Friday, December 18, 2009

I know death comes in threes, but what about men?

Security means a lot of things to a lot of people, and different things at any given time. For example it can mean that I know I'll still have a job after the next wave of lay-offs, or that if someone breaks into my house, they'll think twice next time after having bullets flying in their direction. With Ole Faithful, it means knowing where I stand and what my options are at any given moment. O options, how many of us have them?

I've been vacillating for months about what to do with my sometimey distant lover, and its been the source of much frustration. I could violently kick him to the curb, or I could just keep on keepin on. I mean, how does one justify doing this shit for THREE years? But at the same time, how could I pretend that there's actually NOTHING real between us after three years? I mean, after you spend that kinda time with someone, relationship or no, there's got to be some kind of growth right? Otherwise that would make me a heartless bitch and who wants one of those?

Well I realized, sadly, that I'm. just. ambivalent. And personally, that's worse than anything else I could possibly feel. You never want it to get to the point where it doesn't matter if you're there or not. And I realized I reached this juncture when he stood me up and left me to have dinner on my birthday alone. and I wasn't upset. Because I already knew he wasn't coming. Because he is Ole Faithful. And he was not missed. Don't get me wrong, he is good company, whether we're doing the nekked lambada or not, but I've stopped caring. hell I don't really even care if he comes, pun intended. (not like that is ever a problem)

The funny thing though, is that I think he kinda likes it, though he has no clue that he is about to lose me and the puntang he loves so much, that this is step one towards the door. In a conversation we once had about relationships I told him that once I'm done I'm done. I don't revisit things I leave behind (that can get really embarrassing), which is why I'm not going to beat myself up about how long this process is taking me. I need to know without a doubt that for me, its over. Somehow I think he expects me to wait for him, even though there are no guarantees. As if I'm supposed be able to come to conclusion that he is a good catch based off the way he treats ME. not so much. Maybe if I took into account of how he treated others but what does that have to do with the price of pork in Mexico?

That said, I'm quietly looking for a replacement. I turned in my player card years ago when I discovered that men I could play like marionettes were just not attractive to me, and juggling is a waste of energy. It might have been fun in the short term but I was not bringing them home to the family.

That said, I've been single for 3 years. And I don't date very often, and most don't get a second date. For years there were none. Suddenly there are 3. When it rains it pours. I've already decided to cut bachelor #1 the barber. He's just not my cup of tea. Bachelor #2 the unexpected, is great company but only time will tell if my interest in him is romantic or just friends, since that's how I looked at him til he asked me to dinner. Bachelor #3 Capricorn twin, shares a name with Ole faithful, including age and sign. He looks nothing like him, but for other might have taken those similarities as a sign of some sort, good or bad. Not me! I'm feeling a little off about him though because I asked him for his info, which isn't something I usually do. Dah Well. I respect his hustle but he seems like a bit of a workaholic. Can he balance work and fun?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 12 "Ode to a DJ" do not judge my poetic form

I know its been HELLA long since I've posted anything (not for a shortage of material though for sure!) but truth is, I'm applying to school right now and that requires my full attention. You know, business before pleasure, and sleep before blogging ;-)

Well anyway, as you may know, Wednesday nights are my all time favorite. Mainly because of the tomfoolery that is almost always sure to occur, but partially because I get to party the hardest, thanks to my favorite DJ.

But all that is about to change....probably forever.

And so I dedicate this entry to Hey Mr. DJ, and loyal reader. Beware of Sap "Yea-yay!"

You spread California Love, and R&B tunes to pass early wednesday nights and set up time.
Back that azz up, it's my birthday, everyday
Johnny Walker black, the trini way,
and corona ode to the Cali homies call your name.

You swing de pony tail, eye catches falling titties like the largest, strangest fruit you ever seen.
Red faced white man, and Dj instigator make up Le Crewe
we egg them on, but they hid too.

Boss man Kama sutra, freaky deaky, always ready to choke them bitches
except that one friday night when he almost did but ended up beating that skinny man big tippin ass instead

The nekked contortionist, The little mermaid
both comedy central but they only wine to your tunes
where will they go? will they buy drinks?

Needless to say, Wednesdays will never be the same, for either of us
I don't care who he know that newcomer will NEVER take your place
From where I sit, you have Wednesdays in the palm of your hand
Keep your head up all the way over there

No matter where you go
no matter what you play
you will always be my DJ


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am a woman, quintessentially

Today I realized that I've never wanted a relationship before and that sad realization struck me when Ole Faithful asked me if that's what I wanted. I've had relationships before, but I was with them because they wanted to be with me. They were wonderful gentlemen, of course, I wouldn't have dated them if they weren't, but there wasn't that feeling that it was just something I HAD to have. Maybe that's a good thing.

What do I want? I wasn't entirely sure...outside of academic interests, and maybe what I was planning to eat, I can't really say that decisions I've made were in my own self interest. But after thinking about it some I realized that while my heart may be finally ready to try the whole relationship thing again, my current circumstances do not necessarily foster an ideal relationship starting environment.

I'd like to be able to enter into a relationship from a place of balance, stability, wholeness, and peace. I've witnessed too many people be in relationships looking for others to fill a void of some sort, and from the outside looking in, it doesn't look so appealing. Given that I'm trying to build my own personal stability so that I'd feel safer being more emotionally vulnerable with others, there are too many uncertainties to seriously consider adding the needs of another person into the mix. While I'm not opposed to long distance relationships, I don't even know where I'll be next year. Not like there's anyone to consider anyway, but making a choice for where to go for Grad school would be further compounded by trying to stay fairly close to a "boo".

I always go for what I want if I won't let it go, that must mean I want something right? Maybe just a steady helping of pigs in a blanket, maybe something more, either way...I've been going without for quite some time. On some level I know I just want to be better, and I'm always looking for opportunities to improve and to practice not following my old, comfortable bad habits to demonstrate my growth as a woman, and since much of where I perceive I am lacking is in the relationship area, it could be beneficial to put some of those lessons in action.

I'm just feeling like now is not the right time. I believe that there is a time to be single and a time to be in a relationship, that if done right, there are valuable lessons to be learned, and that neither process should be rushed, no matter how cold it gets outside, or how annoying is the way he chews his food.

I'm still however, learning how to reconcile the realities of my upbringing with my present personal growth aspirations. I am after all, still a woman. I have difficulty expressing my feelings, or even acknowledging that they exist, but part of this journey is finding new ways to present the inner me to the world. I think people look at me, if they know my story, and even if they don't, and they see the quintessential "strong black young woman". Always hard-working, never accepting setbacks, unemotional and level-headed (unless you threatening the fam, lol), staring down adversity, overcoming obstacles yada yada yada. It's not that those assessments are untrue, its just that they are incomplete. I'm learning to acknowledge publicly and privately that sometimes my feelings get hurt, there are PLENTY things that I fear, that staring down adversity thing that I do is more like looking like a dear caught in headlights, and yes, as strong and self sufficient as I may be, I still need a little tenderness and more than AA batteries in my life.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 11 "push em to the limit"

This Wednesday was fairly quiet...kind of a slow night.

A corona drinker comes in, doesn't order too much. After the second corona, I realize he is too drunk to keep drinking so even thought boss man Waffle may cuss me out for swiping cards below the $15 limit I cut him off and make him sign for $10. He stays in the club and doesn't really cause any trouble, until later in the night he tries to steal another man's Heineken (who also happened to be drunk), so the Heineken man gives him a push, and corona man slowly Timbers off his barstool to the floor. He doesn't get up so he is carrried out the bar. Somehow, I didn't realize he came in all the way drunk. No bueno.

A woman from Saturday is too drunk to leave her seat and walk out the bar after 3 goose and cranberries over several hours she is also carried out by her boo with the help of security.

Do these people have very low tolerances or am I THAT heavy handed?

The nekked contortionist is back finally, and walking a fine line so she dont get kicked out day I will battle her. I think the boss men finally realized just how much money she spends on wednesdays and will probably refrain from banning her. But at least now she will usually leave before someone tells her to get off her head. Did I mention that she is no spring chicken? Imagine your pudgy 37 year old relative p-poppin on a headstand in the club. And there you have it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 10 "Into the woods"

This weekend was off the chain. For some reason, it appears that everyone who likes to give my twin a hard time was in the house this Friday. The sleuth came in..and he wasn't going to order alcohol; THAT we already knew....He only has eyes for my twin. And he stood there and waited...for 10 minutes easy while she "hid" on my side of the bar to avoid him. Once he wised up and realized she was purposely not using the register nearest him, he came to my side, but then she moved again. Finally, he left.

Later a gentleman sitting on my side was asking for long islands.. It's my first time seeing him so he doesn't get a name, but he requested that the next long island be "stronger". I agree, but look at him like he's crazy, because I tend to make long islands pretty strong, to my dismay because, well, they're nasty! But I usual. But I make the second with all liquor, and barely a splash of coke for color...apparently that is not "strong" enough for him either. I tell the twin he will come to get drinks from her next..I am right. I roll my eyes but that one less no tipping asshole I gotta deal with. Who knows, maybe he will tip her? Either way its good for me because we split tips.

