The Great Server Debate

I’ve been a server off and on since I was 18, and during that time I’ve experienced a variety of environments.

The small town sports bar, Buzzard Billy’s Flying Carp Cafe, “high-end family dining” at MiMi’s cafe and my current gig at a brew pub in downtown Des Moines, among others.

During all these experience there’s always been one question that has yet to get completely answered and usually leads to conversation and opposing views.

Is it acceptable to use the word “guys” at a table.

ie: When greeting a table can I say, “Hey guys how are you tonight?”

Some of you are probably like, “yes, duh why not“, others are probably thinking “GASP, NO! I will be an addressed as a lady” and still others are clueless.

Anyway. Here’s the deal.

Some women (and even their male counterparts on occasion) get offended when they’re referred to “guys”. Since, most people think of it as a term that is supposed to be for men.

Well, here’s a brief history lesson.

The word guy first began in England right around 1605. When “Guy Fawkes” the man who tried to blow up parliament was captured. After that, guy Fawkes day was created. The citizens of London would make effigies of guy fawkes to burn them, later shortened to guy, and that’s how it originally started.

So, technically, even men should get offended because it’s referring to something that you’re burning out of anger and hate.

Forward fast to 2011 and look it up in Webster, and you’ll see it also says that “Guys” is a term used for “a group of people regardless of sex”

So, that gets all the facts and stuff out-of-the-way.

Now, my opinion on it.

I think it’s A-OK to use. My long drawn out, too complicated thinking on it is this.

Women have been (and still are) fighting for equality. They want equal pay, benefits, respect etc as their male counterparts. Which, they should totally get.

But then, why would you turn around and expect your server to talk to you differently because you’re a lady.

I should note that I don’t use guys all the time. I do still do my best to use gender neutral words like “folks” or if it is a table of all women , I use the term ladies.   But “guys” still slips out almost every time.

And on top of all that, your server has few more important things to worry about: getting your order correct, drinks, their other tables etc. Not, making sure they don’t call you a “guy”.

And while I’ve yet to have a table react badly to my vernacular, I have heard stories about people getting yelled at because they said “guys”.

And I’m not saying people who get upset over it are wrong, I’m just saying I think there are plenty worse things that could be said and done while you’re at a restaurant.

But I want your opinion.

Is it okay to use “guys”?

Lady readers-When a server says guys do you get upset or even notice it?

Man readers-What do you think? When you’re eating with your girlfriend and your server says “guys” do you notice?

Talk to me. I want to hear.


It’s 2011 and I have a Bucket

I’ve always failed at 2 things when it comes to the New Year.

1) Making resolutions
2) Following through with resolutions if I did actually make them.

So, this year I’ve decided to do something different.

I didn’t want to be a complete,lazy,defeatist,quitter and not make any sort of goal; saying I’d never follow through. But I didn’t want to be too optimistic, make resolutions I knew I’d never keep and up feeling like a loser, full of contempt and self loathing.

Instead, I’ve opted for something new. This year I’m making a bucket list. A bucket list of 11 things that I want to do by 2012. And since that’s when the world’s supposed to end, at least I’ll die with life a bit more fulfilled. Even though I did have some bigger bucket list items I would have liked to have done.

The list is comprised of a variety of things. Some items are just fun things I’ve always wanted to do but never have. Others are legitimate goals that would indeed make me a better person and then there’s a couple that are just random and will do me no good. BUT, they’d be fun to do anyway.

So, with that said, in no particular order, I present my 2011 Bucket List.

1) Be a slam poet I saw my first slam poet my freshman year of college at a NACA conference, and I fell in love. The power, feeling and energy these people put into their performances is AMAZING. Since watching them, I’ve always wanted to try it, just once.

Photo Credit : Go on a solo trip Ideally this would be a impromptu trip. Where I decide just days before I leave that I want to. BUT in reality, it won’t happen that way. Partially because my work schedule wouldn’t allow it and also because I’d kinda like my trip to be somewhere I have to fly to. But really, I just want a trip where i don’t have to deal with or worry about anyone else and I don’t have to think. I just have to relax and enjoy myself.

3) Blog twice a week Blogging helps clear my mind and keeps my creative juices flowing. I quite enjoyed blogging back in the day when I was actually doing it regularly, and I’d like to pick it back up.

