Saturday, March 27, 2010

And Oh No You Didn't

How much farther with this go? I truly thought that once health care was instated and the hulabaloo was over, the conservative right would calm the freak down, possibly regroup for their next strategy for whatever non productive stance they wanted to take on next and move on. Wow was I wrong.
The death threats are ridiculous. The hatred is absurd and non serving to anyone. And the lies are rampant. I think that’s the part that has my anger up more than anything. It seems that the lambs of the GOP are willing to believe anything they are told regardless as to whether it’s the truth or not. Listen up lambs and listen up good. KNOW YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU SPEW VENOM.

The one that slays me the most is that health care reform was done behind closed doors. This was brought to the light again by a recent CNN clip that is currently viral on Facebook and other social media sites. Funny, if it was so secretive, why did I watch it all live stream on my computer at work? Why is it I could find the bipartisan summit on most major networks and CNN? I watched that live stream from work as well.

How many of those who are buying into the BS bothered to listen to the State of the Union address explaining health care reform? The Congress vote? The health care reform summit? How many of the naysayers have read any of the reform bill itself? I’m betting none or very few. I have followed its entire journey from the get go and am pleased to say that other than the comprises that were agreed upon and made public, the bill stands as it was originally presented. There are no hidden agendas. There are no behind closed door decisions. It was all out there. As someone who works roughly 60 hours per week, if I can take the time to be educated, anyone can.

But here’s the rub. They don’t want to be. They don’t want to know the truth and they don’t want you to know it either. And it doesn’t make very interesting copy for the media to report, Health Care Reform Passes ~ Everyone is Happy! And no one wants to look back and say they are wrong. People think it’s better to keep the pot stirred than to sit back and see what happens and how it benefits the populous. Or doesn’t. But in the meantime, the anger, aggression and flat out confrontational lies get no one anywhere.

Here are some facts for you. After HCR passed, recent polls showed that the popularity of the bill increased by 9% over GOP opinion previously stated. Another fact. The DOW and NASDAQ finished higher than it had in years the day the bill was signed. I got bad news for the GOP. America is happy.

I have some things to ask of you. Don’t believe every thing you hear. Take some time and do your homework. I recently asked someone who said to me…..”well Obama is going to …[fill in your favorite]….” I asked them, show me where he said that. They said, …“well I can’t. All I know is what I’m told..” And who told you? Rush Limbaugh or someone else who is obviously misinformed? The next time someone spews the trash at you, simply ask them to show you where that is stated. I have found that shuts the majority of the ignorant down on the spot and hopefully gets them to think. A great source is the internet and That’s another great source to share with folks. But again, this will only work on those who want to be educated. That is worth saying again. FACTS ARE ONLY FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO BE EDUCATED. Let’s face it. There are plenty who and enjoying the fray and you will not change their minds. I live in a very red county and I should know. There is saying out there and you can make up your own mind if it’s worth it. One of my dearest friends once told me this. Don’t wrestle with a pig because the pig likes it and you just get muddy.

This girl is wiping off the mud and will continue to live in the truth and (dare I say it) be happy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh Yes He Did!

What an amazing day in America’s history. For the first time in a long time, legislation recognizes the little guy and not big business. Also for the first time in a long time, I am so proud to be a part of this country and this process.

Two years ago I had the privilege of listening to presidential candidate Barack Obama speak here in Eastern Oregon. He spoke of changing health care and giving the opportunity for affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans who are struggling without. He spoke of how he would make discussions viewable to the public by putting it on CSPAN. How he would give everyone in congress the chance to have a say regardless of your party line. I looked at my son as the gymnasium erupted with applause and shrugged, “beautiful thought if he can do it”. Guess what folks. He did it.

