Wednesday, November 30, 2005

For the past few months I have been speaking with CMT and Touchdown films. They want to do a series with us. The series format is like other reality shows and it's simplicity has been weighing heavily on my mind. Tonight I e-mailed them an idea I had that would make the show more real, important. There are so many issues in the world and right here in our own country. I've been thinking about the enormity of my business and what it stands for. I've never thought myself a feminist but I see a step backward for women in the world and our country. So I was thinking we could really do something special with the series. I have a feeling they won't see it my way.
I'm going to say this outloud even though part of me is scared that we won't be ready. We are opening the bar for 1 night New Years Eve in Ft. Lauderdale. This is not the real opening it will be worked by myself and 10 Coyotes from all over the country. The actual opening will still be on January 18th. But you can buy tickets to spend New years Eve with us at the new bar. What a pressure cooker getting this bar ready. Kevin is already giving me and everyone else an ulcer. I was thinking lately that something must be going on with Lee. He hasn't pissed me off since the x-rated t-shirt debacle. Is he scheming something ? Or was I so mad over the t-shirt thing that he got scared and decided to stop testing me? He's worked for me for 3 years we've never gone this long without a huge disagreement!
I've been speaking to Kyle and Jeff M about some of the Nashville girls. It seems that a few of them feel Jeff plays favorites. Part of this came up today because Jeff fired one of the girls whom everyone claimed was one of his favorites. Kyle is very fair minded but I said to him " I have favorites" My favorites happen to be the girls who work hard and always help out when you are looking to fill shifts etc. Every bar has two or three girls who are always available to do extra work. They try hard and they love the bar. Some of these girls are not the best dancers, not the strongest bartenders but they are nice girls who give an extra effort. I would say most managers, secretly , have those girls as their favorites too. The imput I've been getting from the girls is that Jeff has his favorites so that makes them unhappy. And then the imput about Kyle is that he is too tough. You just can't win with these girls. This is what I can say to all of this. Kyle is taking over the gm spot because I'm always sending jeff M. around to help me do different things. Kyle may be tough sometimes but he is unbelievably fair , so noone can complain. I have no doubt in the next month I'll get e-mails about how much the same girls who complained about Jeff, miss him. " You can't win"

Monday, November 28, 2005

After being in my house for over a week and bringing Jackson back home to New Orleans for a couple of days, I decided on Friday that it was time for us to move home. Originally, we were going to stay until January in Austin but both Jackson and I were so happy to be home that I knew it was time to officially move back. The last two months have been very emotional for me and being home brought out a lot of feelings that Jackson was having about being displaced.
I want to say Goodbye to the Austin crew. I'm sorry that I didn't go in personally to say goodbye but I just needed to go home. Jacqui keeps on saying to me " you're a displaced person, of course you feel bad." To the Austin crew, just know that it was not about you guys or Austin but I just needed to be home in New Orleans with my son. Right now, the city of New Orleans, to put it bluntly, sucks. But it is our home and I hope we can do our little part to help it return to a more livable city.
Took us 14 hours to drive back from Austin yesterday. ( normally an 8 hour drive)
Ft. Lauderdale, plugging away. Kevin is getting into his superstressed mode, that's actually a good sign. I think yet again we may have found a spot in Toronto.
Calendars should be ready in the next two weeks!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

