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Moon Phase

January 2019
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Bruce [userpic]

It's been, well, strange. I guess.

This morning I finished an extended game of phone tag with a lady at SJSU. They needed a form filled out to release my check for Tuesday.

Problem is, she's a morning person. I called back yesterday after she'd left for the day - and today, just prior. She was leaving at 11:00am for the weekend. I threw some clothes on, vaguely tamed the greasy tangles, and got there just too late to see her.

But at least she'd left the paperwork with the receptionist. So I'll hopefully have a check when I get back from New York.

Yesterday I made it up and sort of ready to deal with things by 4:30pm. I was actually somewhat productive - I reconciled about a year's worth of checking statements (I wanted to track down a $5 discrepancy), and actually paid several utility bills.

And I still had enough time to get my hair trimmed and have a leisurely dinner before the show. A rarely productive day, for me.

I was set up early, but still started a bit late, in large part because I was busy converting yet another funny video. Ah well.

I actually had a lineup at the beginning of the night - including dwo, who hasn't been in for several months. We also had a spondee, who stayed much later than she wanted to. That meant we were stuck with her for longer, which was, of course, quite awful.

sjgrrrl was covering for Lizz, who had told her she'd be in by 10:00pm. Lizz actually strolled in at something like 1:10am. When she asked for a song suggestion, You Know I'm No Good somehow immediately sprang to mind...

wissavix was to be there as part of her birthday tour, and had planned to be there a little after 9:00pm. She made it at something more like 11:00pm, stayed for two songs, then took off.

I guess that was the theme for the night - arrive late, and leave early. The bar was actually reasonably busy between, oh, 10:30pm and 11:30pm. The rotation never got huge (the largest were the third and fourth, at 15 people each), but at least there were people.

Including people like cekyr0 and jeffercine. Who I just don't see at the bar very often anymore.

But by midnight, almost everyone had evaporated. Just in time for pjdorian and Steve M. to show up. It was nice to see them, but they shortly took off for Hunter's.

So the first 4 rotations took us to midnight. The last 7 took us to just before 2:00am. Really not good for a Thursday.

I closed down by something like 2:30am, braved the Paula (who could have been more disturbed, fortunately), headed home, unloaded, picked up a sleepless timenchanter, and went to Carrows for supper.

Timmie was in a rather depressing full-on KoC doom&gloom mode. Of course, he tends to be rather black and white about things.

I dunno. I think KoC could do fine - in better hands. It just doesn't look like those hands are showing up anytime soon.

Part of me is coming to the conclusion that I'm probably going to have to find another place to play. And if so, it'll likely be out of the gay scene, which is sad. I only function well in community bars - the ones where patrons actually talk to each other, rather than somehow make hookups using sign language over music loud enough to cause hearing loss 10 feet outside the door.

With the way Hunter's is dominating things right now, that's going to be most of the South Bay gay scene very shortly.

But I dunno. I'm tired. But at least my sheets are getting clean - which is good. I'm probably going to take them back home, throw them on the bed, and go back to sleep.

Tonight is Krista's post-birthday party at Ciao Bella's. That should be much fun - though for some reason, part of me thinks it would be extremely appropriate to show up quite late...

Current Location: Super Laundry
Mood: tiredtired

I made the comment pointedly last night, that KoC needs to change ownership and have people who will not only manage it better, but actually MAKE something out of the place.

Plus I was kind of pissed that the barstool I was sitting on, actually ended up being a bit sticky. I didn't find out until this morning when I put the pants on. I don't recall any kind of spill, despite the fact that for some reason last night... my spacial sense was way out of whack. My hips were crashing into thing... and I don't have big fuckin' hips.

At any rate, Paula is managing one thing very well... the ability to piss off everyone around here, more and more with the passing of time.

So just sell it to someone who cares.

Yuck. I'm pretty sure that Heather wiped them down at the beginning of the night, but not positive. Definitely sorry about that.

Paula means quite well. She's just unfortunately rather clueless - which some people attribute to the stroke she had a number of years back. Personally I think it's more systemic than that.