Not only did he do it, he did it just how he said he would. Even as I type that I can hardly believe it. In my lifetime, I had yet to witness a true declaration and follow through quite as this one. I think maybe that is why so many on both party lines were shocked at his audacity and conviction in getting health care not only done, but just the way he said he would. Are we truly so jaded that we cannot see that we for once have a leader that has kept good on the promises he made on his campaign platform? I think so. Even I, Mary Poppins that I tend to be, had doubts that it would be as he said.

Barack Obama campaigned on change we could believe in. He promised to pay attention to the little man and do what he could to change outdated policies that no longer were working. He campaigned on a promise of Yes We Can. Oh yes we did.

Through it all the conservatives for big business did all they could but pull knives to get this stopped (and maybe a little of that, too) through lies, tainting, slander and just all around bad behavior that were not factually based. Our President went above and beyond what I felt was reasonable in including all sides in the debate and hearing everyone. He worked tirelessly toward compromise but when it became clear that if our President said the sky was blue the GOP would argue it was grey, that the show must go on with or without bipartisan support. And he did it.

The best part? Unlike politicians of the past, it’s not win at any cost for Obama. He has stated that he would rather be a one term president to do what is right rather than to do what is popular with the GOP. I don’t think this will happen. Especially once people begin to reap the benefit of this bill. But the fact that he’s willing to hang that out there in order to make a difference for the little guy makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Unique? Oh yes, oh yes folks. We have someone who cares. How lucky are we to see this and feel the benefits of this time and to know that our children and grandchildren will not be without health care coverage. This makes a difference not only for me but for my college age children.

Congratulations, Americans. Not just Yes We Can….but Oh Yes We Did! And the best is yet to come.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

BMHA Benefit Polo Tournament

Awwww….spring is in the air. And for this little girl, that means one thing. Polo season! In fact, with a few rides under my belt already, the season for me is looking hopeful.

Every year my polo club sponsors at least two tournaments. And every year we talk about how we “shoulda” done a big benefit tournament. We are done talking about it. We actually have the wheels in motion and are doing it! And it’s going to be impressive.

Mark your calendars for August 13-15 for a time you won’t want to miss out on. Starting on Friday August 13, we will have TooBamBoo playing; a beer garden and a salsa cook off. More details on these events are emerging every day so stay tuned. We kick off that night at 5 PM and will go until 8 PM.

Saturday, tournament play begins at 9 AM. So far, I have almost 4 full teams planning to attend and compete. These athletes are coming from Corvallis, Spokane, Northwestern Washington and Boise, Idaho. Noon on this same day will have a celebrity walk/trot match with local celebrities. We have some committed, some declined and some who need to be committed. I’ll have that list for you as time draws closer. Then after our celebs knock it out of the park, we’ll go back to tournament play.

Sunday we will have championship matches and then a parade of hats! Keep those derby hats out, Ladies after the derby. We have some great prizes starting with a $99 pearl and silver necklace from La Grande Gold and Silver. We also have a $25 gift certificate and gift basket from Cat’s Meow compliments of Erin Wylam. From Grande Ronde Med Spa we have a $50 gift certificate. So Ladies, it’s well worth it to come out and strut your stuff! This will be followed by more tournament play and our awards ceremony at 4 PM.

Admission to this event is $10 per car, a bag of dog food, cat food or a bag of cat litter. Vendors will be on hand including Joe and Sugars with healthy breakfast and lunch entrĂ©e’s so plan on spending the day. The La Grande Philly kids will be there and we are currently talking to some wonderful art and wine vendors as well. There will be games for the kids and a chance to win a bottle of soda from Pepsi, divot stomps, booths and of course, exciting polo action right here in Union County.

We still need sponsors for this event. Your tax deductable contribution will go a long way to cover expenses and put money in the pocket of the Blue Mountain Humane Society. Your dollars stay right here and benefit Union County. If you want more information on how you can be a part of this great event, please call Christy at 541.786.1613 and visit Every little bit helps. See you at the polo match!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Diary of a Mad Brown Waitress

I am a waitress. I am a good waitress and 99% of the time, a happy waitress. I was a cheerleader so I know how to do perma-grin. I have Botox® so I cannot frown. I treat people as I would want to be treated if I were the customer. Yes, before you say it, I know not every waitress embodies this philosophy but I believe the majority do. So with that in mind, I’d like to offer some suggestions on how to be just as good of a customer.

