Tag Archives: seattle

Employment Tails

I know people who do interesting things for money, and by that I mean employment beyond a TPS report-based occupation in a cubicle. Those are what I call jobby-jobs. What I’m talking about is this scenario:

Me: What do you do?

Guy: Oh, I’m a [cat portraitist/fake executive/Prancercise instructor/professional stunt cock].

Me: I know there are stories! TELL ME YOUR STORIES.

I love a good work story, provided your work is a little bit bonkers.

One guy I know snowboards for a living, another one blogs about booze. There’s the family friend who was CEO of Court TV; a medical marijuana dispensary owner; and the head of a mental institution. I’ve met an actual rocket scientist (a guy who made “being a dick” his secondary job), and a veteran soap actor on Young & The Restless (nicest guy ever).

I know a performance artist who scares the shit out of me, and a professional drag queen who makes even the smallest thing (things like dressing, pooping, driving to Starbucks) look like a Pride Parade on the 4th of July. And their work stories! Part genius, part insanity.

Some of my friends have earned nicknames for their interesting jobs: The Button Beast, Mr. Anti-Drug, The Ugly One, P-Waxa.

The Ugly One used to work for Deja Vu – “100 Beautiful Girls & 3 Ugly Ones!” – and yes, she was one of the uggos. Her stories gave me what can only be described as ‘rollicking pleasure Tourette’s.’ She traveled all over the country blessing the Deja Vu chain with her very special talents: Being a 5 in the Looks Department and a 10 in the Body Department. She shook her ass all the way through a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and now has one of those jobby-jobs.

Mr. Anti-Drug is a guy who makes his living off of white tech guys who are into cocaine. What sets him apart from other drug dealers is that he’s totally into AA; he’s been sober for probably 10 years now. He drives an electric car, has a nice family, likes hiking and soccer, and sells drugs to pay the mortgage. The stories I love are his varied responses (read: lies) to the question, “So what do you do for a living?”

The Button Beast actually gets paid to, yes, collect buttons. She deals in antiques and rarities – still, buttons only – meaning she meets some kooky characters while being one herself. She told me a story once about a $4,000 button she found in a Manhattan attic that belonged to a historical figure; that button is in a museum now.

I happen to work with P-Waxa. She’s an esthetician who specializes in Brazilian waxing, and sees more front parlors in one day than most men will see in a lifetime. One day, after lunch, I heard her call my name from the waxing room.

P-Waxa: Psst! C’mere!

Me: What’s up?

P-Waxa: Dude, check out my delicious junk!

If you’ve never had the pleasure of a co-worker saying “Did you see my labia today? YO-LO!” in the middle of your job while pointing at their vagina, you should probably get a new job because it’s seriously awesome.

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When Walrus Met Carpenter

Fluffiest, cheesiest, winningest polenta

It’s not rocket science. It’s polenta, goat cheese, basil, and tomatoes. Total no-brainer; of course these things go together. Of course they do. And yet somehow I’d never experienced this combination before. The polenta was light and fluffy; the cheese dense but forgiving. The tomatoes burst with acidic flavor, a melty pot of tangy sweet and my grandmother’s garden.

At The Walrus & The Carpenter, they serve nice little meals. They offer drinks that have exotic, unrecognizable booze in them. They serve Coho salmon and in-house smoked trout. They prepare interesting oysters at a bar that looks like Nantucket-Northwest chic, minus the actual chic. It’s simple, and I loved the chandelier.

Plus the rock star reviews.

But I married that polenta, forever and for always. I committed my foreseeable future to that reasonably-priced vegetarian dish. And that’s saying something since I’ll eat anything with a nervous system or a smile.

The second time I visited The Walrus & The Carpenter, with my esteemed food partner,Β Fox, I was determined to reunite with my polenta domestic partner. But like so many new restaurants these days, the menu had changed, as it often does daily. That allows for greater flexibility in the kitchen, plus fresher fish and ingredients, but I was slightly disappointed…for about two seconds. The new menu was equally intriguing, i.e.; FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

I wouldn’t classify myself as a ‘Brussel sprouts’ person, but ‘Fried’ is the spirit name of my old, fatty heart — so when I saw them on the menu, my first fleeting thought was ‘Oh! A fried something-or-other!’ I can’t remember what else was on the sprouts besides salt (butter? olive oil?), but I swear on a stack of Martha’s special issue magazines that I liked them more than french fries. MORE THAN FRENCH FRIES. Why aren’t we introducing our children to this phenomenon? If they had some of these, they might be willing to try other veggies.

Then again, I felt like I’d somehow earned that bowl of Brussels sprouts, like they were my reward for eating the grody un-fun ones when I was a defiant little girl-eater. If you visit, and the restaurant has them, demand an order or five.

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