Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quitting Fantasies

I sat in the writers' room today as my script was read out loud. Each writer takes a part and does their best to act it out. When we finish reading the script, our boss, Mara, gives us notes on what's working for her and what's not. As I posted previously, the story I was sent off to write never really made sense to me. I thought the main story line (or the A story) ended in the second act. And guess what? I was right! Unfortunately there's no good feelings to be had in being right as all it really means is that we have to sit around and rebreak (figure out) what the new story could be and then rewrite it -- together.

We started reading the script at about 10:15am. We finished at about 11 am. We sat and went 'round and 'round about what's wrong with the story 'til 2pm. The whole time I fantasized about excusing myself to go to the bathroom and just walking away. Forever.

To be honest, I'm still fantasizing about it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Being Lazy

Since I've turned my script in and have gone back to working from the office, I've been a little lazy about posting. Not good. I want to try and post everyday but by the time I get home from work and have two martinis, my priorities seem to... uhm... slosh away.

Today I woke up late and was rushing to get the dogs out to get to work on time. I came downstairs to find Mabel, our Clumber Spaniel, in a pool of pus and blood. She had her stitches out on Saturday and hasn't really been herself since her pacifier removing surgery. Well apparently, Mabel has an infection under her skin and it's leaking out of her healing incision. Warm compresses five times a day and a big dose of antibiotics is the remedy, hopefully.

The point to telling you all this? Taking a poll on whether or not I should just put all four of these f*ckers down. It could really go either way...

Pictures and more to come when I get home from work.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


A couple of my diligent readers asked; who is "Rustyboy?" Rustyboy is a friend who reads the blog and often posts a comment that is much funnier than anything I've taken a f*cking half hour to write. Russ (his real name) is this foxy dude I used to work with who got so into running that he basically shamed me into never running again.

When we worked together as story editors on Viva la Bam , I had run a marathon. He asked me the day after I ran, limping from blisters and sore knees; "How'd you do it?" I was honest and said, "You train and it sucks ass, but if I can do it, anyone can."

Now that f*cker is training for a 100 (YES, ONE HUNDRED) mile race. Did I mention I hate Russ? Here's his blog .

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

YouTube Clips

I'm not one of those people that ever forwards YouTube clips. I don't have the patience for them. Which probably makes me old, but I am, so f*ck it. Also I usually don't find them all that funny. But the Filipino Thriller clip in yesterday's post is mind-blowing. Just get to the part where all 1000 inmates doing the choreography and then think SOMEONE CHOREOGRAPHED THEM!!! It's pretty impressive. The guards watching from the 2nd floor seem to think so, too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reward System

Getting through my script has been a little more difficult than I expected. As always, the thing you brace yourself for is never the thing that throws you off. In my case, it's not the language of the script but the story. But I won't explain it because I don't want everyone to fall asleep at their computer due to boredom.

Over the past few days working from home I've come to realize that I work best within a reward based structure. Rewards are handed out at the end of every working day. The day ends at about five bells.

Here's what I get:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Enough Already

If I have to read one more adult's blog/column/review about the last Harry Potter book, I'm going to sh*t a warthog. Or a sweathog. Whichever comes first.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Deep Feelings of Dread

You know that dream you always have where you go to work only to realize you're naked or you're in school and you find out you missed going to Biology class all year the day before your graduation? Classic anxiety dreams, right? Well, I had BOTH of them last night. Writing this script is filling me with an enormous amount of dread. I realize now how dependent I was last season on former writer's assistant, Jamie Turner. See what I'd do was send him a line I'd written for one of the characters on the show and he's send it back to me with a more urban vibe. Well, Jamie has moved on to bigger and better things (The Shield) and I'm out here in the cold world of the urban sitcom wearing nothing and feeling like I missing something. My crutch, maybe?

I might be rethinking that WGA minimum vs. bartending wages. At least I know I do good work behind the bar.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Serious Procrastination

So I'm officially off on script until next Thursday. I'm hoping to pick up next Monday and Wednesday at the bar. But before I sit down and starting writing about Malik being a cliche and Jason holding Bible study at his house to impress the new coach, I need to update you on on few things.