An excellent Thanksgiving. I had about 12 people over, the staff and a few regulars. We laughed for hours telling stories. Lala told us that her mother asked her where she was going to eat Thanksgiving when she replied my house her mother said " Oh no your eating Thanksgiving at a white person's house." She also told her rules " If you can't identify the dish, don't eat it!" and " all white people have green bean casserole at Thanksgiving." I was rolling because I did have green bean casserole. Her mother also asked if I was southern, Lala replied no that I was from NY. I think the response to that was even more negative. At least if I was from the south I would be a better cook. Very funny.
I'm so thankful to have such wonderful people around me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The calendar looks great. I saw the final pages yesterday. Hopefully it will be ready in the next 2 weeks. Better late then never. Austin is having a killer week this week. I love conventions.
Thanksgiving. All of a sudden everyone has to brine their turkey. Now I'm all stressed out because I have never brined a turkey before. But , I'll do it for the sake of fashion and the hope that it will be excellent.
Shopping for thanksgiving in New Orleans has been quite an ordeal. The lines are hours long at the grocery stores that are opened. This morning I waited on line for over an hour at Winn Dixie. It feels like December 26th at Macy's down here. If you have never been to macy's in NYC on December 26th, consider yourself lucky.
Off to start cooking!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to be home. There is a spirit of comraderie with the people here. My divorce lawyer, of all people, called me to thank me for reopening the business and moving back. It's a about bringing the city back to life he said. You've watched it on CNN, some tragedy happens and everyone reunites with tears and joy. I am now living the story that is always on the news about somewhere else and somebody else. Jackson came with me for the weekend and he was overjoyed to play with his friends and be in his home.
Don't read into this and think that New Orleans is back to normal, that would be very far from the truth. I would say only 20% of the businesses have reopened. There is construction going on everywhere. And the stores and restaurants that are opened only offer a few items. But for right now this is our home and I'm just happy to have a house to move back to.
Jeff M. left a present for Jackson at the bar. It was a whoppie cushion. Oh my god! This has probably been the greatest gift anyone could ever get him. But unfortunately for me , I have never been so embarrassed. He brings this thing everywhere we go. We were in a restaurant last night and he sat on it, it made a horribly loud farting noise and then he said " Sorry, that must be from the chilidogs!" I know it's funny and I love that it makes him laugh so hard, but the girl in me is mortiphied that he does this in public places. Today we went to the local coffee shop ( only 1 starbucks reopened in New orleans, I'm so pissed) and we walked through the front dining area. All the people who were sitting there were using their laptops , having meetings etc. Well we get to the middle of the room he throws the cushion on the floor and jumps on it. Everyone just raised their heads in unison, shock on their faces. Thank god for men. Most of the men started laughing while the women looked grossed out. Oh the joys of raising a little boy!
Last week was the first really cold week at most of the bars and the numbers definitely suffered. Wednesday night it was 60 degrees in New Orleans and Will , the bouncer, had on a parka. I felt it was a bit overkill but if it makes him happy, that's cool.
That's all I got.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I got into New Orleans yesterday and I am so content. In Meterie yesterday there was actually traffic. The last few times I was here, there was noone in town. Tara was working last night and she has so many regulars that just love her. I can not tell you what it means to me to have the staff here. They are really trying hard and their love for the bar is just so great it really moves me. What's missing is the tourists. Tourist business probably constituted 40% of our business, and we are really feeling it. I'm crossing my fingers that they come back. The french quarter was like a ghost town last night. I hate to see that.
For whatever reasons, in my rented house in Austin, I'm always scared. I live in a nice neighborhood blah blah blah. But every night I go to bed scared and I wake up either from a nightmare that someone broke into the house or I just wake up scared. last night I slept in my own bed in New Orleans and when I woke up, I wasn't scared, no nightmares. It was really nice.
I'm staying here for a week. I'm so happy!! Jeff M. did a great job cleaning my house!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Today couldn't of been worse. I woke up to a very nasty e-mail today and it has just ruined my whole day. The letter was actually not intended for me, but regardless, it was so insensitive. I was upset as if it was addressed to me directly.
I spent 3 hours at Cingular today. It just goes on and on.
I keep saying to myself " I'm healthy, my son is healthy, and it's all alright."
Heading to New Orleans tomorrow. I'm so excited to sleep in my own bed. Jeff M. text messaged me last night. " I'm sitting on your front porch eating. It's so peaceful." I'm trying to get jackson excited about moving home. He is a bit afraid. I think he hasn't processed yet that the water is no longer flooding New Orleans.
His greatest joy right now is " stinking". He prides himself on being the stinkest kid in the world. I had told him how badly our house stank on my first visit home. He was actually upset that I cleaned the house so it didn't stink. He asked me why I did not bottle the stink or " take a picture of it". Sometimes moms just can't do the right thing.

