Monthly Archives: January 2016

Obsessing About the Little Things

Is this what a panic attack feels like? Can a panic attack last for hours? Days? I’m not sure if what I’m experiencing is age-related or scared-shitless-starting-a-new-business-related. I do know I’ve never felt anything like it. I wake up in the middle of the night and am wide awake. I can jump out of bad at 8am or sleep all day regardless of what I’ve done the night before. It’s 9:30 right now and I’m ready to go to sleep. I get weird bursts of inexplicable energy and wind up scrubbing cupboards, buying light bulbs, cleaning out the refrigerator or randomly chucking stuff into the trash. I can go all day and not remember if I’ve eaten anything or inhale a bag of peanut M&Ms in one sitting. I can stay in my apartment, online shopping for light fixtures and industrial sinks, or spend hours Photoshopping pointless memes about “patience” or “motivation.”

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I don’t always know what day it is. My Christmas tree is still up. I managed to take the decorations off but…I was enjoying the pine smell. Except now even that has faded. This past week I got to see what happens when three professional men get into a weird pissing contest via emails. Let’s just say that even people who’ve gone to law school are still capable of acting like children. Of sending an email that says, essentially, blah-blah-blah, I’m gonna take my marbles and go home. Thankfully my fairy barmother was able to talk them all back from their respective ledges while I hyperventilated into paper bags and tried not to panic.

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Photo by Sarah Kate Kramer

While waiting for the interminable wheels to churn — and let me tell you, nothing takes as long or is as laced and laden with red tape like opening a fucking bar in New York City — I mire myself in the minutiae of what I can control. I contact more DJs about mix CDs. I email more contractors. And I visited Faerman Cash Register Co. Lemme tell you, this place is like falling into a time warp. The 50-something proprietor introduced me to his 94-year-old father. “Did he start this business?” I asked. Nope, his father did. So I’d bet nothing has changed in this shop since a century ago. At least. Thank goodness they own the building, so they won’t get booted for some high-rise bullshit. But the guy has two daughters, neither of whom are interested in taking over the unnamed.jpgbiz. Maybe some oddball friend of mine might become suddenly intrigued by cash registers? Join this man as an apprentice? Anyway, there wasn’t one new thing in the whole damn place. I ran my fingers lovingly over antique brass machines that sadly wouldn’t work for me because their cash drawers don’t have enough slots for more than one denomination of bills. Such a shame because they are beautiful. I’ll probably be buying one of the Good Boys 1900 models, pictured on the right. If you would like to read more about the unusual shop, there’s a wonderful article here.

I’ve also subscribed to Gaz Regan‘s newsletter and bought his book, The Joy of Mixology. I signed up for his “Cocktails in the Country” weekend seminar-type thing that won’t be happening until “the spring.” I bought a “passbook” to “Winter Tippler,” which gets me 15 fancy cocktails at 15 fancy cocktail bars. I’ve been Googling “best this” and “best that” to gauge drink prices, size up the competition and figure out what’s popular. I’ve been scribbling down ideas for crazy drink specials…or specialty drinks. And during those hours I wind up awake at weird hours, I worry about the millions of things that can go wrong.

So as the opening day is projected further and further into the future, I can only wait. And wait. And continue to obsess about all those little things.

Rant from Richmond, VA

I’ve been a bit distracted, trying to get papers signed and the bar bought. Or at least semi-owned. It’s an extremely long, stressful, expensive, red-tape-laden process. Mired as I am, I haven’t had the time or inclination to blog. Laura, one of my devoted readers (and commenters), took it upon herself to make a plea: “Surely youre not going to let unsolicited comments deter you from further writing (or your own added comments)?”

