December 27, 2008

2009 Resolutions

Christmas 2008: Came and went like it has the past few years, a few feverish days trying to make sure I got presents for everyone, a hectic Christmas Day full of here and there's, and finally gearing up for work the very next day. :) Thanks to all my family for all the wonderful gifts I received, I love you all!!
On To Serious Business: 2009 is slowly trudging its way toward us, and I, for one, plan to do some housecleaning this year. (No, not that sort of housecleaning, honey.) My new years resolutions this year boil down to two words:
Control basically means that I have let way too many things slide, whether it be money, music, or work, I've come semi-irresponsible if I want these things to work out. Money, well, everyone's not in control of their money, but I'd like to get a lot of my bills paid or at least on a good run very soon. Its going to be tough, and I might have to try to find myself a second job, but I wanna get it done. Music is something I'd like to seriously pursue this year; I would greatly like to be in a band by the fall time, or at most, playing alone on a regular basis. I need to set up better practice times and get my originals back into play form. Work, well, I need to feel like I have something to shoot for, to have pride in, and something I strive to be. Sounds very general, but I really don't know exactly what that thing will be so its a work in progress.
Preparation ties in with control, because without preparation, control means nothing. But specifically, saving money and planning ahead for trips needs to be a better priority with myself and my family, whether it be food or travel routes, this sort of thing. I've sort of lived by the seat of my pants in 2008, but that sort of lifestyle is like the little girl with curls: when its good, its wonderful; when its bad, its terrible.
I know all these are very general, but I've picked small things over the last few years or so and these are things I know I can work on throughout the year.

December 24, 2008

Santa Likes These People?!

Sometimes I Wonder Why He Bothers Anymore: Its been a while, but I have a hotel story for all of you. As you probably don't know, I'm working 3 - 11 pm on Christmas Eve instead of working Christmas Day. Yay for that! Well...I guess the Christmas spirit has worked their magic on a few of our guests.

When I came in to work today, our AGM was watching the desk. She informed me of a story about one of our arrivals that was upset that we chose not to serve the full hot breakfast for Christmas Day. She explained to him that we wanted the breakfast cook to be home with her family, and he threw away the suggestion like a toy that a young child didn't want. He said that the only reason he booked here was for the hot breakfast and that he would be writing into the big corporate company for his inconvienience.

A half hour later, that same guest called down and told me that he was experiencing some problems with his heating unit, that it was rattling. Well, sure enough, I went upstairs and the problem magically disappeared!

Around five o clock, I had about six guests check in, one right after another, and the last guy took the last of the three luggage carts. As he's walking out with it, this blonde woman, we'll call her Meghan, passed by him and yelled, "WHATS THIS? NO MORE CARTS?" I was sort of shocked at her rage, and I informed her that I just had a lot of guests check in so they were currently in use. "SO YOU GUYS HAVE APPETIZERS TONIGHT OR WHAT?" Still in shock, I said, "Well I explained to the gentleman--" "I'M NOT WITH THAT MAN!" I must have raised my eyebrows because she got this look on her face like she was going to jump over the counter. I told her about the pies served tonight and she turned around to her now-present husband and said, "Oh, honey, this Hilton only decided to have one luggage cart for the whole hotel so we're apparently out of luck."

One of those guests that checked in was a "SUPER VIP" member who had never stayed our branch of hotels before. I said that I hoped we made him proud. Nice guy.

An hour later, his teenage son came down and asked if we offered "dog walking service". I said no, then asked him and his mother if they had a dog in the room (I know, odd question, but I had to ask) and they conceded that they did. I told them there was a fee for it and the woman looked at me like I had cheated her out of winning the lottery or something. "Well thats just GREAT! I'll have my husband talk to YOU, because we don't pay that dog fee if we're SUPER VIP GUESTS, SIR." I told her not to worry about it, "Merry Christmas."

A little later on, Meghan's husband called me and said the gas fireplace in his room was out; of course, they were checked into the only room that has problems with the fireplace. I went up and started fixing the fireplace. They were watching "Man vs. Wild", a Discovery Channel show (that Amanda and I love) where the host shows how to survive in the most treacherous places on earth. In this episode, he decided that he was hungry enough to kill a frog and eat it.

