Friday, June 29, 2007

Mostly About Alcohol

So every time I'm at work and I have to restock the Miller Lite bottles, as I'm getting the case out of the walk-in fridge I think to myself, "Meeler Lite!" Or, even more accurately, "Mee-ler Lite." how Speedy Gonzalez would say "Miller Lite", if that was something he actually said.
It has become a compulsion, I think this to myself every single time I restock the bottles. Where did this come from? I'm sure my brain didn't just make it up by itself and it had to have come from somewhere, but where?

To change the subject completely, I'm already starting to get a little concerned thinking about all the stuff I have to do before moving to University Land. I keep thinking I have all the time in the world, but really, I only have a little over a month. I started to make a list of all the stuff I have to do in that month, but I realized halfway through that the list would be interesting and useful only to me. Suffice it to say, I need to figure out quite a few things before this moving adventure is over.
I keep going back and forth about this whole thing. Some days I feel confident that I will succeed and earn the Ph.D. and even be happy while I'm doing it, and other days I'm afraid I won't even make it until December, possibly because that's about the time I'll run out of money for anything other than rent.

Finally, on yet another completely unrelated note, a group of women at the bar today told me I make the best margarita they've ever had. I personally believe that what makes a good margarita is purely a matter of personal opinion, but I was flattered nonetheless. If you're like me and you prefer your margaritas more sour than sweet, try it my way:
-Shot of tequila
-About half as much triple sec as tequila
-Sweet and sour mix to just about fill up the glass
-A couple of generous splashes of fresh lime juice (this is the key, I think)
-A splash of orange juice (slightly less OJ than lime juice)
-Pour it all into a shaker with ice, shake it up until it's good and frothy, then pour the whole shaker, ice and all, into a salt-rimmed glass.

These are pretty delicious, although I still think the best margaritas ever were these things my roommate and I used to make in college. Her mom gave us the recipe and the name, Scream and Get Naked Margaritas. They made many a successful party appearance over the years and--fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you think about it--they often lived up to their name, because if there's any liquor that's gonna get me wild and naked, it's tequila. Unfortunately, I've forgotten the recipe. I do know they had to be made in bulk, though (all the better for parties) and involved a bottle of Mexican beer, a can of frozen limeade, tequila, and Sprite. In fact, maybe those are all of the ingredients, I just don't remember the proportions. I have this vague memory of Lizzy and I using equal parts tequila and limeade, but surely that's not actually the case, because that would have made one hell of a tequila-y margarita. Then again, maybe that's what led to the name Scream and Get Naked Margaritas.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fun reason to enjoy some margaritas this weekend. I know with three days off work and Maddi coming to town, I certainly do!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


AKA Randomly Spitting Out Some Thoughts That Are In My Head At 12:22 On A Wednesday Night:

-I'm sorry to write about this twice in a row, but I just can't seem to help myself: The really amazing thing about that Umbrella song by Rihanna--and by "amazing" I mean horrible--is that she somehow manages to make "umbrella" a four syllable word. Um-ber-el-la. Amazing.

-Tonight I was at dinner with my parents and my brother, and after about five minutes of conversation in which my parents and I were participating and my brother was just staring blankly at a TV screen above the bar, he burst out with "You know, I just realized I never want to talk about anything but sports, because this conversation is horribly boring to me." No wonder the poor guy never gets any pussy.

-You know how every time your ex dates someone new, you secretly think that they're not as good as you? Admit it, you think this, even if you're the one that broke up with your ex and you're not actually interested in him anymore. Well, last year my ex dated this girl that I assumed was kind of crazy. This was probably an unfair assumption, but because he left me for her, I spent a lot of time wondering why he was dating a crazy girl when he could be dating me. And then I ended up talking to her, and it turned out that she was actually okay and we realized that he fucked us both over so we had a lot in common, and blah, blah, blah. That's old news now and I actually hadn't thought about his ex in a really long time. But the other night I was serving drinks to a couple of other local bartenders, one of whom works at the same bar where my ex's crazy girlfriend used to work. When he told me where he worked, I was like, "Oh, did you know J?" and the very first words out of his mouth were, "Oh, Bitchy J?" and the guy sitting beside him said, "You mean Crazy J?" And they said these things not knowing where I was even going with the question. For all they knew I was her good friend, but that was their impression of her and it was strong enough that they couldn't help spilling it to me. So that was some nice validation. Too bad it came a year and a half too late to really matter. A year ago I would have been thrilled to find out that other people thought she was crazy, too. Now it's just another opinion about someone that's probably not any more or less crazy than the rest of the world.

-Speaking of relationships, I am getting really tired of guys at the bar asking why I don't have a boyfriend. I realize people mostly intend this in a flattering way, i.e. "You're fun and interesting and attractive, why are you not taken?" But I find it annoying because it's a cliche line that is usually followed up by "All the other men are stupid for not appreciating you, any man would be lucky to have you." I guess that this is guys' attempt to find out if I'd be willing to date them, since I doubt it's a way of politely boosting my self esteem as I pour them Budweiser. Do guys not realize that EVERY GUY IN THE WORLD says this to single girls? Does every person that says this to me honestly believe that it's the first time I've heard it? Plus there's no way to answer that question. I'm always tempted to melodramatically shout , "I don't know why I'm not in a relationship!! Why don't you tell me what's wrong with me?! Please, PLEASE, someone tell me what's wrong with me?!?! I need a man, I am desperate!" and then burst into tears. I'd love to see what kind of reaction that would get.

