Posts Tagged ‘Pekka’

I mentioned last post that my employment situation has really changed over the past month.  It’s time to start filling in what happened…

The old saying is that it’s always darkest before the dawn.  In a literal sense, that’s bullshit, of course.  Before the dawn, you already have a faint shimmer of encroaching daylight lurking in the east, whereas at, say, 3.00 AM, it’s nothing but night.  In a metaphorical sense, it just means things look worst before things start to improve.  Which is true, if somewhat shallow and obvious, which is why it is cloaked in a figure of speech to sound artificially profound.

It's always darkest before you flip the light switch...

It’s always darkest before you flip the light switch…

My darkest hour was while I was awaiting my Step II disciplinary meeting on March 10th, which is pretty much just as ominous and formal as it sounds.  Giovanni’s is a rather casually run restaurant, and the owners generally prefer a battle plan of ‘We’ll just play it by ear.’; when they go out of their way to follow a procedure, it never bodes well.  I could have just ripped the scab off with a rushed sit-down before or after my shift.  I chose, however, to schedule the meeting for a day off.  Punctuality wasn’t a strong point for me even before I had Piper, and as a sleep-deprived single mom with ADD, I struggle just to be not-that-late, so coming in early for a meeting about my employment fate was not a good plan.  As for meeting post-shift, not only am I usually trying to rush to pick Piper up from whoever’s sitting, but it doesn’t suit the owners’ schedules well either.  I had one other reason for scheduling the meeting on a day off, a manipulative reason on my part.  Jonas Giovanni is kind of a thug, and his Italian temper is a scary thing to behold.  He does, however, have a soft spot for children in general and for Piper in specific.  He was there when she was born, holding my hand when Piper’s father is unknown and my father was unavailable.  I gave Piper her middle name, Jonasina, because Jonas was there.  I wanted the meeting on my day off so I would have to bring Piper along and hopefully put Jonas in a protective mood rather than an angry one.

On my last shift before the meeting, something odd occurred.  I was already on egg shells, dreading the meeting and flustered because I had been late, again, that morning.  Not late enough to get in any additional trouble, but also not helping my case in the upcoming meeting.  Cao Richards came by for lunch, along with two coworkers I recognized and a rather effeminate young man I didn’t recognize.  Ms. Richards, one of my favorite regulars, had strongly encouraged me to apply to be a research assistant for her employer, the Thatchtower Gallery, and conducted the interview herself.  I was supposed to have heard back by mid-February, but instead Ms. Richards had been ducking my calls and avoiding the restaurant for almost a month.  Then out of the blue that Monday she comes in and asks for my section.  That’s already a little awkward, but then she introduces me to Connor, describing him as “our newest research assistant.”

“Oh, it’s very nice to meet you, Connor.”  I’ve stated elsewhere that for servers, hypocrisy isn’t a character flaw but a job skill.  For three weeks, I tried to reach Ms. Richards to find out if I got the job.  I never get through, but instead she brings the man who actually got the job to Giovanni’s.  And requests my section to make sure I have to learn who he is.

Shape: Elvira Shape from Alady Island Skin: Gothic Lolita by Skin Doctors

Shape: Elvira Shape from Alady Island
Skin: Gothic Lolita by Skin Doctors

“I assure you, milady Marik, ’tis I who stand fulfilled by our meeting.”  Oh, my.  Is there such a thing as love at first hearing?  On top of his archaic phrasing, Conner also has the faintest trace of an accent that I simply cannot place.  Imagine an Harvard don being played by Sean Connery and you come close.  His gentle tenor has a hint of ruffle, like a deep plush blanket I just want to wrap around every inch of myself.  My train of thought completely jumps the rails.  Vaguely, I noticed the other two research assistants staring kind of doe-eyed at Conner and realized I probably have the same blankly wistful expression on my face.  I’m pretty sure I blushed as I shook it off, stammered some kind of polite noise, and forced myself to take their drink order.  Only as I’m grabbing two waters and two ice teas at main station does it occur to me that neither Ms. Richards nor I used my last name in the conversation, so why does Conner know it?