4) Call my parents at least once a week, individually This is one of my “this will actually make me a better person” goals. I’ll be the first to admit I suck at talking to my parents. In the sense of actually doing it and because I never really have a conversation with them when I do call. If I actually called them regularly, beyond the “Hi, nothing’s new, bye” or the “Hi, I broke my car. What do I do” I’d feel better about myself.

5) Perform in drag Yes, I’m serious. I’ve always loved drag queens. I think it’s the theatre nerd in me, and I’ve always wanted to perfrom legitimate drag. Sure, I did Simpson drag shows back in the day. But my makeup and outfits were horrible. I want it to be legit……..Well for the most part. My ideal drag character is a Ke$ha impersonator. A character. Someone, big, over the top and obnoxious. Something that manages to look like a big hot mess, but on purpose. Not just because I didn’t know how to do my makeup.

6) Take part in the 48hour film festival This another one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a few years, but never have. It’d be fun to be an actor in one of them. But, the boyfriend and I have also been talking about actually heading up a team and making our own film. I’d LOVE to do a campy-goofy-John Waters-this is actually a bad movie-but it’s funny-so I like it-type movie.

7)Go to my first concert Yep, you read it correctly. I’ve never actually been to a concert. Well, sort of. I’ve worked production on a few concerts in Des Moines and I did the programming thing in college. But I’ve never had the real experience. The spending money on tickets, waiting in line for hours, paying too much for merch type experience. I want that. Preferably, it’d be Lady Gaga ( I heard she’s in Omaha in March!!)

8 ) Reduce my closet by half I have way too many clothes. No argument. And no matter how many times I attempt to go through it and throw stuff out, I still keep way too many things thinking “I’ll need this someday”. I really need to just bust my own balls, say NO and get rid of things.

9) Take a community education class Something fun and random, like knitting (no, I’m serious) Or maybe even useful like html coding or a nutrition class.

10) Apply for The Amazing Race In college I was dead set on getting cast on a reality tv show and even made it to the semi-final round for the Real World at one point. But as I’ve grown older and wiser. The days of trashy reality TV are gone. This time I want to do The Amazing Race with the boyfriend. He’s agreed to it, so all we need to do is apply. And if you know us and have seen us interact, you know we have a chance.

11) Beat a video game This is one goal I NEVER would have thought I’d set. And anyone I who knows me college would agree. But, now that my apartment is home to a Wii, Xbox and PS2 I find myself gaming a bit more. The last game I beat was Super Mario Brothers on the DS and before that……….Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo…when I was 10. (And this would be a pointless no good goal for the year)

So there you have it. A few of these I could easily do in just a day. Others may take some time. And I’m also sure there’s other things I’ll add to the list as the year goes on. But I’d really like to do them, for once, they’d all be a lot of fun (well minus having to get rid of clothes). But even then I’d be doing a good thing.

But yea,stay tuned and we’ll see what happens.

Who Says He Needs to be an Activist

In his just released auto-biography, “Welcome to my World”

Johnny Weir, olympic figure skater, known for his out there costumes and personality officially “comes out.” Putting to bed the rumors that have been circulating for awhile about his sexuality.

The response Weir’s gotten from the public isn’t quite what he thought it’d be.

Weir, a lot like Mr. Anderson Cooper from CNN, has never officially denied or confirmed his sexuality. He’s left it private, like it should be. (And for the record, Cooper is still on the mum about his orientation). So, Weir’s a little confused as to how this is all such a big deal. Especially since speculations about his homosexuality have long been assumed (think Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken, really, were any of us that surprised)

And in my opinion, I don’t know why it is such a big deal.

We’re living in a time where more and more people can’t understand while same sex marriage is such an issue, yet we’re still making a big to-do about someone just coming out of the closet?

In an interview on The Today Show Weir said:

“I was born a white male, a white gay male, and I don’t celebrate being white or male, so why should I celebrate being gay?”

Addressing the pressures he’s had from activists to pick up a flag and join the fight.

He went on to say “I think the best way I can be an activist is to live my life, and not make that the main thing that is Johnny Weir. I’m much more than just a gay man.”

He’s right. He’s a figure skater. It’s what he does and what he’s known for. He’s not an activist.

