Beginnings and Endings.

 Time travel is a weird thing. I haven't looked at the blog in years, much less written anything. Recently, events in my life has maneuvered me into having a bit of extra time and a bit of extra energy, so I thought I would travel nostalgia's road back to the cocktailquest blog. I found among several other unpublished drafts my "about me" post.  The opening reads, "Disclaimer One: I am not a bartender." And while that was certainly true when I wrote those words--it is so far from the truth now. I am a bartender. 

    Anything I write on these pages now is the result of a long, winding journey from barback to beverage director in six years. But ten years ago, I was sitting at a desk, working the proverbial 9 to 5, miserable and stagnating. My now-wife--who I had only been dating for a few months at the time--didn't think I was the kind of person who was willing to settle for miserable. She challenged me to be brave and take risks to follow a hint of a dream. Where it took me was anywhere close to dreamlike. Transitioning careers and trying to build a new one from scratch was hard--the hardest thing I have done in my life so far. Perhaps that means life has been easier on me, but experience has taught me that life is never really easy on anyone. Just harder on some, if that possibly makes any sense. 

    So there I was, waiting to hear of any opening that could allow me to escape the doldrums of a day job. After a few months, it came. But it is hard to convince a restaurant manager that hiring a 35-year-old legal editor, who has never seen the inner workings of a restaurant, for a barback position is a risk that will pay off. Entry level positions are usually reserved for those who are entry-level aged. I knew I had little chance of getting my shot. The results were as expected. But I didn't know how quickly time passes in the restaurant world.  

    I'm not trying to say that there wasn't a bit of luck present early on. Sometimes being at the right place at the right time is the foundation for opportunity. As this blog has shown, I spent a lot of my time in craft cocktail bars. During those years, a lot of cocktail enthusiasts could be found lingering at various cocktail watering holes in Seattle--Rob Roy, Zig Zag Cafe, Vessel, to name a few. One night I met a man who had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of classic cocktails. We struck up an easy friendship, bonding over our esoteric hobby and of course drinks themselves. And as luck would have it, bad luck that is, he found himself transitioning to working behind a bar soon enough. It was this friend who finagled me an interview that was not a success. But it was also this friend, who was promoted to bar manager when the previous bar manager moved on just two months later, who would hire me for my first restaurant job. If I had simply walked into a different spot on a different day--or sat in a different seat, for that matter--history might have been written differently. But the real story started here.