Love in Maryland

So, in the wake of my break-up with Rob, I realize that I probably won't get to fall madly in love again while I am at Maryland, or in DC, again. The prospects are dire. It truly has become somewhat of a no-man land. I now can sympathize with all my friends who have had such a hard time, who have had to date their friends and betray their friends by sleeping with their ex's.

I guess that's why I've been able to not drink as much lately, and how I've managed to stay on top of my classes (so far). There really is not anything to distract me. I used to always use my search for love as the distraction of choice, but three (four, if you count Dugaldo) failed relationships really puts it into perspective. The search for love has turned into a complete absence of (romantic) love. The hunt has turned into victimization, as I talked about in a posting here. The rummage and sifting through countless options has turned into a picked-over discount bin.

I guess its only natural that the failure has turned into an ultimate sense of freedom.

When I was younger, I used to think that I was a forest - vibrant with sex and seed throughout the spring and summer; lush, in heat, buzzing and bustling with movement and life. But, like a forest, especially the northern ones that experience the full red of autumn and the real blue of winter, I begin to shut down. Love, relationships, dating all go out the window, until I am as frigid as the unforgiving Canadian Manitoba. I have about as much interest in love as I do in blood pudding. No, thanks!

My relationships as of late have been spring relationships - both Nick and Dugaldo in April. I would even consider my relationship with Dave as being a "spring" relationship - we met in January, but January is plenty more mild than June in San Francisco, and it was on New Years, so it was totally on the symbolic night of "new beginnings." The beginning. The end.

But my relationship with Rob began on November 15, and lasted ten months into the beginning of the fall in September. I thought I had kicked the frigidity, and had taken control of my life.

Maybe things would be different if we broke up in the summer when everyone was in heat. But those nights of wondering are over, and I'm okay with that. All I want to do is get through school, all the way into July next year, and then leave this all behind. I can't wait to leave it behind. By then I'll be ready. By then the prospects will be better, whether in my head or in reality. Not seeking is finding. Read more!

Quote - Judith Halberstam

"When Batman and Catwoman try to get it on sexually, it only works when they are both in their caped crusader outfits. Naked heterosexuality is a miserable failure between them .... When they encounter each other in costume however something much sexier happens and the only thing missing is a really good scene where we get to hear the delicious sound of Catwoman's latex rubbing on Batman's black rubber/leather skin. To me their flirtation in capes looked queer precisely because it was not heterosexual, they were not man and woman, they were bat and cat, or latex and rubber, or feminist and vigilante: gender became irrelevant and sexuality was dependent on many other factors....

You could also read their sexual encounters as the kind of sex play between gay men and lesbians that we are hearing so much about recently: in other words, the sexual encounter is queer and the genders of the participants are less relevant. Just because Batman is male and Catwoman is female does not make their interactions heterosexual - think about it, there is nothing straight about two people getting it on in rubber and latex, wearing eyemasks and carrying whips and other accoutrements."

- Judith Halberstam, "Queer Creatures," On Our Backs, Nov/Dec, 1992. Read more!

McCain vs. Obama - a property overview

This is a pretty cool image I found. Really says a lot.

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Wurkin Girl

Okay, so let me figure out what percentage of time I'll have to devote to school and work, not including homework this week:

I close dinner on Wednesday - so that's 4pm - 11pm = 7 hours
I close lunch on Friday - so that's 10am - 5pm = 7 hours
I work a double on Saturday - so that's 10am - 2pm, 4pm - 11pm = 11 hours
I work a double on Sunday - so that's 10am - 2pm, 4pm - 10pm = 10 hours

All week: 35 hours


I go to school Monday, from 4pm - 7pm = 3 hours
I go to school Tuesday from 9:30am - 6pm = about 7 hours, minus breaks
I go to school Thursday from 9:30am - 6pm = about 7 hours, minus breaks

All week: 18 hours, in reality

18 + 35 = 53 hours of "work"

168 hours in a week / 53 hours of work = about 32% of my week. A third of my week is devoted to work and school. Where does all the other time go? Read more!

