So, recently turning 40 has me reflecting on life in general (which is pretty damn great) & on my accomplishments as a “musician” even though I’m not actively gigging right now.
I’m pretty self-deprecating of my musical talents, but I am proud of the major part of the aural art that I helped create. I compiled and uploaded a few of my favorites after using Audacity to clip out some silence and mp3Gain to try to get all the volume levels somewhat similar.
If you’ll indulge me I’d like to give my thoughts & memories on each of these songs that I was proud to be a part of with AiXeLsyD, Gasoline Dion, & Ernie and the Berts. If I have any of the stories, names, etc. wrong, please correct me in the comments. Being that these are punk rock(ish) bands, you may find the content explicit and/or objectionable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy came up with this cool shuffling progression and I played a super easy solo over it. I believe we kept the first take of the solo even though at the time I thought I could do better. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. It was cool to open shows with this then rip into something completely different. It was called “Tommy’s Jam” until an inside joke on a local message board inspired the new name.
AiXeLsyD – “Wait”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Probably the first song that I wrote that I liked, and probably the first original that we worked on in the band. We dug on this & recorded it a million times. It morphed a bit, but was basically the same simple jam. Ben doubling the vocals an octave lower and the guitar part at the end really fills it out.
Gasoline Dion – “Pickle Farm”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy had recorded this song solo, and it contributed to the itch that I needed to scratch when we formed Gasoline Dion. I really liked the melody. I think he stole the lyrics from Space Ghost or Brak. This song to me is about not being a square peg that’s forced into a round hole. I liked singing background vocals & playing guitar.
Ernie and the Berts – “Toybox”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin wanted to start a band to play rocked-out Willy Wonka covers. That never happened. This did. It was the first original that stuck, and an early recording became the soundtrack to a friend’s video project. Dave learned to play drums in/for this band. This is a nice simple driving groove and is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of Erin’s gnarly gravelly voice.
AiXeLsyD – “Hopeless & Heartless”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I wrote this on the outside of seeing someone with a broken heart. I thought it was pretty catchy. The “whoa-oh’s” are overkill but oddly necessary in my humble opinion. I think An-Die, Ben, & I are all singing on multiple tracks here.
Gasoline Dion – “Cold”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This riff was a leftover AiXeLsyD riff that almost became part of two songs but never really went anywhere. Mike had some leftover Who’s.Keeping.Score? lyrics that Dave & I re-arranged. Dave & I work really well on arranging musical parts & lyrics. I really really dig Tommy & I singing together on this one.
Ernie and the Berts – “Fred Rogers”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin supposed that a local hero may not really be a hero on this one. Maybe he read that weird urban legend. I really like the guitar part here, although it’s missing some kind of effect in my head. Wah? Phaser? Not sure. Erin let me just go goofy with background vocals here. I felt like Danzig or that Not-Danzig guy in the Cult. I love how this song builds into chaos.
AiXeLsyD – “Stand Up”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This is where it all pulled together, and it was the last proper thing we recorded. Ha ha. An-Die wrote the riff & lyrics, I arranged them. Ben came up with the guitar noodling& octaves riff. I think I came up with the stupid guitar part for the verse. I really dig my guitar solo here,even though I went too long. (Oddly, this sounds a lot like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama as played by Buckcherry.)
Gasoline Dion – “Political Songs (With Deep Meaning)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I was listening to a lot of the Unseen, I think. I don’t really write political stuff that often. This was taking the piss out of that genre. Dave sounded better on it with vocals. I scream “feet” in the background and give the creepy laugh at the end. We lost the original lyrics, so Dave used what he remembered and made the rest up on the fly. I don’t really think any one ever tried to intemperate a deeper meaning. If they did, they didn’t tell us.
Ernie and the Berts – “Don’t Fuck With Ernie”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It was hard to tell if Erin was serious or joking a lot of the time. He had a deadpan delivery, and it was hilarious. To deliver this ridiculousness so seriously is hilarious to me. I think I sort of came up with this riff over top of his bass line.
AiXeLsyD – “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It’s “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”, not “Dave’s Ugly Girlfriend.” People always seemed to get that wrong. Dave Ugly played bass & sang for one of our favorite local bands, Useless Torment. I don’t tell the story as well as An-Die, but Dave was apparently saying he loved him, and An-Die was playing the “even if…” game, and arrived at this. I remember being “mad” when Sum 41 came out as a punk band rapping. I think Boner played guitar on this one and Ben played Drums?
