Friday, January 30, 2009

Just let me do my job!

Part of my job is holding the door open for guests who are entering or leaving the restaurant. It's what I get paid to do. If I don't do it, my boss will get upset at me. This is why I really hate it when I go to open the door for someone, and the person insists on holding the door open with one hand above my head, smiling that condescending smile.
Honestly, do I look so small and helpless that I cannot hold that big door open on my own?! Not to mention, the door actually stays open on it's own, I just stand there and LOOK like I'm holding it. Really, I can do it.
I also don't like the people who come in and say "You have the easiest job ever. This is all you do all day, and you get paid for it" and then walk out. Yeah, I get paid for it. But I also get paid to go and clean up that huge mess you just left for me at your table. Honestly, did you really have to spill the Equal all over the place?!
I'm done ranting, but let me close with this. We don't work at a restaurant because we just love having kids throw french fries at our faces, and we don't do it because we honestly enjoy crawling under tables to get the napkins dropped down there. We do it because it is a job, and it pays. Jobs that pay aren't exactly easy to come by these days. So please, be respectful, at least, of the fact that we are working, and not sitting at home complaining about the economy. Don't make our job harder on us, or make dumb remarks. Just come in, enjoy your food, and for goodness sake, just thank your server!

My letter to the editor

Wednesday, January 28, 2009, saw the letter “Insourcing Solutions for the Economy” published in the Bee. The first point I would like to make is this. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “insourcing” does not even exist. This is not the fault of the writer of the letter, but it is the fault of the editor of the paper.
My second point is this. The writer of the afore-mentioned letter believed that raising tariffs and stopping foreign trade would save our economy. Did this person ever read their history book? It just so happens that on the morning of the 28th, I was studying the Great Depression.
After the stock market crashed, tariffs were raised and foreign imports and exports became non-existent. The Fordney-McCumber Tariff, passed in 1922, established a wall preventing trade between Europe and the United States. This did not stimulate the economy, but rather crippled it. There was no place for American made goods to go, and the goods produced in America were to highly priced for those citizens who were out of work.
This may seem insignificant to most, but to me it points out a truth that should be glaringly obvious. Americans today are too wrapped up in their own world to take the time to review history. The saying goes, “history repeats itself”; and it does. How can we ever better our circumstances if we do not learn from the mistakes made by those who came before us?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ramblings in an airport

Have you ever seen the move, The Terminal? If not, go watch it. Right now. Stop reading this blog, get the movie, put it in and watch it. Then come back.

Ok, now that you've watched the movie...I'm sitting in the airport staring at people. People in airports are really very interesting. It's like they turn into different creatures when they travel. People who are probably, in every day life, very nice people, are suddenly not nice at all. They push, shove, yell, curse, and are generally cruel to those around them. It's almost as if they believe that their fellow travelers are the direct cause of their discomfort!

I promise you, I have brought no discomfort to anyone intentionally today. I really just want to get home, just like the rest of you.

Back to my original intent, The Terminal. That poor man is stuck living in an airport. I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get out. Perhaps, this is an elaborate scheme to trap me here, and I will never get home! Perhaps they are all out to get me! Somebody save me!

Ok, melt down is officially over. I think.

So, this airport is filled with hundreds of people. Where are they all going? Is that woman examining the books headed to an authors convention? What about that man sitting next to me, eating sushi? Where is he going? Maybe, he's a spy for Italy; or Germany. He's scouting out our airports, looking at our transportation. Or maybe he's just a weary traveler, looking for some food, quiet, and rest.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm too tired to be thinking such large thoughts. Maybe I should keep my thoughts small, for the time being. Small thoughts, such as where the nearest trash can is. Or where I can plug my computer in. At least until I get some sleep. Small thoughts. That's it. Hey! That man looks like Tom Hanks!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The other end

While visiting a college this past weekend, I had the opportunity to observe someone from the other side. By "Other side" I most definately mean those who happen to be vertically blessed. You know, the ones who, rather than hearing "you're short!" are always told "Wow! You're really tall!"
It turns out that this person I observed is 6 feet and 10 inches tall. Which, consequently, happens to be a little over two feet taller than me. 24 1/2 inches, to be exact. Which, if you didn't know, is a lot. Yeah, he's tall.
I'm sure that this poor young man absolutely hates hearing people comment on his height. I think I might. It is heartening, however, to know that we short people aren't the only extremes out there. True, we probably hear more about it since no one is afraid that the little short girl is going to hit them, but at least I know that, as an abnormality, I am not alone. So I will continue being an abnormal girl just living her abnormal life; but I won't do it by myself. Join with me, and we will be weird together! Freaks of the world unite!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If It Was Only Me

As you hung on the cross
Did you think of me
And know that someday
I would be one of the lost?
Did you hear me as I prayed
Hear my plea
Did you know my plight
And know that it was me you saved?
If I was the only one
Would you still have lived
Would you still have died
If it was only me, would you still have come?

