Thursday, November 16, 2006

I would just like to say well done to the United States. Considering that we are one of the more "advanced" or "developed" countries in the world, I think it's pretty embarassing that we now rank behind South Africa (former home of the apartheid) and and about even with, though I would say a bit behind, China (current world leader in annual executions with a whopping 1,770 state-sponsored murders in 2005) concerning civil liberties.

At the end of October, China revamped its death penalty laws, subjecting all lower-court death penalty rulings to review and ratification by the Supreme Court. While the United States has an appeals process that can take death penalty cases to the Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court certainly does not ratify all death penalty cases as this legislation would require the Chinese Supreme Court to do. And, judging by the sheer number of death penalty cases in China, I imagine this will either cause a massive bureaucratic back-log (and, hopefully the high court won't ratify each and every murder) or, a reduction in the number of people initially sentenced to death - thereby, saving lives.

This week, South Africa became the sixth nation in the world to ratify same-sex unions. And while South Africa is probably one of the more progressive nations in Africa, and, obviously, a bastion of the civil rights movement, lets not forget that this is the country that maintained the absolute most violent apartheid recent memory; an apartheid that the U.S. now prides itself on helping - through diplomatic pressure, boycotts etc - to end. South Africa has now surpassed the U.S. in promoting equal rights for everyone.

I've never been more proud to be an American.

(Just in case it doesn't come across over the internets, that last comment just spewed pure sarcasm all over your new shoes).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A little bit ago I posted what some might call a "pessimistic" response to the Dems electoral success. However, I think it is pretty clear that this was simply a "realistic" response to the electoral success of people who haven't even managed to mount an effective smear campaign since the beginning of this century.

This guy says it much better here: corporate casual.com

Funny how that works: his post about the same topic is more funny, more concise, more original and... more widely read.

Monday, November 13, 2006

There are various types of people who come into restaurants who are a host's worst nightmare (drunks, wealthy out-of-towners, children, etc.). And I used to think that it was the nasty people (or, as Boz, calls them if they have a vag: "cunty" - which I would like to extend to everyone, penis- or vag-endowed) who bothered me the most. But then I realized that they are actually not the worst of the bunch.

The worst people who come into restaurants are the annoying people. These are the people who think that they are funny. The people who think we can't see right through their little act; schmoozing with us while they try to get a look at how far down on the list they are. The people who think we haven't heard their jokes about our restaurant before. The people who stand right next to the host stand until their table is ready, supervising us.

Cunty people I can handle because I understand their motivation: they are trying to have their wait for a table extended. They want to spend more time standing instead of sitting down. This is the only possible explanation for their behavior - they don't want to sit down. Because if they did want to sit down, they would be very nice and gracious to us (the people in charge of getting them seated at a table) and then they would leave us alone. But instead they are rude, and derrisive and bother us every 5 minutes - and, in a stunning display of action and consequence, everytime they do that, they get moved further down our list of priorities until they are the last ones standing and we have deuces at 8-tops.

But the irritating people? Seriously, what the fuck? I can't handle them because I don't understand them. All they do is, well, irritate and annoy us. Or distract us from doing our job. Regardless, they take us off our game - and that means that they (and everyone else for that matter) don't get seated as quickly as possible. We can't be curt with them, because they're not being rude to us. So we have to smile and pretend to laugh at their jokes, or care about their adventures trying to get here on the subway, or their kid who works in an italian restaurant back home. When really, all we want to do is do our job so that we can get them the hell out of our hair.

As a for instance, the other night a man kept interrupting DBoz (our maitre d') to make jokes about how long he had been waiting (not long.), or to say "adesso, adesso! do you know what that means? it means 'now' in italian." He was jovial, and obviously just wanted to sit a little early (understandable, as he had a 2 hour quote time), and figured he was ingratiating himself to DBoz. But really, he was making everything at the front go slower because she kept having to talk to him instead of talking to other customers or getting tables seated. And, more importantly for the purpose of this blog, he was driving me up the motherfucking wall and I wanted to a) pull my hair out, b) back hand him and c) scream "leave us alone and let us do our job, it will get you seated sooner and it will help you look like less of a toolbag!" - not necessarily in that order though.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The other night a woman came into the restaurant and gave us the name on her reservation. It was a vaguely familiar - though also not terribly unique - last name, but when I glanced at her phone number, it was a very familiar - and very distant - area code: 303. I love the 303 area code. Love. It.

So I asked her if she was Hannah Katz's mother. She looked completely stunned. And did not recognize me. Which is completely understandable because she hasn't seen me since I was in 5th grade. And I like to think that I've changed a bit since then, even if I haven't filled out much. I told her who I was and she was pretty shocked and excited and told me how excited she was to tell all of the mutual-Jewish-mother-aquaintances that she ran into me.

After her dinner was over, she stopped off to chat, I asked her about what Hannah was doing (PR in Chicago, and happy), she asked about my parents, I told her they were well etc. etc. And then things turned nasty. She mentioned that her husband had just run the NY Marathon. And I was going to let that one slide because, well, how was she to know that I was feeling guilty about not having gone running all week? But then she uttered those painful words I have been dreading hearing since I took this job (and, let's be honest, since I graduated) "So! What else are you doing?"