Gasoline Dion – “Bitch Pants Opera”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I don’t know if we could do this one today. People seem so easily offended. It’s just a joke. We don’t really care if you wear girl pants. We’re not insinuating or implying anything. We look ridiculous too. Another Dave vocals song, I am screaming the high parts. All of us are in the beginning. I think the breakdown was inspired by hardcore /screamo kids in skinny jeans doing the windmill and Peelander-Z’s “S.T.E.A.K.”
Ernie and the Berts – “Ikea”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Dave suggested I try a little more dynamics with space and clean. Dave is usually right. You can do a lot with the same 3 chords over & over. This was a slice of Erin’s life, full of his observations. We almost got permission to go in & shoot a video there. Somebody must have really listened to the lyrics. He had “nicer” ones prepared just in case we needed to sell out.
AiXeLsyD – “Love, Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] |I think An-Die hated this one. I liked the noodling& the melody. The lyrics are super dumb & trite. The song was made infinitely cooler when Ben put in that volume swell in the final mix. That was never there, then we started doing it live after he did that to the recording. This could probably be punched-up a little bit more.
Gasoline Dion – “Two of a Kind”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy sings like an angel. I have no idea what in the hell he’s talking about here. I think Dave & Mike made this honky-tonk-ish. I played a little solo under Tommy’s vocals at the end because nobody ever told me not to. The end sounds like the Misfits’ “NY Ranger.”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Same thing as the first track, second solo take by me with a wah pedal this time. Dave is also on guitar making crazy noises and soloing in between all of my notes. Ha ha. If you don’t “get” the speaking part, watch the Josie and the Pussycats movie some time.
I’d love to know what you think, or to read/see/hear your own memories about these bands or in any bands or projects in which you have participated. Did I miss a song or two that you may have remembered or liked? Comments (or likes or whatever is deemed social-media-appropriate) on the songs on SoundCloud or YouTube would be awesome and greatly appreciated, too.
I never emailed these names. Seriously. Someone must have sent Jon the text of my blog, or a link to my blog. My original email contained the names which I then changed to something I thought would be ridiculous and obvious, so I didn’t accidentally call out another real employee.
Am I being trolled?
On Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:54 PM, “0503, BER” <Unit_503@bobevans.com> wrote:
I am following up on a bad review that we had charge to our store. I was hoping to get some more information, as we believed our location received this review in error. We don’t have servers by either name mentioned in the review (Maleficient and Lincoln), and would like to find out which store you were actually at. Then we can send this along to them, so that they can address these issues. Thank you for your time.
Bob Evans #503
I wrote back. Nothing interesting besides pointing out that I never sent those names in an email.
I also got an email from LeAnn confirming our Dormont address, so I passed along the new one. I wonder if I’ll get a T-shirt?
If it’s gift certificates, does anyone know of a charity that accepts them or of a family in need?
Maybe they’re sending someone to dispatch of me. Maybe I should ask King’s to weigh in?
So, this past Saturday night we had an interesting experience at the local Bob Evans. I have blogged about one of our experiences with an angry server there before, but haven’t touched upon the 3 or 4 other times that “the kitchen held up the order” while she talked to other customers at great length about slot machines at the Meadows, or the time that she rolled her eyes at me while the wife and I were discussing the seasonal shrimp on the menu in regards to where it was cooked and my allergy. This time we were most likely doubly annoying as we had two small children with us. The saga begins…
I hope this message finds you well, and that you’re both still with the Bob Evans team! You may remember that I had contacted you in the past about the #jelly3x rule and a bad experience at the Bob Evans in Bridgeville Pennsylvania, and blogged about that alongside your enthusiastic response, and even more thorough follow-up.
We have since had a few other experiences with that waitress, including one where she rolled her eyes at me and said “well, you don’t have to order it” when I was discussing the shrimp stir-fry available seasonally. Clearly, she has absolutely no grasp of cross-contamination. The running theme with her seems to be that the kitchen is always late & to blame with any service issues.
Being that we have generally excellent food & service at the Bridgeville location, and it’s now even closer to home since we have moved to Bridgeville, we have gone in to dine and simply requested with the host or hostess to not be seated in her section.
Sadly this weekend, we didn’t spot her upon our arrival and did not inform the hostess of our preference. We were quickly welcomed by the hostess, seated in her section and decided to go with it as it had been a while since we had Maleficent as our server.
