Friday, October 31, 2008

Reader Has A Real Solution

A reader created this image and sent it along to me this afternoon. She said the star above my name stood for my favorite sports team, The Dallas Cowboys. Although I think she was completely plastered when she said that.

Either way, there's only 4 days until the election, but unlike the other candidates, I actually have a clear and precise plan for what I would do if elected mayor.

I promise that I will spend the budget, and by budget, I mean the whole entire wad, on getting a MAJOR league baseball team to Richmond. I'll make George Steinbrenner look like a cheap bastard by comparison. I'll build a stadium that will rival the new billion dollar arena going up in Dallas. We'll nuke Shockoe Bottom and start from scratch if neccessary.

I mean.... Do we really need to be paying VDOT employees? Overtime money to cops??? The web guys who keep lists of what convicted felons live in your neighborhood??? 3rd Grade Teachers?????? Lets get real here. There are a lot of cuts that need to be made.

If that plan fails and I'm assuming it might, then I'll spend all of Richmond's money on trying to coerce a certain newscaster from Channel 6 into sleeping with me. I figure with the 200 million or so I have at my disposal, I can afford a few dates to Mortons. We need a mayor who is willing to go the extra mile for meaningless sex! We need a mayor who will be honest and upfront with his intentions!

Unlike the other dudes running for mayor, there's no subterfuge when it comes to my campaign.

Vote Jack Goes Forth in 08'.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Richmond Needs Baseball

About three years ago, right before I moved to DC, I took a date to a Richmond Braves game (our now defunct Triple A baseball team).

Now, I couldn't tell you my date's name to save my life, but I can remember the strange details from that night. I got drunk on 5 dollar rubber bottles of Miller Lite. I managed to befriend a large (maybe 45) group of inner-city kids who came to the game. I belligerently cussed at the opposing team (The Rochester Red Wings) and even got my little inner city group to chant opposing players names with a funny adjective in front of the name when they were at bat (Smelly Samano!!! Smelly Samano!!!). The stadium was dead and both teams were constantly looking back at me and my group's ridiculous taunts (Hey Johnson! Your wife sucks in bed!!!) My date was embarrassed, I was red-faced drunk and 45 little black kids thought that I was funniest white man they had ever seen. It was a lot of fun. I'm not sure if I ever saw the girl after that... Apparently I was too immature. Psh...Me? Immature?

My point in telling you this?

We need baseball back in Richmond! I don't care if it doesn't bring in enough revenue. I don't care if the city has to pony up 50 million dollars. I don't even care if we don't build a new stadium and we just stick with the toilet bowl that is the Diamond.

Baseball is a Richmond tradition. There is no better way to spend an afternoon skipping work and drinking a few beers. The Braves may have lost money, but they increased civic pride. They were a part of this cities history. My all-time favorite player and alleged spouse-abuser David Justice played for the Braves! I almost caught about 7 foul balls in that stadium! I got drunk and yelled at strangers there!

I dare you to go and re watch the movie "Bull Durham" and not want minor league baseball back in Richmond. You can't do it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A (Bartender's) Life Less Ordinary

"A strange thing happens to New York bartenders when they hit the age of thirty: They suddenly realize they're never going to be famous.
Right up to the point where they were 29 years, 364 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds old they are all absolutely, positively certain that their screenplay will be sold, their face will be discovered by a big stage producer, their paintings will be hanging at The MoMA, their photographs will be gracing the pages of Vogue etc. etc." - Hugh MacLeod "Gaping Void".



I know a bartender here in Richmond who is 2 years older than me. Like me, he has a college degree and like me, he loves to bartend. Unlike me, this bartender has ideas and plans and schemes and is starting some sort of new business every other day (with varying degrees of success). I remember him telling me about a modeling and promotions company he was starting a few years ago (which is still in existence and seems to be flourishing), he talks about a bartender reality TV show he's trying to spearhead, he plans events, he networks constantly and in a word... he hustles.

Unlike most* of the other bartenders I know, he has no plan on getting a great job in sales or landing a corner office. He pays the bills by slinging drinks and in his free time he works to accomplish something different with his life. I haven't spoken to him specifically about this, but I'm willing to bet that you will never find him in a cubicle, ever.

I think for the most part that everyone who knows this guy, likes him. He's personable and intelligent. I also think and have heard that a lot of people think he's crazy and they tend to scoff at his outlandish ideas. I know I sort of used to snicker when he would tell me about these events and these promotions that he was planning. It was something different (especially in this backwards city) and "different" will always meet resistance.

Well, I'm an idiot. I should have been spending my time thus far working on something bigger and better, while still being able to pay my bills without having a 9 to 5. Instead I've only been dreaming and waiting. The one thing that my bartending friend has been able to do, that I so desperately am trying to do, is ignore everybody. I haven't asked him about this either, but I can say without a doubt that he doesn't give a fuck about the naysayers.

The ones that people think are "crazy" are inevitably the ones who succeed on the grandest scale, or they burn up in a spectacular fashion. Either way, the effort and the journey is what makes their life special.

