Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Perfect Day In San Diego

Had an amazing day today in sunny San Diego.  Woke up before noon (still on bartender time), had breakfast, then drove to the Sorrento Valley Racquetball Center for my second private lesson with Aaron Embry.  If you’ve been following my stories in the past, you’ll know that I’ve been geeking out on racquetball.  About two months ago, an acquaintence of mine sent me a link to a Youtube video racquetball tutorial.  In the first one I saw, the instructor, Embry, mentioned that he was filming at aforementioned club, and for some reason, I Googled where the club was located, and it was in San Diego!  I’ve been visiting San Diego twice a year now, my father lives in a suburb of San Diego called La Mesa, so, with the power of the Internet, I got in touch with Embry, and set up a couple lessons when I was going to be in town.  I had the best time at the lessons, and they were a real eye-opener.  One of the first things he taught me was to watch your oponnent when he’s taking his shot, so that you can predict better where the ball will be going.  Well, for the last year, I was conciously NOT doing that.  Mostly, so I wouldn’t be hit in the face with a ball going 100 mph.  He showed me how to cover your face with the racquet, while watching where your oponnent is going to hit the ball.  He walked me through some drills I could practice on my own, which will be helpful in the future.  He taught me a really good lob serve to the backhand, and how I need to reach out for the ball, instead of getting too close to the ball, when hitting.  What an amazing experience!  I recommend to anyone when they want to take what they’re doing to the next level, take a lesson from a pro in the field, or your progress will just plateau after awhile, and you’ll never get better.

After my lesson, I went to a coffee shop called Filter.  Funky place, the front area, and side area, both open to the elements.  There was a wonderful breeze coming through, so it was quite delightful.  I ordered a Vietnamese coffee, and a slice of Apple Pie a la mode.  Hey.  When on vacation.  I sit down between a guy and a girl with laptops open.  I got out my book, sipped at my coffee, took a big bite of my apple pie, and relaxed.  It felt amazing.  This is my kind of vacation.  Forget going to this thing and that thing, seeing this, seeing that.  Give me a good book, a cup of great coffee, a beautiful day, and I’m in heaven.

After about an hour at the coffee shop, I take off, and go for a walk.  Bars, sushi restaurants, up and down the street.  I see a tennis shop across the street.  Hey, let’s check that out, why not?

I go in, and the two-room place is jammed with stuff.  Tons of racquets on one wall.  Tennis shoes, hats, five racks of work-out clothes.  An Asian woman behind the counter is stringing a racquet.  I strike up a conversation with her.  Seems like a nice lady.  We talk about how popular tennis is in San Diego right now.  I tell her I’m a racquetball player.  Looks like she has a total of five racquetball racquets on the wall.  Not so popular.

I look through the clothes, go to the medium rack.  I’m pretty happy with myself.  I’m 43, and can wear a medium shirt/jacket.  I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

I find a jacket that catches my eye.  It’s by Sergio Tacchini.  When I was in high school and played tennis, Sergio Taccchini was the shit.  Really expensive.  I look at the price tag.  Hey, the jacket is on sale for $48.  I’m on vacation, I need a memento, why not buy a jacket?  Even though right now it’s 85 degrees out.

I try it on, I love it, buy it, say good-bye to the lady behind the counter stringing racquets, and take off.  I walk to my car, hop in, get out my cell phone, open up my Maps app, type in my Dad’s address.  How amazing is the GPS on the phone?  I am floored how incredible it is. Hmm.  I’m hungry for ice cream.  You type in ice cream, bada-bing, bada-boom, here’s ten selections in a five mile radius.  No more stressing about getting lost.  It’s a game changer.

I hit a little traffic, no big deal.  I take in the interstate scenery.  Your usual billboards on the side, but there’s a lot more twists and turns than in Iowa.  It’s almost more fun.  I love driving, always have.  When I turned 14, on the dot, that day, I got my learner’s permit.  And on my 16th birthday, I started driving by myself.  It’s especially enjoyable when you’re alone.  I very rarely even listen to music.  It’s a perfect time to reflect, relax, drive.

I get home, my Dad’s gone to the driving range to hit some balls.  I have a really nice chat with my Stepmom Mary.  She’s awesome, and an incredible cook.  She made a cherry pie this week that was beyond words.  The damn crust was scrumptious!

