26 January 2012

Divert Your Eyes, Dude

Because nothing says fitness like lifting in the nude.
I workout.  When I say this, I don’t mean that I do excessive amounts of cardio followed by even more cardio and a splash of abs.  While I do enjoy cardio intervals, I also spend my gym time lifting weights.  I’m talking dumbbells, barbells and maybe even real bells if it could make me look like a badass.  I’m a firm believer that lifting free weights has actually made me thinner and has definitely made me happier in my own skin, but that is of course another story.

At the gym where I workout, it’s rare to see a woman lifting free weights.  Generally I’ll be the only girl hefting the heavy stuff.  If I’m not, it’s usually me and this one middle-aged lady who is a complete and utter badass.  Either way, I am in the minority.

Given the lack of females in the weight area, I occasionally get a look or two.  This is either because I’m awesome, because I have a propensity for spandex shorts, or likely both.  Usually people will look over and look away.  It’s just human nature at that point; a normal occurrence that is really just people watching at its finest.

But sometimes, shit just gets creepy.  A glance turns into a prolonged looked and a prolonged look turns into an awkward stare.  It goes from acceptable to completely unnerving. 

A few days ago, I was doing some lifting and had that feeling of being stared at.  It only took a half second scan of the gym for my eyes to meet those of a bearded gentleman in his 50s or 60s.  I looked away nearly as quickly as I locked eyes with him.  Usually this is enough.  After a person is caught gawking, their eyes usually immediately divert to something else in a poor attempt to avoid being caught in the first place.

But that didn’t happen.  I could still feel the stare and as I looked up again his eyes continued to pry.  I became increasingly uncomfortable as I grabbed a new set of weights and continued my workout.  As I started lifting again I realized the staring wasn’t about to stop.  So I looked up, met his eyes and didn’t blink.  I was going to call his bluff.

Or I thought I was.  He just. Kept. Staring.  So I finally freaked out and dramatically mouthed, “Stop staring at me!”

And that’s just what he did.  He finally got a clue and I moved across the gym.  To work on my creep repellent gums of course. 

24 January 2012

Some People Shouldn't Have Phone Privileges

This would have been a much better use of my phone
on Sunday afternoon.  CREDIT.
On Sunday I received two calls at work that both left me speechless.  Welcome to the world of answering the phone at Hooters.

Sauce:  “It’s a hooterific day at Hooters of Missoula!  This is Sauce, how can I help you?”

Probably Drunk Person:  “Yeahss, juz wonderin’ if the Hooters is open on Sun-Sa-weekends.”

Sauce:  “We’re open everyday of the week!”

Probably Drunk Person:  “Sooooo, you’rzz open then?  Righ now?”

Sauce:  “Yup, we’re here!”

What I actually wanted to say:  “It’s a pretty good indication that we’re open when someone answers the phone within the first three rings.  If you ask the question twice and the answer is still yes than we are definitely open.  Figure it the eff out.”

Believe it or not, like pretty much every other chain restaurant in the world, Hooters is open seven days a week.  Regardless, it’s a fairly novel concept it would seem.  Next time, get your drunk ass to the Internet and save yourself the embarrassment by finding the answer there.  The Google Machine can do anything.

The second conversation was even more ridiculous than the first.

Sauce:  “It’s a hooterific day at Hooters of Missoula!  This is Sauce, how can I help you?”

Man:  “Um, who’s playing football today?”

Sauce:  “Well today are the AFC and NFC championship games.”

Man:  “Oh sweet!  And who plays in those?”

Sauce:  “The early game is the Ravens and Patriots and the later game is the 49ers and Giants.”

Man:  “Great!”

Seriously.  If you have to call HOOTERS and ask a GIRL who is playing on the second biggest weekend of football we have some serious issues.  In fact, I believe that’s grounds to have your man card revoked completely.  I mean I know not everyone is in to football, but if you have enough interest to call to enquire who is playing that you have enough interest to not have to call in the first place.  Once again I suggest the Google Machine because it won’t make fun of you on the Internet like I just did.

All jokes aside, I don’t mind answering questions no matter how ridiculous.  But it’s a damn good thing I know my football.  

23 January 2012

Thou Shalt Not Judge if Thy Carry a Playboy Handbag

I’ve always made a point of being totally accepting of negative opinions of Hooters.  The fact of the matter is that pretty much everyone will have pretty much different attitudes towards pretty much everything.  That’s just human nature, my friends.  Think what you want and I’ll just go ahead and think what I want.  It only seems fair.

