Friday, November 28, 2008

P.S. I Hate Alfredo!

When I got to work today, my mother was making Alfredo sauce. No one, and I mean no one, can make Alfredo like this crazy Italian woman can. Well, at least that’s what she thinks. Back in the day, when we first started the restaurant, I would agree. Now, however, I’m not so sure. I could say something about it, but, trust me, there’s no point. The best I can do when it comes to Alfredo is offer to stir it for her because you have to keep at it for a while before it’s ready to come off the heat, and her arm (which is sore from years of cooking… arthritis...) can only take so much before it feels like it’s about to fall off. So, that’s what I was going to do, but first I needed a coffee.

Me: Morning, ma. I’m going to make myself an espresso. Would you like one?

Mother: If it’s no problem.

If it’s no problem? Great, I've been here less than 5 minutes and she’s throwing punches already.

After I made coffee, I went to put on my armor (full body for today) and headed for the kitchen.

Me: Can I stir that for you, ma?

No response, just a look that would scare even unborn children.

Me: What’s that look for?

Mother: You have something else to do, like go write that stuff you write on your computer?

Me: Why, do I need a stirring degree for Alfredo?

Mother: JB, stop bothering me.

Me: Ma, please. I can see your arm hurts. Let me stir the Alfredo. I swear I won’t steal your job from you.

Mother: Oh my God, please, I’m not handicapped. Go blag.

Me: Blog, ma. It's blog.

Mom: Blag. You talk about me, eh? You say bad things about me. Your sister told me.

Me: Oh, you believe her, the women that forgot to tell us she changed religions & got married (a long story… not going there right now)?

Mother: Don’t be like that. She made a mistake.

Me: You call that a mistake? You’re kidding me, right?

Mother: JB, you talk about me, I know.

Me: Stop changing the subject.

Meanwhile, she isn't even looking at me. She’s still stirring the Alfredo, holding the freakin' spatula with all her might, just in case I attempt to pry it out of her hands.

Me: Ma, are you going to let me help you or are we going to play this game all day?

Mother: What is this blag? Why you tell strangers my business & call your sister ‘Bitter’? You talk to people you don't know. You go crazy?

Me: Why are you asking me? As for Bitter, I call her that because she is bitter... and you’re controlling. Nice combo.

Mother: I no control you. And her, she get married when I was in Italy, so I no control her either. Then, she even get a divorce.

Me: Yeah, and how much did it cost us to get her divorced?

Mother: It’s OK, JB, you give me babies one day, OK?

Me: Stop it! I’m not giving you babies. Not now, not next week, and not for you.

Mother: You tell people on your blag you don’t want to give me no babies? You tell that?

Me: Oh my God, ma you make me nuts!!

(Enter, Bitter…)

Sister: Ma, as if she would have a baby. She is a baby. Here, let me finish the Alfredo for you, OK?

Without missing a beat, my mother hands over the spatula to her.

Me: So, what, you two are on the same side today? It’s you guys against me?

Sister: JB, why don’t you go blog instead of standing around. Or, even better, why don’t you go talk to people?

Mother: Ya, let’s go have another coffee.

Me: No, I don’t want to have coffee with you right now.

Mother: Come on. Tell me what you tell people about us.

Me: I tell people you guys are nuts and you're making me nuts.

Mother: So, why you don’t get married to a rich man and have kids? You can stay home like me.

Me: Uh, hello? Dad was always out somewhere and you worked two jobs. No one was home. What, all of a sudden you got Alzheimer’s?

Mother: Don’t make fun of those people. They forget. Me, I want to forget, but I can’t because I have you to remind me. You just like him. Thank God I have your sister.

Me: Oh, today you thank God you have Bitter?

Mother: What? You jealous?

They both grinned at me like Cheshire cats.

Me: I’m going to the office.

Mother: OK, go write another story, go.

I'd do just about anything to get the heck away from you two right now, I thought as I made my way to my desk with their cackling laughter trailing behind me.