I’m back in Iowa tomorrow, as long as my plane doesn’t go down.  I hope that isn’t one of those things that comes true, then millions of people go to my blog, and see that I wrote that, and think, omg.  It actually happened!

Really excited to tell more bar stories in the future.  There’s always something going on.

I’ll leave you with this.  After my first racquetball lesson was over, I was talking to my teacher, Aaron Embry, and I was telling him how much I loved the game of racquetball.  He says, yeah.  In the end, we’re just like dogs.

We like to chase a ball around.

-Clint Curtis

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Coffee With Pete

I’ll be on vacation until the first of May, so you’ll have to survive without your daily dose of crazy bar stories. I may write stories for my dad blog, I will be on vacation with my sons, so will probably be going crazy.

In a good way, of course.

Until then, I leave you with a new series I’m starting called Coffee With Pete. Pete is a good friend of mine, we met for coffee last week, he told me a story, and I filmed it. And here is the world premiere.

See, you have to hype things up. And ALWAYS, no matter what you do, make it an event.

I’ll be daydreaming in sunny California on a beach for the next week, thinking about you, and missing pouring you drinks.

No I won’t.

Cheers!

-Clint Curtis

Asian Guy Vs Door Guy

It’s around 1AM, I’m tired, been at the bar since 3pm.

Asian guy comes up to the bar, sits down. He’s got a Bud bottle in front of him. Only problem is this:  we don’t sell Bud in the bottle, just tall boy cans.

Hey, my man. Where’d you get the Bud?  He thinks a millisecond, then says, I got it here.

Ah the world loves a liar, don’t we?

Sorry, man. We don’t sell Bud in a bottle. You can either take it outside where you got it, or give it to me. He gets up off his chair, leaves.

15 minutes later, he’s back. I want a Bud, he demands. I get it for him. Four dollars, please. He gives me a withering look, as if he can’t believe that I’d actually charge him. He looks through his wallet for an extended amount of time, then gives me a card. I run it,

Decline.

Sorry, sir. This card has been declined. He reaches in his pockets. Looks through his wallet again.  I grab the Bud, put it in the ice.

He gets up, says, I’ll get the money. He walks towards the stage. That guy’s gone.

Five minutes later, he’s at the bar, being belligerent. I overhear him say to the door guy, the bartender’s a faggot, couple times. I think about going up to him, saying something like, do you have a problem with me being gay? Throw him off a bit. I look back over, moments later, a melee ensues. Door guy vs Asian guy. I watch the whole thing go down. Both are throwing punches. Asian guy’s buddy steps in between them, trying to break it up. I turn to my fellow bartender, he says, I’ll take care of it.

You know, in these instances, sorry, I don’t get involved. Life’s to precious for me. I’m not getting punched by some drunk asshole. Not worth getting involved.

The door guy, the Asian guy, his friend, my fellow bartender, all in a clump, arms flailing about. The whole group gets pushed out the front door. Good. Get that shit out of the bar. My fellow bartender and the door guy are gone for minutes, I resume bartending.

Show must go on.

The employees of the Mews get back in, I go to the door guy, say, what happened? He says, he kept on saying the N word to me, and I can’t have that.

Huh. An Asian homophobic, drunk racist.

Always a good combo.

-Clint Curtis

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On Our Knees

End of a long night, musician from the headliner stands at the bar. Saxophonist, who I presume to be a fill-in, comes up to the guy, says, hey man. LOVED playing with you tonight. Long haired guy says, yeah!  It was awesome!  Sax player says, we sounded amazing.  I couldn’t BELIEVE IT. Yeah, long hair guy says, it sounded really good up there. We HAVE TO do it again. Sax player says,

We should get down on our knees, and suck each other’s dicks!

I don’t think he was kidding.

-Clint Curtis

Mark Zuckerberg Comes Into The Bar

It’s Thursday night, pint night, I roll in at 9pm. Place is dead. Bartender behind the bar has three customers. Two guys at a booth.

I stop at the booth, couple of my regulars, we chit-chat for a bit. Zach and Matt. Usually always in the bar on a Thursday night.

Zach says, I passed the physical test for being a firefighter. That’s awesome!  I say.

