Irritable Male Syndrome

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm sure most of you Minneapolitans already know, ...

I'm sure most of you Minneapolitans already know, but City Pages released it's Best of the Twin Cities edition this week. Always a good issue if you want a good laugh, not so much if you're looking for the real Best of the Best.

Like most of you, I've also been dying to find out who would win the Best High School Athlete in the Cities, even though I'm 14 years removed from anything high school, and no, those girls I leered at a bus stop the other day don't count. They were totally asking for it, what with the pants and sweatshirt wearing thing they had goin' on, the fucking trollops.

I was also giddy when I learned that hotly contested Best Sign of Spring was listed, and that "Custom Cars" eeked out a win. Finally!

Wait, what? Who makes this shit up? How can you have a Best Sign of Spring category and not have "Tank tops and skirts" even given Honorable Mention? This is a travesty! An outrage! A...a...hold on, I have to...go to the bathroom. I am in no way going to look at a thesaurus. Be right back.

A sham! It's a traveshamockery!(Sorry, that commercial always made me laugh, still does. Right along side the "Great Googlymoogly" guy.)

Most of the categories are useless, but one of the "winners" puts a stick firmly in my craw.

Best Happy Hour: Chino Latino (Readers Choice: Lyle's)

This is why Suburbanites shouldn't be allowed to vote on anything city related. In fact, this is a good reason that nobody from the suburbs should be allowed inside the city, period. Sorry, mom!

Anyhow, I'm not entirely sure that Chino has won this category before (came close last year, I think. I know Lyle's did win a few years back, and the readers have had a perpetual hard-on for Lyle's since forever, but I'm too lazy to go back and take a gander to see what Chino has done, when), but it is hardly the best happy hour in the city, and it's not even close. True, the food is good and the booze is fairly cheap, but the fact that it's only and hour and half a night (Su-Thu 10:30pm-12am) is a complete buzzkill. Literally.

Why didn't it win the same category in 2004, when the happy hour went from 10pm-12:30am, and the beer and wine was $1 cheaper? It's obviously rigged.

I've always been a big fan of The Independent's happy hour, even though I'll never understand why a bar would discount their premium booze, but not tap or bottles of beer. Though, the last time I was in The Indy, I overheard the bartender say that he wanted to "kill whoever created happy hour, because it brings in all the cheap trailer trash". I was there during happy hour, and even though I'm sure it wasn't intended for me, that sort of thing leaves a bad taste in a drinker's mouth. It tastes like gin.

I like to drink and would be broke if I was a spendthrift with my alcohol money. If that makes me trailer trash because I refuse to pay that much for a beer, so be it. There's no reason for anyone else to point that out, though.

Ooops, I didn't mean for that to degrade into a Indy bash, but I guess it did. All I'm saying that there has to be a better choice for Best Happy Hour, right?

(You see, this is where you give me your happy hour choices. You're obviously new here.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

"So, is that your girlfriend?" the man behind the counter queried.

It wasn't an unexpected question, really. I'd been into his bar at least 5 times, and almost every one of those times alone. There was no reason for him to believe that I had any friends, let alone a girl whom would frequently have sex with me, and that wouldn't ultimately end up in itty bitty pieces in a chest freezer.

"Yup." I offered.

"So, how long have you been dating?" he continued.

I told him the duration, he countered with a toothy grin "I'm recently single. Hell, I've only been a doing this since June (meaning bartending), and you wouldn't believe the hot women I pull on a weekly basis. It makes no sense!"

I think he was more surprised than I was. I've been to many different bars since I started drinking, and most of the time I'm a casual observer because people amuse me. They're silly. I like seeing people interact when they think nobody is looking. I watch how a female customer interacts with a semi-attractive bartender(hell, even the less-than-attractive ones) , and then how the same customer completely ignores, say, a much better looking barback or waiter, and the difference between the two interactions--or the lack of interaction thereof--is staggering.

The bartender gets fellatio eyes while the barback gets a much less desirable look of disgust. How is that fair?

I'm not saying this is solely reserved for the male bartender/female drunk scenario. There have been many a times where I've thought a girl was more attractive because she was pushing me a full pint glass. When I see that girl out in public, in broad daylight, I wonder, oh my god, what was I thinking? 

