Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Customer of the Night #291

There is a wall of people at the bar. Girls are waving their money in our faces ("That only works for strippers," I explain gently. I'll get to you when I can."). Guys are standing on the foot rail and leaning all the way over to our side. People keep coming in. When I ask the girl what she wants, she rattles off three drinks, and then tells me the name on the tab.
"Just gimme a minute," I say as politely as I can. "I'll get the tab name after I get the drinks. There's only so much I can remember."

Only so much because I have not worked like this for months. Also because I have already put in eight hours at my other job today, and after walking the dogs and scarfing a sandwich, ran down here as fast as I could. That was three hours ago.

"Okay!" she says, in a way that suggests that she understands. And then she proceeds to repeat her order, while I'm already halfway through making it, and then she adds on another drink. I stop and look at her.
"Just wait a minute, okay? I can only remember so much. Now- that was a gin and tonic-"
"I know, I know baby girl. You guys are working so hard back there. Listen, I need a job."
"A gin and tonic, a vodka water with lime, and a Bud Li-"
"-A vodka water, a gin and tonic, and a Bud L1ght, and a bourbon and coke. With well. Who do I talk to about a job? I really want to work here. This place looks awesome. My name is K-"
At this point she reaches out her hand to shake mine. Mine is full of glasses filled with ice, waiting for drinks that I can't remember because she is exhausting and she is only one in a couple hundred and I am tired and I just. Can't Think.
"Listen. You are not helping. You are not helping me get your drinks, or their drinks - I gesture, with hands full of glasses full of ice, at the other people who are also waiting for this girl to just shut the fuck up and get on with it - and I am not going to remember your name, or your face, but I will remember how much you obviously don't get it. Call the owner on Monday about the job. And please stop talking until I make eye contact with you again. That's when I'm ready for you to tell me the name on your tab, okay?"
I say all of this with complete calm, a sense of humor, even. I am making a smile with my mouth. I am not angry, and I am not yelling. I do not feel a sense of anything but total and complete over-it-ness.

The girl is completely unfazed. I hand her the drinks, get the name on the tab, and I can still hear her talking to me as I take the next person's order.

The sad thing is she will probably get hired.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holy Shit.

This is brilliant. I think I might have to get a fucking job at Showbiz, just so I can get that bear to sing "GOAT".

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'd love to tell you more about our trip, but we just got the first two discs of the final season of The Wire from Netflix, so i may not be back for awhile.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reunited And It Feels So Good (by which I mean "A Lot Like Indigestion").

The b.h. and I spent a few days last week at his bi-annual B.H. Family Reunion. Every other year, the b.h.'s dad and dad's brothers (he has three) get the whole family together for a week. They take turns choosing a location, and then the group pays for lodging and we all pay for our own transportation, food, etc. Since the b.h. and I have been together, trips have included Branson, M1ssour1 (the "Redneck Riviera", a trip which the b.h. and I were regrettably unable to attend), St. Sim0n's Island, GA, (we were there for thirty six hours and drove five and a half each way), and The Adirondacks, in upstate New York (we missed that one due to financial distress brought on by a car trouble/emergency vet visit double-whammy). This year, the B.H. Clan converged on the mountains outside B00ne, North Car0lina, at a "Wilderness Cabin." You may have noticed that I used that phrase in quotes. I did that on purpose. If I had any idea how to find the key which would insert a trademark symbol into the sentence, I would have. But my technological prowess is simply lacking, so you will all be forced to use your imaginations (as I was when I was confronted with the "Wilderness Lodge" itself).
We were intending to leave on Sunday, but our dog-sitter was in Charlest0n at the Hold Steady show, so we waited to go on Monday. On Monday, I woke up and went to the hair salon. I had done much of the packing the night before and the b.h. would finish up while I was chatting with Shayne and trying to get the rest of the blasted red undertones out of my hair. The hair salon was fun and relaxed, and when I got back to the house I felt ready to face both the long drive and the twenty some people that would be waiting at the end of it.
When I returned home, I found that although everything was essentially ready, we had been asked to go to the b.h.'s parents' house before leaving town to check on the resident felines. "Didn't they just leave?" Yes, but the b.h.'s mom wasn't sure if she had left enough food out for them, and they had planned on somebody checking in on Wednesday, but now they weren't sure if the person could make it, etc. "Can't we just go over there when we get back on Wednesday?" No. The b.h. had got the feeling that his mom may have "forgotten something, but didn't want to admit it." Well, so be it then. We would simply be adding an extra forty minutes on to our five hour drive.
It turned out that the cats were fine- plenty of food, water, etc. When I talked to the b.h.'s mom later, she said that she just "had a bad feeling" that something had gotten skipped - an iron left on, a door left unlocked, or some such. A brilliant woman, she is, but like many of us, her brain is often full and she therefore has tendencies toward a certain kind of flightiness (one that Hey Bartender can *assure* you that she is *never* guilty of. Cough. Cough.).

Holy shit I just referred to myself in the third person. Oh well. I guess it was only a matter of time.

Anyway, the drive was pleasant enough. The b.h. and I were both tired, so we had to stop more often than we would have liked in order to obtain more caffeine and get our blood moving. One of the reasons why I prefer driving at night is that I get very sleepy when I'm in the sun. In the car, with the air-conditioning blowing, one half of my body was freezing, while the half in the sun felt like it was on fire. I wanted to curl up in the window and take a cat nap. Inadvisable, I have been told, while driving.
We had printed out directions using g00gle maps (M@pquest has done us wrong too many times), and all was well. The gas got cheaper the farther we went, which was a pleasant surprise. The b.h.'s mom called us when we were just outside Charlotte. We told her where we were and assured her that we had directions. When we pulled up the The Wilderness Lodge, the b.h.'s mom was waiting on the front porch for us. I got the feeling that she might have been there since we had hung up with her an hour and a half before. Once inside, I realized why. The main room of The Wilderness Lodge was one third kitchen, one third dining room, and one third living room. The living room had one couch and two chairs and a plasma screen TV on the wall that was bigger than any of them. Very rustic, it was. And there were twenty or so people, five under the age of ten, sharing that space.


