27 February 2011

chester mcbougalballs

Snippet of conversation from last night:

Jeremie: This is my favourite team. [showing jersey] It's Barcelona. From ECUADOR. They use the crest and the name, because they're STUPID.

Apparently there actually is a soccer club from Ecuador which calls itself Barcelona. Jeremie went to one of their matches, and was persuaded to buy a jersey because they desperately needed the support.

Jeremie also told us he sometimes likes to take on fake names, awesome fake names. His favorite of these is Chester. Chester McBougalballs. He says he likes it because it sounds Irish.

Another snippet of conversation, which occurred when Jeremie was caught drinking the leftover drinks which he was supposed to be clearing from tables as part of his job as glassy/barback:

Jamie: Jeremie! Quit drinking the empties, you f***in' idiot!
Jeremie: But. . . I'm glassy tonight!

We had our own Loki Oscar awards last night, and your own Lizzie was decked out in her blue sequined Liza Minelli dress to present. Jeremie won the award for biggest idiot, which he accepted with a speech. He was already drunk by this point.

After the Lokis, I came on in relief of Kathleen, who was a little sick. It was my sixth shift this week. I didn't change out of the dress, because I'm starting to get a little cocky as the world's greatest barmaid. Dressing as Liza Minelli for work is my way of telling the world that I can tend bar better than any one of the guys I work with, and I'll do it while wearing a dress. Although I'm sure Jeremie would have no problem wearing one while 'working.'

25 February 2011

the adventures of the world's greatest barmaid

"So if you're lonely, you know I'm here, waiting for you
I'm just a crosshair, I'm just a shot away from you
And if you leave here, you leave me broken, shattered, a lie
I'm just a crosshair; I'm just a shot, then we can die.
. . .I know I won't be leaving here with you."
-Franz Ferdinand, 'Take Me Out'

Life is fabulous here. I've been traveling for nine months, and I've met more awesome people here in the last two weeks than anywhere else, at any other point in my travels. We set the February sales record--well, actually, that was all Chris. He has also taken to calling himself the world's greatest barman. That's okay, as long as I'm the world's greatest barmaid.

I've been banned from officially competing in the quiz anymore, but I am still permitted to own at the cereal box game. I went out for something like 12 straight nights for my birthday before succumbing to exhaustion. During this birthday extravaganza, we took billions of photographs and had priceless conversations in the staff room. Just a few snippets of brilliance:

"Release them!"
"Shower Police! Did you take a shower yet?"
"The only big spoon in this room is under Daniel's bed."

I guess you had to be there.

19 February 2011

you only turn 23 seven times

Don't worry, I defended my title. I've been here four weeks, and we've played the cereal box game five times, and I haven't lost. Maybe I'm setting myself up for failure by saying that, but it has been well-established that I am the most freakishly flexible person here, because we did the limbo last night. I've never seen pictures of myself bending over backwards that far, but apparently it's pretty impressive, because an former adult film star named Romeo (seriously) who has the same hyperflexibility as me told me it was unbelievable. To clarify, he was impressed by my limbo skills. That's all.

We only played limbo last night because the band scheduled to play did not show up. Ironically, they were called the Clusterfunks. To try and save the night, we took suggestions from guests and decided on limbo, musical chairs (which I did not even attempt due to a disgraceful lack of coordination and embarrassingly slow reflexes), and a striptease contest on the bar--which ended up being surprisingly tame. The winner was Jeremie, who stripped down to his jeans, which were held up with suspenders, and his beanie. He looked like an anorexic lumberjack. Adorable. I had some gay Australians trying to get me up on the bar, but I slipped out of their clutches, rolled over a couch, and kicked open the door to get away. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I could have rocked a striptease, what with the supersexy legwarmers and bulky alpaca sweater I was wearing, but Romeo was already up on the bar, and I'm pretty certain I can't compete with his skills. It ended up being our highest-earning night so far this month.