Right now I'm wasting my time and my youth. A future that's behind a desk and a future spent doing the things I never said I would do gets slightly closer everyday. I've got to get moving on something... It's just a matter of what exactly that is.


*Ed. Note: Since posting this I've rememered a few other bartenders who are working on awesome side gigs too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Observations On The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Brick Weekly

A month and half ago Brick Weekly approached me about writing some sort of weekly or bi-weekly piece for their publication. Brick Weekly is a part of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and it is supposed to be their version of a free alternative weekly paper (Basically it's the competitor for Style Weekly).

I met with some people from Brick and we seemed to have worked out some sort of deal for me to write a bartender confessional piece once a week. Sort of a behind the scenes, pull no punches look at bartending. I liked the people I met and it seemed like a cool way to get my writing to a larger audience. I figured that any weekly paper that would let the hilarious and often abrasive Jacob Lee write entertainment reviews, would surely accept an honest and open blogging bartender.

I mentioned my new gig to a few friends who are in the news industry or who seemed to know a lot about the industry. They all said the same thing; Brick is a sinking ship and the RTD is on very shaky ground right now. (There is even a blog devoted solely to why the RTD is dying). One friend who used to work for the Times-Dispatch called Brick an advertorial, which as I understand it, basically means that Brick is 24 pages of revenue generating ads with a few stories or news pieces thrown in to make it look legit. I laughed and sarcastically told them that my weekly column would surely help start a renaissance within the small alternative weekly, plus I didn't give a fuck what people thought. Anyone who will pay me to write is cool in my book.

Weeks passed and I never really heard back from Brick. I just assumed that my recent controversies and my somewhat incendiary worldview had scared them away. Would it be worth bringing on a writer who may possibly increase readership, yet at the same time may possibly scare away advertisers? I guess they didn't think so. I was told that they were looking for a bar to sponsor the weekly piece and that was the last I heard.

One thing that worried me about Brick Weekly is that it seemed like some of the editorial team doubled as ad sales people. The same people who approached me about writing, also went out to bars and businesses to sell ad space. Maybe this is a common practice and I'm in the wrong here, but doesn't that seem strange?

The reason I write this is not to bash Brick. I still read it weekly and I have nothing but respect for the people I met. The reason for this is the article in the new Style Weekly today (which isn't online yet), that talks about how the Richmond Times Dispatch was going to run an ad from the NRA that bashed Obama. The Style article discussed some of the fallout in the RTD newsroom over this decision and what it means when the media (and VA's largest newspaper) fails to give unbiased accounts or untainted news to their readers.

Unfortunately, life is nothing but the bottom line and I understand that in these cash-strapped times you gotta do what you gotta do. But if I can't trust my local news and get my locally-flavored reading fix from the RTD everyday, where else can I turn? I'm not going to stop reading the Dispatch but I'll just need to focus on taking a blind eye to pro-McCain propaganda and ads that are disguised as real news pieces.

Maybe Brick Weekly (or Brick Reloaded as it is now called) is a dead horse and maybe that's why they decided to overhaul their staff and their concept about a year ago? I really don't know and I really don't give a shit either way, but I will say this, Style Weekly is currently taking Brick and the RTD out back to the tool shed and treating them like a weak, slightly autistic, red-headed step child.

...And I don't just say that because Style writes about me every once awhile, although I give them props for keeping an eye on the local bloggers and the little people here in Richmond.

Monday, October 27, 2008

JGF Teams Up With The Guy Upstairs

"Wait, did he really just say that? Am I hallucinating right now?" -Jack, watching TV at 6 AM, after the bartenders ball on Sunday night.

I was laying in bed with a girl, who actually is just a good friend, and for some reason the TV was on a local public access cable station (Like the fictional station that Wayne's World came on). A Reverend named Gerald Glenn was speaking, and he was saying something about the mayorial candidates when I heard something like this (although these are not his exact words, I repeat, I am not quoting him):

(Imagine me speaking in a loud preacher man's voice) "We don't care what the man drinks or what he does in his spare time. Oh so he drinks a Rob Roy when he's out at the bars? Who cares. This election should be about the issues and not about personal BS!"

I looked over at my friend and she burst out laughing.

"He's talking about your blog!"

I thought that maybe it was just a coincidence or that maybe I was just really really fucked up (I was), so I googled Gerald Glenn and it turns out that he's a local Bishop who supports Dwight Jones for mayor. He had to be referring to the Pantele incident, although at the time of this blog posting, I am still officially intoxicated, so it's a possibility that I'm completely off base here.

Either way, I think I was referred to in a early Monday morning sermon at an 2500 member, historically African American church. If I haven't officially arrived yet, then I did on Monday morning. Although what "arrived" means is open to people's interpretation.

The right Reverend Gerald Glenn has spoken, this blog is a public nuisance! Can I get an amen!?

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Dating Column?!

The clearly insane people over at RVAnews.com have asked me to participate in a column which would feature dating and sex related questions that readers submit. I will then "face-off" against a female perspective (one of their writers, either Val Catrow or Susan Howson).