Actually, Laura, nothing could possibly deter me from further writing, most especially not the senseless rantings of an anonymous troll. As one of my faithful followers, you should know that I don’t usually blog every day. With the exception of Yes-Vember!, which was a challenge I gave myself to write once a day, I’m lucky if I get something up once or twice a week. It’s been, hmm, less than a week now since the big Man Bun Meltdown post. So have no fear, I shall blog again. It just won’t be today. Because, dear friends — and trolls — the great interwebz has provided me with something even better: someone else’s hilarious rant. My friend Corinne posted this link to my timeline and I was weeping while reading it. No, it wasn’t me on this date (the post was from the Richmond, VA Craigslist “Missed Connections”), but man, it sure could’ve been. I’m passing it along because, not only is it laugh-out-loud funny, it is true. It’s true about so many men. And here’s proof that I’m not the only one on dates with these losers! Nor am I the only woman disgusted by these pathetic men. I wish I could meet the author of this gem:

To the guy on the Tinder date Tues night.. – w4m (Boulevard Burgers and Brews) 

Hi. You were on a date. Clearly a first date. And definitely from a dating website, based on some things that were said. 

Obviously, we both know the date didn’t go well. But it could have. You could have gotten laid. She wanted to like you. Sadly, you shit the bed in seemingly every way possible. Even though you’re a helpless loser, and giant blowhard douchebag, I’m gonna try to critique your lackluster performance, to hopefully help you refrain from making the same socially retarded mistakes. Not so much to help you ( that would be futile, as you’re helpless and probably wouldn’t know a vagina from a flesh wound), but so hopefully you don’t waste another poor girl’s time and embarrass the shit out of her in a public place, like you did on this fateful eve. 

Here is a list of ways you screwed the pooch, like a monkey fucking a football, and ways to try to avoid future bedshitting:

1. First, don’t talk so goddamn loud, so assholes like me, and everyone in the restaurant, can hear every moronic thing that comes out of your mouth. That’s how you get called out on the Internet like this. 

2. If you’re gonna whine like a little bitch, try waiting at least 5 minutes into the first date. And if you ever want to see what of a vagina looks like in person, and especially if you want to feel what it’s like to be inside of one, I highly recommend not whining at all.. but especially not about the decision a girl makes in an attempt to be accomodating. It’s fucking shitty. And rude. I don’t know if you noticed, but there were no empty seats anywhere… she offered to let you take the last seat at the bar, and she would stand until something else opened up. Instead of being a man and saying “no, you sit.. I’ll stand until something becomes available.”, like someone with at least an average sized penis would say.. you had to profess your childish displeasure and say, like the whitest of white people, “well, this is the most awkward situation in human history.” But actually, no, fuckwad… the most awkward situation would be to have not done what she had said and just stand hovering around waiting for a table or seat to open up and lean over pepole for drinks.. which is the only alternative to her plan, which you so openly and obnoxiously shat upon.. 

3. The next part is hard to put into words.. Due to the futility of trying to teach you how to talk to women, because you’ll clearly never be able to do that no matter what anyone says, I’m gonna try to express this in such a way that hits home. Because your only hope of passing on your shitty, sloppy, ogre-like genetics, is to do the complete opposite of what you did. So.. if the things you said during the first ten minutes of the date were what you think you should say to impress women… then next time you try to talk to a woman, think about what you should say… and then say the complete fucking opposite shit. Or better yet, shut your dumbass mouth and let her get a word in edgewise. Ask her about her interests. Anything other than the 15 minute rant you went on, that was littered with douchey, transparent, false-confidence, thinly veiled by self-loving self-compliments and compulsive lies.. it was the most pathetic display of self-aggrandization I’ve ever witnessed. By far. So much of what you said was clearly bullshit.. the rest may not have been.. but was definitely unnecessary. And the way you incoherently strung it all together.. it was blatantly obvious you were trying to make yourself sound interesting and cool. But instead, you came across as a pompous, jackass, know-it-all, blowhard who thinks he is way cooler than he is.. the amazing part, is that through this entire diatriblical monolog, she listened. She still gave you a chance. She still wanted to like you. But before I move on to how you eventually totally fumbled your opportunity to lose your 30+ year virginity, I’d like to dig into a couple things you said that really struck a nerve. Now.. keep in mind.. I didn’t listen to all of your horseshit. I had to order drinks and food and make conversation of my own. I’m sure I missed some real doozies.. but I’m gonna just dig into a few that stood out. 

A. “I like to be on the frontier.. in the wilderness.. places mankind doesn’t usually go..” 
Yeah.. we get it.. you’re a “man of adventure”. But you sound more like you’re misquoting the beginning of a Star Trek episode. Don’t lie.. you’re a fucking Trekky. If there was a movie about Trekkies.. you’d be cast as the lead role. Because you’re the quintessential geeky white guy who has a Leonard Nemoy poster above his bed.

