October 30, 2008

My "Saturday"

Dreaming Again: Woke up yesterday morning at 11:30 am. Boy did I apparently need the sleep. One thing about sleeping so soundly...I dream the weirdest things. There was quite a bit of weird stuff in there, tornados, cars... but the oddest thing was this chain of events.

I was at a car dealership looking at Buicks when along came a salesperson to "bother me". The salesperson ended up being Kelly Robertson, who I used to work with at Sears. She said, "You know, these cars are really great. But one thing you don't get at other dealerships---a free computer monitor with every test drive!" So she gives me this monitor (which looked a bunch like my first computer monitor, about the size of a television) and I wanted to see if it would work. We walked around the back of the dealership, which turned out to be the back of my old neighbor Chaz Lucchetti's place. We finally found a plug to power it up with and when the screen came on, there was a music video playing. It was Toby Keith, singing some song about Ford trucks. The odd thing was, the band and him were all wearing these plastic plates on their arms that were held on by rubber bands. On the plates? A red logo with a big M -- thats right, McDonalds.

I woke up with the notion that, "wow, I haven't had McDonalds in a while."

Dinner Dash: Dad called me up around 4 or so yesterday and asked if we were interested in having dinner and of course, we obliged. Dinner is always a good time with him. His beard is getting long! Looks great though. I wish I could get mine to look like that. Anyway, dinner was basically the same as it always is, good, fast, and tasty. Lories is such a great place.

I need to get something else for dinner there other than that barbecue burger though.

We went from there to Wal-Mart, where we picked up a few things. Dad told us this story about how he used to put Adam and I into shopping carts and run full throttle around the grocery stores, and it used to make Mom mad. Hilarious stuff. :)

October 28, 2008

Darius Rucker Sings Right To Me

Weird, But Sadly True: A few weeks ago, I heard Darius Rucker's new country song, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It". For those of you that don't know, Rucker is the frontman for the 90's roots rock band Hootie and The Blowfish. He's suddenly gone country, and his new album, Learn To Live, is pure country shtick but I like it. A lot. Very catchy tunes, good lyrics...things that Hootie was always pretty good at.
Anyway, I was on my way to work the other day. To get to the hotel, I have to pass by Sears, my old place of employment...the place that I still think about every once in a while. Rucker's tune (now a #1 on the charts) was playing on my car radio and the song for some odd reason, struck me as almost exactly how I feel about Sears.
I know, weird, but sadly, its true. I kinda miss the old place, but I'm very happy where I am now. As Rucker sings on the title track to his song, you gotta live and learn, so you can learn to live.
Anyway, here's the lyrics to "Don't Think I Don't Think About It"
I left out in a cloud of taillights and dust
Swore I wasn't coming back, said I'd had enough
Saw you in the rearview standing, fading from my life
But I wasn't turning 'round, no not this time
But don't think I don't think I don't think about it
Don't think I don't have regrets
Don't think it don't get to me
Between the work, and the hurt, and the whiskey
Don't think I don't wonder 'bout
Coulda been, shoulda been all worked out
Yeah I know what I felt
I know what I said
But don't think I don't think about it
We make choices, we gotta live with it
Heard you found a real good man and you married him
I wonder if sometimes I cross your mind
Where would we be today, if I never drove that car away?
But don't think I don't think I don't think about it
Don't think I don't have regrets
Don't think you don't get to me
Between the work, and the hurt, and the whiskey
Don't think I don't wonder 'bout
Coulda been, shoulda been all worked out
I know what I felt
I know what I said
But don't think I don't think about it
Don't think I don't think about it
My buddy Mike sent me an email today telling me that they painted over my "time capsule" in the stock room...there was this really tall shelving unit that hadn't been used for years up against one of the recieiving bay doors. Before tearing it down, I stood on it I reached up as high as I could and wrote everyone's name that had been working there at the time. There was graffiti all over the place from back when the stock room shelves had been about twice as high as they were at that time...so I didn't think a little list of names would be so bad.
Sears is going through this "Shine and Clean" thing (rumor has it they are looking to get bought out again) and they painted over my little brick. Makes me sad.

