secret shopper returns

31 10 2008

It is time for the secret shopper to come out of her cupboard again. The subject of this report is another restaurant in Wilmington and another dismal report. Seriously, there are a ton of eating establishments in this town which means that there is a lot of competition for our patronage. Call me crazy but I don’t think there is a whole lot of room for error in this economy. If you are not going to provide a good dining experience, there are enough other restaurants in town to spend our money in.

Thus, I am compelled to share this experience with you.

This afternoon, I entered Ruby Tuesday on Market Street. I was promptly greeted by a hostess who asked my seating preference. I told her I would like to be as far as possible from the smoking area. Here is where she seated me.

That is the bar… where the smokers sit…like right in the green booth to the right of the picture… which was occupied by a couple of smokers enjoying their right to smoke in the smoking section… which happens to be right behind the salad bar.

Alrighty then.

I was seated at 12:10. For the next ten minutes I watched while some of the wait staff served the tables around me. Two waitresses were chatting and slowly meandering to the hostess station where they chatted with the hostess for a couple of minutes and then slowly meandered back toward the bar. Still, no one had come near my table. One waitress actually smiled as she was coming toward my table and I thought she was going to be the one, but lo and behold, she passed me by.

 I am still suffering the last dregs of a cough and had a bit of a coughing spell during this time. It would have been nice to get a drink of water. At 12:20 the manager walked past me so I waved him over. In my calm but firm tone, I asked, “Is someone actually waiting on this table? Because I have been here for 10 minutes and have not even been offered a glass of water yet.” He was all apologies and assured me that he would send someone right over, which he did. A very pleasant young man came to ask if he could get me something while I waited for my friend to join me and while he was getting my drink, my friend arrived. I had all good faith that the situation would be turned around.

Our waiter informed us that the manager wanted to give us a free appetizer because of the wait. Sweet. We ordered our food and I settled back for some precious fellowship with one of my girl friends. As we chatted, I reached over to unwrap my silver ware from it’s napkin. This is my napkin.

No, I had not used it. Yes it was wrapped around my silver ware and, yeah, I wasn’t so hopeful of salvaging this dining experience anymore.

It may sound like I had a miserable lunch but nothing could be further from the truth. This lunch date was with my good friend Pam and we know how to enjoy ourselves what ever the circumstances. After all, we both work in the film industry and we both love Jesus with everything we’ve got! We laughed, we shared some personal stuff and I asked for a clean napkin. Oh yeah, and we prayed over our food. Thanks Pam, for being a good friend, picking up the tab and for my celebrating my birthday with me. (my b’day was October 3rd and this was our first chance to get together)

Dining experience…. 4 out of 10.

Fellowship experience… 10 out of 10.

Will I go back this month… no.

On a positive note, Ed and I went to Outback Steakhouse on College Road for dinner and the meal and the service were very good. Even saw some other friends there. Yeah, we eat out a lot whenever I am working.

I don’t do sick

29 10 2008

I am not a good patient. My doctor must shudder when he sees me coming. My first response to any illness, be it a cold or a liver disease, is denial. Likewise, any medicine or ex-rays or procedures that are recommended are generally denied first. I hate ex-rays. Hate medicine, hate cat scans, hate hypodermic needles, IVs, dentists, follow up visits, etc, etc.

I caught some nasty coughing lung thingy last week and when I showed up for my regular 6 month check up, the doctor made it a focal point of my visit. I left the office with a prescription for Z-Pack, the three day antibiotic. Granted, I have been spewing up green stuff and hacking up a lung for a few days, but I hate antibiotics. I really tried to take it easy all day yesterday but found myself out and about doing a few errands and then cleaning house after the house cleaner had already been here for 2 1/2 hours. Seriously, ADD and OCD kick my butt sometimes. The Z-Pack upsets my stomach in a big way too so it would be lovely to just lie down and go to sleep for a while.

Instead, I will go to work at 2:30 this afternoon. That means I will not get home before midnight tonight. Hope I can make it through the whole night.

