Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just Because it's a Cute Story

When I started my barmaid/bartender journey, I was working at Hawkwood. It was advertised as a medieval fantasy faire. This festival no longer exists.  John was the pub manager, He was also my mentor. One of the aspects of Hawkwood was that they would keep the large pub, called the Greenman, open after dark. They'd have local bands come in and play so it was like an outdoor pub. We made ungodly amounts of money there, but we earned it by working our tail ends off. We would work at our regular pub, The Painted Badger, during the day then we'd shut her down, take a short break to eat dinner then head over to The Greenman. (Obviously this was pre-motherhood) We would be so incredibly busy that I'd end up with wads of money in my pouches that I just had to shove in there because we were so incredibly busy with such a high volume of customers.

I found that the easiest thing for me to do was to go home and just dump the pouches out on the floor. It was easier to separate the money that way. During this time I had a rescue-cat named Dickory (and, yes, he had a brother named Hickory and a brother named Doc) Dickory was this large walking puffball of grey fur with tabby stripes here and there - he was a good looking cat. He was a large cat. Did I mention he was large? OK - get the picture? He was also the sweetest cat you ever met and had the IQ of a door stop (and that might be an insult to the door stop!) One night Dickory walked over to the money pile and just laid across it. Then he took his paws and started pulling the money to him that his rather plump belly and fluffy tail did not cover. He looked like a dragon with his horde of treasure! I reached down to move him off the money pile and this sweet, huge, lap cat looked up and me with narrowed eyes and said "MEH!" I couldn't believe it. I reached down again once again he looked at me with narrowed eyes and said "MEH!" I remember sitting on the couch looking at that cat like I'd seen him for the first time. Dickory was never an alpha - in fact he cowered to the other cats I had at the time. Needless to say, I was surprised by his reaction. I went ahead and changed out of my work clothes into some comfy old sweats and got myself something to drink. By that time Dickory had finally moved off the pile of money. I got to work under the watchful eye of my big, fluffy, sweet, dumb cat. This became a nightly ritual whenever I was working. I'd have to let him sit on the pile of money for a few minutes then I could proceed with the nightly chores of separating and counting.

Dickory disappeared after I relocated to Midlothian. The cat that raised him, Freya, had died. I think he went off looking for her. We never saw him again. I'd like to think that he found a good home with a good family. I miss Dickory - all of us do. But the memory of the "dragon horde cat" will stay with me forever.

I love you, Dickory - where ever you are.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bye Bye Barmaid

I waited until after Faire to share this news. I am retiring. 2013 will be my last season as a bartender at Scarborough Faire.

This decision was not made easily or lightly. As many of you know, I am getting married again this summer. I'll have a new home kind of far away and a whole new set of priorities and responsibilities.

I have discussed this with my fiancé, my daughter and my family. They all agree I am making the right decision.

I have been honored to be YOUR barmaid. I treasure the friendships I have made over the years and have very fond memories.

I did not want to announce this at Faire as Shannon Hopps is also retiring. Today was her last hurrah and I did not want to steal any thunder. I also felt it would be kind of cheesy to announce it the same time Shannon did.

While she and I have been at Faire for the same amount of time, she has always been on performing cast and I have done a number of different things from performer to booth owner to barmaid. I do, I believe, have the very best job at Faire. I've loved it and while I will miss it, I am so excited and looking forward to the wonderful new life my daughter and I will have with Robert.

So, raise your glass. God speed and Faire thee well...

Diamond - YOUR Barmaid

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Final Weekend of 2013

Well, ladies and gents, it's nearly time to put another season of frivolity, joy and hard, hard work to bed. Here is the schedule for the final weekend of 2013. I'm going to end this season where I started - my beloved Alehouse. This was my pub for many. many years with John the Bartender. It is my home, my favorite, my baby.

