May 30

Funniest thing you’ll see today

If you haven’t seen any of the “Literal” music video series, you’re totally missing out.

This is my new favorite. Tears in my eyes, even.

Mullet with Headlights!!!!

I’m totally using that the next time we perform this song with my band, Total Eclipse.

May 20

American Idol Season 8: Final Performances

It’s FINALE time!

I know, many of you couldn’t be happier that my blog will return to sporadic posts about nothing American Idol related.

But I’m actually sad to see the season end. I really do love critiquing the singers, and I truly enjoy the conversations these blog posts start (usually off line or on social networks).

Last week, Danny Gokey went home in a bit of a shocker.

The shocker is that America finally voted the way I told them to!

 

It’s a head-to-head battle between Adam Lambert, the flamboyant, scream queen, and Kris Allen, the triangle-mouthed, married church boy.

If you look at it in just the right way, there’s a bit of a reflection of American culture happening here… the battle between the gays and the godlys. The rock and roller versus the singer-songwriter. The fangirls versus, well, the other fangirls.

My thinking at the beginning of the show is that it will be very hard for Kris to beat Adam. It can be done, but it’s going to be hard.

Each contestant will perform 3 songs, the first being the contestant’s favorite from the competition so far, the second chosen by Simon Fuller, the creator of the show, and the third a single co-written by Kara.

Adam Lambert is up first and has chosen “Mad World” as his flashback performance. Controlled, pitch-perfect, and as good as the first performance. Randy gave him an “A+” for effort. Kara loved the performance choice. Paula is just unbelievably proud. Simon thought it was a bit over-theatrical tonight.

Kris Allen’s flashback choice is “Ain’t No Sunshine.” This was the performance that really made me a Kris fan. Tonight’s version is spectacular with the full orchestra behind him on the piano. He switched up the arrangement a little more for this show. Outstanding. Randy rambled on about the Lakers for some reason. He thought this was one of Kris’s best performances ever. Kara said he created an intimate bond with the audience. Paula called him a great artist. Simon wasn’t sure that America made the right choice putting Kris in the finale, but he has since decided after this performance that America was absolutely right.

Simon calls Round 1 for Kris.

“A Change is Gonna Come” is the song that Simon Fuller chose for Adam. This is a strange song choice in my mind. The original Sam Cooke song is amazing… Unless Simon Fuller is really playing on the gay card here, comparing the struggle of gays to the civil rights struggle of blacks in the 60s, which make it a brilliant choice. That being said, I hated this version. The melody is challenging enough without all the vocal gymnastics that Adam insisted on performing. There was no need to add his scream here. We all know he can do it, we all have heard it in every single song he’s performed up to this point. We get it. Why can’t you perform the song a little less scream-o, dear Adam? Randy called it “unbelievable.” Kara called it his best performance and interpretation of the season. Paula called it the best she’s ever heard him sing. Simon called him “100% back in the game.”

Simon Fuller picked “What’s Goin’ On” for Kris. Another R&B pick from the Marvin Gaye songbook. A small acoustic setup for this one. I love this interpretation, he’s stuck close to the melody, but changed up the rhythms and feel to fit with the bongos and the acoustic guitar. Loved it. Randy thought the song choice was great, but didn’t think it was big enough for the finale. Kara thought it was a great performance. Paula thought he tore that song up and made Marvin proud. Simon thought it sounded like it was 3 friends playing along to Marvin Gaye. He thought it was too laid back.

Simon calls Round 2 for Adam.

Adam is back to sing the new single co-written by Kara, “No Boundaries.” So. I don’t know if it’s just Adam’s arrangement, or if the song is really meant to have this weird frantic feel to it. It seems as though Adam was trying to sing the song faster than the band was playing it… almost as though they started at the wrong tempo and Adam was trying to push them along. It seemed very rushed and choppy. I could have heard this song being done a bit slower with perhaps a more gospel feel to it… maybe with a big choir? This is the first time I can ever remember thinking that a song was bigger than Adam. Randy thought it was just “all right.” Kara thanked him for giving her and the writers a good moment. Paula said he can sing anything. Simon said he wouldn’t judge the song, but just judge Adam. He called him one of the most original contestants ever on the show, and believes that they have found a world-wide star.

