Monday, March 29, 2010

file Under Anecdotes pt. 19.

I figured it out.

Unfortunately I am no longer employed by the SLMC. I just got back from Portland and Unfortunately My former rockstar energy drinking boss was informed of a bartender seen drinking after hours. My exboss is very hardlined alongside the wonderful business he runs better than anything I've ever been a part of. He and Will are primarily responsible people who have taught me everything I know aside of a few brown and bitter dashes. I want to jump the gun and say I have no animosity over everything. I was fired in January from another successful business for getting HAMMERED and allowing a neighborhood barstaff stay after hours and prettymuch finish whatever they wanted to do until the timer went off and the lights shut down automatically. Yup I was asking for it, losing 2 jobs for 1 offense. I was extremely tired. I overworked myself for the holidays and through the season I was more of a scrooge.

So here is my side of the story.

I wasn't asking for it.

We have a new 23 year old kid who worked his first training barback shift on Monday and maybe I was possessed by the Swaze and thought it was my job to make bad decisions. We created the Ban Kai Punch by using about 30$ worth of product and sold it at 5$ a glass and sold about 10-15 glasses. Made our money but the process left over alcohol to worry about.

I should have acted wisely and committed a sin and dumped it down the drain. Even though I feel thats a worste form of alcohol abuse. I have a +1 skill in freepouring and am usually very accurate to the point that every drop in the glass fills a cocktail glass to the brim. I'm starting to work on my Jiggering skills.

So back to the new Danson. I spent about 45 minutes going over every last detail in closing that bar down properly. In taking time now, I was hoping to make it easier on myself later. I hope that they give a girl thats become the fastest most accurate barback we have a chance and don't poach from another bar. That is bad juju. I have a friend who has worked 8+ years in fastfood to get thru college who can't leave his 24 hours a week there cause the money and the bennies are too great. He would be perfect.

So I thought it was a good idea to sit down with him and to force him to watch the movie Roadhouse. We also enjoyed the last of the punch. The purpose was for him to see this scene, which is a tradition amoung doorguys. Somebody told me he didn't seem very nice.

The owner had some business early before the coffeshop opened and saw we were there. Case closed.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

File Under Anecdotes pt. 18. MxMo : Ban Kai Punch

Sometimes it takes longer then you think.

Be warned it's kind of a spoiler, but will hopefully give you incentive to watch all 250+ episodes.

I've worked the past 5 nights and haven't been able to spend a chunk of time on the compute until now. I'm as usual a day late and a dollar short.

I'm doing my mixology monday post a little late. I've been busy.

Ban Kai Punch.
We have a large old skool punch bowl.
It normally stays in the fridge holding fruit. I didn't want to Boudreau the glass.
So I ran cold water until it was half full and then cut the cold water and ran the hot.
It was pretty tempered when I ran it through and It came out in one piece.
Recipe by Kevin Langmack and Cale Green ( Tavern Law )

1 bottle gin
1 double rocks glass Laird's bonded
1 double rocks glass Yamazaki
Juice of 4 grapefruits, cutting wheels out of the center
Juice of 8 limes and 3 limes cut into wheels
1 single rocks glass Orange Curacao
1/2 single rocks glass Maraschino liqueur
2 oz Pernod
2 oz Simple
1 bottle Champagne
Large ice

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

file under Anecdotes, pt 17.

Thats my Dog.

She is the laziest bitch I know. She has some really bad habits, can occasionally puke or crap all over the place if I work too long of a shift and my roomate is at his ladys place, and occasionally licks her paws til they raw. Her original owner committed suicide and I have had her since 2002. This picture was from one from one of those times. I had to tape socks to her so she wouldn't do more damage. She is at this moment in time hopefully enjoying the finest service from Downtown Dog Lounge getting a bath and her nails done.

Today being the first day off in the last 5 I was feeling silly and I think I pulled off one of the funniest pranks I've ever done. I mean no dis-service to the police. They do a great job if you decide to call them.

Back in my fast food management career I became good friends and got to work alongside with a lot of our cities finest. One of my officers was a fan of hats and since we always wore Seattle Supersonics hats and shirts on gamedays, As a manager I worked a deal to exchange a Sonics hat for a SPD cap. I don't wear it out often cause it has a magical +1 ability where when I wear it people don't want to talk to me.

Today I wore it as I got coffee and a doughnut and took my dog to the DDL. I usually get funny looks from people but moreso when I wear the hat. Dressing in all black and wearing it to an afterhours party and getting trashed and making out with that asian chick was not a good idea.

