New Year's Re(v)olution

Christmas is already over, and I am a little sad. It is the most wonderful time of year, despite how out of the ordinary this particular Christmas was for me as a newly-wed and a former student that no longer gets a guaranteed four-week vacation. Matt and I managed to slide (quite literally; the weather was blustery and wet) into my home town just after midnight on Christmas Eve. We spent a whole three days eating, laughing, and giving and opening gifts with my family. I realize that each Christmas is a time to celebrate the way God has provided not only His Son and my Salvation, but the blessings and changes and challenges of this year.

Maybe it is the cycle of death and rebirth in the changing of the seasons that reminds me each new winter what my life has harvested recently. Just as the tree in our backyard grows leaves and fruit and sheds it's layers and then hibernates for winter, so do our lives to an extent. Each year we're a little bit stronger and taller than before, maybe a little weathered, but all the more beautiful.

Now that Christmas is over and 2010 is waiting for us at the end of this week, I have been contemplating what the new year will bring.

Here is my list of resolutions :
2. Lose 20 lbs. (No scoffing, please.)
3. Be more financially efficient in 3 easy steps: a) pay all bills on time. b) do not overdraft on any account, ever again. c) be financially trustworthy to my husband.
4. Exercise 3 times a week.
5. Make a 3-year plan for attending and completing graduate school. (Preferably at DePaul's Writing & Publishing MA Program.)
6. Finish the writing projects that I start. (This is vague on purpose; I apologize.)
7. Move out of my in-law's house by August 1st, 2010. (I'm thinking realistic, long-term, and no pressure.)
8. Eat at home 5 nights per week.
9. Earn and save at least $1,000 for an emergency fund.
10. Blog at least 4 times per week here!
With 3 days left to cushion my pride before entering the new year, I believe that these are realistic goals. A month from now I may disagree, but I want the trajectory of my life to be full of growth and ambition this year. I'm not attempting to build a mansion, but I am attempting to build a sanctuary, a place of security, serenity, and peace. The only solid foundation I have to stand on is my faith.

So, good-bye Christmas.

And God, I am thankful that your comfort, joy and peace reside in my heart year-round. Please bless this new season and help me to achieve my goals with the talent, passion, wisdom and knowledge that You have given me.


Daughter of a Cancer-Survivor's Response to New Government Guidelines...

It's been a hot topic today, the announcement was made by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force that they do not recommend women before the age of 50 to receive annual routine mammograms. Doctors and women across the U.S. are outraged, confused, and disbelieving of this change in guidelines. I am one those women, as is my mother, a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed after her first mammogram at the age of 35 in 1996. She began her annual mammograms much younger than most women because of her family medical history.

While the statement issued by the USPSTF is meant to exclude women like my mother who have a higher risk due to their family medical history, it is still a preposterous shift in standards for several significant, inexcusable reasons.
1) The guidelines do not take into account that not every woman has a thorough knowledge of their personal risk. Whether it is because they do not have contact with their biological family or because they do not know that they have been exposed to high-risk factors, like high dosages of birth control, radiation, or environmental hazards like contaminated drinking water or carcinogenic hormones in their food, each woman has a different level of risk that they may not be aware of. 
2) The USPSTF claims that the "risks" outweigh the number of lives saved in women younger than 50 who receive annual mammograms. These "risks" include: a) a frequent over-exposure to radiation from the mammogram equipment. b) "unnecessary biopsies" and "false positives that can cause anxiety for the patient and "over-treatment." According to the article I read on the FoxNews website, the USPSTF research shows the beginning mammogram screening at age 40 would save one life but lead to 470 false alarms per thousand cases.
What the USPSTF clearly does not understand is that momentary anxiety followed by the overwhelming relief of a false alarm is ALWAYS a better scenario than the gut-wrenching dread of discovering an aggressive cancer too late in the game. 
3) The USPSTF's statement on Monday also does not recommend any other form of breast examination tests instead of the mammogram. So not only do they discount the value of a yearly mammogram, but they have no alternative courses of preventative exercises for "low-risk" women.

The USPSTF does not seem to understand the value of EVERY LIFE. The "benefits" are no longer enough to promote self-examination, self-education, and preventative measures? The number of lives saved before the age of 50 are less important than the anxiety and money that can be saved on "false positives"?