Kris is taking the stage for the last performance of the competition. He’s singing the same song, “No Boundaries.” It will be interesting to see how he arranges and interprets the song. The tempo is a bit slower. But it seems as though Kris might be having a little trouble hearing himself, or the song’s range is just slightly out of reach. It’s not quite right. Randy called him an amazing performer and thinks the song fits his voice better than Adam. Kara thought the song was in too high of a key, and hopes that he doesn’t get judged on that one song. Paula called him compelling. Simon called his progress on the show amazing.

Wow.

So, it really has been one of the most interesting seasons of American Idol. The contestants are showing more artistic ability than ever before.

I really don’t care which two of these guys win. I have reasons for wanting either of them to get the title. I will say that I am more likely to rush out to buy a Kris Allen album before an Adam Lambert album.

I think Adam will win.

What do you think? Did Adam trounce Kris tonight?

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May 13

American Idol Season 8: Top 3 Perform

We’re getting down to the wire folks. Last week, in somewhat of a shocker, we got to say goodbye to the last remaining girl, Allison Iraheta. She was also the youngest remaining contestant, which is what my biggest complaint was about her from day one.

After she’s had a few years to get her heart broken, drink too much, take one too many pills, and crash several cars cars, she will be a much better artist and performer. Yes, that’s right, I’m totally suggesting that Allison go out and overdose on heroin once or twice to make her a little more authentic. Does that constitute contributing to the delinquency of a minor?
It’s not like I’m giving her the heroin, or showing her how to cook it, draw it into the syringe, find a vein, inject it, and shit herself…

Anyway, I digress.

 

It’s down to the Top Three, which means it’s time for the contestants to go back to their hometowns for the inevitable ceremony where they are handed the “key to the city.”

I’ve been in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small towns and cities on multiple continents and have never ever, not once, seen any lock that looks as though it might need the “key to the city” to open it. Do you think it’s possible that the keys open special “batcaves” under city hall?

Tonight is also the night that the judges pick a song for each contestant.

Danny Gokey is taking the stage first with his selection from Paula Abdul, “Dance Little Sister” by Terrance Trent D’Arby. So, yeah. this song is so far nothing much but alot of shouting and growling. There isn’t much melody, and what there is, Danny is basically shouting in a monotone. I did not love this at all. Randy called it “dope.” Kara didn’t like his dancing. Paula thought his dancing was “really good.” And thought he did fantastic with it. Simon thought it was vocally very good, but wished he had picked a different Terrance Trent D’Arby song.

Kris Allen is up next. Kara and Randy picked “Apologize” by OneRepublic for him. He’s staying pretty close to the original arrangement and melody. He is doing a great job with this song, though. It’s a great pick for him, perfect style, great range and he’s nailed it. Randy thinks this shows exactly who Kris could be as a recording artist. Kara called it “competent” but didn’t didn’t think he interpreted it well. Paula heard a “bum note” that was loud and she’s disappointed that he didn’t change the song up more. Simon and Kara argued about the interpretation. The only thing he said was that he did a fine job on the song, but not as good as the original.

I am obviously at odds with the judges already.

Adam Lambert was given “One” by U2 by Simon. This is a brilliant song. Except. I absolutely hate Adam’s interpretation of this song. The opening verse was beautiful… but when the band kicked in and the chorus started, it took a turn into this really weird side street where drag queens wearing banana leotards and Freddy Krueger masks are playing craps with the entire cast of “West Side Story.” What I mean to say is the song became utterly and totally unrecognizable. The judges will likely love this. Randy called it an “unbelievable” vocal, but didn’t like the melody changes. Kara called him an amazing strategist. She called it “unbelievable.” Paula called it “one brilliant performance from one american idol.” Simon called it a “brilliant song choice.” He called it a brilliant performance and said that if Adam isn’t in the final, it will be the biggest upset in Idol history.

Wait, what’s this? Idol Gives Back? Thought we scrapped this year, even though it was my favorite night of the Idol season. Carrie Underwood is running around handing out malaria nets in Angola. Sponsored by ExxonMobil. Must be oil under Africa.