So as I arrived, after taking my dog on the longest walk she has had in a while, made her sit, and stay on the couch while they handed me a clipboard to do paperwork. Afterwards I had to keep as straight a face as possible while wearing a SPD cap and walking around, clipboard in hand, and coffee in the other. My dog had to go into a kennel, AKA doggie lockdown.

I also stopped in again and got another doughnut and coffee. I have to pick her up in about 2 hours. Think I'm going to hit the shower and enjoy my day off.....

In parting, here's a photo from the good ol' days.

Monday, March 22, 2010

file under Anecdotes, pt 16.

I ain't never read a book by Hemmingway, but anyway I like his drinks.......

Saturday, March 20, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 15.

So as much as I'm talking up my new position at Vessel, I want to point out my view on the joys of working at a place that has been managed well enough that the same bartender staff of 3 has stayed together for 3 years. There is only 7 days a week and the 2 bartenders that have ben there since the open each take 3 days a week a piece. I get the one other day. As I've hung onto tooth and nail since I've had it. I think I've taken 3 Mondays off in 3 years.

I moved into the neighborhood about 3 and a half years ago and at the time had been a huge fan of the Dunnes, and spending a lot of time on the old Pike and Pine. One night at the Dunnes drinking, a girl came in and said she had just been mugged about 2 blocks away at her front door. At the time she felt settled and was ready to leave, the bartenders ( who are two of the best I've ever seen working together ) asked me to walk her home. She told me she barbacked at a bar down the street that just opened up and I should come by sometime. I fell in love with the juicer on the bar and even though at the time I was slinging bowling pin shaped beers and
Touchdowns I was inspired to make better drinks. I first started as " I'll grab a drink there and then head to the Dunnes." or "I'll start on Pike and Pine and grab a nightcap on the way home."

Soon enough I was starting and ending there. Usually sitting as close to the well as possible.

I was there on a Monday when the original Monday guy got a full time gig and I went in and asked the boss if they needed someone. He had already offered the job to a friend because he was qualified and was the first on his list to hire. He told me he would have hired me if he had known I would have been interested. That summer I was losing my friday barback shift at the bowling alley and lucky for me the doorguy at the time decided that between working full time administrations for the local college, and running a home remodeling passion, he didnt want to work his one day a week doorshift for his employee discount.

I was offered the doorshift and did my time, but lucky for me the bosses friend had a really bad night that he had to be fired for. I can't go into details out of respect for all parties involved. At the time I was the only staff member with previous bartending experience and was offered the shift. I said thank you and never looked back.

So in working behind the same stick for three years I have had the time to not only learn how to set up my Mize, but have spent so much time there that muscle memory takes over, where as soon as you hear the order you know which ingredients come out of the well using both hands, as well as where every single damn ingredient is located and you know exactly how many steps it takes to reach for all involved with both hands. I had to work a while at a bar that was designed by a lefty and while it was really well equipped it always felt awkward.

Friday, March 19, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 14.

Training Day

So I've been sitting on some exciting news that I can finally talk about.

Today I had my first training shift and starting in April I will be joining the staff at Vessel. Unless this is a very thought out April Fool's day joke.

I am excited to take over some shifts left open by Keith Waldbauer's new opportunities. Who knows.... Maybe he'll have time to start writing again.

Vessel has a big reputation. For canadiasake it was designed by Jamie Bouxeaudreaux

My first time deciding to check out Vessel I was accompanied by my very good friend Dustin ( who is now at a great new bar is San Diego) when we went out on a western shirt themed night.

Upon perusing the back bar I noticed the Red Hook Rye. My other good buddy Casey has a bottle that he's told me about that is still unopened because he wants to be buried with it.

Dustin looked over the menu and ordered a Rosewater Rickey. We both watched the fireshow in amazement.

After some chitchat and a really hilarious conversation with some lady who was obsessed with our western shirts Jim Romdall asked who the hell we were.

I have been a fan of the bar since then and am really excited to join a staff that has produced such notable alumni as....

Zane Harris and Anu Apte left Vessel when the teamed up and bought their own bar. I highly recommend checking out Rob Roy

Andrew Bohrer brought cocktails to the eastside when he left to open Naga. I highly recomend checking out his latest endeavor Mistral Kitchen. Occasionally Zane and Andrew play with CHAINSAWS!

