Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Please click on the link and check it out. If you feel so inclined, leave a funny comment.
Happy New Year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
"Although I don’t believe a single word Jack says about his exciting life full of slinging booze and sleeping with an absurd amount of women, I find myself coming back to it everyday"
It's a compliment that anyone reads this blog, so thanks, even though the "compliment" was sort of an insult too. Why would I sit down everyday and just make up stuff? I'm not even sure I could make up a lot of this stuff. This is my life, I writes it as I sees it. That being said, I'd like to issue a challenge to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Send one of your writers (or the dude who said the above comments) out with me one night. Send a writer who will be objective and who holds no ridiculous preconceived notions about me. Make sure it's a writer who likes to party. Whomever the local Hunter S. Thompson is will work just fine. Now if that writer can honestly come back after that night and say that my blog is a farce and that I'm a made-up person, then I will erase this blog completely. Fin.
My blog is my word, and if my word is proven untrue, then you won't hear from JGF again.
The gauntlet has been laid... I'll give 5 to 1 odds that I get no response from the RTD.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
JGF 2008 Year In Review:
1. I quit my real job and gave up a fat pay check and health insurance to do... nothing.
2. I moved from Washington D.C. back to my hometown of Richmond VA.
3. I eventually took up bartending as a full-time gig. In the past year alone I've worked in 5 bars, 3 simultaneously at one point. Now I work in one very lucrative bar a few nights a week. I may add a shift or two at another bar in the near future, but for the moment, except for a weird schedule and an unhealthy lifestyle, I'm doing fine.
4. I began 2008 with sizable debt. I ended 2008 with manageable debt.
5. I started this blog. It started in January with about 25 readers a day. During one Tuesday in October, I had over 1200 readers. (I won't divulge anymore numbers because apparently that's a big taboo in the blog world.) The site is growing and I still can't decide if that's a good or a bad thing.
6. Through the blog in 2008 I got threatened with a libel law suit, fired from a bartending job, got laid, made a bunch of new friends, got two Style Weekly Articles written about me (here and here ), got written about on a few other websites (most notably, here, on thedirty.com), got offered to start an awesome dating column on a local news site and get paid to do it, pissed a lot of people off, and gained a small level of notoriety here in Richmond. Had I known that all of this was going to happen this year because of the blog... I probably wouldn't have changed a thing.
7. I started writing a book. I got 75 pages in and realized that I had about 70 pages of complete drivel. I aborted the project and put those 75 pages aside. The book idea is still there, but I need to plan it out better next time. My new book plan is coming into focus and I expect 2009 to be the beginning of that plan.
8. Aside from trying to start a book, I expect 2009 to be a huge year for me professionally. Personally I doubt things will change much. Maybe I'll get struck by lightning and settle down for a while with a special girl, I very seriously doubt it though. I might look at moving to another place, but I probably won't look at rejoining the 9 to 5 world in the 09'. In terms of writing and working, I have a broad idea of what I want to do and where I want to go. It's pretty outlandish what I have in mind though, so for now it'll remain in my head. Let's just say that 2009 will the year to dream big, really fucking BIG.
9. Last but certainly not least, I wanted to thank all of the people who read this site, leave comments and send me emails. I get a good deal of encouraging emails and it's always nice and I will always respond. Hell I even appreciate the anonymous hater comments and snarky emails... Happy Holidays and I wish everyone the best in their endeavors in the new year.
..Now, I promise not to make anymore lists that have to do with how awesome I think I am, at least until the end of 2009.
Monday, December 22, 2008
No Health Insurance. Not being able to play a pick-up game of basketball with friends because you might sprain an ankle and have to declare bankruptcy is a horrible horrible feeling. Some corporate bars offer health insurance, but most bars do not. I pay for my own health insurance now, but I've gone long stretches without it. Laying in bed with what could be a hybrid Avian Bird/Monkey Flu for two weeks straight and not being able to go to the doctor is also a horrible horrible feeling. Decision: CON.