The contestants are back to sing their choice for the week. The second chance to “sing for their lives.”

Danny picked “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. This song just bugs the shit out of me. The lyrics are too simple, too repetitive, and of course there’s that horrible note at the end of Joe’s version that makes me want to claw my ears off my head. Danny is making up new lyrics and melodies. Seriously, those lyrics do not exist in the song… wonder how they get around publishing issues with that? It was just an ok performance. It was safe, boring (as we’ve come to expect from Danny), and consistent, sort of like white bread. Nothing special. Randy says, “You can really really really sing.” Kara called it “stunning.” Paula was left “breathless.” Simon didn’t like the arrangement, but since it is a singing competition, he called it a “vocal master class.”

Kris picked “Heartless” by Kanye West. What? Come again? Ok, I’m pretty sure this song doesn’t start with an acoustic guitar, but Kris’s version does. I’m suddenly reminded of that guy that did the acoustic cover of “Hey Ya” by Outkast a couple of years ago. It’s just Kris and his guitar. No band accompaniment. And he might have just saved his spot in the finale with this song. It was cool, it was different, the vocals were spot on pitch. Kris is certainly the dark horse who I truly believe deserves a spot in the finale over Danny. Randy likes Kris’s version better than Kanye’s. Kara called it bold, brave, and fearless. Paula called him the bravest artist and called him “relevant.” Simon had “written Kris out” after his first performance, but has completely changed his mind. The performance was fantastic.

Adam’s back for his last performance, “Cryin” by Aerosmith. Here’s the deal, that song, and Steven Tyler, are already pretty theatrical and flamboyant. To take that song and amp up the theatrics and push the song a few notes higher seems a bit corny to me. That being said, there is absolutely no denying that Adam has an incredible vocal range and it’s hard to take your eyes off him when he’s performing. Randy called him “one of the best we’ve ever had on this stage.” Kara wants to know how he hits those high notes. Paula says we’ll be seeing Adam next week in the finale. Simon says he deserves to be in the final based on his talent.

This is truly one of the most difficult seasons to predict. The votes are going to be extremely close.

Here’s my pick:

  1. Kris Allen
  2. Adam Lambert
  3. Danny Gokey

How I think the voting it will go:

  1. Adam Lambert
  2. Danny Gokey
  3. Kris Allen

Danny has never been in the bottom three this season. Not once. He’s also consistently delivered safe performances that were totally stroked by the judges; plus he’s got that whole “sensitive young widower” thing going on, which is going to give him the edge over the other cute churchy boy, Kris.

Though, I hope America realizes that Kris will make a much better artist with a much bigger range and a much better chance at being a longterm success.

So what do you think? Who is going to be in the finale?

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May 08

I Highly Doubt This Applies To You

Stealing from Hilly who stole from Avitable who stole from….

Ten Things I Wish I Could Say or That I Should Say to Certain People:

  1. I refuse to let you make me feel guilty anymore. You let others get away with far worse offenses.
  2. Fuck with me or my family/friends one more time and your body will never be found. I know a guy.
  3. You were my puppet and I only kept you around because manipulating you gave me something to do. You only think you became a real person and walked away. I just handed the strings to someone else.
  4. I often wish I had your life. Then I remember that I did. And it sucked. Can I have it back?
  5. Fuck you for being a shitty friend and not coming to me to discuss things before cutting me out of your life.
  6. Interfere with my plans again and you’ll be sharing space with #2 above.
  7. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. Problem is, I don’t want to grow up. Do you see the conundrum?
  8. You have a starring role in most of my favorite memories and I’m sorry that I don’t talk to you more often, it just pains me to see you like that. Knock it off, wouldja?
  9. If I had known then what I know now, I would have spent the night with you instead.
  10. I am so repulsed by you that the mere mention of your name makes me want to hurl. Please die in a grease fire.

Have anything YOU want to get off your chest?

May 08

No More Kings New Album GiveAway!

I totally gushed over No More Kings first, self-titled album back in September. It was easily my favorite music discovery of 2008, and is at least in my top 10 of the 2000’s.