McPalin interview excerpts with Katie Couric

So, the Republicans are making it increasingly obvious how unqualified Sarah Palin will be as the next VP (or possibly the next president), and what's worse is that senator John McCain can't back himself up. Guess the moose-sniper and the maverick are going to want to lie low and "suspend their campaign" for a while and ride out the last forty days of the election. Good luck to them. The following are excerpts from their interviews with Katie Couric on CBS.

Here's Couric pressing McCain on Palin's talk of American being on the road to another Great Depression:

Couric: “But isn't much of this, Senator McCain about consumer confidence?”

McCain: “Sure.”

Couric: “And using rhetoric like the Great Depression, is that the kind of language Americans need to hear right now?”

McCain: “Well, listen, I've heard language from respected people who are staring at the abyss. I've, I've heard all kinds of, of things from people. I don't think we need to scare people. …”

And here's Couric pressing Palin on a claim that McCain is the right man to "reform government" and Wall Street.

Couric: “But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation -- not more.”

Palin: “He's also known as a maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. …”

Couric: “I'm just going to ask one more time, not to belabor the point -- specific example in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.”

Palin: “I'll try to find you some, and I'll bring them to you.”

Don't hurt yourself looking too hard, Palin - try beneath the cushions in the couch.

PS: Oh yeah - check out Tina Fey as Palin once again!

The excerpts are courtesy, and the full article can be found at Read more!

Best video.... probably ever

Watch it!!! It's hilarious. Although this is one of those that you definitely shouldn't open at work.

EDIT!!: The video got taken down, probably because it was a porn video with animation all over the good parts, so I'll replace it with the second best video ... probably ever.

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Watch the debate. It is your duty as an American. Yeah, its nice getting a paycheck and having a roof over your head and the person of your choice's tongue down your throat, but this is all possible because of the wonderful democracy we live in. We vote and we have the right to vote because our forefathers thought that the PEOPLE should decide what was in their best interest.

So here is part one of the debate between presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain. Watch it, because it is your responsibility.

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Fun with Sarah Palin!

This posting will be all about Sarah Palin! Who said Republican hockey moms can't be fun?

First things first - someone created a Sarah Palin baby name generator - that is to say, type in your name and viola ! out comes your name had Mrs. Palin been yo momma. The link is here:

Next are nine fun facts about Sarah Palin (courtesy of

1. She’s not Tina Fey. (Sarah Palin isn’t as talented.)
2. Her kid’s names are Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper & Trig. Trig has Downs.
3. She lost as Miss Alaska in 1984.
4. She played point guard on her state champion basketball team. Her nickname was “Sarah Barracuda”.
5. She was briefly a sports reporter in Anchorage.
6. She calls her husband, the “First Dude”. He’s won a bunch of snowmobile races.
7. Her favorite meal is moose stew. (Coincidentally, that’s her husband’s nickname for her vagina.)
8. She wears fur.
9. She’s a gimmick (Really? John McCain is pandering to women? No way!)

Chris Rock made a pretty funny funny on Larry King last night. It was something along the lines of:

"And every time they let her talk for more than four minutes, you actually start feeling sorry for her. Its kind of like Kim Kardashian on "Dancing with the Stars" - its like, all that ass and can't shake it.

And finally, here are some really great photos from a Palin protest - in ALASKA!







Anyway, that's all for now.

Jeep Pike Palin Read more!

Taco Bell Rant

Adam Corolla's Taco Bell commercials really bother me.


What are those geniuses trying to prove? And I thought the Chihuahua was annoying. Read more!

The second blanket

Its like that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie is lying in bed and says something about needing a second blanket for the first time in several months as the summer winds down. That moment happened to me this morning at about six, as I awoke underneath my sheet shivering in the early A.M. chill. And you know what? It felt good. Read more!

Must haves

Well, this blog IS called "Nikes and Skinny Jeans," so I suppose I should post some fashion on here every now and then, huh?

I really really really want these. Maybe I'll start a "Julian Nike Foundation" through Paypal sometime soon.


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So, I saw Rob tonight. He was standing behind me and I knew it because all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and Steve prodded me with his knee and the lighting fell into my eyes so precisely that I could see the reflection of his eyes inside of my corneas. As I turned my head to look at him, his eyes darted away, and his body was slumped against the wall like a doll, broken with burned hopes and alcohol.

