Friday, February 27, 2009

Gimme a Rule! I will break it

Jules over at Just Jules was tagged in a post from a blogger and, in turn, she had to come up with 5 random things about herself and tag more people.

Well she took that list of rules and wiped her butt with them and listed 10 things and instead of tagging people she just says, leave a comment and you are tagged, and that she will be looking. She mentioned me by name, so I guess it is time for me to dust off some random facts.

I will also break all those rules too. I will link back to Jules, and I will post random things, but I am not going to hold anyone hostage and tell them they have to do this or their family will die. But I'm just saying, you shouldn't be too careful.

Ok, in no particular order, random facts. Oh and I'm going to post as many and I want.

  1. I eat 2 eggs 2 pieces of toast and 1/2 a pot at coffee most mornings before work.
  2. I spend most of my days thinking about ideas for commercial copy. I know, funny, but I think I can write and produce better tag lines than most.
  3. I once scored a radio production gig by producing fake movie trailers. The one that put me on the map was my fake trailer for Saw 3. Have a listen. I am the big voice in it. I also produced most of the sound effects in the trailer as well, including the awesome crunch at the end.

  4. I think I can write well enough to write an entire novel. Ha! We'll see how it turns out.
  5. I'm usually early to everything. Like obnoxiously early. I'm talking waiting outside school for upwards of 15 minutes for the school bell to ring when I take Audrey to school.
  6. I have learned recently that when I was working for a bank in Cleveland, most of my co-workers thought I was gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but nice, sensitive, and thoughtful guys are pigeon holed into the GAY category.
  7. My brother is an asshole, and he's ok with that.
  8. My dog listens better to me that my wife.
  9. I think of myself as the tragically un-hip but yet cool guy. Who else do you know that can totally rock out to a band like Chaimeria and also knows all the words to a Miley Cyrus song? [Shut up Steve, I don't want to hear it] I say phrases like, peace out ninja, what is u-p, holler [yes with an emphasis on the e-r], and it's just another day in paradise.

Ok, those are all the random facts I can think about for now. If I update, I will let you know. So if you think you should be, I am totally tagging you. Just comment this post so I know to come look for what you come up with, and of course, because I rock, you will be linked!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

[this post has no title]

The phone rang this morning a bit earlier than normal. It was mom.

"what time do you work today? Are you off?" she asked. I could hear the choked back tears. She had that voice you can only get from crying for a few days.

"I work at 1 today."

"can you come over and help me?"

Back in 1996, my youngest brother saw an ad in the paper for puppies. My mom has always told us no to a dog since I could remember.

She decided to humor us and take us out to a little house in Amherst to see the dogs. At this point my mom was going to take us out there and we were going to see the dog. She never was serious about actually taking the dog home with us.

We pulled into a little country home where a middle aged man met us. It was March in Ohio so the temperature was on the low side. His garage was enough sanctuary from the cold.

As we entered the garage there was this tiny little puppy. Black, clumsy, and full of energy. My brothers and I took turns petting her. We were full of puppy slober when my mom said to be careful.

It wasn't until my mom picked her up, when the puppy snuggles into my mom's neckline of her coat. The little kiss from a puppy on her ear sealed the deal. This puppy was coming home with us.

In the car we were struggling with a name for her. Nothing seemed to suit her. Out of the backseat came the name Sadie. Her ears perked up. That was it then. Sadie.

We lived next door to my grandparents back then, and mom lives next door to this day. We didn't want grandpa to know because he would definately yell at us for getting her. Mom was a grown woman, but that fear of Dad never goes away.

It was about 2 days into Sadie's crate training when Grandpa came over and took Sadie to his house. Everyone was at school and mom was at work, and he was home. There was no reason she needed to be locked up.

From that day on, Grandpa and Sadie were great friends. She would go over to Grandpa's with me everyday and have breakfast. She would then spend her days with Grandpa. She did everything with him. He was always in the yard, and there she was alway two steps behind him. They had a special bond. My Grandpa's leg was the only leg she would hump. In the evenings my Mom would come get Sadie after work, everyday.

Sadie would come with Mom to marching band practices and we would take her for ice cream after. Sadie was as much a child in this family as we were. She was protective of her family and she was always there.

When Grandpa called the paramedics for Grandma when she was having a heart attack, Grandpa was holding Sadie on the floor as the paramedics were working on Grandma. Sadie was just about as scared as Grandpa was I'm sure, and there they were, on the floor, Sadie barking like mad, and Grandpa trying to comfort her.

Sadie was probably trying to tell the paramedics about Grandpa, because as soon as the paramedics left, Grandpa had a massive heart attack himself. He died 8 hours later.

Sadie wouldn't go in Grandpa's house for a few months. After Grandma got better and came home, Sadie would go over there and sit in the middle of the living room where she and Grandpa had their fun, and also where she last saw Grandpa alive, and she would just howl. She never wanted to stay more than a half hour.

Sadie has been there. Every family function. She was there when Steve moved away to San Antonio. She was there when I left for St. Louis. She was also there with her tail wagging when we came home. When Grandpa died she was the one person in the family we were worrying about.

The neighbors would stop and say hello to her quite a bit. The neighbor on the otherside of Mom used to take her for walks all the time, once we all moved out and started our own families.

Sadie has been there for 2 high school graduations, 3 grandchildren births, 2 marriages, 1 divorce.

Sadie was loved by everyone in the family.

So when Mom called and asked for my help, it was my duty to be there. Work could wait. Laundry could wait. Sadie was always there for me, I needed to be there for her.

The drive to the vet was enough to kill a person. My Mom walked her into the vet. Sadie's breathing was labored and every step seemed to take all of her strength .

In the end, mom was on the floor comforting Sadie as she went to sleep for the last time.

Sadie slipped her Earthly bonds and is now with Grandpa.

We will miss you.

Sadie was born on February 15, 1996, and died on February 26, 2009.

13 years of joy. 13 years of memories.

This is the last photo ever taken of Sadie, this morning just before he last ride. She is where she loved to sleep. On her bed between Mom's room and the bathroom. It was the cross roads of the house.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


For those of you who have no idea what that is; it is a pre-amp interface for a laptop. Why is this important? Because as stated in a previous post, I really would like to get back into doing voice over work again. I did it for a while as a means to support myself, and failed a little bit. Not that I wasn't good, but I didn't have the acumen to actually do the entire business idea, nor did I have the patience to wait around for it to take off. So I figured I would just make it a hobby, which is all it seemed to be. I love playing with sound, and also playing with my voice to make it do crazy things.

This little box above is a way for me to get my creative juices flowing again. Yesterday my wife ordered me a case for my old hard drive. I can't wait for it to get here. On my old hard drive is all the old work parts I had, and the 5 disc sound library I had. It also has the sound effects that I have made over the years. All these things have been stuck on a hard drive waiting to come out. All the professional work I did [read: custom mixed music for flair bartenders, some crazy bits for WLUP back in the day].

I can't wait, but the thing I really want to do is record new stuff. I had ideas for some old school Theater of the Mind stuff that I would really like to post.

Most of the day yesterday I was looking on-line for this thing. After asking some sound engineers that I know, they gave me a few items to look for. After doing some further research, I found the interface I wanted. It was $84.00 on Amazon. Before I asked the wife for the cash to purchase it [yes, I am that whipped. She is the only reason I have a roof over my head. She is great at managing my finances] I decided to go to Guitar Center and check out my original item. Turns out that the microphone I already have it way too good for this particular device. I told him what microphone I had and he said, well, it would work, but I would have to get another pre-amp for my microphone still. So he showed me the item I have above.

