“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God.” Bono to Rolling Stone Magazine
Preposterous as it will seem, should we read my stuff or for those who believe they know me and contrary to the outstanding evidence out there, I consider myself a Christian writer and by extension a Christian medic. The religion of sinner’s and forgiveness divine. True be it, that I’m far removed from any chance at even a preliminary stage toward sainthood but should had been missing this inherent rough quality, I’d have succumbed against the face of awful evil and been buried deeply at the core of some never to be discovered planet, without whimper. Saints tend to die young unless living in a vacuum supported by a hell of a lot of luck and as an outcome of this innocence, from a premature spiritually undeveloped death, receive privileged immunity, a paved path of admission beyond the Pearly Gates. Benevolent theology. Most of us other dolts must procedurally first fulfill the requirement of horrendous suffering and then altruistically, ‘see the light’ thru our selfish mischief, before stumbling upon the deserved forever glory in the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s difficult for me to envision an invite. That’s why I fondly cling to the company of deserving others. I seem too preoccupied by opposing forces. The bottom of my feet can feel the heat. Hope runs eternal. Always trying to mend my ways. Then we do our civic duty and vote my favourite candidate, only to find myself in the middle of another devil worshipping confrontation. Makes one wish I could just stop voting. What would life be like if we didn’t make bad decisions. Can we really ever avoid the bleeding? We do bleed. It’s a problem.
Similarly, factions of my faith, tragically find cause to gather in mass and attack each other violently under a banner of silliness, such as whether the “Virgin Mary” was a virgin or if she even contributed to propagation, according to dictates of a preferred sects chosen scribes. Essentially, to be described as a grotesquely large bar fight, over a woman. Despite this serious craziness, we gawk at the occasional find of stimuli, as admirable and delightful for human to charge at potential death for something strongly believed. We all need a reason to live…….
“Sunday Bloody Sunday” propelled the rock band “U2” into the consciousness of our youth during the 1980’s with striking drums and more than a few melodic military chords, stirring the juices of our Christian souls, a displaced proud history and participating the storied many of those we may have wronged. So I jumped on board this band wagon along with a bevy of adoring fans, including my little sister and girlfriend. We bundled to concerts, as though entering a ‘battlefield’ and then questioned, why? Carnage. Hardly. These cliques showed to lay down their weapons, for the most part figuratively speaking and indulge a sharing time of harmonious fine music as part of an ongoing flip side for profit, anti-war movement. Peace is always good when you can receive it. Bathe yourself in it, Jesus advises. Particularly without the use of artificial additive’s. ‘Five loaves of bread and two fish’. Love, Sun and Rock and Roll.
It was disappointing to listen as my roommate explained events leading to our adopted New York inspired grunge hangout, having locked its doors entirely early to any addition of people because Bono and The Edge had made an unexpected foray. Concern of ensuing chaos should word disseminate to faithful at large, led to this decision of safety and to keep things comfortable inside. Tardiness that evening was a lost opportunity to rub shoulders with superstar favourite’s. “So did you talk with them?”, I asked. He admittedly hadn’t but other’s from our troop had exchanged words. “Any observations”? He characterized them as low-key, down to earth, didn’t womanize although they had ample wanter’s, drug free and sparse in their alcohol consumption, believe he mentioned them drinking, ‘Jack’. I may as well have been reading a newspaper column as it coincided with common public information. Micheal was probably situated in some other corner, carrying on his own merry go round party circle action. He was good like that. That’s how we got along. Being a prolific photographer, the “in crowd” was home turf and couldn’t intimidate. Removed from responsibility of a high profile shoot, while incognito, the scene became another clip of subconscious visual material and resume padding confirmation of merit, brought about by his comprehensive technical university education, fermenting a well connected corresponding lifestyle. He had the knack. Another hard-hitting vogue night in downtown Toronto during the late 90’s.
Planning to Blog this recollection and to reaffirm validity of my memory, in case honesty will again be journalistically fashionable, I tripped to the Bovine Club to see if it was still in play. Finding new was the second floor rooftop patio surprisingly open mid-afternoon and a young bartender printed brightly in a crescendo of spellbinding tattoo’s. She confirmed hearing about these happenings as contributing to continued notoriety relevant to events 20 years ago and that wikipedia has content relating to club activity. I’m so removed from this present. Anyway it became an excuse to delight with some modern drinks. Who knew about the coming plandemic? Thieved this term from the often witty internet chorus of jokesters, hucksters and freedom roving intellectual radicals. God have mercy on them.
