Wednesday, November 30, 2011

X marks the spot

 Clerk R put the license on my desk and said, “The couple is interesting.”  I asked just what she meant.  They were acting all lovey dovey, but aren’t.  Also they were dropping the immigration word a lot.  The bride was 26 years older than the groom.  Now I don’t worry about age differences but usually it is a warning sign.

The couple was from Afghanistan, as was the witness, the bride’s aunt.  The couple were friendly but didn’t seem “in love”.  No rules you have to love each other to marry.  I did the ceremony.  I signed the license and the souvenir certificate.  I called the witness up and she said by rote, “I don’t speak English”.  I said, “That’s OK.”  I show her where to sign on the souvenir certificate.  She has trouble holding the pen and then marks an X. 

Holy s#*t! She can’t read or write.  This is a woman of least 70 who grew up in a village somewhere in Afghanistan.  To make an X is legal.  But you have to have a witness and sometimes notarize the mark.  I don’t know what to do.  I tell them it is legal to use an X but we aren’t signing the legal license until I know exactly what we need to do.

Clerk D to the rescue.  She thinks she knows what to do, but is going to check with her supervisor B.  B tells her to witness the X and then to type the woman’s name and put in witnessed by D.  Also we had to see a picture ID.  The Aunt makes her X on the license and D does all of the above. 

The whole time the couple is asking us questions about whether Immigration will accept this.  We tell them this is the legal way to sign an X.  So they should be fine.  They ask other questions and we give them our stock answer,  You need to talk to an Immigration lawyer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If there is school, there must be a test

Today I was a little late getting to school.  Traffic was awful.  So I missed what the directions were for the workshop groups.  Luckily I work with first graders and I could figure out what they were doing.

We had groups writing a story about the picture of them in their Halloween costume.  Another group was sorting words by beginning sounds, another one was doing a math paper.  The last group was writing words from the Dolch list and then writing sentences. 

When the groups finished, Ms. H  gave an evil grin.  She asked one of the mother volunteers to put up the testing screening boards and for me to put a test on each desk.

The children were going to do a state mandatory math test.  The nightmare began.  The children do not listen to directions.  They look over the boards to check their neighbour's work.  They drop pencils.  They are on the wrong page.  They try to work ahead of the directions.  This is normal for little ones.  First graders take a lot of hand holding.

Ready for the children to begin the test.
This is Ms. H’s copy of the math test.
The last page of the test. 

Later I read them a story.  The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett is wonderfully illustrated.  There are so many things on the page to look at.  The children love books by Brett.

It was a busy hard working day.  We all felt we accomplished a lot.  The children were tired and so were the adults. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Future wedding, a phone call, and weddings

I don’t just do marriage ceremonies.  Sometimes I become the bridal consultant.

Monday after I finished a wedding, I saw a couple go into the wedding room.  I asked if I could help them.  They told me they were planning a wedding for next week and just checking out the room.  It was the groom and his mother.  The bride couldn't take off work to do the research.  Mom was taking copious notes for the bride.  She made notes on how many the room would hold, the type of ceremonies we offer, the best time of day to come, parking, style of dress.

We talked and I hope I gave them all the info they needed.  The plan is for them to marry on this Wednesday afternoon.  So I should get to do the ceremony this week.

I picked up a wedding party.  There was a large group and they were having a great time.  The bride and groom had a little girl dressed in a black dress with sparkles across the front yoke.  They also had a baby around 6 months old dressed in a tux.  How cute is that, a baby in a tux?  The groom was high fiving  everyone.  In the elevator I said something and he yelled HIGH FIVE!  So for the first time in my life, I high fived.  As they said their vows, they high fived.  After I pronounced them married everyone high fived them.

It seemed strange to me but it seemed to be the couple’s thing.

The groom wore a black suit and a red rose boutonniere. The bride looked like a schoolgirl.  She wore black leggings with matching shorts.  She had on a red plaid ruffled top that came down on her hips with a red sweater.  The sweater had a bow on the back at the waist that was red plaid. She carried a red roses bouquet and wore a red rose corsage.  She looked darling.  A very young look and yet at the same time very fashion forward.