Monday, November 14, 2005

We decided to sponser kevin B. for a century bike race. Proceeds go to a Leukemia Society. Last week he told me that I needed to shield my eyes when I looked at him because he looks like Da Vince's " peruvian man". No woman can resist him because his body is so perfect. LOL. In the past 7 days I have had kevin fly to Toronto go to memphis and now he is in Ft. Lauderdale. So this morning he told me that his 100 mile race was this coming weekend in Tucson. I was shocked because I haven't heard him speak about training very much. He said that he's actually a bit scared. He said that he's been working so much he hasn't been training as much as he should be. The furthest he's done is 50 miles. I know kevin, barring any injuries or bicycle problems, he'll finish the 100 miles. He'll just be in severe pain and agony for about a week. But the important lesson here is " at least he looks good:" LOL
Looking good in Ft. Lauderdale. Nashville 1 year anniversary is coming up. Austin's 2 year, New Orleans's 4 year, New york's 150 year. God I'm getting old. With the NY anniversary I can have a liitle fun. The place is small enough and the regulars have been there for so many years I can pull off different things. I told jacqui that this year I want to have the party with an Asian theme. I bought two dresses in San francisco's china town and I want an event to wear them at. ( $29 each). I can't wait to have the boucers look like Samarais and have the girls look like Geishas. FUN. The New Orleans anniversary is going to be great too. I can't explain how happy I am that we are back up and running. I am going to plan something really kick ass for that weekend. I think we will go traditional new Orleans and have a crawfish Boil, some bands etc.
Traditionally January is the worst month of the year in the bar business. I do not know why this happens but because of licensing, construction etc. they all seem to end up being ready in January. Now I will have Ft. Lauderdale January 18th, New Orleans January 25th, NY January 27th, and Austin January 28th. The beauty about the NY bar is I schedule the party around my schedule so I figure we'll have the anniversary party sometime in february.
That's it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I spoke with Daniel last night and he was at his wits end. He had scheduled a couple of bartending classes for all the bartenders. He made them on various days so everyone can come. Of course it was the steadies who showed up but the girls who really needed the training never came. I understand his frustration because he took alot of time out of his own schedule to make sure he was available. He didn't make it mandatory and that was ultimately the excuse for certain girls not to show up. I'll say this again, if you can't bartend you can't work at Coyote. The performing is secondary to the bartending. We were both very disappointed in some of the girls.
Very hectic day yesterday. I think the grand opening for Ft. lauderdale will be January 18th. 4 days ago we still didn't have certain permits and were anticipating a mid Febuary opening. All of a sudden I get a call two days ago saying " we got all of our permits we can open within a month." Lee and I husseled to try and put together a december opening but at the end of two days we just couldn't pull it off with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. When I called Jacqui she was floored as well. " Shit Lil you know I have to mentally prepare to take a plane." By the end of the day yesterday I felt like I had been run over by a train. But it's always exciting, and hurricane season is over so I'll be happy in Florida in january.
It finally happened. Today is an absolutly gorgeous day in Austin. Jackson and I spend most of the morning playing outside. It was GREAT!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Austin girls rocked the other night. Something seems to be changing, they are really putting out more effort and just having more fun. Katie was awesome the other night and Wendy showed a whole different side to herself. I'm so proud.
People have been offended because I've been coming down on Austin. I know that when the temperature gets down below 75 I'm going to love it here. I'm just cranky because of the heat and the amount of driving I do every day. What I do love is how beautiful the lakes are. I took my son on this short hike the other day that ended at a cliff overlooking the Colorodo River. It was incredibly beautiful. I also love that they have a real Apple Store. There is a spa here ( can't remember the name) that is the most beautiful spa I have ever been to. And the best place in Austin is a movie theatre that serves food and drinks while you watch. ( real drinks, wine beer)
I received two e-mails that made me take notice. One said that I went to a "leftist school in a leftist city. " New Yok City just voted Bloomberg back in office so the city is not as " leftist " as I would like.
The other e-mail was from a supposed lawyer saying that he can not find a relative for a man, last name Lovell , who died and had a substancial estate. So since my last name is lovell obviously he should bequeth me the money. If it was only that easy. I'm almost curious to have Jeff W figure out what kind of scam this guy is running.
Ft. Lauderdale coming up soon!! I'm very excited.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I am multitasking right now. Jeff, the accountants and I are having a very heated e-mail discussion , Lee and i are on the phone trying to figure out the Ft. lauderdale opening, and I am on the German Shepherd Rescue of new Orleans web site. I found a dog that is just calling our names. I put in an application. I hope he is good with kids!!!


