From the Bar Stool: Tipping Your Bartenders

28 04 2012

This is the first of what I call “From the Bar Stool.”  It’ll be about bars or whatever.  Enjoy!

Note: I’m not a bartender and have never been one.  That shit looks too hard.

The idea of bartender tipping should be pretty simple.  A dollar a drink or 20% of your tab, whichever works out to more.  Simple.  Most people follow this or come darn close, which should really be okay.  Some will say that 15% is okay, and whether you agree with that or not, it’s not too bad.  Anything less is a problem though.  Nothing is an insult.

Any server or bartender will have stories about the times they’ve been stiffed.  You might need to ask more than once, because good servers don’t talk shit about their customers to other customers, even if they were really bad.  But yeah, they get stiffed.  It happens.  People can be awful to other people, and jerks stiff their servers.  Why?  It could be many things, but it’s usually pretty basic.  They see servers as someone lesser than themselves, and tipping as “optional.”  Not in this country.  Modern Drunkard puts it best:  “If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to be at a bar.”

You should buy food or drinks assuming you’ll need to toss at least another 20% on top of that.  But some people don’t see it that way- they nod fervently during Mr. Pink’s speech about tipping in Reservoir Dogs.

Oh yeah, WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE.  It’s a Tarantino movie, so you should’ve known that already.

So he says it’s not his fault that being a server is a rough job.  Remember though, that Mr. Pink is a piece of shit.  Still can’t believe he survives at the end.  Anyway, his is a bad human attitude in any context.  So those people who don’t tip are assholes.

Bad tips, however, are a different case.  In the past, one could kind of forgive the people who were shitty at math, even though 20% in your head or with a pen is some serious third grade stuff.  Now, though, every cell phone comes with a handy calculator.  No more excuses, people who are shitty at math.  Point two times the total equals the tip.  Takes you three seconds.

Maybe someone is just a cheapskate.  Yeah, yeah- the economy sucks.  Your home jewelry “business” isn’t taking off like you thought it would.  Your headshots cost more than you thought.  Great, stay home and drink some two-buck Chuck while gluing beads together and looking for gigs on Craigslist then.  Don’t come to the bar and tip $2 on a $22 tab.

Some might argue that “well, the service was bad” or “the bartender ignored me.”  Unless you killed their dog or something, the bartender doesn’t really care who you are, so it isn’t personal.  They’re busy, not ignoring you.  They have things to do, even if the bar isn’t slammed with people.  They’ll be nice or at least civil to you because, guess what, they have a boss.  Just hold up your end and it’ll be just fine.

Still not convinced?  Go to a bar early, when it’s empty, and watch someone set up a bar.  It’s like setting up a goddamn laboratory.  And doing dishes- that’s a bitch.  You know how you hate washing those three pans in your kitchen sink at home?  It’s that times a thousand.  (Yes, a lot of busier bars will have bar backs doing dishes or hauling kegs and boxes around, which makes things easier for the tenders but means they’re basically doing the worst tasks.  These people are saints, so be nice to them, but bartenders still do dishes sometimes).

And don’t give this line about “well all I had was beer- how tough is it to pour/open a beer?”  Right, it’s not that tough, but they’re taking the time to do it for you.  Stay home and open your own beer, then, cheapass.

Anyway, yeah, the goddamn laboratory.  So much breakable glassware, it’s amazing they don’t lose a finger or have hands like Bruce Willis’ feet in Die Hard every night.  Oh, and tons of ice, and you know that shit is cold… because it’s ice.  Everything gets wet too.  And cutting lemons and limes, that’s torture.  So you have all of these very delicate tasks that need to be done meticulously and while dealing with glassware that can break and become razor sharp.  And you’re always on a deadline.  Brutal stuff.

When the lab is set and the night is rolling, there’s not only all of this work to do to make sure everything is full and there’s ice and the keg isn’t empty and dishes are clean and so on, but also, of course, serving customers who are loud and drunk and possibly talking about your tits or their stupid job or their “swag” or whatever.  From where I sit, bartending is like defusing a bomb while a spastic crackhead shouts obscenities at you (wow, that should be a video game!).  So those tips are important, because when the rigors of the night are over, the bartender can at least take some solace in the wad of cash they accumulated in the process.

So yeah, tip at least 20% or a buck per drink (whatever is more).  Hell, you should definitely go more than that.  I go as high as possible without feeling like I am bankrupting my future children.  “Sorry Dan Jr., no college for you, I had to drop a $20 tip at O’Shea’s that night the game went triple-overtime.”

