Tying on the Blue Apron, then taking it off (Non-sponsored Review)

BA - Main

Hello Precious Readers!

For those following me on Facebook and Twitter, you might have heard hints that I tried the Blue bandwagon and tried Blue Apron (“BA”)for three months. This is a non-sponsored, unbiased review of my Blue Apron experience. My spousal life partner, Pilot and I tried this as a couple with no children. We have dogs, but they didn’t get any bites. Much. Pilot is a Beginner cook. For me, I’d say my skill set is Advanced. I can slice, dice, shave, spiralize, bake, cook, fry, steam, roast, grill, shuck, etc. I can make tomato roses, stacked level cakes, frittatas, prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by myself, y’all. Recognize the skillz, yo. That’s right. Skillz. With a “Z.”) Below is based on our personal experience and is of my sole opinion.

It Starts…

groupon

Pilot and I are a couple on a limited budget. I was diddling around on Groupon, which I tend to do a lot. I was surprised to see a Groupon allowing the user 3 deliveries at a discounted price.

I had 2 coworkers who had standing BA deliveries and sang its praises over and over. I was skeptical, as Pilot and I like to eat. (Like to eat = eat more than 1 portion of food per person. As in 2.) Week after week, I’d watch as food was delivered to work before we close. This was surprising since I work in a school and our building closes at 3 pm. As in, no deliveries are made, no one can enter the building, the campus is basically sealed at 3 pm. I was impressed at the consistent delivery times and that the box was light enough for many to carry. I will say that one coworker who is 5’3 and weighs probably half of what I do could lift the box. I could lift it easily. I may be larger, but I’m “farm strong.”

I was a bit put off by the price ($55-65 per week!), but was reminded that the food is supposedly mostly prepped, the convenience of delivery and no headaches at the grocery store, and the preparation of ingredients being already portioned out with complete written and visual photographic instructions. With us both being in education, working full time, and me still expanding my global novel-writing network for world domination (mwahaha!) plan, eliminating an additional 1+ hour to my day to drive around and get groceries was tempting. Really, deliciously, joyfully tempting.

I can’t tell you how much I hate going to the grocery store. Most people are in a hurry, the parking is always atrocious with pedestrians and cars fighting for their right to exist between each other, and wayward shopping carts lurking around, waiting to ding the body of my beloved Cranberry. (For those who don’t know, I call my car “The Cranberry.”)

As I eyed that Groupon with the hunger of a thousand soldiers, and a dream in my heart of being grocery store-experience-free, I clicked on it and signed Pilot and I up for our adventure. To be fair, I probably shouldn’t have been looking at it before eating dinner.

Website (Ease of Use, Making Adjustments)

After completing the purchase on Groupon, I went to the BA website. It was simple, clean, efficient, and intuitive. I have to give BA some serious mad props for making their website user friendly.

There are two choices of meals: 2 meals per week, 3 meals per week. And, there are 2 options for deliveries. 2 portions per meal (single/couples), or 4 portions for meal (“family” sized). I went with the 2 portions choice. The websites shows you what your upcoming deliveries will contain. 1 delivery = 1 week’s worth of deliveries.

The website has you choose what proteins your prefer, or vegetarian. There are no real other questions such as dietary restrictions (dairy-free, diabetic/low-no-carb, gluten-free), so be aware of that.

A plus, is there are several tutorial videos that are also available on YouTube to assist those who have never cooked before.

Delivery

BA - Delivery

This is where it gets weird.

I don’t remember upon initial signup if the website had me select the time of delivery, or if BA dictates it on its own. All I know is that despite the ease of interface use, the website will not let you change the general time you’d prefer of delivery. This is a problem.

I live in an apartment building where anything left on your doorstep is free reign of people coming to steal what’s there. Also, our leasing office closes by 6. So, if a delivery is made, it’s taken to our leasing office, and hope that you pick it up in time before it closes. That is more of a personal problem in relation to Pilot and my schedule. BA allows you to leave notes. We have a cabinet that “hides” things from our neighbors. We asked that if delivery was made to our door, to please place the box in our cabinet. We specified in the note that our area has a high theft rate. The cabinet would be large enough to hold the package, and keep the box from view. We also noted that we have dogs who get excitable if someone knocks or rings the bell, and to please give us time to put our dogs away after knocking/ringing the bell.

Here’s the thing… BA allows you to track your box. I could see that it was in Bellingham, WA and making its way to our home 1.5 hrs away. I was notified the package had left Bellingham around 8:30am.

Unlike my coworkers whose deliveries showed up at around 2:30pm consistently each week, our first delivery showed up at 8:30pm (12 HOURS LATER) and delivered it to our door. Keep in mind, Bellingham is not that far away from us. How did 1.5 hours turn into 12 hours? If they had other deliveries, I understand, but even our standard USPS delivery to our apartment comes by at 11am each day. The messenger knocked on the door, dumped off the box on the porch and left. To be fair, it’s via USPS, not a special BA delivery. Not in the cabinet, not to our hands, even though we called out, “Just a moment!” Nope. Dumped on the ground.

Second delivery went to our landlord at 5:45pm, I didn’t receive the notification until 6:30pm that it had been delivered, and I didn’t get to the leasing office in time. It was closed and we had to pick up the box the next afternoon. Luckily, the food was still cold, but I’ll get to packaging later.

Third delivery was at 7:30 pm, back on our porch. Not in the cabinet.

Inconsistent, didn’t follow instructions, and quite the hassle. I spent much of each day worrying about the status of my box. And yes, I know how that sounds.

Packaging

BA - Packaging

There has been much controversy over the packaging of products for BA. And I can understand the frustration. In Washington, we’re conscientious of our Earth and believe in recycling and biodegradable packaging. I will say that although the packaging is recyclable, it’s not easily recyclable. BA offers to recycle the packaging for you, but you have to mail it back in. As someone who does my best to watch my carbon footprint, it was disconcerting that I’d have to deal with finding a method of mailing everything back to BA, plus all of the transportation costs and damage that transporting via truck would do.

One of the most surprising things about the packaging was BA’s determination of what would receive packaging, and what wouldn’t. The image above is an example. Note the lemons and potato, wild and free. Then, note the carrot, trapped and suffocating. The single. Lone. Carrot. In a sealed bag. You’re not dreaming, it truly is not peeled, sliced, shaved, julienned, or anything. It’s raw and unpeeled. A single carrot in a sealed bag.

I don’t know about you, but this makes no sense to me.