He was there with Carmen and Eric. I waved gently to him when he met my gaze, but he simply looked away. And the feeling I got was something like:

A) seeing a ghost.
B) getting kicked in the groin.
C) walking in on your parents having sex.
D) falling down a flight of stairs.
E) walking into a classroom already in session.
F) listening to music that made you cringe because someone else liked it.
G) opening a bathroom stall on someone who was pooping.
H) being walked in on while pooping.
I) finding your sister's pregnancy tests.
J) being alone in the woods.
K) eating a stick of butter when you thought it was cheese.
L) burning your hand on something someone just said was hot.
M) eating something that was rotten.
N) keeping a dish from a restaurant because you thought it was pretty.
O) hitting a dog.
P) hitting your mom.
Q) making fun of someone who couldn't see.
R) spitting into the air only for it to hit your face.
S) stealing candy from a child.
T) ripping the crotch of your pants.
U) cutting yourself with a piece of paper.
V) a cow falling over on you.
W) getting your third serving of cake or ice cream.
X) falling from an airplane without a parachute.
Y) ripping the wings off of a butterfly.
Z) seeing your ex-boyfriend, lonely and depressed. Read more!

Conversations about directions

So, I spoke with Angela on the phone last night and became a little disheartened with our conversation. You see, Angela is one of my brilliant best friends who lives out in San Francisco who just gradated from UC Berkeley. She is committed to her schooling, devoted to her friends, and altogether a pretty awesome person. But she was telling me how hard it has been to get a job out in San Francisco, even with a degree.

Its hard to see my friends struggle with their paths. Its easier to deal with my own disorientation because I've always felt somewhat together - my parents put me on the college path since I was enrolled for classes back in preschool, so I never thought any different. But what happens when college is over? What happens when you have a degree and can't get a job?

And its only getting harder. With the economy beyond the shithole and resting with the sewer alligators, its only getting more competitive, people are waiting longer to get good jobs, and its feeling more hopeless.

According to

Harrington is one of 1.5 million college grads expected to have a harder time landing a job this year as the United States slides deeper into recession. Although the job market continues to expand, its growth rate has slowed to the lowest in five years as employers gauge how the economy will take shape in the months ahead. If current trends persist, some workplace experts say, college graduates will continue to face an increasingly shrinking job market.

Its all over the news. Its all over my friend's faces. Its so sad that the government can't provide my friends with the rewards, the jobs that they've earned, that they deserve. Its too bad that so many people in this country don't think anything is wrong. It really undermines our accomplishments as a country, and our accomplishments as individuals. Read more!

Yes, please!

Maybe I'll do a hottie of the week? This site does hunk du jour and I think that's pretty clever, but I'm not so sure I can commit to finding a new hottie every day. Every week is totally doable.

In any case, hottie of the week is Josh Wald, skateboarder turned model. Yes, please! When will he be doing movies?



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Victims of my break-up

There are a number of victims of my break-up, some of which will remain anonymous to secure their ... victimness. The first one is obviously Rob, who I pretty much put through the ringer three times while I dealt with infamous pro/con list (best exemplified in the Sex and the City movie [see: Miranda and Steve {holy shit that comes out today on DVD!}]). He probably would have done anything to keep the relationship, and to make it work. I might have, if I hadn't been through the same thing two years ago with Dugaldo.

The second victim of the relationship is me. I mean, come on - I don't like seeing myself as a victim, and I'm sure many would probably say that I was the victimizer. But relationships are sticky, and I only tried to make it work because I really do love and care for him. However, the more time went on, the more I realized that things just would not work. Things are not just sticky - they are a fucking mess.

The third victim of the relationship are our friends - collectively, I suppose, since I think we both gave hope to a gaggle of them on what relationships could actually be like. I think we successfully gave them a better idea of what break-ups could be like. Relationships are gray area.

The forth victims will be the people we date afterwards. "The only person who should have pay for your last relationship is the next person you date." So true. Its designed that way. I wouldn't consider Jason someone I'm "dating," but we flirted a while back, and most recently, on Saturday, we slept together. It was sloppy - alcohol and pot induced. We did it twice - once on the couch and once standing in the shower. I was happy with my performance.