Thankfully I am a regular at a bar where the drinks are obscenely cheap and the bartenders always treat me like I just got out of prison (in a good way, like for a white-collar crime or something- they treat me like I’m special is what I’m saying).  Those places aren’t easy to find, but when you do, cement a good reputation and leave good tips.  It’s astounding what a few extra bucks on the bar and a nice attitude will do for you.

Starting up again…

23 04 2012

The podcast idea is all but dead, so I’m going to start using this space to write about anything and everything but baseball.  Hopefully someone reads it.  We’ll see.  Enjoy!

My 30th Birthday Party!!!!1!

19 08 2011
Well put on your party duds kids, because your old boy Dan Port has survived to the age of 30 and you are all invited to help celebrate this momentous occasion.  Festivities will be held at Dan’s favorite hangout spot, Mom’s Bar.
The fun starts at 7:30pm on Saturday October 1st. (no dinner, please put food in you beforehand)
Let their friendly staff dispense beverages while you lounge VIP style in their spacious back room, which Dan has had the foresight to book months ahead of time. Show early and enjoy the last 90 minutes of their absurd 4 to 9 daily happy hour, or show later and wade through a crowd of drunk westside twentysomethings- it’s all good!
Please feel free to bring non-jerk guests, and be prepared to make awkward drunken conversation all night long!  For those who are unfamiliar, when you get in the bar head to the back on the RIGHT side. Otherwise you’ll end up on the patio and I’ll laugh at you later.
If you and I haven’t seen each other for a while, that’s cool, and that’s all the more reason to come by and celebrate.

If you can’t make it, you better have a damn good reason.

Those who inebriate themselves can always crash out at my place, which is a short cab ride from the bar. Safety first, kids. Hope to see you all there.

Casting Super Bowl XLV

2 03 2011

So this is a bit late, as we’re a couple of weeks past the Super Bowl, but hey, I was busy celebrating a Packers victory.

If Super Bowl XLV was made into a big Hollywood movie, who would (or should) be cast in the various roles?  I took 14 players, coaches, and executives from the teams and league, and tried to best cast the roles based on a few basic qualifications:

1. Appearance – I wanted actors who at least somewhat resembled the person they’re portraying.  Some are closer than others, of course.  For the players, athleticism is considered as well.

2. Acting Ability – Looks aren’t enough.  I wanted people who I had seen in other projects and who can hold their own as thespians.

3. Star Power – For the most part, the actors chosen are known enough to play in an ensemble cast about an event like this.  Some are well-known, some may not be, but overall I don’t think they’d scoff at being offered the role.

4. Age – I wanted actors who were fairly close in age to the person they were portraying.  Some are off a ways, but let the makeup department deal with that.  All ages appear in parentheses in the explanations under the pictures.

If you think you have better choices, leave a comment and get a conversation started.  And feel free to cast the rest of the roles.

Note that the team casting is a bit more Packer-heavy.  They did win, after all, so I don’t think that’s too unfair.

Also note that THIS IS ALL HYPOTHETICAL.  No movie is actually being made.

First up, the head coaches (2):

Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy would be portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio

Mike McCarthy - Vincent D'Onofrio

Mike McCarthy (47) is the heavyset ringleader of the Green Bay Packers.  He’s endured countless scrutiny from the national and, in particular, the Wisconsin media over the years, so it seems somewhat appropriate that he’s portrayed by actor Vincent D’Onofrio (51).  D’Onofrio, despite decades of work in television and film, is still best remembered as Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket.  In Jacket, of course, Pyle endured the scrutiny of his merciless drill sergeant before finally snapping.  McCarthy tends to stay cool under pressure, so the similarities really end there.

Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin would be portrayed by Omar Epps

Mike Tomlin - Omar Epps (I think)

Call it the easiest casting decision in movie history.  A Google image search for Mike Tomlin (38) even turns up tons of pictures of he and Omar Epps (37) in a slash-image like the one above.  Beyond the striking physical similarity, Epps is a very accomplished actor with a variety of roles in television and films, including as athletes in The Program and Major League 2.  He’s now probably best known for his current role as Dr. Eric Foreman on Fox’s hit show House.