Seriously, why do I bother?


P.S. I hate Alfredo! And, why the h*ll is it called Alfredo, anyway??

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

OMG, I'm A Mess! - Part Two

Lately, while I’m working, I've been reflecting on some of my most recent blog posts, and I decided that it might be time for a follow up to OMG, I'm A Mess! (posted back in September). I know it’s my blog & I don’t need to explain myself, but I felt like saying something, so here goes. You see, most people I know would never subject themselves to what I do. By that I mean work with my EV mother & Bitter sister + allow my Ex who did me wrong to still have contact with me, but being surrounded by these people with deep issues (and who clearly need some serious therapy... I went for a year & it helped me deal) somehow makes me feel saner because it means that I'm not alone in when it comes to being a mess. In fact, these people somehow make me feel like my life is going in a somewhat straighter (take this part with a grain of salt) direction.

OK, I just read that back and it sounds rather nutty. Oh, well, it's true, so whatever. Bottom line, I might still be a mess, but at least I don’t regret anything. In the overall scheme of things, all I want is to be a better person and to leave this earth with my spirit full of joy & love.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Down The Rabbit Hole

I had a dream… not a Martin Luther King Jr kind of dream, but a ‘what the h*ll was that all about?’ kind of dream. I was in what seemed like a cave and I was surrounded by bunnies that were sticking white fur all over my body. They wanted me to join their bunny clan, or I guess ‘herd’ is the correct term. I tried to fend them off, but they wouldn't stop. I said to the bunny who appeared to be the leader…

JB: Listen, I'm human.

Leader: Don’t worry, you'll fit right in.

JB: No, I'm human.

Leader: Look, you are being transformed and looking more like us.

He turned me towards a large mirror, and I saw that I was beginning to look like a fluffy Easter Bunny kind of bunny. Wow, I thought to myself, I think I can pull off these ears. I don’t know why, but they looked really good to me. I couldn't stop caressing them.

Suddenly, I felt one of them grab my butt & stick a tail on me.

JB: Hey! No, I don't like it. It feels strange.

They tried to get me to sit down, but I couldn't with that puffy tail stuck to my butt.

JB: Stop, I don't want to join you. Can I keep the ears, though? Please, I like this look.

All of them (there must have been a good 25 or more) stood up on their hind legs and faced me.

Leader: JB, don't worry. We will guide you from this point on. Don't be afraid.

Well, let me tell you, standing up on their hind legs made them a good 7 feet tall and they looked pretty damn scary to me. All I wanted to do was get the heck out of there. I turned to face what looked like the way out and made a run for it.

Next thing I know, I was on a beach and the sand was freakin' hot. I thought for sure it would burn the skin off my feet. I looked back to see if the bunnies were after me, and was relieved that there was no sign of them. Whew!! I then quickly went over to the water and stepped in. It felt so good… very cool, very refreshing.

As I walked along the water’s edge, I was distracted by the view and almost didn't notice that a man was sitting in the sand. He appeared to be meditating, so I was just going to go around him, but then he turned to speak to me.

Man: Hi JB (he had an Indian accent). I have been waiting for you. I am your guide to the next part of your journey.

JB: Do I know you?

Man: Yes, you do.

JB: From where?

Man: From inside your heart. I know your soul. I know your fears. I know where you are going.

JB: Did you see the bunnies?

Man: What are you talking about? I have been sitting on this beach waiting for you.

JB: Oh… sorry…

It was then that I noticed he had no arms or legs. How did he get here, I thought to myself. Again, he spoke.

Man: I am going to guide you, JB, you just have to follow. Are you ready?

All of a sudden, these incredibly huge angel-like wings came of out his back, and he took flight. I was completely mesmerized watching him fly off into the horizon, but what really got to me was when I heard him say, “Go now. Go follow your path.”

JB: My path? What does that mean? I thought you were going to guide me?

