New TUTT This Weekend!

I’m so sorry it’s taken so long to get the podcast up and running this summer. It’s been crazy.

Josiah’s now ramping up for grad school and is basically unavailable now his focus is on school, as it should be.

I have been a busy bee and have rekindled my past love affair with improv acting at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and have been busting my ass in classes there.

All this means, Tracks Up the Tree has gotten no love. Well, friends and neighbors, good news. This weekend I’m sitting down to record and we’ll get this podcast back on track. Although life is still crazy, I am making time for you all and will delight your ears with more meaningless banter.


Josh Keyes is Cool

Josh Keyes is a pretty remarkable painter and one of his prints goes on sale tonight on Tiny Showcase. I wish I could afford one of his real paintings, they are incredible. Anybody want to buy me one?! No, I didn’t think so.

Josh Keys Painting


Yelp Review of the Day

For all of you who haven’t joined the Yelp bandwagon, let me just say you are missing out on one hell of a website. Basically Yelp is like Friendster or MySpace for food, bars, dentists, grocery stores, etc. It makes trying to find a new place to eat easy and convenient, and once you get started, you can’t stop. I have been writing reviews for the last week, in an attempt to document my favorite places in New York, so the next time I can remember where I had those awesome ribs, when I’m in the mood for ribs. Or that amazing bar I went to for a friends birthday. Now I have most of them recorded on my Yelp.

Today I wake up and find out that my review has made “Review of the Day” on Yelp, which while not as big an accomplishment as climbing Mount Rushmore on a pogo stick, is still pretty nifty.

Yelp Review of the Day
for posterity…

If you’d like to be my friend, please send your invitations with mention of Up the Tree, so I don’t dismiss you. I am only trying to be friends with awesome folks, and I know you all are awesome.

(P.S. – New show should be coming soon, we haven’t forgotten)


Advice on Tips

Hey. You. Yeah, you. You know what you did. Oh what’s that? You’re not from ’round here? Mmmm. Well. You still know what you did.

“Everything was great. We had SUCH a wonderful time…”

That’s not a tip. That’s a compliment and you know it. Nothing like the “Tip You With A Compliment” tip.

“Zis es SUCH unt vonderful place! Here es unt 9 percent tip vor such unt vonderful service!”

Yeah. Stop playing the “We don’t tip in my country so they must not tip in yours” card.

Waiters live off tips. At least in America. I find it hard to believe that in this information age people are still in the dark about how much to tip your server. So here it is: We make $4.85 an hour. That’s right. Less than 5 friggin’ dollars. We live off of tips. 20% is the going rate. Granted, if your server sucks, tip less. But keep in mind how very little we make by the hour and also keep in mind that the whole staff is probably sharing tips so when you leave a crappy tip, it’s a bad tip for everyone working.

I don’t mean to sound bitter, but at my particular restaurant we have to “suck up” to the customer no matter how crap-ass the tip is. And we aren’t supposed to confront the customer even if they leave one dollar on a 500 dollar bill. That gets a bit annoying. Like a big zit on the side of your face ready to pop. But you’re not allowed to touch it.

Here’s a quick and easy way to figure a good tip:
(First off, don’t just “double the tax” to get the correct amount. That’s about 15%. Boo. None of that.)

If you want to leave a good tip take the full amount (let’s say $100.00 to make it easy) and move the decimal over one space to the left (giving you $10.00) and then double THAT amount (giving you $20.00). Easy. There’s your 20%.

Waiting tables is a hard, demanding job. And don’t you realize that we are handling your FOOD?! Why would you be an asshole to someone deciding the fate (and CLEANLINESS) of your food?

Like I’ve said before, if EVERYONE on earth had to be a waiter for at least a month, the world would be a wonderful, peaceful, respectful place.