The microphone I have is a condenser mic and so I have to use only PRO audio stuff and not just regualr, home audio stuff. It's cool I have good stuff, but the purchase price of my little box went up to close to $200.00. Even on eBay they are selling for $150.00 which is still too much money to be asking the wife for, unless it's totally justified, which it is not at this point. God damn you phantom power requirments.

I am a sales rep. I will find a way to sell her on this idea. I love not having access to my money too. If I had my debit card today, I would own the entire Pro-Audio section of Guitar Center. My extra bedroom would have been turned into a new recording studio instead of being renovated to be a nursery.

If you know someone who has this particular piece of equipment and is willing to sell this at a cheap price, [less than $100.00] please let me know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gay Rights? You think so?

I have been writing this blog all day. Reformatting it in my head, re structuring the ideas on paper all day. I was on Google on my BlackBerry looking for sources to site, and checking who said what.

Today I want to get on my soap box like Harvey Milk did. This year there was a movie made about his life. He was the first openly gay man elected to public office. The year was 1977 by the time he made it onto the board of supervisors in San Fransisco. He was murdered by a former colleague on November 27, 1978. Harvey Milk is labeled as an icon for Gay and Lesbian rights. That is the short version. For a full biography just Google him.

This year Dustin Lance Black wrote a screenplay that won him an Oscar. Black walked up on stage, took his Oscar and made a speech. His speech was very pointed speech about how he, one day, would love to get married. He ended his speech by speaking to all the gay and lesbian kids out there and told them to keep their chins up and that things will change and how we live in a great country and that one day, they too will have the same rights as everyone else in the eyes of the federal government. I thought his speech was fantastic. He did not use a list of people he had tucked away in his jacket pocket. He just spoke from the heart. Yes, he may have even practiced this speech over and over again in the mirror to make sure he said what he wanted to say. But in the end, through the choked back tears, Dustin Lance Black made the best speech in Oscar history, in my eyes.

The man who played the martyred politician was Sean Penn. Sean Penn is one of the most accomplished actors of a generation. Having been in great films such as Mystic River and Dead Man Walking, but he really hung it all out there in Milk. He was honored by the Academy and awarded with the Oscar for best actor.

Sean Penn took the stage, playing a character that was a hero among the gay community, and graciously said, "...I did not expect this...." He then started to reach down into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper with names on it. This is the number one thing that pisses me off. Actors as a whole are not humble. Look at Kate Winslet. She gave a great speech, and truly was not expecting an Oscar for her speech. She cried, and said that this was a dream come true. Humble. She did not get up on stage and take the Oscar and tell the crowd she did not expect to win, then promptly pull out a piece of paper with the list of people she wanted to thank. Be humble, accept your award and move on.

Sean Penn even had the audacity to pull out his reading glasses to read his paper. He ran through his list one by one, telling the crowd what every name meant. His best friend, Satu Masezala [spelling?] and his circle of long time support, Mera, Brian, Barry, and Bob. The list went on. Once he got through his list, he gave a great tribute to the director. The speech flowed like a river once his piece of paper was put away. He got a round of applause, and at that point he had the opportunity to leave on top. Great speech. I would even overlook the paper list of names. He should have shut up, but like most actors, he likes to hear himself talk. Sean Penn chastised the people who voted against the Proposition 8 and told them that he "hopes they sit and reflect on their decision". He went on and on, and I have watched the speech on you tube several times. It was a great speech, but then again, I thought the setting, his timing, and his intentions were not there.

There is an out pouring of support for Sean Penn. This is a well known straight man sticking up for the Gay crowd. Let me tell you why you shouldn't put your hope and dreams into this man to lead your crusades.

Sean Penn is an opportunist. He doesn't really give a crap either way if Gay's and lesbians have the right to marry. Sean Penn took advantage of a situation. He had a microphone and he decided to use it. He was getting an award for playing a Gay man, not being a gay man. He should have thanked those who he wanted to thank and moved on. No one cares about your politics. The fact that you think the world cares what you have to say is a bit egocentric. The Oscars are not the place to tell the world how you feel about a political issue. Get up there, accept your award, and shut up!

If the gay and lesbian crowds think Sean Penn really cares about them because he played their martyred son, and he got up on stage and said, shame on you Californians, then you are mistaken. If Sean Penn really cared about your cause, he would take the salary he was paid to do that movie and start the Harvey Milk College Fund. He should send Gay and Lesbian kids to college to make sure Gay and Lesbians have an equal footing in this world. If he really cared about their rights he would take every opportunity he had to start a movement in California. But Sean Penn is blaringly silent away from his soap box for now. He is an opportunistic actor who is telling us what he wants us to hear. He doesn't have any real convictions about the Gays. Sure his speech was great, but why not make that speech to the floor of the state Senate where a speech like that would really matter? Not in the Kodak Theater where no one in that room opposes his view points.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't be that person!

I want to make a statement, and maybe give you a little insight on how to be a good customer. Not just a good customer to me, but also a good customer to anyone, anytime, any place. To do this, I will tell you about a customer of mine. We can call them a case study.

A few posts back I told you about a customer who wanted something for free. I gave them a smart ass remark back. They left happy etc.

Well they came back today. It is a very rare thing to handle a customer with frankness where they come back to you later with a complaint. Usually, as a sales rep, giving a customer some of their own medicine three paths emerge. The first and most obvious, they come back and they go to a different store, or just speak with a different person at your location. Maybe if they are rude to more than one person, they might eventually find the one person who gives them what ever they want. The second path is common as well. The customer was put into their place and they liked what you sold them, and they never come back. The third is the most rare, but can be experienced on a regular basis still, but they come back and talk to you and are more rude than they were the first time.

Today, I want to spend some time with path number 3. This is the most extreme and offers up clear things on what not to do. I also want to shed some light on what happens behind the scenes of any retail location, restaurant, and even car dealers.

So, my bitchy customers came back today. They came back and saw me. They came back and decided to yell about their phones. If you would like a refresher, here you go.

These customers were a family of 4. There was the bitchy/controlling wife, submissive husband, and parents 1 and 2 [collectively they are called clueless because when we refer back to bitchy/controlling wife, her controlling doesn't stop with her husband, it has also bled into controlling her parents too]. She walked up and asked what she could get for free. Again, this is a customer who has been a customer for nearly 2 years. They wanted free phones, I got them 1 good phone and 3 free ones, but because they were returning customers my company gives them an extra subsidy off and made that good phone free as well. So they got 4 phones and didn't pay us a cent. This is the benefit of being a customer of my company. We actually give back to you after 2 years. We are the only company that gives you a promotional rate PLUS an extra subsidy off the phone. There is not a single wireless carrier that does this with every customer no matter the price plan.

So as stated before they came back, and they are complaining. Surprise Surprise. I am not scared to see these customers again. When you leave with a phone that I have sold you, I seriously have the belief that you left with the right phone for what you are looking for. I have the firm belief that you will not come back to see me unless you need to pay your bill or if you just want to stop by and say hello. Maybe I am naive, but I spend a majority of my time listening to what you are telling me to make sure I give you what you need or want. I don't want you to return to my store and exchange your phone. If you need to exchange your phone its like spitting out a great dish a great chef prepared to you. Gordon Ramsey does this a lot with chefs. If he doesn't like it, he doesn't swallow. This is much the same with cell phones. I spent my time making sure you left with what you needed, and you have the audacity to come back and return the hard work I have done. That is fine. I can make mistakes too. I get that.

Bitchy/Controlling wife came back with clueless 1 and 2 and said that the phones that I sold them are 'pieces of shit'. They said that the battery is terrible.