All of the products are sealed in a silvery bubble bag that keeps it insulated. In the base of the box, are 2 large flat rectangular ice packs that separate the protein(s) from the rest of the products. The protein(s) are sandwiched between these ice packs. I am grateful for the ice packs. They kept the protein and veggies at a safe temperature for 24 hours, although I was nervous about using the proteins for it.

BA - Meat

The packaging is recyclable, and luckily our apartment complex has recycling bins. If you don’t recycle, the BA process of sending back packaging doesn’t inspire recycling to me. And I want to inspire you to recycle. Help a planet out, bro.

Quality of Food

Food quality was good… if you do it right. The packaged greens would spoil quickly if you waited. I would suggest airing out the greens and placing them in a bag with paper towels to keep the humidity high, but not rot the veggies faster.

The products are of good quality. Having said that…

Cooking (Ease of Instructions, Prep Time/Work)

BA - Person Reading

So, let’s get to the cooking shall we?

When spending $55-65 dollars per week for a “prepackaged” set of meals, I was surprised at the “rawness” of the food. I was hoping this method of food preparation would be a time saver. Instead, I was surprised at the amount of prep work each meal required. Washing, peeling, chopping, slicing, shaving, etc. Also, since many dishes were new to me, it took longer to make sure that I was following instructions correctly.

If you count the prep and chopping time of produce, discarding the packaging, and timing the dishes to complete on time, I was in the kitchen far longer than on an average night. I am a slow cooker fanatic. This process reminded me why.

I was spending far more time in the kitchen than I wanted to on a work night. For the price, I would’ve hoped the produce would’ve been fully prepped already. I was looking for “throw together,” not “cook from scratch.” I think this can be a misconception about their products.

Also, nearly every single instruction started out with “add 2 tbsp of olive oil / salt.” Even advanced cooks know that although thoroughly seasoning is important, even these instructions were heavy handed with the salt. The first week I found my food drowning in olive oil. You don’t have to follow the instructions verbatim, and should adjust to your needs… but you would think a professional cooking service would know when to season and when it’s beyond what’s needed. For a business that advertises being “fresh and healthy,” this contradicted their motto.

Flavor and Portions

Food Pyramid

Flavor gets 5 stars from me. The recipes are unique ranging from tangy, to spicy, to savory, to rich and decadent, to light and fresh. The variation in origins of food did open up my world to more ingredients… however, not all of the ingredients provided by BA are ingredients easily found at my local grocery store. No offense, but Whole Foods is way beyond our price range.

I looked forward to BA being able to mix up our daily food selections, but I found the recipes to be so exotic that not all ingredients would be easily found on weekly/monthly basis without visiting multiple stores. I think that’s where the convenience of delivery is strong… but the recipes fall short.

Portions are a completely different ball game. As mentioned earlier, Pilot and I selected the 2-person meals plan for 3 meals per week. For our stomach’s sake, we should’ve sprung for the “Family Size” portions. But, that requires more money, and we frankly couldn’t afford that. After cooking each meal (again, sometimes spending upwards to 1.25 hours in the kitchen), we’d finish our meal, look at each other and go, “Okay, that was a great snack. Now what do you want for dinner?” Sometimes I’d cook 2 BA meals in 1 evening, (even more time in the kitchen) to satisfy our hunger.

Remember the Lone Carrot? Yeah, keep that in mind when cooking for 2 people. There are no leftovers.

I repeat: There are no leftovers.

Price – Is it worth it? Meh.

After the Groupon expired, I’ll admit, I kept with it. Pilot and I stuck with BA for THREE MONTHS. I’d say that should be considered giving it a solid try. Did I want more food? Yes. Did I want to pay an addition $10-15 each week for more food that I’d still probably be hungry for, and only provided dinner 3/7 nights? No.

I’ve made dinners that have lasted 4 nights over for less per week than BA cost, and without the anxiety over the delivery. Do I hate the grocery store? Yes. Do I like having groceries ready in my kitchen when I want them? Yes. I am willing to sacrifice time once per week (we have a small refrigerator)  to ensure I can make home cooked meals that last longer than 5 minutes? Yes.

I’ll just continue to go to the grocery store at 10pm when there’s no crowds for the rest of my life.

Pros / Cons

If you are someone on the go who wants to cook often from scratch, doesn’t like leftovers, (AND has access to a recycling bin), this will work for you.

If you like having leftovers to stretch out that pricey meal, this isn’t going to work.

PROS: Fresh ingredients. Exposure to new cultures and flavors. Perfectly portioned for those who don’t eat much. (Make sure you have snacks handy.) Delivery to your door is a nice feature (if the delivery service is consistent and works for your schedule, and they’re reliable messengers.)

CONS: You’re cooking from scratch. Not for busy people. Price per meal is high considering what you could plan for at the grocery store. If you have a family of 5+, they don’t make a meal plan for you. You still have to cook 4/7 nights. This is just for dinner, no other meal times.

VERDICT: Was fun for awhile, but not for me.

Have you ever tried a home delivery meal service?

Do you like Blue Apron?

Do you prefer a different service?

Do you have dietary needs, and do you feel services like these meet your needs?

Shared Post: The Writing Garnet

I want to thank The Writing Garnet for this blog post. Even though someone doesn’t “look sick,” doesn’t mean they aren’t.

Start of Shared Post:

A few weeks ago on social media, someone I know was discussing a moment which truly knocked them for six; a moment where ignorance became arrogance and invisible illnesses meant having to prove yourself to people. The a few of the comments which appeared underneath their post made me feel sick and a bit upset, I couldn’t […]

via #InvisibleIllness VS #VisibleIllness. How REAL is real ENOUGH? #chronicpain #mentalhealth — The Writing Garnet

Traveling the Path to Publication – Also Known as Editing Hell

books

Hello Precious Readers!

I know, it’s been months since I’ve contacted you. Thank you for continuing to subscribe, or pop by to read my words, as randomly placed here on WordPress as they are. Your patronage is humbling and makes me feel a little bit better about myself each day. (Ha ha.) And, lucky you, that’s a great thing! Look at the new style! Enjoying the new digs? I am. I thought the previous motif was good, but a little too serious for my style. Style is important, whether formal/traditional, goofy/whimsical, or airy/uplifting. I went with goofy/whimsical with a touch of airy/uplifting. What do you think?

There has been a lot of work occurring behind the scenes. Hopefully my lack of social interaction with you via blog should show how diligently I’ve been working towards my goal of becoming published and succeeding… TWICE! I’ve now crossed the threshold into a new group of people … Authors published multiple times over!

