Category: Life

Life

Spiffing Up for Tips

I make a decent as I have been at bartending for some time in my downtown urban lounge. I have garnered quite the reputation for mixing some wild exotic drinks—many with the popular mescal. This gives me an edge over others in the field and keeps the patrons coming. I know many of the regulars quite well, but we always get newcomers from time to time. Don’t get me wrong. I also love working for tips as they add nicely to my modest income. People in this business depend on them, waiters and waitresses included, to reach a certain level of pay.

It can’t hurt to flirt a tiny bit (bat those eyelashes, girl) to get bigger tips. A smile may do the job but not as much as looking good. I try to dress appropriately for a lounge and wear enough makeup to look attractive. As a result, I have always experimented with different makeup styles and have even gone for the hot look of eyelash extensions. I really do believe that this effort has brought me more tips.

Have you (ladies of course) surveyed the makeup section of your favorite cosmetic store with an eye toward the false lashes? You will see dozens of styles. It is rather amazing and how do you choose the right one for you. There are spidery long lashes and short, fat ones that line the lid well. You can cut them to the desired length if they are too long, but most women prefer that look. They have various names for these appendages: angel eyes, flirtation fancy, or hot mama. It sounds ridiculous but it is a marketing tool. I don’t care. I just like to wear them to look special in the bar at night. No one just watches me make drinks to learn how to do it. They do, however, like to chat and that means looking one another in the face eye to eye. Hence the lashes. It takes more time to get ready for work, but I have my afternoons free. I can apply my makeup and eyelashes hours early and go about my errands or visiting friends before work. Fortunately, the type of makeup I buy is good quality and lasts through the night until I leave work. However, it means at least a half hour at home removing the stuff. Those lashes must come off every night. Some people have them applied by a professional and they can last for up to two weeks. Now this is the way to go! But it is expensive, up to $100 a pop. But maybe it is worth it to save so much time. I get tired when I get home from work and would love to just jump into bed. This may be the route I take in the near future.

False eyelashes of any type, store bought or salon applied, are my best friend. I am more than happy with the way they earn good tips. Who would ever think it?

Life

Pest Free

I work in a popular downtown lounge as a bartender of specialty drinks. We get a variety of customers with different tastes and personalities, but they all have one thing in common. They value our A rating for cleanliness. More than one patron has mentioned it. While some bars in our neighborhood are “B,” we are at the top of the heap. I do believe we get customers who might have gone elsewhere from time to time. Pests, particularly roaches, are the kiss of death for a public place that serves food and drink. We must by all means keep the bugs at bay. Sure, you can set traps or do a bug bomb, but I wonder about its effect on human health.

We had a pest control service at one time, which is the most common solution; but the chemicals leave a residue for a long time. You must leave the premises for hours and hours and make sure no pets are in the place. It is a scary thought—all that toxic stuff. I have taken it upon myself to look for the best roach killer that is “green.” This means that it is only harmful to its target pests. This is important to me because I know someone who had residential extermination service and got home too soon. She could smell the chemicals and started to cough. That is a sign of potential lung damage. I am on the track of something that would never cause such a reaction, even in the most sensitive people. I know we can be pest free safely and securely if I hit my mark. And I did, I read about a company that uses orange oil for termites so you don’t have to tent your property. They also sell a DIY extermination kit for home, office, or store that works in a similar manner in repelling roaches without trapping them with toxic bait. I got on board with this concept and bought the kit right away.

Success! I love to end a blog with a happy conclusion. The solution I bought in fact worked. In fact, it worked fast and just as promised. Just follow the instructions. You place it where roaches are likely to go such as kitchens and wait a few days. Then you either see carcasses you can dispose of or the roaches have departed for good. They don’t like the taste or smell of the powder and it sends them packing. I don’t want to put exterminators out of business, but this product is by far a better alternative. It is cost-effective and doesn’t require a year contract. What could be better. My boss loved my ingenuity but I give credit to a friend who mentioned that he had used orange oil. It all proceeded from there.

You can be bug free safely. Just go online. There are a few sites that sell the roach kill I am touting at a fair price. You need to apply it every other month for a short while during “roach season.”
Good luck.

Life

Fun in the Sun

I love water recreation but I can only do it when I take a vacation to a coastal area or island where I can snorkel. I seek crystal blue water laden with sealife and I take an underwater camera to capture its magic. I can also use my uncle’s inflatable kayak and take lake trips as this opportunity is closer to where I reside. Given my love of outdoor water escape, imagine my surprise when the boss said all the workers could take a day off to go to the beach on a nice day. We had worked hard with many late shifts and it was time for our reward. It takes some time to get to the shore so we had to start early. He gave us the alternative choice of kayaking on the lake in an inflatable canoe that he would rent. I had done this so many times, and while I love it, I opted for the beach. Others wanted to use an inflatable kayak and a small group elected to go that route. The lounge owner said we could also bring friends to share are day off in the sun.

