September 30, 2008

108 Years Without Ten

The Worst Is Over: I can finally move on at work...the "new" Assistant General Manager started yesterday, something I was subconsciously hoping wouldn't happen, but the day went off without a hitch, as once again I swallowed my pride and decided its easier to take the high road and deal with it in a positive manner. Makes me feel better anyway, and who really needs that stress?

A New Direction: Going to the show at Forward Hall the other night has inspired me to take a new direction for the CD I've been working on. I think I'm going to do it 'live' with as little overdubs as possible (overdubs are edits after its originally recorded, track by track recording like is done in a big studio) to make it more as you'd hear it if you went to see me at a show.

I'm spending too much time and stress going over a bass line or a harmony vocal, and when you'd go see me, you'd either see me playing alone or possibly having Amanda singing right next to me, so the most you'll probably hear is her singing and maybe playing another guitar. The only overdubs would more than likely be a few parts that I feel are important to the sanctity of the song, like Eric's banjo or maybe a sweep-you-off-your-chair lead guitar solo by yours truly. As of yesterday, I'm starting to do things with the harmonica too as much as possible.

Course, unless I change my mind in two weeks. Who knows.

Lack of The Typical Third Subject Leads To Rambling: Fell asleep "mom style" last night on the couch around 8:30 pm; my body is still trying to get used to the new schedule. I haven't woke up to an alarm more than a couple times in almost nine months!...If you happen to get a chance, check out the Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth"; watched it last night with Amanda and I'm happy I did. Its amazing stuff. Thats the sort of thing that should be on high definition TV, not a soap opera football game...The Pirates fired their pitching coach yesterday. I read somewhere that it was the first time since 1890 (!!) that the team didn't have a pitcher win at least ten games. I think thats a pretty good reason to lose your job, considering an average pitcher has at least 35 chances in a season to win a game..."I can live in a recession, I've been preparing for it. Hope these other people can." - Mike Sebald. Had a great time Friday, by the way!

September 28, 2008

An Alright Saturday Night

Forward: Well, the big Saturday night I was looking forward to ended up going alright. Only made it to one out of the four -- the big jam show at Forward Hall. Almost was a bust too -- we ended up late because we took Townsend home and took our time getting back.

First act on stage was this guy named Matt. I immediately recognized him from open mic nights at Clancys. He does the singer/songwriter thing but plays alot of old obscure blues stuff. Played about eight songs, some electric and some acoustic.

During his act he mentioned something about a CD he had if anyone was interested. To get in to this show, there was a $7 cover. Amanda and I took our friend Lori (who is a DJ at the club we go to) and she really didn't seem to enjoy it all that much. After Matt mentioned his CD, she joked, "For this price and for this show, I better get it for free!"

Second act was Gypsy Dave and The Stumpjumpers. A lot different than what I pictured them as. I listened to a online radio program from Knoxville last week and heard them and the band seemed pretty good. Anyway, they played for about forty minutes and it was good! They weren't anything floor rattling, definitely mood music. Have a very core audience. I can't imagine them getting big and selling out a stadium. But what band does anymore?

Third act was Rachel Eddy. She's a fiddle player from Nashville. Think Kathleen Edwards without the Sheryl Crow side of her. Pretty cool. She played with Fred Parker and Billy Smith, both pretty big bluegrass people out in the "sticks". I was impressed...although Amanda seemed to have a problem with the fact Rachel was wearing Crocs. *shrug*

Last band on was Shotgun Jubilee which featured an old high school mate of ours, Ryan Bartosek, on bass. He was as good as he was back then, probably better...the band was decent but we left early cuz it was getting late and I had to work pretty early.

Definitely worth the $7.

By the way, the Otters lost in Guelph on Friday night (5-1) and beat Kitchener 4-0 last night. Their record stands at 2-2. Not bad.

An Interesting Five Minutes: Yesterday one of our long term guests, I'm gonna call him , called 911. He's an elderly guy that has stayed here for a long time, and in recent months has had some bouts with his health.

I ran down to his room (after calling the boss for split second advice) and got in there. He was coughing alot and having trouble breathing. I didn't panic (it doesn't help anyway) and sat with him until the paramedics got there. Had to calm him down because he was seriously freaking out over the fact he couldn't stop shaking. The paramedics were there in about ten minutes and they took him to the hospital.

Found out later in the evening that he has pneumonia and that he should pull out of it with some treatment...he's had a couple episodes this year and hopefully everything turns out fine.

New Developments: Possible new career move on horizon...I am looking forward to another chance that has come up in the last few days. I'll keep you posted as much as I can with can email me if you want to know more, not much I can say publicly.

September 24, 2008

Its War!