No "Corporate Ladder" To Speak Of. Okay so they say bartending can be a dead end job. They also say that you should floss everyday, or that you shouldn't sleep with strangers, but c'mon?! I've seen bartenders hit the dead end, but I've also seen bartenders move into management or restaurant ownership. I've seen them meet people through bartending and start business ventures or different careers altogether. I myself am starting to see more and more opportunities come my way through this work. Tending bar is a career like any other and by that I mean, the cream will rise to the top. The ones that dead end are the ones who aren't trying hard enough. Decision: PRO and CON, depending on your outlook.
Unlimited Access To Any Type Of Booze You Want. Remember those first few trips into the liquor store when you turned 21? It was like being a kid in a candy store, a candy store full of life-altering liquids. All of those brands and shiny bottles. I used to walk around the whole store just picking up everything and exploring, but eventually it lost its luster and now I just walk straight to the back of the vodka aisle for the cheapest half-gallon I can find. Well, all that is sort of similar to bartending. At first your shift ends and you end up spending 20 minutes looking at all the pretty bottles and trying to decide what you want to sip on. Then after awhile you just grab some expensive shit and pour a triple with soda. The novelty wears off, but still, getting to choose from booze of any and every variety rocks. Decision: PRO.
Meeting Women (Or Men). When you're in an office you see the same people, day in and day out. You grow close to your co-workers and you have drinks after work with them. You rarely interact with new people outside of sales calls or various conferences. For a single guy looking for love, this blows. Bartending on the other hand lets you meet hundreds of new people every night. Some of these new people will be girls who may or may not send you picture mail on your phone in the middle of your shift. The picture may or may not be of that girl inserting some sort of pleasuring device into a hole that God had only intended for outgoing mail, and you might just end up serving that girl a drink 30 seconds later. That scenario was completely hypothetical of course.
Although if things like that start happening in cubicles, then I'll think about jumping ship. Decision: PRO.
Readers, if you have a pro or con to add please do so in the comment section. I'd be interested to hear some different and what are sure to be, completely opposite takes.
Friday, December 19, 2008
This is one of those stories that I'm not proud of.
I'm in Ukrops about an hour ago after an afternoon trip to the gym. I'm walking over to pick up my usual lunch (Two BBQ Chicken breasts, small Mediterranean salad, Diet Pepsi) and as I'm about to hit a narrow corridor on my way to the pre-made poultry section, I notice this old lady pushing a cart, going in the same direction. The walkway isn't wide enough for the both of us and since this old lady is moving at the speed of a glacier, I make a hop and a skip right in front of her to ensure that I'm not caught behind her as I go to fetch my lunch. I even glance back and mutter a polite sounding, "excuse me".
Fast forward another 15 minutes. I'm done eating and I get up and throw my trash away. As I'm walking out I decide to check out some freshly baked cookies. So I turn around and I see the old lady, still shopping, still on the verge of death. She's coming towards me this time and it's another narrow walk way. She immediately stops as we near each other and goes , "hummarggrnnn, young man you should know to give me the right of way", in a tone that can best be described as "Grandpa Joe bitching at hippies". I could've just rolled my eyes and kept moving, but nooooo, Jack has to make a scene in Ukrops.
Me: "Lady, you're moving at a snail's pace and unfortunately I don't have 7 hours to spend in Ukrops today."
I didn't wait for her reaction and I made for the exit, sans any cookies.
I respect veterans and I respect the wisdom that the older generations have accrued. But c'mon! Don't they know that in some countries only doing the speed limit while in the left lane is punishable by death? Or that counting out exact change instead of just forking over a larger bill when there are 4 people in line behind you has caused 14 super-market beatdowns in the past year alone??? These are common, unspoken social rules, that apparently, anyone born before 1945 has not ever been privy to.
Is it wrong of me to say that the elderly should not be allowed on the road or amongst the general public?! Is that too much to ask? Don't we have "homes" or something for these people?
Yep, I just punched my ticket to hell.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Here's a novel idea... Just shut up and blog.
