Archive for May, 2009

San Francisco: Update 3

Posted in Life/Stories on May 28, 2009 by lspray

n1450260044_193667_1585Life has been busy. 

This semester is finally over. How were my grades? Well, lets just say I’m sure I’ve done better. I can live with bad teachers, but this semester, some of my teachers were just…bad human beings. So I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed until I get my grades back.

It’s strange to think that it wasnt too long ago that I had no place to live, no job, and no school. And here were are a couple of months later, and I have an amazing apartment, a great job, and, well, school is school.

School this semester has been frustrating. It’s hard to concentrate when your phone is smarter and more entertaining than your professors. I’m also at a point where I need to start figuring out what to do with my life. I only have one more semester of GE left. That makes me alil nervous.

So I’ve been bouncing around with this crazy idea of opening a coffee shop. Now let me be clear, I come up with lots of ideas, and most of them never come to fruition. As most people know, I love coffee. I’ve been to all of the trendiest, elitist, and best coffee shops in the city. And I always come away thinking, “you know, I could do this better”. So I found this perfect location, and I was starting to figure things out with it, letting my mind work and all that…and then I went to do what I always do, I talk to TJ. Why? Let me explain, TJ is….brains. And reason. Me on the other hand, I am…enthusiasm. So I go to TJ as a way to get a healthy dose of reality on things like this…He curbs my enthusiasm. So I was kinda expecting him to shoot more holes through my plan than a slice of swiss cheese. What was the response I got? TJ: “Yea man, I think you can do it”. Sooo I took TJ and Caleb to the location, and they kinda caught the vision for it too. So I’m kinda excited to see if this whole thing goes anywhere. The name of the place is Ambient Stories, with the tagline being: Coffee. Conversation. Music.4263_86157468092_675348092_2002301_6382017_n So now…I donno, I’m still working my way through it…buuuut, yea. I really don’t know what else to say about that. But if you have any feedback, I would love to hear it, and if you would like to hear more about it, I can do that too.

What else is new? Did I mention I live in an awesome apartment? Our apartment is coming together very nicely. We now have some lovely art on our walls, courtesy of our friend Rachael Banar. We also (finally!) got a stereo. And we should be moving the piano in any day now. Did I mention that my apartment is on the 7th floor? with a balcony? And a pool? And a jacuzzi? Nbd. Come visit.

Work at Bubba Gump’s has been great. Summertime is here, which is nice. I made rent from this weekend alone. Needless to say, business is good. It’s so nice to have a job that I’m well suited for. YWAM worked out well for the same reasons for me. 

As for summer plans, its tough thinking that a year ago at this time I was in Africa. And while I really wish I was there again, I know I’m exactly where I should be. So much has happened since I left SFO for Africa last summer. Yesterday I was having a meeting at YWAM with my old boss Tia, and I remarked to her how its strange how a year ago I had never stepped foot into the YWAM building, and here we were having meeting about the coming summer. So while this summer won’t be as epic as Africa to home to San Francisco, I do have some plans. I’d been pushing TJ for awhile now to hitchhike the east coast with me. Like I said before, TJ is reason, I am enthusiasm, so it was a tough sell. But we got caleb involved, which made TJ feel better, and which will make the trip much funner. So the tenative plan to fly to NYC and stay a couple of days with my buddy Ryan Larette, and then to hitchhike our way down to St. Pete Florida where we have a condo to stay at thanks to one of TJ’s friends. So now its just about getting dates finalized and all that jazz. 

 

All in all, I’m doing really well. I feel like we not only survived moving to San Francisco when people doubted us, but I feel like we are really thriving right now. It’s been a fun ride. I’m excited to see whats next. As a last word, I’ll repeat (and paraphrase) something TJ said to me last week. This quote convinced me to buy, and wear a tuxedo jacket (for $20! Thank you thrift store)

“Life is too short to worry about what people think is cool or not. If you think something is cool, then rock it”

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Pure Joy.