But after all the cuddling, and after scrambling home to get ready for work, and after texting back and forth several times throughout the day, I realized that he may really like me, and I was only trying to put distance between Rob and I. I sent him a text something along the lines of:

"I like you too, but I just got out of a relationship need to have some space to be alone and just be by myself."

He responded with a "Got it" and I haven't heard from him since. And I couldn't help but feel like I was breaking up with someone else, all over again. And doing a poor job of it. Again. So maybe I won't cash in on writing that break-up book, because I don't seem to know the fuck what I'm doing.

Someone is either breaking up with me and rendering me with the self-esteem of a mudskipper or I'm breaking up with someone via text or smoke signals. And I don't mean to make myself a victim, or I don't mean to create victims, but we're all victims to love. Or the lack-there-of, I suppose. Read more!

Sights on campus


Because you can't do one without the other, right? Read more!

Nostalgic video clip

This is pretty funny. Check it out.

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Stencil art #2

Here is my second piece as a stencil artist.


My inspiration? Well, her name is Birdo, and she is the first tranny generated by those clever devils at Nintendo. Here is a little bit about Birdo:

According to the North American instruction manual of Super Mario Bros. 2,

"[Birdo] thinks he is a girl and likes to be called Birdetta. He likes to wear a bow on his head and shoot eggs from his mouth."

This statement applies to all translations of the title, including the Japanese version. In Japan, Catherine is male as well, and likes to believe that he is female. Like Birdo, he likes to be called Cathy as opposed to his real name, Catherine. For instance, Popple pauses before settling on calling Birdo a "dame" in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Birdo's trophy description describes the character as "gender indeterminate," and uses the pronoun "it" rather than gender-specific pronouns such as "he" or "she." In the game Captain Rainbow, Birdo is heard with a deep, male voice which gets high-pitched when it gets angry or excited. Additionally, in the game's second trailer, Little Mac from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! speaks about Birdo, calling her a "young lady," only to take a short break and ponder. His final verdict is "Depending on one's view point, she is a young lady." In Mario Super Sluggers, Birdo is female.
Read more!

Looks for the fall

Some people aspire to change the world. I aspire to these outfits.








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The Restaurant 5 - The Beginning

It was like a dream. Over the sound of music in the restaurant one could hear a snapping, a pop, and then … nothing. The music had ceased. I had accidentally spilled malt vinegar into the sound amplifier for the restaurant and fatally wounded it. The faint smell of smoke billowed up from the top vents – the same slits that had been the recipients of the liquid spear. Pam and Brett, the only other servers working the lunch shift with me, tried to resuscitate the device to no avail.


We called Jane over, the manager on duty, and Pam, who explained what had happened while I handled my tables. Jane tried to get the machine to work, but also in vain. The more time passed, the more the eerie silence inverted and became deafening. A fork dropped across the restaurant. The front door made a distinctive swish as it opened. My shoes squeaked, something I had never noticed.

The shift had to go on, so we carried on as usual, as Jane made phone calls to Christina, the general manager, and a couple of the owners. Before my shift was done, everyone knew, and I took the blame for it.

That evening, we had a front of the house meeting – all hosts, servers and managers were there, as well as “Joel,” one of the owners. We had them about once a month, to go over restaurant notes and general protocol. The meetings always reminded me of councils of war – with the generals standings towards the front, and all of the soldiers sitting at a large round table looking somber and despondent.

After the meeting, Christina and Joel asked me to come upstairs. Closing the door behind me, I sat across from Joel at his desk with Christina standing to the side. All that was missing was the spotlight and the one-way mirror.


“So, as I understand it,” he began, “today there was an accident.” I nodded. “Well, I just want you to know we appreciate you, Julian, and we like having you on our team. That being said, we know that accidents happen, and that what happened today could have happened to anyone. But this just happened to be an expensive accident.”

Keeping as cool as possible, I glanced over at Christina, but she wouldn’t look at me. “Some sort of negligence had to take place for what happened, and we need you to take responsibility for it. We need you to pay for half of the cost of repair, or … or, we’re going to have to look at other options.”

Vague. Very vague. “Well, how much is it going to cost?” I asked snippily.

Joel kind of looked at me crookedly, as though the obvious question was the million dollar one. “We don’t know just yet.”

