Friday, October 21, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: Regulars


I think most people in my position of working a food service job have this in common: favourite regulars. Those people who are always stopping by your smoothie bar, coffee stand, fast food window etc. Here's my account of some of my favourite regulars...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Patio Makeover


This weekend Sheldon met my grandparents for the first time...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Three Things: Celebrity Inspired Outfits


Many of my fans have been asking lately, "Lucy Rose, how have you adjusted your personal style to match your radical hair chopping transformation?" Well, for all of you fans I have decided to share three outfits that I have been loving of late...

Monday, October 10, 2016

When Life Is Insane...






































I have been having trouble keeping my head above water this semester with work at the smoothie bar, full-time studenthood, marriage and of course...blogging. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Three Things: That Made Me Smile



Three things that made me smile this week...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: Surveillance Cameras

 

Whenever I am working at the smoothie bar I feel like I am onstage. So many people can see me right as they walk into the store. The bar is near the entrance. Not only can customers see me, but our managers are continually walking past. Not to mention the cameras. I get the distinct feeling that someone is always watching...


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me



This is my first birthday in eight years without Facebook. Birthdays are one of the best aspects of Facebook. Everyone knows about your birthday without your having to tell them. People you don’t even expect wish you Happy Birthday throughout the day. I remember my first year of high school I wasn’t really friends with anyone yet, so all day on my birthday no one gave me birthday wishes...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: Drop Everything


I didn't look the lady in the eye when I handed her the reciept for her smoothie and said, "I am very sorry. I dropped your recipt on the floor. Do you still want it?" She gave me a look. Not "The Glare". But definitely a look. When I worked yesterday I dropped everything.

Monday, September 26, 2016

How to Get Enough Sleep


 


I need nine hours of sleep to function. I have mentioned this before, but never posted a full post about it. To be honest, it is only over the past two years that I have finally figured out my optimum number of hours. When I say "optimum" I mean that that is the amount of sleep I need in order for me to be efficient, aware and at my best physically (no head-aches, drowsiness or body fatigue). How did I figure this out? Read on...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Three Things: Easy Breakfast Recipes



Last week's edition of my Three Things Series was about insecurities. What a downer, Lucy Rose. Let's pick up the pep here, Lucy Rose. So this week I thought I would just share some of the breakfast foods that I have been enjoying lately. I am not a foodie. I like food, but I do not devote much thought or planning to it. I find a thing I like and keep making it until I stop liking it. 

This week I share three extremely simple recipes which miraculously include three celebrity foods (see if you can spot them!). I say miraculous because I am never a person who is particularly up on trends. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: Dealing With Radioactivity





I call it The Glare. The Glare is the technique some customers use in order to punish me, the unaccommodating grocery store employee. It consists of pursing the lips, raising the eyebrows and directing radioactive heat from one's pupils directly onto my face. It is generally accompanied by a pointed silence and walking away without saying "thank you". It is pretty effective 
at making me feel like a complete loser. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Milwaukee Art Museum Tour


Sunset Landscape (Coucher de soleil à Barbizon) Thomas Rousseau


When Sheldon and I came out of the Milwaukee Art Museum into the normal world again we felt saturated. After having spent three hours combing through gallery after gallery of images it was like my eyes had been reprogrammed to see every little thing as a piece of art.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Romantic Getaway


We are escaping to Wisconsin. Yes, we have killed all the buffalo here in Illinois. Our meat supply is running low so we are moving on. Just kidding. I am in an Urban Studies class in which we have been talking about the concepts of hunting, gathering and subsistence farming. Anyway…we are going to Milwaukee in order to rest. I asked Sheldon the other day if he could recall the last full day we have had in which neither of us have had work. The answer? Our honeymoon

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Three Things: Insecurities



This week the shell covering my body, which protects me from harsh words or feelings of worthlessness, was softened, like how fingernails get soft in the shower. Since my defences were down some bad stuff crept in and wreaked havoc. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: The Beauty in Accuracy


 



Working in food service requires a number of skills: people pleasing, efficiency and multitasking are the main ones. But I am proud of a more obscure skill: I can exact right amount of smoothie. When I make a smoothie there is nothing left over in the blender after I have poured it. This is the king of my smoothie bar accomplishments. I have perfected the ratio of banana to grape to apple so that if a customer orders a sixteen ounce kale smoothie -- I make sixteen ounces of smoothie. 