More than likely but not certain, it was Sunday some months after my initial lost opportunity that fate decided to come knocking, a second go. Instinctively, something doesn’t add up for it to have been a Sunday. There is an explanation. I just can’t make it jive. Nevertheless, this incident had the principal participants grace the front page “entertainment section” of our metropolis’s most popular daily. Somewhere in the archives, proof can be sought, found, verified and determined. Just not enough personal time adjoined with knowhow to advance a cost effective search. Would certainly be a combustible enhancement picture to my story. Well we can always return with updates.
Lunch had vanished into thin air or rather we say hungry stomachs, as staff hurriedly restored the dining area to spick and span, before passing a free to leave inspection. This beautiful day was humming and employees scattered quickly, having changed into streetwear to enjoy a sunshiny break and typically indulge a controlled amount of liquid on some patio that wasn’t work, committed to returning for an equally busy evening. I was at our west foyer admittance stand, viewing our reservation book for overall quantity, the average size of groupings and recognition of repeating guests, strategizing with the principal duty hostess, the first of many to be revised drafts of placement. It’s a jigsaw puzzle to be sure, that reshapes itself over and over with contributing suggestions, advice or orders by owner(s), managers, waiters, chefs, bus persons, even cleaning staff and to be sure tactfully demure hostesses, serving as conductors of a symphony would, without the bravado and glory. Updates shall always be taken into consideration and can be elevated to priority, altering dramatically the schematics of our dining room until we have a satisfactory working draft. Malleability, alternative modes of escape with always an eye toward ever growing contingency, includes the whereabouts of surplus equipment and material. Serious stuff. Flexibility is key. Innocuous things such as an old woman’s love for a well placed exotic plant, or a young boys infatuation for the glittering xylophone sound, to a corporate leadership closing a deal in merger with foreign entity, assigned typically to a linguistic proficient and of course the classic odious dramatic death defying due to allergy, designated to fully alert danger capable medically informed server, including the always abundance of holiday happy calendared celebratory events, as some simple examples. Team work is essential and has to be habit forming to trust against significant pressure, for an operation to be successful. Without it we are lost. Stress tests are constant. What makes a restaurant distinctly different from most other enterprises, is the deluge of rapidly occurring transitions, all culminating with a customer’s God given right to ferociously complain and often embarrassingly in the presence of other clients. Letting off steam in this setting annihilates decorum. Standards of behaviour can’t be evenly applied among a large open to all audience, notwithstanding the etiquette scale. Dangers stemming from negatives is an entire collapse and unrecoverable surrender of the system, leading at it’s worst to an outright rout. Case in point “Mutiny on the Bounty”. Standing casually at the cooler having a tumbleweed debate or hours of picking your nose in the privacy of office, isn’t a fruition afforded the inertia of dining operations. All hands on deck. This isn’t to dispute a need for a vital vibrant bureaucracy in any field, however, when it becomes fat, lumbering, leaching, stagnant and immoral, God forbid. Exaggerated failures are not for faint hearts. Life courses through confrontation and solution. You’d come to believe that restaurants serve as out-patient psychiatric wards, whereby emotions throw themselves together with human endeavour for public scrutiny as a form of raw stark twisted entertainment. Don’t be concerned if things seem normal. Illusions. You gotta be there, on the inside, when it gets nutty and it always will. When you finally accept this ridiculousness as a permanent tumultuous, is a beginning to making things manageable. Or drop an apron, leave, promising never to return, unable to care. Regrets are measured by loyalty and endurance. Anyway, enough about that. It is this way with all things. Care or don’t care. Be or don’t be. Live or don’t live. Somewhere. Somehow.