Obvioulsy, I blame the alcohol like most drunk girls would, but it's got to be more than that, right?

How does the average bartender recieve almost rockstar-like status? While I realize that being a great bartender is almost an art form, (and the ratio of great to acceptable is very, very low), being a run-of-the-mill bartender does not require any skill. None whatsoever. So, you can mix me a passable drink or open a beer bottle in terrifically douchetastic fashion?

Big fucking deal.


Last week I was out with some friends that I don't normally go out with, at a bar I don't usually frequent. I was talking to a friend of a friend, when she asked me about my part-time job.

"So, are you a server or bartender at Solera?" she said.

"Neither, I work outside as a valet." I replied, almost ashamedly.

"Oh." was all I got back.


And then she completely shut down the conversation, as far as I could tell, because I don't serve martinis to pretentious a-holes in my time away from my job that actually pays the bills. Perhaps she just ran out of small talk(possible), or maybe I'm a terribly boring individdle(also entirely possible), or maybe she found out my Geo Prizm has 130,000 miles on it and smells like the dumpster at Red Lobster, but talk about feeling like not only a second rate service industry employee, but a second rate person.

I don't talk about my feelings much here, if ever, but if you believe that whole 'feeling like a second rate person' tripe, you're an idiot. Christ, it's not like I have a vagina, people! Thank god.

But I do feel that had I responded with "bartender", I have no doubt that her clothes would've come off a la Naked Gun, and she would've proceeded to tongue my perineum right there at the table, even if it was just for cheap Flirtinis.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A few minutes ago I was laying on my bed, eating sunflower seeds, sucking back some swill in a bottle and watching crappy Sunday night teevee, when I came across a show called "I eat 33,000 calories a day" on TLC.

I didn't see any of the people that ate even half that, but still--holy crap! It's probably every bit of a disease as binging and purging, but at what point do the postives of eating 15 deep fried chickens--lightly rolled in crisco, butter and packets of raw sugar--outweigh the negatives?

Not only is the inevitable weight gain(which might be a secondary or even tertiarty concern here), but how many times can one plug the shitter before enough is enough? If I ate even 5,000 calories a day, I'd be taking dumps the size of planets, complete with their own gravitational pull.. It might not be a Jupiter or Saturn, but Pluto or Mars, easily.

Also, how do the bed-ridden people get the money to pay for all this food? There's got to be a point where there's just no more money for food, right? You lay in bed all day, with no job to report to, therefore have zero income. Food stamps only go so far. Another question; who makes all this food for them? If a person is too lazy to leave their bed to eat, they sure in the hell aren't going to be putting forth the effort to make the 13 meals a day they require.

Just wonderin'.


I left work early on Friday and partook in a wee bit o' geo-geekery. Um, that means caching. I ended up over by Theodore Wirth Park on the western edge of Minneapolis. I'd say that if I hadn't picked up this little hobby, I never would've seen all the cool little areas this city has to offer, and that's downright sad.

One little story; growing up, The Chipmunks were always the epitome of creepy for me. They walked upright and sang Christmas songs, for fuck's sake! Don't even begin to tell me you were not the slightest bit leery of that.

Anyhow, back to Theo Wirth Park. I was trying to dislodge a particular cache container--in this instance, a tupperware container covered in camo duct tape. Classy!--from a hole in the end of a fallen log with a stick that was laying on the ground. It was tougher than it sounds.

Just a little sidenote; As a grown man(shut up!), I still have two huge fears that go back to childhood; deep, dark water, and sticking my hand in a hole in the ground, a tree, or something similar. Both fears have to do with not knowing waiting for me in the space I cannot see. Hell, there could Great White below me in the lake, or a cute, furry animal just waiting to gnaw my arm off to the pit in that hole in the ground.  Hey, you never know! That's my admission for the day. All I ask is that you is not to tease.

I'm digging the cache out, and just as it's about the become free from it's stumpular confines, a cute little devil-hued chipmunk, complete witha mohawk, pitchfork and fire shooting from his eyes decided it was time to scoot past me and into the hollow trunk. It was moving pretty fast, but I'm sure it made stabbing motions on it's way inside, it was just that evil.

