fully intended on avoiding, a computer called me to have me take a survey on how I felt about the cable company’s service. I scared the computer with my profanities. The deadline has past and we are on tomorrow as any hope of being hooked back up to the 21-century technology.
Here’s the funniest part, each time I talk to a rep, they have to try and up sell my on more products I should buy from their company that won’t work. I have officially abused over 10 telephone operators so far.
So I am tying my husband to the bed, bringing out the new toys and going to be the master over a hostage. Today. Who knows how I will deal with it tomorrow.