To round out the top three, The Little Mermaid comes in and is in rare form. Apparently she is already drunk. As usual she has on a short number and heels, complete with a long hair appendage in the form of a ponytail tonight with her bendi and matching contacts. Tonight she is drinking Remy, She has decided that I will not be her bartender tonight, and goes to my twin for all her drinking needs even though I am closer...oh well, one less personality to deal with. Well she had on these black, slightly over the knee-high boots, where she has stored her money. To pay for her Remy, she lifts one foot to the bar, unzips the middle of the boot where she has several $20 bills stored away. It's already pretty unsanitary to put her feet on places where people's drinks are served, especially after they have traipsed over fecal matter and gawd knows what else, but I'm digressing, as usual, again. the main problem is that the Little Mermaid is not wearing any underwear and has therefore effectively served up an exposed bat cave to a captive FML Well after my twin refused to give her a free shot of Remy to "replace" the one that had been "stolen", she came to me asking for two shot, one for her and a random woman she had rubbed her bare bottom on and then insisted on buying her a shot of Remy...the woman was drinking goose. Well after I gave her the two shot plus some water to chase it, she asked me how much she owed. I told her $24 she somehow expected for me to give her a shot of Remy for free, not happening. Then she tried to argue me down about it...since she is a regular I was trying to tell her to let Mr. Boss Man "the Waffle" know who was essentially standing right behind her, so that he could approve her getting a free shot. But she didn't wanna hear that and kept trying to argue me down, even tried to insist that she had given me a $50 bill to pay for her drinks, which she had not. She crossed the line when she gave me the drunk neck hug, on which I used my superior strength to promptly remove her arm from my neck. She paid, gave up, and of course didn't tip, and went back to dancing around, exposing 3/4 of her arse as she went....

Man what a night!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 9 "Who let the dogs out?! on Wild Wednesdays no less!"

Since we stopped charging a cover on Wednesdays, its been significantly slower. That's good because I don't drink as much, but also bad because I don't make as much. Oh well, can't win em all....

Because the night was so slow, I actually finished cleaning and closing my register in about half an hour; usually it takes about an hour. And of course, a spirited conversation was well underway. One of the regulars, who is practically family at this point and is a good friend of the owners, who I will call "Long and Strong" (L&S) because all she drinks are Long Islands, which she prefers to taste like gasoline. Usually she will put away anywhere from 4 to 7 long islands on a given night; tonight she ahs only had two--well, two and a half because I accidentally threw away a drink I thought she had finished. Much of our clientele consists of regulars: people who either have that one night a week where they come to party faithfully, and those who don't seem to party anywhere else because they are in the house, living it up seemingly every night we are open. L&S is somewhere inbetween. She is here pretty much every Wednesday, and maybe a weekend night or two if she's feeling really good. She is tall, and a proud member of team chunk (c) VSB..... who will wine you to death, and this is how the madness begins:

After hours at Reggae Club USA, ESS is wrapping up cleaning and accounting duties, Mr. Boss Man Kama Sutra, DJ and company are sitting around with last minute drinks (which by the way, kept getting more and more last minute as the night progressed.)

Perhaps I should explain a bit about boss man Kama Sutra; he is one half of the ownership team. He is attractive (I guess lol), slender, pretty laid back, and has a ponytail. I usually don't find men with ponytails attractive but it works for him, and the ladies seem to love it. And outside of not allowing women to touch his hair, he loves them back. Perhaps a little too much. He has a reputation for getting with a good number of bartenders who have worked here before much so that, upon starting my tenure there, I was promptly warned about him. I think he knows better than to make serious passes at me, besides, his affections are directed primarily towards my Bartender twin, and the many women (including a supposed girlfriend) who regularly visit the club.

But I digress, as usual. Kama Sutra is a wild dude, and alot of fun to party with, and a fun person to have as a boss, for the most part.

Well the conversation begins rehashing last Wednesdays events: The little mermaid, named for her small stature and long, flowing weave, had nearly gotten into a fight. It is well known that the little mermaid is a street walker. She comes in a lot on Wednesdays, either by herself, or with a man in tow, and maybe one weekend night, if at all. Well last Wednesday was her pre-Birthday celebration. Either she drinks Remy (usually) or she drinks goose, no more, no less. To be honest, she doesn't tip that well, and is always looking for a free shot (it's one thing to want a shot of something cheap, like a kamikaze, but she only drinks the good stuff, which I cannot be giving away all willy nilly), which is rather annoying--apparently she annoys many, including the DJ and Kama Sutra (for grabbing his ponytail, lol) Well anyway, at the end of the night last Wednesday, she tried to take home the uncle of Kama Sutra's nephew, who comes every Wednesday. A childhood friend of the Uncle was there and intervened (or cockblocked, depending how you look at it), resulting at her being called out as a hooker, and The little mermaid insisting (profanely) that the Uncle was less than a man for refusing her advances, and her nearly getting mollywopped by the bigger, and more gully childhood friend.

Well, Long & Strong, was getting on the after hours guests for making fun of her (and her profession), claiming its not right that they give her all this attention, only to talk about her after hours, which of course they all deny. In part they are right: none of the people who know her really like her, especially the DJ, and L&S's finger pointing is slightly ineffective because she somehow, is drunk and so she just lumps them all in.

Another round of corona and an extra Sambuca for Kama Sutra goes around

Well from there, L&S goes in on how Kama Sutra only likes skinny gyals and can't handle a big woman. Then she starts goin on about how they (the men) are all liars talmbout sexual stuff they [supposedly] won't do, to which Kama Sutra retorts that he LOVES "snacking on puntang", and that since he can't Bull for an hour he has to eat for the first half so he can make it. *dead*

I actually died a few times last night

Well during her tirade about real women and her squirting habits, Long and Strong showed us her areolas, not twice, but thrice! the third of which was directly in the face of a member of the Dj's entourage. Apparently he was not ready because he promptly turned bright red (he is of the fairer persuasion) and did nothing but smile for about 5 minutes maybe.

And not to ruin Kama Sutras inventive idea, but he claims he will create a dildo with an attached, scrotum -like appendage to enhance, and perhaps revolutionize womens' self love lives.

And of course, since this is not the first time we've had such conversations at arsecrack in the morning, the old conversation of choking and arse banging is brought back on the table after the lecture on squirting vs. creaming. I try not to participate but I'm always singled out, always by Kama Sutra: "Have you ever let somebody choke you?" No. "Would you ever let somebody choke you?" One hand only. I have participated enough so he is satisfied.

Needless to say, I didn't get home til about 5am when we close at 2.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 8 "The freaks come out at night" weekend review

It's been kinda slow at the bar....REAL slow. Slower than last year...Slower than winter. But I still make more bartending than I do at my day job.

Well this Friday and Saturday were especially slow. Around midnight me and the twin were looking at each other and the empty bar hoping they would just give up the ghost and close early so we could go party somewhere. You can blame it on the rain. People eventually stroll in and the party finally gets underway, but it still not super busy.

I don't know what it was about this particular Saturday, but there was a spike in the general freakiness of the patrons... I mean dag! I thought I was the only one not getting any?! Isn't that what people do during recessions and blackouts? LOL

But I digress. My twin was reporting that there were more McNasty comments and hand rubs that lingered far too long.

Touching patrons = bigger tips

Another patron crumples up dollar bills and throws them at me while I'm ringing up orders at the register. At first I though he was tryina get my attention, you know, for more drinks, but he just told me in the syruppy drunk voice how segzay I was. Geesh! I wasnt even dancing on the bar! I thanked him and moved on, winking at people all willy nilly as I went. Usually such comments don't bother me, and are kinda funny, but that day, I was grossed out. Maybe I wasn't drunk enough.

I also worked Sunday this weekend. Sunday was also a little slow, but Wednesdays and Sundays are like doesn't get underway til about 12:30-1am.

I've probably already mentioned this before but

Few patrons = Free shots

The few people who were there early get to taste new recipes I come up essence, they are my guinea pigs, but who doesn't want free liquor in this economy?

There's a group of three young guys who come in from time to time...I always take good care of them and they take good care of works! They have a few shots (count: 4 rounds of 4) and a budweiser, then leave and return later...Later a gentleman comes in and orders a corona...this is not his first drink of the night and he hands me his card... he wants his card back but I explain to him we have a $15 dollar minimum...nothing he says makes sense but I take it he concedes because he stops trying to explain.

We've been getting cussed out lately about not being strict about the card minimum...I just roll my eyes and move on... the way I see it, I can sit there and argue, or get someone to charge money thay dont have, and risk ending up with a declined card, or just swipe the daggone thing. I mean I try but I think it's time not spent raking in more money to sit there are try to convince people to get more stuff if they didnt happen to carry cash. but I'm digressing again.

Ole boy has CLEARLY had too much to drink... and I know I should cut him off...but I'm not in the mood to get cussed out. But after the second corona I just give up and swipe. I decide that I would much rather him pay and leave than to have him collapse or barf at the bar...(both have happened by the way, perpetrated by members of both genders)...and believe me, THAT looks worse.

Friday, August 21, 2009

e tu Daddy?