Next thing I know, I'm awake & staring at the ceiling through wet eyes. Tears? I don't remember crying.

Holy crap, I thought as I grabbed a Kleenex, talking 7 foot bunnies sticking fur on me, a really hot beach with very cool water, a flying Indian man with no limbs.... I must really need a vacation because that was one crazy a** dream.

The bunny ears did look good on me though… seriously.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


I don't know why, but I felt the need to get political today. Not too much, just enough to get my thoughts across. Truth is I actually don't talk politics all that much, but this has me upset.

Can someone please tell me why people are being told who to marry, who to love, who to do whatever with? Seriously, I want to know because I think that needing permission to marry someone you truly love is outrageous. I’m not writing this to get people’s undies in a knot, I just think that if I want to marry someone & have a family some day, it should be my choice… a free choice.

What do you think?


Friday, November 21, 2008

Tea Time With My Ex

If you've been following my blog from the beginning, then you know that I cut ties with my Ex back in September. Well, I somehow went and undid all that last weekend. I know, I know. What the hell was I thinking, right? Well, the last few weeks have been very difficult for me, so I guess I wasn't really thinking at all when she called (even though I told her we can’t be friends) and asked if I’d like to go out for tea. I shouldn't have gone, but I had a complete moment of utter weakness, and suddenly I really needed a tiny ponies fix. You see, not seeing my Ex drives me nuts, and seeing her makes me nuts. So, whatever, I’m nuts.

Before I get to our conversation over tea, I should probably back up a bit because what led up to it actually started when my uncle passed away. She’d called to say that she was sorry for my loss, and I was really feeling out of my mind at the time, so I totally went off on her. I mean, it was a super evil tirade. If anyone ever yelled at me the kind of things that I yelled at her that day, I would have told them to go straight to h*ll, but my Ex just took it like a punching bag. She also continued to call me for the next few days, until I finally had nothing more to yell about. Either she’s a masochist, really misses me, or both. I don’t know.

Anyway, back to going out for tea… We sat & talked for quite some time. Actually, my Ex did most of the talking. I mostly listened & observed. I don’t know if it’s because I was feeling extra sensitive myself, but I felt her sadness and remorse for the first time. She isn't the women that I once knew. The mess she created changed her. Suddenly, I just wanted to grab her, hold her in my arms, and tell her that everything was going to be OK, but the truth is that everything is not going to be OK any time soon. Plus, she scares me. I mean, even though I felt this sudden urge to comfort her, the fear I feel when I think about letting my guard down is still very strong. So, I have to wear my full metal jacket, my helmet, and anything else that knives can’t penetrate, and I pray that doing so isn't a mistake.

On and on she talked, apologizing to me, telling me how she doesn't like having me on the outside, until I just couldn't take it anymore. I told her that it didn't matter what she said to me because she’s the one that put me on the outside, and that she’s the one who was going home to that disgusting pig when we were finished having our tea. Again, she apologized, but I’d had enough. I quickly changed the subject by asking her if she’d had anymore of those weird dreams she’d told me about a couple of months ago. Well, her eyes lit up and...

My Ex: I had this dream about baby carrots growing all over my legs. (Did she just say 'baby carrots' ?)

Me: Uh, OK. What else?

My Ex: There were also these big black moles (Ewww!), and they left big holes on my body when I peeled them off. (Gross!!!)

Me: OK…

My Ex: Why are you looking at me like that?

Me: You scare me.

My Ex: Sorry. I scare me.

Me: I’m sure you do.

My Ex: JB, do you think I’m twisted? (Uh, just a little bit.)

Me: No, not all.

My Ex: In my dream book, all my dreams are about feeling guilty about the stuff I have done. I need to fix things. The past haunts me. J'étais très méchant avec toi. Je suis désolé. (translation: I was very nasty with you. I’m sorry.) I don’t deserve your friendship. I am disgusting.

