Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Disneyland Birthday


Even though their actual birthday was about two weeks ago, this is their actual celebration. 
The original plan was to go to San Diego but with hotels all booked up and fairly pricey, the idea was nixed.
Disneyland became a better option with my work schedule and the prospect
Of seeing the park at its fall setting.
It's going to be fun because the babies are so into anything Disney right now. Movies, princesses, Mikey and castles.
My next post should have plenty of pictures though in the meantime you can catch us on FB.
See you soon!
I'm on Vacation and I have yet to have my traditional Bloody Mary.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Triplets Are 3 - Sofia the 3rd Birthday.



The day was full of magical numbers.  There were 3 babies on the 13 all turning 3. It was a great day that was planned mostly by mom, actually all of it. The original idea was to have a Birthday BBQ at a local park but the day, though beautiful seemed a bit windy. We checked out the park at about 10:40
 and we made he decision to move the party back to the house. This meant we had two hours to clean up as fast as we could and get the house ready for the party.
It turned out great. Best decision since later in the day it got windy with some sprinkling. I think we also had a few more people than we expected, even though it was supposed to be all family. 
Now comes the trip to Disneyland.










Friday, October 11, 2013

The Intensity of My Dreams

I believe I've posted before about the intensity of my dreams. Recently the topic of being confined to an asylum came back.
This time it happened while I was a kid in an environment similar to a school, or institutional setting. As dreams happen, I just found myself there with many more kids, as dream progressed, there were some scenes with very violent tones, which I happened to be a spectator and not a participant. (much too gross and explicit for my audience) There was an instance when I encouraged and let another kid escape through an open door. Why I did not try to escape or run away was beyond me. I was not afraid or fearful of my situation, that is perhaps why I did not try to run away.
My punishment for letting someone go was to receive another 1000 plus more days in this place. I calculated in my dreams that it was about 4 years.
Remember this is still a dream and the weight of such a length of time in this same place made me realize that I was not in a happy place.
You would have thought I would wake up at this time or that the dog would whine about being let out. Maybe even have all three babies cry at the same time for a fresh bottle of milk.
Instead the dream continued. Now I was an adult, about 18 perhaps.
In this sequence a girl and I were moved to a different building within the same complex with a huge courtyard where many couples were holding on to each other in many poses while naked. Being here made me hopeful of my future since this was the place everyone went to before being released. There was an open door off to the side which I closed as fast as I could since I did not want to be blamed for it being open. I sure did not want another 1000 plus days for nothing. At this point I finally woke up.
Am I going to end up in a mental hospital?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Has Arrived in Vegas

Even though today might be a balmy 95 degrees, the mornings and evenings are gorgeous. This is the time when people will come out of their summer hideouts and enjoy the brief fall weather before it gets really cold. (Around late November )

Today was perfect for an outing to the park with the triplets.

On our way to the park

It does get challenging when you are herding multiples onto a tiny sidewalk. I try and have them hold their hands while they walk to avoid them walking into the middle of the street.

I promised them next time I will bring a basketball since they wanted to reach up to the basket.

They had just finished chasing a flock of pigeons and headed to the baseball field - a favorite.

Taking a break on the steps.

Cecilia

Catherine

Charlie

Getting dirty


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I am



I am a father of 5 kids - 2 teenagers and 3 - 3 year olds.
I am 48 years old. (don't feel like it but there's no denying it)
I am married to Melissa and we've been together for the last 13 years.
I am
I have loved and lived many times it seems.
Overall I am a very happy person, except when I'm sad, which doesn't happen to often.
I still have dreams, despite the fact that I hardly sleep.

I've worn many hats and in the process my hair has grayed slightly
My hair has thinned out but still can manage to sport a hair style or two.
I try I try and I try.
Can't give up - too much at stake.

At times my alter ego takes over and I don't like him. I don't recognize him.
Definitely someone I would not be friends with.
He is not shy or quiet.
he is rather boisterous and unimaginative.
Not much to look at.

This is me. Este soy yo.




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Childhood memories

Somehow a childhood friend (Juan Fernandez) found me through Facebook. I had already tried to find them before with no success, so I was quite surprised when I got his invite.
His brother was one of my dearest childhood friends, also named Francisco. Him and 3 others formed a clique of inseparable friends through our teens. As we got older, everyone's paths took them in different directions but we always remained very close.
My brother Max, Juan and another friend, Martin Hernandez had their own little clique as well.