You Forgot To Put In The Crystals: Last night around 5 pm, I started getting phone calls from guests saying that their internet wasn't working. So I jabbed with the technical support help desk for about a half hour, and they said everything seemed to be in order from our end.

Unfortunately the guests were still having problems. I gave them the number I call and most of them were actually able to get fixed and work. But some of them didn't. When they didn't, they came down to the business center to use the internet down here that is hardwired into the wall.

And...that wasn't working either. I called up the company who runs the computer and they said we have some sort of virus blocking the internet from coming in to the hotel. Great! So today they were supposed to call back to get all these things fixed, and apparently the technical support still hasn't fixed these problems.

Its a great day to be a front desk agent...but even better knowing you have the next two days off. Yay!

V Is For Vonnegut: Tomorrow morning I'm having a overdue visit from Mike Sebald, one of my buddies from Sears. I really miss having him around. When I mentioned all those "good guys" in my blog a week ago, he was one of them. I haven't seen him since I had lunch with him and Chris Brown about two months ago. We are all busy people, I guess.

I've Got People: Came into work tonight and the boss tells me that he received the order for new name tags (since I lost mine a few weeks ago) and forgot to order mine. He then asked, "Who do you know at the engraving company?" I was pretty much clueless unless he gets them from the Trophy Shop Engravers in Edinboro.

"Someone wrote 'Hi Tony' on the box."

AH HA! I let him know that its most likely my mom...she's a sorter at UPS and did that when I worked at Sears. Always got teased for it, but its nice to know she's watching out for me. :)

And Finally, ITS WAR: A month or so ago, one of the front desk people left here and went to the new Hilton Garden Inn on upper Peach Street. When he left, I told him that I was in the running for Assistant General Manager and that I wanted to see if he'd let them know that since they're a Hilton property, like ours, that we could make amends and share information. He said that he'd see what he could do because he does understand expanding the company base.

Fast forward to this past week...I'd been talking with this front desk girl there who's been giving me the amount of rooms they have left to sell, and I felt okay with that. I'd just look up their rates, is all. Tonight, our former desker answered the phone and flat out refused, even pushed back at me, when I asked him for the number of rooms remaining. I told him that the girl had been giving me this info, and he said "management wouldn't be happy to know that".

Now the story here is that Scott Enterprises owns alot of the properties in that area. Hotels such as the Courtyard by Marriott, the Comfort Inn Peach, the Holiday Inn Express, the Residence Inn by Marriott, and now the Hilton Garden Inn. They also own the Applebees, Steak and Shake, Boston Pizza, Bob Evans, and the Splash Lagoon waterpark.

Great, right? WRONG. Why can't they understand that we are trying to build the company's name? You're never going to be anything but a property management company. People don't go to your properties because you're owned by Scott Enterprises....they go because they like the Marriott's no smoking policy...they like the prices that Comfort Inn has...they go because they're attached to Splash Lagoon.

Whats with the strongarming? Why push everyone away? I need to understand this badly, because it now makes me pissed off at that desker who is "following orders" ... they make the same amount of money I do. Its not as if they're all making twenty bucks an hour waiting tables.

Why does this crap go on?

September 23, 2008

Embracing My Stripes

I know most of you get this blog directly in your email; occasionally I'll post a little poll that only two of you actually visit but this time I really want you to go to my main internet page.

Go ahead, click here to visit what I really wish everyone could see.

I stumbled across some really kick ass cartoons of Tony the Tiger the way he used to be, not the way he's been basically my entire life. I don't know what it is or why, but I really truly prefer the younger Tiger. I sorta edited the original drawing from this guy named Johnny Yanok (really awesome artist)

Not much else goin' on here in my corner of the world. Had a talk with the boss yesterday that let him know how I feel about everything but that I was ready to move on and leave it all behind. He seemed pretty happy about that. Nothing wrong with letting folks know how you feel.

Been laying around doing nothing the last few days here, haven't really been in the mood to record any music (probably because I feel weird not being able to do anything loud before Robert gets up at 1:30 in the afternoon every day, but thats another story, another day).

Anyway, I hope everyone's doing well and enjoying the first full day of autumn!!!

September 22, 2008


Things I Wish I Hadn't Done: Well it appears that I didn't need any emails from anyone giving me the third degree about missing Kori's birthday because I was "trying to get promoted". I feel bad enough. I swear I'll never sacrifice anything anymore when it comes to work. Unless its something that cannot possibly be done because I'm going to be meeting with heads of state, I'm taking time off when I SHOULD and not when I am ABLE.