That’s right! Trifecta Publishing House liked my work so much they contracted me for 3 BOOKS TOTAL for the “Roxy Summers Mystery Series.” That means more great books for you! Even better, last week I sent in my manuscript for CRUSH ON YOU, A Roxy Summers Mystery #2!  Yes, it’s a direct sequel, but it’s a standalone book. You do not need to read Book 1: CAPTURE ME to understand Book 2… although it helps a LOT.

If you’re a follower on Facebook and Twitter, you know that there’s a LOT of activity over there! And, why wouldn’t you? Check out Facebook and join my FB group: Katherine Bacher’s Happy Hour. There’s a LOT of funny memes and articles to share.

Life is funny. (Understatement of the year.) Immediately after making my announcement to family and friends that I’d signed my first book contract, I was greeted with a surprising amount of people immediately asking me, “How did you get published? [I, my friend, my sister, my cousin’s brother’s uncle, etc.] has been writing for years, but is constantly getting rejected/doesn’t know where to start!

I want you to know that my path of publication is an uncommon occurrence. I’m not a better writer than you. My story isn’t better than yours. I write in my corner of our bedroom/office, inside of my messy home, while the buzzer alerts me that I need to transfer my freshly washed laundry into the dryer. I’m just a former suburbanite who now lives in a semi-ghetto apartment in the Pacific Northwest who wrote my story, and submitted it to the publisher that I thought would best fit my genre and style of writing.

I’m not going to deny that I think my stories are good. I worked hard on them. I’m proud of them. I literally gave blood, sweat, and tears over my books. I firmly believe in the entertainment value of my stories and and believe they are worthy of sharing with the masses. There is a foundation level of self-confidence (or a friend/family member) required to send in your manuscript for open criticism.

 

Ready To Get Published

That being said, and I don’t know if I’ve written this here before, but I’ve lived by this rule:

DO YOUR RESEARCH.

That’s right… again. I’m throwing the big, angry, bolded, center-justified words at you. I’m going to write it again, in all caps: DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Writing your manuscript is not the only way you will need to prepare. I submitted my book to the right place, at the right time, with the right people, at the right time of the market. My story is one that is still considered a marketable and profitable genre of writing at this moment in time. The market may change. For now, it’s in my favor.

Submitting to the right publisher at the right time with the right genre of work can make or break you.

Submitting your work exactly to the publisher’s formatting requests can make or break you.

Make sure your manuscript is as clean and error-free as possible.

The hard truth is, many publishing companies will not look beyond the first page if their formatting requests have not been met, or the manuscript is riddled with poor grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation.

Imagine your day is spent reading. Every minute of every hour of the business day is reading. You are not only expected to read, but to read quickly. You need to get through X amount of manuscripts per week.

Aha! A new manuscript! Yea! Wait… the font is too small for my tired eyes. It’s not double-spaced allowing me open areas to write notes. It didn’t follow the margin requirements, making it difficult to find where I last left off from reading.

This equals to: Manuscript is thrown out.

When a project is so close to home, you won’t catch everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best writer in the world. No matter what you do, there will be typos. I’m formally trained as an editor/journalist, but I won’t catch everything within my own Work In Progress (WIP). There are things in Book 1 I wish I had caught before it went to print, and it went through at least 4 additional editing stages after submission. And I re-wrote it 8 times before submission. Have a trusted close one (friend, family member), who won’t leak your story out to the world beforehand, or if you plan to self-publish, spend the money to hire a professional editor.

Now, let’s say you’ve followed the rules. Your manuscript is shiny and new, and POLISHED! You’ve done your research and you found it. This is the one! This is the publisher I need to be with!

Make sure the publisher is accepting your genre at the time of submission.

The publisher’s website says they are not looking to publish works of your written genre. You think: I’m going to submit my book anyway!

This equals to: Manuscript is thrown out.

This process has been a whirlwind, and I’d like to point out to fellow not-quite-yet-published-authors that the process normally doesn’t happen this way. After several discussions and advice I’ve received over the many, many years (I won’t declare exactly how many years), this piece of knowledge was drilled into my brain:

Be prepared for rejection.

Hundreds and hundreds of letters of rejection.

Then, maybe, you might get a request for the full manuscript…

Followed by another rejection.

Hundreds more of rejection letters, you might get published.

Precious Reader (and fellow writer, storyteller, scribe, etc.), this is not to discourage you. It is to bring you to reality. I have attended several conferences over the years, and received responses from authors who answered the same question I’m now being asked. “How did you get published?”

9/10 traditionally published authors will tell you they were rejected several times over before obtaining their first contract.

I’m not a special case, though my experience was highly abnormal. But, I went back to Rule #1: I did my research.

I will tell you right now, and if you’re a longtime follower of this blog, you know this already, I am not a social person. I don’t enjoy social engagements, I barely tolerate my own friends. They’re amazing, wonderful, talented, skillful, kinder than I’ll ever be, and funny people. I’m unfortunately, not great with social interaction. My self-loathing goes soul deep. That being said, I go out of my way to do the best that I am capable of at making personal connections. Personal relationships are important. Whatever your level of comfort for social interaction, it’s important to have social interaction of some kind in your life.

This includes business connections. I was fortunate enough to attend writer’s conferences and make connections with people. They’re talented writers, authors, editors, publishers, and everything else in between. Conferences are GOLD.

A few years ago, I made a connection with the fabulous Lori Lyn. A woman who rocks a wide-brimmed hat and ultra heels like like they’re water and air, unlike any other woman I’ve ever met. You know, it’s a real shame that hats have gone out of style, excluding the semi-ghetto “trucker hat” phenomenon, which I’ll never understand. I suppose I’m too old. I wish I could wear fabulous hats. Unfortunately, I have a gigantic, Charlie Brown-like, pumpkin head, which makes hats of a suitable size impossible for me. Unless it’s a beanie. But, I digress. She and I met at Emerald City Writer’s Conference in Bellevue, WA, an annual conference that is the biggest romance writer’s conference on the West Coast. We connected, I thought she was hilarious, and she actually got me to speak out loud. She handed me a business card, indicating she was starting up her own publishing company.

I held onto that card like a drowning man to a life vest.

Two years later, I finished what would turn into my first published book, CAPTURE ME. In all of that time, I kept a sharp eye on Trifecta Publishing House, to ensure that my style of writing might find a home with them. They were accepting my genre. They were accepting my style. The stars aligned. It was good planning, writing with the best of my ability, and good execution of the characters and story inside of my head.

