Monday, April 25, 2011

Mancouver Memories

Since Mancouver has an impending trip to Vegas this weekend that is going to take a lot of out of our minds, bodies and souls, we decided that this past Easter weekend needed to be one of rest. Actually we should probably even go to church to pre warn whomever is listening about the kind of shit that is bound to go down. A blanket apology that will cover everything. And I’m not of any religion, so you know it’s going to be bad when...
Anyways, I thought I would take this time out to re-cap what we’ve learned so far. Kind of like a quarterly statement if you will. So friends join me in a trip down memory lane.

Top 10 things Mancouver has learned so far

10. The Roxy is awesome. Well we already knew this going into the Mancouver adventure, but it’s now truly been confirmed. However, if you plan to go there make sure to protect yourself. You will probably be molested/raped/manhandled by a cougar, douchebag, weirdo, celebrity chef’s endless. So you’re into that, and having a super sweet time in general, go.

9. Old Men. They’re everywhere. I don’t know if there is an epidemic going on out in the world where woman in their older age are deciding to leave their husbands, or these men are life long bachelors, but they’re out there and they are looking for young ladies to creep on. Again, if you are into banging your dad’s friends, then by all means giver, but if you’re not just be nice to Grandpa, indulge him in a laugh and a smile, maybe let him buy you one drink that you monitor the pouring of, and then move on with your night.

8. Wait staff. They don’t know about liquor. Not in Vancouver. This is an ongoing issue for me, and though it’s not that important, why don’t people know? WHY? They do know about what kinds of beers are on tap, I will give them that much, but once you start tricking them with questions about bourbons and the like it’s game over. So ladies when you start your next shift maybe ask the bartender some questions, you might learn something new. I have to know about a lot of shit that I don’t care about at work. So should you.

7. Joey’s sliders. What would my life have been like if I didn’t know about these? I’d be living in a world where I did not know about heavenly, fluffy buns, and the perfect amount of delicious condiments. And that’s a world that I don’t want to live in.

6. Windbreakers. Apparently they are now for going out attire, as well as sailing. But really, they aren’t. You know what else isn’t? Murses, bedazzled anything, wide leg jeans, styling yourself like Guy Fieri, sunglasses on your forehead or attached to the back of your head, out of date jerseys and last but not least, a bad attitude.

5. Music is important. Extremely important. If you’re actually into music you will notice when you go to an establishment if it’s good or not, I personally feel that it can make or break the atmosphere of a place. No one wants to hear the same droning house music mix over and over and over again. They just don’t. If you must play house grooves, at least throw something into the mix with words and that people know. People enjoy hearing songs that they are familiar with. They get excited, they sing along with their friends, all is right in the world. What kind of a place wouldn’t want that? Apparently a lot of places, because this is an ongoing problem in Vancouver. Take my advice. Throw a Journey song on every once in a while. You will not be disappointed with the outcome.

4. Dance like there’s no tomorrow. Dancing is fun. Whether you’re doing the dad ass dance to Old Time Rock and Roll or spinning in circles and stomping your foot to the latest Gaga, you are a guaranteed a good time. Have you ever seen a person look mad when they’re dancing? You haven’t. They’re either smiling, or making out with someone that they just met that night. True story.

3. The Irish know how to party. The next time you see a bunch of drunken Irishmen around town you should probably join them. They’re pretty fun, their accents are hot (when they’re not slurring them haha...or....) , you can join them in a sing a long and you’ll probably know what they’re singing, they don’t specialize in house music, and they generally like to do a lot of hugging. And who doesn’t want to be hugged?

2. So do the gays. They do it better. Partying. Jobs. Fashion sense. Apartments. Whatever it is, they’re better at it than you. So you know what? Go out with a group of them. You won’t be sorry.

1. We still haven’t found the guys. Well not the guys of our dreams anyways. Since I’ve got enough fictional boyfriends to keep my busy for a while, which we’ll continue learning about in the Mancouver of the Week feature, we shall remain our quest for some real ones. Because you know what? So far, it’s been pretty fun.

So the Mancouver crew thanks you for joining us on our adventures, and hopefully everyone has been as entertained as we have!

Wish us luck in Vegas, we all hope to come out alive...

Bye for now!

Me, Sister and LM

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Go Canucks Go!

In our time of need we ask ourselves "What Would Trevor Linden Do?"
Well, Trevor would shatter some glass and win that game. That's what.

Enough said.


Monday, April 18, 2011

So a ninja and a chef walk into a bar...

Well here we are, getting nice and settled into the spring months, and after this past weekend I can tell that love is definitely in the air. And by love I mean overly excited guys molesting people in bars, much like dogs greeting each other at the beach. Aka – lot’s of humping.
And so begins this tale...

