Monthly Archives: August 2012

Day 107 – I Guess I’ll Namaste Here For A While

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It’s all real. I’m officially done with college. My roommates and I dropped my brother, Kyle, off at his new apartment in the Bronx last night for his Junior year at Fordham University. As we were moving in, I was getting excited, thinking of “All the pretty new things I could hang in my dorm room!” and “I can’t wait to walk around campus and see everybody again!” and “The first night out is gonna be sooo much fun!” Until it sunk in…that I would leave that apartment and go home. To the house I grew up in, with my first-ever, and now current, roommates. And for the first time, I was really sad. Like not nostalgic, not wishful, not sentimental – I was truly sad. Reality commences… now.

^ What people really should’ve written inside my Graduation cards. ^

But I’ve been preparing. And filling my life with new and exciting things to keep my spirits from sinking. Things like new brown boots, and tickets to Jets games, and… yoga classes.

Yoga! I took my first class over the weekend with my Aunt Mo after buying an unbelievable LivingSocial deal, where I got 12 classes for $40 – unheard of. I was always encouraged to try it, by my Aunt, Brooke, Jess, and other friends of mine who had taken classes and loved it.

At one point, Brooke and Jess had fully convinced me to try it. It was the fall semester of my senior year at the U. I pulled on leggings and a sports bra and grabbed the yoga mat Brooke was lending me, anxious to experience my first class. But it never happened that day. We couldn’t find the studio at first, and by the time we got there, class had already started. Fail #1.

The three of us tried again the following week. Planning ahead better, we were right on time! …Which I learned, in the yoga world, is late. And so we weren’t allowed in the studio. Time number two was also a failure.

On our third attempt, we got distracted on the way to the studio because we made a stop in an incense shop off US-1 and never made it to class. In fact, we ended up meeting Miami Street Artists, and helping them spray paint a mural on the side of the building – but that’s another story entirely.

Basically, I never got around to doing yoga in Miami, but I’m so happy I finally tried it. Because it’s just as relaxing and therapeutic as people say, and it’s honestly one of the best workouts I’ve had in a LONG time. (And I didn’t feel like dying afterwards, which was a nice change from my usual gym trips.) In fact, I’m going back tonight! I’m really excited to incorporate yoga classes into my weekly routines, and I’m so glad my Aunt Mo finally convinced me to try it. I hope it’ll be a good way for me to deal with the big change of living at home for good.

Whether or not it’s exactly what I want right now, and no matter how tough an adjustment it is to spend every day living home (as opposed to only summers and vacation time), I know that I’ll come to accept it. Accept that I’ll officially be staying here for quite a while.

Namaste.

Day 101 – The Ultimate Stay-cation

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First of all – triple digits? It’s been over 100 days since I graduated? Be right back, gotta go throw up in the bathroom. Just kidding, but really, withdrawal symptoms are officially kicking in. Only took 100 days. The 100 Days of Summer.

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, especially since it’s around the time of the year when everyone heads back to school. Every day, I feel as if I’m being pulled by some supernatural force towards my suitcases, which, of course, haven’t been stored in the attic yet and are sitting at the food of the basement stairs, waiting to be filled with shorts, flip flops, and sundresses. The Universe knows I should be preparing for my 21-hour south-bound journey to Miami. You’re not supposed to defy the Universe, but it seems as if I have no choice. I’ll have to let my suitcases know that I’m here to stay.

In other news – I need a vacation.

I know what you’re thinking. Rough life this chick lives. Social media intern by day, Bell Blvd party girl by night. And thats why I’m not talking about a vacation that requires packing my suitcases (I wouldn’t want to confuse them, after all) and traveling somewhere exotic, with beaches, frozen daiquiris and island music. Although I wouldn’t fight that either. What I want more than that is a vacation right here at home and do nothing at all. More like…a stay-cation.

Stay-cation [stay-cay-shun] noun: A vacation in which one does not leave the comfort of their home; the vacation is more of a break from daily routine rather than a getaway to somewhere else; requires “staying” for a long period of time, taking advantage of the fact that everything you need is in arm’s reach, and not feeling the need to leave home.

