Thursday, August 28, 2008
On the last day of the convention I called the concierge at MGM and was walked through the various options. Being a newbie, a standard 50 minute was selected and the butterflies in my stomach began.
The next day I checked into the MGM with about 40 minutes to wolf down some lunch and find the spa. I found the spa with 15 to spare and nervously approached the first welcome desk. One of the three lovely ladies behind the desk asked if she could help me. Being a little punchy and uptight about the impending procedure I responded with; “I'm scheduled for a 1:00 PM haircut.” She didn’t get it but her cohorts did. We shared a laugh, I paid for the massage and was on my way through the magic frosted glass doors.
As the doors closed behind me, all of the noise of the world went away. All that was left was a silence I hadn’t heard in weeks. It was beyond peaceful. I walked along a nice stone and vegetation path to the entrance to the spa. They asked for me receipt and took me on a tour of the facilities. Lockers here, dry sauna here, wet sauna here, Jacuzzi tub here, showers here, the only clock on the wall here, etc, etc. I dropped everything in my pockets into a lock box and was handed flip flops.
After changing into a very soft robe, I made my way into the waiting room, where healthy snacks and freshly made juices awaited me. I was starting to comprehend why this was costing me an arm and a leg. I found a newspaper, something I hadn’t seen in a week and a half, a comfy chair, and enjoyed the quiet.
My name was called just as I was finishing the paper. I was led down another hallway while I nervously told my masseuse that this was my first time and that she had to be gentle. She assured me everything was going to be alright.
And she was right. After overcoming the initial shock of being covered in hot oil, it was great. Except for the few moments of, “Wow that came close to being painful.” it was a fantastic experience. 50 minutes later, I showered, shaved and left feeling like an entirely new person. I was still sore but the pain was gone. I don't know if I'll ever want to receive a massage at home, but this is my new post-convention tradition.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
After checking in on Thursday, I was starving for lunch but only had 40 minutes to find food and get to my 1:00 massage appointment at the spa (shut up). At this point finding any food and being on time outweighed finding quality food. Luckily the Stage Deli, right off the sports book, was on the way to the spa.
I had read good things about Stage Deli, but none of the on line reports prepared me for eating a pastrami sandwich that melted in my mouth. My hetero travel partner, Kit, claimed his sandwich to be; "the best ham and cheese ever".
So yes, the food lives up to the hype, but as an added tidbit of information; the Stage Deli flies all of their own specially prepared meats in from NYC daily. For a snack or for lunch; Stage Deli gets two thumbs up.
Tomorrow...my first time at a spa (shut up)
Monday, August 25, 2008
But last week Troy died and I've dealt with it with the emotional maturity of a four year old; pouting, crying, and stomping my feet. All in vain.
Spontaneously crying while trying to load in sound and lights and deal with talent and convention/banquet staff, makes for awkward conversation. Example:
"Can I get you a Kleenex and exactly which two points do you want the 7th piece of truss hung from?"I'm fairly certain some of these people think I'm crazy. But I was just pissed that I couldn't get home for the funeral. I desperately wanted to say goodbye to a person who didn't deserve to die. The closest I got was toasting his life with Chris, Monika, and Kit. I know my eyes welled up at that moment and I think I saw Chris's do the same. But it could have been the dry air.
I'm not going to pretend I was close to Troy. I hadn't talked to him in years. I wrote him a few emails while he was in the hospital, but I never made the time to go see him.
Others have written more eloquently about Troy but I'll leave it at this. Troy was the kindest man I have ever met. He was never short with me and always had a smile on his face whenever I saw him. He was someone that good men can be measured by and this world is a worse place without him. I don't think I could write that about anyone else.
Why do the good ones have to die so early?
To know that Troy suffered before dying infuriates me. He suffered for no reason. None.
Troy's death has further cemented my belief that there is no god. What kind of loving god allows a good man suffer for months, then just as things are looking up, snuff out his life as if it never mattered?
Not believing in god allows the idea that Troy's diagnosis and death were truly random. Not believing in god allows the idea that cancer chose him instead of a non-caring, non-loving, or apathetic god allowed cancer to invade Troy's body. Not believing in god omits the part that a lazy god sat on the sidelines while Troy's final months were filled with pain and his final days clouded by a drug filled haze.
I hate death.
I hate that we have entered the stage in our lives where people we know and love start dying with greater frequency.
And I hate that this world doesn't have Troy in it anymore.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
With that said, a typical midtown vagrant assaulted me as I walked back from lunch. I use the word; "assaulted" loosely as the
I was so shocked that this had actually happened, that I turned and began loudly berating the woman as she crossed North Avenue. It turns out that the more surprised I am, the poorer my English becomes. I yelled such great sentences as;
"OHS NO!!! NOT HIT PEOPLE WOMAN!!!"Followed by;
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU DO!?!?! NO HITS!!!"
I'm sure the people on the other side of the street took me for an albino Cuban national still learning the subtle nuances of the language.
She then smacked her ass with the newspaper and said; "Fuck Off".
Big day. Thank you Atlanta.
