Sure it sucked....
We were working with nothing today at Gawker. Nothing.
An online journal of the nightly (and daily) nonsense endured by a (former) bouncer at two of New York's most popular nightclubs.
The deal for this week is that I'll be guest editing Gawker. All fucking week.
I’ve found another difference between us and them. Or me and them. Or the entire free motherfucking world and them.
The difference is, we’re happy when we’re out in
Call it alcoholism, but as long as I’m drinking, I’m fine.
As for them, they’re miserable. You see them, Guido after Guido, walking around the club, heads hung low, muttering to themselves about how they wished they hadn’t come out. They look at me and roll their eyes and shake their heads as though I’m some sympathetic fellow traveler who’s hip to the Guido plight.
And I do comprehend things to a point. I know what a pain in the ass it is to make my way into the city from the hinterlands, because that’s what I have to do. I have to do this because the money makes it worth my while. Guidos don’t have to do this. They don’t have to make a ninety minute commute into
So what the fuck is the problem?
I’ve wondered about all this, so I did what any sensible bouncer would do: I asked the nearest depressed Guido. I pulled him aside the other night and asked him what the problem was.
“Why are you always in a bad mood when you come here?” I asked. “You always seem like you’re under a lot of stress.”
I’m friendly with this one. His name is Chris and he’s from Howard Beach. I helped him out in a nasty fight once. We say hello. We “hug.” Sometimes he hands me an extra twenty when his “boy” rolls in with an expired license. Sometimes it’s more.
“Yo, it’s because I am in a bad mood.”
“Why, though? Is it this place that gets you like that? Do you have problems at work? Why are you always walking around looking like the world’s about to end?”
“Yo,” he said, “you don’t understand, bro.”
“I’m trying. I mean, we’re friends, right?”
“Yeah, man. You’re my boy!”
“So?” I asked. “Do I ever ask you any questions? Tell me what the problem is.”
“The problem is that I just got engaged, and my girl don’t know I’m here, and I got like four bitches that wanna come home with me right now.”
“That’s your problem?”
“That’s always my problem.”
“Seriously?” I asked. “You always look like you wanna kill someone because you’re worried about the women you could take home?”
“It’s that easy for you in here?”
“Yo,” he said, “I can always take someone home outta this place.”
“So why get engaged?”
“Because my girl’s a fuckin’ sweetheart, bro. I could take all these girls home and fuck ‘em in the ear and it don’t mean shit, but I can’t lose my girl.”
I shrugged. “So that’s really why you always look like that? You got no other problems pissing you off?”
“Nah, man. You know me. I got two G’s in my pocket right now. It’s always bitches makes you crazy.”
“I heard that.”
I'll be guest editing Gawker next week (12/26 - 12/29) from Tuesday to Friday. God only knows why. I'm assuming everyone they could possibly have asked to do it will be leaving the city for the week, leaving only an indigenous B&T unwashed like myself to mind the store for what I'm assuming will be a week of monumentally low ratings. The best part of the whole thing is that I have no fucking idea what I'm doing. None.
Thank you for all the responses to yesterday’s post. I’m still sifting through all the emails I’ve received over the past twenty-four hours. They’ve been fantastic, and I appreciate it like you wouldn’t believe. The problem today is that I woke up with some sort of cold/flu combination and I haven’t really felt like organizing all the information so I can present it here, which is what I originally wanted to do. If I don’t feel like such a piece of shit tomorrow, I’ll do something along those lines.
In first place thus far, not surprisingly, is The Economist. I had suspected this would be the case, although I’ve admittedly only read it a few times. I’ll obviously have to give it a lot more attention after everything I’ve heard.
More later, after I sleep this shit off.
I want to be a magazine reader. I want a go-to magazine for trains and planes. Here are my criteria:
People who read blogs are smart. Many of you also know my tastes fairly well by now. I know this from some of the book recommendations you’ve given me in the past. I’m soliciting suggestions here because I’m legitimately baffled every time I’m at a newsstand. I don’t like anything, and I want that to change. I want something I can like enough to purchase on a consistent basis.
Tell me what I should do.
I just love getting shorted on my shift pay. Love it to death. Nights like this are why I got into this business in the first place.
