Host with the most

First of all, I would like to apologize to my thousands of fans across the country for not blogging in a while (Seriously, can just one fucking person click on this…please? #prayerhandsemoji) Okay, back to business.

For those of you who don’t already know, I work as a seating host at a steakhouse a few nights a week. I do this job so that I can write during the day and fund an unlimited amount of american cheese quesadillas. Last night, after clocking out and going home with a ribeye carcass stuffed in my pocket, I went to sleep and entered the magical world of dreams. This dream started out to look a hell of a lot like my real life. So in essence it became a nightmare pretty quick.

The beginning saw me standing at my host podium as a family of four approached.  They asked for a table (no reservation) and I obliged them with a suicidal smile, four menus, and the enthusiasm of Frodo taking the one ring to Mount Doom. The journey to their table began.

I led them through the bar and weaved them past the chefs. We braved our way around the bussing station and fought on past the bathrooms. But once their table on the patio came into sight, it vanished. The resteraunt around us fell away to become a harsh and desolate wilderness. Menus still in hand, I pressed on.

The two kids were the first to die. They froze to death from the severe cold. The ironic part was that I had some crayons in my pocket to keep them busy as they succumbed to frost bite. The parents went next. A pack of wolves caught up to us and showed me that I’m not exactly Liam Neeson from the The Grey. Now alone, I pressed on with my menus to eventually reach the restaurant that resided upon the rainbow laden horizon. I was fired.

I have absolutely no idea what this dream means. Is it a metaphor for my own life? Is this a bad omen from the heathen gods that torment us mortals that toil away in the purgatory of the serving industry? Who the fuck knows. A side note – I gave my two weeks notice today. Stay tuned.

 

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Martha…Call Me

I remember my mom watching her on the television when I was a kid. I had forgotten about her. But then I saw a commercial for Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party on VH1 and I was reminded of her omniscient presence.

Martha Stewart. When was the last time you took a good hard look at the woman who taught you’re mother, and perhaps even grandmother, about wrapping a turkey in puff pastry or staking tomato plants with old Yves Saint Laurent leg stockings. It seems the domestic goddess of yesteryear is currently on the back burner, being served as a second course to a group of lifestyle mavens that have collectively suckled her pioneering nipple only to bite it hard and make own milk for themselves (Exhibit A – Gwyneth Paltrow).

You may find it weird that I, a 23 year old straight male, is writing a blog post about Martha Stewart. You would be right. It is totally weird. But during my daily doldrums of asking myself the wonderful question of, “what the fuck am I going to actually do with my life?” I decided to turn to the woman who answered that very question everyday  through a menagerie of mediums spanning from television to print. Her answers came in the form of color schemes, party themes, crafting ideas, and recipes, but they all spoke to the common core of offering a sense of purpose and meaning disguised in the guise of a simple task that often aimed for the very heights of perfection.

I am not looking for a delicious battle tested recipe for fresh Sunday morning beignets. I am not interested in learning how to paint a portrait of myself in glitter. What I am interested in is the woman herself – the teacher behind the lesson – and I must say, she is quite inspiring, intriguing, and damn right exhilarating.

No, I did not have a one-on-one exclusive sit down with Martha Stewart at her estate in Bedford. We did not sit in her chicken coop, pluck eggs, and watch her champion show dogs hump under mistletoe. What I did do, is watch her old interviews on Youtube with everyone from Charlie Rose to Morley Safer on 60 Minutes. I even watched a sit-down interview with her and Giuliana Rancic for god’s sake. If you’re wondering wether or not they are worth the watch, let me tell you, they are. Stewart is a force.

Sure, she was born white, relatively privileged, beautiful, and had brains to match, but she was and still is the epitome of a unique combination of hard-work, passion, unrelenting ambition, and an infectious ball busting drive. It is not so much what she says, but the look and feel of her that comes through the interviews. You can see just by watching her that she had zero doubt of her own greatness, capabilities, and destiny for success. It is perhaps this quality that I found most inspiring. It seems she needed nobody’s encouraging belief but her own to fuel her way through the mountains of bullshit and propel her from model, to stockbroker, to caterer, and to the eventual household name that we all now know her to be. All of this of course culminated (i.e. cratered) into a new identity of convicted felon. But her triumphant and unrelenting rise from those YSL and puff pastry laden ashes is an even bigger reason to take a second look at the woman who roasted Justin Bieber.