I was talking to my father on the phone yesterday, and he was filling me in on some of the details of his business trip, he and my mom went on (moms is now a stay at home entrepreneur so she usually travels with my father). I'm a daddy's girl, and I've been away from home for 5 years no so my father has grown increasingly long-winded.

When it comes to me and relationships, my father has always been largely silent, but then again, I've never brought home knuckleheads so there hasn't been much that my father has needed to say. The only thing in fact, that he has ever said to me about my dating life (sparse and currently non-existent) is "you seem to have about one [boyfriend] a year".

That is until recently: During one of our check-ins, daddy was rehashing the wedding of my cousin (whom I've never met). I am my father's road dog, and my mother doesn't dance so it is usually he and I who hit the dance floor at wedding receptions together, it is he and I, not mom, who ride in his convertible with the top down (mom doesn't like the windblown look, I don't really care). Needless to say, he misses me, and that's all well and good, until he too dropped a bomb on me. He expressed to me that he hopes to live to see me get married.

DANG DADDY! that's kinda heavy.

My father isn't that old (62) and is in relatively good health. Granted, the good Lawd could take any of us at any time, so his concern is with merit, but I guess what surprised me most was that I had no clue my father took that much interest in my "love" life. Even though my father and I converse about many things, that has never been one of them...He's met all my boyfriends, of course, but never seemed to take a real interest in any of them, liked them but again, we just never really talked about it.

****Fast forward to last night****

He's telling me about his trip, where he ate (daddy KNOWS I like to eat), and then tells me he met a young lady on his return trip that reminded him alot of me. OK. But I was not prepared for what came next. By the end of the flight from Houston to California, he had the skinny on her also non-existent love life, and a little bit about her, (she's 27, an engineer of some sort, looks younger than she is, is returning from a friend's wedding, and is exasperated with her current inability to find a mate, and as a result is considering increasing the upper end of her dating range in hopes that she will find someone suitable for her). His summary: she like you is a young woman who has her stuff together, but is single because men her age don't seem to have it together.


That one statement tells me that though he has never shared any of this with me before, clearly he has spent alot of time thinking about my prosepcts for a relationship, analyzed why I'm not in one and is obviously concerned, which is a little strange for me because I've never expressed any frustration to my mother or father about my dating life, or lack thereof, except maybe that one time my dad happened to call after I had just been stood up by some loser I met at a CBC event. But that wasn't about men in general but how this one individual could plan a whole entire date then fail to show without saying boo cat. I mean if you weren't interested don't ask me to go out with you.

But I digress. I don't complain because while I would like to be with someone, I understand that there is is a season to be single, and some lessons to learn during that time, and there is a time to be in a relationship. I may be single forever but while I certainly don't plan on it, I want to enjoy the season I'm in while I can. I'd like to be able to enter a union of some type from a place of peace and not dissatisfaction.

Daddy is usually so calm, cool and collected that it throws me off to see signs of him having anxiety about my prosepects for a relationship. Because He is nervous I'm starting to get nervous. I mean, I'm young and I got time right? LOL The other thing is that I completely expect these things from my mother, I mean, she is 60 with no grandbabies, but daddy?!?! I didn't expect him to heap on LE pressure also.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taking one for the team, cuz wedding fabric sucks!

One of my good friends is getting married next month. This occasion is special for several reasons: for one, my friend is getting married and I'm excited to celebrate the beginning of this next chapter in her life, and to be able to support her as a member of her bridal party. Secondly, she is the first one of us to get married, and if you ask me, she'll be the only one for a while, since none of the rest of us are even seeing anyone, seriously or otherwise.

She went to Atlanta to teach and her now fiance, followed. Other friends in the bridal party have returned home to California, and still others have found themselves in other parts of the country for graduate school so it has been a while since we've all seen each other, so this makes her wedding even that much more special.

To date, my friend has been a model bride, no Bridezilla action here. She was even considerate enough to choose dresses that weren't super bridesmaidy looking, meaning that ideally it's something that could be worn again and were reasonably priced. With 8 bridesmaids of different sizes and shapes, there's only so much you can do.

I went maybe a month ago or so to order the dress. They run kinda small so I was sure to pick the larger size. It chiffon which seems to never lay right on shapely figures, and even though I tried a larger size, I still had reservations about how the dress was lying across my thighs and hips, it was a little tight for my taste but didn't look too bad. I asked the consultant for an even larger size but she assured me it was fine because the fabric was flowy, and a larger sized dress would swallow up my small frame, especially since it fit perfectly everywhere else. I reluctantly agreed.

I returned today to get the dress fitted and it was a nightmare. Not because they messed up my order, or because the seamstress was evil, neither was true. I could not get over how unflattering this dress ended up being. Not because it was ugly, or that the color was wrong, its just that the chiffon fabric just would not lay right. it's not even that I'm on the heavier side--in fact, I'm slender. But it just seemed to get caught around the hips. I wouldn't have minded so much had there not been extra fabric caught around my waist because I could not pull the dress down any further. Needless to say, it was not a good feeling.

I value my body, and my health and eat balanced meals and work out to stay in shape (but mainly so I can afford to eat what I like and not worry about it). One thing I promised myself, is that I would never lose weight just to fit into a dress, but that may have to change. It isn't even about me or how I feel about the dress... I'm more concerned about my friend's wedding and her wedding pictures. Yes I'll be standing next to her to support her, but in some sense, I also represent her, and I want to make sure I do it well. The only thing is, while a tad bit o weight loss is my only option, I'm not even sure that will help much. Given that my waist is much smaller that my hip measurement, the dress still may not lay right but I've got to try.

Good thing my new pole should be arriving soon because I definitely have to step up my workout game in the next month before these nuptials...pole dancing in class and at home and lots of yoga, maybe some running if it cools off outside some...but I have my work cut out for me. All I can do is hope it works out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whose report will you believe?

Since I've been fasting (i.e. not watching Slayer, hours of TV, or putting myself to sleep,) I've had plenty of time to think. I'm all about self discovery and taking time to process the things I do and think, as well as what goes on around me.

There are a few areas in which I've kinda been stuck, but some of it centers around Ole Faithful. Luckily I've had an epiphany or two surrounding that whole situation. I never understood why I've let this go on for so long. I was confortable, sure. But WHY was I so comfortable knowing I was an afterthought, a jumpoff? I always thought it was something about him that kept me around, you know, that I enjoyed his company, felt like he "got" me, and how no matter how stressed frustrated I may have been that day, I would always be much more calm when I was around him.

Those things still apply, but it was about me too, and I've always known that; I just never took to time to think about it beyond me liking stability, and he being as predictable as they come (for better and for worse).

Because I was experiencing so much emotional instability, I clung to whatever could offer me some stabilizing effect, or better yet, something I could tether myself to as I attempted to regain some order in the other areas in my life. I reacted the way I did (anxiety attack= no bueno) when he told me we were in a relationship because suddenly in the midst of the most change I have ever experienced at one time, I could no longer count on the one thing that kept me "sane".

It was the premise upon which I had built my thought process to begin to explain my world as it was and suddenly I had yet another thing I didn't really know how to deal with it. Never mind that we already hadn't seen each other for months, the truth is, I just don't like surprises.

This whole fasting process has made me realize too that I no longer need him in that way. For the past year, I've been working like crazy to reconstruct my world so that I can better withstand change whether it be unexpected or not, and the be the stability that I so desire. The truth is, I'm just in that season of my life where things are constantly changing. I've had to move a lot, still not sure where I will end up settling, and as many of my friends are going through the same thing our friendships have necessarily changed also. Furthermore, we are in a recession of sorts, so professionally and monetarily things are still uncertain.

That doesn't mean I have to panic, or cling to the nearest tree every time the wind blows. I've decided I will be that tree again...I have played that role in everyone else's life now that I think about it, and for myself at times, but it seems like I had given up tree status in favor of being a leaf. There's nothing wrong with that; there's a time to be a tree and there's a time to be a leaf, this is what's best for now.

Besides all of that, the rumor mill is alive and well. I have an iPhone now and I'm beginning to wonder if I can unsubscribe to this BS. I told my friend how annoyed I was that she calls me every time someone reports that Ole faithful has breathed. I know she cares about me and wants to make sure I am informed but dag, I do appreciate it but on some level I don't care. I'm not the kind of woman to keep tabs on my man, let alone someone with whom I'm just doing rhythmic gymnastics. I think what bothered me most was that the times I was getting these status updates, I wasn't dealing with him so there was no real reason for me to know... I guess things are a little different now but the new "news" is that he had a girlfriend here and back home and is living in VA, though he told me went back home.

That said, I can't say this friend is the most reliable source. A couple months ago she sent me a FB message with a pic of him with a pic of his baby mama (pre-baby of course, btw FB is the devil) saying "clearly he was messing with y'all at the same time", which truthfully hurt and angered me. I don't mind doing the no strings attached thing short term, but I firmly believe I'm good enough to get my own and man and don't relish being unknowingly put in the position of the "other woman". This info was received through my friend's FB stalking which I generally frown upon, but something told me to do my own research, (the political scientist in me). So I looked through the pics on her profile which was open, and discovered that while that particular photo was posted around the time we were seeing each other, the photo was actually older because similar pictures were posted a year or so before. Not to say he wasn't seeing us both, but it just wasn't as cut and dry as my friend was making it appear.