Me: Are you asking me to disagree with you?

My Ex: Non, je suis dégoûté. (translation: No, I am disgusted.) I am disgusted with what I’m doing. This is why I have all these dreams. I am bad.

Yes, and I am stupid, I thought to myself. Seriously, what the h*ll was I doing? The conversation never changes. She’s still very sorry about what she did too me & I’m still subjecting myself to her ‘I’m so sorry’ speeches. It was definitely time to call it a night.

Before we headed out the door, she leaned over to hug me, and I actually felt a little nauseous. I never thought her touch could make me feel that way, but it did. As we parted, she asked if we could see each other again. I should have said no, but I heard the words “Sure, call me” come out of my mouth instead.

~ sigh ~

Clearly, I’m the masochist.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today I Watched

There are days at work when everyone and their mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, best friend, neighbour and a slew of other people come busting through the doors begging for a table. There are also days when you can count the lunch reservations on one hand & the dinner reservations on the other. Today was one of those days. Since there wasn't much to do, I sat on the kitchen stairs watching my mother & sister doing what they could to keep busy. God forbid they take a break while they have the chance. No, they just had to argue about what food to prep & how to do it.

Why do they do this? Well, the long & the short of it is that my sister is a complete control freak and so is my mother. They're also both perfectionists. I, on the other hand, am neither of those things. I don't care too much about how we get something done, as long as we get it done. They always tell me that I don't take things seriously enough, and I just say, "Why, are the serious restaurant police going to arrest me for not taking my job seriously enough? Please, ladies, give me a break.”

I don’t understand why they have to make things so freakin’ complicated all the time. Back and forth they go, trying to one up each other. It’s never ending. My mother even tried to pull me into their drama by asking, "What are you looking at? You have something to say?" I just said, "No, I think you guys pretty much have it covered."

This non-bitter, non-aggressive, approach that I have really bothers them, but I don’t see any reason to get into it with those two, especially in a room with sharp objects at hand. So, I just watched them thinking about how it would make for great TV, and wondered who’d stab who first the closer they got to the knife block.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Mother Is An EV!!

I’d like to preface this by saying that I love my mother. I really, really do, but the woman is an EV to the max. Only, she doesn't just complain, she asks you to do things & then proceeds to nag you until those things are done. As I said in last Friday's post, she has zero patience, and from the moment I walked into work today, she was on me like a fly on sh*t. I swear, even a fly gives up after a while, but not this woman. If only I had this 19th century vampire killing kit. God knows I could use one...

Mother: JB, I want you to take me to the bank.

Me: Ma, we are in the middle of lunch service.

Mother: It’s OK, your sister is here.

Me: But what if she gets salad orders? She can’t watch the stove & make salads at the same time.

Mother: I don’t care. I need to go to the bank.

Me: Please, let’s just wait until lunch is over. We can go at 2pm.

Clearly, that was not the response she was looking for because she gave me this look of pure evil. I think I saw blood forming in the corners of her eyes. I think in that moment of silence, she was summoning her evil army of minions to attack me from behind.

Mother: No!

Me: OK, OK.

I’ll do whatever you want, just take you fangs out of my neck, I thought to myself. (As if I would say that directly to her. I do value my life, you know.)

So, off we went to the bank. Actually, make that the banks because she had to go to all off them. Why, I have no clue. I’m on a need-to-know basis when it comes to her, so I didn't bother to ask.

After all the banking, it was back to work, and I went straight to my office to make a few calls. I was on the phone for about a minute, when I suddenly heard my mother coming (she was yelling) in my direction. I asked the person I was speaking with to hold the line for a moment.

Mother: You finish with the phone yet? I need it.

Me: What do you mean? I asked you in the car if you were going to need the phone when we got back here and you said no.

She didn't even answer. Instead, she proceeded to busy herself by going through some papers on my desk.

Me: Ma, are you looking for that invoice that you were telling me about? I will find it for you as soon as I’m done.

