Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Day!

Look, I resisted titling this "Happy Thanksgiving, bitches!" Aren't you proud of me? It took a lot of willpower.

Today's post comes to you straight from the front desk of work- how original! Nope, no Thanksgiving off for me! Two of my sisters plus various nieces and nephews are over at my house right now, stuffing themselves silly. I hope they leave me some leftovers!

Yesterday was my "day off". I put it in quotes because I ended up working for almost 6 hours anyway. But hey! That's less than 8, so it was still good!

My original plan had been to get up early and go to the Springfield library before dance class. Then I found out that we didn't have dance, so I volunteered to come in and work after my library trip.

I stopped at my favorite gas station on my way to Springfield, and as I was washing my windows, a van pulled up just *blasting* Metallica. I gave them a raised eyebrow, which basically said "If you're going to play something so loud that we all have to listen to it, couldn't you come up with something a little better than Metallica?" They left it playing while they pumped gas... "EXIT LIGHT! ENTER NIGHT!"... they left it playing while they went in to pay... "OFF TO NEVER NEVER LAND!"

I finally finished my windows and got back in my car, turning my own music up so that I wouldn't have to hear theirs anymore.


For the record, some songs just don't work well at full blast. (And I discovered that if you're going to use the Beatles for this purpose, Come Together works MUCH better)

And on that note, I am going to totally change topics here and present you with this list of 20 Things I'm Thankful for this year:

1. 39 days till the end of the year. I will survive!

2. My taxes are going to be super easy to file this year. I had only ONE job this year! And it's the easy kind where they give you a W2 and everything! I'm going to be able to do my taxes in like three seconds!

3. Today is Thanksgiving, and not only has it not snowed yet this year, it was eighty degrees when I left the house today! The temperature drops a LOT when the sun goes down, but just having sun this late in the year makes me blissfully happy!

4. I was just sitting here wishing that someone fun would come in, because the last several people have been so grumpy. A few people later, a girl noticed I was watching Gilmore Girls (the Thanksgiving episode, no less!) and asked if I watched it Tuesday. Apparently her DVR ate it, so I got to give the two minute summary, which was surprisingly fun! Not many of my friends watch the same shows I do (Except for KT), so getting to discuss it all girly-like was fun.

5. Tallulah Jane.

6. My momma. She made me brownies a few nights ago! I am so thrilled anytime someone feeds me.

7. Vacation coming up, super soon!

8. Starbucks frappuccino. I would not have survived this year without it! I doubt I would have survived this DAY without it!

9. Music. Music is so therapeutic for me. I am so grumpy every morning (and by “morning” I mean “2:30pm”) when I am leaving the house, but I throw on some good music, and I’m in a great mood in no time.

10. I’ve been able to work a ton of overtime lately, which I reeeeally needed with my upcoming trip!

11. There are supposed to be leftovers waiting for me when I get home. YAY, food!

12. I’m thankful for the creative streak I’ve been on lately. I’ve been very much in the mood to create, and I love when that happens!

13. I am so thankful for my comfy chair at home. This chair is the single best piece of furniture I have ever owned. Everyone who comes to my house wants to sleep in it, even though we have guest rooms. This is one awesome chair, my friends!

14. Speaking of friends, I am also thankful for those! I have one friend that sings me Elvis songs over the phone. It doesn’t get much better than that!

15. I am thankful for Taco Bell, which has been keeping me from starving lately.

16. I am thankful for the awesome jeans I am wearing today, because they look awesome on me, and they even give me a butt!

17. I’m thankful for the point of my life that I’m in right now. I am a little freaked out by 25 being right around the corner, but for the most part, this is a good age.

18. I’m thankful for my awesome car, Apple. She has been very good to me this year, other than that whole needing new brakes thing. Oh Apple, you even go topless anytime I ask. You rule.

19. I mentioned Tallulah, but not Tiger Lily or the birds or the fish, so I’ll add them in here. Lily always makes me laugh when she sits like a person, or flops down like a little drunk kitty.

20. Did I mention that there’s just over a month of work left? And that I get to go on vacation soon? And that they’re even paying me unemployment this year? And that there is just over a month left? And vacation? And and and!

One thing I love about the holidays is that they are always playing a ton of movies on TV, and just in case you happened to miss the fact, I loooove movies!