I did go to the chiropractor today and he adjusted me for the first time in a month. He also used a laser on me to help heal my sinuses and lungs. Then, I went to the herb store and bought some probiotics to replace the good stuff that the antibiotics kill.

Here is my thought for the day.

What does it look like if someone like me, ADD and OCD gets Alzheimer’s?

I know, weird thought but that’s what I have rolling around the old cranium today.

Ciao for now. Gotta go to work.

it’s what I do

28 10 2008

This is one of the wigs that came from my stock. I set and styled it and one of the other hair stylists decided to use it on this lovely lady.

 Hair rolls and curls and buns, oh my.

Jennifer Santiago, Susan Buffington and Joani Shay worked together on the hair to make the extras look so fine.

The 1940’s work is finished. The hair styles, make-up and wardrobe looked fabulous! What a talented team of workers. The stage set was great too. Doesn’t this last one look just like a night club out of the 40’s?

It was a lot of work, 65 and 1/2 hours in one week to be exact, but we had a great time executing these hairstyles and working with the wigs. I am glad that it is over for now and that we are happy with the results. There is a feeling of accomplishment that comes with wrapping a show like this one. Exhausted accomplishment.

So, that is a peek into my work world.

I love the Fall

26 10 2008

This is the beginning of our leaf peeping excursion. My girlfriend thought of everything! She packed food for us to cook in the crock pot, chips to snack on, pumpkin spice candle, and fall decorations. Me… um… I brought the pinochle cards. Oh yeah, and Ed. Friendship is such a blessing.

This is our cabin on the side of a mountain. It has a hot tub out on the back porch, a gas log fire place inside and plenty of glass doors and windows so we did not miss any of the beautiful Autumn scenery out there.


I don’t think this pic adequately displays just how scary this vertical driveway was. I would love to show you some pics of the winding road that led us to the scary, vertical driveway but that would have required me keeping my eyes open long enough to aim and shoot the camera. My eyes were squeezed shut every time we went up or down the mountain. I am such a wimp. Thank you Mr. Glenn for driving through the tight spots.

There were other beautiful scenes that I was brave enough to capture on my camera. We went to Maggie Valley and rode the ski lift to Ghost town which was closed for the most part, making it a virtual ghost town. hahaha. The temperature was cool and crisp and view was like a patchwork of muted greens, yellows and oranges.

The texture of these trees reminds me of a Berber carpet.

Ed on the ski lift.

A view from the porch.

Ed and Coni, Glenn and Nancy in the Smokey mountains.

Ed saw something on the travel channel that showed gem mining and he wanted to do it this year. On our one cold and rainy day, we took a long drive to Franklin and found a place that had a cover over the area where we panned for gems. We did it together and that is what made it nice plus we got some nice stones. It was great to get back to the cabin and light a fire that night.

We played pinochle and hung out with friends and enjoyed the beauty around us. It was a great 3 day vacation but there is no place like home. We were all quite happy to sleep in our own beds last night and to go worship in our own Churches this morning. It was a little tough dragging myself out of the bed this morning because I picked up a nasty little throat irritation and cough while I was away. BUT, Oh I am glad I went to Rock Church this morning. It was great to be a part of the worship team today. We had a sweet time of worship followed by a very motivating message from our guests Pastor Syvelle and Lovie Phillips. They have been instrumental in translating the Bible into many languages. I cannot tell you how this couple has impacted Ed and I but I will tell you that we made a commitment today. We will help an 18 year old young lady from Uganda, Africa to cover her educational needs each month. We feel fortunate to be able to invest in some one elses future in this way.

My prayer

19 10 2008

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God as we understand Him.” This is step three of AA.

There is a prayer in the Big Book of AA that goes along with this third step. It goes like this: “God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!”page 63 of Alcoholics Anonymous, chapter called “How it works”.

This prayer launched me on a heartfelt search for something worth living for. Something much larger than me was beckoning me on to a destiny that I never could have imagined at the time.

I will always remain grateful to Alcoholics Anonymous and the principles of the 12 steps that have led me into the good life that I live today.

