Dear Comfest ...

Thanks for kicking my ass for three consecutive days.

Quick highlights ... I'll have some photos and videos of all that and more later this week:

  • Hanging with friends all day! I love you people.
  • Ryan Smith and Miss Molly on the Gazebo.
  • A very ill Leah-Carla Gordone fighting off a summer cold to rock the Solar Stage.
  • Help Is On The Way and Happy Chichester on the Main Stage. Help Is On The Way looked and sounded great ... they're either dead on or dead awful.
  • Oh, and there was this little alt-country act called Two Cow Garage who left such an impression that EVERYONE was talking about that show all weekend. They blew up the main stage to end the day. Wow.

  • Again, - hanging with friends all day ... all but two were different from Friday ... but again ... I love you people.
  • Hanging out at the Offramp Stage with Jessie and Casey and Phil and Amber and Jamie and random Treehouse Friends.
  • FINALLY seeing Jen Miller on the Jazz Stage when it wasn't raining on her.
  • Bookmobile and the Kyle Sowashes and The Receiver rocking up the Offramp Stage.
  • Colin Gawel and Ghost Shirt owning on the Gazebo Stage.
  • Willie Phoenix rocking the hell out the Main Stage.

  • Walking around enjoying the last day of my fifth Comfest just taking it all in.
  • Watching some amazing performances on the Gazebo Stage while hanging with Quinn and Jess, and Andy and Alli, and Ron and Elliot, and Shane, Micah, Bernadette, Anissa, et.al.
  • Ukulele Man and Jason Quicksall and Megan Palmer and The Randys were amazing.
  • Lydia Loveless put on a great show on the Offramp Stage that had punk rock chicks dancing with their dogs. Anytime you intro a song with "This next song is for all the sluts and whores in the crowd" it's a good time.
  • The Spikedrivers on the Main Stage.
Top Three Comfest Moments:
  1. Two Cow Garage
  2. The Receiver
  3. Willie Phoenix
  • Dude getting stabbed to death. Always a bummer.
  • HUGE blister on my toe (granted, not the same as above, but that's a tough act to follow).
  • The amount of trash I (and my fellow Cleanup and Recycling crews) cleaned up during Saturday night cleanup shift. It's not the damn dirty hippies at Comfest, it's the apathetic kids and white trash that make the messes. Hippies know enough to clean up after themselves. Hell, they started the environmental movement.
  • Trying, once again, to like a certain band because a friend does, only to realize, I don't.
  • Missing Erika Carey.
  • Not finding the Nye's on Friday.
  • Not able to walk well enough to do cleanup and recycling on Sunday because of the blister on my toe that's huge.
  • Having to wait another year for Comfest 2010.


THIS ...


Two Cow Garage ... with friends ... rocking the fuck out of the main stage.



Good lord that's a sammich

No, this wasn't my lunch ... no way in hell I could have eaten this and not taken a nap.

But it did look good. It's the All In Burger from Red, Hot and Blue in Herndon, Virginia.


Dear BW3 in Norwood, Ohio

Fuck you.

Seriously. Fuck. You.

Now, having said that, let me tell you the ways:

1. Lying bartenders.
2. Shitty service.
3. Clueless manager.
4. Lying managers.
5. Clueless bartenders.

Let me explain.

1. Lying Bartenders

I walk into BW3's at 6:50 p.m. I would love to play some Buzztime Trivia, get ready to watch hockey, and suck down some iced tea because I'm on call for work and won't drink. Which is good, because they're out of the beer I normally drink, anyway. I ask for a trivia box. Bartender says "They're broken." I say, "What?" She says, "All the boxes are broken. Nobody can play."

Now last week when I was in there, same bartender told me that most of the boxes they had were in disrepair and she didn't have any that worked behind the bar, however, I managed to snag one from a server on the restaurant side. And yes, her tip reflected that, and her lack of service.

So her telling me that this week was even lamer. So I order an unsweetened iced tea, take a seat and read the USA Today since trivia doesn't work.

But wait. I look around. There are people playing trivia. And poker, too, which operates on the same server.

Hmmmm. Lying whore.

So I continue reading the paper, sending text messages to one of the managers at the BW3 I play at and give him the torrid details of this disaster in the making.
Which brings us to:

2. Shitty Service

So after an hour of sitting there with a single (now empty) glass of iced tea, the other server, who was very nice, comes up and asks if I want a refill. I say yes, and would like to order food. She says, "Oh, let met get (other bartender)." I say "No. I'd much prefer you and she's already lied to me once tonight and ignored me after my initial order. And you've not lied to me yet. And noticed me sitting here with an empty glass. So you win." She laughed. The kind of laugh that people laugh when you point out one of their co-workers sucks and they can't agree, but acknowledge that you are correct by a) laughing and b) not denying or defending. So I ask her if she can put the hockey game on and she says "Oh, sure. What channel?" I tell her, she puts the game on instead of Women's Tennis and all is good.