Friday, August 08, 2008
-Iliza Shlesinger won NBC's Last Comic Standing last night. Hail Zenu for DVR and the power of fast forwarding to speed through the lame reality portions to get to the juicy stand up bits. From day one, I rooted for Iliza. She wasn't the most talented or naturally gifted, but she was the hardest worker with the most drive. And very very funny. She made me laugh every time she took the stage. Here's hoping she does something with her fifteen minutes.
-Am I the only person that doesn't give two bits about Brett Farve? The media is trying to make me think that I should. Eff them.
-Tomorrow will be my first two days off in a row in four weeks. I'm grinning thinking about 5:00 PM. Hot death to anyone who calls before noon on Saturday.
-My first Vegas trip of the year is right around the corner. I am not prepared.
-Brian Bates equals lame. NSFW.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
After going through my hand histories from two recent tournaments I discovered that I've only been playing about 7.5% of the hands. Waaaayyyy too conservative and tight. With this in mind, and giving some thought as to how and when I should open up my starting hand qualifications; I decided to give it a go.
Results. I kept even with the stack average for the first hour. Hour two I broke into the top 50 and I spent the majority of hour three in the top ten, slipping out only momentarily after doubling up a donkey. I took him out four hands later. I went card dead in hour four and after losing a race (77/AK) that would have put me as the chip leader, I finished 45 (or 46) out of 2100 for a nice cash of $450. Not great when you consider that 1st paid out 30k, but it was a decent return for the time invested.
Dear Mr. Sauvé:
I am in receipt of correspondence sent regarding your recent interaction with our MGM Grand Reservations staff. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention, as they provide us with the information necessary to evaluate our performance.
I regret any inconvenience experienced due to confusion regarding your reservation status. MGM Grand strives to create the Las Vegas resort destination our guests have always imagined by providing premier hotel facilities and the highest level of customer service possible. Unfortunately, Mr. Sauvé, in your case we fell short of our goal.
As a gesture of good will, I would like to extend to you a complimentary one night stay in our Deluxe accommodations. You may contact our Hotel Operations administrative office at (702) [Redacted] for assistance with combining this to your existing reservation. The offer is valid for one year from the date of this letter and subject to availability.
We truly value your patronage, Mr. Sauvé, and look forward to you experiencing MGM Grand in the manner intended.
Hotel Operations Manager
cc: Gamal Aziz, President/CEO MGM/Mirage Hospitality
My first reaction was; "HOLY FAT NAKED ELVIS ON A STICK!" Taking the time to write a letter actually worked!!!
My second reaction was utter amazement that they used an accent aigu and spelled my last name correctly.
I called the hotel operations office and true to form they comped the first night of my upcoming stay and told me to bring a copy of my letter just in case.
At the end of all this; I'm staying in a suite for three nights and only paying for two. The bill before taxes comes $220. If MGM had just honored the original deal, I would have paid a total $210 for a regular room and their image across the web would never have been tarnished.
But I'm not complaining. I'm pretty stoked and pleased with the results thus far. Vegas in 6 days.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Russell Sauve to DawgsGoneBlog; Aug 2 (4 days ago)
Why did you purchase a URL so similar to an already established Georgia sports Blog? At first glance it appears that your site exists just to make money off of someone else's reputation and hard work. Any information you'd like to share would be most appreciative.
Dawgs GoneBlog to Russell 11:25 AM (22 hours ago)
Russ: It has been brought to my attention that the URL http://kitkitchens.blogspot.com/ is a blog called The Dawg-Gone Blog. I really had not heard of KitKitchens.blogspot.com when I started this thing up in July. The URL I choose was a play on the user name I have used on the DawgVent/Chat for the last seven years or so (DawgsGoneWild).
As you can see, it was a natural fit and I thought I was being pretty clever with the name. I was supprised the URL was available for purchase. I wonder why http://kitkitchens.blogspot.com/ did not buy that URL or one similar to it?
Russell Sauve to Dawgs show details 11:38 AM (22 hours ago)
Kit did purchase dawggoneblog.com. Georgiasports.blogpost.com even links to it and titles it as that name.
Russell Sauve to Dawgs; 11:41 AM (22 hours ago)
Sorry, my mistake, I meant georgiasports.blogspot.com. Surely someone that has been around the Georgia blogosphere as much as you have would have seen posts linked to the Dawg Gone Blog.
Dawgs GoneBlog to Russell; 1:28 PM (20 hours ago)
Sorry, I had not come across it before. I do read the http://georgiasports.blogspot.com/. He does not have Kit's blog under his "Top UGA Blogs and Sites" list. I do now see it under the drop down list under other blogs.
Not sure what to say other than the more Dawg info on the Web, the better.
Russell Sauve to Dawgs;10:53 PM (11 hours ago)
Unfortunately, your actions of deleting comments, and not responding, speak more loudly, than whatever you intended by your name and URL choice. A reasonable person would think it would behoove you to make a public statement or to reach out to Kit publicly to put this to bed.