Monday, September 12, 2016

Life Without a Smart Phone






On Saturday I proudly proclaimed my indifference to the pull of the internet. I told you how living without it makes me holier than all the internet-addicted suckers out there. But now for the truth. I miss my Smart Phone. A lot.I have been sorely tempted to just go buy a glossy, flat new phone. It would fit so perfectly in my hand. Stroke the screen and tiny app nuggets appear like fairies. Touch one and it jiggles cheerily. Colours and animation burst from the screen. I am enchanted.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life With No Internet



Did you know that Sheldon and I don't have internet? At the beginning of our marriage we decided to see how long we could survive without it. Our main thought behind the decision was to save money, but I also wanted to cut down on the time I spend on the internet. It can be tricky to manage, but I really like having no internet. Here are some reasons why...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Three Things: Bryan Stevenson's Lecture




As soon as our guest lecturer finished we rose to our feet and applauded furiously. It was clear to everyone in that room that we were standing in the presence of a great man. Bryan Stevenson is an attorney who fought to free many unjustly convicted criminals. He is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery. He is also a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He came to speak for over an hour to anyone on campus who wanted to listen. The hall was packed with professors, students and people from the area. This is a little outside of what I usually blog about, but I want to share three of the things that he taught us about seeking justice. I took the lettering from my notes during the lecture. As I finish my last year of college and think about my life after school his message comes as a challenge to the way I will build my adult life. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: Bad Mood


 

Friendliness is my smoothie bar trademark. Yeah. People call up and say, “Can you have The Friendly Smoothie Lady make my spinach smoothie? I want all her good vibes to sprinkle onto it and make me have a great day.” 

Ok. So maybe they don’t do that. And, no, I am not the only nice smoothie lady at the smoothie bar. But it is part of my personal smoothie philosophy to be kind to the customers. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

I Love Chicago


 


Sheldon and I are falling in love with the city of Chicago. We have been there twice in three weeks in order to visit a friend. As Sheldon drove down Lake Shore Drive and the lake was on our left and the city on our right I peered into apartment windows. I caught glimpses of people on their phones, families around a TV and fabulous furnishings. I started to picture what our life would be like if we lived in the city. 


It is so easy to glamourise the city. As a person who lives in a suburban area I come to the city feeling possibilities. I am on the lookout for a cool cafe to blog from, a shop I want to hunt around in or a pocket of intrigue to explore. Everything has the flavour of adventure. 

But as I watched the people from our car window (which does not open anymore and makes our non-airconditioned car rather more uncomfortable) I notice a girl with her backpack. She is walking home from work or school. She is not looking around, because she knows where she is and it is the same scenery she sees every day. 




Another young woman walks by. Although she adds to the scenery with her 50s style red dress and sunglasses against the brick building, she too has no interest in the faux-Gothic church or the towering apartment building. She is looking at her phone. 

These indifferent ladies remind me that if I lived in the city according to my latest fantasy, I would grow to perceive it as normal. Soon it would not be the place of adventure that it is now — it would be my neighbourhood. Yes, I would have flashes of delight when the light changed or snow fell. Those shifts would cause me to appreciate it again. 




The same is true in Wheaton. I don’t see the alley of trees I walk down for class or the spacious lawn in front of Blanchard Hall as a tourist. Those are just the places where my life has played out over the last three years. That is where I sat with Sheldon and Chris one night and read through the entirety of The Four Quartets. That is where I take most of my English courses. That is where the guy I try to avoid lives. That is my favourite thrift store. 


So as I pine for the city and delight in our brief visits I am trying not to think, “If I lived in the city my life would be way cooler.” My life would still be a mix of work and leisure. I would still have good days and bad, just like I do in Wheaton. 