I am leaving some very talented people out of mention, but I'm not worried because they are now enjoying working for the aforementioned people.

Hope I see you on a Wednesday or a Friday hopefully soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 13.

I've been playing a ton of Final Fantasy XIII and listening to Kanye. I'll be taking no days off til my spaceship takes off.

Sunday after daylight savings we had a huge POS system faelure and I had to stay until 4 am on the phone with the tech and after a long process of "type this in the run line, that's gonna send a data pack to our server. It'll take about 10 minutes.... have you heard about the evil conspiracies from the Bush administration?" We figured everything out. I made one mistake. I set the AM/PM incorrectly which affected the next day a weird way where when we punched out it was the 18th.

Ladies and gentlemen according to our POS we have achieved Time Travel.

Couldn't get accurate reports so I just dropped everything in the safe and am awaiting to see how this shakes out.

Also if anyone is getting married in the Seattle area my mother is trying to revive her bridal tailoring business.

She taught me business dealing at an early age when she convinced me to get a haircut by buying me Final Fantasy III/VI and giving me a day off from school.

While I still have high hopes for the party business resurrecting itself I'm getting real bored. One can only read so many books and play so many games of solitaire.
Recently I've been asked by some old friends to handle some sewing projects and it occurs to me that I have talents other than dealing Blackjack.
For those of you that don't know of my deep dark past - Before I started coordinating Fantasy Casino parties I had a great sewing business for about 15 years while the boys were all at home. As they got older it got a little difficult having naked ladies wandering through the house and I was ready to move on to other things.
So, if you choose to accept your mission, tuck this email away in your save file and feel free to pass it along to anyone you know who has children of marriageable age.
It appears that formal wedding dresses have the same issues they had 20 years ago and I have this incredible talent for fitting them.
This is an informational email. I check it every couple of days. If you need to make or change an appointment, please call me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 12.


I would like to be considered for employment with your organization as a bartender. I have been a software developer for about the past 10 years in both the Bay Area and Seattle. About a month ago, while recovering from a 103 degree fever which I chose to medicate with a combination of Woodford Reserve and some left over Vicodin ... I had a vision. I saw myself walking
through a post apocalyptic wasteland, a "Terminator-Post-Judgement-Day"
nightmare littered with the remnants of smashed computer cases and AOL "free trial" CDs. In the distance I saw a glowing light and floated toward
it. As I approached I saw that it was a bar, an old west saloon. I
floated through the door into the bright lights of the interior. The
was empty save a lone sharp featured bartender behind the bar. He
looked over at me and lifted one side of his thin lips into a smile and
said, "Our lives are based on what is reasonable and common sense; Truth is apt to be neither."

Things get a little foggy after that. However, I interpreted this vision to mean that I should abandon software development for a while. I have about 10 months of bar tending experience in a small bar in San Francisco. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly and would like to be employed by
your organization as a bartender. I can forward you my resume upon a response.

Thank you for your time,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 11.

Kanye used to have to suck through a straw. Now he sucks because he wants to.

File under Anecdotes, pt 10.


Friday, March 12, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 9.

The bartender needs advice.

I have a customer that I like a lot that I'm worrying about. Customer made a bad impression initially with us because of constantly ordering doubles which we're kind of in the mindset of instead of a double why not enjoy two freshly made cocktails. If a customer orders a double we oblige. However after investigation I learned customer works for a medical trauma unit for a local hospital and works 12 hour days and lives 2 blocks away. After two doubles I have heard stories such as the reason he quit the Los Angeles department is that when his district was between Compton and East LA, a memo went out that everyone must wear Kevlar vests while on duty. Customer being well over 6 foot and 250 lbs and had to have modified gear that didn't allow him to properly give CPR. So he moved to our safe little borough. Thing is I saw him this week at another local bar and when I went to say Hi he didn't recognize me. Apparently a friend he had helped through detox is relapsing and I saw the texts as they went unintelligible. I'm planning on a chat, but I don't know where to start....

I know this is a downer, but just remember for all the fun of bartending you will run into situations like this. As a training exercise think what you would say to someone who has been fired on Christmas eve and their wife left them for their best friend and they just want a few drinks to not worry about it. I know that sounds unfathomable, but I know someone who had to do just that. You need to stay in control and keep them safe.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 8.

The best story Murray Stenson has told me so far.

