Life: October 2007 Archives

A Very Troubling Night

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I've been bartending for about five years.

There have been good nights. Bad nights. Crazy parade days. Bad customers. Good customers. Wonderful tips. Slow shifts. Various tomfoolery.

Last Saturday was only what I could deem as a "Very troubling night."

It started off very normal. We had customers at the bar, but it was slow. Time crept by, and I was beginning to worry that our normally busy Halloween Spooktacular was going to be a bust.

Boy, was I wrong.

It was like someone turned on a light switch. It got busy all at the same time, around 10pm. Hordes of people started to come in. We had a DJ who was outstanding, but it was very, very loud. I had "regulars" who showed up at the bar, took one look at the enormous crowd, the loud music, and left. I don't blame them.

I was extremely busy. The same kind of busy that we have on St. Patrick's Day. Non-stop making drinks, lots of people drinking and even the manager & owner are behind the bar serving people. We had 5 people behind the bar at one point and were making drinks as fast as we could.

Here's a few choice moments of the night (read: annoying), with the best for last:

1. The place is jammed. Girl comes up asking for a "Watermelon Martini". I tell her we don't have that. She then starts to "think" a bit, rolling her eyes to the ceiling and says "ummmmm". I wait. I wait. I wait. The owner is right next to me, so I have to be nice. When the bar is going crazy, I just want to keep moving as fast as I can, and I can't say to her, "Bye!" with the owner there. I'm waiting for her and thinking how I want to reach across the bar and throttle her. For the record 99% of customers out there are considerate and good people. It's the 1% that really fire me up.

2. The customer who said, "There's not enough sugar on my lemon" when doing a lemon drop shot. Are you serious?

3. The comely girl who came in with a group of guys. She orders five shots of soco/lime, which were $2 each. She says, "Hey, this tasted a bit weak. How about two free shots for our group?" Are you fucking kidding me? Now, granted, she was fairly pretty (and i'm sure she knew it). Beauty gets you far in the world and five years ago when I was wet-behind-the-ears bartender I would have enjoyed her attention and poured her a extra shot. But now, i'm older, wiser, and have a cranky stomach. I smiled sweetly at her, and said, "You're cute. But you're not that cute." and served the next customer.

Mikie Squared "Spooktacular" This Saturday!

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It's Halloween weekend!102507.jpg

If you are in the neighborhood, and out to have a good time, come to Mikie Squared at 616 Washington St. Last year was a blast, but I will sadly miss working with Francia in her schoolgirl outfit, of course.

I know Mikie's is doing the 1/2 priced drinks to those in costume, along with shot specials, prizes and they will have a DJ, with NO COVER AT THE DOOR. I expect it will be another busy night, so if you want to get in, i'd get to the bar early.

I do remember my first Halloween, I was Casper The Friendly Ghost. I remember being very excited about that costume, too. I also remember that the day of Halloween was really warm. Not sure why I remember that.

I also remember growing up all the warnings about getting apples with razor blades in them. It seemed like every year there was that stern warning about the infamous razor blades...in apples. Funny how times change, no one really even thinks to warn kids about that now because who gives out apples anymore?

I don't remember even getting any apples as a kid. I do remember our local neighborhood dentist would not give candy but gave out toothbrushes to all the kids. Toothbrushes.

Yes, on mischief night we would always target his house first. He had a white house, with aluminum siding and lots of egg stains.

I have noticed that at my old apartment on 6th and Garden that i'd rarely get kids stopping by. I really love Halloween, too. I will miss carving out pumpkins with the roommates.

What's your favorite candy?

That would be hard to pin just one down for me. I am an Aquarius, after all.

I think my #1 favorite would be M&Ms, chocolate or peanut. I just love that crunchy shell, and I like them cool, like they have been in a refrigerator all day.

100,000 bars are always welcome. I used to eat Sprees everyday at highschool. I would buy them at lunch, and have them hidden in my pockets to eat the rest of the day. Ooh, and chocolate covered pretzels are fantastic. If you have a chance go to Lepore's.

I'll see you this weekend!

Hoboken Firefighters To The Rescue!