Thursday night was, as always, karaoke night. I love, love, LOVE to sing, as anyone here can tell you, but karaoke terrifies me. I nervously agreed to be Mitch's backup for 'Airplanes,' singing the Hayley Williams bits ('Can we pretend that the airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now. . .') There were already backup vocals on the track, and my microphone was super quiet, so I was essentially eating the microphone and belting it out, but I don't think that made any difference. I was momentarily flattered a few minutes later when a girl came up to the bar and told me what a great voice I had, but later I realized that she probably hadn't heard me at all, but the original backing vocals. It was good crack anyway.

I've been continuing my birthday celebrations. Tonight's night seven. I will briefly call a cease-birthday on Tuesday, in deference of Chris the barman's 28th birthday, but then shall commence the birthday extravaganza anew.

But anyway, tonight's 80's Night, and I'm behind the bar, so I have to go cut up a tee shirt and buy some new legwarmers. I was so bored yesterday with even one day off, so I can't wait to get back behind the bar and have some fun. Love!

16 February 2011

changing of the gourd

I'm not really sure why I wrote 'gourd' instead of 'guard.' I guess I just sort of thought it would be funny. Sorry about that.

So last night was another Quiz Night. Guess who dominated: Jeremie's Angels. Again. Minus Jane, unfortunately, because she and James and Griffin had left earlier in the day for Ica, never to return. Modified Jeremie's Angels led all the way through the competition, sweeping the final round (famous faces). Champions two weeks running.

We went out afterwards to celebrate my 23rd. I wore the blue dress, Jocelyn wore another of the costume dresses, and Cass put on a dress shirt and Ray-Bans and went as Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Jeremie was supposed to wear the dinosaur costume out but ended up being too drunk by the time he finished work to say anything besides, "But it's so hot. . ."

Today Jocelyn and Cass leave. This will make me the only girl on staff, and one of maybe five or six people in total. It also makes me our longest-running bartender besides 'assistant manager' Jeremie. We're having an almost complete staff turnover this week, thus the changing of the gourd.

Tonight: Drinking games, and defense of my title as Loki's Elastigirl. Fingers crossed.

15 February 2011

psychics, bar tabs and broken cameras

Just a few things:

Firstly, work has been crazy. It's February, which means the Inca Trail is closed, which means we're at less than half capacity, which should mean the bar is more quiet, but the crazies just do not stop coming. Did I mention the guy who claimed he was a French marshal a couple of weeks ago? Who carried a knife and said he had a license to kill and was in town to do a murder? Yep.

Jeremie got crazy drunk on Saturday. We put him to bed in the middle of the afternoon, and when he woke up, he started spouting nonsense. He told me he'd managed to get with a girl that morning, and he'd drank every drink in the bar, and some other hilarious stuff. I asked him who the girl was and he lowered his voice. "Come get in this bed next to me and I will tell you," he said. I suddenly remembered something that I needed to do right at that second.

Later, when it was determined that I would have to work his shift that night at seven, I woke him up and had my camera ready, on video mode. "Jeremie," I began, "how did you come to be like this?" He listed the various alcohols he had imbibed that day in an even more ridiculous Quebecois accent. The alcohols he listed were all the ones we serve. "Jeremie," I asked him next, "is it true that you can't go back to Zazu's after what you did?" (Zazu's is a local club that the Loki staff frequent, and supposedly the girl that Jeremie got with was the daughter of the owner.) "Oh," Jeremie reassured me, "I can ALWAYS go back to Zazu's."

(This last part is probably true. Jeremie has served behind the bar, had his face set on fire, and slept on the couches at Zazu's.)

Then Jeremie realized I had the camera in my hand. He got out of bed, lunged at me and then staggered towards the door instead. After calling me a few choice words, he headed back to the bar.

Of course, he would be the one assigned to mix me a free shot at midnight on my birthday. I guess it's really my fault that he chose the Stop and Go, which is a splash of grenadine in a tall shot glass, followed by sambuca mixed with creme de menthe. Grenadine+anise+mint. If you can't imagine that, then good for you. I wouldn't wish the Stop and Go on my worst enemy, but I really had to take it to keep my pride.