Nowadays, we have a 2½ year old and a 7 month old in tow. Bob Evans is a great place to get a full meal for a family without breaking the bank, yet another notch in the proverbial “pro’s” column. (I mean, have you spent the same amount of money at Panera or Steak n’ Shake? It’s not even half of the food. Maybe local heroes Eat’n Park can almost compete.)
Maleficent quickly came to the table and took our drink orders. Our eldest ordered apple juice, I asked for an iced tea, and the wife went for water. Our drinks were brought quickly and our waitress shot a nasty look to the table beside us as the hostess sat another family with 3 older children as she set our drinks down. She came back a bit later to take our food order and my wife politely asked for straws which we didn’t get with our drinks and some crayons that weren’t included with our kid’s meal place-mat menu.
Maleficent Immediately huffed as she slammed down the straws and remarked that she didn’t have time to get crayons because she just had two other tables seated in her section. We were only wanting crayons because it had taken her a while to come back and take our food order, well before anyone else had been seated in our section.
I forget exactly what the exchange was that followed. I know my wife had mentioned that we had had several problems in the past with her service. I was pretty much shocked into jaw-agape silence at that point. My wife ended with standing up to go speak to the manager, and Maleficent yelled (yes, yelled) “Lincoln, take tables 54 and 56!” or something to that effect.
After my wife came back from a conversation with the manager, one of the aforementioned customers beside us said “Wow. I can’t believe she told you no on the crayons.” We gave the super-condensed version of our history with Maleficent as they continued in their wide-eyed disbelief.
Maleficent continued to serve that family, but we and another nearby table had been reassigned to a young man named Lincoln (Linkin?), on either Maleficent or the manager’s authority. I wasn’t present for my wife’s conversation with the manager, but it was apparently full of knowing nods and angry head-shakes as she regaled the manager with tales of our past adventures with Maleficent. I do know that my wife apparently characterized me as a madman about to lose all patience to bolster her point. Perhaps that’s why the manager never came to the table to offer either an apology or an explanation.
Now, reading back on this, the story so far does sound like we are being absolutely ridiculous over the exclusion of two crayons for the amusement of our child who’s behavior, rearing, and amusement are wholly our responsibility. Do you also see how the past history and an apparently poor attitude towards customers and a potential tip factor into this moment? It must have been some serious shenanigans in order for the next table to notice.
The lesson I have learned is that we will keep crayons and a coloring book in our family vehicle for just such a purpose. It is not Bob Evans’ responsibility to develop my child’s creativity and fine motor skills, nor to provide a means to pacifying the insatiable need for constant activity or the lack of patience to wait for a delicious prepared meal. Despite evidence to the contrary, we were indeed prepared parents with our own plastic mess-prevention and environment-sterilizing place-mat for our son. He can’t color yet, but he can shovel tiny bits of food into his mouth at a rate destined to require another kid’s meal sooner rather than later.
This leads us to Lincoln (Linkin?). Lincoln was certainly on top of his game after being saddled with two more tables in addition to his already presumably busy/full section. He came through and delighted our daughter with a two-pack of pink and purple crayons. Lincoln took our order with a smile, brought the food out quickly with no conspiratorial kitchen issues, and was just all-around pleasant. We even had to ask for a replacement fork as we had somehow lost one. It was brought out amid a flurry of what I presume to be normal Saturday restaurant activity with no hesitation, and rather quickly. We even got jelly on one request.
After our meal, we thanked him for being such an incredible server, and I remarked that I was glad he was so understanding because I was nervous about being labeled as some sort of problem after requesting a new server. He indicated that it was not a surprise, happens regularly, and that he didn’t come to us with any preconceived notions. He also added that people inexplicably (my words, not his) come in and request to be seated in Maleficent’s section and Maleficent’s section only.
We will request Lincoln’s section in the future, and barring that option we’ll just request not be seated in Maleficent’s section. I can play that game. We cleaned up as best we could from our inevitable child-induced mess, left close to a 50% tip, and found the errant fork before we left. The table directly beside us (I assume the other table taken by Lincoln at the same time we were handed over) also rather audibly and publicly thanked Lincoln for being such a great server. I’m not sure if they also had issues that we weren’t aware of? I told the cashier how happy we were with our service upon checkout.
I don’t want to pick on a server. I do want to illustrate the contrast between what I see as poor service as it relates to incredible service and how it didn’t seem to be any more difficult than you make it. I do hope Lincoln is rewarded for a job well done and his overall attitude. I’m sure it reflects in his work effort and in his gratuities. I would hope that you can again pass this email along to all of the appropriate parties. Area coaches and the store management, correct? I really feel like we were nothing but polite and reasonable up until we were denied crayons, and we remained polite and reasonable immediately after that whole exchange. That seems like an absolutely insane sentence for one adult to write to another. Do I have a valid point, or am I just super way out of line here?
