Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Downtown Plan Provides...Umm...Growth?

*Pic: What 17th and Broad may look like in the future. "You know, if we add a few trees and wipe up the dirty condoms and blood stains from the sidewalk, people might stop fearing for their lives around here...."

After a long night of bartending down in Shockoe Bottom, I sat down with the owner of the bar and had a drink. We got to talking about Richmond's new downtown master plan (click on the link for pretty pictures of what it may look like when it's all said and done.) As a property owner right on the edge of where some of the work will be done (behind the train station, 17th and Broad, that general vicinity), he feels very strongly and very optimistic about the plan and about the extreme growth that he forsees it bringing to the steadily declining Shockoe Bottom area.

He envisions more restaurants, more nice businesses, and of course a more aesthetically pleasing downtown area (look at the imagery in the fake pictures and you'll see this for yourself.)

First this shocked me that the owner of the bar was so civic minded. He's no doubt a smart business man and clearly money motivated, but he never has given me any indication that he cares about what happens beyond the front doors of the bar, except for when we're up on the roof using a CO2 tank to shoot aluminum bottles towards the train station. Up until that conversation I believed that only community bloggers and the beareaucrats knew anything about the master plan.

Second, as dumb and as easy as it sounds, simply cleaning the Bottom up and making it more appealing to the eye would do wonders for the area. Growth and new business would certainly be a more long-term fix, but for the short term, I think we should clean the area up a bit. You know, sweep some things under the rug for a time, at least until new business and increased rent prices drive people out (It's gentrification and it's already with it.)

I'm not really sure if I see my future in Shockoe Bottom, but I'm down there now 5-6 nights a week right now. I walk all the streets at all hours and I see the area for what it is, a beautiful, historic, slightly worn down neighborhood. It's clear that if Richmond wants to compete with other burgeoning cities, then the focus should be on Shockoe.

...And in an effort to save the city money and time, lets just forget about the additonal master plans for South Richmond and instead we can build a giant electrified wall separating Old Manchester (sorry Brie) from the James River and Downtown. We'll then invite muralists to make the wall really pretty so instead of looking at the eyesore which is now South Richmond, we can instead look at giant paintings of famous Richmonders such as D'Angelo (before he got fat), or Dirtwoman. Then South Richmond could be turned into a modified urban training ground for soldiers about to be deployed to Iraq...this of course is after we empty our cities prisons and drop all of the inmates behind the giant, colorful electrified wall.

And some of my readers think I'm only concerned with getting laid... Psh... I'm providing solutions to the problem here people!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Richmond Kickballers: Enough With The Neon Shirts!

*Hey man, lets get shitfaced at the game tonight and then hit the bars in our uniforms... Yeah man, chicks will have to fuck us then.

I received a call a today from a close who friend who invited me to meet him downtown tonight. I said sure, I'm off work tonight, lets have a few drinks. He then told me that he was going out after kickball to Blackfinn with his kickball team and for me to meet him there.

No, no, no, NOOOOOOO.

I can't stand the neon-shirt kickball crowd. As individuals, they are fine people (a few are friends and a few have been pasty, slightly overweight, mid twenty year old flings for JGF), but as a whole, they make me vomit neon-colored puke.

I've bartended for this crowd many many many times over, also I've drank with them here and in DC (The neon-shirt mafia is taking over every major metropolitan area), and it's always the same shit. Mid twenties, out of shape, bores...swilling whatever cheap beer the bar is willing to give a special on that night. They start playing flip cup and being obnoxious, then 45 minutes later someone vomits, then there's the girl who inevitably starts crying about something, then some guy bitches about our policy of a ten dollar minimum on credit cards ( but I only wanted two beers and I don't have any cash!...wahhh!). I can't make this shit up, this is really what happens after every kickball outing.

What really drives me crazy though is their apparel. Why do you have to continue to wear your orange neon shirt, soccer socks and red,white and blue headband to the bar? The game ended two hours ago? Can't you put a change of clothes in your car? I'm not even sure I would mind if a crew of 50 kickballers walked into the bar with normal clothes on. I probably wouldn't even notice they were there.

I understand that community kickball is a great way to meet new people, I get the concept there. I guess if I wanted to meet other generic white men and women who attended JMU, Radford or Longwood, then I would probably join up too.

I'm thinking about just showing up tonight to the post kickball booze fest, only so I can snipe the one or two hot female kickballers out of the mix. When everyone is wearing puke-green colored shirts, I would guess that standing out to women is pretty easy.

Incoherent Bartender Thoughts From 4:45 AM

- I'm incoherent due to exhaustion, not booze.

- Two weeks ago I abruptly ended a fling I was having with a younger girl who frequents one of my bars. I gave no real excuse to her and simply stopped talking to her, although she continues to text me. She showed up tonight at the bar and I basically refused to acknowledge her presence. I made her drinks and took her money, but she may as well have been a stranger. I made it clear that I want nothing more from her. Well, she decided to solidify my disgust for her tonight.... She proceeded to enter our taco-eating contest.

What makes a girl think that eating 15 tacos in a matter of minutes will make me all of a sudden, want her back? She may as well have asked me to take her hand in marriage... Yeah it was that repulsive. After she inhaled the tacos, she came up to me at the bar with a funny smile. I couldn't help but laugh at her and in classic JGF fashion I had to be an asshole (why can't I keep my mouth shut?), and said, "Yeah, we're definately never having sex again." I didn't say it in a funny way either. The sad thing is (on my part), we probably will end up having sex again. A girl's eating prowess doesn't really turn me on, but she is still a girl, so she has that going for her.

- After a surprisingly busy and profitable Tuesday, after cleaning and after counting all the money, I sat back and enjoyed a few drinks with the owner of the bar and some co-workers. We laughed about shit and we made fun of each other. It was one of my more pleasant post-shift experiences. When your pocket is full from a long night of work, you're with friends, and you have a drink in your hand... The world isn't such a bad place. I realize that I won't be a bartender forever, but it's nights like these that make this life I'm living so much fun right now. I have to force myself to enjoy every second while it lasts.

- I'll probably be visiting Richmond's beautiful Belle Isle today, although I won't be adding to it's laundry list of problems (rape, drinking, fornication, drowning, kids smoking pot, epicenter for Richmonds burgeoning heroin trade). Not if I can help it at least.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jack Eradicates Poverty, One Buck At A Time

I filled up my car today at the Exxon station on the corner of 18th and Broad. While I wouldn't call this Exxon station "ghetto", it certainly has its share of unsavory characters (especially when I have to fill up after work, at 4 AM.) Today a panhandler I recognized as "the crazy dancing guy who occasionally shadow boxes in front of my bar" approached me as I was leaning on my car waiting for the most expensive fill up ever. He gave me a high five and did one of his little jigs for me, then he asked if I could loan him some change. I realized that since I've declared myself a soldier on the front lines against Richmond poverty last month, I've not actually done a single thing. So I gave him a buck, which sort of made me feel good because for the most part I only drop a few bucks on a bum when there's a girl in my immediate vicinity so I can show her how generous and caring I am... Of course now I'm talking about giving a bum a buck on my blog, so I can't exactly call what I did earlier a selfless act anymore. Nevertheless, I hope he spends that dollar on something useful like a Mega Millions ticket for the drawing tonight, or half a pack of Newports.

On a more serious note, I would actually like to get involved with helping the homeless, although more in a "attending a discussion meeting with other middle class people in an air-conditioned boardroom", as opposed to actually serving food in a soup kitchen or doing something worthwhile. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Fling Is A Fling Is A Fling

Her and I have been hanging out for a minute. We spend the night here and there and we have a few drinks here and there. Whatever the usual "beginning to hang out" phase typically entails. We have frequent sex and it's pretty good. She smokes a lot of pot and I join in for the occasional bowl rip, because who doesn't like the occasional high? She's got a quirky sense of humor and it matches well with my darkly sarcastic way of speaking and thinking. She's pretty and has no discernible physical flaws, actually she's quite above average in the physical area. She's a student and I may as well be a student with my lifestyle. All in all, she's pretty f-in cool. There's nothing I can see that turns me away from her.