Here we go:


Ellen had her eye surgery yesterday. She's doing well. Here's what she'll tell you in order of how she'll tell you:
1) She was in and out quick. In at 6:30am out by 9:30am.
2) All the nurses were so nice.
3) If she has gone by what Joan Keating had told her she would've been petrified to have the procedure done because Joan swears they didn't knock her out enough and she could hear them cutting into her eye. (Really?! What sound did it make?) But there were no problems what so ever.
4) She totaled her car on Saturday.
5) She nor the five other senior citizen were hurt but she was so mad she wanted to smack the 18 yr old who hit them who was in such a hurry to get nowhere.
6) She's not positive but she bets the "little bitch" was on the phone.

If she relays all this to you on the phone, expect it to take about 6 hours.


Our Clumber Spaniel with a compulsive eating disorder gobbled up yet another pacifier. No, we don't have any babies in this house nor have we had one since Sammy, my niece, was here 2 years ago when Larry, Michelle, their two kids and my mother were visiting from Boston. One Friday night my mother was babysitting the two kids at my house while my brother and his wife had a night out. Larry and Michelle had barely sat down to dinner when they got a call that all hell had broken loose.
Garret (pictured left) had slammed his head against the glass coffee table and Samantha (pictured below) had been woken up by his screaming and couldn't get back to sleep because they couldn't find her pacifier. Kerri (not pictured because she'd kill me) is a nurse and thankfully was sitting with my mother when all this went down. She stitched Garret up with some new skin and he was a good as gold. Samantha on the other hand couldn't sleep without a pacifier. The one she had lost was hospital issued and the only one they had brought with them. She basically screamed the rest of the trip. We found it a few weeks and a few thousand dollars later in the small intestine of Mabel.

Mabel somehow found another pacifier in the street, gobbled it down and after seven days and almost as many thousand dollars had this second one cut out of her as well. We're obviously thinking about putting her down.

Kidding. Maybe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Off On Script

Next week it looks like I'll be off on script and able to pick up a few shifts at Vito. Thankfully we get to write from home so they won't know I'll be cutting out everyday at 4:30pm to head up to the Vit. People keep telling me that if I had to bartend for a living I would grow to hate it. I'm not sure that's true but until bartending starts paying WGA wages, I'll have to stick to my day job writing for a (fill in your own adjective here) sitcom.

Again, if I get home at a decent hour today, I'll try and upload some pictures to go along with this post. I feel like you should always have some eye candy to go along with the script.

p.s. Spell check thinks the word "bartending" should be spelled "bar tending" with the space. I'm not doing it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Been A Minute...

...since my last post and I apologize. Saturday night's shift was fantastic. Stacey and Lesli (no "e") who stopped by looking all hot and whatnot, had to wait for a bit to sit at the bar because an older couple were milking their drinks in between make-out sessions. This couple were in like their late 60's. Geriatric PDA's should be against the law. It's yucky.

Rick G., supported by his fabulous wife Penny, now holds the record for most Vito martinis drunk in one night while maintaining the ability to walk out of the restaurant unassisted. I've seen people poured out of that place on half the booze. It was a Herculean effort that mustn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. Kudos, sir. You are my hero.

I went to a nutritionist last week who put me on a diet while I sit on my ass all day here at the office. I lost six pounds in the first week. Everyone was very impressed with my progress and wanted to know what the magic nutritionist's advice was so I will impart it to all of you here for free: don't eat a lot. You want to lose 6 pounds you'll have to be starving for the majority of the week.

I'll elaborate on all this when I get home. Right now I need to get back in the writer's room before I get fired.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yet Another Correction

It was brought to my attention that my Flight of the Conchords link wasn't working. I'm so sorry. I've been trying to post from work and, being a faithful Mac user, don't really know how to work the PC. So it's fixed both here and in the previous post.

I'm not f*cking kidding when I say this is the best goddamned show on TV. And it's not just because Paul is working on it.

The Bacardi Cocktail

Last night the Marcils had us over for dinner. Chris kicked the night off with the crispest, freshest, most delicious Bacardi Cocktail. I've never had one before and I'm not really a fan of rum but this drink was outstanding! OUTSTANDING! It looks like a Cosmo but it's much more delicious.

Here's recipe:
1 1/2 oz. Bacardi rum
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes of grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a small martini glass.