The thing about these massive “megaclubs” in
One club I’ve worked in has an absolutely beautiful bathroom on the second floor, directly above the main room. This bathroom is so beautiful, in fact, that it’s only used by employees. Nobody knows about it. The customers certainly don’t. With its palazzo-style marble enclosures, vaulted ceilings and soundproofed walls, it’s the most pleasant place on the property to while away the fifteen Guido-free minutes you’ll score after calling for a pee-break. In fact, it’s the only place “on campus” I’ll take a leak.
Sometimes, though, it’s not a leak. You’ll be standing there at your spot and you’ll feel something coming on, so you’ll pick up your radio and call for relief. Sometimes this relief takes a while to arrive, so you do what guys do and tell everyone in the area what you and your intestines are going through. People generally don’t want to hear about this sort of thing, but most men will announce it anyway.
One stall is designed for the handicapped. It’s roomier than the rest. For now, we’ll refer to this as my “office.” When I’ve placed my call for relief and I’m about to retire to my office, I roam around the parts of the club that you can’t enter, looking for reading material. Sometimes this reading material consists of some stupid nightclub trade magazine or catalog. Other times, I score with a newspaper. When this happens, it’s usually the New York Post, which makes me happy because I like their sports section.
I was very tired last week and didn’t want to be at work. In truth, I don’t ever want to be at work, but on that particular night I was really feeling it. The club was dead, there was no line on the sidewalk, and all I wanted to do was go home. One Guido in a club is one too many. Two Guidos constitutes a horde. A room half-filled with Guidos should be a cell block.
So, I found a copy of the Post and went upstairs and had myself a grand old time. I took off my jacket, hung it on a hook, clipped my radio to the breast pocket and sat down to take care of business.
A half-hour later, I was still taking care of business. That’s what happens sometimes. You sit down, you get engrossed, you lose yourself in the printed page and you forget you’re a figurative million miles from home, one story above everything you hate. That’s how it goes when you’re male. You realize you’ve been in there for a half-hour, you think about the ramifications of that, and then you go back to what you were doing. And you do it for another fifteen minutes until your radio goes off:
“Dance floor! Dance floor! Dance floor! Dance floor!”
I knew I wouldn’t make it to the main event. I wouldn’t have time. My plan was to hustle back downstairs to the front door so I could get involved outside, which, as a doorman, is my main responsibility anyway. I usually don’t run inside for fights anymore unless it’s very late and there’s no line. Even then, I’ll typically stay outside and deal with fights once everyone’s been ejected and gaggles of Guidos are standing on the sidewalk threatening to “call boys” and “bust caps.” If I could simply make it to the front door, I’d still be able to lend a hand.
All of which would have been dandy if my legs hadn’t fallen asleep.
I tried to stand too quickly and stumbled into the door of the stall. I had to grab onto the coat-hook to stay on my feet. Both legs were entirely numb, and I couldn’t even bend my knees.
Shaking them out wasn’t helping. Stretching did nothing. I put my jacket on, clipped my radio to my belt and replaced my earpiece, and still had no feeling in either leg.
I opened the door of the stall and staggered to the sink, stiff-legged, figuring I could walk the feeling back into my lower body by pacing the floor for a while. Slowly, very slowly, the numbness began to turn into pins-and-needles. Taking an inventory of movement – toes, feet, ankles, knees – I quickly washed my hands and broke into an uncomfortable sprint toward the stairway, leaning heavily against the rail on the way down. The pins-and-needles had become that wildly uncomfortable sensation where you can barely tolerate putting any weight on your extremities.
By the time I’d made it outside, it was over.
“Where the fuck were you for the last hour?” asked JD. “You bring a girl upstairs?”
“Ah, nothin’. Just two assholes on the dance floor. Your radio working?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “I heard the call. I was having a little problem upstairs in the office.”
“The office? Or the office?”
I leaned the small of my back against the podium and stretched. I was as stiff as a board, but my legs felt refreshed. They’d had a pleasant nap. “Where else am I gonna disappear to for an hour?”
“It’s all that fuckin’ coffee you drink, man. Goes right fuckin’ through you.”
The following will appear here on Friday.
Joe DeFranco didn’t ask me to review his new Super Strength DVD. He neither threatened me nor cajoled me, nor did he make any vague references about his “crew from
See, the training of top-flight athletes isn’t anything that could ever be described as pretty. We see these people – both men and women - in action in their shiny new stadiums and arenas, and what we don’t realize is that the science behind the results we’re witnessing is grounded in the simplicity of toil and rooted in the brutality of pure physical strength. We fail to understand, when looking to improve our own athletic performance or that of the people we’re training or coaching, that all the fancified obfuscations and doublespeak mumbo-jumbo offered by the countless “gurus” and “Yodas” of the profession are nothing more than a conspiratorial smokescreen designed to separate the athlete from his money and his potential.
