Tag Archives: happy hour

Invasion of the Blob Girls

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My husband drags me around (kicking and screaming, lol) to a bunch of tiny neighborhood dives for happy hour, and there is a trend that I have been noticing for the past few years that has been getting worse and worse: Blob Girl Bartenders. They look blobby, have zero personality, have their noses stuck in their phones 24/7, their bars are always sticky and filthy, and it is impossible to get a beer from them.

When you do finally get their attention you notice the vacant look in their eyes; there’s no working brain back there. The rare male bartender doesn’t have this problem, isn’t constantly checking his phone and will actually get you a beer. I’m not sure where all of the male bartenders went, but all of our bars are now almost completely staffed by blob girls for happy hour; maybe the male bartenders work the higher paying night shifts (we aren’t out at night).

Back in the day, before smart phones, the bartender would be forced to engage the public out of sheer boredom. Since they weren’t able to check their facebook status constantly, they would talk to their customers and might even notice that their customer’s drinks were low. Shocking, I know!

Bartenders were part of the bar-going entertainment and the more entertaining the bartender, the fuller the bar, the more drinks sold, and the more money the bartender makes. There used to be this concept of cultivating a clientele so that when you went to work you stayed busy and made money, but these girls are just putting in their time behind the bar. They are bored and boring.

I want to shake them and tell them to engage their customers and make money! If I have to be somewhere I don’t want to be, I want to make as much money there as humanly possible. I don’t understand working somewhere where you rely on sales for income and not making those sales or income. Why bother showing up in the first place?

The sad thing about this trend is that I’m pretty sure that these girls are incapable of engaging a customer. Some of them we have known for years and have never had a conversation. They were raised on social media and communicating online and may not even be able to carry on a conversation in person. I wouldn’t know; I’ve never seen them even try.

Some of the blob girls will advance to bar manager, and then they hire even blobbier girls to bartend. It is like they barely scraped together enough gumption to make it to manager, and they don’t want competition, yet they need a consistent warm body behind the bar. But they don’t want that warm body to outshine them in any way, so they hire women who are even more bovine and cud-chewing than themselves.

There are woman bartenders with a work ethic and pleasing personality, but they are very rare around here. There is also a bar staffed purely by males, and they are entertaining, clean, and efficient. When a bartender stops to refill a drink, wipe down a part of the bar or empty an ashtray, those are all excellent opportunities to engage their customers and compel those customers to return.

When a bartender has her nose in her phone, she doesn’t notice the empty drink, the mess on the bar, and the full ashtray. She misses a chance to get to know her customers and to cultivate a working relationship with them. She misses the chance to ply her trade and make more money. I don’t think that Blob Girls are exclusive to the bar industry either; I think that they are everywhere, in every sort of job, watching the clock and doing the least work possible until they can finally leave. Please don’t be a Blob!

Conversational Sluts & Gut Flora

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Sunshinemary had an interesting post a few weeks ago about the human microbiome and how trading it during sex affects us:

When a woman comes together with her husband, she’s receiving more than just semen. She’s also being “seeded” by receiving a big dose of his microbiome inside her, a microbiome which literally affects who she is and how she thinks and feels. In a very real sense, we become part of the men we have sexual relations with.

She goes on further on the subject:

I am only wondering aloud here, but does it not seem that it would be stressful to a woman’s body and mind to receive the microbiomes of numerous men? Wouldn’t her body be able to adapt and function better if she only received that from one man? And doesn’t it make sense that she would bond deeply with that one man, given that part of him is now physically a part of her, affecting the very way she perceives the world?

This has been fermenting (hah!) in the back of my mind for the past week or so & then I realized why I hung onto it. My husband & I are bar gut-flora sluts. When we go to a bar, we will sit next to anyone & talk to them & just by the act of conversation, we share gut flora with them.

I have been working hard on colonizing my body with beneficial bacteria & I always thought of talking to people as me sharing my hard work (good gut flora) with them & increasing their health, but I never thought of them sharing their bad flora with me. And I certainly never thought that sharing a lot of strangers’ flora might be messing me up internally.

Just a few generations ago, there were close extended families that everyone spent a lot of time with & they would share their gut flora. People may not have had a lot of contact with complete strangers. When I was a kid being raised in the Catholic tradition, we lived in our Parish, went to school in the Parish school, went to Mass in the Church next to the school, played with all of the other neighborhood Parish kids after school & Mass. I bet if we had all been tested, they would have found that the Parish had a specific gut flora.