Mother: I want it now & I need the phone.

OH---MY---GOD!!! I was about to pop a blood vessel in my head. She literally stood there while I told the person on the line that I would have to call them back.

Mother: Finally. I use the phone now.

No sh*t, you EV, you sucker of my last drop of blood, I thought to myself, and it’s not even Friday. ~ sigh ~

Mother: Oh, and don’t forget to make the changes for the bills on the internet for me. I ask you for that since Monday.

Me: Excuse me, ma, but today’s only Tuesday. I’m going to do it, OK? Didn't I do all that other stuff for you?

Mother: You’re supposed to do it for me, I’m your mother.

Me: Right. Well, I hope you don’t need anymore blood from me today because I’m tapped out.

Uh oh, there was that look of pure evil again. Time to shut up before it’s too late, I thought to myself, and quickly found her the invoice she wanted. She took it and was gone, but not for long.

Mother: You did what I asked you?

Somebody save me!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Advertising: Getting Creative

Do you ever think about what goes into creating ads for the endless sea of products for sale in the world? Well, on one of my many sleepless nights, I accidentally came across two blogs (Clusta & ...,staat) that I totally love, and discovered just how much time & effort is invested by companies that design ad campaigns. Forget for a minute about advertisers trying to sell you stuff that you don’t need by making you think that you need it. I hate being brainwashed just as much as the next person. Instead, look beyond the selling aspect to the art, the photography, the digital media, etc. Talk about super creative concepts. I mean, the work that the design people do is really phenomenal. I wish I had that kind of talent.

If you like what you see on those blogs, you can see even more by checking out the official sites for those two companies. Here are the links:

Clusta (client's include Kellogg’s, Smirnoff, Wrigley's, etc. )

...,staat (client's include Nike, Levi’s, Heineken, etc.)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Anger Management - No Joke!

Just after lunch last Friday, I thought for sure I was going to kill someone with my bare hands. I'm so not kidding, people. My mother I had been on my a** all week because she had a bunch of stuff that she needed to do, and when she wants something done it has to be right away, or she will just keep harping about it until it's done. She's got no damn patience that woman. I also had to help my sister deal with some issues from a past relationship (she volunteered me for the job... gee, thanks so much... not!), and she was extra bitter, so imagine how much fun that was for me. Then, I had some business related stuff to settle (I'll save that maddening story for another day), and there was just no pleasing anybody.

God, help me!! I'd been going & going like the freakin' Energizer Bunny all day, and I seriously needed a moment alone -- ASAP. So, I decided to go check my e-mail. When I opened up my inbox, the subject line "Anger Management" was staring back at me. Is this some kind of a joke, I thought to myself. Then, I clicked to read the message.

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know. I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.

A man answered, saying "Hello." I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?" Suddenly, a manic voice yelled out in my ear, "Get the right f***ing number!" and the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

When I tracked down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits. After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, "You're an a**hole!" and hung up.

I wrote his number down with the word 'a**hole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an a**hole!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic 'a**hole' calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller ID Program?" He yelled, "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an a**hole!" and hung up.

One day, I was at the store getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number. A couple of days later, right after calling the first a**hole (I had is number on speed dial) I thought that I'd better call the BMW a**hole, too. I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?" He said, "Yes, it is." I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?" He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax. It's a yellow ranch, and the car's parked right out in front." I asked, "What's your name?" He said, "My name is Don Hansen." I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?" He said, "I'm home every evening after five." I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?" He said, "Yes?" I said, "Don, you're an a**hole!" Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

Now, when I had a problem, I had two a**holes to call. Then, I came up with an idea. I called a**hole #1. He said, "Hello." I said, "You're an a**hole!" but I didn't hang up. He asked, "Are you still there?" I said, "Yeah." He screamed, "Stop calling me." I said, "Make me." He asked, "Who are you?" I said, "My name is Don Hansen." He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?" I said, "A**hole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax, a yellow ranch. I have a black Beamer parked in front." He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers." I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, a**hole," and hung up.