Is there a future here?

No, there isn't.

I sleep with other girls and I would be willing to bet she sleeps with other guys, and this isn't even why I don't see a future. I just can't bring myself to limit who and what I do. I love being 24 and I love not having to answer to someone...oh and I really love sex. Sex (protected) is healthy and it makes me incurably happy. I know that I could probably just sleep with her all the time and that this would satiate my sexual urges for a spell, but why would I want to do that? God provided males with far too much variety for us to go and pick just one mate, at least that's the case when you're 24 years old.

The other night she said, "I'm not sure I could ever really be with you or trust you because of your, uhhh, chosen profession." So I replied, "Yeah, well you know it's like. Ummm. Yeah. Hey you got any Pizza Rolls left in the fridge?"

This fling will end with one of us giving no excuse and the other one refusing to ask why. It will just end, and right now that's the way it oughta be. I'm so far removed from what other people want right now or what people are supposed to want in life, and it feels pretty good.

Best and Worst Of Richmond Mag A Sham?

I chatted up (or at least attempted to chat up) a young lady last night (details withheld). It turns out she works at Richmond Magazine. She mentioned that she has something to do the balloting/voting process for Richmond Magazines best and worst issue (which was released last week).

I asked her if that many people actually vote for some of these best/worst categories? She told me that they do recieve a lot of ballots, but in more than a few categories most of the ballots are basically from employees of the store, or relatives of the store, or friends of relatives of the store. In other words; People that are heavily biased are able to rig the vote and in an extremely weak sense of the term, commit electoral fraud.

I'm not sure how many people actually turn to Richmond Mag when deciding on where to get their ice cream or where to buy their antiques or where to have their transmission replaced, but I have to assume that it can be somewhat influential. After reading Richmond Mag for awhile and this issue in particular, I would guess that the only people who would be influenced would be the blue hairs who probably make up the bulk of their readership. This is just an educated guess though and really, I have nothing to base these claims on.

Now did anything happen with that staffer I tried chatting up? No it didn't. She was with some stuffy chick who clearly thought more of herself and her looks than any guy ever will. I did briefly consider getting a phone number, but who am I kidding? That call would have never materialized.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Does Blogging Hurt Your Sex Life?

A lot of people seem to think that putting myself out there on the blog will make girls not like me and not want to date me, but from what I'm seeing, it's the exact opposite. Sure, some girls are wet blankets and are repulsed by someone who is honest, but most girls seem intrigued and interested by the writing itself. I can be a pig, this is true, but it's not like I name names or anything.

My blogging mentor told me this would start to happen, and now it is.

I suppose if I strictly wrote about mixology/bartending, city "comings and goings", or the everyday blah blah blah, then intellectual girls would be attracted to my writing and my civic commitment. I would go on dates to Mamma Zu's where we would discuss the merits of a prettier Richmond skyline, then we would kiss (no tongue on the first date!) and then wait two months to consummate the relationship, and that's all well and good I guess. But really I can just slap a pair of Lisa Loeb frames on some hot jailbait and pretend like she's an intellectual...that then allows me to bypass this whole "conversation" fad that couples seem to be into nowadays.

Plus I'm fairly sure that Russian girls can't read, so I'll always have that fall back going for me.

What The Hell Is A Purple Martin?

The bar was slammed last night due to the combination of it being Saturday night, a Richmond Iron Chef cook-off and these damn Purple Martins.

Apparently the Purple Martin is a bird and for a few weeks every year they come by the thousands to a row of trees along 17th street at the same time, which supposedly makes for some sort of beautiful twilight bird show. The deck of the bar I worked at Saturday gives you a good view of those trees and the majestic Purple Martin.

My take on the birds:

-I've been parking under these trees for the past few weeks and this explains why my Nissan is completely covered in bird shit. I had originally thought the trees where filled with bats and everytime I got off work I would hit a dead sprint when I got near the trees, because lets face it, bats are scary.

- We had a drink called "The Purple Martini" last night in honor of our disgusting feathered friends. Unfortunately the original recipe tasted like cough syrup and my first few customers got to bear the brunt of it (to their credit, they were good sports about it.) After some tinkering from me, and some more tinkering from the other upstairs bartender, we made it pretty damn good. The recipe for you bird freaks is as follows: 2 parts Raspberry Vodka, 1/2 part Chambord (to make it Purple), 1 part freshly made Cranberry juice (no Ocean Spray) and a splash of sour.

- River City Rapids is some sort of bird person/ organizer for this event. He came by for some beers, although I'm not sure he was happy with the selection of female talent on the deck. I'm pretty sure he only dates models and really hot University of Richmond girls.

- Someone asked my barback (he's tall also) if he was the infamous "Jack". He said no and told them who I was. They never did come up and say hi though. What the fuck? I'm not a scary person, infact I can be very congenial unless I'm drunk and on Southside.

- If I keep having busy nights like last night then I'll reconsider my idea to take my BB gun on the roof of the bar and go all Oswald on some Purple Martins.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Karaoke Hooligan

Yesterday an innocent trip to Taco Bell ended 7 hours later at the shittiest little dive bar on Southside (Caddys) with me challenging one of the regulars to "a battle of wits" or to "meet me outside". I'm not even sure what a battle of wits is, but in my condition I would have probably lost.

Did this regular take offense to my horrific outfit (royal blue Duke basketball shirt, camo shorts)?

Was he intimidated when I channeled Mick Jagger as I rocked the Karaoke stage?

Maybe it was when he started hitting on that girl having no idea that she was there to see me, and I made it a point to start making out with her, right in the middle of their conversation?

Next thing I know I'm taking my flip flops off and I'm out in the parking lot trying to decide if I should open with a straight right hand or try to take him to the ground first with a nice form tackle. (He didn't accept my invitation to dance...fortunately, for both of us)

Yes I woke up and realized what an asshole I am.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Top Richmond Bars For Guys

I get a lot of emails asking me for advice on the Richmond bar scene (and by a lot, I mean I've gotten 7 emails in the past two months. Not a record, but still...). Guys want my advice on what bars are good for picking up women and what bars really rock in Richmond. As a former on-premise liquor rep and now a bartender with an extreme case of Peter Pan Syndrome, I feel like I'm in a unique position to provide Richmond's single (and even relationship) guys with a list of great bars to find girls. These rankings are based solely on the success that I have had at the particular bar, such as numbers received, one night stands originated from, number of drunken in-bar makeouts, ratio of girls to guys and the overall atmosphere of the joint. Scores are based on a 5 out of 5 scale. Opinions and reader suggestions for bars are more than welcome in the comment section. I have to also point out that blogger Roosh V started this idea with his DCBARS for men post. WARNING: This is a long ass post...

Bars are listed from worst to best with my honorable mentions at the bottom:

10. SINE Irish Pub (Shockoe Slip): Sine barely made the list but it snuck in for a few reasons. The place is pretty vast and the shear number of people make it a good bar to approach a high number of girls . It also seems to be the spot for the Richmond "prep set" when they decide to go downtown for the night. This isn't a good thing, but it does make for a lot more slightly frumpy, flip flop wearing, heavy beer drankin women.
*1-1/2 LL Bean Catalogs out of 5.

9. Bar Louie (West End/ Short Pump): The new kid on the block so to speak. My list had comprised almost all downtown or fan bars, but I felt like the West End of the city deserved a shout out. If you haven't heard, "The Lou" is the new hunting ground for everyone from recent college grads to the wild cougar packs that have been known to prowl on the westside. Great drink prices and an always packed bar make for a competitive pick up scene. The crowd isn't always typical of that area of the city(rich, white), as it has also been known to include the crowd that the west end has tried for years to hide (poor, white trash, red neck). Nevertheless, give it a try if you're out at Short Pump. I've had some solid success here.
*2 Striped Polo shirts out of 5.