There were still typos, but my research, time, and relationship nurturing had paid off. Which is good. Lori not only turned out to be an amazing friend and mentor over the years, but after pitching my idea to her, she was eager to read it.

Even after signing the contract, the confidence within myself was minimal. It took two author events and her telling flat out to my face that I was a good writer, that I actually started to believe it.

Some people have confidence. I have a Type-A, detail-oriented, obsess-over-every-little-thing, “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” type of attitude. This ended up working in my favor by careful planning, and trying my absolute best.

Could I have been rejected? ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY, AND HIGHLY POSSIBLE!

If I hadn’t paid attention to their submission requests, my manuscript, as wonderful and amazing as I thought and hoped it would be, might have ended up in the trash bin. (Either physical or electronic, again, depending on your publisher’s requested formatting requirements for physical or electronic copies of your WIP.)

“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“It’s just plain, ol’ bad timing.”

Perhaps the publisher is looking for your genre of writing. But, they receive such an influx and flooding of submissions, they have to cutoff somewhere. Like applying for college or trade schools. There are only so many manuscripts a publisher can do in a single year.

Maybe your work hits all of the criteria, but it’s too controversial at that point in time. We live in an amazing era and country. Free speech is an incredible freedom to have. That being said, a publisher has to take into account risk. If your work happens to be a controversial topic, or a controversial opinion about the topic, the world may not be ready for you… yet.

Sometimes biding your time and taking a socio-economical temperature check can make a world of difference between publication, and sitting in a corner while holding your manuscript and crying. And I’ve done that. With a book that will never see the light of day.

For those who have struggled, have you considered self-publishing?

One of the biggest changes in publishing history was the invention of self-publishing. A concept that isn’t new (look at Benjamin Franklin), but was never so mainstream as it has been in the last 15 years. If you had asked me 15 years ago if I’d read the work of someone who was “self-published,” and I would’ve responded with, “Huh?” For those who had heard of self-publishing at that time, it came with highly negative connotations.

American publishing used to consist of these big powerhouses all based in the New York, and what they said was the “end all, be all” of publishing. Once stigma of self-publishing wore off, there was a power shift. Now writers/authors, could get their work closer to your hot little hands.

Nowadays, many authors are what we call “hybrids.” They are traditionally published in one genre of writing, and self-published in another genre.

Imagination

Here is the simplified breakdown of my best explanation between the two:

Traditional Publishing

PROS:

Branding. You have a big brand name behind you. You will be branded and marketed across all platforms.

Exposure. With a big brand name comes the exposure of tons of readers to your book and name. Your readers have the confidence knowing the book didn’t “come from nowhere.” Your publisher will have a larger budget, dependent on your book, to market your book across all types of platforms.

Most Likely – Higher Sales. If your publisher is a big name, you will most likely get a lot of sales, quickly, compared to self-publication.

Less Cost. Publishers handle all of the costs of publication, instead of you paying straight out of pocket.

CONS:

Contracts. You need to be savvy, or know someone savvy, in legal-ese. The legal language that can make or break you. Often, traditional publishing contracts will include a “right of first refusal” for any future works you write, whether it is the same genre or different genre. It will depend on your negotiating skills, and how you foresee your own future in writing.

Your characters are no longer your own. Yes, you heard that correctly. Unless you have an incredibly giving publisher, or a crack shot of a lawyer, your characters now belong to the publisher. This includes if you pass away, break your contract, etc., the characters belong to the publisher for as long of a period your book/series is contracted for. This can be a few years, to decades, depending on the language of your contract. (Refer back to “Contracts” above.)

Little to No Control. You have little to no say about what the cover will look like, the font style, font on the front and back covers of your book, if your picture will be on the back, etc. You will have little to no control as to the pricing of your book, and little to no control of when sales occur.

I’ve heard several times over from authors traditionally published, where they’ll notice a book that has been “out there” for say, 3 years, suddenly get a spike in sales. When they ask their publisher about it, the publisher replies something along the lines of, “Oh, for 24-48 hours, your book was $0.99!” To which, the author says, “Well, that’s great, but I wish I’d known about it sooner so I could’ve told family and friends, marketed it on my blog/website/social media.” It ends up being a ‘too bad, so sad’ moment for them that they missed out on advertising their book being on sale to more potential readers.

Self-Publishing

PROS:

Full Control. The world is your oyster, just as your book all yours. From the editing, the formatting, the cover design, how it’s marketed, everything.

CONS:

Full Control. I will warn you, self-publishing is not an easy road. You must be highly business savvy to navigate the winding road of self publishing. You are in charge of all of the design, photos, graphic design skills, finding a book printer, etc. needed to produce your book. This means $$$. Each and every little thing makes me think “ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching” out of pocket. For many, this is not as affordable as they once thought.

This also means that marketing and promotion are completely in your hands. You set the price, you create and launch your own advertising, you monitor your own sales. This means if you are not someone who is highly business savvy, not a self-starter, not motivated to finish projects that you start, this may not be the path for you.

You are your biggest cheerleader. What do I mean? I mean, that you are submitting your book to the masses. I’m paraphrasing, but someone once explained it to me as this: Imagine you are ready to share your book with the world. Now, you are standing on a box with a bullhorn on a street corner, holding your book out in front of the faces of all who pass by. You are asking hard working Americans to part with their hard-earned paycheck, to dedicate 12 hours of their lives to reading your work. So what is your idea, pitch, and hook to get the passers by to part with their cash if they’ve never heard of you? Ask yourself if you’re business savvy enough to convince that person to fork over $12.99 for your book, on your sole word alone, that it’s awesome?

This is not meant to discourage you from self-publishing. It is meant to be an eye opener to how much work you will be doing. Marketing is a 24-hour job. You need confidence, strategy, a keen eye in spotting opportunities, and being a self-starter. Even with my own publisher, I get reminders to participate in contests, offer free books at conferences, Tweet at least twice a day (even though all who follow me on Twitter know that I post far more than twice a day), and to keep my Facebook profile active. Get on Goodreads. And I don’t even have to worry about a majority of the business side of things.

I am not a numbers person. I’m Asian, but I’m not that Asian. Anyone who knows me, understands that math hurts my brain.

Q: Why did you choose Traditional Publishing?

A: Well, I sort of did. I’m with what’s called a “boutique publisher,” yes, Trifecta Publishing House is a boutique publishing house. It’s a print on demand, and a smaller company. Think of it as the “mini me” of the big publishers. So, I am traditionally published, just not at the same scale as Penguin, or Random House, or its other brethren. As Trifecta Publishing House grows, (which it is definitely expanding the number of authors it is accepting at this time), it may change, but as a first-time published author, I’m enjoying being part of our growing family.