I was also simultaneously frequently lowering my head to improve my sightline disrupted by awning, peering through bay windows overlooking the outside seating to where our two hostesses were manning the east stoop entrance to a now sparsely crowded bistro. They were conversing for several minutes with two guys, a sincere performance of the their paying duty. Normal procedure. When together they disappeared from view to come inside with boys in tow, curiosity halted my current deliberations and I began heading across to see what felt like something different. Hand, arm gestures, body posture, irregular motion, elevated interaction and intensity, alerts me to the sublime. They call it experience. I call it loving what I do. Less than perfect eye sight, my approach offered a brief profile glance and made recognize that what I had thought were young men, were a bit older than those distant perceptions. The hostesses stood side by side at attention facing their haul of potential treasure, carrying satisfied smirks, anxious flickering eyelashes and heightened eyebrow expectations, as though proudly saying, “look at what us cats dragged in”! The Goddesses also seemed strangely pensive, came later to be assumed, as to weather destiny would deny them their deserved prizes. Probably concerned they’d be cut loose of any deal making. Something was afoot and when I interrupted myself from their unusual behaviour, it struck me then, seated at this most awkward table that would normally be occupied closest to last, that being our front door, were none other than Bono and The Edge. Oxymoronically, The Edge had settled, arms loosely folded, hands placed beneath opposite elbows rested to his lower body, sat relaxed as though he’d been there for hours and was made part of our furniture. Home is wherever I lay my hat kind of guy. Bono on the other hand, was fully engaged and obviously fronts all their episodes, not only stage performances. We exchanged glancing nodding blinking knowing, we’ve been in situations before formalities. Bono fully extended limber, had his left elbow placed upon the top back of his chair, right foot leveraging his toe to the floor starting gate forward, his body leaning slightly to this same side in a preparatory step, elbow joined at knee, arm extended to back of hand on chin, seemed ready to explode into a 100 meter Olympic trial dash, or possibly a barn burning rapturous song. Thoughtfully choosing his words noticeably polite, he inquired if our hostesses might be able to join them for a drink. I replied that I couldn’t see why not but that I’d have to ask my boss, who was sitting in a corner chain smoking, nudged my head in a direction left and behind to where he most often be placed, candid full disclosure for our intrepid guests benefit. Their heads turned to find my revealing. A bartender, one of our managers, chef and some others had already congregated to confirm incredulity. When I reached the huddle, I was mostly amused that they were all so affected. “Bono says he wants to buy our hostesses drinks”. I often had difficulty taking this boss seriously. Of course I always did, it’s a discipline must but was addled how seemingly little he knew about rudimentary aspects of his established business and this isn’t to imply he wasn’t learning quickly. Artistry and wizardry were his forte, the rest he muddled and when you figured that out, he was very adorable. Ruthless but adorable. Advantage me. “Well they’re working” he proclaimed, more as a half murmuring question to himself” and maybe to curtail surrounding remaining ears from attempts at exodus, preempting an employee power shortage. I didn’t say anything and just waited for him to process the inevitable. That took a few seconds. We wouldn’t want to seem hasty in our deliberations. I suggested that we also contribute our main hostess that I had been engaging moments earlier, to complete nature’s trifecta bouquet. Boss kind of rolled his head and eyes, to and fro, like some yet undisclosed species of mammal, huddled staff hanging with bated breath, he butt his cigarette out aplomb into the ashtray ‘Casablanca’ nomenclature, “sure, why not”. I mean, really, could any of this have gone down any other way?! You don’t effort expensively constructing the swankiest, trendiest, spiritually stimulating Cairo Egyptian minimalist interior, architecturally engrossing restaurant in the great city of Toronto by being hesitant to accepting gifted exposure. I went back to Bono and the Edge to tell them things were copasetic and a third hostess on duty that in name of fairness would join them, with their permission. Obviously U2 wasn’t about to hindrance a gratitude for in motion fine art human fertile female form. So the five of them sat down to enhance each others company and I left the area satisfied my prying contribution concluded, to tend increased self-inflicted chores, physically arranging tables according to aspects of preliminary plans.