I came to AA because I was desperate to find something worth living for. Alcohol had decimated me. Suicide was a frequent thought along with the notion that my life would never be any better than it was right then. Believe me, THAT was a depressing thought. I had no idea how to live without alcohol and drugs.

God put AA folks in my path. They had peace and joy, two things that had never been present in my life. I was not looking for God. It would have been good enough just to have a desire to live and not die. Little did I know that I would find peace and joy when I turned my will and my life over to God as I (little) understood Him. In this respect, AA saved my life.

Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob were 2 hopeless alcoholics on a desperate search to unlock the chains of alcoholism. They loved God, they prayed and sought Him and were still bound to alcohol until Bill Wilson had a spiritual awakening. He reached out to help Dr. Bob who was hopelessly engulfed in alcoholic destruction. These men put together a program of recovery for alcoholics who wanted to overcome their malady. The first AA group had been formed in 1935, in Akron, Ohio.

This is a very brief synopsis of AA. It is a program made up of spiritual principles which, when put to use, WILL lead alcoholics to God. God is the power that keeps an alkie sober. So, if you are disheartened by a lack of success after going to AA meetings, I humbly suggest that you give up. Give up trying to do things your own way. Just turn yourself over to sober people at first and let them guide you into the footsteps they took to sobriety. Sober alkies who are working the program cannot help but introduce you to God who has the power to get you sober and KEEP you sober. Follow instructions. Read the book. It says; “Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too powerful for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now.” pg59, chapter 5, How it Works.

When you find God, turn your will and life over to Him. He can be trusted to do a much better job with your life than you have been doing.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

On the night shift

17 10 2008

It is 6:42 AM and I just got home from work and settled into my PJs with a cup of chamomile tea. I think a brain dump is in order.

  • 8,888 hits . This is the new number of hits on my blog counter thingy. If I reach 10,000 hits, does it mean that I have arrived as a writer? Why am I looking forward to seeing that number come up?
  • The older I get the less I enjoy working nights. I guess that means I really hate working nights. 😉
  • I am very grateful to have a job. God is taking care of me and Ed.
  • It is good that Ed is retired and I still have at least 10 years of working ahead of me.
  • My shoulders and back ache so much tonight that they even hurt when I swallow. What in the world does that action have to do with back and shoulders?
  • I haven’t been to the chiropracter, Dr. Shaver, in about three weeks.
  • I am learning more about working with lace wigs every day. Problem is by the time I feel like I know what I am doing, the job is finished.
  • I am learning more about grace and forgiveness. That job is never finished in my life.
  • God is so good to me.
  • It is almost 7AM and the sun is not up but I am still up.
  • Stick a fork in me, I’m done. G’Nite now.

1940 hair style and set

16 10 2008

   This is the roller set I am doing in order to achieve a 1940s wavy comb out. The rollers are about the size of a dime. The rollers on top front are placed in a slight arc coming towards the face. When combed out this gives the effect of a sexy wave coming onto the fore head. Rollers in the back are vertically set. Top row goes in one direction and bottom row goes in opposite direction. The crown should always be flat against the head with a wave or two. The silver clamps you see are called wave clamps or wave clips and they are holding in the wave I combed in while the hair was still wet.

If you are looking for a fun 1940s hair style on shoulder length hair, this set is a shoo in. Think Rita Hayworth. (If you are as old as me, you remember her.)

Let me know if you try this set at home.

We are working nights this week. I left my house for work last night at 4PM and got home at 5:30 this morning. I will leave my house at 7:30 tonight, kiss my husband good-bye and tell him I will see him tomorrow. That is such a weird feeeling. Sleeping in all day  is weird too. Then, I will get up and do it all over again. As of the end of Weds. I have already worked 40 and one half hours. I still have two days to go this week. Yikes! I sure am glad that I turned down any full time position!!

this is where we shot some scenes the other night. The fog is courtesy of our special effects team and their fog making machines. They also wet down the road to give the film a real film noir flavor.As you can see, we were on a bridge over a river. River = humidity. Wet down on road = humidity. Wigs + humidity = NIGHTMARE!

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job. (whimper)