In conclusion, the world is an amazing place, and time can shift all things. Opinions and ideas are as fluid and dynamic as the people who shape them. Don’t give up hope. If you believe your work is meant for the masses.

There are many, many other ways to be published. Some use WordPress and keep blogs to post chapter by chapter for free. There are tons of websites that allow you to put your work out there. You don’t need to be published to share your work with the world. Heck, I’ve written this blog for years, long before I dreamed up Roxy Summers.

If you have your WIP and it’s almost ready to go, or you’re finished and looking for your new publishing family, or pioneering out on your own to self publish, don’t give up hope. The gal who wrote P.S. I love you, was 19 years old when she wrote that story. Some people are first-time published at the age of 65 because retirement gave them the freedom to write. I spent 30 years of my life working towards this goal. I’m older than 30, but don’t wish to share the exact number with you. But, I digress again.

For more information about different types of publishing, I recommend this article by The Future of Ink.

Good luck to you, and as always. I am in no way an expert, nor the “end all, be all” final word of how this works. But, writing is a field where your competitor is also your biggest ally. We’re a supportive bunch who love sharing our craft with others and to help stimulate creativity within your own work.

Share your publishing journey!

What were your struggles? Successes?

What’s the toughest hurdle you’ve encountered on the path to publication?

Do you have better advice?

CONTEST – Winter Wonderland (CONTEST CLOSED)

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Hi Precious Readers!

I’ve got a treat for you. Not only one, but TWO CONTESTS!

I’m one of the sponsors of the Night Owl Reviews WINTER WONDERLAND Scavenger Hunt.

During this event I’m going to help you find some great new books. Make sure to check my featured title out along the way.

The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card. The total prize pool is over $900.

Enter Now at: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Winter-Wonderland-2016

winter-wonderland

Facing an Inner Debate Between a Sh*tstorm and a Clusterf*ck

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“Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Dear Precious Readers,

I’m not what the repercussions for placing a Futurama-themed meme with a Gandhi quote are, but hopefully it’s all good.

As most of us know, life is complicated.  Tack on adolescence, dating, breakups, school, jobs, adulthood, marriage, kids, taxes, home ownership vs. renting, taking care of aging loved ones, etc.

What do you choose when someone places you in an impossible situation? A complete lose/lose? One where due to someone else’s actions, it sticks you with a moral and ethical dilemma, that will potentially make you the bad guy?

A friend of mine was placed into one of these no win, practically impossible to solve, situations. I won’t even provide this person a nickname, to give my friend and the other people involved their much needed privacy on this issue. However, it is weighing heavily on my heart and in my mind, and I propose the question to you as well. Although I’ve already nicknamed this friend in prior posts, for today, we will leave this friend as Friend X.

X spent several years studying for her hard-earned, and well deserved degree. As with many college students, X met others in her chosen field. This included a significant other we’ll call “Guy.” X and Guy grew from friendship during school, and briefly dated. This relationship included X meeting Guy’s family. Fairly serious. As time went on, X and Guy realized they were not destined to remain in a romantic relationship, opting instead to maintain a platonic relationship.

Over the next two years, X and Guy remained friends, Guy found a girlfriend who soon became Wife. X, Guy, and Wife all stayed friends with each other, and even kept in touch. X and Guy graduated, X moved back to Washington from school, and Guy stayed in their alma mater’s state with his Wife.

Fast forward eight years: Guy and Wife have two children, X is comfortable in a successful career, and periodically they all contact each other to see how life is treating them.

Guy had an opportunity to travel to the West Coast, and in doing so, called up X to reconnect after years of not hanging out face-to-face. X, being the friendly person X is, said “Sure!” and they decided to meet up for coffee. They arrive, had great conversation, laughed about life and love, all of the normal things a person does when reconnecting with old buddies.

As the conversation flowed, X was feeling like life was pretty darn good. Apparently, so was Guy, as he proceeded to then hit on my friend, X, inviting X up to Guy’s hotel room.

Yes, you read that correctly. Guy is still married, and still has a family of two kids with Wife.

X is a highly moral and ethical person. At Guy’s (indecent) proposal, X immediately said “No,” and things turned awkward. X got up from the table and left. All the while, Guy is apologizing and begging X not to tell Wife about Guy’s indecent proposal.

I was sitting at home, vegging out for a typical Friday afternoon to settle in for the weekend, when I received a text from X asking if I could meet up with her. After sorting out time and location, I met up with X and fell subject to X rehashing the uncomfortable events with Guy.

Thus came the dreaded question…

uh-oh

“What do I do? I feel horrible. Do I tell Wife? Do I let it go?”

I told X the following:

  • This is not your fault.
  • This is GUY’S fault.
  • I’m so sorry this happened.
  • I’m sorry Guy didn’t respect you, Wife, or his family enough to make such a poor decision.
  • He’s an asshole for attempting to step out on Wife.
  • He may even be a “nice guy,” who decided he had an opportunity (temptation) and decided to see if he could get away with it. Even though he loves Wife/kids. Just thought this “one time” he’d see if he could have a secret to himself.*

*He may even be a great husband/father. He may have just been too tempted to see if this one time he could do something out of character. Either way, it was a bad decision whether it was a continual habit of his, or a one-time thing.

As far as what X should do?  Well, this gets tricky. As a woman who has been in a long-term relationship and marriage with someone, I had to basically ask myself the following questions and gave my opinions as such:

Would I want to know?
For me, the answer is YES. I would want to know.

 

What was my significant other like before we were serious?
Was that person a player? Have they been flirty their whole life? Have we recently gotten bored, angry, upset, resentful of each other? Has the other person shown lack of interest in me? Have I shown lack of interest in them?

What about our kids?
This doesn’t really apply to me, specifically, as I don’t have kids. However, I would be lying if I thought that having children as part of our lives wouldn’t have any impact on how I move forward after receiving news that, according to an outside party, my significant other attempted to get some physical attention outside of our relationship. If we stayed, would we get counseling? Would we separate? How would we create new lives for ourselves? How do you talk to your children about it? Should you mention it to your children? I’m not an expert and have no basis for providing advice.

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Was it a one-time thing, or a long-term affair?
Now, I can’t speak for myself for either of these situations how I would react, as I have not had to face this particular situation before. Not belittling one betrayal over another, a betrayal is what it is, no matter how long it has been going on. That being said, there are relationships that are able to move past a discretion (or several). Each relationship is as unique as a fingerprint. I can’t say for myself.

