Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm about to head out to the airport, and I'm hoping this stomach bug I've been fighting decides to cooperate. I have visions of airport security swooping in to kick me off the flight (they can do that if you're sick, I think). This might be an unrealistic fear, but it's my fear. I'm owning it :-).

At first I thought I had finally given myself food poisoning and the thought was like bitter, bitter ashes in my mouth. I pride myself, and brag unduly, about my stomach being able to handle everything.  Well, yesterday I feared that everything didn't include Thursday's pasta, as I slowly progressed from nausea to dry heaving to throwing up. At work. In a restaurant.  No, they didn't send me home.  It would in fact be totally deserved if I did get food poisoning, if only due to the amount of boasting I do about not ever getting it.

I ended up calling out sick today, since I still felt crappy. I'm hoping this doesn't get me in trouble, since I'm so new, but who wants a pukey waitress? Seriously? And it's not like my last few tables of the night got good service anyway. I had the energy of a slug. One covered in salt.  It's hard to be perky and upbeat when you're trying not to throw up on the customers.  However, they all knew I had a flight today so I hope they don't think I'm exaggerating my illness due to my flight.  I guess we'll see. I think they like me, and I really was sick, so I'm going to try to be optimistic.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I've always been someone who gets attached to objects, sometimes overly so.  I've carted boxes of books, trinkets and furniture across the country in a minivan, packed so tights that my cats were stacked in their carriers in between the front seats.  I hold onto things I no longer need because I can still remember the moment when those things were new - it's hard for me to view it as junk.

One of the things I dragged with me on my move from Florida was a delicate little glass vase, filled with smooth white stones and a small posy of fake lavender. Sometimes the lavender gets replaced with a real flower, but even when I don't have fresh flowers in the house that dainty little vase brightens it up.

It's probably not really anything special to look at for anyone but me, but I love that vase. I got it in Germany during my graduation trip with my dad to the World Cup.  It was a once in a lifetime trip and I was excited and pretty pleased with myself for being there. I had just gotten my first job, right out of school, in a company I had been interning for and I was feeling optimistic and happy about my future and my present.  Walking along sightseeing I saw it displayed in the glass front of a store, along with other colorful housewares and glass jewelry.  It looked so sweet and fresh that I went in and bought it, stones, fake flowers and all.  I wanted it immediately, even though packing a delicate glass vase into a suitcase already crammed full isn't either easy or practical. It's made it across an ocean and later across a country.  I wanted to be the kind of person that had those kind of things; to be just as sweet and fresh and clean as that vase looked to me.

This morning I was rocketed out of bed by the sound of breaking glass. One of my cats, who loves to touch everything with her paws and takes advantage of night time to go where she shouldn't, had knocked it off the shelf it was resting on.  The vase was shattered and the pretty river rocks were scattered across my floor.

It was just a vase.  But still, looking at those pieces of glass, which reminded me of the shiny bright store in Germany when my future looked at that moment just as shiny and bright, I couldn't help but cry.  It was just a vase but I loved that vase and the hope I was feeling when I bought it.

I think that hope will come again. I'm not meant to be a waitress for life; I know that.  And I am doing other things now, things that will hopefully build a scaffolding to future paid work.  I've got a college degree and have always been praised for being "a smart girl." And not just from my mother, though she led the chorus.  There is more waiting for me out there once I get past the rough patch right now - in fact things are already getting busier and I think (!!) that they might be better soon. But still, right now in this moment I don't feel like I did when I was right out of school, a job under my belt, traveling in Europe.  And looking at the pieces of that vase made me feel for that moment the chasm separating when I felt then and how I feel now.

A short film

I worked on a short film last year that is just about ready to be sent to festivals and then to be available to buy.  I don't want to give anything away, but I think the plot is thoughtful and somewhat controversial, and I'm hoping that it makes people want to talk about it.  I'm really excited about it getting out there and I think it will do really well.  It's called "The Empty Playground." If anyone is curious about it you can check out a trailer for it here :


Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So cute!