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Why I Fell In Love With My Husband





“No greater love than he who gives the last bite of his donut to his wife.” These are the words Jesus spoke in his famous Sermon on the Pastry. Just kidding. Jesus probably had no idea that donuts were going to be a thing. But this is one of the biggest ways that Sheldon shows me his selfless love. Perhaps you already knew that I am a dedicated donut devotee. These are some important donut related events in the history of Sheldon and Lucy Rose. 





I started attending the same church as Sheldon early on in our dating and I have often joked that I keep coming just for the donuts that are served during the 9:30 AM Bible Study (not true of course).

Sheldon once bought me a donut after I failed my driver’s test. 




We hadn’t been able to see one another all day, but finally had an hour to spend together late in the evening. We went to a park in the dark and Sheldon bought me a donut. 




Once Sheldon ate a huge chocolate donut in front of me during one of my donut fasts. It was because the library was giving away free ones at the end of the night. He had to eat it quickly so I would not reach over and commandeer it. 

We ordered hundreds of donuts for out wedding. When the actual event came along, we only got one bite apiece! Oh, well. I hope everyone else enjoyed them!

On our honey moon we drove two hours and finally hit a Dunkin Donuts. I was feeling carsick after having driven over the winding Wisconsin roads. But I determinedly ate a white-frosted long john  anyway. 

We comforted ourselves on the way home from the funeral of our dear friend by silently consuming two donuts and a glass of milk. Sheldon chose the better donut, but let me take frequent bites of his. 




We spent the morning doing lawn work together today for an older lady I do odd jobs for. We toiled for two hours in our matching family reunion shirts. At the end tired and hungry we drove home and picked up two donuts on the way. We just finished eating them propped up on pillows in our sunny bed and drinking coffee from the pot we bought on our honeymoon. As always, Sheldon offered me the last bite of his donut — a gesture which never fails to remind me of Sheldon’s infinite love for me. The Sheldon’s small gestures of thoughtfulness won my heart in the first place. When he offers the last bite of his donut it shows that a) he knows me very well, he knows how important donuts are to me and b) it shows that he is willing to give up his own pleasure to make me happy. 



Thursday, September 1, 2016

Three Things: College Trends

 


It is week two of classes and I have already found things that bug me. No, I am not going around searching for annoying habits of my peers! But when one spends as much time in the presence of such a homogenous band of peers, one tends to notice the trends. What follows are three trends I have observed here on my college campus. They are harmless, granted, but they just somehow annoy me. 



1. Short hair all around the head except for the very top of the head. 
In the immortal words of my Czech/Polish friend Daniel: What is the heck? Why are the youths doing this disservice to their heads? Why do they appear to think this actually looks good? It is like they have buzzed their entire heads and then been like, "Uh. I wish I still had some longer hairs." So they put a longer toupee top! I believe this obsession with Toupee Hair is a throwback to the 1950s gone wrong. It is as though these young gentlemen were trying to pay tribute to studs like Marlon Brando or James Dean. With the exception that they look terrible. Please, Guys, just stop doing this to your hair. Bring back a different terrible hair trend. I would even take the mullet or the ducktail over this monstrosity.


2. Water bottles with every sticker you got over the summer stuck on them.
I looked around my Christian Thought class this afternoon and noticed at least four people had taken out a ginormous plastic water bottle and placed it onto their tiny fold-out desk. Plastered all over the bottle and obscuring the brightly coloured plastic were stickers: camp logo stickers, weird sayings stickers, evangelistic outreach ministry stickers, "I climbed a mountain/ran a race"stickers, etc. So many. I guess this trend is sort of in line with the old campaign button trends or the sticking stickers on your guitar case or patches on the sleeves of your denim jacket. But for some reason it irritates me. Perhaps because I rarely receive stickers. I guess I am not involved enough, or at least not involved with enough outdoorsy sticker-dispensing activities.