What else. . . oh, no big deal, but the stars aligned to give me the worst birthday in recent memory. As if the Stop and Go weren't bad enough, I broke my camera on Sunday night while trying to throw a straw at Jeremie. Then I had a migraine and spent most of the day in bed, trying to muster the strength to go out (didn't happen). On top of that, my University of Kansas Jayhawks earned the number one ranking in the polls, just to lose to the WILDCATS of Kansas State. What a day.

On the upside, I have visited my friend the camera repairman, and he says he can have it fixed by tomorrow morning for 50 soles. Also on the upside, we've decided that we're going out tonight, since as we all know, you only turn 23 twice. On a further upside, one of our new coworkers had a little too much to drink this afternoon and gave us all psychic readings. And he was freakishly accurate. Best line of the day (after we cut him off): "How many dead people do I have to contact to get a drink in here?"

Last story: one of the guys who was staying here hooked up with a girl who works in reception. He then failed to talk to her again or give any acknowledgement of her existence. When he checked out today, he found that he had been charged for a THOUSAND shepherd's pies from the kitchen and 50 BLAT sandwiches, among other items. That's why you don't mess with hostel staff. If we can't get you kicked out, we will do everything in our power to make you miserable, and our coworkers will help us to do that.

Just a heads up.

08 February 2011

saturday night's all right for fire (sorry, it was the best i could do)

First of all, someone's given Jeremie a megaphone. A megaphone. That makes siren noises. There are no words.

Anyway, Saturday night was supposed to be Facebook Birthday Party night, but that ended up being sort of an ill-conceived idea (how do you celebrate Facebook's birthday??), so we ended up turning it into some sort of costume party when we raided the fancy dress rack here in the bar. (Yes, we have a rack full of fancy dress clothes. Don't ask why.)

We had a dinosaur serving drinks behind the bar, several men in drag, a bug, and zebra, and me, in a blue, sequined dress that evoked Liza Minelli. I was still rocking the alpaca legwarmers, of course--until we went out. Yep, we wore our costumes out. (At least, the zebra and I and two of the men in drag did.)

First we went to Zazu's. They give us free drinks for sending our guests there, and one of their bartenders is also dating one of our front desk girls. We were up on the bar dancing right away, getting free drinks (which I turned down because I'd just brushed my teeth, prompting everyone to call me lame) and nearly catching ourselves on fire. One of the bartenders gave me a bottle of Sprite and had me shake it up and spray it over the crowd. So Coyote Ugly. This earned me the hatred of the entire dance floor. After an unfortunate incident involving a tube top, a lost 100 sol bill, and a sketchy bartender, we moved on to Mama Afrika, where we met up with friends and danced the rest of the night away.

Sunday night was the Super Bowl. Bless our kitchen staff: they tried their best to make classic, greasy, American food, but they were only mildly successful. You know what was totally successful though? Troy Polamalu's hair. That's a good-looking man right there--good-looking enough to make me disregard the actual score of the game. Mmm.

vegas bombs and quiz night

Monday night is always Quiz Night here at Loki, and we kind of make a big deal out of it. Pub quizzes are way more popular in the UK than they are in the US, but I did Scholar's Bowl in high school (don't tell) and kind of rock at Jeopardy! when I watch from home (don't tell anyone about that, either), so they're kind of right up my alley.

A couple weeks ago I participated in the quiz with some British boys under the team name 'Bird is the Word' and we came third, and my team last week came third as well. This week, I teamed up with barladies Cass, Jocelyn, and Jane to form a team called--wait, let me set this story up first.

I came on last night at seven in the evening, and was met straightaway with a drink order for four 'Vegas Bombs.' What is a Vegas Bomb, you ask? Well, it's a magical creation that our own French-Canadian Jeremie has come up with, comprised of a normal-sized glass about three-quarters full of Red Bull and a little cranberry juice, and then a shot glass three-quarters full of Johnnie Walker, with splashes of rum and triple sec. You drop the shot glass into the larger glass and drink it as you would a Jaegerbomb or a Blood Bomb. Jeremie really sells the drink by telling anyone who will listen, "Is like when a angel pee in your mouth! I love when a angel pee in your mouth! Is incredible!"