When a customer comes in with a complaint, I get into what I would call doctor mode. Well maybe it's TV doctor mode, but nevertheless I get into the scientist mode. This particular phone was presenting with a bad battery. Most of the time, a bad battery is just a quick fix. Rarely is it ever a bad battery. Most of the time it's just a little misunderstanding. That misunderstanding comes when people compare what they HAD with what they now HAVE. 2 years ago people would get a phone and charge it everyday. It was a part of their routine. Well what would happen is that after a year, the batteries would be shot because of all the charging. The lithium ion batteries of 2 years ago had only about 200-300 charging cycles. So that means if you charge your battery [regardless of battery level] you would use up 1 charging cycle. After all the cycles are used up, you battery would stop holding a charge. If you knew what you were doing, your battery would hold a charge for up to 3 days or more on a regular basis. Customers are coming in these days and expecting the lithium ion batteries of 2 years ago. That is not the case. Because so many people complained of diminished battery life so soon, cell phone makers created a lithium battery that had 400-500 cycles in the battery. The residual effect was diminished life between charges. Now you have a battery that will last you 1 day to 1 1/2 days. With a majority of the population is charging their phones everyday regardless of the level on the battery, no one should really care. Your phone is making it through a day, and you will not have the need to replace your battery after 12 months.

Customers don't like to be educated. This isn't just bitchy/controlling wife and clueless 1 and 2, it's nearly every customer. Because of some bad sales people out there, the good ones lose credibility when they educate a customer on a product. They instantly think that we are giving them a company line, or telling them what they want to hear in order to get them to shut up. They honestly don't think we want them to be happy. We want to create pissed off customers apparently. This is a very hard image to overcome. Bitchy/controlling wife wasn't having anything I was saying. I fixed their problem, and told them the resolution to the issue that was leading them to think that their phones were 'pieces of shit'. This is when it gets really fun. There isn't a single person I know that likes to be wrong, especially if they are bitchy or controlling, let alone both in 1 person.

This is when their phones start to get the phantom problems. You know those problems you forget to tell your doctor. It's like when he tells you that you are fine after you tell him your symptoms, but then you tell him about all the other things that are wrong with you to try and convince him of your impending demise. You realized the first thing you said was nothing, but then you get the blood in the urine. Bitchy/controlling wife and clueless 1 and 2 got the cell phone equivalent to blood in the urine-Static. Again, this problem can be dismissed rather quickly, but I need to ask some additional questions. This is like a lawyer asking the rebuttal question. How often, when does this happen, and where does this happen? All the time, all the time, and everywhere and to anyone I talk to; are the answers I get in return. I asked them when the last time they experienced this problem. They said with resounding resolve, just before I walked up to your kiosk. Like I said, this is an easy fix and problem easily dismissed. I asked them again, are you sure? Yes Yes Yes YES!

I took one of their phones and dialed my cell. My phone rang. I handed them my phone and walked away and I instructed them to talk. I listen on their phone for static. No static. They didn't hear any static from my phone either. So without hanging up the phone I asked them to do the same thing, but this time they had their own phone. Still no static. Of course it was a case of, well, it works here but I swear it was just doing it. See, when I get a customer that makes a claim as outrageous as static, it should be easily duplicated. It has been duplicated before with other customers, but 9 times out of 10, it won't be, and the static you claim to have experienced is nothing more than a fabrication. Is it possible that you experienced static? Yes, but occasionally. But to be this adamant about static, I know you are making it up; and if you aren't, your phone would have static all the damn time and that would be easily duplicated.

Bitchy/controlling wife was proven wrong not once, but now twice. She was still adamant that her phones were "pieces of shit". Then the real problem comes out. She was sticking with her story that the phone was crap, and I was sticking to the story that the phone was functioning properly. In the customer service industry there is a sickening trend that the customer is always right. I don't agree with this train of thought because it empowers the customer to discount what I [the trained professional] have to say. I have already stated to this customer:
I will trouble shoot their issues and come up with a reasonable solution for them, which may or may not include getting them different phones. In the event that you are not pleased with my service, here is my business card before I answer any of your questions, just so that if you need to storm off in a fit of anger because I have not sufficiently helped you through your problem, you will not only have the correct spelling of my name so when you e-mail my boss to complain, you can spell my name right, you will also have the location in which I work. I also expect that if I do, in fact, fix your problem, you would also use that same card to e-mail my boss my praises, and again, get the spelling of my name correct.

That all might seem like a silly/arrogant thing to say, but I prefer to be completely upfront and confident that you are going to leave happy and set the expectation that I will make you happy. How many sales reps have you encountered that give you their card and say, e-mail my boss if I suck, before they even let you ask them a question or even before they start to help you?

None. I know.

The real problem with my customer is not that the phones are shitty. The phones are functioning exactly how they are supposed to act. They just had a small issue really turn into a bigger issue and they got frustrated and their patience ran out. That is ok. You are allowed to get frustrated, but let me help you. My goal is to make this customer happy. They are a group of three people standing around a tiny kiosk causing a scene and telling me, rather loudly, that the product I sell is crappy. I'm sorry, that is just rude. My main goal is to make them happy and get them out of here. Note: I am not about to give them anything to shut them up like the restaurant industry does.

If you don't like your phone, that is fine. Just tell me you don't like your phone. Don't make stuff up about your phone to prove to me that you don't like it. Be honest with me. I am honest with you. So bitchy/controlling wife said that she wanted to return her phone for something else because this one had such 'low quality'. She has owned 2 cell phones her entire life, her basis of comparison is huge! She must be that myterious inspector #34.

No problem. We can do that. I just want to make you aware that if you decide to switch to a different phone, then there will be a restocking fee to do so [not because we hate you and only want your money, it's because there are people out there who return their phones for different colors and because we cannot resell that phone, we need to recoupe that money somehow. I mean you just took a $200.00 phone and used it, then you are returning it and want a different $200.00 phone. You just wasted $400.00 of inventory to fix an issue that is non-existent and oh yeah, you haven't paid me a cent]. I don't have to tell you what this customer did, I think you get it. She was not happy. Then this is when she thinks she has the ultimate leverage over me.

Thus far into the conversation I am holding my ground. I am telling her that what she is experiencing is real. Yes, you may have gotten some static on your phones. Yes it is true, you phone is only holding a charge for about 2 days, but the decision to move into a different phone is not going to solve your issue because all phones, one time or another will experience static. It's wireless, it happens, and the battery life is less, but so are other phones. You will get a similar experience from another phone. So she tries to pull the carpet out from underneath my feet. She knows she only has to pay that fee if she gets a different phone, but she can return her phones all together and revert back to her old calling plan and agreement and not have to pay that fee.

"I want to return this right now and go to another carrier." she says.

In the cell phone biz, this is the equivelent to getting into a fight with your spouse and yelling across the house, "I hate you."

You don't really mean what you say, but you think that because you said it, it is going to get the other person's attention.

I'm sorry, but I am not scared. I know what is going to happen if you leave my company. You are going to go to a competitor that doesn't have the reliability in service that my company has provided you for the last 2 years. You are going to go to a competitor that doesn't have the customer loyalty programs that we have that afforded you the ability to get 4 phones at no cost after being with us for 2 years. You are going to go to a competitor that doesn't offer the best sales training in the United States like my company does to their staff. Your threat of leaving doesn't make me flinch, or scared, or make me want to do anything more for you than I already have done.