Sorry, Kori. :(

I'll Be 28 Soon: Went out to dinner with Dad on Thursday and he asked me what I wanted for my birthday. It was the day after I found out the crappiest news of them all and I was still recovering (was? still am now!) from it. So he took Amanda and I out to Lorie's Wildridge (very underrated restaurant on West Ridge Road) and had a nice dinner. Even got a piece of awesome blackberry pie!!

Afterwards, he suggested we go to World Of Music to check out some acoustic-electric guitars. I had mentioned about getting "better tools" for my musical reconstruction. So I went and picked up alot of really nice (and some very expensive) acoustic guitars...and mostly picked apart their bad sides the entire time. I liked this small bodied Yamaha guitar, and a pretty nice Alvarez that was a knockout to look at. But we left empty handed.

As well we should have.

Last thing I really need is ANOTHER guitar. Maybe trade in a couple for a nice one, but I shouldn't have this many of them as it is. Most of the time I'm playing my red Stratocaster or my Ibanez acoustic electric, and the rest of them sit in the closet. When I'm feeling spry I pull out the 12-string (because its still an awesome sound!!) and play. I'm doing better.

But I've got four other ones! My dobro I touch only when I'm in my slide phase, the red Washburn electric is good for recording (prefer that one recently), my wine Telecaster sits in the case in the closet, and the bass only gets played when I'm recording.

Anyway, one of things I was telling Amanda I wanted to buy the day I got promoted was a set of matching white letter tires for my car. I had a set on my old Cavalier and they looked so impressive...but now that I'm still just a desk guy (for now, *rubs hands together real fast*) I was just going to make sure my bills are paid.

Dad called me up on Friday and asked me if I wanted new tires for my car for my birthday! How ironic is that?! I can't imagine how he would have known that...unless my stupid short term memory forgot or something, who knows. We're going to check that out soon enough, and get me some nice all-weathers.

Exciting Saturday Ahead: This Saturday is a busy one! For the first time in a while, I'm going to have a lot of things to possibly do....

1.) A bluegrass show featuring some awesome local bands is at Forward Hall at 7:30 pm. Gypsy Dave and The Stumpjumpers, Shotgun Jubilee, and Claire Stuczynski are set to play. Amanda's saw them all before with Eric a couple months ago but I had to work. Not this time!!!!!

2.) Birthday party for Kimmy, a front desk clerk from the property next door at the Plymouth Tavern at 6 pm. Will at least show our faces!

3.) DJ J-Roc show at the Metropolitan that we (as well as apparently everyone at the hotel) were invited to because our laundry guy Ray is doing security. Not entirely sure if thats going to happen.

4.) If all else fails (which I don't plan on it) the Erie Otters home opener is at 7:30 at the Civic Center. The Otters split their opening weekend, losing 4-0 to the London Knights on Saturday, then winning in Plymouth 6-1 against the Whalers. Yes, so everyone understands, now that the Pirates are in their last few games of the season, my focus has shifted and will now be square on hockey for the next few months (football really doesn't interest me, sorry).

September 18, 2008

Beginning Again For The First Time

One year ago, I was at Sears, working as the manager of the receiving department, as much of you already know. I was probably wearing a dirty black t-shirt and cargo pants with torn pockets. Relatively floppy steel toed shoes, walking up and down the dusty storage aisles cracking jokes about a customer with the greatest bunch of guys I had known to date.

I had found out that Pam, the Assistant Store Manager in charge of the Home Improvement department, had decided she was leaving for the Ashtabula, OH Sears. She pulled me aside and said, "Tony, I want you to know I'm leaving and I want you to put in for my position. There aren't many people I know that would be a better fit than you." She helped me put in for it and within a few weeks, she was gone.

I had my interview with the Store Manager, Chris, and it went extremely well. After all, every single job I'd had in my six plus years at that store had done almost exclusively with that department. I was a salesman for two years; I was a stockman for nearly two years; I was the manager of the signing department and spent almost a year pricing and setting up displays there; and finally worked as the manager of the department in charge of loading those products into customer cars.

The interview went spectacularly. She seemed really excited about it, and I felt like I was seeing my last days of being on the sidelines.

Within a month, I was up at 5 am pouring egg beaters onto a hot grill in the kitchen of the Homewood Suites by Hilton.

Sears had decided to pass over all of that experience for a guy who was the produce manager for the past six months at a Giant Eagle. It was hard swallowing that, I must tell you. Was it me? Am I to blame for what has happened? Did I burn bridges that I couldn't smell the embers of? It was very hard to comprehend, how we were going into the Christmas season and they'd go with someone that was completely new over me. The experience I had.