Meghan started talking to her children about how she had learned how to do all of that in survival camp in Africa, and that to do it, he'll have to stab the frog in his head with a knife to kill it. A few minutes later, the host does exactly that. I fix the fireplace and get the heck out of that room as fast as I can... (!)

I get downstairs and realize that the pie must have made my stomach turn so I ran to the bathroom to do a #2. While I'm in there, the phone rings. It rings as such that I know its an internal phone call. I didn't answer it, of course, because, well, I'm going #2!! The phone rings about nine times, stops, then starts ringing again. I lean over and pick up the cordless I had taken with me and answer it.

"Yeah, this fireplace is still not working, and we'd appreciate it if you came up and shut it off so the gas doesn't choke out my family. Thanks."

I go upstairs just as soon as I can clean up and shut it off, apologize for the faulty fireplace, and get out of that room as fast as I can (again!).

When I got to the desk, the dog guy called and asked for some popcorn, so I ran it up to his room.

I got off the elevator and I could hear Meghan's family was in the lobby in front of the desk. I thought, oh man now what and sure enough, I could hear them planning to put hot chocolate and cookies in front of the Christmas Tree for Santa Claus. Once I turned the corner, the one child, around seven years old, was being launched up onto a luggage cart by his eleven year old sister so he could do pull ups! I ran over and caught the luggage cart before it tumbled over from his weight! Imagine if I hadn't been there! His parents were completely cool with it and they were fifteen feet away!


Imagine what they would have said...


Except I'm sure they wouldn't have said fudge. :)

Merry Christmas All!!!

Take Heed, Pirates; I'm Watching You

Disgruntled? Yeah!: This may or may not seem lame to some of you, but I think its pretty cool. You'll have to stick with me while I talk about some dorky internet stuff I do.

That being said, there is a website that I have been following as a "favorite". Its called UniWatch, and its an "analysis" blog that talks about uniforms in sports. I'm a semi regular "commenter" to the site, usually something goofy about the Erie teams (Otters, Seawolves, and Bayhawks) but mostly just making jokes about the Yankees or something. Sometimes discussions get about as heated as internet discussions could be (and I say that because most of us internet dorks couldn't fight ourselves out of a wet paper bag).

On Tuesday, they featured a story about a guy who made a baseball helmet modeled after the pillbox style Pirates hats of the late 70's. He created it as a kitschy baseball hat for fun, but then realized it'd be a cool idea for the base coaches to wear (long story, if you care why they wear helmets while in the field, you can email me and I'll explain it).

I for one, thought it was a great idea, considering the Minnesota Twins had done something sort of the same this year, having their basecoaches wear helmets modeled after their 1970's hats.

Near the bottom of the entry, Paul Lukas, who runs the site mostly by himself, commented that he knew a few folks in the Pirates PR team who might be interested by this invention. I agreed completely, and went down into the comments to make my supportive voice heard. As I scrolled down through the comment board, I noticed that NOBODY said anything about it; rather they were making comments about the design of hockey jerseys in the 1980's. Made me angry; not at the site, but at the fact that a Pirates themed idea garnered no criticism or positive reinforcement.

I decided to write a comment that made my voice heard toward those "Pirates PR guys" that Paul knew. There had been 148 comments before mine, and that just upset me dearly. Here's what I wrote:

Dear apparent Pirates office workers who follow Uniwatch,

Being a huge hockey fan..., I hate to gloss over the awesome discussions about hockey jerseys.

But you know, if there’s someone watching this site that works for the Pirates… then I have something to say. Do you realize that this website has taken the time to HIGHLIGHT a great Pirates themed idea and nobody on this message board so far has commented about it? What does that tell you about the respect out there for this team?

Take this guy’s great idea for the basecoach helmets and run with it. Use the money from the dumb freaking bobbleheads of players that you’ll probably sell off in August and make this helmet a reality for the basecoaches.

I don’t think I can possibly take any more mediocrity from this organization.

