...the greatest shit-show in the world.
Happy Independence Day. It strikes me now and then that our celebration of holidays does not often reflect the purpose of the holiday and in fact often defines new guidelines and purposes. At some point, the main activities for the 4th seem to have become drinking, lighting fireworks, and smothering the world in red, white and blue. Therefore, the new purpose of the holiday is not to celebrate our independence, but to see who can wear the most red, white and blue, see who can drink most, and to see who has the best fireworks display. What does this have to do with Independence? Nothing. I don't have a problem in the world with alcohol and explosives however, so I won't complain.
For those unfamiliar with Juneau's traditions, it is of interest that Juneau sets off the fireworks from Douglas Island at approximately 11:59pm on July 3rd. Whether this was plotted out for the children or the lushes, I am not sure, but it is a wonderful idea to do the late-night activities BEFORE the day when the majority of people don't have to work. This means that while the fireworks were happening on the 4th mostly (midnight, you know) everyone can sleep off their hangovers and have a day of languor.
Wednesday night I had my first R meeting in a long time. I showed up with my pink hair and got some surprised and not entirely pleasant looks as well as some teasing comments. I didn't expect people to be as positive about the change as the rest of my friends, so I was prepared for some funny looks. We had a guest speaker, which was nice. Since I ceased to be president, a lot of things have remained the same, but I am glad that we have speakers now. I think that is honestly the only positive change I've noticed - that and that I don't have all the stress of being president. I'll give it to el Presidente, even making one positive change is kind of a big deal, coping with the stress of being el Presidente is a big deal. It's a tough job.
After the meeting I stopped by the AK since Thursday is my one day off, the crowd was small and not anyone I really knew so I had one drink to relax but found myself quite the opposite of relaxed when the person I was needing to forget about was brought up in conversation in close proximity. I finished my drink and decided that it would be a good idea to go home and rest up. I watched a movie with the roommate instead.
Thursday I went to a Rotary meeting, showing up late with pink hair isn't subtle, but my reception was still positive and Katie Hurley was the guest speaker, which was fabulous because she is a local political icon. At age 87 she was the head clerk in the constitutional committee for Alaska and has been involved in (democratic) politics for years. In this presidential year she is an elector. She was well spoken, engaging, and very encouraging in a personal conversation.
Since I had shown up late, I didn't grab breakfast at the beginning as is customary but one of the Rotarians suggested I grab some at the end, as there was still a lot left. I grabbed a plate and served myself a little breakfast, feeling mildly awkward at sitting in the room alone after the meeting eating the food. Nobody came in, but near plate emptiness the fire alarm blasted, prompting me to just leave. To my knowledge, the Prospector has not burnt down.
After the meeting I decided to run errands but all the stores were still closed. I then decided that I should go for a hike, but discovered that I had locked myself out of my apartment and was therefore unfit to hike in my Seychelles flats and white skirt... It was a glorious day however, so I spent as much time soaking up sunshine as I could. After running a couple errands and enjoying a bit of sunshine, I got a phone call from one of my employers commenting that the bar wasn't open - I told her I had noticed that too and thought it was a bit odd, then she told me that I had been scheduled to work. Oh. So much for a day off. I opened 2.5 - 3 hours late, but I did open. I had to make her come unlock it too, since I had locked myself out. I worked an extra hour that day, prepping for the event. I made minimal tips and spent most of an hour just carrying liquor bottles and restocking everything.
In the evening I went to the Hangar for dinner with Miss B, we had a nice time. Miss A was there too, so when Miss B left I sat at the bar with Miss A and we had a drink while planning to go to Miss E's birthday festivities. We went to A&P on the walk over to pick some things up, discovering such wonders as asparagus bunch candles in our adventures. The barbecue was great - Miss E and co. made some great food and the crowd was great, since we all consort with only the finest people. Eventually most of us trekked downtown to listen to the live bands, Deering and Down and Wisconsin Slim were performing. Lots of dancing occurred and Miss A and I went to the Wharf to watch the fireworks. After the fireworks, during which some drunk girls threw bottles at some guy standing very near us, we went back to listen to the bands and dance more. I didn't attend any after party, but wandered back to my place with my roommate and a couple others who were to sleep on our couches and floor. I did well with consuming lots of water which kept me from having a hangover for work the next day.