There are probably a hell of a lot more politically correct and certainly more relevant role models to have in this day and age. But I have to say, in my opinion, if more young men like me took life lessons from Martha Stewart we may not only learn to live like her, but also learn to live like real men in the first place. Martha, if you’re ever looking for a new personal assistant, I’ll be your bag boy any day of the week.

 

How about epic romances?

Her name is Emily. She is best friends with my little sister Anna and will be her roommate during their junior year of college next semester. Naturally, I felt an urge to fuck that up entirely.

We met when we both arrived at the hospital due to my sister guzzling down a trey full of shots that contained a whole carny act of alcohol. Don’t worry, Anna ended up being just fine. A few hours of blacked out sleep with a barf bag strapped to her face was all that was needed. I owe my little sis a muffin basket actually, for it was during this time that I got to know Emily. Ah, a silver lining.

She isn’t the type I would normally go for. Emily, it seems, is smart and sane. But nevertheless, I am intrigued by her talent at busting my balls. So, by the end of the night, I looked Emily dead in the eye and pronounced, “I am going to take you out.” This received the reply of a simple soul crushing, “No, you’re not.” Naturally, I got her number anyway. These are our daily conversations for you’re enjoyment…

Me: So when should I pick you up?

Emily: Omg…

Me: So Wednesday at 6:30?

Emily: Dang it, I have to go read to orphans then.

Me: I got em a book on tape. They’re fine. 

Emily: Wait…it was actually a silent auction at the women’s club, my bad. 

Me: One of my friends is a lesbian mute auctioneer. She’s got it covered. 

Emily: I don’t think you know what the women’s club is…

Me: Neither does my friend, but she’s very excited to attend. 

Me: Even better idea: Why don’t I come with you and have you show me what it is? Problem solved. 

Emily: Sorry bud, members only. 

Me: Where do I sign up?

Emily: You don’t. Aren’t you like 23?

Me: Yes ma’am. 

Emily: I’m 20. Don’t you think that’s like a little too Anna Nicole Smith.

Me: Nah. Last I checked, 23 wasn’t the new 99. I don’t have any money but I am wheelchair and wrinkle free so that’s a plus. 

EMILY: Awesome. 

THE NEXT DAY….

Me: So what kind of flowers do you like?

Emily: Dead ones. 

Me: See, this is why we belong together. 

Emily: That’s a little morbid. 

Me: I joined the women’s club today. What time should I pick you up for the silent auction?

Emily: I already have a date. I’m taking your friend, the lesbian mute auctioneer. She’s very excited to attend. 

Me: Damnit. 

THE NEXT DAY…

Me: So do you like Italian food?

Emily: I’m anorexic.

Me: Unfortunate…

Me (Again): Well I’m actually a chef. I could cook you dinner and bring it to you if you won’t let me take you out. 

Emily: Aren’t you the one who didn’t have any food besides stale wheat thins?

Me: Yeah…but I made those wheat thins myself and they are delicious. 

Emily: Oh really?

Me: Yeah. Go on Yelp. I’m rated five stars. Kina a big deal…

THE NEXT DAY…

Me: You give in to me yet?

Emily: Do I really seems so easily swayed?

Me: No. But I think i’ve at least earned a shot right?

(I proceeded to try and call her. She ignored my call…so i left her a voicemail)

Emily: My grandma leaves me voicemails begging me to call her all the time. Who cares. 

Me: Your grandma is ging to love me. She will definitely approve of me when we meet at our wedding. 

Emily: I doubt that. She’s a bitch. 

Me: A trait you’ve inherited. But it’s what I love about you. 

Emily: Fuck you. 

Me: So Saturday at 6:30?

THE NEXT DAY…

Me: So what you up to? Probably thinking of me…

Emily: Can’t say that’s the case. 

Me: You should really try calling me back sometime. We’d have great conversations. 

Emily: That sounds like five minutes of my life I’ll never get back. 

Me: More like an amazing moment you won’t want to end. 

Me (Again): Are you always this stubborn? Or do I just bring it out in you?

Emily: Can’t a woman stand her ground anymore without being questioned?

Me: I like it. I respect it. But how much ground do you need? You should really make some room for me to stand right next to ya.

Emily: I prefer to lone wolf it. 

Me: That was you? I thought I heard a howl…

THE NEXT DAY…

Me: So did you dream about me last night?

Emily: Have you considered playing hard to get?

Me: Nah, with you that’d get me nowhere. I’m going for it. Charming right?

Emily: It’s something. 

THE NEXT DAY…

Me: I heard a wolf howl…did you try calling me?

Emily: No. 

