In accordance with our ongoing policy of trying to get our janitorial staff to quit (preferably in tears), photos of Thursday's Chocolate Syrup Wrestling event are up now.

This was probably the classiest event we've ever booked. Classy with a capital K.

Here's something that I have learned, and will share with you for your future reference: when you get chocolate syrup on your camera lens, it does not wipe off nearly as easily as whatever is in GWAR spooge. Sometimes it makes everything go all soft-focus, though, like Nurse Chapel.

Here's something that creeped me out, that I will also share with you: a moderately-sober-seeming girl in the audience dipping her finger into the wrestling pool and eating a big old blob of chocolate.

Now, I realize that this club has, in no small degree, broken my mind. I wash my hands too often. I open the bathroom door with a paper towel. I saw some of my own behaviors in "The Aviator", and it concerns me. But I still can't let go of the chain of evidence in this case, and must assume that that tasty fingerful of chocolate came with a side-order of week-old vomit, Hepatitis and Chlamydia.

People, please. Don't pick shit up off the floor and eat it. Especially this floor. You're giving me the willies.

In addition to sticky girls hitting each other, there was also a short set by a band (Late Night Sneaky). They had a pretty neat setup. There was a truly gargantuan screen hanging at the front edge of the stage. The band was (mostly) behind the screen and backlit (projecting silhouettes onto the screen), mixed with video of the band being projected on the front. It looked very cool. More Machine Than Man did a similar trick back in September.

Within 24 hours, the top four Google hits for "Chocolate Syrup Wrestling" pointed to the above-mentioned event. I shudder to think what kind of coprophiliac traffic that's going to drive here in days to come.

Last night we had a show by this fellow named Wu Bai, who apparently fills stadiums in Taiwan, which I guess explains why so many people who didn't speak English were willing to pay sixty bucks a head -- we sold out!

My favorite part was how the flyer, in a classic Engrish moment, proclaimed him "King of Live."



My least favorite part was how, not only did they plaster the walls of the club with banner ads (which, while hateful, isn't terribly unusual when TV and radio co-promotion is involved), but they also played commercials before the show.

I am not making this up. Before the band went on stage, they killed the music and played a DVD with ten minutes of Chinese commercials for ISPs and airlines and shit.

    At first I assumed it was ironic.

    Then my head exploded.

Anyway, the music was classic rock, totally unremarkable except for its non-English-ness. There was a pretty long article about this guy in the Mercury News this week (bypass the registration with BugMeNot.) Apparently there is "no one like him."

I only took a few photos; it was really crowded and I wasn't in the mood to force my way to the front.

The crowd were weirdly well behaved; not only did they throw away their own trash, but when someone left the crowd to go to the bar, their spot would still be waiting for them when they got back. I guess that was actually the strangest part of all.

There is still a godawful stench left over from the wrestling event. Maybe it's rotting chocolate, or maybe one of the performers decided to puke in some out-of-the-way corner of the back room that we have not yet discovered. The smell seems to have made its home in the sewer under the stage, mostly. Various staff have so far put in literally dozens of hours trying to make this smell go away. It's tenacious.

We had a plumber in the other day, trying to clear a clog in one of the urinals that we couldn't fix on our own. (Yes, a clogged urinal. How? Our customers are fucking savages, that's how.) So the plumber says, "We're going to have to bust into this wall here, they didn't put in a clean-out port for this drain!" I walk by, point, "Is that it?" He says, "Oh. Yeah."

All plumbers are like that. All of them. Also, they eat their young.


You know those TVs we have? Yeah, you've probably never noticed them. They're turning out to be such a disappointment.

Those of you who have been following along from the beginning may remember that we've got this little private cable-TV network inside the club that distributes the video from the various webcast cameras around to a bunch of televisions around the club, each TV showing a random picture from a different camera. The original plan was to have a whole lot of these TVs all over the place. What we ended up with was four stacks of them: under the main stairs; above the couches in the lounge; in the coat-check counter; and behind the fence in the main entrance.

Except these days, they're mostly dark.

Here's the problem: we thought, "oh, we'll just get a bunch of old TVs, people throw them away all the time." Well, turns out, those old TVs are being thrown away for a reason, which is usually that they no longer display a picture. Not that a noisy picture is a bad thing: some TVs are really cool looking with analog noise, or a missing color channel, or a rolling picture. But most of the TVs we ended up with weren't like that; they were more of the "no picture, just static" variety.

