Archive for the ‘ Me me me me and me ’ Category

…but, someone else paid for it.

One of the many neat things about “that place where I work” is the annual President’s Club Dinner.

For the past few years, it has been held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s a recognition program for folks who meet goals, standards, and have achievements over the past year, and it’s pretty fancy.  So, last week, I along with over 2,000 associates from the company and our guests converged on The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

After a $28 cab ride to a hotel I could see from the runway as we landed, and checking into the room, we readied ourselves for the first evening, which consisted of a reception that was held for associates who would be considered in most worlds as over-achievers.


Apparently, my customers went all Sally Field and “liked me, really, really liked me,” and my volume of work over the past decade has been well, voluminous.

So, I got to shake the hand of the CEO twice, they took my picture, twice, and I got two statuettes.

It’s odd, I love to do well, but I don’t do recognition well.   I get a tad embarrassed, I usually self-deprecate, but I do appreciate.

It was a nice event; open bar, hors d’ oeuvres, stuff like that.

When that part ended at 8 PM, I was still in the mood for food.

It’s Vegas, and if you don’t drink, gamble, have time for a show, or pick UP hookers, well, food’s your option.

They have some serious food in Vegas, and you really never have to leave the hotel.

We went Hubert Keller’s Fleur.  It’s a tapas place.


After we’d had a deconstructed Caesar salad with white anchovies, a beet and field green salad, a raviolo* and three tacos the size of a Barbie purse, the waiter presented me with a $70 check.


I said it was good, not cheap.

Day 2 we were on our own until 5 PM when dinner for 4,500 was served in the convention center.


Again, open bar, buffet tables galore, motivational speeches and entertainment by some of the company leaders, and Chris Hardwick of Talking Dead fame.


It was awesome.

I’m glad I got to go!


Oh, and there was dessert!




*It is a slightly larger and much flatter ravioli, and there was one.

The Spice Girl That Never Was

There has been much on the internet recently about my disdain of pumpkin spice.

It’s been epic.

I’ll admit, I started it.

It was an innocent mistake on my part.

All I said was, “Let’s stop with the pumpkin spice stuff, OK?”

Well, you’d a thought I called Hillary a crook!

Let me me clear – I love Pumpkin PIE.

And let me be clear when I say it stops there!

Now, there’s a reason the girl was never admitted into the group.


No, no, not Hillary, Pumpkin Spice.

First of all, it’s her middle name.

It’s not Pumpkin Spice, it’s Pumpkin PIE Spice.


My OCD allows the mantra “a place for every thing and every thing in its place” to circle ‘en loupe’ in my brain, and Pumpkin PIE Spice has no business in anything other than Pumpkin PIE!

Not in coffee.

Not in tea.

Not in cookies.

Not in cakes.

Not in Oreos!!!!!

And for the love of all that is holy, not in Twinkies!


It’s Pumpkin PIE Spice.

Use it wisely.


Crazy Calm

So, I’m not a complete sucker for stuff like this, but every once in a while, I wonder what the folks at Facebook think of me.

And I usually find they are no where near what I’m really like.

For instance, this…

Crazy Calm 2

Now, before we get started, I have mellowed, but I’m not dead yet.

A friend once referred to me as the Kumba of emotions; one moment I was on top of the world, the next in a panic, and then the doldrums.


A few called it bi-polar; again, potato/pa-tah-toe!

But, that was 20+ years ago, and he may no longer be right! (Just in case, Kumba is a roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa.)

I think the only time I’m 98% calm is when I’m sleeping, and my crazy level has never sunk so low as 2%.

Really, Facebook. Read my posts! Read my blog!  Find the real me!

The White Of My Eyes

You know, I’ve watched it all my life.

The Whites of my Eyes

The strain, the stress, the struggle; it’s been there from the day I was born.

In the 1960s, as a kid, I didn’t get it at all.

I knew few black people, and the ones I knew were not living in poverty.  They for darn sure weren’t living inside the city limits of Germantown, Ohio, but they weren’t poor.

They came to the same school.  One family even came to our church – in 1958.

They were just people. Sure, they looked different; but they were just kids with darker skin whose dads worked everyday just like mine.

And then things got crazy.

Protests, riots, water cannons, dogs, cops, guns, shots, militants; it was a lot for a kid to take.

Dad watched the news and read the paper.

He was worried.

We didn’t live in the South, but things could happen anywhere.

Rabble rousers, Communist agitators, trouble makers.  Why couldn’t things be left as they were?

Things were bad.  That’s why.

Life wasn’t fair for some, many.

We never heard the term White Privilege, and as one of five children whose father was a Baptist preacher, I was privileged in many ways.

But it’s not the kind of white privilege folks talk about today.

We heard the saving gospel of Jesus Christ from day one of our lives.

We heard the truth of the Bible.

We heard that God created man – all men – in His image, so God must look like a black Asian white guy. Yeah, that was tough for me.  Was God white?  How could he be?  Not everyone was white, and we were all, yes ALL created in His image.

I didn’t know that black men made less money than white men.  We lived in labor union controlled Ohio.  Everyone made the same.

Except women, but that didn’t matter then.

That would come later.

There was one black kid in my high school class, he was immensely popular, and everyone loved him.  No one ever talked about race.

Moving on to my work life, the 70s and 80s saw changes, more black managers, more black co-workers.  Some people said they only got promoted because they were black.  No other reason.  Remembering back, there were some good managers in my life. White and Black.

Being black may have helped them get noticed, but there were still more white managers than black.

We can all read the history of the Civil Rights Era – is it over?

We can all read the history of Dr. King, Malcolm X.  There’s plenty out there.

What we can’t read is what’s in people hearts and minds.

What do they really feel?

Now at the age of 64 (how did that happen?) I find myself the only white guy in an office of 25 people.  My manager, her assistants, and her manager are all African American.

Yet people come to me and ask if I’m the boss.  I tell them no, but I’ll go get HER for them.

But people still think the old white guy in the back runs the place (I do, they just don’t know it…long story…they can’t live without me!)

We joke, they call me Latrell or sometimes Daquan.

And once in a while, Madea!

Hey, we’ve all been there.

They tell me I’m secretly black.

We joke, we laugh, but I wonder.  Do they know I know I can never know what it is to be black.

Really know.

Do they think I’m a racist at heart just because I’m white, over 60, and slightly southern?

Do my jokes fall flat?

Is what I say taken as it is, or do they think there is an underlying meaning?

A hidden agenda.

The only agenda I have is survival.

And kindness.

And hope.

Yeah, I have hope.

But this last week has dashed some of that.

This last week has been hard.