I don't put anything past anyone, so it's entirely possible he's been lying to me, but it's also possible I'm being fed misinformation (it doesn't help that most of my friends dislike him for the way he handles me). If it's true, then I wouldn't pursue a real relationship with him even if he wanted it, if not, I'm still no longer satisfied with the terms of our arrangement. If he isn't willing or ready to take a step forward with me, that's cool, no love lost, but I intend to make myself available for someone who can and will. Regardless, it's cause for pause, and it doesn't really change my resolve to leave this behind, for good.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 7 "Trick o' the Hand"

I can honestly tell you, the last thing you want to order from me is a Patron margarita, if you claim to be a liquor enthusiast of course, because you will find that a Patron margarita from me has a definite kick. Why do you ask? Because I have spiked it with rail.

How could I do such a thing? I got tired of people saying it ain't taste strong enough, and expecting me to put in more patron as if that would really make make a difference or if I could do that and not get fired. You'd think people would know that compared to your rails, cuervos, etc. patron has a much more subtle, muted flavor (if you can call it that), which makes it good for mixing because it doesn't overpower the other flavors in the drink.

Before you cuss me out for cheating people (granted I'm sure that won't happen since nobody really reads this) I still give a full shot and a half of just might get and extra half to 3/4 shot of rail to go with it. And of course, I haven't had another complaint since.

Which brings me to one of my biggest pet peeves: Why must people insist on tasting every drop of alcohol in a cup? Mixed drinks serve the purpose of providing a smoother taste to regular alcohol. If you just want alcohol, man (or woman) up, skip the chaser and just take shots! Unless of course your reason for whining about the excess of cranberry juice is your fear of bartenders not giving you your money's worth in alcohol, which I understand. but DAG! Why must we constantly spring for the long island that tastes like gasoline? I know people wanna get nice quick but I assure you, if your drink is made right, good people you will still get there, and maybe even a little quicker if I don't shake the carbonation out of the coke, but my point is I guess, that it's the SAME AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL!

Speaking of requests for stronger drinks, I do the same to zombies, but that doesn't make much of a difference because for a rum, 151 just may just put a little hair on your chest anyway.

Maybe tequila is my answer for everything...who knows?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to the drawing board

I've been feeling very heavy lately, like I'm carrying a lot of dead weight that is preventing me from focusing on what getting to the next stage of my life will take and from enjoying where I am now ( mainly because of my frustration that I am not being productive). Vicious cycle see? So I've decided to fast from many things to identify leaks (in energy, time and money) that need to be filled.

After much thought about my biggest gripes about where I find myself, I decided to fast from all sexy time activities (no Slayer ::sigh::, toys, manual or peenus), no fast food, limited my TV watching to one hour a day, no going to my fave DC restaurant, and fasting from food one day a week...til November. Part of this journey is spiritual, of course; I'm feeling very disconnected from my maker and wish to remove those obstacles, but also very practical--I have some specific practical goals I seek to reach also. For one, I'm applying to grad school this fall and with working two jobs, it's hard to find time to study for the GRE. I also have some financial goals I'm trying to meet, so while I can afford it, I'm trying to tame my spending and exercise some extra discipline so I can achieve my long term goals. Overall though, I know I'm not taking the best care of myself, as much as I work or busy myself doing "things" important though they may be, I haven't spent enough time making sure I'm getting enough rest or being centered and I found myself being very worn, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

It's been about week and I'm seeing improvements already. I feel lighter and with a clearer head, it's sort of giving me a new perspective on where I am and the last few months.

  • For example, I cooked for the first time since Easter. For the three months I've spent in my new apartment I just haven't felt like it was home, and I've been so worn I just didn't seem to have the energy and gumption to do so ( you can only imagine how much I spent eating out). Food is REALLY important to me, its one of the many ways in which I express myself, and it was a little shocking how exhilarated I felt to be back in the kitchen.
  • The time I would spend eating, chillin at my fave restaurant before going to my night job, I now spend that time studying, or getting in a quick nap before work, the lack of rest was contributing to several short illnesses I had this year, several more than usual.
  • Looking back at some journal entries I made last year, I hadn't experienced much personal growth; though some change takes time, I found that I'm still dealing with some of the things with no tangible progress made.
  • I've been operating on autopilot, without taking into account what it is that EYE really wanted or needed, either for myself or from people around me. I am a perseverer, I have always been, it's how I've managed to make it as far as I have (aside from all the people who have helped me along the way). But I should be doing more than just persevering, at this point I should be thriving, so the next few months present a unique opportunity for me to figure out what mid course corrections I need to make in order to get there.

Things are going well today, but I know I will have challenges in the near future..I just pray I have the strength and self control to meet them.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thar She Blows!

So, Ole Faithful is back in town. He surprised me with a phone call about a week ago..he is Ole Faithful so I shouldn't be so surprised but things did not end so well between us last November when he told me in an unrelated convo that he was in a relationship, and without really saying so cut me off.

Of course later I got breaking news about the twist in turns in his relationship though I had never opted in:

Well he claims to have been thinking about me: (at arse o'clock of course) and is wondering if he can come by and hang out with me. I hesitate, but agree.... I should be good because I'm not in the mood for any hanky panky...and I'm stubborn so I was still feeling some kinda away about how he handled "the end".

He comes over..I sit on a different couch, we watch Ninja Warrior and play catch up...he tells me that in the half year since I saw him last he has gotten into some trouble..I expect him to tell me about the baby momma...he does not..he tells me about his legal trouble. I'm only moderately surprised, because this is not the first time he has been in some sort of trouble with the law. However, this is the first time he has given me details. He was facing 5 years but walked away with a year probation and an expunged record if he can manage to keep his nose clean for a year.

He then says he thought it was stupid that he never tried to pursue anything serious with me because I'm cool and he's never had any drama with me...okay.. but I wasn't really sure what to do or say about it because he just put it out there...he didn't necessarily indicate that he wanted to do anything about it, so I thought at the moment it was just easier to listen and say nothing.

Who knows how long he is here for or what his intentions are, but we will see, I guess.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 6 Threes a Crowd

Friday night was our first night trying the three bartender thing. I HATED it. Everything just seemed so hectic..Part of it is the three of us don't know each other well so there is no chemistry between us which means the flow is off and communication down. On top of it all it really seemed to not make much of a difference in terms of the reigster. The two registers didn't ring much more than I usually would on a saturday night even though there was an extra person making drinks and collecting money. Also in terms of tip money...there was not much to take home as we had to split it between 3 people, as I had feared. But its bad when I do better on a Wednesday or Sunday night than I do on a Friday or Saturday.

I feel bad because I think ish is gon hit the fan at the next staff meeting..and I anticipate that the newbie will be caught in the cross hairs. It's not that we don't like her..cuz we do, but there's no incentive to work on a Friday or Saturday and have to deal with throngs of impatient customers AND have hafta to work twice as hard when I'm making half as much. I have a feeling that it will come off like we don't want her working with us cuz she's new and impeeds on our money making ability...which is only half true..she is impeding on our money making ability because we have to split evenly...not necessarily because she's new.

I still maintain that we're better off just getting a barback- Because having to scoop ice and refill juice is the "L"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bartender Vision pt. 5 A change is gonna come

It kinda blows me that more people come out in the freezing cold but not when there's a light rain. So needless to say, last night was a little slow for a Wednesday, but the beauty of it all is I still do pretty well even on slow nights. It was kinda an off night in general..I didn't party as hard as I usually would, but oh well..maybe I needed the rest; I've been running myself into the ground lately.

On a slightly unrelated note, one patron really got under my skin last night. It's my first time seeing him so he doesn't get a name. He asks me for a double shot of remy..which I pour for him...liberally into a cognac snifter. I give it to him, tell him the price and he complains that it's not a double shot...fml Luckily it was not busy so I took the time to explain to him that it was but he was still the point of arguing. So I reach for a shot glass and pour the Remy into it..there's way more than one shot. but then he STILL wanted to argue that it somehow was not two shots...THEN asked for more (little did he know that he got close to 3 shots (when people ask for shot of cognac they actually get a shot and a half, because we want it to look nice in the snifter) !!!!!! UGH! After seeing about the few other customers waiting on my while this fool was trying argue me down....I pour him a splash more. He whines about how he thinks I somehow don't like him......... promises that he will tip me extra..the bill was $24 for a double shot of Remy VSOP.. he left me $4 when gave him $6 ones for change....he ain't even give me 20%.....oh well... but if I see him again he will NOT get the same treatment..I'll just put it into a shot glass so he'll get exactly two shots.... The moral of this anecdote? NEVER bite the hand that slips extra alcohol into your drink free of charge.

We've got some "big" changes coming up within the club..some of which I'm a little apprehensive about to be honest. For one, my bosses got the club so they could party and make money...not so they can help us bartend when it gets busy...which is what they have been doing. They usually bring in an extra bartender during summer months to help man the days (Wed, Ths, Sun) that in the winter don't usually need more than one bartender, but with the quitting of the senior bartender, they've got to hire two instead of one.

