Friday, July 31, 2009

First Time at McAlister's

Hoping to get back into regular posting with the new toy, my HTC Ozone on Verizon.

So here's the debut mobile post, a picture of the inside of McAlister's Deli in Brentwood, Tennessee after lunch with some of the office posse.

When I worked as a housekeeper at Governor's Square Mall in Tallahassee, I never got the chance to eat at the McAlister's at their foodcourt. I don't know why. Well, actually I do. It was out of my league. I couldn't afford it on my $ 7.50 an hour, 12-15 hour per week part-time job.

Nearly two years later, I finally set foot in one and ordered a McAlister's Club with a side of potato salad and a Sweet Tea. It was pretty good! $ 10 on lunch is a bit of a splurge for me though so I won't be back any time soon. We'll see. There's a part of me that feels guilty doing stuff without K so if I do go back, she'll be with me. Then that'll cost $ 20-25. Maybe.

We do like foodie adventures. Franchises don't actually qualify as "foodie" destinations but anything that will let me not have to cook? I'm so there.

Sent from my Ozone on Verizon Wireless

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Someone's in San Francisco

Kyera never really bought into this planned joint blog. It was all my idea. Her apprehension had less to do with it being "mom's idea" and more to do with her fear of being compared as a writer.

Foolishness, I said, and reassured her she's just as articulate as me.

But she's just not that into "Exits and Entrances". I'm completely fine with that because she is her own person who's talented in her own right. And I'm very proud of her.

When she followed me to Orlando in 2007 after we were apart for six weeks while her paperwork was being processed at the US Embassy in Manila, she was miserable. The prospect of being reunited with her mother was overshadowed by her sadness at leaving friends and the only country she knew. Ow!

Orlando wasn't exactly either of our dream cities. New York is, so's San Francisco, and so's Portland, Oregon (For me at least because I'm from the northwest). The first two for their great public transportation and culture, the last, because it's where I spent a good part of my childhood.

Orlando was simply a necessity - my aunt lived there and we needed a place to stay. Mickey Mouse had nothing to do with it. (My only Disney World visit was an afternoon as a hired babysitter for the twins and little girl of a wealthy single mom.)

We were miserable in Orlando. To leave someday was the only thing that kept us plugged in at our jobs. And then Nashville miraculously happened, changing our lives once again in ways we didn't expect.

While we both love it here, the cities on our dream list are still comfortably lodged, listed for a hopefully future reality. A reality that Kyera is possibly one step closer to.

It's another God story:
She's been enamored by San Francisco since she watched Princess Diaries. Her dream school - the Academy of Art University - is downtown. She sent for an information packet in '07 and was put on their regular mailing list. From time to time, she gets invitations to their Open House on the East Coast. The last week of June, she got an invitation to their free three-week summer workshop. Free!

Her dad bought her a plane ticket and friends from church helped her find a place to stay. Things I couldn't have done for her. Definitely God.
She may not be necessarily comfortable writing on this blog, but she is definitely in her element on her own site,

So if you wonder where she is around here, you know where to find her. She's busy being her own beautiful, talented, wonderful self.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Part-time Life as a Convenience Store Cashier

Welcome back to America.

I tell myself this each weekend before heading to the gas station where I work.

Many people I know here – both friends and acquaintances – have at one point in their lives worked either underemployed or employed twice over. One would think that that would be the norm in a developing country but I don't know anyone in Manila who held down two full-time jobs, or one full- and part-time job. At least not among the people I knew. And working in radio while playing for a famous rock band doesn't count!

Driving home recently, I remembered when I left radio for good in 2003 to be a corporate cubicle holder and was asked if I would consider staying on the air at night or on the weekend. No way! I couldn't fathom how my body would handle the presumed fatigue.

Paradigm mind shift. Hello, fifty to fifty-six hour work week and tired feet.

So for the better part of the week, I sit at a desk and stretch my mind.

On the weekend, I stand on my feet for eight to nine hours and count money that isn't mine so I can make a little more that will be.

Good times.

Monday to Friday, I'm surrounded by colleagues who inspire me to do and be my best.

Weekends, I'm surrounded by gas station customers who test the boundaries of my luxury hotel guest services skills.

Ah, life lessons.

Ya, gotta love 'em.