And the overall question that everyone has to ask themselves:

Do I believe it?
I would take what was said, say thank you to the messenger, and end the conversation. After walking away, I would have to take in the messenger’s character into debate. I would have to take Pilot’s character into debate. Then, make a decision about our future together.

Pilot and I have a mutual understanding that we’re not just “desperate to not die alone,” we’re not “staying together because we’ve been together for so long,” it’s not “we’re together because I didn’t want to break up with you,” and we’ve agreed to never, “stay together because we have children together.” We make a daily conscious effort to choose each other as a life partner because we want** the other person.

We choose to say to each other:

  • I care about what happens to you.
  • I enjoy spending my time with you.
  • I value, treasure, and celebrate your existence as a human being.
  • How you feel has an effect on how I feel.
  • I feel better when you are happy.
  • I choose to support you emotionally because I want to.
  • I choose and make an effort to prove that I should be the person you can count on, because I want to be that person.
  • I find you continually, and increasingly, incredibly attractive and enjoy being around your divine buns.

Ok, that last part might have been TMI.

**Note, I said “want.” I did not say “need.” I never want to be needed or need someone else. I only need God. It’s up to God, Pilot’s choices, and my choices to be sure that it’s right to share our lives with each other.

SO, WHAT DO I/YOU DO?

All of these thoughts ran through my mind as my friend patiently waited form me to gather my thoughts and work them out in my head. The added factor was, since Wife was in a faraway state, there was no way for friend X to be able to talk to Wife in person. It would have to be via phone or email. This isn’t verbatim, but this is a paraphrased version of what I said to her:

“Well, friend X:  If it were my significant other (SO), I’d want to know. I don’t know what I’d do with that information after I was told, but it would depend on who told me, what the circumstances were with my relationship with SO and the situation SO was in when the incident occurred. It gets tricky since Guy and Wife have children. You definitely should tell her. It sucks and is horrible that Guy didn’t respect you enough and forced you into this rock and hard place. He’s an asshole and needs to be held responsible for his actions. I think you should tell Wife that you are in no way interested in him, that you refused him immediately, that you left right after it happened, and have made no contact with him since.

“You should be mentally prepared for one of the following reactions from Wife, and be able to live with it:

  • Wife blames you/freaks out and she cuts ties with you. You must be ready for that kind of reaction. It sucks, but it’s true.
  • Wife doesn’t believe you, calls you a liar, and she cuts ties with you.
  • Wife believes you, but she blames you/freaks out/harasses you. You need to be prepared to cut ties with her.
  • Wife believes you, thanks you for the information. She still cuts ties with you because it will be painful.
  • Wife believes you, thanks you for the information. She keeps in touch. (This would be highly tricky to navigate, and probably most unlikely.)
  • Some combination of the above.

“No matter what, however Wife reacts is on Guy and her. It has nothing to do with you. Guy’s terrible choice is what causes Wife’s reaction. Not you. Also, however she chooses to move forward with this information is between Wife and Guy. Whether they stay together or not, that’s between them. Either way, you are just the messenger, and it is not your fault. It’s GUY’S fault. We can only hope they choose to get counseling, or choose to be happy apart. Either way, it’s up to them to decide how to repair their own hearts. Not you. You did nothing wrong.

heart-safety-pin

I further offered that if X decided to write Wife an email, I’d be happy to go over it with fresh eyes to ensure nothing could be misunderstood.

Now, Precious Readers, as I said, friend X is an incredibly ethical and moral person. So much so, she tends to blame herself for things that are beyond her control. I’m sure if I asked her today, she’d still feel guilty. This is victim blaming. It is not her fault. Friend X: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

So what happened?

A few weeks later, friend X and I got back together and had coffee. X shared that she ended up calling Wife and had a phone conversation.

It turned out this was not the first time this had happened between Guy and Wife. This asshat had tried to hit on one of his/Wife’s friends a couple of years earlier. At the time, they decided to work through it. Looks like another decision will have to be made.

Wife ended up thanking X. X had luckily adhered to my advice that no matter how much Wife wanted to further discuss the situation or require guidance of how to proceed, the decision should ultimately be made between Wife and Guy, and that X was “just the messenger.” Going any further into decision making was ill advised.

Did Guy and Wife stay together, you may ask? I have no idea. Their relationship direction is between them.

What would you have done in that situation? Leave comments*** below.

***ANY comments deemed victim shaming will be immediately removed from this blog. While I believe in healthy debate, I also believe in respectful debate. ANY comments deemed hurtful, shaming, blaming, or otherwise may and will be removed. Let’s keep it kind. When in doubt, be kind.

CONTEST – Fall Fun Giveaway! (CONTEST CLOSED)

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED.
WINNERS HAVE BEEN SELECTED.
THANKS FOR ENTERING!

Nimitz says:
IT’S CONTEST TIME!
Nimitz 7

 

Hello Precious Readers!

If you haven’t met Nimitz, you have no idea how demanding he can be. So, I must listen to the call of the wild… pup.

Just for being you, I’m giving away ONE (1) FREE COPY of CAPTURE ME!

 

Enter here for the Fall Fun Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONTEST ENDS 11/30/2016

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That’s right. You’re amazing, and I want to acknowledge that you’re amazing.

Love and hugs!

Realizing Noodles Are Too Much To Ask For

adulting-1

Hello Precious Readers,

Did I share some Korea adventures with you?  I didn’t? Well, here’s an interesting fun fact: You never get what you order.  It’s true.  The food is amazing, don’t get me wrong. Each meal had such a depth of flavor from simple ingredients. However, I’m guessing it’s a cultural thing, the food is never what you order.

For every single meal, except for ordering from the Korean-version of Burger King a few times, Pilot and I had a culinary-cultural experience every chance possible. We never cooked. The food is highly affordable, even with both of us on government salaries. If you can afford the travel costs of getting to Korea, it is one of the most affordable places to stay.

Pilot and I are a product of the American school system, so we only speak English. To speed along ordering (and frustration) of our wait staff, Pilot and I would perform the following procedure:

  1. Find a place to eat
  2. Decide what we are going to eat before going inside the premises
  3. Take a photo of the item(s) we would like to order
  4. Show the photo(s) to the wait staff
  5. Wait staff is happy we are not being rude Americans, and willing to meet the restaurant staff halfway with rational brains instead of “vacation brain.”