I’m busy for the next few minutes, cashing out a couple of tables, taking orders and getting them started in the kitchen, quickly tossing a couple Caesar salads myself so I don’t have to wait for the pantry cook to have time.  Once I’ve dealt with everything urgent, I grab a couple soups for Conner and one of the other assistants.  As I deliver them, I ask Ms. Richards if she has a second to talk.  With a raising of my eyebrows and a slight jerk of my head, I silently add the qualifier “away from Conner, thank you very much.”

Cao smiles, “I have a second, but I don’t think you do.”  She also raises an eyebrow and jerks her head slightly, her non-verbal communication indicating, “There’s a hostess standing behind you, about to give you another table.”  It’s amazing how detailed non-verbal communication between two intelligent women can be.  She also produces her business card with a quick, almost slight-of-hand, gesture.  “You already have the office number, but I wrote my personal cell phone number on the back.  When he learned you already have dealings with some of his gallery clients, Mr. Thatcher asked me to arrange a meeting with you.  I believe he may be considering making another research assistant position available.”

Hair: Ronnie by Tameless Hair Scar: Wicked Scar by Fallen Doll

Hair: Ronnie by Tameless Hair
Scar: Wicked Scar by Fallen Doll

“Which means you and I may yet become comrades in arms,” adds Conner.  I’m torn between irritation that my business is being freely conducted in front of him and the desire to keep Conner talking so I can hear that lovely voice some more.  It’s not often you meet a man who can make a request for his ice tea to be topped off sound sexy.  As I turn away, out hostess flashes two fingers and then four fingers at me.  “I need you to take table twenty-four.”  I nod at her.  “O.K.  I’m on my way.”  Really, with all the non-verbal communication going on, it’s astonishing how loud Giovanni’s gets during the rush…

The rush stays busy, so the rest of my conversation with Cao and her party is limited to what I think of as ‘standard restaurant script’.  “Let me get some refills.”, “Does any one need a box?”, “Did anybody save room for some homemade tiramasu today?” and the like.  There is one interesting moment when I bring the check.  I didn’t bother asking about separate checks before I bring one check and give it to Cao.  It’s the benefit of familiarity.  Although I don’t know whether it is Cao or her expense account being generous, I know that when Cao brings her coworkers to eat, she treats for the table.  The young lady research assistants with her are also used to this; they no longer make even a token attempt to get a separate check or take the tab.  Conner deftly reaches across the table and grabs the bill from Cao’s hand.

“You know my other patron would insist I do the honor,” states Conner, pulling one of those heavyweight black credit cards from a lavender nylon trifold.  Ms. Richards attempts to reclaim the bill, but Conner easily swings the check away from her grabs.

Cao actually sounds a little irritated as she replies, “Carlton and I, however, work with your patron, not for her.  I understand why she wants the privilege, and I hope she earns the right, but it’s only proper I pay this bill.”

“There are many kinds of propriety, madame Richards.”

“But I would hope hospitality is universal.”

Dress: Elvy from Augusta Creations Shoes: Jane (night-colored) by Tesla Jewelry: Heart Bangle by Grumble; Pink Chain Collar by Pekka

Dress: Elvy from Augusta Creations
Shoes: Jane (night-colored) by Tesla
Jewelry: Heart Bangle by Grumble; Pink Chain Collar by Pekka

I took the bill and credit card from Conner.  With my left hand, I also accepted Cao’s card from her.  I then tucked her card into the tip tray and handed Conner’s card back to him, glancing at the name.  “Here you go, Mr. Dreenan.  I don’t want to imply that Ms. Richards has better connections at Giovanni’s than you do, so I’m going to explicitly state it instead.  We know Cao, and Giovanni’s is the sort of place where it is good to be known.”  I dropped a quick smirk at Connor before returning to my formal, I’m-working voice, “I’ll be right back with your card, Ms. Richards.”

Not quite right back, since I loop into the kitchen to call for french onion soup on my way to the computer and refill water at table forty-three on my way back.  I’m busy enough that I again just stay on-script when I drop off the charge slip to be signed, “I just need one copy back with your signature and the other slip is for your records.  Thanks for stopping in today, Cao, and I hope we see you again.” Again, spoken in my I’m-working voice, as I continue on to another table to check off the next task on my to-do list.

