Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coyote aint so ugly

I begin this new post from my new home at the hotel in Schaumburg. For the next 8 weeks, i'll be living in a hotel room.... now I feel like a true rock star! I've moved out all my stuff and it was kind of sad that I could pack up mu life into two suitcases. It was quite sad leaving the area I lived in, although I will not miss the walk to work, especially in the Chicago summer heat! But I'll miss the wildlife and the scenery and the nice neighbors I usually chat to on the way. The wildlife we get in my area is amazing; Racoons, Skunks, rabbits...and some things I haven't even seen or heard of. The other week I saw a large dog like animal, and was slighly worried as we are reported to have wolves in the area, and it was at midnight and I was walking home from work. Anyway I did some research and found out these animals are Coyotes and that they're quite common in the Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates area these days and have adapted to being around humans. Just last night I was walking down the street to my house, and one walked right past me... I was shitting it, but the Coyote wasn't even phased by me, just carried on with its business... quite snooty if anything.

http://www.ci.schaumburg.il.us/vos.nsf/schaumburg/MJFT-664S3H

Of course me moving in here means that Sandra has left on her travels! She has gone from New York to LA! I'm very jealous but I of course have booked some travels of my own! 2 weeks today I'll be setting off to Washington DC and staying with some friends in West Virginia. Then I come back and I have 5 weeks left of work (and an Elton John concert to attend) before I fly off to Las Vega s for 4 days, then fly to San Francisco for 3 days to meet my friend Renee and see the sites of this amazing California city! Then I'll be flying back to Chicago for one night for my final goodbyes before flying home the next day to England. Its scary how little time I have and how fast the past year has gone, but what an amazing summer I have to look forward to. My last week in America I'll be flying 8 times... I'm self destroying the world in one week... Al Gore would have a field day.

This weekend was memorial day, and I spent it on Schaumburg town square where the army did a presentation firing guns and the such, we also had a war veteran tell us of his time in Vietnam, which lets be honest was a pretty horrific war. Of course the holidays meant an interesting weekend at work, with CHILDREN. Damn them... I had one little boy who couldn't reach the urinal in the restroom, so instead he decided to just urinate all over the floor in the middle of the bathroom! I had another woman try to hog the entire hotel for herself and her little girl, asking me to ask other guests to leave the swimming pool so she could swim.... unbelievable. I sometimes lose faith in humanity when I work with people so much... But weekends in the hotel can be so stressful... leisure guests need rollaway beds, towels, EVERYTHING. Businessmen come into the hotel and as long as they've got a bed, the internet and access to pornography, they're a happy bunch. No problems. 7 weekends to go anyways ;)

American Idol ended last week, something which I tried not to get attatched to, but ultimatly... you do. I apologize for the posting the winner on facebook forgetting they wouldn't be showing the show until the following day and ruined the show for everyone but oh well. But I KNEW it was fixed, how could that plane, red necked loser win? Adam performed with KISS! He was bringing the glam rock back and put on the most amazing performances week after week. And now we hear the news that it was fixed that the vote was unfair, due to phone provider AT&T allowing voters to vote for Chris for free but charging to vote for Adam. Unbelievable. What is happening to our world if we can't even trust a family tv show. I feel more hurt than that time I got screwed by Richard and Judy.

Anyway just a short one this week as I need to go and unpack and make this Marriott hotel room feel like home! In the mean time listen to the Jimmy Carr Writers Room podcasts, available from Itunes, or the Ricky Gervais audiobooks, available from the same place.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chicago is crazzzyyy! (well when Emily comes to town...)

This week I had the joys of Emily (my friend from University who lives in Boston) visiting the Chicago land area! And it was probably the most randomly fun week I've had here. Chicago is CRAZY, in the words of Emily, but lets face it, anywhere Emily is, is crazy!

First stop once in Chicago, was the bar (of course, its me and em?) and what better bar than the Hancock building with the beautiful view and the coctails! 2 coctails later, we thought we better ought to see the sites of Chicago, so we wondered over to Navy Pier, where we were distracted immediatly by a beer garden. We were in the beer garden for several hours, and after many many pints later, we went for dinner where a bottle of wine was consumed, and then an irish bar where 2 more bottles of wine were consumed! We met some very nice people and got quite typsy.... thats a lie, very typsy and nearly left the bar without paying. The bar man ran out to remind us of our outstanding bill... eek!

The next morning we awoke at 6am to a horrible alarm clock and a banging hangover, but there was no time to suffer. We needed to be on the mega bus by 8 and had to get across the city. A stop at Mcdonalds on the way was also on the agenda.