This was going to be a wonderful outing, each group in its own chosen location. Many of us packed lunch and snacks so we would all be provided with ample food. We dug our swimsuits out of storage and tried to find an old beach towel or two. These are colorful and of sufficient size to accommodate even the largest person in our group. We had to find an umbrella, a beach chair or two, an ice chest and thermos. There is nothing like lounging on the beach and digging your toes in the sand to rid yourself of any residual stress or anxiety. Working at night builds tension as we work at a face pace for a demanding clientele.

As we approached the beach in our van, we could see long stretches of golden sand. White-crested waves populated the shore and beckoned us to enter the water. It seemed to go forever into the distance with no land in sight. Not even a channel or island. I know in California you can see oil rigs with flashing lights far off the coast, pumping liquid gold. We trekked down a short windy path through the sand near the road to become closer to the water. Here we set up “camp.” In no time at all, we were ready for our water recreation. Some rented surfboards and others wore snorkeling masks. They walked to some nearby cliffs to see if there was a good location to scout below the surface. As for me, I love to swim and bodysurf in the waves. They were only of modest size but enough to have fun.

The day grew long and it was time to pack up and go. We had to tear ourselves away from the spot. We had a long drive ahead and needed to get started. We had enjoyed a wonderful time together and hoped that another outing would be planned soon.

Life

So Shiny!

This blog is an ode to the pressure washer oddly enough. I recently learned of its many cleanup benefits. I had never used one before or ever considered buying one. Now my tune has changed. This is a handy item that anyone would want to own, and now I do as you probably can tell. If you have dirty exterior walls, a filthy garage, a grimy sidewalk, or a debris-laden fence, you could use a pressure washer to restore everything to normal. It is quick and easy. No skills are required to operate one unless you want maximum commercial use power. I didn’t buy one of this strength. If you do, it means you just must read the instructions or get a demonstration from the supplier. You can also see how they work in many videos online. YouTube if full of DIY information on most any subject and that includes the handy power washer. You will get ideas for other uses as well.

It all started recently at the lounge. The manager called the workers together and explained that it was time to spring clean the place as a group. This way it would go faster. My assigned job was to scrub and polish the bar. I normally clean up diligently at the end of work each night, but he wanted me to “go deeper.” You should be able to eat off the bar, he said. I laughed. Okay, understood. Meanwhile another worker was told that his chore was to power wash the exterior of the building. He liked to have this done at least once a year. It can get dirty from the rain or drunk people throwing drinks against the front wall for no reason. When you work in a lounge, you should expect the unexpected. Most of the time, my work life is rather normal. But over time, the place gets dog-eared and you need a heavy cleaning.

So out came the power washer and I wanted to watch. As I mentioned, I had never seen one in operation before. My friend knew how to wield it skillfully and sprayed the walls with just the right amount of power. I didn’t see him soaked to the bone. That was encouraging. You can use this device and stay in control. We all worked hard because we wanted it to be done so we could get back to our regular routine. The walls and bar counter were squeaky clean and as the boss said—so shiny! He was clearly pleased and we were off the hook for another year.

Okay, not everyone has a use for a power washer, but we clearly did. I now find so many things to do with it, that it has been worth the money. I even loan it to family and friends so it gets an additional workout. It seldom sits idle for long. So don’t hog it all for yourself and you will gain favor with others.

Life

Fun Day with the Family

I work nights as a bartender so my days must be carefully planned. There are but a few precious hours to do errands, tend to my house and yard, see friends, shop, and pamper myself at the salon. I can’t go to the gym at night like other people so it has to be early morning. It is hard to believe, but I fit in all in plus a bit of time to do online research for my job. I am looking for exotic drinks you can make with mescal and they are buried deep in the Web.

Given this horrendous schedule and the fact that I rush around through the day, I am bright eyed and bushytailed in the lounge at night. This week is full to the brim, but there is always the weekend. I look forward to a time of rest and relaxation. It will be broken by a fun day with the family but I don’t mind., We are having a potluck so I am thinking about something different to bring. A potluck to me means that people make the food with their favorite recipes. I am volunteering pork chorizo and I know I am the only one with the skill and the right meat grinder to make it. You buy sausage and add the spices that make it distinctive. You either love it or you don’t, but I find that when I bring it, there are always takers. It is tasty as it bites the tongue and frankly it beats unflavorful turkey sausage any day. You can add as much or little as you like of paprika, salt and pepper, coriander, and cumin. These ingredients give it the magic taste. Some people add garlic and red wine. You slip everything into readymade casings using a sausage stuffer. You can just heat them up or sauté the seasoned sausage in a pan and add peppers and onions for a full meal. It is a versatile and exciting approach to home dining, and perfect for my potluck.

