Tag Archives: work

photo friday: the commute

14 Nov

The commute

Twice in my life I have had commutes that lasted at least ninety minutes going one way, and ninety to 120+ going the other. Twice may not sound like a big deal, but honest to Christmas, once was too much. For those of you out there who regularly spend three-plus hours of your day commuting, I commend you. I, personally, would lose my ever-loving mind if I had to do that again on a regular basis.

Which is why, when Swede and I were house hunting last year, we made it a point to look in places that have short commutes to our jobs. We pointed well for ourselves, it turned out, as it’s thirty minutes door-to-door for me via bus, and, on a bad day, fifteen for him by car (give or take if he rides his bike). And that works for us. We may not have the biggest condo on the block, but physical space was a trade-off for not spending precious hours getting to and from work. Also for not spending out mental space willy-nilly.

Will it stay this way forever? I dunno. Sadly my crystal ball was lost in the move. Or it might still be in one of the boxes I haven’t yet unpacked. A girl can dream to have a short commute to her job until she retires, but the world is funny that way, and what’s that old saying about how to make God laugh? Right. So I’ll just say, again, this works for us, at this point in our lives. And while it works, I’ll enjoy the (bus) ride.

photo friday, except on saturday

8 May

I wanted to start participating in Calliope’s Photo Friday this week, and of course I am late to the party. I blame it on being out of my natural environment, but truthfully, I’m just kind of an asshat sometimes. Moving on.


This week Calliope’s Photo Friday theme was “work desk.” So if you’ve ever wanted a glimpse into how McPolish works, well, here you go.

For the record, this is actually quite neat, comparably. Above the desk, which you can’t really see in the picture, are photos of me in various bridesmaid dresses with various brides, along with a photo of a broken Styrofoam cooler with the words, “Just when you think you won’t have any fun, someone goes and falls through a cooler.”

I’ll give those profound words a minute to sink in.

A few years back, before I moved out here to DC, some of the peeps I worked with at my waitressing gig threw me a surprise going away party. There was spice cake. Also a lot of vodka. I’m almost positive there was dancing. And I know there were ribbons. Many several ribbons that they hid around the house where the party was thrown, all of which I had to hunt down. Each ribbon had a different phrase on it, one of which was, “I can dress myself!” For a very long time that one hung on my closet door. It might still be there, actually. But this one, this one was my favorite, and while I’ve on occasion pinned it to my skirt and worn it out on the town for a night, the majority of time it hangs over my desk to remind me what’s important.

Because really, isn’t that all we can ask of ourselves? Sometimes? Hopefully? At least every other Wednesday? Maybe?


made for walking

8 Sep

So, at my full-time job a bunch of us are doing this walking challenge. We’re on teams of five and we all have these janky little pedometers that sometimes work and sometimes do not, and we’re competing against each other teams in our office as well as teams in offices across the city. And there are prizes. Prizes! Like gift cards! And iPods! Hurrah! By nature, however, I never actually win any of these sorts of contests or drawings (hence why I rarely play the lottery—it just ends up being me paying a gas station clerk a dollar for the chance to daydream the rest of the day away), so instead of focusing on the Prizes! I’m focusing on the fact that I have to stand up in a floor-length strapless satin gown in a month and I would prefer to not look like a shiny blob as much as possible. I mean, there is only so much eyeliner I can put on to distract people from looking below my face. Maybe some baby’s breath in my hair as well. I’m thinking tendrils, too…yes….tendrils…

ANYWAY, the challenge began yesterday, even though most people didn’t work yesterday, but guess who dii-iiiid?! This Girl! Because she’s a sucker! And the restaurant was short staffed! And it’s a good thing she did because otherwise she would have only clocked about 400 steps, since the only time she got off the couch was to refill her glass of chocolate soy milk while watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager! Which is a really bizarre show! Starring Molly Ringwald! And the best friend from Lizzy McGuire!  Good tii-iiimes!

My point being that even though I was only working for a bit (three hours to be exact), I managed to log over 6,000 steps.

Today, however, I decided that it would be a really good idea for me to walk to and from work, which is three miles each way. So I arrived a little sweaty but no worse for the wear to my office, and thankfully avoided the rain. And then I walked home from work, a little sweaty again, but who cares, really, because I’m home now and hot damn, I made Mexican lasagna last night for dinner and get the shit out of my way I’m hungry.

And now, holy crap, I’m tired. My legs are tired. Thankfully tomorrow I telecommute, as I’m not sure if I’d be able to handle another day of this. As it is, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make the commute tomorrow from my bed to my desk. If I am careful, and my arms are long enough, I may be able to move from bed to desk in one swift motion without my feet ever touching the ground and holy pants! I think I just discovered another benefit to living in a studio apartment.

Steps walked today: 17,008

dad is great….gives us chocolate cake…gunguh dun, gunguh dun, gunguh dun

12 Aug

Cake 2

I made this to ensure I’d have Sunday off from the golf club. I am not above bribing my coworkers with baked goods. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And let me be clear that this cake is from scratch, as is the frosting. I don’t F around when it comes to my days off.