At my request, Juan found this picture of us as kids. We circled around a famous boxer (back in the day). Mantequilla Napoles, who had been invited to diner by Francisco's dad. It was such a sensation to have someone of that caliber around, that all kids from the neighborhood, came by to get their picture taken. I left the neighborhhod and a few years after, Francisco died. I found this out through my dad, who did not have many details other than hearing about a freaky accident and Juan confirmed it recently. It is good to re-connect with aspects of your past that you thought were long gone. Who says, you can never go home again?

Thursday, June 06, 2013

I AM A RESTAURANT OWNER - MY BUSINESS CARD JUST HAPPENS TO LIST ME AS GENERAL MANAGER



I had this guy complain that one of my servers had charged him for an automatic gratuity and now he was not happy. After asking a couple of questions to find out whether the gratuity was warranted or not, he told me, as I also figured out, that it had been a mistake, but rather than have the server correct the check (Which the server offered to do) the guest insisted to just leave it alone because his debit card might get charged twice once the error is corrected. This is also something I found out through the server.
This "special guest" then made it a point that he was the owner of a popular eatery in Manhattan Beach and how his Yelp or other rating was at 4.5 an that was even higher than their other popular neighbour, Disneyland. He actually handed me a business card with his name on it and his title - General Manager. I guess if its a family business, he might be the son working as the GM. Nonetheless, he made it a point to tell me that they usually have a two hour wait for their tables and they had to hire a magician to entertain those waiting outside.
Another thing - (He wasn't done) The took care of their guest so well that on the way out, they asked people if their experience had been fantastic and if they did not answer positively, they didn't make them pay.

I think he was just trying to tell me that he was not happy with his experience at one of our restaurants and hinting that I should not charge him for anything.

Here's a great piece of advise to friends and customers.
State the problem - make sure its genuine please-
Ask how you want it to be solved.
We are eager to listen to your complaint and solve it as best as we can to make you happy and keep you as a customer.
We do not need to know that you are the CEO of Bob's Sandwiches or MBA,MD,BS,UFC,CNN or other type of important person or who you may know. It only creates static while we are trying to solve your issue.
By the way, I went into our POS system and removed the automatic gratuity, sorry server - you lost out due to not paying attention-.
closed the check for the correct amount without obtaining a new authorization code and sent  a copy of the final check to the guest's room along with a nice amenity basket as an apology for the "misunderstanding".




Friday, May 31, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mexico

Its been a long time since I've been out of Mexico - since 1984. Though I've been here in the States for 29 years, there is something special about going back to where your roots are. Its like going to a place where ghosts abound and like a time traveler, you see yourself walking along the same streets, but in another time, in another life. One that you barely can recognize or even believe that you were part of. Here are some shots of places I used to frequent.



As kids, my brother and I used to go to this theater. They played mostly Disney movies; Pete an the Dragon, Herbie, Return to Witch Mountain, etc.
I do  not remember ever seeing it as a church.

This is a shot of the basilica from one of the main avenues.  I remember seeing Pope Juan Pablo II from this corner during his first visit to Mexico. circa 1979?

Eje Central - Right where the Torre Latino intersects. Another area that I was fond of going to even on a whim.

As a boy scout, I got to spend an entire night forming a barrier between the crowd and "VIP's going to sing to The Virgin Mary on the first December 12 after the new basilica was built.






Sunday, May 26, 2013

El Metro


Like in a dream,
bubbles hover throughout the wagon while music fades in and out from some unknown direction, at times morphing from techno then to old ballads.
 A kid walks through offering candy for sale
Another kid is then followed by a mobile speaker
Carefully tucked into a backpack designed solely for the giant speaker.
The dreamlike state continues in the form of a parade of kids and people.
Everything is for sale; candy, bubbles, cd's, dvd's, poetry books, holy sand and water. Even rappers making strange sounds with their fist and mouths join the parade.
People sit like in a trance, ignoring all the commotion.
Some manage to sleep, others reach into their pockets and buy a frozen treat.
My dream soon fades and I realize I'm riding the Metro.
Esto es el DF.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday may 18, 2013

The day has come. 1 hour earlier than scheduled but I'm up on a beautiful morning in Vegas. After a busy night at work and a good 4 hour nap, I'll be getting on an airplane headed for Mexico City. It's been 8 long years. Last time I was planning on opening a store and the trips where for business purposes so they were quick. I also didn't have 5 kids roaming around the house or needing so much of my time, but I cannot blame them. It's always been my procrastination and so called "work responsibilities" but not anymore.
Thank stony wife for my early birthday present so now it's time to head into the shower, then into an airplane.

Friday, May 17, 2013

One Day to Go

It is Friday morning and one more day of work. Well, still Thursday since I haven't gone to sleep. Suitcase is packed, cameras charging and tomorrow one final list with last minute toiletry stuff and then, come Saturday morning head out to the airport.
I'm really looking forward to this trip. Away from everything.
It was a long time coming.

