Hi! Good to see you! Unless I’ve never seen you before

I’m learning the hard way that some regulars do not want to be recognized.

A regular comes to the bar with a date. I say hi and ask her,

“Would you like a chardonnay?”

She looks startled.

“I would like… a chardonnay.”

When I return she asks me,

“Did you used to work next door? Is that where I know you from?”

“I’ve worked here for almost three years. I think you know me from here. I saw you last week.”

She gives me a death stare. OOOPS.

The guy she’s with says,

“So this is your regular spot?”

Another regular comes in with a first date. I’m not going to screw this up again. I go over and pretend I’ve never seen him before in my life,

“Hi, how are you? Can I get you something to drink?”

He looks at me like I’m crazy,

“Jess! I’ll take my regular martini.”


Not for long

For the last six months we’ve had too many bartenders. I didn’t know that was possible, but it is. And even with a surplus of bartenders we still can’t get the lights to work. There’s a how-many-bartenders-does-it-take-to-change-a-light-bulb joke in there somewhere.

Finally a bartender is leaving and in the best possible way. He’s going to a sister restaurant five blocks down the street. I head in to have a drink with everybody for his last day. People are crying,

“Why is he leaving? I’m going to miss him. I can’t believe he’s leaving.”

I add,

“I can’t wait to have his shifts.”

“Jess! I’m right here.”

I can vouch for him

A husband and wife are at the bar. There are two groups of women on either side of them overhearing their conversation. The wife orders a salad and a pizza and tells me,

“We’re sharing, but you don’t need to split it on two different plates.” The husband pipes up,

“Yeah, we’re like one person with two heads and four arms, except one of us does all the talking.”

The surrounding women break out in a chorus of “booos.”

“Boo, tsk, sigh.” Heads shake all around.

The husband rises up,

“Me! It’s me! I talk a lot.”

The wife reassures the other women,

“It’s true.”

That sounds about right

I’m at work, in a great mood and I’m bouncing around. The other bartender remarks,

“You keep doing a dance move.”


“Do you hear the song that’s playing right now?”


“It’s the song that’s playing in your head.”

“What’s the song about?”

“It doesn’t make any sense.”

Fart bags keep you warm

When I was fourteen my parents bought me a onesie ski suit. They got it big so I wouldn’t grow out of it. It went out of fashion thirteen years ago, but it still fits. I also still love it. This past weekend I skied in my onesie and our trip leader, a guy in his fifties, did too. As I face my second day of being the only person since 1998 to wear a onesie, I remark to my new found friends,

“Our trip leader is wearing a onesie.”

“Yes, but he is of a different generation.”

I guess pointing out the three-year-old I saw in a onesie isn’t going to help either.

Another friend pipes up,

“You know what they call those things?”


“I shouldn’t say, it’s not nice.”

“Tell me.”

“Fart bags.”

What does a daily diddler look like?

Going skiing was such a good idea that I’m going again in less than two weeks.

After a full day of skiing, drinking and winning at billiards, I’m still not sure how that was possible, I collapse on the couch in the condo. The conversation moves on from our condo mate not having any pants on, to the infamous book “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

One guy declares,

“There are so many women diddling themselves over that book.”

I perk up,


“Yeah, and I can tell which ones.”


“I can look at a woman and I just know.”

“How do you know?”

He shrugs. Someone else pipes up,

“Just a hunch?”

“I don’t know, but sometimes I see a woman and I know she diddles herself every day.”

Why is this a greeting card?

Hungry moms are not to be trusted

I head home to Worcester for my Mom’s birthday. I think about getting a cake, but why get a cake when what my mom really wants is Indian food and oatmeal raisin cookies from Au Bon Pain. I decide I will stick a candle in a cookie.

I get home early afternoon. My mom says,

“I’m starving. I need a snack.”

It occurs to me that I don’t need to save the cookies until later, I could light them up now. I tell my mom,

“I’m going to wrap presents, I’ll be right back.”

“No, you just got here.”

We sit and chat for a little bit. Then I try again,

“I’m going to wrap presents, then I’ll be back.”

“Stay here.”

We chat some more and my mom says,

“I really need a little something to eat.”