Then, I called A**hole #2. He said, "Hello?" I said, "Hello, a**hole." He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..." I said, "You'll what?" He exclaimed, "I'll kick your a**!" I answered, "Well, a**hole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now."

I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover. Next, I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oaktree Blvd, in Fairfax. Then, I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax. I got there just in time to watch the two a**holes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter, and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better. Anger management really does work.

To the person who sent me this story (you know who you are), I can't thank you enough. I needed to read it more than you can ever know. It's been so long since I laughed that freakin' hard. Priceless, just priceless!

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I need to find a couple of a**holes I don't know & get their phone numbers.


Monday, November 10, 2008

An Uber Amazing Blog Award: This Is A First!!

When I checked in here to work on a new post, I didn't know that it was going to be this one. I was going through my comments from the night before, when... WHAT??!! I was completely shocked (in a good way) to find out that Ken at Dad to Two gave me an Uber Amazing Blog award! I thought that being named Cool Blog of the Week (5th post on that page) in October by Ken (who received his first blog award a few days ago -- Kudos, Ken!!) was exciting, but this is super exciting!! Thank you, Ken, you totally made my day!

Now, exactly what is an Uber Amazing Blog award? Well, it's an award that's given to sites that:

  • inspire you
  • make you smile & laugh or maybe give amazing information
  • are a great read
  • have an amazing design
  • for any other reason(s) you can think of makes them uber amazing

The rules associated with this award are as follows:

  • put the logo on your blog or post
  • nominate at least 5 blogs that for you are Uber Amazing
  • let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog
  • share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from

So, without further ado, here are my picks for the Uber Amazing Blog award:

1. Petite Anglaise

This blog is written by a British woman who's been living in Paris (I love Paris!) for over 10 years. I actually discovered her blog by accident back in July of this year. I was browsing around a book store, when a cover with the Eiffel Tower on it caught my eye. So, I picked it up & started reading about the author, Catherine Sanderson. Turns out her blog got to be so popular that she was offered a book deal. At the time, I'd only been thinking about blogging, but after reading her story, I decided that it was time to go for it. Catherine, you inspire me. Thank you.

2. The Lucky Nest

This blog is written by Ellie Moore. She's a freelance writer/editor, and I really enjoy her writing. She is a fellow "life" blogger (i.e. she blogs about her life & life in general), and always cracks me up.

3. Not The Rockefeller's

This blog is written by Rene, another "life" blogger. Like me, she hasn't been blogging for very long, but she actually has time for two blogs (girl, I don't know how you do it with work, and kids, and hubby -- kudos to you!), and I think she's doing great. Check out her latest post about family (which totally speaks to me... gee I wonder why - LOL), and you'll quickly see why it's so easy to relate to her.

4. Clever Girl Goes Blog

This blog is written by the very witty Tia. She was recently Blog of Note, so it's possible that you've already heard about her. I love the design of her blog & she never fails to make me laugh out loud. Tia, you rock, girl!

5. Chelsea Talks Smack

This blog is written by Chelsea, who's looking for "a nice single guy, who’s a gentleman, and has great arms" (just thought I'd help you out, girl - lol). She's young, fresh, funny, and I love reading about her views on life.

Well, while all of you are checking out those blogs, I'm off to notify the 5 fantastic women behind them that they & their blogs are uber amazing.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Change: My Word of the Month

I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will. - Sam Cooke

Definitions for the word 'change' found on the Web:

- to make different in some particular: alter
- to give a different position, course, or direction to
- to make a shift from one to another : switch
- to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution

As a Canadian, voting in the American election wasn't an option for me, but when I got up Tuesday morning, I wished for the first time in my life that I'd been born an American. I would never speak those words to my mother, but I wished it. I knew in my heart that Tuesday evening was going to be a historical night and I wanted to take part. What I ended up doing was having dinner with my sister and some friends. We prepared a really nice BBQ meal, toasted with wine & beer, and talked politics.