8. Tiki Bob's Cantina and Have a Nice Day Cafe (Tie) (Shockoe Bottom/ 18th St): Both bars get a bad rap for being 18 and up most nights and both bars have seen their share of fights and unsavory patrons, but this list is all about picking up women, nothing else. These are the bars/clubs you hit if you want to meet the easiest women. They're young and they will probably put out (if you put in a little bit of effort and not just stand there like I see every other guy doing.) My personal opinion is that both places are a lot of fun and both have great drink specials. Of course I'm poor and I like my women on the younger side, so that may explain me putting these bars at the number 8 spot. My opinion may also be a bit biased for reasons that will remain unsaid.
*2-1/2 College ID's out of 5.

7. Cha Chas Cantina (Shockoe Slip): For some reason, every since Dave Bess bought the place, every time I go in there it's fucking wall to wall slammed (even on a Tuesday or Wednesday night). Of course I was in DC for almost 2 years so this may have been the case for much longer. Cha Cha's is a solid pick up bar. Good music, a decent variety of people and races, and okay drink prices make it a great place to pop in or begin your night. If your patient, you will find hot girls here. The crowd tends to ebb and flow as people barhop up and down Cary St. I've had a few bar make out sessions here that should probably never be spoken about again (after this post).
*2-1/2 Cold Sores out of 5.

6. Tobacco Company (Shockoe Slip): Ahh the venerated Richmond landmark. Home to the weathered happy hour crowd and downstairs international club kids. Tobacco easily has the best Friday early evening scene with one dollar drinks, although it's best to get there early because the line gets pretty long. I wouldn't neccessarily hit the upstairs bar unless you're cougar hunting, as it does have it's occasional pack of wolves on the prowl. The downstairs "club" has a very international flavor and it seems to be a good spot to meet that Asian or Indian princess you've always pined for. The girl/guy ratio always seemed pretty good too. When I didn't bartend on Friday nights I usually would come here first and get loaded for cheap. I also remember seeing local NBC 12 newsman Curt Autry downstairs one night. My memory is foggy, but I remember he was with some hot chick and my buddies and I bought him a shot. He slammed the shot like it was water, then he looked us and gave us the biggest cheeseball wink. It was funny at the time, I think...
*2-1/2 Air Fresheners For When You Vomit All Over the Car out of 5.

5. Banditos(Fan, Museum District): A hang out for tatty'ed up fan regulars and recent college grads alike. Their Thursday night is usually pretty bumpin and the PBR always flows for cheap. For some reason I've pulled more than a few one night stands from here, but this is probably because I used to go there all the time, and I lived two blocks away. The crowd can get somewhat douche-tastic when they're slammed, but for the most part I've always enjoyed the eclectic mix of Fan people. Good place to show off those sick new dance moves you've been working on recently. After you're done drinking for the night, pop next door to the 7-11 for a burrito, tell Achbar I said "Hi."
* 3 Arm-Cuff Tattoos out of 5.

4. Metro Grill (Fan/ Robinson St.): I have mixed feelings on The Metro Grill. On one hand, my success rate there is pretty high. On the other hand I feel like I'm walking into a frat party everytime I step through the door. The place itself is really small (typical of the Robinson St. bars) which can make it awkward when you try hitting on every girl in the place. The girls are straight out of JMU and UVA, they wear North Face jackets and they basically are looking to get married within the next three to four weeks. It can make for an easy, albeit, regretful hook up. I have a friend who says it's a "small victory" everytime he goes out without stopping by Metro (which usually doesn't happen for him). On a funny note, this is the bar where local newscastor/arrogant dickhead Ric Young almost gave my friends and I the beatdown.
*3-1/2 Short Khaki Shorts, Croakie Rocking, Orange Hat Wearing Retards out of 5.

3. Lucky Buddha (Shockoe Slip): I've had immense success when it was named "Lucky Lounge" and ran solely by Rob Kaplan, so I wondered when I moved back from DC if I would still find Luckies to be as accommodating. The answer: Yes, it's basically the same exact place. A good mix of internationals and hot white chicks with a mininum number of Affliction t-shirt wearing assbags. Weekend nights are really really solid here. Also be sure to check out SIN night on Wednesdays for really cheap booze. Music is pretty sick too. PS: If you see a guy here walking around with a rediculously tall Russian girl sometime after midnight, say Hi to me.
*4 Heavily Poured Ketel One and Sodas out of 5.

2. delux (Fan/ Main St.): Another newcomer that has rapidly taken the title as the hippest spot in Richmond. The atmosphere alone here is reason to check it out. Great bar, great staff and an attractive crowd makes delux a good pick any night of the week. The girls and guys tend to be pseudo-hipster and can seemingly be too-cool for school at times, but you will meet some down to earth, fun girls here. The music here is on par with Lucky Buddha as the best in Richmond. A good mix of hip old school stuff and newer tracks. The ratio of girls to guys is decent, and although the bar isn't huge, fortune will favor the patient here. Take a seat at the upstairs bar, light a cigarette and wait... good things will come.
*4-1/2 Awesome Al Green Songs That Put You In A Great Mood out of 5.

1. Europa (Shockoe Slip): Now remember, this list is based solely on my personal successes at these bars. I will say this in fear that I may be giving away a secret, but Europa is a great bar for meeting women. The upstairs bar is chill and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights is usually filled with a nice group of 24-30 year old, stylish, pretty girls. But my absolute favorite part of Europa is actually the basement bar (or what I lovingly refer to as the "Coke Den", the reasons for this don't concern you.) It's dark and it's smoky and the atmosphere is like nothing you will see in Richmond. Take a date here, or come alone... It won't let you down. I don't want to admit this, but lets just say that I, ummm, do "well" there.
*5 Drunken Bar Gropefests out of 5

Honorable Mentions: I know that there are a few omissions and I hope my readers will point them out in the comment section. Here are some bars that almost made my list:

Star-lite Lounge, Element Lounge, NY Deli, Bailey's Pub (South or West End), Hometeam Grill (haha, just kidding), Buddys, Richbrau, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse (I've had some weird luck here.), Stool Pigeons(although the word is that place has gone to shit). Havana 59'.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Start Tipping Better

Yes, I know I beat the words "tipping" and "service industry" into the ground, but I'm a blogging bartender, not a blogging electrician. Besides, I can't talk about sex all the time, what fun would that be? :)

A new customer (meaning one that had not previously entered the bar...ever) walks into a bar. He walks up to the bartender and asks for a Captain and Coke. The bartender makes the drink, hands it to the customer and says, "that'll be 5.50 $." The customer then proceeds to pull out a five dollar bill from his wallet, and then reaches into his pocket where he finds 4 more one dollar bills. He hands over the 9 dollars and says thanks. There after he generally leaves 50 cents to 2 dollars on every drink he buys.

Another customer, a regular, walks up afterwards and asks for a Sex On The Beach drink. The bartender pours the ingredients in a glass, shakes it up and hands it over. "That'll be 5.50 $." The customer pulls out a 5 dollar bill and a one dollar bill and hands it over. The customer then proceeds to wait until the bartender gets his change which comes to 50 cents. He leaves no tip. There after he leaves a total of 2 dollars on the 6 drinks he buys throughout the evening.

Fast forward to later on in the evening. The bar is more crowded now and the bartender has 5-6 people looking at him, calling his name, and waiting for their chance to order a drink. The aforementioned regular has probably been waiting the longest, and he has been constantly grabbing at the bartenders elbow. The new customer walks up next to the regular, says nothing and patiently tries to make eye contact, just as the bartender comes up for breath and is looking for the next patron to serve.

What do you think the bartender did?

