Friday, July 30, 2010

Story 23... Rough Draft... Not sure where this story is going... it's more of a rant...?

Top or Bottom... How about you're just GAY?

It’s funny how gay culture boils the world down to a few select categories. There is top, bottom, gay, straight and that’s about it. For some reason, gays always seem to want straight men to be gay or they want to be more like the straight antithesis of themselves… It’s ironic how being more “straight-acting” or a “total top” are titles that oddly attract us to each other. When I’m working, when I go out, I see these terms thrown about all the time as though they really correctly define a person’s character or even sexual prowess.

Since working at the bar, I have been going out a lot more. Being 21, I am sure has something to do with it. At every gay bar I go to, I see the same scenario play out over and over again. It’s like hearing Madonna’s “Just like a Prayer,” I can’t stop listening to it after the first chord. I have to listen to the song in it’s entirety, until I end up lip-sinking to myself.

I just don’t get it. I will be out alone, or with friends. I will approach a hot guy or at least someone I see as hot while comfortably in my beer goggles, and break the ice with some random small talk. I have become a master at this part. It usually starts with a “do I know you from somewhere?” Or “I don’t know if we have met before, but you look really familiar. Anyways, what’s your name?” Another that always works is being surprisingly straight-forward with a question like, “what’s your name and story? Boyfriend, sugar daddy, wife or maybe you’re actually a woman?” They always are a bit put off by this route, but at the same time, it’s an unusual way of initiating interaction, so it also keeps them intrigued for at least a few seconds unless the guy proves to be a complete asshole. Regardless of how we start talking, and who initiates it trying to mingle and see what he is all about. Inevitably they always find a way to cut to the chase as well, a little, this is something that I always get a bit turned off by. It’s usually near the beginning of the conversation. We will be chatting through the evening or the 30 minutes that I am at that bar, when somehow the conversation will quickly shift to this topic. It’s like watching a Lifetime movie, we all know that most of them end the same way. We always optimistically watch and hope that this time it will actually be an empowering ending instead of making us want to lock our doors out of fear of getting raped.

A guy will work into a conversation a statement, which lets you know that they are a “total top.” Often in my experience, it is a Latin guy who says this. I think Latin men feel the need to say this because of Catholic guilt of some goy issues that I as a Jew can’t get my head around. They say it as though it’s their blanket or they are reassuring themselves, when I never asked, nor care. For straights that don’t get where this is going it’s like this… It’s like when you are talking to a girl, boy, sheep or whatever your preference is and quickly the person has to mention that they are in a relationship. It’s just jumping the gun.
For the non-gay-literate, a “top” is the part of the gay puzzle that puts their penis into their partner. When a man uses the term “total top” they are telling you that they don’t take it in the butt under any circumstances. This also translates in another way. It’s like they are saying that they are less gay by not taking it in the ass, which is ridiculous and it also screams of insecurity. Gay is gay. Top, or bottom, you’re gay. While sexual compatibility is important, to mention someone’s sexual preferences too early in conversation also assumes too much about the situation. It assumes that I am planning to have sex with them. If we are going to have sex at some point, lets be honest, it will happen regardless cause I’m easy. They don’t need to explain their positional preference right off the bat. It takes away some of the magic. I assume they think that keeping with the title makes them less gay and more like their straight counterparts… Not sure where this story is going…

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I met Maria Bamford, one of my favorite comedians!

Met Maria Bamford today at a Q & A session held for her.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Story 22, Tipping

Every single night these people come in. They are the ones who simply can make or break the night for unsuspecting bartenders and servers alike. Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry has encountered these jackasses. We all have met them. We have even dated them in many cases and get into this situation only after we find out that it’s too late. Then we learn what kind of person they really are. It’s something that these people probably don’t even know that makes them bad people. I am talking about those know-it-alls that tell their friends how to tip even when they aren’t the ones paying, like it really matters to them. We know who you are and don’t appreciate your input. They are like the backseat drivers of tipping.

