Friday, April 12, 2013

Instructions for the Female

There are three main things to remember when it comes to women.

1. All women, no matter what age, want to feel precious. Whether its a father and daughter, mother and son, boyfriend and girlfriend, or husband and wife, women want to be cherished and respected by the men in their life.

2. Women want to take care of their men. And no, that doesn't mean we "belong in the kitchen". Even women who don't cook want to be emotionally supportive. We love to take care of our men and expect that to be reciprocated.

3. The only thing that makes a woman "crazy" is a man that doesn't follow the first two rules. If your girlfriend starts acting crazy, check yourself. You're probably making her that way.

Men, if you can remember these simple things, the women in your life will thrive. This does not simply pertain to romantic relationships, but also includes familial relationships and even friendships.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Fresh Market

I have recently taken on the adventure of being vegan. Except for fish. So I don't eat poultry, red meat, pork, dairy, or animal byproducts. I love eating this way I just find it difficult sometimes because eating healthy is way more expensive than buying a box of ramen noodles. But I digress...

The Fresh Market has become my new favorite place. Not only do they have vegan friendly food but omigosh the people are so darn nice! It makes me feel like a nicer person every time I go in there. I went grocery shopping there today as soon as they opened so lots of employees were out on the floor stocking the shelves. Every one that I walked by said "Hey, how are you? Have a great day!" It got to the point where I just felt so welcome that I started approaching employees and asking them how they were doing before they even saw me.

I'm telling you, happiness and camaraderie is bred at this place.

I also found some incredible food. Freeze dried fruit! You can get apples, tangerines, mangoes, bananas, asian pears, pineapple.... And it's all freeze dried.

So you put a piece in your mouth and it feels like styrofoam but your saliva re hydrates it so it turns back into what it was, providing all the flavor of the fruit. After swallowing you're left wondering what the hell just happened in your mouth.

The other incredible food I discovered is okra chips. Holy crap this is even better than the fruit. See my previous post titled Okra Monster to get a better idea of how much I love okra. But this is like freeze dried okra tossed in some spice mixture. Expensive as hell, but my God.

Based on this, I have come to the conclusion that everything is better freeze dried. I want to have a freeze dried salad with freeze dried Caesar dressing and a bowl of freeze dried tomato soup for lunch tomorrow. Someone make that happen.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Traveler Don'ts

My trip to Ireland is finally happening! I've bought the ticket and everything. Of course, I won't be leaving for another 212 days but that hasn't stopped me from already planning every little detail. There are really two reasons I do this. Yes, I am so excited I feel like I could explode, but I also do it because I'm terrified I'll act like a typical American tourist. I want to appear as native as possible. I've even started friendships with people in Ireland so that when I get there I'll have people to hang out with. Hell, if I could find a manual car with the driver on the starboard side, I'd practice driving it all the time to get the hang of it.

I am fairly well traveled for a 26 year old though. Which might be why annoying tourists bother me so much. So, here's a list of things annoying tourists do.

1. I know the invention of Instagram suddenly made every mundane thing in every day life artistic and relevant, but there is a limit to how many pictures you need of the Eiffel Tower.

Get a picture of yourself in front of it and move on. You don't need three from the base looking up into it, or every angle from each leg, and you certainly don't need to charter a helicopter to get some aerial shots.

Everyone knows what the Eiffel Tower looks like. If you discover some new species at the Galapagos Islands, then by all means take as many pictures as you can and try to catch the thing!

2. Don't butcher the beautiful native language. You may think that using English shows you didn't care enough to learn some native words, but butchering the pronunciation at the very least also shows you don't care. It's really not that hard to perfect a few key phrases. In fact, make one of those phrases "How do you say _______ in Russian?" (or whatever language you're speaking). That way you can show you want to learn.

3. Use your inside voices when you're inside. Americans are known for being loud and the reason they're known for this is because they do things like read museum information out loud as if the person next to you is actually across the room. Those museums are made of marble and marble carries sound like nobody's business. If you giggle at a nude statue, everyone's going to hear it. Pull yourself together please.

4. Being in a new place can be invigorating and I understand the desire to take everything in, but choose your moments. Perhaps stopping in the middle of a crowded sidewalk to look up at a building or open up a massive map isn't the best solution. You have to remember there are local people trying to get to work or pick up their kids from futbol practice. Nearly running into some stupefied tourist can really put their busy day in the gutter. Look for a bench to open up your map or just simply plan ahead.