-On Monday night there was a guy who sat at the bar for about an hour. He had a couple of beers, and since it was slow I spent quite a while talking to him. We made fun of music videos, talked about how annoying it is that this city is in the middle of fucking nowhere, etc. It wasn't much, but when he left I thought to myself, "I hope he comes back," and then I realized that he is the first attractive, interesting person I have met this summer. Knowing my luck, I'll never see him again.

-One of the bar regulars asked me today if I want to go to the Ansel Adams exhibit with him. I actually would like to go to the Ansel Adams exhibit, and the guy that asked me to go is a nice guy who would appreciate the whole thing probably even more than I would. He's a lush, sure, but he's a good guy. The problem is that it would require a daytrip to a nearby city, and I don't really think I want to be stuck in a car for an hour with this guy just in case things get weird. I also don't want to give him the false impression that I'm interested in anything other than photography. I actually think he's possibly gay (waaaaaaay in the closet, so far he doesn't even know he's in the closet, but gay) and if he's not gay then he's in love with one of the other female bartenders. So I really think he did invite me just because he knows I'd like it. But I don't want things to be awkward, so I don't know if I'll actually go.

-Do you watch Big Love? If you don't, you should. It's very good.

-Do you think any of the people from My Super Sweet Sixteen or Engaged and Underage grow up to be normal?

-41 days until I'm in University Land!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

He'll Probably Have Beer Pong at His Wedding

So I'm watching Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway? right now--why I watch this show is beside the point, because I don't really have an answer to that question--and this couple has an $80,000 budget for their wedding. Eighty THOUSAND dollars! For a wedding! That is probably more money than I'll ever earn in any given year in my whole entire life. And these people are spending it for a single party. That is insane. I wouldn't serve those people alcohol. I'd like to think that even if I had eighty grand to throw away on a wedding, I wouldn't do it.

Speaking of insane...actually, this really has nothing to do with anything, I'm just aiming for a little narrative flow here. So anyway, I went to work last night and was talking to one of the cocktail waitresses, Meagan. Meagan is a nutcase. Really, she is. She's a nice person, but she's crazy. The first night I ever met her, she dropped her pants in the middle of the bar and showed everyone her thong. It was after last call and we'd already kicked most of the customers out, but still. She was drunk that night because she wasn't working and she'd just stopped by the bar to say hi (and show off her underwear, apparently) but I quickly found out that she's like that even when she's sober. She runs around with one of the other bartenders, Brittany, and the two of them are ridiculous together. They're like a blonde tornado, wreaking havoc all over town. Last week, for example, Brittany punched a guy in the face and made his nose bleed because he said something crass about Meagan. Then last night Meagan told me that she and Brittany wrecked each other's cars the night before. Meagan was pulling out of her driveway as Brittany was pulling in, and they crashed.
Right after telling me this story, Meagan said, "Ooh, *A*, you should go out with us! We'd have fun!" Jay, one of the other bartenders, yelled out, "NO. Don't do it!" And I said, "Yeah, I'm a little afraid I might die if I go out with you two." But I also have a feeling that going out with them would be like a night of bar hopping with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton only on a smaller budget, and I kind of don't want to miss that opportunity. I'm sure I'd get a few good stories out of it, if I didn't get arrested. Or die.

To wrap up this completely disjointed entry, I leave you with a few quotes from my little brother, who spouts an endless supply of ridiculous things day in and day out. It's one of the things I like best about him.

Bro: I really like that "Umbrella" song. I hate to admit it, but it grew on me.
Me: Ugh, not me. And what's with the ballet dancing in the video?
Bro: That's because apparently she really is a good, uh...balletist.
Me: Balletist?
Bro: Is that not the word? It's not, is it? Oh, ballerina!

Bro: How's my form?
Me: [Looking up from a magazine, puzzled] Your what?
Bro: My form. [Pantomimes tossing a ping pong ball during beer pong] See, you place your feet about shoulder width apart, pivot your body a little to the side, aim for the back of the cup, the BACK of the cup, and you hold your arm at a ninety degree angle-
Me: That's not a ninety degree angle.
Bro: A sixty degree angle-
Me: I don't think that's a sixty degree angle, either.
Bro: What angle is it? I need to know, I could write a book on this!
Me: Please get out of here.

