Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I love Thanksgiving.

It is a time to share not just food but also some getting together with family and friends. My Thanksgiving tradition.actually began with my Best Friend Mary, going back to late 80's.
She cooked a great meal then and probably still does. Back then it was a diner for our friends and sometimes for her sister and her family whom would come to our tiny apartment in Silverlake
I remember one time she had to go to Vermont, I believe to spend it with family, so I spent Thanksgiving with her friends Tony and Cassy at a Black Angus. A bit weird but nonetheless a celebration.
After that, the tradition was on. After I got married to Barb, the Thanksgivings were always spent with her family, whether that was in Arizona, San Francisco or Las Vegas. Once Melissa and I got together, the tradition stayed the same, it's been in the last few years that we've stayed in Vegas with her family as well as at Sandy's for a couple of times. The first and only time we ever had thanksgiving at this house was during the first Thanksgiving we owned the house and also because Barb could not travel. After her death Thanksgiving was always somewhere else. It was only during the last year that we all spent it at home as a family. Both kids were home, I was not at work and we planned a great feast. Only two years ago, Olivia and Anthony went to San Francisco while Melissa and I stayed at home with Catherine (Cecilia and Charlie were still in the NICU). My brother and his family along with Melissa's parents and brother were also here. A real Thanksgiving.
I am thankful for having such a great family and to Mary for showing me what Thanksgiving was all about.
Happy Thanksging! We'll be thinking of all of you!

Potty Training

Potty training triplets is not easy. They will seat and play, particularly if there is someone next to them. Cecilia has so far managed to do it a couple of times but that's only after I see or hear her pushing. It works on mornings when it's obvious that after a good nights sleep, if they haven't pooped overnight, the chances that they will during the morning time are good.
I'm realizing that if we practice with one at a time, might be easier, that way they don't get distracted.
I can't wait till all 3 are doing it. It will be such a milestone and such a reduction in expenses.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I wanna apple juice, scary, i need, it, i love you, night night, Dora, Family Guy, Yo Gabba Gabba, pee, pee, puppy, doggie, remote, Aya, Anthony, Gramma, Papa, Agua,

The words are streaming endlessly an most of them from Catherine. Cecilia and Charlie are not far behind with their words. They are now two years old and according to their therapist (Charlie and Cecilia) they are right on track with their development, so no issues there.

They love to hang out with their aunts an uncles particularly with my brother since he is the one that is around more often. They call and ask for him by name (Max) and he loves it. He has a baby at home, not his. Agustin, my nephew and his girlfriend recently had a baby and in the meantime, they are leaving at home.  But of course like most grand parents, he enjoys having babies around, though not the triplets all at once.
I don't blame him. They even get to me once in a while and I am just at home for brief periods of time throughout the week. Except for my days off, then its triplets every minute of the day.

Cecilia is the baby who doesn't like clothes. No matter the time of day, she takes her pants or shorts off and walks around in diapers. She also love to wear too toos at all times.

Monday, November 05, 2012


When your kids are getting roudt and on your nerves, take them outside, give them a bucket and an old spatula and they will be at peace in another world.
Initially I just wanted them to run around in the yard. They like to chase balls and mess with the dog. If the hose is on, they want to get wet. Right now it's early in the fall season so it isn't warm enough to play with water. They started picking up dirt and flinging it so as usual the first reaction was to yell, "no". My wife however was more open to them having fun with the dirt.
It's been about an hour now and it's all peaceful, even the dog gave up and laid down for a nap.
They've been dumping the dirt on themselves, chewing on sticks plucking at their mom's flowers and all of it without a cry, except for the occasional cry because they're stealing each other's buckets.
Maybe we adults should get down and play with dirt.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