Chris makes his own grenadine which is ambitious and delicious. It's made of pomegranate juice and simple syrup. I think that extra touch of love might have sent it over the top. I could have had 15 of these babies.

I'll be pushing these glasses of island heaven all night at Vito on Saturday.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Brief Plug

Last night, thanks to Paul (or Uncle Balls as he's now called) we got to take the kids to see Flight of the Conchords in concert at the El Rey. It was awesome. The kids loved it. We loved it. You should love them. If you're not already TIVOing their HBO show, stop whatever you're doing at this second and record it now. You won't be disappointed. It's the best show on TV since The Office (British and American).

Uncle Balls cooking his famous chicken tacos.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Husband.

Today was Sam's birthday. We (Me, Nate, Ivy, Aunt Scary and Sam) celebrated with the best barbecue in Los Angeles, Baby Blues BBQ followed by 1/2 a dozen My Little Cupcakes at home. Sam managed to blow out all six candles at once. Not bad for an old man. He's the foxiest 44 yr old, don't you think? Wait, how old is Bono? Kidding, Baby. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

re: The Bullshot

As Russ pointed out in his comments on my last post, Rodney Dangerfield asks a bartender for a Bullshot in Caddyshack. Which is perfect because now I can give you a visual of about 90% of Vito's customers:
Except for my friends who show up (especially the foxy TMG crowd who dropped by last night - thanks, Jodi), this is seriously what the average Vito man looks like.

The Grossest Drink Ever

Tonight at Vito I made the grossest drink ever: a Bullshot.

1 oz. vodka
3 oz. cold beef bullion
1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
Dash Salt and Pepper
(Recipe courtesy of Mr. Boston's. Thank you, Mr. Boston)

I didn't have cold beef bullion handy so I had to go into the kitchen and ask them to ladle some hot bullion into a glass. They communication gap between me and the cooks grew by about a mile at that moment. They were confused and disgusted all at the same time. I tried to explain but they were just turned their back s and went about their work.

The drink wasn't sent back and their waiter didn't complain so I assume it was okay. A better name for it would be 80 Proof Salt Lick. Yuck.

Friday, July 06, 2007

This Saturday

This coming Saturday I may be working by myself at the bar. I'm a little nervous because, as some of you have seen, it can get very, very busy. Between Mo & Bev wanting to order appetizers one at a time and the waitiers screaming out drinks as they pass to the kitchen, it could get very ugly. Mary, the woman I usually work with, has an out of town gig. She's going to try and bring in a barback for me if she can't find another bartender to cover her shift.

So what does all this mean for you? Don't come to Vito this Saturday unless you're willing to sit with no service at the bar.

(I'll try and find a picture of me losing my shit to go with this post but I'm at work right now with no access to my iPhoto.)
I couldn't find a picture of me losing my shit but I did find this picture where I look like Luigi, Super Mario's brother.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Letter From the Editor

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my brother Larry bartended for a minute after college. He wrote me back to say that, in fact, he bartended long enough to make back his bartending school tuition. He then forwarded me this Letter From the Editor piece he wrote back in November of 2006 for his magazine The Robb Report. He's such a better writer than me. But I know I'm a better bartender than he was. Or "mixologist," if you will.