I served the new customer, and in the process I pissed off the regular. Like it or not, this is how bars work. I don't receive a paycheck from a 9 to 5. This is my real job, this is my paycheck... A bar is the real world. You don't just get shit handed to you because you just happen to show up everyday. Now on the other hand, I'll bend over backwards for good-tipping regulars. In many bars the high-tippers who frequent the joint are the backbone of the service industries take home money.

To conclude, of course I ended up serving the regular eventually. I don't turn people away because they never tip. Obviously I would lose my job if I did that. People will always get better treatment in restaurants when they tip well though. This is universal and it will never change. And honestly, it's not like the new customer was some amazing tipper, he just understood that a decent tip in the beginning and a few bucks here and there, go a loooonnnnng ways at a bar or restaurant.
You would be surprised at how many people have no idea how to tip, or even what "tipping" is. I want to say there's a direct correlation between how one tips and ones education level, but that's actually not true at all. I'll save that for another post though. Okay now we can get back to talking about my new found obsession with girls who hail from the former Soviet Union. Happy?

Funny Bartender Thoughts From 4:30 AM

-I'm almost positive that one of my best tippers is a genuine, true to life, pimp. He only comes in after 1 AM. He wears really flashy suits and ties. He has a gold tooth. He only carries huge wads of twenties. Oh and he has hit on two girls that I've already "been" with and offered them a position as a personal escort in his company, saying that the position would make them more money than they would know what to do yeah, that kind of gave away his pimp status. One of the girls told me this and I couldn't help but encourage her to give the escort business a shot. I mean, this guy throws around money, he's actually a really nice guy, and he wears light pink suits... All of which make him and his "company" legitimate to me. I'm sure he has to put his hoes in check every once and awhile, but a ho just has to expect the pimphand in that racket...right? Btw, he bought three Coronas and four shots for various "ho prospects" tonight. He paid with a 20$ everytime and told me to keep the change on every drink order. That's just straight pimpin right there...

- A fellow bartender found out about the blog when one of her fellow students at VCU was talking about it in some sort of creative writing class. She asked me about it tonight... Uh-oh. Let JGF's fall from grace begin.

- I met another Russian tonight, although this one wasn't Vladimir Klitschko's illegitimate daughter, no, she was actually pretty short. What can I say? I love the Eastern European women.

- The new bar gig isn't exactly giving me as many shifts as I require to stay in Armani suits and Jimmy Choo shoes, but I took the position knowing that this would be the case for a period of time. I want to work and I need the money, also working keeps me away from drinking and more importantly, away from spending money while I'm drinking. This is the perfect situation for me to call in the underage (although still legal!) girls though, simply because I don't have to go to bars with them and spend money. They can drink that bottle of Jim Beam that's been rolling around in my trunk for the last three weeks and they'll be as happy as a clam.

With ideas like this, it's a wonder I'm not doing more with my life than bartending and making plans to crash important city meetings.

- Speaking of important city meetings, I just read the new Style Weekly and it's 75 most important Richmonders article. Other than putting me to sleep (NOT Style's fault, it was more the people that they spoke about fault....yawn) I guess my gripe is the ho-hum, "hey, that guy is high up in a major Richmond company, lets put him on the list." I want to see more people that the red-neck Joe Schmo on Southside can relate to, or that the frumpy Suzie Homemaker from Short Pump can get behind. How about Anthony Grant (you can't help but feel he's the face of Richmond when driving into town on 64) or even a big time restaurateur like Michelle Williams. Of couse I didn't really pay attention to the guidelines for inclusion on the list anyways, so don't listen to my rants. Kudos on the Murden/Catrow addition, which sort of felt like charity because of them being put together, in the final spot, but who cares? Go bloggers!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Style Weekly Invites JGF To A Forum On Something Or Other

* "I couldn't help but notice that you're a decent looking, fairly inebriated cougar. Hi, I'm Jack and I'm the most powerful blogger on the 4500 block of Stuart Avenue."

I've been invited to a forum Style Weekly is throwing in a few weeks in honor of their fifth annual Richmond power list, which is being released this Wednesday. Here's how the email described the event:

"Style Weekly’s Fifth Annual Power List, released July 23, reflects the shakeup taking place among Richmond’s most powerful. But amid the upheaval lies opportunity. What’s next for our city? Please join Style Weekly and a group of community leaders for a lively, frank forum on power, leadership and the future of Richmond."

I'm contemplating going to the forum for the simple pleasures of drinking for free, eating free food from Mortons Steakhouse and of course the inevitable awkward conversations that I'll initiate with Richmond's "power elite" (if such a class of people actually exist in Richmond... I don't really believe that it does.)

Where Style Weekly stands to benefit from inviting a womanizing, drunken, blogging bartender is beyond me. But they did and it's to late for them to take it back now. They may want to rescind the offer though, especially after they read about my plans for the event and that night:

-- Saunter into Mortons, cigarette in mouth, sunglasses on. Refuse to acknowledge anyone's presense. Slap a 20 on the bar and say, "Ketel One up, dry, and keep em coming chief." I'll then wink at the closest female as I put the entire martini down in one gulp.

-- Seek out a member of the Gottwald family (Richmond's richest family), any elder member will do. Tell them about how I went to school with one of the daughters and about how she was no "slouch" in bed.... This of course will also be accompanied by a wink and the requisite elbow bump to the ribs as I say, "This guy knows what I'm talking about. Huh? Huh????"

-- After 5-6 martinis I'm going to find Tom Folliard (The CEO of CarMax) and let him how much I despise CarMax and the untruthful salesman who snowed me a year ago. Then if he's up for it, I'll challenge him to a wrestling match in the middle of Morton's dining room (I know some servers there who will clear out a few tables for us). If a wrestling match is unagreeable then I'll take him in a free-throw contest (he played ball at Florida State.) Either way, if I win, he buys my car back and apologizes for ripping me off, if he wins, I'll accept a job at one of his CarMax locations as a nursery attendant in the kid's play area.

-- Befriend "Wild" Bill Pantele (Important Richmond something or other, possibly our next mayor.) Try and become his honorary wingman for the night and then I'll simply sit back and catch all of his fallout groupie pussy. Wild Bill gets more butt than an I've heard.

-- Tell, or by this point, slur to Eugene Trani (President of Virginia Commonwealth University) that, "without the existence of VCU, I wouldn't get laid nearly as much as I do...", then give him a hug and a sloppy kiss on the cheek and say, "I love you man."

-- During the actual forum or panel or whatever it is, theres a good chance that I'll raise my hand to ask a question, only I won't really have a question, and I'll make up something rediculous involving Mayor Wilder and "that women I saw him with at Europa the other night that we all know wasn't his wife", or I may just end up vomiting all over the table.

-- Making out with someone,anyone, like our plane is going down. Preferably a female that's important, or the wife of someone important, or one of the hostesses at Mortons, or just one of female Mexican dishwashers from the back of the house.

I've thought about actually trying to learn more about Richmond issues and trying to take something like this more seriously, but let's be honest, I was invited because my blog is entertaining, not because I want to save Richmond or revitalize downtown. I would like to get involved somehow, but to pass up an opportunity for mischief such as this one would go against everything JGF stands for.

Jack Gets Caught Doing The Dirty

I received an email from a reader/ stalker/ someone I know. Here's an excerpt:

My friends and I think we saw you this past Saturday. It was really late you were wearing a white shirt and black tie. You were outside of (Bar Name Redacted) and you were making out with a really really tall blonde girl. We were talking to some cops on the street and the cops starting making fun of you guys because of how absurd it looked that two really tall people were hooking up.

Hmmm, a couple things come to mind here:

- The cops need to do their fucking jobs and leave me alone with my weird fetishes.

- Richmond is too small. As this blog keeps growing I have a feeling situations like this may happen more often. That may be good fodder for the blog, but it may ultimately hurt my social life.