I didn't discuss it before, but we don't pool tips* where I work. Whatever you make, you keep. Because the bosses are tired of having to cut short their Friday night party to serve drinks behind the bar, and plus they are opening up a new spot they are going to have 3 bartenders behind the bar on the busiest nights. Great, we have extra help but that comes with problems all its own. They have decided that on those nights we will have 3 bartenders, we will pool tips. the veteran was not having that, and put in her 2 weeks notice. So now I'll be working Fridays also.

The boss man seems convinced we will make more money at the bar AND in tips...I'm hopeful but not 100% sure:

1. We still only have 2 registers.... No matter how many drinks we whip up, we still gotta enter it into the system..and we don't even have POS**.

2. We only have one credit card machine. Again, it just slows down the process...Me and the twin are already strugglin to get our receipt orders processed, and once she accidentally gave away the credit card and ID of one of my customers to the wrong person..(boy was THAT a nightmare)

3. In this instance it's a double edged sword that we'll be pooling tips.. our bosses like hiring people straight out of bar shame in that..for all of us this is our first bar gig. But this means the third person is inexperienced, and doesn't seem like she is bringing in tips just like that just yet. In time she will but I think in the short run it will hurt us. Also, when we are off on our liquor count we have to pay the difference...I feel like there's more room for error, and because you can't pinpoint it to one person...we'll ALL have to pay..which sux. Because if someone is giving their friends a lot of free drinks, or just making a lot of errors in general, it could be ugly. That said, pooling tips can be good because we act as our own bar backs, and when the juices run out, etc we refill them ourselves, because you know you're losing money not serving drinks, I really didn't see anyone wanting to stop to refill the cranberry juice or count out ones from the tip jar when we run out of ones for change in the register.

4. Instead of 2 personalities, it's three...she seems cool but how do the three of us work twin is not super excited about pooling tips for the reasons discussed above and i kinda feel her...but we'll least we don't have to pool on slower nights.

******** Updates on some of my infamous regulars********

The nekked contortionist was back....I was so surprised/shocked/excited I hugged her. lol I asked her why she hadn't been around and apparently she had been banned for a few months because of her dance floor antics... well she was back at it, wine-ing all over the place and drinking zombies..she seemed VERY excited to be back...even brought out some new dance moves....and had the presence of mind to "leave before they ban me again." I was glad.

The Sleuth came in last night. He didn't stay long, just wanted to give me a flyer of a picture of him with VP Biden, for an event announcing his mayoral candidacy......He finally cut off the twists....thank God! I wasn't a flattering style for him. Apparently he's been pursuing my Bartender twin, on nights we're not there together of course, but she constantly rejects him. He has thrown flowers at her because of it then come back later with a Tiffany** bracelet to express his regret. Sigh...when he gon learn?

*The practice of splitting tips evenly at the end of the night, so everyone leaves with the same amount. If you're not as good a bartender or have an off night, its good because what the other bartender made makes up for it...If you're might feel some kinda way if you're working with someone who isn't bringing in that kinda money for any give reason.
** POS - Point of Sale-the touch-screen flat panel registers in many restaurants and clubs
***The authenticity of this gift has not yet been established.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 4 "Flex, Time to have Sex "

Last night I had a BALL at work. Even though its a reggae club that plays reggae 95% of the night, the Wednesday DJ, though he is from Trinidad specializes in R & B, and he knows I'm from Cali so when its slow he tends to play more hip hop and R&B til the crowd arrives. Last night he is playin all my jams, Candy Rain, Back that Azz Up, Danger, I Got Five on it, the list goes on, so I'm partying hard...early.

We've also added a new bartender to the staff to help us manage the summer crowds. The veteran on staff is quitting also so it is uncertain whether or not the owners will hire yet another bartender, but we will see... she she's been training with each of us. Last night was her night with me. She seems cool..a little quiet for now, but that will change I think. She's thick like me and likes to dance so we partied especially hard, because the night was kinda slow so we didn't have to make that many drinks.

Gyrating shapely women + scant clothing= many tips, even when the bar doesn't make that much. Because she is training, she can't collect her own tips. As the head bartender for the night, it is up to my discretion to decide what she gets to take home above her hourly, if any.

I'll say I'm probably the nicest. The veteran, she doesn't' give one red coppy cent; my twin, who revels with me half nekked on Saturday nights, may give a "couple dollars" as she put it, whereas I have traditionally allowed them to keep what they make...I feel kinda bad though because I had to re-evaluate that practice because they train on slow nights where I usually don't make as much now I just tip 20% of my tips, as if they were bar backs....of course that is determined by how hard you worked that night... because some I have trained have just stood there.... needless to say, they weren't hired.

I like the new girl, she's friendly enough, understands customer service, is observant, learns quickly, and has the potential to bring in big tips, which is especially important now that we will begin pooling tips on nights where the 3 of us will be working.

Well she and I are partying hard, the bar isn't that busy, and even though we are not packed, the crowd is Definitely getting it in. My regulars are loving it..I usually wear more clothes on Wednesday night but it's hot! And generally speaking my personal philosophy is the hotter it gets, the less I wear. Naturally, sometimes customers will try to holla at us. It comes with the territory, but this one customer, the horny toad, hand me his phone with his credit card receipt, indicating that I should give him my number. I hand him his phone back, sans my number-- It is against my bartender code of ethics.


There is nothing wrong with giving out your number, I just prefer not to do it because:

1. I try not to mix business with pleasure- (could you imagine some random I'm dating who I met @ the club always being there to "check up on me"?)

1a. The club is a very close knit environment. If you allow it, they will know ALL your personal business, I don't want the goings on of my private life to be fodder for the workplace.
1b. this includes not dating people associated with the club in any capacity, whether it be one of the owners, friend or family of the owners, etc.
Could you imagine the kind of drama that would ensue if I had a thing with someone that went south? One of the regulars was dating the DJ way back when and that STILL causes trouble so I could only imagine.... I like to stay drama free.
2. It's not so easy to tell if you are a stalker or otherwise crazy just by standing behind the bar.
3. I'm half nekked for crying out loud!..that is NOT the first impression I want to make on a potential boo.. I tend to dress much more conservatively in real need to have the poor man deceived.


Well anyway, the horny toad seems undaunted. he says, in that forward, drunk voice, give me your digits. I smile, slide his phone back and move on to dance and serve others, and give some pointers to the newbie.
Horny toad (HT): You need to stop fakin on me and give me your number

ESS: I'm sorry but I don't give my number out at the club

HT: But how am I going to get to know you?

ESS: Come see me next Wednesday

Horny toad grabs my hand, caresses it
HT: I mean I ain't coming at you wrong, I just wanna make LOVE to you

ESS: oh. Insert smile here...set-up for classic move. Reach back for napkin and a pen, instructs HT to write his info down so that I may call HIM never happens. The napkin usually doesn't even make it home
I really is a delicate balancing act to make that work. I don't wanna piss any customer off so that they stop coming or stop getting drinks from me, but I don't want half of DC wearing out my number either.....
and yes, I apply the same rules to the cute ones...

Monday, June 8, 2009

If you do what you've always done, You'll get what you always got

A close friend of mine was visiting from out of town and invited me to visit his home church here in DC. I go and thoroughly enjoyed the service. The sermon was simple but a few things really stood out to me. The pastor was talkin bout having unclaimed blessings (not prosperity talk or nothing just that we miss out on so much God has for us because we refuse to put in the work to get it.)

But what stood out them most was him saying "You will never change what you tolerate."

After all, If you weren't pleased with something wouldn't you work to change it? It really got to me because I'm known for being the ULTIMATE persevere-er and its true. I take SO much! til I'm simply done taking it, and you know, it works for me. Honestly I wouldn't have made it this far had I not persevered...even though I had plenty people helping me along the way. And as dissatisfied I am with the way things are now, personally, professionally, etc you'd think I'd be doing more to change it but sadly I'm not. I'm trying of course but I think I've let the sheer magnitude of everything that's been going on take over so much so that I haven't been able to put together a tangible plan....

When it comes to relationships, I'm the type to observe people. I'm highly combative so I usually try to avoid arguments unless its really important because I know I will argue you to the death. But to get a feel for people's characters I tend to just observe how they treat me and others ..... and to date, I can't say my assessments have been wrong yet.. haste makes waste you know.....

My objective is...without me nagging and getting on my soap box about what I WON'T take and how I expect to be treated (all I really ask for is a little respect and consideration), how would you treat me? So needless to say...many a man has found me "suddenly" not feelin him when really I've built a case file over a period of sounds harsh but isn't that what "dating" is about anyway? Spending time with a person and getting to know them. My thing is when we know we are being watched, we are usually on our best behaviour, but what about when we're left to our own devices? Would you still open the door for me if I didn't get on on my grandstand about how chivalry is on life support? Would you be as charming if I didn't tell you that that's what I like? Would you still perform as well if I didn't give you the cheat sheet to ace the test?

In my experience the answer is no, and it's left me spending many a night by my lonesome..which I don't mind. It comes with the territory. While I think my strategy works just fine (i think), I cant help but wonder if I'm helping a man think certain behaviors are okay because I usually don't say anything..granted I won't tolerate them for long but I'm primarily a non-verbal communicator so words are rarely used. It's my desire that those I invest time with are better and/or wiser for having experienced one who is Earnestly Soul Searching, but I can't help but think that my silence is impeding the growth of others....

