Tag Archives: beer

5…6…pick up sticks!

So I arrived home early yesterday morning after another glorious few days in the Poconos. This time Joe allowed me to bring one of my girlfriends (much to my surprise); he did pretty well, too, listening to us whine about men and how “fat” we are (that second little complaint was usually followed by shoving some more mozzarella cheese into each of our mouths), and he didn’t even object to our afternoon dance parties in the tiny living room.

Instead, he spent the majority of his time outside, doing what I refer to as “picking up sticks”. He hates when I say this (but laughs every time I do). But it all started one afternoon as I watch him from the kitchen window, as he indulged in his personal manly time: cigarette in one hand, beer in the other, Led Zeppelin on the radio, a large pile of sticks that had once been strewn across the yard, now stacked neatly one on top of the other. Of course I plopped right back on the couch after seeing this, only making a pit stop at the fridge for another beer.

But, I only joke around; he spends hours ripping up weeds, cleaning out gutters, and those “sticks” are our firewood so I can warm my toes at night. Occasionally I peer outside and ask if he’d like any help, but the answer is always “no, it’s okay”. Is it terrible that I breathe a tiny sigh of relief when he says this? I’m horrible. But I’d only hate to intrude on his alone time! …Right?

But, to feel like we were doing something other than eating all the food and drinking all the beer, this week I recruited my friend to help me dust every shelf in the house.

This took about…ten minutes.

And there we were, right back on the couch, watching Say Anything and eating fudge.


I got right back to it this morning, kickboxing until my arms fell off. (They didn’t actually fall off…but…you get the point.)

The afternoon came to a close after lunch with one of my best friends and the one and only adorable baby Joseph. He slept the entire time. (Even when I decided to get the other side of my nose pierced.)

Now to convince my manly man to take me out to dinner tonight.

Happy Friday, everyone. 🙂 I have some writing to do.


Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Writing

“Is your gingerale made with real ginger?”

I like to consider myself a generally easygoing, friendly individual, respectful of those around me as well as completely aware that the world does not, unfortunately, revolve around me. My actions affect others, and my mama raised me to have manners or else I’d get my ass kicked.

After a few years working in the restaurant business, it’s become obvious to me that there are several individuals who do not share my thoughts on this matter, or else did not have a mother and father who taught them how NOT to be a douche bag.

So for this post, I thought I’d join the thousands of servers and bartenders who have already cried out in anger about the guy who didn’t tip, or the girl who sent her drink back 3 times, or the couple with the baby that made a mess of half the restaurant.

So, here it is, from my tiny pocket of the world –

(My) 10 Reasons the Bartender (or Server) Hates You

(In friendly pink text!)

1. “Hi! How are you? My name’s Ni-”


In this scenario, I usually carry on with my friendly introduction anyway. More often than not, the customer then looks at me in total confusion.

2. (This one applies specifically to those who work in an airport.)

“I need my check, ASAP – I have a flight to catch!!”

My response: “NO WAY!!!”

3. ::Customer walks into extremely crowded restaurant and waves me over; meanwhile, I have two menus stuffed under each arm, stacks of dirty glasses in each hand and a fry in my hair::

Me: “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, are there any free tables?”

(Keep in mind, in this scenario, a large “Please Seat Yourself” sign is kept in clear view at the front of the restaurant.)

4. :Customer sits directly in front of beer taps::

Me: “Hi! Can I start you out with something to drink?”

Customer: “Yeah. What do you have on tap?”

::I turn around and do my best Vanna White impression::

5. Customer: “Is this tip okay?”

::Shows me the slip. Bill: $50. Tip: $2.::

Me: “That’s…fine!”

Are you expecting me to say, “No, leave more, you cheapskate”?

6. ::Hand menu to customer::

Customer: “Do you have appetizers?”

Me: “Yes!” ::I point to ‘Starters’ section::

Customer: “Do you have soup?”

Me: “Yes” ::I point to ‘Soup/Salad’ section::

Customer: “Do you have -”


7. Customer: “So, uh…what’s good here?”

My mind’s response: “Nothing. It’s all crap. You don’t wanna eat here. You may as well just leave Right. Now.”

My actual response: “The chicken sandwiches are delicious!” (Eh, something like that.)

8. Customer: “There’s no alcohol in this drink.” (They just watched me make it, and pour about 2 ounces of vodka into the glass.)

I have no response for this.

9. ::I make my way to a table to deliver an order::

Me: “French fries?”

