Monday, February 11, 2002

Working for Catering man


"Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey."

That's what Doug says to the short people when it is morning and time to rouse their lazy asses from bed. It cracks me up. Not sure where he got it from, but it makes me smile.

It's the kind of morning where I would normally have crawled back into bed by now, but I'm up. Had to get everyone put together for the day. And when the day is grey and gloomy, that makes it difficult. (seriously, the temptation to re-bed is huge right now... HUGE! I tells ya! HUGE!!!!)

It is a warm and threateningly strange morning. The temp on the deck is a balmy 41 degrees, but the air feels dangerous. The news radio weather soothsayer predicteth that a front doth approach and with it shall sup the swift winds of wintery bluster, yea verily... Meaning there will be winds 50 miles per hour and many an umbrella shall meet upon its doom.

Not sure where THAT came from, but again, it makes me laugh.

The temp should hit a low of 12 degrees tonight. Damn.

The weekend was really good. Friday afternoon I got a call from the catering man... the one married to the bible study leader. He needed help on Saturday with prep for two events, and wondered if I was free. Sure. What the heck. It's been years since I did catering food prep, but if he gave me a quick tutorial on what he wanted done, I'd gladly help out. I got there at 9, and he and one high school kid were already there.

They were setting up for a "mercy meal," which I guess is vernacular for a funeral reception. I never heard the term before. He told me it is mostly used in Catholic circles. So we made egg, tuna and chicken salad finger roll sandwiches, fruit plates, brownie/cake plates... and it looked awesome.

Then, they had a dinner to prep for -- 250 guests. I made croutons for the salad, which were AWESOME! And then I helped Paul make beef burgundy. I had to flour coat 40 lbs of beef cubes for him to sear in the grill, and then do the onions and shrooms while he got the wine and the other stuff going, and the veggies and rice. It looked awesome.

They listened to sports radio, and I think they were relieved that I love football, because the radio show was all about... The Patriots, of course. People Still Can't Get Over This! Then the high school kid and I talked about music. We were on the topic of the Foxboro stadium, and I told him I saw Dave Matthews there this summer. He was stoked... he loves Dave and is supposed to go see him at the Fleet Center. So we talked about Blink 182, No Doubt, Dave, BNL, gangsta rap... he says he likes anything but country. When I was his age I said the same thing, but now I can listen to it. Must be an age thing.

I got home at 2:30. I could have stayed longer. But I was under the initial impression that I only was needed for the morning, so knowing that he wanted me to stick around and help more felt pretty good. I was exhausted. My back and shoulders still hurt. I'm achy all over. Meh. I haven't worked that hard since I ran the bakery when Doug and I were first married. So it's been a steady diet of ibuprofin for me since Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning we had our first fill-in "substitute" pastor in Charles' absence. He too is a retired pastor, from Arlington, and seemed totally cool. He did things a little differently than most of us were accustomed, but we were okay with that. His children's sermon was great. It got a great big laugh from everyone. I think he has agreed to fill in long term so we aren't stuck with a different person every time we need one. So that's kind of refreshing.

The way our church works is every other Sunday is a communion service. The weeks where there is no communion, it is our vestry's intent to have us run things ourselves. We've got people who can do the sermon, we've got a strong verger staff of three, Bob, Charlotte and Eileen, to officiate as laypeople. So those weeks we're all set. It's the communion services that need help. Laypeople cannot administer the sacrament, they can only assist. They can't bless the sacrament, or absolve people with the forgiveness during communion. So there has to be an episcopal ordained minister there for that. We've got a guy in the congregation who is ordained, but he is ordained in the Presbyterian church, so he can do the sermon and participate in other ways, but not give the host. So it's kind of bizarre to every other week get the substitute teacher in.

After church, we took a long, lovely walk in the woods in North Andover, basking in the relative warmth and enjoying the lack of bundling and layering. It was very nice. I took a few pictures but am not yet awake enough to pound them onto the computer screen.

I am having coffee this morning with Naomi from Australia. I used to work with her before she left for greener pastures. The week before I got laid off, SHE got laid off. She didn't see it coming at all. So she has been in a similar predicament for a while, cannot find work, and is starting to get depressed no matter how good a face she puts on things. She lives the next town over, so once in a while we try and hook up for dinner or coffee.

I've had to inadvertently blow her off twice in the last few months, so if I blow her off today she'll truly have the right to think I'm not liking her. Once for sickness, once the night of the Patriots rally (too damn exhausted to speak or breathe after the fact) and now today. There's one thing I feel badly about though... there is a field trip today for my son's school. I offered to chaperone and was told they were all set. On Friday, the teacher told my husband that I was "welcome to come." Now, do you think that's her extending me the invite because I'm laid off and have nothing else to do or is she in need of a chaperone?

I'm afraid it could be the later, but being a stickler for language and how people phrase things, she should have said "We're short a chaperone, please ask your wife if she can..."

Wouldn't that make more sense? I'm not going to go because I've got... issues with intestinal fortitude (that's all you need to know, I'm not into sharing the gory details) and chasing a bunch of four and five year olds around isn't my idea of treating that sort of ailment well.

And, I think Doug wanted me to go because he doesn't think it is fair to Geoff when I don't spend time with him, so here I am having coffee with a friend while blowing off my son's class. What kinda mommy am I? Well, one who doesn't want to deal with 20 screaming kids at Chuck E. Cheese on a dark gloomy day with the trotsky trots in her nether-regions, that's the kind.

But it does seem kind of stupid to go out with a friend instead.

Another problem is that when I have to leave, Geoff probably isn't going to take getting left behind very well. He tends to want to be with me, which he should, and if I leave him there he's bound to be pissed. So going and making an appearance may not be a good idea. Oh the struggles internally that I face as a mommy. I'm going to skip it. I was going to go up after coffee at about 10:30, but I won't. It'll be a mess. It is just bound to be.

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