We could not find a single locker to put Emily's bright pink suitcase named Brenda in Chicago, so she had to join us on our travels. While she was a burden, it was much fun taking photos of this bright pink suitcase in different tourist areas and the people of Indiana giving us strange looks and wondering why we were treating this piece of luggage like a human being.

We jumped on the mega bus to Indianapolis where if you want to see the biggest number of ghetto women you'll ever meet, get on a mega bus, who just sit on the back of the bus acting all stereotypical and singing to themselves.

We arrived in Indianapolis at noon, and first stop was to visit the Lucas Oil Stadium - home to the Colts, Indianapolis American Football team! My best mate Rob has a brick in the building from when they rebuilt the stadium which was bought for him as a 21st birthday present from his mum as he's massive Colts fan! After an hour of looking through hundreds of names, we found the brick and were so happy!

We also wondered around memorial circle, white state park and had a wonder around the beautiful architecture of indianapolis! Oh yes I've made Emily quite the cultured one!

We then took the ghetto bus back to Chicago and had to get on the metra back to Schaumburg. Emily was not impressed with the metra, she thought that the speed it was going was due to it setting off, it was only after 45 minutes of travelling that she realized that this was its fastest speed it actually went. She actually has on camera someone running faster than the bloody train!

We then got off the train and Emily was even more amused at how in the middle of nowhere I live, in her words 'Dave your a red neck , you live out in the sticks!'

So anyway we arrived back at my house where we found Prison Steve! He's out of prison! So he's now back to being just named Steve... maybe we can call him 'ex-con steve' instead. He found prison like a vacation but is glad to have his freedom again.

On the final day I felt quite bad that Emily hadn't seen any of Chicago seeing we'd spent the entire first day drinking in the beer garden. So we hopped on the very slow metra down to Chicago and went to Millenium Square, where they have happened to put up a beer garden! So we were distracted again! and spent 2 hours in the Millenium Park drinking. However we didnt spend as long there as it was $25 for 2 beers. Thats expensive, even for Chicago where beer costs more than gold.

Before we missed any more sites through our drunken distraction of beer gardens, we moved onto mag mile and took in the sites, before finally landing in a British pub where they sold Boddingtons and Strongbow. How delighful. More drunken fun.

Emily went home Saturday morning and that evening I met Amy downtown and we went to see Bryan Adams in concert at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. He was absolutely amazing! Sat behind some people from Summerset! Always manage to find us Brits somewhere. One woman in the audience didn't quite understand it was a acoustic night and kept standing up and going ''is this a rock concert or what?? stand up and rock!!! ''. It was a cracking night though, everyone sang along to every song and was such an amazing night. Anyway here was the set list from the concert:

Run to You
Tonight we have the stars
Back to you
Lets make this a night to remember
Here I am
When you love someone
This Time
Remember
Not romeo, not juliet
Heaven
Lonely Nights
Everything I do (I do it for you)
Cuts like a knife
Please Forgive Me
Walk on by
Somebody
I just wanna make love to you
Summer of 69
Have you ever really loved a woman



At work this week we had the Marriott Associate Appreciation week, and I think I felt even less appreciated than most weeks. One guest even told me to shut up after I helped him with his luggage to his room and wished him a good night, he turned round and went 'Oh shut up David'. I feel like I should make a sign as not to embarress the guests when theyre screaming at me on this appreciative week. Can't believe I only have 10 weeks left... not that I'm counting or anything. but 10 weeks!

Adios Amigos!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

its all about the Dave ...

Well this week I've began to round up all my things, began packing for the big move at the end of the month! My roommate Steve's been in touch. He described prison as an extended holiday. Brilliant. I see why he's in there now. Nothing phases this guy. Before he was carted off to jail, he was demoted from work, living off take out and basically spent his days on his xbox. He physically wouldn't move. He had no ambition. Nothing. When he got a girlfriend, i thought this has to inspire some feeling of some form, excitement? Human emotion maybe? He said 'I can be bothered with this one'. Lucky girl. But he was the happiest guy in the world, nothing phased him. I never saw him angry, frustrated or upset, and the fact that he see's prison as a vacation sums him up! Here are the rest of us, ambitious, excited in life and yet always moaning. We're never satisfied. Maybe we could learn something from Prison Steve, as he will now be known.