Ultimately, I have to admit that my biggest fear is what this will mean for government health care plans. To be clear, I WANT all people regardless of their income to have access to affordable health care. However, my initial concern that government measures to insure everyone will infringe on patients' access to specialized treatment seems validated in light of this government task force's new set of guidelines. As it is, insurance companies will more than likely follow these new government guidelines if it means they will save money on "over-treatment."

I may be proven wrong in the long run. I hope I am. I am passionate about this because I know too many women who were diagnosed before they turned 50. Some of them never lived to their 50th birthday. Had it not been for my mother's own instincts and tenacity to fight for her own life, she would not have survived her first diagnosis, let alone her second diagnosis. She has been fighting this disease for 12 years. I shudder to think what our lives would be like if she had listened to someone else in the initial stages of her battle, or before she was even diagnosed. Truth be told, unless one has experienced cancer first hand, either through their own diagnosis or the diagnosis of a close family member, they will underestimate the depths of this illness. Cancer does not just taint bodies, it taints lives. These guidelines will not only influence the women who follow them, but will influence the lives of their daughters and granddaughters and their other loved ones.

Whatever the outcome of this change in guidelines, I know I am right in believing that government will never really be your advocate for your personal health concerns, whether they are about cancer or any other condition. Do not let the government or your doctor tell you that preventative measures are unnecessary, and ALWAYS self-examine. Early diagnosis and proactive treatment are your best bet.

YOU are your advocate. Evaluate your medical history, the possible exposure to hazardous material, and trust your instincts if you want to win this fight.

For more information on the USPSTF's statements, go to:


We Do Our Best Thinking Past Midnight...

My husband and I have the frequent habit of meeting together past midnight at Denny's. It started very early in our relationship, before we were dating and we were just goofing off with our friends, fully aware that we had 8 a.m. classes. And then in no time, we were dating and it became our station, an anchor to ground our friendship and our support for each other in our creative endeavors. My best friend even said at our wedding reception, "If it weren't for those late nights at Denny's, we might not be here today." She speaks truth.

Once again, it is well past midnight, and my husband and I have just returned from Denny's. It's the third time in a week that we've been to the Lake Street Denny's, or LSD as we so fondly refer to it. You can imagine what an eyebrow raiser the nickname can be in any given conversation, which makes it all the more dear to our hearts considering the effect that the char-flavored coffee can have on our thought processes at 2 a.m. At times it is the black hole, when we intended to be in a very different place, like IHOP, but we magically find ourselves there of all places, and we leave laughing hysterically and deeply satisfied that we came.

Tonight, once again, we sat sipping our piping hot, charred brew and discussing our future. What does he need to do to build his music career? What does he need to do to promote his guitar-teaching business? How will my phone interview go this week for that copy-editing job? Will I ever write, edit, or publish a book? Our conversation turns to our sources of inspiration, everyone from the Beatles to mewithoutyou to Unwed Sailor, from Shauna Niequist to Audrey Niffenegger to Sue Monk Kidd. How did they do it? How does it translate to my career?

Our answers to those questions, our ideas and inspirations, are always changing and evolving. It is in those moments, when we are staring at each other across the booth, that my heart lightens and I find the fuel to keep going. The insecurity associated with identifying myself as an artist- a struggling artist- somehow becomes insignificant and I discover with renewed hope and assurance the necessity for discussion, accountability, and coffee in our creative processes.

To My Hubs: may we live to be 87 years young and still meet at Denny's to mull over our future.


Planes, Trains, Journals, and Memories.

Since early September I have had the rare joy of reminiscing on exact places, thoughts, and feelings that I had at very specific moments in time. Last September I left for a 3 month trip to Europe and said good-bye to my school, my fiance, and friends and family. As my plane took flight, the surreality of my solitary trip enveloped me. I lived in a perpetual state of heightened senses and an acute awareness to the rare beauty of being totally independent and foreign to an area so rich in history and art.
The experience drove me to my writing, so within the week I had purchased a pocket-sized leather notebook that quickly filled with thoughts and feelings and the awe of my experiences.

I have been reading over each entry as I approach their dates, and I am so thankful to have that time capsule to connect to when I miss being there.