When dinner was over, I drove home with just enough time to get inside, turn on the TV, and hear Barack Obama named the 44th president of the United States of America. Even though there was no doubt in my mind that he would win, it was still such a rush to hear his name announced. As I listened to him speak, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it all meant. There was history unfolding before my very eyes. There was hope being manifested. There was proof that people want change. There was the voice of the nation saying, “Yes, we can.”

Barack Obama is one man, but he has people all over the USA who believe in him & what they can do together. He also has many Canadians like me who believe just as strongly.

Let’s go change the world. – Barack Obama


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Secret of the Sauce

My mother’s always said that the best kept secret in cooking is the one that doesn't exist. Well, if we have any cooking secrets in our kitchen it’s that you can use water in everything. Yes, folks, I said water. For example, my mother makes a great meat sauce (ditto for her tomato sauce), and when she puts some in the steam table to reheat for service, she dilutes it with water because it’s too thick. If she didn't do this, we would use double the amount of sauce every night. So, adding water means she doesn't have to make sauce as often, which means we save money.

Half water half sauce makes for something special, let me tell you. We argue about it all the time (big surprise), but she tells me and my sister to mind our own business because she knows what she’s doing. Well, she might be a genius in the kitchen when she’s on, but when she’s off, she’s so far off that there’s no GPS that can get her back on track. Take tomato sauce, for example. It should be red, right? On a good night, ours is a pinkish orange colour and fills the ladle like a watery soup, not a sauce. It’s hard for us not to stare as she scoops it up, but my mother just glares back at us with her ‘what the h*ll are you staring at’ look, like she’s daring us to challenge her. If we actually do say anything, the conversation usually goes something like this…

Me: Ma, that's too watery. It won’t stick to the pasta. We need to add more sauce.

Mother: You don’t know what you’re doing.

Me: Oh, I didn't know that over 20 years wasn't enough experience.

Mother: Don’t talk to me like that.

Me: But it looks like you left the sauce pot sitting under running water.

Mother: Stop being so smart.

Me: Sorry, I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to be more stupid around you.

Sister: Seriously, ma, we have 26 people to serve right now. I need more sauce.

Mother: You guys use too much sauce! I told you, you don’t know what you’re

Sister: OK, ma, we don’t know what we’re doing, but I still need more sauce to serve all these people!

Mother: Basta, Basta (translation: enough, enough)! I’m standing right here! Stop yelling! OK? I understand! You need more sauce!

Me: Finally! Who’s going to get it?

Sister: I can’t go with all of these pans on the stove.

Mother: You know something? You guys make me go crazy in here. I’ll go get it. OK? Just stop talking.

I know, all of this commotion over sauce is crazy, right? Well, this is what it's like working with a woman who got her start kickin' it old (make that very old) school. Sure, what she learned in kitchens way back when can be applied today, but they require a modern twist to make them work. Trying to make her understand that is the hard part. I mean, not only is the woman as stubborn as a mule, but she's also Italian (if you have European parents, you know what I'm talking about), so it's just about impossible to get through to her. Not for lack of trying though, believe me.

Anyway, there you have it, folks. The secret of the sauce is good old H2O.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thank You

Hello all, this is Eddy. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who left condolence messages. They are much appreciated. We're still trying to get over the shock of it all. It's happening slowly, but it's still very unreal for us right now. We just can't wrap our brains around the fact that my father's gone. He had a lot more life to live, but when you're time is up on this earth, there's nothing that you can do.

Until next time,

P.S. Just to let you know, JB has a few blog posts in the works. By that I mean that the stories she wants to tell are swirling around her mind. It's just been hard for her to sit down & focus on writing them. A new restaurant related post will be coming though, so stay tuned.
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