I'm obviously still working through this so I'm sure I'll be revisiting the topic in the near future...your thoughts of course, are welcome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mojo Adjustment pt. 1

First, I apologize that I have not been posting consistenly. To be honest, I've been really goin through it, which has prevented me from getting in front of the computer to write, and two, sometimes my life just doesn't seem that intereting and I believe if you don't have something to say, you just shouldn't say anything at all....

**Now on to the regularly scheduled programming **
I dunno what it is, but I'm finding that apparently men under 30 are just not attracted to me. I just don't get any burn. Don't get me wrong, the maturity and more stability usually associated with older men is definitely attractive, if for no other reason that those are traits I try to cultivate in my own life. However, the few (read: 5) last inquiries I have received have been from men aged 33 and up. For some reason it has always been that way. Even as a 12 year old pubescent girl I always had older guys checkin for me but I digress. Considering my recent poor luck when it comes to some of the gentlemen in my social network I've really been examining within to see what it is about ME that keeps attracting such "relationship unsavory" people. (I mean you can only blame others for so long........) no man bashing here just dag!

So a male acquaintance of mine...the Creeper, I've kown for about 3 years now. Our interaction has always been polite, friendly yet professional....until about 6 months ago. As you know, I bartend, and he's also in the industry so I see him alot more. fine. right? until he tries to push up on me which upset and confused me because I told him, I didn't even know you were REMOTELY interested in me, so how you go from good to see you --> girl gimme dat?!! I was NOT amused. So after we got over that hump... I keep him at an arms length ( after all I wouldn't wanna be in a position for a goodies snatch :-/) He still makes comments here and there about how we should get it poppin.......................................................................................... ::sigh::

One day he says to me "we need to find you a man so we can have an affair" WTH??!?!?! I let it ride because he's a strange bird, and strange birds make strange sounds.....but then he hits me with the "you know I'm engaged right? I'm shocked and taken aback seeing as how I didn't even know he was in a relationship but I didn't show my surprise and proceeded to ask about all the girly details (how'd u meet her, what's her name...etc) he shows me pics of the ring as well of the ring on her finger... announces that's she's set the date for May 2010. I repeat my congrats and promise to buy a gift when they are registered.

ESS cues gap band ::He drops a bomb on me::

Creeper: But I'm sayin, we need to just get it in one time before I married....

ESS: ::seething:: NO!

Creeper: Why Not!?!

ESS: Because that's your BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this exchange makes me angry on so many levels

in no particular order:

1. All the time I've known never once mentioned having a girlfriend ( I used to have a crush on him...til he forced himself on had he approached me differently this could've been ALL bad)

2. So you mean to tell me this WHOLE time you was tryina jizz in my draws u had a woman (long term at that!)?!

3. What makes you think after announcing that you were or engaged (or HELL! upon me finding out that you had a girlfriend) that I'm the kinda woman that would still try to pursue you or allow you access...whatever. ( This is where a lot of the soul searching comes in... am I presenting myself the wrong way? cuz I swear I be on my best behavior i.e. no revealing outfits, no segzy time jokes etc.)

and be continued......

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 3 The art of cool

I know it's been a long time folks but life has been busy, stressful, and frankly, not that exciting. However, the other Friday nearly prompted me to do something VERY out of character, had I not been buzzed (read: half drunk), and therefore in a generally good mood. What is that you ask? Fighting random beezies in the club. As you know by now bartending is my side hustle, I want to buy a house in the next two years and want to save more aggressively so I can afford to do that, and I usually only work a couple nights a week: wed, sat, and every other Sunday. But the past few weeks I've been working Fridays too to fill in for another bartender who was out recovering from surgery.

I'm sure you also know that Friday and Saturday nights are probably the biggest "party" nights of the week, since most people don't work weekends, but I'm digressing.

Truth be told, I don't know what it is about my establishment, but I really don't like working on Friday nights because it seems like the customers are more pushy, less patient, and because it's so busy, I usually don't have time to keep drinkin to keep that steady buzz so I end up sad, sober, flustered, and irritated.

Well, this particular Friday everybody seems to want something for nothing, which is driving me nuts. Don't order a Hennessey, then tell me you don't want it, and then expect me to pour you more than one shot of your replacement beverage of just isn't going to happen. At most, I will give you an extra splash simply because I really don't have time to sit there and argue with you and explain that we are already giving you a shot and a half...something you won't get at most clubs, but I'm digressing again. Anyway, this child of God and her friend were on my side of the bar; we shall call her sticky fingaz. They order soda, we charge $3 and do not give you the can. She wines, feigns outrage. I'm sobering up, and therefore I am getting irritated. I also have other impatiently waiting customers, I need to collect this money and move on. So I offer to give them an impromptu 2 for 1 special, she bites. I get the money and move on.

I don't think most people pay attention to the way bartenders work, I know I didn't before I got behind the bar, but I try to work in a way that is most efficient. I keep my job by shoveling in as much money as possible and pushing out as many drinks as possible. I don't worry as much about tips because if you have customer volume, you still can have a good night even if people only give you a dollar per drink or a dollar per round. So I'm most efficient when I give the drink collect the money, serve another and go back to collect the tip later. Usually I have no problems... But this day, that is not the case. One of my customers tells me to watch out because "she" is takin my tips. I assume he is speaking of the other bartender, who is my friend and I am not worried, confused but not worried.

But then, I notice my customers are chillin at the bar waiting for me to come back, which is slightly annoying because then I cannot access the next row of thirsty drinkers and then I see it: sticky fingaz has swiped a $5 bill from the bar (read: my tip money) and a kind customer has forced her to put it back and has told her thas not coo. She giggles cuz she thought that shit was cute.

I'm not one who is easily angered, and I try to remain calm cool and collected because I have a really bad temper, but no lie, it took everything within me to not reach across the bar and not beat out all of her fecal matter then yell "EAST OAKLAND BEYATCH!!!!!!" I'm not sure which angered me most, the fact that she just begged for something for nothing and then stole from me? Or the part where she thought it was a cute game? Anyway I told my boss if she was still sitting there by the time the night was out I would come from behind the bar and beat the shit out of her, so he gives me a shot, but in the meantime, I just had to cycle around sooner than usual and keep an eye on her to protect my tips. I'm still kinda mad they didn't just kick her out but whatever. Please believe if she ever comes in my bar again she won't get no service from me....

I haven't seen the nekked contortionist in a while; real talk if I had her number I'd check up on her and make sure she was okay. I think I might actually miss her end of the night antics...especially on Wednesdays... they're still kinda slow because we don't have the summer crowd just yet.

Oh and the sleuth? he still slinking around as usual. I think he's finally pissed off all the bartenders so he keeps a low profile...but he's twisting his's in that I just started awkward stage...only things is, I don't think it will look much better when it grows out...oh well, at least he's not bugging me...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I used to love him

If you asked me today if I've ever loved...I will hem, haw and probably shrug my shoulders. To be honest I really don't have an answer. I can tell you that at the time when I was in those relationships I believed I loved the man I was with. But I find today that I don't feel anything like that towards those people I once invested so much time in. Our society tries to keep things simple so we casually say we used to love them but we are no longer IN love with them.

I personally am not willing to let myself off the hook quite that easy. I tend to choose my words very wisely and since I have difficulty sharing my feelings, I wouldn't have said it if I didn't believe I meant it. I also won't cheapen my experiences in those relationships by simply saying that in hindsight, it was just infatuation, because it wasn't.

In my mind, love is, or should be unconditional, which means I should still wish you the best and not necessarily harbor any ill sentiments towards you once things are all said and done. It doesn't mean I have to be willing to do a do-over but (at least I think) my skin shouldn't crawl at the mere mention of your name.

And that's where I find myself. Considering that I've never been broken up with, and I'm the kinda person who REALLY invests myself in relationships to the extent that I don't play that let's take a break stuff, or I don't make decisions while angry, and once I've decided I've had enough I've had enough and I don't look back, I can see why I don't reminisce about my past relationships, because when I decided I needed to leave, I made sure it was *really* over for me, and never once have I ever thought about going back to anything I've left behind.

The wrench in my path, however, comes from the long term non-relationship I had with Ole Faithful. We did the whole no strings attached shindig for 2 years...longer than any legitimate relationship I've ever had mind you, where the first year he spent trying to get me to let him update my plumbing system, and the second year giving sporadic tune ups. In that time, he was someone who I came to respect and trust physically, and assumed (incorrectly) that he felt the same.

I always joke with my friends that there ain't nothing like a strong man to make you wanna submit (lol) And with our interaction I think that was very true. My last two BFs we're definitely more emotional than I am, one being insecure in life and the other, insecure in our relationship. which grated on me as time went by. Ole Faithful, not so much. He was just as stoic as I am, and besides his physical strength, he seemed to get me, even if he was reluctant to let me get to know him. He challenged me, but never pushed so hard as to arouse my stubborn combative nature (I hate to admit it, but not everything I do and say makes sense, i.e. I once told him we couldn't have segzy time because I ain't know him like that....yet I was nekked in his bed for SHAME, I know), and I can say I learned a lot about myself from kickin it with him (hence the respect). I even let him be ringmaster in Le Sac, which is REALLY out of character for me. As small as I am, I'm usually the one who dominates...and truthfully, it is nice to be dominated every once in a while.