I was so humiliated that I decided that I needed to find a new place to work. After all, we all know Sears has had financial troubles since they broke champagne bottles over the pillars of the Sears Tower in the late 70's. Who was I kidding? I wasn't going to retire from there. And I sure didn't want to end up like my one time boss Frank; going to work every day with a knot in my stomach and regretting not leaving the company years ago.

So I went to the Homewood to work in the kitchen. Lisa, the manager, had brought Amanda in a few months earlier to be in a management training program they called STEP. (Still don't know what it stands for.) When Amanda was done in February, I'd apply to get into this position that they were scraping for people to get into.

After three months in the kitchen (that I still have nightmares about to this day), I was promoted to the front desk. I didn't think I could do it. It looked easy; there were lots of times I'd look up from sweeping scrambled eggs off the floor and saw the girl at the desk laughing and carrying on with Amanda as if the world were made of marshmallows and chocolates. Answering the phone like a robot, saying the same things, talking to guests as if they were having the time of their lives. It looked like I could never do it.

But soon enough, I learned the job and found my own little way of doing things, and it worked for me. I started to enjoy it. And soon enough, it came time for the STEP program. So I applied, and was interviewed. A few weeks went by and I got nervous, thinking there was a problem. This very same program spot (that six months prior was filled when Lisa went to Sears to complain about her grill and found Amanda) had fifteen candidates looking for it.

The word came down that the company was looking to sell some of their assets and they didn't have the money to continue the STEP program, and it was eliminated.

So I had left Sears for nothing, really. I had risked leaving a job that, yeah, sucked hard, but I was good at and left behind a really good bunch of people.

I still miss them, alot.

Had a tough time with it, and my job performance went in the can. Within a few weeks I was in the managers office getting ripped for being nasty to a guest on the phone and also being nasty to a guest in the hotel in the same night.

I had the next two days off and I thought long and hard about what I was going to do. I felt shamed and stupid for making this jump and it not working out. But I found out most likely I didn't need this STEP program anyway. Who knows, maybe in a few months or so you'll have an opportunity to be a manager! So I decided to refocus and just treat it like it was just a job. Stop TRYING to be something that you aren't.

Fast forward a few glorious months where I shined like a new penny on the sun. Guest compliments, friends made, emails to the manager about my service, everything. At the beginning of August, Lisa relocated to Illinois and her assistant, Shawn, has moved up and become the new General Manager. What a guy, too. Smart, funny, and definitely seemed very relaxed at work. Someone I related to very quickly.

And I was told to put in my resume to be his assistant. Lisa said, "There aren't many people I know who could possibly be a better choice."

Unfortunately here's where the story gets short and cryptic, because apparently there is someone that reads this blog at the hotel and I don't want to say anything mean about the people that I was up against. It was a rough few weeks, looking at everyone else's pros and cons that I worked with on the desk, and I was a jerk alot of times. In hindsight, I wish I would have known this was going to happen.

Yesterday, Shawn made the decision to bring back a woman who had previously been the Assistant General Manager at this very same property but quit for reasons I don't know the truth about, only hearsay. I must say here in my own little blog that I strongly, STRONGLY disagree with the decision to bring in a person from the past. I thought we were trying to create a new atmosphere with the end of the Lisa era.

Once again, I'm faced with the internal squabbling: Did I do something wrong? Whats wrong with me? I don't smell anything burning! Why can't I break through?

But, in a business sense, if thats what Shawn feels is best for the hotel, then so be it. Although I feel that our team has been cheated somehow of not getting our chance to succeed, I can live with the decision. I'm not happy at all, and I have no bones about saying this. Someone "of influence" could read this. At this point, I don't care. Its the god's honest truth and anyone who knows me more than just a few minutes knows that I wouldn't be Tony if I didn't say something like this.

I'm sure that Dad is reading this right now thinking I'm going to get fired or something. But I won't. I've done worse, and after all...

The real issue is that this political bullshit doesn't matter. I still believe, after everything else, that it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter to the guy who just got done driving 14 hours to get to Erie for his brother's funeral. It doesn't matter to the woman who stays at the hotel to work at a local business. It doesn't matter to the ten year old kid who just wants to hurry up and get changed and get in the pool! These are the people that are important. Other people, whether they are guests or customers, are the ones who need to be treated decently. Call it a quasi-spiritual quest or whatever, but I feel better knowing I made someone's day, and I will continue to do so.

As of yesterday I had, ironically enough, the next two days to get over this and go back to work. And when I do, it will be with renewed focus and drive. But this time, my life in general will go forward and be successful from this point out, not necessarily just my career.

I'd said in prior posts that if I don't get it that I'll start working hardcore on my musician credentials, and I intend to do just that.

I just want to say thank you if you are still reading this contrived little ditty. I know that in a matter of weeks I'll look back at this post and laugh at how silly it sounded, but thats the beauty of life.