...oh and Urban Richmond, this:
"Create a separate list called “RVA Bizarro Blogs” where people can access those sites where the author pretends to be some convenient butt of jokes demographic (gap toothed women, religious zealot folk singers, and bartender jiggalos - sorry Jack, your promiscuity is too far fetched to be believed). "
.... Is stupid. Ol' Meade Skelton and I will not stand for it!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I went to Blackfinn with a buddy and I decided to test my new stance out without telling my friend about it. In short, the stance involves holding your drink at your hip like a revolver in a quick draw contest, leaning slightly back and keeping your feet slightly further apart than you probably do now. There's a picture of it if you click on the post above. I think it's supposed to convey aloofness or something.
So anyways, I'm standing there, Miller Lite cocked and ready, feet slightly spread, leaning back and looking apathetic to the point of falling asleep. My buddy gives me a quizzical look and says,
"What the fuck are you doing man?"
Me: "You know, uhh, putting out the vibe?"
Buddy: "You look like a retarded version of Michael Buble."
Me: "Really? The Buble? Nice."
Buddy: "Cut it out. Chicks will never talk to me with you standing there looking all handicapped and shit."
Me: "Watch and learn bud."
So at some point after a few Orange Crushes and a few more beers, I see some girls who I sort of know because they come into the bar where I work. I saunter over and join in their semi-circle and exchange hellos. Then I immediately enter my leaned-back, Joe Cool body language state.
If you've never tried, leaning back without a wall or something to stabilize you is difficult. But I made it look pretty hot, or so I thought.
The bar was loud and I'm getting my lean on. The problem is, I'm 6'4 and most girls are around 5'6. So the combination of loud music and me leaning back made conversation pretty much impossible. But in my tipsy and stubborn state, I refused to lean in to talk because I read that this is a total loser move. I made the decision before talking to these girls that I wouldn't stray from my new body language, so I just stood there and nodded.
Finally, after a few minutes of awkwardness, I "needed another beer" and gave the whole encounter a quick mercy leave.
I'm pretty sure I didn't get a number that night, or hit up a booty call, or manage to take off my clothes and get under the covers before passing out. I don't blame the new body language stance though. I've since perfected it to the point of 85% effectiveness. Yep, it's guaranteed to work 85 % of time when I'm talking to a girl past 1 AM, who I've already slept with and she has consumed at least a 12 pack of Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers or the equivalent of. Go ahead and mark the bedpost in this scenario, it's probably a lock.
The funny thing about this is, I saw those same girls the other night when I was bartending. I hadn't seen them since that night and one of them came up to the bar and asked,
"Jack, were you rolling (taking Ecstasy) or something that night a few weeks back at Blackfinn? You were acting so weird!"
Me: "Uhhh, yeah. I was totally out of my mind. Oh shit, did I see you that night? Damn, I was all sorts of fucked up. Whew, drugs are bad, kids. " (Not true, meaning I wasn't on drugs that night and drugs are not in fact bad... kids.)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
So in the spirit of Christmas and in the spirit of hitting the snooze button over and over (and in my case until about 3 PM everyday), I made a list of local news, Richmond happenings and local web gossip that have recently held my attention for the first few sentences and then ultimately put me back into my bear-like slumber:
Here's Some Interesting Stuff, Although Not Blog Worthy Unless I Do One Giant Blog Post With Bullet Points...Like This One:
1. The Demise of The Richmond Times Dispatch (Print Edition): I admit to reading the RTD, almost cover to cover, everyday. I enjoy it for the most part and for a local paper it does an adequate job in regards to relaying local, national and international information without too much clutter.
I enjoy the sometimes over-hyped columnist Michael Paul Williams. He never blows me away, but I always have to finish his column. The sports, especially the Wednesday coverage of local sports is a real bright spot too.