Saturday, May 25th -     11:30  - 12:30 - Captain's Pub
                                       12:30  -   1:30 - Fat Friar's
                                        1:45  -    2:45 - The Alehouse
                                        2:50  -    3:20 - Elkhorn
                                        3:30  -    4:30 -  Cat and Fiddle

Sunday, May 26th -       11:30  - 12:30 - The Alehouse
                                       12:35  -   1:35 - Cat and Fiddle
                                         1:45  -   2:15 - Elkhorn
                                         2:30  -   3:30 - Fat Friar's
                                         3:30  -   4:30 - Captain's Pub

Monday, May 27th -     11:30 - 12:00 - Elkhorn
                                       12:10 -  1:10 - Fat Friar's
                                         1:15 -  2:15 - Captain's Pub
                                         2:20  - 3:20 - Cat and Fiddle
                                         3:30 -  4:30 - The Alehouse <3

Like I state each week, the powers that be can change and/or alter this schedule. So far this season they haven't because I have an awesome boss that rocks. Thank you Tommy Walker for being the wonderful person you are.

See you for the long weekend. Remember to dress coolly and HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!

YOUR Barmaid

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts of a Barmaid

For a number of years I have been involved with Scarborough Faire. I remember my first visit like it was yesterday. I was a teen. I'd never heard of it. A couple of friends took me out there and another friend loaned me a costume (yes, my first time was in garb). I walked through the front gate and one word entered my mind: home. Somehow I knew I was home. After several years as a pet patron, I finally had a job with weekends off. I auditioned for cast and actually made it. I've been a part of the Faire ever since. Performer, sales clerk, shop owner (with my now ex husband), ticket booth and, ever since, 2001, bartender. I think this is the very best job at Faire. I actually get paid to play dress up (every little girls dream). I get paid to bar hop (lol). And I have made tons of friends - good friends - over the years.

Being such a part of this faire, I hear what patrons say, too. I've heard patrons complaining about the prices for entry, food and drink. To those people, I say this. Have you ever been to 6 Flags? Disney? Sea World? Our admission prices are far more reasonable than any of those parks. Have you bought food or drink at venues like American Airlines Center? State Faire of Texas? Lonestar Park? I will use the State Fair as an example. You will pay 8 dollars for a 10 oz domestic beer. We charge 5.50 for 16 oz. Ever buy a funnel cake at 6 Flags? Theirs isn't nearly as good as ours and they charge 6 or 7 dollars. We charge 4.

So next time you are thinking of complaining about prices, think about the comparables. Then think about what we offer. We have live street performers, actual artisans (as opposed from reselling imports from over seas) and a true family feel.

Just food for thought.

Monday, January 30, 2012

This is serious - pass it on

Before I go into this, a disclaimer: I don't know who did this or even if it really happened. I heard about it. But with Faire season upon us, I felt it was important to share. OK, that said.

Supposedly there are some patrons that are sneaking their own alcohol into the faire site, past the front gates. Folks - that is a BIG NO NO. And this ain't Scarborough, this is Texas law. Although the city of Waxahachie voted wet, the precinct we are in remains dry, thus why you still have to get a membership to buy alcohol at Scarby. (Heck I work there and I have to have a membership!) We are governed by the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission). The law expressly forbids bringing alcohol onto the faire grounds (I don't know if this applies to the parking lot, I'll have to check that out). So, you might be thinking to yourself, "Diamond, if I am clever enough to get booze past the front gate, so what?" I will tell you so what - if the TABC sees a patron pull out a bottle (or even a flask w/alcohol in it), Scarborough Faire could suffer considerably. It could 1. lose the liquor license. which in turn shuts down the pubs. how many of you like to drink booze while watching Iris and Rose or listening to Christoph the Insultor? You see the domino effect here? 2. Scarborough can be fined. which will result in higher prices on admission, souvenirs, etc. (going back to that whole domino effect thing) 3. Scarborough could be shut down. Seriously. Now, while I personally don't see this happening, fact is, it COULD. All that has to happen is a TABC officer having a bad day and someone ticking him off. How clever will you feel if that happens? Do you want to be the reason our faire shuts down? Was it worth it to show just how 'clever' you are by sneaking in your own booze and breaking the law? And we are back to the domino effect. A lot of people (myself included) depend on Scarborough Faire for a living. Do you want the merchants to have to shut down their shops? Performers not being able to make the bills? Career rennies not be able to eat? Is it really worth it? Do you want to see that many people lose out on our livelihood? So, next time you decide to be 'clever' and sneak your booze into the Faire site, think about all the people it is affecting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Barmaid is Available

Please don't think I am only limited to Renaissance Faire's. I am a TABC certified, experienced bartender. If you need a bartender for a special event or private party, contact me and we'll talk.

Just a little something to keep in mind!