As something that is approximately 2 billion times the size of a rodent, It's awfully vagtastic of me to be that jumpy around said rodent. Maybe not so much afraid, but I've seen the movies; those little fuckers aim for the face and latch until one of us succumbs. A chipmunk fight is a fight to the death, I'm much too pretty to not be worried that it's going to choose my ear as it's last meal.

I assure that whatever chunks of flesh you get from me, young Alvin, will be the last flesh you ever taste. I have big shoe and know how to punt, just so you know.

I backed up a little to sign the log(the paper in the cache), and it was at that very moment the chipmunk decided to come out of the log and confront me. He jumped straight up in the air, landed on two feet with all of the agility of a teensy, brown-clad ninja, chirped something that I'm sure meant "Get away from my home, and leave my bitch alone, beyotch.". I'm not fluent in chipmunk and the audio was dubbed horriby, but that was close enough for me. Warning heeded, my friend.

He chirped at me again, this time it sounded like just a chirp oddly enough, and then slowly circled my perimeter while eyeing me the entire time, finally darting out of sight, to call in reinforcements, I sure.  I put the cache back from whence it came, and slowly walked backwards out of the woods, keeping my gaze firmly fixed on that stump.

I understand the need for an animal to defend it's territory when it feels it's being threatened, but the stink eye was a bit overdramatic, don't you think? Even for a spaz like me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In the past few weeks, I've had at least four people ask me if I was moving into a larger apartment so that Molly could move in with me.



Hell no.


Hell no.

I repeated that one twice because it's just that important.

This is in no way a jab at her or even our relationship. Not at all. Things are good, we're good. Granted, it would make everything cheaper for me, (she already pays a ridiculously low amount for rent), and I am almost that selfish to only think about how it would benefit me, but I've lived by myself less than 6 months, total, over the past, old am I? Almost 32.

Counting the years back to college, carry the one, divide by pi, (the number, not the lesbo bar)--I've been living with other people for the last 156 months of my post-pubescent life. 13 years, folks. That's insane.

Why, after all that time of having to deal with other people's messes, other's annoying habits, would I subject someone else, especially someone I'm dating, to mine?

I can't let her see that I sometimes walk around the apartment with my underwear wedged up my ass crack so that I can check out my own fantastic heiny when I walk by every mirror. Or that I record commercials in order to listen to them when I'm lonely, or depressed by the fact that I've yet to find someone to fill the ever-growing void between my 26th and 29th dimension of compatibility, or even when I'm slightly gassy and I've found that Dr. Neil Clark Warren's soothing voice aids digestion in a totally non-creepy way. 

She may be ready for that in a year, but not now. Not yet. It's too soon.

Or maybe it's just that I don't want to dive head first into living together when I've just started to enjoy living by myself. I'm weird that like.

Well, it's that and the whole underwear up the butt thing. If you're not creeped out by that mental imagery, you're a freakin' robot.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I've never been one to hide the fact that I'm a bar loyalist. If I like the way a bar feels, the bartenders, and the specials, I'll frequent a bar over and over(and over again) until they do something to sway me away, or until someone does better. Considering I've written nothing in the past few weeks, about anything, I figured I'd write about where I've been spending my time, why I've been to certain places, or why I've shied away from others. If you're not from Minneapolis, well, you probably couldn't care less about this. If that's the case, perhaps you'd rather spend your time at the Hun.


Bootleggers: This bar is your typical downtown bar--the kind of bar I'm quick to loathe; loud and full of post college-aged drunks looking to 'hook-up', that seems to be all the rage these days with the kiddies. But the managers/owners/whoever "get it" when it comes to drawing people like me in for a drink or ten. Maybe I'm getting crotchety in my old age, but I hate going somewhere where you have to stand shoulder to shoulder with people that smell like cheese, or I only get to drink 1/2 of my beer because people keep bumping into me, but during early happy hours and before 9pm, this place can be downright comfortable.

And a good 241 special, trivia, and gimmicks, well, that doesn't hurt them at all, either. If only they'd add a foot railing and a hook underneath the bar, I'd be able to frequent the place more often. As it is, the barstools hurt my ass.

Mac's Industrial: Quite possibly my favorite bar in all of Minneapolis right now. If I were to explain it to someone that doesn't know Johnny and Jimmy, I'd have to say that it's a "bar for drunks, owned and operated by drunks". Take one look at the "decorations" surrounding the bar and you'll quickly understand.