So, what to do? When sifting through programs, how and where does one begin separating the wheat from the chaff?
DeFranco stakes his claim eloquently and effectively with the long-awaited release of Super Strength. This DVD is an absolute masterwork, and should serve as the benchmark for all future athletic strength training videos. In it, he outlines the principles of his training methodology: the Russian Conjugate Method or, as it’s more commonly referred to in the fitness industry, Conjugated Periodization. Conjugated Periodization involves working several different “training abilities” – i.e., speed, hypertrophy, or endurance – simultaneously throughout the year, as opposed to the more conventional Western Periodization method, which segments these abilities into training “blocks.” The Western method, according to DeFranco, forces the athlete to work against himself during the course of a training cycle, improving one specific ability at a time while others are neglected.
This is all very clearly explained in the introductory section, as DeFranco walks the viewer through an overview of his training philosophy and discusses why he and so many others have become “Darkside” converts over the past few years. He then proceeds to explain the purpose and progression of a proper warm-up, then illustrates, with each individual movement demonstrated by one of his athletes, every step of both the lower and upper body routines used by his clients in preparing for their sessions.
The body of the DVD contains the nuts-and-bolts of Conjugated Periodization: the Maximal-Effort, Dynamic-Effort and Repeated-Effort methods. In these sections, each training ability is explained in detail and actual filmed workout sessions with DeFranco’s athletes are used to show how and where the various segments fit into the program. DeFranco leaves no stone unturned here, demonstrating every possible exercise permutation for each training ability, complete with set and rep guidelines and thorough explanations of proper technique.
Of particular interest to me was DeFranco’s coverage of plyometrics. Search the internet for explanations of “box jumps” and “depth jumps,” and you’ll come across more material on how to do the exercises than you could ever possibly use. Try to find any information on where and when to integrate these exercises into the framework of an athlete’s training week, however, and you’ll realize, after a fruitless hour of mouse-clicking and reading, that it simply isn’t out there. In the Dynamic-Effort method section of Super Strength, DeFranco finally puts “plyos” in their proper place once and for all. For athletes, this section alone is worth the price of the disc.
The balance of the video covers the various unilateral, posterior chain and unconventional exercise movements that have become hallmarks of DeFranco’s system. I’ve been studying Conjugated Periodization and applying it to my own training for several years, and I still learned nearly a dozen new exercises from these sections alone. In fact, for the past two weeks, I’ve referred to the “unconventional exercises” section almost daily in order to find something new to add to my workouts.
A few things stood out as I watched this video for the first time:
Overall, this video is an absolute must-have for any coach, trainer or athlete. For my money, it’s as comprehensive a guide to the improvement of athletic performance as anything available today. As DeFranco states at the very beginning, “The goal of this DVD is to improve your strength and explosive power.” With this masterpiece, Joe DeFranco has provided us with a video that will serve as the definitive reference on the subject for years to come.
Click here for more information.
Every job comes with a set of rules. Your job, which is probably a much better job than my job -- at least my part-time job -- has rules. When we go to work, we follow these rules because we don't want to get fired. We abide by them because they're usually not that hard to follow, and because we're on somebody else's payroll. This means that someone else is setting up the framework by which our behavior is to be judged. They judge our behavior because they need to decide whether to continue paying us. In my house, you play by my rules. In your house I'll gladly play by your rules, provided they don't involve any homosexuality, latent or otherwise, because I simply don't swing that way.
So, I'm kind of a "street guy" and I'm kind of not. I'm kind of not because I'm very, very white. I act like a white guy, I speak like a white guy, and I'm interested in stuff that's traditionally the province of white guys -- like golf, classic rock and the exploitation of the indigenous. I kind of am because I grew up in a part of New York where not everyone had money, where "minorities" lived in real-time, and because I've seen crimes happen up close and personal-like. Not that "minorities" and "crime" and "the streets" go hand-in-hand or anything, but I think you can gather my meaning. I wasn't raised in New Canaan, in other words.
Thanks for your patience. I'm down to the wire with the book -- I mean, seriously, the wire -- so there'll be some new shit on this site within a day or so.