What a long ass weekend. I worked half a week in two days, and am definitely feeling it. Every part of my body hurts right now.
As servers at my restaurant, we're allowed to charge an automatic gratuity if the party is more than six. We don't have to. We can assume that the people will treat us right, and just go ahead and not charge gratuity. However, I often charge the 18% gratuity, after having been burned too many times. Today, though, I had a good feeling about a table. A couple lesbians, a couple gay guys, lots of bloody mary and mimosa flowing, lots of good vibes. I decided not to charge gratuity. It's a definite gamble, I realize this. If you charge gratuity, people rarely if ever leave more, and it sort of says to them, "I don't trust you to tip me right, so I'm charging." If you don't charge gratuity, they could go up over 20%, and often do.
Well, I got burned on this one, my one big table of the day. They left me 14%, a ridiculous amount for the amount of work I did. It was an upstairs table, and I worked my ass off, and did a damn good job. I couldn't believe they screwed me like that. Sometimes, when people get in a big group, there's this mob mentality where people don't take responsibility for what is happening. No one did here, and their server was screwed. The lesson here for me is not to trust people's good tipping instincts and charge the gratuity. The lesson to you is to make sure this doesn't happen to your server. In addition, that the difference between $19 and $25 means just a few cents for each of you, but a whole world to a server. Shitheads.
The festival was pretty fun today, absent of the occasionally intense eye pain. I would go a few hours and think everything was okay, and then be doubled over in pain. I think I need to go a few days without contacts and go from there. I probably haven't been as good as I need to be about eye drops now that I'm teaching again in my hot, hot school.
I'm too tired to give much else, other than I can't believe it's the 4th year anniverseary of September 11 already. I was in my first couple weeks of my teaching career at that point. I remember who told me that we had been bombed, and how nonchalant her attitude - and, thus, my attitude - was about it at first. Then, we heard that it might be serious, and we started trying to tune our TV sets to the events, and the next thing we knew we were dismissed. All the kids I had that year are graduated, and the only ones to share memories with of that day are the handful of teachers still at the school who were there four years ago.
Two years ago on this night, I was at a Melissa Ferrick concert at Recher. I remember her stopping during one of her songs at the line about New York City and saying that she especially remembers it tonight, and it was a perfect tribute.
I had went alone and made out with a random apparent non-lesbian in the crowd. I don't do that stuff anymore. I don't know why. Not since the eye surgeries, the moment I first felt my mortality. I'm not as foolhardy as I once was. I'm not as confident, either.
Tomorrow night, I'll be at yet another Melissa Ferrick show, trying to feel feelings I don't feel often enough, feeling the tide swell within myself and attempt to burst. Her shows - and all great live music - help me be less inside myself, or at least they seem like they do that in my own head. Ironically, I guess.
By the way, I'm on the guestlist. This was the e-mail in my box when I returned tonight:
you're all set for youself on the guest list
have fun at the show
That was the reply to this e-mail I sent earlier this weekend:
Dear Melissa: You may not remember me, but I booked you twice at The Common Grounds at Michigan State University. (http://www.statenews.com/editions/032900/ms_ferrek.html)
I've since moved to Baltimore, and I teach high school English here in the city. I was able to talk to you a little bit after you played your outside show at Mt. Vernon Park last summer. At that time, you hugged me, congratulated me on the move and my 100-pound weight loss, and told me to e-mail you when you're coming back into town and that you'd put me on the guest list.
I tried last time you were playing at the Funk Box, but at that point the guest list was full. I thought I'd try again. I'm actually bringing a few friends to the show, including first-timers, and am treating them to tickets so I thought I'd see if the offer was still open for myself just to lower my overall cost.
If it's too late, that's alright too. We'll still have a great time. I do have an odd request, though. I've probably seen you ten times live, and I've never heard you play live the *first* song I ever heard of yours (on East Lansing's Impact station, WDBM). That's "Juliana Hatfield (Girls with Guitars)." I don't even know if you even play it live anymore, but it would be a thrill. I just saw Hatfield a couple of weeks ago here in Baltimore and that show was a thrill, too.
I hope you're well and am really excited about the show on Monday. It's been the light at the end of the tunnel for quite a while.
I'll take the guestlist pass over hearing "The Juliana Hatfield Song," that's for sure.
I'm such a name dropper.
Speaking of which, hanging out with the Polish Girl is so much fun. We worked all day and all night today, a night topped off with her telling this guy hitting on her that I was her husband and that we'd been married for two years. They were speaking Polish, so I couldn't understand, but she broke into English, held my hand, kissed me, and said, "Honey, my husband, we're about to celebrate our two-year anniversary, right?" and I'm like, "Yeah, that's right" and the two of them went back to speaking Polish until I called her away.
She also put a bumper sticker on my shirt that says, "I had a BLAST at the Ukrainian Festival in Baltimore" and I ended up getting my picture taken and they say it'll be on the website. I don't even think they have a website.
I'm going to take pictures at the Ferrick show tomorrow. So far, there's six of us, I think, including Textureslut and Fool's Fate and a few others. If anyone else feels like going to an amazing live show, you should be at the Funk Box tomorrow.
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