They’re supposed to be playing the first three Harry Potter movies on ABC Family this weekend, to kick off their 25 days of Christmas. WHY do they always play HP as a “Christmas” movie? Yes, most of them have a Christmas scene, but they are so not Christmas movies! This confuses me so much! Spiderman has a Thanksgiving scene, right? So why aren’t they playing it today? Rent has TWO Christmasses in it, why isn’t that a Christmas movie, then? Two minutes of Christmas does not a Christmas movie make, people! Arrgh!

Oh, come on, you have got to be kidding me. I was just flipping through the channels to try to find something to watch until Grey’s comes on, and they are playing Spiderman 2. If it were Spiderman 1, I would think that fox was watching what I type. This is freaking hilarious!!! It’s a good thing the lobby was empty when I found it, because my jaw dropped and I said “You have got to be fucking kidding me!” a little too loudly. And then I nearly fell on the floor laughing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I am in the process of cleaning my house. Not because I am one of those people who actually keeps their house clean, but for two fairly good reasons: Reason One- In forty-seven days, work closes for the season, and I will be spending a LOT more time at home. It is nice if it is in a state that at least falls into the category of “livable”, but “nice” would be even better. I actually got a surprisingly good start on it today, gathering up water bottles for recycling, clothes to launder, dishes to wash, books to shelve. There is still a ton to do, and the majority of the problem is that I just don’t have anywhere to put most of the stuff that is sitting out. I am good about keeping the things that have a place (books, dishes, shoes, photos) where they belong, but the things that have no place (costume supplies, lots of papers, old cassette tapes) tend to sit on my desk or my floor for months at a time, wishing they had a place to call their own, too.

54 days left till vacation, I think. I always seem to block out from my memory just how stressful this part of the whole vacation experience is. No matter how carefully I budget my trip, I always end up about two months before the trip and about eight million dollars short. I start working a ton of overtime, and trying to do anything humanly possible to make some cash. My favorite thing right now is online surveys- one company that I’m signed up for pays $5 survey, which is awesome, but most of the others pay more like 75 cents per survey. Still worth the time, though, and hopefully it will all add up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday Again

In my purse is a small piece of paper labeled “Sucky days left this year”. On it is a list of six days when work is going to be super busy, and basically suck. I am so happy that there are only six.

I can not stand the bus groups that we have here right now. Actually, there is really just one that I can not stand, the other is pretty decent, as large groups of picky old people go. It is the second group that makes me want to tear my eyeballs out. Or better yet, tear *their* eyeballs out. They complain about everything, and don’t listen to anything. I am very proud that I am yet to bitch slap a single one of them. Anywhere other than in my imagination, that is. They are simply impossible to please. (If you read yesterday’s entry, you will recognize them as the group being led by a total idiot. The other group is led by the hardest working guy EVER. He drives the bus, handles their luggage, and may possibly also be superman in his spare time. Plus, he is nice.) One lady was just bitching because she went to the continental breakfast this morning, and there were no bagels or coffee. This apparently upset her to the very core of her being. However, a) I was just down in the breakfast room a little while ago, and we have dozens upon dozens of bagels down there. There is no way we were out. B) If there is no coffee in the breakfast room, we have coffee in the lobby all the time. C) They have coffee and coffee makers in their damn room. Even one of their fellow tour mates was smart enough to point this out. My only conclusion is that the entire bus group is on crack.

The fun thing is that as they came back in tonight, I noticed that they were all carrying sacks from the local winery. I almost wish I were going to be here later than 1am tonight, to see if anyone gets naked and jumps into the (empty) pool. Almost.

Six more sucky days.

Edited to add- My favorite was the lady who came up to the desk tonight to complain that there was no hot water this morning. I explained that occasionally in the morning, when half the hotel is showering and the laundry is washing, there are periods when it is hard to get hot water. This was apparently way over her head, because she kept insisting that I “make sure that (her room number) have hot water in the morning,” as if there was some giant control board hidden behind the front desk, where I could turn the hot water on and off to each room at will. My very favorite part was when she said that if it didn’t happen, they wouldn’t stay here again. Promise?

(And now I feel a little bad about all of my whining lately, because the nicest man just came down to ask about what he needed to do when he checks out in the morning, and he was so polite and nice, and even wished me a merry Christmas and a happy thanksgiving. Why can’t we have whole bus groups of nice people? Or even just for the nice ones to not be the exceptions?)

blah blah blah Tuesday

Everything is grey already.

