Friday, December 24, 2010

Just got home from the Dublin pub. It was an epic night of seeing familiar faces and fraternizing! Awarding time! Thanks goes to James for finding my work fleece, and making sure I got home safe. A super huge thanks to the BK for supporting the entire place w excellent music A.N.L. (let me know who gets that) .
Scriven annual Christmas eve celebration is tomorrow, happening between 1 and 2 pm; if you think you are invited than you probably are. Good night everyone and merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where I'm at

So it has been a long time since I have blogged last. Don't ask me why i chose to start blogging tonight, but I guess you could say that today was a good day. It is Thanksgiving eve, and I spent the entire day with close family and friends. Overall, it's like I'm just feeling great. I have so much to be thankful for.
I got this new job that I really enjoy. I work in a really fun workplace, and the potential for growth is unbelievable. I always new I wouldn't settle for anything but the best, and this has got me really slowing down to think and consider my future. I didn't know that this decision was going to come so soon. I still have serious aspirations to continue my baseball career, which would start back up late April. However, I'm constantly debating what I really want to do....put up with the tough grind of baseball outside the big leagues, or start with a new opportunity which could be huge. I guess it's good to have options. It is a really tough decision because I have so much love for the competition and lights of a crowded baseball stadium; I also know there are things important to me that I can't proceed with until baseball is over. So that is where I am at!
I am happy, and don't feel the pressure of this decision because I am surrounded by so much support. I won't make this decision until I absolutely have to. I don't see why I should limit any options before I am absolutely certain which way to go.
To all my friends and fam who read this, thanks for your time and support; I have more love for you than you know.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just a Facebook message

This was just a message I wrote on my good friend Kris' Facebook Wall. When I read it, I realized that many of you would like to know some of the little things that I would tell a baseball understanding friend. Guys, I wish I was writing more blogs for you, but time just flies. It seems like all the days are blending together; my season ends in about 8 weeks.......... And so does my Work Visa. It's crazy, but I am enjoying my life, currently watching the female championship of the Australian Open! It's ALL tied up, 1 set each!

"hey broseph! sorry the phone has been down. You can try and reach me any time but not sure exactly how to dial my number from the states. my number is 0458-137-965 and the country code is 61. but for some reason, the 61 takes place of the zero at the beginin so u may want the the operator to do it. ima get a calling card in the next couple days, so ill try and give you a call. I was tryinn to call you and dial D-Rel so got to talk to him a bit! Dropped a bomb last sunday which makes three on the yr. my swing is feelin good at the moment, as long as stay stacked and use my hands to right center. picking it well at short, i was pitching, but my arm got sore so I shut it down! Alright man, give what ups to all for me! talk to you soon!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Vacation!

Hey Friends,
I just got back from a baseball game, and feel like talking to someone from home but it's much later there than here. I figured I'd just post something so that in a way I can speak to all of you! I definitely miss home, and everyone there. However, I am still greatly enjoying my experiences here. Last week I flew to the Gold Coast, which is located right on the east coast of Australia, about 15 hours north of Canberra. It was so amazing! We spent so much time on the beach; the sand was so white, the water was so warm, and the waves were huge! It was a total blast. We went to Surfers Paradise for the day, and ended up paying for a party bus to 5 different clubs. We met some pretty cool people, and had a blast. Once we left Surfers Paradise, we headed to Byron Bay! This place may be the best town in all of OZ! We stayed at a backpackers hostel, where we were served free dinner nightly (meaning, our rooms were probably $10 more expensive), and walked the beach meeting tons of people from so many different countries. Man, everyone speaks english. It's almost embarrassing that I don't speak any other languages. Surprisingly, Nolan and I were the only two Americans that we met the entire week! It seemed that there were more people from Germany and France than anywhere else. I met two German dudes named Vladimir and Julian. We went out both nights together. They love their white cask wine. It's pretty funny how they would drink it at the beach every night watching the sun set.
The days went by very quickly. Yesterday morning we drove home 14 hours in a rental car. We played today, got our butts kicked, and Nolan and I are off to Melbourne tomorrow morning. We'll be there for just two days, watching the Australian open tennis. I'm pretty excited, but all this traveling is hurting the immune system a bit. I guess it's worth it though.
I think when I travel away from Canberra, I get more home sick. I have such a good support group here, it makes life very easy to live. When I travel to new places, I seem to miss home more than normal.
I just want to let all of you know, that I think of you daily. I love traveling, but some days I would trade it all to be sitting at dinner with the family, then going to kick it with all the friends! I know you guys will always be there for me, so I'm making myself stick with it, for maybe even longer than planned.
My appreciation for "home" has grown so much. I think when I get to America I'm going to get on my hands and knees and rub dirt all over my face like Christopher Columbus. Everyone reading this is very special to me. You have helped develop what the word "Home" means to me. It's not just a location, but cultural differences, and people that understand you. I definitely get along with most people here, and you all probably think I'm pouting just a bit, but people have so many different mindsets around the world. It's good, it exposes me to other ways of life, and allows me to pick what I like from a broader perspective. It's great for my personal development.
Anyway, off to Melbourne at 6 am tomorrow morning.
Love you guys.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dealing with Stress!