The day started off well, with a lovely walk at the Derby Reach park in Fort Langley accompanied by LM and our dogs, which was a story in itself. When we first ventured onto the trail it was sort of sunny, but it soon turned into all the realms of Middle Earth. We walked through sun, clouds, rain, hail... you name it, it happened. I would say that in Lord of the Rings terms we went by route of the Shire and ended up in Helm’s Deep. Along my travels I noticed that there were a lot of lone woman on the trails with earphones in. Probably not the best idea, as there were also a few unsubby looking guys doing their walk in construction boots and jeans.

Is this the best apparel for walking a trail and making the people around you feel like you’re not going to bury them in the middle of the forest under one the car graveyards in the woods? Yes, there were also the skeletons of two cars in these woods. How? Why? What? How? Who murdered these cars and left them there? Or better yet, how did they get them in there? I wonder if there’s a Fort Langley message board I can put these questions on.

So yes, seeing as the day started out like this, it could only get weirder from there. After getting some fresh air and a little bit of exercise, we decided that we should probably counter balance it with some pub food and drinks. We stopped in at Jimmy Mac’s pub to fulfill this urge and had some pretty delicious sandwiches while we were at it – a clubhouse and a grilled cheese respectfully – and our first drink of the day. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty okay with $4.75 pints of beers.  If you are in the Walnut Grove/Port Kells area, first off I’m terribly sorry, but while you’re there you may as well hit up the Mac. The food has always been pretty tasty, they have great specials and it’s an excellent locale to watch whatever sport you fancy. There are many, many TV’s and plenty of seats. There are also a lot of old men there, but if you’ve been reading, they are everywhere, so just embrace it at this point.

Having that first drink obviously meant we had to have some more drinks, so we went on our merry way to have a mini Vampire Diaries marathon and to get ready for the evening. Vampire Diaries is a whole other topic entirely, and will be covered in an upcoming Mancouver of the week feature. There’s just too much hotness to talk about and I will get way off track. This was accompanied by a bottle of red wine, so by the time we made it to my sisters to gather the rest of the Mancouver crew, we were feeling pretty sassy. Clearly we needed one more bottle before we left for dinner, so guess what? We had one.

Ed Note: Thanks LM for the discovery of the DB Traminer Reisling. An thank you De Bortoli Wines for making such a delicious wine to put in our mouths!

Dinner was happening at The Refinery on Granville Street, it was a place I had been to before and was intrigued by it enough to go back. Big mistake. Huge. When we arrived the place was fairly empty, except for a large group of people in the back room. Obvious place to seat us in an almost empty restaurant? Well right next to the party that we weren’t a part of. Where else? It’s like the staff thought to themselves “Okay where is the most awkward place we could put this reservation that is not connected to the other, much larger reservation? Oh I got it! Right next to them...” We were a little perplexed by this, but were willing to go with it. What if there were potential men at the other table? Gotta think of the big picture. Well there weren’t, but I guess that’s not the restaurants fault.
The room itself is pretty cool, but that alone can’t redeem a place. And oh, it was going to need redemption.

Our waitress started off pretty nice, but we had the whole bourbon issue come up again. My brother in law said “I hear you guys specialize in bourbons, what different kinds do you have?” It seemed promising when she started listing them off, but as it turned out she only got through two and was like actually I don’t know, I’ll have to go and ask... if you are an establishment that claims to have a drink that is your “thing”, should you not make sure your staff is informed about it? Or perhaps I’m alone here? Am I too invested in this whole bourbon issue? Maybe I should go to some sort of bourbon counseling session where they tell me its okay when the wait staff does not know about their spirits, and that I’ve just got to move on. Well you know what? I’m not ready to move on yet. I’m keeping the issue alive for a while.

  It’s a good thing our drinks arrived quickly because we were about to embark on a lengthy thank you speech session that the table next to us was getting into. I am not unfamiliar with speeches, they happen more often than not at my work unfortunately, so what I don’t want to hear when I go out for dinner is more of them. Actually, do people generally ever want to hear speeches? I mean at weddings people are usually off getting more drinks that they don’t need, loud talking over the speech, or making fun of the person giving it. When the President gives speeches people are usually pretty angry because their shows on TV are cancelled for the evening or postponed. So in theory, speeches are a downer.  From these speeches we learned that they were a group of BCIT students that were also part of a karate dojo, and they were dropping sensei bombs all over the place. I can’t be around the use of the word sensei; it makes me laugh A LOT because it will forever remind me of Napoleon Dynamite. So of course while all the karate lingo was being thrown out around us we were obviously saying things like “I wonder if their dojo is called Rex Kwan Do, “Bow to your Sensei!” and the Karate Kid special “Sweep the leg”. These people were no Cobra Kai I’ll tell you that much. 