He’s been keeping me posted the last couple of weeks. He’s applying to be a firefighter, and it sounds like a grueling process. Physical test, written test, then verbal. Something like 1,000 guys applying for 30 positions.

I take my leave, go behind the bar. Looks like it’s going to be a slow night. I relieve my fellow bartender, I get to bartending.

Then 20 minutes later, WHAM. 50 people in the bar, no joke. What’s going on?  A bunch of tech-guys. Guys that do start-ups. I see a bunch of Dwolla dudes. Most of the guys I don’t know. Must be from out of town.

An hour goes by, my regular Matt comes up to the bar, says, you know Mark Zuckerburg’s here. What? I say. The Facebook guy? He says, yeah.

First thing I think is, here’s my story for the blog tomorrow.

There’s a lot of people in front of the bar. I peer over them, curious to see this Zuckerberg guy. Makes sense, I guess I could see the guy supporting the start-ups.

But I can’t see him.

I say to Matt, where is he?  I can’t see him.

He says, he’s over there, sitting at a booth with Bill Gates.

-Clint Curtis

zuckerberg rave

Sneaking Into The Playboy Mansion

I’m behind the bar, it’s martini night, guess what? I’m making. A lot. Of martinis.

I approach two customers at the bar. Guy, with a huge beard, and a nice young lady. The guy exclaims, Clint! Holy shit, I know this guy. But at first, I can’t put my finger on WHERE I know him from. I say, hey, my man!  I didn’t recognize you.

Give me a sec. It’s coming.

Yeah, he says. It’s the beard.

BINGO. Used to work with him ten years ago. Got it.

We catch up. He tells me about a creative project he’s doing. A pubcast. Ok. Good for him. He says, I know you tell bar stories. Love for you to come in, tell some of your stories.

He turns to his friend, says, Clint has a story that transcends other stories. Every walk of life can appreciate the story.

Ok. What story is he talking about?  I’ve written about 900 of them in the past two years.

He says, Clint. You know which story I’m talking about. You rip open your shirt, and there’s the tuxedo.

What the hell is this guy talking about?  I’ve never worn a tuxedo. Ok, maybe in my wedding, and swing choir.

I don’t want to be rude, so I go along with it.

Yeah, I say. That’s a good one.

He says, good one?!?!  That story’s epic!

Damn it. What the hell story is it?  Now I’m screwed. I can’t go back and say, actually I don’t know which story you’re talking about. But now, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHICH STORY HE’S TALKING ABOUT. I mean, there’s something that must be done. An epic story?  With a shirt and a tuxedo? The only thing I can visualize is Superman.

But that’s not right.

He turns to his friend. He says, I will tell you later which story I’m talking about. I’m thinking, no, please tell her. Because I WANT TO KNOW.

After the guy leaves, and I’m none the wiser to the so-called epic story, I turn to my fellow bartender, and say, you know that guy?  He says, yeah. I say, he said one of my stories was epic, but I couldn’t figure out which one he was talking about. It was something like I ripped open my shirt, and I’m wearing a tuxedo?  My fellow bartender says, I know what he’s talking about. I say, excitedly, WHICH ONE? He says, sneaking into the Playboy Mansion. Ohhhh, I say. THAT one.

My buddies and I got together, and devised a plan. We’ll rent out a couple camcorders, and film us sneaking into the Playboy Mansion for the Millennium Party. My friend learned from a friend how to sneak in. You have to go through his neighbor’s yard, climb a few fences, get in from the backyard. We go out, buy those coveralls mechanics wear. All one piece, long zipper in the front. We put on our suits, then put the coveralls over it. The night comes, we park a block or so away, start filming. We crawl on the wet ground, through Hugh Hef’s neighbors front lawn for a good 45 minutes, and we can see the guards, standing a stone’s throw away from us. We finally get to the last fence to Hugh’s backyard, zip open the coveralls, take them off, and throw them all on top of Hugh Hefner’s neighbor’s house.

Can you imagine, months later, the guy says, oh, I guess it’s time to clean out my gutters, getting up on the ladder to the roof, and seeing those clothes up there?  I bet he freaked!!!

We got in, had an amazing time, filmed all of it, and the rest, as they say, is EPIC.

