Ebola

And here I am, irritated that my clothes are still in the washing machine and I have to walk downstairs to put them in the dryer…
http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/africa/100000003071418/burial-boys-of-ebola.html

$6 dollars a day to bury deadly corpses. I’m in awe.

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Excuses

WordPress sent me a link to see my blog stats for 2013.

I have been blogging since 2003, and yet only published two blog posts in the previous 365 days.

My friend Kristen says that I never broadcast bad news. I only tell the good and then bitch about things that other people do that they control.

So. Here’s my excuse.

staples

It’s a Happy Face and a nudie photo all at once. I’ll skip the photo of my boob, just so I can keep this a relatively PG post.

:)

After going through invasive surgeries cleaning out my insides and removing numerous cancerous polyps and meaty tumors, I finally was able to have every organ that wasn’t necessary removed from my gut.

I have no womb. No fallopian tubes. I am left with a third of my colon (low tolerance for shit now, obviously) and they trimmed my bowels somehow. I have one ovary. Not sure why, and am still confused that it has no tunnel to drop an egg into. But it allows me “hormones” that keep me from going into early menopause.

Which is good, I think.

And yet, I’ve never stressed on it. Really.

I can honestly say that my tummy and boob have made me reflect and respect more than I ever have about my life, and lives in general. I appreciate more.

I’m still more fortunate than so many.

And have you met my husband?

Whitey IV

Patient, kind, and calm. He’d sit there for hours, and I’d keep saying to him that everything was going to be alright.

He’d smile and say “you realize that you’re on the table, right?” and just read another magazine, reciting the headlines and telling me what was good in the cafeteria that day.

bruised on up

This was after 5 days of poking needles and IVs in me. And I’m very thankful for it.

—————————-

I’m not sure where the time has gone, but it seems like it’s flown by. My goals for 2012 disappeared, but have shown their face in the form of 2015. Life goes on. At least my life has.

I am so incredibly fortunate. And I truly appreciate my friends who have shared their emotions with this last year. Thank you. Now…

back to being me again.

Posted in All About Us, Giving Thanks, why I love my husband | 3 Comments

Free Food

It irritates me to no end.

Someone gets their pizza and asks for something to add to it, and gets upset when they get charged.

Just because you paid for your meal in advance doesn’t mean that you can order more food for free. Rule of thumb; if it costs me money, it’s going to have to cost you money.

————————————–

Customer: “This pizza is delicious! Can I get a side of green peppers to go on it?”

Crew: “Sure, here you go. That’ll be a dollar and a quarter.”

Customer: “Seriously? I have to pay for a few peppers?”

green peppers

————————————–

You wouldn’t do that at McDonald’s (can I get a few more fries? What? I have to pay for it?) and you wouldn’t do that at a salon (can I get a free pedicure while you cut my hair? I mean, I’m just sitting here anyway and your co-worker looks bored).

————————————–

I had a customer once ask to buy some of the toppings for the Kina’s Favorite Salad that is on our menu. Gorgonzola crumbles, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and our dressing. These are the most expensive ingredients. She said she was going to buy the lettuce and tomatoes at the store.

When I told her how much it was going to cost, she looked insulted and said she’d just buy it all at the grocery store.  I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and wished her well. Even I couldn’t afford to buy the ingredients at the grocery store and sell it at my menu price for a profit.

kinas favorite salad

Our $9.95 Kina’s Favorite Salad feeds 4 people and has

3.25oz of cranberries ($2.26):
cranberries

3.25oz of walnuts ($3.70):
walnuts

4oz of gorgonzola ($3.33)
6oz of fully trimmed and diced Roma tomatoes (???)
3 romaine hearts ($3.00)
3.25oz of dressing (.75)

That’s well over $13, and we make it, serve it, and clean up after you for less money.

But I’m not in the education business, I’m in the service business. I’m here to serve you…. but not for free! I’m cheap, but I’m not easy. ;)

 

Posted in All About Us, Food, free stuff, Our Pizzeria, Packaged snacks, Restaurants | Leave a comment

Being Rich

Jake has been on his 10-day vacation, so Whitey and I have been working his full-time schedule. This means we have to actually work instead of just sit around and count money all day while planning our next vacation. /sarcasm

Whitey has picked up the lunch shifts, and I have been working the dinner shifts. The last two nights have been busy, so I’ve been able to actually make food. It’s perfect, of course. Toppings are put on pizzas exactly where they should be, and the crust is cooked exactly right. But it’s my restaurant, and that’s how I want it.