I told her I was paying rent. And then pretended to have to help a customer.

Bitch.

[Defensively]: Maybe He's A Grow-er; Not A Show-er!

And She's Seen a Lot of Flayed Plasticinated Penises

Woman: Damn, that model has the smallest penis I've ever seen!

--Bodies Exhibit, South Street Seaport


via Overheard in New York, Nov 9, 2006

(one of the few overheards where I think maybe my headline would have been better)

So, barring another recount debacle (why does this shit always happen in the South?), it looks as though the Senate may go Democratic. And I'm as excited about that as any other non-religious-zealot-American, but, um, let's not get our hopes up.

I read a comment on some site where the person said (paraphrasing), "I hope it's true because I would really like to see someone stick it to George Dubya."

But I'm thinking, "who cares?" We basically just elected a bunch of impotent/incompetent middle-of-the-roaders who haven't managed to mount so much as an effective press conference in the last six years to the control of our Congress. And while I would rather have them in control than the right wing fanatics, I think it is important that we realize that this doesn't mean the next two years are going to be full of do-gooding from the Congress. It simply means nothing will get done for the next two years because the wimps (read: Democrats) now have control of the Congress and the Republicans can no longer do what they want, when they want, how they want with no opposition, except from 'the people' - who, I think we can all safely agree, no one listens to anymore.

Point being: I don't think there's going to be any "sticking it" to Bush. I think the Dems will be lucky to get through the next two years without the Republican minority making them cry.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

So... I have an internship. And at this internship, I basically have one project. And it sucks. It is completely miserable. And I have been avoiding it almost as effectively as if it were, say, a homework assignment.

So... even though I got tonight off of work - in an unbelieveable stroke of luck, the kind of which I have never, never experienced in a paid working environment - and I was planning I was taking advantage of the unexpected free time to be productive and bang out several of the updates necessary for me to complete the project.

But... instead, I'm on my fourth free full episode of 'The Class' from CBS. (Which reminds me, "get with the program NBC. Even CBS has free full episodes. And CBS normally just reminds me of my grandmother.") Now, I am actually pretty surprised a) that I like the show as much as I do and b) that I have already watched this many episodes in one sitting. (Which, by the way, is on a broken, straight-backed, wood chair with no seat cushion. yes, please.)

But it has, like other free episodes, occasional commercials. One that has been featuring prominently tonight is a commercial for Listerene's new Vanilla Mint mouthwash - advertised as "less intense" though equally effective. Which I happened to buy a couple of weeks ago. And, well, let me just say that it is as awesome as it sounds. And, like the commercial says, it is worth celebrating. So consider this post, and this (waste of an) evening, a celebration of the new, Vanilla Mint mouthwash from Listerene. If you could, I'd drink it for dessert. But you can't. Trust me. Less intense does not equal potable.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mission Update The Blog Regularly: Not Accomplished.

Mission Use The Blog As A Stepping Stone To Acting Like A Real-Life Adult: Impossible.

You can call me Tom Cruise.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's a new month, and that means (for right now) that it's time for a new leaf. Monologuer has been minimally functional for the last few weeks (read: months). He goes to work, and does a pretty good job there. He stops by the grocery store occasionally. Puts in an appearance at his internship once a week. And grabs the occasional beer with friends (read: himself). He sleeps late. Forgets to mail back his Netflix movies. Watches free full episodes on abc.com. Does the very, very occasional load of laundry. And very rarely, takes out the trash and recyclables. He hasn't even made tuna salad in recent memories - which used to be one of the big accomplishments/highlights of his week.

But that's all changing. Monologuer is going to start functioning, if not like an adult, then at least return to the level of functionality he had when he was a college student - when he managed to wake up on time or early, run, study, work/volunteer, write papers, stay in touch with his family and drink heavily when the opportunity presented itself. So, in the spirit of taking baby steps, Monologuer is going to start updating his blog on a regular basis. At least every other day. Which means that some (read: most) of the updates are going to be boring and you're probably going to wish you had the time spent reading them back. But, the point is that there will be updates. Because updating the blog is a baby step towards grander accomplishments. Like calling my sisters. Or looking up grad programs. Or applying to the Peace Corps. Or drinking outside of my apartment. With other people.

Get excited. Let the madness begin. Carpe Diem. La Vida Loca. Time for you to get a watch. Your mom goes to college. Whatever, I do what I want! Love ya mean it. Thank you for calling The Restaurant, this is Monologuer, how can I help you? I'm an ashole. I'm going to work from home today. Fat Carol!

Expect a lot of posts that focus solely on the little things that entertain me.

For instance: listening to KBCO.com's new music monday online. It may not be new, but it's new to me, and, like Christopher Columbus before me, I'm taking all the credit for its discovery.

(Also, editing and proof-reading are going out the window, so keep your grammar/punctuation/syntax/spelling comments to yourselves. I do what I want!)

PS. You should make a point of commenting. Especially if I miss a few days. Consider this "Intro to Jewish Mothers' Guilt Trips 101" - and I want you all to get A's.