That little baby
Born one silent night
Too pure for this world
Peace among our fights
That eve was so cold
That stable so rough
The gifts from the wise men
Weren’t even enough
Son of God
The prince over all
Still came to this earth
To save those who fall
As you lay in that hay
Did you know
That you would die
For the world’s sins one day?
When you were still so young
Did you know
That you would die
That this was why you had come?
Even then
Did you know me
Did you love me
Way back when?

My life is tainted with sin
I’m covered in darkness
I can’t be perfect
Even if I try my best
Why would he come
For someone like me
Worthless as I am
Why would he want to set me free?
In the eyes of the world
I’m not good enough
I’m not significant
Not worth his love

As you hung on the cross
Did you think of me
And know that someday
I would be one of the lost?
Did you hear me as I prayed
Hear my plea
Did you know my plight
And know that it was me you saved?
If I was the only one
Would you still have lived
Would you still have died
If it was only me, would you still have come?

I pray to you
As I kneel tonight
Confess my sins
As out loud I cry
You came and died
My savior and king
For someone as sinful
And worthless as me
You made me clean
Made my hear pure
And for evermore
You know I’m yours

As you hung on the cross
Did you think of me
And know that someday
I would be one of the lost?
Did you hear me as I prayed
Hear my plea
Did you know my plight
And know that it was me you saved?
If I was the only one
Would you still have lived
Would you still have died
If it was only me, would you still have come?

I hear your voice
And I know it’s true
You say “Child,
I would have come, even if only for you.
You are my daughter
And you once were lost
I would do anything for you
No matter the cost
I only want you
Here in my arms
Safe from the world
And all of its harms

As a child
I knew of you
I knew your story
I knew of your life
As I died
I thought of you
I loved you even then
And it was for you I gave my life
If you were the only one
I would have still lived
I would have still died
For you, I would have come

An Eidolon

You’re just a memory
Or are you?
Do memories cry
Do they feel the pain
That torments the nights?
Can you feel a memory?
Can you wipe away its tears?
Do memories smile
And reach out
In a loving embrace?
Do they whisper
Soft words,
Do they hold you when you cry,
Hold your hand in the night?
Can a memory make everything all right?
Are you a memory?
Or are you real?
But I reach out to touch your hand
And you fade away
I guess you were
Just a memory
After all

To A Friend

Hold my hand in yours
Close your eyes
Don’t let go
Can we fly?
Standing on the edge
We’re ready to leap
A step of faith
Straight into the deep

I remember when
You were my only friend
Just two little kids
Always willing to take that risk
Willing to push a little harder
Going to walk just a little bit farther

Hold my hand in yours
Close your eyes
Don’t let go
Can we fly?
Standing on the edge
We’re ready to leap
A step of faith
Straight into the deep

Through the years
We shared our fears
Slain our dragons
Hid our skeletons
We’ve fought our battles and won our wars
We’ve done all this and even more

Hold my hand in yours
Close your eyes
Don’t let go
Can we fly?
Standing on the edge
We’re ready to leap
A step of faith
Straight into the deep

I know you’ll be there
Through weather rough and fair
We’ll walk through it all
Whether we stand or fall
Even when we’re running scared
I know you’ll be where
I am

Hold my hand in yours
Close your eyes
Don’t let go
Can we fly?
Standing on the edge
We’re ready to leap
A step of faith
Straight into the deep

Run with me
We’re breaking free
Open your eyes and see
Open your mouth and scream

Monday, January 19, 2009

What does the election of Barack Obama mean to me and my family?

This is an essay I wrote for a scholarship contest. I'm posting for reviews on writing style, not really on content. I tried to stay true to my values, and not be a sell out; but it's hard when one is fighting for money to determine the next few years of their future...