That’s the thing. When you hire someone, you want them to do it EXACTLY your way. You trust them to do the job you would’ve done were you able to be there 24/7. A good employee becomes invaluable, because they do it your way, not their way. After all, it’s your business.

Jake has been with Paizano’s for four years now, and Kris will have worked with us for six years this May. I trust both of them to make decisions on my behalf when I’m not physically at the restaurant. Because they do it my way, and with a smile that isn’t forced, because they like what they do.

Working at a restaurant, or in the hospitality business for that matter, isn’t for everyone. But it is for us, and for a lot of people like us. Service minded. Perfectionists. People pleasers.

It’s one of the reasons we opened Paizano’s. I asked Whitey, “What was your favorite job, ever?”

“Cozzola’s Pizza,” he said. “I loved working there. It was fun, and everybody got along, and customers were always full and happy. And I really liked bartending at Legend’s, except the owner was a total bitch.”

I told him, “Sully’s Italian restaurant, and even waitressing at Rosette in Bend. I loved waiting tables and serving great food, suggesting wines and meeting all of the regulars that came in.”

And so, Paizano’s came to fruition. We quit our jobs and went for it.

———————

A couple came in to pick up a pizza with their son who was about 10 years old. They had to wait about five minutes for it to finish up in the oven. During that time, the boy shook the bouncy ball game machine until he had a handful of balls, threw them throughout the dining room, banged on the pinball game, went out on the patio and jumped on the rocking patio chairs, and then came back in to grab the pizza off the counter to take it to the car.

He tilted the pizza almost vertically when opening the front door, and I could hear the pizza slide in the box. I laughed and said, “Whoops! Be careful — that pizza will get messed up if you don’t keep it straight, like this…” (motioning with my hands to carry it correctly) “… and you’ll never get a job as a pizza guy if you can’t carry a pizza correctly!”

The boy stopped in the doorway, wrinkled his nose and squinted as if smelling a foul odor, and said, “I’m not gonna work at a pizza place when I’m a grownup. I’m gonna be rich.”

———————–

I made almost three times as much money working in my heyday in advertising, but I wasn’t as happy as I am now. I had closets of designer handbags and high-heeled shoes, toys in the garage that I’d get to play with once a year, and a fancy business card. Now when I go to work, I get to wear a t-shirt and jeans, comfy Crocs, and schlepp my laptop back and forth in a functional cloth bag. Working at a job that I love affords me much more than a padded bank account. It affords me time. Peace of mind. These are things that are priceless; they cannot be bought. And so yes.

I am rich.

Posted in About Pizza, All About Us, Giving Thanks, Our Pizzeria, random, Restaurants, Teamwork, why I love my husband | Leave a comment

Grumpy Old Man

Kris handed the phone over to Ash, basically telling her ‘it’s that old grumpy guy’.

When I heard this, I had to ask what was up.

Kristen told me “Remember that old man that used to come in and talk to us non-stop about everything?”

“Nope, not really,” I replied.

“Well,” she said. “He now only gets delivery, and he yells and complains and cusses at us on the phone. I can’t even understand him anymore, and so I just give the phone to someone else. Sometimes even one of the guys working in the kitchen will take his order. He doesn’t like women.”

Sure enough, I walk over to where Ash is on the phone and she has repeated “I’m sorry — what did you say?” twice in ten seconds.

She spends ten minutes (AN ETERNITY when it comes to taking an order for delivery) repeating the order, then explaining how much everything costs when he complains about the price.

When she hangs up the phone, rolling her eyes and sighing loudly, I ask for more details.

“Well,” she says, “the last time he called and placed a delivery order, his phone was so static-y and he was yelling, and I couldn’t understand a thing he said. So he yelled louder which just made it worse. Then, when the delivery driver got there, the guy gave our driver a quarter and said ‘Give this to the girl who answered the phone to buy some G*Damned hearing aids!'”

Kris then chimed in.

“And when he called just now, I answered the phone like normal and he said ‘Why the hell you gotta talk so fast? Who are you tryin’ to impress?’ and so I apologized and repeated exactly the same thing, but in slow motion: “I am sorrrrrry. Thannnk yooooou for calllllling Pie Zonnnnnn Ohzzzzzzzz…. how can I hellllllp yooooou?” and he said “You could talk slower for once”.