I would just drop the entire issue and move on, but Bob Evans is one of the few places that I can safely get a meal with my shellfish allergy, I can comfortably order anything on the menu (outside of the seasonal Lent-deathfish), it’s very close by, and I feel like we really get great value for a dollar when we dine at your establishment.
Last time you sent out some gift certificates. Please save them this time. I don’t want free food, I just want a stress-free dining experience. If you must send gift certificates, can you direct them to a Pittsburgh charity that can give them to people who do perhaps need a free meal? Thankfully I can put food on the table for my family while many others struggle to do so. We need to get our butts out on a kids-eat-free promotional night if we want a free meal.
I realize that in the grand scheme of things, my complaints are trivial. I realize that some would enjoy any meal regardless of the way in which it was delivered. What if though, this had been that meal for someone? What if this was one night out that they looked forward to and it was met with the kind of service that we regularly receive from one apparently disgruntled waitress? Is this how Bob Evans wants to be perceived?
I plan to blog this adventure also. I do less of that these days, but this seemed to be appropriately entertaining. Of course, the names will be omitted or changed.
I also look forward to your response and insight. Thank you once again for your time and assistance!
I can’t wait for a response. Sadly, I see from the Yahoo! mailer daemon that Nate is no longer with Bob Evans. I think I knew he outgrew them a while back. I may try to ping it out to a few more people. I have contacted others at Bob Evans in the past, during my pre-Wordpress days. I even had someone send me a “safe” list of where things were cooked and what would be OK for me to eat while they had shellfish on the menu. Overall they have stellar corporate customer service, but we just have this continual issue with a crazy server who reminds me of the mailman in the movie Funny Farm.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 81,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
You simply can’t put together a better list of resources, articles, tips, and fun related to food allergies. I suggest you read, subscribe, bookmark, or do whatever you do. Take the time to take a look at the stuff that interests you, and pass it along. We all know awareness is half (if not more) of the battle.
All of this reminds me, it’s time to get my Epi-pen prescription renewed…
This is my new Tetris. (Thankfully I’ve never had a phone cool enough to play Angry Birds.) Online guitar builders are popping up like mad, and now there’s a contest for making the ugliest one over at Joe Gore’s Tone Fiend blog:
Go try your luck at making the worst! There is some serious competition over there. Sadly, I like some of the “bad” color schemes. I guess I do like goofy guitars after all. (You may remember the mutant beauty pageant.)
I still haven’t seen a virtual guitar builder that can do this though. I did a Google image search for ‘Tetris Guitar’ and came up short. This was the next best thing. It would be cool if it still worked to play video games. Really though, $190 is a very reasonable price. If I had $200 to spare, I’d get one of these.
It’s happening again. I still say it’s a fail of smart phones & tablet PC‘s in their navigation of the internet. At least I hope that’s the problem. It could just be that some people are really not that bright. Maybe it’s a reading comprehension problem. They see a post about McDonald’s & complaints and they hit “contact” thinking they’re somehow contacting McDonald’s, blissfully unaware that the url in the address bar is https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/ and has nothing to do with McDonald’s. I’m guessing that this is thanks to Google sending everyone who searches “McDonald’s” & “email” or “complaint” to me. Maybe the magic words are “McDonald’s” & “Contact”?
Actually, my incredible WordPress site stats show me most of the search terms that people used to land on my blog today. The culprits are most likely…
firstname.lastname@example.org (3 searches)
email@example.com (1 search)
mcdonalds food tv advertisement (1 search)
mcdonalds hand washing procedures (2 searches)
As you’re reading this, can you say it with me? Seriously, out loud. Ignore the people around you as they look at you like you’re crazy. Take a deep breath. Say it with me:
Eric Carroll(a.k.a. ERiC AiXeLsyD, a.k.a. Waldo Lunar, a.k.a. Bronco Jalapeño)is not McDonald’s. He does not work for McDonald’s. Emails sent through the contact form at aixelsyd13.wordpress.comwill not reach McDonald’s. If I contact World (and Lunar) Domination inexplicably thinking that it is somehow related to McDonald’s (or Kmart), I will be publicly ridiculed on the internet.
I may have to put that on my contact page. I’m guessing you won’t read it anyway if you’re crazy enough to send me an email without really reading anything else on my page.