I'm not claiming to know anything about dating or sex, but I do participate in both and if you read the blog then you know that I have interesting views when it comes to both. Plus RVAnews is paying me to do this monthly, or bi-monthly column. You read that right and yes, they're obviously taking crazy pills. Of course the "pay" for each column would hardly cover a third of one of my bar tabs, but still, now when I lie to girls about being a professional writer it won't technically be a lie.

I certainly don't plan on holding anything back and the fact that it's on someone elses website means nothing to me when it comes to censorship or my somewhat outlandish views. I don't know much about Susan, but I know that my antagonist Val is 27 years old and about to have a baby. More opposite, we could not be. It should be pretty entertaining.

Get over to RVAnews.com and submit some questions. Real or fake, funny or serious. I plan on being somewhat serious with my answers. Here's some example Q + A's:


-Q: I got a girls number the other day. She's perfect and I want to be with her so badly. How long should I wait to call? Text? Email? I don't want to screw this up!

A: You will screw it up, but to give yourself the best possible chance, wait four days and then call. All girls claim that they want a guy to call the next day and to not play games, but girls are deranged. Desperation smells, bad. Don't be that guy.


-Q: I dated a girl for six months and she dumped me. Now, only two weeks later she's seeing another guy. I'm heartbroken, jealous, sad, and every other lame emotion there is. What am I to do?

-A: Ahh the pain of a broken heart.... I feel for you. My best recommendation is to seek the comfort of friends and to be around people who care for you..wait, that's probably Val Catrow's weak recommendation. I, on the other hand, advise you to dive back into the dating pool with wreckless abandon. I'm talking a lot of booze and as many one to two night stands that you can get your hands on. There's no need to sit around, listening to Radiohead and crying over spilled milk. Get back out there and make some really bad decisions. Also, bottle up your emotions. We have our own problems and we don't need to hear your little girl sob stories.


-Q: How can a guy tell when a girl has had an orgasm? Should he ask or just assume it's all good until she says otherwise?

A: Wait, it's physically possible for females to have orgasms?! Really? Hmmm, let me do some research and get back to you on this one.


*Column begins December 1st. Apparently we need over a month to collect the questions and then provide our expert (or in my case, childish) opinions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Drinks With Our Next Mayor, Robert Grey


You read the title of this post correctly. Yesterday my attorney and I (sans our briefcase full of pharmaceuticals and not in the midst of an ether binge), met with Robert Grey and his campaign manager Lisa Fulton. Lisa had reached out to me after hearing about my firing and then in a brilliant strategic move or a bonehead stunt with only 13 days til the election, invited me to campaign headquarters and then to drinks at Can Can. It should be noted that I didn't bring my attorney because I felt like I needed an attorney, he's just a good friend and was as interested as I was to meet Grey.

Strangely enough I actually had a lot of real, pertinent questions for Robert, although I didn't do an ounce of research prior to the meeting. I think it was because Sarvay over at Buttermilk gets orgasmic everytime a pen drops in this election and posts 7 things at a time, and for whatever reason, I read them all.

During the hour long session we spoke about Wilder's recent rants, Goldman endorsing Jones, Baseball, the Bottom as "Bosnia", and we touched on the issues of free speech and blogging.

I will say this truthfully and not because Mrs. Fulton bought me two Ketel One drinks and some "frites", but Robert Grey is a very very smart man. He can speak in broad terms at times, but he was making a lot of sense. At one point my buddy and I glanced at each other and basically just said "wow". This may be Grey's first official election process but he certainly doesn't act like it is. Let's be real here, President of the American Bar Association is a MUCH more powerful position than Mayor of Richmond will ever be.

Here are a few Grey happy hour highlights:

-I asked Grey about Mayor Wilder's recent outburst, and Wilder's lack of support for the man that many people saw as his handpicked heir apparent. Grey held no punches and he basically said, Wilder is a close friend, but I don't give a fuck about who he supports and what his stance is on this election (He didn't cuss, and I'm not quoting him at all here. This is just what I heard.)

- On whether or not I should have been fired and what he thought. As one of the most powerful attorneys in the country, he knows the law and he made it clear that there was no wrong doing in my firing. He sort of got into the fact that VA is an at-will state. We went on to talk about the freedom of the press though and whether people in the spotlight, such as himself and Pantele should get some sort of protection from attacks and media abuse (for the most part, he said no, they should not.)

- On the one topic that I actually care about, the safety and the revitalization of Shockoe Bottom, Grey didn't mince words. He has a plan and it made a lot of sense. Alcohol Beverage Control would play a big role in it. I won't get into the entire plan, but needless to say, it was solid.

- Interesting sidenote: Grey Campaign Manager Lisa Fulton could probably match or beat me in a filthy mouth contest. That's all I will say on that.

- Grey had red wine (not a Coke this time).


