These Are Not Anxious People

I'm currently reading a hauntingly beautiful, but extremely depressing novel about a likeable but messed-up woman dealing with her past and facing her future.

Exposure, by Kathryn Harrison, is incredible, and a couple of quotes have really struck me thus far.

On discussing the past:
She'll talk later, but for now, whatever she remembers threatens to recede, evaporate, when she contemplates articulating it for someone else. Even as she tried just now to tell Carl about posing for her father's camer, it was as if she were trying to recount a dream: what she remembered seemed absurd, and parts of what she had thought was a coherent story were suddenly missing. Her mouth open to speak, she was left with nothing more than the idea of herself at the grade school science fair. Chosen from the audience of children to come stand on the stage, putting her hands over her head at the hypnotist's command.

On searching through other people's medicine cabinets:
These people aren't anxious or depressed. They have sinus infections and athlete's foot. They don't spend the minutes between waking and showering reciting reasons not to kill themselves.

I suspect that people from unhappy families are always searching the cupboards and drawers of happy people. Sliding a hand between the neat stacks of towels in the linen closet, slipping a finger under the hinged lid of a jewel box, flipping furtively through the pages of a book. They are looking everywhere. As if, perhaps, out might fall a list, an outline, the formula for how they do it.


Oh My Grits!

Overheard in SF:

Alabamians At Breakfast

"They don't serve grits everywhere. We took a tour with our church group and we had to take along our own grits."


There's a First Time for Everything

And Friday was the first time I got kicked out of a bar.

Well, okay, not really kicked out. Just politely told that I should enjoy my night elsewhere.

Here's what happened:

I used to like Anu. I met one of my best friends here and saw some great comedy. But that has all changed, and now I will never go back.

Friday night after Avenue Q, my 7 friends and I walked in totally sober ready to drink it up. I started things off with a round of tequila for everyone. The adorable, very friendly bartender (eager for more business because the clientelle was a bit lacking) asked me what kind of tequila I wanted. With a big smile I said "If I'm paying for everyone, it better be the cheapest tequila you've got."

So what does she bring out? A bottle of Patron. Yeah.

I call her out and say, "I asked you for the cheapest tequila and you bring me Patron?" but with a smile so it won't be a big deal.
She says, "I'll give you a discount, it'll be the same."

I think, man, I'm gonna tip this chick well...she's awesome.
One girl in my group won't do tequila, she orders Absolut instead.

Everyone else in the group orders a drink for themselves after the shots...we're planning to drink quite a bit, but we're still stone cold sober.

I decide to close out my tab because my boy had the cash to cover the rest of my drinks. I get my bill. $52 for 7 shots (one member didn't drink). I'm a bit confused, so I take a look...they actually charged me for 8 shots, at $7 a shot. She did offer me a $1 discount on four of the shots...but I'm still a bit confused as to how "the cheapest tequila" turned into $7 shots.

So I pull over another bartender who looks like he's kinda running things. I ask, "what's the cheapest shot of tequila you've got?"

He says, "Jose is normally $5, but it's $4 tonight."

So I show him my bill. He argues that I had Patron. I told him I ordered the cheap crap. As he's fixing the bill, my bartender comes back and I tell her I feel a bit taken advantage of. She said, looking sweet and friendly, that she would never do that, that she misunderstood. I highly doubt this, but I tell her it's cool, I buy it, as long as I get my bill fixed. Man bartender comes back and gives me a new bill, this time for 8 shots at at the correct price, but the Absolut is still $7.

Turns out they actually charge $7 for a shot of Absolut. Are you kidding me? Friggin absolut? Seriously.

Anyway, so he comes back and tells me, "We don't take advantage of people here, she went above and beyond for you already."

I show him that my bill is still wrong, that we only had 7 shots. After arguing with me and counting the people in our group who had drinks, he finally comes back with a correct bill of $31. (That makes the original bill a 69% overcharge, by the way.)

Me (still feeling a little miffed and hoping to clear everything up because I like to hang on to a good bar and I have too many bartender friends not to at least try to make it all happy): "Thanks for fixing this. I'm confused, though. I felt like everything was all resolved and happy until you said that she went above and beyond for me, so I'm wondering what you meant."
Man Bartender (who has now told me he's not the manager, but is "kind of the head bartender tonight"): "She gave you a discount when she shouldn't have."
Me: "But I asked for cheap tequila and she gave me Patron."
MB: "You saw the Patron before she poured it, you should have stopped her."
Me: "She said she'd give me a discount."
MB: "We don't take advantage of people here. You should have stopped her. Your tab is closed. Have a good time elsewehere. Goodnight."

So I took my group of 8 over to Mr. Smith's and we ran up our tab there instead.

It's unfortunate, because I liked Anu, and I know you've got to have your peeps' backs, but seriously...don't mess it up once it's resolved.

To you, Mr. Kinda the Head Bartender--you just lost the business of 8 young professionals who love to drink it up and are usually pretty damn good tippers. For that night and from now on. Sucks to be you. I'd be mad as hell at you if that was my bar.


Not All Athletes Are Corrupt

In a world of sports that includes cheating refs, betting players, steroids, rape, drugs, murder, and animal abuse, it's sometimes difficult to find a reason to rally behind a team or a player without feeling the slighted tinge of guilt over some of the crimes that may or may not be taking place off the court/field. Scoop Jackson offers a glimmer of hope in this month's ESPN magazine.

What do you do when you are asked to speak at a camp?

You know nothing about the camp, just that they are playing ball. The camp has been around for only eight years in Chicago and has no NCAA, pro-am or shoe company connection or backing. You ask what big names have come through or been a part of the camp, and they tell you no one. But they tell you that the theme of the camp this year comes from the mind of Nelson Mandela.

You investigate. Find out that the camp is not really about basketball, but about education through basketball. It's called "Books 'N Hoops." Emphasis on books. A camp where both girls and guys play ball in T-shirts with "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall" on their backs. Mandela has their backs.

Read about the rest of the heroic ventures on ESPN.com


I'm Not Nuts

You actually CAN overdose on caffeine. A young woman in England did it recently. She had 7 double espressos while working in her family's sandwich shop, thinking they were singles. Not only did she get the expected symptoms like heart palpitations and nervousness, she actually got a high fever!

With more and more people drinking coffee and espresso drinks younger, I absolutely think it's more important than ever to let people know that too much can be dangerous. Okay, funny, but dangerous.

Read the whole article here.


I'm thinking of Wine today

Wine is the first weapon that devils use in attacking the young

St. Jerome

Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved.

Medieval German saying

Hunting For Seashells

And what a find!

LegoMan pulled out of a Dutch sea!