“Mom, I will be right back, I’m going to wrap presents.” With that I grab a plate out of the cupboard and head upstairs. My mom calls after me,

“What do you need a plate for?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

I return with wrapped presents and the cookie with a candle in it. I start to sing Happy Birthday. I’m one line into the song with three more to go. My mom leans for the cookie. She’s about to blow out the candle and start eating it. It is time for a split second decision. It’s her birthday, should I let her do whatever she wants? No way. I exclaim,

“Mom! What are you doing? I’m still singing! And then you have to make a wish.”

“Oh. I just wanted to eat the cookie.”

He’d look great in handcuffs

A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men. And a guy in a dress shirt and vest is a close second. That is the guy-bartender uniform at my work. 

Late night, my co-worker decides to strip down to his undershirt. I’m still chatting with one last regular. I glance over at everything that has fallen out of the vest and remark to the regular,
“That vest does wonders for him.”
“As does any kind of restraining device.”

I dreamt I got it on with a dentist… Is that permissible?

My regulars are prepping me for the dating world. One has created a list of professions I should date and professions I should not. It’s serious; he wrote it down for me.

Dateable options:

  • Biotech
  • Hedge funds: computer, trading
  • Lawyers, major firms only, corporate, IT, or tax law
  • Top level NGO management
Non-dateable options:
  • No Doctors
  • No Government
  • No Artists
  • No Real Estate
  • No Small Business
  • And absolutely no Therapists
There seem to be a few other professions left floating in the gray area. 

What are moms going for on the open market these days?

A regular talks about his dating experience,

“The women I’ve met on Match.com are very sweet, but they don’t have any interest in talking about business, law, or the Thirty Years War.”

“I don’t have any interest in talking about the Thirty Years War.”

“The other problem is that they’re old.”


“-I know, I know. I’m old. But I don’t feel that old and then I look at them and they look old.”

“I see.”

“The problem is when women… Women go through… When women become… When women…”

“Hit menopause?”

“Yes! That’s it. Menopause. Most of them don’t look so good afterwards.”


“But your mom, she looks good!”

“Oh yeah?”

“I’d find out the cost of her stock and trade.”

Control top tights out of control

Saturday my mom took me to the Nutcracker. She got us great seats and we both dressed up.

In the middle of the snow storm, before the show, my mom arrives at my apartment with a dress and no tights. I tell her,

“I’ll be right back.”

I don’t have a tights collection to rival my underwear collection, but I have a few spare pairs. I find one still new in the box. I give them to my mom. She says,

“I don’t think these will fit.”

“They’re your size.”

“We’ll see.”

She gets them on her feet and despairs. I don’t think she’s trying hard enough. I remind her,

“They’re control top, they’re supposed to be tight.”

“Well I have to get them over my knees first.”

Once they’re over her knees I can tell she’s about to give up. I tell her,

“Stand up, I’ll help you.”

I pull on the tights, almost lifting her off the ground. I realize that even if I get her in, what’s going to happen in an hour when she needs to go to the bathroom? We give up as my mom moons the next door neighbors.

This photo is from the 34th annual Mooning of Amtrak event. It’s a real thing.

Happy New Year!

I would’ve blogged more and sooner, but I haven’t been able to get out of my bathroom. That’s right, I’m ending 2012 very sick. That steak tartare my mom and I had the other night was a bad idea. The good news is 2013 can only go up from here.

Plus I really like my bathroom, so if I have to ring in the New Year near a toilet, it might as well be a nice one.

Not the first marriage to implode at my bar

A guy shouts his order at me before he has time to sit down,

“I want a vodka martini.”

“Do you have a vodka preference?”

“The cheapest.”

He shoves the dinner menu back at me and declares,

“I’m not having any food.”

“Ok.” RELAX. I’m not going to force you to eat.

He slurps down his martini and orders another one. A woman joins him. He snarls,

“My lovely wife needs a drink.”

The hatred between the two is palpable. She orders a drink and starts to look at the dinner menu. He raises his voice,

“I’m not eating here.”

Why are you even drinking here? They sit in miserable silence with their arms crossed. He announces,

“If you give me the separation papers, I’ll sign them right now.”

Jewish Christmas take two

Christmas = my mom, me and thousands of other people at the movies. They were not all Jews. I’m not sure when Asian food and the movies became a Christmas tradition for everyone.

There are two movies my mom wants to see. I tell her,

“We can just go from one movie to the next.”

“We can always buy another ticket.”

“The ticketing is downstairs and the movies are upstairs, we don’t need to buy another ticket.”

“Ok, we’ll see.”