 If I owned my own bar, it would be almost exactly like this, only bigger. But, considering that I spend all my time confined to a stool, who needs it to be bigger? Good specials, comfortable bar(with hooks AND a foot rest to boot!), and a handshake when you enter are all tick marks in the plus column here. The only complaint is that it's in NE, and not mere steps from my apartment.

Bulldog NE: It's tough for me to pinpoint exactly why I like this bar as much as I do, even though I've only been there twice. I don't know anybody that works there, there are no definite specials (as far as the website says), and it's usually packed.

But something about it--perhaps it's the high, airy feel to the main room, or the shufflepuck on the side, I don't know--makes me feel comfortable. They do have an awesome beer selection, even if it tends to be on the expensive side. I like beer, but it's always better when it's cheap, regardless of brand or flavor. I am definitely not a beer snob.


Rock Bottom Brewery: Brewpub with acceptable seasonal beer list that has always been among my favorites, mainly just for the beer. I'd never watch a sporting event there willingly because they have music playing instead of tv sound, which to me is downright asinine. I also think the popularity of people like Dane Cook is downright asinine, too, so take that how you want.

They've had a decent happy hour in the past, but  I was in there after work one night and the 22oz mug prices had gone up to $4.75. It was a bargain when the price was hovering around $3, and it's still not that expensive by downtown standards, but it's not as good of a deal as it once was.

The Imperial Room: In our single days (Jeremy and I), this bar used to be among our favorite because it wasn't full of frat boys, and it wasn't overly expensive. Then the owner started charging a $2 cover, stating "it's either that or raising the drink prices", which we begrudgingly accepted.

But then he went and raised the drink prices anyhow and we hadn't really been back since. We decided to hit up their SIN night after work this Wednesday, and though it was a great deal(even though they don't tell you there is a $5 bracelet charge in the City Pages ad, for shame), looking at my bank account today leaves a sour taste in my mouth, mostly for the bartenders that night, but of course it mars the bar, too.

Ha. Mars bar.

Anyhow, I'd settled out my $22(did I really drink that many $1 and $2 drinks? Good lord.) tab without a tip, on purpose. I'd planned on leaving the tip with whatever cash I had left in my pocket, but I had to pee so bad(and I was admittedly drunk and stupid by this time) that I signed the slip quickly(and didn't take my copy) and ran to the bathroom, intending fully to come back and put money on the bar.

Well, that never happened. I forgot to do that when I came out of the bathroom, and we left shortly thereafter, completely oblivious that I so totally didn't tip, and that was my fault. I'm not the guy that doesn't tip. As is customary with those that work in the service industry, (unless there is a huge fuck up or the person serving me is completely inadequate) I tip fairly well.

I looked at my TCF account today and there's a charge from the Imperial Room for $31.50 from that night. The charge is still pending right now, so I'm hoping that it's a mistake and the correct charge will be posted after this one goes through the system, but I don't think it's not going to do that. I'm pretty damn sure that I didn't write anything on the tip line, and if I did(and forgot), I know for a fucking fact that I didn't tip $10 on a $22 tab. Actually, I'd be more likely to tip an even dollar amount, like $10(or $6), than I would tipping that extra .50 cents. That part makes no sense.

So, if the correct charge isn't posted later on today, I'm going to have to go down to the Imperial Room and dispute the charge by telling the manager that one of his bartenders is writing in (large) tips for himself. Does anyone know how long a tab will stay in a bar's system? If it's already gone, I'm going to have a tough time convincing anyone there as to what happened.

So, yeah, sour grapes right there.

On the fence:

The Local: I love the new, gorgeous back room, but would it kill them to have a special every now and then? $1 off a 20oz beer is not a deal. You hear that? Not a deal. I guess that they're not necessarily hurting for business, so they can charge whatever they damn well please. But I'd be more willing to give them more of my money if it weren't for the outrageous expense of their booze. But I'm sure that's just me.

Restaurant Miami: My friends freakin' love this place. As of one visit, I am undecided. It's more fun than I thought it would be, but I hate the location and the size. And the bathroom situation.  That they know a bartender doesn't hurt, though.

So, tell me; what are your favorite places? Why?