A half hour or more had lapsed when I needed to check with our kitchen and being closer there by way of the bistro, stumbled into re-remembering having forgotten from preoccupation that Bono and The Edge were still there chatting with our hostesses. Between the two cocktail waitresses, the afternoon bartender never wanting to leave, the evening bartenders beginning their shift, the manager with assistant manager feigning food tasting while sharing a lunch, the bus persons, a head chef, sous chef, with their full back of house kitchen accompaniment hidden at the ready, house musician, owner and now arrival of co-owner’s for an impromptu meeting, plus, plus, none of whom I’d seen passing through the fine dining area, there wasn’t a question as to our ‘stars’ being well taken care of. Available servitude outnumbered guests. If anything you wanted to avoid an overkill of friendly fire. For myself, I was looking forward to a detailed interpretation of our surprise visitors impact and should perceptions be any different from my own initial impression of sincere, eccentric and likeable. They were noticeably having a good time and because of this happiness instead of veering hard left I short skipped ahead to reappear beside Bono, witnessing the five brimming with smiles and the breathing, tearing residual of shared hearty laughter. Bono, possibly alerted, cheerfully looked up at where I had arrived previously as though he’d anticipated for me to be on cue and this stimulated my imagination that I’d been hired newest member of his tight merry band. Casually requested, “Do you think they could get the night off”? I really liked the implications of challenge. Just to see bosses face when asked if three members of his workforce could leave as entourage to U2 and he’d be forced to supplement them with his own hustle. This is the type of circumstance and success I thrive. Our beloved owner, his ashtray having been cleared and replaced with clean for probably coming on to somewhere near an exaggerated twentieth time, never permitted to be exposed by his strict standing order, to an obscenity of more than one dead cigarette at any one time. We had our idiosyncrasies, supported by a work ethic. It made us elite. The five departed shortly after. Stopping on our porch to pose for a waiting paparazzi flash.
Limiting profit margins and staving off recurring downturns eliminates the luxury of a ‘Human Resources’ department for smaller enterprises. Restaurants with a soul, that aren’t robotic or automated franchises, use instinct to cover this enclave as a cost effective part and parcel. Anyplace I’ve ever had privilege to work, staff invisibly drives operations by committee, colluding a loosely structured command structure, unheard of in regular business practices that have in place a bevy of redundant gatekeeping checks and balances, bypassing these traditional hierarchies because of immediacy relying in on the spot decision making, excepting of course an authoritarian umbrella of guidance from the top by vested principal investor and this can have confusing volatility if there are multiple financial legal interests. Employees are called upon to display independent thinking and indulge judgements from logic of their own reflective awareness, as they are deprived the scrutiny of immediate oversight. Should a supervisor be on the far end of incompetent an altogether common theme, they could of course provide scarce sometimes faulty bordering the ridiculous advice, support a bewildered faultily perceived achievement, cajole or beg mindlessly for all out effort, expound at wits end admonishments or finally tragically render a nowhere to go dismissal and yet through all this the onus is an an individual to represent good decision making. This is why vibrancy of the service or so called hospitality industry is a leading indicator of future economic robustness/activity. Youngsters make entry level primarily in this sector of work The harder you work the clearly more visible the fruits of your labour. And why the system loves us is we spend as hard as we receive. A crumbling service industry is a decaying society. This is why some economists feel restaurants are a backbone of future financial indicators because the volume of competence displays as a training ground to other industries fueling an invisible hand of Capatilism. On Tuesday you may be a simpleton follower, Wednesday a gritty task master, Friday a lowly foot soldier, Thursday a crafty second lieutenant, Friday a hero and Saturday cleaning washrooms, peeling potatoes, hoovering carpets and taking out the trash, biting your lip. People step into challenges for compelling multivariable reasons or just for money and motivations lay themselves bear rather quickly. Speaking broadly to bypass belabouring, the cash greedy employee can be best, particularly if a temporary job is a stepping stone to some other legitimate ambition. They are more useful and ingenious than many average simpeltons. So they need to be respected. On the other side of this equation are the lazy, good for nothing, theives, traitors and sabatouteur that once unsuspectedly manipulate their way inot your business can soon leave you out of commision. They need to be identified pronto, rooted out and dispatched. On the making a living side, natural inclination or propensity to be productive. Needs to. Identifying the useful and willing as is urgent and fitting them into appropriate roles can be described as survivalist. Scrutiny, combined with proving