B. “I once led my family on a 20 mile hike through Vienna.. I was 12 years old. It just goes to show how strong of a person I am. And my thirst for adventure..”
Geezus,bro… The Vienna part is fine.. being 12… whatever..even though anyone with half a brain, excluding you, knows that your family wasn’t following a 12 year old through the mountains of Austria. Someone else knew where the fuck you were going. But yeah… I’m sure they let you walk in the front.. nice job kiddo.. but anyway… the issue is with your assertion that it shows how strong you are.. I mean.. what? Who fucking says that? What kind of socially awkward asshole says that about themself? It was unreal. I couldn’t believe you said that dumb shit. “It just goes to show how strong of a person I am”? What exactly were you trying to accomplish with that? Who were you trying to convince? Because you’re definitely not strong.. first of all.. you carry yourself like a huge, out of shape, pussy.. but also.. strong people don’t talk about how strong they are. They just prove it through actions. And by not acting like a bitch. You did neither of those, nor are you likely capable.

C. “I’m a highly intelligent person.” 
Ummm… no you’re not. Because even a half-wit could have, at minimum gotten a second date with that girl. You weren’t even intelligent enough to shut the fuck up. 

D. “I was living like a King at Virginia Tech…” 
What the fuck does that even mean? What a load of horseshit. Don’t pretend like you’ve ever meant anything to anyone. You certainly never had any meaningful friends. Not only do I know that because you’re such a self-centered blowhard that no one would ever want to spend more than 5 minutes around you, but also, if you did, they would have told you to tone down your obnoxious horsefuck and taught you how to talk to people outside of Comic-cons and Star Trek conventions. But they didn’t. Because they never existed. And if you meant “living like a king” meaning “getting laid”, which is what it seemed you were implying.. well.. that’s a fucking joke. That’s never happened. Ever. At least not by someone who consciously gave consent. 

E. “At the time I was 6% body fat”. 
Ha! Lies. No you fucking weren’t. You’ve never ever been 6% body fat. Ever. Or even 16%. Ever. You don’t have the frame for it. And your posture says you’ve been a fat turd since you were a little Cheetoh-eating chubby kid. Between your neck fat, sausage fingers, and overall body type… I can safely say that if you’ve ever been 6% body fat, I’d suck your microdick, live on TV during the Super Bowl halftime show. That’s how confident I am that you are full of shit. But I wouldn’t have to. Because that’s a lie. And it’s the dumbest lie ever. Look, dude.. you’re clearly not 6% body fat now.. and your date has never been either… in fact.. she’s a decent sized girl, and probably doesn’t want to think about body fat. She’s probably self-conscious about her weight, and probably doesn’t want to hear some fat guy try to impress her by talking about some fairy tale about how he used to look like an Olympic swimmer. It may have been the dumbest thing you said. Oh wait… no it wasn’t. 

4. Try not to flirt with the hot-as-fuck bartender while on a date. I know… it’s tough.. she was clearly into you.. the way she half-assed answered your stupid questions.. the way she walked away mid sentence.. yeah.. you totally got it bro.. you should probably go back and tell her how fucking cool you are. You’ll have your balls on her chin in no time… but seriously… for fuck’s sake.. don’t do that. Not only because the bartender is so far out of your league, you shouldn’t even be allowed to address her directly, but because it alienates your date. That’s really where you lost her. All you did was talk about your shitty self to her.. but then you start asking the bartender questions.. and calling her pet names and shit. Gross, dude.. wtf… get a grip. Meanwhile the only vagina on earth you had a chance with is staring off into space and rapidly losing interest by the second. I could literally see it in her eyes. A similar sort of disgust as in the eyes of the bartender for having to talk to your creepy, socially inept, self.