3. Dressing like you are on a yacht even though you are not
OK. You have seen it, right? Guys who are wearing leather boat shoes and a crisp short sleeve shirt tucked into their pastel coloured short-shorts. I would be like, "OK. Fine" if these guys were ON BOATS. I would even be OK if these guys were NEAR WATER. But they are in Wheaton. The closest body of water is a marsh. Why do they insist like dressing like wealthy yacht owners in their early 60s? Their clothing says, "I am a man of leisure. I wear clothing to reflect my lifestyle of ease and opulence. Later today would you like me to show you some photos of a boat I found on Pinterest that I would like to own someday?"

Now that I have gotten all that angst out of my system I feel better. But I realise that this post is very hater-y. Just like the haters who are gonna hate, hate, hate as in Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off'". I am sorry I have let you down, Taylor, and let my negativity pour out onto the interwebs. But to any Toupee Haired People, to any Sticker Hoarders and Faux Yacht Owners reading this post I would like to advise you to "Shake it off".

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Smoothie Diaries: A Delicate Ecosystem





I want to introduce an new segment on my blog called "The Smoothie Diaries". This will be a segment each Wednesday in which I write about my part-time job as a smoothie bar employee at an unspecified grocery store. As I work I encounter interesting characters, have brief but odd conversations and generally have a lot to write about! So get pumped, people, here is the first edition of my new segment.


The smoothie bar exists within a delicate balance. It occupies a tiny corner of the store, which you see right when you walk in. If one element of the balance is out of whack then other things start to malfunction as well. For instance if the Maintenance Guy, whose job it is to collect trash, does not come around to our smoothie bar for several hours, then we have a huge pile up situation in the trash can. This happened today while I worked an opening shift from six to ten AM.




The pile-up of trash begins imperceptibly. First there are some fruit peels and vegetable cuttings from the morning's juicing. Half an hours later the juicer must be emptied of its heavy burden of fruit pulp. This substance is like if you took out all the little bits of orange that float around in Extra Pulpy Orange Juice and lumped them together into a huge, wet wad. Once this stuff begins to accumulate in the trash can, it is time to make the first call to Maintenance. I amble over to the phone and make a loudspeaker call, "Maintenance to smoothie. Maintenance to smoothie, please." I like to add that little hint of politeness in order to keep the Maintenance Guy on my good side. If you anger him, he will not empty your trash.



Another half hour goes by with no sign of the Maintenance Guy and few customers, so you decide to while away the time by slicing and preparing several pineapples. This generates a new stock of sticky fruit peelings and floofy pineapple stalks, all of which goes right on top of the fruit pulp. Another call to the maintenance is in order. You trudge back to the phone and say the exact same thing as last time, including the "please".

Maintenance has still not come. At one point you thought you saw the guy with his huge cart full of trash, but you aren't sure. You even tried to call out to him, but he did not respond. The time has now come for you to peel over 50 bananas. You know that this will entail throwing all 50 banana peels into the trash can, which is almost overflowing with fruit waste. You start by smushing all the trash down as far as it will go. You have bought yourself a few inches of trash can space. You start to peel the bananas, but you can only stuff about 20 into the can.




You make one final call for help over the store intercom. Ten minutes go by. Nothing. Not a peep. Have you angered the Maintenance Guy? Is he discontented with his position as lowly trash person in the store and ignoring you is his protest against the bourgeoisie of people like you with cushy smoothie jobs? Did your tone over the intercom suggest the desperation and irritation you were tryin to suppress? Perhaps he picked up on your impatience and is responding through passive aggression.

Finally you take matters into your own hands. You make a storewide search until you finally find the Maintenance Guy in the back of the store by the trash compactor.

"Hi, Robert, do you think you could stop by Smoothie and get our trash?"
"Sure thing! I will be over in a jiffy."




Wow. What a great response. Not impatient at all. Perhaps he just didn't hear me over the intercom because he was in the back. Oh well. At least he is coming now!