I've been listening to the delights of the Ricky Gervais podcasts this week, hours of just listening to Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant having intellegent debates, which are regularly ruined with the thoughts of Karl Pilkington. I've been laughing in tears for hours on end, I've laughed more at these podcasts than all Ricky's series and all his stand up comedy, and I'm a BIG Ricky fan. If you haven't listened to them, make sure you download them at Itunes, they are bloody hilarious !

In the world of work this week; my girlfriend turned up and stayed at my hotel. I know what your thinking... 'Dave ya big homo, what you doin' gettin' yaself a girlfriend? You don't hang out with them folk!!?'' Well for those of you who are not aware of this story I will share! In the Schaumburg area there are 5 Marriott properties under various brands. We occasionally call each other up for information such as occupancy and if a guest turns up at the wrong hotel and such. Anyway a couple of times before I've been chatting to these front desk agents, getting quite friendly, we've ended up going out after work, as you can imagine most nights at 11pm after we finish work, there isnt many people wanting to go out!

anyway I had been ringing this Marriott property for sometime, and each time I'd got quite chatty with this girl, I couldn't remember her name, I assumed it was Chloe or something like that. She looked like a Chloe, and I'm sure thats what she said her name was. Anyway she asked if I wanted to go for a quick drink after work. I was all up for it. I love meeting new friends, new drinking buddies are always fun, I'm game for that. So she picks me up. Fairly piggish looking girl. Not the most attractive.

I'm all for inner beauty, but if somethings gonna turn me straight, it wouldn't be this...

So anyway it soon becomes apparent that this girl is after more than friendship. She tells me how she'd been joking with some girl at work wondering what the hell she would do (bare in mind we'd only spoken on the phone) if she'd turned up to the bar and I'd been 60 years old. I laughed, confused, and asked her what she would of done. She replied, 'I'd just shut my eyes'.

So, quite scared. Didn't know what to do. The poor girl was so damn happy I'd even turned up that I couldn't crush her dreams that this was a date and not a drink with a gay mate. I didn't tell her, and instead made it obvious I wasn't really interested in sex or relationships and that I was leaving in a couple of weeks (at the time it was more like 6 months but whatever, you do what u have to do). I've since been criticized for instead of at least maintaining her ego of telling her I was gay, I just let her think i just wasn't interested in HER. Meh. anyway she soon got bored and began chatting up the barman, who would you believe it, was even less interested in her than I was. And he actually likes girls!

The next evening she turned up at work unannounced, saying she was gonna drive me home. I would of made an excuse, but it was raining and I wanted the ride. I'd of accepted it off Charles Manson at this point due to the thunder and hail which was pounding down on this remote suburb. We got back to mine and it was a bit awkward, think she wanted me to invite her in or at least a kiss, instead i ran out shouting 'THANKS!'

On Valentines Day she turns up at my work and asks if we're going out for a drink. Luckilly I was doing an usual shift of working on until 1am, she offered to stick about but I excused that by saying I had too much to do.

Anyway since my managers and colleagues have been mocking me asking me how my girfriend is etc and having a good laugh at it all. I personally think its all a bit harsh on Chloe, or whatever her name is.

At this point I would like to remind you I still didn't know this girls name. I felt like I was in an episode of Seinfeld.

Anyway Monday night comes along... as it does. She turns up just before 11, I thought 'jesus christ here we go'. She was like ''hiiiiii! I'm staying here''. Turns out due to her living far away or something she needed somewhere to stay... (i was just grateful she hadnt asked to stay at mine!!). Anyway the awkward bit came where I had to check her in, I had no idea what the hell her name was??? Anyway there was a moments hesitation and silence, and then she handed me her Marriott associate identification, and I see her names Taylor! friggin Taylor. Where the hell was Chloe from?

Anyway luckily she hasn't been asking me out or trying it on or anything. Well if anything, its a bonus her staying because I have an excuse, I can't be fooling around with guests now can I? Ah ha! Shes ultimately ruined any future for us, if there was to ever be one. And unless she has a very dark secret (which even then would be at a push, don't do inbetweens), i doubt there would be one.

Talking of weirdos fancying me (a regular topic). My roommate Jake decides to set me up last weekend with one of his fiances friends. Now I hate set ups, you end up feeling sort of required to do something then. Like when someones bought you an expensive dinner, you have to give in then don't you, no matter how weird and boring they are. Anyway we go and theres a good few of us. I asked Jake before we met what this guy was like, he said 'I only met him once at Halloween', I was like great, this has to be gold.

We get there and I'm introduced to Simon (again I think thats what his name was, I didn't pay much attention), who is the weirdest, ugliest pug faced arse you'd ever met. But you know, you at least think maybe they have a personality. Well this one did, but its not the type you'd ever want anywhere near you.