1. Get rid of the red jerseys, I’m talking press conference, formal apology from Frank and Neal.

2. Get rid of the pinstripes. You’re not the Yankees, stop trying to fool us.

3. Scale yourself down. Go to a simple jersey set; road greys and home whites. Nobody buys your jerseys outside of Pittsburgh (and even then its a stretch) anymore so stop trying to push merchandise by creating another alternate.

4. Take all the money you saved from recycling those red jerseys into Primanti napkins, getting rid of the IDEA that anyone gives a crap about bobbleheads of Nyjer Morgan, only doing fireworks on the fourth of July like IT SHOULD BE…


Tony in Erie
Disgruntled Pirates fan since 1980

I meant every word. Sounds silly, but I do. I'm tired of all of this crap about the Pirates not being able to afford good talent but continue to do basically nothing and let this organization be a laughingstock. We had our chances last summer when Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and Nate McLouth were ripping the cover off the ball and we were having our chances at finally winning more games than we lost for the first time in 16 years...and they traded Bay and Nady for a couple guys who flopped after a few months, helping the Bucs to lose 95 out of 162 games.

Immediately had a response from another reader, identified as ScottyJ In WV:

Well said, Tony!! Here here!!!

Also, gotta say that [the helmet creator] is the kind of fan a team should be proud to have. The pillbox coaches helmet is one idea the Bucs should run with.

Thought it was pretty nice to have someone support a comment that I actually thought would be deleted by the site administrator! But there it stayed, well after I went to bed last night. I also received a personal email from another reader, Doug Keklak, that reads as follows:

I was away from Uni Watch after 3 yesterday and didn't fire it up until much later.

Read your post regarding the Pirates.....GOD DAMN are you dead on! I was thinking the same Ricko's scanned print ad of old hockey jerseys took over and no one really gave a damn about the main entry.

This will be the first summer since I moved to Allegheny County in '98 that I plan on going to no games whatsoever.

F--k them.


have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, always enjoy your comments

Nice touch, Doug. :)

Shockingly enough, I saw the coup de gras; I woke up today and found the following comment from the Pirates employee on the site:

I know of at least one other Pirates front office member, besides the aforementioned Dan Hart, who is a regular reader/contributor. However, she is extremely busy right now and the rest of the office is closed.

I’m not exactly sure how much I can say, but look for new jerseys to be unveiled at some point during the winter caravan/Piratefest. From what I hear, Tony in Erie is pretty close.

The bobbleheads have been greatly trimmed down, along with all the other garbage giveaways (collectible plates, etc.). Fireworks are not going anywhere. I have never seen a town go so stupidly bat-poo crazy for fireworks, no matter the date, time, or spectacle, as they do in Pittsburgh. Other teams actually have more fireworks nights than the Pirates. The Tigers had them after every Friday and Saturday night game last year.

I’m going to assume, that by the “buy better players” comment, he really meant “draft and develop better players” since that’s the only realistic option.

I hope this person, by the way they wrote, were part of the Pirates front office team. Talk about hitting your mark! I'm pretty excited that at least SOMEONE who is paid by that team saw my letter and maybe, JUST maybe, is circulating it around down there. Yay for me!

Next they'll be calling me for a job!

Yeah right. :)

December 23, 2008

The Best Day, Continued.

There's something I'd like to talk about because I'm, well, confused on this issue.

Last night, after the horrible day I had, I had a few more drinks than usual. Now, before I had my drinks, I had about fifteen chicken wings and a few slices of pizza, so there at least was something to sop up the alcohol. I wake up today, and I'm not hungover, even though there are a select few of my friends that are hating life this afternoon.

Which leads me to wonder: What am I doing with high alcohol tolerance?

All of my high school friends drank when they were very young.

I didn't.

I was usually grounded for something stupid like washing the dishes wrong or forgetting to clean up the dog poop. I was in my room, playing guitar, wondering why I felt like such a bad child. I never really "partied" when I was in high school.

The group of "hockey guys" had parents that purchased beer for them and their friends, as long as they drank it at that parent's house and nowhere else. Nearing our high school graduation, from what I hear, they started having parties with beer bought for them by the local college kids that they were friends with.

To each his own -- I used to really hate that about the group of friends I was attached to, despised it, wished bad things on them, and I'm not afraid to say that. But now, I'm not angry about that. As a matter of fact, I feel like I'm the least angry I've ever been in my entire life.

