Saturday, July 21, 2007
Immediately, there were hordes of barely old enough to drink kids scratching their heads at the beer selection and handing me their ID's with their back-up photo ID's from where ever their internship is this summer.
One kid had someone else's real ID, which didn't look like him. After throwing down credit cards with the same name and a really really long and detailed description of jaw surgery, I let him take the card back. There - there's a victory for all of you who think I shouldn't take the fakes away. You get one. I had doubts.
Most of the kids who were underage simply claimed to have "forgotten" their ids. Not this one; not Rossy here. He did whine for it back - and at an inopportune moment - he was standing next to my boss who shot him the most appalled look. He claimed he was from out of town, and wouldn't use it, and would tear it up. Really. pleeese?
But I was a little sad, this wasn't the sweetest ID to crown number ten in the collection. I already have this model. * sigh*
Also, though I don't think this kid was dumb enough to put his real name on the card, I hope when he grows up, he can become more like the awesome fisherman in new zealand who does have this carefully chosen name.
When Ross caught this 10.04 kg snapper, it was reported that the sea conditions were flat with drizzly rain, and that squid was used as bait.
Let's hope the humidity breaks here too.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
About five months ago, I experienced very, very horrible break up with my first serious boyfriend of two years. Having been the one to break up the relationship, I met much resistance and was told (by him) that it might very likely be too hard for him to ever speak to me again. I have since started dating a man who I am very in love with, and we have a fulfilling, healthy, and happy relationship.
All I want is to have an honest conversation at some point with my ex when we both feel ready, in order to share perspective, make peace and salvage something of a friendship. I really do feel that we would be much better as friends than a couple, and would like to feel like he is still in my life, even if on the periphery, but he has to want the same thing, and I fear he will not be able to help make this happen. I know that I need to be patient, but what if so much time passes that it no longer feels important to him to reconnect? Somehow I feel it is important to get past the hurt, and that the longer I wait, the harder it will be to get past it, the easier simply to just accept the idea that we will never try to make some kind of peace. And I wonder if I am going to be more hurt for hoping and waiting, though I have no other choice, except to expect the worst.
You have to make peace with yourself, not with him. Sometimes when love ends, it's best to grieve the people we were, as well as the relationship that is over. You will never be the woman who dated him again; you are a new you now, who is wiser and more experienced than you were before. You can make choices besides being hurt. He might not want to reinvent how you two know each other, and he may never be ready to be friends with you. That's his choice, not yours. If you are open to the possibility of having him on the periphery, or even closer, in your circle of friends, that's all you can do. He has to decide to want that, or not. You also get the power of choosing to be in his life or not, but only if he lets you. Until then, you need to live your life without him in it. This is not a worst case scenario , it's just a path. There will be many people in your life, lovers and friends. These people may appear and leave and return in your life, but you have to change constantly, in relation to them, and regardless of them.
Closure is often a thing you must find alone. The hurt you fear in the waiting and hoping for him to come back to your life platonically, the "expecting the worst" that you anticipate in his not wanting to be friends, these feelings are about you. For him, it seems OK to leave things as they are now, some what unresolved, less worked out than you would like. Unless he comes to a place where he wants more resolution, the honest conversation that you want to have with him may never happen, but until then, you can have that conversation with yourself. You can live with the lessons you learned from that relationship, even if you live without learning anything else from him. And who were you when you met him? How has that woman changed? Who are you now, without him, past him, on to the next?
Some lovers become friends, some lovers become legends of our pasts, and some lovers become nothing at all. These are the sultry murmurings of old men at drowsy bars. Drink like they do. Give that pain a soak in some strong spirits, not for a life long habit - just for a little while. Find a dive that has Nina Simone in the jukebox, bury your quarters with her name. Locate the best spotlit seat at the bar and take it. Drink the best sherry or brandy in the house, hum along with the music. Having little holes burnt in your heart where old portraits stare through the shadows is what makes a life well lived. This is how your soul grows old, and how the music and the strong drinks, begin to make sense.
My brother has been dating his girlfriend for about 4 years. He loves her dearly. She is intelligent and sweet, and committed to him. He is a very rambunctious and funny guy, and she is very quiet, but they compliment each other well.
They have been living in different cities for more than one year. However, my brother's girlfriend will be moving to the city where he lives this coming fall. She will be starting graduate school there. She did not choose the school because of my brother, necessarily, but they both consider the opportunity to live in the same city a chance to take a step forward in their relationship.
This last weekend, my brother's best friend from high school visited him. She is hilarious, beautiful, and very energetic. Throughout the years they have bonded through their similar senses of humor and interests. My brother expressed to me that having his old best friend around has led him to question his relationship with his girlfriend. He asked for my advice. I find that his best friend from high school is a much better fit for his personality than his current girlfriend. However, I also see the value in a committed relationship, and can imagine that he could also be happy with someone like his current girlfriend. I don't want him to decide to spend his life with someone boring just because it is safe. How should I approach advising him on the situation?