Last Sunday a phone call was left on the marriage desk’s voice mail.  A woman said, “ I have a question.  This guy and I came in and bought a license . . . “  (  D and I loved it  this guy.  Not boy friend, not fiancĂ©. Just this guy) She rambled on and asked to be called back.  D called her back Monday.  The woman said the license is for 90 days and about to expire, is she married?  What should she do?  D asked if she had had a ceremony.  She said no, they broke up.  D told her she isn’t married,  to do nothing, just let the license expire.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Weddings

Earlier this week I posted about some weddings.  Monday was a fairly busy day.  I did seven ceremonies.  Wednesday I did nine weddings.  I am going to give you some of the highlights of the week.

One couple was so sweet, they just oozed love.  I started asking what they wanted in the ceremony.  They told me they just wanted to say I do.  I could do all the rest.

We had the dreaded thin white dress problem.  The bride wore a Grecian style knee length dress.  She had on gorgeous jeweled sandals, had to be four inch heels.  And she had on underpants that had a blue Grecian Key design.  Really didn't need to see that.

One bride surprised me.  She was Indian and stunning.  Her look and carriage screamed sophistication. She was wearing an elegant black coat.  The coat was open and I could see her dress.  It was a sheath of black lace over a nude lining.  Beautiful.  She took the coat off.  The dress was one armed and the bare arm had a full sleeve tattoo.   Wasn't expecting that.

A couple in their forties were very emotional.  His two daughters were the witnesses.  The bride was crying before we got to the wedding room.  During the vows she started giggling. Then she moved on to full blown laughter.  By then we all were laughing.  After the ceremony she was back to crying.  She said they had talked at home on how she would react emotionally.  And she cried and laughed just like she said she would.   They were really a nice couple.  Very appreciative of me and of the staff.  As they left they thanked us again for "joining them together as a family."

The weddings were dress up affairs and jeans.  We had large groups and a couple who had to find a witness in the lobby.  Lots of love at each wedding.  But one wedding really stood out.

The couple was around twenty.  His mother was the witness.  I started asking my questions and the bride said, " I just want him to be my husband.  What ever you want to do is fine."  I was getting such good vibes off the two of them, I picked out the fluffiest sweetest ceremony I have.  Mama was snapping away taking pictures.  I began.  This couple just looked at each other and held hands.  It is hard to describe how tender the looks between them were.  I had goose bumps from the feel of love in the room.  I also had tears in my eyes.  This was how love should be.  After the ceremony I hugged them and told them how they had touched me. 

After doing thousands of weddings over 6 years, this reminded me why I volunteer at the Marriage Factory.  It is all about the love.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Last night I made a great pumpkin pie.  Marty and I both worked on a cranberry salad that my family has been making since the 1920's. Marty roasted the giblets to be ready to go into the gravy. Marty got up at 6:00 this morning and put the turkey out to come up to room temperature. Back to bed.  At 7:00 he got back up to  preheat the oven. Then back to bed. I got up at 7:00 and got dressed.  At 8:00 Marty put the turkey in the oven.  Todays' good smells began.

I made the dressing, hard and soft.  I made corn pudding and the mashed potatoes and plated the country ham.  I also boiled eggs for the giblet gravy.  Later I plated the salad. Marty made the rolls and the gravy. The house smells like heaven.

Our friends, Nancy and Lew, arrived with their appetizer, a deconstructed Cesar salad on endive, and a bottle of J sparkling wine.  She also cooked peas and pearl onions, an apple crisp for dessert and brought two other wines.  We contributed a Proseco wine.  Lots of good eats.

This is my pumpkin pie.  I don't really like pumpkin pie, but this was really good.  You couldn't taste the pumpkin.
Putting the oranges and the cranberries through the meat grinder for the cranberry salad.  There also are pecans in this, all held together by lemon jello.

This is the oranges and cranberries after going through the meat grinder.  Pecans and sugar under this.  I love, love this salad.  My son and his wife don't like it.  We have friends who don't like it.  We tell them that's OK we love it, serve it, and tell them it does not hurt our feeling if they don't eat it.
Top shelf of the fridge has boiled eggs, hard dressing, soft dressing.  Next shelf down giblets, neck meat, turkey broth and cranberry salad that you can barely see.  It is the white peeping out in the middle. Third shelf down large measuring cup and beaters chilling for the heavy cream to be whipped.  Corning ware holds the corn pudding.  On the left side second shelf, turkey broth.  Crisper drawer on right holds butter lettuce for salad.  Meat drawer on the bottom right holds the country ham.
The table is set.  All ready for the food to fill the bowls and platters.  Glasses are ready for wine.
This is the perfect bird.  It is golden brown, tender, ready to be carved.  Marty does good work.
The food is filling up the dishes.  Almost ready to sit down.  Let the feast begin.

