Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lame, But I Like It...

It's lame that I took a picture of this and even more lame that I posted it. But I love my new contact case:


My contacts once got thrown away by a cute boy who thought the case was his.

"Um...I think I just threw your contacts out. "

Funny now, not so funny at the time as it was Christmas Eve! And also, my last pair...this was when I started either hiding my case at bed time or bringing one that was completely different. I wish I had this one then...but at least I know it'll never happen again. (Or at least while I have this case!)

Chain Reaction Memories

At the family reunion a few weeks ago my cousin and I amused our other cousins with stories from when we were growing up. It was fun remembering how silly we were and the things we did. I was very lucky to have grown up with her and looking back, she is one of the best things about moving to CT for me. (We moved from all of the family I loved dearly in NY when I was in kindergarten.)

While we were talking I remembered the time she came to my bus stop (we lived just a few houses away, across the street). We were very little-maybe 1st or 2nd grade? I'm sure if I look up the song, I could tell, but right now I'm too lazy...in any case, Tiffany started singing Madonna's "Like a Virgin". Which was fine-it was one of the songs we performed in our little concerts in the back yard. But...my mom was there, waiting for the bus to pick us up. And I hadn't yet had "the talk".

(In fact...I STILL haven't ever had "the talk"!)

Knowing my mother, I knew that at some point she'd make a comment about it. And sure enough, she did.

When I walked in the door that day after school she stopped me. She said, "Today at the bus stop Tiffany was singing "Like a Virgin". Do you know what a virgin is?".

Well effing hello to you too mother! Yes, my day was fine...

I blushed and scoffed and quickly said, "YES!" and walked away. That was the end of that...except that for the next week I was mad at Tiffany and she didn't know why!! Isn't it funny how kids are? We laughed really hard about that one.

I thought about this today while driving to my parent's house. What jogged my memory was actually another memory about my mom. We had gone to a friends house for the 4th of July and started home really late. The part of CT I am from is really very scenic and woody and so many of the roads were not lit. We must not have had AC in the car b/c I opened my window-and my mother yelled, "Shut the window! You never know if someone's going to throw a firecracker in the car from the woods!"

Idiotic, right? Except that for years, I worried about this-and not just with firecrackers. I worried that people would be hiding in the woods, waiting for us to drive by just so they could throw things at us. Idiotic, right?

Except that one Halloween in high school my friends and I were driving back to a house and a guy jumped out of the woods and threw something at the car! Hard! We swerved and freaked out and sped the entire way home. We worried what the damage would be like. It had to have been a rock with the sound it made and the jolt it gave the car.

Except that what it actually was, was a big ball of tuna fish. Complete with celery and onions. So my Mom wasn't too far off.

The funniest part of the tuna story was that a year later I had a cast party at my house for one of the plays I was in. My friend brought her newest boyfriend and after a few hours it was just a small group of us left. We started talking and the boyfriend said, "OMG-that's nothing. Last year Tom and I threw a tuna ball at a car driving by. It was hilarious!"

Now, my friend was one of the girls in the car with me and the look on her face was priceless. It was so hysterical because of her face and his reaction (telling his victims without even knowing it!) that we couldn't be angry. And really, it was a tuna ball. Thrown at our car. That is some pretty funny shit.

Just goes to show you how safe of a town I grew up in...we got assaulted with tuna.

So I know that was a pretty random post of old memories, but there really is a progression to how I remembered all of these things today. You just gotta trust me on that one. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday

It's funny when I see people excited for Friday these days. Because, well, all of my days are Fridays. With the exception of cooking for The Family, I obviously have no obligations. Which pretty much stinks, but sometimes it's nice. I'm actually worried that when I do finally get the chance to work that I'll be so used to NOT working that it'll stink. But I honestly don't think that'll be the case-maybe the first few mornings, but really, I want to get out of this apartment and make some money!

Which leads me to my next thought-I'm officially in the "red". As Mo said on Facebook, at least I did well for this long (remember, I've been unemployed since December!) but it's still not a good feeling seeing the negative number in your bank account. Especially when you're as proud as I am (yes, too proud) and do not want to ask my parents for money.

Anyone need any baked goods? LOL...

I am still waiting to hear from the seller. He did acknowledge that he got my email and he said he'd sent the non-disclosure but still hasn't. It's my own stupid fault for trusting him and sending both in the same email. I don't honestly think he'll steal any of the info, but he owns the cafe...he could easily re-open and use my ideas. I didn't give him my menu, so at least that's safe...but still. I shouldn't have been so trusting. Hopefully he'll send it to me today.

So today I'm feeling like I want to take the chance. It's a risk. There's a huge possibility that I will fail. Too many restaurants do, it's just the nature of the business. But it's my passion and anyone who's seen me cook knows this. I'm at peace when I'm chopping, sauteing, baking...I'm dead tired and sore but my soul is singing. I make old men jump into the air and click their heels together (really-someone did that when they found out what I was making them. An older, professional man, who didn't look like he could jump that high!). People will themselves not to eat an entire tart I've made and then lose the battle. There are hardly ever many leftovers.