Actually if they were into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I could have gotten into that. I know a lot of information about that particular show, especially the movies. I mean Vanilla Ice was in the second movie which is pretty awesome, and his “Ninja Rap” scene is nothing short of spectacular. My favorite turtle was totally Leonardo. Reflecting on this, I wonder if I had a crush on Leo? I probably did. That’s weird because he’s a human turtle? It is. And I know it is. So we’re all good here.
Anyways, the speeches went on for like a million years and volume of the clapping that people were doing was so loud that I’m surprised I have eardrums today. But thankfully they were on their way out shortly after the speeches ceased. Because we were laughing a little too much, mostly at them, I’m pretty sure that they weren’t impressed with us. One of the dudes kept staring us down, and I’m sure he was karate chopping each of us in throat in his mind. I bet if I had pulled some throwing stars or nun chucks out of my purse he would have been impressed. But as it was, we didn’t want to impress any of these guys. I don’t think they were what Mancouver is looking for. But if I ever want to join a dojo, I know were to go.

During that mess we placed the first of our many food orders of the evening. And do not judge, we all shared. We started with two types of flatbreads, the prosciutto and organic vegetable, which were super delicious. There was a lot of commotion about the organic vegetables at first, but everyone shut up about it after it went into their mouths. Next up was:

the Gnocchi and Cheese 

 Smoked Pork Tenderloin 
and braised beef short ribs. All of these items were enough to share between four people, but I would totally be okay with an order of the gnocchi all to myself. Creamy, cheesy, fattening. Outstanding! We did take a break, but eventually ordered some dessert as well, opting to share

 The Profiteroles 

A lovely cap off to a fabulous dinner. But then all this happened...

After all the ninjas left, we noticed that we were now left all alone in the back room. No supervision, no one really checking on us. Not good. Since the staff was preoccupied by another huge party in the front of the restaurant, we were left to our own devices. This was around the time that all the drinks we had consumed up to this point were kicking in, and much like a child that has been left unmonitored, LM started touching all the things that she was not supposed to. In the back room there is a huge rack of wine that goes all the way up to the ceiling, and as if it was taunting her, LM had brought forth a challenge to herself to see if she could take a bottle down without them noticing. Well they didn’t, and this made LM up the challenge ante by wanting to open the now newly acquired wine. After much convincing we finally got LM to put the bottle back, because we didn’t really feel like being banned from the restaurant quite yet. She did not like this part of the game and was pretty focused on them catching her fucking around with their wine. To quote her – “Why won’t they just catch me?” Why indeed. Well they did eventually catch on as when the waitress finally came back she was like ummmm when she saw the wine sitting on the counter. And then side eyed us suspiciously. Seeing where this was headed, I knew it was time to leave. It was also time to leave because the DJ had checked in and was spinning tunes from the Cactus Club’s ambient house grooves mix, and it was starting to make me sour.

Wrapping it up, we asked for our bill and this here friends is why The Refinery turned into a big mistake. Once they brought our bill they asked us how we wanted to pay and all of us said we had to use our debit cards. No big deal right? Oh so very wrong. We all went up to the bar to pay, and after waiting for what seemed like an eternity we asked what the problem was. The problem was that we very much inconvenienced them by wanting to pay with a few different debit cards. This not being my first time out for dinner, I am 100% positive that you can use multiple debit cards for your dinner transaction. You put in an amount, you pass the debit machine to the customer, they punch in their shit, and it is then passed back to you to tear off the receipt as clearly this is too confusing of a process for anyone but the restaurant staff to figure out. And that’s usually the end of it. Not at the Refinery. They did not like us describing to them how most debit transactions work, though I can’t say it was being done in the kindest tones, and when LM asked the person who I’m assuming was the bar manager what we could do to make it easier he said “Well you could have paid with a credit card”. This was also not said in a kind tone. And that was that. LM turned on some Hulk rage, my sister handed over a credit card and we all left wishing that we had stolen that bottle of wine after all.

Final outcome? The food was so, so good, but the staff was so, so not. I will not go back to a place where wanting to use more than one debit card comes with ‘tude. I mean for reals, get with the times, Joey’s will even divide up your bill for you by how many people are at the table. Down to the extra sauce ordered on the side. $0.89 cents three ways? Fuck yah they will. After telling most of the people that passed us on Granville not to go to The Refinery, we made our way over to Johnnie Fox’s for a drink before our night’s finale, The Roxy. Johnnie’s was busy and full of the usual Irish men that get Irish drunk in there. But that’s fine, we don’t go there for the men, it’s for the atmosphere and the best bartender in town, Dave. But if you are into drunken Irish men there’s no shame in that. They are Irish after all. And on this night they were especially into the drink, as one of the guys did an amazing bail off of his stool, only to get right back up and start drinking again. That isn’t a talent. It’s in their blood.