“Well then why don’t we have this conversation when you have a better idea of that.” Defensive. “Is that all?”

“Yes. But Julian – we don’t want to look like the bad guys here. Like I said before, we really like having you on our side. We’re just doing what we need to.”

“That’s funny, because you don’t look like bad guys. I look just look like a criminal.”

With that, I walked out. Fighting back an urge to scream, I exited the restaurant and found the Princess, who was crossing the street and walking home. Running up to her, I told her what had just happened, a little frantic and feeling alone.

“That’s crazy!” she said bitterly. “How could they do this? They need you! I mean, if I were using their shitty microwave to heat up an apple crisp, and it broke, would I be responsible for paying for that? They have insurance for this kind of thing! It’s a business expense.”

Her anger invigorated me. I felt like I needed to get riled up about it. I parted with the Princess after declining a dirty martini invitation to discuss further in her condo. I needed time to think, and fortunately, I had the next two days off.

For my next shift, I left all my armor and gear at home. My wine key. My bistro apron. Instead, I went in to talk to Christina, off the clock.


“Look, Julian,” she told me, sitting across from me in the office, “this is what’s going to happen. If you say you don’t want to pay, then Damien is going to tell me to fire you.”

“How much is it going to be?”

Christina paused for a few seconds. “Seven-hundred dollars.”

“What?! How? That doesn’t even make sense.”

They did not have a right to charge me for a penny, and I would not pay it. It was extortion, really – good restaurant amplifiers were five-hundred dollars at the most. Pay to keep my job? Where did they get off? They were rich business owners? I was a student-server.

“Damien will be in later if you want to talk to him. If I were you, that’s what I’d do.”

That night, I showed up for my dinner shift prepared not to work. I pulled Damien aside, and we sat on the empty patio to discuss the situation. I wanted to do it diplomatically. I wanted to sign the papers. It was a treaty. The war was over.

He reiterated everything I had heard before – an expensive mistake, I had to be held accountable for my actions, and that I was a good server, but I had to be let go if I didn’t pay. In the end, I told him that he would have to fire me, because I did not owe him a cent.

“And, for the record, Damien,” I said as my parting words, “there is a word for this, and its called extortion. Asking money from someone so they can keep their job? Look it up.”

“You can call it whatever you want, Julian, but at the end of the day, I’m still out a seven-hundred dollar machine … and a server.”

It seemed as though Damien wanted me out of there, and there was nothing I could do that would change his mind. A couple of my friends came out to hug me as I mounted my bike to head home. The end had come for me – the battle was over. And it made me feel unhappy.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was not the fact that I had just been fired that made me sad. It was that I would miss my friends – working with them, confiding in them, and listening to their stories. They delighted me, these people of Columbia Heights, who were all so different and created a plethora of color and culture in my life. I would miss them, most of all.


I took one last look of the building and could see Michael through the window, looking somewhat distraught. I turned my bike onto 14th street, and retreated. Read more!

Dear Nati (vol. 2)

Dear Nati:

I've been meaning to write to you for some time now, but wanted to do it on a by hand so it'd be a little nicer. In any case, I probably will never get around to it, as I'm doing 18 credits this semester, working full time, and still doing the Prince of Petworth thing. A mailed letter will have to suffice. E-mail certainly has sucked the romance out of receiving a stamped, folded piece of correspondence, don’t you think?

In any case, I just wanted to let you know how I’m doing, as I pretty much know how you’re doing – working so hard and so much that you really have no time to even think or consider yourself. I’m really impressed with how selfless you have become with this campaign, and in general. You never fail to surprise, motivate, and inspire me.

Things are pretty crazy here, mostly cause I don’t have time for any one thing in particular. Every moment that I’m not working I’m doing homework, and every moment I’m not doing homework I’m in class, and every moment I’m not in class I’m at work. The money is really good, and I’m now saving up for my Vegas trip, for NYC in Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But its just so exhausting. It’s the home stretch though – after this semester, only 28 units left! That’s another 18 unit semester, then one loaded summer session.

