Wednesday, May 21, 2014

GROWING UP (Fuck it.)

            Adulthood is a terrible thing.
            When does it actually happen? What does being an adult even mean? If you ever saw a bar after 2 am the place looks like a kinder-garden playground, creatures screaming and bumping into each other, fighting about nonsense, and crying quietly in the corner.
            So when’s the switch? When does that pristine definition occur in our lives? Let’s go to the inter-webs and find the answer.

            They say that adulthood starts when biologically we can actually have children.

             Okay. By this definition we are adults by 12 years old, In 1854, this would make perfect sense. By that point, all of us would have been working in factories, making babies, or killing other men. Times were tough in 1854. Especially if you grew up in the Wild West. Or Africa. Or anywhere, for that matter. And you died by 40. So there you go. Moving on. 

 "Human adulthood encompasses psychological adult development. Definitions of adulthood are often inconsistent and contradictory; a person may be biologically an adult, and have adult behavior but still be treated as a child if they are under the legal age of majority. Conversely, one may legally be an adult but possess none of the maturity and responsibility that may define adult character.”

Totally vague. What attributes define this ‘adult character’?

“An event relating to the oncoming of adulthood is coming of age, which encompasses passing a series of tests to demonstrate that a person is prepared for adulthood, or reaching a specified age, sometimes in conjunction with demonstrating preparation. Most modern societies determine legal adulthood based on reaching a legally specified age without requiring a demonstration of physical maturity or preparation for adulthood.”

Fuck this dictionary. This whole idea of ‘act like an adult’ or ‘grow up’ is nonsense. This means if I can pay my rent (I can barely do that, I live in NYC), pay my bills (same), and not piss on bar room floors or weep uncontrollably in public, I am an adult.
What I’m thinking, by inference, is that being adult means accepting that life is not fair, that we are condemned to work until we die, and that most things, sadly cannot be trusted to last.
Does that sound right?
That by the time we figure out any of the mysteries of life we are either too old to care and unlistenable to younger people who might need that advice. I didn’t listen to anybody growing up (maybe my drug dealers, because I feared them).
It turns out that maybe in youth (I’m talking the early years), in our stumble through a world inhabited by generations that came before us, that our ignorance was actually an asset. Think of all the risks you took in your early life you would NEVER do now. I’m willing to bet that 85% of those risks you took paid off in droves.
I’m starting to believe that in reality, nothing ever really changes in our personalities. The only thing that really changes is our avoidance of things that were deemed bad from our mad rovings of youth.
Think about when we were in high school. Do you remember who you were in high school—the part you played? Were you the Hamlet of your school, or were you the Macbeth? I truly believe who ever that character was remains with you into adulthood.
The bully stays the bully. The jock stays the jock. The nerd stays the nerd. The outcast stays the outcast. Sound like The Breakfast Club, doesn’t? Well, let me tell you, back in 1991 (the year I entered high school), that’s just what the world was.
Nowadays, things have changed. There’s the School Shooter. The Oxycotin dealer. The Hacking Cyber Terrorist. The Twerking Chick. Shit is different. And you wonder why these kids can’t pay attention. They’re busy avoiding bullets, narcotic prescriptions, the NSA, and their virginity at all costs.
Guess which one I was?
As the frequent new kid in school, I was always the outsider. I was attacked for being the new kid. Add to that my flagrant lack of fear of others, which made me a smart-alleck. I didn’t care who I pissed off. I grew up in Rhode Island, a small town kid with a simple upbringing, and watched the bullies attack the other kids. I would step in the way and defend the weaker kids. I love the underdog. I hate groups.
Moving to Southern California, I was a pasty, acned face kid with a VERY strange accent. I was not a Surf God. Outcast. Moved to Boston later in life and was poor, didn’t care about sports, and did not graduate from their universities (the 3 deadliest sins in Boston). Outcast.
I couldn’t stand regular jobs so I became a bartender. The last resort for people who want to be at the center of everything and not part of it at all. I was basically born for VIP. 
I feel so outside of everything that I don’t even want to be a part of this world. I’m like a ragged wet angry cat left out in the cold so long it has become feral.  I love humanity from the bottom of my heart but want absolutely nothing to do with it. I woe for my future wife. I hope she has a high threshold for psychological pain.
What were you in high school?

Till next week.

A small addendum.
Just for the record. I was in Orange County, yes that terrible place, 10 years after high school (I was kicked out for ‘problems with authority’) I was in Albertsons buying some groceries when I heard out of the blue:
I turn around. There’s the lady behind the butcher glass, very pregnant, with a round, kind face. I don’t recognize her.
“Hi”, I awkwardly say. It takes a moment. I’m trying not to be a dick.
It all flashes back. Jennifer.
Here’s who Jennifer was in high school. Cute girl, in a nerdy, awkward way. But she was remarkably popular, certainly developed early above the other girls, and seemed totally unattainable to my stupid high school mind. I would try to carry her books, walk her home from school, give her shitty poems, all to no avail.
Now here was Jennifer, pregnant as the day is long, smiling a wide-eyed grin, a half-pound of roast beef in hand.
“What is up?” She asked. We started talking. Of course, never able to let sleeping dogs lie, I bring up the whole thing about high school.
“Jennifer, you were so popular, you never gave me the time of day. I had a super crush on you.”
Right then, her face went blank. The she shook her head, grinning:
“No. Not at all! I thought you were so cool. You were just SO moody and distant, I never really knew how to approach you.”
Right then. Mind blown. Suddenly, it hit me.
It was me. I was the problem. It wasn’t the world. It was me.
Okay, maybe the world is 1/4 the problem. Maybe 1/2.