I met with some more friends after the meeting and we've now taken to calling Mr.Grey; "Cool" Papa Bell. Okay so I realize that referring to Grey as the star from the Negro Baseball Leagues could possibly be considered un-PC, but the name is just so perfect for him. That guy is like a black version of Val Kilmer in Top Gun. He's as icey as the other side of the pillow. I just can't imagine him losing his cool, ever. Pantele on the other hand probably frightens the little old lady at the dry cleaners on a daily basis with his outbursts.

Yesterday I walked away from those drinks and the meeting as a new believer. I realize that the older generation who reads this blog will scoff at a kid (and noted sex fiend) for giving them advice on who to vote for, so this advice isn't for them. This advice is for the VCU and URichmond kids who read this thing, it's for the bartenders and servers, it's for the people who are still figuring out what life is all about (like me). Do some research and check out Robert Grey. I honestly think that he would make a great mayor for this city.

Now if we can just get him elected maybe I can get those parking tickets and that, uhh, bogus statutory rape case "taken care of".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Style Weekly Article and Pantele Responds

Okay, it's time to bring some closure to this whole "getting fired because of a candidate running for a huge city office crying wolf" thing.
UPDATE: The bloggers have spoken. We no like Billy.

In today's Style Weekly there was another article about my blog and my recent firing from one of my bartending jobs. Read it here. (The first article can be found here.) The recent piece gives no new information and it basically restates everything that I said on the blog. Oh well, getting featured in Central VA's largest alternative newspaper is still pretty cool.

Secondly, I did hear back from the Bill Pantele camp, or more specifically his campaign manager, Craig Bieber. Whether or not Craig is related to the undisputedly lame, locally based, catchy commercials, injury attorney guy Joel Bieber, is yet to be determined. Here is the email in full:

Those of us working on Bill Pantele’s campaign for Mayor read your initial post about Bill Pantele on your blog, and thought that it was quite funny and amusing. In fact, it was complimentary in many ways, and we greatly appreciated your endorsement of Bill’s candidacy. Please be assured that no one associated with the Pantele campaign contacted anyone at the restaurant to express an opinion about your blog post.

Best,
Craig Bieber
Campaign Manager
Bill Pantele for Mayor


First off I have to admit, I didn't expect to hear anything from Pantele or anyone associated with him and second, I believe that Pantele and his inner circle had nothing to do with getting me fired. I do still believe that some yokels who support Pantele and who were at the fundraiser that I bartended made the calls to Havana 59 and got me fired, but that's neither here nor there.

This situation has been unpleasant for me, mostly because the people (management) at Havana who were my friends and who helped me, are no longer so. It sucks, but it's life and I'm moving on. I blame management at Havana, I blame local idiots who don't understand the concept of free speech and I blame myself for getting fired. I'll make a great effort to never speak of this again.

On a much brighter note, I had drinks with mayorial candidate Robert Grey today. Why did we have drinks? What did I think about him? What does he do with his royalties as the dude from the "Just For Men, Touch Of Gray Haircare" box??? We have answers people...

I'll post about it tommorow afternoon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reader Has Jack's Back

In this past week's Style Weekly a girl wrote a letter to the editor after the article on me and my dust up with Channel 6 came out the previous week. You can read the letter here.

The highlights:

Jack, who is living his life like all the rest of us, searches for an outlet for his day-to-day frustrations and observations and turns to the blog as a new-age media diary. These witty and astute observations from a sociologist would be revered in the academic field; however, coming from someone who does not have that distinction, some dismiss them as slanderous and disruptive.To the uneducated eye, Jack’s work may be misunderstood, but he has every right to write as he sees fit, that being one of the joys of American citizenship. People do not like to see how others see them, yet Jack is brave enough to put his work out there and is open to criticism. He may not know how to make a blue drink, but he nails the life and times of the bar characters with the greatest of accuracy and should be commended, not criticized.


"May not know how to make a blue drink"????? WTF? I've probably made more Blue Motorcycles in the past 10 months than any other bartender in Richmond. Nevertheless, the fact that someone took the time to write a letter defending me is flattering. Jen W from Glen Allen, a free round of drinks and shots is awaiting you downtown and pending your level of attractiveness, a date to some of the finest watering holes in Richmond may just be in the cards too. :)

Sweaty Sex?

*"You think this is sweaty? Just wait til you get me in the sack baby."

I've found that a decent number of people find this blog through Google. Through my site meter I can see what search term is used when people click on my blog. Mostly people will type in "Jack Goes Forth" , "Jack the Bartender", or something like "Jack Richmond VA". Though some people find my blog using search terms that are a tad more unconventional.
The strangest and most frequent unconventional search term or subject is "excessive sweating during sex" or "sweat too much during sex" or even "gross sweaty sex". Honestly, I get 3-4 readers a day who find my site after Googling something along these lines. It's due to my post last month, "Sweating Profusely During Sex".

Try Googling sweaty sex or some combination of the term and I'm almost always near the top of the list. Apparently I'm now one of the internet's foremost experts on excessive perspiration during intercourse. It's funny because I generally don't sweat that much during a love-making session, unless it's some type of abnormal situation like sex in a sauna, flu sex, after gym sex, hungover sex or sex in a bikram yoga studio. Unfortunately I'm frequently sick, hungover and meeting easy women in bikram yoga studios...