I hate winter for being cold, I hate getting snowed in, I miss the sun. I hate that it is dark at 5 pm. But more than anything, I hate that right about this time of year, everything just turns grey. The leaves that were brilliant colors just a week ago are all gone, and all that is left are grey branches. Grey clouds fill up a grey sky, and even the ground manages to take on a dirty brownish grey color. Well, I hate to call it a color, because it is really the exact opposite. It reminds me of Rainbow Brite cartoons where the villains wanted to suck the color out of everything, and live in a world of grey. I just don’t have words for how depressing it is!

The bright side, of course, is that there are all sorts of good things right around the corner. No work in 48 days, and Florida (which is full of sun and palm trees and color!) in 56 days. I keep reminding myself that in just over a week, the worst part of the year will be over, but oh man, if the days keep continuing like this, that week is going to be LONG!

We have two bus groups at the hotel right now- another one just came in last night. We are pretty much sold out from now till after thanksgiving. Whee! The thing that annoys me is that a lot of the stress we have with bus groups could have been easily avoided if the tour operators had just done their jobs. There was a note on the desk today that totally cracked me up. First, for backstory- as soon as the bus group last night checked in, we started getting calls for hairdryers. Our rooms don’t have hairdryers in them, but we keep a few at the desk to loan out. Well, the other bus group, that has been here a few days, apparently had them all, so we were out. The new bus group was not happy about this. I spent some time grumbling that if the tour group leader had done her job, she would have called ahead and checked to see if we had them. (She called the hotel *on the way here* to ask if we had a restaurant. Shouldn’t you do that kind of research when you are selecting the hotel for your group?) Plus, the bus group didn’t get here until around 10pm, so no stores were even open for us to go buy extra hairdryers from.

So, to get back to the note, Sara left a note that someone had called her for a hairdryer last night, and was upset that we didn’t have any, and she made the comment that she was surprised that their tour director didn’t tell them that there were none in the rooms. The lady’s response? “I AM the tour director!” ROFL! She said something about she didn’t like Sara telling the people that it was her fault, asked for her name, etc. We thought it was hilarious.

I’ve been really tempted lately to go back to my old blog format (see, if you don’t remember it!). I miss the whole having a separate page for each post, and I miss my cute little sidebar. However, I don’t miss not being able to post from work, nor the extra work the html takes for each post. Opinions? Which do you prefer?

Did I mention that we’re having employee issues at work? Well, not that that’s anything new, really. It seems to go in cycles- first we won’t have enough housekeepers, and then we’ll hire a bunch of those, and something will happen and we will not have enough front desk people. Wash, rinse repeat. We’re just getting over a “we have like two housekeepers left” phase, and now we’re a little short on the desk. One person is in the hospital, and the other got in trouble, and may end up getting fired if the corporate office says she needs to be. The third actually got fired a few days ago, but got her job back, luckily! Anyway, thanks to this shortage, I should have no problem getting the 20 hours of overtime I need this month. Tonight, for instance, I’m staying a few hours late to close down the office, since our night audit person is sick, but there’s no way I can stay here till 7am and still function tomorrow.

Holy crap, I really have no life outside of work these days, do I? Okay, in totally non-work news, we’re considering getting a parakeet, or two parakeets (a pair of keets!). I’ve been wanting a new pet for a while, and I’m starting to get tired of fish. I would love a rat or a guinea pig or something, but I just don’t trust them with “Lily, the Chipmunk Hunter” in the house. Then I came across the pet store’s sale ad in the paper, and it mentioned that they have parakeets for $15. It is the same store where we got our baby cockatiel, Rosie, and she has turned out really well, so we trust their birds. I still really, really want a sun conure, but they are still really, really $600, so that’s out. $15 for a parakeet (or $30 for two), $15 for a cage, and a little extra money for food and toys and such, is way more affordable. We’ve discussed making it a Christmas present to ourselves. It’s still up in the air, though- I don’t believe in just buying pets on a whim. Well, okay, I’ve bought a few fish spontaneously, but really thinking it over is a much better way to go.

My other non-work activity right now is trying to come up with fun Christmas stuff that won’t cost a ton of money. There’s no point in working five zillion hours of overtime to get money for my trip, only to blow it all on Christmassy stuff. I’m trying to come up with cheap, crafty presents for family and friends that are not going to cost much, but will still be awesome. I also have a horrible need to make some new decorations or something, as a way of combating my winter depression. Who can be sad when you are gluing stuff to other stuff?

