Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love to go Phishing!

This past weekend was another one of those epic trips; great people, good times, and awesome music.  In anticipation of such a great time, my buddy (and groomsman in my wedding) flew up from Florida, just to go see Phish in Charlotte with my wife and me.

Meeting at our hotel, we left for the parking lot of the Phish concert at 3pm with the doors not opening until 7.  If you haven't been to a Phish concert, the parking lot is a mini-festival before the concert even starts.  We met with a group of friends, around 12 people total who had a party bus, and listened to a local Asheville band play in the parking lot....what a great idea!  I really kept everyone in the mood and got the party started early!   

After enjoying some of the "festivities" of the Phish parking lot, we all got our minds right and made our way for the gates.  What a trek from the parking lot, where you just follow the rest of the herd of people as you wonder wide-eyed and smiling into the venue.  "Give the man at the doorway your ticket, don't make eye contact, and wait for your friends".....keeps this in mind.  What seemed like an hour, probably only 10 minutes, we made our way to a hillside area where we would set up "home base". 

Being tired from over 4 hours of partying already, i sat down for literally 2 seconds before the first notes were strummed on the guitar......these 2 seconds were the ONLY time I sat down for the entire show!  The set list that was played was unheard of....the best of the best songs were played.  I spoke with many people who have seen many more shows than myself and this was the best they had ever witnessed.....what a great vibe!  They played for almost 4 hours with the following setlist:

set one:
AC/DC BAG >
MONA DANCE
HEAVY THINGS
OCELOT>
FUNKY BITCH>
BATHTUB GIN
FLUFFHEAD>
ALUMNI BLUES>
A LETTER TO JIMMY PAIGE>
ALUMNI BLUES>
TUBE
MY SWEET ONE>
DAVID BOWIE
set two:
CROSSEYED AND PAINLESS>
McGRUPP AND THE WATCHFUL HORSEMASTERS>
MIKE'S SONG
BOUNCING AROUND THE ROOM>
AXILLA I
TWEEZER>
HARRY HOOD>
THE HORSE
SILENT IN THE MORNING>
WEEKAPAUG GROOVE>
SUZY GREENBERG
encore:
BIG BLACK FURRY CREATURE FROM MARS>
TWEEZER REPRISE

If you have never experienced a Phish concert, and you have an open mind, and don't judge people by what they look like or what they dance like, etc.....then you should try it out.  You don't always have to be under the influence, but you will be in good company of those who do enjoy.  If you keep an open mind and open eyes, you may have a life-changing experience like I did when I went to my first concert.

Friday, August 24, 2012


    My life is one that has been fortunate, and I have been able to see and experience many things.  I was born in Ohio and lived there until we moved to England when I was in 7th grade.  We lived there for 2 years before moving back to Ohio, where I finished through High School.  I moved to Pittsburgh, to attend the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts for an Associates degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management.  My career in fine dining took me to Pinehurst Golf Resort for 5 years (where I met the love of my life), before moving to New Smyrna Beach, FL where I began managing a Prime Steakhouse on the beach.  AFter living in Florida for almost 4 years we (she) decided that we should move to Asheville, which also brings us closer to her family.  Upon moving up here, I got a job managing the dining room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.  While at the Estate, I achieved my Level 1 Sommelier certification (wine expert), and also got married on property (for $500!!).  
    After my wife and I were married, we began to think about the next 5 years, and decided that we are going to begin a family.  Knowing that it isn’t a good idea managing and working 60 hrs a week, I decided to leave management and return to school.  
    The two of us and our kids (2 english bulldogs) are loving Asheville more and more each day.  We are both enjoying returning to school to better our futures.  


Reviewing some of the blogs, which I had no clue what a blog was before this class, I found that much of it seems to be just larger facebook pages for people’s thoughts and/or news feeds.  I looked at The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/), Gizmodo http://www.gizmodo.com/, and BuzzFeed (http://www.buzzfeed.com/).  As discussed in class, there is a FULL range of data, thoughts, and information that are listed on these things.  I feel that is where issues lie, as people will be reading other’s thoughts and base their ideas off that instead of factual information.  Depending on which site I went to, I found different styles and tones of writing: Somber tones on the Huffington Post about the Empire State Building shootings; Upset techies that are voicing their opinions and thoughts about the new iphone in a descriptive anecdotal, casual fashion that makes the reader feel stupid if they don’t understand what they are saying; then there is the unimportant, useless sites like BuzzFeed, that do absolutely no good to anyone.  With the lazy writing, that is focused to teenagers, it was not able to catch my attention.  The consistency that I did notice throughout all of the sites, were that they all used images.....and LOTS of them!  Almost to the point of sensory overload; it is hard to stay focused and read an article when there is movement in 5 different ads going on around the perimeter of the screen.  When it came to the actual articles, the images seemed to “pop” or reflect the ONE instance that there may be referenced to in that article.  Many of the images used, it appeared, were that to deceive the reader into opening/looking at the image...which may not have even been the main point of that article.  This is another reason why I don’t like blogs and online mumbo-jumbo...it gives deceitful people a way into your life.  People that I don’t even know, or worse - people that I don’t want to know, can get any information they want just by having some kind of virus attached to an ad or link.  
    I am not particularly thrilled about the blogs and all of this other stuff/work that we are having to do for this class, but UNFORTUNATELY, this is the way our world is moving.  If I want to be able to succeed moving forward, I need to be able to learn these skill, no matter how pointless I feel they may be.