Comparing your loyal, smart, and intelligent girlfriend to another girl, is never a way to feel safe in a relationship, and not a nice way to treat your lover. His conflict is not about her failings, but about his doubts. Is he afraid of the relationship moving to the next level? Is he not really in love with her? Is he afraid to settle down with a committed partner? Does he want to see other women? These are questions that only he can answer, and presenting them to her without answers will unsettle, and likely, scare her. She's taking a big risk by moving to a new city for him. He should begin by making her feel safe in his city.
Sure, it could be a gruesome scene if she moves to a city for him (even if she claims it's for grad school) and it doesn't work out. But let's not set the scene for the greatest amount of tragedy. Relationships are strengthened when the two people identify problems between them and work through those challenges. If the problems are insurmountable, then the relationship will fail, but ideally- both individuals will learn and grow within the partnership. It's easy to question the foundation of your love when your lover is far away- distance creates doubts. After four years, I think we both know that the current girlfriend deserves his effort to make their relationship work.
Listen, he should try not to worry about it. Either she'll come to town, and after a period of adjustment he'll be really happy with her finally around. Or he won't. He won't be able to break up with her until he's really ready, and when he is, he won't be able to stop himself. Meanwhile, he should try to reconnect with his long distance love, and make her feel welcome as she adjusts her life to nestle better into his. Perhaps, when all the anticipation is over, she's exactly what he's looking for. After all, four years is a long time to wait for someone just to break up with them when they finally arrive.
As for the high school friend, if she were such a perfect fit, she would have won his heart long ago. Something about the two of them doesn't add up, or it would have already happened. Maybe she doesn't want him, or there's some part of her that he couldn't stand to date. Either way, if she's so perfect for him, eventually nothing else will work out, and they'll find each other then. No reason to wreck his life in the meantime, and no reason to let her cause anxiety about someone who he already loves.
To advise him, you need a round of something refreshing. You need a beer that's poured, and then you still have to wait for it. Duvel - a Belgian beer, served in an amazing tulip glass, nearly half full of head that resembles whipped cream. The label reads, to be poured without haste. A perfect pour of this bottle requires a few minutes of admiration, a little distance, and a willingness to taste the aromatic foam above the beer before you get a true sip of the fine Belgian golden ale. A slight aroma of bananas lingers in the head; you'll taste the sweetness of the beer blended with the spicy but mild hops, then, a delicate and flowery finish. Buy your brother's girlfriend a six-pack of this beer when she gets to town, it can last at least three years in the bottle. Hopefully, despite all his doubts, they can last longer, and be happier than any drink could make them.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Once upon a time, I prided myself on being a girl that could hang with the guys - chugging beer, eating late night greasy food, and otherwise being awesome. However, I've recently decided to treat my body more nicely and have cut back on all of the above activities. My friends seem to take it personally that I don't indulge in their lifestyle anymore, but I just want to be coherent more hours of the day. Is that really so much to ask for? How do I keep their friendship and my new-found good health?
First, don't cut back on being awesome. Drinks and greasy food have nothing to do with your awesomeness. Your friends probably aren't "taking it personally" because you don't want to pound pints, but because you aren't spending as much time with them. There are two obvious ways to improve this situation. You can include them in your life more, or include your new self in their activities.
As a bartender, I do a lot of socializing in the afternoon or on off-nights. Brunch is a wonderful meal to share with your binge-drinker friends. The pressure is off, so you can drink your coffee while they order up another Bloody Mary. Try to leave your judgements of their lifestyle at the coat check; if you want them to respect your choices, you have to do the same. You can drench them in your exciting new plans for hiking under the stars and stories about the yoga class that took over your early-start Thursdays. Let them brag about their drunken escapades over pancakes without dragging you into an uncomfortable scene. You can have the quality time they (and you) miss, without feeling like you aren't allowed to grow.
If they just can't get out of bed before three, and whine about not meeting you at the old drinking hole, think about being awesome without falling into old patterns. Take up playing darts or pool, use your 'athletic' prowess as an excuse to drink seltzer and orange juice with a dash of Rose's lime. I knew a sober girl who used to shark the table in one of my favorite haunts; she politely refused when hotties tried to buy her a drink, and had a blast playing pool and trash talking to all her drunken friends. Being sober in a bar doesn't make you the enemy, it teaches you how to have fun without relying on a bender.
Have some patience with your drinking buddies. Change is hard, and people who spend all their time in bars tend to be a little weak on making changes in their lives. Just because you retired your beer mug, doesn't mean that they should have to make the same choice. You can still be the awesome girl who hangs with the dudes- all their beer guts aren't going to help them win the afternoon soccer match you challenge them to, their slurred words are never gonna beat your clever quips over a darts match, and maybe they could try to join you in your new activities. You should invite them.