I had my first alcoholic drink on New Years Eve when I was 20. I was trying harder and harder to fit in with the only friends I had, and I thought that I was turning 21 that year so it couldn't hurt. I wasn't driving, nothing like that. Harmless little vodka and juice or something or other. It tasted like crap, to be honest.

That fall, I was introduced to Mikes Hard Lemonades by way of trickery...I was told they had very low alcohol content because they were mostly sugar. Six in a half hour time later, I was officially drunk for the first time, and I felt like a complete asshole. Acted like one too, from what I remember.

I didn't drink but maybe once or twice a year for a long, long time. The most dangerous night I ever had was being out in downtown Erie one Saturday night about five years ago with my fellow Sears tool salesmen, and it was one of my "fitting in" nights so they were shoveling me stuff to drink like crazy. I know we were at Sherlocks but I sorta don't remember where else. And yes, we actually had a designated driver, so there's no horror stories, take it easy, Mom and Dad.

The next morning, I woke up and was fine. Hangover? My friend Marc had less than I did, and he wasn't able to make it into work. Really confused me. Someone suggested I had a high tolerance for alcohol...but I wondered, how is that possible? Isn't 'tolerance' something that is built up?

During my relationship with Amanda, we've had a few nights where we've both had a few more than we should have, but we've always been smart enough to think ahead and plan accordingly to ensure we got home safely.

A few weeks back, I wrote a blog about "changing my life" and doing things so that I wouldn't be saying in ten years that I should have done things when I was 28 and not trying to be cool closing in on forty. That night, I went out to celebrate a good hotel inspection with a few of my friends and I had a couple shots of something I don't remember what, and the next morning I had a pounding headache, didn't want to get out of bed, it was horrifying. Amanda did too.

So I can have hangovers, it does happen, but if I think back long enough, I only remember "hating the morning" three times in my entire life.

Here I am, 1:30 in the afternoon, after a restless night where I didn't sleep very well, and I'm fine. No stomachaches, no headache, nothing. Amanda suggested that I have a high tolerance.

I still can't help thinking, how?

December 22, 2008

The Best Day

Even I'm Shocked: As anyone would know that has a television, the entire area around Erie has been blanketed by a big blizzard, dropping a foot or more in some areas. The interstate highways were shut down. The roads are pretty much unpassable.

Last night, I had to work at 5pm until 11 pm. The weather started getting snotty. So Amanda worked out getting us a suite to stay in at her hotel. Of course, I could have stayed at my own property, but what fun would that be? Anyway, shift went by uneventful, but I wasn't tired at all after I came back to the hotel. Best part, I had to be back into work only a short eight hours later, 7 am to 3 pm.

Today, we are having our hotel Christmas party from 6 pm to 10 pm or later. We were scheduled to have a representative from the Rochester hotel of our brand to watch the desk from 3pm until 7am. Sure enough, those closed highways included the ones between here and there, so we have to go without. I volunteered to work up until the party started at 6.

My shift went by pretty quickly, but the last two hours were the worst. I got berated by a "SUPER VIP" member after I realized that he used a pretty sneaky ploy to get himself a big free room. Its what I get for being a nice guy. Anyway, it just ruined my shift. Completely pissed off, I finally got away around 6:35.

I go out to my car to clean it off so I can finally get to the party, I start it up, and jump out of the car to clean it off. I get it all nice and "clean" (as well as possible) and go to jump back in.

It took nearly three years of ownership, three different homes, two different jobs, but I finally did it.

I locked my keys in the car. Running.

Luckily one of my fellow GSA's has AAA, but, due to the fact we are having the aforementioned storm of the year so far...they won't be here for an hour. And I'm down to a small amount of gas.

Is anyone going to blame me for tieing one on tonight?

December 21, 2008

Seven Points To Ponder

Pretty cool picture.

So I'm pretty much lost for ideas for another blog, so I'm gonna take some time and just write whats on my mind.