Clearly there are a lot of men (or women) out there who have a problem with excessive sweating during sex. I won't make fun of these people because God knows, we all have problems that are best left unsaid, but still....It has to be somewhat embarrassing to completely drench a girl (with sweat) the first time you two decide to awkwardly squirm around on top of each other.

JGF Blog Updates

-Laziness and work (yes I'm still somewhat employed) have taken their toll on the blog over the past few days. I apologize.

-The Bill Pantele fiasco is possibly coming to a conclusion, sort of, maybe. I'm going to wait until Tuesday's Style Weekly comes out to talk about it on the blog though. You could probably guess why I'm waiting until Style comes out, but if you can't guess, just wait.

- Due to the multiple blog controversies these past 2-3 weeks I've been getting away from actual blogging. Starting this week I'm going to post 5-6 times a week, every week, no exceptions. I started this blog to write and lately I've been putting up a post and then sitting on my hands for a few days. The only way I'm ever going to become a better writer, or retain readership is to keep posting and posting and posting. What this means: There will be a few shitty ass posts thrown up here and there....of course that's really nothing new.

- I think I've developed a phobia in regards to blogging about my bartending exploits or about the people who come into the bar. I'm not going to stop doing it, but I guess I need to be more careful in the future. Although what I do on my own time like sex and drinking will continue to be discussed in all of its blood-soaked glory.

- Oh and to the nice lady who paid me 40 dollars for my phone number last night at work?! If 40$ can get you a phone number, just think what 400$ dollars could get you! - Hey I'm only semi-employed here people, I gotta make ends meet somehow.

Do you think it's even remotely legal to run an bartender/escort for hire service from a blog? I'm just spitballing here...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We Want Answers Pantele

Now that I'm reduced to bartending two nights a week (at least for a week or two), I've really been able to make productive use of all this spare time. By productive of course, I mean I went out last night, got housed, won a "water" pong* tourney at a bar, then took the money I won from said "water" pong tourney and blew most of it across the street at a fine little establishment called Velvet.

So while I was sitting there mindlessly feeding (surprisingly attractive) girls one dollar bills, I had an epiphany of sorts.

I'm not upset about getting fired. My finances and future as a bartender are going to be fine. What I'm actually upset about though?

Yesterday I got somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30 emails from various people. 95 percent of the emails were kind and supportive. I even received an email from the Robert Grey campaign (a man I mercilessly make fun of) that supported me as a blogger and laughed at the absurdity of this whole situation. People from all walks of life were inviting me out for drinks and generally just being very nice. The one group I did not hear from though is the Pantele camp.

I'm not saying that I'm some huge blogger that everyone and their mother reads (I'm not at all), but I'd be willing to bet that Pantele or his people read about me getting fired. Well, stand up and give me an answer Bill. Was I fired because of phone calls made from your people? Was getting blogged about while you were on the campaign trail that disturbing?

I certainly don't deserve any answers, but I think the fine voters of Richmond probably do. We need a mayor who is open and honest with the public, even on trivial matters such as this.

In the meantime I'll be waiting patiently, although I'll probably be waiting patiently as I'm all curled up and back in bed. This unemployment thing is exhausting.


*According to VA ABC law, beer pong is illegal to play in bars. The way around this is to put water in the cups, in lieu of beer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fired For Blogging About A Mayorial Candidate

Fuck...against my better judgement, here goes nothing.

I was fired from one of my bartending gigs tonight. I wasn't fired for my ability, my attitude or for anything performance related. I was fired for something I wrote on my blog.

A few weeks ago I posted something about a Richmond Mayorial candidate and about how I bartended for him. (Click on "Richmond" for the post in question.) The candidate I bartended for was City Council President Bill Pantele. The posting itself is meant to be funny and does not speak poorly of Pantele, and infact up until an hour ago, I was endorsing Pantele for Mayor. Really the post is a light-hearted joke about how much I would like the guy as our mayor.

The story, as I was told by my manager when she canned me tonight is this: The restaurant, or I should say a consultant for the restaurant received two separate calls from people who are either associated with Pantele's campaign or our Pantele supporters. They came across my blog after the Style Weekly article involving my dust up with Channel 6 last week raised a ruckus and got me a bunch of attention. The people who called were not happy about their guy getting blogged about, especially considering the fact that they were paying the restaurant to hold the fundraiser (although who actually "paid", if anyone, is another story for another time) and that their designated bartender was the one who wrote about Pantele.

The restaurant then told me that they cannot have other politicos or city big wigs hearing that they have a bartender who blogs because it might disuade them from coming to the restaurant or using the restaurant for their functions.

At first I backpeddled and I said that I would take down the posts and would never blog about the restaurant again, but then I calmed down and really started thinking about this situation. I realize now that I can't back down. It wouldn't be me and it wouldn't be the person I want to become. I understand why I got fired, and that's that.