You can forgive.

Its going to take a little extra for me to do so this time, but I will.

September 16, 2008

Found: Barber In Erie

The Crystal Ball: 9 am. Ah, yes. Woke up this morning and went to the bathroom, blew my nose, and took a look at myself in the mirror.


Dialed up Sears. They have this new "automated phone system" so you can't actually call direct anywhere anymore. And even though I KNOW that the hair salon people are there at 9 am, I can't get through to them. I tried to force it through and the call went to the auto center. Whoops.

Dialed up Best Cuts. They can't take me until 1:30. Too many appointments. Never seemed that busy before...but maybe their computer was down. *shrug*

Dialed up Joe's Barber Shop over on West 8th Street. Bingo. 9:45 am. Jumped in the shower real quick and got moving over there. Walked in and the place had that "hasn't been remodeled in twenty years" wood paneling on the walls.

This woman comes walking out from the back and meets me, introduces herself as Crystal. She looked like this lady I worked with at Sears but I didn't think of asking her. She was very, very cordial, as was I (thank you hotel industry!!!) and we got along very quickly. I wanted to do something a little different with my cut this time (why I was so leery about going somewhere I'd never gone before) and she was very patient and very efficient as well. I'll definitely go long as Cheryl's okay with that.

Shine On, You Crazy Diamond: Had some bad news this that Richard Wright died.

(Who the hell is Richard Wright?)

Okay, I'll tell you. Wright was the keyboard player in Pink Floyd, one of my favorite bands. (Okay, top ten. Not like I sit in blacklight rooms with Dark Side of The Moon on every night.) Anyway, most of my favorite tunes of theirs he was credited with writing. Lots of the Dark Side keyboard stuff that I like.

I was talking with my resident Pink Floyd friend Eric this morning and he was lamenting about how in the next twenty years all of our big named musicians/legends are going to be gone, and its sort of depressing to learn that, but you gotta realize that there's alot of really edgy good music going on right now. Oasis, The Killers, Wilco, Ben Folds, Robert Randolph...gotta look at it that way.

Maybe I'll Be In A Commercial: Got an email this morning from Progressive, my car insurance company. I have electronic debit on my account to save me about $15 a month on my policy, and have for a few years now. Progressive has basically rebuilt my car (Remember, $9,500 in damages a few years back?) and I always expected it to be really high premiums.

But I've always been a really good driver. I've only been in two nonfault accidents (only one reported, other driver's choice), got one ticket for going through a red light (freaking Cambridge Springs cops), and one ticket for bad inspection (motorcycle cop on Presque Isle. How embarrassing!). Other than the complete annhiliation of my car a few years ago, really not alot of incidents.

My monthly bill has been around $125 for about two years now. I got the email this morning and it says they're only taking out $96 a month. Thought maybe there was a mistake so I called them up. And, as always, they were extremely nice and explained that I am a "loyal customer" and "low incident record" gave me a $29 a month discount for this six month period.

I was so happy I actually hollered for joy!

That Lucky Old Sun: Downloaded the new Brian Wilson album, That Lucky Old Sun. (I had a free album coupon, get off my back) Freaking awesome! Course, you have to be a Beach Boys fan. But there's really not much "Surfin Safari" type stuff here...its very orchestrated with these lush harmonies, its just so damn awesome. I love this guy.

The album is basically a run down of his love for Southern California life. Lots of little raps about neat things he sees on the street corners. I saw a documentary on him and he looks like Ozzy Osbourne; all drugged up. But listening to this album sounds like a guy who is completely enamored with his life right now. Just beautiful music. Makes me smile. :)

September 15, 2008

Wanted: Barber In Erie

Shave and A Haircut, Two Bits! Over the last couple of days, Amanda keeps saying, "Boy, you need a haircut." "Tony, you look fuzzy." "Hey Lori, doesn't Tony look like he needs a haircut?" I called up Cheryl a couple nights ago to ask if she could do it (like she has for the last four years) and she told me she's got school and work and a bunch of stuff; she can't do it til after six pm on Thursday. She gave me permission to go elsewhere and wouldn't be offended.

Today. Ten am. Phone rings. "Hey honey. Just wanted to get you up and rolling, so you don't waste the day away. You know, get your bills paid, get your hair cut. You said you didn't want to sleep all day. You also said you wanted to record."

Of course. Yeah. Haircut. How could I forget?

So I crawl out of bed, jump in the shower, get dressed, pick up my bills, and head on down the road. Went to the gas company first, paid the bill. Drove across town to Millcreek to go to my bank. Called Sears to find out if they had any openings.