I'll post it here in it's entirety if you're too lazy to link to it.WHAT WAS NOT TO LOVE about a job in which your patrons’ requests could include sex, screws, and orgasms; and upon receipt of these, customers would offer generous gratuities if you had dispensed enough charm while fulfilling their desires? It was the 1980s, and this gig promised to be exciting and lucrative. And contrary to the implications of the preceding transparent and juvenile attempt at provocativeness, the position did not require moral compromises, health risks, or an Armani wardrobe. In fact, good clothing could be ruined by the sweet, sticky ingredients you would use to make alcoholic confections such as the alluded-to Sex on the Beach, Long Slow Comfortable Screw against the Wall, and Screaming Orgasm.
And so for the briefest period two decades ago, I worked as a bartender— or maybe as a mixologist, which, as cocktail expert David Wondrich informed Robb Report associate editor Jessica Taylor, is “a bartender who pays more attention to mixing drinks.” In addition to covering the history of the cocktail for “Original Blend” (page 264),Taylor asked some of the world’s most talented mixologists to create original cocktail for our annual Holiday Host Guide. If you cannot make it to the bars where these masters of their craft perform, then we recommend that you try their recipes at home. (The Martini Le Cirque that I mixed looked like grape-flavored Children’s Motrin and proved as soothing to me as the medicine is to my kids. My Leperliac was much lighter in texture and flavor, tasting like a cross between a Mint Julep and a Champagne cocktail—crisp and refreshing and a worthy cause for even a fine brut.) Regardless of whether I was a bartender or a mixologist, after one busy night behind the bar, I was disabused of the notion that this was an easy way to make money. As former Met Bar manager Ben Reed told London’s The Independent earlier this year, “It’s not glamorous at 3 am when you’re clearing up broken glass and dealing with belligerent customers.” Nor is it easy to memorize the contents of a cocktail recipe book, as I did—more or less—just in case someone were to order a drink more exotic than, say, a White Russian. (Incidentally, customers claimed that mine were too weak: Who knew the term Russian was a reference to a third ingredient?) Although I had determined beforehand that there would be no shame in not knowing the ingredients of a Woo Woo or similarly silly girl drinks, learning the rest of the recipes still was nearly as taxing as preparing for an organic chemistry test. That was the sieve of a college class from a couple of years earlier that had separated the premeds from the liberal arts majors, the doctors from the editors.Today, in some bars and lounges, knowledge of chemistry or related sciences can distinguish the mixologists from the bartenders. The last couple of years have brought us the advent of molecular mixology, an offshoot of molecular gastronomy. Practiced most prominently by Ferran Adrià at his El Bulli restaurant in Barcelona—where menu items arrive in the form of foams and gels, and others are frozen using liquid nitrogen—molecular gastronomy was pioneered in the 1980s by Hervé This. The French physical chemist describes molecular gastronomy as “the practical application of science and physics in cooking to create a new taste experience.” Molecular mixology, This says, “is the practical application of the theoretical findings of molecular gastronomy to the bar environment.” Among the cocktail-menu curiosities that application has produced are items called pearls or caviar: instant jellies created by mixing traditional cocktail ingredients with sodium alginate and calcium chloride. At the Minibar at Washington, D.C.’s Café Atlántico, the Dirty Martini is a blend of olive juice, vermouth, gin, xanthan gum, and calcium chloride, all of which is dropped into a solution of sodium alginate and water so that it forms a stable, olive-shaped gel. Served in an empty glass, the orb becomes liquid when you pop it into your mouth. Next to this nouveau Dirty Martini, Sex on the Beach seems innocent, and completely out of vogue. At Lumière in Vancouver, you may be able to persuade bar manager Jamie Boudreau to prepare a concoction that represented his early experimentation with molecular mixology. It consisted of three shot glasses, each filled with different contents: blueberries in one, heated apricot liqueur and Mangalore in another, and whipped cream with maple liqueur in the third. Patrons were instructed to fill their mouths with a taste of all three before swallowing. “You have solid, liquid, and plasma,” Boudreau recently told the Vancouver Sun. “You have cool, cold, and hot.You have sweet, spicy, and tart.” You did not have sex, a screw, or an orgasm, but you did have a Ménage à Trois.
larry bean
editor in chief

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Things I'd Like To Introduce To The Bar At Vito.

There are a few things I'd like to bring in when I bartend but I haven't gotten around to buying them yet and I know I won't be reimbursed if I do. But I think I could kick the drinks up a notch if I brought in the following things:

1) Olive Brine:The popularity of the dirty martini has opened up the market for brine being sold separate from the olive. (My cousin Kevin calls the dirty martini a "starter kit." He might be right. I moved from dirties to straight up Citroen.) At Vito we have this gallon jug of sad, dry little olives because we've used up all the juice. Olive brine sold be itself completely solves this problem. But I'll have to take the $9.00 hit (which is about my current hourly pay rate - tips not included) as I know they won't reimburse me.