People like my food. I know I'm not saving lives, but for the half hour or so that they are eating what I've made with my hands, I am making them happy. And then I am happy. I could never feel like this working in an office. Sure, I am always proud of my reputation of being reliable, upbeat and accurate. And while I'm there, I'm (most of the time) not miserable. But my soul sure as heck is not singing.

So, I might fail. Statistics say that I will. But if I pass this up, I don't think I will ever get to find out if I can do this. And if I am blessed with the gift of old age I don't want to look back knowing that I was too scared to jump.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hot & Cold

I get mixed feelings about the cafe. Yesterday I was feeling like there's no way in the world I'd pass this up. I finished my business plan-which is really good, if I do say so myself-talked to Melisa (on the phone!) about marketing ideas, visited the fire department and spoke with the health agent. I also measured the storefront window and checked out my competition. I felt like it was already mine & talking with my Dad sealed the deal.

But then I got home and read an email from the zoning board telling me that I will have to file for a special variance for the seating and the emails says that the chairman suggests I get a lawyer to do this. She's going to call me today to speak in more detail, but to me this says trouble & money. Trouble I do not want and money I do not have. I do not know if I have to already own the business in order to apply for this variance. If that is the case, the deal is off. Unless the seller is willing to do this prior to the sale. There's no way I'd operate with only 4 seats. How ridiculous is that anyway? I am amazed that they got away with seating 12 people in there, only because the cafe is right across the street from town hall and many of the "important" people ate there!

Then there's the case of the "what if's?". I get them and then push them away. Last night I was thinking about what if the cafe failed and I ended up in more debt than I was prior to moving to Boston (and since then have paid off). Then I said to myself that I'm broke now and am not doing what I love to do (well, when I was working) so I might as well be broke and cooking. So then in my mind, it's back on.

I guess today is going to be a pivotal day for me. Depending on what the zoning board has to say and also what the seller responds with. Incidentally, he still has not returned my non-disclosure form and quite frankly, that makes me angry.

Thank God it's cooler today...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Randomivity


This heat wave we're having is a killer. I'd rather have this than the rain, but yikes is it HOT!

I stepped on Boston College's campus for the first time yesterday and two words came to mind. (1) Entitled (2) Beautiful. There are some really pretty buildings there.

Yesterday I swore that I heard a man tell the insurance agent he was talking to on the phone that the car accident gave him a sore dick. I realized he said neck, but for a second there I was impressed by his honestly and appalled at his choice of words!!

Clearly I do not have kids so I have not perfected the art of tuning them out when they are annoying. But yesterday it was the father of the kid that I wanted to kill. "Cold, cold. Cold, cold. Mommy's going to get you cold, cold Sammy. Cold, cold water." WTF? Since when is water called "cold, cold" and why did he have to say it that many times? It didn't help that the man had a lisp either.

I always finish my dinner before The Family does. Just the way it goes. So when The Dad is home, I try to clean up quietly so I get a jump on things and can leave earlier. I put the faucet on low so it doesn't make noise and am sure to not clink dishes around. I think this is very courteous of me. Last night, The Dad turned around and said, "By the way (he always says that and I HATE it), don't be afraid to use a lot of water. The guy who fixed our drain the last time told us we have small pipes and have to flush them out well." Seriously? Is he so crazy that he felt the need to tell me this? Usually I let things go, but this time I said, "I always do-I'm trying to be quiet because you are eating. It's just a spoon, so I thought it would be OK." The Mom scolded him and he looked like he felt stupid.

I went to Target to find a fan after work and of course, they were out. While walking down the isle I stayed all the way to the right, like the unwritten rule states. There was no one else in the isle with me...until an employee made a B-line toward me looking at the shelf across from me. I thought he'd walk on his side and allow me to pass, but he just kept coming. So I said, "Seriously? You're going to expect me to move?" He just kind of scoffed and said sorry. I wanted to run his little ass over. (This reminds me of Greg's post HERE.)

I spoke with several officials in the town I might be a business owner in. They all seemed very nice, even the lady the seller told me was a bitch. Today I go to meet the Fire Chief and the Health Inspector.

Lance Armstrong is not squeezable.

Sometimes terms are talked about several time and then changed. I do not know why I am surprised.

It's good to have someone to worry for you but to also be your cheerleader.

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Updates

I don't have very much to update you on today. I did a lot more pricing and spreadsheets & called every department in the prospective town. I was able to speak directly with the building inspector (who I was told was kind of difficult, but I found her to be very nice.) She gave me some interesting information about the seating. Apparently they were only licensed for 4! I'm not sure if this is an error or not, but I am waiting for the Zoning department to give me the right answer. The sale is contingent on me being able to get all of my licenses and zoning so if I can't get more than 4 seats I'm out. Why they'd only let a business have 4 seats is beyond me-you'd think they want me to be successful. It's not about the building or fire codes either-it's about parking!