Sleep Deprived

Who Knew I Could Be So Lazy: In all my years of internet addiction before, I rarely slept a full nine hour night. I'd stay up until four in the morning online, just wasting my nights away, doing quick math to figure out how many hours I could sleep to survive.
Side Note: I still believe the Flounder Quotient -- guy I used to work with at Country Fair (nickname was Flounder) said that if you sleep hours in multiples of threes you should be safe. It works.
Anyway, Saturday night, I went out to the Otters game with Amanda (they won!) and we went to the Plymouth afterwards. Didn't get in until later on. I didn't sleep really well, only got a few hours of consistent sleep.
Sunday night I worked until 11 pm and had to be back at the hotel at 7 am for our front desk staff meeting...so needless to say, I didn't get much sleep, again.
Yesterday, Amanda set up an appointment with State Farm to look into renters insurance and possibly a new car policy for her. She rescheduled the appointment for this morning because she wanted me to be there. So we went to bed last night after I got home from work and got up around 8 am...once again not getting a great night of sleep. Oh, and we didn't end up going to the appointment. Again.
So today I'm sort of sluggishly lazy. I watched a couple television shows that I taped (one on disproving "spontaneous human combustion" and a UFO show; shows my brain laziness). I washed a set of towels, cleaned out the litter box...and...uh....that's about, um, it.
I'm off the next two days, so that should be an exciting time. Er, something.
I put up a newer, flashier sounding version of "Put Your Hands On Me" on the MySpace site. Noone's ever said anything about it...so I'm wondering if anyone has checked it out...so...hint hint...DO SO!

October 16, 2008

Just Don't Forget Where You Came From

Happy Birthday: Welcome back, Tony!! Been a while, where you been, kid? We've been lookin all over for you! Anyway, I know its been eleven days since I wrote so I'll try to keep you informed. I really haven't had a ton of things to write about in the "normal" position, so I'll just catch all of you up on the things that were really big in the last eleven days.

See Former Title: Yes, it was my birthday on October 9th, thanks to everyone who wrote me on MySpace and the emails and the cool cards and the actual real cards. I didn't do all that much on my birthday; Amanda took me out to dinner at O'Charleys and we went to see "Step Brothers" at the Cinema Six. Dinner was very good, and the movie, well, as I've told a few folks, was the "most hilarious waste of two hours" I quite possibly may have ever experienced. But it was a good time, anyway. Thanks babe. :)

Well, Its Better Than The Alternative: Got pulled into the managers office a few days back after I'd had a small altercation with the sales manager; thought for sure I was gonna get run up the flag pole for that one. But in fact, it wasn't about that at all. Shawn and Jen brought me into the office to let me know that they are promoting me to Front Office Manager!!!! I apparently have done well enough work to be qualified for the position. It was weird, still is....I've never actually been GIVEN a promotion without having to kick and scream and fight for it. So its nice. I can go into work in actual nice colors and all of that, plus the authority to change a few things that I have been increasingly frustrated with at work.

And its a little raise too.

The Musician In Me: There's not much to say here, uh, so I'll just post this blog that I wrote on my brand spankin' new MySpace music site that is promoting my re-venture into the music business. I've decided to take the next calendar year and seriously open myself up to the possibilities of being a professional musician. I'm going to start small with open mic nights and hopefully meet some people to get things going with.

Oh yeah, and I'm growing a beard. Haven't heard a bad comment yet.

October 05, 2008

Homecoming '08

Edinboro, PA: It was quite slow at work on Saturday morning so the general manager convinced me to cut out early, around 12:30. Amanda and Townsend went to Edinboro for the university's Homecoming parade in the morning.

Apparently the parade was crap compared to what it used to be, so they weren't heavily entertained. To make matters worse, Townsend's grandfather (his dad's dad) was in an accident and was put in the hospital. Amanda took him home in the early afternoon to be with John.

I drove down to the Boro around two and we went to the new and improved Charlie's Pub in the Giant Eagle plaza. Charlie's used to be "Uncle Charlies"...I guess by taking down all the old-timey decorations and putting up big screen TV's you're suddenly not an "Uncle" kind of place. Food was the same, greasy. Service was the same, no waiters. *shrug* What would you expect, I suppose.

So the plan was to go to this pig roast at a house of a '97 classmate of Amanda's, Jeff Cullers. Our friend Allison was there and she already sounded pretty toasty. (Unfortunately I only ever see her in this mode.) Amanda and I parked down by Edinboro Lake and walked over to the gas station for a pop for me. (I'm on a semi-permanent break from drinking beer.) On the way back we saw a few old friends of mine at a fenced in party near the beer distributor and we decided to go check it out. Stayed for a couple minutes, saw that they were playing "apple dodgeball" (a sport reserved for folks south of the "Mason-Dixon line" aka I-90) and we left them to their devices.

Headed on down to the pig roast and it was a total disaster. A whole mess of people that I never looked up to kindly in high school, and Amanda felt about the same way. I don't mind social atmospheres as much anymore, but this time I felt like I had fleas on me. Couldn't stand being there. We left pretty quickly, once we were able to say hello to everyone we knew.