Second, let’s check out some executives (3):

Packers GM Ted Thompson would be portrayed by John Slattery

Ted Thompson - John Slattery

John Slattery (48) is younger and more handsome than bold and heavily-scrutinized Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson (58), but there is a shortage of good silver-haired actors in Hollywood and Mad Men star Slattery is the best among them.  The role isn’t an easy one if the movie portrays any of the drama that led to Thompson’s decision to end the Brett Favre “will he or won’t he come back” drama and lay his job and the future of the franchise on the shoulders of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Steelers President Art Rooney would be portrayed by Chazz Palminteri

Art Rooney - Chazz Palminteri

Chazz Palminteri (58) is a powerful actor who has a gruff demeanor and carries the perfect air of superiority one might expect from an NFL team executive (or a mob boss).  He wouldn’t have any trouble playing Steelers President Art Rooney II (58) who has been disliked by some but instrumental in pulling the Steelers back to greatness.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be portrayed by Dylan Baker

Roger Goodell - Dylan Baker

Dylan Baker (51) isn’t a household name for most folks, but his face is likely recognizable from various serious and comedic supporting roles in everything from the Spiderman trilogy to Plane, Trains, and Automobiles.  His extremely complex and dark role as child molester and family man Bill Maplewood in the movie Happiness convinced me he could play pretty much anything.  Portraying the both lauded and vilified NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (52) would be well within his vast acting range.  Plus, they look a bit alike.

Up next, the defensive players (3):

Packers Cornerback Charles Woodson would be portrayed by Idris Elba

Charles Woodson - Idris Elba

Idris Elba (38) is best known by many for playing Stringer Bell on HBO’s hit series The Wire.  He’s a British actor but, as Bell, proved that he’s more than capable of sounding like a homegrown American.  He’s an excellent actor and has the height, athleticism, and intensity to play Packers defensive back Charles Woodson (34), who was the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and delivered an emotional halftime speech in Super Bowl XLV after he was forced from the game with a broken collarbone.

Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu would be portrayed by Jason Momoa

Troy Polamalu - Jason Momoa

Admittedly, this was a really tough one to cast, but it simply HAD to be done.  Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu (29) is of Samoan descent, and my examination into Samoan actors didn’t turn up anyone capable of really playing this role (though some might fit right in as offensive linemen).  Hawaiian native Jason Momoa (31) is not a particularly well-known actor, but I was familiar with his work as Ronan Dex on Stargate: Atlantis, and he does have the same general look and athletic build to portray Polamalu.  Camera work would have to minimize Jason’s 6-inch height advantage over Troy, but those are small potatoes compared to other physical factors (including hair, which would be converted from dreads to locks).  As for star power… let’s call it Momoa’s big break.

Packers Linebacker Clay Matthews would be portrayed by Armie Hammer

Clay Matthews - Armie Hammer

Despite the silly name, Armie Hammer (24) is a young actor who emerged as a budding star this year because of his duel role as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in The Social Network.  He has some acting chops, but he’d need to grow his hair out or get some extensions to accurately portray Clay Matthews (24), who is as well known for his long hair as he is for his devastating hits.  Matthews forced a key fumble late in the Super Bowl that helped clinch the game, and he was runner-up to Polamalu for 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the year.

Last, the offensive players (6):

Packers Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson would be portrayed by Channing Tatum

Jordy Nelson - Channing Tatum

This was a tough one.  Jordy Nelson (25) is far from an NFL superstar, but had a big game in the Super Bowl and was an integral part of Green Bay’s victory, so he deserves a role.  The problem is that Hollywood is extremely short on Caucasian, ATHLETIC young twenty-something actors.  I mean, seriously, nearly all of the notable white actors in that age range are scrawny nerd-types like Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg, or Shia LaBeouf.  It was difficult casting Aaron Rodgers for the same reason.  Channing Tatum (30), though I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him in anything (I’m not a big Step Up fan, shockingly), at least matches the physicality and would be able to play Nelson.

Steelers Wide Receiver Hines Ward would be portrayed by Brian J. White

Hines Ward - Brian J. White

Brian J. White (35) has played athletes in Mr. 3000 and the Dwayne Johnson football vehicle The Gameplan, so suiting up as tough-nosed Steelers wideout Hines Ward (34) wouldn’t be a big leap for the accomplished actor, whose credits also include roles in The Family Stone, Brick, and I Can Do Bad All By Myself.  In fact, White actually spent some time as a player for the New England Patriots and as a professional lacrosse player before getting deep into the acting game.