* I just finished reading "Deception Point" by Dan Brown (the author of "The DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons"). Its a political thriller; basically there's an election coming up and despite the presidential challenger's disdain for the space program, NASA discovers the "find of the century" and the current president involves the challenger's daughter to join a team of scientists during the discovery. Unfortunately, for all involved, the find of the century ends up changing all of their future fortunes. ... I know thats a pretty bad summary but trust me, if you like the poli-thriller, its a rocket read. I sacrificed half a night of sleep to finish it.

* * Found an awesome article on ESPN about Mike Tyson's Punch Out, that old boxing game for the Nintendo. I have many memories of the ol' NES, and I'd love to have one now. I have some of the games on my computer, but its just not the same. Anyway, if you loved the Nintendo, the game really brings back some memories.
* * * Jack Wilson, the shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, has been on the trading block since the season ended back in October (well, for them, in July)...recently his name has been taken off the baseball insiders list. Wilson finally stood up and proclaimed his distaste for the organization, and he's been applauded for that. Unfortunately, Jason Bay did the same thing LAST winter, and look where it got him. Traded. Or maybe thats ol' Jack's hope, that he'll have that shot to play short for the Anaheim Angels next fall. Who knows. God I hope that my kids will have something to cheer for when they're growing up.

* * * * Went to Amanda's hotel party last night, and it was held at this little "speakeasy" club in central Erie called "Astro Noeva" or something like that. It was held right at the bowling alley in the basement, this classic eight laner AMF style lanes, just like they had never been touched in the last forty years. Beautiful. Even had to do scoring by hand. I bowled like crap, rolled a 70 (yeah) and then a 104 (better? ugh.). I'm experimenting with a new throwing style.

One thing that not a lot of people know about me is that I used to be a pretty good bowler when I was little. My mom and her husband at the time enrolled me and my little brother at the Polish Falcons 123 when we were 11 and 8. I took to it pretty well, even got a personalized engraved ball for Christmas one year. I led a team of kids to YABA PA state semifinals in Grove City; I had a 150 or so average then. Not bad for being 11.

Anyway, back to present day...I used to toss the ball straight on, pretty lightly years ago. As I got older, I watched guys throw the ball really hard so I had to adapt. But as I started doing that, my arm and hand started getting number and number to the point that now, if I do it, my whole right hand is totally useless for the night if I even bowl one game.

So I'm trying to adapt to the curve style come hell or high water. I was able to throw three games worth of balls. I didn't do well, but its a start. (I didn't score the third game, in case anyone is trying to point out the flaws in my writing.)

* * * * *Anyone looking forward to Christmas? I am. Should be a good day. I have it off! Got Townsend a bunch of really great presents (thanks our own personal Santa Claus, you know who you are) and I think he'll be really happy with what he received.

* * * * * *I officially changed my availability at work so I can't work Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, so I can prepare more fully for the night at Clancy's. 2009 is going to be a good year for me musically, I just know it. My voice is getting better every time I sing. Someone has to be taking notice, or at least someone WILL be. I'd bet good money on it.

* * * * * * *I noticed something earlier (obviously you can tell I was spending a lot of time on What is it about boxers that have religious items on their shorts? This is a pic of Evander Holyfield from his recent fight against some (very hairy) Russian dude:

Note the "Psalms 107:20" mark on his shorts. This passage is "He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." What? I'm confused. I mean, I usually "get" these things, even though they don't make much sense, I still figure them out. But this one totally throws me off. What does being an over the hill boxer have to do with that passage? Totally over my head, I suppose.

Well, thats about all I can think of now, I should get something constructive done. Comments or questions, go ahead and email me! I love feedback.

December 17, 2008


Neighbors: Got an email almost right away from my friend Lisa, who encouraged me on to make this music thing more serious. So I spent a few minutes cleaning up the big kid play room we have off the living room so I can have more of a "live" setup.
Feeling a little better after my shower, I plugged in and started playing, and for some reason, after playing two songs, I just lost all feeling for it. I think I need new guitar strings for my Stratocaster...but I think I know what it really is.
I could hear my downstairs neighbors stomping around and I started wondering how loud I was singing, so I stopped singing louder. Then I turned the guitar down. Then I went to my acoustic. Before I knew it, I was trying to sing "Simple Man" in a whisper.
Wish I had someplace or some other way to practice without worrying the neighbors. They might not say something, or they might, who knows...I just feel bad being a bother. I know the one guy works third shift on Tuesday nights so the chances of him sleeping while I was trying to play a solo was pretty good, and it'd piss me off if I was the one sleeping.
Sort of popped the bubble of any good mood I had going today, and now I'm at work, and don't want to be here at all. Luckily there's not many people coming in.