Below is an entry from Monday, November 3, 2008. It was our third full day in Copenhagen, Denmark, when we had only planned to be there for one day. Clogged train systems and a mistake on our part delayed us from going to Stockholm and on to the rest of our ten day trip.
"Most unfortunate happenstance. We are stuck in Copenhagen for another full day. We leave tonight for Stockholm, but a misunderstanding with the ticket master made us miss the fact that our train left from another station. We arrived at the right time at the wrong station! Our new reservations will take us away from Copenhagen at 6 this evening and will get us to Stockholm at 11pm. Because we made reservations for a train from Stockholm to Oslo tomorrow morning, we won't be able to spend any time in Stockholm. We won't even get to see it in daylight, which is really disappointing. Oh well, right? I'm sure there's more to your side of the story, ABBA, then our simple mistakes [...]I just think that sometimes, missing trains is a way of God sending us down a different track, for the better journey and the better destination."

And how true that has been for my life since I wrote that a year ago? All plans are tentative. There are a million places I could go, but my ultimate plan is to: 

1) Pursue the dreams He has placed on my heart, because I know from experience I will be blessed beyond my wildest imagination. 

2) Enjoy the journey. I'll be hopping on and hopping off trains my whole life, and who knows where they will take me and where I will end up, but I'll be glad that I spent time in each place, thankful for what I learned there.

3) Write everything down, for the future me, the one that is unsure of what to do next and is worried about what the future holds. To remember that God is guiding my course.


Poem: On Recipes

Standing in the kitchen, stirring sliced apples and brown sugar in pot, a thought came to me and for once I wrote it down. Enjoy.

"On Recipes"

They came from somewhere.
Somebody was talented, creative, and brave enough to TRY.

I start out using them as a crutch,
Get lazy- "I don't have that ingredient- screw it!"
And then I scrounge, dash, pour, stir, and PRAY-
and VOILA!
I make it, I eat it,
My husband tries it (because he loves me, not because he thinks it looks good.)
And we like it, think about ways to make it better next time,
and we don't die of food poisoning,
And we're well fed and live happily ever after for the rest of the evening.

Isn't that like life?
Everybody has their secret recipe for happiness and love-
And so you don't have everything they have- It's okay!
You make do.
Sometimes, you do have to break down and go fetch an ingredient or two-
Something doesn't come from nothing.
(Even Jesus used water to make the wine, you know.)

So, I've just finished making this concoction of deliciousness.
It is warm and wonderful,
And I had no recipe-

So I must be doing something right.


Only if You're Feeling Patient with Me...

I fail at updating this thing, sometimes. Forgive me. I should try harder to live up to my last post's title, or the title of my whole blog for that matter. 

In the interim I have been evaluating different aspects of my life and trying to make peace with them. 

I'm trying to make peace with the color of the leaves as they change from summer-green to autumn-orange, a sign that time is rushing ever forward, towards some things I don't feel prepared for. 

I am trying to make peace with my copious, long-awaited, and suddenly empty-feeling free time. 

I am trying to make peace with the past, because sometimes I forget that life is not a chapter book that I can flip back and forth through, skipping the parts I don't like and rereading and rereading the favorites. 

I am trying to make peace with this place in my life, this time, which is not the point when I am supposed to be wandering and daydreaming as I was a year ago. Somehow, the lack of obligations and structure is now making me crazy.

Let me save you the pain of reading what I have written here many times in the last six months, and let me say that as tough as it is, I am trying to live with purpose and with open arms. 

Today, I don't feel that way. Tomorrow, when I am walking home from work smelling like fried food and feeling like my feet might fall off, I will probably feel just as frustrated. But now is not an interim, just like a favorite author has pointed out to me. Now is a real time, and every time and season we grow through is a preparation for things to come.


Sub-standard Employee Still Writes

This is not how I wanted to start my day. This is not a blog I want to write. This is a day that is happening anyway, and this is a blog I have to write, for honesty’s sake and for my peace of mind because I am first and foremost a writer. 

I was fired from my part time job this morning. 

Trust me, I feel even worse when I look at it in print. Every thought you’re thinking right now as you read this, I’ve already thought with about 150 times the guilt and self pity that you can’t feel. 

So why am I writing this? Because the reality that most people avoid is this: even good people get fired from their jobs. I sincerely believe that I worked hard as a hostess at that restaurant, as hard as I could, and my boss did not like me or appreciate that hard work. It’s not an ideal situation, and it’s one I never thought I would be in; no one ever does, but it’s real and true and hard and scary. They said that my work was sub-standard and ill fitted to their establishment, in so many words. 

My question, after 6 months worth of weekdays and weekends dedicated to this position where I worked to the best of my abilities, is: 

To what extent can I take responsibility for this failure without losing faith or confidence in my ability to be a productive, hard-working employee just like everyone else? 