Pumpkin pie and apple crisp for dessert.  Really, really, really good.  We all but licked the plate clean.  We had a lovely Rose ( can't put the accent on the e) with dessert.
Clean up time.  Silver cooling after drying, then it can be put in its silver chest.  The glasses in the back were Marty's Mother. They are very thin and fragile.  There is a matching pitcher.  I do not use them very often.  I am so afraid they will break.  I love them.  And when I use them I think of Marty's wonderful Mother.  She was the best mother in law ever!

After the meal is over you have a turkey carcass to do something with.  Marty makes turkey stock by slowly simmering the carcass with vegetables and seasonings,.  This will be used for soup, curry, many different dishes.

We had a great Thanksgiving.  I hope your Thanksgiving was great. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three sentences and you're married

Monday I was fairly busy doing marriage ceremonies.  Some made me feel good, one was just sad, so very sad.

The couple and her mother were the total wedding party.  When I asked if they had rings the bride answered shortly, with a big NO.  Do you have your own vows and she said, "We don't want any vows.  We just want you to sign the license so we can leave."  OK, can't do that.  I told them they had to go through the 3 legal sentences.  All through this the groom is sitting on a pew with his head in his hands.  He looked like he was going to cry.  I then asked if the mother was going to take pictures, bride again with a no.  They don't want pictures.  The mother then looked like she was going to cry.

I sat down beside the groom and asked him what he wanted for his wedding.  He tried to talk, but was over ridden by the bride. I talked the bride into letting her mother take pictures,  I told her she could always delete them, but Mother wanted pictures. 

I then did the do you . . .   do you . . .  and I now pronounce you . . .  Who knows why the bride has so much anger and why the groom is so whipped and so sad.  I may have no endings, but this one sure looks like failure in the making.

The next couple made up for all the sadness of the above wedding.  The bride is adorable.  She wore a short black strapless chiffon dress.  It had a tight bodice, a mocha sash, and a full skirt.  She wore black 4 in heels.  The guests were so fun.  There were three young men who were having the best time.  They were snapping pictures a mile a minute.  Teasing the bride, laughing, lots of love for the couple going on.  There is a point during the ceremony where the bride's bouquet ( she carried one of our silk flowers bouquets) is in the way.  I designated one of the young men to take the flowers at that point as the flower "boy".  He was thrilled and played his part.  He took the bouquet at the proper time and held it like a bridesmaid through out the ceremony.  He reluctantly gave the flowers back to the bride for pictures.  So much laughter and love in the room.

Later this week more weddings, some from Monday and hopefully some from today.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weddings, odds and ends Part 2

Before I perform the marriage ceremony I go out to find the couple and greet them.  I shake hands with them and tell them who I am.  I get the group together and then we go upstairs.  I run through our set rules and questions, explain where and when they can take pictures, and then I do the ceremony.  About 95% of the time all that runs like clockwork.  Today we will also have an example of the 5% who make me rethink volunteering.

I had a darling sweet Indian couple who had gone to Mexico with friends for a destination wedding.  Except they didn't do their research.  There is a waiting period in Mexico and blood tests to be done before you can buy a marriage license.  They weren't there long enough to be able to buy license.  So they had a lovely "ceremony" on the beach.  I was to do the legal ceremony, and they will have a cultural ceremony in January. 

It is traditional for Indian grooms to ride in on a white horse or an elephant as part of the wedding ceremony.  I asked the groom if he was going to ride a white horse.  No, an elephant.  I asked him if they were marrying at the zoo.  Ha ha, I am soooooo funny.  Nope, they are marrying in Bombay.

The next couple was the happiest couple ever. They hugged and kissed during the ceremony. They laughed with sheer joy throughout the ceremony. As soon as I pronounced them married, they asked me to take a picture of them to text to their daughters. Yes the picture was of them laughing.

Now to the 5%.  Clerk L brought me the license.  She said they are a little flaky.  I go to get them. I call their names nothing.  I walked into the front lobby no one there, but I called their names, they might me in the hall. Nothing, I call a third time.  Nothing.  I find L and ask what do they look like.  She says, "I'll find them.  The bride is a ditz!"  She takes off at a near run, and I am behind her.  She goes through the lobby at warp speed.  They aren't there.  She looks outside, not there.  She is royally ticked.  "I told them you would be out in about 5 minutes, you would bellow their names, and then you would take them upstairs.  We discuss maybe they thought they were married and went home ( have had a couple do that). 

