Tuesday, August 23, 2011
For those of you who have only seen Omaha in the movie "Up in the Air", or who have ever dreamed of making it over to the World Series of College Baseball, you can always stop by Room 508 in the Doubletree Guest Suites - and chances are, that I may be there - then again, now that everyone knows my secret hideaway in the wonderful Hilton property, I may need to change locations...
I have been staying at this hotel for about eight years now. The exterior is a little tired, the interior has gone through two renovations, and I believe that they change the mattresses every two weeks, because everytime I am here, they seem new - maybe they haul them down to the parking lot and just beat the shit out of them - you know, like you used to see folks doing in the Westerns that they play on late night television - just pounding the hell out of the mattress, then dragging it back through the dusty walkway and threshold to throw down on the artfully and tastefully decorated early Americana furniture (tonight was Antiques Roadshow night on PBS, and I find it fascinating that there are actually furniture periods - my house would be considered "Poorly matched broke divorced guy eclectic roadside gathering period"). Perhaps this is why I feel so comfortable in hotels - they have shower curtains and a shower liner, albeit I don't like the shower liner touching me, it just amazes me that they have both. The chairs, with their cutesy little accent patterns actually match and contrast the carpet and the curtains at the same time! Walk into my house, and on any given day, and you will find the hurricane blinds that I pulled out of some trash bin (I cleaned them and they were the right size) and hung up in my windows - white matches the walls, even if they do a very ineffective job of keeping the Florida sunrise from waking everyone up at the ass crack of dawn. Everything in Room 508 is manageable. The shampoo bottle is manageable. The soap bar is manageable. The water bottles are manageable. All sized down to a convenient hand held single serving use. At home, I deal with the four gallon shampoo bottle from Costco, and have to have my son lug the 800 pack toilet paper up the stairs. Here, it is just room 508, and if I run out, someone from downstairs will bring up a new bottle. Pretty nice.
Room 508 does not get mail. I check my mail every three weeks, whether I really need to or not. Two escrow refund checks sat in my unread mail pile for six months, and both banks called and asked if I planned on cashing them. An automobile insurance refund got hidden somewhere between the penny saver and the invite to the local fundamental church now holding services in the middle school down the road. Numerous bills remain, and if Shirley McClain is right, each is feeling a little shitty about what they did in their past life to get reincarnated as one of George's unopened bills. With any luck, they will get thrown out in short order so they can graduate to the next level and become a bird or some other enlightening creature.
Room 508 can be dark in the middle of the afternoon. They have these sliding glass doors, but they also have these curtains that are heavy enough to be pieces of old carpet - but when you shut them - magically, the room is now the middle of the night, and you trip over shit on your way back to bed. I like that. Unfortunately, I sleep with the curtains open, and figure if anyone is wierd enough to be a peeping tom on a forty year old fat guy, then have at it. For a couple of extra dollars, I would pose (and probably not use that money to pay one of those bills awaiting death sitting on my kitchen counter).
Yes, Room 508 and I have been through some pretty good times together. Folks don't get it when I tell them these stories. I think they believe I am half nuts, half lying, and half drugged - and they are probably half right - but Room 508 has seen me through my kids first day of school, one divorce, three houses, numerous pounds shed and gained, one girlfriend, probably thirty hangovers, two presidents, one nervous issue, and at least six pairs of running shoes. I get to move every six months or so, into a new Room, but Room 508 definitely is first prize in memorable rooms...
Getting back into blogging is like getting back into working out - doing both at the same time is a real bitch. Four years ago, I was doing seven miles every three days along with the sit-up and push-up routine - today, I hit two miles and thirty sit ups and push ups and felt like I had just given birth to a full grown Fat Albert (not that I know what either feels like, I just think that me giving birth to a three hundred pound man would cause both my stomach muscles and leg muscles to spasm uncontrollably, shake, and hurt like they do now). Both writing and exercising require discipline - and as Nell says in the movie "Ta Ney Da Sooooooo" - and I think that means "George has no fucking discipline". I am pretty sure that is what it means, because everytime I Netflix that movie, I tear up at that line, and wonder what my life would be like if I was born a woman and left to fend for myself in the woods of West Virginia. I also wonder what my life would be like if I was born Jodie Foster, but I am pretty sure that besides the fame and the money, most of the other stuff we like is pretty similar...(come on, that is a good joke).
I think the difference between casual exercisers, writers, poker players, whatever and real folks who are good at those things, is that us casual dabblers don't have that need that makes it a necessary thing for them to feel right - for the folks who are good at it - they have to do whatever it is they do to feel good in the head - to make their right brain and left brain get along with each other and to make them tolerable at cocktail parties. I am not quite there yet. Cocktail parties are fun, but I do less and less of those, and I am pretty sure years of abuse and lack of proper training have forced my right brain and left brain into a singular being now known as "the gumball pink thing" - and are in constant struggle to control my reality. (I really hope folks who don't really know me too well don't take this too seriously - I can see it now, I run for public office, and have to explain, among other things, why I affectionately speak of my brain in the third person as "the gumball pink thing").
Your mind wanders when you have a favorite hotel room. I guess that is my point. There is a large amount of wandering when you are actually wandering in a familiar place - don't worry, that did not make much sense to me eight years ago, but now, the lust is gone from the wander - and I just enjoy Room 508.
Let's see what I have to write about tomorrow...