THE NEXT DAY…

Me: You a movie fan?

Emily: No. I prefer long novels with such advanced and complex diction that they need to be read alone…in solitude. 

Me: How about I write you a story about our first date and you can read that?

Emily: I’m not really into tragedies…or horror…or science fiction. 

Me: How about epic romances?

UPDATES TO CONTINUE…

From Rags to Wings

My best friend Lauren and I were broke the other day.

I use “were” because we are technically no longer broke as we proceeded to execute a series of money grubbing parlor tricks that would put Bonnie and Clyde to shame.

Lauren is a bartender while I am a waiter. If I could describe Lauren in one mental exercise it would be this – think Lindsay Lohan packaged in Blake Lively’s body. Oh yes, it is true. She is one of a kind and I love her dearly.

There are two different reasons why Lauren and I both find ourselves broke on a near frequent basis. Her’s is that she blows more money than a coked up Howard Hughes during an Amazon search. Mine is that I make such piss pour tips that the only thing in my Amazon shopping cart is a direct message from Jeff Bezos that reads, “bitch, please.”

First, Lilo and I raided our cars, bags, apartments and couches for any spare change we could find. We took that change and went to the local Chumash casino where we cashed our treasure trove in at the coin machine for seventy-five big ones. We took that money and proceeded to lose a quarter of it on slots before hitting it big with a winning streak that showered us with a cool two-hundred and fifty-six dollars. We soon came to our senses and cashed out before coming up with another stroke of brilliance – hawking the spare tire on my truck for an on the fly sum of eighty bucks. It is an idea that I might come to regret once I actually do pop a tire, but as the great Scarlett O’Hara proclaimed, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

One of the many prized studs in Lauren’s barn had recently given her a pair of boots. They were brand new Stetsons, which we proceeded to sell on eBay for a cool NastyGal profit of two-hundred and thirty dollars. At this stage of the game we were tired of our entrepreneurial pursuits and decided to reap the rewards of our scrappy success. So what did we do? Well…Ladies first.

Lauren proceeded to get out of town and go visit one of the male victims on her roster (not the poor schmuck who gifted her the boots). She had him buy her a plane ticket to fly out to Arizona the next day. Sadly however, he bought this nonrefundable ticket in his name and had to eat it. This meant Lauren had to eat it as well and use her hard earned cash to drive her ass out all the way from California to Arizona. How did she get a week and a half off from her job at the bar you ask? Simple. She went to the doctor, faked mono and got herself a solid gold doctor’s note.

I proceeded to execute a much more economical and boring spending spree. I was hungry, so the first thing I did was go to the local grocery store and stock up on fixings for grade-A quesadillas. There, in the center of El Rancho Market, was the famous El Rancho chicken wing bar – a delicious temple of chicken goodness that all locals worship. But their price for religious expression is eleven dollars per pound. Call me crazy but that is a little excessive. So, trying to economize and be responsible, I decided to burn some Karma points and swipe one tiny wing from the temple’s alter. The god’s of the grocery store caught me in my sin. I now shop at Albertsons in the next town over.

Cheers to hustling folks!

 

I have what it takes…

I just now realized that there are no pictures, selfies, or portraits of me on here. Perhaps I will post one in the future and kill one of the last few shreds of dignity that I have left. When that moment comes, you – the whole two people who are reading this right now – will see that I look thirteen years old and appear to be embarking on my freshmen year in high school. The truth is that I am twenty-three, a college graduate, and currently working as a waiter at a steakhouse. Oh yes, don’t let my babyface fool you, this is what my version of adulthood looks like.

My degree was in business. Too bad I didn’t get my shit together earlier and fight for a major that I was actually passionate about. But coulda shoulda woulda bitches, I’m fighting for my dream job now.

Writing during the day to eventually serve during the night is sort of like having sex with a blow up doll that pops right before climax – you wish your were doing the real thing, and then as soon as you fool yourself into thinking that you are, the fun is over…the illusion ends. I hope that one day my blow up doll becomes real and doesn’t end up popping. Translation – I hope that one day I can actually write as a real novelist and not have to end my days wanting to slit my wrists with a butter knife while I bring some snot nosed little shit his Roy Rodgers.