The deputies hear us talking, look at the monitors, and say there are people in the wedding room and no commissioner with them.  I start for the elevator and L is with me.  She charged off the elevator and went into the wedding room.  It was the missing couple.  She fusses at them for not listening to her rules.  They say OK sorry, we're done,  and leave!  I went after them and asked, 'Where are you going, you aren't married yet?" " Oh, we aren't?"  I married them, walked them to the Marriage Desk clerk  D, and then made sure they made it to the elevator.

D and I decided this couple should never breed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weddings, odds and ends Part 1

When you are doing wedding ceremonies in a government building, you gets all kinds of people.  Some are nice, some are just fun, some are rude, some make you proud to be an American, some are dumber than a red brick. This week we had them all.  I am going to write about a few of them today and later this weekend write about some others.

I read the license, the bride's address was USS Carl Vinson.  Yes, this time the bride was military. A beautiful young woman who was very proud of being in the Navy. Anytime I have a bride or groom who are military, I get teary eyed.  We owe them so much.  Be sure to read the link.  This is one important ship.

Another couple was really really nervous. When a couple comes in to buy a license, they input names and addresses into the computer.  Then a clerk pulls up information, she add some information, prints the license, they read over everything, and sign the licence.  They pre bought the license and came back for the ceremony.  The clerk who handled the ceremony transaction spotted an error and reprinted the license.  I then got the license. The license has spaces for the mothers' maiden names.  I checked the license and the couple had put the married names.  Back to another clerk and reprint and sign again.  The next one is partly my fault.  I hadn't checked the whole license.  We get into the elevator and I scan the license again.  Another error.  The license has a box for street, a box for city, a box for state.  They had put in the street address, for city Unit D, nothing for state.  Reprint again.  They were very sweet and very nervous.  We finally got it right and I married them.

This last couple were very sweet, very in love, but they had really rude guests.  The bride wore a white one shouldered cocktail dress.  She wore a pretty jeweled hair clip.  The groom wore a white suit, and their toddler son wore a white suit.  Well over 30 guests.  Loading them on the elevators took forever.  People kept disappearing. It was like herding cats.  I go up on the last elevator with the couple and some others.  The bride wants to walk in on her father in law's arm, she wants the groom to be up front with me.

I go into the wedding room and try to talk to the guests about rules of phones, taking pictures, how to bring up the rings.  They won't shut up.  One of the women kept trying hush them.   Not working.  I finally used my school teaching voice and said to please be quiet!  One of the men looked at me and said, "You certainly have attitude."  And I thought hell yes I have attitude, you're lucky I am staying to do this wedding.  I get the groom up front, signal the bride, and we begin.  The guests are still talking and laughing.  They did not quiet down until we are half way through the ceremony. 

I felt so sorry for the couple.  But the crowd wouldn't listen to me.  Rude rude rude.  And the rudeness continued.  I gave them extra time to take pictures, that many people it takes longer.  I gave them the 5 minute warning after all the paper work was done.  They wouldn't leave.  They just kept taking pictures.  I thought I was going to have to get the deputy to throw them all out.  After I became the alpha dog, I got them out of the room.  They were another 10 minutes leaving the downstairs lobby. 

Next time, elephants, lost couple, laughter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tuesday the children were just going to their group workshop tables when I arrived.  I worked with a group making Thanksgiving baskets.  They were to take the construction paper square, cut into the marked lines, and fold the cut areas to make the bottom of the square basket and then glue the corners.  Oh how my first graders love glue.  We could have earthquake retro fitted The Golden Gate Bridge with the glue they squeezed out.  Those baskets may never dry. 

They were to then make a handle from a pattern and cut it out.  I was to staple it to the basket for them.  They didn't trust those tiny staples, they glued before I got there with my stapler.  The students then wrote three sentences about what they are thankful for, read them to an adult, and placed them in the basket.

We are not finished with glue.  They now can decorate the baskets.  Did you know there is "Sticky Glue"? This is not a glue to put things together, it is to decorate.  It comes in many vivid colors.  The children drew designs with it and it doesn't run, it stays humped up. 