"Sorry, we had someone call off this morning. I can get you in around 1:30 if you want to come by!" I declined. Too close to work time.

Drove up to West 26th Street and went to Best Cuts, the place Cheryl used to cut at. I walked in the door and this sixteen year old looking girl looks up from her customer and says, "Sorry, I can't take any more appointments right now, the computer crashed. Managers orders, I'm really --" Walked out of the door. Called a few places for a haircut, and they didn't answer the phone. Closed, probably.

Maybe a haircut wasn't in the cards today.

I did avoid two pretty nasty accidents today on my way to work as well -- one on 38th and Liberty (car in facing lane was turning left, and luckily I was paying attention or we'd both be short a hood, engine compartment and a front bumper, as well as some teeth and an airbag) and one near 54th and Peach (a vehicle in the right lane let a car out from a side street and the impatient perpendicular driver didn't see me coming in the left lane, and luckily I wasn't hungry for a T-bone). Not a great day so far.

Lunch with Theresa and Robert and Amanda was okay, though. Its also Robert's birthday (21). Unfortunately due to my schedule I was able to go to lunch with them and not to Kori's cake-and-ice-cream meeting tonight at Mom's house. DONT ANYONE SEND ME NASTY EMAILS. I'M NOT IN THE 'SWITCHING SCHEDULES' POSITION RIGHT NOW. TRYING TO GET PROMOTED, REMEMBER?!?!

*whew, sorry about that*

I've Done Something Wrong: Wrote a new song last night about my "guilty" personality, thinking I'm always the one doing something wrong or that I've always done something bad. Don't know where that comes from, but I make fun of myself in the song. Nothing that sounds like it'd be on the upcoming U2 album, rather something that sounds right out of the Bob and Tom Morning Show.
On that same note, I read the Rolling Stone interview with David Letterman that everyone keeps talking about. There were two questions in there that, if anything else, show that Letterman and I have one huge personality trait in common:

In the past you've described yourself as suffering from anhedonia, the inability to feel happiness. Where are you on the anhedonia index these days?
Well, I think it has always been a defense. If you mention often enough how disappointed you are in your own behavior and your own performance, then you've pretty much just pulled the rug out from under people who were just about to say, "Jeez, that was really disappointing, we're not pleased with his performance."
Isn't that just false modesty?
Jeez, no. I don't think it's a false modesty. It's just everybody has their own mechanism for getting through the day, and I guess it's easier for me to pretend to be a perfectionist. Or, maybe, I really was a perfectionist and there's no difference there.

Talk about the same personality, huh? I was really surprised to learn that. But then again, I think I have that same thing in common with Eric Clapton. He was once interviewed saying that he put off making an album with B.B. King because he didn't feel he was "accomplished" enough.
I always thought, "Is the guy serious?!"

The album was basically shit though. Oh well.

September 14, 2008

Fifteen Years Old

September 15th: Tomorrow is my little sister Kori's birthday. She turns 15. FIFTEEN. Oh my god am I getting old.

I can still remember the moment I found out she was born. I was playing roller hockey on an overcast day. I was wearing a black Penguins sweatshirt that was too small for me; I also had on red sweatpants and roller blades. All of the sudden, Bill's mom Hilda came stumbling out of the door and yelled, "Hey Tony! You have a sister!" I remember being pretty happy.

Fifteen years later, I have plenty of memories from her. Failing to protect her that night that Bill stole her from the house...getting up at the ass crack of dawn to see her off to school in Waterford...that first day I saw her with straightened hair. Just strange to know she'll be able to drive a car next year.

God am I getting old.

My Barometer's Gone CRAZY! Had a chilly weekend filled with some rain here in Erie. But for some reason it was humid as hell today, and now we're battling some nasty rain bullets. The hotel's power flickered for a sec, but it came right back on. We've actually gained some guests from the hotels that lost power completely. Yay for God's wrath! Just kidding. Thats completely tasteless.


Its On The Way

Evangeline, Take One: Woke up today with the gumption to record, like I said I would weeks ago, but today is for real. I set up my guitar pedal to record and went to work. I put down the building blocks for "Evangeline" by The Band...3/4 time click track, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, and the bass part. Took me around an hour or so to complete.

I listen back and realize two things that are bad: One - its too slow. I forgot to set the correct tempo. Beautiful. Two -- and worst -- I screwed up the timing on the right chords in one of the verses.

So I have to go back and do it alllll over again. Great.

But I'm making progress, everyone!!

September 13, 2008

Driving In The Rain

Crazy Drivers: Went to Mudville to pick up Townsend for the night like normal on Friday. It'd been raining most of the day, and we headed down there around 3:30-4:00 pm. We pick him up, everything's like normal. On the way back, a purple S-10 started tailgating me.