But, we can't even solve this problem by throwing money at it and buying new TVs. Apparently we are suffering under the iron fist of "EnergyStar" legislation: most TVs manufactured within the last decade or so can't be turned on from a power strip! Really old TVs (the kind with knobs for changing the channel) had hard switches and would come back on when you re-applied wall power. But most modern TVs have "soft" power switches, and after you flip on the power strip, you have to also press the button on the front. And even worse, a lot of them re-set to channel 2 when you pull the plug. We have a lot of these new-ish TVs these days, since that's what people are discarding now. The really old ones are all gone already.

So, for a while, the floor staff would go around and poke each TV at the beginning of the night to turn them on, and occasionally tweak the tuners to make the signal come in. But that hasn't been happening on any kind of regular basis for a while now, and almost all of them are just dark and disappointing. (To me. I assume nobody else knows they're there at all.) Bleh.

You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) how many colossally impractical Rube Goldberg suggestions I got about that TV business. You're all a bunch of dorks.

So, it's time for the bi-annual tagging rant again.

A couple months ago, yet another shit-worm vandal carved his fancy pirate name all over the men's bathroom: in foot high letters on the mirror, and all over the tile walls. We replaced the mirror the next day, but it took us another two months to find someone able and willing to replace the tile. (One or two tiles we can do ourselves, but to essentially re-tile a whole wall, it's nice to have someone who actually knows what they're doing.)

I was going to show you some pictures of the damage, but I figure that our needle-dicked friend might just consider that a victory condition, and you know, that'd be bad. So instead, here's what the repairs-in-progress look like:

This piece of human debris cost me $2,500 in repairs.

Every time this happens, I ask the guys, "so, remind me why we're still doing hiphop events?" (This shit doesn't happen exclusively at hiphop events, but mostly.) The answer, of course, is that the rich suburban white kids love their hiphop. It turns out that most of those events would still be profitable even if we had to re-tile the bathrooms weekly.

The most frustrating part, though, is that we don't. Most of the damage to the club goes un-fixed for a long time, largely due to our inability to find people to actually do the work. So these events come with this big hidden cost that is not reflected on the balance sheet: essentially we're selling off our fixtures and not replacing them. "We made $X, we spent $Y, and oh, we'll also throw in a bathroom stall door and three faucets, no charge."

Some nights, we've even stationed someone in the bathrooms. That's right, a full shift's worth of salary just to have security stand there and prevent the children from writing on the walls. It's cheaper than fixing it.

There were a few less traumatic changes this week, too: we finally filled in the gaps under the stage stairs. They used to have blue plastic in them (that was left over from the Old DNA, actually) but it was pretty crappy looking, and mostly kicked in; it also served as a hard-to-clean trash graveyard. So now they're just solid wood, painted black. Also, some of the side wall panels are now painted white instead of black, the idea being that it'll make it easier to do projections on them.

Come see Amish Rake Fight & Micronaut on tuesday. Please stop fucking up my bathroom. That is all.

Photos are up of last night's Amish Rake Fight + Micronaut show. It was a really good show. I didn't get very many photos, though, because the whole show was pretty dark.

I read Chris Randall's blog, and it was especially entertaining in the last couple of weeks as he's been blogging from the road. So I got to find out a week ago that -- oops -- they might not be making it here at all. Their van's transmission and radiator turned to slag somewhere in the middle of Texas, causing them to miss one (or two?) shows. By the time they got it rebuilt, they had to drive 1699 miles in 32 hours...

Until now, I hadn't read someone blogging in such detail about a tour that we were part of. It was like behind the behind-the-scenes. This Interweb thing, it might just catch on, I'm telling you.

Last week orkut.com held an anniversary party here. It wasn't quite the nerd-fest I was expecting (it held no candle to the FreeBSD party, that's for sure...) In fact, to the untrained eye, it might have been indistinguishable from a typical house-music night here. There were a lot more light blue button-down shirts and a lot, a lot more dry-humping than average, but not so much outright stunning nerdulescence.

The best part was when some guy kept nagging one of the bartenders to point "Jay Doubleyew Zee" out to him. She of course refused, because she likes her job. He said it didn't matter, because he knew what I looked like anyway: he'd seen a picture in a magazine! She said, "and that was when, eight years ago?" "Um. Yeah." "Ok, good luck with that."

Then he offered her twenty bucks just to answer the question, "is he still in the building?" She took his money, and said, "yes". He went off to continue looking, not realizing that I had been standing next to him the whole time.

That, my friends, is why I try to avoid having recent, attributed pictures of me online. (Note: this is not your invitation to find one and point it out.)

Back at the FreeBSD party, we employed a Spartacus policy: everyone on staff wore those "Hello, my name is" stickers, all of which said "JWZ". It was awesome, because so many people bought it. One guy said to Sarah, "wait, I thought you were a guy!" She said, "yeah, everybody says that."

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