I was kind, considerate, polite, consistently on time (which is no easy feat for me, I’ll admit), and I always tried to do what they told me no matter what. The restaurant industry seems like easy money for wait-staff. The reality is, it can be really complicated. It is impossible to please both the customer and the boss at the same time when the boss says, “Seat them here” and the customer says, “May I sit there instead?” A customer’s wants and needs come before those of the establishment (within reason), and so the seating plan can become disarrayed, and the boss gets upset. 

It’s over now. I am starting from scratch in a down economy with a black mark on my resume and a Bachelor’s Degree I’m not sure I can use. I am writing this because my story is the reality of many unfortunate circumstances trying to get back on their feet. 

As my mom says, I can only look forward. I can choose to take what I can learn from the experience and lay it to rest. I don’t know what that means for my future, but I’ll keep you posted.


Blackbirds and Blogs.

My husband is jamming with his acoustic on our bed, and I just read eight chapters of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. (To my shame, it's harder for me to read and grasp than it was when I read it in high school.)

Matt and I went to see the new flick Julie & Julia tonight. I'm glad I did. I'll let you see for yourself what I mean when I say that it inspires you to reevaluate your own potential. Driving home from the flick, Matt mused about how hard it is to choose a career and make a living, especially when you have more than one gift or talent.

"Sometimes I wish God have given me just one talent so that I wouldn't have to worry about whether I am choosing the right one."

I responded, "I wish that so many other people weren't so good at what I am gifted with, so that I don't have to feel so intimidated."

I have a feeling that God was not sympathetic to those statements. In fact, I'm sure that He was disappointed. I am too. I think, now that I'm sitting on my bed listening to my husband play "Blackbird" with perfect ease, and I sit here writing away, that it's not the people, the industry, the world we're afraid of. We're afraid of ourselves.

It's like Julie said, "I can write a blog. I have thoughts." Indeed.


All the Single Ladies

There is nothing like an important life transition to show you who your friends are. Maybe I have never reached an important life transition. Maybe I was never so attached to my friendships as I am now at this point in my life.

This weekend was my bachelorette party. Amidst the stress of sorting RSVPs and scrounging for money and making plans to move out and in for the third time in a year, I took a weekend to spend with my girls. My best friends, my surrogate sisters, my soulmates. There were a few abscences. (Damn economy.) Most were there though, as promised, armed with mixers and clad in cocktail dresses just for me. There are pictures that will never be posted online or shown to our grandkids. There are stories that will be told forever. It was a fabulous weekend, one for my books.

As we sat around my living room sharing our "First/Worst" kissing stories, I contemplated each girl. My breath caught in my throat for a fraction of a second as I realized that each chapter of my life, each major transition that I survived was represented in the room. A surreal sense of wholeness settled with me. They were each with me through many of my firsts and worsts, and they are still cheering me on in my biggest adventure yet.

They are each incredible women. Smart. Sassy. Hilarious. Kind. Loving. Beautiful. Women. 

These are my friends, I kept thinking in awe and inexpressible gratitude. I hope and pray that each of them fulfill their dreams, and learn to see themselves as I see them- wholely beautiful, dearly loved.

A few days ago I was crying to my mom about how I hated not being in school and not having a job and not having money and never seeing my friends. I cried because this transition from college to career-seeking has been rough and lonely, and I was afraid that being absent from school would mean an absence of friendship. But last night, as I raised my glass to make a toast to my girls, the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" came on, almost as a challenge to the words I was about to say. It made me think twice.

To me, the bachelorette festivities weren't so much a celebration of my next transition so much as it was a celebration of the ones I already had, and the ones who got me through them. I celebrated with high hopes that I might be doing this for them one day. I celebrated with the hope and deep desire to someday drive hundreds of miles and stay out way too late and tell crazy old stories just so that I can say to them, "I support your dreams. I support your future. I support the woman you are becoming."

There is nothing like an important life transition to show you what kind of friend you aspire to be.


Future Employers, Fellow Employees: Please Read.

Last Tuesday night I was taking the Metra from Ogilvie station back to Elmhurst. The cars were full, and conversations carried from one seat to the next, whether anyone intended to overhear them or not. Behind me, a woman sat sideways in her seat, knees curled up beneath her, sketching on a notepad and talking to her friend on the phone. Even as I listened to my fiance talk about wedding plans, I couldn't help eavesdropping on the woman's conversation. Apparently, my fellow passenger has just hired a new assistant at her design company, and it's not going well.