Which brings me to the subject of going to a wide variety of small bars & conversing with a lot of different people, a lot of which are complete strangers. I never thought of this as damaging my health. I never considered that this might be seeding me with detrimental microbiome. And the stupid thing about it is that most of these people are downright tedious, anyway. So it is damaging to my body & mind.

My husband & I were talking last night about how annoying a lot of the people are that we see on a regular basis & Sunshinemary’s post came to mind. I told him about it & suddenly it all made sense – we need to only converse with the people we like & respect. Only share gut flora or microbiomes with people in which we want to invest. We need to quit being conversational sluts.

Micro-brewed Craft Beer

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Keoni Galt’s new post has convinced me to start drinking the local craft, micro-brewery beers instead of that Miller Lite swill I’ve been drinking. I make a conscious choice in everything else: raw milk from the dairy, high quality cigarillos, grassfed butter, etc. I don’t have a local grassfed source for my meat, but that’s next on the list. Here’s some of what Keoni has to say:

High quality alcohol manufacture is an artisan craft. Micro-brewed craft beers are “living” beverages, carbonated by the natural fermentation process. Mass produced corporate swill is “dead” pasteurized fare and injected with C02 to carbonate the beer. Same goes for mass produced box wine versus properly aged bottle and cask wine. High quality tequilas and mezcal are made with 100% distilled agave, and high quality whiskeys and rums are aged for years in oak barrels, a process in which the charred innards of the barrel wood work like charcoal filters that remove the impurities of the distillate over time.

The main reasons we drink Miller Lite is because it is a low point beer in this state & because it is only $1.50 – $1.75 during happy hour. I like drinking, but don’t like getting drunk, so the low point part is attractive. We are cheap bastards, but maybe we should reconsider that. If I had a pint of draft, craft beer it would cost $4-$5, but I probably wouldn’t drink it as fast.

And the really stupid thing is that I personally know one of the local brewers; I have absolutely no reason to not support him & the other local brewers from my town. So, I’m going to start doing this & I’ll let you know if it increases my cost of living. Dang, I’ll have to re-train all of my bartenders!

One reason we chose cigarillos over cigarettes is because we decided that cigarettes are way too addicting & cigars are too cumbersome. With our current favorite cigarillos we smoke 1-2 per night between the 2 of us & really don’t have any desire to smoke more. If that consumption continues, our annual outlay will run us about $500 per year retail, $220 wholesale.

Introverted Girls (part 1 – finding them)

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I am going to try my best to explain the introvert girl, but I really only have me and a couple of friends to go by. Keep in mind that I might be a special snowflake so YMMV.

I’m also kind of an extreme version; I scored high in all 4 areas of INTJ – 60s & 70s in all areas. I took an Autism Spectrum Quotient & also scored high (I’ve always scored high on tests, lol!) at 27 when I think “normal” is 16 & Aspergers is 35 or so. As a more introverted person I might see the less introverted as extroverts.

If I were typed by Koanic Soul for his forum (husband didn’t seem wildly excited about me sending pictures, so no go) I would probably be typed as a TT because I have a good-sized occipital lobe & large green eyes. This type is described as “sensitive” and monogamous and is protected from the rest of the forum. Also, another funny thing about his site is I have always used koans, I just didn’t know what they were called & I thought it was a OCD thing or something.

All that being said, other introvert females probably won’t be as bad as me.

So, where the hell are you going to find these introverted girls? The problem with meeting introverted girls is that either they segregate themselves or they are segregated by society, employers, etc. Like right now at my job there is a large office that houses all the office workers & then I’m put in a separate office (the only person not in the large office) so that I can “concentrate on numbers”. At first I was kind of hurt that they segregated me, but now I’m fine with it. Those extroverts in the large office NEVER SHUT UP EVER!!! Plus, my office has large windows. I win.

The introverted girl will be put in a position best befitting her brain – she will be in a secluded, quiet place cataloging something. She will be in the bowels of the museum cataloging pottery, not at the front desk greeting people. She will be in the back of the library, not manning the information counter. She will be in the kitchen, not the hostess at the restaurant. In college she is the girl painting in the deserted art building in the middle of the night. In other words, she will rarely be seen in public.

The introvert girl is the one that takes a book to the bar during happy hour. Or really, the one reading a book in public. In fact, this might be a way to get past her defenses; sit next to her & open a book & start reading. Now of course, with the ubiquitous smart phone, she will be reading something on her phone about Gut Flora or whatever is her latest obsession.