Tuesday was also an assembly day.  This is Native American month, and the school had two men from a Native Pride Dance team come to perform. One of the dances they did was the hoop dance, absolutely wonderful.  As they position the hoops, different animals are shown. Our dancer did an eagle from an egg to flight,  butterflies, riding a horse, and many others.

Amazing skill. Some you might have to use your imagination as you watch the video.  I so wished I had taken my phone to record some of the show.  But alas it was back in the class room.  Very glad for You Tube.

Then it was back to work.  I finished testing students on the Dolch List.  They either fly through it with little or no errors, or it is painful watching them try to sound out words that are sight words.  It was very clear many of the children are not getting any help at home with the list.

 Several of the children have just turned six, and should not be in first  grade.Think about it, they started Kindergarten when they were only four.  They don't have the muscle skills to use scissors nor  pencils.  They are not ready to work all day at the level of the other children. Their lack of ability to follow directions is a handicap.  This is not to say they are not very smart children.  They just are not ready to learn at the level the rest of the class is learning.  They should have been held back.  This could be problem for them for the rest of their school years.

Next week is Thanksgiving break, so no school. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weddings high tech, immigration, too young

As regular readers know, I hate doing immigration weddings.  They never say they are, but we can tell.  They are always in a hurry, and some act as if they just met on the corner.  I had an immigration wedding this week, and it was great.

The couple is French Canadian, lovely accents.  She is here on a work visa ( she works at UC Berkeley) and he is on a tourist visa.  They own a house, own two cars, and have two adorable children.  When they go back to Canada he has to really jump through hoops to get back into the USA.  Tourist are supposed to go home after a couple of months.  They have been together 13 years and decided to marry so immigration will quit hassling him.  Isn't it amazing we won't let Canadians live with a partner, yet we let all kinds of kooks from terrorist land waltz in.

One couple took pictures in a very high tech way.  The witness had her iPhone out to take pictures and then remembered she had her ipad with her.  She used that to take the pictures.  I am so far behind, I didn't even know ipads had a camera.  The pictures turned out beautifully.

Just to show what a great product Apple turns out, one wedding used an iPhone to take pictures.  They turned out great also.  Oh I forgot to tell you the screen was broken, big crazed cracks in it.  But it worked.

As I remind you every week, love comes to all ages.  Love comes to couples I don't think should be marrying ( 7 weddings already between them and they are in their 30's).  Love hits all kinds of people, but when really young couples come to marry the clerks and I get upset.  We are so much older and we know how hard marriage can be.  We know going to school and running a home is really hard.  We are worried for them.

A couple came in, he was 20 she was 18.  The clerk  told me she wanted to refuse to sell them a license (we don't have that option, if a legal age, we sell it to them).  She wanted to scream at them, "Do your parents know you are here?"  She controlled herself and did her job.  Now it was my problem.

The bride was so nervous and shaky, he seemed calm.  I asked it they were ready.  I told them we had all the time in the world, we don't start until they feel comfortable.  They say they are ready.  I did not feel comfortable that the bride really wanted to get married.  I felt she loved him, just she seemed unsure.  I stalled and then had to go for it.  I did our longest fluffiest ceremony.  If she wanted to back out, I wanted to give her time.  She didn't back out, and I pronounced them married.  I thought she would calm down them, nope.  She was as shaky when she left as when she came in.  I am thinking family doesn't know they were marrying and she is afraid to tell them.  One clerk thought maybe she was marrying because she is pregnant and scared.

As I say, I have no endings.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We had a sub today

As I walked down the hall to Ms. H's class room, I met one of the first graders.  D was taking the attendance report to the office.  He was so excited to see me (I have missed for two weeks) and he had news.  "Ms. H is sick and we have a sub!"  I am thinking please please let it be Ms. C, she knows what she is doing.  It was.  But a sub day is always a hard day.  Children do not handle change well, and they will push a sub to her limit.  Yes, even first graders will act differently just because a substitute teacher is there.  We had our work cut out for us.

They were wild, pushing, talking, ignoring all rules.  Ms. C is earning her paycheck today.  Ms. H had lots and lots of projects to keep the children busy.  Books were read and projects done from the stories.  We worked, we got things done, but we worked.

Below I have some pictures I took of the classroom.  No children shown of course, just things in the classroom.

I wanted you all to see the flowers on the tables.  Only one was knocked over today.  Not bad for active first graders.  I am guessing Ms. H has the flowers as part of the study of harvest and Thanksgiving.