Now what I don’t so much enjoy is people who let their opinions blind them.  What I mean is when even the most positive of experiences is totally lost because a person is so set in their ways.  I’m not so much bothered by the fact that the opinion doesn’t change – that’s somewhat against my original premise – but rather bothered that they can’t even see the positive at all.

Beyond that, people whose opinions appear hypocritical also bother me.  My reasons for this are probably fairly obvious.  I mean if you’re going to have a stance on something you damn well better have a similar stance on similar issues.  That’s just commonsense.

Recently, a family consisting of parents and one child sat down to a meal at Hooters.  Given the make up of the table, I did what I always do in that situation – make a point of taking care of the woman first.  I do this because, for one, it’s polite and because I like to do everything in my power to make women, who perhaps have less favorable feelings toward Hooters, feel more comfortable.

Now usually that tactic breaks the ice pretty well, but in this case nothing I could do would make this woman like me.  In fact, nothing I could do would probably even make this woman think of me as a person.  I could have given her the winning lottery numbers and she’d have glared at me.  Her indifference practically screamed of her disdain for me while the rest of her family seemed to thoroughly enjoy everything about their experience; mom just wasn’t having it.

Mmm, glittery.  CREDIT.
While that alone bothered me, what bugged me even more was the fact that she had her purse on the table.  A purse with a giant, glittery Playboy Bunny displayed prominently on the side.  So Hooters isn’t ok, but Playboy is?  I don’t think that makes a damn bit of sense.

Do me a favor and don’t judge my shorts, tank top and so-opaque-they’re-practically leggings nylons if you support naked chicks enough to proclaim it on the side of the purse you probably bought at Spencer’s.  That’s unfair and messed up on more levels than I can even begin to elaborate upon.  What I will say, though, is that I think my job at Hooters is pretty innocent when compared to nearly everything involving Playboy.  But maybe that’s just me.

I hope your Playboy purse continues to treat you well.  And by that I actually mean that you can go and stuff it into somewhat inappropriate places on your hypocritical body.  Who knows, you might be in to that.     

The Phone Number

This morning I was wondering why my posts had been receiving no comments lately.  It seems somehow my shit wasn't actually posting.  Apparently the Internet was mad at me.  Sorry for the absence and be expecting some posts and double posts.  We have some effing catching up to do.

Pimps.  CREDIT.
There comes a time in the life a young man when girls suddenly aren’t icky anymore.   Fear of cooties is replaced by a curiosity for kissing and holding hands.  Generally this happens between the ages of ten and thirteen.  Before ten girls are to be avoided and after thirteen girls are the subject of fantasies that involve a lot less innocence and a lot more nudity.  But during that golden period in between, girls are a mystery that are loved and feared all at once.

Boys of this age come into Hooters and spend most of their meal staring into their root beers and boneless wings.  While they have a curiosity that makes them eager to experience Hooters, they also have enough embarrassment that any and all young bravado stays in the car.

Recently a table of boys came in between the ages of ten and thirteen – the golden age.  Cheeks burned red as the table was addressed and whispered giggles echoed in the background as Hooters Girls hurried past with arms full of wings.  It was all standard procedure.

Meanwhile, I was tending bar serving beers to Talladega who happened to know the party of boys and their chaperone.  Next to Talladega sat Ariel.  And in case you forgot, Ariel is a complete and total badass

As the boys’ meal came to an end, Talladega, jokingly said that we should give our numbers to one of the boys.  While I was already shaking the idea off with a laugh, Ariel had that look in her eye.  It was a version of the look that makes me drink vodka on a Tuesday.

With little to no further prompting, I grabbed a napkin and scrawled Hooters’ number across it in green permanent marker.  I added a heart for good measure.  No sooner had I capped my marker and Ariel was out the door dropping off the folded napkin on her way.

I looked over just in time to catch the boy opening the napkin and his eyes lighting up.  He’d achieved the unachievable and all his friends were noticeably envious.  He was the coolest ten-year-old ever.

Flash-forward a few hours and the phone rang.  I picked it up with my usual greeting and an apprehensive voice muttered, “Um, you left a number for me to call?”

I knew immediately who it was.

Sauce:  “Oh, actually Ariel left her number for you, but unfortunately she left a bit a go.  But I’d love to take a message for her.  How does that sound?”

Boy:  “Yeah, that sounds pretty good.”

Then there was a long pause.

Sauce:  “Well what would you like me to tell her for you?”

Boy:  “Well tell her I say hi and that’s she really pretty.”

After some background whispering and another pause.