Mexico




I am leaving for Mexico on Saturday morning.
I'm very excited since its been 8 years since I last stepped foot on the motherland. 
Turns out that Melissa bought me tickets to fly there. For the longest time I'm always talking about going there and because of procrastination or other reason- work, I've always managed not to go. This time though, she made it happen. 
Since its been so long, I've decided not to let anyone know that I'm going there. This means I'm  just going to show up at my sister's door un-announced and surprise the heck out of them. I hope it goes well.
I've already told some of my close relatives that I'm going to Mexico anyways but made it a point to tell them not to say anything on Facebook, since everyone we know happens to be on at all times.
Alex, my best-est cousin, close to being a brother knows. He lives in Oaxaca, though it may be a quick overnight trip to go see him and his mom.
The other person that knows is my niece, who lives in Minnesota  and whose mom I'm also gonna see (my oldest sister) along with my mom, they live in Cuernavaca.
I am also planning on seeing some I my cousins that I grew up with. I hope they are available since we've been estranged for the longest time.
It's time for a family reunion of sorts.


Saturday, May 04, 2013

Spend 24 Hours With Me

It's 7:52 in the morning.
My daughter left about half an hour ago to go to school, not before waking me up at about 7:10AM so I could give her some cash she needed for school.
She did not walk into my bedroom to wake me rather, she tapped me on the shoulder since I slept on the couch downstairs with the triplets. They were up at 3:00AM crying because of bad dreams or just because they felt like waking up. This is a common occurrence every night though sometimes they go right back to sleep. Not last night, rather than be up trying to get them all back to bed, I chose to set up the couch as a makeshift bed and that's where we spent the night.
It's 9:51
My son left at 8:30 to catch the bus for school- his last year in middle school. i hear my wife get in the shower while I'm enjoying some morning coffee and briefly attempt to read a book I've had for a few months now.
The babies are on their second round of feeding-cereal mixed with yogurt. Luckily no mess or tipped over bowls yet.
My wife just left for work after a brief chat about the usual mundane stuff; work, sleep issues, getting on each other's case about petty shit and an ever so brief pecker on her way out the door. God, what happened to passion?
11:00
Everyday the house looks like a giant bomb full of toys exploded sending "debris" in every direction. The smallest ones are the most dangerous if you don't see them and step on one.
You know the feeling. As soon as you step on it, your toes curly as you prepare to dive rather than stab your foot.
My brother and his wife stopped by to drop off their daughter for the weekend. Thank God, cause I sure needed a nap before getting ready for work.
It's funny how the relationship with your siblings affects that of your children and your brother or sister.
My brother pops in frequently from across town, just to see the babies. The love him.
After doing some dishes, picking up some toys, feeding the dog and hanging out with my brother, it is time for my nap.
One of the babies decides that she'll nap with me. That means a good half hour of her in bed watching Yo GABA GABA
till she falls asleep.
2:00PM
I can faintly hear the phone ringing downstairs as I begin to wake up.
Time for a shower and the everyday ritual of getting ready for work.
TV is on for background noise- either sports or news.
Finish shower and shave. Iron a shirt, pick a tie and suit and now it's
2:35
Kiss the babies good bye - that's a whole 10 minutes with triplets and out the door at 2:45.
3:05- A Vegas cab smacked right into a palm tree on Las Vegas Boulevard with plenty of cops and ambulances blocking the lane where I turn in to get to work. As it is, I'm about 5 minutes late.
3:45 - done checking emails - about 50 since I left last night at 12:30AM.
6:15PM
Restaurants are open, good number of reservations and it should get busier as the night progresses. Had lunch at 4:00 with managers, pre-shit at 4:30 and 4:45 with staff and since then, I've already talked to a guest who found a hair in his salad.
Very valid complaint but of course he was not happy with his replacement salad, because the arugula was "not fresh" it was yellowing and we should not be serving it.
Much too picky. And it's not even 7:00PM.
8:17PM
Of all people, I am getting players club cards for the performers for tomorrow; They are having diner at one of the restaurants as I'm typing this.
It's very common in this industry to wait and tend to some people that are famous semi-famous or nobodies who think they're somebody.
In this case she's a singer that's been around for a number of years in Mexico.
9:56
Much less business than I was expecting. All restaurants and lounges are very quiet for a Friday night. On nights like this staff are sent home early, stations adjusted and those that stay over prepare for tomorrow.
Tomorrow there is a big fight next door at MGM and that affects our business in a positive way so being ready is imperative. As for tonight it's over. I must place orders for tomorrow and adjust payroll as well for all my staff.
I also have to post the schedule for next week, that should have been posted last night.
Throughout the night, I've called home and talked to my wife briefly, I've also talked to guests at tables to ensure satisfaction. I also do the rounds and check on all other Food and Beverage venues and talk to the managers at those locations.
11:00PM
Walk into Room Service area and a pipe has leaked into floor from ceiling.
11:30PM everyone has left both restaurants now it's time for staff to clean and put restaurants back together for tomorrow.
Last minute filing, ordering payroll, etc and there went the day at work.
12:30AM
Driving home
1:00 get into bed and attempt to bear hug my wife.
2:00AM
Up and let the dog out.
2:30AM
Up and put Charlie back to bed with a fresh cup of juice.
6:00AM
All babies up and ready for yard sale