You may also remember that the lead singer for the band, Pete, found my gushing post and struck up a conversation which ultimately lead to him sharing some of the tracks from the new album, “And the Flying Boombox” with me several months ago.

In this weird world of social media, twitter, facebook, email, and impersonal personal conversations, I’ve managed to pester stalk converse with Pete on a semi-regular basis.

Which leads me to sharing with you probably the strangest twitter conversation I’ve ever had…

See, he has a thing for Zombies. The first album contains a song “Zombie Me” that is downright hysterical and full of awesome. He’s also got a whole set of cool zombie art on his website.

All the Zombies in the house say "uuuuhhhhhhh...."

That background leads to this conversation that took place this past week (read from the bottom up, as Tweetie puts things in reverse chronological order):

Zombie Socks, WTF?

Zombie Socks, WTF?

Yes, I know, I am a total dork. I’m ok with that.

So that brings us to today.

I pre-ordered “And The Flying Boombox” (and albums from two other bands that sounded intriguing, “Aranda” and “Soular”) from the Astonish store. The album won’t be released until Tuesday, May 12th, but I received mine today.

And as a special bonus, Pete threw in an extra copy.

The new album "And the Flying Boombox" from No More Kings available May 12, 2009

I’ve decided to give it away to the person who leaves in the comments of this post the strangest (out of context) tweet they’ve sent. Funny, sad, just plain weird… whatever. I want to know that my talking about zombie socks isn’t the weirdest thing out there.

You’ve got until Tuesday to send out your strange tweets (if you want to get real creative between now and then) and leave them here in comments. Multiple entries are allowed.

Sure you could just wait until Tuesday to buy your own copy (and you should, it’s GREAT)… OR you could download the song “Obey the Groove” by No More Kings for free right now.

But then you wouldn’t get the bragging rights of getting rewarded for having sent the strangest tweet.

And I’m eager to share that title.

Understandably.

By the way, you can follow me on twitter @jestertunes, or friend me on facebook.

 
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May 06

American Idol Season 8: Top 4 Perform

Last week, Matt went home after a shocking bottom three that put Adam and Kris in danger. I’m sad to see Matt go, but it’s probably for the best… he’s likely to put out the best album if history repeats itself this year…

This week the theme is “Rock and Roll” and the guest mentor is… Slash!?

What the fuck does Slash know about being a rock singer? He’s a good guitarist, but really… this is a singing competition, not an ugly guitarist competition.

Last week’s mentor, Jamie Foxx was an unmitigated disaster. What’s going on with the mentor choices?

Apparently tonight the contestants are going to pair up and do duets. That’s new and potentially disastrous.

 

Adam Lambert has picked “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. I’m not sure that anyone has ever done a Zep song on Idol before. I’m a HUGE Led Zeppelin fan. I think Adam’s voice is perfectly suited for covering Robert Plant. While I can’t say that I love all his ad libs, because the original version really didn’t need any improving upon, I have to totally bow to Adam for making this song look absolutely effortless. I can tell you from experience that singing Zep songs is HARD FUCKING WORK. To make it look that easy? Just give him the fucking title of American Idol right now, and let’s watch the drama unfold in the fight for second place. Randy called him a “rock star.” Kara called him a “rock GOD.” Paula called it a “Whole Lotta Perfect.” Simon sarcastically called the performance “understated.” He called it one of his favorite performances Adam has done and “nobody can top that.”

Ryan Seacrest confirmed that this is the first time Led Zeppelin has ever been performed on American Idol.

THIS JUST IN: WATER IS WET. SANTA CLAUS IS NOT REAL. RAINBOWS ARE PRETTY, AND ALLISON IRAHETA IS PERFORMING A JANIS JOPLIN SONG. If you didn’t see that coming from space, you should just unplug your life support right now. She’s picked “Cry Baby” from the Joplin songbook. I’m feeling like a broken record at this point. My biggest issue with Allison has been and remains the fact that she’s just too fucking young to do these songs. She did a fine job at basically copying Janis’s version. What’s missing is that total X-Factor. The hard-to-define connection between the song, the singer, and the audience. I’ve never gotten it from her. Not once. She was by FAR the best girl singer in the competition this year, but when compared to the supernova abilities of Adam, the hipster vibe from Kris, or the blue-eyed soulboy Danny, she just leaves me with unmet expectations. I suspect the judges will eat this up, however. Randy did not love the song choice. Kara called the choice of a Janis song was right, but she picked the wrong Janis song. She thinks “Piece of My Heart” would have been a better choice. Paula thinks that Allison should play Janis in the next biopic. Simon thought it was a terrific vocal, though she tried to sound too much like Janis.

