Consider This

I’m used to getting out of bed at 5:30am, so waking up at 8 on weekends feels kind of decadent.  It’s almost impossible for me to sleep past 8:30.  I have to have been really drunk the night before or kept awake by Graham’s magical ability emit BTUs in his sleep.

I woke up at 8 because I have to be at work at 10.  This is the new bar job.  The Stable.  It’s only my second shift there and I’m hoping there’s someone around to train me, because I’ve not worked the main bar before and I have no idea how to set it up.  Or run food (which I said I didn’t want to do).  Or do 100 other things there, which is frustrating because I do know how to tend bar, but it just adds to the fact that no one seems to want me there.

This is why I like dives.

There’s very little pretension at dive bars.  There might be some minor hazing and at least one difficult personality to figure out, but on the whole, it’s about doing your job.  If you can, you can stay.  If you can’t, go cocktail at a strip club or something.

But restaurant bars, or bars in clubs, or any bar in a bigger establishment that’s “cooler” than a dive, is where I feel uncomfortable.  A restaurant is a bizarre little microcosm of human behavior that’s not unlike high school.  There’s a lot of gossip, some cliques, and if you’re the new kid, everyone wants to shove you in your locker.

In my case, everyone apparently thought my presence meant someone else was getting fired.  This was ridiculous for a lot of reasons, but restaurants being what they are, it didn’t stop anyone from talking about it or giving me the stinkeye.  So.  Great.  I’m hoping this works out because The Brad and Kat want me there and I’ll do whatever they say, but I’m not broke.  Extra money would be nice, it’s just not necessary enough for me to deal with sophomoric gossip every week from adults who should know better.

Plus I can’t read or drink when I work.

The drinking part doesn’t bother me so much, but I will miss reading when its slow.  I’m halfway through my birthday books.  With one exception, they’ve been decent.

The exception?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked.

If David Foster Wallace wasn’t already dead, I’d like to hit him over the head with a shovel.

Look, I’m no snob.  I have no problem admitting that I’m not up to Infinite Jest, and that I have no real interest in trying to tackle it.  I know it’s the hip and brainy thing to do, but…it doesn’t look good to me.  It looks big.  And daunting.  And full of intellectual vanity that can only be surpassed by the vanity of those who read it.  So I got Consider The Lobster instead, because it’s an essay collection and I like essay collections.

And dudes?  Consider The Lobster is balls.

Side note of explanation: Graham’s work is hiring bartenders.  Hiring practices being what they are on The Landing, applicants were required to send a headshot.  Graham said that most of these “headshots” are your typical MySpace bathroom self-portraits.  Camera up high or pointed at the mirror.  Coy expression, minimal clothing.  Crusty shampoo bottles in background.  Hot.  Anyway, most of these girls have had a dozen jobs in the past two years, all at places where the staff doesn’t wear much and it takes for fucking ever to get a beer.  Because…they’re not good bartenders.  They can barely count change, they can’t multitask, and they were raised to have looks instead of personality.  Which apparently works out for them; I’m just saying that it’s girls like that who give girls like me a bad name.  No, you can’t touch my tits.  Yes, I do have the right to be offended when you ask.  Well, I’m sorry that Britni (<3 on the i!) let you touch hers, but she also has a very interesting case of chlamydia and so do half of the male patrons, if you catch my drift.

That said, David Foster Wallace gives essayists a bad name.  Fine, I like David Sedaris.  I like Chuck Klosterman*.  I like Augusten Burroughs, and Dave Eggers, and yes, I even like Chelsea Handler.  But that doesn’t make me stupid, nor does it make me less of a literature enthusiast.  I simply prefer not to read acres of unnecessary footnotes (totally unnecessary; why include footnotes if they have no bearing on the topic but were just a way for you to show off teeny tiny little type and the fact that you know what footnotes are?!?!), especially when they’re “creatively” arranged, as they are in the essay “The Host.”

Which was a terrible essay, even without the randomly arranged, blurbed footnotes in the middle of the page.  In fact, the three of DFW’s essays I found most intolerable were the longest ones.  I do have a respectable attention span (I’m hoping you do, too, otherwise why would you still be reading?) so I’ve no problem with the length, per se, but when the content of the essay reads like one of AO Scott’s more thesaurus-heavy reviews, it obvious that DFW was stroking off to his own IQ.  I can’t even include examples, as I was so disgusted that I threw the book into a bottom drawer at work.

At bars and in books, I can’t stand pretension.

But I did get a little happy last night when I found out The X-Files is on Netflix Instant, because that meant I could lie in bed and watch “The Host.”  A human-flatworm hybrid attacking people in the New Jersey sewers?  Way better than anything in Consider The Lobster.

* Hahaha, footnote!  Anyway, I thought it was necessary to say that I stopped reading Lauren Leto.  While I originally dug her because she seemed older than her years and was a total book nerd, she’d gotten awfully pretentious lately (dissing anyone who likes Chuck Klosterman) and abandoned being witty and creative, now seeming to really embrace the re-blogging Tumblr mentality…on her WordPress blog.  Plus she went to something called ROFLcon, and I’d rather not believe that kind of thing exists.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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