Boy:  “And thank you for leaving the number.”

Sauce:  “Ok, I’ll let her know all of that and I took down your number too, just in case!”

Boy:  “Thanks.  Oh and you’re pretty too.”

And with that, I’d had the most wonderful phone conversation I’d ever had at Hooters.  As much as we’d made his day, he’d made mine too.  Sometimes it’s the little things I guess.

FOLLOWUP:  Ariel invited the boy back anytime for a milkshake on the house.  We’ve yet to see him, but I’m pretty sure his whole school knows by now.  I also assume he recently began dating between three and five girlfriends.

17 January 2012

Sauce Gets Serious

Recently, I've been doing a little extra writing.  This really means that I did one article for the website I Want Her Job.  The mission of the site is to highlight successful women across various industries as a way to inspire others and create a community of strong women working hard to pursue their goals.

Over a year ago, I was interviewed - complete with a picture I now epically hate - for the I Want Her Job.  After being interviewed, I became friends with the creator, an inspiring young woman in her own right, and sought to become involved with the site in anyway possible.

The article posted last week is the beginning of some writing (and maybe more) I'll be doing for the site.  I hope you'll both read the article and browse the site a bit; I Want Her Job is a great place with a great mission.

10 January 2012

Oly's Story

This is a true story.

Oly is reunited with his family.  CREDIT.
Oly, a welsh corgi, was an avid skier.  Or rather, Oly’s owners David and Kerry Gaillard were avid skiers; Oly just liked to go along for the ride.  Unfortunately for Oly and the Galliards, winter was rather late getting to Montana.  Usually a skier’s paradise, the early season had brought more rain than snow in most parts of the state.  Resorts usually busy by early January were struggling to keep even a handful of runs open.

So Oly’s owners did what many truly devoted skiers would do and went looking for the snow.  Generally, this means backcountry skiing, which doesn’t involve the luxury of lifts or cozy lodges.  Instead, skiers hike into wilderness areas to enjoy pristine powder and more advanced terrain.  It’s for the love of the snow.
This search is what brought David, Kerry and Oly to Hayden Creek just outside of the small town of Cooke City, Montana on New Year’s Eve.  They were all bringing in the New Year doing what they loved.  David and Kerry skied and Oly was close behind.

But backcountry skiing is dangerous and things can change in a hurry.  Without notice, an avalanche broke bringing snow hurtling down the mountain toward the small group.  Kerry, who was on the edge of the avalanche, managed to grab onto a tree to avoid being swept away by the charging snow.  David and Oly hadn’t been so lucky.  Kerry began searching, but after three hours was unable to dig her husband or her dog from the deep snow.

Returning with help, David’s body was located using his avalanche beacon – a necessity for any backcountry skier – but Oly was never found.  The task of finding a rather small animal beneath all that snow was impossible.  David was taken home, but Oly stayed on the mountain.

Days passed and plans were made to hold services for both David and Oly.  It was right about that time that the Galliards received a call from the owner of the hotel the couple had stayed at in Cooke City.  Oly was at the hotel and the owner was personally going to bring him home.  It had been four days since the slide and miraculously the corgi had been patiently waiting right in front of the room where his owners had been staying.

Curious about what had happened, a few members of the search team return to the site of the accident to look for evidence of what had happened to Oly.  There, a few hundred feet below where they found David was a hole that hadn’t been there previously.  Filled with fur and the marks of pawing, it is where Oly spent days buried deep in the snow only to survive, dig his way out and walk himself back to town.

Even in tragedy, Oly is a glimmer of hope.  If a corgi, a dog that stands a foot and a half tall on stubby little legs, can survive an avalanche for four days I’m pretty sure I can do just about anything.  I'm an Oly.

Here is the video taken of the area where the avalanche occurred and evidence of Oly’s survival.

Ole's Story - A Video Documentary from Blackmore Media on Vimeo.

09 January 2012

Be Patient, Get Served

Believe it or not, you are not the only person I’m serving when you choose to sit at my bar.  In fact, you are often one of at least a handful of people I’m helping while also making drinks for all the girls on the floor; it’s a job characterized by multitasking.  For most people this is obvious, but nearly every day I work I’ll have at least one person who doesn’t get it.  One oblivious asshat always thinks everything should be about them.