I'm finished college, and have my first real job. I'm having some people over for my first summer barbecue. Most of these people are new friends from work and my post-graduate life, and of course, my work crush. I don't want to say I've grown out of the cheap beers from my college days, but I have a little more expendable income in my life and I want to impress my co-workers (and the crush) at this happening. What drinks do you suggest for the summer party atmosphere, beer and otherwise?
Ah, the debutant ball of the corporate office- the summer barbecue. And the budding office romance?-how perfect! You might want to ask the crush out for a happy hour drink, so you can take note of his or her order, and stock it for the party- even if they don't say anything, they'll note it- and you'll score major "thinking about you" points. You are going to need some great summer beers, and a really great punch as a signature drink for the event.
Allagash Brewery in Maine makes an amazing classic Belgian style wheat, Allagash White. It's like a Hoegarten, but better, and made by a great domestic micro-brewery. Oranges are the appropriate garnish for a wheat beer, so have some around. Another great Maine summer wheat is the fruity Sea Dog Bluepaw Blueberry wheat beer. Everyone doesn't love the wheats, so pick up a sixer of Dogfish Head Aprihop, and for the begrudging few who want something lite and crisp, pick up some Gaffel kolsch. Kolsch beers are sadly overlooked by American audiences, but are light and easy on the palette. Stay strong on refusing to supply Macro-brew light beers - they taste awful and your friends deserve better. Insist people try something new and better.
I'll never understand why, but some people don't like beer. For those lagging behind the micro-brew revolution, you should mix up a bowl of Fish House Punch, a drink adored by George Washington at the State in Schuylkill Fishing Club during the American Revolution. This angling club was established in 1732, near Philadelphia, and claims the origin of a perfect punch. Don't worry, it doesn't taste like fish. There are many variations on this recipe, so don't be scared if you get a little bit sloppy with your pours. Remember that a punch is never better than the quality of its ingredients, so buy high shelf liquor and fresh fruits. You might want to double the recipe if your guest list is ample.
1 cup sugar (Rumor argues for brown sugar)
3 1/2 cups water (Include a large block of ice into this count)
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (6 to 8 lemons), strained
1 (750-ml) bottle Jamaican amber rum (Appleton's rum is preferred)
12 oz Cognac (1 1/2 cups) (The best punch has Courvousier VSOP Cognac)
2 oz peach brandy (1/4 cup)
2 ripe peaches, sliced
The night before your amazing event, make a block of ice. Use a piece of flexible Tupperware to get the square shape- anything glass will break if you freeze water in it, so don't use your brownie pan. Leave the ice in the freezer until you're ready to serve the punch. It'll need about 8 hours to fully freeze.
Hours before your guests are even thinking about heading over, dissolve the sugar into the lemon juice. Mix it around a bit, then add the liquors and
one and a half cups of water. Some recipes use sparkling water instead of plain water- this choice is yours. Once, a friend of mine substituted some champagne for the sparkling water, making a strong but delectable variation.
Taste the punch as you're making it to see if you'd like a little more of one thing or another. It's your punch, your party.
Let the punch mellow in your fridge, stirring the mix once an hour until right before your company arrives.
When it's time to serve the batch, add your block of ice and sliced fresh ripe peaches. Serve in small glasses.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
To all who may be in New York and reading this blog:
Tonight you have the rare opportunity to see one of my paintings hanging in a gallery. Let's go!
(see ad below)
There's an auction for the work (it's a benefit show) and you can even bid on the works after 6pm at http://www.apexart.org/biennial/
I encourage you to do so.
<- that's my painting. It's 8 inches by 10 inches, acrylic on collage with gold leaf on the edges, and titled, Gastronomic Landscape, USA #1
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apexart is pleased to present The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe in response to two major social issues of our time: biennialessness and poverty. Through an open call to curators and artists, nearly 600 people are now "with biennial." All works are available for donation and will provide the Robin Hood Foundation of NYC with additional funds to do more good for the disadvantaged of the city (no funds go to apexart). Works can be seen and bid on at www.apexart.org/biennial/. We want to thank everyone involved for an exciting and extremely varied exhibition.
Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, July 7, 6-8 pm - make a virtual visit via live webstream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel
For more information: The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe; exhibition runs through August 11.
Please join us.
Directions: A, C, E, N, R, Q, 6, J, W, M, Z to Canal and 1 to Franklin.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Nothing exciting has been happening at either bar, or really in my life the last few weeks. But in the lulls in conversation, and amist my own workspace boredom, I hand people a pen and a napkin and say, "You know what Bart Simpson looks like right?" to which all reply, "Of course."
"Then draw him for me."
This has been a rather fun game. Here are some spoils.
A few of these were drawn by professional comics, so maybe they shouldn't count. They were at the bar though, so it's fair game.