Bring your own fork

June 30, 2006 - Friday

 The View From Boston, MA

Greetings from Room 206 of the Rodeway Inn in Revere, MA. It’s just outside Logan Airport in Boston, so we’ll just call it Boston, shall we?

I’m here because I screwed up my flight reservations in and out of Manchester. I had originally booked travel on Orbitz in and out of the Manchester airport, with a Friday night departure, but I somehow skipped the “confirm reservations” step of the process, which meant that when I final-checked my itinerary just a few days before leaving, I realized that in fact I had no tickets. At all.

Problem.

So I had to book the cheapest flight I could find, which meant flying in and out of Boston and driving to/from Manchester. And it also meant flying out Saturday morning, rather than Friday night. So I’m staying in the cheapest hotel I could find near the airport and, well, you get what you pay for.

Dinner tonight was a can of honey-roasted peanuts and a Diet Pepsi because I turned in my rental car already and the only thing even resembling a restaurant near my hotel is a liquor store two blocks away, where all they sell is soda, beer, wine, champagne, hard liquors, and honey-roasted peanuts. When I was checking out, the 20-something hottie check-out girl cracked a joke about me having a slow Friday night. My snappy comeback was … nothing. What could I say? She nailed it.

Here’s the room:

Boston, MA

And here’s the view:

Boston, MA

And here’s me resolving to stay in a real hotel on my next trip. These last two places have shown me that I’m a spoiled business traveler — I have certain expectations that a cheapo tourist joint can’t meet. You get what you pay for.


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 Another View From Manchester, NH

Greetings from Room 122 of the Quality Inn in Manchester, NH. It’s actually in Bedford, which for some reason reminds me of the Rosanne show (set in Lanford, I think), but the client is in Manchester, so there you go. And here I am.

I’ve been here before, actually. In Manchester that is, not Bedford. Only it was actually a little town called Bow last time, but the client was in Manchester, so there you go. And there I was. The client I was here to help last time was one of the minions in the ClearChannel radio army, and their offices are just down the block from the client this time around. I thought about dropping in to say “hi” and catch up on old times, but then I didn’t because I’m antisocial like that.

One of the jocks at the radio station last time around hooked me up with tickets to see a Journey/Styx/REO Speedwagon show, which means that I had a better time last time I was here. This time around the high point was when I tried to go see Superman at the movie theater in the mall next door to my hotel and it was closed because their electrical transformer had been struck by lighting. Whee. And don’t even get me started on the “quality” of this hotel. Let’s just say that when a hotel uses the word “quality” in their name — like this one, the “Quality” Inn — they’re probably overcompensating for something.

Anyway, you’re dying to see what it’s like here, aren’t you? Sure you are.

Here’s the room:

Manchester, NH - Again

And here’s the view:

Manchester, NH - Again

Whee.


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June 25, 2006 - Sunday

 We Went To Eleven

Beth and I are celebrating today what I’m calling our Spinal Tap anniversary: Eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

Happy Anniversary, honey.


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June 21, 2006 - Wednesday

 The Other Side of the View From Richardson, TX

I’m back in Texas again and I couldn’t be happier. No, really. Seriously. Stop laughing, I mean it. Look, like the song says, God blessed Texas. The song doesn’t mention that it was because Texas needed the help, but let’s not go there right now. Let’s just focus on the fact that I’m back in Dallas, which misspells “salad” backward, which is how the locals probably spell salad anyway when they’re not sucking their teeth and talking about Nascar.

Anyway. Happy thoughts.

I’m actually in Richardson, which is just outside of Dallas. Interestingly (not really), I’m staying at the same hotel I stayed at the last time I was here, just last month. I actually posted two entries from here last time, the standard View From Here entry, and a creepy- guy-behind- the-drawn-curtains- with-a-camera entry, where I took furtive photos of people laying out by the pool outside my room. Richardson is fun like that (not really).

I was in room 232 last time, with the winning view overlooking the pool and all its inhabitants. This time I’m two doors down and across the hall in room 235, with a fabulous view out the other side of the building looking out over a parking lot and some railroad tracks. There’s no semi-hot bikini clad babes over here, but there’s also no hairy men with their shorts hiked up into the cracks of their asses, so I’ll call it even. Here’s the view:

Richardson, TX - Again

And here’s the room:

Richardson, TX - Again

And now here’s me returning to the nightlife of Richardson. Next up: something on TBS, probably Full House.


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June 18, 2006 - Sunday

 Biker Babe

Beth and I are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary next Sunday. 11 years. Damn, that’s a long time. As Beth observed over Father’s Day dinner tonight, that’s longer than anyone’s been married in both our families — parents included.

I couldn’t wait to give Beth her gift, so I gave it to her today. The traditional gift for the 11th is steel. The modern gift is fashion jewelry. I combined the two: I gave her a motorcycle. Here’s my blushing bride taking her new scoot for a spin around the block.

Biker Beth

She wears it well, huh? There’s nothing hotter than a chick on a bike…

Happy Anniversary, honey!


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June 16, 2006 - Friday

 The Year of the Harley

I’ve wanted a Harley for years. That’s no secret to anyone — I’ve talked about it here, and among friends and family it’s a given that if you’re going to ask me what I want for a gift-giving occasion — birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Father’s Day, whatever — I’m going to say “Harley. Road King Classic. Vivid Black.” And oh my, have the family and friends had fun with me about that — they’ve given me a Harley desk calendar, a Harley telephone that goes “vroom-vroom” when it rings, and a Harley clock that plays a sound clip of a Harley going by every hour on the hour. Oh, the comedy. So every single day when I tear off a page on the calendar, and every time the phone rings, and 24 times a day when the clock marks the hour, I am reminded that I don’t have a Harley.

Well, I do now.

That stupid clock was the last straw. I announced to Beth after I got it that this is The Year of the Harley. If you want something done right you have to do it yourself, so I pledged that come hell or high water I was getting myself a Harley this year. I picked up my brand new, 2006 Harley-Davidson Road Glide last Saturday:

My New Harley

No, it’s not a Road King Classic. I don’t know what happened — all this time I’ve been saying that’s what I wanted, and then I went and bought something completely different. Go figure. But the point is that I’m finally riding a Harley.

Life is good.


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