We see a movie at 1PM and then one at 3:30. As we’re leaving the second one my mom says,

“If I didn’t have to work tomorrow we could see another one. We could watch movies here all day.”

“And imagine if we had started at 11AM.”

“I want to do that sometime.”

Are stuffed Torahs acceptable dog toys?

I’ll have to be naughty without the hat

I’m a Jew having a Christmas crisis.

Last year after the holidays, I threw all my festive wear in the wash. A week ago I pulled out my Santa hat and realized that it’s half the size it used to be and it’s only suitable for a small child or a lap-dog. There are crazier things than Santa hats on dogs going on around here I assure you.

So I did what I always do in times of necessity, I turned to Amazon. But now the Santa hat I ordered to wear to work is not here. The tracking information says,

“Location: USA. Status: Missent.”

Someone, location USA, has a Naughty/Nice reversible Santa hat and it’s mine.

Justin Bieber has a Christmas album out too, just sayin

I head to a holiday party with a friend. A Justin Bieber song is playing and everyone is jumping around in Christmas elf outfits. I start bopping and singing along. My friend says,

“This sounds like a fourteen-year old is singing it.”


He looks at me again,

“Wait, you know this song. Why do you know this song?”

“I have a little sister?”

“Don’t blame this on her. You know this song all on your own.”

All grown up, what’s 9 x 12 again?

My little sister and I are approaching our second anniversary. I ask her,
“Can you believe it’s been two years?”
“Feels like at least four.”
Well I have baked more in the last two years then I have in the rest of my life combined. I ask her,
“What would you like to do to celebrate our anniversary?”
“Eat at your restaurant. Dinner!”
“Sounds great!” I usually just eat everyone else’s scraps, but it is a celebration, I should order my own food. 
We’ve only ever gone out to eat for lunch. I tell my ten-year-old little sister,
“I feel all grown up.”
“You are.”
We order my favorite sliders. I ask for an extra ketchup. Whatever the food is it’s secondary to the condiments. I love mayo so much it was a Hanukkah present. The server brings over more ketchup and says to my little sister,
“People always order extra ketchup, but then they don’t finish it.”
Ok, so one time I overestimated how much ketchup I needed. The server continues to tell my little sister,
“So if Jess doesn’t finish this, you’re going to have to feed it to her with a spoon.”
My little sister seems to think this is reasonable. 
We’re nearing the end of the sliders and fries. There is a decent amount of ketchup left. My little sister gives me a stern look,
“You need to eat that ketchup.”
Our server returns. She asks my little sister about school and she mentions her teacher who plays the guitar and sings the times tables with them. The server says,
“I was always bad at my times tables, I think the sixes are the only ones I know.”
My little sister sighs and says,
“You must know the tens too.”

A cocktail to complement your Christmas outfit

I am a good bartender. One of Boston’s favorites 2011. Not that anyone is keeping track of that. I am. But I do not like creating cocktails. I’ll make cocktails all night like it’s my job. But if someone asks me to create something, I stop breathing, I feel the onset of a panic attack and I have to go to my safe place.

So imagine my surprise when last night I was inspired to make a cocktail. Our pastry chef made a fantastic gingerbread mansion:

I want to go live in it. Only in Cambridge do Gingerbread families need two stories. After the pastry chef was done making it. She gave us the leftover supplies. So last night there was a huge box of window shutters, i.e. mini-candy canes up for grabs.

In my head the cocktail creation wheels groan to a start. I approach it like a fashion dilemma: the candy cane as accessory. It would look great in a martini. It would look great in a green martini. What is green and minty? Et voilà!

It is a neon-green martini, straight from 1995, that would make any cocktail snob throw up a little in their mouth. BUT it’s beautiful!

Santa’s Helper

Tell me more about this giant phone

My mom has been needing a new laptop for a long time. I thought about getting her one for Hanukkah, but then considering she uses her phone for EVERYTHING I figured she might enjoy a tablet. She opened it and asked,

“Is this a phone?”

“Similar, but bigger.”

She’s not sure if she wants it. She has an old printer, as well as another new printer still in the box, neither are wireless. She’s curious about printing from a tablet. I tell her about wireless printers. We go to Best Buy. A young sales guy approaches us. He asks,

“Can I help you with anything?”

My mom asks,

“So these are wireless printers?”


“A hundred dollars. That’s not bad.”

“Yeah, they’re not a new thing.”