First of all, $2 is not a tip. It is a suggestion of a tip. The only time $2 is a good tip is if your total ticket price is only $10. And while we are on the topic of tipping, let me help you with that. It’s not rocket science. A good tip is $2 for every $10 spent. If your total ticket price is $50, then a suggested tip is $10. For $60, $12. For $65, its $13. Its pretty easy to figure out but it’s amazing to me how many people struggle with what to tip. This, of course is based on whether your server is a good server. But let me tell you, if you consistently tip $2 for a $50 ticket, word spreads and your service will not be anything over basic. On the contrary, word spreads if you’re a good tipper and we’ll bend over backwards to earn it. This of course is all based on the fact that your waitress is not crappy. I’m not a crappy waitress.

If your children cannot sit in a chair for the course of a meal, consider hiring a babysitter. This is not to be mean. I love well behaved children and I’ll go the extra mile for them. I am a mom and I get it. But for the sake of all they need to remain seated. I find parents of toddlers let them run around. This puts your kids at risk of having a waitress accidently not see them and knock them over or causing another accident. And if your children throw crayons all over the floor, please make an effort to pick them up. Chances are I will tell its fine and I’ll get it, but make an effort. Please don’t let your kids drag big rocking horses from the play area to your table. This creates a hazard for me and your child when trying to serve you.

If I am taking your order, please look at me. It’s inconsiderate of a customer to not make eye contact with their server. It helps us understand what your needs are and if we can see your eyes.

Please do not shake your glass, beer bottle or other beverage container at me. I will be by to check on you. And if I get behind, a simple “Oh Miss….” will suffice.

When someone in your party asks for an extra and I ask if anyone else needs anything, don’t wait until I come back to tell me. Please give me the opportunity to get it all in one trip.

Please understand that mistakes happen. It’s not on purpose. We truly do our best to get it 100% right. But if a mistake does occur, yelling at me does nothing but make me really angry or make me cry. Is the fact that your dinner is a little late really worth it? People are losing their loved ones in hospitals and many people don’t have enough to eat in general. And you are going to get upset because something with your meal is just a little wrong? Perspective, people. It’s just not that heavy. We will do our best to correct the issue, I promise. I want you to be happy. I want you to come back. Unless you are mean. Then I never want to see you again I don’t care how big you tip. Meanness is inexcusable.

Sometimes the kitchen gets behind when we are really busy or we have a big group. They are trying. I promise. But me hounding them only makes them mad at me and you glaring at me all the time will not make it come out faster. Your ticket is not lost, we are trying. And if my service is good but your food is slow, reducing my tip does not send any sort of a message to the kitchen. Just sayin’…

Please don’t come in 15 minutes prior to closing or right at closing. Most of us have day jobs and we are ready to go home to our families. If you are a late table, and you know you are a late table, at the least, don’t be as inconsiderate to sit there and sit there and sit there after your meal has ended. It holds up the entire staff and we get cranky.

If you have more than 4 in your party and your restaurant accepts reservations, please make them. That way we are ready for you and your table will be ready and your server prepared for your group. Life is better for all.

The most important thing I want you to know is that we are people just like you. The 13th amendment abolished slavery therefore treating us as such does nothing but make us dislike you. Speaking for myself, I am a professional in my day jobs. Waitressing is fun and it affords met the ability to keep my horse and keep my one hobby going. I am not less than you. I work hard to make sure your experience is good. Please look at me as an equal and I will look at you as a guest in my home.

On a final note, I enjoy the majority of my tables. If you have had a bad day, I want to make it just a little better. These are just some recommendations that I see day to day that helps you and helps me to help you to best of my ability.