In 1832, a thirty year old black man was jailed for sitting in the “white car” of a train. On September 22, 1862, the slaves of America were freed. 1868 saw the passing of the fourteenth amendment, which gave blacks the right to vote. In 1870, Mississippi became the first state to elect an African American senator. In 1914, Kentucky passed a law allowing residential segregation. In 1915, Oklahoma segregated telephone booths. In 1920, Mississippi passed a law making it a criminal offense to advocate interracial marriages. In 1920, all states had segregated schools. In 1921, all voters were required to be able to read and write in English, which many blacks could not do. In 1953, segregation in the National Guard was banned, school segregation was banned, and residential segregation was banned. In 1961, transportation segregation was banned. By this point, nearly all of the country was desegregated, and where it wasn’t, efforts were underway to stop the segregation. For several years, it seemed as though African Americans had come as far as they could in the fight for equality. Most of America was desegregated, they had most of the same rights that whites had, and they even held positions of power. It seemed to many that the fight for equality was over, and African Americans could ask for no more. Some wanted more though. In 1901, Booker T. Washington became the first man to ever dine in the White House, and in 2009, the Obama family will become the first African American family elected to live in the White House.
On Tuesday January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama will be sworn in as America’s 44th president. The inauguration of any president is an important occasion, but this one is especially so. This one is special because Barack Obama is half African American. Many in America would like to say that this is meaningless, that America has been equal for both blacks and whites for many years now. Some would argue that the racial orientation of Barack Obama has no relevance in our country today. They would say that he is a good man, and the color of his skin is irrelevant. I know, however, that this is not true.
My family lived in southern Virginia for eleven months. First hand, we witnessed what racial discrimination can do to a community. We saw how neighbors fought against each other, classmates distrusted one another, and coworkers were blatantly racist. Store clerks ignored customers because of their color, and some of the store patrons were horribly rude to the employees. Not everyone was racially prejudiced, but many people were. It seemed that these people were unable to see past the mindsets of their ancestors, and could only judge a person based on his or her skin color.
For several generations, the line between second class and equal was very obvious to the African Americans in America. Prejudice didn’t stop there, however. Many African Americans are prejudiced against the Caucasians in America. There is a strong “victim’s” mentality in the descendents of slaves, and even in those whose ancestors were not slaves. Many behave as though they believe that the white citizens of our country owe them, whether the debt be monetary, in servitude, or even in attitude. Across the southern states, these thoughts and attitudes are rampant. This, I believe, is just as detrimental to America’s fight for equality as the racism against African Americans is.
In order for our country to achieve complete equality, racism must be wholly eradicated from our society. The people of America need to accept that, beneath the skin, every person is exactly the same as the person next to him. When a body has decayed, the bones left behind are the same, regardless of the color of skin the owner of said bones had. Regardless of a person’s heritage, every man is his neighbor’s equal. Not until all of America realizes this and accepts this will we be a truly united nation. A nation united cannot fall.
In the election of a man who is fifty per cent white and fifty per cent black, America has reached a pivotal point in her growth. The acceptance of someone not exactly like ourselves is showing a maturity far beyond what has been seen in recent years. President-elect Obama’s election is not simply the election of another president, it is proof that American’s can overcome racial boundaries and put aside their personal prejudices.
Regardless of one’s personal opinion of Barack Obama, his morals, and his policies, it is impossible to ignore the significance of his election. He has been chosen by the people of America to lead our country for the next four years. Being of mixed race, Obama is defining what America should strive for. His mother is Caucasian and his father was African American. Barack Obama is equal parts of both races, just as our country is.
For four years, the entire Obama family will live in the White House. For years, even decades afterward, they will be remembered as the first African American family to be the first family. Barack Obama will always be the first black president, and Michelle Obama will always be the first black first lady. They will go down in the history of America as pioneers, along with Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and hundreds of others who have stepped out and moved forward.
What does the election of Barack Obama mean to me and my family? It means that our country is moving forward. It means that we have reached a milestone in the fight against racial prejudices. It means that America is headed in a new direction morally, into unchartered territory. It means that we are one step closer to a nation where who a person is is not dependent on the color of their skin, but rather their personality, morals, and personal beliefs. Obama ran his campaign on the idea of “change”. Our country is changing; there is no denying this fact. The election of Barack Obama means that America is one step closer to equality.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Host's Christmas Eve

