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December 1, 2012

A Big-Ass Mimosa

A Big Ass Mimosa

"I'd like a Hankar Belgian Waffle and a Big Ass Mimosa," I stated to the man behind the counter. Dark skinned. Probably European.  

"How long y'all have been here?" I asked.

"Hmmm...we've been here 13 years now."

"I wasn't expecting to find a Belgian restaurant in the Mission," I explained.

He thought about this for a minuted. Gnawed on it with his brain.  Rubbed it against his world.  What he knew to be true.  The way things are.  The way that he wanted things to be.

"Not too many..." he laughed eventually.

A Hanka Belgian Waffle has Carmelized pears, nutella, whipped cream, and almonds.

The menu does truly list a "Big-ass" (16 oz) mimosa.  I wasn't making that up.

I drove by this place looking for a spot to eat.  It's 12:30 in the afternoon, but I just rolled out of bed and I'm feeling like breakfast.

The problem with being on a bike is that you can't really get an intimate view the places you're blowing past.  It's hard to find a small local restaurant if you're revving the throttle at every red light and riding wheelies between the lights.

So I'm driving down Valencia, looking for a new place to eat.  I don't want to go to another neighborhood.  I want to eat in this neighborhood, in a place I've never been before.

I'm deliberately trying to break out of a rut and find some new places.  So I roll past this place and it says out front in big letters "FRJTZ  Now open for brunh daily 8:30 AM. Poached eggs, waffles, scrambles, French toast, omelets, crepes, pancakes YUM!"

So I turn in. I figure any place that doesn't bother to put vowels in their name must be a cool place.

But I came here not just to eat, but to write also.  About what happened to me this week.

Saturday, two weeks ago, I was still at work at 2:00 a.m.  Trying to get the demons out of a program I couldn't understand.  Couldn't follow. Couldn't get me arms around.  I finally got it working around 2 in the morning.  With a 6 am flight, I knew I wasn't going to get a lot of sleep.  My bike was in the shop, so I walked home, laid my head down on the pillow at 3:00 a.m.  At 4:00 a.m. my ringing phone wakes me up.  The cab is in the alley waiting to take me to the airport.

Throw some things in a bag, hop in the cab.  Ride to the airport.  I'm not flying Southwest this time, for whatever reason.  I'm flying USAir, so I have no status with them and they give me a bad seat. On a four hour flight to Houston.  And I feel like I could die. Barely alive.

Somehow, USAir is organized enough that the open seats are displayed one a screen behind the gate agent.  I see a better seat...a window seat that reclines.

Can you put me in 14F?

We'd have to charge you for that.

How much?



And she prints me a new boarding pass for 14F, but doesn't bother to charge me anything, as she'd have to sign into a different system for that and she can't be bothered, apparently.

I fall asleep when we're taking off and wake up when we're landing in Houston. 

I'm flying home for Thanksgiving.  So is Jennifer.  We're both flying through Houston.  I'm flying from SFO - Houston - JAN. She's flying from DEN - Houston - JAN.  So, briefly it occurs to me that I might see her in the airport.

Then, I realize that she's on Southwest, so she'll probably be in Hobby and I'm in Intercontinental.  So, our paths won't cross.  This is an odd life that we live, I think.

So, we end up spending Thanksgiving in Mississippi.  She's mostly in Madison.  I'm mostly in Monticello.  But we do see each other occasionally.

I fly back into SF. Get in late Monday night.  My bike is in the shop, so I catch the BART into the city.  Walk back to North Beach.  Go out for beer and a a philly cheesesteak and at 2:00 a.m., I realize that I don't have my keys.  This means I can't drive my bike.  Can't get into my flat.  I'm screwed.  Royally.  Try to get into the flat, but no one will answer.  It's cold outside.  I decide to walk into work and see if my keys are there.

Get into work, but my keys aren't there either.  At least I'm out of the elements though.  Like, I'm glad that I'm not sleeping on the sidewalk with the homeless.