And she will have defenses! If you do find the elusive introvert it will take you some time before she lets you past her shields. If you come on too strong there is an equal chance that she will leave or she will cut you down viciously. Sometimes her introversion will be masked by alcohol & she might even engage! But she will probably not go home with you.

I think the best approach to meeting an introverted girl is to cultivate an interest in something non-mainstream. I’m wracking my brain to think of where these girls might actually hang, but I’m coming up empty.

Personally, one of my favorite activities is looking for strange books in the “metaphysical” section of Goodwill. You can find a lot of cool anthropology books from the 1970s before political correctness killed the field. I also look for really old cookbooks with pioneer recipes & old-time frontier wisdom. I like going to Asian & Mexican groceries to look at the offal (& sometimes buy, but it intimidates me!); I like going to mainstream grocery stores at 8am on the weekends.

I go to happy hour at very small neighborhood bars. This might be the easiest place to find them. A lot of times you might find them in a larger group of girls during nighttime hours; she is the one quietly smiling. Just look for the big-eyed girl who won’t talk to you. No pressure!

photo via trishwriter11

Meeting Other Introverts

goldfish jumping out of the water

Say you are an introvert, how do you go about meeting others of your kind? On the surface it seems easy, but the problem is that the introvert isn’t going to come up & introduce themselves or anything. If you happen to sit next to an introvert they probably won’t talk to you beyond acknowledging your existence (if you even get that) unless they’ve had a few too many.

If someone does talk to you, they are probably an extrovert & talking to them can either be mildly amusing or can be exhausting. The problem is that extroverts don’t really parse their speech; whatever comes into their heads comes out their mouths, generally. This is why talking to most people can be so annoying.

Meeting other introverts is a lengthy process, but it is worth it because once you get them to talk to you they have incredibly interesting things to say. They spend most of their lives in solitary activities like reading books & looking up things on the internet. Sometimes they just roll ideas around inside their heads until they either make sense or are discarded.

So how do you do it? Well, little known fact is there is a place introverts gather; happy hour at your small local neighborhood dive bar. Extroverts go out at night; introverts gather from happy hour until about 10 when the bar fills with the late night extrovert crowd. Now if you are an introvert, you might find it difficult going into a strange bar because places full of people aren’t your cup of tea, but gird your loins & go in. The perfect bar is one where when you walk in everyone looks at the door, but no one greets you except maybe the bartender.

So if you successfully enter a bar & obtain a beverage, then sit at the bar & drink your drink. Sitting at the bar is imperative; no one will notice you if you sit at a table & if they do notice you, sitting at a table signifies that you want to be left the hell alone. Sitting at the bar is a friendlier approach even if you never speak to anyone except the bartender to say “Miller Lite”.

If anyone talks to you, they are either an extrovert or drunk. You can either talk back or ignore them; it doesn’t matter, you are biding your time & becoming a regular. This is a lengthy process. You may show up at the same bar for a month & never meet another introvert, but they all see you, and your repeated appearance will make them more comfortable around you (and you them).

Extroverts are bewildered by the mere thought of this process, this mating dance. Extroverts have no problem meeting people, so they see no need to get comfortable around people before opening their prolific yaps. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends & favorite siblings are extroverts. They are super swell, but they just don’t understand.

Since this is such a lengthy process, you would do well to do this at multiple bars. Three different bars should be sufficient. You don’t want to be seen at the same one every day, if you can even drag yourself out in public that often. Plus, you need more than one bar because seeing the same people time after time can be draining. It’s like they need more time to have different topics of conversation, or if you see them too often you get sucked into their drama. Drama = trauma.

After the second or third time all the other introverts see you, they will start to give little signals of acknowledgement: a nod here, a grunt there. This is good – baby steps. Eventually one of the less introverted ones will actually speak an entire sentence or ask a question. When this happens, you are in. You have been accepted. It may take another month or two to be fully integrated into their “cone of silence” but once you are in, the place is yours forever.

You may think I’m poking fun, or this is a satire, but I’m absolutely serious. Both my husband & I are INTJs, and this is how we deal with socializing. Just as you need some quiet alone time, you also need to talk to other people. You can’t sit home forever (well you can, but I don’t suggest it). We have four or five different small bars (occupancy < 80) we shuffle between. All of them are populated almost exclusively by introverts during happy hour – not at night; the night crowd is very different. Right now there are two of them we are avoiding (don’t ask), but in a couple of months we will have a different two we avoid & will return to the original two. Sometimes people have to miss you to appreciate you.