Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holding Our Breath

The world watches America to see if we run out and rack up a ton of new debt on Friday. Meanwhile, the markets all dither around without any real direction. At least the DOW edged over 8,000 (which is about where it should be anyway).

The cafe is also dithering around with sorta busy days and slow days and days we all lay outside in the sun and take naps. Which is pretty much what every business in Prescott is doing right now. Everyone continues to hang by their fingernails hoping Christmas will bail them out. What has been funny watching at the cafe is the owner-vs.-manager dynamic. The owner knows nothing about restaurants, so he did the smart thing and hired someone who did to run the cafe. I wondered when I hired in how long that would last. The answer: About two months. We still have the manager (for now) but the owner is interfering more every day. What that tells me is that he is running out of cash already. The panic is obvious. Everything hangs on us being busier than we have ever been on Friday and Saturday. There has been a media blitz on radio, articles in the papers, even spots on local TV (not paid advertising; just local access channel stuff). Saturday, a local radio station will have DJ's at the cafe doing a remote and giving away stuff.

I'm sure we will be busier than normal on Friday just because people will be out and about, even though I believe that Black Friday is going to be a bust compared to previous years. That doesn't mean that it won't still be a good day to stay away from the mall, just that people will be spending a lot less than in recent years. I'm sure we will be mobbed on Saturday just because people hear the word "free." What I doubt is that come Monday, there will be any real sustained difference in the level of business. Then the real fun starts.

Sunday we saw Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco. The arena is pretty small and was less than half full. I don't know if that was because it was the last day of a three-day engagement, or if all the shows were as poorly attended. But it was fun and if you have ever seen a Cirque du Soleil production, all the standard things were there. Being a traveling show means that some things were slightly less dramatic or smaller scale than at the permanent ones, but it was still worth going to. And the Hanz and Franz guys made my shoulders ache. Like always.

We are thinking of a quick trip to Vegas sometime in late December or January to see Cirque du Soleil's Ka at the MGM. The cafe is supposed to be closed between Christmas and New Year, so Christmas weekend is one possibility. All the Cirque shows are dark in the middle of January and my college classes start up towards the end of January, so that leaves the first week of January if pricing for hotels and such are too high over Christmas.

Blogger just went down. Nice.

Anyway, I found out yesterday that the cafe will be closed on Thanksgiving. They were originally going to be open until noon, but decided to close sometime in the last few days. As usual, I found out about it during a casual conversation with a co-worker. God forbid the manager say anything or post a notice or even put the schedule where people can find it.

And Blogger is back. Sweet.

Our plans for Thanksgiving will likely revolve around a stack of books and frozen pizzas. And movies, of course. Lots of movies. Debbie works Friday and I work Friday and Saturday, so no sense in making any elaborate plans. We both need a day to recover from sinus/resperatory problems anyway with seasonal colds and a fire somewhere nearby blanketing Prescott with wood smoke. It's probably a prescribed burn out in the national forest, but a storm front moving through is holding all the smoke right at ground level. Everything smells like burning pine needles.

OK, I've used up enough electrons for one day.

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