5. This is really where the train went off the rails… again… it’s so complex, it’s hard to express in words.. but your know-it-all blowhard mentality really bit you in your 60%bodyfat ass on this one, genius.. Sports.. you started talking about sports. Your problem was.. like everything else you talked about… you talked as though you were an expert. A fucking knowledgeable beacon of information. Sports.. I mean.. any dickwad can look at you and see that you’ve never so much as picked up a ball of any variety in your entire, uncoordinated-ass life. But I’ll be damned if you didn’t talk like you did. So.. first it was football.. you obviously went to VA Tech. Well.. she mentioned some other college football team.. now.. normally a real man could have been playful with it and made.. *gasp*… conversation. But no. Being the little bitch that you are, you had to get all defensive and basically try to talk down to her about how she doesn’t know football.. “Ugh.. are you serious? They never beat VA Tech.. the only teams that beat Tech are SEC teams like Alabama.. ” First of all… that’s horseshit. VA Tech hasn’t been relevant in top 25 college football since like 2004 or some shit. But SEC teams aren’t the only teams that beat Tech. Tech didn’t even win their own conference. I knew right then you were out of your league.. but you said it with such conviction. You had her convinced you knew what you were talking about. Probably because of the way you talked down to her.

So then.. she says she likes college softball.. and for some reason, you decide to bully her about it. I still can’t figure out why. “I hate to burst your little bubble.. but no one gives a shit about softball. No one.” First of all… why does her bubble have to be little. What kind of demeaning shit is that? Second, why, for the love of god would you shit on her interests like that? It’s the first fucking thing you’ve allowed her to say about herself all night. And you shit all over it, like a pigeon on a park bench. Why? That’s really dumb. It’s as if you didn’t really want pussy. And it’s one thing if you didn’t like the girl.. you were actively trying to impress her. Mind-boggling stuff here.. 
So then it gets good.. then you show your ignorance and say that there isn’t even a world series of college baseball or softball.. and she’s like “umm.. yeah there is.” But you dig your heels in.. “no.. there isn’t.” At this point, she’s over your shit.. and frustratedly says.. “yes there is. And it comes on TV on ESPN.” Yet again you challenge her. “Do I have to Google this to prove you wrong.” Disgusted by your false hubris, she laughs.. “Go ahead..” (this is my favorite part) Now you know you’re probably wrong.. which you hate to admit.. so you get super defensive.. and say this unbelievable gem.. “Did you even read my profile? Anywhere in my profile did it say I’m a sports fan? I’m not.” 

Hahahahahahahahaha! What, dude!? “My profile”?! Wtf is that shit about? You’re gonna bring up your online dating profile as a justification for your ignorance about a subject on which you had JUST pretended to be an expert? Classic. Way to really hit it home, that you’re probably the biggest loser in the city of Richmond. You had just shit on her about Tech football… SEC teams… softball.. but now when called out about a lie you stated as fact, you’re gonna throw it in her face that she’s dumb because your online dating profile never mentioned being a sports fan? Just… wow. It was an amazing moment. She laughed at you. And rightfully so. Then she called you out for demeaning her.. and your response was “well.. you picked a great place to go. This restaurant is great.” She laughed again and grabbed her jacket.. Way to backtrack, idiot. Talk about too little, too late. You shit on this girl for a solid hour, and when she calls you out, you compliment the restaurant she chose, that employs the bartender you unsuccessfully hit on in front of her? Well played. 

I left at that point. But as I walked out, she had grabbed her jacket… before the food even came.. and was telling you how she was over your shit. I couldn’t imagine she stayed longer than 5 more minutes. I know damn well she never wants to see you again. But I hope you learn from this. Because she didn’t deserve that embarrassment. If you’re gonna somehow magically go on dates with women you fool via media messages, at least pretend to be man enough not to totally make an ass of both of you. It’s just the right thing to do. 

Good luck losing your virginity. You’re gonna fucking need it, pal.

Pardon My Meltdown

Okay, so I wrote this Saturday, during the big Blizzard of 2016. Of course, then I went out into the big blizzard and got blind drunk! Oh my. Anyway, while writing, I was also emailing with one of the other employees from the bar in question and he told me not to post anything about it. He thought it would get the staff in trouble and be negative press, both of which would be bad for him. So I didn’t post it. But I’m torn. I have some pretty strong feelings about this. To solve the problem of bad PR I took out all the names. Some people will know who (and where) I’m referring to. But at least it won’t be as obvious. And hopefully no one will get in trouble.