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Would it really bother anyone if I just stayed here for a day or six?

I want to sleep until noon, waking up without my blaring iPhone alarm, and not get bothered about it. I want to treat myself to big breakfast of scrambled eggs or an omelette and a delicious New York City bagel, with a tall OJ and coffee. Which I, of course, will eat sitting Indian style on the couch. I want to float in my backyard pool and relax until the tall trees in my yard block the sun and cast shadows over the water. I want to take a warm shower and change into sweatpants, and not have to blow dry my hair. I want to spend the rest of the day watching reruns of “Law and Order SVU” or a marathon of “Say Yes to the Dress” or all eight of the Harry Potter movies. I want to put my phone on silent and not have to answer a single e-mail, text message, Facebook notification, or phone call all day long. I want to snuggle with my dog and order in Chinese food, or a pizza, or Chipotle for dinner. And after I feel like I’ve done enough with my day, I want to have a glass of wine, curl up in bed nice and early, and drift away to sleep. I only need this for about three days, maybe even just two, to just chill out, and concern myself only with the matters of Elliot Stabler, Kleinfeld bridal shot, and The Boy Who Lived.

And now, a poem.

There is no other girl in this nation,
No one else in my whole generation,
Who sits here and lacks more motivation
And is in more need of a staycation.
Others may be more stressed in relation,
Dealing with some serious frustration,
Like working in some strict corporation,
But I still think I need a staycation.
I don’t need a tropical location,
Be it Cuban, Tahitian, Haitian.
I’m learning monetary conservation
And so I’ll settle for just a staycation.
I think I just need exhalation –
Or something more like hibernation –
To expel all stress and irritation –
Be nothing more than a couch’s decoration.
But if I need to provide vindication,
Just know I’m suffering from true devastation
Of it being 100 days passed graduation;
This blog itself is confirmation.
So before you judge my situation,
Or nearly nightly intoxication,
Know that my heart is in true desperation
For my two-day-long, cozy, staycation.

Day Ninety-Nine – The Bourne Confusion

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Spoiler alert. I may ruin the plot of this movie for you, so if you haven’t seen it, you might not want to read any further.

Or it might not matter since I don’t think I understood this movie anyway.

Also disclaimer, this WILL be boring but I know Daniella will think it’s funny so read at your own risk.

I went on a movie date last week to see The Bourne Legacy. Normally I would’ve demanded to see something more along the lines of Ice Age: Continental Drift, but he paid for my hibachi dinner a few nights before. Plus, he was buying the tickets, so I felt obligated to let him pick the movie. Since it was a total waste of 135 minutes, I figure I’ll make the $11.50 money well-spent by writing a plot summary/review of the movie.

No talking or texting while reading this post.

Here’s the plot.

The movie starts and they’re in Alaska. I only know this because some words popped up that said “Alaska.” The main character, Jeremy Renner, whose name is Aaron in the movie, is training for something. He’s taking drugs – blue and green pills. Don’t know why. He climbs a snowy mountain and some guy in a tree sees him and keeps asking how he got there so fast or something.

Tree Man:”You beat the record.” *Aaron is confused.* “You didn’t even know there was a record, did you?”

Aaron and Tree Man go back to this cozy little cabin and talk about their drugs. They’re clearly not supposed to be discussing anything because Tree Man is visibly uncomfortable with the conversation. Aaron pretends he lost a bunch of his drugs while wolves were chasing him because he wants more. More uncomfortable conversation, and you find out T.M. is in Alaska because he fell in love and I guess you’re not supposed to do that (?). They eat dinner and Aaron goes to bed and sees “JASON BOURNE” carved into the wood. And he furrow his brow. This part is all pretty detailed because at this point I was still really paying attention.

WHERE IS MATT DAMON?