So I've worked the past two nights and have to work tomorrow so I went out last night and had a steak at the ZigZag as I've been a fan of it lately. At one point of a downtime I asked advice on a work situation and the stories were amazing. The best one is as follows....

At one point in time he was working for a place that is now a well established french fine dining establishment, but at the time was a Yugoslavian family owned place. Apparently one of the bartenders lived on Vashon Island and was a guy with a very nice collection of silk ties from the 50's. However living on the Island he was always trying to leave as soon as possible to catch the last ferry, and I'm sure ferry service then is not what it is now. So as he's closing and finally finished he runs to the office and bends down and throws the money in the safe and slams the door shut and turns the dial and tries to hurry away, but finds that he has locked his tie into the safe. The owners are the only ones who know the combination. To cut a longer story short he was forced to yell to someone to bring him a pair of scissors to cut his tie so he could make his ferry.

File under Anecdotes, pt 7.

I just sent off an email to my Mother asking to house my dog while I'm out of town.

In the closing line I directed her to this article from and wanted to share it.

by Lou Bustamante

As I was having an email conversation with an old friend I’d reconnected with on Facebook, I was struck by the difficulty of describing my interest in spirits (and my profession) without conjuring up images of the movie “Leaving Las Vegas.”

Drunk. Lush. Alcoholic. Bar fly. Boozer. Lubricator. Those are some of the nicer names to describe people who enjoy fine spirits and cocktails, but those words don’t adequately define people like me. All those expressions characterize overindulgence instead of a refined interest in liquor. It would be like using the word glutton to describe a gourmet. It’s clear that we need a suitable name for ourselves.

Without a doubt alcohol has an image problem, especially hard liquor and cocktails. People mostly see alcohol as a means to get drunk, as quickly as possible, with no regard for the taste. Sure, they want a delicious cocktail, but they’d rather taste the mixers than the spirits.

Beyond the Long Island Iced Tea ideology, there exists a group of people who are interested, either professionally or as a hobby, with the collecting, mixing, history, production, and discussion of spirits and cocktails. The fact that it’s alcoholic is more important for its chemical properties than for it’s intoxicating effects.

No one is accusing anybody in the third-wave coffee movement (Stumptown, Blue Bottle, etc.) of drinking espresso merely for the caffeine. But just as bean selection, proper roasting, and expertise brewing all have an impact in the cup, similar skill and consideration is becoming more commonplace in the bar.

The craft cocktail movement illustrates the growing core of people who need a new identity—people who care deeply about what’s in the glass: how it got there, where it was made, who made it, and the history of it’s development. These are the folks who have created a renewed interest in, and availability of, small-batch artisanal products from tiny distilleries.

Back to the question of what to call us. The term foodie* is about as close as it gets, although in my mind the expression is too general and includes a great number of people for whom alcohol is of little interest, or even forbidden. (More for us, I say. The less competition I have looking for the yearly release of Sazerac 18 year Rye, the better.)

Somehow the term Drinkie just isn’t right. It sounds like something you’d serve a kindergartner in a sippy cup or a box. Drinkanado? No. Boozacrat? Too far in the Frasier Crane direction. Boozadore? Even worse.

Since a lot of fuel for the movement has come from looking back at the pre-prohibition era, I propose we draw a name from the older lexicon. But words like bon vivant, boulevardier, and gourmet, are frankly too broad—and hard to spell.

Liquorist stands out; old terminology for someone who creates spirits. It sounds sophisticated, appropriately defines a spirits enthusiast, and more importantly is an expression I’d use to describe myself.

The only thing left to do is say, “I am a Liquorist.”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 6.

I'm planning on being in NYC from May 14-18th for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. I had been putting of buying a ticket, because I've been trying to figure out accommodations. I have an ex band mate who lives in Brooklyn and while he's initially agreed to put me up, we had words yesterday regarding the fact that everyone in his house is in AA. Me and my old guitarist have done things that others dream and lived to tell the tale. Others sing songs of our deeds. He has been the good to my evil and vice versa. Thing is the tale is nothing that we're proud of so it stays untold. He chooses not to drink and that is as fine by me as the fact he doesn't is by me. Same as He's fine with the fact that I'm making a living slinging booze. Every time he comes back to town he usually stayed a night or two and in this case I was looking for reciprocation. However the idea of interruption and lodging for 4 days with a non drinking household might be as much of a downer for them as much as me.

We chatted it out and everything is fine and we caught up and we're (he's) looking forward to us getting together for some vegetarian food. I also have lined up somewhere else to stay those days.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 5.