Next time she comes around, she says "Oh, you wanted food, too, right?" and takes the order, makes sure my iced tea is kept filled and eventually brings my food over. That's when I ask to speak to her manager. Which leads us to:

3. Clueless Managers

Josh comes over and introduces himself nervously. I tell him about outright lie from the bartender; the total lack of service, the sitting there for 25 minutes with an empty glass, how I spend three or four nights at various BW3's and tip accordingly.

He says, "I'm sorry. Thanks for letting me know" and walks away.

I look around the bar, I count heads. There are 52 people there. All the bar seats are full, four guys are playing poker (on the allegedly broken Buzztime Trivia system) There are 9 people in Red Wings jerseys, 2 in Red Wings hats; 5 in Pens jerseys, 3 in Pens t-shirts and 1 with a hat; compared to two people wearing Reds hats. No Reds jerseys, no Reds t-shirts.

So what's the sound in the bar? Game 51 out of 162 games the Cincinnati Reds will play during the 2009 Major League Baseball Season. Hey, I understand I'm in Cincinnati. But a smart bartender / bar manager / etc. will look at the crowd, determine what they're there for, and adjust televisions accordingly. Even if it's not for the home team. The popular overrides the local, especially when the local is 2-1/2 games out of first place. I've been in bars in Cleveland that show Steelers Games. Bars in Columbus that show Bengals games. Bars in Columbus that show Steelers games. They base it on the crowd.

Except the BW3's in Norwood. Who had sound for the Reds game.

So I ask Josh about it. This brings on:

4. Lying Managers

So the other manager on that night, who's name I didn't get, was working the AV equipment. He walks past, I ask him why he has the sound on for the Reds game, not the STANLEY CUP FINALS. He says, "Someone asked for the sound on the Reds game." So I ask him to look around and judge the crowd and see who's watching what. He says, "I have to go with what Josh wants on the sound." And walks away.

Josh walks past again. I catch his attention, again, and he, again, nervously approaches me. I ask him why I had to ask for hockey on TV versus women's tennis when it's the Stanley Cup Finals. He says, "Oh, I didn't realize it was the finals." Really? How is that possible that you run a sports bar and don't know that? Oh, you're lying. You get a daily sheet of what's on the various sports channels that your bar pays for. I know this because I've seen it.

He then says, "Oh, and I talked to the server about the trivia. She said the server needed rebooted, and the other manager did that. She should have gotten you a box, though." Yeah, ya think? Again, he walked away offering nothing more than an apology.

And, unknown to Josh, if you reboot the server, you kick all the people playing off the server. I know this. I manage about 3,000 servers, and if I reboot one with a user connected and using an application on that server, they get disconnected. So, Josh, you, too, are a lying whore.
And finally, we wind up with ...

5. Clueless Bartenders

Now me being me ... I decided to share my lack of enjoyment of the 90 minutes I spent at the BW3 in Norwood with the bartender who lied to and then ignored me. Because I'm all about the customer service.

In my wallet I have the receipts from my Saturday night at BW3 playing music trivia and watching hockey; and my Sunday night at BW3 playing trivia and watching hockey. Both show a bar tab of about $35 with a 20% and 30% tip (sorry, service on Sunday was significantly better than Saturday). If I'm spending 4 hours at your bar, I tip like I'm spending 4 hours at your bar. I was a bartender. I know the system.

So after I tell her what a total opportunity she blew, she looks at me and says, "Well, people who normally drink iced tea don't tip well." I said, "Yeah, I know. But when you assume that and ignore accordingly, and lie to your customers, and act like you don't really care about your job, all that is reflected in your tips that you receive from all your customers who recognize shitty service and tip accordingly. Or don't tip. Perhaps you should learn that the phrase TIPS actually stands for To Insure Proper Service ... meaning, I get proper service, I tip accordingly to the time and service, not the bill. I'm sorry you work in a BTW’s in a shitty college-level neighborhood bordered by a ghetto ... but we're not all like that." Or something close to that, hitting all the highlighted points there I made. But I did use the 'BW3's in a shitty college-level neighborhood bordered by a ghetto' part.

So ... to sum up this missive ...

BW3 in Norwood ... Fuck you.