P.S.-Now on Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway? this couple has a hundred thousand dollar budget! Where are the people that have this kind of money?!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Minors Tend to Travel in Groups

Because I'm a nice person, and because she's paying me $20 to take it for her, I'm taking the online alcoholic beverage commission certification course for my sister right now. I'm not sure if this is true of every state, but in order to serve alcohol here you have to have your certification. Basically, it involves taking a three hour course on how to tell if someone is intoxicated, how to avoid serving minors, blah, blah, blah. You can go to an actual class, or you can do it online, which is what I always do. Because the certification expires every two years, I've already taken this course twice in my life for two different jobs, and my sister has already taken it at least once as well. Her internet connection isn't working well tonight, but she had already started the course when it crapped out on her and once you pay for the course and start it you only have six hours to complete it. I'm sure she could just call someone tomorrow and explain the situation and start the program again, but she figured it'd be easier for me to just let the stupid thing play in the background while I watch Food Network and screw around on the internet, and she's probably right. And I already know all of her answers to her security questions. That's what happens when you've known someone her entire life.
My biggest problem with the online course is that it begins with a pre-test. The pre-test has basically the EXACT SAME QUESTIONS that are on the test you have to take to get your certification at the end of the course. So wouldn't it make sense that if you can pass the pre-test, you already know all of the information that is going to be explained in the course, you're already an experienced "server/seller", and therefore you shouldn't have to sit through three hours of cheesy slideshows with painful dialogue that repeat the same things over and over and over again in different ways? It's so stupid.
I got a warning from the introductory slideshow that it's a felony to take this course for someone else, but you're also not supposed to consume alcoholic beverages, do distracting things like watch TV, or listen to loud music while taking the course, and you're probably not supposed to be blogging, either, and I'm breaking all of those rules, too. Except for the loud music thing. I don't usually listen to music unless I'm in my car or cleaning my apartment.
I did just learn a couple of things that I don't remember from last time, though. Did you know that it's illegal to serve alcohol to an insane person? Since that's the case, I probably shouldn't be serving drinks to a quarter of the people that come into the bar on any given day. I keep imagining how great it would be to say to a customer, "Sorry, I can't serve you tonight, dude, because you are INSANE."
Also while I did know it's possible to be arrested for public intoxication, I never really translated that in my mind as "it is illegal to get drunk." But it is. It's illegal even if you're not driving. Which, like I said, I sort of already knew, but I never really thought about just how often I've broken the law.

I'm looking forward to breaking it this weekend, though! Maddi is coming to town on Friday night, and I can't wait to see her. I imagine we'll end up doing a lot of drinking, because most of the places I want to take her are bars or restaurants. My sister's boyfriend was laughing at my sister last week because the only thing she really wanted him to do here was try various restaurants that we love. In retrospect, a very large part of our childhood revolved around restaurants. When I think about my hometown, my favorite restaurants are the first thing I think about. As much as this city has grown on me in the years since I stopped being stuck here full time, I have to admit that there's still not much to do around here either than eating or drinking. But then again, isn't that kind of the case anywhere?

P.S.-I've been spending way too much time rating movies on Flixster ever since discovering it a few days ago, and do you know what I have realized? For someone that claims to love movies, I have no interest in seeing about 75% of them. And I wish there was a similar site for books. Surely I'm not the only person in the world that would enjoy it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Do you believe in karma? I sort of do. I want to believe in karma because I like to believe that if I try to be a good person and do good things for others, then good things will happen to me. And I like to believe that when people are horrible, that they will get their comeuppance eventually, even if I'm not around to see it happen.
But sometimes I find it impossible to believe in karma. I'm not convinced, for example, that people dying of cancer somehow did something at some point in their life (lives?) that is now causing them to suffer. I'm not convinced that some people deserve to have fantastic luck while others are fated to have one misfortune after another because somewhere along the line they screwed up and now they're suffering an entire lifetime of bad karma. I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes really bad things happen to really good people, and I don't understand how karma can possibly explain that. But in general I believe in karma.
Which is why I'm a little worried about the fact that I, um, kind of damaged a parked car the other day and didn't leave one of those "Sorry I hit your car, here is my info" notes. I was leaving work in kind of a rush because I wanted to get home in time to meet my family for dinner, and I was on my phone with my dad at the time, and as I backed out of my parking space I heard a little crunch. I saw the truck behind me, I just misjudged the distance between my car and the truck. So of course I started cursing and my dad said, "What, what is it?" and I said, "I just hit this truck that was parked behind me," and he said, "Is there any damage?" and I said, "I don't know" and then I got out to look and my car was fine except for a little crack in the fender that I don't think you'd even notice if I didn't point it out. The truck on the other hand, had a dent in its fender. To be honest, I don't know how bad the dent was because I didn't look that hard at it, I just briefly noticed that it was in fact damaged, said "Damn it!" and Dad said, "Did anyone see you hit it?" and I said, "No, I don't think so," and he said, "Well, just leave, then." And so I did. I don't really know why I listened to him, because then I spent the rest of the night panicking that maybe somebody DID see me hit the truck and had taken down my license plate number and put it on the truck for the truck's owner and that the cops were in the process of trying to track me down. Oh, and I spent the evening feeling terrible. I felt absolutely terrible for doing that. In fact, I felt so bad about it that I kind of couldn't stop talking about it all night long, until finally my mom was like, "*A*, really, I'm glad you have such a conscience, but you really need to stop talking about it. It's fine."
Since then I've been able to rationalize the incident in a bunch of ways. I logically know that the cops aren't actually spending any time looking for my car. And if anyone actually was, I think they would have tracked me down by now, I think. The truck in question was pretty beat up even without my dent--and actually, the more I think about it, the more I don't really understand how my little car could have dented the taller truck's fender, so maybe I didn't even actually cause the dent I noticed (I probably did, but maybe I didn't)--and I am trying to rationalize that maybe it was good that I left without admitting that I did damage, just in case the owner would have tried to fix a whole bunch of things on his truck, pretending all of its problems were my fault. And then there's the biggest thing working in my favor, the fact that the truck was parked up against the back of a building directly under a big orange and black sign that says NO PARKING. Clearly there's not enough room to get out of the proper parking spots if anyone is parked there, so the dumbass kind of deserves the damage for parking illegally in the first place and trapping the properly parked cars, right? I'm also trying to convince myself that this is just karmic payback for the two times my car has been minorly damaged in parking lots, but I'm pretty sure karma doesn't work retroactively like that.
So yeah, okay, I still feel bad, and I'm still waiting for a lightning bolt to strike me at any minute. I'm even afraid to write about it here, but maybe if I admit to everyone that I'm one of those assholes that damages people's property and doesn't admit it, the universe won't hate me so much.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Boys Will be Boys