It usually goes down in several different ways, but one thing always remains constant, the jackass part. To understand the dilemma, I will try to paint the picture to the best of my ability. Every night there this happens. Two plus people come up to the bar and order drinks just like every other nomal-ish person in a bar. Once they have all ordered, payed, received and maybe even started sipping on one of their drinks before they step away from the bar it happens. The person who received the change from this transaction puts down additional money for a tip as most Americans are accustomed to doing when they are in a bar and ordering drinks, standard protocall, not to mention good karma, since many people understand that we live off of the tip part of the night. Anyway, as the one with the money is paying, another person out of the group will make a move within 10-20 seconds of watching the tip being placed on the counter. This is the moment that you can literally watch a person turn to pure jackass. They will then reach down into the tip and pull out a few dollars if not the entire tip from the cash that is left of the counter from their friend’s tip before the bartender has a chance to intercept the original intended tip. Maybe this jackass decides that the tip is simply not necessary or too much for their taste? I am not sure. This often happens with larger orders, which take more time and effort on the server’s part. Regardless of the case, it’s downright tacky. To any hard working person in the service industry, this action is like telling them that you think they deserve to live on less than a descent wage and have no compassion for them as a human being.

Rule to the wise, do not mess with a bartender’s tips. It’s like taking food right out of our hands. To those unaware of how important tipping is for those in the service industry obviously hasn’t met my coworkers or had to work in this environment. If you don’t like our service, fine, don’t tip, no skin off of most of our backs, life goes on. If you don’t tip, are repeatedly rude or make the server/bartender’s life hell throughout the night be aware that we generally remember you. If you are visiting, maybe you simply don’t care, don’t plan on coming back, then who cares? If you live in a city like San Francisco, that is a mear 7x7 miles and then patron one of the most popular local gay bars on a regular basis (at least once a month), and still you don’t tip? If the bars you regularly patron also have the same type of catty bitches I work with, then the common courtesy tip would be my suggestion, because some of them will take it personally.

Most of us, the more passive ones I should say take the shitty tips with stride. We often do nothing because really it’s not worth the battle. Once in a while people like myself will actually hand the quarter or dime tip back to the customer and childishly tell them that they probably need the laundry money more than we do. We may even try to school them on tipping educate if they are from another country and unaware of our strange customs.

In my experience foreigners often appreciate this instead of a comment like my co-worker Aaron says “Honey, tipping aint a river in China.” Or “I love Jesus, but he didn’t tip in bills.”

There is another type of bartender who possibly takes the poor tips as a personal assault on their work and character. These are the ones you don’t want to mess with. They are the people who as servers will mess with your food. They are the ones who will make sure you regret your thoughtless move of being rude or not tipping. They are the ones who will make sure you get the plate full of something that will make you hate your life later.

There was this guy who used to work at the bar, Alejandro. At least once a night he would take a 2-minute bathroom break, where one could only assume he had a snowstorm brewing in his nose. He would come back with pupils so large, one could only assume there was something more than peeing going on during that bathroom break. On his way back to the bar, or once behind the bar, he would ask me for eye drops. He would ask for them in a very snappy way, as coke-heads often do. This is yet another thing I hate about people who do coke on a regular basis. It’s like dealing with a bi-polar freak at all times. Sometimes he would demand them from me while he was in the middle of bartending, while talking a mile a minute. I would hand them to him, walk away and not think about it. I assumed that all the cocaine in his system caused some sort of dry eye or maybe the fog shit they used on the dance floor bothered his eyes. I was so niave then, a little boy. I would later find out that Alejandro, being the catty, vengefull bitch that he was, would use the drops as a little additive to shitty customers and ex-boyfriend’s drinks! For those unaware, when eye drops are added to a person’s cocktail or food, it has a laxative effect. It’s like instant ex-lax. The Alejandro version of revenge I have since found out is not uncommon amongst bartenders at least. He later was fired for an unrelated reason.

When I worked in fast food at the age of 15, there was a girl who was angry at the world and would spit in the shake machine. There was this other guy there, who would do something even more messed up. When he would hear a customer at drive through do that thing where they pretend that the mic is cutting out and add static, he would get pissed. He then would laugh as he picked their burger up off of the nasty floor that place and then make sure that the drive through customer was getting what was coming to them.
The point is this. Try to put yourself in the service industry person’s shoes when you are out. Like my mother would say, treat them the way you would like to be treated, especially because they handle your food, one of the most delicate things you can let them do.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Story 21

Why is it that drunk people always think that they can do things that any “normal”, sober person wouldn’t even think of doing? After having essentially lived there, at that bar for years I have developed a kind of routine so to speak. I start every day with the following assumptions: the sun will rise and eventually set, Europeans rarely tip, a homeless person will approach me asking for change at least 3 times through out the day, and that I will witness a drunk person doing something plainly stupid. This act of stupidity will happen at any point throughout the day. It may happen the second that I leave my apartment building, across the street, 5 feet away, or 5 hours into the night’s shift. Regardless, drunks make the city and world that I live in go round, so I deal.