Bruno
Dog

New Orleans German Shepherd Rescue
New Orleans, LA
504-488-7067
adoption@nogsr.org

German Shepherd Dog

Size: Large
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
I.D: LA184
Notes:

FOSTER HOME NEEDED!!!

Bruno is a male German shepherd we estimate to be between 18 and 24 months old. He was found in a ditch by an animal control officer who at first thought Bruno had been hit by a car because when she pulled him out, his head was permanently in a tilted position.

At the shelter, Bruno worked his way into the hearts of the staff and although his appearance may have made him more difficult to adopt out, they couldn't euthanize him. No, this guy had way too much life in him and deserved a second chance.The staff named him "Tilt" (we changed it to Bruno) and contacted NOGSR about rescuing him and we did.

We did take Bruno to a specialist who examined him and concluded that at one time he may have had an inner ear infection that lead to head tilt. His hearing is fine and this courageous guy has learned to compensate for his condition. He climbs stairs and frolics with his new dog buddies Nothing stops him from having fun in his foster family's big yard.

Now that Bruno is in a temporary foster home, we can see why the staff fell for this great dog. He is just so playful, fun and endearing. He is fine with other dogs and loves people. Because this foster home is full, we are seeking another foster family for Bruno. While in foster care, NOGSR will pay for all food and any medical expenses

We hope there is someone out there who will look beyond his physical appearance and see this handsome German shepherd. This is a proud dog who is looking for someone to love him forever.
-

I found out today through Jeff M. that my neighbors who were watching the turtles and the guinea pigs were crying when they left. They had to evacuate after the storm and they forgot the guinea pigs and turtles. When they were on the road they remembered and there was no way they could go back because of all the flooding. She said she cried all night. I still haven't told Jackson. But I feel like I need to adopt a pet so we can give them the life we couldn't give Spike, Spot, Yertle, and Mac.