- Yes it was a really tall girl. As I've mentioned, I'm 6-3' to 6'4'. She was my height if not an inch or two more (flat footed).

- As I bar-hopped with the hot, female version of Ivan Drago (she's Russian), I noticed that we were getting a lot of stares. It's rare to see such a tall couple. I can only guess that people were wondering how tall our kids would be or what it would be like to have sex with a really tall woman. Answers: At least 7 feet tall and a lot of fun.

- What red-blooded American male doesn't have a thing for hot, blonde, model figure, Eastern European tennis players? Seriously. Do the names Sharapova or Kournikova ring a bell?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bartender Insider (When To Cut People Off)

I'm bartending at 8 PM on Saturday night at my new gig. The restaurant is pretty packed and the bar is doing a huge chunk of business. There are three of us behind the bar and in this instance that's a good thing because there is plenty to be done between serving customers, attending the service bar, pre-muddling mojitos and keeping the bar clean.

I'm stationed on a huge corner of the bar where most of the bar patrons are congregated. Directly on the corner sits a younger (27?) group of two guys and one girl. They've been at the bar since 6 PM and other than sending a bottle of wine back, they've been a pleasant group and I've had a few conversations with them as I made drinks. (The girl in the group asked me if I was straight, which isn't an uncommon question to me. I guess being trim, good-looking and having spiky hair can send mixed signals. If she only knew... )

One of the guys is dressed in a very modern, clearly expensive t-shirt, has multiple tat's on his arms and his hair is blonde and spiky. His first drink order was a Ketel One Martini. I've come to the conclusion that he's a pretty cool kid (Although now it's clear that he was probably gay and got his girlfriend to ask me if I was gay for his sake).

The group continues to drink (although not very heavily, I thought). I'm not monitoring their drinking because they really haven't done anything to warrant it. At some point one of the guys and the girl get up and go to the upstairs bar. The blonde spiky haired guy asks for the check, and he's slurring his words a bit (warning sign #1). The check comes to 135$ and he tips 35$ on top of that, but looking at the check I can see that his writing is clearly affected and I can barely make out the numbers or his signature (warning sign #2).

The guy begins chatting up two girls nearby who I'm friendly with, and he still seems okay, just a little drunk. The girls are smiling and they don't seem to mind and I don't think twice about it. About 10 minutes later he spills his drink on the bar, getting one of the girls purses wet (warning sign #3). The girls don't seem upset and I wipe up the mess and even give one of the girls a beer on the house. I still didn't feel like this guy was a "problem customer" and I wasn't ready to give this guy the boot. He just spent 170 $ and I felt like he deserved a break. I set him up with a water after that and refused to serve him when he asked for another drink. He's cut off. I should've called a cab or found his friends and politely made him leave right then. I didn't...

10 minutes later and he is clearly intoxicated. He's hitting the vodka wall and he begins intermittantly putting his head on the bar. I alert the other bartenders and let them know not to serve the guy. It's busy and I keep working.

Another 10 minutes and he is passed out on the bar. I move quickly around the bar and my manager meets me there. My manager can't wake him up and he's about to go get two of our huge cooks to carry him out. I pick him up by putting my hands under his armpits and picking him up out of the chair. He begins to wake up and he tries to shake me off. I hold onto him and put my arm around his shoulders, at the same time I pick up his cell phone and wallet. I physically support him and carry him through the packed restaurant, trying not to let him bump into anyones table. At this point the restaurant is super-packed and this is a very difficult task . People start to gawk and stare.

He tries to come back in the restaurant a few minutes later but my manager bum rushes him out the front door. He ends up passing out in the outdoor farmers market across the street and it seems like the entire restaurant is looking out of our huge open-air garage doors that we have on the front of the restaurant. I grab the barback and tell him to find this guy's two friends at any cost, then I dash back out and get this guy away from the restaurant. Eventually his friends come find him and take him home.

My bar manager scolded me for "over-serving" this guy. I don't think I'm completely in the wrong here, but clearly if there is anyone to blame (other than the drunken idiot), it would be me.

Making money and being a fast bartender is one thing, but serving alcohol responsibly is something I need to focus more on. I guess I just don't take people's limits into consideration all the time, because when I drink, there are no limits. I need to remember that most people aren't 6'4, 195 and most people don't drink like Picasso on a 4 day Absinthe bender.

I expect these types of situations at the college bar I work at, but not at my new gig; An upscale, place to be seen type of restaurant...on my 5th fucking shift. You live and you learn.
"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
-George Bernard Shaw

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stupid, No-Brainer Bartender Advice

Don't sleep with a girl who has poison ivy. It doesn't matter if she's hot, it doesn't matter if she'll bang on the first night and it doesn't matter if she's wearing cute, tiny little red underwear. It's not worth it!

Saying to yourself, "well she doesn't have it that bad, and there's a good chance I won't get the stuff" is no excuse to defile a girl with poison ivy, three, and maybe even four times over the course of a few hours.

Getting out of bed after each bout to wash your hands really isn't making the situation better considering the fact that your naked bodies were pressed against and slamming into each other for at least 8 minutes (you read that right ladies) and the fact that she had some small patches of poison ivy on her butt. But I digress....

Ummm, this is actually advice a bartender friend gave me this morning. I wouldn't know about this from personal experience.

On a completely unrelated note... Does anyone have any calamine lotion???

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tipsy Bartender Thoughts From 2:30 AM

--I had to split a bar tab three ways for a group of three decent looking girls tonight. One of them left a number on her credit receipt and above the number it read: "You make great mohitos." I guess that's how "Mojito" is pronounced so I don't blame her. Of course I didn't actually take the time to figure out which girl had left the number either, so I wouldn't know which one to blame anyways. I stifled a laugh and kept working. I think one of the girls gave me a horrible glare-down as she walked out. Must've been her number and her pick-up attempt that I refused to acknowledge.... boo hoo.

-- I had a few beers with some new co-workers after work tonight. All I will say is that there is nothing like going out with a cast of new (to me) service industry cats. It was entertaining and from what I can tell, this new bar will be a lot of fun to work at. One of my new co-workers (a cook) seems to be exactly like me. We even made a plan to "co-wingman" in the near future. This guy even sort of scares me, which can only mean he will make a great drinking buddy/ man-whoring sidekick.

-- A co-worker told me that me coming into the new bar gig and sleeping with the waitstaff would be like when Dr. J first dunked in 1976 in the all-star game. Meaning that, it would be rediculously easy. I admit, it's a funny analogy, but I'm not paying it any mind. This may sound crazy coming from me, but I'm going to do my best to stay above the petty fray of hook ups and arguments at the new gig. I'm there to work. I can get laid easily on my own time... (This is my stance for now, although I've been known to take many alternating stances.)

-- I met some other bloggers tonight. Weird as always, but pretty enjoyable. I guess more people can come visit JGF when he's at a hip spot and not at a notorious college bar. Oh well... Richmond can be a snotty bitch sometimes.

(late addition)-- A buddy recently accepted a gig to teach English in China for a year. Here's the sick part, anyone with a college degree can get this type of work. It's basically just helping out high school students who already know English, by helping them with their accents and refining their grasp of the language. Hmmm. While I'm not going anywhere just yet, this is something I'm going to be forced to look into. No China for me though. I'm thinking the Philippians or somewhere in the Islands. I'm not a picky man, which for those of you who have seen me out hitting on girls, is painfully obvious.

Jack Gets Hit On, Confusion Ensues

I'm slinging drinks tonight and it's semi-busy. There is a very attractive, tallish, red-headed girl directly in front of my area of the bar. She's got a smoking body and a huge tat on her upper back that screams, "I'm a freak, although I'm still somewhat of a nice girl." How a huge upper back tattoo can say all that, I can't really explain. Nevertheless, shes all over me. Eyes locked in, smiles, stares, hand touches when I come in close to get her drink order. Trust me when I say, it was on son. Heres the rub though:

She was with an older man. He had to be at least 20 years older than her, and she was probably in her later twenties. They didn't seem to be together but they seemed quite friendly, dancing, hugging, that sort of thing. I didn't think much of it because she blatently asked for my number and gave me hers right in front of him. After that I just figured, whatever. But then as they were walking out they gave each other a big ol kiss on the mouth. It didn't seem like a "just friends" kiss either. So here are the situations that I may or may not be facing. My response to each situation is in italics.

