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Monday, January 11, 2010

Beyond The Swinging Doors

I've often wondered what kind of mischief ensues beyond the swinging doors that lead to restaurant kitchens. Watching movies like "Waiting" has always made me wish I knew the "rules" that you must follow to avoid having your dinner vandalized. After seeing an article on Yahoo titled "Secrets your waiter won't tell you", I found a refreshing blog, written by a veteran server, that provides interesting and amusing stories and plenty of inside secrets.

"Server Not Slave" is the title of the blog and I've added it to my sidebar as one of my faves to visit, and hope everyone checks it out and spreads the word. It's written from the perspective of a server who has seen it all...the rude diners, the odd requests, last-second changes that cause chaos in the kitchen, etc.. What is so surprising to me is that it doesn't come off as an angry server trash-talking customers that have pissed him off, but rather an inside look at what servers appreciate and are dealing with and what you can expect under many different scenarios.

The idea of this blog could seem like a "how to behave in a restaurant" guide but it's more like a lesson in avoiding situations that can lead to bad service. Honestly, who wouldn't want to go out to eat, with the tips and tricks that will get you the best service possible? You can bet that your server will appreciate the obvious effort you're making and will take care of you that much more.

**If you have any horror stories or experiences from dining out, please share them in comments.**

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Taylor Swift: A New Breed

Although I am someone who enjoys nearly all types of music, most would be surprised to hear me praise an artist like Taylor Swift when Korn and Alice In Chains have my car windows rattling on most days and my earphones are humming with Ice Cube or Eminem. However, it's hard not to be impressed with the Miley-like explosion of Taylor's career, especially in the year 2009.

I hadn't really heard of her until "Love Story" was in heavy rotation on the radio and the song inevitably began sticking in my ears. After seeing a few performances and a Dateline special with a backstage peek at preparations for her headlining tour, it was obvious that this girl will be around for a very long time. She's already received top honors at the CMA awards and even managed to make history as the first country star to win an MTV VMA award, and the events that followed showed us all once more why we love to hate Kanye West.

For me, much of Taylor's appeal comes from being a music artist who writes her own material and has achieved enormous success, yet miraculously manages to leave the house with her underwear in place and avoid the drug/alcohol scene. She is known for writing the names of exes into her songs, which she joked about during her SNL monologue, while taking the opportunity to blast infamous ex Joe Jonas as "that guy who broke up with me on the phone".

At age 19, Swift embarked on her first headlining tour, which she planned down to the last detail, then became the youngest artist to ever both be nominated for, and win, the award for Entertainer of the Year from the Country Music Association Awards. That was one of 5 she won in 2009, including Best Female Vocalist and Album of the Year. The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards are just around the corner, and I'm betting on another string of awards for this "Fearless" superstar.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back In The Saddle

Happy New Year to my readers (all *3 of you)!

The holidays were just as relaxing and welcomed as they were stressful but I survived. After a day at Disneyland the week before Christmas, an annoying tickle in my throat turned into Bronchitis and I spent the last two weeks fighting back coughing fits while trying to enjoy my time off. Thankfully, just in time to get back to work, I am cough-free with a sense of renewed enthusiasm for the year ahead.

My first priority is a commitment to making time for the things that make me happiest. Among them is sharing my thoughts with everyone here, so I promise no less than one new post per week, and I'm hoping to have even more. In order for me to achieve this goal, I'd appreciate some feedback on what you've enjoyed and what you'd like to see more of so that I can build a bank of ideas for new topics and ideas. After all, I don't write this blog for me, I write it for anyone who cares to listen, anyone who wants to be entertained, even those who accidentally find themselves here. Also, I have to mention comments; they are like Christmas presents that I get to open all year long, so please share your thoughts about anything you see here whether you have something nice to say or you want to tell me I'm an idiot (I can take it). I wish you all the best of luck and success in this new year, and I hope that my words provide some level of entertainment for all who wish to sift through my thoughts.

*Regarding my comment about my 3 readers, I truly hope that there are more than 3 people reading this on any kind of regular basis and I'm pretty sure there are. For those of you who check in from time to time, your time is appreciated. I hope you share this with friends and family who take some kind of pleasure from visiting.