When I finally get back to finish clearing the table, Cao has left a note on her charge slip: Don’t forget to call me.  Sooner is better than later.  There was also a small pebble and a note on a twenty dollar bill (which is an over thirty percent tip!) which read, “I’m told this is a good introduction to a waitress.  I would love to be known.  Sincerely, Conner Dreenan.”

The nicest thing about the whole confusing encounter… Well, really, the nicest thing was the sound of Conner Dreenan’s voice.  If you could bottle that sound, you would make a mint.  But the second nicest thing was that trying to figure out what just happened distracted me from what would happen the next day.

…To be continued…

Welcome to my… well, to someone else's parlor really...

Welcome to my… well, to someone else’s parlor really…

WHAT I’M WEARING: Inspired by the music I was listening to today, I decided to dress like a nice girl.  No goth-punk for me today, no sir!  So here’s my nice girl style card:

  • Shape: Teen Katie (Wk 20) by Cukabebe.  (Matt tells me I still barely show, but I’m starting to feel self conscious about being preggers.)
  • Skin: Bella Pale from *JStyle
  • Tattoos: (O.k.  Maybe a little bit of punk.) Leg Tattoo from Grunge Ink, Chest Tattoo from Orsini
  • Hair: Jace from Tameless Hair.  (Not only cute, not only color changing, but also new!  This is one of the items I bought on my visit to the Naughty Nitch Fashion Fair.)
  • Outfit: Gingham Vixen by Knockers.  (The tied blouse and cut off shorts and pocket bandana.  Very cute.  Very nice girl.)  Socks out of a Pajama set from Charm.  White sneakers from *JStyle.
  • Accessories: Red Bangles from *JStyle; Spiked Teal Headband from Grumble, Grumble; Pink Chain Collar from Pekka.

See.  This is what a nice girl wears.

Exploring Body Mansion: if you don't mind the corpses, it's a lovely place to shop...

Exploring Body Mansion: if you don’t mind the corpses, it’s a lovely place to shop…

WHERE I’M AT:  I got a notice from one of my groups (and I’m a bad blogger because I didn’t note which group) about the Month of Games, a game-themed fashion event being held in Black Veil.  So I said to myself, “Myself,” says I, “I like games.  I like fashion.  I should check this out.”  It’s fun and it’s cute and I’m glad I came by.

I don’t have as much to say about this event since I’m just here as a consumer, not as a sponsored journalist.  Likewise, I didn’t buy as much- not only are many of the products pricier than I normally spend, but with no sponsor backing me, my shoestring budget is more of a factor.  I did spot a couple neat finds, however, and I would definitely recommend visiting.

Candyland: A prideful rainbow of pretty colors?

Candyland: A prideful rainbow of pretty colors?

WHAT’S ON MY MIND: Meanwhile, in my mailbox was a notice from a photographer looking for models.  The photographer, whom I shall not name here, was offering free photo sessions, with the intent of a. building a portfolio of his work and/or b. getting models to show up in support of Stand4Love.  You may ask (I did) what Stand4Love is about.  Since there is a blog, I went ahead and visited their site, Stand4Love.Wordpress.Com to learn more.  The essence of what I learned is this quote: STAND 4 LOVE is an awareness charity project to promote the visibility and rights of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Straight loving couples to have the right to marry and be recognized by the law across the world. It will be a picture campaign in Second Life to spread awareness and promote equality and tolerance.

I’m unexpectedly torn by this project.  On one hand, I do believe that same-sex couples deserve equal rights and protection under the law as their more conventional counterparts.  I’ve witnessed enough examples of unfairness- partners unable to see each other in the hospital, survivors whose partners have died losing their residence because they are legally classed as ‘roommates’ or ‘tenants’ rather than ‘spouses’, employees mocked and ridiculed by a business owner for their private lives, etc.- that I share a sense of outrage with the LGBT community.  Taking a pretty picture to show some support for fairness, tolerance, and equality is a simple enough thing to do.  On the other hand, I would say I mostly rather than totally agree with the premises behind the project.  My differences are philosophical and abstract, but then again, I am philosophical and abstract so I hesitate to undercut my own beliefs.  I suspect I may return to this subject to mull it deeper in the near future.

A beautiful dress I can't afford… I feel like Cinderella being told she can't go to the ball...