1. They are just friends. They were drunk and it was a friend kiss. Cool, no problems here. I'll continue with the "bedding" process.

2. The guy is her pimp and is used to her acting like a drunken ho. Well this would explain his age and non-chalant attitude. But why pimp her out to a poor bartender? I think in the pimpin field the object is to get top dollar for your higher class hookers and she would have definately been in the upper echelon of this dudes ho rotation. I'm no pimp so maybe one of my readers can enlighten me on this one.

3. They're lovers and he gets his kicks watching his woman with other, younger men. This makes a lot of sense and it doesn't neccessarily deter me from the situation. Now if that's not blog honesty, then what is?

4. She's just a freak nasty slut who "does wha she wonts!" Unfortunately this is probably the case. Again, it doesn't deter me all that much. She was hot and I have thing for taller, model type figures, regardless of their proclivity for sleeping around.

In conclusion, I may or may not go after this girl. Getting a number while I'm bartending is hardly some strange experience. I just thought I would share this one with you because it had me a bit puzzled. For the naysayers, the people who will say run from this skank ho, my rebuttal is as follows: I'm pretty sure they invented condoms for situations just like this one.

UPDATE: Over text the tall redhead told me that the old man and she are just "old friends who hadn't hung out for a long time." Does this answer any of my questions? No, not really. Girls lie more than most guys will ever want to believe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pre-Shift Bartender Thoughts From 3 PM

--I briefly thought about getting a part time day job as I was trolling Craigslist today. Something like "wine retail sales at Wholefoods Market" caught my eye. The key words here are, I thought about it...briefly. Extra money would be nice and I sometimes want something else to fill up my days, but there are two key flaws in this plan:

1. Most places probably wouldn't meet my scheduling demands.

Jack during the job interview:" Umm, yeah I would like to work Sunday, Monday and Thursday from 10 AM to 3 PM, although sometimes I may not be able to make it til 11 AM."

2. If I did infact take another job then I would cease to blog and write, bringing an end to my days as the hobo bartending writer. I'm not ready for it to end yet because I see some very cloudy potential in it. I'm keeping my eye open for some extra cash opportunities though. I feel like there may be an untapped market for Adderall distribution in the Richmond drug trade. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on about 200 pills of the stuff??? Or better yet do I have any readers with severe ADHD who are looking to kick the lil blue pill habit??? Ummm... lets just forget I mentioned it.

-- I read a great post on Roosh V's blog today, titled: "HowTo pick up girls for under 100 dollars a month." One line read:

"By the way, did you know there are still guys taking girls out to dinners? Haha morons."

It is sort of unbelievable if you think about it. Guys are still willingly taking out girls who they have basically never spoken with for longer than 5 minutes and then they are spending at least 50 bucks in an effort to sleep with them, or in many nancy-boys cases, they just want to "get to know them". I refuse to do this anymore, unless I really really have a major crush on this girl (and I mean a major, dehabilitating, do nothing but think about her all day type crush), but what are the chances of that? I simply can't afford it and I don't think the effort or money is worth my time, especially when itsooweezee to get girls in bed without all the bling bling. I know a lot of girls who only accept dates for the free food and drink... damn crafty bitches... Anyways, interesting stuff as always from Roosh.

-- Readers seem to want to find out where I'm working now (as if it isn't very obvious for you Richmonders). I can't say the name over the blog for reasons...well there are no real reasons, I just don't want to. Email me and I'll tell you. Then you can come visit me at the bar and I'll regale you with tales of my sexual misadventures. Attractive females preferred, although "attractive" is open to interpretation.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jack Goes To Dinner With Mom, Has Deep Thoughts

I had my monthly Outback dinner/interrogation tonight with my Mom. Okay so it wasn't an interrogation, it was more like a "drink 2 bottles of wine and catch up on the comings and goings of Mom and Jack."

Typical Mom Questions: So who are you sleeping with THESE days son? How's bartending? How's your father? How's that wonderful ex-girlfriend of yours? What's your plan for life/the future? How is the blog?

Typical Jack Responses: Whomever consents. I'm living the dream baby. I have no idea. She may be deceased? I'm just living one day at a time darlin. It's fucking fantastic (said sarcastically).

The overwhelming thing that I take away from these meetings (and hopefully she takes from them also) is that we are going to be okay. We will never be rich and we never fully distance ourselves from money problems, but in the grand scheme of things, we're simply going to keep living and keep smiling. Sometimes she doesn't understand my constant optimism or my refusal to get stressed out... But she's starting to come around.

Life's to short to worry all the time. As I explained to her: She is at a good place in her life, with a good husband, good friends and some great places to spend her free time. I am happy with my current lifestyle of bartending, writing and basically doing whatever I feel like doing.... We don't get everything we want, but we surely don't starve either. If we can't enjoy the present moment and what we have now, then when will we ever be really happy? I have to slap myself every fucking day and remind myself that this is it, this is the one go-round. Don't waste it you idiot!

As cold as I can be (it's pretty frosty), I still appreciate what I have and what I've been given. I may rant over the blog or have my moments of introspection, but you can bet the farm that I'm not taking a single day or single moment for granted. This is why I've started secretly videotaping all of my sexual encounters. You knew something like that was coming.... :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bartender Insider (The Service Bar)

I started work at a new bar on Saturday night and as a part of my training I got put on the service bar for a good portion of the night. For those of you non-service industry types, the service bar is the area where the servers come to get their drinks for the floor and for their tables. I have a computer screen and when a server puts in a drink order it pops up on the screen. It was my job to make the drinks for that server and then line them up so that their drinks don't get confused with other servers. In most bars the bartenders simply keep an eye on the service bar and make drinks when they are needed (in between serving their bar patrons), but in my new bar we basically have to devote a bartender (and sometimes 2) to the service bar alone during the dinner rush.

The point of this activity was to give me a crash course in the restaurants extensive drink list and give me a chance to make A LOT of freaking drinks in a short period of time. I already have the people skills and the bartending skills, now it was simply about learning the drinks of the restaurant and figuring out where everything was.

Well, I got my ass handed to me in short bursts.

A good example is the scene in the movie Cocktail where Tom Cruise has 10 tickets in front of him and the waitresses are lined up yelling, "where's my fucking drink?!?" -It wasn't that bad but that scene is a good representation of a service bar.

The screen would be blank and all of a sudden 10 drinks would be put in at the same time and the screen would light up. Example:
Table 61
Seat 1: Pomegranate Razz Mojito
Seat 2: Miller Lite
Seat 3: 1 glass- Cono Sur PN
Seat 4: Mojito
Seat 5: Hibiscus Martini
I would then be spun into a action. A blur of silver drink tins, beer top popping, black tie swinging, and mojito shaking. At some points I even had to wipe my brow from the combination of drink making and the open air type atmosphere of the place. My new restaurant serves a lot of Mojitos, a lot of Caipirinhas and a lot of martinis- Translation- it's a lot of "work" intensive drinks. I wasn't just pouring Maker's and Colas, no, I was muddling, shaking, blending, and "infusing"... It was tough but I learned more new drinks and mixed more martinis and intricate drinks in four hours than I did over the course of an entire week of bartending at my other gigs.
I really enjoyed it. Being able to do more than just pop Bud Lights and mix vodka tonics reminds me that bartending can sometimes be more than just a job, it can be an artform; It can be something I'm proud to say that I'm good at.
Sidenote: It also helps that the staff is 95 percent female at the new gig. I'm not sure if you know this or not, but JGF likes the ladies.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Interesting Bar Exchange Of The Night

It was 1 AM and it was busy. A young guy comes up and orders a beer and a jager bomb. I make them both and say "That's 11.50." He hands me a twenty and says "keep the change". I put the money in the drawer and then put the 8.50 tip in the tip bucket. I wheel back around and see the guy still standing there. He tells me to hold on and then proceeds to pull a fifty dollar bill, a twenty dollar bill and a five dollar bill out of his pocket. He hands it all to me and says, "Here, this is yours too." I'm briefly stunned but I take the money and drop it in the tip bucket and then I proceed to flatter the guys ass off. You know, the usual "you're my boy", "my new favorite customer", etc. I make another jager bomb and get our bar back to take it over to him(free of charge) and the guy then proceeds to give the bar back another twenty dollar bill. The barback comes back and we ring the hell out of the tip bell, high five each other and continue on with our work.