Here is the kicker. I tell her all of these things. I don't hold back. I tell her that she isn't going to scare me or intimidate me. Once she realized that I wasn't budging she calmed down enough to let me handle every one of her problems. Up until now, I haven't touched her phones other than the cell phone call test. I mean I haven't even looked at the battery, I haven't done any basic physical trouble shooting. So in calm voice I ask her if I may please see her phones so that I can get a better understanding of the problems she is experiencing because she may, in fact, be having a problem. She calmly collects her phones and hands them over and I go through my doctor-patient routine. Take them apart and look for the obvious signs of damage. Was it dropped in water, sat on too hard, you know easy things to show that the reason the phone doesn't work is because you broke it? Next, I power up the phones and go through the software. All the buttons work. They all make a static free phone call. I did notice that the software version of the phone is a little out of date, so I check the software release notes in our technical service programs. Turns out many people were expereiencing diminished battery lives with this phone. They created a software patch to fix that. [What happened is that the software of the phone thought the battery was more dead than it really was. The software patch fixes that glitch]. I fix their software and they are all patched up. It was an easy fix, but because I had to deal with all their bullshit lies, it took me close to an hour to fix their problem.

In the end, this customer kept their phones. My initial sale was correct. The phones they bought are the phones they needed. The fix was simple. All that fuss and they ended up leaving with exactly what they came in with.

Did this customer have the right to come back and complain? Sure they did. They were experiencing a very real problem. But the manner in which they complain is enough to prove to anyone how stupid and rude they are. If you have a problem, do not walk into the store and get snotty with the people who are in a position to help you. Don't have that combative mentality. How many times have you walked into the store and wanted to 'yell at those stupid sales reps'? If I am going to complain, I had better be nice about it. My steak was cooked medium, but I ordered it medium rare. Am I going to catch the waiter and say, my steak is cooked like shit? What the hell is wrong with your cook back there? Doesn't he know how to cook?

Instead try, hey I ordered my steak medium rare, and it looks like it's a bit overdone. It's all good, but I just wanted to give you a heads up. I didn't ask for a new steak, I didn't tell him I wanted it for free. I am still happy. If the server decides to take care of me and comp it, then that is great, but you know he is going to re-cook it for you. As long as it is right, I am good. I don't need it for free.

The same thing goes with cell phones. As complicated as they are, they are amazingly easy to fix. I can fix it, but there is no need for the mellodramatic theatrics. The yelling at me. The my phone is shitty. The fake problems. Just come up and be honest, but also be tolerable. If this customer just came up and said, hey, can you look at my phones, I think there is something wrong, my battery seems to die really fast and I get the occasionaly static. Had they just come up like that, I could have had them in and out in less than 15 minutes. Instead they had to yell, get loud, and hinder my process of fixing the issue.

This brings me to my last point of this already drawn out case study. Ever wonder where submissive husband was? Oh yeah, his phone is awesome. Had he not been a returning customer he would have ended up paying for his phone. Have you ever heard of the line, you get what you pay for? This hold true in cell phones. If you pay for a phone, it is more likely to be better. If you just get the phone we give away free with 2 year contracts, you are going to get a phone that is good, but isn't as good as a phone you would pony up the dough for. Free phones are nice, but the ones you pay for are nicer. It's like getting a choice between a KIA and a LEXUS. Which one is cheaper? The Kia. Which one is better? The Lexus. Sure the Lexus is more expensive, but the materials that go into that car are better. The Kia will get you from point A to B, but the Lexus will get you there without hurting your back from all the pot holes.

Ever wonder why people who use BlackBerrys never return them? Because they are the Lexus of cell phones. That standard free flip phone is more like the KIA. Nice, but not that nice.

*I do want to offer a disclaimer. For those of you sales reps out there that want to go back and try this kind of 'straight talk express' with their customers; don't. You'll look like an idiot and come off looking like either an arrogant asshole, or a condesending prick. I have refined this skill over the years. I can say the things I do because I practice them over and over again. Silly it seems, but then again, I am good at what I do. The best public speakers are the ones who practice in front of a mirror all the time. I practice on my family, I practice on my friends, and I practice by myself. Its like a cook testing a new recipe. They must experiment before it becomes a menu item. I have refined my approach and the way I speak to make what I say seem intelligent and honest, and not bitchy or arrogant. It's taken me a long time to master the craft of telling you to fuck off and you to tell me thank you for doing so. It's not WHAT you say, it's just HOW you say it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mustache Week

Welcome to the last week of February!

This week is Mustache Week at my place of work. The rules are simple. Wear your best mustache for the entire week. Now I am much like an adolescent boy. I grow hair in funny places, but hair on the face isn't my thing.

This morning I had a goatee, I let my facial hair grow out, so I would be ready for mustache week. I had many ideas on how I wanted to shape my mustache, but what I came up with was a variation on a classic mustache made famous by ~K at Still Breathing and Hulk Hogan. Both gentlemen can pull it off. I, on the other hand, have some trouble filling it out.

My brother and wife and pretty much everyone tell me that my mustache looks like a Mexican mustache.

So because I can't seem to have a mustache like Tom Selleck, I will call my mustache, the Mexican Trucker.

I will post photos of my co-workers as we get photos of our shaped lip warmers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stimulate This Package!

Well I have it. A clean bill of health. My doctor felt up my junk, with what I would consider ice cubes attached to his wrists. My back will have to be dealt with later. Its muscle strain and I am not too keen on popping pills, unless I really really need to. The worst pain has passed and now it just feels like I have been working out too much. Sometimes I forget what that feels like until my back starts to act up.

I also have been reading and researching a ton of things for a book idea I have had. I interviewed a few people for it already and I wrote what you would consider a test writing of the idea. I spit it out and after much refining and re-reading of the damn article, I have decided to let you all have a peak at it.

It's nothing more than 665 characters and hopefully interesting enough for people to want to keep reading it.

Let me know what you think:

I am nothing more than a piece of furniture you toss your coat on when you get home. Always there. Never move. Reliable. You know that when you walk into the house, I will be there for you to throw your coat on.

What if one day I moved? What if one day I wasn’t there for you? What would you do? Nothing more than anyone else would. Find something else to throw your coat on. This is what happens in a political office.

For a candidate running for office, their staff is that object they throw their coat on. They are always there. They are that foundation you build a house on. No one in America is ever elected unless their staff gets them there. There is always the press person. There is always a fashion person. There is always a make-up person. There is always an assistant. They all work together, they are always there making sure their message is heard in the media, they look good on camera, and make sure they always know when his daughter’s birthday is, if it happens to fall during a campaign. It all comes full circle if they didn’t know when their own daughter’s birthday was. The press loses the message and focuses on him being a bad father, they spend all their time defending themselves publicly rather making up policy. The assistant is fired, and a new one comes. That assistant moved, so they found a new one.

There is always one job in the office that no one knows about. It lingers in the halls, away from public view. This job is the exact opposite of every job in the office. Keeping lids on things is a profession. Making sure the press doesn’t see the 14-year-old prostitute leave their apartment at 4am. Making sure his wife doesn’t smell the other woman on their clothes when they come home from a long day at the office. Making sure the tan line is always on the ring finger of their left hand. They work in anonymity. If the press catches the scent of a scandal, that person didn’t do their job.

The Secret Service did this job for every president until Kennedy was killed, assassinated, or taken out, whichever lie you want to believe. They would sneak in women from all over for romps in the White House residence. Pierre Salinger was a masterful artisan when it came to covering up a real story. One particular cover up that was nicely executed was in 1962 when the Cuban missile crisis was ramping up; Kennedy was in Seattle for the World’s Fair. Kennedy was photographed hugging old ladies and kissing babies. What we never knew was that he was also locked in a hotel room for hours with a particularly beautiful red head named Molly. She liked to be a little loud, so the Secret Service would get the rooms on each side of the president and play loud music. Big Band, Swing, anything to cover up that woman screaming and moaning into the cool northwestern night. When Kennedy needed to be whisked away back to Washington, the Secret Service had to discretely get him out of there. Pierre said that he had a cold and had to return home. Little did the American public know that two things had happened. Russia was shipping weapons to Cuba, and that the taxpayers had paid for a booty call for its president.