San Antonio had a killer night tonight. Poor Denver , Tuesday is singing Coyote night and the jukebox went down. They have a backup stereo system but it's never the same.
Well yesterday I went to my first accupuncture session. I wanted to take a natural approach to stress relief and my insomnia. If you check the time I post this you will realize that it is 3:50 am, so I would say my first session did not do the trick. Very interesting, accupuncture. The needles do not hurt but they create a certain heat in your body and at one point I had the same feeling as if I was just starting to be immobilized by anesthesia. I'll give it 3 tries and hopefully I'll yield some results.
I just found out that two of my neighbors are putting their houses up for sale. Definitely makes me nervous moving back to a completely different city. I spoke with Jeff Myers this morning. He was huffing and puffing. I asked him what he was doing he said " I'm raking your fucking yard." I told Jeff while he was in New Orleans he could stay at my house, since jackson and I are not there. The yard and my office seem to really bother him. His exact wording " you have a beautiful home, Lil ( Leeel in Nashville speak), but your office is a wreck and I can't stand to see your yard so messy." In my defense, I haven't been able to fix the yard since the hurricane. And my office, well there's no real excuse for that. I have all my files scattered around. Kind of like a movie where you go into a lawyers office and they have mounds of paperwork. Jeff M. is funny he has already met my neighbors. They actually come over and talk to him. They probably like him more then me.
Kevin B. has turned me on to audiobooks. I actually really enjoy it. I always loved reading but I always feel like between Jackson and work, I just never get a chance to read. The beauty of the audiobook is you can listen while your exercising, in the car, on a plane. I've listened to " Shalimar the clown" " It's not about the Bike " ( Lance Armstrong) and now I am starting "Anna Kourenina" I also downloaded Steve Martins book about the sales girl. I thought because it was narrated by Steve martin that it would be very compelling but now that I have listened to others I find that his voice becomes boring. Marshall said to me, I hope you don't start skipping to the last chapter. Very funny.
For the last few years I have thought that outside forces were causing me stress and anxiety. I was always yearning for a sense of peace. Tonight as I sit here writing, I realize I've caused my own unrest. I am mentally unable to place my mind in rest. " You can't change a lifetime in one day."
When I move back to New Orleans I will be spending more time with Jeff M. and Chantel. I've decided to get them hypnotherepy to quit smoking. I just can't stand it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Went to Denver this weekend. The girls were so much better then 8 weeks ago when I went there last. I am so proud of their improvement. It was really good to go to the bar, I wish I could go more often. I feel bad for Mellissa. Because of the GM problems she has worked so much the last month. ( So have you Lee) So we went to the mall Sunday morning and I got us matching cowboy boots. They are bad ass!
We interviewed 2 people for the gm position. I liked both of them very much. What struck me as funny with the first interview, which was with a person who is already employed with Coyote Denver, was his referral to a letter he had written to the pope. A 10 page letter outlining his frustrations with the sexual harrasment of children by priests. I wonder if the pope actually read his letter? The second interview, also with a current employee, was completely different. We spent 10 minutes talking about his hook up with a tailor in Korea who can make silk suits. I told Lee to make sure we get Coyote Ugly zoot suits made.
Back in Austin. I do not care what people say or what the books say, " Austin is the hottest place in the country." I know New Orleans gets hot. I know that places like Phoenix get hot. But they start cooling down in the fall. Every day here it is over 90 degrees! It's November !! I keep torturing myself because I have my computer set to tell me the temperatures in New Orleans, NY, and Austin. Every morning I wake up and the temperature is the coldest in NY, second is Austin and the hottest being New Orleans. By mid day that changes. Ny and new Orleans stay steady only rising in temperature a few degrees but Austin's temperature can rise 40 degrees in a few hours. Last week I woke up and it was 49 degrees. By 3 pm it was 93 degrees. That's insane!! The New Orleans staff keeps on calling me and leaving messages " It's 75 degrees in New orleans. How's Austin?" Funny. I will miss Austin when I leave. Jackson and I go to the lakes and the Colorodo River and it really is quite beautiful.
I want to throw a party before I move back to New Orleans and invite both the Austin and San Antonio employees. I hope I can pull it off.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

