Inspiration in the most unexpected places

I have a day job.

It’s not something super fancy or anything to be proud of, but I make a decent salary, have benefits, and get a few vacation and sick days here and there. It’s pretty comfy.

The problem with my day job is that it’s taking time away from writing (and taking my sanity, bit by bit, with every inane phone call I get from a woman in Minnesota who can’t find her phone’s power on button). This is where it gets a little bit interesting.

Last week, I started taking phone calls for a new area of my company. We do cell phone service and domain name registration – I’m more well versed in the phone side of things, and am still learning how to deal with domain names and email issues. A man called in yesterday trying to get his email started on his Mac, which immediately gave me two problems as a) I’m still learning about email and b) I can’t stand Macs and as a result have no idea how their OS works. (It seems a very strange oversight to me not to have a “home” type launcher or a more accurate search bar.)

This gentleman was on the phone with me for over an hour. We slowly got email to work on his tablet, then his laptop, but at last glance we were still trying to work out getting email onto his desktop. He took the time while we were waiting for downloads or updates to ask a bit about me, and I soon revealed that I’d rather be working in music, and that I’ve started writing songs as a gateway to that ideal. He was very impressed (though he has no proof of whether or not I have any talent!) and regaled me with stories of his Californian friends who knew people who knew people. Apparently the Beach Boys liked to rent out rooms in peoples’ mansions for $20,000 a week and fill them with sand. Whatever gets you going creatively, I guess.

This gentleman and I struggled to get his email working (Safari couldn’t open it, so we downloaded FireFox) to no avail. He sympathised with the difficulty of starting any creative endeavour. “You’re not Elton John,” he said (and I laughed a little as my sister’s nickname for me is, in fact, Kiki Dee), “you can’t write a song in an instant. Candle in the Wind was written in 5 minutes on the back of a napkin. Don’t worry about that. You’re not competing with Elton John. One day, you will be, but by then you’ll be able to write a song in 5 minutes, too. Until then, don’t worry about it.”

I told him I want to write an EP by the end of the year. “How many songs does that entail?” he asked me. “About 8-12.” “Well that’s perfect!” he said, “just write one song a month. That’s all you need. Don’t worry about writing any more than that; even if you have some songs you don’t like, you’ll still have the songs you aimed for.” I couldn’t deny this.

I’ve been worrying lately that I’m not writing enough, or well enough, or fast enough. This anonymous gentleman from California – a lawyer who couldn’t open his email – reassured me that I don’t have to be at that level right now. Baby steps. If you look at a mountaintop right away you’ll miss the basic steps that get you there. I’ll get there.


New Year’s Resolution(s)

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve been here…

My new year’s resolution has been to write music. This has been somewhat of a challenge, since I’ve never before in my life written anything other than essays and lab reports (and the occasional blog), but  it’s going decently well. I’ve found that the less happy I am, the better my writing gets (so I’m well on my way to becoming Adele Swift), so it’s been a weird year so far.

Second new year’s resolution, that I just made like 5 minutes ago, is to start blogging again. Hooray! (screams nobody)

I’m in the middle of training right now (I work for so as part of training I have purchased my very own website! There’s no hosting just yet, so it’s just a blank page of redirections ( but it’ll be a thing soon. Promise.

I guess that’s my third new year’s resolution.

Monty Python’s “Medical Love Song”

While I won’t waste your time writing out the lyrics to this epic love ballad here, I will  post a link if you feel like wasting time later (and that way you can’t blame me because I clearly gave you a choice):

This (without all the VD) is what my body is singing to me right this very minute. It’s very romantic. (Except again, I will repeat for emphasis, without all the VD.) (Or penises.)

So we’ve already gone over my dental trauma. Wisdom teeth, 30 kajillion cavities, and now they’ve gone and only filled the ones on the left side so the molars are too big and keep giving me a headache. Plus, my blood test for diabetes came back negative, so I have no idea what caused me to go from 0-30 in a year and a half.

But enough about gross things like teeth and mouths.

Yesterday, for no reason whatsoever, my left foot just up and stopped working. Well, it stopped wanting me to be able to work it. So it stabbed me in the fascia and now I can’t bear weight. I had two shifts today at two different restaurants with a 10-minute walk between them that turned into an 18-minute hobble. I am 22 years old. Why is my body treating me like a 90-year-old??

So, in conclusion, best Valentine’s day ever? I think so. Pardon me, I’m going to go sleep until Family Day.