PS – first person to tell me where the title of this post comes from gets a batch of the cookies of their choice made by yours truly.

If I Could

18 Jun

I would make my profession throwing dinner parties. I would make it my job to have people over five nights a week to eat food that I made for them and hang out and chit chat. Part of my required duties would be to grocery shop at least three times a week. And because I am an overachiever, I would willfully take on the reading and reviewing of various cookbooks, food blogs, and food sections of major newspapers and write critiques of them after experimenting with their tips and recipes.

It would be one of those jobs where I could say, “Oh, it doesn’t even feel like going to work, it just feels like fun.”

What would your ideal job be?


16 Jun

For various and sundry reasons I work part-time at a local private golf club as a waitress. As far as part-time jobs go, this is a pretty good one, if you’re into the whole restaurant biz and whatnot. And you know very quickly if you are or are not. I happen to be are. Even on nights like last Saturday, clad in my black pants, white button-down shirt, shiny silver vest and matching silvery striped tie, the official banquet uni of the club.

We’d brought in two temps for the event, so five of us total and one behind the bar, and five was plenty. It was a 16-year-old boy’s birthday party, a party he did not even want, but a party his mother, as she told my banquet manager, “was having whether he wants it or not.

We’ll use that as our jumping off point, after which the night dissolved into a blurry bizarr-o world punctuated by delicious Indian food from an outside caterer, and can only best be described in And Thens.

So, to recap so far: Birthday party. Birthday Boy does not want party. His mom does. Delicious Indian food is on the menu.

And Then a girl lit her purse on fire. Another teenaged boy at the party held up a bag that had been leaning against a votive candle. There is a good-sized burn hole and glowing ember on the corner, and I quickly take it out of his hands. As I scurry back into the server station to douse the smoldering vinyl bag in water, she scurries after me and says in a high, helium voice, “Ohmigod, that’s my purse!”

“Um, yeah, and I’m going to…” I motion toward the sink as the bag continues to smolder.

“Can I just get something out of it first?” she whines.

“Ummm,” I stare at her. “Okay, I guess, but, um, make it fast because your purse is on fire.

She digs out her driver’s license and her credit card, and turn toward the sink, then turn back to her, pulling her cell phone out of the bag. “Maybe you want this, too?”

She takes it out of my hand and I douse the bag. Walking back into the room the girl is now sitting in her chair, surrounded by friends, staring blankly off into space as she mindlessly gnaws on a beef satay stick. I hand the bag back to her.

“Ohmigod, I’m So. Sorry. Is this my fault?” she mewls at me.

Clearly I did not hear her correctly, clearly she did not just say that, those words clearly did not come out of her mouth, CLEARLY THE FUCKING BEEF SATAY HAS NOT GONE TO HER FUCKING HEAD, so clearly there is no other option for me except to give her my own blank stare before I walk away.

It is still light outside at this point. The party is scheduled to go until midnight.

And Then a band showed up unannounced. The parents have already brought in a DJ, a full-of-herself woman who looks bored out of her mind and can’t be bothered about anything, because clearly she is Way. Cool. So cool, in fact, that she is DJing a 16-year-old’s birthday party, rather than, say, a club downtown.

But whatever, the point is, after the buffet dinner of delicious Indian food, a band shows up. It’s a group of guys from the Birthday Boy’s school, and they seem like nice enough kids. It’s just they would have seemed even nicer had we known they were coming. Which we didn’t.

So they set up and as they put the final pieces of equipment in place, I am standing on the other side of the room with our runner, Alex. We stand in silence until one of the guys high fives a bandmate, a high five that clearly signifies that This Is The Start of Something Good Let’s Kick Some Ass.

“High five, man,” I voice-over to Alex.

“Let’s do this,” he voice-over responds.

The band jams for about 35 minutes, with no song lasting no longer than 35.8 seconds. They would have lasted longer, but the band forgot their microphone stands. You can only play so much of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” instrumentally.

And Then my manager and I almost got into fisticuff with 7-year-olds. They are running around on the patio, and we need to get it cleaned up. My night manager tells a group of little girls to stay on one side of the patio, and they sass her with “Why?” She responds appropriately with “Because I said so.” They do not appreciate this.

No more than 20 minutes later, I walk outside and requested something similar of a group of little boys, who respectfully slunk over to the other side of the patio. Except for one of the boys, who snotted, “Why?” at me, trying to stare me down. Which doesn’t work when you are 4’7 and I am 5’9.

“First of all, because I said so, that’s why,” I said stonily. “And secondly because this side of the patio is closed. Go over there.” He sasses me with a shoulder shrug before turning on his heel, while I fight off the urge to grab him by the scruff of his neck and launch him onto the 18th green. (It’s not far away. It’s just below the patio area. I’ve got a pretty good arm.)