On the bar front, we have good news in ft. lauderdale so I'm excited about that. Every bar I own did very well this week but of course I just received the numbers for Friday night and in unison they all did poorly ( or not as well as I would of liked). God I hate that. Marshall and I were speaking yesterday and we were talking about Lee having to GM Denver until I hire someone else. " that's like coming out of retirement." That made me laugh. I believe he has hit the nail on the head because everyday I hear from Lee, "I'm tired." " someone tried to pull the old drycleaning scam" " Another person came in trying to pretend they are related to you." I think he has a new appreciation for the managers. The bar business is very hard on your body, the hours are grueling.
Thursday when I brought Jackson to school they were having a lice check for all students. Jackson was the only kid on line praying for lice. " if I have lice I get to go home!" Well unforunate for him he did not have lice so he had to go to school. That afternoon I received an e-mail from the school stating that parents were upset at how they handled the lice check. They did not want their children to have to be checked in front of others. When I was a kid they had routine lice checks and you simply waited in line , got checked and you either were sent home or you stayed. ( my sister who is an unrefuted complete genetic opposite of me, even though we have the same parents. Had very long, very wavy, thick hair. I don't think they even tried to check her hair. The minute it was her turn in line they sent us both home) Back to the parents at Jackson's school, these parents are so snobby and conservative. Get over it. The school is so small that everyone will know if your kid has lice or not.
Off to Denver!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I am riding a high today. This might seem trivial to most but I am so excited, I just bought a new refridgerator. Right now in New Orleans everyone is buying fridges so all the stores are out of stock or just out. ( because of the 6 week long electricity outage, 90% of the city had to throw out their refridgerators, I was one of the 90%). I found a small store in Metairie that had the fridge I wanted. They told me that they no longer deliver and you had to go in person to buy it. As luck would have it Chantel was in the vicintiy of the store and was able to purchase the fridge for me. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I think it is because it will create some normalcy in my home when I move back. I am beside myself I'm so happy. I told chantel to invite the New Orleans staff to my house for Thanksgiving. I'm beaming!
Jeff Myers called me and said " I bet you are one of those high maintenance girls and got yourself a sub zero." No I did not .! I looked into it, but It's just me and Jackson. I couldn't justify spending $7,000 for a fridge. I was shocked when I researched them. I went with jenn aire, Stainless Steel, bottom freezer french door top. Beaming
Knock on wood, the bars are all doing well this week. New Orleans had a scary slow Tuesday but bounced back with a good wed. night. By the way Wed. is Bike night in New Orleans.
I think we may have found a spot in Toronto. Crossing my fingers doesn't seem to have the power it used to so I may have to buy a santaria candle and light it.
I'm sending Kevin down to Florida tomorrow to see what the damage is to our spots. I'm hoping we can resolve some of these issues.
Because Daniel seems to think he coined this phrase, I will give him credit for this line. " That's all I got"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Time is just flying by. Wow it's almost the end of the year. Today I received some very nice letters about Austin and DC. Great keep up the good work.
I absolutly love the Forest Gump and Lt. Dan costumes Marshall and Daniel wore. Very funny. The funnier part is that Daniel had never seen the movie. I don't know if that means I'm getting old or he's just an inexperienced movie goer.
I had a really great talk with Shanna the new AM in San Antonio. I'm pleased she is very gung ho. I just hope that enthusiasm holds.
Kevin is in Toronto viewing a few spots.
It's nice to know that my whole corporate team are work a holics. This morning I woke up at 5am and started working while jackson was asleep. I started sending out e-mails. Within seconds I started getting responses from Kevin, Lee, and jeff because they were all at their various computers working as well.
Right now Lee is getting very riled up on the phone with me because I am pushing him to get us in a spot in Canada.
As I'm writing he is saying " Blah, blah, blah"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I went into the Austin bar on Sunday night for esther's birthday. The girls did a very good job. It's the first time since I moved to Austin that I felt they were spontaneous and having fun. It was really enjoyable to watch them work. The girls had a themed Nerdy school girl night. It's hard to pull of Nerd when you look that good.
San Antonio pulling off the high for Halloween night! I would like to say this, New Orleans was in the middle of the pack. Perhaps we have some progress.
I can't lie, I'm pissed off about Hurricane Wilma. Believe me I feel sorry for all the people in Cancun and Florida that had damage to their homes and had a hurricane change their lives. Personally all my businesses are taking a beating. My two spots in Florida were not harmed but they have taken a backseat with the contractors and the city offices. Lee told me he saw our proposed location in Cancun with it's roof torn off, so that's on hold.
I'm having so many problems in New Orleans just trying to get a contractor to fix the building. There is nobody that can even get us in their schedule this year. I'm desperate.
It is so concerning when I think that next year might hold the same disastraous weather conditions. Next year it could possibly be 3 or 4 bars effected and my home again.
So today I decided to take the plunge and go to a hair stylist in Austin. Mistake is an understatement. I said to her to go closer to my natural color. What that meant to her was completely black. My god, I look like a goth chic 20 years too old. " SAL if you read this please come back to New Orleans. I'm too depressed to look like a bad Halloween costume."

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