The first duet is up: Kris Allen and Danny Gokey are performing “Renegade” by Styx. Fucking killer song. I don’t know if there will be judging after this, but I thoroughly enjoyed that song. I think the song was perfect for Kris. A bit of a stretch for Danny. They each had a couple of what the hell moments in there, but the harmonies were great. Oh look, there are judge’s comments… Randy thought the harmonies were great. Kara thought the song choice was surprising and the “sum was greater than the parts” and she wondered if maybe they couldn’t hear themselves as they had some pitch problems. Paula called it “powerful and compelling.” Simon thought Danny was better than Kris.

Kris Allen has chosen a Beatles song, “Come Together.” It’s pretty difficult to cover a Beatles song and do something to it that makes it interesting and fun. While the band arrangement was pretty faithful to the original, Kris took some liberties with the melody and phrasing that made what could have been a really overdone song sound fresh and new. He’s not got the strongest voice, but he is a far better “artist” than Danny. His pitch was good and I know he’s going to make a fantastic recording artist. Honestly, I’ve only purchased two of the Idol performances this season so far. They have both been Kris Allen… “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Falling Slowly.” In my mind, that says a whole lot. He’s not signed to a label yet, and I have already shelled out some cash for his music. Randy liked the vocals, but thought his guitar playing was fantastic. Kara called him “the softer side of rock” but she didn’t think it was a great performance. Paula called it risky to do a Beatles song. She called him an “artist” who needs a bit more energy. Simon didn’t like it that much. He thought it was safe and boring.

Danny Gokey picked “Dream On” by Aerosmith. When I think of Danny Gokey, I think more Joe Cocker and definitely do not think of Steven Tyler. I don’t see how he’s going to pull off the scream at the end. His timing is terrible. At one point he was almost a full beat behind the band.

And the scream?

Picture a thousand cats in a giant room full of rocking chairs, hyenas, and a wailing banshee let loose from the sixth level of hell and you will just barely begin to comprehend the sound that Danny made on the climax of this song.

I fully expected to see his vocal chords jump out of his throat, land on the stage and flop around like a wounded salmon.

That is to say, I hated this. I hated every second of it. Randy called it just “alright” but gave him an A+ for effort. Kara thought he took the swagger critique too far.

Then.

She said the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard her say before… and I quote:

“I don’t see you on this type of song. I see you more early Aerosmith: ‘Cryin,’ ‘Crazy’ …”

Ok. It’s clear to me that Kara doesn’t know shit about pop music. “Dream On” came out in 1976. “Crazy” and “Cryin” came out in 1993. Now, I’m not a mathemagician or anything… but even *I* know that 1976 < 1993 and “early Aerosmith” doesn’t include anything made after 1980, you dumb slut.

Paula didn’t think he picked the right song. Simon said the last note was like watching a horror movie. He thought it was over the top, but thinks that Danny will be safe tonight.

The last performance of the night is a duet from Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta. They’ve picked “Slow Ride” by Foghat. This is just a terrible fucking song for a singer to do. It’s got almost no melody. No lyrics… nothing but some screams and blech. This was awful. Randy called it “the bomb.” Kara thought they were pushing each other to be better. Paula called it a “perfect blend, perfect marriage.” Simon said they win in the battle of the duets.

So, here’s my ranking based on tonight’s performances:

  1. Adam Lambert
  2. Kris Allen
  3. Allison Iraheta
  4. Danny Gokey

Though I don’t think this is the ranking order that will be called out tomorrow. I think America will continue their love affair with Danny, putting Allison, and sadly, Kris in danger. And I’m very worried that Kris may find himself on the losing side of that battle.

What do you think? Who’s going home? Are you able to think about Danny’s last note without cringing and hoping that your brains don’t leak out of your ruptured eardrums?