When he does come the trash is so full that is bursts all over the floor and requires the Maintenance Guy to spend an extra fifteen minutes of cleanup. Ah well. The delicate ecosystem of the smoothie bar was finally re-estabilised, despite minor mishap.

Monday, August 29, 2016

In Sickness And In Health




This weekend was the first test of our wedding vow to stand by one another "in sickness and in health". My cold was a direct result of living in such close proximity to The Carrier of Disease, in this case, Sheldon. But I would not trade living with my husband for clear sinuses. Yes, Readers of this Blog, let it be known that I would rather have a cold for the rest of my life and live with Sheldon, than be cold-less and live alone.




Here is us lolling about our home amid a mountain of used tissues.




Here is us trudging through Walgreens in order to arm ourselves with three boxes of tissues, cough drops and decongestant.






Here we are going to bed at 8PM in an attempt to sleep the cold away.






Chugging orange juice.





Drinking lots of gingery tea and honey.







One of us getting lost because the mountains of used tissues has grown too high.





The other one vowing to continue the search until "death do us part".






SaveSave

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Being Married




I can't wait to tell you about being married. I have been so excited to blog about marriage from my new perspective as a wife. But I felt obligated to catch you all up on wedding details. Then I chopped all my hair off and I couldn't feel right if I didn't blog about it RIGHT AWAY! But now I have got you guys pretty much up-to-date. Let's talk marriage! 


"So. How's married life?" This is the question everyone has been asking. Some people use a lilting intonation to suggest that by asking the question they will be inducted into some of the secrets of married life. Their tone suggests, "So tell me, Lucy Rose, what's it really like?" They seem to be digging for something they suspect to be lying beneath the surface of the happily married facade. Maybe they are hoping to discover that the physical aspects of marriage are not all they are cracked up to be, or that rigid gender roles are threatening my independence. I might be taking this a little far. But so many of the people who have asked this question allow for a smidgen of smugness to tinge the phrasing that I can't help but comment on it.




So when they ask I tell them, "Marriage is awesome. I love it." I wish people had told me this before I got married. Few of the married people I know said, "Lucy Rose, being married rocks. You're going to love it." I don't know why they didn't tell me this. Perhaps this wasn't true for them. Perhaps they felt it was more important to make sure I was prepared for all of the potential hardships instead. But if I were to speak with a young woman who was engaged right now I would probably say to her, "Look, if you know this is the right guy for you, then I can't recommend marriage more highly. Do it. Get hitched. It's the bomb."

Why is being married so awesome? In order to explain I need you to picture this: You have found the guy you want to spend the rest of your life with. But you are not married. You are engaged or dating. You both live in separate apartments. Whenever you want to be together you need to arrange it by phone or ahead of time. When you are together you are always conscious of the fact that your roommates might not want you to get all couple-y in the shared living room. I am not even talking physically, but the private speaking and laughing that couples engage in together, which tends to be pretty exclusive.




You want privacy, but the only places you can be in private are the wilderness and your car. If you are in the bedroom of your apartment, which you share with another young college woman, your roommates will assume that the two of you are busy creating the next generation of college-goers.

Perhaps you want to cook a meal together. You must command the space of the kitchen during peak eating hours in the apartment. when you have finally made the food there are still people milling about and you feel obligated to offer them some. You can ask them to vacate the space for the evening so that the two of you can be together, but that is not very nice to do.




Now imagine that you have got married. Now you are finally inhabiting the same space. Spending time together is no longer a logistical puzzle. People have no right to get ticked off at you for being couple-y any more — you are legally married! Cooking dinner together is now a nightly ritual instead of a rare occurrence. Not only this but you are allowed to create a home together based upon your shared values. Your books inhabit the same bookcase. You decide together on the way you spend your money instead of feeling guilty about who pays for what.

Marriage is awesome. ButI don't mean everyone needs to get married to be happy. Nor do I mean that you should get married to the first random man who strikes your fancy. But marriage is more joyful than people make it out to be. It is far less grave than my evangelical brethren made it out to be. Yes, it is a holy union before the Lord, but it is also pretty dang sweet.