The World Has Turned...

And Left Me Here: About 15 minutes before 11, my scheduled shift end, I got ansy and decided to change clothes to go out to open mic while I was still at work. The guy who works over night is always ten minutes early anyway; I figured why not. So I get all changed out of my nice red shirt and black tie into my Beatles "Hard Days Night" tee shirt and jeans and go outside and start my car. At this point, I'm rip-roaring ready to go to open mic and tear the roof off.

A few minutes pass and I think, well, thats odd...he's usually here by now.

The last time I actually had plans after a 3-11pm shift, he was the one who was taking over for the third shift...and he was late.

11:00 becomes 11:05, and I'm still standing there at the desk in my Beatles T-shirt. Phone rings for a wake up call.

C'mon man...I wanted to BE there by now!

11:05 becomes 11:10. I realize now that there is a distinct possibility that he's not coming in for his I give the ol' boy a call. No answer. But the phone rings again a minute later.

"Hey...Tony.....uhhhhh...I just woke up."

He said he could get there in like twenty minutes (he lives close by) but I told him to take it slow because the roads were crap. I go out to my car and shut off the engine.

So there I was, watching the desk until 11:35 in my Beatles T-shirt. Great. :)

Tearing The Roof Off, Er...Wanted To: When I arrived at Clancys, there was noone performing. A video of John Mayer was on the TV screen blaring away. Amanda and I head up to the bar and order a beer and sure enough, the old man who "had soul" last week was sitting there. Told me he'd been waiting for me to show up for three hours!

So I plug in, get situated, and start monkeying around...for some reason felt like I didn't have much direction songwise. I couldn't think of any tunes to play or anything, so I started off with "Walk Don't Run" by The Ventures. Got some applause. For some reason, I was feeling nervous, and I can't figure out why, even as I write this.

Ralph, the old man, steps up and picks up his bass guitar and we start in a little jump blues in G and things sound frickin great, I'm getting into it, the guy is grinning ear to ear, and sure enough, Doug, who "is always there" walks up and plugs in his acoustic guitar and took things over, again.

Starts playing the same five songs he always plays, just like he did last week, and the week before the week before. Following me? ;)

I played along for a while, Ralph gave up after that one song and wandered off outside with some drunk preppy boy who kept pestering me about needing a drummer. But after about forty minutes, I honestly just wanted to go.

I'm not sure exactly where my night was ruined, whether it was the 3rd shift man being late or the weather being crap or Doug taking over (AGAIN), but it was not one of my better nights there. I'm going to have to learn some new songs for next week so I can just keep playing instead of giving up to someone who knows only a few tunes.

December 16, 2008

Pet Peeves Be Damned

Back To School, Er, Work: So I finally got back to the ol' HWS front desk last night. Truth be told, I am glad I got the time off but I sort of missed the place. I feel a lot more loose and cool now and lets hope this feeling continues. No major problems, tried to get some laundry done but the rigors (ha!) of phone calls, toilet plunging, and toothbrush runs just wears me out, man. Had a talk with the general manager about some of the things that were bugging me and he said that he will try to take that pressure off my head as long as I try not to get upset over things I can't control. All gd, as he'd say.

And Now For Something Completely Different: I was on my way to work yesterday and I took a different route, from Liberty to 26th and then 26th to I-79. On my way, a driver in a Toyota truck almost t-boned me at the corner of Cascade and 26th. He pulled out behind me and was right on my tail for quite a ways. Then when the road split after Greengarden, he tried to pass me on the left but got caught up when another vehicle decided he was going to turn on Hampton Rd. I made it onto 79 and the guy was RIGHT ON MY TAIL.