Customer(s): ::silence::

Me: “French fries?”

Customer(s): ::silence:: ::someone starts texting::

::I place french fries on table and walk away::

10. ::The ‘Section Closed’ sign is in place and I am busy mopping said section.::

Customer: “Is this section open?”

Again, no response to this.


Le sigh.

This is only a tiny piece of the strange things we see and hear on a weekly basis. But – we put on a big, fake smile and tolerate, because at the end of the night, it’s (usually) worth it.







Filed under Job, Uncategorized

Fall returns in all its pumpkin-ey glory!

And our fridge is prepared (nevermind the tomato juice).

Pumpkin coffee! Pumpkin pie! Pumpkin candles!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes!!

The leaves are turning. The food is better. The clothes are better. There’s a chill in the air. HAUNTED HOUSES ARE COMING BACK!

You’d think we’d be all pumpkin-ed out already, and it’s not even Halloween yet. But no – I can never get enough pumpkin this time of year. And I know there’s many who would agree.

While I was late on the Starbucks bandwagon (only within the last year have I struck up a romance with their Tazo Chai Tea Latte), I’m sure glad I did. Their Pumpkin Spice Latte? Heaven in a coffee cup. And while I have not yet tried the Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin coffee, I am very eager to get over there and purchase one. I’ve heard very good things about it.

And one of my favorite things about Fall? (Besides Halloween.)

The beer.

See that Sam Adams 12-pack in the picture up there? Not only does it hold their Harvest Pumpkin Ale, but it also contains one of the most delicious beers I have ever had…

Behold the smokey amazingness.

Sam Adams doesn’t lie. Their Bonfire Rauchbier tastes like an actual bonfire. (But I promise you won’t be left with any soot or things associated with an actual bonfire.) What you will be left with, however, is the urge to drink about eight more. Sadly, only 2 are available in the sampler case.

So light a fire (safety first!) and enjoy.

And go here (enter your birth date first…no children allowed!) for more information on the deliciousness:


Over the weekend, Joe and I went to a friend’s house for a Fall-time beer tasting. Complete with pumpkin dip, a pumpkin candle, and pumpkin muffins, we sampled about a dozen different pumpkin beers. And while listening to 311, seated at a picnic table in good company, I fell in love with this:

All hail the Pumking! ...No, seriously.

Looking for pumpkin pie in a bottle? Then you’ve come to the right place. Smell it before you sip it; the aroma is like mom’s house at Thanksgiving. Creamy, delicious, and you can smell the graham cracker crust. I bet it would be phenomenal with whipped cream on top…but why mess with perfection?

By the way – I have 4 reserved bottles of this coming my way tonight. Be jealous.

Enjoy the season! And all of the pumpkin variety that comes along with it.



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Ready for another round of beer and grease.

A charred weiner...delicious.

A few weeks ago Joe and I spent 3 days in the Poconos, swatting bugs and breathing in the mountain air – all while flipping through the five television stations available and crushing beer can after beer can. Breakfast was sticky buns and dinner was burgers and smores.

Ellen Degeneres once spoke words of wisdom regarding how easy it is for us to stuff our faces in the darkness of a movie theater, completely guilt-free:

“We stock up on popcorn and candy like we’re crossing the Sierras, don’t we? “I’ll have a couple of soft pretzels, a hot dog, Milk Duds, Snocaps. Is that the largest popcorn you’ve got there, that bucket? You don’t have a barrel or anything like that? Do you have a donkey or a pack mule or anything? – Oh, and a Diet Coke.”

Well, being on a mountaintop somehow puts a cap on that part of my brain that feels any guilt about eating 3 sticky buns and washing them down with a Blue Moon and pizza bites. But…this time I think I’ll bring my bike.

I’m not exactly the outdoorsy type – my idea of “relaxing” doesn’t involve mosquitoes and spiders. But I do enjoy a nice open fire and the smell it leaves in my hair and on my clothes.

Five essentials I bring into the wilderness (or…a large mobile home tucked between some trees):

1) Sunblock (how do you think I stay this pale?)

2) Journal (for those moments of inspiration that arise from being surrounded by bodies of water and wild animals)

3) Alcohol (duh)

4) Laptop (not for internet, but for taking advantage of quiet time to work on my book-in-progress)

5) Underwear.