So I was at the bar on Thursday, and Ken, the guy who maintains the sodas, came in. He told me that the new mixes of both tonic and ginger ale would likely be in next week, and that they were now being made with cane syrup rather than corn syrup. Sweet(pun intended)! I have long been afraid of corn syrup (send your tinfoil hat designs to: Paranoid Bartender, P.O. Box 666, Crazyville USA), and lately I have been hoping that the rapidly increasing cost of corn might cause us to change back to good ole' sugar. I don't know how many of you actually read the ingredients on your food packaging, but corn syrup is in virtually everything, including some products that are labeled "natural" in the grocery store. There are a lot of differing opinions on whether or not corn syrup is any worse for you than sugar, but I am of the opinion that if we try not to process the ever-living shit out of everything and just eat, we'll all be better off. I may be wrong, but it just makes more sense to me. In any case, the news from Soda Guy Ken was a small yet meaningful bright spot on an otherwise kind of stressful week. Thanks, Ken!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Music History.

Okay you guys. Get over to the Athens Music Family Tree and put some information in. I even put a link over there on the side bar to your right, in case you don't get to it today. It will be so much cooler with more information. C'mon. Please?

Don't Worry Everybody...

He's got it all under control.

What an asshole.

"Dreams They Seem to Cost Money...

But money costs some dreams."

I love The Hold Steady because they look like people I know, like people I hang out with. The lead singer sweats a lot and he looks like he probably has a lot of allergies. I love them because I was having a really, really shitty night until the moment they hit the stage. Because I didn't want to leave the house, or my bed, or the inside of my head, and then by the time the second song started I had forgotten all about it. I love them because they don't all dress the same way, and because they are unabashedly really fucking excited just to be there, and they dance like idiots and jump up and down and because they know that this whole thing is just a fluke and they fucking love it. I'm not saying they aren't insanely talented, because they are. But there are a lot of insanely talented musicians delivering pizzas and washing dishes all over the country (fuck, all over Athens) right now, and these guys got fucking lucky, and because of that we all did, too.

If you have any appreciation whatsoever of brilliant fucking lyrics, buy the record. Buy them all.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Like The Corners of my Mind...

Many, many thanks to Jenn for posting this Centro-matic ditty. I was there. It was fabulous. One of the best covers I have ever seen at a show.

Sometimes I really NEED Wonkette.

Because snark can be cathartic:

DICK CHENEY’S UNIVERSALLY LOATHED CORPSE TO BE REANIMATED FOR ONE LAST HURRAH AT REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION: Whew! “Cheney plans to speak on the first night of the convention in St. Paul, Minn., the same Monday night that President Bush will speak. … There had been doubts about a speech by Cheney, who remains unpopular with Americans.” [AP]

Only to the Guy He's Fucking, I Guess.

So this woman comes in, and she chooses a very expensive bottle of scotch. Next she picks out a mid-grade bottle of chardonnay, and as she is wandering about, I ask if she needs any help. She proceeds to tell me that she is looking for "something nice for a fifty-seven-year-old." I ask a few questions, she gives me more information than I need. It's his birthday, she's already throwing him the dinner, she doesn't want to spend a lot, because she has already pt out x dollars, but she doesn't want him "to think I'm cheap". She definitely doesn't want to spend more than fifty dollars. Not even thirty-five. I am only finding this out because I am walking around with her, making suggestions, and asking questions. She is clearly not comfortable. I tell her not to worry about the price.
"As long as you aren't buying a three-dollar bottle of pink stuff, I don't think it matters. It's a gift, after all, and it's the thought that counts. What about some sparkling wine? That's always nice for a celebration." She seems to think this is a lovely idea. Is he a wine snob? Does he normally drink dry or sweet? White or red? She doesn't seem to know.
"I don't know if it matters," she says to me in an undertone, looking around to make sure no one else is listening, "but he's gay."

I gave her a bottle with a frog in a dress on the label.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Shite Day, Shite Mood Copout.

It's funny because it's true:

"Watching the Hilton video, a few questions came to mind. First, why is that Paris Hilton’s fake ad includes more substantive talk about energy policy than John McCain’s real ad? Second, if writers helped Hilton with her script, and writers helped McCain with his script, why is it that Hilton seems to have a better grasp on policy details than McCain does? Shouldn’t that be, you know, the other way around? And third, why is it that a 27-year-old heiress/reality-show star can read a teleprompter better than the presumptive Republican presidential nominee?"

Via Sullivan.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fun New Time Sucker.

Holy crap. I've just spent a good bit of time over at the Athens Music Family Tree. If you haven't seen it yet, go on over. But make sure you have plenty of time when you do, because it is chock full of interesting information. I can't wait to see what it looks like in a year. I've sent the link to several people who I hope will start contributing to it. It is a nice reminder of just how fucking cool the music scene is here, how many great shows I've been to, and in short, how lucky I am to have lived here for the past eight years.
I worked both jobs yesterday, which meant that I was mostly useless by the second half of my bar shift. Fortunately I had a lot of help from J and N. I still felt like a useless piece of crap, though. I have got to get my schedule sorted out.

Not feeling very talkative at the moment, come to think of it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Future Is Unwritten.

If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend the new Joe Strummer Documentary. I just watched it. Twice.