Now, this procedure has some interesting twists. With each place we ate, no matter the owner, server, gender of server, or length of time the restaurant had been established, this exact same thing would happen:

  1. We show the photo(s) of food we would like to order
  2. Wait staff is pleased we are willing to work with them about ordering since there is a language barrier
  3. Wait staff (either with gestures, or if they spoke English) would explain what we wanted is not something we should order
  4. Wait staff would provide us Options A, B, and C to try instead

Here’s where it gets interesting. Let’s say, for example, Pilot and I chose to eat Option B.

Wait staff would then say, “No, no. You don’t want Option B.”

Pilot and I would then select another option, say Option A.

Wait staff would then say, “No, no. You don’t really want Option A.”

Perplexed, Pilot and I would then say, “Ok. Option C, it is!”

Wait staff would then say something along the lines of, “Good choice!”

After some time passes for food to be prepped and cooked, Pilot and I would chit chat, talk about our next adventure(s), take a break from the sweltering heat, suck in air conditioning as the precious resource it is during a Korean summer, and sip some water.

Then, The Feast.

The wait staff returns to bring out each of our meals.

Guess what? The food is none  of the of the items featured in Options A, B, or C. Nor, is it the food that we originally ordered. Instead, we were brought a Mystery Meal that was flavorful, aromatic, fulfilling, and refreshing… But NONE of the items we had selected, were suggested to us, or what we ended up actually ordering.

After Pilot and I returned state-side, we noticed this happens every so often in various Asian culture cuisine when dining in the actual restaurant. Living in Washington, we have a high Asian population in this state and eateries of various and vast cultures here. We have Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Taiwanese, Thai, etc., the list goes on and on.

At first it was comical, but now I’m realizing…

God does not want me to have noodles.

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I’m serious. Any Asian noodle dish composing of hot, cold, dry, soup, savory, sweet, spicy, zero heat, elaborate, basic ramen… I am being re-routed from eating noodles everywhere I go.

This theory has been bubbling in my brain since Korea trip in August 2016, and each noodle-instance since then has been a difficult and arduous task that I have difficulty completing. Or eating.

It has never been more apparent to me that I am to be refused Asian noodles than an incident that occurred this week on Wednesday.

Precious Readers, this has been a most difficult week. I’ve been distracted, I’ve procrastinated from writing, I’ve tried throwing myself into work in my day job to ignore my problems, but sometimes life just doesn’t work out that way. No matter what you do to avoid or run from your problems, they eventually catch up to you.

This week, I received two sets of horrible news.

On Monday, I received news that a friend of mine passed away.

On Tuesday, a family member (FM) who was recently diagnosed with cancer, went into surgery on Tuesday. The results of the surgery were not good, much worse than expected. It’s been difficult for FM, myself, and the rest of the family to process this news.

Tuesday evening, Pilot and I drove to visit said FM in the hospital. This is no easy drive. On a good day, it takes 30+ minutes. In rain, such as a fall torrential rains, this can take upward to 2 hours from our home. Tuesday evening, was luckily mild rain and only took about 40 mins. (After realizing I drove us to the wrong hospital and had to drive a few blocks over for the correct one.)

We visited FM and were at the hospital for a couple of hours. We then drove up to FM’s home and stayed with FM’s Spouse overnight so Spouse wasn’t alone for the evening. Spouse’s home is even further away from the hospital than my home is. On a good day, the drive is 1 hour 15 minutes. On a bad day, this can take upwards to 2+ hours.  Keep in mind, the times I’m giving you are one-way.

Pilot stayed on the couch, and I (non)slept in a recliner that refused to recline.

Wednesday, Pilot and I both took the day off and drove Spouse from their home to pick up FM and back. Now, when I say we, I mean ME. Both Spouse and Pilot are people who are not comfortable, nor good, at city driving. They’re good in the fact that no one gets injured and no damage is provided to our own or other’s vehicles, but city driving requires an aggressive touch, split-second decision-making, narrow lanes, pedestrians and bicyclists who refuse to follow the law, and knowing that parking is a premium. Especially parking areas that allow you to actually maneuver your car somewhat easily.

This means, drove. The entire way. Back and forth. Then, once FM and Spouse were settled at home, drove Pilot and myself back home. The distance between FM/Spouse’s home and my own is its own 40 minutes on average.  Wednesday, the sky decided to open up and dump buckets worth of water all over the entire area. Wipers on high, bumper-to-bumper traffic, little visibility, and angry-stuck-in-traffic-drivers to deal with. Oh, and Pilot and I had no sleep the night before after a long and stressful day previously.

Believe it or not, I prefer to completely avoid confrontation. I avoid it as much as possible. No matter your or my mood, if you treat me with respect, I will reciprocate. However, if provoked, I will respond. Pilot learned early on, don’t poke the bunny.

What does this have to do with noodles?
(That’s right, I didn’t forget. This really does have to do with noodles.)

I dropped off Pilot at home, along with Nimitz. (Don’t worry. We didn’t’ forget about Nimitz. Luckily FM/Spouse love Nimitz and he’s always welcome in their home, even overnight. They’re some of the few people he doesn’t go full-Nimitz-bezerker on.)

Pilot was an emotional wreck. He needed time to just rest, and I had more energy than he. I agreed to drop them off at home, then go get some lunch/dinner for all of us. I decided to get both meals, so we could rest and not have a need to leave home again for the rest of the day in the (continued) torrential rain.

I decided to go to a local restaurant that specialized in Vietnamese food. We are regulars at this location and have enjoyed their food for years. I’d say we attend this location once every other month or so.

Walking into the location, it was at an odd hour, probably close to 3:45pm. It was completely devoid of customers, save for one couple eating quietly at one of the tables.

I knew something was different when it was a woman wearing headphones and looking at her cell phones at the register. Each time I’ve gone to this restaurant there was a man who handles the front area. Here’s how the pleasantries were exchanged.

Me: Hello.
Her: What? (Still has ear buds in.)
Me: I’d like to place a to-go order, please.
Her: What? (Takes out one ear bud.)
Me: I’d like to place a to-go order, please.
Her: Ok, what do you want?
Me: I’d like 2 banh mi sandwiches, 2 pho, and 2 vermicelli noodle bowls, please*.

Note to Precious Readers: Keep in mind, each order of food were identical to avoid having any confusion about the order. the sandwiches were exactly the same, and the noodle dish was exactly the same. No substitutions, no special changes to the order.  I used to wait tables. I know the struggle. The struggle is real.

*Note: I said please.

