Friday, August 26, 2016


I can still feel the tears on my eyelashes.
            I really hope it’s not surgery.
            Not again.
            I found a second grey hair last week.

            When my first alarm goes off in the morning, I hit the snooze button.  Frank rolls over and wraps his arms around me so that we can cuddle for ten minutes until my second alarm goes off.
            I have never—not one single day in my adult life that I can recall—woken up rested, refreshed, and/or ready to face the day.  It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I don’t want to wake up.

            Frank is still in bed 25 minutes later, when I’m ready to walk out the door.
            I crawl across the covers, snuggle up next to him and ask, “What time are you getting up?”
            “I dunno,” he answers groggily.
            “Do you have to work today?”
            “I worked extra hours all week so I’m off today.”
            “Oho, jerk!  Then you’re driving tonight.”

*                      *                      *

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


“How do you come back from that?”

            How do you come back from that? 
            I’ve been asking myself that question for three weeks now, and I still don’t have an answer.
            Not really.
            How do you go from looking upon mountains to staring at spreadsheets all day?
            How do you climb a glacier . . . and then just go back to sitting at a desk?

Thursday, May 12, 2016


“Looks like you’re getting a bath tonight, baby,” I say aloud, my voice oddly muffled inside my helmet.
            The sky to the right of me—south—is a pale blue smattered with white clouds.
            The sky at my left is ominous with black storm clouds. 
            At a stop light, I glance down at the middle finger of my right hand.  It is smeared with blood, but the blood is dry.  Oh good, at least it stopped bleeding.  A flap of skin is clearly separated from the fingertip where it should be attached, and the exposed inside of the digit stings with pain each time I grip the throttle. 
            This has not been a good week for my skin staying affixed to my body. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Culinary Execution

My cooking game has been in the shitter lately.
            I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with me. 
A few weeks ago, I was trying to make thai red curry with the beef stew meat that Nicole gave me last time I worked.  I browned the meat, chopped all the veggies, mixed in the sauce ingredients, and set the slow cooker to cook on Low for 8 hours.  That was at 9 o’clock at night.  I woke up in the middle of the night and set the slow cooker to “Keep Warm.” 
Or so I thought.
I accidentally set it on High.
By the time I woke up, I had myself a well-done beef stew. 
The carrots soaked up all the curry flavor. 
Look here, I like a couple carrots grated into my curry.  But Green B.E.A.N. Delivery doesn’t let you buy just two carrots, so I bought a pound.  (I signed back up in January, because they were running a special where you got 20% off your first 3 orders.)  And then I had a brilliant idea:  I wasn’t going to use rice with this curry, so if I grated all the carrots into it, they would give it the texture of rice! 
Well that stroke of genius certainly backfired.
Luckily Frank liked it, so I gave it all to him and just roasted some frozen chicken thighs to use as my lunches for the week.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Does Your Beef Swing?

“Look who finally decided to show up.”  Today I get to gloat about getting to work before any of the boys.  Grace had me come in at 8:30, when it was just her and Tommy here.  Usually the boys are here around 6 or 7am; I wonder why today’s different.
            Tommy tells me:  Kyle and Gus were supposed to drive down to Texas this weekend for a friend’s graduation.  They rented a car, packed their bags, picked up the rental car, and started driving south.  About three hours later, their friend called and told them that graduation is next weekend.  (Aww . . . they’re so pretty.)  So even though we’re staffed extra this weekend to compensate for their expected absence, now they have to work in order to make up the money for the extra car rental.  But, it’s also Easter Saturday, so we’re expecting to be busy anyways.
            The shop looks unusually clean.  Not sanitized, just picked up—decluttered.  I guess they finally had time to recover from the holiday rush.  I mean, they still need new floors and the back room’s ceiling is water damaged and caving in, but all the empty boxes have been cleared out (thrown away, not recycled, ugh) and things have been reorganized.  There are two new stainless steel rolling tables in back by the smokers so that Burt and Kyle have more room to work.  And there’s a new shelving unit back by Grace’s desk with all the backstock of non-meat food items (red beans and rice boxes, barbecue sauces, pickle jars, etc.). 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Some Girls get Roses

Some girls get roses for Valentine’s Day.
            If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you may have surmised by now that I am, in fact, not one of those girls. 
            There was a time when I gave whatever cursory attention I could to the holiday, but those were the days of giving a valentine to everyone in the class.  Since then, I’ve always made sure that I have something to do on the V-day—work, volunteer—anything to take the focus off of the VD and place it somewhere else.  It’s not that I didn’t care about love, or even that I didn’t have anyone to share it with.  It’s just that if you love someone—platonically or romantically—you should show them every day; there shouldn’t need to be only one designated day on which to celebrate it. 
            What a cruel hand Fate dealt me then, when I met Frank.  On Valentine’s Day.        

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cleaver Fever

The day after Christmas we aren’t opening until noon.
            I told Tommy I would meet him here at 8am to help with the post-Christmas Eve disaster cleanup. 
            Four whole hours without customers!
            I arrive a little early, and receive a text from Grace that she is running late, and Tommy is running late, so she’s on her way to unlock the shop for me; then she’ll turn around, pick Tommy up, and bring him here. 
Tommy doesn’t drive.  A few months after I started working here in 2012, he let the plates on his car expire and never renewed them.  It was an unreliable car that didn’t work very well anyways, and he doesn’t really go anywhere other than home and work.  He lives maybe ten minutes away from the shop. 

There are empty lugs in the cooler that need the blood rinsed out of them. 
Someone made blue cheese sauce at some point, and when they were done, instead of putting the bowl, ladle, and spatula in the sink, they tossed it inside one of the bloody lugs.
Tons of trays are stacked in the old cold sink water. 
There’s a pile of ground meat on the floor in the cooler that didn’t make it from the grinder into the catch lug. 
The case is exactly the way I left it three nights ago, minus all the orders that were picked up; none of the fresh meat trays were wrapped, and now everything is turning brown.
The box of 60-day-old tenderloins that our distributor gave us last week is still sitting on its side in the cooler; Grace wants to show it to them when they drop off their next shipment so they know she didn’t make it up.
I feel like I need a hazmat suit instead of latex gloves and an apron.