Bartending gigs come and go and I'll probably have another by next week. But a situation like this, well, I can't just ignore it. It would be against everything this blog is about, which if you didn't know, is me doing and saying whatever I think about (within the law of course).

The real questions here are, did Pantele indirectly get me fired? Or did one of his bonehead lackies make the call without his knowledge? If, and I'm not saying this as truth, Pantele was outraged and then orchestrated those calls? Hmmm. "Local politician goes to a public place (a restaurant), someone writes truthfully about him, he threatens restaurant, and 25 year old bartender loses job for trying to get more civically involved." Not a pretty headline. I guess running for mayor makes you immune to bloggers?

It doesn't sound good for Pantele or his campaign. Although I will say this again, I have no proof that anyone involved with him or his campaign made those calls. I'm only repeating the reasons given to me by the restaurant for my termination. I was told multiple times by my manager that they love having me there and they love my work behind the bar, and that this was an extremely tough situation for them. The reason I was given for getting fired was my blog. Plain and simple.

I don't blame the restaurant and I truly adore my managers and co-workers there. I put them in a tough spot and they did what they had to do. I'll miss that bar and I hate to make this into another shitstorm because it will probably look bad on their part too. Although let's be real honest here, more controversy surrounding this blog and I, will only hurt my chances in the future of landing "real" jobs. It hurts my reputation in certain circles. In a sense I guess I'm sort of taking a fall here, but I feel I've been wronged and I won't just lie down. I'M NOT STATING THIS AS FACT, but in my opinion, I lost my job because the restaurant was threatened by the oh-so powerful Bill Pantele campaign and they got scared. Again, this is all based on hearsay and I'm not saying that this is the stone cold, lead pipe reason that I'm not employed there anymore. It is strictly my semi-informed opinion.

Maybe something will come of this, maybe it won't. I always read those stories about bloggers losing their jobs because of their blog, I just never thought it would happen to me. It speaks to the tightassery of Richmond. In a city like NYC, this is a blip on the radar, a joke. Up until an hour ago I had never even considered taking the blog down, now, well, I'm flirting with the idea.

This goes without saying but I'm now de-endorsing Bill Pantele for the next Mayor of Richmond.

Sober Dating

I'm fairly sure that most guys have little to no experience with dating over the top, stunningly attractive women. I know I certainly don't. I think the problem is once a guy goes on a date with this type of girl he will end up doing everything and anything to possess her, thus taking her off the market. This is why you rarely find a truly breathtaking women who is single. The second problem is the fact that there simply aren't that many extremely attractive women in places like Richmond Virginia or Washington DC. (NYC and Miami is a different story.)

The reason I mention this is because I have a coffee date before work today with a girl that I think could safely be called beautiful. Okay okay, so I realize coffee dates are the worst possible idea, but with my work schedule this week I found that it was the only way that I could actually see this girl without being behind the bar and serving her drinks (although I'm definately not counting that out as date # 2).

I know nothing about her except her name, her drinking habits (we met when she was one of my customers this past weekend), and what she looks like. I know she looks good, so that's 90 % of the battle right there.

Without alcohol or the nighttime involved I may have to resort to just being myself.

Let's face it, I'm fucked.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Source Of Inspiration

*The blood in this image is in no way related to my aborted baby/bloody condom story from last week. I swear.


I've just now stumbled upon the blog Gaping Void written by Hugh MacLeod, and in the space of a week it has, without a doubt , become one of my favorite blogs. Hugh is basically a renaissance man whose main gig and original claim to fame was doing witty and creative art/sayings for the back of business cards. He also has a book coming out early next year which is based on one of best blog posts I've every read; How To Be Creative (A book deal from one solitary blog post?!? Maybe there's hope for JGF after all.)

Just reading this guy for a few minutes everyday has been an inspiration and it has given me all sorts of ideas for my writing and where I want this blog to go. If you need to get moving on something or want to try something different in your life, definately check out his blog.
In honor of Hugh's art, I've done my own "Business card" for the Jack Goes Forth blog (above). Clearly, I will never be an artist, but I think it sums up this 25 year olds life pretty well.

Here are some of my favorite Gaping Void business card pieces (There's also about 1000 more of these on his website):





Bill Gates may have a million times more money than me, but he isn’t going to live a million times longer than me, watch a million times more sunsets than me, make love to a million times more women than me, drink a million times more fine wines than me, listen to a million times more Beethoven String Quartets than me, nor sire a million times more children than me. Human beings don't scale. - Hugh MacLeod "Gapingvoid.com"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Sigh Of Relief

I remained on top of her for a few seconds with my head resting on her shoulder. The combination of her hot apartment, the early morning sun streaming through the window and a bed without sheets was making my forehead and my body damp with sweat, which at the moment didn't matter because her entire body was clammy too.

I slowly pushed myself up and looked down as I pulled out. The condom had blood on it and I noticed that my thighs also had some little traces of red.

Me: "Well I have some great news for you."
Her: "What's that?"
Me: "It turns out you're not pregnant after all!"
Her: (she looks down and smiles) "That, or you just killed our baby you murderer!"