After we were done with the short film, we had a friend that grew up at the Playboy Mansion, we give him a copy, and ask him if he would give it to Hugh. Weeks later, we got a letter from the man himself. And it said, in a nutshell,

I appreciate what you did, but don’t EVER do it again.

-Clint Curtis

(Followers: Video posted on site)

The Ascent Of Max Jury

What am I doing here on my blog? Well…I’m a bartender at a music venue, and a martini bar. I write stories about what happens at the bars I work at, and occasionally, personal stories. Like many writers, there’s something particular that draws me in. It can be something a person says or does that makes me laugh. Or scratch my head. Most of the time it’s something I find unique. So, if you make it in my blog, whether good or bad, you’re doing something that I find interesting.

If you’ve read a few of my stories, you’ll notice I don’t write much about bands. I feel like there’s people that review music for a living, that can do it much better than I. I have a friend named Marc Hogan that’s very talented in this field. When I get the chance, I’ll always read one of his reviews. I usually agree with what he has to say.

With that said, I’d like to talk about a musician that I’m acquainted with. I met him maybe two years ago, he comes into the bar, with disheveled hair, good-looking, medium height. His name is Max Jury. I don’t know much about him, but I know his “home base” is Des Moines, Iowa. The first thing I mentioned to him was how he has an amazing name. Max Jury? C’mon. That’s a rock star name. It’s strong. It’s catchy. It stands out. A guy named Max Jury is destined for some kind of success, and he’s on his way.

He records with a buddy of mine named Logan Christian. A talented guy in his own right, he records a lot of the more successful bands from Des Moines. He’s a good guy too. And with it. He gives me updates on Mr Max Jury, what he’s doing, when I haven’t seen him in awhile. He’s touring Europe with Lana Del Ray. He’s negotiating a record deal with a label. Etcetera.

Recently, I was talking to Logan, and he told me his management was pressuring him for a hit. I ask him what the song is. He says, it’s a song called Home. I say, you got it on your phone? He thinks for a sec, then says, yeah. I say, let’s hear it! I plug in his phone to the bar’s stereo, hit play, and listen to the song. Catchy. Pretty chorus. “I’m a long, long way. From home…”

A couple days ago, I see a link on social media to a new video from Max of the song. Damn. It’s good. I think the song is a hit. You’re singing the chorus along with him by the end of the song. There’s a gorgeous girl in it. Logan tells me it was shot on the wet streets of Paris. Sexy is a good word for it.

I’m linking the video for you to check out. It’s worth your time. Next time you’re at the bar, and see Max Jury, buy him three fingers of Jameson. That’s his drink.

And of course, remember this story when he becomes huge,

And that I called it.

-Clint Curtis

Three Sheets To The Wind

I’m at my Grandma’s dinner table. Dinner’s done, delicious meal, my Grandma’s home cooked Lebanese food. Forget about it.

To my left is my cousin Grant. To my right, my cousin Greg. We’re all in our forties, they’ve both got divorces under their belt, luckily, I’m keeping mine in one piece.

We’re chatting, catching up.

I ask Grant, to my left, how’s your girlfriend?

He says, we broke up, right after we got back from the Cayman Islands. I say, that’s too bad. I liked her. He says, yeah. She’s too thick headed.

I say, what happened, brief explanation.

He says, it was stupid. We got into a fight…

I delve, what was the fight about?

He says, I don’t know, it started, you know, we were both, two sheets with the wind…

I stop him right there.

Two sheets with the wind?  I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s three sheets to the wind.

He says, three sheets with the wind?

No. Three sheets TO the wind.

He says, three sheets to the wind?  Is that right?

I say, I think that’s it. Lemme check.

I get out my new iPhone 6 plus. Yeah, it’s big. It’s ostentatious. I love it.

I type in, three sheets to…

Yep, it comes up, as a suggestion, three sheets to the wind.

I read:

“To be explicitly drunk; inebriated.

Origin: Sheets actually refer to the ropes that are used to secure a ship’s sail. If the 3 ropes used were loose in the wind, the sail would flop around, causing the ship to wobble around, much like a drunk.

Margo was three sheets to the wind by the time we made it to Doug’s party, judging by her inability to keep her clothes on.”

You know, in retrospect, I didn’t even find out what the fight was about, why they broke up.

But we cleared shit up with the sheets and the wind.

-Clint Curtis