2) Simple Syrup :For a long time when drinks called for simple syrup with lemon or lime juice, bartenders would reach for the ubiquitous "sweet & sour" mixer. (In fact, Mr. Boston's just went back to the original simple syrup/lemon/lime recipes. Apparently in it's earlier editions it too found a short cut by using sweet and sour mix. (FYI: Sweet and sour mix should only be used for Collins drinks or "sours" such as Amaretto Sour or Midori Sour which I drank when I was a fag-hag back in the late 80's.) But now as drinks (or is it the drinkers?) get a little more sophisticated, sweet and sour mix just doesn't seem to cut it. (It gives me wicked heartburn.) Although the mixers that we use at Vito are good, nothing is really a good substitute for real lemon or lime juice combined with simple syrup. There's no high fructose corn syrup messing up your liquors. You can make your own simple syrup at home, it's equal parts sugar and water heated until and stirred until the sugar dissolves. Put it in a jar and get ready to rock your guest's box's off.

3) Real Lemon and Lime Juice:If I get simple syrup I'm led to my next problem: fresh lemon and lime juice. I hate Rose's Lime Juice. (It also gives me wicked heartburn. So do bananas, water while I work out, and peanut butter. But I digress.) Fresh lemons are abundant here in SoCal but squeezing all those f*ckers before my shift would be pretty labor intensive. Also, I'd run through all the lemons off my tree (pictured above with Nate) in about half a night. This means that I'd have to buy and squeeze a bunch more lemons adding to my un-reimbursement total. However, I'm torn because I think fresh lemon juice combined with simple syrup would take my Lemon Solstice and the Lemon Drop to a new level.

I'll talk to Hank about the olive brine to start. Baby Steps.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A relatively slow Saturday at The Vit.

Last night at Vito was another great night. Not so busy but, as always, my friends pulled through with a spectacular showing. Big thank you to: Susan, Ann, another Susan who I didn't know but who loved my Lemon Solstice so I love her, Ann's forty something friend who still has storage in Somerville from when he went to Tufts, Kerri, Drim, Kell, David and Diane. But the real surprise of the night? Kenny and Cheryl! Fantastic. Kenny stuck it out at the Vit even though he doesn't drink and the air conditioning was giving him an allergic reaction. I'm afraid Kenny may have driven all the way to the West side only to get Legionnaire's Disease. Sorry Kenny.

Outside of the love I got from my friends, a couple of people stand out from last night: the woman who sat at the bar talking to Giovanna, the owner's wife and the guy who tried to bribe Hank into singing.

The woman at the bar, who was obviously a friend of the owners, ate her entire dinner and drank all her white zinfandel while wearing her Bluetooth. That oddly enough wasn't my biggest problem with her. What really caught my attention is that she talked the entire time about her recent plastic surgery she was so proud of. She couldn't have been happier with the results. And I shit you not, she looked like this:The other winner of the night was the dude who came in with his friend just as we were closing up. They were definitely carrying a foreign load. (Foreign Load: coming into to a party or bar already tipsy.) He's was the type of guy that wants to be known as a regular but no one that works at the place knows who the hell he is and all the while his friend is embarrassed by him. As we were cleaning up and closing up in front of him, he kept trying to bait us with all sorts of bar talk nonsense like: Why New Jersey is the greatest state. Or, how no other state has turned out so many prolific singer/songwriter. Or how about this: when this pope dies he's going to start a campaign "Bono for Pope." Now that was a real tongue biter for me. Usually I'd take that Bono bait but what I realized is that it's people like this bozo who make me ashamed of my Bono love. Wasn't the Vanity Fair guest editing gig embarrassing enough for all of us? You want constant boredom for 200 plus pages? Not a problem, buy this: As if the guy at the bar hadn't worked out nerves enough, he then starts to offer Hank money to sing. Hank, as I mentioned in a previous post, was trained in singing at Juilliard. I found out last night that he studied at the Berkeley School of Music in Boston before that. This past week, Hank worked about 70 hours. All he wants to do is cash everyone out so he can get the hell out of there. Singing at 11pm on a Saturday night for this fool is the last thing on his mind but the guy wouldn't leave it alone. It was annoying and then just uncomfortable when he started offering Hank money. I wanted to tell this dummy that you can't buy a man's dignity for $50. Hank's not your trained monkey. Drink your drink and get out. But you know what the reality was? I wanted to hear Hank sing, too. I even would've pitched in to hear him. And I would liked for Hank to know that I'd love to hear him sing but I didn't want to make the situation any more awkward thank it already was.

As soon as the guy gave up, paid his bill and left, Hank sang me and Mary a little original tune called "Get The F*ck Out So I Can Go Home."