Posted in Life/Stories on May 26, 2009 by lspray

by-danaawk-710x1024I cannot tell you how much joy I was overcome with when I discovered this site. (technically Amanda Evans deserves the credit for showing me this site)

Anyways, Enjoy:

 

http://www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com/

The Marvel of the Human Body

Posted in Life/Stories on May 22, 2009 by lspray

One of the many reasons I choose to believe in God is the beauty of the human body. Now while this picture of my toe may not insinuate beauty, it proves my point.

Let me explain, Yesterday someone’s heel landed on my toe while playing basketball. While that picture may not show it too well, my toe is now multiple shades of black and blue, and I’m pretty sure my toenail is going to fall off quite soon. 

I originally thought I had just stubbed my toe and that the pain would go away quite soon. I was wrong. As the day went on and work got closer, it just got worse. I ended up going (limping) into work, where we didn’t have enough staff to allow me to leave. No big deal I thought, I can limp around and get my job done. As the night went on, the pain, and my limp, got worse and worse. By the time i got home, my foot was throbbing and swollen, and I was beginning to think that my toe was broken. Let me tell you, it hurt. Alot.

As of today, I’m pretty sure my toe isn’t broken. All of that freaking pain came from my toenail. Which leads to why that helps me believe in God. 

One stupid toenail made my night quite painful. And the way my mind works, it makes me wonder, If there is no God, how could our bodies have ben made this perfectly? Imagine if by the design of the “big bang” or whatever, my toenail hurt all the time, because the big bang wasn’t as smart as God would have been in designing bodies. What if our bodies didn’t work correctly? what if little things went wrong like my toe and we were in pain all the time? I get kanker sores in my mouth from time to time (thank you genes), if you have ever had a kanker sore, you know that they usually spawn from absolutely nothing, and become an annoying, sometimes extremely painful spot in your mouth. I usually get them on steroids. And each time it makes me think the same thing, what if God had designed us just a little bit differently? Or what if the big bang had designed us? And we all had kanker sores, ALL the time? eating food would not be enjoyable, sometimes even talking would be painful. BUT NO! thankfully we were not designed by the big bang and God does not make mistakes, so we were designed perfectly. Our incredibly intricate bodies (usually) work quite well and pain free, and allow us to live an enjoyable life where we dont usually have to worry about things like toenails because they were designed with perfection in mind!

Last thought, I find it hard to understand scientists, They strive to understand the beatiful intricities of the universe and the elements and the human body, and I don’t see how every sign does not point towards a creator. Our bodies work too perfectly, our elements coexist and combine too perfectly for there not be something more going on than the “big bang”.

Seriously, did you know that if earth was 50 feet closer to the sun we would burn up and if it was 50 feel further away we would freeze? The bible says that earth will scream that a creator exists. Scream.

Your body, the elements, the seasons, even the distance to the sun all seem to imly that we’re just too perfect to be a coincidence. The marvel of your own body screams to the evidence that there must be something more.

 


Waiter Rant Pt. 2

Posted in Life/Stories on May 20, 2009 by lspray

A couple of other things I’ve been thinking about: (yes, more thinking, less frustration. I promise)

 

Standing in the way: The restaurant is my business. I don’t come to your work and sit in your chair while you’re typing away on your computer do I? So when we take you to your SEAT, that does not give you permission to roam around the restaurant, or stand in the way talking to whoever. There is a reason the aisles are wide in the restarant, that is because at any given time there are more than 20 servers trying to bring food to their respective tables. We need to get through. Now. Not to mention that at any given time there are hundreds of guests in the restaurant who have probably waited more than an hour, needless to say, they are hungry. So when you stand in the way, and/or are oblivious to my full hands of hot plates of me trying to weasle my way into the kitchen without spilling the last tables half empty drinks. Please, move out of the way, sit down, and most importantly, be aware of your surroundings. If I’m standing RIGHT behind you, it is not to smell how lovely your purfume is, it is because I need you to move. Thank you.