There were some people interested in buying the place, and keeping the general spirit. After having been run around by Paula for almost a year, I don't really think they're interested anymore.

And I don't know another white knight that I can pull out of a hat.

The things I believe need changing:

  • Drink Prices. She raised them a couple of times, based on some survey of local club drink prices. Which would be fine, if she maintained a club atmosphere. As it is, as Timmie tends to say a little over-stridently, it's a bar. Furthermore, it's not competing with, say, the Barcelona. It's competing with Hunter's, Splash, Renegades, and Mac's. And it is, for most people, further away. I'd survey their prices, and charge roughly 50¢ less.

  • Price variation. This is simple Econ 101. On slow nights, lower your damn prices.

  • Drink specials. According to Timmie, we've had the same specials up for over 6 months. That board should change nightly, with at least 3 completely new drinks a week.

  • Cover charges. Timmie says Paula doesn't understand cover charges. Honestly, I don't think he does either. On club nights, the cover pays the DJs. On karaoke nights, it goes straight to the bar, which is fine. I really don't care. But either way, for the customer, it's an alternative to a drink minimum. So when you charge a cover, don't fucking charge for a glass of water.

  • Water. While we're on the subject, you never, ever, ever charge a person who's bought several drinks for water.

  • Urinals. 'Nuff said.

  • Lighting. Dark is fine. Dismal black is not. Given the number of people that have to come up to the booth to read the book, I've been toying with the thought of getting personalized LED flashlights and supplying them.

  • Dance floor. I've priced dance floor lighting. You can afford to buy a new cheap light every 2-3 months, at least, and provide some visual variation.

  • Environment. One of the things James and Kris did very well back in the day was redecorate on a weekly basis. Nothing fancy - just light color changes, streamers on the ceiling, things hanging here and there - stuff like that. And it kept the place interesting.

  • Gay bar. She's tried to downplay the connection to the gay community - including taking down the rainbow flag. This pisses me off more than anything else she's done. Granted, the people on Wednesdays and Fridays are mostly hetero. But they're gay-friendly. She's afraid she'll "scare off" any straight customers. All fine and good, except that means she's transforming the place into a neighborhood bar. Straight people generally just go to the bar on the corner - they don't travel 20 miles. They also, in general, drink less. A lot less. Putting the place in the closet is both amoral and bad for business. Not only does the bar need to be more openly "gay," but it needs to get involved with community events.
I'm sure there're other things, but those are the main items I feel need to change immediately. Unfortunately, that'll likely involve either a change of ownership, or some kind of odd intervention.

I'm just a clean freak. Ignore me. Back in Chico, at the bar that is LOST and used to be MR LUCKY...

You LITERALLY... stuck to the carpeted part. It never got cleaned, it was disgusting.

Otherwise, good on the bullet points. I'm sure there's more.

Some people like the calmer, karaoke like atmosphere for example. but if it's smaller and less flashy, then yeah lowering prices would go a long way to bringing people back I'm sure. If you're offering less, keep it less.

The decoration for Cinco de Mayo... I think was the ONLY change I saw, other than that, even the dive bars in Chico changed things up. You're right that's another thing I never really noticed...

SO... uhm... is someone going to stage an intervention, or what? There are people who love KoC and want it to stay open, and despite my change in habit I would hate to see the place go, because I appreciate very much the atmosphere and at least on Mon-Tue-Thu... it's the environment people like me enjoy very much. So ... how about intervention for change?

Various people have tried. The problem is that Paula can be convinced to behave differently.

For a few days.

Then things somehow shift back to normal.

Best would be to sell the place to someone who has the money, and wants to keep the flavor. Timmie's tried that. And if Paula hadn't dragged her feet for nearly a year, they'd already be running the place.

And now they aren't all that enthusiastic about the idea.

If you know anyone who has the money, and wants to run a gay Cheers, let me know.

*droopy ears*

God, how terrible.

Let's see, where to begin....

Drinks are expensive, and fortunately I don't drink, but I do understand the economy of it. The drink prices are most likely high for the place. If the bar was more "upscale" then the price would be warranted, but Koc isn't upscale.