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I was on my way to work, going to the elevator.

I push the down button, and wait.

The elevator arrives, the door opens about 1/4 of the way, and then starts to shut.

I hear a woman's voice saying, "Whatt....?"

I quickly hit the down button again.

The elevator doesn't move. I don't hear it moving at all. I hear the woman pressing the buttons on her side and she says, "It's not opening...."

I wait a bit, then push on the outer door. It won't budge.

The girl starts to panic saying, "Oh my God. Oh my God. No."

I try to calm her down, but it really didn't work. I can hear her sobbing.

I get on my cell phone and call the police. They tell me they will call the fire department. The fire department arrives in about three minutes. The girl is on her cell phone sobbing to someone while the firefighters set up to open the door and get her out. Her husband/boyfriend arrives, just as they get the door open (with three people really working very hard to get it open). She gets out, thanks the firefighters and me. Also, to note, she was very pregnant. So now I understand why she was so frightened - I can only imagine the stress of being pregnant and then getting stuck in an elevator doesn't help. I'm sure images of her going into labor and stuck in an elevator flashed in her mind.

What impressed me the most was our city firefighters. First off, we take them for granted. If it wasn't for them, I would have been clueless what to do? Certainly I could have called the super, but there's no chance he and I could have done what they did. I was going to take a picture of them in action, but didn't think it was appropiate.

I was 45 minutes late for work, but what was I going to say to her, "Oh, sorry I have to go to work now, but the firemen are on the way..."

Well that way my excitement for the day, aside from my walk to work and witnessing NYC police busting two Crips near Greenwich Village. 5 police cars, and lots of onlookers.

Just another day in paradise...


You Have To Spend Money To Save Money...?

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With my new hours at Corporation X, everything is closed at midnight. I can't food shop, and most of the places to eat are fast-food junk. With my gym routine, I prefer to eat healthier, and I wrote the other day about being a picky eater (interestingly enough, I read an article later that day about eating habits in The New York Times).

So my issue is that I want to eat healthier foods when I can. I want fresh food. I don't want to shop each afternoon for whatever i'm in the mood for, and I had to figure out the best method to solving my issue with the technology out there today.

I started to do some research about spoilage. I read up about freezing and defrosting meat and how it affects taste. My original plan was to buy meat fresh, divide it into individual portions, freeze them seperately in ziploc, then getting home from work and defrosting it in the microwave and then using the George Foreman grill.

As I was doing my research I read about freezer burn, which is caused when air comes into contact with meat and it isn't dangerous, but i'm kind of particular about things like that. Remember my Italy story??

My next purchase was "FoodSaver Advanced Design V2860". The first reason is that I wanted to avoid freezer burn and keep my chicken or beef as fresh as I could.101607a.JPG Then I also remembered a conversation I had with the owner of Court Street, and how he told me one of his restaurant secrets: he vacuum sealed all of his food when it was delivered and froze individual portions for each dish. Had been doing it for at least ten years, which allowed him to keep an expansive menu, deliver fresh tasting food and keep his expenses down.

Plus this allows me to make the larger meals (like ones from a cookbook, that in the past i'd just give the leftovers to my roommates) and save them with the FoodSaver. I usually dread leftovers, but everything I read about the FoodSaver has been positive, and perfect for my situation.

I'll write it up and let you know how it goes. Do any of you own a FoodSaver? Any tips?

I bought two new videogames. One is Half Life 2: The Orange Box. The Team Fortress looks incredible, and fun. The next game is a an expansion pack of my favorite game Sid Meyer's Civilization 4, Called "Civilization 4: Beyond The Sword".

Eagles won on Sunday. Ugly win. It's going to be a long season unless something miraculous happens.

I drank quite a bit on Sunday, and with my new work hours at "Corporation X", I thought it wouldn't be a problem to just have a fun day of drinking, football, and then sleep it off. Boy, was I wrong.