So Phil wrote this blog entry about how he hates when people lose themselves when they begin a new relationship and start turning into someone else completely and stop answering text messages, etc.* And I don't know why I read his blog entries at all, but I do. They're not about personal stuff, usually. But this one made me want to scream, "FUCKING HYPOCRITE". It made me so angry, in fact, that I almost commented on his blog, "Well, that's the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it?" and it took every ounce of my willpower not to respond to his entry and point out all the dozens of ways he himself has done exactly what he is complaining about whenever he has started a new relationship. But I realize we're all hypocritical about a lot of things and I suppose he didn't specifically say that he himself doesn't do this, just that he hates when other people do it. But damn, I hope he realizes how guilty he is of exactly what he's accusing other people of doing. Because he's actually the very worst person I know about losing himself completely when he starts a new relationship; cutting off contact with his old friends, failing to answer innocent phone calls/text messages, etc. Case in point: his behavior toward me this summer. [I'm sorry to harp on this again, but if someone can give me a compelling reason why he cut me out of his life, something other than "he has a new girl he's seeing", then I would like to hear it.]
At any rate, I'm proud of myself for not bitching directly to him. And I don't think he reads my blog, so really I'm not bitching to him at all. I still keep hoping he'll come to his senses and realize he really doesn't want to burn yet another bridge by cutting me out of his life, but I'm also trying to be strong and just stay out of his life for a while (possibly a long while) since that's what he wants.

Maybe my reward for this will be that one day, I'll meet a guy that does what I want, at least part of the time. I'm realizing lately that while I'm good at getting the little superficial things that I want in relationships, I'm not great at holding my ground and getting the big things I need. I don't like confrontation, and I'm also a very easy going person. I really am. Not in every way, but in many ways I'm easy going almost to a fault, because most of the time I end up just letting the guy see me when he feels like it, have serious discussions when he feels like it, etc. Most of this is because I really am just that easy going--I don't care that much about many of the details, and a lot of times it's just easier to do it his way, end of story. But part of this is probably also a self esteem issue I need to work on. I could stand to be as demanding in the actual relationship as I am in my head. I'll be working on that for the future.

On a completely unrelated note, my sister and her boyfriend are in town for a few days so tonight I was with my siblings and a group of people at a bar. My brother has never really had a serious girlfriend, although I'm not sure why. Sure, I'm a bit biased since I'm related to him and share his genes, but I think he's a pretty good looking guy. He's also funny and can carry on a good conversation and he's a smart kid. So I'm not sure why he doesn't seem to date a lot of girls. Maybe he's just kind of shy. I see a bit of myself in him, actually. I don't know if he'd agree with this assessment, but I'd say we're both the sort of people that aren't going to go for something unless we're relatively sure we're going to acheive it, particularly when it comes to dating. I'm not going to approach a guy unless I'm fairly positive the results are going to be favorable, and I think my brother is the same way about girls. Luckily this hasn't handicapped me too terribly because guys will still approach me. But because my brother isn't willing to approach a lot of girls, he doesn't get as much action as I think he probably could.
So anyway, I was proud tonight to see that he was talking to this cute little dark-haired girl. There was definite flirting going on; they were playing beer pong and there was a lot of high fiving and laughing. But then the beer pong game broke up and my brother came over and sat down beside me at the bar, and we were talking when she came up to him to say goodnight. And I saw it. It was brief, but I think I'm pretty good at reading other girls, and she definitely sized me up briefly. She looked me up and down really quickly, gave me the tiniest hint of a "back off, I'm on this one" look, and then hugged my brother goodbye and told him to call her. And of course I smiled and tried to look as non-threatening and non-possessive as possible. In retrospect I probably should have said, "Hi, I'm his sister, A" but I didn't want to embarrass him in case he didn't want her to know he was hanging out with relatives and anyway, I figured he would introduce me to her if it were important to him. Well, he didn't say anything, so after she left I asked him, "Does she know I'm your sister?" and he said, "Of course not, why would she know that?!" and I said, "Well, you'd better let her know the next time you see her, because I think she thought that maybe I was another girl you were flirting with, and you don't want her to worry for nothing." His response? "Yes I do! That's great if she thinks she has competition!"