For serious, dude.  CREDIT.
Now when I say oblivious, I mean a person will take a seat and be so effing blind that they’ll just start talking no matter how busy I am or who else I am currently serving.  To them it is as if they sat at an empty bar and I’m just eagerly anticipating their request with every fiber of my being.  They’re the asshole who waves their arms or snaps or most often just starts ordering shit because they are thirsty dammit and when the king is thirsty the king gets served.  Generally this will occur after I shoot them a friendly welcome and an “I’ll be right with you.”  For the record that doesn’t mean I’ll be with you immediately and you can just start asking for shit at your leisure.  It’s means I’m doing work-type things and I’ll get to you in a second.

Believe it or not it’s rude to interrupt me while I’m in the middle of taking an order while I’m simultaneously throwing together a mojito (which only get ordered when we’re busy and which every bartender on the earth despises).  If I were just making the drink I’d gladly help you, but see that person?  The one who was patient and friendly and is consequently hungry?  It’s their turn.  It is not your turn.  Actually your turn just got pushed back even further because you’re a giant, inconsiderate douche.

What you should do is be patient.  When I say “I’ll be right over” you should return the statement with a friendly “thank you” or – even better – “that’s fine, take your time.”  If you do either of those things I’ll finish what I’m doing and get to you quickly.  If you decide to choose another adventure, however, I’m going to draw what I’m doing as long as possible because you’re effing rude.  I know your type, it’s not like you were going to tip me well anyway.  You can wait.

Remember, your bartender is the one in charge of giving you your alcohol.  If you’re going to be demanding and inconsiderate you’re probably not going to get what you wanted half as quickly as if you’d just been a normal, polite human being.  I don’t respond well to snapping, whistling or a screamed “NEED A WHISKY SEVEN OVER HERE” – especially when I’m helping another guest.  Wait your gosh darned turn like everyone else so patiently did.  I promise your need for alcohol can wait at least 36 seconds.  If it can’t, you probably shouldn’t be sitting at my bar anyway.  Just sayin’.

Oh you’d like a mojito?  I’ll be right with you.

04 January 2012

Target and Paying it Forward

Those who know me well know that I have a deep and undying love for Target.  Seriously, Target and I have a love affair that has lasted the majority of my life.  I will go there for any reason or, sometimes, for no damn reason at all; I’ll just go to bask in its existence.  If I’m sad, Target is probably where you’ll find me wandering around aimlessly with a cart full of shit I find on clearance endcaps.  It’s my happy drug.

This will probably be me someday.
On a recently trip to my favorite store just before New Year’s, I grabbed a few things and found a place in line behind a woman with two kids and an elderly lady.  All of our chosen items were laid on the belt neatly separated by the plastic dividers.  It was business as usual.

As the checker was ringing in the family’s items, the mother suddenly turned around and moved toward the elderly lady.  She began to speak to her and as she did she removed the plastic separator between their purchases, moving forward a bottle of aspirin and a few personal items that the elderly lady was about to buy.

“I’m going to take care of your shopping today,” she said to the woman as she placed her arm around her.  “Might as well start the year of right!”

I have never seen a person more thankful than that little old lady in line at Target.  The additional items likely totaled less than $20, but to this woman, in this moment it meant the world.  A simple gesture had made her day.

It might seem like a rather small act, but sometimes the simplest things mean the most.  It didn’t change the world or make a difference to a lot of people, but in that one instant it was perfect.  All I know is that it made me want to be more conscious, considerate and thoughtful of others.  It made me want to pay it forward.

I haven’t found my moment yet, but I’ll know it when the time comes.  Or at least I hope it will.  Until then I’m just going to make sure that I’m mindful of the people around me.  Maybe I can make a little difference too.

So how do you pay it forward?

03 January 2012

Wintertime Adventures

I alluded to the fact that I spent my holidays in and around Yellowstone National Park this year. Though I have visited Yellowstone many times, this is my first real visit to the park in winter.  I present you now with select pictures from my winter adventures.  

Before Yellowstone, we stayed at Chico Hot Springs.  Chico is located north of Yellowstone and features naturally heated outdoor pools.  It's a favorite of cowboys and celebrities alike (Dennis Quaid and Jeff Bridges are regulars).  The accommodations range from turn of the century, more rustic rooms to well appointed suites and guest cabins.

The resort also features an AMAZING gourmet restaurant that is easily my favorite meal in the state of Montana.  Every meal I've had there has been finished with a flambĂ©ed orange.  The orange is hallowed out, lined with chocolate, filled with orange zest ice cream and topped with meringue.  When brought to your table the orange is doused in alcohol and lit to toast the meringue into gooey goodness.  I've had it countless times and it's still impressive.  And effing delicious.