We did meet some nice fellows from Toronto and Kelowna, Rob and Billy, who were not falling off their stools, but did talk us into doing a shot of Jameson with them. Guess what? We didn’t need it. They also had with them a friend, who looked exactly like another guy in the bar. When we first saw him we were like huh, that guy was just sitting over there...WHAT?! Holy shit there’s two of them! It was madness. We were like did you realize your identical twin is in the bar right now AND he’s Irish? He then told us that people often tell him he’s a bit Donnie Wahlberg in the face, and to prove it he acted out some Blue Bloods lines for us. I’m not sure if they were actual lines from the show, but he did a pretty good job nonetheless. And his face was a little DWish, but nowhere near as hot. Yes Donnie is hot. Both my sister and I are longtime NKOTB fans, and we will fight you on this. To the non believers I say peace.

While we were enjoying our beverages and chatting away I noticed something happening out of the corner of my eye. I could see our friend talking to Rob and Billy and one other guy that had just arrived. She was saying something along the lines of “Why are you so low to the ground”, and when we looked over I was like oh no, is this really happening? It was a train wreck in the making and I could not look away. Well he was so low to the ground because he was in wheelchair, which is what he told her when she asked why he was so low and it was followed up by “I don’t believe you”. I am killing myself laughing because Rob, Billy and pretty much everyone else around us were looking at each other with the same looks on our faces that said she is not making fun of a guy in a wheelchair right now is she? She was. Good thing he had a sense of humor, because he was laughing too and had to roll over and convince her. Cue up the face of mortification in three, two, one...
Yup. Mortified. And that right there pretty much made my night. Until something epic happened later on to top it.

So that was pretty much our cue to leave and head over to The Roxy. There was no special reason for going to The Roxy on this evening, it was mostly because it’s The Roxy and it’s awesome. It was pretty busy, as it usually is on a Saturday, or really any day that end in Y I suppose, plus there were also a few stags and stagettes milling about because it is that time of the year after all. BUT, not so busy that we didn’t locate a prime booth at the front of the bar so that we could watch the flow of people coming in.  And then we saw something amazing happen. A young man was trying to make his way to the back of the bar, when he suddenly got caught in a cougar trap midway. The unhot cougar forcefully grabbed his face and trailed her talons down his body. The look on his face was priceless, just screaming somebody help me! After he successfully removed her claws from his body, he walked over to us and said “Oh my GOD did you guys see that?! What was that?!!?”Oh yes. Yes we saw it. He was like I think I just got raped, she literally almost tore skin off my body when she raked her nails down my chest. And she also asked as she was defiling him “Do you like that?” No. No I don’t. I don’t like you ripping my skin off with your Freddy Krueger nails as it is not sexy, and your face is very old and scary. Just like Freddy. We all bonded over George’s pain and he would be back to see us later, where I could share his trauma and tell him my very own horror story.

That was more or less the theme for the rest of the night. Raping. It happens at The Roxy. Before my own personal terror was about to begin, we were finally blessed with seeing a very good looking guy that was a part of one of the stagettes, and apparently everyone else in the bar thought so too, because he was surrounded by girls the entire time we were there. Since LM gave herself the job of The Roxy hallway greeter, which basically involved saying hi to everyone who walked by our booth, when the hot guy walked by the first time she reached out and touched his hat – side note, she also touched someone’s hair when we were at the bar, which could have gone either way, but it turns out he liked it. Once she touched the hat, a girl literally came out of nowhere and said “That’s my cousin”. And not in a friendly go get him he’s hot vibe, more of a hands off he’s mine, incest is best vibe. Really weird. However, I did eventually go over to his table and tell him that he was the best looking guy in the bar, but left it at that. I didn’t have the patience to fight off the half dressed 20 something’s that were all up in his grill, who were also yes, raping him. And I never will. I’m not going to dance up on you wearing a shirt no pants combo. I’m just not. Not out at the bar anyways.

But what I will do is attract men that look identical to everyone’s favorite celebrity douche chef,

There I was just minding my own business when Guy danced up to our table and consumed the rest of my night. Everything about him was awful; he was truly a hot mess. The bleached hair, the murse, the bad tattoo job, all of it was wrong. So wrong. At first I tried to brush him off, but Guy was not going to back down so easily. Even after he claimed “You guys are making fun of me”, to which I said “Yes, yes we are”, he still stuck it out. I think he even enjoyed it. He was nothing but determined. Because boundaries meant nothing to him, he got close enough to tell me that I smelt like brown sugar, and my response to that was that I work in a bakery. I don’t.  And if that wasn’t enough, I went with a whole story of owning a bakery with my sister called Two Sisters Bakery. Why? Why this lie? But from that moment on I will now only make up places of business that my sister and I co-own and uses the term “Two Sisters”.

Ed Note: There actually IS a Two Sisters Bakery. It's in Alaska. We probably won't be visiting soon.