Sorry pics coming soon!

So I dealt with a very stressful situation today. It's not often that I can say this. A day in the life of Eric Scriven generally goes by stress free. I guess partly because I don't let things get to me, or at least I try not to. Today was different though, very challenging.
Merry Christmas by the way! Today is Christmas here, Christmas Eve there. I chose to work this year. Being away from the family, and being offered 2.5 times my normal wage was plenty for me to work a large lunch function of roughly 250 people on Christmas day.
I had a great morning! Woke up, went across the street to the Vickers’ house to eat Christmas breakfast, and open my presents from home. It was awesome. The whole family sat around and watched as I opened my presents. I think they enjoyed learning a bit more about how we do Christmas in America. Apparently they were talking about it all day. I got some great stuff! Some awesome clothes, a travel journal, a Landscape sketch book, and a cool Padres hat. Thanks Mom, Dad, Adonica, Robert. It was great, but then I had to rush off to work.
When I got there, my job was to pour about 200ish drinks and place them on a table for the soon to be arriving guests. 1/3 of these were OJ, 1/3 were to be champagne, and the other third was to be beer. “Ok, good, that’s my job; I got 20 min.” So I figured I’d pour the beer last to prevent it from going as flat. I go to pour the juice first. No juice in any fridge upstairs in the functions room or behind the bar. Now I have to walk up to the manager who expects me to be half way done pouring drinks, and ask him for a key to the cellar to grab the orange juice. So I get that, pour the juice, pour the champagne, and get to the beer. All I’m pouring is foam! Over and over again, pitcher after pitcher, all I could pour from the taps was foam. It was warm too. Not good. I had about 75 beers to pour in about 5 minutes. All 250 guests were waiting for us to open, and they expected cold beer upon arrival. Not to mention it was raining; they were not in the best mood. I didn’t know what to do; not one of our 10 taps upstairs was working. So I just kept pouring hoping it would settle and beer would start pouring out. Luckily I noticed one pitcher of foam had set for a while and had some beer in the bottom. I immediately started filling the pitchers w foam, allowing them to sit, then pouring the warm bit of beer I could into the glasses. I got the glasses full of beer and placed on the table just in time. But I had solved no problem, other than my boss wanting to see 75 beers on the table. They were warm, nobody was going to want them after one sip, and the taps still didn’t work. I thought, “How are we going to do a lunch function with 250 people on Christmas, and not have running kegs?”
The countdown began: one minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, boom! They were amongst us, hundreds of people. The first guy came up, “Do you have a cold beer?” I replied, “Yeah let me try the tap.” Knowing darn well I wasn’t going to get anything but warm foam, hoping that a miracle would take place and I would magically start pouring beer. I guess I was just trying to postpone the let down of us not having beer for another 10 seconds. Sad, I know. My manager was nowhere to be seen. In fact, he was out back dressing up as Santa Clause to be the main attraction of the party. I just thought to myself and shook my head, “No one is going to want to see Santa unless we get the beer working.” As I was lost in deep thought I heard noise coming from the bar. “Sir, Sir? Can we get a beer?” “No, not just yet, the taps are out. We are fixing it soon.” Saying this was very difficult. As I said it, I noticed the non-verbals and body language of 15 or so people being let down.
“So, are any of beers working?”
“No, not yet.”
“So what did I pay $50 for?”, “Do you have any bottled beer?”
Oh, bottled beer. What a concept, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of that earlier. “yeah, we have bottled beer.”
“What kinds do you have?”
As I bent down to look in the fridge, I knew what I was about to see before it even happened. I could feel it. I saw maybe about 8-10 beers of Carlton Cold, and VB mid strength, nothing that anyone ever orders. I knew my chances of pleasing these customers by saying the names of those two beers were about 0%. Even if they did like that beer, Only 8 of them would actually get a beer. The funny thing is that all three cellar boys were on yesterday. Their job is to check the kegs and taps before functions, as well as restock all alcohol in all fridges. Nice work! Wow!
Guest: “Do you have a wine list Sir?”
Me: “Yeah, it’s somewhere hold on.”
What do I do? Do I actually look for a wine list? Or do I track down my manager and get more bottled beer, or do I ask him to fix the keg. He knows its not working. What is my order of operations? I was at a loss for anything. I wanted to disappear.
Guest: “I’ll just get a chardonnay.”
Me: “Perfect, let me get that.”
Boom, no wine in the fridge. The cellar boys had put the stock on the counter, but definitely not in the fridge.
Me: “Um, I’m sorry, but the Chardonnay isn’t cold.”
Guest: “What do you have that is Cold?”
Me: “A Semillon,” I thought to myself, “what’s a Semillon?” I could tell she was thinking the same thing.
