Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wine and Blackjack

Wine bars are like Blackjack tables. If you play at the $1 tables, you have to sit with the $1 crowd. If you want to sit with players, you have to go to tables that aren't crowded with Clowns.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shitty Bartenders are the Worst People on Earth.

Yeah, that's right. . .bad bartenders, they're the devil. The bartender is charged with a great responsibility. . .to ensure that I can gladly justify paying exponentially-inflated alcohol costs by consuming it on their premises. Tonight was not the case.

There is a new wine bar on Polk Street, and it's a neat looking place. Mirrored glass, dark-wood and black leather bar, wine buyer with an adventurous palate. Tonight however, was an experience. I usually reserve my nights out to correspond to Dash's nights off, tonight was an exception. Dash was in a seminar and I was left to my own devices. So my initial thought was, "I can spend $15 on dinner at the local eatery, or I can stop in to this new wine bar and spend that $15 on a flight of wines," conveniently offered tonight, because business is traditionally slow.

Getting cash is always an issue, so I went to Walgreens and, expecting to taste through a few red wines, bought a bag of Lindt truffles and got cash back, instead of doing the convenient thing and getting cash at the ATM next door. Turns out, if you ever buy chocolate to taste next to wine, DO NOT, under any circumstances offer it to any member of the opposite sex. . .even if you mean well.

My observation of this evening is nothing less than this: women under the age of 65 that wish to congregate and drink wine should do so outside of a 50 foot radius of similarly aged males doing the same. . .because they just don't get along. Please don't misunderstand: I am all for people falling in love over too many drinks, or even just making a few bad decisions. . .but there is a time and a place. At 6:30 on a Tuesday night, it shouldn't be automatically assumed that I am attempting to bed the woman sitting next to me.

Anyway, I'm getting bored with this rant. Needless to say, this apathetic bartender did nothing to create an atmosphere conducive to anything that I was looking for, and left me feeling penalized for daring to venture into the "realm of social alcohol without the aid and protection of my girlfriend." Honestly?! The beauty of wine is also a huge detriment: it is wildly different to everyone that experiences it. To effectively drink wine socially, it appears, one must now "interview" wine bars in order to judge the best fit and feel. My take: Horse Shit.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Do-Over

Finally! After a solid month of dragging my well-dressed, unemployed ass around in the rain, I have two jobs. I am the new M(anager) I(n) T(raining) for the Peet's coffee on Polk Street, just a few blocks from my house; a HUGE change versus the 90 minute, one-way drive to Napa. I also am getting my first taste of high-end, first class dining. . .I just happen to be serving it up instead of eating it, but I don't mind. Dash and I are exploring new living arrangements (no, she isn't leaving me, we're just looking for a roommate and a bigger place). I finally have an opportunity to think about my life a few weeks in advance. . .and I am liking it.

Peet's Coffee was started in 1966 by the man that taught Starbucks to roast their coffee. There are only 170 stores and their commitment to their coffee is incredible. They are offering me everything that I loved about Starbucks, without any of the crap that I had to deal with. Plus, the coffee is incredible.

The Big 4 Restaurant is inside the Huntington Hotel, the last privately-held hotel in San Francisco. The experience is other-worldly, a low-key mix of celebrities, ancient CEOs, and women's social groups in their mid-70s. This is the eatery of the SF old money elite, and its rather refreshing to see (as compared to all of the "new money" in other parts of SF and ATL). These are people that expect perfection, and deservedly. . .the continental breakfast is $15.

All in all, I think that I have a lot of learning ahead of me in the next 6 months as I prepare to go back to school. It's all for the best, and I am delighted that my outlook and attitude have finally improved. It's amazing how much a bad job can destroy your ability to enjoy life. I am glad that I am through it and look forward to the future. Cheers!