Those bathrooms......*sigh* if there's one thing KoC could really benefit from, it's a renovation of the bathrooms. We all know that some people simply won't go to Koc because the bathrooms bored on disturbed. They're usable, but really, I'd like it if they were MORE then usable lol

The lighting doesn't bother me too much. I sorta like the darker, more "intimate" atmosphere, though I do understand about reading being damn near impossible.

Now I'm not exactly there a lot, so I have no idea. Is dancing common at Koc? cuz I never saw it. Granted, I've only ever gone on Saturdays.

The gay aspect. Let's be honest, the gay community is fairly tight knit, and groups of people are connected by mutual friends. In all, info spreads swiftly. We are the main client base for KoC, and it'd be a tremendously bad idea to turn against that. Not only that, but it's practically the only gay karaoke bar anywhere. When talking to a friend of mine, I mentioned a karaoke bar, and he immediately knew it was KoC. I'd like to be positive and say "the community can save the bar! rise up!" but that really isn't the case.

Saving it. Paula does indeed seem like a nice woman. I've only spoken to her a little bit. I mean, I'll give her credit, running a small business is hard. Sadly, it seems as though she's forgetting her target audience, or what kind of services she is providing. People come from very far (such as me, 60 miles), to gather with friends, sing, be social, and have a good time. Things like cover charges are forgivable, but making the place less inviting is not. Part of me thinks it would be grand if she simply sold it, maybe to someone more involved in the gay community.

Still, I have this fear, that IF it was sold, it wouldn't be KoC anymore. One of the things I love about the place is how un-gay it is, if that makes sense. It's comfortable, and laid back, and full of gay people, yes, but it doesn't scream "OMG GAY BAR," and that's kinda nice. It'd be terrible if someone bought the place and severely gay'd it up. I think it'd lose a lot of it's laid back, social charm.

If this was a movie, something adorable would happen, like all the regular patrons rising up, and pitching in, buying the bar together! It'd be a wonderful TV movie for sure. Maybe oyu could buy it Bruce! *gasp* I kid I kid. I'd like to believe that a community CAN save the bar, but that's only if Paula is open to listening, and taking action, even if that action involves selling.

Paula is a very nice woman. And I am worried about what would happen with a change of guard.

KoC has a very similar feel to the old Daybreak, and the main thread that still links them is Paula. The Daybreak was falling apart, too, but it also had a wonderful community.

One of the things I love about KoC is the fact that it is such an open, accepting place. Plus, I tend to think it's a good thing that one doesn't necessarily know the orientation - or sometimes even the gender - of the people one is talking to. It makes the place much less of a meat market.

And if I had the resources to buy it, I probably would. Though I don't really feel I personally have the energy and drive necessary for the place.

Which means I'd at least somewhat fit the Paula management style...

I would be a very sad Noah if KoC were to close, or if there were to be KoC sans Brucie! What would I do with myself? It would not be a good day.

How come I don't receive mention anymore for being at the bar or parties or whatnot? Perhaps I have become to much of a fixture ;-).

Yep, you're a fixture now, dear. I just can't list everyone - heck, I can't even remember everyone. I'd have to spend my time with a list set up, ticking off entries every time I saw someone.

I very seriously don't want KoC to go - I think it's actually a pretty good building (though the noise limitations due to the hotel are a problem), and I love the community that's been built up.

In any case, it's not likely there'll be a KoC sans Brucie. I'll be leaving the place when it shuts down/transforms, not before. And that may not happen.

I'm sure it's tied to revenue, but, with a little more AC running... and the door shut, the noise problem is solved.

Nah. The noise problem is purely a matter of bass.

The hotel's rooms are fairly heavily insulated against noise - they're right by a freeway, after all. But the bass goes straight through the ground and up the walls.

And unfortunately, the people who want it loud, like the Friday and Saturday night crowds, equate "loud" with lots of bass. One of those little dance club sound tricks you can pull is to pump the bass, and lower the mids and highs. You then have an "immersive" environment where it's still possible to talk.

Unfortunately, we can only afford to raise the mids and highs - so you get what feels like a quiet environment, but you still can't talk. Not good.