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May 04

My Resignation

As some of you may know, I recently split with my last employer. I was the Director of Marketing for a west-coast based travel agency specializing in cruise vacation sales. A lot of stupid shit went down, but things sort of culminated in a whirlwind weekend back in March. I had reached the end of my rope and at the same time discovered that my job was posted on Craigslist as an open position… while I was still in that position.

I sent a resignation letter giving two week’s notice offering to show someone how to maintain the website I had recently launched and was TERMINATED the following morning.

Let me emphasize for the record here: I was, in fact, TERMINATED by the VP while an HR rep was present on the phone. I had conferenced in a couple of people (some of whom still work for the company) to serve as witnesses to the termination. (The company does not know there was anyone else on the phone with us. ) I’m emphasizing this because the company tried to contest my unemployment status and ultimately failed.

Since my separation with the company, I have had no direct contact with anyone in management at the company. This has not stopped the company from using my name in court documents as a “potential witness” in an ongoing lawsuit between the company and the previous CEO who is being accused of stealing clients and employees. (An allegation that I don’t believe, though to be fair, I never met the previous CEO.)

In fact, documents submitted to the court last week suggest that I helped prepare documents and testimony as recently as March 31st.

This is not possible, since I was TERMINATED (like how I fit that in again?) on March 9th.

Anyway, now that you have a little bit of background, I want to present to you “the resignation heard around the world.” I’m redacting some information just to keep google from picking up EVERYTHING. (You’ll understand why by the end.)

Yes, this is REALLY the letter that I sent to all members of upper management, human resources, my replacement, anyone who was mentioned by name, and a select few other recipients who I felt might find the information contained within of interest.

To all it may concern,

It has become quite clear to me that my talents and skills as a problem solver, critical thinker and ethical business person are no longer a good match for the [COMPANY NAME] brand.

Effective March 23rd 2009, I have decided to return to freelance marketing and web design, where I do not have to deal with constant lies, manipulation, unethical business practices, immoral and abusive personal interactions, and a complete lack of respect for the people who are responsible for the success of the company.

My reasons are as follows:

  • Constant pressure to perform co-op collection in an unethical and most likely illegal manner. Cruise Lines offer co-op as matching funds, not a source of revenue, regardless of what other agency owners at TAMS may (or may not) say about it. The IRS would also highly discourage the system of fabricating invoices and/or double billing our marketing efforts. Despite my protestations, Kevin [VP] has continued to insist this practice continue, and on at least one occasion insinuated that if I did not comply, my job would be terminated.
  • Lack of marketing budget. As of March 6, 2009, I have still not received a marketing budget. I have heard numbers tossed around, but have nothing to use as a guideline for making media buys.
  • Circumvention with cruise line reps. As Marketing Director, one of my primary job responsibilities should be to serve as the primary point of contact for cruise line reps for marketing plans, co op requests, media buys, and to some extent customer service issues that have the potential to scuff the [COMPANY NAME] brand. At nearly every step of the way, I have been circumvented and found that co op requests were being made to reps without my knowledge, and “deals” were being crafted that I was not privy to. It is extremely embarrassing and disheartening to answer a query from a cruise line rep about a marketing proposal or media purchase that I was not even aware of.
  • I have on several occasions been asked to formulate a plan for moving the company forward, especially in light of [FORMER SUPERVISOR (FS)] and [FORMER DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS (FDOO)]’s departure. I have in good faith spent many hours outlining a plan and suggestions which have been summarily dismissed. I do not support the idea of [ANGRY WOMAN] taking on the duties previously performed by [FDOO]. I expressed my opinion that her abrasive nature would be a huge detriment to the company’s relationships with our agents and cruise reps. I offered an alternative plan that could have been entertained, whether with [BETTER QUALIFIED PERSON] in the role or not, that has obviously been nixed.
  • My role continues to be undefined. We first discussed my playing a bigger role in the company in Miami two months ago. My notes are fairly comprehensive and include org charts, discussed tasks and responsibilities. Shortly thereafter, [PRESIDENT] and Kevin [VP] both denied saying a good 80% of the things I have written. [FS] and [FDOO]’s departures were hardly a surprise, and there has been ample time and opportunity to develop a new plan. Yet I have been strung along and I get the impression that I am being tested to see just how much work I am willing to do without discussing my title and salary.
  • Pay reduction. I agreed to a 10% pay reduction in November because it was sold to me as “across the board, affecting all employees in the company.” I later discovered this was not in fact true. Not only was this not true, other members of my team were instructed to lie to me if I questioned them on their salary reduction. I was told it would be temporary, and each deadline for discussion has passed without resolution. My email requesting clarification and review went unanswered for days. The end of February came and went without any discussion.
  • Rampant misrepresentation and lies. I choose to not interact on a personal level with people who I know to be dishonest. I must also make that choice in my professional life. I do not trust or believe a word that is told to me by the management of this company. This past week alone, I have found numerous occasions where Kevin [VP] has completely misrepresented facts from conversations he claims to have had with Home Based Agents about the effectiveness of email blasts and the happiness of agents and staff with the choice of [ANGRY WOMAN]’s return.
  • Abusive and harassing behavior. One of the reasons I found it vital to my well being to work from home instead of the Berkeley office was the constant screaming and harassment of other staff members. A family dynamic is one thing, but the abuse laid on [HR SUPERVISOR] and especially [FS] would be enough in any other company to prompt legal action.
  • And let’s not pretend for another moment that the inappropriate personal relationship between Kevin [VP] and [PERSON VP WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH] was a secret. Any one who spent more than 10 minutes around Kevin [VP] in [PVPWHAAW]’s presence knew what was going on. The one thing I hate more than anything else in the world is having my intelligence underestimated. What I don’t understand is what you guys are holding over [PVPWHAAW]’s head to keep her from owning your company.

