Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16th, a day between days.

On this date in 1958, Ford Motor Company produced its 50 millionth car, the thunderbird, while ten years later on this date in 1968, General Motors produced its 100 millionth car, the Oldsmobile Toronado.

Only two of the interesting things that happen between the ides of March and St. Patrick's Day.

That, and it was my day off today, as well.

So, I finally remembered the funny story about my sister, which I spoke about in my last entry.

I was at work, the other night, straightening out the spices, when I was reminded of something my sister did, many, many years ago. I think it was around 1991 or 1992. Anyway, she had been to a bar the night before and she contacted me to see if I could find out some information on a drink she had tried. I asked her if she knew what was in it or the name of the drink. She stated that she could not remember the name, but that from what she was told and how it tasted, she knew it had some form of butterscotch in it, some cream, and a bay leaf. I told her that I had no idea what she had had, as I knew of no drinks that contained a bay leaf in them. Upon a little reflection, I realized that she had misheard the ingredients and that what she thought was a bay leaf was actually Baily's Irish Cream. Mix that with butterscotch schnapps, and you get a great shot that I do not actually want to post the name of on here.

So anyway, that was my other laugh of the day. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi day and other musings

Happy Pi day everyone. The day of the year when the date is 3.14.

Anyway, So last night at work I had two things happen. One reminded me of my mom and the other one reminded me of my sister.

While working last night, the manager went on the intercom and called for a specific employee to report the 97 wall. (Just FYI, the 97 wall is meat wall, lunch meat, bacon, etc). So I thought to myself, well at least he wasn't called to the 86 wall. This reminded me of when mom and I were working at Waffle House in Tucson Arizona. She was working the afternoon shift with a grill operator named Tony. Usually, the grill operator is the person in charge of the shift when the manager isn't there, but the manager would always leave my mom in charge and mom would let Tony "think" he was in charge. Anyway, Some people were being obnoxious, so Tony was going to throw them out of the restaurant. He told the people "That's enough, I want you guys out of here you are being 69'ed". My mom then yelled "Tony! The number is 86!".

Ahhh, funny stories.

Now if I can only remember what it was that reminded me of my sister, so I could tell that funny story as well. Maybe I will remember later.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Super China Buffet

First, let me point out that I am not really a fan of buffets. But I do enjoy them every once in a while, and as with buffets, I am not much of a fan of Asian food, but I do enjoy it at times as well.

Recently, I received a group of coupons in the mail for various businesses. While looking through it, I noticed about 3 Asian restaurants that I had never heard of before. So, when the Cubbie came over for this weekend, I let him choose the one we would go to for dinner.

His choice was the Super China Buffet.

The location was south of Purdue, in Lafayette, off of Old Hwy 231 in a shopping center with a Payless grocery store and other businesses. The decor was what I would call typical of most Asian establishments that I have had the pleasure of dining at. Andrew pointed out a lone picture on one of the walls in what appeared to be a faux antique gold frame of a vase of flowers. His comment was "it must have come with the place".

I found the atmosphere to be very pleasing, and the buffet and dining areas were in a constant state of being cleaned. If a spill occurred, it was wiped up almost immediately. The staff was friendly and ensured that empty plates did not stay on our table for long. Apparently while we were there, a group of locals were also eating. When they left, they each gave the waitress a hug on the way out. Of the other patrons at the establishment, they appeared to be having a great time as well. The occupancy was not crowded but approximately 1/3 full, yet the food was constantly fresh.

At most Asian buffets that I HAVE had the pleasure of experiencing, most had served food that was, in my opinion, dryer than I would have liked it. Everything was served hot and fresh, and the flavor I found to be magnificent. Andrew, who is very critical about Chinese food in general, especially after living and working in China for a year, actually stated that it was the best buffet he has found in Lafayette for Chinese food, even though he stated that the amount of items he felt was lacking in quantity.

Overall, I will give this location 8 out of 10 stars. The food was excellent, the staff was friendly, but several of the dining room chairs had major rips with foam stuffing hanging out. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in the Purdue area.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why is there always room for jello?

I went back to work at Walmart this past evening, after having about almost 3 months off from work. I was actually due to start back a while ago, but the person in human resources forgot to change my status from Inactive to Active, so that I could be placed on the schedule.

