Monday, December 17, 2012

"Heads in Beds" Book Review

One of the most informative and enjoyable books I've read this year is "Heads in Beds" by Jacob Tomsky. He lets people see inside the confines of the hotel industry and does it with humor and irreverence. He explains that his entire career has been at hotel jobs from being in valet parking, being a bellhop, in housekeeping and at the front desk. He tells how hotel employees get back at recalcitrant guests and how he has managed to tolerate the foibles of the industry.

Tomsky graduated from college with a degree in philosophy, a rather difficult degree to explain to potential employers, and followed through on someone's suggestion to try hospitality. He landed a job in a luxury hotel in New Orleans, worked his way up the ladder, took a year off to travel Europe and returned with a need for a job. He settled in New York, and again landed a job with a luxury hotel.

He tells readers how to get exactly what they want and more when they check-in to a hotel and when they check-out, and it's not by screaming and demanding. Basically, money talks. The reader appreciates his honesty and devil-may-care attitude. Travelers and frequent hotel guests will be delighted with the tales out of school and think twice the next time they want to complain about the service they have received. An upbeat, fascinating account of an industry nearly everyone uses at sometime in their lives but one most people don't understand.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Joan Leotta, storyteller, shines at Dickens Festival

The Charles Dickens Christmas Festival in Southport, N.C.on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 included a variety of activities and presentations, and Joan Leotta, storyteller, gave one of them. She created her own version of "A Christmas Carol" she titled "Bah Humbug" that had a special appeal because she encouraged audience participation. The children particularly enjoyed shouting "bah humbug" with Joan's prompting, and the adults didn't hesitate to join in. 

Joan is a talented actress, storyteller and writer and understands how to make a story come alive. Ebenezer Scrooge became a real person with Joan's fresh approach to the story, and Charles Dickens' story became a modern tale.

The entire community participated in the Festival by submitting entries in the Christmas tree, wreath and gingerbread house contests. Children entered the art contest. Charles Dickens' England--he lived from 1812 to 1870--was brought to life in Southport. Hopefully, the Brunswick Arts Council will continue this new tradition, so people can be aware of Dickens' influence, which continues today.