It's been a great summer. A time spent with family in different settings. A time enjoying work and feeling productive and as a contributor to something worthwhile.
Summer began with a new job after being at MGM for 5 years+; from there it continued with a great week at Lake Tahoe with family. We stayed at a great mountain home shared by my two sisters in law with husbands, Mother in law Sandy, Olivia, Anthony and the Triplets.
This was made possible by the generosity of Debbie and Bill who rented the home and invited everyone to spend the time there. Fully furnished with all amenities, about the only thing we all had to provide was the food and everyday supplies.
Bill stocked up with lots of great wine and we had some great dinners.
The babies had a blast exploring all parts of the house as well as some of the outside. The entire area turned out to be around a skiing area where during winter you can just ski down into the lodge to catch the lifts. Further up the mountain there is a Ritz Carlton where Melissa and I had a chance to visit.
The trip home was a bit of a hassle because the babies had gotten sick while up there but eventually we made it home.
We returned and immediately Anthony and Olivia were gone again. A. To Southern Cal with his grandparents to go camping and O. To church summer camp.
They are off again to San Francisco to hang out with Debbie right before they go back to school.
Summer is not over though.
Melissa and Anthony get to go to Disneyland in a couple of weeks while I stay behind with the babies. Melissa's mom will be here to help out with the triplets.
There is already talk that Olivia might go back to S.F. With one of the babies while Melissa is gone. We'll see.
Meanwhile, work is continuing for me. Everyday I am more challenged with responsibilities. I had forgotten the stress of having to answer not just to your bosses but to the actual owners of the establishment with all of their own personal quirks and demands. (I first experienced this at The Palms with The Maloofs)
The triplets are growing and developing quickly. Catherine is already forming sentences and picking up words like a sponge.
Very soon their second birthday will be here and Melissa is already planning the celebration. This is of course right after our second anniversary.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Month 1 - Check

What a month its been. I had forgotten how hectic a small place can be. Small in the sense that we are in a hotel with about 1400 rooms as opposed to 5K +. Also, our division is much too smaller than any I've seen. Just two days ago, I was the only manager for 4 outlets (Room Service, Cafe, Steak House, Italian). Pretty much just running around putting out fires, luckily no blazes to report.
Staff ask me how I like it so far, not sure what they expect me to say, "I hate it?" Even if I did, it wouldn't be appropriate to say it  to them. However, I am not unhappy at all. I love the fact that I am constantly busy and challenged at every turn and corner. I am not in the restaurants that I am supposed to manage yet, but I have spent a few hours here and there getting to know the staff. So far I've got a lot of work to do in these two restaurants and I am sure once I leave for "better pastures", whoever comes after will have plenty of work to do as well, such is the cycle of the restaurant business.
Clientele is the same no matter where you go. Everyone demands for attention, staff is slightly different (more about this below), for some, change their names and you have the same mixture of personalities. Owners' demands are also the same; take care of the customer no matter what.
A lot (And you can tell this by walking around the casino floor) of the employees are from eras long by-gone. It seems as though time has stood still for some of these people. 10 years in one place, common in most of the casinos in Vegas. 20? or 30? yes. they have been here that long.
Consider that the building itself has been here going back to the 70's? I'm not even sure. You can tell by walking around the inside, hidden, tunnels and hallways in the building that has gone through many trasnformations.
This is what the cafe looks like on the outside with the new transformation that began 3 years ago. This is only one of the many areas that has completely been re-done.
New owners, new money and a new management team of which I am part of.
That is why I like and appreciate the challenge and oportunity presented each and every day.

Its been al lot of hard work over the last month and now its time to relax.

Looking forward to a house by the lake in Tahoe.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Good Bye MGM, Hello New Tropicana

It was fun while it lasted. It had its sad and challenging moments but mostly fun and now its time to move on. Two more shifts at MGM and on to the new gig.
It's about 2 years late but it was inevitable. Once the wheels are set in motion, sometimes not by our own hands but by others or other circumstances and there is not much else to do but go with the flow.

In the meantime I've had the pleassure of reliving my days in Room Service by working in our basement with some fine idividuals as well as a couple of other days at our coffee shop, also full of some great people; some whom I had previously met and others new to me. All of it while negotiating with the new place. Now it's time to say Arrivederci!
My Diego crew decided to go bowling as a last celebration with them since my next two shifts take me well into the morning and this is what resulted.