Now if anyone's ever driven with me, they know that I can't stand tailgaters. Can't stand it. I thought I alleviated the problem years ago by thinking that maybe they need to get home and get to the bathroom, or maybe their wife is in labor but eventually, like sicknesses to vaccines, I grew too accustomed to these excuses.

So I'm going around 45-50 mph through the twisty windy roads of northern Crawford County and this guy is right on my bumper. I got to a passing zone, and sped up to the speed limit. He must have realized his mistake because he fell back quite a bit. But soon enough, he was right there parked on my cars behind once again. Finally, after speeding up to 70 mph and Amanda chastized me for speeding in the rain with her son in the car, I slowed down. The guy was right on my tail for another mile or so then finally I got tired of it and pulled the car over.

Townsend says, "Why did you pull over and let all those cars pass you?" I told him that the guy must have had to get to the bathroom. But I understood the tone in the boy's voice.

Later on, we're heading back on 99 through Edinboro, and we got stopped in traffic. Sure enough, a car had crossed the center line and smashed head on into another car, causing a pretty nasty looking accident.

Just makes you wonder, thats all.

Oh, and neither of the cars were S-10's.

Work Update: Just in case any of you are curious, I had my interview at work and it went pretty well. At this point I'm just playing the waiting game just like everyone else. He has a really tough decision to make, and I sure wouldn't want to be in his shoes. Apparently every single front desk associate applied for the position (something I didn't forsee) as well as an old employee who was here in the past. Who knows. All I know is I interviewed very well (I always do) and I'm fine with it now if I don't get it. Its gonna suck, but it won't suck as much as it did at Sears last year.

Course, unless they pick a person who was the produce manager at Giant Eagle over any one of us. Then I might be upset. :)

My Team Are Losers: So since I blogged last, the Pirates officially lost game #82, ensuring themselves of tying the record for most consecutive losing seasons in professional sports history, matching the 1933-1948 Philadelphia Phillies. And what do I have to say for it?

I'm not looking forward much to next year.

Yeah, there's some bright spots. The management is finally coming through on positive notes. Some of the players we received in trades are working out better than expected.

But in reality, the Pirates team we fielded this year, 90% of them couldn't even be starters on most major league teams. The pitchers all stink this year. Paul Maholm, the "ace" of the staff, still is a 50-50 chance on winning games...this is our ace? No - "ace" is Cliff Lee of the Indians (22 wins) Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks (20 wins). Hell even Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels (57 saves) would be a better starting pitcher than anyone we've got.

The position guys --- the LaRoche brothers (strikeout machines), Freddy Sanchez (NL batting champ in '06 but hasn't hit for shit the last two years), Jack Wilson (spent too much time on the DL), Ryan Doumit (makes Jason Kendall look consistent).

I'm just tired of these guys getting playing time. Don't we have ANYONE who can be a solid performer??!?! Its so damn frustrating!!

September 07, 2008

How Do YOU Save Money?

So I've seen alot of websites and television shows lately about being "green" and/or saving money, and I started thinking of a few ways to start yourself off saving money.

1. Don't buy Hot Dog Buns or Hamburger Buns : What's the point, actually? We all had that relative when we were younger who put our hamburgers on to plain white whats the difference? I'll tell you ---- NOTHING. Not a thing, except our vanity.

2. Whats the big deal about wine glasses? : Anyone that doesn't already have enough wine glasses to last them forever probably doesn't have to worry about it --- but --- we should melt every store's inventory of wine glasses and make something worthwhile out of it. Why do you have to drink wine out of a glass with a stem on it? Vanity.

3. Is bottled water really necessary? : I never really had much bottled water around until Amanda came around; not saying that I wouldn't have it if we weren't together, but seriously...whats so wrong with tap water?

And the list continues on...any input would be awesome! I'd love to make a good list!

September 04, 2008

Glenn Frey Said It Best

The Heat Is On: Today is the first official day that the job for Assistant General Manager has been posted. It has to be legally posted for at least seven days, and I'll be having my interview sometime in the days. Wish me luck. :)

Make Sure You Vote On The Weekly Poll: This weeks topic, Sarah Palin. Visit the main blog for the poll.

Football Predictions: A few weeks ago, I made a friendly bet with our friend Lori that the Browns were going to finish with a better record than the Steelers. Lets hope so, for my sake.

Haircuts and Hand Grenades: I've got this friend, Cheryl. Now Cheryl and I met about four or five years ago at Sears in the hair studio. She was working at the studio and I went to her to get my hair cut for a long time. Long story short, we dated for a few months a couple years back but we knew we were way better off as just friends.