A beautiful dress I can’t afford… I feel like Cinderella being told she can’t go to the ball…

WHAT’S ON MY RADIO: Well, as always, my musical tastes are fairly eclectic, but here are a few of the songs I jammed too while writing this post… The Katie Armiger song ‘Nice Girl‘ was playing and inspired me while I was putting my style card together for this post.  I also looked for a few more ‘nice girl’ songs on my iPod and found ‘Wouldn’t it be Nice‘ by the Beach Boys, Carrie Underwood’s ‘Good Girl‘, and ‘Good Girls go to Heaven‘ by Brooks & Dunn.  On the other hand, I fearlessly go everywhere while I blog, so I may not be the good girl I claim.  With that in mind, I’ll say farewell with the classic Alice Cooper ode

 

WHAT I’M WEARING: I wanted to go a little exotic today, and still be goth-y.  Here’s my style card:

  • Shape: Gigi Teen (Kids5B)
  • Skin: Music is Life (Kre-ations).  (A pale purple skin with tattoos of notes and clefs.  Very cool, and the unusual color is much of today’s exoticness.)
  • Hair: Wallflowers Pwn Bun without Bangs– Castlevania (Geek.)  accessorized with USB Dreadlocks, also from Geek.  (One of my impulse buys at Block 100 last post.  Poor impulse control is one of my virtues…)
  • Outfit: Catgirl skulls & roses jumpsuit (Dreamz)
  • Exotic Body Parts: Large Horns and Faun Tail (Virtual Attire.)  (These are out of the Pure Fantasy outfit.)
  • Jewelry: Red Rose Cuffs (Grumble, Grumble) (Also from Block 100.), Lip Ring (source unknown.), Pink Chain Necklace (Pekka).

WHERE I’M AT: Hopping from place to place.  It seems like every time you go some place or buy some thing, you end up with another landmark.  So I’m trying to clear out redundant, out-of-date, and just not-appealing land marks.  So each picture in this gallery is from a different location I’m keeping a land mark for.  With each picture, I’m including a taxi.  Normally my issue is too many plans and not enough time, but I have a cluttered enough inventory that when I steal time for quick writes (all I seem to have time for at the moment) this gives me an immediate quick thing to work upon…

WHAT’S ON MY MIND: Apparently my firsty and I are going through another bout of mutual envy, each of us jealous of life on the other side of our First Life computer game interface.  He juggles a lot of cares against our shared love of writing and stories; he envies me the carefree life I live.  Many of his cares and responsibilities stem from the relationships he has with people around him, however, and I am jealous of those relationships… Apparently we both want it all: love, family, security, writing, respect, freedom, faith, great sex, rock n’ roll, et cetera.  Life, however, is all about setting priorities, since people have unlimited wants, but only finite resources of time, money, and energy to spend for those wants.  I suppose I should find it depressing, since First Life has taught me that I would be dissatisfied no matter what, that if I lived a hypothetical life with my priorities altered I would still leave some key and primal wants unfulfilled.  Instead I find it ironic that it is even possible for two alter egos to be jealous of each other.  I also find it strangely affirming.  I’ve learned that if I weren’t who I am, I would wish I was, and that is affirming knowledge.

WHAT’S ON MY RADIO: The usual random mix of stuff, such as In the Real World by the Alan Parsons Project, The Middle by Jimmy Eat World, and Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants.  (I love the animated cartoon music video for Istanbul, by the way.  It’s tiny.  It’s toony.  It’s really very loony….)

 

Random?  Why would you say that?

Random? Why would you say that?

WHAT I’M WEARING: Last post, as I talked about my ADD, I stated that I don’t always know where my ideas and my whimseys come from.  Today is a case in point.  I tried on a dollarbie outfit from LC’s World of Fashion, the Lira, (the black bra, suspenders, and black and white pants) and it made me think of a mime.  Thoughts of mimes lead to thoughts of clowns which lead to thoughts of creepy, scary clowns.  And then I ran away with my thoughts, which is even more dangerous than running with scissors…

Shape: Shape Z Petite from Karen Blackthorne.

Skin: Didy, from WoW Skins, overlaid with the clown face 2 tattoo from Pekka and the “Blood Slut” tattoo from Sensations

Hair: “*R* Axel01 Black”, source unknown, listed creator Ramu Axel

Clothing: Lira, from LC’s World of Fashion.  Red Leather Kicks from Prozak.  Bloody Gloves out of Axe Murdering Bride costume from Kastle Rock Couture.