But anyway, now that that's all over, based on my current concept of love, I could argue that I loved Ole faithful. I would never argue that, but you get my point. Despite everything I went through with him, I still feel no ill towards him, maybe even still have a little positivity left in my mind. If love is really supposed to be unconditional, then wouldn't this be evidence of that?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 2 "blame it on the alcohol?"

*** mind drifts back to early days at the new spot***

Twas a crowded Wednesday at the bar. The DJ was playing all my favorite reggae songs, and even threw in a couple old school west coast jams like "I got 5 on it". I noticed a patron enter wearing some grey leggings, and triangle top bikini under a red cropped jacket. She was on the heavier side but who cares? She is GETTIN it on the dance floor and she orders two zombies (in the best DC accent you can imagine) from me and tips well.

The night progresses, the bar gets so busy I don't even notice that It's Last Call. We stop selling liquor, the lights come on and the DJ is playing the last couple of songs. The zombie loving patron is still on the dance floor getting, only now that some space has been cleared by exiting revelers, she has begun somersaulting (read: forward roll) back and forth across the floor which I am sure is now littered with napkins and spilled drinks.

At our spot, we don't usually don't end the night with slow songs like you might find at hip hop or top 40 clubs, so you're going to hear a lot of soca and dancehall from the height of the evening til the end. Well the zombie loving patron ups the ante and starts p-poppin in a hand stand...or better yet, a headstand. Then she tucked out of the headstand, and somersaulted across the floor only to stand up and resume wine-ing. It was a sight to behold ... by this time I could see her cheap cotton thong poking from the top of her gray leggings. And when she stood up and collected herself when the music finally turned off, you could also see her nipplets had slipped from out of her triangle top from all of the turbulence. eck! And yes, I saw it all and instantly named her the nekked contortionist.

While I haven't seen her nipples since (thank GAWD!) there has only been one time that she has not been rolling on the floor by the end of the night. and she comes at LEAST a couple times a week. All she drinks is zombies and shots of 1738. every now and again I can get her to try long island concoctions...but she don't want nothing that ain't strong. I figure if she wears, cut up leggings and a crop top in the dead of winter, I can only imagine what she does or doesn't wear in the summer...I'm not so sure I want to know but I'll find out soon enough.

The other thing I been thinking bout as of late...I wonder what she does for a living? It's not like she's a young college student acting reckless at the club...she's at least in her late 20s or early 30s and she always comes by I just wonder what is she like before or after she leaves the club? hmmmn

After all the tabs are closed and everyone has left, I clean up for the night. Many of the regulars are my bosses friends, or long time associates. One in particular offers me a ride home. He seems nice and genuine I guess, but I don't get in cars with people I don't know. Hell! I don't get in cars with a lot of the people I DO know, but I digress. I politely decline. he doesnt seem to wanna take no for an answer. I get a ride home from the other bartender, he offers to follow us. I vehemently reject his offer. Part of othe point of me not getting in his car is I don't want people knowing where I live, in case you are a stalker, the other point is to not end up in a ditch somewhere... Day one, Victory: ESS

That saturday, some of the staff (meaning DJ, bartenders, owner, buddies) decide to go to breakfast after work. To Infinity and beyond (TINB) tags along. He bores a hole through my neck with his eyes over breakfast, and I ask the other bartender if this guy is crazy weird...via text of course and she says, once he latches, he doesn't let go. I get the message.

Luckily the DJ, with whom I have a rapport, is going to his girlfriend's house, who lives in my direction, so I quickly jump on his offer to give me a ride home. TINB looks angry, like OJ angry and I'm glad I got away... The DJ and I laugh, I live to bartend another day.

The following week, the staff decides to skip breakfast and just go home, so the DJ does not stick around but TINB certainly does. I text him to let him know the stalker is upon me and he laughs. He tells me that's what I get for wearing leggings and names me vodoo booty!

What a twist of fate! I'm the one who is constantly doling out monikers, and here I have been named...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Abstinence only Education

As I'm typing this blog tonight, I have the unfortunate Pleasure (and by pleasure I mean my blood is boiling and crystallizing in my veins....very painful) of listening to Bill O'Reilly in my resident lounge. I'd like to change it but it's providing fodder for this blog. Today this fool is talking about Abstinence only education and how it is the ONLY way to go. A columnist without the opportunity to defend her views on providing condoms and contraceptives to students was lambasted; Just desserts I thought, she should have just gone on the show, though I don't blame her for not being there.

But what really chapped my ass was the fact that he had a woman promoting abstinence only education in DC, and she claims that her program "works, and has done so for over 20 years. Students in DC Public Schools [no less], have decided to not have sex, have not been doing so, and say that their friends respect their decision. Furthermore, the fact that teen pregnancy in the District has declined can be attribute [solely] to her abstinence only education."

***Le Sigh***

Her comments bothered me for several reasons:

1. I currently live in the DC area, and there is NOTHING you can say or do to convince me the DC kids are simply not having sex. In fact, there is nothing you can do to convince me that more that the majority are not engaging in ANY type of sexual activity. Your teens are the years for sexual exploration to say the least!

2. I have no problem with abstinence education, but I feel it should be part of a comprehensive program teaching abstinence as an option along with contraceptives, etc. The reality is that people are engaging in sexual activity, whether it's consensual or not, and you need to know how best to protection ESPECIALLY if you are forced to participate!

3. My fault with most abstinence only education is that it neglects to address facts and dispel rumors about transmission of sexually transmitted infections. There's a reason black middle class girls make up many of the new cases for infections and the AIDS infection statistics (in DC especially) are the way they are. I believe, in part, that it is because of misinformation among African Americans and African American youth!

Swagger* gone awry (case in point #1)

So my best friend came to visit me this weekend. Unfortunately I could take off from bartending (and secretly I didn't want to because the money is so good), so I brought her to work with me. She had a great time.

After a long night of (Me) slangin drinks we were starving, so we decided to go to the Diner and grab a bite to eat...(Thank GOD that place never closes.)

However, shortly after we were seated a gentleman by the name of Jamal** approached our table. He asked us if we minded if him and his 5 friends sat at a table next to ours... I mean, it a free country, so we didn't mind. But then he sits down, and no friends bff and I look at each other quizzically, then understand: We don't know from whence he came, but he has just fed us a line. We are unimpressed, but he keeps talking.

Our waitress comes to take our order, we are unready so we order does he. I HOPE he doesn't think I will pay for it, cuz homie don't play dat! I then realize I left my carmex(tm) at work, and I desperately need to go back and get it, but I did not want to leave my visiting friend with this fool...he just may try to eat her alive. So I send her to fetch my things.

By this time he has sat down next to us (read:me)...has put up his feet in the chair directly across from me, and has perched himself in my personal space. I give him one of "the looks" but I humor him because he has not been disrespectful. He introduces himself and I do the same. He asks me what is the most interesting thing about me. I'm impressed, and I tell him so; it's probably the most interesting question any "potential" suitor has asked me and we're not even on a date. After I complement him and begin racking my brain for an answer, he announces to me that yea, he already demonstrated his swagger* by sitting down with us and putting up his feet [marking territory? I'm trying to understand, lol], you know because he's so swaggertastic he can do pretty much whatever he wants, his swagger will carry him to new heights, but now it was time to show me he was intelligent.

I'm not sure how asking a unique, question makes one automatically intelligent, but it was too early in the morning to send him through the crucible so I focus on my answer.

I tell him that I would probably say my life experiences are what make me mist interesting [not a GREAT answer I know, but it's the feedback I get from friends]. But then I ask him the same, and he didn't really have an answer.... how do you ask a personal question that you don't have an answer for? hmmn Maybe it's just me...... or maybe I was to assume his "swagger"* was what made him interesting...

...And now for my point
1) Swagger in its purest form is not something that needs nor should be announced. If you have to say it, you don't got it. It is something you might just know you possess, and its confirmed or felt by others.
i.e. Sexy, older, bald black man on the metro in a suit the other day. He never once looked my way, he probably never even saw me but I couldn't help blushing and looking away as I was overcome by his aura. It wasn't cocky, assuming, or sexual. It was just there. I felt it. It works. And it dominated me and my thoughts for the rest of the day. Take notes fellas.

2) I'm sure there is another point in here somewhere, but I was distracted by Bill O'Reilly so I forgot.

*again--Can we please boycott the use of this word? It's been commandeered and loosely redefined by "mainstream" media, and while it is descriptive, it has lost much of it's usefulness since everything can now be described as "swagger". It was used shamelessly in this post in hopes that you would be just as annoyed by it's constant usage.

**Name left unchanged so that Brothas named Jamal everywhere may learn from this man's mistake.

Friday, March 27, 2009

the wild kingdom

Probably one of my favorite youtube videos EVER. try putting in your own narration and see if this doesnt make for a great script for an epic war movie.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bartender Vision pt 1

As a bartender, I get to witness a lot of tomfoolery and other social interactions among people who frequent my establishment. You may even find descriptions of and anecdotes about some of my more colorful regulars.