Guest: “Ok just give me a beer.”
Me: “We don’t have any beer.”
Guest: “Is there anything you do have?”
Now the girl that I’m working with decides to chime in “We have coke!”, with a smile on her face.
Wow, things couldn’t have been more stressful. I had nothing to serve these people. I had about 20 unhappy customers piling up at my bar, and that number was growing. The other girl in the bar was little to no help. She was laying down the floor mats. I looked at her and could only shake my head in disbelief. How on earth did she think that laying the floor mats was even on the top 100 important things to do at that time? She then gave me a big smile as if there was no problem whatsoever. I’m pretty sure I wanted to puke right about then.
I was definitely being challenged. I was growing as an individual, facing a very stressful situation. I had two ways to go, up or down. My nerves were being tested, my brain was being tested, it was hard for me.
Right then, the bickering of the bar crowd became quiet, as a bell rang through the distance. Santa Clause had come to Christmas. He was yelling “Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!”, ringing his bell as all the little kids started running. I even saw a particularly angry guest crack a small smile.
At that moment of Silence a magical thing took place. There was a hush over the crowd, as Santa brought joy to these people. For a brief second, it didn’t matter that we had literally nothing to serve these people. One guy was overly mad about the beer situation one second, then smiling and staring at Santa the next. Even though the man wearing a fake beard was my boss who should have been helping to fix the bar situation, I realized that the spirit of the real Santa was real. Somehow, Santa had turned a terrible situation into a very happy moment for people of all ages. Even if it did only last a few seconds.
Right then I made a decision. I ran up to Santa and asked for the downstairs bar keys. And a skateboard lol. I grabbed three dudes, and went downstairs to collect all the stock I could carry. We grabbed cases of every beer and wine that we serve. They were all cold, as we rushed them upstairs. We broke the news that we were not going to serve tap beer today, but that we did have bottles. We also had a variety of cold white wine, as well as an assortment of reds.
One by one, we took orders from customers until there was no line left. People were not necessarily happy about the bottle situation, but Santa helped them get over it. If not for his timely arrival, all hell would have broken lose at the bar. He gave us the few minutes we needed to escape and get the beer with no time to spare.
I learned a lot today. Mainly that our cellar boys are worthless, but I think I already knew that. I was really challenged today, and I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t like it. However, looking back, it was an amazing experience. I grew as a person. I learned that I don’t like stress. I learned the best way to deal with stress to use your head and think through the issues at hand; not to disappear, or to yell, or to point fingers.
I am a better person because of today! I am better at dealing with stress, and my overall tolerance to stress is higher. I’ll forever be slightly better in stressful situations because of Christmas 2009, the year Santa saved Chrissy!
When the function was all cleaned up, the group or us sat down for a delicious meal. We had wonderful potatoes, chicken, green beans, and desert. It had been a great day! Honestly, one of the best days of my life. I wasn’t tired and stressed, but happy that I was alive, and thankful that I had overcome a tough situation. As I ate that chicken, I realized how much I really have to be thankful for. So much!!
So for all of my friends and family, I want to say thank you, for everything. Thank you for always being there, and for your friendship and love. My Christmas was amazing this year; hope all of yours are as well.
When I was leaving the club I hopped into my car, put the key in the ignition, and…nothing. No sound, no start. I had kept the lights on the entire day. My battery was DEAD! Got a ride home and left that ish there! That’s tomorrow problem!!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today

Hey everyone,
This will be a real short one. Just want to keep you all in the loop more than I have been. I worked last night at the club until 3 am. I was practically falling asleep by the time i was driving home! One dude tried lighting up a smoke in the club, i was like,"bro, you can't smoke in here!" He was so drunk, he just looked at me, and walked away. He ended up going to the bathroom and finishing his cigarrette in there. I don't understand why smoking in the bathroom is better than just walking outside.
Anyway he and his mate got kicked out of the club eventually, then tried hopping over the fence to get back in. My Duty manager was Quite upset!
So I missed working in the Hotel this morning. Toni told Nolan to tell Sleeping beauty to get some rest tonight to be ready for tomorrow.
Now, Im headed to the pool, practice tonight, hitting the sac early! Talk to you guys soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fun in the Sun!

