Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A promise of what's to come...Ireland and the second job.

I haven't been sleeping too soundly lately. I imagine that this could be happening for several reasons, the biggest one probably being the couch upon which I'm sleeping. Don't get me wrong, it sleeps better than most I've experienced but there is no comparison to a warm bed with clean sheets which I haven't experienced in roughly a week and a half. Never fear, I am doing everything possible to focus on any and all positives and I have come across a couple. This morning I received a call saying that my interview yesterday at MEN arena went well and I was offered a job. Before I can start working, I have to undergo the training regimen which consists of a weekend of 9-5 at the fairly luxurious Midland Hotel. I'm not sure what they training will involve but once I've finished with that, I'll be able to start working security for the big act concerts and events that roll through Manchester. Naturally I am excited about this prospect because of the chance to see many artists without having to pay the price of admission. Some of the artists I'll have the chance to see while making money include The Killers, Kings Of Leon, B.B. King, Eric Clapton and AC/DC. Needless to say, I am enthralled with the prospect at getting a step closer to the music industry and while I am starting fairly near the bottom of the totem pole, I hope it may offer me a chance to work my way up.

In other news, I decided this second foray into the United Kingdom was a second chance at seeing more of Britain and Europe. In keeping with that spirit my elementary school chum Erin informed me that she would be in Ireland in late June for a couple of days and extended to me the generous invite to join her and her group. I've never been to Ireland before so I jumped at the opportunity to not only see an old friend but to also see more of the world. June cannot come soon enough!

Not too much happening since I last updated so this one is fairly short. I'll do what I can to keep you as updated as I deem necessary.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Everyone should listen to Elbow

Alright, so far, I'm doing well with this whole blog thing. I suppose it's still a little early but dammit I'm proud of myself! Not a whole lot has happened in the period between my last blog and this one, but I figure this friends and family time writing me emails asking what's new. I don't imagine anyone is too bothered by sending those emails but I'm here to make the Steve information hit you that much're welcome!

Alright, Sunday night I decided to celebrate the tips from Saturday by going out with Gary and Julie from Cavendish for a couple drinks and goofy participation in a pub quiz, a staple of British drinking culture. Our friend Lance was hosting so I had another reason for going. Figuring a poor performance from our tiny team (we had three participants, most other teams had 5 or 6), we landed on the team name 'The Shit out of Lucks'. I still kind of hoped for 'Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits' but that got turned down; I guess she's not suitable fodder for parody now that she's not employed high enough up in our executive branch of government. As it turns out, our team name was fairly accurate, early on into the quiz we noticed that most of these questions we were not getting. We reached the general knowledge section and things started picking up slightly but it was the music and movies section that we really knocked out of the park. Still being down a few points all attention was turned to the drawing portion (the team with the best drawing received 5 extra points). I won't go into the details of my drawing but it was stupidly patriotic while mocking the British government as well but nevertheless it rocketed our team into third place and got us free shots. You take what you can get I suppose.

Monday is an uneventful day where nothing happened and I only ventured out of the house right after waking up to meet a couple friends from one of my classes for lunch. The burger I ate was very eventful and by far the best burger I've had in the UK, and rivals some burgers I've had in the states! Also, having lunch with Jamille and Anthony was a good time, they're an interesting couple of guys and I'm looking forward to spending more time hanging out with them.

Today was had it's ups and downs, I didn't sleep well so needless to say I wasn't in the best of moods when I was roused from my sort of sleep this morning. It wasn't easy shaking my mood but I persevered regardless because I had a job interview today at 8 pm. The interview was at the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN Arena) and was through a company called Showsec that provides people to do minimal security work such as keeping people from spilling over into the aisles or jumping onto the floor and so on. I got there at 7:30 and got to wait around and make small talk with some of the fellow interviewees. They took us on a tour of the arena, lead us to a dressing room where we had a presentation and then the interview. I was in a group with a very annoying little woman who was insistent on making herself heard on many superfluous occasions. I decided that she seems to be one part suck-up mixed with equal parts egotistic nightmare perfectly content simply hearing herself talk. Still, it wasn't about her and I proceeded along with the interview. It went well enough and I will know apparently in a couple days whether or not I got the job so keep your fingers crossed everyone.

That's all I'll say for now as there isn't much else of note to really put in here. I hope this news finds any and all readers in high spirits and I shall surely update soon.

PS-In regards to my title, Elbow is a band recently discovered by me with the help of Cheranne and I urge everyone to explore their catalog of material. It's a very British sounding band which I think may turn some people also might make people expect something different than they really are but if everyone gives it a chance, I'm sure everyone will like them.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Europa and Lamb curries...the making of a wonderful day.

It's amazing how things can go from bad to worse. I find it even more amazing when things go from absolutely dreadful to magnificent in the course of a day and a half. Today was my first day representing the catering agency Berkely Scott as their newest ( I think) wait staff member and I couldn't have hoped for anything better. I was sent to Old Trafford, which is Manchester United's Football Stadium, known to the residents of the north as the 'Theatre of Dreams' to work in one of their insanely priced suites as a server. I arrived an hour early which was beneficial because it took me a good 20 minutes to find where I was supposed to be so all went well. The woman from Berkely Scott was there to give me the run down on what it was I was supposed to do then gave me my uniform for the day and sent me off to the Europa Suite where I would be working for the next 9 hours or so. I was given the option to either wait tables or be a food runner...mainly the server's server. I opted for server for the chance at tips and the experience so I could serve in the future. After polishing the 3 separate wine glasses at each place setting (there were 9 per table) and getting a hasty explanation of protocol. I was ready to go.