I worry that I'm going to be one of those parents that just shows everyone pictures of their kids and is constantly cooing about how cute they are.  I think it's a legitimate concern.

This was cuter in person. She looks slightly evil as she rests on her sister and glowers at the camera.


Surprisingly, my brilliant plan of working nights to leave my days open for job hunting and other things isn't going quite as well as planned. I overlooked one small detail - sleep.  Understandable oversight.  I have been coming home from work early, early in the morning and then spending (wasting) another hour or so online before passing out. Then I wake up just in time to dash off back to work, food time optional.  Rinse, repeat.  Yesterday it was shower or eat, so I showered.  Apparently I fear judgement more than I fear hunger.  Since I work 10 hour shifts generally and transportation eats another 2 hours (it sounds like a lot but it seems like it takes me an hour to get anywhere in NYC, no matter the borough), I really don't have a lot of time to do much else on days I work. And the day after I worked I'm recovering from it.

So.  I'm going to need to start managing my time better. Or sleeping less.  I'd love to only work 4 nights at the diner per week, so that I can actually use this job as planned - to pay the bills while I look for something in my field.  Right now they have me at 5, and I'm a little nervous about 1 week in asking for less hours.  However if I don't get my shit together and manage to use my days more productively, I'm going to have to.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Is it weird I moisturized my boyfriend's hands while he slept? In my defense they are so dried out the skin is cracking...and they now smell delicious.


Does thinking my cat sneezing is cute make me a crazy cat lady?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Case in point

I forgot my leftovers at the diner I'm now working at two nights in a row.  This is typical of me. Tonight I remembered, and my leftovers from Sunday were still there so home they came too.  I'm eating them, and hoping that they don't give me food poisoning. This is also typical of me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life update

So I am now a late night diner waitress.  In a greek diner filled with Russian waitresses.  I've been meaning to learn a new language...

In other news I've been sleeping to 4 since starting at this diner. It's not easy staying on your feet all night. I don't get home until the sun is up.  Good news, however, is that at least it's employment and the fact that it's at night means that theoretically it won't interfere with more conventional job hunting/doing.

In other other news, I've always been a proud Italian, but news like this makes me ashamed of being a citizen of a country that would act like this or tolerate this sort of behavior. Everyone involved should be punished.  I'm sure hoping they feel bad is overly optimistic, but I certainly hope they can be made to feel bad.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I'm staring at the screen smiling right now.  You know, in case you were curious. No, I haven't found the job of my dreams or won the lottery or anything, but today seems much more manageable then yesterday. I bit the bullet and applied for a night shift at a 24 hour diner, so that I can still look for work during the day. I'm supposed to go in tomorrow for them to check me out, so wish me the best. I also have another interview tomorrow for a job handing out surveys on a street corner - again, not exactly  the same level as being hired by, say, HBO but at least it would be two weeks of steady money.  We're trying to shoot a few more scenes of a film I am working on later this week so that will be some work too, though not much.

I hope by writing about these interviews I haven't jinxed them, but having my day start out with two potential job nibbles has brightened everything.  Being unemployed, or even underemployed, starts to really really drain your optimism and your self esteem after a while.  It doesn't take much for me for it to all bounce back - I'm a basically happy person with a fairly stable sense of self worth. But after months of only working a few days here and there and counting pennies, even my generally annoyingly cheerful attitude dims down a few notches.

So we'll see how it goes tomorrow.  I'll either be back to being a Pollyanna or continue on with my teenage sulk phase.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I've decided, after a lifetime of looking askance at it, that I love eggplant. This love affair started years ago, when I working at TGIF and they had this fried mozzarella and eggplant sandwich, but I resisted.  The mozzarella got all my attention while the eggplant stood by watching sadly.  But now I've finally realized the error of my ways. The eggplant was the true star, all those years ago, and I finally know it.