Then there’s some CIA stuff. People are finding out about “the program.” (I leaned over and asked what the program was, and my date informed me, “The thing Jason Bourne was in, that’s why they were chasing him.” Oh okay. Got it.) So they decide to kill off all the people in the program and they start giving them yellow drugs instead of the blue and green ones. Three people die, including the Asian lady who I already knew was going to die because I saw it in the movie trailer. Switch back to Alaska, and Aaron and T.M. are getting ready to leave. They hear a weird noise, so Aaron goes outside and OUT OF NOWHERE A MISSLE BLOWS UP THE ALASKAN CABIN!!!11 Poor T.M. But Aaron knows something is up so he puts his jacket inside out and runs away. CIA people are tracking them (They must have the Find My Friends iPhone app) but Aaron is smart, catches a wolf, and puts his tracker in the wolf so they think he’s dead too. Aaron FTW.

Back in Not-Alaska (I don’t know where the rest of the movie takes place), the girl who is clearly the supporting actress in the movie is the only person to survive when a “program” employee goes on a shooting rampage and kills everyone in the lab that makes the drugs. Serious PTSD. So these CIA people come to her house to “evaluate” her, so they say. NO WAY JOSE. All of a sudden they’re gonna kill her! But thank God Aaron somehow knew a) where she was, b) that people were there, and c) that they were gonna shoot her so he comes flying through the window and saves her!!!! After the CIA people are dead, they set the house on fire.

…MATT DAMON?

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No, not Matt Damon. But still f*cking sh*t up.

The rest of the movie is them running away. You find out the drugs are keeping Aaron alive because the CIA “program” people made him sick, and he’s obviously super pissed. Girl tells him that she doesn’t have any more meds – they make them all the way in the Philippines. No biggie. Aaron makes a SICK fake passport for her (where was Aaron when I was underage and needed a good ID?!) and they go to the Philippines. By this point, the CIA has figured out somethings up. The burnt-down attack house is checked out and there are four dead bodies – none of them are Girl. So they’re like, “WTF? How did she escape?” They start looking things up on their super high-tech computers and call airports and watch surveillance videos and realize ZOMG ITS AARON!! HOW IS HE NOT DEAD??

Okay, by the way, WHERE IS MATT DAMON?

 

Race against time for Aaron and Girl to get to the Philippines. They get there, get some drugs from this “program” facility because they easily convince the Asians they need to go inside. CIA calls the boss at the place and is like, “LOCK IT DOWN” but too late, Aaron is beating people up and they escape. At some point, Girl has told Aaron he needs to viral off of the meds. That night they stay in a weird hotel/apartment and he is having serious withdrawal symptoms, I thought he was gonna die, but then I forget the main character in Bourne movies NEVER DIES! Viva la Matt Damon! In the morning though, Girl realizes people are onto them, so she tries distracting the cops, but feeding into the stereotype that girls can’t get things done on their on, she fails and Aaron, who is magically no longer sick and strong as ever, jumps out a window and saves her.

The rest of the movie takes place on motorcycles – an all-too-long high speed chase through the Philippines with Asian dudes chasing Aaron and Girl. Finally Girl does something useful and kicks the guy chasing them off his bike. He dies (I’m assuming), but A and G crash and this little Asian boy sees them and Girl is like HALP! So he’s like “Daaaaaaad can we help these people?”

Next scene – they’re on a boat in the Philippines. I guess gonna live on that boat forever? Girl says, “I was hoping we were lost.” I’m assuming she was trying to be flirty but it didn’t work. Then the CIA sees a tape that shows that Philippine hotel room they stayed in and Aaron had hung his pill-case necklace on the mirror and wrote “NO MORE” on it. I don’t know when he had time to do that because he was busy saving Girl but I guess it was for necessary dramatic effect.

Girl and Aaron never even kiss so the sexual tension is never resolved and Matt Damon isn’t in it so I’m not sure how they were allowed to call it a Bourne movie.

The Bourne Confusion.

Here’s my review.

It sucked. Don’t see it unless you’re obsessed with the Bourne movies, you’re going with a guy who just bought you Hibachi and you’re nice like me, or you have a full movie theater with recliner seats in your basement like Daniella’s aunt on Long Island.

That is all.

Day Ninety-Four – Look Mom, I’m Domestic! Episode Two

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…It should actually be titled, “Look Mom, Dee’s Domestic!” because the only work I really did in cooking this next meal was eating it. And trust me, it wasn’t that hard.

To really convey the significance of the sandwich that Dee made/I consumed for dinner on Monday evening, I have to go back in time a bit.