oneself, Mainly identify a person ability and wanting to utilize said such. catering to abilities recognized by consorts, that the reader will probably surmise or come to conclude without my speculation. Identifying effective employees skills has urgency and a tendency to surface quickly cyclically in a short space as a function of survival. Some people love me others hate me throughout this as proffesionals we must learn to tolerate each other Service Industry, rudimentary and some fall into tolerating. That’s the way of humans. Nobody and I mean nobody is supreme. I’ve never seen perfection represented in the human form. Only a fool would believe supremacy in man’s limited capacity to understand and for those reaching nervana have moved on from the disaster that is man. Profit margins don’t permit for this kind of I love everyone kind of person and can always find the positives in someone in some other blog will explain I make it a point to recognize talent and ability to everyones benefit and to respect it. Identifying quality persons work ethic and placing them in positions to excel increasing self worth and thereby having a good time while under the preasure of responsibility. caring family extends to intelligence. Fortunate generation When society still allowed people to have a good time. Many will have exceptional quality related to being brave enough to ask for certain kinds of employment. well oiled machine
‘Sunny’, an altogether appropriate ‘given name’ presented to her by loving biological father and mother, came bounding flowing through molecular air as though touching lightly the lily pads of an Irish pond, delicately dispatching splash, landing upon precisely the spot where together a number now forgotten day and night hours before we had been studiously debating how best to tackle the oncoming influx of charging patrons. “Milan, You’re the greatest” rolled out of her mouth, as if it had been laying in wait for exceedingly too long, needed release, to finally fully realize her fulfilment in a shared relief. Scatterbrained as I often be, began rifling my mind, similar to a white crimes burglar rapidly scanning through office files anticipating to be Watergated. Like wow what did I do to facilitate such strong feelings? Have to formula and bottle this reaction but what impetus to have her so fluttery with joy. Devoid ask or any apprehension she reached into her purse in fluidic motion, smoothly determined as if a revolver may unexpectedly appear to shock an inappropriate lover, to my amusement withdrew a Kodak folder of pictures and hurriedly began showing me the contents. A cascade of photos represented good times and good spirits the girls shared with U2. With it she bequeathed thanks and here and there falling on some humorous remembrance pointing out oddities or observations gave me a peck on the check and ended it all with an endearing hug.
Somewhere along the way I had to ask that dirty question sometimes one gets to wondering when consenting adults are left alone together in smaller groups, “They try anything”? “Nope” assured and content was her unrestricted reply, knowing full well the insinuation of my query, as all fine looking women who’ve been pestered beyond belief have grown to understand, until when advantaged in a preferred case they’re not being harassed and in love decide life needs to be serious. How boring it be, were every human endowed with good looks and in Sunny’s case exceptional smarts, the true beauty of her being. Ahhh well at least I’ve been DNA’d with good health. I thought grateful for her sincerity, then skirted further with thoughts of amazing, they were true to who they projected to be because there is always doubt and later more on it said to myself “sons of bastards” are probably far braver and better men than I, put in similar circumstances, these guys Bono and The Edge that make the band U2 iconic. Certain jealous degenerate music pimping dealing entities decry them as saps and prudes. Couldn’t have appreciated and respected them more for being men of family, or in the very least trying, with the quantity and quality of unhindered unbridled temptation, at their disposal, always lurking. A society that lose’s touch with morality loses touch with reality.
With the witching hour our girls after having had a great time, were together sent home emotionally unharmed and maybe but for one of them upsettingly so, to allow for the band, including their long train of dependents, to prepare in making tight schedules to other continent destinations in the hectic revolving door of music business, promotion, ambassadorship, adventure and good deeds. People remember a kindness.
I know they’ed be old but then look at the geriatric Stones. God willing I’d love for U2 to play the Colosseum in 2034. Hope I’m around to see it. They deserve it even if we have to roll them out in wheelchairs and intravenous.
11 O’clock Tick Tock———-U2 The Electric Co.———U2
I Will Follow—————– U2 “40”———————–U2
Sunday, Bloody Sunday——-U2 Beautiful Day————U2
New Years Day—————-U2 Numb———————U2
North and South of the river–U2. Lemon——————–U2
Until The End Of The World–U2 Luminous Times(Hold On To Love)–U2
“Out Of Control”—————U2. A Sort of Homecoming——-U2
Bullet The Blue Sky———-U2 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For–U2
Bad——————————U2. Mysterious Ways—————U2
Please—————————U2 Every Breaking Way———–U2
Pride (In The Name Of Love)–U2. New Years Day——————U2
Even Better Than The Real Thing–U2 Where The Streets Have No Name–U2