Elizabeth, our temporary roommate, is really cool. She’s really nice, really smart, and cooks family meal style, so there are always leftovers for us to pick at. Kevin is well, and his CAT is living with us. This is a recent development, though, and I think you will appreciate the reason – we have mice. They moved in for the summer. We find their “kakitas” on the stovetop, and K.P. says he saw TWO on the “island” one night. Elizabeth says she can sometimes hear them in her room, digging through her trash.

So Elizabeth, who does not particularly like cats either, suggested that we get one to hunt the mice and scare them away. I agreed right off the bat, despite some prejudices I have. I mean, I’d rather have one big cat who stays out of the way to hundreds of mice who’s populations are just growing.

Things with Rob are strange, but I’ve come to regard “strange” as being fairly normal these days. We are broken up, but we still occasionally hang out. He just got back from Europe and it seems like he had a good time, but I can’t say that I missed him as much as he says that he missed me. To be honest, I had a good time while he was gone, and although there were times when I thought about him and did genuinely wish he were near, for the most part I really enjoyed “being free.” Is that so wrong?

Mom is good, at least from what I could see. She bought new couches and I put the beige leather sofa and recliner on Craiglists to sell them for her. After weeks of having no offers, I told her I’d take them off of her hands for $500 (her lowest price), but would pay her over the course of a couple of months. She told me I could take them when they were completely paid off, but at the last minute, she got an offer for $700. She asked me what she should do and I told her to take the best offer, and she sold them to that woman – alas, we are still stuck with the futon.

I miss you so much, Nati, and I can’t wait for you to come back. It certainly feels as though there is a hole in my life – my soul – and I really am counting down the days until this bloody election is over, until Obama and Biden win, and you are back here doing your thing. Its weird, not having you in my life, and only when you are back in it will I feel as though things are right.

Love you and miss you and see you soon!

Love- Julian Read more!

The Restaurant 4 - The Hyena

For me, it was a golden age at the restaurant. I had become an integral part of the staff. Performance review was coming up, and the only thing I was really worried about was my tendency to stray from the protocol we were taught to use on every table. I had my own system, and thought that it suited my tables and I very well.

One evening, the main owner, “Damien,” came into the restaurant to dine with a few friends. Damien was feared at the chain of restaurants he owned, mostly because he was curt and had the intimidating presence of an unfed hyena. However, Damien had always been nothing but nice to me, and often gave me the impression that he may have even been interested. Once, when food was on the line for one of my tables, he proceeded to gently jab me in the side and whisper, “Julian, your food is up.”


This particular evening, his party sat outside, and they drank a bottle of wine and some cocktails, chatting about the things that gay men on patios drinking wine talk about. None of the owners at the restaurant ever get checks at the end of the night, and only really need to tip. The owners all usually leave a twenty-dollar bill. Damien left me two, and something rather interesting – a discount card for a gym membership.

It would have been offensive if it had not been amusing. Yeah, I put on some weight since starting at the restaurant, where the prerequisite for anything on the menu was to bread it and fry it at least once, but come on – an extra juicy tip and monetary help getting me onto a treadmill? Of course, it could have been entirely coincidental, but I was not convinced.

“Christina,” the general manager, did my performance review the next day, and gave me two pieces of advice, via Damien, about how I could improve my service. Of course, like an expert critic, she gave me the good news first – I was well-liked, I was funny, and I had quickly become one of the strongest servers at the restaurant. Damien, however, felt that I needed to clean up my appearance, and that I could stand to up-sell the menu a bit more. Actually, his exact words were “You sometimes look a little sloppy.”


It was funny to me how my appearance had suddenly become an issue at the restaurant thanks to Damien’s special (or unintended) interest in me. Putting all the pieces together with Michael, it suddenly dawned on me that I was somewhat of a “sloppier,” less-fit version of Damien’s boyfriend. It made sense, in a way, but it was also somewhat of a discomfort to know that I had been criticized based on that rather than my skill as a server.

A few weeks went by, and it was a slow night at the restaurant. We were down to five servers, and all of us were killing time by covertly checking our phones through our aprons or chatting carelessly behind the server station. Cell phones were a major no-no while on the floor, but we all carried them in our aprons, anyway. Mine had been ringing incessantly for five minutes and when I checked to see who kept calling, I saw that it was my mother.