I dream of walking the streets of Venice with nothing but a backpack and a comfortable pair of sneakers on my feet, but until then, being nestled in a little corner of nature with the man I love is good enough for me. Even if I have to bathe myself in bug spray.

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Work, work, beer, work, write.

The order of those things should probably be a little different. Write, work…beer?…work. Something like that. Sometimes “write” and “beer” can join forces.

While I am completely aware that my parents are proud of my accomplishments thus far – proud enough to post my next handful of missions in life on Facebook – any talk of my plan terrifies me. I feel it’s going to jinx me in some way; if everyone keeps quiet, ten years from now I could be be nursing a cramping hand after signing the 100th copy of my latest novel, chai tea by my side, posted by a hardback display of my head shot in a Barnes & Noble. Oh, and I’d be wearing glasses and a scarf. The accessories of an intelligent novelist, of course.


If friends and family continue to receive a play-by-play of the career I don’t even have yet….I’m doomed. I’m hopeless. I’ll still be waiting tables and paying to put my own shitty book on the shelves. Now I realize how stupid this sounds, but I am superstitious about these things. Hmph.
For a writer with serious A.D.D., short stories have always been my preference. However, after taking a course called Writing the Novel in my last semester, I tested the waters of writing something a tad more lengthy. Seven chapters and about 40 pages later, I’m pretty damn proud of how far I’ve come. Of course since graduating and not having a professor and five of my peers breathing down my neck to get the latest chapter completed, my progress has slowed a bit. I’m hoping to take a writing workshop this summer that will keep my level of motivation high.

I have not yet come up with any sort of title, something that was always one of my favorite parts of writing a new piece. But somehow, I feel that makes me more serious about this one. Hm. It’s sort of a horror-crime-murder-mystery (horror is my strong point), taking place in 1985. I thought writing in the 80s would be a good challenge for me, and I love the clothing and music of the era, of course. Who doesn’t enjoy big hair and acid-wash jeans? Anyway….

The time is 1985. Summer. Queens. Angel Vasco lives in the usually quiet neighborhood of Southside with her sister, Sarah Vasco. Angel dances at Half Moon Nightclub, located in the noisier Northside. Angel is strong, fairly intelligent, and uses her sexuality to get what she wants. Sarah is the weaker of the two sisters: quiet, very much a push-over, goes through a string of abusive relationships that worries Angel. After Angel is raped by a man that confronts her in her dressing room after a show, she gives in to anger and revenge that gives birth to a rather bloody series of events.

Publish-worthy? I sure hope so.

There is a bit more to the story that I hope to execute well: the relationship Angel had with her late mother, the strains on the relationship between Angel and Sarah, how their father abandoned them after their mother passed away. Aside from a story about murder, it is a story about self-discovery and family.


Before the ground had settled around a small headstone that read “Mary Ann Vasco 1930 – 1965”, our father was already miles away from us, drowning in vodka and reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Over the next thirteen years, our conversations were scattered, as he sank into the dip in his armchair and I was forced to teach Sarah (and myself) how to do homework and tie shoelaces, our father only providing us with the necessities of food and shelter. We were suffocated with small mumbles and goodbyes until on my 18th birthday, he left. That’s the day my skin hardened and I shoved the card and whatever bullshit explanation he had left into the trash without ever opening it.

Now, as I stood before my broken sister, I blamed myself for shielding her during those years instead of throwing her straight into the storm. I had developed a protective shell – she lay exposed and constantly defenseless.

I let out a long breath and went back to my room, once again digging through the pile of delicates in the corner, finally pulling out a thin elastic band covered in a mesh of black lace. I pulled on a pair of Levis and a blue sweater that hung off one shoulder, Sarah silent now in the next room. I stuffed the garters into a leather u-shaped pocketbook embellished with stringy fringe and grabbed another bag filled with makeup and perfumes; I mumbled a goodbye as I made my way down the hall, grabbing a bottle of Evian before loudly making my way out the front door and down three flights of hot stairs to the street.

I knew Sarah would never tell me who gave her the bruise; she would wear sunglasses in the market and call out of work, tell people she slipped climbing out of the tub. After our father left Sarah and I were forced out of our small home in a somewhat clean suburb of New York. We moved into a smaller apartment in Queens and she crumbled.
Comments? Anything? Is this thing on?

If you’re stuck in New Jersey as I am, be careful in the heat. You  know it’s bad when the weather application on your phone shows a little cactus next to Wednesday and Thursday. Ugh.

Angel Vasco’s theme song.

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