Saturday, July 13, 2002

A day with Cateringman

Well, never drink four mai tais the night before you have to work for Cateringman. That's my advice to you. I should have heeded it myself. Doug made two pitchers of scorpion style mai tais and kicked my ass with them. Then the alarm didn't go off... honest. It didn't. I woke up 15 minutes before I was supposed to be to work. Luckily I have a 3 minute commute to Cateringman's secret lair. Five if you count stopping for coffee.

I anticipated working until noon.

One guy showed up but said his back was killing him, he doesn't take any medication or anything for pain (medication is for wimps I guess) so he begged off and left, doubled over. Medication may be for wimps, but slipping out after an hour of work is not. Another kid, Robbie, was supposed to work, but pulled an all night sleep over festival thing with his graduating class at the swim club where he works... so he brought in the leftovers from the breakfast he made the 100 or so kids who were there, and had to leave to go back and work at the swim club cleaning up from the all nighter.

So we were two people short right off the bat, and it wasn't even 8:30. The other guy Chris and I worked as hard as we could, and were still ragingly behind. Cateringman was a tad sharp at times, but handled the situation as it was. The first of the two events of the day was his event... and he should have been there at 2:30 pm. It was 3:15 and we were packing the truck up to go. He asked me if I could come to the job and help unload and do prep.

Seeing as I was into it for 3 1/4 hours more than I'd planned, I called Doug. Doug was none too pleased with me, but told me to do what was needed. Cateringman almost kissed my feet. I went with him to the wedding, and Saints Be Praised the bridal party wasn't there yet... They should have been, but there was a snafu with their limo driver. He didn't pick the bride up. He was lost, couldn't find her, didn't have the right phone... didn't know where the reception was so he couldn't call to inquire as to her number... finally he got there, 30 minutes AFTER the wedding was supposed to start. And the wedding was an additional 30 minutes from her home.

Had I been the bride I'd have driven myself instead of hanging around waiting... but. Hey. That's just me. So our arriving an hour late had no impact. Whew!

I did strawberries dipped in chocolate there at the site, a tedious job but it looks the SHIT and a half when it is done, yo. Damn I'm good! I made about 30 extra... because I had the chocolate. And the whole time Cateringman praised me for helping out.

Feels good to have my ass kissed once in a while. Plus, I made $2 more an hour because I was on the job... that's how he does things. So I got paid $15 an hour to dip strawberries and make friends.

The reception location was Searles Castle in Windham, NH. I'd never been there, and was really impressed with the place. I'm constantly amazed at all the new things I learn about this area. I thought I knew all the good shit.

Searles Castle belongs to the Sisters of Mercy, I guess. And they used to just rent the place out and your caterer had to supply all the trimmings... tent, tables, etc..., and they didn't do weddings because it was a pain in the butt to the Sisters.

One day last year they contacted a guy who was retiring from his own catering business and asked him if he would be interested in running the rental program. They needed the income, but they were burned out. He agreed, but on one condition -- they do weddings. He did a ton of exterior work to the castle, invested in a wicked nice tent, all the plates and silverware, and has done an amazing job updating the facility. He redid both kitchens with all new appliances, and it is so nice. What a treat to go there and work!

So, if you're looking for a wedding reception location, hook yourself up to Searles Castle (and then email me and I'll tell you who Cateringman is... he's awesome!)

The funniest thing about today is that Cateringman's business partner is a BIG Barry Manilow fan (no, he isn't gay, or closeted. He likes Barry, and he likes women... especially if they like Barry). So today he brought in two Barry CDs to listen to, much to Chris' chagrin.

Today is Chris' 23rd birthday... and the last thing he wanted to do is listen to Barry Manilow all day.

Scary thing is, I knew all the words to all the songs he writes to make the young girls cry... I'm ashamed. And I frightened him to death by singing along."I'm closer to their age than YOUR age, Chris!" I told him.

"No you aren't!" Uh, yes I am. They're close to 50, I'm going to be 36. You're 23... So I'm sort of in the middle, but for sure closer to them than you. Dude. Even though I talk a good game and know all the bands he likes, I don't listen to most of them (except Rush. He's a HUGE Rush fan and went to see them last night for his birthday... lucky ass). So now I've got "It's a Miracle" stuck in my head. And I feel like breaking out into a dance and singing it out loud.

Chris also thought "I Made It Through The Rain" was a big gay solidarity, self-esteem anthem. I had never thought of it that way before... but listening to it for the first time in about 15 years I guess it is:

"I made it through the rain, I kept my world protected
I made it through the rain, I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain, And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through!"

So we ragged a lot on Barry. And on Cateringman for liking Barry so much.

Funny part of it is, I'm sitting there making tortilini skewers, and "Can't Smile Without You" invariably brings me back to High School, or Junior High I should say, when I became friends with Rob Knoeppel. We would sing that to each other all the time, and laugh and laugh... we were SO close through high school, and that was kind of the song for us (that and "Heartache Tonight" by the Eagles... but that is a whole other story...). When Rob ever gets married, I'm going to his wedding, and I'm dancing with him to THAT song. No one else can.

So I'm missing Rob so much today. I think I'll give him a call.

Well... I have to deal with the kids I guess, and make dinner or something. Doug is napping. We should be hanging sheetrock on the ceiling, but my day was just a tad crazy. I would like to hang a couple sheets tonight, get the centers up, and then figure out what to do with the rest. I need to play with Jack because I missed him today. And Geoff is craving some attention. Jessica's being mean to him (as usual) so he needs some mom time.


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