I held myself up on one arm and we gave each other a high five, and with that we both collapsed in laughter.

Me: (giggling) "It's still super early. We can still catch McDonalds breakfast!"
Her: "This day just keeps getting better."


Sometimes it's the little things that tend to make you smile the most.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Got Free Starbucks

*I'll have the, the well you know, umm, latte with the thingies, wait, what's it called? umm. is it hot in here?

One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post a long time ago about how to get freeStarbucks. The main thread of his advice was to go to a busy Starbucks store and create confusion. The advice was good and I think the post was one of the more popular posts he had ever written (at the time). As an avid Starbucks fan and someone who is at least attempting to become more frugal (even if it means turning to petty thievery), his post was informative and hilarious.

Well, today it happened to me. I got free Starbucks, and no I did not have to steal or capitalize on a barista's bewilderment to do so.

I needed a quick jolt before the gym and I decided to drop into the SBux. The store was strangely dead (the economy can't actually be hurting the coffee trade, can it?) and I walked up to the counter where there was one solitary girl who I'm assuming was doubling as the barista and the cashier for the moment. She was about my age, had a cute, cherubic face and wore a pair of bookish type glasses. I stood at the counter for a moment and contemplated whether I wanted to splurge on a grande sugar-free vanilla skim latte, or just get a small coffee. As I stared at the wall behind the counter the girl gave me a strange look. I smiled and sort of gave her the quizzical eye-brow raise.


Starbucks Girl: I think I know you.
Me: Hmm. Where from?
Girl: Are you the blogger?
Me: (Just a smile)
Girl: I knew it. I just read the article in Style Weekly today. That's so funny.
Me: Haha. Getting recognized in Starbucks... Well I can scratch that one off the list.


We keep talking for awhile and I come to find out that she also writes a blog and is a student at VCU.


Me: So do I get the fellow blogger discount on my latte?
Her: Maybe. What will you do for me?
Me: I'll blog about this encounter if you give it to me for free.
Her: Noooo! Please don't put my name in your blog!
Me: Don't worry, you're one of 4,000 Starbuck baristas in the city. No one will ever know who it is.
Her: Hmm. Okay. It's our secret.


She slid me my latte with a smile. I ended up tipping her 5 bucks anyways so I basically paid for the latte, but much like getting a free drink in a bar, it's sometimes the thoughtfulness of having someone give you a free drink that makes the whole experience worthwhile.

My advice for getting free Starbucks? Start a blog chronicling your sex life and random observations, offend the wrong people, and then have the altercation catch a local newspaper's attention. Complete these tasks and then sit back and let the free lattes start flowing in. Oh and promising you will blog about the barista helps too.

So here you go barista girl, instead of my standard sex-for-latte trade, I'm giving you the Thursday blogpost-for-latte trade. Although I had my eye on that new pumpkin spice latte, so maybe next time you can reconsider my offer to come back after business hours, pound a few Irish coffees together and then use the espresso machine in ways God (or the Starbucks corporation) never intended.
Did I actually make her this offer? No, but I'm sure I was thinking it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Style Weekly Article On... Me

In this weeks Style Weekly (released today), you will find on Page 9 and here(JGF) on their website, an article discussing my recent spat with channel 6. YES, that is me in the picture. My secret crime-fighting persona has now been made public. The picture sucks, but I guess that's what you get when you're out till 3 AM the previous night drinking whatever is put in front of you.

Check out the article for a good laugh. In the 12 hours that this article has been on every street corner, restaurant and grocery store in Richmond, I've already received 15 texts/calls from people I haven't spoken to in months. I'm almost afraid of what this week holds in store for me now.

I'm going to try and make this the last time I mention Channel 6 and this whole incident. I feel like I'm basically poking a huge bear with a stick right now. It's funny, but I doubt that bear (channel 6) intends to stay quiet much longer.

Carytown Wine Festival Is A Joke

For reasons that I still can't comprehend I got sucked into the Carytown Wine Festival his past Sunday for the third time in the last four years. I guess it's because Sunday is like my weekend and I figured that any festival centered around booze has to be a good way to start my two days off. Well I figured wrong.

20 bucks earns you entry and a shitty wine glass. I would've been better off going down the street to NY Deli and buying 10 bottles of PBR, which taste wise, would've rivaled the stuff at the festival. And I did infact end up drinking about 10 bottles of PBR throughout the course of the night, but I'll get to that fiasco in a minute.

My issues with the wine fest:

- The wait. You wait and you wait and you wait at each tent (there were only 5-6 tents) and then you get 4 teeny-tiny squirts of whatever rotgut, sitting out in the sun, cheap ass VA wine the wineries decided to trot out. The exception was the Peaks Of Otter tent, which isn't actually wine, but more like alcoholic fruit juices. Here they give you 15 "squirts" in a row of their fruity concoctions, including the spicy chili pepper wine (which is like taking a shot of tabasco sauce). Also if I remember correctly, Horton winery made their tent the other worthwhile tent due to a quick process and over 11 wines to sample. I'm not saying that either of these tents provided good wine, I'm just saying that their process and number of wines made it somewhat bearable. What usually happens at these things is I get impatient and end up purchasing a bottle, which may be the wineries intent all along; Bore the crowd into a stupor and force them to make a purchase so they don't have to deal with the lines and the people.