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rough Life

As much as I may say that everything is peachy and great, which it really is, sometimes everything seems hopeless and I feel defeated. 3 babies will do that to you. They get on your nerves, they fight, they scream for no reason and its the same every hour of the day. The only respite comes when they go down for a nap. However, even that's not easy.
They go willingly to their beds but that's about it. From then on, they begin by tossing everything from their beds, blankets, juice cups, babies (stuffed animals) and then they proceed to jump and jump on their beds. Some other times they empty out all the drawers and toss everything onto the floor.
Of course I can hear them, even from downstairs.
So up the steps I go and threaten them a few times. I also stand in the room hoping that they will just go to sleep quietly. No sooner do I walk away and the tapping from little feet begins.
There is no moment that I am alone, I may be in the room with them while I'm ignoring their tantrums or whining but again, it does not qualify as being alone.
I need time to myself and I know my wife feels the same. We are so in the same boat and together in it.
We need time to ourselves and even when we manage to get the time, the babies find a way of "ruining" it.
You would think they plan it all, including getting sick so we don't leave them with other people while we get away.
Perhaps they think we're going to abandon them.
They're on to us.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Revelation

As dreams go, this one is one of the more detailed and meaningful that I've had in a long time. Not that I pretend to know what it means.
There is a "bus" buried deep beneath in Palestine. I'm just saying Palestine in general because the actual name on my dream was "Hamas"
The other revelation is foggy and i cannot remember at all what it was about, but it was just as important.
Getting back to the "bus"
In my dream, the discovery of this find was becoming general knowledge to all and it was freaking people out while others were "preparing", not sure what for but I was one of them.
Everyone was going through their belongings and keeping only those with personal meaning. I had found Melissa had kept a box with a few outfits that the babies had worn and those we were keeping. Everything else was getting tossed.
Scientists had discovered a metal cylinder deep underground in "Hamas" freaky thing was that it was deep underground meaning it had been buried hundreds if not thousands of years ago.
This cylinder was of alien origin and paired with the other event, it set in motion a big event on earth.
It wasn't anything negative or destructive like the Tom Cruise movie, War of the Worlds.
Dream ended with me and my wife meeting at a parking lot up a mountain, where we were leaving her red Honda parked and knowing I wouldn't see it ever again.
Then I woke up.
I wish I could remember what the second revelation was.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

When things are slow

No matter where you work or what you do, when things are "slow" everyone loafs around. In this case, staff are watching tv. Caught "in fraganti"
Of course the excuse was, they were talking to the bartender. All three? I doubt it.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Going to jail

Im sitting in the security office with security guards, a metro officer and our detainee. He's sitting on a bench with his hands behind him handcuffed while he stares at his dark sneakers. He's not sleeping or even fighting back, he's just staring at his shoes, perhaps thinking if his shoes would afford him the diner he just had.