None of this by itself is interesting but the recent rise in blog and mainstream chatter about the death of the RTD (among many other papers) is what is interesting. I grew up with the RTD and in high school I actually had an article written about me and my basketball, but I definately won't be sad when it goes. As a fervent Internet user I can easily read it online. The problem is, I'll probably just switch to a nicer news website (NY Times, MSNBC, The Post) when shit does hit the fan. This brings me to the next somewhat interesting local occurrence:
2. The Rise Of Crappy Local Media Websites: What the hell happened over the past few months? I'm fairly sure that Media General (owners of the RTD) met with Style Weekly and said, "Look, we're all broke. Let's all make a cheap, difficult to use website and that way no one will really stand out. "
I emailed the editor of Style Weekly, Jason Roop (drunk) one night, complaining about how the new Style Website is a pain to use and an eyesore. His response, "It's a work in progress." Yeah no shit, but why even put it up until it's perfect? Same with the RTD. While writing this post I wanted to re-check some of the sites and go through some archives, so I went to Inrich.com expecting to see the papers website, but instead it took me a few minutes to figure out that I needed to go to Timesdispatch.com for what I was looking for. Now with Richmond.com on their hands, Media General has created a huge clusterfuck of ugly websites where you can't find anything.
As I've mentioned before, RVA News and any other website that wants a chance to explode has a real opening right now. Unfortunately small sites (such as RVA News) simply don't have the money or the man power to crank out enough content to really spike their readership at the moment. Although at least they have a well made, easy to use website (and a kickass dating column).
Update: I received an indepth email from Jason Roop shortly after posting this which explained a lot more about the new site and the process behind it than I had bothered to find out in the first place. Okay, I crapped on Style way to quickly. I apologize. But that's sort of what I do. Crap on things, people, relationships (my own and others).... I'll give the new Style Weekly site another chance to win my affections.
3. Shockoe Bottom and Boulevard Development: Recently fellow blogger and friend Jon Baliles emailed myself and a few other "top" bloggers in the city to attend some sort of proposal from the city and developers concerning the Boulevard area and the Bottom. No offense to Jon, but after nearly having Diet Pepsi come out of my nose from laughing so hard, I hit the ol' delete button. Okay I can understand inviting the bloggers who get off on reporting to their 7 readers about the cities comings and goings, but inviting me? Or Tobacco Avenue? Seriously? They must be taking crazy pills.
Don't get me completely wrong here, I'd like to see the city improve and I'd like to see an awesome baseball stadium in Downtown, but personally I'm just not ready to commit to Richmond long term. For all I know and for what I sometimes hope, I could be bartending in Brooklyn this time next year.
I think it's funny that the city wanted bloggers at that meeting though. It tells me two things: Old people are starting to realize that blogs and more importantly, this internet thingie, is where the future is. And two, it tells me that they actually think that a group of bloggers could help provide a ground swell of support or in that same vein, accomplish something in regards to these developments. Now, I'm sure to catch a lot of flack for that last line, but c'mon guys, bringing a limited readership and zero dollars into play amounts to a whole lot of nothing. But don't let that come off as arrogant because I'll make fun of myself faster than any blogger in Richmond. Of course I'll also make fun of every other blogger too (which I just did).
4. John Murden Running For City Council: Okay so I just made fun of the limited power that bloggers in Richmond have and this guy/blogger (who I've never met) could win a spot that would provide him with a glorious and unlimited taste of sweet sweet power. Sooo, ahh, I've contradicted myself. In the name of bloggers, I hope he wins. It goes to show that blogging has soooo many benefits and in his case and in the case of many others, blogging can act as an online resume. Which essentially means that I'm fucked.
Does a Murden victory mean anything for Richmond bloggers as a whole? No, not really. But to John personally and to his site, The CHPN, it means a great deal. Good luck Murden.