Her: For pho, do you want large or blaudlhka?
Me: I’m sorry, would you mind repeating that?
Her: Do you want large or phadoewkloos?
Me: I’m sorry, large or what was the other choice?
Her: 
Guy from the couple sitting at the table:  She wants to know if you want large or regular size.
Me: <Turns around to man, but says in polite voice.> Oh, thank you.  I’d like both pho’s to be large please.
Her: Ok. That will be $50.00.

I don’t even balk at the price. The money is worth it to just go home and rest.  I know that the order will take a while, but that’s fine. I’ve been in the car all day and night driving from one end of the state to the other. I say, “Okay,” pay for the meal, and write a $5.00 tip. This lunch/dinner has cost me $55.00 and some obscure amount of cents I can’t remember.

Finding a chair, I sit down and fiddle with my phone. I don’t want to disturb anyone, so I ensure my phone is on silent so it’s not beeping, or vibrating, or making any kind of clicking sound. I hate sitting next to someone whose phone is constantly beeping even though it’s not actually ringing.

At this point, no new customers have entered the restaurant. There is still only the one couple and the cashier is back on her phone.

My phone goes off, and it’s my friend, Caring. Being a conscientious patron of eateries, I say, “Hello, hold on.”  I take my phone and walk outside of the restaurant and talk with her outside. We chat for 20 minutes, catching each other up on the latest news. I’m not talking loudly, because there are other people outside as well, and I don’t want my voice to be heard inside.

I peek back inside. I see the cashier bagging some boxes of food, and it’s piled high. I end the call with Caring saying, “I think my food is ready.”

Walking up to the cashier, the cashier has disappeared. She reappears, sees me, and says, “We’re still waiting on the soup.”  I say, “Oh, okay, sorry. I’ll be over here.”  I did not bother her again about the food.

Sitting down, I continue to play on my phone. Another 15 minutes go by. I hear cashier bag up the groceries.

She walks over the 2 bags to the table.

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I thank her, and turn to leave the restaurant. I’m mid-step, halfway out of the restaurant, when I hear this:

Her: You know we have a phone number, right?
Me: (Still polite voice.) Sorry, excuse me?
Her: We have a phone number.
Me: (Pauses, puzzled.  Was I missing something?)
Her:  Next time you should call first, not walk in.

I balked. I looked around the restaurant. The couple was almost finished with their meal. No one else had entered the restaurant. There was no one else to wait on, it wasn’t a lunch or dinner rush. They hadn’t received any phone calls for to-go orders that I was aware of. This woman literally had nothing to do and had been on her cell phone the entire time except for when boxing up containers the kitchen staff had prepared.  Not her.

I was almost out the door. She never had to see me again. I could’ve been at home, enjoying my lunch with Pilot while we took a breath after a harrowing 24+ hours on no sleep. 72 hours of horrible news. 72+ hours of complete devastation. Plus traffic and rain. We just wanted a quiet meal and a nice evening of noodle soup and noodle bowls, with a couple of sandwiches thrown in for fun.  I was polite. I didn’t intentionally harass her about the “timing” of my order. I took my phone call outdoors. There was no one else in the restaurant. And she absolutely had to just shit on my day.

Precious Readers, I bring this statement up again. I prefer to completely avoid confrontation. I avoid it as much as possible.

Don’t. Poke. The. Bunny.

As I looked at this woman gaining sheer satisfaction of attempting to put a(nother) rain cloud over my day, I contemplated the numerous ways I could respond. I won’t go into details in fear of incriminating myself. I’ll use those thoughts as inspiration for another mystery novel down the road.

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For those who know me actively in life, I have no filter. I’m polite, I’m respectful, but I have no filter. I also can get loud. For those who know me, you will be proud of the amount of restraint I managed to find myself capable of when dealing with a horrible, boot scrape, scum of the earth person determined to be the thorn in everyone’s side.

I turned to her.

Me: EXCUSE ME?

In my peripheral vision, I noticed the back stiffen of the female of the couple. I paid her no mind and continued to look at the cashier.

Me: Ma’am, my friend died on Monday. On Tuesday FM went into surgery for cancer where we were informed by the surgeon that it was the worst case of prostate cancer he had ever seen in his entire career. In the last 24 hours I’ve driven from City A to City B, which was at least an hour each way, twice. I barely been in town from City A which was another hour of driving. I decided to purchase dinner on the way home so I didn’t have to drive anymore. So  I’m sorry that I didn’t call first. I didn’t have time to make a phone call from all of the driving I’ve been doing. But, believe me. I will be sure to call first. I apologize for not utilizing your phone number.

I grabbed my bags and walked out the door.

The part I didn’t add, was that this restaurant has 2 locations in Washington. Their phone number is not accurate on any search engine because they don’t bother to fix it. Their number has been wrong for longer that I’ve lived in this city. If you call the number, you don’t get my location’s staff. It goes to the other one. Orders get mixed up all of the time.

As I reached the end of my “apology,” I saw her eyes get big. She kept going, “Oh. Oh.”

For those who know me, you will be proud. I didn’t swear. I didn’t raise my voice. I didn’t make it personal to her. I didn’t bring up the fact that she was lazy, on her phone, didn’t bother to take out her ear buds to take my order. I didn’t bring up the fact, that I have been a wait staff person before and understand what it’s like when it’s busy. I didn’t bring up the fact that it wasn’t busy.  I took my phone call outside. I paid the $50 PLUS TIP for this experience. Shame on me.

I just “apologized” and left from my last visit at this location.

Feeling (only a little bit) guilty, I was on the phone with my mother.

Me: I had to self-ban myself from (restaurant).
Mom: Why?
Me: I may or may not have blasted an employee.
Mom: Which means you did.
Me: I swear, I didn’t provoke it!
Mom: I know you didn’t. You’re not that person. I’m sure whoever it was deserved it.
(I rehash the sitch with Mom.) Yup, definitely deserved it.
Me: I hate bad customer service.
Mom: I know. It’s one of your biggest pet peeves.
Me: You’ll be proud. I didn’t use profanity or insult her or their restaurant. Their food is awesome, but that totally wasn’t worth it.
Mom: Hmm…
Me: What?
Mom: Oh. Well, that one time you, Pilot, and I ate there last?
Me: Yeah?
Mom: They overcharged me. I haven’t wanted to go back.
Me: They overcharged you?
Mom: Yes, our dinner was $30, but they charged me $80.
Me: THEY OVERCHARGED YOU BY $50?!
Mom: Yes. And that was before tip.
Me:

Lesson learned: Noodles are too much to ask for.