Since Guy wouldn’t stop hounding me, I finally gave in and danced with him, and that turned out to be a really bad idea. Next time you feel like giving in to an annoying celebrity chef look a like, don’t. You’ll end up having to speak to him like we speak to my sister’s dog – Don’t. Don’t do that. No humping. Stop it. What did I just say? And so on. Needless to say it didn’t last long, and I left the dance floor to try and find sanctuary at our table. During one of the brief moments that Guy wasn’t around, our friend George found us again to tell us he was being raped once again, and why weren’t we there to help him. Listen George, I have my own raping problems to deal with right now, in the form of Guy Fieri. My problems far outweigh yours. He was a very nice young man, so George I hope that you made it out alive, sorry we couldn’t have been more of a help!

LM was busy dancing up a storm in front of our table and making friends with all the passerby’s, and at one point I saw her conversing with one of the dojo dudes from the other party. God only knows what that conversation was about, but I’m going to guess that the use of multiple debit cards came up. She also stopped some other guy who was not a ninja, but he was a douche bag. He earned his douche title because my sister and I overheard him say “No one in here makes over $100,000 a year” to which my sister put her hand in his face and said “BYE”. Does it get more obnoxious than that? Is it even possible? Who says that? And okay moneybags, if you’re so disgusted in the poor people of the Roxy then why are you here? Hey why don’t you have a few more drinks and drive home.
Capital F. Capital U.

But let’s get back to Guy, who was deteriorating before our very eyes and still not wanting to leave me in peace. Because remember when I said earlier that my night was made but then something more epic happened later on to make it even more excellent? Well here it comes, the TSN turning point of the evening.  If there was ever a moment to use the term full circle, then this was it. There Guy was, busting a move in front of our table when all of a sudden even his body started rejecting him. His legs were about to give way, and he was going to bite it. In the midst of this happening, the guy in the wheelchair from Johnnies was entering The Roxy and making his way down to the back bar...but he did not make it because Guy dinner, drive in and dived right into him. It was almost like the whole thing happened in slow motion, we were like oh god, OH GOD, this is actually happening, and to this poor guy again!!! And you know what? This time he did NOT laugh. Wheels was pissed. I didn’t hear it, but he definitely mouthed Guy off and continued on with his night. Hopefully things turned around for him once he left our presence, because we were not doing him any favors in the luck department.

One of the two surprising things about Guy is that he was pretty resilient. Even after the fall, that was closely followed up by another incredible fall; he would get right back up and keep going. The other surprising, no wait, shocking thing was that for how incredibly annoying he was, he was with a huge group of girls. How did this happen? They were all singing his praises too about what a nice “Guy” he was. Which you know what, fine I’m sure he was, but when I tell someone to ease up and not try to rape me anymore I usually hope that they will listen. Unless I initiated it, or gave you the go ahead, don’t. Just don’t. One of his girlfriends even had to tell him to be gentle. He again, did not listen. After he bit me in the shoulder – yes, and WTF – I had finally had enough. As much as I love The Roxy, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Trying to fend off Guy had used up all of my energy, so we quickly escaped, picked up some Pita Pit and got the fuck out of there.  

And so ends the tale of yet another Mancouver night. After writing all this out it feels like it went on for three days, but I can tell you that all of this happened in the span of 6 hours. And believe me you can’t even make this stuff up, it’s all true and it always happens around us. Lucky? Yah I would say so. We wouldn’t have anything to write about otherwise.

Toodles friends, until next time!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The great debate?

So on Friday afternoon after a looooong day at work; where else does one go on one of the first sunny days than a patio? The correct answer is nowhere, and apparently the other answer is yoga – hey good for you people who were going to class, I truly admire the dedication. We had finally decided to give The Academic its long awaited try, but due to a silly doctor’s appointment time made by my sister, I was left to my own devices for the first hour and a half of my visit. Now I’m no baby, I can sit alone at a pub without supervision, all you need to do is put a beer in front of me and provide the people for me to watch and I will be happy. 

And so that’s what I did. I took advantage of the patio that I didn’t realize Academic had and basked in the sun that was finally making its existence in Vancouver be known. Armed with the new Glamour and a $5 Peroni – gotta love those Donnelly drink specials – I was ready to take in the atmosphere and see what this venue would have to offer Mancouver. It was pretty quiet when I first arrived, but I did take into account not everyone has the luxury of leaving their workplace in the middle of what is most people’s halfway point in their shifts. There were a handful of people around and they were mostly girls, so I delved into my new magazine which featured ridiculous articles like why men go to strip clubs –WHY? Why not? Don’t even get me started on this topic, I’ll be here for days – why people stay in marriages that are just “okay” – another topic that will keep me here for days – and of course the annual we found the most amazing swimsuits for all body types! How many years do we need to go over this? There aren’t that many bathing suit styles to necessitate an entire magazine article year after year about this are there? Bikini or one piece. Buy whichever one will be more flattering to your body. Problem solved! Haha. I guess that’s why I’m not writing that article. 