And Then they played an Indian-Techno version of Snow’s “Informer.” The Unannounced Band has packed up their gear (re: shoved it in a pile off to the side of the dance floor, right in front of the door to the kitchen. Convenient!), and the DJ has picked up her duties again, and put this on. I am the only one who recognizes the song, and I walk dazedly up to my manager and say, “Um, is this an Indian-Techno version of Snow’s ‘Informer’?” I believe correctly that it is the most awesome thing that happens all night.

And Then the dishwasher left. Our big, stainless steel monstrosity of a dishwasher in the kitchen broke the night before and still is not fixed. We’ve hired a human temp dishwasher for the night, his only duty being to stand behind the bar and wash glasses. Somewhere around 10-ish he disappears. Both of my managers ask me, “Have you seen the dishwasher temp?” No, we conclude. He has disappeared. It seems fitting for the night.

(He later reappears out of nowhere, and being that he doesn’t speak English very well, it is hard to discern where, exactly, he was.) (Maybe enjoying delicious Indian food.) (Because most of the night when I wasn’t putting our purses and having standoffs with insubordinates that is what I was doing.) (I could eat that green cilantro-y sauce all fucking day long. Give me a spoon. I’m in.)

And Then the Birthday Boy was bitter. As I walked out to my car for the night, I passed the Birthday Boy and his gal pal in the lobby.

“Happy birthday,” I say.

“Thanks!” he smiles. He’s a pretty polite kid, actually.

I pause in front of them. “So, did you get your license and everything?”

A veritable cloud falls like a heavy theatre curtain over his face. “No,” he says darkly, jerking his eyes in the direction of the patio, where his parents are now ensconced in one last cocktail with another couple, unconcerned that their son is waiting in the lobby, and has been for the past 45 minutes. “They don’t trust me enough to get my license and drive.”

“Arrgh,” I say in joking solidarity, “those jerks!” I quickly add, “Naw, I’m just kidding.”

“No, seriously,” he says with a pinched face.

“Okay, gotta go, bye, happy birthday!” I quickly head out the door, thinking that at least he seemed to like the cake.


Once Again

10 Jun

I don’t like to talk about work too much here at McPolish, and by that I mean my full-time gig, not my fun freelancing or other side job at a local golf club. I’d simply rather not have any Dooce-like experiences.

That being said, yesterday we had an all-staff meeting at my place of full-time employment. I’ve been through enough of these to know that they can be awash in numbers that often go in one ear and out the other, or they can be tense and terse, filled with short, somber sentences telling us what we already knew, because we’d seen co-workers packing up their plants and bags, carrying things out in boxes.

Thankfully yesterday’s meeting was the former rather than the latter, though with the additional good news that budgets are done and we will all be keeping our jobs.

Needless to say, this is a relief.

It’s nice to take something off the “To Worry” list that lingers constantly at the back of my mind.


10 Jun

ReviewI do a lot of, I don’t know, I wouldn’t call them restaurant reviews, but I guess they kind of are, for a Baltimore website. They’re more like “What to Expect” articles, a description along the lines of “this is what the restaurant/bar/cafe/etc. offers, here’s what they specialize in, here’s kind of what it looks like, and here is what it will cost you.” Informative, but not always making judgement calls that could make or break a restaurant like, say, Ruth Reichel would in her days as the NYT food critic. Sometimes, though. Sometimes there are judgment calls, because things are just that awesome or awesomely awful that people should know about it. Even then, though, I don’t necessarily see it as judgment so much as I see it as calling it like it is.

I tend to get not a few odd looks as I sit there, eating and taking notes, jumping up to snap pictures from all sorts of angles of food and tables and the exterior signs of restaurants and bars. I’ve gotten used to the looks. And when friends are able to join me, they’ve gotten so used to waiting for me to take pictures of their eats that I no longer have to shout, “WAIT! DON’T EAT THAT YET!” startling half the restaurant patrons.

Back To Life, Back To Reality

26 Apr


Just as soon as I got used to Houston and being away from normal life, it was time to return. Though not without an hour delay of sitting on the plane for reasons unexplained. God bless the taxi driver who cautiously yet speedily zipped me to my apartment where I promptly fell asleep after only a minor bit of puttering around.

Hours in the Day

6 Apr

Last week was a long week. It flew by quickly, but it was jam-packed from start to finish, leaving me wishing not so much that there were more hours in the day (I’m always happy to call it a night and retreat to my bed, and rarely do I feel guilty about leaving any work undone), but that there were more days in the week.

Check that.

More days in the weekend.

Because that, too, was jam-packed from start to finish, what with work at the newly picked-up second job, parties, running with the shelter dogs, grocery shopping, etc. There was some time for sitting around though, thankfully. I go back and forth between loving being busy and loving lounging. Finding the perfect balance of the two can be quite tricky and elusive sometimes.

And this week ahead? Not quite as busy, but several things to prepare for, and many several other things to stay up to speed on, lest the weeks after become a total nightmare.

And nobody wants that.

You know what this week calls for?

A list.

Ooooo…I do love a good list.

What’s on your list this week?