This another view of the classroom.  As you can see, everything is really close together.  We are in a portable which in many ways is good.  We have our own heating and AC.  Today we had heat, the main building didn't.  Since it was in the 40's outside, a little chilly in the other classrooms.

This is my little area where I work with the students.  Not a lot of cleared space, but we make it work.

A page from the famous Dolch List.  I made notes on words missed, if they struggled or  if they knew the words as sight words. Some flew through the list, others struggled with every word.  If the children can be believed, some are not getting any practice at home.

 This is a review chart that grows throughout the year.  And yes, first graders use the word Homophones.

This list is for writing projects on Thanksgiving.  They wrote riddles today about a food they have on Thanksgiving.  They had to give three clues, write What am I?  and then draw a picture of the food.
My favorite was:  You kill me.   I have feathers. I have white and brown meat.  What am I?  turkey  One little boy was horrified to find out his turkey was killed.  There was quite a discussion between two of them about where meat comes from.

Ms. C read the class the book Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs.  Then they were to write sentences about weird weather.

This is the chart with the sentences they wrote together.  Then they had to write some on their own.  The last sentence is a reference to a Dr. Seuss book I read to them a while back. We misspelled oobleck.

This is the book I read to them. It is written by a Native American Chief.  It is a beautifully written book and wonderfully illustrated.  After I read it, Ms. C discussed thanksgiving, the harvest, and cornucopias.  They then did an art project on cornucopias. 

It was a busy day.  Lots of fussin' at the little ones.  But we got lots done.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Update on Lulu

When I posted last week about Palm Springs, I didn't tell you about a problem at Lulu's.  I wanted to give them a chance to respond to my email. 

Below is my note. 

This is a well done “but” letter.  I called for reservations for October 24 on the 24th. We are here on business and didn’t know where to eat.  Friends told us that day about Lulu. So I called after the lunch rush. The person who answered the  phone had trouble with the computer and with understanding English.  I had to repeat several times.  Before I hung up he asked if this was a special occasion.  I said yes, it’s my husband’s 70Th birthday.  Every restaurant who has asked that question has greeted us with who has the birthday, so nice you picked us to celebrate, something was said. 
When we arrived, on time, they couldn’t find our reservation.  Then they said they had a table and to please stand over there until someone could seat us.  I reminded them about the birthday, and said it would be nice if the wait staff said Happy Birthday. The hosts and hostess just looked at me.  We stood and others were taken ahead of us.  One party was addressed by name and didn’t have to even check in.  We were seated and then things were just lovely.     
Your restaurant is beautiful, table service is perfect (Ramon is outstanding as are the other wait staff helping him), the food was tasty.  We were not rushed, we were allowed to enjoy the fun of a birthday together. When our dessert came Ramon asked if everything was OK, I had a big frown on my face.  No candle, no Happy Birthday?  Ramon was embarrassed, no one told him it was a birthday.  We found out later that friends in the restaurant had told the servers it was my husband’s birthday.  But no one bothered to tell Ramon.  I wanted nothing more than a Happy Birthday for my husband.  I saw candles on desserts going by and thought that would be a nice touch, but didn’t expect it. 
When we left, the two at the desk did not acknowledge us.  No thank you for coming, no have a good evening, or as we say in the South You all hurry back.   I am only asking you to train your staff who answer the phone and greet the guests. No Happy Birthday is not a huge deal, but it left a bad taste.  Not having my reservation and taking others ahead of me, could cost you my business when we return to Palm Springs.  

Below is their reply.

I want to sincerely apologize for your  experience at our restaurant the other evening.
 For the most part Lulu, has a reputation of offering great food and great service from the moment our guests make a reservation to the time they leave the building,  I am very sorry that you did not experience that here at Lulu.  I understand that communication and acknowledging a celebration is extremely important. We have had some opening glitches and have had to make changes to our staff.  I have shared your email with our front desk manager and he also shares my concern. I trust that your experience was an isolated incident, we promise we will take steps to ensure that lapses such as this do not happen again.
 While I cannot change the past, I would like to invite you back as my personal guest so we can show you that we really can do a much better job than what you experienced. Please provide a mailing address and I will gladly send a gift certificate.
 Once again, please accept our sincere apology and thank you for letting me know about this incident.