10 minutes later I'm making drinks and I hear a bunch of girls shouting my name. I see some sort of ruckus happening in the middle of the dance floor and I realize that they're shouting my name because they want me to come break up a fight. I guess the bouncers were nowhere to be found so I jump the bar and grab a smaller white guy, who it appeared was the instigator, out of a fray of people. In a choke hold I pull him about 10 feet away from the crowd and that's when it hit me. This was the guy who just tipped us 95 dollars for two drinks.

I gently let him go and try to talk to him for second. His girlfriend rushed over exclaiming, "he didn't do nothin!". Then 2 black guys come over and say that the big tipper threw a drink in their face and was trying to fight them. They make this big scene and demand that I kick this kid out. I don't have time to take a deposition so I politely suggest that the big tipper walk with me outside to talk, all the while I tell him that "I'm not kicking him out, I just want to talk." We get outside and I finally get the guy to calm down and walk away with the promise that the next time he comes to the bar I'm going to treat him like a prince (free drinks, etc.) The kid was polite to me and apologetic the whole time. I felt bad because I simply could not let him back in the bar.

The shitty part: When I got back in I heard from multiple sources that I trust, that my big tipper had accidently spilled some of his drink on one of the black guys (it was a crowded dance floor) and was very apologetic and offering to buy them drinks until one of the black guys shoved him. Since everyone starts to well up when I even mention the color of someones skin, let me clarify my stance. The race of the parties involved has nothing to do with this incident. The big tipper could have been black and the assholes on the dance floor white, it wouldn't have mattered. The situation would not have been different.

I got duped and a fantastic customer got asked to leave because of some assholes who never tip and have no idea what club etiquette is... or what life etiquette is for that matter.
Oh and the big tipper? I'll remember his face for as long as I bartend. No matter how crowded, no matter the situation, he will always get special treatment and he will always get hooked up. That's what people get when they leave big tips. Period.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Richmond Drivers Suck It (In Two Spots)

If you see an 06' Dark Gray Altima blatently smash into someone else's drivers side door in an attempt to murder the driver somewhere in Richmond, don't report it. In fact you should email me and you may just get a free bar tab out of it.

Two stretches of road in Richmond where people with road rage should NEVER EVER go:

Libbie between Cary and Broad. It's all old people and rich west end fuckers who can't drive to save their life. Too much cell phone usage and too many oblivious conversations with their other passengers pushes me to the breaking point everyday as I head to the gym.

Forest Hill Ave. All of it. I hate to do this again, I really really do hate this, but it needs to be said; certain minorities drive like shit. I don't want to just blame minorities because many many non-minority people also drive like 11 year old autistic kids...I'm looking at you granny. I frequent Forest Hill and the only way I contain my murderous rage is to crank my music and take my head to a happy place, a place where people have to pass a literacy test, a coordination test, an eye exam, a physical, a piss test, a sociological study and write a 40 page paper on basic American history to get a license.

Going Out v. Staying In

Going Out Pros: Chances of meeting a girl and getting laid are increased by 8000 %/ Having a few drinks and interacting with other people is fun. / The best networking (especially in the service field) is done at night, over drinks./ Chances of meeting a girl that you actually really like (although not getting laid...yet) are increased tenfold. / Making new friends. / Reconnecting with old friends./ Experiencing the variety that life sometimes will present to us./ Keep conversation skills and witty retorts strong through the many interactions of the night.

Going Out Cons: Spending money./ HANGOVERS./ Deconnecting with friends through alcohol induced arguments./ Herpes Simplex Virus 2./ The health of one's liver, skin, and everything else that is effected by booze and smoke./ Beer goggles (although this one could easily go under the "pros" section also.)

Staying In Pros: Feel great the next day./ Good time to hang out sober with someone you're interested in-- which equals--> Sober Sex!/ Don't spend money./ Catch up on reading./ Retain and possibly build brain cells instead of destroying them./ Gives you a chance to blog and not totally embarrass yourself (see: JacksDrunkenRant )./ SLEEP, good solid, uninterrupted, 9 hours of beautiful, restorative sleep!

Staying In Cons: I can't really think of many cons for staying in, other than it can be a bit boring. You miss out on some stuff, but it's never as fun as other people made it sound.

In conclusion, I need nights where I don't do anything. I stayed in after work last night and read and slept. Now it's 10 AM and I can hardly sit still I have so much energy, of course I didn't hook up on the hood of a car in a downtown parking lot at 3 AM after the bars closed either, so there is some trade off here. Nevertheless, a recharging of the batteries make the "out" nights that much better.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jack Rants About Richmond Social Issues

*Written at 4 AM after more than a few drinks.

I hear a lot of talk about downtown plans and awesome growth schemes for Richmond. I hear about new skyscrapers and new parking decks and new blah blah fucking blah. I hear it mostly from 3 or 4 blogs and a smattering of news-oriented sites....And...

For real Richmonders, the middle to lower class, the people unaffected by growth plans and money being pumped into worthless revitalization projects, it means nothing.

Coming from a solid middle class, second generation, Richmond person, heres what (some) of us feel:

There are bums sleeping under overpasses downtown (I see them frequently, including tonight) and there are multiple assaults and murders. I speak and drink with extremely underpaid cops. I drink and sleep with teachers who are way under the poverty line. They tell me about kids coming to school with black eyes, kids with weapons, sexual abuse, etc.

It seems to me and multiple other locals, that revitalizing downtown Richmond only matters to a handful of people. Mainly: Wealthy Richmonders who live downtown or near downtown. Bringing new business into Richmond doesn't pay the bills for A LOT of people. In fact, it doesn't pay the bills for anyone except the greedhead contractors, new businessman and politicians. I know that growth brings jobs to the area...I know this! But face it, it ain't bringin shit until new companies come and set up shop, which is not an immediate answer.

Fine, fine, fine. I guess you have to start somewhere. There are no immediate answers....I know. I also guess that pompous windbags don't do shit for immediate Richmond "growth". It's a good thing that people who need the most help probably don't have the internet. They don't have to read stupid shit about "revitalization" and "growth".

What really sucks is the fact that I can visibly see what's wrong, and I don't really know what I could ever do about it. I'm sure that no one really knows exactly what to do. The only people who can immediately respond are the people with the money.

Clearly the best solution is more parking. "I mean, fuck...I drive 6 miles from Short Pump everyday and I'll be damned if I have to park anywhere less than 100 yards from my building. Oh and can you throw a Caribou Coffee in the parking deck? I need 400 extra calories before breakfast....stat!"

( Poverty on the homefront (Richmond) is numero uno on my list of social problems... You don't agree? Do me a favor and don't let me know about it.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Jack Goes Forth (With Help From Henry Miller)

"Why are we so full of restraint? Why do we not give in all directions? Is it fear of losing ourselves? Until we do lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves. "

"One of the reasons why so few of us ever act, instead of react, is because we are continually stifling our deepest impulses."

"The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. An immense difference."