*You can read it if you know who Phil is and are his Facebook friend, he posts the link there. I'm not going to bother linking it from here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I'm tired right now. I worked the closing shift at one bar on Thursday night and didn't get home until 3:20 so didn't get to sleep until 4 in the morning. Then I opened at the other bar yesterday, which meant I had to be there at 1:00 in the afternoon. I got seven hours of sleep Thursday night (or, uh, Friday morning, technically) so that's not bad at all. But then last night I was out drinking until 3:30 in the morning, and then I had to get up at 8:00 to be at work at 10 this morning, and I didn't get off until almost 7:00. Which means lots of hours of working and not a lot of hours of sleeping, basically. Well, and some hours drinking. I guess I wouldn't be this tired if I hadn't done that last night, but whatever. Sometimes a girl needs three Bay Breezes, and an amaretto on the rocks and then maybe a Malibu and Coke or two and then maybe she gets kind of weirded out by the bikers and dreadlocked guys at a particular local bar so she needs a couple of shots so that she's brave enough to gawk openly at everyone and then she needs to come home and drink a mandarin vodka and tonic and then if she's lucky she'll somehow wake up at 8 a.m. sans hangover (I'm lucky!).
Next week will be even crazier because I work four days in a row instead of just three.
I don't mind much, honestly. I really do like the job a lot. I mean, seriously, I like bartending about a hundred times more than I expected to like it. Take today, for example: I made $150 in tips this afternoon, and what did I do? I poured some draught beers and opened some bottles, I made a few margaritas, I chatted with all of the regulars. It's amazing how many people come into the bar every single day, or at least every time I'm working, which means they must be in there every day. I stocked the bar, but that was easy today. I ate a hot dog. I gossiped with the cocktail waitress. I watched music videos. My manager let me take a tequila shot with another one of the bartenders who was off today and hanging out drinking and watching the golf tournament. And I made a hundred and fifty dollars! For talking to people and pouring beers, basically! I never even felt that busy. Business was steady all day, but I never felt really rushed or flustered. When I think about how much I would have had to bust my ass to make $150 in a shift at the last restaurant job I worked, I want to cry for waiters. Plus when you're waiting tables, it always feels like work. At the bar, I can sometimes trick myself into thinking I'm just hanging out and having fun with everyone else. I just can't leave and go to another bar if the scene is dead, that's all.
It's not always this great, true. But the fact that it's even possible at all to make that sort of money for the "work" I did this afternoon is still sort of mind-boggling to me.

Speaking of money--and yes, I am aware that money is a more taboo topic than sex but I'm going to talk about it anyway so get outta here if the subject makes you uncomfortable--I got my contract for my new TA position in University Land yesterday. I'm going to be a section leader for one of the intro classes to my field. I haven't figured out yet if section leader means me teaching my own entire section of the class (oh god...) or if it means me sitting in on someone else's lectures and teaching a complementary study session or lab a couple of times a week. Obviously I'm hoping for the latter, just because I don't know if I'm ready to make the lesson plans for an entire college intro class by myself yet. But I guess I'll find out for sure what the job entails soon enough. I start August 17th.
Anyway, I am happy to know what my job is, but I wasn't pleased to discover that the contract is for about $1200 less than what I thought they were going to be paying me. Apparently the state funding didn't come through, so they can't increase assistantship salaries this year as they wanted to. It's not a huge deal, I'm still getting my promised summer funding, and I'm still going to be making a lot more money in University Land than I would have at the other school that offered me a position. But when your stipend is less than $20,000 a year, $1200 is a pretty big percentage of that.
So that was some bad news. But then a couple of good things happened financially. I got my move-out charges from the apartment I moved out of a couple of weeks ago, and they're only charing me $60! I suppose some people would be pissed to be charged any money at all, but I'm thrilled. When I moved out of my first apartment in 2005, my roommate and I were charged almost $1,000 to replace our carpeting. The apartment complex screwed us over in a major way that I won't waste time explaining, and we were livid, but there was nothing we could do about it. I was dreading having to pay in the neighborhood of $500 again. So when I saw that the bill was only a very reasonable $60 for carpet repairs, and when I realized that the only reason I was being charged at all was because they finally caught on that I never paid a pet deposit (accidental oversight that I then took advantage of, another long story...), I happily wrote them the $60 check. Considering the original pet deposit should have been $250, I'd say I got a hell of a deal.
In other good financial news, if my average pay for the first two weeks ends up being my average for the next seven, I'll end up making more money this summer than I expected to make. I don't want to jinx myself and I'm trying not to get too greedy and then end up disappointed, but I think it's possible that if I keep working four to five shifts a week for the rest of the summer, the money I'll manage to save while I'm living here will more than make up for the fact that my salary in University Land will be less than expected.
I'll have to wait and see what happens, but I'm pretty happy right now.

I'm also happy about lying out by a pool all day tomorrow. Here's hoping the weather is nice!