Now I love awkwardness, i thrive off it, so i was loving it all night. This guy tells me he's a professional singer and a fantastic actor. He then decides to prove he's neither of these by doing sketches from ab-fab and Seinfeld, just because 1) i was british, and 2) i mentioned at some point during the night, that I liked seinfeld. His acting was terrible. He basically did the sketch in his same voice, same way, just him basically reading the script with no acting skills at all. Now of all the Seinfelds to do, there are many to pick from, maybe the masturbation competition, the time George took his dead ex fiances parents to the hamptons, or even maybe when Kramer became the president of an OAP club in Florida. But no, he decides to choose the episode which includes Elaine dancing. He then begins to stand up and in front of the entire BAR did Elaine's horrific dance.

It got worse...

He heard also, due to a discussion I'd had with one of his friends a month ago, that I liked the Darkness. He'd done his research, I'll give him credit. He's obviously heard about my love of freaks too but had gone too far with it. Anyway he got so excited with this that he confirmed with me that i liked the Darkness. I said I loved them. He said he was going to sing it on the kareoke in there for me, I believe in a think called love. I was honored. I asked him if he could do the high pitch voice. He decided to show me, again with no music and in the middle of this mid ranged Hoffman Estates pub (it was a Friday night, it was a busy) that again he couldnt really do any of the things he'd claimed to. The high pitched note was similar to the noise a cat makes when its being strangled. Anyway I couldn't ruin his dreams, I let him go up there, and he managed to ruin one of my favorite songs of all time. Thank you Simon, if that is your name. who knows?

At the end of the evening he asked me if would like to go out sometime, I told him I had to go but Jake would pass on my number. I don't know whether he took that as a yes or a no, but I quickly told Jake not to ever give that boy my number. He gave him the number to an official rejection hotline.

Swine flu's got a bit about this week. I've had to get bacteria wipes and wipe all the keyboards and phones down. I've also seen protective masks come in which they used during the sars epidemic. i'm hoping they are not for us. I do not want to be checking guests in looking like I'm about to repaint the place. My manager sneezed. You should of seen everyone shit themselves. Priceless.

The new Freddie Krugar movie is to be remade in Arlington Heights which is the next village to me. I was there last week with my mum and dad, lovely little town, but we did say it would make a perfect horror movie location, so there you go. I love Alrington Heights, its the smallest village you could possibly come across, but the centre of it with the trainstation and a choice of 4 restaurants and a bar is actually known as 'Downtown Arlington Heights'', its all going on there!

Wanted to send a message out to the family of Carol Spinks who suddenly died earlier this week. Carol was the life and soul of all the Hatton partiies, throughout 21 years of knowing her, all I remember was laughing when she was about, she had an amazing sense of humour and managed to break Hatton tension (and believe me theres a lot of it) in seconds. She will be will be truely missed.

Not much else happening! Me and Sandra went out for a lovely lunch at Wildfire, a place which makes a grilled cheese sandwich, aka cheese on toast become pretentious. one of the priciest places in Schaumburg this week. Its somewhere many people save up to go maybe on a special occasion but me and Sandra like a couple of middle aged desperate housewives do lunch there like we have money coming out of our backsides. It got us wondering though where the hell everyones money goes to? Everyone else seems to have the same rent, responsibilities, nights out etc, and yet everyone complains they dont have money to do anything and yet me and Sandra go off travelling all the time and go for fancy dinners willy nilly. This got me and Sandra worried whether there was some form of tax we haven't been paying which everyone else has. Will we be randomly pulled up for tax avasion or even fraud before we leave? Who knows... maybe it'll be in next week's blog! :) We've since worked it out that the fact that we don't have a car and walk miles everyday saves us a lot of money hence why we can afford to do extravagant things, daily, but we pay the price of walking about 10 miles a day, and bare in mind Schaumburg doesn't have sidewalks!!

12 weeks and I'm home people (not that I'm counting), well thats if i'm not joining Steve for tax avasion!

This week: Emily comes from Boston to Chicago! possible trip to Indianapolis and a Bryan Adams gig :) The Mccans are on oprah on monday so dont miss that if your in america, because they'll surely find her in Chicago, IL after losing her in Portugal. i cant wait to see shannon matthews mother on there, now that would be a show. i passed leeds crown court last year as it was just near my student flat. I saw a bunch of chavs outside with prams... it was the the matthews family. such class, such elegance.




Until next time ... chiow!