Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 272 (93 Days Left) - Jeff Had a Stroke

Today I learned that one of the former bartenders at Jack's—Jeff—had a stroke.

My thoughts and prayers and those of your friends go out to you Jeff. I love you very much buddy and wish you the speediest and most comfortable of recoveries.

If any of you who read this blog from time to time get to see Jeff in the hospital, please do your best to remain as absolutely positive as you can when you see him.

Having read My Stroke of Insight recently, I can tell you that one of that book author's main points is that people who have strokes can recover from a stroke, but the recovery is contingent upon the victim being surrounded by extremely positive people who always encourage, but never lose patience and never give up.

If you see Jeff, please keep these ideas in mind. If the Doctor and Nurses seem to forget these concepts, remind them of these facts in a civil manner. Also, it wouldn't hurt to draw the blinds as bright light can exacerbate the pain in the beginning of recovery.

One of my favorite memories of Jeff is how he always stood up to people. He wasn't rude, just businesslike and to the point. If someone was rude to him or said something inappropriate (like bluntly implying or outright calling him a racist) he'd simply invite that person in close, lean over the bar and tell them to their face that A) he's not a racist and B) not to call him that again, especially when he's working and serving people at the bar.

It was like he knew where he stood at all times in the bar, and so was unshakable from that foundation. This is something I've always admired about him and always will.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Countdown: 99 Days Left! (Day 366)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear Reader,

I don't drive anymore. Did I tell you?

I voluntarily suspended my vehicle insurance (they let you do that for six months at a time at my insurer) and I registered my truck as non-operational.

Why do such a crazy thing in a city (hell, a country) where vehicle ownership is practically mandatory to get by? Couple reasons, actually.

One is saving money. Another is I can't get a DUI this way (though I can get a BUI [i.e. Biking Under the Influence] which I hear can be near as bad as a DUI penalty wise). Lastly, I'm less likely to turn my truck into a 2000 pound battering ram of death when it's perma-parked in my driveway.

What will I do with the money saved on insurance and gas, you ask?

Probably spend it at Jack's Bar & Lounge in order to complete my goal of sampling every bottle on the shelves of the bar before the year is out. ;)

Lord knows I'll be thirsty enough to do it, considering that hauling my lard ass around on a bicycle every day has left my thighs in fits. I swear they're ready to pick up stakes and move to a new, more sedentary body belonging to someone else.

It was those same wobbly legs that I used to walk myself into Jack's this afternoon right after a ride through downtown San Jose from the train station. The usual bunch of Thursday regulars were in attendance.

One of these was Devito. Myself, him and Matt the Builder (who says Bob should get all the credit?) had a lengthy discussion about the merits and flaws of Evgeni Nabakov's departure from the Sharks after several years of excellence. Nabokov is going to play in a Russian League, which means he won't get to break several Hockey Records for goaltending that he was on track to topple.

In addition to my regular pint of beer I sampled the Effen Vodka, which is a black cherry and vanilla vodka made in Holland. When I asked for a screwdriver, Tanisha offered to make it how she would drink it. As usual the result was awesome: Effen, orange juice and a splash of 7-up over ice.

I left with a good buzz and yet another set of happy memories from Jack's. 98 more days left after this and I think I'm going to miss it. Not saying I'm leaving Jack's after the year's over; rather that it feels good to know there's always one part of my day that will always be awesome no matter what.

Thanks to Tanisha for the drink and for the insta-beer as soon as I walked in the door. That's forever damn awesome.

See you Friday at Jack's!