Did I mention I am not only a server, but a “host” as well? I prefer to just rock it and call myself a hostess. Why not right? Just slap a rack on me and let me take you to your table with a smile. I often find myself talking in some sort of heightened voice to customers as though a tiny gnome lives in my pants permanently cupping my balls. I’ve been called “miss” a time or two by a menagerie of customers who are trying to order a to-go steak. The phone rings every thirty seconds and I answer it with the ever professional response of, “Black Barn Steakhouse, how may I help you?” I don’t know why my professional voice reaches a pitch that only dogs can hear. Perhaps it is a mystery that I will never solve. It is a question that deepens due to the fact that I find myself deepening my voice when I’m not working to counteract the tiny gnome’s work molestations.

Recently I had a customer call me to inquire about her reservation. She asked wether or not she had a good table due to the fact that it was her parents fifty-sixth wedding anniversary. The little gnome squeezed my balls and I proceeded to convey in a voice like that of Mickey Mouse that she did, in fact, have a good table. This was followed by a delightful treasure chest of questions in regard to free desserts, the kinds of free desserts, and the air conditioning of the wonderful establishment in which I work. The culmination came with an in person meet and greet where her table was not satisfactory and a move to two more tables was required. It all ended with a handshake, a smile, and the wonderful compliment of, “young man, for only being in high school you have what it takes.” I smiled, thanked her, and returned to stand behind my podium. There, in the glow of the POS system, I pondered the compliment…I’m twenty-three, a college graduate, and I have what it takes to be a seating hostess in a steakhouse. Even the gnome in my pants was kicked in the balls on that one.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know I don’t have it bad. It’s not exactly like I’m handing out condoms on a peace corp mission in the middle of the Congo while I wait for literary agents to read my queries. I refuse to get drunk on self pity, despite the thirst of my inner martyr. I hate being a waiter. I hate working in a restaurant. I hate when my sex doll pops (for the record I do not have a sex doll…Yikes!). But I hate the thought of giving in and giving up even more.

The moment behind that podium reminded me of a little cult classic gem called Galaxy Quest. In that fine piece of cinematic history, Tim Allen recites his Captain Kirk-esque line of, “never give up…never surrender.” I am currently clinging to the belief that I have what it takes to do just that. But I admit that sometimes I think about the upside down version of that very same question…What if I don’t? 

 

 

 

 

THE DEPTHS OF PRETEND

Here is just a hint of what I’ve been playing with today. It is a short story that I’m writing. Hope to post the rest of it soon and get your feedback!

THE DEPTHS OF PRETEND

Macabre, Montana would be unknown to the world if it were not for one single fact. The town of twenty-three hundred people owes it’s one shred of infamy to the fact that novelist Kayhill Ellenwood has forever called it his home.
Much like the town in which he has always lived, Mr. Ellenwood is famous for only one thing. A single novel, Little Things, was published nearly twenty-five years ago. It tells the tale of a young girl named Little and her battle to save her father from demons she calls the “Things”. It was the last story destined to escape Mr. Ellenwood’s mind, for the time since its first printing has not been kind. But this is not due to a lack of effort and try, for the old man forever sits locked away in the office of his humble home. The pounding of his fingers upon the typewriter keys dance beat for beat with the footsteps of his granddaughter, Anna, running through the snow not but a few miles away.
The old man’s daughter and the young girl’s mother died in a car crash exactly one year ago. Solemn anniversaries summon strange happenings.
##
Anna’s hot breath melts the snowflakes that fall in between the aspen trees through which she runs.
“Goat tie the bitch!” The orders come from Jazlyn McSpade, a girl local children speculate was raised by wolverines. Her rabid personality is masked by a face that brainwashes all young boys into doing her bidding.
Two such minions are Stuart Bozeman and Colton Barlow. The boys howl like wolves as they hunt through the forrest. But they have not the honor of the wolf. They have the depravity of dogs. Both run with ropes spinning over their cowboy hat clad heads. The sound of the ghostly twirl heightens the pressure of Anna’s blood.
Hot fear and cold wind turn Anna’s dimpled cheeks crimson red. She begins to see her grandfather’s house peek through through the maze of the white and black aspen eyes. The cold and indifferent gazes watch her flee just as they have done so many times before. The trees cannot offer her help, but they do make her feel less alone. They act as witnesses to the coming cruelty.
The strike of the first rope misses Anna’s head. But the strike of the second latches onto her legs. Her face falls to meet a wicked pillow of frozen snow as the giggles of Jazlyn McSpade echo through the trunks of the watchful trees.
“Get her up.” Jazlyn watches the boys do her bidding.
Anna is ripped up to her feet. She says nothing. The young girl chooses to use her strength to fight rather than waste it on useless pleas for freedom.
“Hold her still!” Jazlyn turns from her dogs to look into the brown eyes of her prey. “Why do you always run?”
Anna takes aim at Jazlyn’s face and fires.
Jazlyn screams as the spit hits her between her cold blue eyes. Vengeance comes in the form a violent slap. “You know what today is?”
Anna gives no answer. Her voice is replaced by silent seething as she strains against the boys’ combined might.
Jazlyn grabs Anna’s throat and whispers the answer to her own question. “Today is the day that you’re drunken fuck of a mom killed my dad.” Jazlyn raises her fist. “Happy Anniversary.”
The blast of a shotgun explodes through the forest. All turn to face its epicenter.
Kayhill Ellenwood’s grizzly hands clutch his still smoking gun while his mouth growls forth a cold, dead, and merciless order. “Let her go.”

