Tuesday, November 10, 2009

bacon needs no salesmen, bacon sells bacon

Currently enjoying the weather in fun filled Orlando, Florida. (ahh geez did I say that?) Last night was the first time I saw it rain.. UP. This place is ridiculous.. Crazed children cranked up on sugar and the ever present Disney euphoric effect. Kids running and screaming like an open nerve attached to a fire hydrant. Complete candied coated chaos mixed with family orientated techno music makes this part of Disneyworld a never ending conveyer belt of childhood evanescence. We are in the Disney bubble; 35 miles away from normality and average consumer products. If the hotel doesn't have it you're not getting it. The hotels are surrounded by water which is outlined by a wooden boardwalk full of cotton candy, hired street magicians and arcades. Amongst the building facades and imitation sea life there lays a hidden Mecca. By way of complete accident I found it, a real brewery. So there I stood in a gasp, in fact I had to ask if they actually brew beer or was this another one of Disney's evil tricks. When the hostess confirmed; yes in fact they do serve the beer they brew I responded like a child on Christmas morning.. who got everything they wished for. So I guess the sign in front was right, " Disneyworld, where wishes come true". It's about that time; people meeting and talking; confirming, coughing, grunting, an occasional secret handshake combined with broken wind, and some guy who whispers the word "etcetera" in the background. So, it's about that time. Work waits with a patient grin.

beer, interrupted

Last night was like a fun little trinket that suddenly changed into an exploding blanket made out of flaming razor blades and barbeque sauce. Painful but a bit tangy.

It was raining so I took a bicycle taxi to a brewery; that was a first. It was novel for a bit but then I realized I was sitting directly behind the “enemy”. The only redeeming fact was that the taxi driver (rider) plowed through the crowed sidewalks sending people off the curb. The entertainment value alone motivated my tip.

It was time for some beer, hot wings and football.

You know those girls who are sitting alone at a bar slowly nursing their drink waiting for a conversation? Keep away, unless you have backup (a friend with you). This was the lesson I learned while watching college football at the local brewery. She was mix between a lost hippy and 51% Native American - probably in her 40s. The kind of woman who sells birth stones, wind chimes and Indian paintings at the local swap meet. She was a Scareman, like a Scarecrow but with less straw. I was sitting at the bar watching a close game between USC and Ohio State and she said something to me I’m sure of it, but didn’t turned my head to her. I think I responded but the game was far too interesting and I didn’t want to dilute my experience. After the game was over I then turned my head raised my glass and said “evening” – this was my mistake. It was as if I just pulled the pin on a lonely ego grenade attached to an avalanche of meglamania. She talked, and talked, and talked and talked, then after that she proceeded to talk again. I was trapped, the place was packed and there were no other seats available. She finished her beer in between breaths then gave me that look. Panic started to creep in. I looked at my glass and there was a small sip left; so I pulled back the glass and finished it with joyful sarcasm. “mmmm, now that was a great German Lager” She was still giving me that look – “I think I’ll have another.” So I ordered a pint. She was still was there; speechless – as if the empty glass was directly attached to her vocal cords.

“So, are you going to buy me a drink?” she asked
“Do you need one?”
“I’d like one”
“They have seven beers on tap here, so you have a lot of choices.”
“Are you going to buy one?”
“I already have mine.”
“never mind”

Through defeat she managed to purchase another drink and continued to talk; to no surprise she picked up right where she left off. “I’m not like usual girls, blah, blah, I get hit on all the time, blah, blah I’m so unusual, I have this, blah, I’ve been here, blahh, look at me - I so don’t look my age….etc, etc,….and another exedra. I found myself looking at the numerous televisions and reading small print from a distance trying to find something more interesting. I had a half a pint left and didn’t want to pound it; it was really good beer but the bird perched next to me just didn’t stop squawking. The sound of her voice was interfering with the accuracy of my taste buds. Then the last straw was broken - she quoted Michael Jackson and held her heart in dramatic admiration. “oh, that’s it” thinking to myself. Stood up – grabbed my pint, left a tip and walked away. I meandered about the establishment until my beer was finished. It annoyed me because great beer was not designed to be finished while standing. As I walked by the bar on my way out I saw her talking to another chap; so I did what any other Lifeguard would do. Walked over and nudged the guy’s shoulder and quietly said, “Have fun with this one” and slowly took my exit.

So my lesson was, when you see someone and that feeling you get your stomach that says, “don’t say anything”? Listen to it and don’t speak a word.

Until next time,

Philedephia is Phreak’n Awesome (Part 2)

This hotel I am working in (different from where I am staying) is terribly perfect. Even if it’s the truth - it’s better to keep names out of public postings. So in place of the hotel name I will use the non offensive words “Septic Handshake”.