- All quotes from Henry Miller

Aside from the sleeping, bartending, drinking and skirt-chasing, I happen to be a voracious reader. Henry Miller is my favorite writer, and I guess you could say he's my idol. I won't get into why this is the case right now, but a great illustration of Miller, for the people to lazy to read his work, is the movie HenryAndJune which is based on a book by one of Miller's lovers and a fellow novelist, Anais Nin. It paints the portrait of a man obsessed with living, loving and well, not going with the norm. It also features a young, very attractive Uma Thurman playing his wife.

It took Miller a long time to find success and although his eventual success was enormous, he spent many years as a poor man, depending on his wits and his friends to get him through. Maybe I relate to him because of his non-existant finances all throughout his 20's and 30's, maybe it's because of his intense need for independence and freedom, or maybe it's simply because he is obsessed with sex. Probably a bit of it all.

My readings (Miller and many others) and my current lifestyle don't seem to be bringing me any closer to rejoining normal society or going back to wanting what everyone else does. I'm gaining some clarity but I'm also still very confused. Unfortunately the clarity I'm gaining is probably taking me in the exact opposite direction of where my loved ones would like to see me heading.

PS I: If you're interested in reading Henry Miller then you may as well start with his classic, Tropic of Cancer. After that check out these in any order: Tropic of Capricorn, Black Spring, Sexus, Nexus, Plexus and Crazy Cock.

PS II: It was time for a serious post. Too many funny bartending related posts have left me feeling ineffectual and groggy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pre-Shift Bartender Thoughts From 2 PM

- I start picking up some shifts at a new bar this week and of course everyone is saying how I won't like the manager or I won't like this or I won't like that, blah blah, because it's Richmond and everyone has worked everywhere or knows someone who has worked somewhere or knows a friend who has a cousin who met a guy who worked somewhere. Well how about this: Let me make the Jack decisions and the Jack Mistakes (Lord knows my bad decision folder is as thick as it gets.) and I'll let you stick to being perfect.

- As I'm prone to do, I've been thinking about life too much. I have a few days off and I have a few drinks and I begin to wonder if I'm living it right (And yes I just quoted a John Mayer song. I know, I'm the gayest thing since gay to hit gaytown.) Is bartending, writing, and whatever it is that I'm actually doing the right thing? Conclusion: I need to stop thinking so much and just focus on living, working, friends, getting laid... you know, the important stuff. The future can, and will, wait.

- I saw JimDuncan in the gym again. I think he read the blog post and I think he knows it's me. I mean lets face it, he knows I'm usually there at the same time, he knows how tall I am, he knows that I have spiky hair... Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but we've all heard the ol' Richmond saying= "You don't fuck with Jim Duncan, lest you want a swift Jim Duncan judo chop to the sternum!" I think that's been a Richmond mantra for a long time, and if it isn't, it should be.

- I'm still attempting to write a book, but my work output has fallen off, not to mention my work quality (which was really never there in the first place.) So now I'm just resigned to pumping out pages of complete shit. I have no more dreams of greatness, just dreams of mediocrity.

- Man can you believe that Ho(The Bachelorette) picked Jesse over Jason! I mean...whaa? Really? I got sucked into the show because a friend was watching it and I had no choice, which after about 5 minutes didn't matter cause I was loving some Jason to win the whole damn thing.

This actually brings to mind when the Bachelorette was holding an open casting call at Element Lounge here in Richmond about 2 years ago. One of the bartenders frantically texted me and said that there were 40 women and just him at the bar. I almost killed 20 people as I sped down Main Street while getting dressed at the same time. Long story short: A bachelorette hopeful and I were caught "in flagrante delicto" in the backseat of my company car by two people walking their dog somewhere on 20th street. Not a proud moment for Jack Goes Forth, but then again, I can't say I'm very embarassed by it either.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Do Yourself A Solid, Go Out On Sunday Nights

*"Now listen ladies... You aren't the hottest group of girls in the bar, but you are the drunkest..... Hi, my name is Jack"

For as long as there have been sketchy characters serving up booze to drunk people on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, there has been the phenomenon known as SIN night, or service industry night, held every Sunday evening.

This is the evening you will find the bartenders and servers out drinking, their pockets full from busy weekend nights spent working. You will find them quaffing shots of Bushmills, drinking their high end vodka (we would never drink rail the commoners!) and jointly rejoicing in the fact that there will be no alarm clock to wake us on Monday morning, no hurried commute, no deadlines...

The bars aren't crowded and we don't wait for drinks. The tips flow like water as we re-circulate our own tip money in an effort to repay the sometimes generous tip gods.

That waitress you flirt with everytime you frequent your favorite local bar? She's out. She's probably 8 drinks deep too. That cute bartender who always makes your Cosmopolitan just oh so right? Yeah he's here and he's looking to unwind with drinks and the first girl who says hello to him.

There are no amateur drinkers here. There are groups of people who know each other from working in bars, congregating at certain hot spots and celebrating the beginning of the service industry weekend.

These are the people who force a grin when you say your ready to order but then proceed to spend 10 more minutes looking at the menu while we wait. These are the people who wipe up your spilled drink you drunken ho-bag. These are the people who ensure that you have a wonderful dining and/or drinking experience when you're out on the town. These people are the salt of the earth.(whether or not that "salt of the earth" reference made sense there...I don't care, I like how it sounds.)

As you can tell, I went out on Sunday night and what I already knew was confirmed: Richmond is incredibly small (especially in this industry), Sunday nights rock at some certain places in the fan, and hitting on women who spend half the week behind a bar getting hit on, is much more difficult than hitting on non-service industry women.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jack Supports Our Troops (Funny Bar Exchange)

The Scene: Friday night, the 4th of July, college bar, downtown Richmond.

It's about 11 PM and I'm working the bar with one of our high class hookers (a hot female bartender). It's predictably slow due to cook-outs and rain, and I leisurely serve drinks as I wonder if my t-shirt is too tight (I don't like being the bartender who thinks he's all hot and has to show off his muscles). At this moment in walks two servicemen (Army, I think) and they sit in front of me. I pour them two Crown and Cokes. About 20 minutes later one of the guys leans over and motions for me.

Army Guy: When does this place get poppin? Where are the hot women?

Me: Give it 30 more minutes. If it doesn't pick up by midnight then it probably won't pick up. (At this point I pour them two tequila shots and hand them over the bar). On me fellas, happy 4th. (they drink up and grunt thank yous).

The bar starts to fill up although the female talent pool isn't very deep, actually it's non-existant. A group of whales walk in and I look at my Army buddys and say, "I told you they would come. They're your present from me for serving our country". They laugh and they continue to drink.

30 minutes later and the Army guys are now hitting on every decent* looking girl in the bar. At one point they hit on a girl near my area of the bar and the girl says, "I'm with the bartender" and then she points at me. They look over and I give them a faux-staredown (She wasn't "with" me, but lets just say...ummm, lets just not say anything). They laugh and continue their guest for July 4th pussy.

Fast forward to 1:15 AM. I see them macking on two not bad looking girls at the end of the bar. In an effort to "speed up the transaction" and make them look cool, I make a big show of giving them a round of Kamikaze shots, all the while I give them fist pounds and assorted, "you're my boys!".

Fast forward to 2 AM. The lights go up and people start filing out. I see my two guys walking out with the two girls, holding both their hands. One of the army guys gives me the silent finger point and a wink that says, "I'm getting some." I give a smirk and continue counting my money and cleaning the bar. The two servicemen and their assorted slam-pigs leave the bar.

I felt a perverted sense of pride after that. I may not be around the world defending our freedom, but I try to do whatever I can to keep the fighting man happy. Some might call me a "pimp" or a "whorehouse operator". I call myself a patriot.

America, I salute thee.

*Decent is open to interpretation. I mean, I've been with plenty of "decent" girls that I would probably not show the light of day, much less the prying eyes of my friends.