I got a phone call from one of the "apple dodgeballers", Curtis LeSuer, asking us to go over to Gary Barbour's place to hang out for a bit. So we went over and the afternoon was a rescued for the most part.

Got to catch up with Curtis, talked fantasy football shop and watched the ending of the Penguins-Senators game. Gary's got a nice little place! Amanda also got to meet the only other person I know that still likes Oasis, Eric Kraus. Typical Eric, bouncing between the hockey game, downloading smut on his laptop, bitching about how many fantasy points we get for return yards, and blasting Oasis's new single, "The Shock Of The Lightning".

When we left, Eric was walking around on stilts and they were getting ready to gear up for beer pong. There are times I wonder how in sam hell I got caught up with guys like that, but I'm still glad I have some friends that care that I'm around.

American Splendor: Got our newest movie from NetFlix last night, "American Splendor". Starring Paul Giamatti, the movie lays out the story of Harvey Pekar, a guy who grew up in the sluburbs (no typo, i just made that up) of Cleveland Ohio and ended up with a dead end file clerk job. He is the author of an underground comic strip which the flick was named from. Not really all "horsies and peppermints" of a story, just a real guy living a real life in the doldrums and finding something good out of it.

Couldn't help thinking of Chris Brown's comics. I wonder if he's inspired by that at all. Or if he'd ever heard of them. Anyway, if you folks haven't seen it and like the indie style of films, check it out. Giamatti is freaking awesome. Every movie I see by him impresses me more.

I'm Glad I Was There: A few days ago I blogged about a long term guest of ours who was rushed to the hospital. The last bit I'd heard about him, he'd been diagnosed with pneumonia and that he'd be back in a few days. Yesterday afternoon (a week later) I found out that he had taken a turn for the worse and slipped into a coma and that they weren't sure if he was going to make it out.

Unfortunately, probably around the time I was being told of this, he died yesterday morning. He had a rough battle the last few months and you could tell he wasn't the same happy guy we had here before. I won't forget what he said that afternoon when I was sitting with him in his room waiting for the paramedics.

"Its hell to get old," he said. "I don't recommend it."

October 04, 2008

Suddenly A Convert

Don't Judge A Book...: Amanda and I decided to take a walk down to Dobbins Landing (yeah, the Public Dock, Mike, I know...) and check out the brick Dad got for my brother and I, and take a walk around on a nice day. Apparently, after all this time, I'd never mentioned to Amanda I had this brick and I talked about how I went down there with Mike last Thursday and she was quite embarrassed...whoops!

Anyway, we walked around, and it was quite blustery. She suggested we take a walk over and see the Sheraton. I wasn't really into the idea, because they are "competition" and I didn't really want to "get caught snooping." I actually wrote about it earlier in the year in my short lived Erie-flections blog as being one of "Erie's Eyesores".

But we went anyway, and walked into the lobby to find our old Sears friend Teja working at the front desk.

Quite cordially, she invited us to take a tour and the sales manager Lisa Chilson (who ironically enough used to work here) and took us on a nice tour. Gorgeous lobby...their "Link" as they call it is all in dark wood, with Navy blue and deep reds in the fabrics. She showed us a couple of their banquet/meeting halls and their views are spectacular.

I left there not jealous at all, because that hotel is definitely in a league of its own, but it makes me proud as an Erie resident we have a really really nice place like that. Worth the money and the eyesore? Eh........... but its definitely nice.

With Two Days You Get Eggroll: Yeah, I don't really have all that much to write about, so I'll do the rambling thing again. Dad finally got me new tires (two fronts) for my car for my birthday (October 9th in case anyone forgot...)...I decided to grow a beard now, I got permission from the hotel management (*cough, laugh, giggle, cough*). It might play into a Halloween costume...Finally got the right rythym track down for "Feelin' Like The First Time" for my CD. Shaping up to be a good track...Oasis album comes out Monday!

October 02, 2008

Ninja Cat - I Had To Share This!

The video that is sweeping the e-nation.... NINJA CAT!

If you can't see it, click on the "Ninja Cat" link above.

The End Of Karaoke?

Swan Song: Tonight Amanda and I went to karaoke at the club we'd been going to. It was exceptionally busy for a typical Wednesday night. Lots of faces I'd never seen. But apparently we were needed, because the DJ came by and hugged us, saying "thank god you're here". So we sang a couple songs, typical stuff. For some reason though, it seems to be weighing on me going there, and Amanda and I had a little discussion about it...maybe its time to stop going.