On a slightly unrelated note,
****public service announcement from bartenders across America****
For the best customer service experience on a busy night, please know what you want to order before you flag me down.....

Basic profile of some of the regulars:

"The sleuth"- Aptly named because he slinks from woman to woman insisting on buying them drinks, tho he usually only orders pineapple juice for himself (when he senses I'm getting annoyed by his attempt to monopolize my time)
"The Nekked Contortionist"-To be explained later
"To Infinity and Beyond"- Regular who owns an Infinity and forcefully insists on giving me a ride home after work...which I ALWAYS refuse, UGH!

**mind drifts back to inauguration weekend**

It was actually my first weekend working at the new spot and I gotta admit I was kinda excited. Being the type who would rater make money than spend it, I knew I was gon make a killing (which I did). The bars were gonna be open extra late and there would be throngs of people in town to witness history unfold, and tons of people looking to "toast" the nights away.

As a general rule, I try to always spend time conversing with customers, new or old, when it's slow. Providing a nice environment, can sometimes make the difference between someone becoming "your regular" or not, or if people actually return to the establishment or not. I also have begun the practice of giving out complimentary shots of drink combos for people to try...when its slow. But when it gets busy you cant expect the same treatment simply because the demand for my attention is much higher.

in the slow part of the evening, entering stage left: The Sleuth
he sits down, smiles to indicate that he is friendly and approachable
I smile back, indicating that I see him and I am ready to make some money (lol)

Earnestly Soul Searching: How are you doing today?
the Sleuth: I'm doing great actually
ESS: good to hear! Can I get you something to drink?
S: no. I'm good right now.
ESS: oh okay. well give me a second to check on the other customers and I'll be back.
walks aways to tend to other customers and converse

S: Madame Bartender!
ESS goes to see what the sleuth needs...after much conversation and no drink ordering
S: You should give me your number and we should go out sometime
ESS: No thank you
S: Why not?
ESS: Because I try not to mix work with pleasure
walks away to take drink orders as it is starting to get busy, and the Sleuth doesn't seem to want to order anything, not even water.

The Sleuth flags me down once more. I know he's not going to order anything. I bristle, but pull out my patience reserves.

ESS: Yes?
S: The way I see it, I'm probably the most famous guy you'll meet in here, I'm a nice guy, you seem like a nice lady, we should go out, at least let me give you my number.
ESS:wtf? The sleuth, seeing the confused annoyed look flash across my face says
S: Am I starting to annoy you?
ESS: lying No But I can't sit here and talk to you when it's busy like this especially if you're not ordering anything.
S: I don't drink
ESS: That's fine, we also sell juice, soda, red bull and water.
The Sleuth orders a pineapple juice to placate the increasingly annoyed bartender.
S: Do you have a pen? ESS hands him pineapple juice and a pen. He write his number down on a napkin. Are you going to call me?
ESS: I doubt it
S: No! Are you gon call me?
ESS: (ending this stupid cat n mouse game) Sure!
walks off to take other orders.

So after all of that, The sleuth managed to latch on to a group of unsuspecting women and began to pay for their apple martinis, maybe he thought he would make me jealous...I was just glad it wasn't me. But what he didn't know, was that I've got bartender vision*. Our perspective of what goes on in the club from behind the bar is markedly different from those on the other side. Maybe he didn't know I saw or thought I was too busy to notice that the girls he started off with had gotten annoyed by his leech like behavior. Gawd help em if he gave them the same stupid line he gave me, but slowly but surely he made his rounds around the club, slowly getting rejected by each group of girls he would descend upon like a plague...and it happens every time he comes. Maybe he's just clueless, or insane because he tries roughly the same strategy, and I've never seen him leave with neither a number NOR a lady.

The moral of this story? Well there are several. Probably too many to be mentioned in this small space, but for starters we'll point out the obvious ones:

1) Attempts to ingratiate yourself with the women in the club by buying them drinks is an art. Any old fool shouldn't do it and expect great results (unless you try to get them so drunk they don't know right from left, but then again, I don't think you can call that great results). It CAN however, open the door to a conversation, after that, it's all on you. If they didn't like your personality before, they won't like it any more after you've bought a drink for them.

2) A phone number for a drink is NOT an even exchange!!!

3) No usually means no

4) Insinuating that a woman can do no better than you is not a convincing argument, it's an insult! I don't care how much "swagger**" you have.

* No, It's not a creepy 6th sense, nor am I spying on people for blog material, even though people don't realize they provide lots of useful material, but my job consists of more than just making drinks; I'm also sort of a stool pigeon for the bouncers. I have to pay attention to what's going on even beyond the bar to situations that may arise to alert them before they get out of hand. In such a crowded space, bouncers may only notice when the pushing starts or when fists fly. But I also watch body language, and can hear the words that maybe were exchanged at the bar before the fight actually broke out. It's a lot, but I'm good at it.
** Can we please boycott the use of this word? It's been commandeered and loosely redefined by "mainstream" media, and while it is descriptive, it has lost much of it's usefulness since everything can now be described as "swagger".

Friday, March 20, 2009

Forever in your corner

One of my favorite group games, besides those that involve alcohol and a set of cards, would probably be Scruples (tm). Why do you ask? Because it's a great way of getting to know people around you... It's replaces Skipbo(tm) as the game we play when we have family gatherings. For those who have never played, you have question cards, and you chose a person to ask your question beased on the answer you THINK they will give. It's revelaing in two ways: one people learn more about your moral compass based on your answer to their questions, and it gives you a good idea of what people think of you based on the responses THEY think you will give....

(hmmn sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I recommend it)

What does the game of scuples have to do with the price of chicken in Mexico?

Well, at one grand tournament, I asked (heaven forbid) if you and your spouse got divorced and you worked during part of their marriage but he made significantly more would you ask for half? My answer card was YES....I looked around the table nervously, as the only single person playing the game in a room full of married couples and wondered who I could ask the question to without ruffling feathers, I felt the tension mounting so I decided on my mother (Granted we live in California so she is already entitled to half so its...a no brainer right?)

However, to my shock, and honestly the shock of everyone at the table besides my brother, my mother says...."No, I would want whatever he felt I deserved, and would just hope it'd be fair."

Wow. My mother is one loyal woman.

While I don't ever see myself trying to take everything a man is worth, should I find myself in the position of having to go through a divorce, I don't see myself settling for less than half, especially if like my parents, have been together forever, and have been through so much, the good and bad, the sickness and health.

I am also very loyal, but I'm beginning to wonder can you be loyal to a fault?

I'm fiercely loyal to those I care about, even to my employers, but what about those who do not do well by you. While I don't tolerate poor treatment, or let people take advantage of me, I still find myself protecting those who may not "deserve" it.

My last employer wasn't worth a pile of manure but to this day, I don't bad mouth him, to close friends or anybody. Exes get the same treatment, even if I personally never want to deal with you again, I still always find a positive spin to explain the demise of our relationship or some flaw...whatever. Maybe it's just because I'm a private person and dishin all the details about others means I gotta put myself out there too...who knows.

But what really got me thinkin was a recent situation:
Over cocktails and burgers at a Happy hour with friends, one asks me if Ole Faithful is the baby daddy of Tiffany*. I shrugged and feigned ignorance which I'm guessing wasn't entirely successful because I forgot to include the look of surprise or shock which would have indicated that this was the first time I was hearing such news, which it was not. (more on that later)

**Months ago, I get a frantic call at work from a friend. The way she was acting made me think someone had died, but no, she was calling to tell me Ole faithful's girlfriend was pregnant (sigh, why my friends think I care to have status updates about all my exes is beyond me, but I digress). She then swears me to secrecy, at least til Tiffany who I don't really know starts showing. She tells me Tiffany's friend told her and wasn't supposed to but they wanted it kept a secret ( I'm wondering if Tiffany's friend started making calls shortly after the pregnancy test came back positive but whatever, that's not MY friend)**

I kept quiet about it as I promised, but obviously everyone else who was "in the loop" did not since this was now the second time I'm hearing this news from someone who is not in the inner circle of Ole Faithful or Tiffany, but the bigger question is why? I'm really self reflective, and I like to be clear on my motives for doing what I'm doing, you know, to make sure I'm making wise decisions and not being selfish, stuff like that.

Being a woman of my word is important to me, so yes, that was part of the reason I kept the secret, and I'm loyal to my friends, so yes, that was another reason I didn't tell. ( it does however make me wonder which of my friends would tell my own business to others despite my requests for secrecy, but I'm digressing again) I don't know Tiffany and feel it's not my business to spread hers, so okay, it's another reason for me not to start a phone tree of my own. But if I were completely honest with myself, I know protecting Ole Faithful is makes top 3 of my reason. But almost a year after we are no longer "together" here I am still keeping his secrets? It's not like we parted ways amicably, or that we are friends...

Granted, it would be incredibly shallow and wrong for me to spread their biz just because I didn't like how he treated me, but I was intrigued by my refusal to acknowledge that I knew even though the proverbial cat is out the bag. As one who likes to have all the answers, I'm stumped.

Maybe I'm just a good woman....::::looks around:::: apparently no one is noticing