Not much has changed since then except that the Secret Service got out of the booty call business, at least publicly. They still get a room on each side of the President on trips for ‘security’ but once Kennedy was shot, they needed to focus on not getting their paycheck shot in the head.

Politicians still want everything from the world, but rarely give anything back.

My candidate takes everything from me day after day and all I ever get in return is this lousy paycheck.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


As promised at the end of my latest post, which was riddled with misplaced words, mainly for the fact I was typing it on my BlackBerry in between customers, and on my breaks, I was going to introduce you to a new blogger. By new, I mean she has only posted to her blog 4 times. I was hooked to this blog from post 1.

I want to give you a little background on this particular blogger.

Katey B. and I have been co-workers for just about 2 years now. We met when I was a Senior Sales Rep at her particular store. After working for a few months, we developed a friendship. We talk through text message and, my favorite BlackBerry, pretty regularly.

Katey is probably one of the funniest women I know. Her sense of humor is fantastic. But like anything out there, people would make fun of her because of her weight. They never poked fun directly about that because it would be to un-PC, they would talk about her booming voice you can hear from the next county, or her infectious laugh. They would call it annoying, or loud. I found these 2 features of Katey B. endearing and I loved working with her, and I continue to enjoy working with her. Who cares what other people think. They are just insecure with themselves so they can go fuck themselves.

Now, she started her blog to document a journey that she has embarked on. Right now she weighs 396 pounds [according to her blog]. It's funny how I found out about her journey too. I was going to a sales rally for my company, which was the same conference I talked about in an earlier post. From across the room I could here Katey B. laughing, so I wandered my way over to her and she grabbed me and said, "Oh my God your mom is freggin awesome."

I kind of looked at her funny. How the hell did she know my Mom? My Mom is the office manager of the Bariatric Surgery Department at St. Vincent's Charity Hospital in Cleveland. This hospital has one of the most notable and successful bariatric surgery programs in the country. My Mom is very proud of the work she does with this program.

"I was in her office, I am having my surgery." She tells me.

That is how I found out. She is 4 days away from the beginning of the rest of her life. Her life is about to change, and we get a front row seat to it. She has also jumped on the Twitter Bandwagon like me, so check her blog for her brain vomit too.

I saw that she started a blog and after I read it, I needed to share it! This blog must be cathartic for her and I am behind her 100% in her decision to do what she needs to do for her.

And now without further adieu, I give you, My Journey From Fat to Fabulous by: Katey B.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I've heard of the Mondays, but what about having a case of Tuesdays?

What are the Mondays? I think its just being burnt. Mondays are when you are burnt from the weekend, Tuesdays are when you just feel burnt out and it just happens to be Tuesday.

Today, I'm at work, and thus far a caffeine free day, and I'm jonesing for my fix. I can feel the brain starting to get pissed. It needs coffee, its not nice to withhold caffeine from a finely tuned machine. I purposely left the wallet at home, so I wasn't tempted to spend money I didn't have. So it was about 3 minutes after arriving to work when I said to myself, I need coffee, badly! I don't want to take headache meds with futility. Just then and there my BlackBerry Messenger went off. It was my Starbucks Angel telling me to come get a drink. The clouds part and I am bathed in a ray if sunshine![listen closely, you can hear the choir singing a chord of 'ahhhhhh']

My case of Tuesdays were instantly cured. I have my fix now and I can go about my day, until the instructions of my doctor came pouring into my mind's ear.

My last doctor's visit wasn't a good one. My blood pressure was up and he asked me to cut down on my sodium intake and drink less caffinated beverages, because I drank about 16 cups of coffee a day for the last 20 something years. Has my blood pressure always been high? I would say yes because I drank so much coffee.

So as Angel made my beverage, she knows how much I love coffee, throws in 6 shots of espresso. She is god sent!

So after the first few sips, the voice of my doctor screamed at me. [apparently I am a schizophrenic]

Don't you know that I told you to cut down on your caffeine?

So I heard somewhere that espresso doesn't have as much caffeine as regular brewed coffee. So to confirm my intuition, I asked the all knowing oracle of our generation, Google.

0.276 seconds later I had my answer. Espresso has roughly 80mg of caffeine per shot. An 8oz. cup of drip brewed coffee has 115mg of caffeine. As I stated before, I drank 16 cups of coffee a day. That is typically brewed coffee. So if my math is correct, my benchmark caffeine intake stands at 1840mg of caffeine a day. So my 1 cup of coffee which is 6 shots of espresso is drastically lower [480mg]. So shut up doctor's voice!

So to make my Tuesday even better I got a surprise visit from my friend Pat. We lunched and back to work I went! Pat's having a hard time. He moved out of his house because of some awful roommates. Now he's couch hopping, but he's still doing good. He has a standing invite to my voice Saturday night through Tuesday night.

After lunch Angel stopped down to say hi after she got off work and she came bearing gifts. 8 more shots of espresso. Even after the next 8 shots my total caffeine intake of the day is only 1120mg, I am still less than my normal 16 cups or 1840mg.

I didn't feel bad drinking free drinks either.

But I guess my Tuesday isn't so bad after all. Other than the fact I am working and customers have been light, but a pain in the ass, except for my friend Erika who was the best customer of the day!

I look forward to my day ending. I can't wait for the next blog, see below for a trailer.

*Trailer for next blog......I will be introducing a new Blogger to you later tonight. Her honesty and frankness and her courage are endearing and you'll find her honesty humbling. Stand by for that one, but to give that blog its justice, I will need my laptop and not my BB like I am using now*

Monday, February 16, 2009


I have was reading some news stories on from the trusty BlackBerry just before bed time. [I'm literally sitting in bed right now on my BlackBerry] I came across a headline I had to read.

'Founder of Islamic TV station accused of beheading wife'

Really? I thought it would read something like: TV station executive beheads wife on terrorist demands video........

Come to find out, it was close. The following is the first paragraph of the article.

'The founder of an Islamic television station in upstate New York aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes has confessed to beheading his wife, authorities said'
And people wonder why we just don't trust people from the middle east. For all we care they are chopping heads off the desert and not our neighborhoods. This is truly a heartbreaking story.

The Islam world is fighting for respect in the world and they are fighting for attention. Instead, this yahoo is making them look like a bunch of idiots who chop off heads for a living.

I can't believe it! Fighting to end stereotypes of Muslims, look what he does. Just feeds the stereotype. I am still laughing! Way to end you stereotype jack ass!


Today I wanted to write a blog and I had a few ideas mulling around my cranium. Every time I tried to organize my thoughts, it would all get lost. Because as I type this blog, my fingers get going faster as the words start to come faster and faster, and I then try and shift in my chair and a searing pain goes through my back.

Last week I aggravated my old marching band injury by getting out of the car. I know. Seriously? I got out of the damn car and my back hurts. It was starting to feel better two days ago, but yesterday I decided it would be a good idea to get a pen off the floor and the act of bending down made it all come back and worse. So today I was able to get home and try a heating pad on it. Tylenol or Advil or Aleve wouldn't do anything. It would be like trying to throw a snowball into hell and expecting to hit Satan. You can put the NGH [Not Gonna Happen] stamp on that.

So here I sit, in my upright chair, with my laptop on my lap watching a documentary on Ab Lincoln's body snatchers, trying to find a comfortable way to sit.

The heating pad is helping, albeit very little, but then again, it's doing more than 3 extra strength Tylenol's would do.

So I will leave you with a cool Daft Punk video. Who ever choreographed this was amazing!


I jumped on

I have jumped on the twitter bandwagon. I am not sure how I feel about it. Like my friend over at Life in Cleveland, it seems like it is a whole bunch of brain vomit.

I added the Twitter widget to blogger. So if you want to follow my, what are they called? Tweets?