- The help. Okay so I may be used to standing for long hours, pouring drinks and forcing a mile wide smile, so maybe it's wrong of me to complain. But c'mon, 90 percent of the "wine volunteers" had all the personality of a brick wall. I understand that I look like I'm 20 years old, but that doesn't mean you have to be a bitch and not explain the wines and the process. I got passed over a few times in favor of some bluehairs behind me. I also got to witness one volunteer be a complete bitch to a young African-American couple because they asked to retaste one of the wines. My suggestion to wineries: When conducting taste tests at a festival where people pay at the gate, find some help who knows what they're doing.


I want my money back. They can have the wine glass. The only cool part of the festival is the Peaks tent and that's only because it's like getting to taste a bunch of magic markers.

I enjoy good wine, I like learning about wines and I like to experience things that I never have before. I even took a job in sales with a small wine distributor in DC before deciding to start bartending full-time. I attended this festival to enjoy my Sunday and to drink some good wine, not to get shit-housed. Well, the Carytown Wine Festival failed me on all counts.

My date and I ended up leaving and bouncing to a few bars on Cary, and then I somehow made a complete night of it at numerous other bars in the fan (where my transgressions and drunken phone calls need never be spoken of again). Lucky for my readers you can see me and my full hangover glory in tomorrow's issue of Style Weekly. I won't elaborate on why this is, but they needed a picture on the fly, on Monday, a day I spent in bed nursing the worst hangover I've had in a long time. It's not going to be pretty. Check back tomorrow for more details on the Style piece. I have a feeling that it may be a very embarrassing Wednesday for JGF.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

JGF Free Speech Update

I'm not in jail and the only reason I'm posting this is because of the outpouring of emails and comments that hoped that I would be locked up in prison or hoped that channel 6's General Manager might be autistic and that I was a Richmond first amendment martyr. Apparently the email I received that threatened me, was the real deal (I had someone confirm the senders email address), yet I haven't been summoned to appear in court thus far.

It doesn't matter, I'm fully prepared. My lawyer friend/drinking cohort happened to finish tops in his 1st amendment law class and he is completely prepared to defend my rights as a blogger, which to this day, are extremely vague. He also is able to maintain his composure after slamming 15 Coors Lights (Clearly I choose my attorneys based on merit).

!! Click on the preceding links for more random splish-splash regarding blogging and free speech rights !!


Anyways, what the fuck are they going to do? I already live week to week and I'm absolutely sure that I won't lose my job as a bartender for pissing off channel 6. Infact, I would welcome the conflict, because really, what else do I have to do???

Yeah.... sue me for defamation..... good luck boring media.


Regardless, I'll be back to posting about interesting stuff, like sex, booze and Richmonder's horrible tipping habits come Tuesday morning. I've already authorized someone to blog it up for me in case I go to jail. Ha.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Being Threatened

I received an email tonight from someone who claims to be the GM of Channel 6 here in Richmond. He is threatening to sue me for two of my blog posts. One post that mentions how I'm in love with Channel 6 newscastor Lee Mahaffey that I posted three weeks ago here, and the other mentions a run-in with News 6 anchor Ric Young and how he may or may not be a bad tipper, posted (3 months ago) here.

Here's the email I received:


Jack the bartender,

I have just reviewed your blog site and I want to request that you immediately remove the false, damaging, and salacious statements you’ve made about WTVR/WUPV Anchor/Reporters Ric Young and Lee Mahaffey. If this material is not removed in 24 hours (by 500pm Thursday, October 1, 2008) I will ask our attorneys to prosecute you and your web hosts to the fullest extent of the law. If you have any questions about this request, or WTVR’s intent, contact me at the number below.

(Name Redacted) General Manager CBS 6 WTVR



Now I'm automatically going to assume that this email is a hoax because I very seriously doubt Channel 6 would get their pannies in a bunch over two funny blog posts. I'm pretty sure that when you're in the public eye you have to be able to handle the occasional joke and until a judge tells me to remove the content, I won't be removing the posts. Plus if this is a real email, the other local media outlets will undoubtedly be all over Channel 6's decision to pick on a poor blogging bartender and his webhosts (which is Google by the way), but I digress...

I'll tell you one local TV personality who can take a joke though... that's right, you guessed it, "Jimmy D" Jim Duncan. I bet Jim Duncan is reading this post right now and laughing his finely toned ass off about how his competitors are little crybabies.


Channel 6 WTVR: FAIL!!!!


PS: Juan "Muthafuckin" Conde is probably getting a good laugh about this too. That is, if he's not too busy pimp slappin supermodels and sippin on Johnnie Walker Blue. That's right, you go Juan!