2008-05-16 - 9:26 a.m.

I have atrocious hand writing. In third grade I couldn't graduate to notebook paper because my handwriting was so bad. Finally my teacher told me to slow down my writing and then I had beautiful handwriting and she exclaimed that I had been hiding the best hand writing in the class and I was graduated to notebook paper and then I slid back into my old habits of atrocious hand writing.

The thing about my atrocious handwriting is that it translates very well into lettering. My lettering has always been envied. I was always sought out to make the posters for things and later, in my work life, I ended up being the official lettering person for everything whether it be a "Happy Birthday" on a cake or a "We will be closed on Christmas" note for the front door.

At my ice cream shop job I was one of three people who decorated cakes. It was very common for someone to order a cake and specifically ask that I do the lettering on the cake. At some point it just became automatic that I did the lettering. I was very proud of this. I was eighteen. Some of my cakes are still featured in the cake catalog at the ice cream shop where I worked. I still get proud when I go in there and see that stupid catalog.

At my next job the big plastic Bud (or Miller or whatever) banners were always saved for me to write specifics on. For two years I wrote things like, "BIG BUD BASH FRIDAY NIGHT FROM 9 to 2! NO COVER!"

I started as a hostess at my next job and part of that job was writing the dinner specials on the chalkboard every day. It was a twenty minute job, at least. My boss loved my chalkboards so much that he made me do them even after I was promoted to a bartender. For the next four years I did that frickin chalkboard every single time I worked. I become proprietary about ti. When new hostess would start working she would be instructed that she wasn't to touch the board if I were working.

And then my next job. Which was at the restaurant my boss from the last job bought. Which meant that I was still on chalkboard duty. For the next six years.

Then I went to Spain.

My next job was at that stupid wine bar. And there wasn't a daily chalkboard but all her wines are written on a huge wall of chalkboard that stretches down the length of the bar and to the ceiling. I was dreading the day that I was asked to write something on that board because I knew that once I wrote something on it I would be asked to re-write the entire board. Thankfully I was only asked to write something on that board on my second to last day and was thus saved from having to rewrite the entire chalkboard. That would have been dreadful, I would have had to stand on a ladder and I am scared of heights.

So that brings me to my current job. Because my handwriting is so atrocious and our tickets are handwritten, I wasn't asked to do the special board for a few weeks after I started working there. It was only on a day when everyone else was too busy to do the board that I was asked in desperation. So I did the stupid board and everyone came out and looked at it in amazement and awe. And now no one else will do the stupid board when I am there. And this board gets re-written THREE TIMES A DAY for breakfast lunch and dinner specials.

Anyway, the point of this is that one: I've accumulated a fan club who stand and watch me write on the board. The water guy from next door always comes in to comment on my lettering and will stand and watch me write things for long minutes. There are several customers who also stop and watch me as they are coming into the restaurant. Because the lunch specials go up at 11 on the dot and most of our customers come in at the same time every day, I have the eleven o'clock bunch who stop dead in their tracks and congest the entry way while they watch me shape letters with chalk on the stupid board.

For the last three days I've had a new couple in my fan club...they are actually leaving at 11 every day. For the last few days they've been standing behind me while I did the board. I had assumed that they were watching the progress of my letters. But yesterday when I turned around to glance at my tables through the window, I found that this couple was staring not at the chalkboard, but at my ass (I stand on a chair to do the board). When they noticed that I was looking at them they both blushed and the girl stammered, "Uh, we left your tip on the table," and they bolted out the door.

So that's great.


In other news.

I have the day off today. I had big plans to get into my car and go to Kalamazoo for the day to hang out with my ex-boss and my Lucas at their new restaurant. Because I miss them. I also wanted to buy cat nip mice at the health food store and get a bottle of my favorite salad dressing. But when I woke this morning I found that I was not so excited about the drive because I don't have a CD player in my car yet. Driving two hours with just the stereo is not fun. It was fine back in November when I did it because I hadn't listened to American radio in three years. But now it's old and boring and the music all sucks. So now it's 10 am and I should be leaving but I'm still in my pajamas and trying to think of excuses not to go. Maybe I should just go get a frickin CD player already.


That is all.


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