Talking down to me: There is a major, major difference between server and servant. A part of it has to do with you using your pleases and thank yous, but the majority of the time it has to do with the way you talk to me. I am here to allow you to have an enjoyable experience, but that does not mean I am a slave. When you talk to me like I am a child, or a dog, or someone less than yourself, does it make me feel frustrated? Yes, of course, but really, it makes me feel bad for you. I make more per hour than alot of people with bachlors degrees. No I am not some druggie who serves food to get cash to spend on drugs every night, no am I a college dropout (well, I guess thats a trick question) or some other loser who you think is less of a person than you Mr. Diner His Highness. If fact, most of the servers I know are incredibly smart, not only do we have to be quite articulate (not to mention, uh, happy) our entire shift, but I would say that I have to remember more on a single night of serving than I have to for a final. There is a reason we make good money, we work for it. Please dont insult us just because we are serving you, because I can guarentee you Mr. Diner His Highness, you are probably not cracked up to do this job.

Tipping: I know, I know, I talked about this in my last post. But really? I have said on multiple occasions that serving can drive a person to lose their faith in humanity. Why? When we work hard, and you obviously like us, we have had a conversation, all seems to be well, and then you reward us by tipping $h%#y, it really, really is frustrating. Let me be clear, verbal tips, or writing nice things on the comment card do not suplement the lack of money that is on the table after you leave. If anything, it makes it worse when you verbally compliment us and then tip bad, because it gets our hopes up. If you cant do the math, let me, I can tell you multiple tricks for how to find out what an appropriate tip is. But even if you are bad at math, when your bill is $93 and you leave a hundred dollar bill on the table…it does not take a genius to figure out that that is less then ten percent. Common now, like I mentioned before…I am forced to tip out based on my sales, meaning that I have to tip out wether you leave money or not, meaning that if you do not tip, I am paying to serve you. Again, this is very, very, extremely frustrating.

And lastly,

The menu: Yes, I know you can read and I know you can see. But please dont try to teach me something about the menu. Why? I know that menu like the back of my hand. Its my job to know that menu. I have eaten everything on that menu, and I can tell you every ingredient that is in every dish. really. And I get it, yes sometimes servers do make mistakes, but, if you havnt noticed, for the most part, I write everything down in my notebook, so if you say, “Can I have a bread pudding for dessert?” (after you’ve looked at the sign that talks about the bread pudding AND the cookie sundae but only has a picture of the cookie sundae) and I say, “the bread pudding? Sure, let me go get that for you.” And then when I bring it out to you, you say “Oh, I said I wanted the cookie sundae.” At this moment, please do not be frustrated with me, I have brought you exactly what you asked for. It is you’re communication and observation skills that are lacking, not my serving skills. I’ll end with this, a couple of days ago, a table wanted our hush pups as an appetizer, so I brought it out to them and they said, “Oh I’m sorry, we wanted the hush puppIES” , and I replied, “These are the hush puppies.” Then the man proceeded to look at the menu, where it said “hush pups” rather than “hush puppies”, and he would not listen to me when I tried to tell him that they were the same exact thing, just with out the “IES”. Now, when that happens, do you really think that guy looked good arguing with me over my own menu? No. I wanted to say, “Sir, it’s my job to know this menu, and I know it well, I also know what hush puppies are, and you have them in front of you” or “Sir if you are a mechanic, I do not take my car in and tell you that the timing belt is the radiator, when you, as the mechanic know exactly what the timing belt is, right? That is what this situation is like.”

But did I say any of those things? No. I said “I’m sorry sir, I’ll have these taken off your bill.”

And so it goes….And since he didn’t get to hear what I had to say, you got to read it. Thanks for hearing me out.

PS. I know, I know, my grammar and spelling in these last two posts have been atrocious. I definitely plan on going back and fixing them. But it was the type of thing that I had to write in the moment to get all the thoughts and passions into it. Plus its finals week, so I havn’t even had the time to read over what I write, so what you read is the rough rough copy. 

 

More (hopefully better) writings to come after finals. I promise.

Waiter Rant

Posted in Life/Stories on May 11, 2009 by lspray

Waiter Rant. If I had a folder titled waiter rant, this would go in it:

 

Yesterday was Mothers day. I meant to write this last night while it was still fresh, but I was so frustrated I didnt want to revisit the subject.

When I went into work yesterday, I was excited. I knew it would be busy, and I was hoping to make some good money. 

But Mother’s day was not a usual day.

So let me tell how to be a good diner, and I’ll share a little about my Mother’s day diners.