Dawgs GoneBlog to me, allyugadawg, jamieandphilip; 8:39 AM (1 hour ago)
As far as deleting comments...I did so because they were making false assumptions
based on an incorrect domain registration address....and I am responding.
I posted this on the comments section of the blog....There seems to be some confusion over the this blog due to an
incorrect domain registration address (which has been corrected).
There is no affiliation with a large media entity. LMD is a glorified Tax i.d. that a buddy of mine in Atlanta has for his one man, home based Internet business. He was nice enough to allow me to park this domain here for now.
I am sorry if I offended anyone by inadvertently naming this blog in a way that resembles your friend's blog. I sure his blog is great.
As far as this blog goes, I am just looking for an outlet to write about my passion for Georgia Football and to learn a little more about the nuances Internet.
I have a list of things I'd like to say and a longer list of things I shouldn't. I've shortened it to three items and I'd be interested in hearing any one's thoughts on the above correspondence.
1) "false assumption based on incorrect information"? The assumptions were correct based on the information given. I'm still not convinced that this is not an employee of a newspaper company. Just because you say it isn't so after you've been caught.
2) "incorrect domain registration address"? Incorrect? Who creates their user profile so erroneously that isn't even in the same city. This is not a user error, like misspelling your street name. This was misleading on purpose.
3) If you're going to apologize for "offending anyone", do it in a post and not buried in a comment where no one will read it. And while you're at it, how about an actual apology, and not a half-assed one.
But this is obviously going nowhere. I'm reminded of some advice a friend gave me when I started blogging. "Winning an argument on the Internet is like competing at the Special Olympics. Sure you might win, but you're still fucking retarded."
With that said, I'm done dealing with this person. His/her lack of common decency leads me to believe that this is as much of a waste of time as reading their poorly written and ill conceived posts.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Here's the letter I snail mailed to the CEO of MGM Grand. Tomorrow I'll post the response that I received today.
Tomorrow, the response.
Dear Mr. Aziz,
Each summer for the past five years, I have traveled to Las Vegas to run a small convention. At the conclusion of each convention I check into a MGM/Mirage property to rest, recover, drink, dine, and gamble. I have never had an issue with customer service at any MGM/Mirage property until July 11th.
On July 10, 2008 I used the MGM Grand's online reservation system to book a three night stay in August. I received a room rate of $69.99 per night and after completing the MGM's online reservation system, I received the following email;
"It is our pleasure to confirm your reservation, and we look forward to welcoming you as a guest to our hotel. This e-mail is notification that your reservation has been confirmed, and your credit card has been charged for the first night's room plus tax. The total deposit amount charged to your credit card is $75.21. We are pleased to confirm your arrival on, [Redacted], with a departure date on, [Redacted]. Your confirmation number is [Redacted]."
As of July 11th, my credit card had not been charged so I called the MGM reservation line to double check that my room was secure.
I was shocked to learn that my reservation had been canceled and canceled without any notification. It was further explained to me by a very impatient customer service representative; that I "HAD" (not "would" but "HAD") received an email and a phone call to inform me of the cancellation. As of July 12th, I have not received an email or phone call informing me of the cancellation.
I am appalled that I was allowed to make a reservation, turn over my credit card information and have a reservation confirmed, only to be told; "Sorry, that event code is no longer valid". But it was valid when I made my reservation. I was allowed to make the reservation, so how could it not be valid? It is even more horrific that I would have my reservation canceled without any notification. I should not have to be responsible for checking to make sure my reservation was secure once I have received a confirmation number. If not, what is the purpose of a confirmation number?
I explained to the representative why this situation was unacceptable and I was quickly forwarded to her supervisor, Kristyn Laporte. While the first person I spoke to was curt and unfriendly, Kristyn was the opposite. She was charming, kind, sympathetic and willing to do what she could to try and help solve two horrific customer service issues. Kristen's only solution was a room at $109.99 per night that she would upgrade to a Bungalow Suite. She said this was the best rate she could offer. I accepted this as the truth, accepted the offer, and booked the room.
I am writing today to make sure that my reservation is solvent and that I will have no further problems with my room, its rate or location. My new confirmation number is [Redacted]. I certainly expect that my check in will be seamless and that food and beverage comps will be offered to help restore my lost faith in the MGM/Mirage brand.
Front Desk Manager
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Kit's hard work is reflected by the volume of readers he receives (during football season) and the numerous blogs that link to him. While there are ads on his blog, I know that he is not driven to write by money, but rather his love for the University of Georgia. Dawg Gone Blog is a labor of love.
For the record, I believe myself to be a reasonable person.
I'm all for more online opinions/news/insights on the University of Georgia's athletic programs. I subscribe to many UGA, SEC and college football blogs and this is not an issue of having another source of information. This is about earning your place and not sneaking in the back door without slipping the bouncer a c-note or tip or giving a tip of the hat. I've given this person multiple times to explain and each time I've been greeted with silence and deleted comments.
URL squatters or those that attempt to up their technorati ranking, sitemeter numbers, or obtain money by using the talents of another without their permission will never have my respect or support. I hope that others will follow suit.