Jane, the manager on duty, was up front talking to the hostess, “Genine,” so I went to the back where the office was and dialed my mother quickly in the stairwell. As soon as I got a hold of her, she began asking me questions on how to use her remote control. I quickly gave her instructions and tried to get off the phone, but who should walk by at that moment but Damien, in for a quick pit stop to pick up some papers.

“Julian,” he said as he walked by. “Are you on the phone on my time right now?”

“No,” I said quickly, hanging up and flashing a smile in hopes of manipulating him into forgiving me.

But I did not say it quickly enough or loudly enough because at that moment he turned into the hyena that everyone claims to have seen but has been a phantom to me and snarled his twisted yellow canines at me and yelled, “ARE YOU ON THE PHONE ON MY TIME RIGHT NOW?!”


Now sensing that no answer would please him, I turned around and darted back onto the floor, my heart racing wildly. Later, Jane let me know that there was a note on the manager’s wall upstairs that said, “If any server is caught on his cell phone, FIRE HIM.”

I had not expected such drama over such a little thing, but I definitely felt like the honeymoon was over. The following week, it came up at every staff meeting that any server who was caught on their cell phone while on a shift would either be pardoned for the day or pardoned forever. Everyone would smile at me coyly, but even days after my encounter with Damien I could still see him, his eyes bulging out of that pale face, the veins screaming from underneath his forehead.

The following week, during a slow lunch shift, “Pam,” “Brett” and I were instructed to marry malt vinegars in the server station. The server station was also home to the sound system and the amplifier that controlled the music for the entire restaurant. It was perched precariously beneath the main counter where we were directed to marry the malt vinegars.

While working to combine the malt vinegars, As I turned my head towards the door to watch a family walk in, a few ounces of the liquid splashed onto the counter. As if directed by the gods, it made its way towards the edge of the counter, down the side, and like a poisonous venom, into the top opening of the fourteen hundred dollar amplifier.


The machine sparked, popped, and the music throughout the entire restaurant stopped. As if in a horror movie, I turned my head slowly to look at what had happened, and despite the distinct clarity of the situation, as you could literally see the trail from A to B, in my mind all I could see was Damien’s predatory hyena eyes.

To be continued… Read more!


I ran over a rat with my bike tonight. And I knew I was going to do it, too. The moment I mounted my bike, before I even LEFT the house, I knew that I was going to run one over tonight. I don't know how I knew.

I was almost at my destination, made a tight turn onto a sidewalk, and as I slowed down, about thirty feet up, a rat ran from the gutter across to the shrubbery next to the building I was riding next to. I tried to swerve away from it but it was too fast, and ran underneath my tire. It shrieked, stopped, and spun over. I looked over my shoulder to see it shaking itself as though it had been stunned, but continue to run into the shrubbery.

My friend said at least I didn't kill it. I just think I sentenced it to a painful death. Read more!

The Restaurant 3 - Industry Tricks

As a server in a restaurant, you quickly learn the industry tricks that keep you afloat when certain circumstances go beyond your control. You may be an all-star server (as I was quickly becoming), and you may have friends (which I was quickly gaining), but there are still certain tactics that are required at the right time.

Anne, the roommate of a girl who had an in-demand boyfriend, still did not like me. The newer servers liked me, yeah, but only because I was their in-house Chuck Woolery. Things were the most positive they had ever been for me at the restaurant, but they still were not ideal.

My main ambition was to win Anne over. The Prada-wearing Cuban was long gone – never again would I see him, but Anne was still a very prominent figure in my life. She was still better liked than I was, and it only made me want her to like me more.


One day, I walked in at four to find that Anne was the only other server on the clock, angered by the poor planning on behalf of the management, but also less than enthusiastic to see that she would be sharing the floor with me. Little did I know that this would be the setting for the worst shift of my serving career.

One of my first tables sat themselves on the patio, which is a major no-no at most restaurants for a variety of reasons I won’t go into. Michael, the lead server, would instruct us all to ignore “self-seaters” for as long as we could, and we all happily obliged.

They were two sisters. One was about twenty-five, attractive, and refused to remove her shades or look me in the eye. Her little sister was about sixteen, good-looking yet awkward, and followed her sister to their table like a dog. Little Sis was great – she was polite, smiled, and listened to her sister as every younger sibling should do. Big Sis was a completely different story – she was rude, demeaning, and countered everything that Little Sis had to say. Despite the fact that I was insanely busy, Big Sis held me hostage at their table, mostly to be privy to the nonsensical monologues she was delivering to her sibling.