I look across the way and I see one of my co-workers there, along with the guy who works for the Scott hotel that won't give me rates. Anyway, I went over to my coworker and said hello. His boyfriend looked incredibly pissed at me, pointing his finger in my face and saying he expects a full apology.

Turns out earlier today when we were at work we were having a discussion and my coworker made a wisecrack about his boyfriend being a little crazy, and a comment was made that "better watch out or he'll cut you to pieces." Right now, I can't recall if I said it or if he told me that one of his friends said it and I just agreed with it.

Anyway, my coworker apparently told him that I said it and this boyfriend of his got extremely pissed and basically threatened me if I didn't apologize. Which I did, because I'm not a punk, I had some responsibility for the comment, whether I said it or not. But I didn't appreciate the steamrolling I received right at the beginning.

I think Lisa is right about people hanging out with folks you work with. Doesn't always turn out right, and when it does, it makes things extremely uncomfortable. Hopefully by the next time I work with the guy all this drama will have dissipated and I'll be alright.

But I went on stage soon after this and sang "Rain King" by the Counting Crows (spot on performance) and said that it might possibly be the last time I sing there. I just don't need this drama crap. Especially since I'm trying to find ways to be less worried man and more happy man; less stressed and more relaxed.

I'm getting there....

October 01, 2008

I Don't See Any Ushers Here...

Pour Some Beer On My Sacred Heart: Last night Amanda and I were invited to be guests at the Sacred Heart Ushers Club up the street from us. A woman she works with is a member there and has been bugging us for weeks to go.

I remember what it was like to go to 'clubs' like that as a kid; they have this mirror on the wall and you have to buzz someone to let you in or show your identification. I'm frankly surprised that those places still exist...

Anyway, the club was exactly how I expected it to be, pretty small barroom, but it was very clean and had these two huge big screens (that I found myself stuck to the White Sox - Twins game) and a nice sound system. It was a decent place, but I was tired. I guess there was some sort of subconscious effort to get Amanda to go home at 10:30 because she wanted to stay and I was growing really tired. After a Coke though, I felt pretty good about staying and we played a couple games of pool.

Its October: The baseball playoffs start tonight, so I figure its a good of time as any to make my picks for the playoffs and World Series...so here we go:

National League Divisional Series
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers : I like the Cubs in this series...I think Manny Ramirez can only take Los Angeles so far. And when you have a pitcher who hit nine home runs this year (Carlos Zambrano), how can Chicago really go wrong here? Cubs in four games.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies : I'm seeing this as a five game series that ends up being closer than Wild Card vs East Champ should go...and I am going to stick out my neck and call it for Milwaukee. Sabathia's performance should give them two wins at least, and I hope that one of the Brewers other pitchers can pick up the slack and win them that third game.

American League Divisional Series
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels : I'm going to go a little romantic, my dear. I'm enjoying the success that LA has had in the last few years, and I find them to be totally under rated. They won 100 games this year! I'm giving the Sox one game but the Angels will take this in four.

Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays : UPSET! Yes! Stop The Presses!!! After watching that game last night, I'm convinced the White Sox are going to upset the first time AL East champion Rays...its a matter of experience AND the wave those guys are on. White Sox in five. Only because Tampa won't go down without a fight, because yeah, they're still good. No matter how hard it is for John Pritchard to swallow that. :)

National League Championship Series
Cubs vs. Brewers : Its their year. Brewers will run out of gas after pitching Sabathia on three days rest for the second time in two weeks and he'll prove ineffective in an important game... Cubs take this series in five games.

American League Championship Series
White Sox vs. Angels: This one is tough to call for me. Giving the White Sox the series against Tampa Bay may be the worst prediction I make, but if they knock off the Rays, don't be surprised if they give the Angels a run for their money and give the world the possibility of an all-Chicago World Series....but I'm still gonna give this series to the Angels in seven. They're just too powerful and you can't deny Mike Scoscia's club.

World Series
Cubs vs. Angels : A ratings bombshell this one will be! There's lots of talk about the fact the Cubs have gone a hundred years without a championship and how there is a curse...but I watched the Red Sox AND the White Sox roll over this myth and I'd like to hope we can move on in this 21st century world and be real, stop crying jinx and stabbing voodoo dolls for comfort.
The Cubs will face a steamroller in Los Angeles's AL team, and the Series will be a hard fought battle for both teams. I'm going to say the series will go six games and my choice for the World Series champion in thirty days is.... Chicago. The Cubs can't possibly screw this up this year.

So here's me saying, GO CUBBIES!