Monday, May 5, 2014


I’m deep in it folks.
Jean Paul Sartre once wrote: “Hell is other people.”
I suppose.
(He was just an old crank. But if you read his ‘love’ letters to his ‘significant’ other, Simone De Beauvoir, he should have wrote: “Hell are these cheesy love letters we send each other.” I think they called each other ‘squirrel’. Deep, right?)
As a bartender, (and previously a server, a busboy, a food runner, a host, a dishwasher, a production assistant, a mover, a copy editor, a grip, hell, even a two day stint as a door to door Cutco Knife salesman), I have been serving people for all of my life. Because of that decision, I have found myself in the most unique position to analyze folks.
When is the most revealing time of the human character?
When they want something.   
What happens when people want something they just can’t seem to find?
They invent something that helps them get it.
They invent things like Tinder—the newest ‘trend’ in the dating world. From roving, horny business types to the elderly looking to share their final moments with someone special, this application has become THE streamline way to meet people in the most shallow of ways.
Now if your one of the five people living under a rock who haven’t heard of Tinder, let me break it all down for you. You download an app, flip through photos (barely any info about the person), and like them or not like them by swiping either right or left.
If someone else also ‘liked’ your picture, then you are allow to ‘text’ each other on the Tinder interface. You choose the range of where you want to meet people down to a one-mile radius. Sort of a straight person’s Blender, you can imagine how many illicit situations one can get involved indiscriminately with other strangers.     
As an amateur anthropologist, I’ve done some research into this phenomenon in the name of science. Like exploring a strange and dangerous country, I proceeded with caution and grace, and have returned from Tinder land with my scientific findings.
Despite whatever people think, there are pretty much only three categories a person fits into that uses that Tinder on the regular (or a combination of all three).
The categories are the Loser, the Lonely, and the Nasty.
Yes, I know, regrettable titles, but accurate all the same. Before you make a judgment, lets explore this phenomenon together, shall we?


When the last time you met someone who had their shit together who was actually not single by choice? Let me tell you.
I’m saying their shit is TOGETHER. Like money problems sorted, neurosis analyzed, past mistakes forgiven and future plans decided. These ‘mover and shaker’ types are always in high demand, and because they don’t lock themselves in the house every night to watch episodic television. Nope. The ‘shit together’ person is out and about at events, gatherings, dinner parties, doing SHIT. It is virtually impossible not to meet people when you are out in the world owning it.
Being on the computer 12 hours a day and bitching about not meeting people in your sweatpants is unacceptable. You are on Facebook all the time. You say your ‘too tired’ to go out. Ugh. I can’t stand those people. If you are under 50 and you are ‘too tired’ to go out and have a little fun, you are totally a loser. This is why people are on Tinder. Because they are not owning in their life, they are directionless and disorganized and probably suffering from some kind of social phobia. Which is weird after the age of 25. People are just people. They’re not going to bite (unless you are like the werewolf lady from a couple of blogs ago!). Go up and try engaging someone. They are probably just as weird, confused, tired, and neurotic as you are. 
One of Tinder girls actually brought a friend out with her to meet me. Seriously. And this chick was 32! And her friend had a shitty personality. Who does this? I left the two of them alone and walked right to the next bar and had drink alone. That night I made a new bartender friend. Boom. Real life. 
People who are killing it in their life have just that: A Life.
It’s time to go out and get one.


Hey, this world is a dark and terrible place. Just read the front page of the New York Times. It’s tough out there for us humans. Of course we all get the nagging feeling of the emptiness in our chest, and we do need each other at times for strength and support.
That’s normal stuff.
What’s not normal is looking through a catalogues of faces, choosing them merely by looks, going through hundreds and hundreds of pictures to hope, with sweaty crossed fingers, someone will ‘like’ you back, and then ‘text’ them for a meet up. I don’t know, that sounds pretty lonely to me.
Tinder is great for those who desperately need affirmation of their existence, pushing notifications on their phone to vibrate in their pocket when some stranger notices them. Strange world, indeed.
Look. If you’re that lonely, you can email me and I’ll give you a big hug, folks. You know how to reach me. I’m here just for you.


This one is easy. I’m saying nasty because certain people on Tinder are down to fuck anything thing wants them back, and one person for sex is just as good as another. Any port in a storm will do, right?
 There’s nothing wrong with falling into this category, right? You like indiscriminate sex with strangers. You’re that British chick from ‘Girls’. You’re Alfie from ‘Alfie’. 
So next time your on a Tinder date, remember, that person right in front of you would probably fuck the next person that ‘buzzes’ them on their phone tomorrow, and probably did the night before. 
If you’re cool with that knowledge (and, oh, isn’t too much information just plain terrible), Tinder away, friends. After all, you’re probably just as nasty as that person anyway.
Just make sure you wash your hands after.

So, Tinder people. Which one (or all 3) are you?



                                                            FREE LOVE! BRING THE BODY CONDOM.