So of course we called ourselves Jeremie's Angels. Jane was a little concerned that we wouldn't know sports questions, but I told her not to worry, because I had that covered. And I did. The first round was general knowledge, and we nearly swept it (who even knows what the end of a shoelace is called, anyway?!).

Round two was about movies. We were momentarily stumped when asked what the only film to feature Sam Neill and Samuel L. Jackson was, because half of our team didn't know who Sam Neill was. "You know, he's the guy from Jurassic Park; wears a hat like that," I said, pointing to a guy in the bar. It wasn't until like five minutes later that we realized Samuel L. Jackson is in Jurassic Park too, as the tech guy who gets his arm ripped off. We pretty much swept this round as well (who even knows how many Oscars Forrest Gump won, anyway?!).

We knew we had a large lead heading into the final round, which was 'Famous Faces.' We had to identify caricatures of celebrities, not the characters they played, and the only one we got wrong was the guy from Prison Break, because our emcee had mixed up his character's name with his actual name. So basically we rocked Quiz Night.

The second place team had originally called themselves 'Destiny's Child Featuring Jeremie,' but then changed their name to 'My Body's Too Jeremielicious For You Baby.' With all of these Jeremie-inspired names, you would think Jeremie would be around to celebrate with us--but he was nowhere to be found. Taking multiple Vegas Bombs and stealing other people's spaghetti had proven too much for him, and he'd passed out in bed before 10pm.

07 February 2011

the great 12-sided stone of cusco

Did you know there's a rock here in Cusco with 12 sides? I sure didn't. I was totally unaware of this epic stone until I walked past it last night with a friend and he pointed it out to me. This rock even has security guards.

I had to take a picture with it. Behold: me, in my hideous sweater jacket, presenting the great 12-sided stone of Cusco. Why is this stone important, you ask? Well, I'm not entirely sure. I know that a lot of buildings here are built with modern stones on top of the Incas' original foundations, so it actually is super old. Someone told me that the 12 sides of the stone correspond to the months of the year or something, but I think it's more important because it shows the care the Incan elite put into their buildings. They carved this stone out to fit the other stones in the wall, and it holds the whole thing together seamlessly. Stonework like that is why the Spanish decided to preserve the original foundations of Cusco and build onto them.

I saw the stone while on the way back from Jack's Cafe, apparently another Cusco must-see. I wasn't terribly impressed because it's a little overpriced, but they did have chocolate milkshakes, which I have been craving for a few weeks now.

And the most important part of this post: I'm bringing legwarmers back. Single-handedly. Or. . . double-leggedly? You can see them in the picture above. I already have three pairs, and I want to get them to match every Loki tee I have. Which is like six tees. So far I've got black legwarmers, maroon legwarmers, and hunter green legwarmers. I need goldenrod yellow and royal blue. . . and maybe pink. We'll see. I'm open to suggestions though.

04 February 2011

things i love about this town

1) Tandoori veggie burgers from the hostel kitchen. I'm gonna hit that up tonight.

2) My new alpaca sweater jacket. It's red, purple, black, and green, so it might be the ugliest thing in the world, but it just felt so right when I put it on.

3) Cheap street food. I had a killer cheese empanada the other day for 3 soles, and that was actually on the more expensive side.

4) All the stairs. My glutes are gonna be kickin' by the time I get home. The date of which, by the way, shall remain a mystery unto you until I arrive.

5) Cheap camera repair. See my last post.

6) My coworkers. They're so much fun--even Jeremie, the French-Canadian creeper. I walked down to town with him and Mitch yesterday, and we saw an ugly dog, and I said, "Ugh, what is wrong with that dog?!" and Jeremie responded (in a heavy Quebec accent), "Oh, that dog totally has rabbis." Rabbis.

There are more things, but there's a live band playing tonight and I need to order my veggie burger before madness ensues.