Last night I experienced a serious meltdown.

I sat down for happy hour at XXX, my favorite bar, a bar I’ve been drinking in since 1986. (No, not steadily. SHUTUP!) The friendly barmaid had my Stella in front of me in moments. But when my date arrived he almost died of thirst. Our barmaid was on the  phone with tech support, struggling with the new POS computer. Eventually his thirst was slaked. Crisis averted. But only temporarily.

When the shift changed, instead of welcoming the acerbic XXX, who would spin vinyl and serve attitude, a willowy young woman wearing an off-the-shoulder shirt asked how we were doing. “You’re not XXX,” I stammered. “No, I’m not,” she smiled. Sensing my distress (and probably picking up on my panic, which evidenced itself as a string of expletives) she offered to buy us a round. Ordinarily that might’ve mollified me. But when she was joined by her co-bartender — A co-bartender? But WHY? The bar isn’t so big it requires two! — I blew my remaining gaskets. The man was wearing a belly shirt. And he had a man bun. A MOTHERFUCKING MAN BUN!

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot express to you the direness of this situation. Yes, I know the East Village has been changing for years. I’ve watched as the drug dealers and junkies were replaced by bankers and “basics.” I’ve witnessed the high-rises go up on the Lower East Side and waved goodbye as my friends were priced out of their rental apartments. And I’ve mourned every closed dive bar as my property value went up. But this? THIS?

I should’ve seen the writing on the wall. When a “cocktail menu” appeared on the bar, touting muddled drinks. When the number of barstools doubled. When the tablet appeared beside the cash register, glowing annoyingly in our faces. But is NOTHING sacred? I mean, a MAN BUN? So here is my Open Letter to XXX.

Dear XXX,
I’ve been enjoying the ambience of XXX for 30 years. Last night I was sad to see that instead of XXX there were two shiny new faces behind the bar. This upgrade was a painful one. I can sympathize that changes need to be made. I understand that rents go up. But you own half the bars in the neighborhood. I was told you want to make XXX “more like XXX.” Why? Why on earth do you need to make bar A more like bar B? Especially when bar B is only blocks away? Couldn’t you leave just one bar the same? You’ve upgraded upstairs. You’ve created XXX out of a basement. Has XXX been losing money? Those hip, young drinkers you’re making these changes for are fickle. I’ve watched as they pause on the sidewalk, decide to come in, order one Appletini and then move along to the next hot spot. Are the few dollars you make on their one, fleeting transaction that much more valuable than the dozens (and dozens) of dollars I’ve been spending at your bar for the last three decades?
Yes, I know. I can take my business elsewhere. Yes, there are still a few other establishments that remain, like flies captured in amber, unchanged. But your bar is my favorite. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive (or overly nostalgic) but the message I’m receiving is this: “Fuck off, old people. I don’t want you in my bar.” If that isn’t the intention, perhaps you can tell me why, with all the bars you run, it was necessary to “youthify” the only “neighborhood bar” you had left.
Sincerely,
a cranky old broad from the neighborhood <shakes fist>

 

 

You Can’t Rush Perfect Timing

hurryMercury is in retrograde so it’s probably just as well that the lawyer part of the bar-buying process is still dragging on. It sounds like the closing will happen right when Mercury goes direct. Which is a good thing, since during the retrograde period it’s best not to sign any contracts. So I’m continuing to obsess about the songs and CDs for the jukebox, what sort of wacky drinks to serve and whether or not to tile the bathroom with pennies. I’m doing my best to be patient. This will be a long process. As Ariel said, “You can’t rush perfect timing!” Uh-yup.

Today was going to be domestic bliss — grocery shopping. cleaning and the gym — till I got a text to cover a shift at Double Down. A good thing, since my wallet was pretty much empty. It’s been a while since I’ve been behind that bar but most of it came back to me easily. Can I say, I love to bartend. LOVE TO BARTEND! When Ariel came in and said, “You look 17 behind that bar!” I loved it even more. It is, most definitely, my milieu. There were a couple people there through my entire shift. I got there around 1:15 and they were there when I left at 8:15. That’s an impressive haul. There were young professional, muggly dudes and bike messengers, employees from other bars and people who live around the corner, single 20-somethings and I even had a visit from an old friend who’d posted on Facebook that he was lunching at Katz’s. Ya just never know who’s gonna walk through the door. Ahh. So good. And that extra wad of cash isn’t too bad either.