MORE TO COME…

I am a fluffer…

Okay folks…In case you are a high-powered literary agent looking to secure new representation and be responsible for giving me my BIG BREAK that will allow me to change the world with the written word (Inhale…exhale) I have included my query letter below. This is officially my attempt to fluff you and eventually pimp you my manuscript. LET ME QUERY YOU!!!!

Black Acid Pen

Be prepared and be warned. I currently just inhaled a foot-long subway sandwich. It was an aggressively average triumph of culinary skill…all for seven bucks. It is now being replaced by the acidic tinge of black Starbucks coffee as I kidnap free wifi to write this first blog post.
Cynicism is usually something I try and quell, but frankly I was tired of trying to come up with the perfect first blog of sunshine soaked inspiration to vomit upon the world in my inaugural desperate attempt at getting any and all eyes to read my tales and launch my nonexistent career into the stratosphere.
Brace yourself. A heavy dose of hard up, blue-balled cynicism is on its way.
A few weeks ago I went to the local bar in an effort to take a breather from some close friends and breath in some new candidates.
One of them was a girl who professed to me how her dream was to be a professional writer. She recently had a friend create and design a blog for her where she has been dispensing a menagerie of unsolicited bleached white bullshit ranging from relationship advice for the everyday singleton to the life lessons she’s learned from the struggles faced everyday as a marginalized and put upon twenty-two-year-old white woman hailing from the great state of Oregon.
I heard her out. I smiled. I even encouraged her to turn her blog into a book.
If she ever gets anything published I will purposely dive in front of one of the trucks that pass underneath the highway I’ll most likely be living under. But, in the end, she thanked me and gave me the advice that I should write a blog myself due to the fact that we share the same “dream”. Yes…it’s true, I write to you now as a twenty-three-year-old struggling, aspiring, and desperate novelist.
Writer by day, waiter by night – my description sounds like a blurb for perhaps the least fucked superhero in all of Marvel Comics. This post may sound as if it was written with a black acid pen, but at least I’m being honest. Isn’t that what these things are for? To connect with readers on some honest, raw and deep level? I sure as hell don’t need to read another lithium laced advice column, see another selfie raped by hashtags, or watch another youtube video starring someone whose biggest problem is having six abs instead of eight.
So here is my shameless mission, plug, and purpose – I am reaching out to any all voices, eyes, and minds with the aim forcing you to watch and read my quest towards becoming a novelist who can actually pay a single bill based on their stories. I won’t lie to you. I hope that you are Guillermo del Toro, Neil Gaiman, or…dare I say it? J.K Rowling? Are you there?
I recently completed my first manuscript (hallelujah hands emoji). Wether it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen, but I am determined to drag it out into the sun. It’s not easy. Just google the process “Querying Literary Agents”. Like my last girlfriend, it is a fucking ball buster. But I will not give up. By the way…an example of my query letter is included on this blog for all who are interested (prayer hands emoji).
The first question your asking is this – he sucks doesn’t he? Well the answer is up to you. I want the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give it to me straight. I should be able to take it. It’ll be rough if you all hate the stories I post, but it is a risk I need to take. This blog will have be a leapfrogging mix of my digital Bridget Jones’s blogs alongside short stories and excerpts from some longer pieces of fiction that I’m working on.
I don’t know if anything will come of this, or if anyone will even read see this, but I am just going to do what the great Will Ferrel said to do in his commencement address I watched on Youtube the other day – I am going to just keep throwing darts up on the wall. This blog is just one of my many darts. #rantover. Also, please visit my Youtube channel where you can watch me count my one single gigantic ab.
Sincerely,
Jayrock Avalon
P.S. Send me your shit. Much like your comments, I love the good, the bad, and the ugly.