"This girl seemed so bright. She just got a Master's in PR and plenty of internship experience. She had great recommendations. And I'm just so... disappointed. She's... lazy. Now that I have an assistant, I'm not only doing my work, but hers as well."

The woman went on to explain several scenarios in which the new girl had fallen far short of her expectations. The girl has even responded to her requests, saying, "Well, I don't do [insert task here]."

The conversation was intriguing to me for a number of reasons. For the first time, I was able to hear exactly how bosses perceive an employee's behavior, everything from their verbal response to their body language, to the way the dress and the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task. I know that it's important to dress professionally, work efficiently, and show office ettiquette. What I was hearing in her conversation was an unedited, heart-to-heart between two seasoned professionals. This new girl will probably never hear any version of that conversation. Maybe she'll hear a version of the "It's just not working out"-talk. But she might never know the specifics that I heard in that phone conversation.
When you are an assistant to a boss, they rely heavily on your ability to speak, spell, react quickly, and make suggestions or offer constructive criticism. I was slightly shocked to hear that there are employers that care and even rely on their employees' opinions of the material produced in their company. I should know this, but somehow I feel that we've been trained to believe that if we tell our bosses what we think they want to hear, they'll respect us more. In truth, we've simply been trained to cover our asses, a mindset which molds employees like Disappointment Dimwit into the lackluster assistant that she is.

As I kept listening, I had an irrational and overwhelming urge to turn around, stick out my hand, and say, 

"Hello, my name is Bethany, your long-lost wonderassistant." 

But I didn't. Probably would not have been a very good first impression.


My Aha! Moment

A year ago I attended the Illinois Reading Conference per the request of one of my professors. I was the only non-education major. I was at least 3 years younger than the other 1,000 attendants. I felt totally out of place. I think it was one of the first moments where I realized that I was reaching adulthood, a world where people work and attend important events and pull their lives together to be workers and wives (or husbands). I was terrified. I wasn't ready.

I've felt that same feeling several times since then. 

I felt it when I was standing in the airport alone, about to leave for my semester abroad. I felt it when I came back from studying abroad and realized that I was four months away from living on my own and I had no money, no job, no car, no place to live, and no plans for my career. I felt it when I turned in my last paper on my last day of college. I've felt it in little spurts of fear since I graduated and realized that some of my peers have their careers already. They not only have a plan of action, but they have follow-through.

Thursday of last week my boss asked me to attend a breakfast this morning for a literacy conference on campus. My assignment was to attend and write a feature on it in the next issue of our quarterly publication.

An easy enough assignment, and one I was delighted to do. Upon arrival, I was terrified. What is this event for again? I had a distinct feeling of being the only person in a room of over 200 that had no idea what was going on.

I realized I couldn't skip out on the assignment. I couldn't sit in the back of the room unnoticed... I could ask questions, though. I could admit that I didn't know what was going on. So I did.

God could not have stuck me in a more perfect scenario than this breakfast on this morning, I've realized. I finally had an "Aha!" moment, even if it took me awhile. Did you know that the word "commencement" is synonymous for "beginning?" My college commencement was not an end; it was the beginning of something- an era, a period, a chapter of my life, my adulthood. (Am I being too philosophical for you yet?)

I thought that the beginning of adulthood would be the end of I-don't-know-what's-going on-hood. I was wrong. I think that having the confidence and the determination to make yourself one among a roomful of people who do know what's going on is a step, however small, toward being an adult.


I'm a Dime-a-Dozen.

When I'm not working at my restaurant I am working for the Communications Department for the Advancement Office at Judson University. I acquired the position in early January when I had just returned from studying abroad and was beginning to panic about graduating without any experience in my field. Thankfully, I still have my position here. I get to use my degree (however sporadically) to write for Judson's quarterly publication as well as several other office projects.

I came in this morning lamenting having to work at all because I wanted to sleep in and I wanted to enjoy the nice day and I wanted to complete my own list of to-do's. It was in the midst of my ungratefulness when I checked my email and found 11 messages from CareerBuilder.com waiting for me. Apparently, I qualify for several burgeoning marketing companies despite my lack of financial, marketing and business knowledge or experience. Yay.

It would be easy for me to get discouraged right now. I can choose between telemarketing or the food industry right now while the media and journalism industries tighten their payrolls and ignore my resume.
I'm not discouraged, though. The truth is that while I know what I want, I'm not 100 percent sure that it is best for me. I don't know where I'll be in a year or five or ten. I only know that I right now I have two jobs: one that pays my bills and sometimes drives me crazy, and one that is slowly but surely honing my skills for something greater.