But all is well. Had a good time, working aisle 8 for most of the night. For those that don't know, aisle 8 is the general location for all baking ingredients, spices, marshmallows, Jello, etc.

During the course of the evening, I like to watch people as they shop and offer my help if needed. One of the best things to watch is the college students as they come into Walmart to purchase Alcohol. So then I spend time judging them for the types and amounts of alcohol they purchase in addition to any mixers they purchase. It is a fun game that I like to play while working.

The best part about working in aisle 8, includes the area including all the jello. There is always room for jello. We all should know this. But most of the people that purchase jello at 1am or 2am in the morning, are college students looking for ways to make jello shots. Such amateurs. My boss thinks it is fairly funny that I have spent time talking college students into the proper method for making jello shots, what flavors go well as jello shots, and what flavors do not go well as jello shots.

I don't just teach people about things like that, I also spent about 10 minutes teaching two really cute guys, I think they were brothers because they were arguing about how each remembers how their mom made biscuits and gravy. So I took the time to make sure they understood the different methods and ways of making gravy for biscuits. Now, I did not give them all my secrets, but I did give them some pointers on how to make sure it cooks properly.

I think it is one of my favorite parts about the job. In addition to putting stock away, I offer people advice on different products and answer questions they might have. I don't think anyone else in the group of people I work with know the differences between Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, and regular olive oil.

I am thinking about making a proposal to the general manager that employees should be trained and specialized in different areas of the grocery department, to help people make informed decisions. My recent title as Certified BBQ Judge, should allow me to discuss with customers the different types of BBQ and proper cooking techniques for an excellent BBQ experience.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good day, I am about to head to bed, so I will chat with you all later in the day.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Treasured Family (blood & extended)

Recently, several friends have lost family members. Almost all of them talk about the pain of watching their loved ones as they fade away. It, along with my work on genealogy, has made me evaluate the ties to my family.

For those that really know me, I have lots of friends I consider my extended family. As for actual blood relatives, I can count each of them on both hands (and maybe one foot, my sister has 6 kids, that takes up one hand already). Then there is my one and only sister who is 22 months older than me. Other family members I talk with regularly are my mom's only living sister, Judy & her husband Bob, there son Tommy and another cousin in Pensacola (Mika). Those are just the family members on my moms side of the family. My dads side of the family is very different. They do not regularly speak with me, and as far as I can tell, they NEVER speak with my sister (Kay). Now I can tell you that my dads side of the family considers Kay and I to be sinners, but apparently they feel that my sister is more of a sinner than I, which is really confusing, considering Kay just had children out of wedlock, while I am gay. I think Kay told me one time that she had given up trying to be nice to dads family, while I kind of force my way in during most major holidays and birthdays. They have also apparently shunned two of my cousins (Robbie & Eric), which I would be happy to see or speak to someday.

Anyway. as the song say's, time keeps on slipping away. and I cry deeply for those that have lost loved ones, especially due to debilitating illnesses or just the passage of time. Even the loss of a young child is hard to grasp and deal with, and I guess that is why we have emotions.

I count myself as one of the lucky ones. When my mother passed back in August of 1999, it was totally unexpected. She had an unknown brain aneurysm that just popped, and while she remained conscience for a very short while, she was gone within minutes. There was no apparent suffering or warning, she was just gone. I can not imagine what it has been like for those that have had to watch their parents deteriorate into mere nothingness and pass on. I know the pain I felt when it happened suddenly, but to watch it happening and knowing there is nothing that can be done has to be excruciating.

My dad was another story. He and I hardly spoke for a long time, but towards the end, we had started talking more regular. He had been in and out of the hospital due to complications with his knee and hip surgery. He was in the hospital due to a nasty infection that had developed within his new hip. So they removed his hip and packed it full of antibiotics. Unfortunately, that was not enough and one evening he went into cardiac arrest and was unable to be saved. That was January of 2000, five months after my mom had passed.

We just passed the 11th anniversary of my fathers passing and are coming up on the 12th anniversary of my moms

To my friends that have lost family members recently, you never truly get over the loss, but it does get better. Certain holidays are still very difficult for me to handle, such as mothers and fathers day, birthdays, and special occasions. I do know in my heart, that they are with me always, as a part of me. What they have taught me, I have gained from their knowledge. I use their knowledge to pass on the information to others, so that the memory stays alive.

For know, all I can say is I am here if you ever need someone to talk to, cause I know what you are going through.