Over the winter, Cheryl got tossed from her job at Best Cuts over by Tops Supermarket, and then her mom died. So it was a rough season for her, to say the least. Found herself a job working at Spencers in the mall and got promoted semi-quickly. This entire time she's cut my hair every three to four weeks or so.

Lately, she's been either really busy or very forgetful -- I can't figure it out, but she doesn't contact me at all inbetween cuts. I feel bad, like I shouldn't be using her for just haircuts.

Any opinions?

Album Progress: Uh, none. Not a bit. But I did get a phone call from my old friend Vicki the other day. She's putting together a slideshow for her daughters first birthday and wants a slow, fingerpicking instrumental for the slideshow music. I suggested one, and I'm sort of working on something to write for her. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm guessing something "Dust In The Wind"-ish without any vocals is the main idea for this.

September 03, 2008

41st Post! Lets Celebrate!!

Lazy Bones: So in the last week and a half I've officially only written one blog. Outside of todays, anyway. Basically I've been taking some mental time off, or at least thats my excuse this time. I've spent alot of time lounging around the house doing basically nothing unless I either (a) am asked to or (b) can't stand to look at it anymore.

Today was a pretty good example of my laziness...Amanda got up around 8 to get ready for work and I woke up pretty alert. Instead of getting up and having a nice breakfast, however, I laid back down and fell asleep again. She came in after her shower to get dressed...I woke up, and fell asleep again. She left for work around 9 am, I fell asleep AGAIN for another half hour to an hour.

I got up, finally, and spent about an hour online, searching through stories about The Next (alleged) Hero Of The World, Sarah Palin. Mrs. Governor, who's only been in major political office (if you count Alaska as major) for twenty months. Yeah, this woman could be president in a few years. Yeah. She's a super conservative but (allegedly) has more in common with women than Hillary does...or at least thats what the Repub's what you to believe. I'm sorry, anyone who wants to inflict governmental control on women's bodies, I have a problem with, red or blue.

ANYWAY, I went back onto the couch and tried to call my dental insurance about "selecting a primary care dentist" because I apparently can't get my teeth cleaned without having a certain somebody...and I was told after waiting on hold for ten minutes that I had to go online to do it.

And what'd I do after that? I fell asleep on the couch for an hour and a half!!!!

But I woke up feeling pretty refreshed and stable, unlike I've felt the last few days. Been sort of up and down with the stress of the (possible) job opportunity and money pinches and lack of a good nights sleep lately.

Hello, I'm Mr. Hotel: I had a pretty awesome guest experience over the weekend, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep it away from you folks for too long. So here goes:

Saturday, I worked 11 am to 7 pm. At 3 pm, another desk guy, Craig, came in to work 3 pm to 11 pm. Around 3:30, these guests came in that had a problem - they had pre-arranged for a room for the NEXT weekend. Unfortunately when you pre-arrange, you have to pre-pay and you can't change the reservation at all, otherwise you lose your money. Nothing we can do about it because its done over the internet and through a third party company. When I informed her of this, she got all red in the face and mad. Craig tried to figure out if he could help her and I printed out the exact text from the online site, because she was starting to attack us personally.

After a little while, she found out from our company's corporate line that her money could not be refunded. Craig and I decided to give them a cheaper rate for the room because their "vacation had been ruined". When we informed the husband of the rate change, he waxed philosophical to Craig that it "isn't anything personal, I know its not you guys fault" and all that, although upset with our company and used quite a few curse words in front of his (now crying) children.

So the wife came up to the desk and said they'd stay and she thanked us through tears for giving her the $99 rate. I printed out the registration card for her and said, "Here, just so you can see, I did change that rate to $99." She immediately got redfaced and said "I don't appreciate your sarcasm. I know that you've changed the rate, you don't have to SHOW me that you did so." Her husband used a few curse words in my direction, saying "You're not Mr. (company) so you shouldn't talk to us like we're ****ing animals. Talk to us like we're people, sir; we're people!"

Pissed me off so badly I was angry for the rest of my shift. I couldn't shake it, I just wanted to scream. I've been swore at before (plenty of times at the Sears service window) but never in a situation where there were small children around. If anything I was more upset that they had acted like such asses in front of their kids. I couldn't help it.

I found out today that the woman has filed a direct complaint saying that our hotel rooms "have roaches" (never ever been a complaint about that) and that she was "thoroughly unsatisfied with the hotel's performance" and should have their (albeit) TWO NIGHT STAY for free.

If it was so bad that first night, why did you stay?

Lisa, what would you have done? Apparently they're getting what they want now after all, and will be given a free upcoming stay as well. Sometimes I guess you just can't win.