P.S.-Thanks for reading, guys! I don't say that enough, but I appreciate everyone who actually takes time to check this page and read my ramblings once in a while. Sorry it's a little boring lately, but it will get better!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday is "Party With the Don" Night

So I had kind of a rough day. The general summary goes something like:
-I've been in town for almost two weeks and Phil has refused to spend any time with me but won't really explain why.
-I'm not good at controlling my emotions when it comes to him, so I got all weepy and demanding and "Why will you not see me?! Please, for the LOVE OF GOD, give me an actual reason so that I can have some sort of explanation" and that's the absolute wrong thing to do with him because his ways of coping with problems are a) pretending they don't exist, b) stonewalling and giving the silent treatment, and c) not ever giving an actual, reasonable explanation ever because he tends to only live in the present and therefore he rarely has [what I would consider a] reasonable explanation for any of his life decisions. These are reasons number #32, 33, and 34 why we can't date each other anymore, by the way. Because if there's anyone that needs at least a semi-logical explanation for everything, it's ME. Uh, have you met me? Yeah.
-His final explanation was "There's too much negative history between us for us to actually be together in person. It would be weird. We can be friends on IM and through texts, but not in real life." If someone can explain the logic behind this decision to me, please, please do. Because the only way it logically makes sense to me is "He can't be around me because he's not really over me and he's afraid that something physical would happen if we were in the same room at the same time." But that explanation is perhaps a bit too flattering to me, and he says that's not it. So what is it? I'm truly baffled, and he won't explain.
-In my opinion, there's no point in being friends through an electronic medium if we can't actually spend time together in real life (Jesus Christ, am I a 21st century girl or what?) so I ended up sending him a message that said something to the effect of, "Talk to me when you feel capable of being a real friend who understands compromise and the fact that a friendship is based on the wants/needs of TWO people and doesn't have one person calling the shots all the time."
-I told him I'll always be there for him, I'll be here when he wants to have a normal friendship again, and that I'll miss him in the meantime. And that's true. I'm bummed about the whole thing. I just feel like I put so much effort into maintaining this friendship, but in the end it's important to me but not to him. And I know there's nothing I can do to change that fact, but it still sucks.
-Do you think I'm being crazy and irrational for wanting an explanation when someone who has been a major part of my life for seven years as a boyfriend/friend suddenly decides he doesn't want me as a part of his "real" life at all whatsoever? He's trying to make me feel like a psychopath, but I don't think I'm being so very crazy for having demanded some sort of explanation, even if it took a lot of phone calls/texts to finally get him to give me his reason. Am I?
-I have a suspicion that the main reason he doesn't want to see me is that he has a girlfriend right now and he's paranoid that hanging out with me will somehow jeopardize their relationship. That's his issue, not mine, but it sucks that my life gets affected in a negative way because apparently he doubts his ability to be just friends with an ex while he's in a relationship. It also sucks that he can't get up the balls to admit to me that that's the real reason he doesn't want to see me.
-And if in fact a "negative history" is an actual reason why he doesn't want to spend time with me, then I feel sorry for him, too. I'm not a big grudge holder. I tend to let the past be the past, and usually within a year or so I have totally forgotten why I dislike someone in the first place, especially if the issue that pushed us apart is completely IN THE PAST. Sometimes you dislike people for situational reasons. I'm dating her most recent ex-boyfriend, he got the promotion I wanted, etc. And as soon as it's in the past, I'm willing to at least try to start fresh. I'm a three-strikes-you're-out sort of girl. I'll try to start over with you three times, and if we STILL hate each other, for whatever reason, then I throw in the towel. Apparently some people aren't like that. Apparently Phil wants to focus on the negative, as opposed to the times when we were madly in love with each other and had fun and funny times together. He'd rather focus on the times we both hurt each other, even though I'd say at this point that we've both hurt each other equally and the best thing we could do is let it be water under the bridge. Especially since we have both done a lot of apologizing. There's nothing I can do to change his focus on the negative, but it does make me sad.
-I also have this theory that to get over me, he just can't be around me at all whatsoever. Partially this theory is to make me feel better about myself, but I suspect there's a lot of truth in this theory, too. Why else couldn't he be around me once or twice a month without assuming he would freak out and it would be awkward? I consider myself perfectly capable of being around him without wanting to sleep with him/date him again, so why can't he be the same way around me? Again, it's his issue and not mine, but it still makes me sad.
-A mutual friend of ours made me feel better by telling me, "Phil is weird. He was weird when you're dating him and he's weird now." So I'm sincerely trying to focus on his bad points instead of his good points.
-Finally, I keep trying to tell myself that his wanting to make a clean break is a good thing. I put a lot of energy into maintaining our friendship, but maybe I'd be better off putting that energy elsewhere. I'm smart, I'm pretty, I'm fun, I'm not crazy (contrary to what Phil would have you believe, I suppose), I support myself and I'm not some sort of leech, I like a good adventure, I'm easy-going, I'm friendly, I'm loyal. Someone will appreciate those traits as a lover or friend. Phil is failing to see them because of his own issues, and that has nothing to do with me, even if my inability to get him past his petty issues does make me feel like something of a failure sometimes.

Woohoo, way to get all personal on the blog. I guess this is why I'm pseudonymous now.