The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation

(This was actually written on Saturday, but I can't remember how to change the date on here!)

Fuck it all, I may just count this really long journal entry as part of my novel. That may be the only way that I do not get overly depressed about how slowly this novel is coming together, how little it matches the novel that is in my head, and how I never, ever seem to be able to finish NaNo. At least I can pretend that this counts towards my word count, and then replace it with something that actually fits into the novel. Or hey, maybe the main characters can just stop along their way for a break in an internet café, and read my journal. Crazier things have been done during NaNo!

Today, I entertained myself at work by making a tiny little countdown calendar, where you tear off a page a day, to count down to the end of the year. There are 51 days left in 2006, if my counting is correct. The end of the year is pretty exciting for me this year. First of all, the hotel closes Dec 31, and stays closed till mid May. That means I have ten whole weeks of no work, AND I will actually be getting unemployment this year! According to most of the people here I’ve talked to, they make almost as much from unemployment as they do while working, so I should still be able to get by for those two and a half months. Hooray!

Having the winter months off is something so great to look forward to! I actually do some cooking in the winter- probably because I actually have time to grocery shop more than once every three months. I get to watch all of the TV that I miss during the year. I get to play computer games like the huge nerd that I am, watch a lot of movies, and basically do a lot of nothing. My house gets cleaned, because I am actually getting to spend time in it for once. I have time to talk to my friends! I get to sleep whatever hours I want! Last year I fell into a fairly solid pattern of watching the BBC News at 5am, and then going to sleep. I will have time for dance practice! Maybe I’ll finally master full time glutes on top of pas de bourres! (They are still evil.)

I love having time in the winter for the fun little things that I just don’t get around to during the year. For instance, I want to go back and count how many journal entries I’ve posted over the years. My guess is around 1000, since I’ve done the online journal thing for over 6 years now. I’m just curious more than anything as to just how many posts there are. I am mostly excited just for the chance to get caught up on my life in general! Remember like three weeks ago, when I knocked my coffee across my car, and it splattered everywhere? It is still there. I’m still yet to find a free moment to just grab a freaking paper towel and go clean it!

So, as if that is not enough reason to look forward to the end of the year, I am also leaving for vacation a week after work closes. This is what keeps me going through these super busy weeks at work- I just think “Okay, three more weeks of really bad work days, and then I get to sit around and do nothing at work for all of December, and then vacation!”

Oh, vacation! One of my very favorite words! I can not freaking wait. The only thing clouding it right now is that I am way short on $ from what I really need for the trip.

Write about tip envelopes. I wanted to ask your opinion on this. First, have you seen tip envelopes in hotels here in the states? Second, do you think they are tacky? Third, do you tip your housekeepers like a good human, or do I hate you?

“Do you stay open year round?”

“No, we close in the winter”

“Oh. Do you lay the employees off?”

In my head: “No, we just make them re-clean the same rooms every day.”

Actually said: “Um, yes, we lay them off while we are closed.”

The other annoying interaction of the day was a man that is here with a bus group. He came up and said he wanted another room, that his was unacceptable. When I asked what was wrong with it, all I could get from him was that the floor was dirty. I didn’t get a chance to check it out for myself, so I am pretty curious about just how bad it was. I do know that nobody has been in that room lately, so it should be really clean. However, it is a smoking room (as he wanted), and they are all a little more worn than the nonsmoking rooms. Anyway, he then went on a rant that we didn’t have refrigerators in the rooms, “like your website says.” The funny thing is that I was just looking at our website the other day, mocking it, because I’m still mad that they paid someone other than me to do it, and it sucks, and the photography sucks. I could do a MUCH better job building one, it would be much more informative, and the photography would be much better, and I could really use the money.

Anyway, since I was just on the website a few days ago, I was sure that our website did NOT say this. So I pulled it up right there in front of him so that he could see that it didn’t. (I didn’t want anyone to think we were posting lies on our website!) Well, it turns out that it wasn’t our website he was looking at, so I spent some time on google trying to find what he saw (because I would really like whichever website it is to correct it!). I still haven’t found it, but I did find a few mentions of us. (We’re fairly small, and not a chain, so not that well known.)