At the north entrance of Yellowstone, just outside Gardiner, Montana, stands the Roosevelt Arch which was dedicated by Teddy in 1903.  The top of the structure is inscribed with words from the original act of congress that created the park, "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people."

Originally, this was the primary entrance to the park when trains were used to bring visitors to the park where they would enter in carriages.  Today cars still enter under the arch when arriving via the northern park entrance.

After entering the park, we stayed at the Mammoth Lodge.  Due to heavy snow in the winter, only two lodges are open to guests and only Mammoth - a few miles inside the north entrance - is reachable by car.  The Winter Lodge at Old Faithful is also open, but is only accessible by tracked vehicles.  The following pictures were taken in and around Mammoth. 

Mammoth is home to thermal features consisting of terrace like steps on a hill of travertine. Overtime, spring water that is rich in calcium carbonate is cooled and the deposits create natural, steplike terraces.

My parents wandering the boardwalks around Mammoth Hot Springs.  Yellowstone uses boardwalks in most of its thermal areas and geysers basins as a way to both keep visitors safe and to protect the delicate nature of the environment.  While the danger of thermal features might seem apparent, people are often ignorant of their power and delicacy.  In fact several geysers and hot springs throughout the park have been changed or even rendered extinct due to human interference, especially in the early years of the park.

Yellowstone in winter boldly contrasts from summer visits.  The landscapes are often stark and cold, but lend themselves to truly appreciating the heat emitted from thermal features and simply the ground itself.

The remaining pictures were taken on excursions outside of Mammoth in both the Lamar Valley - an area for prime wildlife viewing - and on a trip to Norris Geyser Basin.  Norris, while perhaps less known than the Old Faithful basin, is home to the world's largest geyser, Steamboat.  Steamboat reaches a height of over 400 feet during eruption (nearly four times the height of Old Faithful), but is unfortunately very unpredictable with intervals between four days and fifty years.  Steamboat's last eruption occurred in May of 2005.

A lone elk rests in the Lamar Valley, which - like the rest of the park - has significantly less snowfall than usual.  Generally the area will be covered by several feet of snow by late December.

A snowcoach (a tracked vehicle) tour to Norris Geyser Basin took us through Swan Lake Flats and offered us glimpse of the Gallatin Mountains.

To the left, a view of the tracks left by snowcoaches.  While the roads are groomed to make for a less bumpy ride, the majority of Yellowstone remains unplowed through the long winter months.  On the right, a snowy trek into Norris Geyers Basin.

So how was your holiday season?

02 January 2012

A Tale of Skechers

After returning from an epic winter Montana/Yellowstone adventure (more on that in an upcoming post), I arrived back at work to my Christmas present to myself.  Of course because I am what I would consider a rather frugal person the present was functional rather than fun.  A fun self-gift would only lead me to financial anguish because I take sick pleasure in growing - or during school simply maintaing - my bank account.  A functional gift, while still depleting my funds, is at least necessary and thus justifiable.

So I didn't return to a new purse or an iPad or a dragon, instead I returned to a pair of shoes.  But these weren't cute shoes with sparkles and spiked heels, these were the horrible white Skechers Hooters forces me to wear at work.  While they're comfortable enough for work, they are the type of shoes that no one would choose to wear in real life.  They are shoes reserved for waitresses and nurses and cheerleaders.  And I pretty much hate them.

Mostly my disdain for the shoes has nothing to do with how ugly they are, but rather with the fact that I have to fork over $40 to my place of employment for the pleasure of wearing them.  I love my job, but I don't love giving them my Jacksons.  I especially don't like giving them Jacksons I made working my ass off for them.  Something about that just feels wrong to me.  And lets face it, to cheap ass me $40 is about $40 too much.

Eventually though buying new shoes is totally unavoidable because Hooters wants me to have clean, white shoes all the time.  And that shit is effing hard.  I work in a minefield of booze, wing sauce and ranch dressing just waiting to mess up my whole day.  And while you'll keep your shoes clean for awhile they will undoubtedly succumb to the powers that be.  I bleach and wash and even paint, but the process of the dirtying of the shoes cannot be stopped.

While my old shoes were definitely not new, I actually didn't think they were that bad.  That was until my new shoes arrived and I compared the two.  It was disturbing to say the least.

If the ones on the left are white, the ones on the right are a new color never before seen by human eyes.

It's official, I was a naughty Hooters Girl with some really shitty looking shoes.  I maintain that the only way I didn't get my butt in trouble was that I spent the majority of my shifts hiding my feet behind the bar.  Regardless, that shit is embarrassing.  Sorry for being sucky. 


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