Here's the basic drill at the Europa Suite (which my new friend Prescott noted sounds like a strip club); the various patrons will pay 475 quid to sit at one of the 24 tables in the suite, each table has 9 seats so many of them are sitting with people they don't know. Included in the fee is a meal which includes a starter, main and dessert, a free glass of champagne, unlimited house red and white wines, a half time snack, cheese and biscuits, and pretty much unlimited drinks before during and after the match. I realized early on that there's no way that the food and drink they're given could be worth paying 475, especially with the recession but it's their money, not mine. I guess there are perks, Europa suite had one of the players come in before kick off to meet and greet and then after the match the get the 'man of the match' to stop by and say hello to the exceedingly wealthy.

I can't be all bitter, the people I was serving were all very nice for the most part and for two tables, 18 guests and maybe four hours of total serving time, I walked out with 65 pounds. All in all I'd say it was a good first day. To celebrate, on the walk back I stopped in one of England's famous corner takeaway spots and got a lamb curry with naan bread. I've got to be brutally honest right now...that takeaway may have been the meal of the gods, it was spectacular, made all the better because it was paid for with my own money. Truly an exciting moment for me, albeit a somewhat miniscule one in comparison to other people's lives. I never really appreciated how great it feels to earn your own money so walking out of Old Trafford tonight with a few crumpled noted in my pocket, I had a different walk and pace about me that I haven't had in quite sometime. I feel like I'm relearning what it is to really be me, and I'm happy that I'm beginning to do it in a somewhat new and exciting place.

Along with this job, I'm hoping the interview with MEN arena on Tuesday goes well, two jobs in the entertainment industry, while severely low down on the totem pole, might still be a good way to learn more about the various aspects of the music and entertainment business. Things personally are looking up as well. Without going into detail things have been reconciled with Cheranne and I and we're able to be friends. I'm also burying myself in a flood of new and exciting music, I can't get enough of TV on the Radio, MGMT, Kings of Leon and in time, the entire Daft Punk discography. I suppose that's all for now, until next time, thanks for the infinite amount of encouraging words and good vibes, I was needing it. Love love laters! 

Friday, 20 February 2009

After denying the fad of blogging for quite sometime, I've finally followed the advice of my parents as well as following in the foot steps of my friend Laura Palmieri and succumbed to starting and possibly updating a blog of my own. After a semester abroad in the United Kingdom, I decided to pursue a life here in Manchester. Feeling that North Carolina had taken me about as far as it possibly could, I felt a relocation was necessary and would be good for me. I settled on Manchester because during my previous semester in the land of beans and brew for breakfast, I met a wonderful young woman named Cheranne who made me happier than I have been in quite some time. Nearly two months after returning to home a lot has happened. Needless to say, my decision to depart again for the UK caused quite a stir. My parents were initially very upset with my sudden turn around and plans for a return. My friends were all a bit confused but for the most part supportive. I arrived in mid January and while things got off to a bit of a rocky start at the airport, I soon got settled in and began looking forward to the new possibilities life in Manchester would offer.

I started off staying with Cheranne, we soon realized that such a tight space was not going to be good for our relationship so I found other accommodations with my friend Lance. After a week it was time to relocate once again and my friends from the far east, Bing, Darren, Harold and Leon took me into their home where I am now living. All the while I've been searching for a job to get some income rolling in so that I may start looking into some passions of mine while I'm here. I've been very lucky to have the support of amazing people that are quickly becoming very close friends. Sad to say Cheranne and I are no longer together and while I could go on at great lengths about this subject, the purpose of this blog is not to spill my guts about that sore spot in my heart, I mention it only to keep all up to date.

On the bright side, I'm meeting new people and have two viable and seemingly lucrative job options. One is at the catering agency Berkely Scott where I start tomorrow as a waiter at Manchester United's football stadium Old Trafford. I look forward to learning more about the ins and outs of 'real football' while making a living as well. I am becoming passionate about the sport and look forward to having it become a larger part of my life both playing and observing. The second opportunity for employment is at the Manchester Evening New Arena, which is Manchester's large arena that hosts various headlining concerts as well as other performing acts that roll through North England. If all goes well, I will be working both jobs and not only making good money, but picking up various tips and tools of these two interesting trades. 

As most of you know, my biggest passion in this world is music, playing, listening, watching etc. Music in any form interests me and there is something inborn that makes music so exciting to me. Manchester is a great city for music and I fully intend to explore and take advantage of everything the city has to offer in terms of music. I have discovered that music journalism is a possible path for my future that would be satisfying creatively and make me infinitely happy while hopefully be a good means for income. This is seeming like a great city to cultivate the skill of music journalism and I hope that it is something that I can continue for many years to come. In terms of playing, being without my drums for over a month has made things all the more difficult. My good friend Gary who is a guitarist did some research and found a studio that rents studio space and can provide a full set of drums at a reasonable rental price. Renting some time at this studio has become a fairly large desire and I can't wait to not only start playing drums again to hop in the saddle and play music with others again. I'm hoping that making music can help fill a void in my life that has grown as a result of Cheranne's departure.

That seems to bring things up to date for now so I may take off until I am inspired or prodded to write something else.