He walked into one of our restaurants asking for a table. He looked run down but not too dirty to call attention to himself. I guess in retrospect I should have looked more carefully. Shoes have a way of telling a lot about someone's personality and or "status" in life; and his sneakers told me that he'd had a rough few days; dirty and dark and of a good brand. His clothes didn't say much other than being dark in color so no three day dirt showed. The smell though was there. Of this I was told by the waitress, who got much closer to him than I did and she was also the one that knew he was a "bum" and therefore had no money to pay.
At first it seemed a bit preposterous and condescending. It's very easy for some people to "profile" others by the way they "look" and I did not want to partake into the profiling game.
In my eyes the guy looked like he belonged in ours and or any other restaurant. Nonetheless, I told her just to wait till the end and to continue with service.
Sure enough after she dropped the check, he swiftly went for the door. Three steps behind came the server trotting in my direction while waving the check presenter with a sixty dollar tab inside.
Mr. Dirty sneakers had treated himself to a nice dinner of a Caesar Salad, seafood pasta and dessert. I'm surprised he did not order a bottle of Champagne to celebrate his outing but that would have called to much attention to himself.
I took the check from the server and quickly turned to follow dirty shoes.
As if by an act of magic worthy of David Copperfield, one of our security guards was standing by the hostess podium. With a quick motion, I asked him to keep an eye on our shoe guy while I caught up to him. I asked him how he intended to pay for his bill. With a look in his eyes that spike the truth, he managed to say that he was just going to the restroom and would be returning to pay the bill.
Not sure why I agreed but I showed him where the restroom was. The security guard was still on the look out when the shoe guy eventually came out. Of course he started walking out in the opposite direction from where he had just had a sumptuous meal.
Other guards arrived quickly. It must have been a slow night on the floor.
Procedure is to take the suspect down to "the office" while handcuffed until the proper authority comes and makes the arrest official.
Turns out that Mr. Dirty shoes had no record and was from out of town. He had a receipt from a local pawn shop where he apparently had turned in an apple lap top for an undetermined amount of money.
By the time he waked into our restaurant, he had probably gambled it all.
He was charged with "intent to defraud an innkeeper", cited and released.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The plot thickens

So our Food and beverage director is leaving our hotel and it turns out that he is not the only one. I just found out that another one of our managers is also leaving which just makes it a little more interesting because now, aside from needing a VP of food and beverage and perhaps a food and beverage director, the only people left are; the director of restaurants and 6 other managers, including me. Sounds like enough mangers, but it really isn't, when you consider that besides a full casino floor with bars and lounges, we have 3 restaurants, 2 of which I manage, one a full service 24 hour service restaurant a room service department, a Starbucks and a food court.
So,
Ideally, the 24 hour restaurant should have 3 managers, the room service should have 2 and the two remaining fine dining rooms, should have 3 managers total.
The casino bar areas also should be a 3 manager team to cover all shifts and 7 days, with the help of an overnight manager to oversee all areas.
That's 11 managers, not including directors.
Yes. We are missing 5 managers.
Will we get them all? No. We'll just be stretched all over and work all shifts and at all restaurants.
That is until the new VP arrives and presents a plan for the new F&B team at The New Tropicana.
Work just got more interesting.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad Time

Having a rough time; depression is not fun when your mind wanders around. Gotta stay busy

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet a friend

Been on blogger for a while now and finally met one of my original blogger Yamell. We have a lot in common; we both have kids, families, been through quite a lot of drama with babies and such. I believe we both have experienced personal loss and managed to get through it with the help of those that love and support us as well as time goes by and allows it.
I hope that we can all nurture a friendship that will be positive for all of us. Actually my wife was the first one to meet her and I finally met them (her and her husband) yesterday.
Friendship isn't dead.

Friday, February 01, 2013

In sickness and in health


Its been a hellish two weeks an I'm very glad it is over.
The babies got a cold two weeks ago beginning with Charlie. She went down quickly with high fever and a cough, by the third day we were at her Pediatrician and it was determined that it was not the flu going around, but rather closer to an ear infection, now the doctor she saw that day (not her regular doctor), put her on antibiotics "Amox" for ear infection. This did not help at all because her fever continued along while Cecilia and Catherine began to show signs of sickness as well.
By the end of the week, they were all sick and the beginning of the second week, they had all been at the doctors at least 3 to 4 times and all three received multiple shots of steroids and other "stuff" which were actually powerful enough (and I'm sure painful) to reduce fever and symptoms.
Of the three, Catherine got through it with not as much discomfort as the other two. She (the first one) has always been stronger, more solid and chunkier than the other two and this made it easier for her to get through it.
Charlie on the other hand lost weight and since she's always been the smallest one, you could tell that her weight loss because her jamies were falling off and felt much lighter.
Melissa had it the worst though because she was the one at home during all this time. I was only able to take a day off at the beginning of it all, the option of staying home from work was not feasible. It was rough on both also because they were up at night since they could not breathe so they had to get breathing treatments while we soothed them and I ended up sleeping with them downstairs so they would not wake up whoever was resting and sleeping.
We were pretty much like walking zombies through out it all. The big kids were very helpful at all times with Anthony staying home for his birthday and to assist with sick babies.
Having one baby or sick kid is easier because all your attention can go the him or her. Having 2 or 3 sick at the same time is so difficult because they all demand your personal attention no matter what you're doing and you only have two hands and it also that much harder when they do not want my attention but only ask for their "mommy"
We lived through it and now we're ready for the next one.