The day of the potluck was glorious as we all brought out our culinary wares. Each specialty was carefully placed on a long, wooden table. After we were done it was a luxurious spread. You didn’t know where to start. Some people actually didn’t know about chorizo but were willing to taste it. What is your secret, they asked? I answered, the meat grinder with the cold coarse attachment, not wanting to give more away. I didn’t need competitors in the family for my cherished specialty. At the end of the day, some food was left, but none of the sausage. It was so unique that everyone wanted a taste. This is to be savored, said more than one person. I was ecstatic that my contribution had been a success. I don’t see why I can’t make it each and every time we all get together. The idea of a potluck is to try new things.

Life

Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean You’re Wrong

I work weird hours, long into the night. I sleep late in the morning which means I skip breakfast. I exist on a liquid diet a lot of the time as I am too busy to make a proper dinner or even to go out. I grab something quick at the lounge, but we have a limited menu. In short, I make do. Sometimes I resort to fattening snacks that people bring to work as a meal substitute. I am worried that I am gaining weight and am even getting a bit paranoid about it. I always prided myself on being a normal weight, if not borderline svelte. Bartending isn’t active exercise so it doesn’t tone you up. At best you are moving your arms as you shake a martini. I have to do more.

To quell my fears about packing on the pounds, I bought a body fat scale to find out. Sure enough, I had added to my physical being a few pounds. Experts say, don’t panic. It is easy to lose small amounts of extra weight. Get out the weights at home or go to the gym. Or diet for just one week. This means no more high caloric snacks, although they taste so good. I love salted almonds and cashews the best. I never was one to turn away crackers and a good cheese. Sweets can be the bane of anyone’s existence and fortunately I can do without chocolate most of the time. It was all so tempting when I was hungry, but I am now going to bring healthy things like raw vegetables and fruit juice to work.

The experts were right. I did lose the weight in one week and returned to normal. The fat fear was gone. I suppose it is a good thing–like an alarm system to keep you aware of your weight. It is so easy to binge eat and see the consequences in a short period of time. Now the only fattening thing I will eat is a small piece of birthday cake to be polite. You don’t want to insult the birthday person by turning it away. Meanwhile I do recommend a bathroom scale with a body fat analyzer attachment. Many of these connect with your laptop and give you daily data. You can monitor your progress easily and make adjustments to your routine.

It is interesting how dependent we are on certain appliances. There are many digital scales on the market at fair prices that will make your life much easier. If I had to choose between an upgraded scale or a new coffeemaker, it would surely be the former. I can always go to the local café. The scale I cannot do without. There isn’t a public one anywhere like there are blood pressure machines in drugstores. So take my word for it and save up.

Life

Long Night Last Night

Something weird happened last night. I think it was a mishap in the kitchen at the lounge where I bartend, and the whole place lost power. I quickly ran into the street to see if other businesses were affected. They were not, and the street lights were on. This meant that the utility company would not be coming and we were on our own. The customers were being patient and didn’t want to leave. They were drinking and were all rather content. We made it clear that we would soon take care of the matter and our dim lighting would go back on.

People liked the spooky atmosphere and started to have conversations with others. Patrons who were normally quiet and morose became verbose. It was an interesting reaction to the power outage. It seems that they were all banding together to survive the dark night, at least until closing. It was hard for me to see to work. At best I could use candles and a big flashlight. But there was a better answer. The owner of the bar, appropriately titled Esperanza Mezcaleria, had a portable generator in the storage room in the back. As he brought it in to power the lounge’s lights and bar appliances, I almost hoped it didn’t work as it would spoil the mood that the darkness had created. But alas, it did work and we could work and drink again in light. It helped us at closing when we had our cleanup routines to execute. The owner was worried about food in the freezers and was not sure the generator would have enough power to keep them going. The workers and manager left for home, all of us with a bag of something to try to preserve. Since it wasn’t a widespread outage caused by a storm, no doubt our freezers would be functioning. Meanwhile, the owner waited for an emergency visit from the electrician.

The next night I found out that one of the workers in the back of the lounge had plugged something into a broken socket, thus causing the power to go out. It could happen to anyone. We just had to be more careful. Meanwhile we returned to normal and the power generator returned to its storage rack. These are great little motors and it would be great to have one at home. They come in large sizes so you can get back to normal after an electrical failure, even if you have a big house. People use the small ones for camping trips, their work area in the garage, and situations like ours at the lounge. I think this is a really useful purchase if you don’t have one. You can research on line to see the range of motor sizes, brands, and prices. Why not look for a sale or discount. As for me, a generator would be one of the most practical buys in my life.