I'm recognizing that the "Go to college and you'll get the job you want!" line that our parents fed us is only partially true. They forgot to mention that industries are competitive, and that you and your degree are a dime a dozen without hard work and a lot of blind faith.


Please Sedate Your Child... or Leave the Restaurant.

I work part-time as a hostess for a popular, up-scale breakfast restaurant. Most days, I sincerely enjoy my job. Unlike the soulless retail jobs I worked for years, hostessing is an opportunity to connect with people the people I serve. I like to satisfy patrons with a sunny window-seat on an early morning, with a smile and a cheery "have a wonderful day."

Sometimes, people make my job difficult. I take it with a smile and a grain of salt as often as I can. Due to the prices, location, and atmosphere of the restaurant, we attract hoitie-toities in droves. I glance at the women's 3 1/2 carat diamonds and sigh, but as long as they are nice and leave my waitresses a decent tip, I don't resent them.

Today, a hoitie-toitie and her family came in for breakfast, Ralph Lauren-clad toddlers in tow. I sat their party of 9 in the middle of the restaurant per their request and left them to dine in happiness. Not 10 minutes later, hoitie-toitie's two-year-old began screaming at the top of her lungs. It was worse than the loudest microphone going haywire in the smallest auditorium. The little angel's face turned plum purple in her anger, and her screams reverberated through the restaurant for all to hear. The bustle of activity halted and as everyone dropped their utensils, menus and conversations to plug the ears against the noise. Hoitie-toitie clapped her hand over little angel's face, and to our relief she stopped. After a few minutes, she began squalling again.

When patrons began ordering their food to go in order to escape the noise, my manager approached the woman and asked her to remove her child from the dining area because she was "annoying the customers and no one wants to be around it." That is when the real screaming began. Hoitie-toitie and her family stormed out of the restaurant mid-meal (they did pay their bill, thank goodness).

Hours later, having seated many happy and day-redeeming diners since the incident, we were dismayed to see hoitie-toitie walk back in the door. She slapped a thick, white envelope on the counter and asked for the owner. Our owner is currently in Greece mourning the death of his father, who passed early this week. My manager came to meet her at the register. Hoitie-toitie had apparently returned for round two of the argument and informed us that the thick,white envelope enclosed a copy of a letter she had sent to the Daily Herald expressing the nature of her visit to our restaurant today. She ended her monologue by explaining that while her angel may have been unruly this morning, she takes her brood out to eat all the time, and in similar situations other waiters and managers have brought the child candy or crayons or toys to distract her, and how hard would it have been for my manager to do the same instead of insulting her family and ruining their outing?

My manager nodded and apologized and promised to inform our owner of the incident, and the woman left with a domineering smile.

What I wish I could have said, were it not for my job, is this:
It is not anyone else's job to entertain, distract, discipline, or sedate your child. Our restaurant seats over 200 people, and on this Sunday morning, like most, it was filled to its capacity with people who were there to enjoy a quiet morning with their family and friends, full of good food and good conversation. YOU ruined it for them. If anyone had a right to complain at my manager, it was the other diners and not you. I agree that my manager should have used a more courteous and respectful choice of words, but she is trying to run a business.
Today, I was once again struck with the realization of how satisfaction-driven our society is. We complain for booths instead of tables, window seats instead of aisle seats, a new cup of coffee because this one tastes old, and we expect a restaurant full of people to shut-up and deal while our child screams for 45 minutes.

It is an age-old complaint. "We're too consumer-driven. We're too picky. There are starving people in China who would love a meal, let alone the best seat in the house."

I do my job. I treat each patron, wealthy or scraping-by, equally. Everyone deserves a delicious breakfast and kind service. I try not to question it too often, but their are people and circumstances that make me wonder: Should the customer always be right? 

When do we have the right to say, "Please take your bad parenting and your atrocious, self-indulgent attitude somewhere else?"


Write, Right...

I want to write and I want to do it right. I’ve had a few personal blogs in my time, but as a recent college grad with no job prospects but a desperate desire to keep writing, I want to give this a serious shot. I have every intention of making this a body of work, an example of my aspirations, my growth, and my potential. Bear with me as I try to get and keep a day job. I may suck one day and succeed another, but I am trying to hone my writing skills outside of the boundaries of school.

Feedback is welcome- spelling, grammar, punctuation, tone, direction, etc.