My suggestions for the future of this company (not that you asked):

  • Hire a cheap web monkey to put together emails and add new specials to the website. Do not tell him/her anything about the way co-op works or how it is billed.
  • Hire an accountant to handle commissions that understands the process and is able to devote significant time to it.
  • The Home Based Agents’s are incredibly unhappy about their pay. Other agencies are able to pay them correctly and upon receipt of the money from the cruise line. You aren’t able to compete with that.
  • Figure out how to balance the need to squeeze every ounce of money from the HBA’s, clients, and vendors with the need to keep everyone happy and engaged.
  • Understand that if you don’t invest in the right technology from companies that have a proven track record, you are never going to have a functioning online booking system.
  • Hire someone to enter bookings for agents who would rather devote time to closing sales than bookkeeping.
  • Keep Kevin [VP]’s extra curricular sexual activities out of the office, especially out of my office chair. I didn’t need to see that. All I wanted to do was collect my computer and now I can’t scrub the image of Kevin [VP] getting “serviced” out of my brain. Keep the chair, consider it my gift.

I will provide a list of all passwords and hosting information for the websites. I will return any [COMPANY NAME] computer and phone equipment, files, and keys to the office. I will also point [IT FOLKS] to the WordPress website where there is significant documentation on operating and maintaining the intranet and [COMPANY NAME] website.

I have enjoyed certain aspects of this job and really feel that had I been given the support and tools necessary, I could have done great things for [COMPANY NAME]. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

I hope you are able to turn the company around and make it successful. I truly do.

Sincerely,

[JESTER]

The lesson here should be “Stop Fucking With Me.”

My next step after posting this to my website will be sending copies of the letter to every cruise line rep, the IRS, and the California Attorney General’s Seller of Travel office. The un-redacted version of course.

I have heard a rumor that a copy of this letter may or may not have already been sent to Kevin [VP]’s wife.

It’s like an internet meme in a microcosm… it just keeps getting forwarded to more and more people…

Aren’t I just the worst?

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May 02

Our As Yet Untitled Acoustic Project

Here are some videos from our Easter Sunday show.

We haven’t come up with a name for the project yet. We’re taking suggestions!

The sound quality ain’t great because there were some loud ass people in the back of the bar that seem to be picked up just fine.

I’ve got a few more that I’ll put up this weekend where the sound quality is a bit better.

Enjoy anyway!

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Dreams

An Original: “Pieces of Love”