Septic Handshake Hotel is inconveniently located in downtown Philadelphia. I really have nothing against the city but this particular hotel is the work of a drab queen (yes, drab). Dull brown walls, dirty chandeliers, sticky brass hand railings and now featuring stained carpets throughout the establishment. What makes this place stand out of the rest has got to be the equally invigorating hotel staff. They are so slow it’s almost painful; like being wrapped in a razor wire Velcro tuxedo waiting in line at a non-air-conditioned DMV in Bakersfield. The sterno heated food is awful. Most hotel food has a certain standard of bad – but here at Septic Handshake they take it to a new level. The egg rolls tasted like a Chinese Salt Lick. I can’t wait what the next culinary installment will be like. Maybe the hamburgers will taste like an uneducated cup holder made of ostrage teets. Either way, this chicken parmesan has no friends; right now my taste buds are the enemy.

I have never seen so many stains on the walls and floors of a hotel. Motel 8 with hourly rates look better than this place. Exposed wire, finger prints, misguided bacon, they have it all. There are huge stains on the carpets obviously from some sort of liquid that was once wet. We overheard that the owners of Septic Handshake are super mega ultra cheap. I’m surprised you don’t have to car pool up the elevator. I think they spray ”liquid truck-stop” in their bathrooms to give that authentic feel. They throw you off guard when you walk in the lobby because at first it does seem like a nice hotel – but give it time, maybe three or four minutes and then that realization hammer of misrepresentation slams into a fire hydrant made of pressurized misfortune and unfiltered catastrophe as it explodes with a giant hand placing it’s soapy middle finger in your mind’s eye.

Philedephia is Phreak’n Awesome (Part 1)

Another adventure is just beginning. The plane was packed on the way to Philadelphia – there were a few empty seats on the Airbus A321 but here was the fun part. Due to the configuration of the plane they had to have about a dozen large people sit in the back of the plane for takeoff. Now the Airbus A321 is not a small aircraft it can hold around 220 passengers. Everyone looked at each other for answers that did not seem to exist. As usual I was sitting in the aisle seat – it was going to be another fun filled flight across the country. We had an unusually strong tail wind so we got into Philadelphia airspace about a half an hour early however due to the stormy skies we circled the city several times before landing. By the time we got to the gate we were right on time. Lots of fun people on the plane; the head rests made everyone’s hair stand straight up (static) – it looked like a cat rear ended a rooster in a follicle filled light socket.When I finally got to the hotel (which was located in between nowhere and somewhere else) relief was quickly diverted to disaster. It was cold and raining and the hotel lobby lights fluttered and went out. After waiting in the dark for a bit the lights went on and everything resumed back to normal. In short they didn’t have a record of my reservation. After a ricochet conversation with the management I finally got my room. All 1970’s of it. They gave me a suite –it came with its own boardroom complete with cheap rickety chairs and an oval meeting table strong enough to hold up an Arkansas tourist leaflet. The bathroom smelled like mildew and the TV looked like it came from the community collage AV department. Good thing I fit right in-between the lumps in the mattress. Ahh, home at last.I took a chartered bus from the hotel to downtown and the bus driver got lost. He dropped all of us off six blocks away from where the brochure told it would take us. Had to take a taxi; the cab had his back window rolled down (please note its 40 degrees and raining) so the back seat was soaked and the door didn’t close all the way. I had to hold on for dear life because there were no seat belts - the cab driver didn’t know where the hotel was I needed to go but eventually I arrived unscaved. At this time I haven’t even started working – and I’ll be here for five days.

Monday, November 2, 2009

rogue sounds and the ladder men

Ah, back in San Diego - the hotel is quite nice, and for once I actually have a decent view; not that I could really do anything with the view but it is a good change from the typical alley, weathered rooftop and or trashy parking lot view in which I am normally blessed by. We are in a conference room in the basement of the hotel; come to think of it most conference rooms are underground. Here is where it gets fun – in basements is where there are pipes; these pipes usually carry water and a lot of it. Sometime around 8:30am this morning I was sitting at a table eating breakfast in our conference room when there was a very loud screeching sound that came from the ceiling - followed by a bang, and then what appeared to be a distorted elephant screaming through a rusty tuba under water. This sound carried down the halls and into another meeting room where there were some very important people talking about really important things. This horrific sound didn’t stop, it did waiver in pitch however which made it extra annoying. It was almost funny to see the people in suits attempting to ignore the sound as they rubbed their chins leaning back in the brown polyester meeting chairs. Within minutes the hotel maintenance crew came running down the hall armed with hard hats, tool belts and 8 foot collapsible ladders followed by a guy with a clipboard humming the Monday Night Football tune. After some grunting and pointing the men came up with a game plan and proceeded to venture into the ceiling looking for the source of this sonorousness event. Approximately 9:00am Pacific Standard Time the horrific sound came to an end. I am not sure what they did exactly but it must have been impressive because the maintenance crew gave themselves high fives, grabbed their gear and walked out like a peacock doused in liquid pride. The hotel staff just brought in the coffee and scone cart - all is well in the Solana Meeting Room.