For some reason, in a room full of drunks, there is always the guy that has to pee. By pee, I mean that they must pee on
something, anything, anywhere, but not in a toilet or urinal because that would make logical sense. These gentlemen are often of a certain kind of breed. It is often the ex-frat bro-douches that do this, but this act is not just limited to them. About a year back, I see this guy, who looks like a regular guy, even slightly more attractive than the average Joe, not that this is relevant, but one must get a fully painted picture visualize the event. He is tall and a bit white trashy, with shaved blond hair. This is the type of guy who probably has a tribal tattoo on their forearm and I assume a pack of menthols in his back pocket. He looks similar to Matt Damon with a crew cut, with Emminem’s thug-wanna be style, complimented with a tattoo of a rose on his neck, next to a tattoo of what I assume to be his area code in Gangsta-font. In the middle of a busy bar, right next to the bartending station, he just whips out his penis and just starts pissing right there. Like a dog he just pees all over the floor. He does it like it’s normal for a grown man to pee on the floor in the middle of a crowded bar. What is even more astonishing, is the fact that in a room full of drunks, not a single person says or notices this guy treating the floor near the bar station like a fire hydrant. No one even glances his way, to give him a sneer of disgust as I would expect. They are all too absorbed in their own lame conversations… This is until one queen with frosted tips screams as they notice their Diesel shoes getting wet and blows this guy’s cover. By scream, I mean a pitch barely audible to humans and so high that most dogs would be on alert. The ironic part is that while this is an isolated event, goes on to happen every Friday for 3 months, all different dudes.

There is another drunken fool who comes in during our busy Friday two-for-one happy hours. In San Francisco, where the gays are alcoholics and they are cheaper than a Jew in a 99cent store at the day after Christmas clearance rack, this drink special works as a gold mine for bars and is the best time to work. This is the easiest and hardest time to make fast money to pay your rent, if you can survive the craziness that ensues. Anyway, there is this guy who comes in every weekend since the bar opened 8-years ago. This man is this rather rotund slob who resembles Jabba-the-Hut, so we shall call him “Jabba” since I don’t know or care to know his real name. Jabba works his way around the bar in his wheelchair. He is an average looking guy surrounded by his own fat who is probably around forty-fiveish at the oldest. Normally I am not one to talk poorly about the physically challenged but this guy’s case, he is a flat out perv./asshole. He always whirls around the bar trashed regardless of how busy it is and makes his way to the dance floor. Normally I am one to applaud those who defy the odds life has handed them, but really, I mean, who dances with a wheel chair in a crowded bar? If this isn’t enough, not only does he dance on the floor in his wheelchair, which normally I have not issue with, but he uses it as a lethal weapon. It’s like his way of getting back at those who have two-working legs. He get’s right in the middle and whirls around, knocking everyone around him in the shins, this in turn also clears the dance floor. Many people end up walking off of the dance floor with burst, cut up shins, limping off to get some medication (a drink) and complain about the whole fiasco to me, like I can do anything about it. To make things worse, dancing Jabba also slowly pushes the joystick on his chair as he is cruising his way through, in the same fashion that Vatos cruise down streets to “holler at bitches.” He pinches every ass-cheek, cock and tits that get in his way. To make things worse, you can smell him coming from a few feet away. His odor is very distinct, like raw meat that has spoiled, covered in that rotten egg-sulfur smell that only induces the gagging feeling more when her passes by. This just adds to my disgust for Jabba. Then after a few pints he leaves a restroom even more vomitalicious than it is prior to his visit. He does the unexpected. He leaves pint glasses all over the various restrooms and bar, filled with the piss that he empties out from his catheter. It makes no sense. Again, a sane, maybe less drunk person would empty that crap into a toilette or near by lawn I assume, but not this guy.