Eventually the after work crowd started to trickle in and I was totally prepared to scope it out, as bringing the magazine was  a great incognito way to casually stalk people. And sunglasses. Those are always a must have accessory for stalking as well. Hmmm, maybe I do have a fashion magazine article idea here after all...SO, what kind of people showed up for the Friday afternoon cocktail you ask? Well the thing is nothing terribly different from what we have discovered so far. There were the typical older gentlemen, some construction men of the sketchy variety and last but not least, the nerdy trio that was about to sit next to me. Here’s where I came to understand that even seemly geeky guys aren’t that friendly in Vancouver either. What is it about this city? Are we even turning the nerds into pretentious douche bags that think they’re too good to talk to you? And let me assure you, I say geeks and nerds in the most loving way because I can geek out with the best of them. I too used to collect X-Men comics...yah I did.

Thank you Hugh Jackman

But let’s back up here so that we can understand where this hostility is coming from. Now I’m from the school of being friendly to people and talking to everyone, because why not? You’ve got nothing to lose, and you never know who you’re going to meet. It could be someone totally awesome that you were missing from your life! This is why I love travelling so much, people usually want to talk to you, albeit mostly because you’re not from their city. So what is the problem with people who actually live in the same city as you? Why don’t we want to talk to them? I just don’t get it. So let’s try and start okay? It’s not like every person that tries to talk to you is hell bent on picking you up, maybe some people are just trying to be social and pass the time. So Vancouver, lighten up! The next time you see someone sitting alone reading Glamour, talk to them. They could be silently taking notes about you to discuss in their blog. 

Because that’s what I was doing. The trio seemed nice enough, one of them was kind of cute, I am going to guess that they worked in engineering, and they must have known that I was listening in on their conversation as every once in a while I couldn’t help the huge smile on my face, along with a fit of giggles to go with it. Its funny what people talk about, I know if someone listened into one of our conversations they would be like WTF a hundred times over, because we’re not shy, we’ll discuss matters that shouldn’t be talked about in public places. But what was happening beside me was extremely curious. These fellows debated about the acting careers of John Candy and Rick Moranis for much, much longer than it should have gone on for. I’m not even sure how this became a topic; much less one to be discussed for this long, but my thought was hello? John Candy is the obvious winner here; I mean he was in Home Alone. That trumps Honey I Shrunk the Kids any day. End of story. If someone would have thrown down that gauntlet, the conversation could have ended much earlier. Reflecting on this, I should have just piped up.

***Ed. Note: They were however BOTH in Spaceballs, so may I say possible draw?

They also conversed about the Canucks being ousted by Chicago in the first round of the playoffs, and now I know THAT was probably why I didn’t speak to them. Come on, what kind of Vancouverite can you be if you’re already not supporting your team?! Shameful. And so that continued on, as well as a lengthily discussion about the policing in our city, which is a touchy subject for some people apparently. So yah basically I eavesdropped on their entire conversation. What’s wrong with that? It’s not my fault the patio seats are so close together. And though that may be, it’s actually a pretty great patio, complete with comfy seats and lot’s of sun coverage. That’s important. But the sun was going down and the crisp winter air was back again, so when my sister finally showed up we ventured indoors to see what was happening. 

At this point I had been there for an hour and half and not once did I see a waitress hump any of the customers! This was progress for a Donnelly establishment as far as I was concerned. It could have been because the Guy Fieri- esqe bar manager was working, but kudos to him for keeping the humping under control. The waitresses were pretty friendly for the most part, but not too keen what kind of liquor the bar actually offers.  When we asked if they had Makers Mark, she immediately said no. And then we pointed to the bar and said but what about that bottle. Yes. Not a huge problem, but some people – aka my brother in law – are particular about what kind of bourbon they want to throw in their mouths. So just something to think about ladies, learn what’s in your bar stock. Plus knowing about bourbon? Total bonus if you’re in the business of picking up dudes. Sounds classy if you know about something other than Jack Daniels. Which isn’t even bourbon, but people always suggest that first for some reason.  

We didn’t stay much longer as we were pretty starving at this point, and weren’t really feeling pub food. The menus at all of the Donnelly establishments are the same, so having already checked out Library Square the week before I knew the food would be tasty, but it wasn’t what I was feeling at that exact moment. We weren’t inside for long, but it’s a pretty large room, lot’s booths and tables around the bar area, so it would be an excellent location to catch some playoff games. But don’t come if you’re going to be one of those lame people who are already counting the Canucks out. Keep your bad vibes at home please. 