I am not sure, but we will see how it goes. This whole post seems like 3 or 4 tweets. [nothing of substance, and purely stupid].

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Unexplainable Anger!

I must have woke up angry today. I have no patience for anything. By saying I have no patience for anything I mean, I wanted to punch a dude in the face for being an asshole. I wanted to mess him up like Chris Brown did to Rhianna.

Is it just the day after Valentine's Day blues? Its like everyone in America yesterday was in love and happier than a pig in shit, they went home, took out the Kama Sutra Books and did positions 5-30 last night. This morning they all woke up sore and pissed off because they realized that they are in the same hopeless relationship this morning as they were on the 13th. No more sweet pecks on the cheeks to wake each other up. It's back to the same old rolling over to fart behaviors that you hated, but magically disappeared on the 14th are now back on the 15th.

Last night dudes got the annual BJ, and when they went back to get another this morning they were met with the cold shoulder.

Well all those people are walking into the mall today and taking out their frustrations out on me and my poor team. We all have the benefit of having happy relationships, but because you can't seem to get a handle on your own life, you must be rude and bitchy to me.

Today I had a customer walk in with their family and ask me what they can get for free. We have 4 lines, what can I get for free? My initial reaction is what I voiced back. I usually can keep a lid on the asshole tone. Not today. The headache pounding in my ear prevented me from hearing the asshole alarm in my head.

Me: Well, were do you work?
Customer: Why does that matter?
Me: I am going to walk into your place of work tomorrow and ask you what I can get for free just because I walked through the door. Customer: Well that's a bit rude.
Me: Isn't that what you just asked me?
Customer: Yeah, but it's different.
Me: How so?
Customer: I'm your customer.
Me: That makes no sense. Because what you are saying is that it is ok for you to me rude to me, but I can't be rude back.
Customer: Exactly.

This is the type of bullshit that I have to deal with today! By the way, that customer walked out with a BlackBerry, a case, car charger, and a 2gb memory card too. I charged her for her phonenook transfer, when normally I am able to waive this fee, but that's the price you pay for being a dick! I'll stick to the book today!

There is a store right near mine that nearly put me in a good mood, but another customer squashed that.

There is a store across the hall from mine in the mall that sells high end suits and business apparel. The owner likes to bring in his dog in to keep it lively. Its a nice puggle named Rex. I went over and pet him and he licked my face. Leave it to dog to put you in a good mood. Their unconditional love is amazing.

All the work that dog did to put me in a good mood went to shit when two stupid people walked up.

Customer 1: Is that a dog in that store.
Me: Yeah, that's Rex. He's really cool, the owner likes to bring him in, his customers love him.
Customer 2: I wouldn't step foot in that store. What an inconsiderate guy, doesn't he care about those with allergies?
Me: Well if it was hurting his business I don't think he'd bring him in.
Customer 1: Are you deaf? He said that he wouldn't go in there. That's potential business he is losing.
Me: Seriously? You're giving me crap about buying a phone for $20.00 after rebate. I doubt you'd go in there anyway, because the average suit in there is $500.00, and the only thing you can do with that is wear it.

Customers left happy and with their phone, but left me aggravated.

Where do people get off being complete and utter jerks?!

It's because I work in a mall isn't it? Most customers assume that because I serve the general public I am a minimum wage know nothing. I have a job where I get to see many different people, and help the general public. I enjoy my job, but today I am just plain irritated! I blame McDonald's for putting people that serve the public in the stupid category. They hire people at minimum wage and because their employees could give a crap about quality. Ever go to a chik-fil-a? They actually care about their jobs and it shows in the service. I don't work at McDonald's so don't treat me like a pimple faced minimum wage teenage kid. I probably make more money than you!

The stupidity just astounds me!

The most often question of the day that I get asked is, where is foot locker?

Today I felt especially feisty, I told the to take a photo of me with their phone. They obliged, then I told them too look at it. They said, its just a picture of you. I said look closer. Sure as shit, just above my head in the picture was the bright red 4 foot letters that spell out Foot locker.

They left and went in, and I hope they felt stupid.

I am on my 7th day straight at work and my next day off is still 3 days away. I guess I am just cranky because I haven't spent much time with the family. I have seen Jenn, but only in the time between she gets home, and we go to bed. The total time is about 10 minutes. Its enough time for her to come home, kiss me, go upstairs and get ready for bed, by the time she out of the bathroom, I am passed out in bed.

That's been my life for the last week. Actually Since last Monday morning.

I am just cranky!

I'm not apologizing either!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today I logged onto blogger and noticed something.

I now have 13 followers [thank you for reading, truly appreciate it]. It's Friday the 13th.


I know, this is a very twitter-esque post. I apologizing for brain vomiting into your computer.

Happy Friday the 13th

This morning I was going through the blogs that I follow and catching up. I came across a blog from K @ Still Breathing. I found him after he was submitted to the line of questioning from tangobaby, just like I had.

Anyway, K posted a blog called Funeral For a Friend.

I commented it because at the end he pondered, what he wanted for his funeral and I gave my insights. Well, after a bit, I was still thinking about it. Seeing as it is Friday the 13th and I am feeling a little morose, let's talk about it.

So I decided that I needed to expand on what I wanted for my funeral. If I am tragically eaten by a werewolf from London tonight while I cross the street in front of a black cat under the full moon, you'll know what I would like. Are blogs legal documents to show the wishes of a dead person?

To start it off, I want you to close the casket. I don't want to freak anyone out by looking like I am asleep. Dead people at a funeral give me the heebee jeebees. I want the last image people have of me be what ever they want it to be, not as the dead guy with bad makeup in the box. Last thing I need is to look like Joan Rivers or Tammy Faye.

Next, please please please do not have my funeral at a church. I want to have my funeral in a musty VFW hall that has cool stuff on the wall. Church is just too formal. I have never been to a VFW hall where people were not having a good time. The bar usually is well priced, and what's a funeral without people sitting around a bar having a drink and telling stories about the guy in the closed box?

Speaking of the bar. I don't want Miller High Life on tap. Better yet, don't have beer there at all. The bar is to be stocked with only, fine wines [if my older brother is alive, please contact him here. If my older brother is dead too, call my younger brother.] bourbon [I prefer Four Roses, but unless my funeral is at a VFW hall in Kentucky, you can't find it up in Ohio, so Old Forrester, Jim Beam, Knob Creek, they are all fine substitutions. ] and vodka [must be top shelf. There are many top shelf vodkas, please see my brothers and father in law for a good label, they are the Vodka drinkers in my world].

What's a good time with out music? There has to be a tribute to me, after all it is my funeral. So I am going to take K's advice and ask that you track down Will Ferrell and have him sing Dust in the Wind. I know I'm not his boy, Blue, but nonetheless, my life insurance should cover his fees. After he's done, give him a bourbon and water, and then bring on whatever band is good and will play for free. My boys over at The Ohio Sky would probably play. They rock. If not try and see if you can get my other dude's band, Zippy's Brother. As much as I would like to have the Barenaked Ladies play my band, I don't want them to get stuck by our TSA guys and customs coming in from Canada.

Most funerals go in this order. Wake, Funeral Service, Procession, Burial, and then Reception at the end. I want it to go in this order.

Wake/Funeral Service/Reception to happen all at the same time. Then the Procession.

Now that we are going to the cemetary, what is the long road home with out music on the road. If you can, I want the procession to be lead by a parade float [rose bowl style] with the Band that played earlier playing Another One Bites the dust. I am sure Freddy and I would love to watch that happen. If you can't get that Parade float together, that's ok, get a huge speaker and strap it to the roof of the hurse [Blues Bros. style] and play it that way.