If the stuff was coming right to my email address, I could almost understand it. But, this is being typed into (or cut & pasted into) the contact form at my site… which looks like nothing related to anything on any McDonald’s website. This most recent one is different in that this McDonald’s is apparently delinquent on a payment to a company that cleaned out their most likely disgusting dirty fryer. This is much more serious than a simple screwed-up order or ignorant employee. I’ll share it with you…
From: Jane Farrell <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: █████████████@█████.com Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:08 PM Subject: W(aL)D Feedback
Name: Jane Farrell Email:email@example.com Message / Comment: I sent you a message about Mcdonalds#14518 located at 1101 East Tremont Ave. in the Bronx, N.Y. We went there to repair their frymaster fryer and they refuse to pay us. You sent me a email on 4/4/12 Ref#8770056 that you would send my letter to the regional office in my area. I haven’t been paid as of yet. I would appreciate it, if you could let me know if the store was contacted. Thank You so much, I do appreciate any help in getting this paid.
Jane Farrell, Malachy Mechanical How’d you find my blog?:
Insanity. I had to write back, didn’t I? Yes. Yes, I did. I even decided to offer some help to Jane in perhaps contacting the right person or people on the matter.
From: Waldo Lunar <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Cc: McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2012 Subject: Re: W(aL)D Feedback [Sorry, I’m not McDonald’s.]
Unfortunately you’re mistaken, as you did not contact me earlier. I am not McDonald’s. I have simply blogged about McDonald’s & my interactions (or attempted interactions) with them. For some odd reason, people keep landing on my website and contacting me, thinking that I am McDonald’s. I assure you, I am not McDonald’s. I don’t work for McDonald’s. I don’t represent McDonald’s. I can’t speak for McDonald’s. I certainly can’t pay their bills. I do sympathize with you though, as McDonald’s apparent ineptitude knows no bounds. I am a blogger who makes light of their insanity with my own. If you would like to follow my journey, please see the following blog posts. They will help to prove & reinforce that I am not McDonald’s, and perhaps bring to light your own error in using my contact form instead of reaching out again to McDonald’s.
I AM NOT McDONALD’S– Like you, Harmony, Shirley, Amber, & Jeffrey mistook me for McDonald’s. This post also links to my earlier correspondence with McDonald’s in case you are interested, as well as valid alternatives to actually contact McDonald’s instead of me, because I am not McDonald’s.
I’m still not McDonald’s.– I inform Harmony, Shirley, and Amber that I’m not McDonald’s. Harmony remains unconvinced. I unintentionally angered local McManager, Scott Kausky.
OK, maybe I am McDonald’s? – Harmony’s husband steps in to assure me that I am indeed McDonald’s, even though though I am clearly not. Mr. Kausky calms down. I create some graphics proving that I am indeed not McDonald’s, & I share a McAdventure.
s,pןɐuopɔɯ ʇou ɯɐ ı– Really. I laid it all out one last time for Harmony & her McHusband. They never responded after this. Perhaps they finally got the message? I disclose more McDonald’s contact options, as I am not McDonald’s and contacting me does nothing but further amusement for myself & my readers.
McConsistency is Key. – Apparently despite all the other blog posts, I’m still the place to go to complain about McDonald’s.
I’m not Kmart. – While I’m not McDonald’s, I’m also not Kmart. Perhaps McDonald’s customers & Kmart shoppers are the same demographic?
Perhaps you’re not interested in my blogs, but in exchange for you taking the time to read them I am prepared to help you in your plight for payment. I have researched several ways for you to contact McDonald’s, none of which are the contact form located at my website. Let us go through them together:
Perhaps you should reply to the email Ref#8770056. I don’t know what the reply-to address is, because I am not McDonald’s. I didn’t have anything to do with receiving or generating anything in that email chain. Instead of replying to this email, you used my contact form.
http://www.mcnewyork.com/14518 Is their page, it has limited contact information, no contact form or email address. You can call them at (718) 824-4123 but I suppose that you have already tried that. You could use their Apply Online form to apply for a job & try to collect once you go in for an interview.
You could try the people I’ve dealt with, but it may anger them. I’ll let you dig their contact information out of my blog posts if that’s the route you’re going to take.
I hope that I have been able to provide some clarity, amusement, and even some actual help today (even though I am not McDonald’s). Good luck in your quest, this is most certainly more annoying than the usual lack of ketchup packets or pattyless burger! Have a nice day.