April 12th, 2012 – my twenty-second birthday. Having gone out celebrating the night before, my roomies and I woke up feeling a bit fatigued and craving some greasy food. Rather than hit up the campus Rathskeller, Daniella decided to look up some delicious recipes that we could cook, so that we wouldn’t even need to leave the couch that we had glued ourselves to. Genius. While conducting her research, she stumbled upon the most life-changing discovery ever to have been made within the walls of our house. April 12th was not only my birthday….. but also….

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* National Grilled Cheese Day *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

LITERALLY LIFE-CHANGING. I could not have been born on a more spring day. I will have a grilled cheese sandwich on my birthday every year for the rest of my life, and anyone who reads this must vow to hold me to that. I promise I won’t fight you on it.

Anyway, upon uncovering this secret that society had so selfishly hid from us, we decided, obviously, to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Dee found a recipe, but not just any grilled cheese sandwich recipe. The most magical, mystical, miraculous, melt-in-your-mouth cheese sandwich ever grilled. Upon consumption, my hangover instantly disappeared, and I felt more alive than I had in over 7 hours.

Grilled Cheese would never be the same again.

And so it had to be recreated, here, in New York City, in my kitchen, to prove that this sandwich was not a mere fantasy l had concocted in my mind, but rather, a reality that could be enjoyed for generations to come. And recreate it, we did.

Enter: Daniella, with a bag of groceries and a marvelous, untamed spirit, like that of an Iron Chef contestant, and Kristen, with a growling stomach and a hunger for victory. (“Victory” is a metaphor for a grilled cheese sandwich, in this situation.) Here’s how it’s made.

  • In a pan, sauté some spinach and sliced mushrooms in butter, white wine, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until cooked.
  • In a separate, butter-coated pan, lay your B.O.C. (bread of choice. We used yummy Publix bakery bread.), on low heat.
  • On your slices of bread, layer shredded mozzarella and crumbled feta cheese. Cover and let cook until the cheese is all melty and delicious and the bread is golden brown.
  • Scoop sautéed spinach and mushrooms onto half your cheesy bread slices, and cover those with the rest of your cheesy bread.
  • Cut, serve, and cry tears of joy.

Check out these professional iPhone shots of Daniella’s work of art:

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You will love it, guaranteed.

So a big thank you to Daniella, for changing the way I see the culinary world. And as you depart for your fifth year at the University of Miami, I wish you luck in all your endeavors, including the creation of new and exciting sandwiches. I shall miss you greatly, and anticipate your return to NYC, and my kitchen, already.

Sorry for the cheesy ending.

xoxo gg.

An Afterthough:

Before I conclude this post, I’d like to also give a shoutout to Laura, who was a bit of a Cheese Connoisseur herself, creating a sandwich that combined two American delicacies – Grilled Cheese and Macaroni and Cheese – into one, mouth-watering explosion. Check it out. I applaud your creativity, dedication and performance.

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Day Ninety-Two – *Star Struck*

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Last week I started working two side jobs for the company. One of the jobs is at XVI, a rooftop lounge on the west side of Manhattan. I’ll be working at the door of the bar during it’s weekly Happy Hour, organizing reservations and keeping track of how many people attend. It’s a sweet gig – I get to look all profesh and more in-the-know than the rest of the people walking down 48th Street. Plus, the bouncers are funny as hell and XVI is a pretty cool spot to be associated with.

How cool, you may ask? Well, below is a picture of one of the attendees this past Thursday evening.

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H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A, Jazzy, the Jigga Man, lyrical genius Shawn Carter himself, JAY Z.
No big deal.

Needless to say, I felt pretty important and definitely didn’t text all my friends immediately to tell them he had just walked into the lounge I was working at!!!! …Okay, so maybe I did. But hey, it’s my first night of work and a serious celebrity walks right up to the door I’m working at? That’s pretty cool.