Hello My cherished readers! How are all of you? Much has happened since my last post: Michael Jackson has passed away, and America has it's first black president! Times are a changing my friends. OK so it hasn't been that long since I've blogged, but it has been a few weeks. I am simply trying to make a joke out of the fact that I haven't written a blog in quite a while. HAHAHAHA. I think I'm pretty funny, and that's all that matters.
Anyway, life is good here. I've been working, playing ball, going to the beach, planning trips, making songs with the guitar, and going out on the town and singing Karaoke! The last two months seemed to have flown by!
Baseball is going very well. I am hitting great, in fact, I had my first home run of the season last Sunday. I think I'm hitting a healthy .600ish on the season! I am 10 for my last 14 with 3 doubles, a triple and a home run! The competition is a bit lower here, but I feel that I am improving greatly. So, it just so happens that my first home run was the same game that my roommate Nolan hit his first HR. He hit his in the first inning, and I hit mine in the 8th inning. I haven't heard anything but smack talk about him hitting the first home run! I'm like, "Dude, you hit yours like an hour and half before me, big deal. And I have the most recent one, so I'm the current HR champ!" Judging by this response I think he knows it's getting under my skin! I don't think I've heard the end of it. Besides, most of this smack talk goes on while cleaning and making the beds in the hotel each morning. The job doesn't require much brain power, so all we really do is talk smack. We talk about almost everything. We are always giving it back and forth to each other! The other ladies are so vulnerable to us when we joke around because they take their job so much more serious than we do. Not that we don't take pride in our work, Cath, one of the cleaning ladies, told us just yesterday that we were the best room strippers they have ever had! That means a lot, because American baseballers have been coming over here for 25 years! But we love joking around with them. Since we get into all the rooms first, we tell them that the rooms are way more messy than they really are. They get really upset, until they walk in and realize we were just kidding! Man, they fall for that one at least once a week. The worst room is room 30. It's built for a whole family, or group of friends. It has 6 beds. It literally takes about an hour just to strip, stock and make the beds. I always tell them that all the beds are messed up, all the coffee is gone, and there is trash everywhere. If this were true, it would potentially be enough to ruin their day! So then I take off, and keep working; about a minute later I hear them yelling at me from all the way down the hall. They act mad, but deep down I know they are happy that room 30 is not dirty at all! I realize that this may not be funny to you, but it cracks me up! They always fall for it. In the end, I know they enjoy having us around; we always lighten the mood and put a smile on their face!
So yeah, ball is going great, We beat the best team in the league on Sunday. It felt so good because the American imports that this team had were so cocky! I'm serious, not in a good way! We had a banquet about three weeks ago; it was basically a meet and greet for all the Americans from all the teams. These two guys wouldn't even talk to anyone. They left early with out saying good bye, and wouldn't even look me in the eye. Later on in the week, I saw them downtown; they literally walked right passed me without saying a word. I thought, "Maybe they didn't know who I was." This would have been more cocky and arrogant than them ignoring me because they didn't want to lower themselves to the level of saying hello to me. Either way, right then and there, I couldn't wait to beat them. They had a record of 10 wins and 1 loss. We beat them Sunday, 13-3. Both Nolan and I had 4 hits, and both had home runs. But even better, the cockier import was struck out twice by Nolan and once by me. Yes! (fist pump)! I realized that being cocky never pays!
So we went to the south coast last week. We swam at Mollymook, then drove south to Bateman's Bay for lunch where we enjoyed a nice platter of Fish and chips, and some ice cream. It was really strange to be on the other side of the Pacific ocean. I thought about sending a message in a bottle to all of you! The water was so warm! The waves were huge, and the current was strong. It was really hard to get out of the water because before each wave came crashing, the water would suck you out deeper into the ocean. It tired me out quickly, but I was very careful, for I knew I had to survive to write this blog!
Wednesday night is Karaoke night! We go most weeks. This is an action shot of us singing "Piano Man".
I am definitely enjoying my time out here. Things could not be going better. However, I really wish I was coming home for Christmas. This will be the first time in my 26 year existence that I won't see my family on Christmas day. I think instead, I will work at the club and make double time, save money, and spend it traveling around the Gold coast, staying in hostels and visiting friends. I miss all of you, but I'm glad that I am doing this while I can!