I did have fun tonight, though, I went out with my parents to this sushi bar that is sort of hip and trendy and thoughtfully designed and really doesn't seem like it belongs in my hometown at all. Or at least it didn't until this little girl came in selling candy bars from table to table, and suddenly the whole mood was shot and I was like, "Oh yeah. Not in Dallas after all." I love that in the years that I have been gone my hometown has begun to blossom in a lot of ways. There are a lot of places you can go here now that you would have had to drive 500+ miles to visit ten years ago. But sometimes there's still no escaping the fact that this is a very big city where the average annual income is barely $20,000 a year, if that. And yet that's also part of this particular city's charm. Anyway. Then we went over to the bar where I work and I joked around with a couple of my coworkers for a while and Dad and I did three shots of Don Julio (because it's Party With the Don night on Wednesdays) and now I'm sort of buzzed and wishing I had someone fun to go out with since it's only 11:40 now, but that's the story of my life these days.

I'd like to try to make some of my own friends here [as opposed to people I know through Phil, which is all I had before], but at the same time I'm here for such a short time that I'm sort of like, "What's the point?" But we'll see. Maybe some interesting people will come into the picture before the next two months are over.

Or I could just wait until I move to my new home in August. There had better be some interesting people (and by "people", I guess I mostly mean guys) there, because this is getting ridiculous.

P.S.-For some reason I feel the need to point out that had Phil wanted to stay with me, I honestly think we could have had a good relationship. I think if we had actually headed in the direction of marriage in Feb. of '06--which is what I thought was happening--that we would have had a very good life together. But things change, and he has made a very big deal about how we're just not compatible anymore, so I agree with him because what other choice do I have? And I suppose he does have a point, now that he has made such major personality changes. But I miss the man I fell in love with, and I wish he hadn't made such an effort in the past year or two to ditch that side of himself completely.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Big TV Night

Yes, the state of events in my hometown is such that television is currently a highlight of my life.

Tonight, of course, was the series finale of The Sopranos. If you actually care about the show but haven't seen the finale yet, stop reading now because I'm about to spoil it for you.
I told you to stop reading.
So here's the thing: I didn't love the ending. Obviously. I don't know if ANYONE will claim to love the ending. In fact, my initial reaction--after determining that the TV hadn't suddenly gone out because of the torrential rain storm we were having here at the time and that the ending actually was supposed to be that way--was to yell, "What the fuck, David Chase?!"
But then I thought about it for a while, and now an hour later I'm thinking that while I don't love the ending, I didn't entirely hate it. The thing is, by opting not to have an actual ending, the show was able to avoid the cliches of a)gigantic, Hamlet-esque slaughter of everyone or b) family driving off semi-happily into the sunset [to join the witness protection program], which when you think about it were the only two possibilities for complete closure (I suppose there is option c) Tony goes to prison, but in my opinion that would have been even more anticlimactic than the actual ending). And absolutely nobody could have seen that ending coming. So I guess I have to give the show some credit for pulling one over on everyone and for escaping a cliched ending.
Also, the last five minutes of actual show were incredibly suspenseful. I spent the whole ending peering out at the TV from begin my fingers, wondering which person in the diner was going to be the hitman and whether Tony was gonna get it, or Meadow out in her car, or maybe the whole entire family. That was quality TV.
But to leave us hanging was ultimately a cop out, and that's the problem with the ending. It leaves you the opportunity to make your own conclusions--which I might point out is much more revolutionary for television than it is for theatre; endings like that happen fairly often in plays--but it doesn't give the closure one expects after investing in something for seven seasons. I'm okay with not having that closure, but I'm betting 90% of fans are going to HATE it.
The Tony Awards were also on TV tonight. Spring Awakening swept them, which doesn't surprise me at all because it's a fantastic show. So I'm happy about that.
Tonight was also another basketball playoff game, which I don't care about at all whatsoever.

As for the parts of my life that don't involve television, I'm still enjoying this bartending gig. I really thought I would hate the part of the job where you are expected to chat with your customers sitting at the bar, but I have been surprised to find out that I kind of like meeting new people and hearing what they have to say. Mostly I'm just amazed at the fact that I like this job so much more than I liked waiting tables. I hope the novelty doesn't wear off right away, I would actually like to enjoy this job for at least another week or two.

Also, I have been making a conscious effort to eat healthier and work out a lot ever since I have been home, and it's probably my imagination since it has only been a week, but I swear my jeans are already fitting better. I don't think I could possibly have gotten more toned or even lost an entire pound in just a week, so it's probably just a placebo effect, but it's making me happy either way.

Friday, June 8, 2007

And So It Begins

It took exactly two and a half bartending shifts before I overheard a guy comment to his friend that he liked my ass. I don't know if he thought he was saying it quietly or if the entire point was that I was supposed to overhear the comment, but I definitely heard it.

Also, tonight a guy left me a twenty dollar tip and his phone number. Another guy left me a forty dollar tip and asked when I work again.