One of the things that sucks about getting older is that i'm probably in the best physical condition of my life, but my body is still 35 years old. I simply can't drink like I did 10 years ago, my recovery and "bounce back" isn't the same. I was hurting Monday, and going into work was terrible. I was hungover - tired, cranky and nauseous the entire evening, but with each passing hour I felt a bit better. I missed the gym on Monday and Tuesday. Very annoying. I might have to switch to beers on Sundays and a "no shot" rule.

"Might" being the key word, ya know...

Hoboken Headlines

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I was reading The Jersey Journal, and I love reading that site almost as much as I love reading personal ads. I read the stories and just have a running commentary in my head as I read them and I figure i'd share that with you today. Here's the headlines for the last week, a quick synopsis and my comments at the end:

"Apology fails to head off pot arrest" : A Stevens Institute of Technology student apologized to a cop for "just smoking weed" after she threw a joint into the Hudson River Tuesday night, police said.

Comment: Never smoke weed by the waterfront, too many people - the back streets are where it's at and less cops around! Also, how the hell did you start a pot cloud that everyone could smell, who the hell were you smoking with, Bob Marley's ghost? Remember the lessons from the movie "Friday": "Puff, puff, give."

"Knocked out on Hoboken street": A man was knocked out cold yesterday morning after a shouting match on a city street, police said.

Comment: There aren't enough details here, but the few things that stand out in my mind:


  1. The victim was yelling at a man, who was accompanied by a woman. Bad move. The attacker probably was more upset that someone was insulting him in front of his girlfriend and took action. If he was alone, he may have walked away.

  2. Clean-cut bald man of average height and 200 pounds. Any guy who shaves his head bald is usually losing his hair and they are very angry about that to begin with. Also bald guys think of themselves as tough guys, and will be more prone to fight than walk away.

  3. The victim, who admitted to cops having downed five drinks, did not know what had happened to him or what day it was, but did know his name, police reports said. Fucking amateurs! Five drinks and you get clobbered?! Not only were you stupid enough to pick the fight with the angry bald guy and his girlfriend, but you can't hold your drink and you got clowned in front of Texas Arizona. Nice job, idiot.

"Company laptop reported stolen in park": A New York businessman reported his laptop stolen from Columbus Park at around noon on Friday, police reports said.

Comment: People, people, please. You are in Hoboken, not Nebraska. "He told cops that he stepped away from his bag for a couple of minutes and when he returned the computer had vanished, police said." - you deserved to lose that laptop, dumbass.

"Hoboken starts construction on its own for vets memorial": The construction of the Hoboken World War II Memorial is finally under way - and veterans are thrilled.

Comment: All three of them are thrilled.

I kid! I kid! I have been recording, on my Tivo, Ken Burns "The War" and highly recommend it. It definitely gets me emotional when watching some of the footage and frankly amazed at what our troops did during the war. Interestingly enough, you also really get to see propaganda in action for the U.S. - we take our freedoms (especially of speech & the press) for granted today. There was ZERO free press during World War II.

"2 men charged in assault in Hoboken bar": A man was attacked Friday night at a city bar and may need plastic surgery, according to police reports.

Comment: I'm sure the victim started with: "Hey! Did you make fun of my capri pants? They are very much in fashion, along with my "Christian Audigier" and "Ed Hardy" shirts!!"

I don't know any locals who go to East LA. Walk by there on a Thursday or Friday and it looks like someone built an underground tunnel to Jersey City or East Orange and started the Underground Guido Railroad. I blame the victim in this case for going to East LA in the first place. Also learn a lesson here. If you ever are dumb enough to get into a fight, just use your fists. Breaking a bottle, using a chair, any object used will add about 2 years jail on top of an assault charge. Of course i'm sure both the victim and attackers were stone cold sober.

"Arrest after nasty end to cab ride": A taxi passenger who racked up a $50 fare from Manhattan Saturday assaulted a cop after two officers tried to help the driver collect the fare, police reports said.

Comment: You older readers know about my taxi rules in New York from my Quirks Of Hoboken entry, but maybe the newer readers need a refresher course. I can get from 72nd Street in Manhattan to Hoboken for $35 at 4am in NYC. How? Each cab comes up and you slur "I need to get to Hoboken and I only have $35!" they say "NO! $50!" you say, "Sorry, I don't have that much..." and slowly walk away looking for another cab and repeat. Either the cabbie drives away, or says "Ok, ok. Fine. $35."