I know it's no longer Christmas, but I wanted to put this out there. I had the pleasure of working on Christmas Eve. This is the result of a few hours of boredom followed by a rush of people wanting to eat.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Every creature was stirring
Every creature was out
They’d all come for dinner
Every single one
And they weren’t going to leave
Until all dinner’s were done
Some came in happy
All filled with good cheer
And some came quite snappy
And some came with tears
Some came with their families
All lined up in tow
Some came with no one
And ate dinner alone
They came with their friends
With their spouses too
They came with their presents
Gifts red, green, and blue
They came after school
And they came after work
They came after parties
And they came after church
They brought with them laughter
Smiles all around
The room filled with warmth
As rain fell to the ground
Although it was dreary
And cold outside
Those inside were happy
And filled with life
As the hour grew late
The servers began to lag
They’d been there all day
And they’d had all they could have
But the restaurant was full
And the bar overflowing
We’d sat all our booths
And the people were still coming
So we locked all the doors
Though ten minutes early
And we closed all the tables
And rolled the mats in a hurry
It was Christmas Eve
And all wanted to go
Some wanted to party
And some wanted to be home
We waved our farewells
As we walked to our cars
The lights were all out
And morning was not too far
Now I’ll put down my pen
And I’ll say my goodbyes
I’ll sit with my family
And watch It’s a Wonderful Life
May your day be happy
And your memories light
So Merry Christmas to all
And to all a good night

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chapter 11

Our economy isn't doing so well, in case you didn't know. Several businesses are filing bankruptcy, and people are losing their jobs. Gottschalks just filed Chapter 11. Gottschalks is now going the way of Mervyn's and many other businesses that just couldn't make it in today's market. Unfortunately, this has implications far worse than me losing a place to shop on Saturdays.

One of my best friend's father has worked for Gottschalks as a photographer for several years. I fear now that her life, and the lives of her family members, will drastically change. Her father currently has 3 months garunteed, but after that, who knows?

It is my personal (and maybe not so professional) oppinion that something drastic must be done. Unfortunately, President-elect Obama isn't offering any promising suggestions. In fact, his thoughts on the subject scare me half to death. I'm very afraid that I will be paying for the debts of our country long after I am unable to work. The next generation will likely be paying for our debts. And there is nothing any of us can do about it.

For the sake of everyone I know, and future generations whom I don't know, I hope that my grim outlook on the future is wrong. I hope that all of Obama's plans work out for the best, and that he manages to turn our country around. I fear, however, that this will not be the case. Our country's situation will get worse before it gets better. The good news is that, eventually, it will get better. Yes, it is possible that this won't happen until after the Lord returns, but it will get better.

The Short Story

"I just HAVE to ask...How tall are you?"

Do you know how many times a day I here that? Especially at work. People come in, take a couple of what they think are discreet looks at me, and then make the above statement. It's not that I mind people asking how tall I am, really I don't. I mean, my height, or lack thereof, is part of who I am. And yes, I really am 4'9". No, I'm not kidding. What I really don't like is when people stand there and make a huge issue over the fact. Because that's all it is, a fact. And nothing they say will change the fact. Now, you may or may not believe me. You may or may not think that the entire situation is completely hilarious. You may or may not have a cousin whose hairdresser's sister's nephew's girlfriend is the exact same height as me. In any case, my height is what it is, and it will not change. So ask if you must, and make jokes if you so desire; but let's leave it at that, shall we? If you really must state the obvious, do so. Go on, say it. Yes, I'm SHORT. As long as we're stating the obvious: The earth is round, large groups of children are always loud, and I'm short.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am more than a test score

The above title is true. I am not just a number on a piece of paper, regardless of how large or small that number may be. I am not just a ranking, one among many. I am a person, with goals, dreams, and ambitions. My goals are the reason I applied to colleges across the country. They are the reason I continued to push to get those applications finished, even though it was, and still is, tough. Those goals are the reasons I was accepted. And they are why I am now scouring the internet in search of scholarships, that I may pay for the extension and expansion of my education. They are the reasons I am filling out countless questionaires about myself, answering the same redundant questions over and over. My goals are beginning to annoy me. Below, the lucky person who clicks the image will be taken to a site where I have filled out a questionaire. This person will be alllowed to fill one out also. Then they can find scholarships. It's not easy, and it's not fun. But when we have no other options, we take what we can get. So go! Answer their questions and win their money! Personally, I am more than willing to take what I can get. Every little bit helps!