Jewelry: “Garbage” mouth piercings from Ellabella, Barbed Wire Collar from Open Collar, Hoop Earrings and Black Flexi Armbands both source unknown.

An airborne clown… new heights in low comedy!

An airborne clown… new heights in low comedy!

WHERE I’M AT: Since I was dressed as a clown, I went looking for a circus backdrop to take my pictures.  I did an SL search for circus, and started looking from lowest traffic.  (After all, a high traffic circus may be a better circus, but harder to take pictures…)  I ended up here, in the Fetish Circus.  (I love SL.  Every imaginable strangeness has been imagined somewhere…)  Definitely not a sim to take the kids to, but then the kids probably shouldn’t be hanging out with bloody scary clowns either…

Putting the tramp in trampoline?

Putting the tramp in trampoline?

WHAT’S ON MY MIND: Since I’m clowning around, it’s an excuse to play one of my favorite songs, “Clowns” by Too Much Joy.  Enjoy!

 

Don’t worry, I’m not bruised.  I haven’t been kicked, punched, beaten, or mauled.  (Although, with a bunch of sweet shops gathered on three sims for a candy-themed shopping bonanza of tricks and treats, mostly treats, you could claim I’ve been malled.  Just sayin’)

Treat or treat!  (I'm not turning tricks, I'm not that sort of girl...)

Treat or treat! (I’m not turning tricks, I’m not that sort of girl…)

Once again, the first step in a great shopping trip (or really, the first step in anything fun) is to dress for the part.  Since I’m looking for Candy Fair goodies and Halloween is just around the corner, I wanted an outfit that I could really go door to door in… The dress is “Truffles” a nice gothic pseudo-victorian number from Pinkmare’s House, back when Pinkmare’s House was open.  The little black bowler with the flower came with the dress and was what really said “clown” in my imagination, so that the rest followed.  I wanted to add a little color to the black and white dress, so I added some red, white, and blue bangles that Grumble, Grumble sold for the 4th of July and a bright (source unknown) tattoo of fairies and butterflies.  My sneakers are ‘Juicy’, a cute Grumble Candy Fair item, white lady’s sneakers with a cherry print, and the bright pink vampire trick or treat bag is another Grumble Candy Fair item.  For a skin, I chose a teen skin with pimples and braces from Fierce Designs- after all even if the scientific evidence is unclear, pimples and bad diet are firmly linked in popular belief.  Not that the acne showed up once I added the clown face tattoo layer from Pekka (I believe as a gift or hunt item, since it is much sillier than the make-up and piercings Pekka has in the marketplace).  My hair was Dragee from Rosy Mood, which I rationalized as a good choice for Candy Fair because the color was “honey.”

Pink Sugah.  Yeah, I spent some Lindens here...

Pink Sugah. Yeah, I spent some Lindens here…

For my return to Candy Fair, I decided to spend time in the Candy Cove sim.  (Taxi here!)  (Needless to say, I do plan on a ‘Gimme some yummy III’ where I shop the Sweet Surprises sim also.)  Once again, I unfolded my free map to try to pick the most important stores to hit first.  For me, the choices were Pink Sugah (one of the sponsors of Candy Cove, and thus conveniently near the landing point), Toxic High, Sugar and Cyanide, and Blah (all in the donut turn clothing area), and WoW skins (which you know is a perennial favorite of mine for Skins and Shapes).  I also decide to make sure I hit Pekka since I have been meaning to get some more make-up, and tracking down the clown makeup reminded me that Pekka has some very nice stuff in the marketplace.

Oh, gosh, where do I nom first?

Oh, gosh, where do I nom first?

My take aways?  I got some nice stuff from Pink Sugah and from Blah, so I’m temporarily broke again.  I saw some really lovely tattoos at Identity.  I didn’t necessarily want the candy themed ones they had at the fair, but I was excited to see tattoos with a little more color than the Orsini tattoos I normally swap between and some sleeve or legging tattoos so I can move my tattoos around a bit more.  I’m definitely checking them out on marketplace once I get my next allowance.  Oh, and I got to spend the morning shopping and writing about it… I definitely love my life!