If he decides to take a more active role in the movement, fantastic. If not, so be it. No one should expect him to. Just like no one expects me to.

In my opinion, people really need to treat this, and any other other celebrity who comes out, like they expect people to look at marriage. Just let people live their lives.

People keep stressing that with the marriage argument. Two guys or girls getting married doesn’t effect anyone else but them. So no one should care about. They should just let them live and be happy.

Well, Johnny Weir “coming out” is the same way.

It doesn’t effect anyone else but Johnny Weir. So, leave him alone. Let him do his thing. Let him be happy and skate and support his decision to be an “activist” his way, by just living his life.

Kathy Griffin offends someone…..again

While parousing the internets the other day, in my usual attempt to be productive, but still managing to not be, I came across an article onKathy Griffin, angrily blasting her for declaring that she’s going to start targeting 16 year old Willow Palin.

I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked they were so angry at Ms. Griffin, since the article was from Fox News. But still….really.

I can see their point. Willow’s 16, a minor and it’s not her fault her mom’s bat crap crazy.

But, since when was making fun of 16 year olds such a “no no.”

Miley Cyrus was talked about when she did the Vanity Fair cover shoot, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan have been on comedians hit lists since they were 15, and Jamie Lynn Spears got her share of jokes when she had a baby.

So, why get mad at Kathy?

People think the girl that can’t defend herself since she’s only 16. Well, she seemed to do a fine job of that when she called a kid a “faggot” on Facebook after he made fun of her mom’s tv show.

Some people are worried that this is sending the wrong message in a time where cyberbullying has become an epidemic and we’ve alot of unfortunate deaths at the hand of bullying.

I think there’s a bit of a difference. Kathy Griffin isn’t some teenager, making fun of a kid day in and day out telling them they should die, or that they’re worthless.

She’s a comedian. Known for making fun of people. It isn’t something new.

Does she need to go after Willow? No. But if we’re really going to get this upset with her over that. I think there’s plenty of comedians that deserve a talking to as well then.

Your thoughts?

The Best New Year’s Eve ever…well minus the dead car

So, while my New Year’s didn’t go QUITE as I had thought it would when I woke up Friday morning, it still ended up being quite wonderful.

Originally, the plan was to celebrate it at the Des Moines Social Club. I had spent the last couple months working on “The Bash” & I was excited to see it all come together.

Well, on my way down to DMSC Friday morning, disaster struck!

My car hit some ice, I slid/skid/swerved out of control annnd my car made out with the median. Air bags deployed and as of Monday, my car is officially in car heaven.

And while not having a vehicle is a downer. It’s about time she went there. She was very much on her last leg anyway.

After dealing with that and getting it towed and etc. I wasn’t really up for mass celebration. So, the boyfriend and I stayed it. And it was a fantastic evening.

There was….

Wii playing

And snack making

and cocktails

and, of course, photo taking

It was fun. It was easy and relaxed and we watched bad movies and I loved it.

Annnnd it was also special because it essentially marked 1 year since the boyfriend and I started hanging out.

So, while it wasn’t originally the glamorous, night on the town, NYE I had originally visioned, it was fantastic and I wouldn’t have changed a thing……Well, except I would have a car.

I’m an expert dabbler

Ever since middle school I got told the same thing.

“Drew, you have too many irons in the fire.”

Take a look at my high school resume and you’ll see that over the course of 4 years I was involved in over 30 different organizations. Ranging from; Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee to serving as a state officer for Future Business Leaders of America, to 4-H, to drama club, to working part time and going to school.

College was the same way; Greek Life, Student Government, Campus Activities Board, college newspaper, jobs, internships and of course classes. Usually kept me going from 8am to 10 or so pm, depending on the day.

You could blame this lifestyle on a few different things. My unofficially diagnosed A.D.D., my crazy (but lovely) mother who’s the same way, or my inability to ever say no.

Either way, this jimmy joiner syndrome of mine has been both good and bad.

While it gave me little free time, and more stress then I probably needed. It also broadened my horizons, allowed me to use the smarts I’ve learned from one thing in other things and gave me a plethora of networking opportunities and connections.

And that’s exactly what this blog’s going to be about. A little bit of everything.

My adventures in social media, my reviews of the happenings in Des Moines, my attempts at crafting and everything else in between.

So tune in,read on and I hope you enjoy.