Picture of the Day
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December 31, 2004

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In general, holidays don't mean that much to me, so when I was offered $20/hour plus tips to bartend Seattle's biggest new year's eve party, I accepted. I figured I'd make half the rent in one night, plus I'd get an opportunity to see what kind of people would pay $45 for a ticket for a chance to hear wedding bands and pay $7 per drink at any one of 30 cash bars. The answer was about what I expected: sheep. Still, it was surprising to see how perfectly conditioned to consume otherwise possibly intelligent people can be. For $45 entrance fee, people didn't get much. No food, no decorations, bland bands, and expensive drinks a la carte. My bar was on the lower level, literally the loading dock for the Pier 66 conference center. Concrete floors, duct work ceiling--a fine setting for a rave or underground party but this was neither. The only decoration were large spotlight advertisements of alcohol sponsors. The event was plainly about nothing more than reaping pofits for the promoter and the guests were either unaware of this or accepted it as the American Way. My fellow bartender Joyce and I marvelled that there was even a promo table for a local fitness center set up not far from our bar. Most shocking of all, as soon as the doors opened, guests lined up there for a chance to win a free t-shirt while the bars stayed empty. Amateur drunks, the partygoers complained about the drink prices and tipped light (if at all). When it was over, I got out of there fast, started walking towards home trying in vain to hail a cab on a rainy 2 am new year's day. I walked by a stretch Hummer outside Club Medusa (Club Med USA?) and felt like an asshole, feet getting slowly soaked through fancy boots, clean-cut tools on every corner hollering to prove their good time. For this I missed a party at the Sun City Girls' compound? I was an asshole. Halfway home, walking up Dexter, I catch a cab coming the other way and talk him through directions to Ballard. I tip $10 on a $10 fare, figuring someone should have a good night, start the year off right. By the time I get to the party it's close to 3 and Sarah's already left. Ragan hands me a beer and I eagerly accept; I have a lot of catching up to do. I catch a ride to my last chance and finally find a good time with friends at Matt's. Adria, Craig, Sarah, Gwen. My $92 in tips will soon be spent.