Don't be annoying, my fellow Americans.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


 My birthday was this past week. Aren't they the best?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hotel Insights

It's shameful, I know. I've been absent from my blog for so long I can't even make up a good excuse. I could say that I got a promoted to manager at my hotel and that I don't have time to make posts, but that would only be a half truth. I guess I got so absorbed in my job that I didn't even have time to think "Oh yeah, you have a blog, remember?"

Anyway, here I am with a new post. I'd like to incorporate a little of my day job into this post since my brain hasn't been able to think of much else outside of the hotel world. So here are a few of my own personal insights (and requests).

1) No room type is guaranteed. And those who say it can be, are lying to you. Sure we will make a reservation for a certain room type for you, but if we have guests that extend or unexpected maintenance issues with a room, you will have to be moved. So just deal with it. Hotels will do everything in their power to accommodate you the best that they can, but some things can't be helped. Don't get mad and take it out on the staff. On that same note though, free upgrades happen all the time because of this, so there is a silver lining.

2) If you have children, or a pet, request the first floor. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to move guests that were below you to a new room because your kid won't quit jumping up and down on the bed.

3) People have sex in hotels. I get that. Especially those luxury hotels out there. But do you have to leave your used condoms and dildos behind for my housekeepers to find?

4) I don't know what it is about staying in a hotel that makes people think they can live in squalor and destroy rooms. Do you live like this at home? If so, you have a problem. I realize it's our job to clean the room after you leave it, but I don't think you realize how much effort goes into cleaning just a regular room without you trashing it. Hotels have specific time limits for their housekeepers. For example, at my hotel a housekeeper is allowed 30 minutes to clean a room that was occupied for 1 - 6 nights. 30 minutes! Have you ever tried to clean even one room in your house to perfect standards in just 30 minutes? Our rooms have full sized kitchens in them too. The rate you pay for your room is not "paying us to clean up after you leave". It's paying to have a roof over your head and a hot shower in the morning. So be considerate.

5) Hotels have eyes and ears everywhere. Don't think for one second that you're getting away with something i.e. sneaking in your pet without paying a pet fee, smoking pot in your room, smoking in a non-smoking room, etc. We will catch you. In fact, playing detective is one of my favorite games.

6) If you choose to extend your stay, you are expected to pay for the room by the time you would normally check out. So if check out time is 11am, you have to pay by then. Don't get mad when we say "no, we can't wait until 6pm to get payment." A hotel is a business. You wouldn't go pick out some clothes at a store and tell the clerk you'll be back in a few hours to pay for those clothes. It blows my mind what some people think they can get away with sometimes.

7) I'll never forget this one guy who came in asking about our rates. I told him what they were and he starts trying to negotiate $170 less than what I quoted. I told him our rates don't go down that low and he got flustered with me. He heads to the door and says "you just going to let this money walk out the door?" Yes, yes I am. Why would I give you the room for $170 less when I could easily book it for our normal rate? Hotels may be a little more lenient when their occupancy starts to drop, but they're certainly not going to take $170 off. You can ask for a triple A rate or a discount with the company you work for, but there is a reason a hotel's rates are what they are. Our rates are constantly being compared to other hotel rates in the area and will always be competitive based on the amenities we offer. So if staying in a nice, clean, quiet hotel for a little higher rate isn't your thing, by all means, head to the roach motel with the meth addict owner and pay $170 less.

8) The Do Not Disturb sign you can put on your door handle is only a request, not a demand. Hotel staff has the right to enter your room at any time for whatever reason. Most places will respect the sign as much as possible, but if we can't get in touch with you by phone, we will come in. The urgency of the issue will dictate how long we will wait after we've tried to call you.

9) If you yell or swear at my employees or treat them poorly, I will ask you once to stop and then I will kick your ass out. Customer service does not mean you have free reign to take all your anger out on us. If you have a legitimate problem we will of course, do everything in our power to remedy it. But verbal abuse is a one way ticket out.

That's all I have for now.

Any of my fellow hotel peeps out there, feel free to add some more of your own insights in that comment box down there.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Generation Gap (Episode 10)

Circa 1995

                                                           Circa 2012