Packers Wide Receiver Greg Jennings would be portrayed by Anthony Mackie

Greg Jennings - Anthony Mackie

If you don’t know Anthony Mackie (31) from his stellar performance in last year’s Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker or his portrayal of Tupac Shakur in Notorious, you might remember him from his emotional performance as college football player Nate Ruffin in 2006’s We Are Marshall, so he’s no stranger to the gridiron.  He’s an ideal candidate to play wideout Greg Jennings (27), who spurred a Green Bay victory with a pair of touchdowns in the big game.

Packers wide receiver Donald Driver would be portrayed by Mos Def

Donald Driver - Mos Def

Aside from an obvious physical resemblance, rapper Mos Def (37) has carved out a nice non-music career as an actor in films like Be Kind, Rewind, Something the Lord Made, and The Italian Job and would be a solid choice for the role of Donald Driver (36).  It might be a tough task for him to tackle the heavy role of Driver, a former college track star who was raised in extreme poverty and went from a 7th round pick out of Alcorn State to the greatest wideout in Green Bay history.  Like Woodson, Driver was injured and missed most of the big game, but his leadership and determination are unquestionable.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be portrayed by Ryan Gosling

Ben Roethlisberger - Ryan Gosling

A difficult casting choice, for sure, because short of Zach Galifianakis, there aren’t many pudgy bearded actors in Hollywood.  Also, despite the pudge, Ben Roethlisberger (29) is still an athlete and his turbulent history might require a top-notch actor.  Enter Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling (30), known for his roles in Half Nelson, The Notebook, and 2010’s Blue Valentine.  Gosling has also played a quarterback before, portraying QB Alan Bosley in 2000’s Remember the Titans.  He may have to add a few pounds, but the 6-foot one-inch Gosling is a perfect fit to portray Big Ben.

Packers quarterback & Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers would be portrayed by Zachary Quinto

Aaron Rodgers - Zachary Quinto

This is possibly the toughest of all the casting decision.  As mentioned in the Jordy Nelson selection, there is a huge shortage of young athletic Caucasian actors in Hollywood right now, so casting professional football players like Aaron Rodgers (27) is no simple task.  Fresh off his performance as Spock in the new Star Trek, Zachary Quinto (33) isn’t an obvious choice for the Super Bowl MVP, but he’s shown his acting range over the years and seems capable of taking a few hits from defenders.  After acting opposite Tori Spelling on So NoTORIous, you’d have to think he could handle anything.

So what other roles would you cast?  Do you have better choices than the ones I made?  Let me know in the comments.

Episode One! Charlie Sheen, Justin Bieber, Oscar Picks

25 02 2011

Episode One!  Yes, it’s finally here (right click, save as, or click to stream mp3):


It’s about 37 minutes long and is about 35 MB big. (huh huh huh)

Show notes:

The full Charlie Sheen Alex Jones Show interview from TMZ is right here

And here’s Sheen’s $30,000 check to a porn star / prostitute.  Note that the bank manager misspelled verified.  Funny.

Check out Justin Bieber’s brutal CSI death scene here on Youtube (also, my bad, he’s 16)

The full list of Academy Award Nominees via

My picks:

Best Picture- The Social Network

Best Actor- Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Best Actress- Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Supporting Actor- Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Best Supporting Actress- Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Best Director- David Fincher (The Social Network)

Best Writing Directly For Screen- Christopher Nolan (Inception)

Best Writing Adapted- Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)

The Wikipedia page for the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis.  Probably the most important sports book ever written.

Episode Zero

14 02 2011

So here it is kids, the “first” episode of the Dan Port Podcast.  This was essentially a trial run (thus it’s called “episode zero”) but I did cover quite a few topics.  It’s about 24 minutes long and 21.4 MB large.  Future podcasts will have a musical intro, professional voiceover, guest stars, etc.  I’ll also see what I can do about reducing the file sizes.

Here’s the download link and some show notes.

Right Click, Save As (you know the drill):  DAN PORT PODCAST EPISODE ZERO

Here’s the Yelp page for the Tattle Tale Room, where I watched the Packers win the Super Bowl.  Surprisingly good reviews.

Check out the safe for work (youtube) preview trailer for Erica McLean’s movie The Flying Pink Pig

And here’s some info on the lawsuit that Flying Pig Truck has filed (from TMZ)

Lastly, here’s the safe for work (youtube) preview trailer for the Simpsons porn parody .  Flanders looks pretty good, I think.

Remember to email or tweet me any comments, suggestions, questions, topic ideas, etc.

Coming soon!

10 02 2011