When our driver overheard that we were talking about this particular customer, he floored me with:

“Yeah, and when I got there, he said ‘What the $%#! is wrong with that #^**# girl that answers the phone? Is she a #$?* idiot? You guys need to #$%****n fire her.” I just told him I didn’t know how to answer him and thanked him for his business.

The customer is always right, until they are no longer a customer.

Posted in About Pizza, Delivery, I might regret this later, Our Pizzeria | Leave a comment

Festival of Trees

Due to lack of blogging, you may not be aware that we decorated a tree for the Festival again this year. The annual event is to raise money for our local hospital; this year, it was to purchase a new ultrasound machine. All of the trees are on display and put up for auction during a fancy-pants dinner that I never go to. I’m just the help. :)

Our theme was supposed to be Willy Wonka, but we were told that someone was already doing a Candy tree.

So we went with beer instead. Adult candy.

Front Page of the Baker City Herald

Front Page of the Baker City Herald

We had decided to get a head start on the tree by setting it up in Kris’ garage, and it took us over 15 hours to get the base of the decorations adhered. We used metallic spray paint and Martha Stewart glitter to enhance the plastic hops and pinecones before using a hot glue gun to get them attached to the faux tree.

Kris was leaving on vacation, and we’d only have one day (the day she returned home) to get the tree moved to the venue as well as put all of the finishing touches on it.

The night before she was to leave, I got a phone call at midnight. Kris was in hysterics.

They were dog-sitting for a friend, and her dog (Gabe) and the visiting dog (Hazel) had played tug-o-war with our tree. Decorations littered her front yard, and the tree itself was halfway through the doggy door in the garage.

After so much time and detailing of that dang tree, it was ruined.

I went over the next day to assess the damage and yes, it was pretty bad. Damn dogs.

Baker City doesn’t have a mall, or a Wal-Mart, or a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby or a large crafting store that I could’ve just popped in to so as to find replacement decorations. In fact, I found the last roll of burlap garland in all of Baker County at a gift store that specializes in home decor.

On set-up day, we arrived with our Charlie Brown tree at the venue where all of the other trees were already put up and people were putting the final touches on them. All glitzed out and glamorous, and here we were with a limp, broken, haphazard tree in need of serious love.

The first thing I did when I walked in the door was drop the biggest box of glitter-covered pinecones and clear glass bulb ornaments. Way to make an entrance, Kina.

Kris and I got to work, worried that we wouldn’t have enough time or resources to pull off what we had intended: The Best Tree of All Them Other Trees.

But we did it.

Our tree was, simply put, Impressive.

Beer Tree

Beer Tree

100 Bottles of Beer

100 Bottles of Beer

The gifts that were under the tree were the icing on the cake. 100 Bottles of beer (not corporate beer — only good stuff), lots of beer swag from breweries and our favorite beer gal rep at Graybeal Distributing, and the grand prize?

Barley Brown’s donated “Brewer for a Day” == the highest bidder of the tree would get to spend a day brewing beer at the Baker City Brewing Company, and then invite friends to the tap house for a catered Lasagna Dinner from Paizano’s. King for a Day!

Our tree sold for $1800. Makes me think I’m in the wrong profession, eh?

 

Posted in All About Us, baker city, Bummer, Dogs, funny | 1 Comment

Love you. But not you…

Thank you for your emails, text messages, even the surprise phone call from Missy who I may or may not have ever talked to on the phone before. :)

I dropped off the face of the earth to battle some pretty gnarly health issues, and then I used the down time to figure out how to deal with personal relationships with my family and friends.

I couldn’t even remember the password to this blog. That’s how long it’s been.

But now I’m back. I’ve been cut and gutted, stitched back up and supplemented with numbing creams (and pills that do the same that I refuse to take).

Except I may be less tolerant now. Re-writing your will when you’re under 40-years-old might do that to you, right?

Also, I might use a few more cuss words to get my point across. Because I’ve dealt with some shit that has no other word other than that: Shit.

Shit. Shit Shit. And if you don’t like that particular word, then don’t read my blog, and go lock yourself in a room and read Harry effing Potter. Live out the fantasy and find the golden ring or something where foul words don’t exist.

:)

Effing. See me censoring myself? I’ll try to be good. I promise. Sorry Lyle.

Note: I’m 40 now, not under 40. That makes me “middle-aged” and right about everything, right?

 

Posted in All About Us | 7 Comments