There were actually quite a few men inside, I don’t know how they snuck in past me as I had a pretty good view of the door when I was sitting outside, clearly I must have been too mesmerized by the nerds. I guess I really should get into the Big Bang Theory after all...Again, there were many different varieties of men, specifically a group of guys who looked like they could have possibly been firemen??? So yah, nothing wrong with that! I will be back to investigate this venue further, I’ll be the one actually cheering the Canucks on, and guess what else? I’ll probably talk to you.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind?

The weekly night out for Mancouver has come upon us once again, and this time around our choice was Library Square, another Donnelly Group establishment. We chose this location due to our Vancouver Canucks bringing their #WINNING streak back to this great city of ours, and what better place to watch them in action than a location that is stumbling distance to Rogers Arena. If you can’t go to the game, might as well place yourself somewhere that’s pretty close to it.  

We seemed to have arrived at prime time, the place was packed which is always a pretty good sign, and we also got to keep our #WINNING streak of good table mojo by grabbing a sweet spot in a booth against the wall in the general bar area. We could have a double shot of excellence here – ALL the TV’s to see the game, and a perfect view of almost the entire bar so we could scout the talent.  What more could you ask for? Well we probably should have thrown good service in there, because that definitely went by the wayside as the night wore on.

Not too sure what started the bad service trilogy that we were soon to experience, but I’m going to throw it out there and say that it could have begun with the apparently unreasonable table turn that we initiated. Not wanting to have my back to the action, how could I possibly write about the men if I couldn’t see them, we decided to turn our table in such a fashion so that it could house both myself and LM behind it on the booth side. Yes this move would put us both on the same side of the table as tragic as that is, but it was imperative to the task at hand so for one night I could handle it. Well I guess I was the only one handling it, because later on we would find out that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable at Library Square.

Table finally adjusted to our liking, we settled in and happily placed our orders for the fabulous $5 Heineken pint special. The other special for the night was $6.50 specialty cocktails but when you are watching hockey, beer is totally where it’s at. I didn’t make this rule, but I will certainly follow it like a good Canadian girl. While we were waiting for our frosty treats, we scoped the room and after a assessing the situation for a few moments here’s what we noticed – the first of many rounds of awful shooters being ordered by the colleagues and associates sitting to the left of us, an array of men, some young, some an appropriate age, some with some very unusual fashion choices to attend a hockey game in, a possible UNSUB, of course our “dads” and their friends, and lastly the very distracting mixed bag of Canucks jerseys.

This last item is where we came up with a business plan for the listen, I understand that you’re really attached to your jersey for whatever reason it may be – it won the Stanley Cup in a heated game of NHL 98, it’s seen its fair share of beer league hockey tourneys, you accidentally got roofied at the Roxy in it, whatevs – however, the team changed the jersey colors a few years ago now. It’s time to let go of the past and ghosts of players past and get a NEW ONE. Now I’m not talking about the Flying V 

or the Flying skate

those jerseys are fucking awesome, I’m talking about the old blue, red and white ones

with names like Bertuzzi and Messier (he never played here as far as I’m concerned). So that being said, what we thought the Orca Bay sales team should do is that upon entry to the hockey game if you are spotted in old jersey that isn’t on the ok’d list, it is promptly ripped off your back and you are then given a 50% off coupon to go and purchase yourself a new one. Hey buy two if you think spending more money will cover up the shame of having your old jersey torn from your body in front of your fellow hockey fans, first date or impressionable young son. At least your son will now grow up knowing the important life lesson of keeping your jersey up to date. Everyone wins here. I think this could be a big success.

Now having that business plan sketched out and put to bed for the time being, we got back to our other business – men. The crowd was starting to thin as people made their way to the game, and by this time our waitress still hadn’t cracked a smile or even given us half a fake laugh despite us trying our damnedest to get her on our side so we could ask her about her thoughts on the men situation at LS. Now I understand if you’ve had a bad day to end all bad days, we’ve all been there, but when your job is in customer service really the only important thing you have to do is be nice. That’s it. Fuck everything else up, who cares, just. Be. Nice. It’s simple really. I know this because I have to do it every day myself, and no matter how many times a day you desperately want to tell people to fuck off and die, you just don’t do it. Instead you smile and say “Thank you so much!” or “I would be glad to do that for you!” Easy yes? 

No. Not for our waitress. Having given up on trying to win her over, we decided to move on with our lives as this was clearly a lost cause. Even asking her for wet naps proved to be too much, because instead we were given scalding hot water to wash away our wing sauce, and any chance of ever having be finger printed as well. It didn’t even come with the standard lemon garnish. Just a lonely bowl of super hot water. Strange, but the wings were pretty good at least. Not quite as good as the Buffalo Wild Wing goodness of Portland, that’s going to be a hard one to beat, but the Guinness BBQ sauce, was yum, yum, yummy.