Bartending on the 4th was a real shit-show. As soon as I opened the bar, I had people walk in directly behind me. I wasn't sure how to respond and I wasn't sure if the people needed the hair of the dog that bit them or if they were still rolling from the night before. Either way, I did have to kick one of them out - not for being too intoxicated but for insulting me. I had to kick him out once more that day and again the next day, just because my new policy seems to be, "If I'm in the bar - you are NOT." Not like he's going to tip anyway. I did pretty well that day and did get to watch half the parade through the window. I had a woman in the bar with whom I was too patient, I wanted to yell at her that if she wanted a fast drink she wouldn't order a freaking Bloody Mary, but I was patient and nice, even when she said mildly offensive or at least awkward things. She suggested that maybe she dye her hair red in a mildly sarcastic tone, when I offered that it might be a good look she responded that maybe she should paint her face white, to which I responded that it might be bad for her complexion. At some point I said, "Look, I wish I could get a tan, ok, but I can't - it's in my blood." She then conceded that "for a white girl" I was "kind of pretty." Crazy lady. After getting off work I went home and took a nap for a bit, got ready for another night out with Miss A.
Miss A and I went to the Island Pub to have mojitos, pizza, and to listen to Fire on McGinnis, the local irish rock band. After a bit we decided to hit up the Hangar where we saw Lulu and the Aquanets performing. This band was rather novel because the female lead singer had a range that went from a low sultry female voice to a deep and gruff man voice. They did lots of covers from the 70's and 80's, which must have been why the crowd was a bit older than the company I tend to keep. Miss A and I parted ways and I ran into Mr. M and Miss L. I ended up going to the AK with Miss L and meeting some new people and running into one of my dance partners and new friends from the night before. We danced a couple more songs and then I went home before bar close because I was pretty exhausted. On my way out I walked past a former fling, thinking that he hadn't noticed me, I didn't bother to acknowledge him and say goodbye. A moment later he was at my side, grabbing my hand and asking me about my immediate plans. In a feat of great self control I managed to dodge the attempted kiss and avoid making that mistake again. I went home and enjoyed my lovely soft bed until I had to wake up early again for work.
Saturday was quieter at work and far less eventful - a blessing and a curse. After work I stopped by the boutique, discovering that I would be working that evening, but thankfully only for about 3 hours. Once I finished there I went to dinner with Miss MO and Mr. MT. We had a good time and then parted ways, allowing me to nap briefly and take a shower. I went out again on Saturday night to see Wisconsin Slim and discovered that the Great Alaska Bluegrass Band was also playing, so I bounced back and forth between the 'Vous and the AK, hanging out with Miss P, Miss K, Miss KB, and co. At the end of the night we were leaving and I tried to go straight home, but Mr. CN tried to convince me that going home was a terrible idea and that led me to pursue an after party at Miss K's place. Somehow I was separated from Miss K and Miss KB and not knowing how to get to their place, Mr. CN and I changed plans and watched part of X-Men at my apartment.
Sunday was the one day of the week I got to sleep in and I cherished it. I slept late, took a leisurely shower, and relaxed in solitude before work. Work was slow and completely uneventful until later in the evening when I was constantly running back and forth with pull-tabs. For some reason, beyond my comprehension, we have introduced $0.10 pull-tabs which are officially the bane of my existence. I was not so much a bartender as a tabs dispenser for a good half hour. Someone put down $20 on the ten-centers and that meant that I had to dispense 200 freaking tabs. I think that during that evening, I probably dispensed at least 500 of those tabs, if not more. The people defended their annoying request by claiming they tip well, a blatant lie as 5% is by no server's standards a good tip... And I know that is how much they tip because I provided them a winning ticket and that is exactly how much they tipped. I should have argued that, but I am much sassier in my brain than I am verbally. Miss J and Mr. M showed up toward the end of my shift, bringing better company and options for dinner plans. We went to the Twisted Fish and had delicious food and a bottle of wine (not to mention the two shots I had at the end of my shift) so I was feeling far more relaxed and went straight to bed when I got home at 10:30pm.
This morning I was so tired that when I wrote an e-mail to Miss C meaning to say, "I need a nap" I actually typed, "I need a name" and upon receiving a confused response of "a name?" I rechecked the sent message and laughed at myself. Thanks to some on the job dozing and a cup of coffee I am far more alert. Now.