Of course this clown was drunk and full of pride. Hiding in a boiler room? Nice. Your roommate paying $30 and you $18? Yep, you must be doing real well for yourself. Lunging at the cabbie in front of the cops? Awesome! Hitting a cop with your elbow? Well, have fun in prison, you tool.

"Crack charge after evidence swallowed": A man was arrested on cocaine charges after swallowing the evidence Sunday morning, police said.

Comment: I read this and I always think about what will happen to this criminal. Thrown into prison, and how is that helping? I'm not a bleeding heart liberal, and I know plenty of people who have the "lock them up and throw away the key attitude". I just think that prisons should be created for each type of crime: Violent crime Prison (murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault), Property Crime Prison (burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, shoplifting, and vandalism), Public Order Crime Prison (a bit more vague, but basically targets addicts, prostitutes & other public order crimes). Why? Well if someone steals a car and you throw them into a cell with a 250 pound rapist or murderer - we are not creating someone who exits prison as a reformed person, but as something even worse when they get out.

Sometimes the stories are true...

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I was at the bar on Saturday, it was early and not many customers were there.

In walks a cute blonde haired girl, sits down alone at the bar.

She orders a Absolut Mandarin, with selzer and a splash of cranberry. She asks for it while talking on her cell phone.

I get her drink, and talk to some other customers, while I hear her chatting on her cell. Remember: Bartenders can hear just about everything you say.

"Nah, I don't want to see him, but what can you do?", she is muttering on her phone.

She talks some more and hangs up, sipping her drink. My customers step outside to eat at an outdoor table, since there are only a few more good weeks left that they can do this.

I roll over to the cute blonde and say, "So, where's the boyfriend?"

She's cute. The type of cute that says she has a boyfriend or the kind of cute that doesn't stay single for very long.

She looks up from texting on her cell phone, smiles and says, "How'd you know I had a boyfriend?"

"Intuition, I guess. 100207.jpgBeen bartending long enough to know a few things.", I replied.

"Well he just got in from Florida today and wants to have dinner...", she says sullenly.

"Sooo...what's wrong with that?", I ask.

"He wants to TALK, ya know? Sit at dinner and talk for a few hours. What do I want to talk about? I want to go out, see my friends and have some fun!", she says.

My brain immediately jumps to the book, "He's just not that into you..."

"Ok, let me get this straight. Your boyfriend has been out of town, just got back in, wants to see you for dinner, and you aren't excited about seeing him? Come on. You can't be that interested in him! What gives? Why you dating this chump?"

She grins and rubs her thumb to her index and middle finger, and says with a shrug, "He's got money."

As guys that is something that we all grouse about women. That women just want to date rich guys and certainly PLENTY of women I know do not, I repeat, DO NOT care about money.

But you do know that just as many women who protest that they don't want to date rich guys there are a whole segment of other women out there who aren't going to complain if they have a boyfriend who makes bank.

Much like men aren't going to complain if they find a woman with a great personality, wonderful job AND STUNNING GOOD LOOKS.

When she told me this, she saw me roll my eyes and replied, "I know. I know. I'm goin' to hell."

I said, "You better be careful with that, honey. Karma is a boomerang. Just dating some guy because he has cash and you don't really like him, it will bite you in the ass someday. You'll meet a great guy and get played right back."

She says, "Oh, I hear ya, but i'm twenty-two, ya know? I want to have FUN. Not get serious!"

I ask how old her boyfriend is, fully expecting he's going to be 38.

"He's twenty-five.", she says.

"How much money we talking here? He's only twenty five, can't be making that much...", I ask.

"He gives me everything I ask for.", she says.

"So how long will you keep dating him?", I ask.

She shrugs again. "I want to go on a caribbean vacation in a few months, so I will have him pick that up. Also don't want to miss out on his presents for me during the holidays, either. So maybe in March, when the weather gets nice."

Sad to think that there's some guy out there dating this piece of trash and doesn't even know he is getting played.

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