Guys like me on the west side of town, I guess.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Working Hard for the Money

I started my bartending job last night. I'm going to be bartending at two different bars this summer. Actually, in a way it's the same basic thing at both bars--both are run by more or less the same team, so they are run in the same style, use the same computer system, cater to the same type of clientele, etc.--but the bars have different names and slightly different concepts...very slightly different, in my opinion almost imperceptibly different, but whatever. The biggest difference between the two bars is that one is five minutes from my house and the other is on the opposite side of town. And the one close to my house is quite a bit busier right now since the one on the other side of town is brand new and not much word of mouth has gotten out about it yet.
I'm surprised to be bartending, actually. I thought for sure I'd be used as a cocktail waitress, but I guess the manager who makes the schedule at both bars has decided he needs me more as a bartender. I'm a little bit nervous to be bartending, partially because the bartenders tend to be much more territorial about their shifts and their regulars than the cocktail waitresses are, so I'm more likely to accidentally step on toes and piss people off as a bartender. The thing is, I also don't feel like anyone has any right to be mad at me for being here for just a couple of months. It's two months, that's it. I'll probably work about 40 shifts total while I'm home this whole summer; divided between the two bars that's 20 shifts at each. I highly doubt that my presence here is going to greatly affect any other bartender's standard of living. That, and it's not like I'm completely helpless behind the bar. I did bartend for a year and a half in college, so I don't feel like I unfairly leaped in behind the bar with no experience at all whatsoever.
The other reason I'm nervous to bartend, though, is that this job is very different than my last bartending job. My last bartending job was at a performance hall so it involved about half an hour of quick drink pouring before the show, an incredibly frantic twenty minutes at intermission, and that's it. Plus the clientele was mostly old people so I poured a lot of wine and made a lot of martinis and gin and tonics. I did bartend the occasional country concert and comedy show, which always brought out a crazy crowd, and I have bartended a ton of weddings, which were busy, too.
So I sort of know what I'm doing. I am comfortable making mixed drinks, I know how to pour a beer, etc. I'm just not used to doing it at frantic pace for 9 hours straight, which is how long the night shifts are. I also have no idea how to make most shots, which isn't good because these bars cater to young people and my generation, we like the shots. And heaven forbid we just take shots of Jager or tequila, we need royal fucks and red headed sluts and sex with an alligator. I can't even bitch too much about this, because I'm guilty of this myself.
The thing is, I think I'll get a handle on the shots pretty quickly. And in some ways this job isn't all that different from my other one. People still want five basic drinks, it's just at this bar those drinks tend towards 22 oz. Bud Lights as opposed to Manhattans.
The other great thing about bartending is that 95% of the time, you can make a drink completely and utterly wrong and the person you serve it to is going to drink it anyway. As long as there is a detectable amount of alcohol in the drink, most patrons aren't likely to complain, or at least not as much as people tend to complain about food.
The best thing, though, is the money. I can already tell that I'm going to make way more money at this job than I would have if I had done restaurant work all summer. Don't get me wrong, in my hometown people still suck at tipping. Being in a bar doesn't change that fact. But in the restaurant I worked at, a $4.00 tip on a $60.00 tab was pretty much the pathetic standard, so getting a dollar every time I pour someone a drink--or even only every other time--makes me very happy.
And so far, at least, my job is off to a good start. I don't feel incompetent behind the bar. After only two shifts of training I'm already at the point where I'm doing everything myself and just questioning another bartender once in a while when I don't know where a particular beer is stored or how to ring in something unusual on the computer. I realize the two shifts I have worked so far have been relatively slow, easy shifts and the first time I work on a Thursday or Friday night I'm probably going to want to curl up in a ball and cry, but right now I'm actually kind of having fun. And my coworkers don't seem to hate me or resent me, so that's good, too.
And if for some reason it does all go downhill from here and get terrible, it's only going to be 9 weeks or so. I'll live.

P.S.-Today Maddi got a plane ticket to come visit me in my hometown in a few weeks! I already can't wait to show her around here.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Social Life

Tonight I went out with a friend of mine from high school. We haven't lived in the same city since 2001, but somehow we have managed to stay pretty close, which is more than I can say for most of my friends from high school, unfortunately.
She's a newlywed; I was a bridesmaid at her wedding in December. She and her husband live in Chicago now so I'm grateful that she just happened to be visiting town while I'm here, too.
I spent the night hanging out with her and her husband and another girl I haven't seen since high school, and we had a great night.
I realize that they're still very much in the honeymoon phase and that I can make no real judgment about their marriage based on one night of talking and laughing at a bar. But I will say that I like her husband, very much. I like him for HER. She's completely herself with him, they seem to have a wonderful time together, and they're just a great couple. I don't feel like a third wheel with them at all, they are genuinely fun to be around. I can't think of another couple that I have that much fun with. There are other couples that I like, sure, but I don't like any other couple as much as I like these two together. They give me faith that a marriage can be strong and beneficial to both parties, that it's not a dying institution. That makes me happy.

I also felt the need to write about tonight because it's quite possibly the only time I will go out with friends the entire time I am here in my hometown for the summer. It really is too bad they live in Chicago. I hate to be pessimistic, but I just don't think the odds are that great that I'll have a rolicking social life this summer. At least tonight was lots of fun.

Maybe I'll make friends at work...

P.S.-In spite of the slightly morose-sounding predictions, I'm actually kind of having fun here at home so far. I'm having fun with my parents and my brother, and I'm not terribly upset at the idea of not having a social life for a while. I'm kind of a low-key girl, I really won't mind if that actually does end up being the case.