Once I get to the cemetary, just dig a hole and drop me in. No ceremony, no final hoorah. Once the dirt is all on top, I want you to have another drink, give each other a hug, and say, damn, what a great party this dead guy throws!

I just went back and K said we can call this AdamPalooza! Right on brotha!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chiming in on a hot issue

A part of me has been trying to write a blog about Michael Phelps.

I couldn't quite get my point across, and then I found it. Thanks to Seth at SNL, I have what I want to say, in video clip!


Sorry, I promise a good blog soon! It's been a busy week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who got a letter?

Well I posted a blog about the letter K.

So at the end I said if you wanted a letter you must comment and my dog will pick one out. Well my brother Steve over at All My Friends Are Make Believe 'took' my man card and asked for a letter. He got the letter Q.

I am not going to steal his thunder, but this is a warning. His blog is not for the easily offended. Then again, if you are easily offended, go comment because I love reading him rant. Mainly because I know most of his comments can be in hurtful and as much as I like not to offend too many people, he goes out of his way. I love watching people get pissed off at things, its entertainment. Stop taking yourselves so damn seriously.

I digress.

Go check it out!


Julie also got a letter.

The letter F to be exact.

Go check out what she likes that starts with the letter F.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Found some stuff while I was cleaning the garage

Way back in 2000 I decided to drop out of college. I was majoring in psychology and creative writing in St. Louis when I decided that, college was fucking stupid. I liked writing, but hated being critiqued. I didn't like hearing that my writing wasn't 'creative' enough.

The straw that broke the camels back was when I was writing my mid term short story. I think I have it somewhere and if I can, I will try and find it and post it. Anyway, the story was about a guy who was waiting for his girlfriend's plane to land and he watched it crash. The story was about his search for his girlfriend.

The got a D on the paper because my teacher didn't like it. It wasn't that it wasn't well written or true to the heart, but she didn't like the subject matter. That's when I decided to quit college and pursue a career in radio.

I enrolled at a Cleveland broadcasting school in June 2000. I had a blue flame of ambition coming out my ass. My goal was to be the best.

I loved the behind the scenes of radio. All the equipment. The people. It awesome to see a jock [short for disc jockey, but since the advent of the computer, discs are non existent in radio] go into a break and then come off the air and yell at an intern.

After I got my big break as an intern for a new radio station in Cleveland [Kiss 104.9] I decided I wanted to be a voice over talent [VO]. I lacked the natural voice or pipes for big voice spots, but I was convinced that I could produce spots better than anyone else.

So once I got my feet wet watching the real producers make commercials and imaging spots for real radio, I went full steam into broadcasting school.

Well today I was cleaning out some boxes when I found my first demo CD. I ripped it and listened. I cringed. Listen to it. It's the most awful thing I have ever heard. My voice is high, I don't sound comfortable, and I am trying to sound like I know what I am doing. I put in music changes on a spot just to fill 0:60 of air. I cringe.

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By the way. I got an A on that project. My instructors notes on this project was, good edits, no pops. I mean, it wasn't the best VO in the world, but the fundamentals were there I guess.

Well towards graduation we had something called radio days. It's when the class is an entire radio station for a day. We make it as realistic as possible. We have a sales department where sales guys fill out sales forms for commercials, and they hand it to the production department where they will make the commercials. There is an imaging department where the producers make the station come to life over the air. We have jocks, music. I mean everything.

I did everything in my power to get the imaging directors job. I wanted to be the voice of the radio station. The instructor said that I didn't have the pipes for it, but somehow I talked him into letting me do it.

I went to the Kiss and asked for the imaging guy there for help. He offered up the studio for me to use, but only after hours. Never when the station is open. So one night after hours, I got to use a full studio for my producing. It was like golfing on a nice golf course. Your game is enhanced. Either by more focus, or because the equipment you are using. It just sounded better.

My station mates and instructors were getting scared because I wasn't producing anything in school. I was writing all the scripts because later that night I was going to go to the station and produce them. I never brought anything for anyone to listen to. I didn't care what they thought. It was going to be great, but they were getting nervous. When everyone's grade was hinging on my work, people get nervous.

The last thing they heard were the 1st two spots I posted. What was I going to come up with. They didn't know that for the last 5 months I spent every hour of my free time at the radio station learning. I would sit in the studio for hours watching and listening the producers work. I once spent 12 hours sitting in a corner just to watch and learn. After a while I was asked to do guest VO's. Small bit parts that no one would ever know was me, but I could hear it. Driving down the street I could hear myself on the radio. I thought it was the coolest thing.

When I came into class 2 days before our radio station was to air, this is what I had for them. I have montage'd 4 of them together.

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I was getting better.

It wasn't too long after the radio days that I was given an award for being the most professional radio student in my class. It was like getting valedictorian. It was an honor.

When I found out my girlfriend was pregnant, I got out of radio, but kept my contacts alive there. I talked with them as often as I could, and I was always longing to get back to what I had in those first days. I listened to the radio and recognized every single voice between the songs. I knew Jesse did the Europa Commercials, and AJ was the voice as was Chase. I could say I knew these guys.

It wasn't long after I left my first wife some years later I decided that I was getting back into radio, but I was going to be a free lancer. My business plan was 2 pages. I didn't think it through, but I managed to build an in home studio and I got a few clients.

Enter the company I call:

It was a way to do what I loved to do. I was signed on with a radio station in Chicago called the Loop and I provided character voices. My first official client was Crazy Ray in Chicago. My brother did a Kermit the Frog voice where we made Kermit out to be an asshole. It was hilarious and once I get my hard drive from my brother and extract the files on it, I will post it. It was about 2 weeks later I was sending him fake movie trailers and he was sending me more scripts and ideas for me to produce more and more for him.

After I lost my real job I tried to make my little company work, but was met with nothing. I couldn't get anyone to sign with me and pay me. I ended up selling off my mixing board and monitors when I needed money to pay the rent, and my girlfriend [now lovely wife] was moving in. She didn't want me to sell any of it because she saw how it made me feel. Creative. I spent a lot of time with my younger brother who is now in Chicago studying improv doing voices, and trying to polish my craft.

So as I was sitting here typing this, I found the demo I sent out to many talent agencies before one of them picked me up.

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I dropped my talent agents when I realized that they were just a place where I could go audition, but no one was working for me. I don't know what I thought they were supposed to do, but I stopped going in because they were a cattle call shop.

I am not perfect, nor am I the best, but I really miss it. I have even toyed with the idea of podcasting my blog. I don't know that anyone would listen. I need to get more equipment to make it happen, but I have the computer and software, just the pre amp for my microphone.

I would love to start producing again. I sit at home and play with music all the time. I try to mix and beat match Rhianna into Tony Bennett. I can't quite get it, but it's just something to do.

I will just put it on the list of things I want to do, but can't find time for.

A 'Man' Card?

Well apparently I was asked to give up my man card today. My brother left a comment on my blog from yesterday and said that I need to give up my man card.

He thinks its all just 'lollipops and gum drops'. I don't really give a shit. For the first time I am seeing things clearly. I have not had anything to bitch about other than the fact that Al Gore is a dumb ass, Obama doesn't say a whole sentence without stopping for effect, and that effect is over used. He's like the William Shatner of politicians.

Captain's log [pause] star date [pause] twenty seven point three [pause] rounded off to the [pause] nearest decimal point. Annoying.

This country [pause] is facing [pause, look to the left] the worst economic crisis [pause, look right] since the Great Depression. God damn. Yeah he may not flub as many lines as GWB, but it's like watching Star Trek: The Government Generations starring a black dude who can't just say a damn line!

But I don't really give a shit if people think I am a pussy or not. I don't give a shit if people think I have lost my balls.