(and as a post script, shouldn’t Valentine’s day be, oh, about 9 months before Family Day, instead of six days?)

The Bestaurant

That was the basest pun I have ever written. You now as reader get to make the choice whether to be awed by its majesty or stop reading right now because I’m obviously the worst person ever.

Now that that’s overwith, I’d like to elaborate on my nomination for the Bestaurant. It’s the place I work now – a restaurant aptly named “93 Harbord” – and it is quite easily the best place I’ve ever worked. (Except for that one time I worked for the CBC, that job was cushy as hell. What other national broadcasting station will give a 15 year old her own office??)

Anyway, now that my days as Maeby Bluth Funke are over, I’m working off my little tootsies at a restaurant curiously no longer titled Cafe Metaforia. It’s a Middle Eastern/Moroccan restaurant owned by a jovial, charming man who likes to sit down with his guests over a plate of dessert that he made himself and has offered on the house to people he likes (and sometimes people he just likes the look of). I’m working right now as a hostess/bartender, as training to become a full-time server, and even so my tipout has often been higher than the tips I was making at my old bar. My boss is there every single day, in the kitchen and out on the floor, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that he will have a conversation with every single person in the restaurant by the time he leaves. His personality, his business acumen, and not to mention his delicious menu are the reason there are so many repeat customers – I’ve even seen return visitors in the two weeks I’ve worked.

But I have to say the number one reason why this is the best place ever is the free food that front of house staff are given at the end of the night – a night which, by the way, is over by midnight at the latest. Kitchen staff always prepare too much food when the restaurant opens, which means by close, the servers and I are treated to couscous, rice, or quinoa piled high with tagine, kebabs, biryani, or whatever melange the staff has simmering still by the time the guests have left. Sure beats half priced cheeseburger springrolls at Joe’s.

Life’s random encounters

Today, at the church Christmas pageant for which I conducted the angel choir, I ran into the first boy I ever kissed.

How awkward to find that he is a bright-scarf-and-fake-glasses-wearing intern-actor hipster.

Another poignant life vignette.

Tonight at work:

Coworker (gay): Wow, there sure are a lot of gay guys in here tonight. I wonder why?

Me: Maybe there’s something in the air…

Coworker: Pot pourri.

Family values

I’m just gonna take a half second to do something I didn’t really want to do here, but tonight was just chock full of crap and I know everyone around me was all like “why does Kate look like she’s going to punch a kitten?” So I’ll tell you why I looked like I was going to punch a kitten. Even a baby soft one.

I’m not going to post a rant about tipping your waitress. Not even that mild. Oh no. I would only punch an ugly animal if it had been as mild as not tipping. Nor is it even about dining and dashing, though it is a little about that. This post is going to be a rant about dining and dashing in front of your thirteen year old son on your wife’s birthday.

So if it wasn’t obvious from the paragraph above, I don’t work in the finest of dining establishments. That’s cool. I work in a sports bar, and normally, I love it. I love the customers, especially the regulars, I love the atmosphere, the girls I work with, the fun we all have… it is such a fun environment in which to work. But sometimes, because it isn’t fine dining, we get some customers who are just plain rude. In both senses of the word; in the archaic sense, as in, crude and unformed – undeveloped – uncultured – but also in the modern sense, as in, NO manners.

Tonight, I had a table of three people – a man, woman and their young son – come in and sit at the largest booth which can fit 6. I didn’t even balk at that, which normally I do, because seriously people are you so important that you cannot sit at a booth for 4 people. I DIGRESS. They ordered two plates of chicken fingers, and a 14-oz Certified Angus ribeye. I was my usual bubbly self – not too overbearing, but still around when they needed me – and in fact, the woman realised she had ordered the wrong sauce for her chicken fingers so I exchanged them and all was happiness and light. The man had commented several times to several different people about the fact that it was his wife’s birthday, so I opened the dessert menu for them and told the woman to choose which one she wanted, because birthday desserts are on the house. She chose one, I made it, it was discounted, all was well. The man asked me to bring him the bill.

Their bill came to $85 and I signed an enthusiastic “Thanks! Happy birthday! -Kate” on top before placing the bill on the table, letting them know they could take their time paying, and walking away to check on my other tables. Maybe five minutes elapsed when I walked back to the table. The family had left, taking the bill with them, with only $55 accounted for. It took me a second to realise that the bill (with the accurate tab written on it) was missing – taken, no doubt, to throw me off the scent, so that hopefully I wouldn’t realise that I’d been shorted $30. I ran outside to see if I could catch up to them, but a crowd of smokers on the front step told me they had trundled into a car and taken off, stat.