First off, if you truely cannot afford to pay for anything more than appitizers and water, eat at mcdonalds. Or at least eat at a cheap restaurant. If you feel you can afford to buy an entree or two, but can’t afford to tip, then I repeat: eat at mcdonals. Let me explain, for every dollar I sell, a percentage of it is taken out and given to people who help me out. The bartender, the people that clean my tables, and the cooks, all recieve a percentage that is based off what I sell. So if you dont leave a cent on the table after you leave, then I am paying for you to sit at my table. Do you know how frustrating that is? This leads me to my next point, if you do buy lots of food, so much food that you can no longer afford to tip well, then I am paying even more to serve food to you. Don’t do that. 

Yesterday I had a guy bring in his wife and kid, bought a specialty drink (with a glass!), an appetizer, entrees, then a beer, then dessert. The bill came to $83.17 dollars. A good tip on that bill is $16, a decent tip is $10. this guy $85 even. If you cant afford to pay the tip, dont run up the bill. Simple as that.

So lets start from you walking into the restaurant, once you sit down and the waiter greets you, DON’T ORDER A WATER. I repeat, don’t order a water. Why? If everyone at the table orders a water, then I already know’s you’re too cheap to buy soda, therefore, you’re probably too cheap to tip well. Now a good server will give you great service regardless, but, they will be very skeptical of you the entire time. Also, soft drinks at a restaurant are usually about $2.50, four sodas are about $10, which (at most restaurants) does alot for the bill, and therefore, does alot for the servers tip.

Next, when you order, don’t try to mix and match to get the most food for the cheapest amount of money. Most of the time, I can’t change things around too much to get you more, and %100 of the time I don’t want to. It creates more work for me to make less money. Not fun. Yesterday, I had a party of five people come in. Now the average PPA (price per attendant) at my restaurant is $28. That means that every person sits at a table at Bubba Gump’s should spend about $28. So for a party of five, the bill should be around $140. So when my party of five spent a total of 47, yes, 47 dollars, I was a tiny bit frustrated. for one, it screws my tip (if I even get one, and two, it wastes a table for at least 45 minutes that I would be making good money on otherwise. Like I said before, don’t split appetizers and order only waters. I will be a good server, and I’m counting of you to be a good diner.

Now, your food comes out and something is wrong. No problem, tell me, and I’ll fix it. Simple as that. If you dont like something, I’ll bring you something else. Simple as that. Nine times out of 10 the mistake isnt my fault. I just put the order into the computer, the kitchen is responsible for getting it out to you from start to finish. So please don’t get angry with me. I want you to enjoy your food, and I will do what I can to make that possible. But when you get angry, not only do you ruin the evening for whoever you’re with, you make my job pretty miserable a well. Also, if there is something wrong, don’t try to hide it and pretend that everything is ok. Not only have I been doing this for awhile, but I’m pretty good at reading people as well, so I usually know when you don’t like your meal. Just tell me, simple as that.

Lastly, the bill comes. Your plates are empty, you’re kicked back, your meal is over. The proper procidure is quite simple, I give you the bill, you give me the money, we all go on our way. Now, what not to do: Don’t ask me to split your bill 14 different ways. This takes alot of work on my part to get it right, and by the nature of the beast, it usually results in a lower tip. If you must split the bill, dont pay with cash, and if you must, DO NOT ask for change. I don’t have my own personal cash register. I carry the cash that I get on me, meaning that when you ask for change, I become a beggar with the other servers and the bartenders asking, “do you have change for a twenty? hey! do you have change for a twenty?” Like I said before, more work, less money. No fun.

Now, once you’ve signed the bill and (hopefully!) left a good tip, I will say goodbye and you will leave. Why will you leave promptly? Because the table that you are sitting at is my business, and with you sitting there, I can’t do business. It would be like me sitting in your boardroom eating doughnuts while you were waiting outside to talk to a client. If you camp out at my table, you might as well be taking money from my pocket. When you say goodbye to someone, you dont just sit there next to them do you? There is a reason I say goodbye and have a great day. As good as your meal was, paying for my apartment depends on you leaving.

So at this point, ill leave you to be a good diner.

Happy Eating.