Sunday, June 12, 2011

Maxed Out in a Good Way

I was jogging the Rexius Trail yesterday I was thinking of how dehydrated I've been after my jogs lately. I don't like carrying water with me while I run and, as I neared the end of my jog, I was thinking  maybe next time to fill a nalgene and hide it in the woods near the playground before I started to have at the end of my loop. Well, I was done and was walking on the sidewalk to cool off when I saw a sign in the grass at the edge of the front yard of the first house after the park. Walking closer, I saw a big cooler and a bowl. The sign read something similar to: “Water for Dogs and Humans, Help Yourself!”. Well I never....I never would have dreamed!! I opened the cooler to discover three jugs full of water and 2 bags, one with fresh paper cups and the other for the used cups.This was too much...

Where else but Eugene?!

That afternoon I met up with Jordan, my new friend, and we played some frisbee and tossed the softball. The day was glorious. You can simply look around at the amount of people so thoroughly enjoying the outdoors to understand how sun deprived these people can get. I wonder how it will affect me?

Afterwards we got dinner at this Thai place in the western section of Eugene (not anywhere as cute as my stomping grounds, I’m glad I researched thoroughly to know the good places to look for housing). Nonetheless, I will definitely go back thattaway for more Thai!

Afterwards, he showed me Skinner’s Butte, which was a few blocks away. It rises up next to the river and there’s a paved road to the top so we biked up. The long summer days are easy to get use to, I’ll be sad when they go. We could see the entirety of Eugene below us and sections of the river as well as the mountains beyond. There were lots of people up there enjoying the scenery as the sun went down.

Today was the most packed full day I’ve had yet. It started with a 9am GEARs bike ride up to Harrisburg, 20 miles north of here. The group this time was a bunch of speed demons! I was panting hard for an hour straight, giving it my all to keep up. I fell behind far enough at one point that the “slower” group realized they could slow it down a bit. The funny part was, all four of them were saying how fast it was, like they wouldn’t have been going so fast if someone else hadn’t set the pace so fast but no one claimed to be the pace setter!

It was a cloudy morning that persisted into the afternoon. There was a shroud over the mountains that was really lovely and the chill in the air lasted for the entire ride as the temperature settled into the sixties. Apparently it’s been 10 degrees cooler than it should be at this time of the year, but you don’t hear me complaining, no, you only hear me boasting to the poor easterners who are all suffering in the 100 plus degree heat and humidity!

There was a younger couple that rode with us who had just moved here from Georgia. They had charmingly twangy accents and I liked them right away. I appreciated them as the ones who made sure that I didn’t get left too far behind!

We took a different way home which I really like, GEARs always does loops rather than out and backs. Keeps the scenery changing! It’s cool, we were able to see Spencer’s Butte (the butte up above where I live) from so far away! It slooooowly got closer. We all parted ways at the river trail to go to our respective parts of town and I felt the way Cathy and I did after our Wednesday ride: like the 4 miles home was the hardest part of the entire trip! 

The blue sky had emerged from the clouds, so I stopped for a picture on the bridge..

For the evening, I had my first real obligation since I'd arrived to Eugene: I was scheduled to go to work. Yep! I got a job! Didn’t even really have to apply. I found this restaurant that is about a mile down the road from the house called Chef Bruno’s Kitchen. It sounded neat-only Bruno is the cook and he changes the menu weekly based on seasonal local foods. Well, I thought I’d email and ask if he had any employment he could offer, explaining that I’d been a hostess at Ella’s Restaurant in DC (where my favorite brother works). He wrote back and said he had “an opening up front” and to bring in my resume. Well I dropped by yesterday and saw him out back of the restaurant, coming out of the kitchen and I walked up (knowing it was him from the pictures of the big guy with the grizzly white beard. I introduced myself as the girl who’d been corresponding with him and he sticks his hand out and just before I took it in a shake hello he says “resume!”, so I put that in his hand instead. He glanced at it and asked me what my class schedule would be and I bumbled out the hours of the morning class and he says, “nonono, I don’t care about the morning, I want to know when you’re done!” so I flusteredly gave him that and he says, “when can you start?”, sometime next week? “What about Saturday” (tomorrow!?), um..I guess if you really need me.. “Can you be available tonight?”, I guess? “I’ll have my manager call you at six and tell you if she needs you in”. Um okay…thanks..? “See you soon. Oh and good luck on starting classes!”.

I felt like I’d been mowed over by a tornado!!

So the manager (his wife) calls at 6:30 yesterday while Jordan and I are biking to dinner and tells me she could use me in a half hour “Uh, I’m not really close to home..” “Oh, well then tomorrow is fine, be in at 6” “Erm, can I ask what you want me to wear?” “White on top, black on bottom..ironed!”
So after eating lunch today when I got home exhausted from my bike ride, I turned right around and went back out to find some halfway nice clothes because nothing I own is white or black, much less dressy…

I had to drive, since the mall where I got the clothes was too far to get back in time (not to mention the fact that I had absolutely no desire to set out another 10+ miles on my bike that day..).

So my driving fast has been officially broken!

I got home with time to drink some coffee to keep my brain in operating mode and make a sad attempt at ironing the new button up white shirt I’d bought. I had 6 minutes to run out the door and pedal my little heart out to make it just in time to the restaurant.

Walking through the kitchen, I was welcomed by Bruno and introduced myself to the prep boys. Chelsea and (?) were the two servers, two wonderfully sweet and silly U of O undergrads. They were great about telling me what to do as we went along…which soon became evident that I was destined not to be a hostess, but a server! They didn’t even have a hostess position there! Well damn, suddenly I’m becoming a waiter! As scary as it’s always seemed to me (I never understood how my brother could do it) it was a blast! So much more fun than being a hostess. I was all over the place, busy every second and having fun interacting with really nice customers who ALL raved about the food. I mean, they were beside themselves!  

The kitchen is basically right around a corner from the server’s station so there was a lot of interaction between us and the kitchen boys and Bruno, lots of joking and it was laid back in a really fun way.

So yea, I’ve got me a job! Pretty much out of nowhere, but suddenly I’m neck deep in it. I think it might be okay with my school schedule since the restaurant doesn’t even open til 5 and it’s closed at 9. They are closed on Sunday and Mondays. So I think I’ll definitely have a lot on my plate but I’d like to think it won’t be over the top…I can only wait and see, though!

Whew! What a loooong, busy day! Good thing tomorrow I can relax. 


  1. Wow, congratulations! And great writing, I really got a good feel for the place.
    Love you lots,

  2. wow, everything sounds so wonderful! and so tiring! but you're a rock star! and you're doin' it! i love you! and miss you! and i'm jealous! but in a good, i'm-so-happy-for-you way!
    yr mom!!!

  3. WOW Stacey!!... biking, frisbie, thai food w/new freind, shopping for new clothes, AND new job. I'm so happy for you, it sounds like a fun place to be.I bet you will be a wonderfull waitress.I use to waitress at a place called "The Black Angus" resturant back in 1978, loved it, and the tips are good to.It surprised me to read about the ice chest w/ water and cups in it, how cool is that! Write on and Right on..luv the pic's too!

  4. Stacey, no wonder you were like, "Out River Road? No problem!" Great blog!I look forward to your posts in class too.

    Oh, and you're SO RIGHT about the sun deprivation. I started out so happy about the non-cold winters and the non-hot summers, but after nine winters, I'm just as much a sun-seeker as any other Eugenean. (Of course, for people like me, it only takes about 5 minutes to get our full dose of sun for the day, but still.)

    See you tomorrow,


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