I come into work knowing that I should always be ready for the worst, having experienced all sorts of drunken crazies in their natural habitat. I generally assume that I personally have the amo needed to survive these for various situations both mentally and physically, without ruining my day or my money. I keep the Emminem wannabe and Jabba in the back of my mind as awareness of what may happen and stay prepared and remember that I am the one who has carried these people out often and kept my cool. Generally, I take some time to myself before work to do my own version of meditation for this reason alone, the maintinance of sanity or at least the closest thing I know to it. Depending on the day, year, week and what’s going on in my life this may include a cigarette, maybe a piece of chocolate. Always, always, always there is a cup of coffee or shot of espresso during this meditation period. I just sit, sip and watch passerbyers heading to bars, or walking from them as they trip over their own feet upon exit. I sit for 15-20 minutes before every shift to help keep sanity and prepare for battle.

Today I am walking to work already in a good mood. I had a good date the night before and although I didn’t get laid as planned, I did have a wonderful time. I am still sipping the coffee from the meditation moment of the day and walking into work. One block before I get to the bar, I notice a little pebble of what looks like human shit. While disgusted, I am not that astonished and keep walking. Once at the bar, everything seems as it always is. I am ready for a good day. I keep telling myself that it can only get better. I go to the restroom before I clock in. Once in the there, while waiting for a free urinal, I watch a drunken man trying to aim into the large urinal only to hit his feet and the feet of two other men near him who don’t notice. This, I don’t blame him for, because I too have the same issue sometimes even when sober. Once done, he hiccups, burps and starts the difficult mission of trying zip his fly. This fly-zipping takes the drunken sap another 4 minutes because while he is trying to zip, he actually is wearing a button-up fly. I finish my business only to leave the guy still trying to close his fly. Finally I get to my bar station, near the dance floor, happily situated, waiting for customers. I reorganize the liquor bottles to my preference and wait for the customers to start coming my way. I am only three margaritas into this shift when it happens (margaritas for customers, not me). Two middle-ages guys come up to order drinks. One is lean, dressed in a Versace button-up dark blue shirt, dark navy slacks and pointy brown shoes. His thin, long, stringy hair is slicked back to it’s grey self as to add to what should be a distinguished look. The other is slightly taller, thicker, but still lean enough to see that this man probably drinks his meals rather than eats them, or so I assume. He is wearing a white Marc Jacobs suit with light Violette button-up within the jacket. I assume the two to be the male version of Patsy and Edie minus the English accents. They both have a pungent smell of rubbing alcohol and the Marc Jacobs suit asks me for a “Johnny Red on the ro...” As he is trying to get the word “rocks” out of his mouth, other things start to come out of his mouth. The vomit starts flowing, spewing from him and getting all over my bar station. While this guy continues to vomit for a solid three minutes I am standing there horrified and send for the doorman. His friend looks horrified as he watches what is happening and somehow continues to sip the remains of his drink. Oddly the customers of the bar just stand there, sipping their drinks, watching in silence. I notice that this gentleman who is spewing chunks is still holding on to his last drink while painting the bar. Once he stops, the doorman asks him to put the drink down since he has obviously had too much and should leave. Any sane, sober person would have realized their party foul and probably left on their own out of embarrassment. This idiot tells the doorman to F-off and goes back to sipping his drink as though nothing happened. The doorman has to eventually end up prying the drink from this drunk’s hands, his friend starts yelling at me saying that I caused the vomiting due to making the drinks so cheap. This causes him to squeal like a little girl, which creates a chain-reaction where then the barback who has to clean the reddish mess, who also squeals, a patron in the far corner of the bar sees the vomit on the bar and runs to the closest bathroom presumably to puke. The friend who call me darling, asks if he could still have his drink while he takes out a color assorted handful of random pills and puts them on the only clean part of the counter in front of my station. This is all as his friend, the vomit-monster is being carried out. I cut him off and he leaves. The rest of my shift of horrors is followed with customers trying to figure out if that smell is them or the person next to them.

The part that confuses me the most is this. I have done many dumb things without the influence of alcohol in my day. I will not lie, I like a good stiff drink, now and now. I have had moments in my life where I drank enough vodka to kill a large animal and done several stupid things. I have taken the wrong bus home sometimes. I forget my phone in cabs from time to time, I often accidentally leave my fly open due to the fact that I simply can’t be bothered with the buttons. I have on occasion have been known to make out with random gentlemen when inebriated as well . I don’t ever have the need when drunk to pee in the middle of a bar, puke anywhere other than a lawn, toilette of alleyway, nor do I ever get kicked out of an establishment.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Live at the Deluxe

Audio from a performance at Club Deluxe a few weeks ago!

No Deposit Casino