“You need to be more confident. You need to know what you want, and you need to stand up for yourself. People in this world will walk all over you if you don’t.” I don’t think the well-done burger they ended up ordering necessarily merited such grandeur, but I walked away, eager to get as far away from them as possible.

Then, enter the drunk patron. The way he was talking, I’m pretty sure Alaskans could hear him, and his rants in Spanglish put Big Sis’ to shame. Anne, smelling the drama, sat him at one of my patio tables. It was another one of those bitchy industry tricks servers use to get at each other or dodge the bullet when they can predict a crappy situation. I snarled my teeth into a “f--- you” smile and reluctantly walked to the table to get a drink order.

At first he tried to get away with ordering two drinks at the same time, which we did not allow. Then, he attempted to buy a fifteen-year-old girl a drink who was sitting a few tables away with her family. Every time I would be in his line of sight, he would demand my attention in the most condescending of fashions – by snapping with his fingers.


Eventually, the sisters and Spanglish ended up combining forces at a table for whatever reason. It was like putting two Disney villains together in the same film.

As I was standing on the line waiting for the sisters’ food to come out, and attempting to regain my cool, Little Sis came up behind me, tapping me on the shoulder. “I was just wondering if I could change my burger to some chicken wings?”

Gently but firmly I told her that her burger was already made, and about to come out to her table. She nodded and said, “Okay, that’s fine. I was just wondering.”

A couple minutes later, as I was grabbing their food, I felt another tap on my shoulder. “My little sister just told me you said she couldn’t have chicken wings.”

“Well, the food is coming out right now.” I demonstrated with the plates in my hand.

“Well, I’m trying to teach my sister that she can have anything she wants, and you telling her she can’t have chicken wings doesn’t really show her that. Now, I know that stuff gets sent back to the kitchen all the time in restaurants, so what I need you to do is send that burger back and get her some chicken wings.”

The manager on duty at the time, “Jane,” felt nothing but pity for me, and gave me the okay for the meanest industry trick of all. “Spill a drink on her. There’s no way she can prove that you did it on purpose.”

I considered it. Once their food was dropped, and once Spanglish snapped at me a few more times, demanding more drinks, I decided to go for it. Carefully, I placed two beers on my tray so that when I lifted one, the other would tilt to the left, and fall on whoever or whatever happened to be there. My heart racing, I approached the table, the girls sucking on their fingers to savor every drop of the buffalo sauce and Spanglish gazing at Little Sis’ breasts with disgustingly accurate precision.

As I jockeyed into position and lifted Spanglish’s beer, I spread my fingers wide underneath the tray – an instinct a server develops when they feel as though they are about to drop something. The second beer quivered, but did not fall.

“Careful there.” Big Sis’ eyes came the closest they had that day to meeting mine.

In the end, I could not bring myself to purposely spill on someone. I think my table deserved it, but it would have been out of character for me to do something like that. The whole situation had me shook up, and put me in my place - no matter how good a server I was, or what tricks I had up my sleeve, I still wasn’t first rate.

When the sisters left, I wound up crying underneath the sink in the server station, perched precariously next to Windex and bleach so that no one would see. When Anne came into the station to grab something, I tried to hide my distress, but, much to my surprise, she sat down next to me and put her arm around my shoulder and just sat there with me. It was exactly what I needed.


That’s when the scream came from the women’s restroom. Jane had walked in on Spanglish peeing into the garbage can. Read more!

First day of school

Its the first day of school. 86 degrees. A five-class day. Lunch with Rob at Potbellies. Tuna sandwich.

I don't know, but personally I'm feeling a little old for this shit. I'm five years older than a whole mess of the people here. I want to graduate already.


ENGL265 Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Literature

ENGL408A Literature by Women Before 1800: Medieval Women Writers

JOUR175 Media Literacy

USLT201 U.S. Latina/o Studies I: An Historical Overview to the 1960's

ENGL346 Twentieth Century Fiction

I'm also considering picking up a couple of PE classes. Which ones? Read more!