I have to say, though, I was proud of myself for not turning into a starry-eyed celeb-obsessed fan, trying to snap pics as he walked by. I am by no means downplaying seeing Jay Z at all, but had it been Beyonce who walked past me, it may have been a different story. After all, she is perfect, God’s gift to the music industry and to mankind, described perfectly by my friend Brooke as “the $1,000 sundae at Seredipity.” She probably would have flown in past me with angel wings, with “Halo” playing majestically as she entered through the threshold of the venue. I would have most likely begged her to simply touch my arm, and upon arriving home, changed the name of my blog to “92 Days After I Graduated, Beyonce Touched Me” and never posted again. Because I would’ve died of happiness.

There are probably a list of about five celebrities that I would go “fan crazy” for. Like sweaty, nervous, speechless, giggling, too-awkward-to-communicate-like-a-human crazy. You all already know number one…

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Is she even real?

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Oh, Britney. The Britney pictured above was an idol to teenage Kristen like no other. One of the only times in my life I was happy to have worn a uniform to school every day, the Hit Me Baby One More Time video inspired me to never underestimate the power of a school-girl outfit. For me, Brit will never go out of style. It doesn’t matter that she once went crazy and shaved her head! Or that she spontaneously got married once in Vegas! Isn’t that what every girl wants to do anyway? Ugh, Brit, you’re a vision, and one of the reasons I will never dye my hair.

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If you know me at all, you know that the Harry Potter series has always been a huge part of my life. In fact, upon finishing the last of the 7 books, I actually cried into the pages because I acknowledged that my childhood was coming to an end as Harry’s years at Hogwarts concluded. I will watch any of the movies, at any time of the day, even if I watched it the day before.Hell, I’ll watch it two times in a row and still enjoy it just as much. My obsession hit a peak when I visited Universal Studios with my family last summer and saw Hogwarts for the first time. I was actually speechless. My mom says I had the same expression on my face when I saw Mickey Mouse for the first time as a 3-year-old as when I first stepped into on the castle. Like all my childhood dreams were coming to life, right before my eyes. And it’s for this reason that if I were to ever come into contact with any of the actors from the movies, I’d probably just fall to the ground. To me, they’re not Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. They’re Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. Forever.

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Captain America. I chose an animated version of this super hero because I’m wildly attracted to pretty much anyone in a Captain America costume. Like on the vacation to Universal Studios I previously mentioned, I actually couldn’t stop giggling while I took a picture with the guy dressed like Captain America. That being said, I’m sure my reaction to Chris Evans in the suit would entirely stop my heart. Guess who I’ll be looking for this Halloween? Boys…you’ve been warned.

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QUAID. Dennis Quaid. When I was young, you were the super-cool dad that worked on the vineyard in California, with a golden retriever, who let me ride horses and switch places with the identical twin sister I met at summer camp and was still in love with my British mom. Today, you’re still the dad from Parent Trap, but now, you’re a hot dad. And who doesn’t love hot dads? I can’t really explain the obsession with Dennis Quaid, but it exists. And I’m pretty sure if I saw him in person, I’d hug the crap out of him, and I wouldn’t be able to let go.

So there’s my Star Struck list. Thank you in advance for not judging me.

And thank you, cool new job, for getting me closer to meeting the angel that is Beyonce Knowles.

Day Eighty-Seven – Bringing Home The Gold

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This is post is inspired by a hilarious article I read on Thought Catalog.

All I think about is the Olympics. It’s hard not to, after all. Everywhere I go, the Olympics is on. The park where I spend my lunchbreak at work plays the events on a giant projector against a building wall. The bars we visited this weekend broadcasted the games on every TV they had. At home, my mom actually flips out if someone suggests changing the channel from the Olympics (It’s the only time she’s okay with not watching the news – “There are so many spoilers! I can’t watch it.”). Even on Twitter, every other tweet is an Olympic update, or one of my friends reacting to something they’ve seen.

This weekend, I had conversations with a couple of different people regarding what Olympic sport I’d like to be able to compete in. My list includes gymnastics, soccer, diving, and if we’re including winter sports, definitely figure skating. But when it comes down to which I could compete in, like potentially have the athletic ability to even attempt…I come up pretty short. I did used to ride horses when I was younger, and believe it or not at one point, I was a swimmer.

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Watch out, Michael Phelps.