So clearly we weren’t getting any info on men from our waitress, it looked like we were going to have to fend for ourselves. There were a few attractive men milling about, along with 2 or 3 more rounds of shooters for the team of booze fueled office workers a few tables away from us... something tells me that the majority of those people didn’t make it in today, and a lot of bad decisions were made. A lot. Among the attractive dudes was a cute guy in a plaid shirt (one of my favourite varieties) sitting at the bar, and a very attractive man sitting farther on the other side of the room in questionable lighting. What’s questionable lighting you ask? Questionable lighting is something that makes you say “Is he hot? Is he fucking ugly? I just can’t tell!” Luckily for us, he was sitting on the route to the washroom, so we both confirmed that yes, he was indeed hot.  Also sitting at the bar on route to hot guy much to our very delight, was Claude Windbreaker part 2, herein named Kevin Kangol Kap.

Now I’m sure that Kevin was a nice enough guy, but Kangol hats will always make me think of Samuel L Jackson, and that’s never good. I know that LL Cool J rocked them first, but he has since been over shadowed by Samuel L, so it’s just not a good look. Especially if it’s lime green and you have coordinated the rest of your outfit around it. Color coordination is a rocky road to travel down; you have to become a master at that shit before you can apply it in your everyday life. You can’t just idly decide to do it, it’s an art form, and it’s not for everybody. Also around Kevin’s general area were two fellows, one who was sporting a velvet blazer and the other a tuxedo jacket, both of them wearing a different variation of a wide leg jean. One of the jeans also came in a light denim wash. I don’t have enough time to tell you what’s wrong with wide leg jeans, let alone any jeans that come in a light wash. I just don’t. However, there ain’t nothing wrong with any kind of velvet and tuxedo fashions, you just need to pair it with something a little less ridiculous and a little more of the year 2011.  

Wow I really strayed from the story there, but let this be a lesson learned that there is some truly amazingly epic people watching to be had and enjoyed at Library Square. I probably should have started earlier in the day if I knew it was going to be so good. Anyways, back to the two attractive men... here’s where we complete the trilogy of bad waitress service.

After ordering the blackened chicken sandwich to share, again offensive apparently, we made the mutual decision not to ask our waitress for anything else if we could help it. Because she didn’t really want to get it for us. That didn’t last long as we also had to ask for ketchup for our fries. Trust me when I say we were scared. We also got wind of the convo going on next to us about how you are NOT to turn your table in such a fashion that two people can sit behind on the same side. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS.  
I don’t know why we weren’t told the same thing, but as I said before this could have been where the waitresses hate for us stemmed from.

Anyways, this is when we started to notice the all time worst waitress shenanigans that we have ever been privy to. While we were enjoying taking in the good lookingness of CGIPS at the bar and AMIQL across the room it was brought to our attention that we weren’t the only ones enjoying them. Turns out cute guy at the bar was being molested by one waitress every time she walked by, I’m going to assume that they knew each other as they acted in a friendly manner – CLEARLY - but while you’re working, do you rub your body all over your customers before going to take your next order? Turns out you do, as this was beginning to be kind of a thing here...over at hot guys table a different waitress was sitting down at their table having a jolly old time chatting and hanging out, and later on also rubbing her body all over various guys at the table. I didn’t know this was a thing? I know getting tips is how you earn your money, but really? Actually maybe our waitress should have done that too, I would have taken grinding up on me over being angry any day.

Now I’m all for rubbing your body all over a hot man, I would never take that luxury away from someone. Hot men are a dime a dozen, if you find one do exactly that. However, there is a time and a place for things of that nature, and I’m just not sure it’s during your waitressing shift at Library Square. And yes they were both still on shift. Having worked in customer service for way too many years all I could think was “Is there a manager around? Because this shit would never fly at the places I’ve worked, that’s fo’ dayum sure”. You have one waitress that is angry as fuck and two more almost fucking the customers. It’s madness! Because we were curious, we pulled aside the poor waitress that was STILL carrying massive trays of horrible shots to the office workers – baileys, lemon drops, broken down golf carts? Are these people trying to make themselves barf and hate their lives in the morning? This waitress was quite pleasant which as a nice change of pace and told us that the manager wasn’t there at the moment...ahhhh yes. Well this explained so much.

And that was that. Though it was extremely fascinating, we were spent from having to look at all the dry humping going on around us, and from anticipating the group vomit that was about to happen in our vicinity at any moment. I didn’t want to be here to see the final outcome of either of these events.

Having been to Library Square before I knew that it was a great spot – it’s always busy on game nights, the weekends have fun music, there are fantastic drink specials, the food is pretty yummy – but the one thing lacking big time on this particular night of course was the service. I can’t recall how it was on the other times I’ve been, but this night was truly a disaster. And that’s always kind of a downer isn’t it? Having a great waitress/waiter is indeed a bonus, and I know now not to take it for granted.  I of course will return, I can handle another disaster, because you never know who’s going to be molested under the questionable lighting....

 It could be you!

Until next week...