I received a gift certificate Saturday.  It is a sizable one, and I plan to use it when we return on business after Christmas.  Lulu handled a problem quickly, worked with their staff and went beyond what the upset customer asked for. 
If you are in Palm Springs do go to Lulu for a wonderful meal.  Ask for a table in Ramon's section.  This restaurant truly understands customer service. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tuesday no school Wednesday weddings, no

I would have loved to worked with the first graders this week.  I would have loved to gone in Wednesday and performed wedding ceremonies.  Things just went against me.

I had a jury summons for Tuesday.  I was to call Monday after 5:00 to see if a jury pool was needed.  I called I wasn't needed for the morning roll call, call back at 11:00 Tuesday. I will find out then if I am needed in the afternoon.   OK if they say I am needed for the 1:00 roll call, I have to be at the court house by 12:30 to get through security.  Marty has to know to come take me by 11:30 so he can be home on time.  If I had gone to school, I would have had to leave early morning in order to make the calls and to get my big girl clothes on for court.  So I stayed home.  I called at 11:00 no answer.  I called three times, it just rang and rang.  Great.  I went on line to the website to check, the link didn't work.  I googled the proper courthouse, and I didn't have to report.  I am good for a year and a day. 

They will summon me next year, I have been summoned 11 times out of the last 12 years.

Wednesday I planned to go in to do weddings.  Then Marty and I started hearing reports about the many marches the Occupiers had planned. They were going to shut down business and march on governemnt buildings.   To get to the county building we had the choice to go by one camp, or go close to where the main marches were to start.  One of the clerks told me they were not expecting people to come downtown for business on Wednesday.  Another friend knew people who were marching and she had heard scary things.  So we decided to take the safe plan, Janet stays home.

I am glad I stayed home.  Our most often traveled route home went by a Whole Foods the idiots vandalized.  Roads were blocked and it was not nice.

I hope next week will be a little calmer and back to normal.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Weddings

I have done marriage ceremonies on Halloween before.  I even wore a Widow's veil with the skulls of my husbands arranged in a pyramid on top of my head, a lovely look.  Couples and their guests came in costume.  As one groom said, "If you're marrying on Halloween, why wouldn't you dress up?"

Sadly yesterday no costumed couples.  And there weren't many couples for me.  During the morning there were 7 weddings.  I arrived and it ground to a halt.  I finally did 2 ceremonies, and L did a few in Spanish. 

The first wedding the bride and groom laughed and laughed.  Everything set them off.  We are talking major nervous laughing.  Then we started the vows, she laughed and then she would cry, and then she laughed some more.  The crying won out.  They were a somber couple by the end of the ceremony.

The second couple the groom was 25 and the bride was 44.  Usually age differences don't bother me, but this one did, this was the bride's fourth marriage.  It just looked like red flags going up everywhere. They managed to tick me off immediately.  I called their names, (they are the only group in the lobby I knew it had to be them) no response.  I called their names again and a woman walks up.  I ask if she is P, no she is over there.   Finally I have a bride, I asked where the groom is.  Over there.  What is wrong with these people?  I introduce myself to the bride and groom, ask if they are ready, is everyone here.  Yes and yes.  We load the group on the elevator and go to the wedding room. Things go down hill from here.

Please, mute your phones.  A phone rings and this dumb s#** answers it and starts talking loudly.  I gave him the stare of death and he left the room.  I call the bride and groom up, no bride.  They don't know where she is.  One of the women says she went to the bathroom.  OK, I 'll just ask the groom the usual questions, do you have rings.  And some woman starts answering the questions.  I told her it wasn't her wedding and let the groom speak. He says yes we have rings.  We run through my rules and questions. Still no bride.  Finally she strolls in.  We begin, phone guy still out in the lobby talking.  He eventually strolls in and joins us. 

I begin the ring ceremony and the groom says, "We don't have rings."  He had told me they did, I asked what is going on.  "Oh, we don't have real rings, we have plastic spider rings."  I tell them rings are a symbol and a token, we can do spider rings.

The ceremony is OVER.  I sign the license.  As the witness is signing, a guest looks at the license and says, "That isn't a confidential license.  They wanted a confidential one."  Then the bride says she wanted a confidential license, please get the license changed.  I told them I didn't think after the marriage it could be changed without a court order.  I would go check with the marriage desk.  I talk to C she agrees with me.  But will check with the higher ups, who aren't answering their phones.  She does know the couple will have to buy a second license and no refund on the first.  C is going to track down her superior while I tell the couple they will need to buy another license.  When they hear they will have to pay out more money, suddenly they are just fine with the license they have.

I was very glad to see the back of this group.