So anyway...

I'm also going to meet the Fire Chief tomorrow. He might not actually be there, but I have a letter to drop off-I hope I get to meet him though. I found a really nice, smallish griddle that can actually afford (well, once the deal is done) and that would GREATLY increase my ability to succeed. I could then offer omelets, pancakes, french toast, eggs, home fries...I mean, it'll really help. But I need to know what the requirements are for me to run it. It's electric and has no open flame, and the fireman I talked to seemed to think I didn't need much, but the chief will tell me for sure. If I don't need much extra, it's a go. If I get the seating AND the go ahead for the griddle, my mind will be 100% made up and I'll get my pen out.

That's pretty much all I've been up to. I went to Panera again today for about an hour to use their AC. There were really annoying people around me though and I just couldn't concentrate. I was getting frustrated because I wanted to finish the spreadsheet but I wasn't adding right because I was listening to 2 old men argue about why they hate TJ Maxx (really) and a geeky college kid laughing with the most obnoxious laugh EVER.

I only had 1 cup of coffee. Hopefully I'll sleep before 3am.

Toosdae ?'s


So...it's been a while since I've posted at 1:30am...but I'm up, so I thought I'd throw this week's Toosdae ?'s up just in case anyone else is up! I actually went to bed around 1am and ended up having an epiphany that led me back to hope. I think I might actually be able to do this...at least I "think" so. And by this (in case you live under a rock) I'm one signature away from owning a cafe...sleep has to come...but I think it'll be lost until I decide either way. Anyway-take my mind off of numbers and such and answer this weeks questions, will ya?

1. You are wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. What color socks do you have on?

2. Do you wear a belt on a regular basis? If so, what color is it?

3. What is one fashion trend that you wish was back in style so you could strut your stuff in it? When it was in style, did you wear it then?

1. If it is a black t-shirt, I'll put on white ankle socks. But if it's a dressier shirt-I shouldn't be wearing sneakers & shame on me if I am! (I'd wear sandals or boots or flats...depending on the weather.

2. I wear a belt when I wear most jeans because the back of my pants always tend to ride low. I can, in fact, pull down every pair of pants & shorts I own without unbuttoning them if I don't have a belt on. My belt is reversible...black and brown.

3. I used to love hats and had many that I wore on different occasions in the late 80's and very early 90's. I actually look pretty good in fashion hats (if I do say so myself) and I always felt fun and cool and pretty when I wore them. Sadly, I don't look good in many of the hats people wear today, and so I don't wear them unless it's very cold (or I'm at a baseball game).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mooching


I have a lot of thinking to do today as well as a more detailed business plan & some phone calls to make. It's freakin' hot here in Boston though. They say it's only in the high 80's (Yesterday was 92 I think) but it feels like it's in the 100's. I think it's because there is no breeze.

My 5th floor apartment gets hot on normal days (I keep windows open in the winter) so as you can imagine it's quite toasty in here without the use of my AC. Last summer this was fine because I was at work all day and only used it for a few hours while reading or watching TV and then to sleep. But now that I'm home more often, it's on all of the time-and is very costly. I've tried sticking it out, but it gets hard for me to breath after a while (asthma). That being said, I think today I am going to take a walk up to Panera for a few hours, use a big booth as a desk (I don't have a desk at home) and soak up all of THEIR AC while I work.

My 2 worries?

1. I'll get distracted by the people
2. I'll drink too much coffee and will be up for days.

I think it's worth the risk. If nothing else, I get out of the house for a few hours, right?

Have a great day! I'll keep you posted on the developments of the cafe if there are any.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jumble

I don't think I've slept more than 4 hours straight over the last couple of days. I've been negotiating deals, cooking breakfasts and painting walls...all in my dreams. It's been very tiring.

Today was a very long day-mostly because I'm so tired, but also because my parents came up from CT to have lunch and to go see the cafe. Overall, it was a very positive day and in fact, ended with us making an offer and the seller accepting. This is all contingent on me having a solid business plan (I do) and the equipment/space passing inspection-which I think it will.

Nothing is signed though, and my Dad made it clear that he has a few concerns. First, he doesn't know if I will be able to make enough money to support myself. He's basing this off of the numbers we saw today in the sellers "books". What's weird to me is that he shows they only served about 25-35 customers a week. I know it's a small space, but really, that's very little. They must have been doing something wrong.

So anyway, my Dad wants me to think more about this deal and wants me to crunch more numbers. I'm no good at numbers. I had a spread sheet and realized it was wrong. I just skipped a step, but it still skewed the numbers and made things seem better than they were. So I'm worried I'll do it again and that I'll end up going bankrupt.

These are risks any business owner takes, I know. But I want to be successful and I don't want my dream to go down the toilet.

I've got a lot to think about and a head full jumbled info. I need to process this. My friend Jess thinks I should go for it-she said she doesn't know anything about the business, but she knows what her tummy tells her-and that is that I am good at what I do.

My dad called me a "world class chef" today. That was nice.

I still need to process.