But realistically, there’s never really been a sport where I was truly a shining star. (Hard to believe, I know.) I played soccer for years when I was young, swam, and even attempted softball (go ahead, laugh) and volleyball. I was a pretty good dancer, and was part of a competitive team for a few years, but even quit that when it started taking up too much of the time I had designated for Law and Order SVU marathons and napping.

So I compiled a list of ten events that, if they were Olympic sports, I would 100% be a two, maybe three time gold medalist in.

10. Speed texting.

9. Losing ONE earring of a pair.

8. Speed walking from my parked car to the train when running late. And making the train.

7. Eating every last piece of sushi at Sushi Village’s All-You-Can-Eat Special.

6. Applying make-up on a moving train.

5. Quoting Mean Girls & Anchorman.

4. Professional Hair Twirling.

3. Eating more cheese than anyone else you know.

2. Longest nap. Like epically long naps.

1. Finding things to do instead of going to the gym.

So if you think you can compete with me in any of these categories, I challenge you to do so. As long as you’re content with a Silver medal…..amateur.

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Day Eighty-Five – Waitresses Gone Wild!

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I was introduced to some of the coolest people I’ve ever met wearing a little boy’s black button up dress shirt and a striped gold and black tie. Embarassing, right? Well, not when everyone’s wearing the same thing as you.

A large part of my four years as a college student was the summers I spent working at my restaurant in Bayside. It was absolutely a rewarding experience; it was a great way to make money, but more than that, it was the way I met so many of my favorite people. I don’t know if it’s like this at every food service establishment, but at my restaurant, the behind-the-kitchen-door culture had more of a family feel than anywhere else I’ve ever worked. Like, to the point that I still refer to my manager as my second mom.

You realize a lot of things while working as a waitress.

1. People are cheap.
2. People are rude.
3. People are dumb.
4. People have really weird taste.
5. People eat like SHIT. No wonder this country has an obesity problem.

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…Like that bitch needs dessert anyway…

6. Some creepy old men will hit on you even if you’re wearing a tie.
7a. You have to ignore and embrace #6 if you stil want a good tip, otherwise, see realizations #1 and #2.
7b. Flirting with these men also helps.
8. People out to eat spend half their dinner on their phones. (See #2)
9. There are always as least two people dating each other on the waitstaff. And when I say dating….
10. The chance your waiter for Sunday brunch is still drunk is very, very high.

Maybe it’s the countless hours on our feet, or the stress of dealing with cheap, rude, dumb, strange customers, but no one knows what it’s like to need a beer after work like a restaurant employee. Specifically, those I work with. The minute you’re able to wrestle that tie from around your neck and rip the apron from your waist, you’re already halfway to the bar. Lucky for us, our restaurant is located on a strip in Bayside, Queens with a handful of other bars/pubs/restaurants for us to spend our hard-earned cash.

It’s amazing how fast your friendly, neighborhood waitstaff can turn from this…

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Into this.

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When you’re not free until 11:30 p.m. and your “weekends” are Tuesday and Wednesday nights, you’re on a different schedule than the rest of the world. It means if someone asks, “You partyin’ tonight?” you’re probably answering, “Absolutely.” It means you and your crew are the only people in the bar on Monday night at 2:00 in the morning, and you’re all wearing the same pair of black slacks. It means you know which bar is having Ladies’ Night every night of the week. It means you’re doing shots of Jameson with the rest of the staff because, why not? You don’t have to be back at work until 10:30 tomorrow morning! It means there’s no way you can drive your car home, so it’s gonna stay in the same place you parked it until after your next shift. It means tomorrow someone is asking you, “Dude, can you watch my tables? I need to throw up.”

Inevitably, it means everyone on staff is super close. Between crazy nights out and messing around while on the clock, these people become some of your best friends. Plus, you kind of have to like each other. Because everyone knows too much about you. And has plenty of blackmail pictures of you, dancing or sleeping on a bar somewhere. :p

So shout-out to my awesome friends, or family, that the word “summer” always reminds me of, and that I can always count on for an amazing time.

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See realization #7b.

If there’s one thing I want people to learn from this post, it’s this:

Tip your waitstaff! Beers don’t buy themselves.

Cheers!