We have a very nice subwoofer. It's been disconnected for quite a few months. Before that, we got noise complaints almost every single night. Well, every night I wasn't playing. Since then, I think we've had two.

And we've also lost a lot of our Friday crowd.

Noted. Wow. Yeah I get what you mean now, I've been in loud ass clubs with the bass just JUMPIN'... yet I can hold a conversation still, with someone.

I never thought of that. Way cool!

Too bad... you can't do that. Jeez.

Yeah. It's the main downside to the location. And Mountain View doesn't particularly care that we were there first.

Hell, I'm sure they'd prefer to tear the place down, and replace it with another hotel.

it's nice to be missed, but it had only been a month since i was last there. ;)

Really? Well, I guess it has been an awfully busy month.

But hey, it was nice to see ya even if it wasn't that long. :-)

yeah, it was the 22nd of july, the night casey's siblings paid a visit.

likewise. =)

hahahaha, I'm sure there are some people out there who are shaking their heads at you saying that I'm pretty "Black & White" about things. I've done everything that I can think of to help the bar, as have you, Kris, James, Eddie and several other people along the way. The fact is that Paula can't or won't get it, for whatever reason. I have hit that point where I can't hold out the hope any longer. That doesn't mean I'm not going to continue going and doing what I can to the bitter end. It just means that I'm fairly certain there is an end coming...and with the way things have been going this year, it's going to be sooner rather than later. If that makes me doom and gloom, so be it.

Nice points on your other comments though.

I have seen KoC from the ass end, and that bitch ain't pretty. The place is thirty years of deferred maintenance, and this is retirement age. I'm depressed.

Are there serious structural problems?

I'm just curious how bad it would be if one approached the place with a reasonable amount of money and a plan.

The place is repairable, but it is only practical if George sells the building IMO. Investing in infrastructure that you don't own is poor business sense.

On the one hand, I agree.

On the other, it's a remarkably standard setup. Almost all business locations are leased. Bars even more so.

I've seen bar owners spend in the hundreds of thousands to fix up a space they didn't own.

It's a funny old world.

It would be interesting, though, to see how much owning the place would cost vs the lease payments - and it's been brought up multiple times that one could do a lot more with the place if one attached George's office.

Though that might involve applying for a license for a larger space. Oy, this gets complicated...

If the miles of bereft, and not-so, conduit didn't give it away... :)

Well, we all know that KOC needs some kind of revamp just for the building alone. This is just a suggestion, try entering on like these home makeover challenges, or holms on homes. Who knows they might just do it..... They've done schools before and cafe's.
Now I feel like I need to go out and start singing "give me your money" from Ave. Q. Too bad we don't know a Trekie Monster to donate 10 million $$$

oh now your in trouble...

Ha! I love you Bruce but you actually have the story wrong..I was going to come in at 10 but Lilly called me and told me not to since Paul was there to work as well as Heather...So I really was just stopping by with Ron to hang out..but don't worry I'm still no good :)

Re: oh now your in trouble...

Hmmmm. When Heather showed up, she said she was there to replace you, and was hoping to go home at 10:00 when you showed up.

So if Lilly said that, she may have kind of screwed Heather over. Ah well.

And it's your evil ways that make you so sexy. ;-)

Re: oh now your in trouble...

Yeah Lilly and Paula have this way of asking 3 people or no one to work..so it's always amusing to see who shows up..then once they "book" someone they don't tell the other people not to come in..so when 2 people show up they call the other person to say they arnt needed but they leave the people working in the dark...this has happened to Chris (Skarkrow) a few months back..Ron a few weeks ago and me this past week...So Ron and I make the mistake of comming in after Lilly cancels us just to drink..and we end up working anyway..so no, I wasn't trying to be a flake :)

Re: oh now your in trouble...

Yeah, communication isn't their strong suit - especially Paula.

The last time Timmie got really drunk was because he was called in (in a panic) to replace you - only to find Paul working on a one-person night. So he got blasted instead...

And hey, I don't try to be a flake. But sometimes one's innate abilities just come through, ya know?