5. The Richmond Blogging Community As A Whole: While I've certainly seen my readership grow over the past year and I've seen a few other Richmond based blogs grow, there is still an incredible amount of room to expand. RVA Blogs has many more blogs than it did a year ago, but I still don't see Richmond as some sort of vibrant, internet blogging community. Living in DC and interacting with that blog scene or just perusing the hundreds and thousands of NYC based blogs makes me realize that Richmond is essentially a small, backwards ass town. This is still the south. We are still behind. I don't care if it's a stereotype, southerners in general are a bit slower. You can refute that with examples of individual people, but looking at the group as a whole? Nuh uh. "We don't like no change round here boy." (done in my best Cletus (of The Simpson's) voice)
With that being said, I enjoy numerous local blogs. In fact the number of quality local blogs that I click on at least once a week has grown exponentially in the past few months alone.
6. The Local Economy Sucks It: I know it's been said many times, many ways, but this blows. My tip money is down, bar sales are down, Sarvay over at Buttermilk tried to sell me his blog for 25 dollars and a pair of socks (I declined), and we're all feeling some sort of crunch here. But having to hear about it every 8 seconds is even worse. Let's look at the bright spots; Gas is cheap, Hulu and numerous other websites have popped up which enable me to steal artists hard earned work for free, women will still date a guy who is interesting, albeit broke as shit, and the streets are flooded with drugs priced to move quickly. (Okay I was joking about the last one. The drugs are actually priced to move at a snails pace, not that it's stopping anyone from buying.)
...Okay so this rant has run it's course. Tune back in tomorrow for something a bit more Jack Goes Forth-related.
Books Jack had better be getting for Xmas!
- "The Freedom Manifesto" by Tom Hodgkinson
- "Enders Game" by Orson Scott Game
- "Man In The Grey Flannel Suit" by Sloan Wilson
- "Their Finest Hour" by Winston Churchill
- "Factotum" by Charles Bukowski
- "The World According To Garp" by John Irving
- "Cat's Cradle" - Kurt Vonnegut
- "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond
- "Down and Out In Paris and London" by George Orwell
- "Confederacy Of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
Two side notes: (1) "Dunces" and "Garp" were by far the most suggested books. (2) I'm halfway through "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. My heavy schedule of 15 hour hibernations every few days, bartending, drinking, working out and eating at Ukrops has made it tough to finish this beast. Or it could be the fact that it's over 1000 pages long and such a slooooowwww read.
In this weeks column I got a real email from a girl who I just so happened to make out with in a secret crevice at the bar where I work. So we posted the email and went to town on it. It's pretty entertaining stuff. As always I ask that you leave comments (good or bad). I'll have something new to read on this blog sometime later on this evening.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Recently I had a deaf blogger come in for a drink and since I can't do sign language and he can't talk, we exchanged notes on bar napkins. Interesting experience to say the least.
I also get a few regular drinkers, readers and bloggers who visit, and at times, they shut the bar down. I have certain bloggers who come visit that just so happen to be smoking hot females, who I happen to relentlessly hit on. I know they read my blog, so what the hell do I have to hide?? I can horndog it up! You lady bloggers know who you are and your patronage is always appreciated.
All in all, I'm glad I started this thing. I've met some cool people because of it. I've also lost a job and alienated some people too. But shit happens...
Sidenote: Bloggers tip well. Very well. Although in some instances, they uhh, need to be reminded.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
-I've convinced myself that drinking heavy is okay as long as I balance it out with 15 hours of sleep, only 300 calories a day and two hours in the gym. I tell myself this frequently.
-I got an email this morning and it contained this comment: "If you keep getting belligerent and going to 7-11, your chances of being involved in a racially charged battle to the death over the rights to your sister’s incredible ass increases 5 fold." That doesn't make sense to anyone, I know. Let's just say that the black guy that works at 7-11 was hitting on a girl I was with and then lets just say that I started faux-humping her and telling the dude that she was my sister. Lets just say all that.
- I'm averaging 7 embarrassing, I wish I could take back texts a night. That's waaaayyy above my norm.
- I've done karaoke at least 4 times in the past month.
- I made a scene, hungover, in Taco Bell today at noon. I may have cussed, really loud, in front of the 30 or so people there. But c'mon, how long does it take to make a fucking Mexican pizza?!