I think for a long time about where my keys must be.  It's hard to know really.  They're either here, or they're not here.  And if they're not here, then I dunno where I left them.  Maybe in a TSA bin when they were molesting me in the airports?  Maybe in a cab?  Who knows?

By now, it's like 3:00 a.m.  I have to be at work in a few hours anyway, so I decide that I'll just crash underneath my desk.  I pile a bunch of cardboard underneath my desk to serve as padding, throw some of my clothes down there as well, and after a little tossing and turning, fall fast asleep.

I awake when I hear people moving around the office.  It's 7:30 a.m.  I'm like "Christ...don't you people ever sleep?"

But I bounce up, get into the bathroom, comb my hair, and pretend like I didn't just spend the night underneath my desk.

But pretty soon, word reaches me that I was found asleep underneath my desk.  I scared some woman.  She found me sleeping under the desk and thought I was homeless.  It went up the chain of command.

Now, I don't know what they'll do to me over this.  In Stockton, I was sumarrily dismissed for answering a phone that wasn't mine.  I can only imagine what will happen from this.

I talk to a few people about it.  They tell me it's not that big of a deal, but it's hard to know if it's really a big deal or not.  I dunno.

But I decide to take the opportunity that I'm working for free, in any event.

"Look...y'all owe me 90 thousand dollars...is there any chance I'll ever get paid. Because, regardless of what you've heard, commuting to SF is expensive."

They promise that they'll pay me eventually, and I go back to my desk.

I don't have my keys, and that's the only key I have to the motorcycle.  Honda has already made it perfectly clear to me that they can't make a key for my bike without a key to copy.  Like, you can't call them up and say the VIN number on the bike is 99xXrAD and then have them mail you a key.  It doesn't work like that. They're not that organized.  If you don't have a key to copy, you're out of luck.

And I've lost my motorcycle key before.  So, I promised last time this happened I'd get another key made. But I never did.  Great.

As it get close to the end of the day, I call my slumlord.

"Look...I can't find my keys.  And when I leave work today, I'm going to need someone to let me into the flat.

"OK. No problem.  I'll let you in.  I'll call you when I get there."

Next phone call I get is my slumlord calling me.

"Guess what? I have your keys.  They were on the floor in your room. You must have left them."

I'm so happy.  That's what happened to them. I must have left them there when I was rushing out at 4:00 a.m. to catch the taxi.

The next day, I hop on BART and walk five blocks to pick up my bike at Mission Motorcycles.  

"Your bike is leaking oil, has a broken right mirror, and a broken front hand-brake.  We replaced the spark plug and the CDI box.  Couldn't test drive it cuz we didn't have a key."

It's $300 to replace the spark plug and the CDI box.  I don't care about the other stuff.  Not right now anyway.

I'm just glad to have wheels again.  Drive it back and park it in the alley behind work where I've already had one guy chase me down and tell me that I couldn't park it there anymore.

For some reason, I like living dangerously, it seems.

I go into work yesterday, and I lay it out for them.  I've got to get paid.  I don't know what's going on.  Boss calls AP and they swear up and down that the invoices have been paid.  My bank doesn't show any deposits, but I'm not sure what to do at this point.

The guy that's paying my invoices has left the country and won't be back for 3 weeks.

I drive down to the airport on my bike after work on Friday, but my flights delayed due to weather (rain), so I'll only make it to San Diego tonight, and then have to spend the night in San Diego when I miss my connection.  So she puts me on the 6:00 a.m. flight Saturday morning, but this is going to be a short weekend in Colorado.  It means I fly out Saturday and back Sunday and that sucks. I'm so tired I could die.

Jennifer texts me and says she's going to be busy all weekend and tells me I can come to Denver or not, it's up to me, but she'll be busy all weekend.  

I leap at the chance to relax in SF for the weekend.  To have a weekend without an airport seems like a dream.

So, what?  I found my keys, got my bike back in running condition, didn't get fired for sleeping at work, I've been paid (according to them), and now I have the whole weekend to relax.  Things are looking up. :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on December 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM


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