What a fantastic lesson to teach your son. Hey, kid, let’s live outside our means and then deprive some minimum-wage schmuck of her pay! Remember – if you take the bill with you, she won’t notice until it’s too late.

This event (clearly) dragged me down for the rest of my shift, and I can’t apologise enough to the tables and staff that sensed that. Thankfully I have wonderful managers who covered the rest of the missing tab and let me go home somewhat earlier than normal. This is a sad, strange case; but veteran servers have told me that you never can expect which tables are shifty and which ones are honest. I’m glad the majority are honest, but I suppose tonight I learned where tomorrow’s generation of dine-and-dashers came from.

Putting the Pro in Procrastination

Because I am so good at it. Seriously. I should get paid for this shizz. I could give expert seminars on how to procrastinate with utmost inefficiency. And then I wouldn’t have to get a real job.

For example, I started this blog post about an hour ago and I’ve since hit a top score on Bejeweled. GOD DAMN YOU POP CAP


Since I woke up two hours ago (sometime around 2 pm, aw yeah) I have managed to microwave two hotdogs to prevent myself from starving, drag myself back to the kitchen to get some ice cream (because I’ll be damned if I eat lunch without some dessert) and then fill a mug with 5-Alive and a generous helping of vodka from my bedside flask. And that counts as productive for today.

Damn. I have to be at work in two hours. That entails work. Work is the antithesis of procrastination. All my hard not-work gone to waste.

Good thing I’m such a pro at this.

Edited to add: My sister isn’t helping very much. I was all “eee I have to work AND I have to shower, why does god hate me and why do I have to do TWO things??” and she was like “French braid?” But I don’t have enough hair. But I don’t have to be at work for another almost two hours, so she was like “just stand in the shower for two hours, it’ll be like a hot tub in anti-gravity” and I was like SWEET, DONE. So eventually I’ll get off the computer to go stand in the shower and hope the shampoo will lather and rinse itself.


Amazing what happens when you get home from work before 3 a.m.

I’m trying very hard not to write about work right now but it’s what happened all weekend so it’s kind of on my mind.

What I did today:

  •  turned the heat on 😦
  • finally picked up a course pack for a course that’s nearly halfway through
  • mailed a letter
  • killed a fruit fly with nail polish fumes*
  • found out my friend ISN’T DEAD! (we thought she’d gone missing; turns out her phone broke)
  • used my roomie’s metropass to figure out that the bus doesn’t come very often (thanks, P!)
  • bought more of the same fabric for a commission that has taken me WAY too long to finish (sorry, C)
  • bought some pieces for my Hallowe’en costume (which shall remain a secret until Archery Fun Shoot tomorrow!)
  • discovered a way to use my fascinator in my Hallowe’en costume (and that’s all I’m sayin’!)
  • got my new ear piercings to stop bleeding so much
  • rounded up a bunch of clothes and purses for donation
    • still need to find a shelter to which said items will be donated
  • watched a movie about notorious courtesan Veronica Franco
    • briefly considered becoming a courtesan, realised time travel still doesn’t exist
  • played way too much Bejeweled (dammit)

So, there was some productivity and some really, really… erm… opposite of productivity. Either way, I got a lot done today. And now, back to breaking my top score on Bejeweled…

*True story. It was buzzing around my room, I go to paint my nails, bam! it’s belly up beside the bottle.

Perils of waitressing (at a sports bar)

  • Soccer hooligans
    • with snare drums
    • with vuvuzelas
    • with babies
  • Football hooligans
  • Hockey openers/playoff season
  • Pretty much any major sporting event
    • except anything MLB (sorry, it’s true)
  • Darts (thank god we don’t have any)
  • Pool cues
  • Pool balls
  • Most other balls
  • $7.99 mini-pitcher night
  • After-work sports teams
  • After-school sports teams
  • Public washrooms
  • Getting the wing sauce wrong (hasn’t happened to me… knock on wood)
    • because wings are expensive and we don’t get a discount
  • Butt-grabs (mostly by other waitresses but still surprising)
  • Shoes. Oh god, shoes.
    • and spider veins
  • The lactose-intolerant
  • Apparent year-long patio season
  • Spandex

In no particular order.