I just finally decided to clean out the built-in bookcase in my apartment and instead of housing books, its now housing booze.

Friday, March 5, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 4.

Ya know what, it's ok to go out and have a good time involving alcohol. Sometimes you get a new job or a promotion and you want to celebrate by having a drink or two more than you normally would. I have heard in Japanese business culture there is a common ractice where superiors and their staff will get together for a drinking meeting. The purpose of this meeting is after a superior and their staff have all had a drink everyone is on level ground and anyone can say what they would like and there can hopefully be an open line of communication.

Other times you run into random kids from Germany and learn what their drinking culture is like.

I cannot stress the importance of writing things down after you've been out and having a good time however.......

Hopefully your bartender can supply you with a pen and a coaster upon request.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 3.

So you tried to date a bartender.

In any dating endeavor there is a 50% chance of success or that of faelure.

If it works out, know that you are lucky enough to date someone who is socially adept and usually will be a fun person to hang out with. They keep odd hours and tend to drink more than the average person, but relax, to those in the trade it can all be chalked up to research.

So if it doesn't work out here are some tips:

Don't go to their bar by yourself or on a date on the nights they are working. It shows either you are lonely or that you are trying to show off your new person. If you happen to be a part of a group that wants to visit the establishment don't feel awkward or the need to point out the fact that you and the bartender used to be an item. The bartender should be happy to have a group of people drinking and wont think you are sitting alone at home or you have a lack of friends.

If you happen to run into your ex-bartender at a different establishment there are different rules to adhere to, for both the bartender and the ex.

If the bartender is there on a date and the ex comes in by themselves, the bartender should realize that their ex was just going to have a drink or meet up with a co-worker or friend and since the bartenders plans are already set they have control over changing the situation and relocating.

If the ex comes in with a date, just play it cool. You are both doing your own thing now and feel happy for the other one. Just play awkward until the other one is adult enough to go and say hello.

If the ex comes in with a group then access the group to see if you know anyone, or if its seems like a group that you approve of, then use your ex as a lead into making a few new customers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 2.

So I had a couple in tonight who were hearing-impaired, and I've learned the basics in customer service when in this situation. Hand them a menu to look over and use pointing. A simple hand in front of the mouth, then extended downward towards the person means "Thank You",They're hands are gong to be moving constantly so pay a little extra attention as to when they are looking for service, or another drink. However I've found them to be in a minimum, and have noticed that because their hands are constantly in use they tend to take thier time with beverages, not a big deal.

So after two drinks one closed out and headed out the door.....

I noticed the one who'd left had left a pair of keys on the bar, so I handed them to the friend that stayed and they ran after and got stopped by our little alcove with the mail slot where a door handle could be.

A moment after, our former doorguy (whom I got my break into the bar from) who was outside for a smoke, came back in to mind his Woodford.

"Wow" he said....
"They must have gotten in a fight"
"The first one got about halfway down the block before the other one came outside, looked around and then ran about 10 feet, made a very large noise and threw a fuckin pair of keys at her. They are still out there going at it."

I filled him in and we went back to our previous businesses as straight faced as possible until said person closed out and left.

Monday, March 1, 2010

File under Anecdotes.

The bar I'm working at is lucky enough to be next door to a coffee shop that has free wi-fi that a number of people who frequent the neighborhood coffee shop like to use at the bar after the coffee shop is closed. I use it too. I love putting on a favourite jazz artist's Pandora and letting that be the evenings soundtrack. I don't have to worry about playing DJ, and the music is usually great.

However there were tech issues and the interwebz was down for the day and I had to play DJ which is beneficial from time to time. ANYPLACE THAT PLAYS THE SAME GODDAMN PLAYLIST EVERY DAY IS BORING!, and a formulated, poorly run establishment.

I spent a superchunk of the night playing a lot of my older favorite bands and everyone had a great time on industry night. No I was not playing Ministry all night, It was happy hour, all night, for everyone that works in bars, kitchens, or coffee shops.

At one break I thought about putting on Waxwing.

At our bar, I played music in town for 10 years as did my boss, and majority of our barback staff has worked at Easy Street. We kind of have an unwritten rule that we don't play bands from Seattle. Tonight however forced into DJ mode and having a local crowd I was playing some hits and almost threw on said mentioned band about 10 minutes before a member stopped in for a beer.... I'm assuming after practice from a current project.