As we pulled off the off ramp, he whipped out into the far left lane while he was still coming down the ramp and laid on the gas, flying by me at almost 75 miles at hour (at least). I got pissed for just a second, then realized that there's no reason at all to be mad. I didn't do anything wrong. For all I know, the guy might be heading home from work to his sick kids in school or maybe he found out his wife let the UPS guy in for a little more than just a drop off, who knows.

I turned off the Kearsarge ramp and got onto Interchange, and was stopped in traffic at the light over the bridge. And guess who was right beside me. Yep, you guessed it. Toyota truck dude.

Anyway, I remember the term "pet peeve" floating through my head for just a second, and I realized something.

What the hell is a pet peeve, anyway?

Seriously, think about it. Whats your pet peeve? When someone tailgates you? When someone has 11 items in the 10 items or less line? When your cat takes a dump in the litter box in the kitchen while you're trying to cook dinner? When NBC cuts off coverage of your soap so they can put on the President talking about who he is putting up for Cabinet appointments?

And we get all angry because of this.


What seriously changes your day if someone tailgates you? Are you really going to be all that much later because someone decided to carry one more item into the check out line? Are you going to smack your cat for doing his natural duty? Are you seriously going to absolutely die if you don't find out if Brooke is going to go back to Ridge, AGAIN?!

Come on. Pet peeves are stupid. We need, as a culture, to rid ourselves of the unneeded stress of the pet peeve. Unless your pet peeve is something that is unchangeable and is impeding your bloodflow, stop worrying about it. Really.

Am I wrong? I'd like your thoughts.

December 15, 2008


Three Times...A Charm: Had ourselves some free tickets to the first three games for the Erie BayHawks (or is it Bayhawks? *shrug*) over the weekend. Thursday night they played the then-undefeated Iowa Energy, then played the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (yeah, thats their name) on Saturday and Sunday night. Got to catch all three games. Pros and cons...

1. Incredible basketball team. They control tempo, they are very fast when it needs to be, and they play really hard, you can just tell. Iowa, an undefeated team, got out to a 15-3 lead in the first quarter on Thursday but Erie went on a twenty point run and never looked back. Definitely some fight in this team.
2. Excitement abound! The promotions and marketing team for the Bayhawks appear to have got their lessons from the actual NBA (I'll get to that in a moment). Loud music, kids play area next to the court, in game promotions that aren't stupid (like the Otters), and affordable tickets! (Well, they were free, so, uh...)
3. Clutch. The Mascot. Dude is just as cool as the San Diego Chicken was. Climbing all over the stands, leading cheers, doing handstands, making fun of the floor waitresses...I'm not ashamed to admit my eyes were following the mascot around rather than the Bayhawks dancers. Well, Amanda was there, so I couldn't have anyway; not that they're pretty or anything, honey. Okay, they are, but they need some more dance moves. Can't expect season ticket holders to watch the same three dance moves all season, girls.

1. Erie. Yeah, I said it. Erie sucked as a fan community this weekend. I'm sorry to say it, but when its opening night for a big time new basketball team and less people show up than at recent Otters games, you have a problem. The biggest cheers of the weekend were when they were offering free products -- free t-shirts got the fans on their feet, not the three pointers of Erik Daniels and Taj McCullough. Free fries got people screaming like children, not the dunks of Ivan Harris. THERE WERE PEOPLE LEAVING THE GAME WITH FIFTY SECONDS TO GO ON SUNDAY, AND THE GAME WAS TIED!!

I'm not sorry I said any of this, but if the NBA D-League continues to put product on the floor that is at LEAST the best the SeaWolves have put out, Erie doesn't deserve a team like that. Fans need to show more love....I expected more people out for this weekend. Not less than the Otters draw during a losing streak. Pretty sad. the way, the D-League is a relatively new league that the NBA put into action a few years ago made of of mostly Western US teams. Erie is the farthest East by A LOT, only Fort Wayne stands between them and South Dakota. And even then, South Dakota is quite a jaunt from the next easternmost team in Tulsa.

Anyway, the league is made up of out-of-college prospects, much like minor league baseball, but 98% of the players aren't owned by the parent NBA clubs. In Erie, theirs are the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers. But if the Cavs had a player that they signed out of college and he ended up needing a little more polishing but they had no space on their team for him to catch up, he'd go to the Bayhawks to get more playing time.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of these players on the court are professional-caliber guys. No doubt. Good show though, I must say. I was hugely impressed. And coming from a guy who had only been to two basketball games in his life before hand, thats saying quite a bit.