I started my blog because I felt like it. I started it because its like a writing workshop without having to go to an under ground library, where there are 'artists' and 'writers' [insert photo of gothic person cutting their wrists and writing angsty poetry here]. I write here because I am just trying to develop my writing. I write about things that I care about. I don't give a shit about what you care about. I write for me. The blog is called, 'I don't give 2 cents, I throw quarters'. Many feel that they are coming to a blog where I bitch endlessly about anything and everything. The title is ment to play on my inability to shut up. If asked, "How was your day?" most would answer, good. I would go into how I was feeling about something, or something like that. So what if it's a happy thought and so what if I decide to bitch up a storm about something, but 20 minutes later and 3 chapters ago I am still talking [writing] about it.

Yes, I posted a picture of an ultra sound of my new ineutero child. Yes, I mention that I love my wife very often. Yes, I post photos of my daughter when I am proud. I like to brag. It's what I do. I have a great life that I have worked hard to get to this place. I thank my brother for helping me get there, but fuck off all at the same time. By the way, Kites are cool as shit! Ben Franklin flew one and electricuted himself! Kentucky Fried Chicken is cool as hell as well as trans fat free. Knight Rider was awesome and don't act like you didn't want the Kitt big wheel.

I bring you into my world to brag about me. I am not lying. I want to show you how clever I am. So what if I tell you that I was moved to tears about something. I refuse to be a hard ass who is too afraid to show a little emotion for fear of losing my 'man card'. I'll go one further. I will give you my wife's number and you can pick up my balls from her. They are in her purse!

I write for my audience. Sure there are some people [what 8 of you now] who see it necessary to follow the blog with regularity, but ultimately I am writing for me. You are welcome to peak in from time to time. Comment often if you care to.

If you don't like the sugar plumbs that dance in my head, then we can play a game.

It's called, hide and go fuck yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cheer Dad/War Correspondent Report

**hit play** you must listen to this**I have had to listen to this song for the last 2 days in a repeating fashion**

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The Saturday morning alarm shot me out of my sleep like the bugle player on a military base. Loud. Rude. Interrupting. I had to get dressed and get my cheerleader to her competition. This would be the last time in the next 2 days I will get to sleep. I mean really sleep. For here on out, I can't rest until Sunday Night.

As we arrive you could hear it from the parking lot. Like distant bombs hitting the ground over the battle field. We unload and start to walk into the convention center and the bombs grew louder. It's the constant bass thumping that shakes you in your chest. Lining the hallways are the casualties of war.

Broken hair bows.
Ripped uniforms.
You could hear them all sharing war stories of falls, trips, and missed 8 counts.

All along the carpet you could see glitter running like blood from a wound. Aerosol hairspray hangs in the air like Napalm. Down the hall you could see them getting ready. Putting on their war paint for their turn in the battle.

The bombs are getting louder. It's hard to judge if its just the booming bass in the other room, or is it your own heartbeat pulsating in my ear. I don't know who is more nervous. Me? Or Audrey?

Audrey gets her war paint on, and suits up to go into battle. Screaming girls, crying infants, and cheer moms surround us like Charlie in a jungle. Audrey is in the zone. Eyes closed, and I am sure she was visualizing her routine. Her lips, ever so subtle, mouthing 5-6-7-8 hands and arms twitching like she is in Beta pattern sleep. She is visualizing. Getting ready. It all must be perfect. She is blocking out anything.

Much like the battles of the Civil War, the crowds turned out. Wading through this type of crowd its hard not to step, bump, or shove into another person. Groups of girls walking arm and arm, chanting a 'spirit' cheer and they cut me off. Not once, not twice, but three times. Being in a hurry is futile. Trying to go faster just meets you with resistance and impatience. Shuffle along like the rest of them. Subdue that urge to yell, swear, and push everyone out of the way! Eventually you can find a seat in the cramped convention center stage area with your concession stand picnic.

Team 1. [Insert something like, Xtreme, Warrior, or anything else that sounds good] All Stars. They all take the stage. The oldest girl on the team couldn't be more than 7. Cue heavy bass music in perfect 4x4 time. 23 8-counts later, its over. The crowds of parents and teammates screaming for their children are louder than any crowd in sports.

Team 2. My daughter's team. My heart is pounding. Is she going to get this routine down today or fumble in the same spots she does in practice? Is she going to buckle under the intense crowd?

The music starts. In the next 2 minutes 3 seconds these kids unfold their cheer routine much like a perfect executed flank. Other team's parents would say that this was not flawless. They would pick it apart, try and create scrutiny over their performance to somehow prove that their team was better. Their stunts were there. The energy was there. No one told the team that they were not competing for 1st place, 2nd place, or even 3rd place. They were labeled exhibition. That means they are there for just the experience of competing. They are judged as if they are, but rankings are not applied to the results because they want these girls to be excited. In private, they are told they are number 1. They all get a trophy. They all were perfect. Next year is when they get the challenge of practicing for ranks. This year is designed to be just fun. When they hit 7 is when they start to do it for real. The points are real. The falls are real. The scrutiny is real.

Cheer leading is more of a contact sport than football. Injuries are an inevitability.

After my daughter's performance, I got to see my step-daughter [the ex wife's 1st born] perform. This year she made a leap. Due to the vindictive little brats on her first team, she changed to an older team. She had to do a lot of growing to make it on the new team. The cheer level is harder and most of these girls were 17-18 years old. She is only 10. She had to get her back handspring polished, and she was learning to fly.

She suits up, and off to the warm-up mats she goes. I had not seen her perform this year, and I was nervous. I was nervous because she wasn't nervous. She was zoning much like Audrey had. She had to. She was the smallest on the team so she stood out. There was no time for fear, insecurity, or even doubt. She had to stick everything!

Her team hits the floor with all the energy of a carpet bombing. The thunderous bass hits and syncopated movements of her team were awe inspiring. Through the opening dance, all is well. 1st back handspring was perfect. It was time for 1st stunt groups. Up she went. Stuck it! Down she went, time for stunt group 2. Up she goes. Sticks it, and was able to flash the look of a hardened cheer leader. Flawless form. Perfect point. Eye wink. [Insert twinkle in eye here].

After the battle they get the rest of the day off. It was time to hit the resort's indoor water park. Time to wind down. We hit the water slides. He hit the wave pool. I had to de-stress the girls. Katelyn and Audrey both needed to get the seriousness of competition out of their head and focus on having fun.

On Monday I'm a little sore. I must be getting old. My back is killing me from all the activity. My neck is sore from hoisting the girls on my shoulders to wade through the crowds.

It is all a part of a weekend that has up's and down's.

I am just a parent on the side lines. I enjoy that the girls enjoy what they do in their free time. I hate those who push their kids into something like this because they secretly want to live through their children.

K is the letter of the day

Jules over at Just Jules did this thing where you have to name 10 things that you love starting with the letter that is given to you. You get a letter when you comment the blog. She got it from Starlene at Return to Myself, and she got it, well you get it.

So I wanted to play along. Why not?

My letter is the Letter K.

So here are 10 things that I love that start with the letter K.

My step daughter from my first marriage

Kentucky Fried Chicken
Extra Crispy to be exact
Kermit the Frog
I love this little guy. My brother and I did a bit for radio about Kermit

Knight Rider
Anyone my age has always wanted a turbo boost button in their car

The Kingdom
FBI, Jennifer Garner, and a great story

my wife is from this state and I have come to really like it

A great way to spend a windy day
Kissing my wife
I love doing this daily
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
My ass is jiggling right now thinking about them

Kate Winslet
she was awesome in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind

So there it is. It was harder than I thought it would be.

If you want to play along, just comment and say that you want to play. My dog will pick a letter for you and I will let you know.