When I got home, my Burning Man Thank You card was in my mailbox. It’s always nice to receive this little missive of appreciation. They have card-signing gatherings and anyone’s welcome, which means a few dozen people sign each one. Stickers and stamps augment the “You’re awesome!”s. Which means I wrapped up my day with dollars and adulation. Oh. And some leftover Chow Fun. Tomorrow? Grocery shopping, cleaning and the gym.

Three Tinder Dates in Three Days

Nights, actually.

Yes, I’m off OKCupid. But I’m still online with the Tinder app. I figure, why not use an app that was designed to facilitate immediacy? Well, no surprise that it hasn’t yielded as much of that as I’d hoped. But I have found the men to be slightly more…game.

Thursday evening I met a gentleman from Tinder at the Punk Magazine 40th Anniversary Show at HOWL Happening Gallery. Proving himself to be a true iconoclast, he showed up at the all motorcycle-jackets-and-tight-jeans event in oatmeal-toned Indian garb. It was a frigid night and he was in sandals. Barefoot. Okay, I can groove with your “Oh, I’m so different” deal, dude; I’m different too. We looked at the art, I introduced him to a few people and then we drifted to 2A, where he more than held his own with some of my slightly mouthier friends. I thought we were getting along pretty well, if not spot-on perfectly. I offered him the “It’s probably best not to talk about your ex-wife on a first date” advice and he admitted I was his first. Date. He apologized for texting his daughter and it didn’t bother me. For the first hour. In the end, I’d enjoyed his company. We weren’t much of a match but I would’ve included him in just about any social gathering in the future. (And would’ve loved to introduce him to other women.)  When he left I thought he felt the same. Apparently he didn’t because after a few steps out the door he began texting me somewhat nasty stuff. I responded with a “Dude, go home, you’re drunk” and suggested we communicate in the morning. He’d consumed three pint glasses of double-shot Cuba Libres and I just figured, eh, he’s sloshed. But he kept on. So I unmatched him. Who needs that shit?

Date number two had been arranged for Thursday night and we were gonna meet up, just the two of us, until a friend texted that she’d been served divorce papers. “I need a drink,” she told me. “Join me?” I texted the guy and he had no problem with it. He even said he’d buy her a drink himself. Well he did. A bunch. He bought drinks for me, for her, for her male friend. I don’t think I’ve ever had a date throw that much cash around. I mean, I’ve been on coffee dates where the dude didn’t even pay for my Americano! I am soooo far from a money-freak but man, that was a refreshing change! We had a blast. Truly. He was the most fun date I can remember. In New York, anyway. I was his first date (What is it with me and the just-divorced virgins?!) and his “profile” was the sincere admission “Not sure why I’m on here. Just looking for friendship.” I got no problem with that. I’m hoping he’ll show up at Happy Hour on Wednesday. He asked if he could bring a bunch of his friends. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

And last night I met up with number three. He was just as entertaining and engaging as the others. Smart, interesting…and interested. And there I had it. I could interest and engage. But that may not be such a good thing. Both #2 and #3 were interested enough. Yet I wasn’t. Sure, in friendship. But beyond that. No. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like having sex again. In the past five years I’ve felt motivated in that direction with exactly three men. And had sex exactly four times. That’s not a lot. It’s actually kinda embarrassing. Especially from a self-admitted former slut. I don’t know how to handle myself. Last night’s date challenged me: If that’s how I feel, why was I bothering? Because I’m an optimist? I keep hoping? I’ve said so many times that meeting in person is the only way to know and then…meeting in person…I’m still left cold. Not by the men but by my libido. Or lack thereof.

I felt physically attracted to someone fairly recently. Someone taller and older and, sadly, 3,000 miles away. Well, he wasn’t at the time. But he is now. So I’m going to maintain my optimism. I’m going to continue hoping. And, quite probably, continue disappointing the men who’ve swiped right in hopes of meeting someone fun and interesting (done and done) and having sex with her (not so done). Surely one of them might be the one?