But really, I need to calm down. I'm lucky to have a cool, somewhat prosperous job and I'm lucky to not be in any legal trouble for anything. I need to keep it that way.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Clearly RVA News has arrived and is ready to be a major player on the local news media front. Although let's be honest, the competition is, uhhh, rather weak. How can a small team of two guys and a new mommy who all presumably work out of their garage, take entire armies of web guys to task?
Hey Times Dispatch and Style Weekly, are you taking notes yet?
Friday, December 5, 2008
I sarcastically congratulated him and then I told him that I have these sort of "crushes" on different girls every few weeks or so. He stopped me and he said that my crushes were only sexual and not the real thing, and that he had not in fact slept with this new girl. He was somewhat right in his assessment of my crushes.
I then came home early and watched an incredible film/love story called "Once", which was an Oscar winner in 2007 (click on the link for the Wiki description of the film). The film is basically about two artists falling in love.
I'm 25 years old and considering the crap that I write, I don't consider myself an artist. But after I've had a few drinks and shots (like at the time of this posting), I could see myself falling for a girl, and not just any girl. She has to be different and she has to be sort of a nut job just like me. This movie and my tipsiness made me fantasize about that type of scenario tonight.
Sadly or joyfully depending on your outlook, I won't be drunk when I wake up tomorrow and this feeling will pass.
I have entirely too much time on my hands to go falling in love and settling down.....
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Girl: "Hey Jack, I heard from one of the other girls that you
have some blog?"
Jack: (I smile) "Uhh, I don't know what your talking
Girl: "C'mon, tell me how to find it."
Jack: "Just Google Jack, Bartender, Richmond."
Girl: "Okay. I can't wait to read it."
This happened at Hooters last night with a waitress that I barely know. Now I know what you're thinking, Hooter's girls can read?!? I was shocked too.
And yes I was getting drunk at Hooters last night. I'm no different from the blue collar air conditioner repairman or the Mexican brick layer. I like ogling big boobs, drinking cheep beer and eating wings that have a shiny neon gloss to them. I also like it when girls put enough make-up on to be in the circus and then wear really short, tight orange shorts. I'm from the Southside of Richmond, so none of this should surprise anyone.
Regardless of my buddy's complaints, that will not be my last trip to Hooters.
*Don't hate on the Hooter's girls. They're hard-working gals. How else would they support three kids and an abusive white trash boyfriend???
UPDATE: Whoa, I already got a nasty email from a Hooters girl. Ladies, ladies, calm down. This post was written with good-natured ribbing in mind only. You know I love you.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
- The bars are less crowded and bartenders are much more apt to hook up some drinks or shots. Also, bars will often throw insane specials (5 beers for 5 bucks) on an off night like Tuesday in an effort to get more people in. If you ever want to become a regular at a bar or get in good with a bartender, go on a Tuesday or Wednesday, order cheap drinks and then tip like you're not a McDonald's Dollar Menunaire. That is to say, tip HUGE.
- For whatever reason, Tuesday night is Cheap Taco Night in Richmond. Every single bar has cheap tacos on Tuesdays...Even Ruth Chris Steakhouse. This one doesn't need an explanation. Cheap tacos are just as good as pink tacos, if not better.
- Less weekend riff raff. I've been lucky to have a few Fridays off here and there, which I of course use to assault downtown and the fan with epic drinkathons. What I notice, and what everyone else notices on the weekends? The bar crowds sort of blow. It's like New Years Eve or Halloween Night, over and over and over and over. It's like Groundhog Day, but instead of Bill Murray, it's that asshole who reeks of Drakkar Noir and who can't control the volume of his voice. Tuesday night is only professional drunken idiots, no amateurs allowed.
So I'll see you all out tonight. By the by, ladies, watch out for that tall blogging douche bag with spiky hair. I heard he has that new hybrid STD, Syhphaorrealamidia. It's sort of like the new hybrid Cadillac Escalade, only it's really really bad for you and the environment. You don't want that shit...
I'm just kidding. Kids, STD's are no laughing matter. Wrap it up or wait until marriage*.
*Jack Goes Forth loves the kids.