In other words, I've started frying up eggplant with just some salt, olive oil, garlic and curry powder and dumping it on a plate full of rice and it is delicious. So simple, so good.  That is what I look for in all my favorite recipes - I can make it with relatively little effort for a big payoff.  One day, when I have a larger kitchen, I may become more ambitious with my cooking but right now the one or two pot dishes are ruling.  And eggplant is, at the moment, leading the pack.

P.S. I should try to make that curry again, that I blogged about months ago...I'd kind of forgotten about it, but it was really good. And eggplant heavy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Digging my way out

I'm in a rut. This is largely due to having too much time and not enough money - in short, since I'm freelancing I have large chunks of time when I don't have any work to do, and therefore no money coming in.  Since I don't have money to spend I end up home on the computer all day.  This isn't healthy and it isn't productive.  I job hunt every day, but let's be serious - applying to jobs only takes an hour, max, if that.  After that, the rest of the day just looms up.  I'm sleeping too much, online too much, sitting too much, just generally wasting my life right now.

What I've been saying I'm going to do, and what I need to do, is find myself a night job or some kind of part time job so even when I don't have film or tv stuff happening, I still have a reason to leave the house.  It will also alleviate the money stress a lot, since when I don't have film stuff happening I've been falling back on UE income, which I'm almost out of (since I didn't live in NY originally when I applied for it, and applied as an out of state worker, I'm not eligible for most of the extensions).  This has been really stressing me out. I HATE that I'm 26 and don't have a reliable source of income, can't afford to go out, can't buy myself the occasional treat, and am just generally broke and discouraged.

I've been applying religiously to jobs, but I think that I need to switch things up. Just find some kind of income producing job. It doesn't mean I give up or that I can't still try to find the perfect  job, but if I have to waitress somewhere for a few months it's not the end of the world. It does feel a bit like failure, but I know I need to do it.

That being said, I've actually tried to get waitressing jobs before (though I could probably try harder).  It's not actually that easy right now either. The recession has hit the restaurant industry hard, but I really don't want to work retail - I'm horrible at earning commission and those jobs pay terribly.  I don't know that I could even make my bills on a retail job salary.  Not that those jobs are falling out of trees either. Catering is great, but really unreliable and even working for (now) three companies, I only get a couple days a month usually.

So basically, I'm at a point where even getting a restaurant job is seeming like an insurmountable challenge.

So I'm in a rut. Now I just need to find a way out.

Tavern on the Green

I occasionally cater to make some extra (extra, who are we kidding?) money.  I enjoy it actually, as it means interacting with people and it is easy, well paying work. You just have to smile and be willing to be as helpful as possible. These are traits I am perhaps overburdened with in my everyday life anyway, so it works for me.

Yesterday I worked at the New Year's Eve party at Tavern on the Green. It wasn't the fanciest party I've ever worked, but it was probably the biggest, and it definitely made the most news. Last night was the last night that Tavern on the Green, a NYC staple, will be open.  The city is now going to be renting the land to someone else.

The party itself was crazy, like absolutely packed full of people.  I'm not claustrophobic at all, but I started to feel a bit sick and I'm thinking the absolute lack of breathing room (that and the yummy shrimp) may be to blame.  I wasn't the only one - I heard someone else fainted and I personally witnessed one extremely drunk, unconscious woman end her evening in the back of an ambulance.  Classy.  Classic actually, in a New Year's Eve type of way.  Nevertheless it was a perfectly appropriate sendoff for such a historic building.  Plenty of free booze, great food, and lots (lots!) of people.

My job was seating people and bringing them their vodka and gift baskets, so not exactly rocket science.  We were done by midnight and able to all have a glass of champagne together to ring in the new year. I wish I could have been with my boyfriend, but making history at one of the biggest parties at one of the most legendary locations in one of the best cities in the world wasn't bad either.  I didn't even have to use my pepper spray going home - I've had it for month and haven't needed it yet.  Would that be considered intelligent spending?

So Happy New Year all, and I hope everybody had a happy and healthy one! No ambulances for you. My resolution is simple - more money next year.  I hope the same for all of you.