December 11, 2008

Music, Music, More Music!

Roll Em On: Went to Clancy's Tuesday night again (as I will be most every Tuesday until I get into a band or something else kicks in to gear, I'm now sure of) and had the best night of my performing life. Played a little bit with "Doug", this guy who seems to be drunk the entire time and only knows five or six songs. Shame, he seems funny, but I dunno about all that. By the way, I said I had no pictures from last week --- I lied...

Thats Amanda singing "Mercedes Benz". Knockout. She's awesome.

Judging by my hands, I'm probably doing "Put Your Hands On Me"

Went extremely well this past Tuesday though, getting back to the point...This old guy who had been making comments the whole time about his bass guitar or whatever comes up and starts playing Doug's guitar, tells me to play these certain four notes. He then proceeds to play only five solo notes, but he KILLED IT! Proves that soul goes a heck of a long way when you feel it.

I played so well I could have never played again and I'd have been happy. But....

Hey, There, Rockstar: Went to Docksiders for the Acoustic Open Mic night as well on Wednesday. Had a pretty good evening; Amanda's mom and brother went with us and Rachel, one of my coworkers, showed up with her little posse. I got to play for only about twenty minutes but I did my acoustic thing (not as great as I wish it was) but apparently I was a lot more impressive than I thought I was. I was welcomed back to play any time there. Amanda shot a video of me doing "Wonderwall" that I will upload to the site here soon.

Psst:...I'll be at Clancy's again on Tuesday :)

December 08, 2008

Tired, or Maybe Bored

I Think I'm Burned Out: When I worked at Sears, I had a boss named Frank that always complained that he got this lump in his stomach when he drove toward work. He always seemed to never ever want to be there.
Lately, I feel that way here at the hotel. I don't know how to explain it, and I have ideas WHY, but I just don't want to be here. I don't want to be working at all. Luckily, starting Wednesday, I have five days off in a row. That'll be a nice little break, eh? Can't wait for that. I just feel like we're all fighting wars on different shores.

A long time ago, one of my managers told me that the best way to screw things up is to fight wars on different fronts. Take one battle at a time. Get one thing fixed, and eventually the chips will all start in motion. I hope I can influence the powers that be to get that ball rolling.
The Strat-o-Caster: Went to Clancy's Pub again last Tuesday night, and although I don't have any pictures this time, it went really great! I was basically in the drivers seat for the whole three and a half hours; only flanked by a lead guitar player. He was a little overpowering at times, but I think it went rather well considering we don't know each other outside of musicians night. Amanda actually got up on stage and sang a version of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" which she promptly knocked right out of the park. We then sang the classic Johnny and June song "Jackson" and also a version of "Evangeline" by The Band. Why we don't always perform as a pair is beyond me...maybe in time.
HouseCleaning: Anyone want to clean our apartment? I'm getting tired of looking at it. No, seriously. I really don't like our place anymore. I see it as way too much work to make it "our own". I would like to have a house or an apartment out in Edinboro or Waterford or something. Can't stand to park on the street anymore, can't stand to deal with living upstairs to someone else. I just want to be able to turn up my guitar and really play and not be afraid of pissing someone off. I want to be able to go out the back door and throw a baseball as hard as I can and not worry about it bouncing off a fence five feet away. I'm seriously getting tired of the apartment life. I know Amanda feels the same way. I don't think we can afford to buy a house now, and we both know its out of our range anyway at this point, but still...I can't stand that apartment anymore. The 'place' is cool, its just that things keep breaking down. The oven doesn't work right, the locks don't work like we wish they did, the basement is a dirty hole in the wall with old appliances stacked everywhere, some of the outlets in the place don't work, and we're paying out the ass for the place. Even the furnace is a landlord admitted piece of crap that we have to have the handyman come out every six months to fix it. I know we're not paying them but still, its becoming a real pain. *breathe tony, breathe*
Anyone know of a place we can rent that ISNT in the city?