Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I love my job, but I also love days off

I haven't been a very good blogger this week, have I? Between work and actually having something that resembles a social life lately, I haven't been home much to blog. But I'm off all day today, and I don't really have any plans. So here I am!

Well, as I mentioned in the previous post, I watched football with a bunch of people at this bar on Sunday. I had a blast, and it rivals the football Sundays I use to spend with an awesome group of women back in St. Louis. Donna and Amy, who were friends of friends, were a couple who lived waaaaay out in the suburbs and had a get-together every single sunday for anyone who wanted to come watch the Rams play. When my marriage ended and I came out, they welcomed me, no questions asked, to their place every sunday, so I could make new friends and have a place to watch football every week. It became a weekly tradition every football season for a few years, with the same core group of women there. Occasionally one of us single people would bring whoever we were dating at the time, but usually it was just the same faithful group, and I could always count on a relaxed, fun day, no matter what else was happening in life. I loved them and I loved that tradition. Unfortunately, Donna and Amy sold their house and moved to Donna's hometown in Maine, so the weekly gatherings are no more. It was sad for us football pals, even though this was a fabulous move for the two of them. Last I heard, they've built a happy life for themselves up in New England, though they promise to never ever become Patriots fans. They're still Rams all the way. Anyway, I miss them, and I'm not sure they know how important they were to that period in my life.

Last year, after Donna and Amy were gone, I went to Novak's in St. Louis with Elizabeth every week to watch the Rams play. We always had such fun together, yelling at the refs and players, making fun of stupid plays and stupid names of some of the players (ie, Pacman Jones and Plaxico Burress), and of course eating nachos like insane women. I miss this as much as I miss Donna and Amy.

I really really love football season. But as much as I love the games themselves, certainly part of why it's an important time for me is the friendship. As an adult, football Sundays have always been a day of the week when I spend with people who make a difference in my life. Might sound silly, but that's ok with me. It's a comfort thing.

So you can see why I've been skeptical these days about finding a truly fun place to watch my games with cool people. I went to New Moon on Sunday, not sure it could live up to past traditions, but I was wonderfully surprised. Only a few people were there when I arrived and the 1 o'clock games started, but fortunately they were people I know, so I pulled up a bar stool and settled in. And then did the most important thing: I made friends with the bartender. I did this to guarantee I could get any tv on any game I wanted at any given moment. Oh, and also because he is an incredibly cool, friendly person. (I'm not just saying that.)

My friend Becca was there, as were so many of her friends I've been introduced to recently. Incredibly sweet, fun people. Within an hour or so, the place got more crowded. By the end of the first round of games, the place was packed. Novak's back in St. Louis never had more than 5 or 6 people around for the games on Sunday. Usually, it was just me and Elizabeth, the bartender, a cook, and then a couple scary, toothless, mullet-headed bull-dykes in the back playing pool. So being in a room FULL of interesting (in a good way) people all there for the games was impressive to me.

Also, I met someone else who I've actually been out with a couple times since Sunday. Yep, I think I can actually use the word 'date' here in reference to our evening on Monday. I haven't used the word 'date' with regard to a night out in months, so I was surprised to even remember what the word means when it came up in conversation. Of course, I don't want to overuse the word, for fear of jinxing it. So I'm going to shut up about it now. :)

In non-football news, I'm generally in a better state of mind than I've been in since I moved down here. Work continues to get better, which is something considering it's been great from the start. I'm almost finished training for my promotion to supervisor, and our store's business is up. Also, last week we got a snapshot, which is what Starbucks calls their secret shopper deal. It scores us on everything, from cleanliness of the store, to speed and accuracy of service, and how pleasant the experience is all-around--and of course we don't know it's happening until they send us the report later. The company takes these seriously, so getting a high score is a big deal. I happened to be working the day of our most recent snapshot, and we scored a 94% and a 5 out of 5. These are fabulous scores, especially the 5. The only reason we didn't get a 100% is because apparently the latte we made for this person was only 134 degrees, when it should have been 135. Yes, they actually run outside and take the drink's temp. I could kick myself for that one, as it's such a stupid mistake. But this is still the highest score we have received yet, and it was the highest score of any store in our district for this round of snapshots. So I can live with this.

Ok well, my mom just returned last night from a trip with my grandmother to Quebec. She said is was gorgeous. I'm dying to go look through all the books and pictures she brought home, so that's what I'm going to go do now.


At September 28, 2006 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats some hard core secret shopper! Couldn't if have dropped a degree from teh time it was handed to them to the time they ran outside?

I bet football isn't the same in Florida as it was in Cincti and St.Louis with the cool weather.

Glad to hear about your date. Do you still talk to your ex -girlfriend? does she read your blog?

At September 28, 2006 11:42 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Yeah, the snapshots ARE hardcore, which is why starbucks is known for their customer service. We're always on and ready. I hate to sound like a commercial, but it's true. Actually, I'm glad for this. I'd hate to work someplace with lower standards.

And yes, I DEFINITELY miss the cool weather for football season. There's just something wrong with wearing shorts and a tank top to watch a football game. I prefer the scarf, gloves, and hot chocolate. But I'll take it however I can get it.

I haven't been in contact with my ex in a while now, which is fine since she's still sometimes dishonest with me about things even as my "friend". She has the web address for my blog and is welcome to read it if she wants, but I don't know if she does, and really I don't care.


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