Monday, August 22, 2011
There are few things in life better than getting an email that reads, "Hey, I would really like it if you posted more, but if you are dead, I completely understand" - that is what I get for posting a blog, random folks (I have no idea who this person was, is, or why they would find a blog as obscurely named as Kitchenfloorsandbonemarrowsandwiches.blogspot.com) but none the the less, I can assure you that I am:
1. Not dead. If I am dead, I am surviving in an alternate reality that seems terribly similar to the reality I was living in earlier this year.
2. Have not been interested in posting - well, I have been interested, by my motivation has been about as intense as an 83 year old man's testosterone level, and therefore, I have spent large amounts of my free time eating doritos, watching middle eastern dictatorships collapse, and gaining weight.
3. Am really trying to make myself do the healthy things that I think keep me from being Baker Acted into a padded room in Chattahoochee (Google it). Writing is one of those things, so feel free to shame me into writing by asking me if I am dead whenever I don't throw a post out there for three or four months (I think it has been since June or so)...
Let us continue - when I say things like that I imagine a Finance professor standing in front of the room gleefully explaining the Black and Schoales Pricing Model (pardon my spelling, I can remember the lecture, just not how to spell the model name) and looking out on the masses of the post pubescent college students wondering when this hell when end so they can go and purge the prior night's nickel beer extravaganza and get a few hours of sleep before repeating said behavior. As usual, I digress, but we shall continue...
Gratitude is a hard thing to define. Right now, I am sitting in the Delta Sky Club drinking a diet coke and eating some of those nifty Wasabi peanuts that are mixed in with those really good sesame honey sticks, and off to my left is a way to boisterous southern attorney reaffirming the person on the other end of his cell phone that what they are discussing is strictly confidential and that no one will no about what they are planning - except of course all of the folks sitting in the crown room. Anyway, he keeps repeating how grateful the company that they are apparently suing should be, because the offer they are giving them is one of "christian gratitude" - now I am not real sure what the fuck that means - but I am pretty sure most folks getting sued very rarely end of grateful as their pucker factor hits about twelve, and they need a doctor to squeeze out a fart. The delivery of the speech, I have to admit, was enlightening, and I imagine he could have been selling the folks on the other end a truckload of used dildos and they would have chomped on the opportunity, but the christian gratitude and the grateful thing are what spurred me to sit down and write. For this, you sly bowtie wearing legal beagle, I am grateful. Please stay away from my family, we are full up on snake oil -
What is gratitude - I mean really, we can look it up in the dictionary, and we say we are grateful that the hurricane hit someone else's State, but I often wonder if you are too grateful or not grateful enough, or if there are guidelines that specifically state how grateful you are supposed to be. According to my memory, my ex-mother-in-law had several rules of levels of gratefulness, and I am sure that somewhere in Philadelphia society or on the tennis courts of Florida or the slopes of Vail, there are unspoken rules that you can only learn if you are in that secret bloodline club that gets all of the Presidents elected - but most of that shit gets lost on me, I think they may have tried to let me in as a member of the hired help, but I am pretty sure they gave up after I told them to fuck themselves if they could not take a joke. Think about the things we have. I watch the folks on the news in these countries where wealthy is owning a goat and sharing a shithole shack with just two families, and having a meal a day - and you have to work sixteen hours to get that - and dip into your savings that you established by selling your children into forced labor - and then I think about how grateful we really are. I am no saint, and certainly not 100% sinner, but I do have need to pause, and think about the things I am really grateful for....
There, that was a relaxing pause - now for some simple George Rules on things to do to be more grateful - once again, follow this advice at your own risk, I do not recommend it, and if you want case studies on what not to do - shoot me an email...
1. Always be grateful to your Doctor. My doctor is still trying to get his money from the last procedure (at least the co-pay portion), so I like to think that by me saying,"Doctor, I really appreciate the trouble you are about to go through to take care of me", tempers the 16 months it will take to get the remaining 10% of the bill.
2. Always be grateful to the traffic officer who pulls you over. Remember, there are very few jobs out there that require you to graduate from high school, take eight weeks of training, and then be issued a firearm, a high speed souped up vehicle, and an ego the size of a porn star's cock. Really, just thank them for reminding you how to read a speedometer, thank them for reassuring you that the streets are safer now that one more law abiding citizen is paying another tax for doing eleven miles over the hour, and then thank them for hanging out behind trees and signs in the vicinity lest any bad guys want to hang out behind those same trees and signs. (Seriously, I am appreciative of law enforcement, I just find that the folks giving out speeding tickets are not the ones you find on too many task forces reeling in rapists, murderers, and heroin dealers).
3. Call your local top forty station or Conservative Talk Radio, and thank them for perpetuating shitty music. There are times when there is nothing to do - and the only radio station that is powerful enough for you to recieve plays "Fifty Eminem Songs in Row!" or "All the Boy Bands and Commercial Free Music fit for Radio!" or "America's People Listen to Real Americans Talking about Not Real AMericans" - thank them for stomping over Public Radio and washing out their signal. Thank them for convincing you that being a Republican really does not mean much more than making sure you keep your taxes regressive, your health care expensive, and your military bombing the hell out of some third world oil pumping country. (Folks, I am so conservative that I am LIBERAL - I don't want you in my backyard, I don't want you to have my money, and I don't want you to tell me how to worship - so I pay taxes to keep those folks away from me - even the tax free megachurches...)
4. Call your Student Loan lenders - and thank them for 9% unemployment and the commercialization of state run education. Call them and thank them for flooding schools with students who, because of the wonderful "No Child Left Behind" act, are taught to take standardized tests, and when confronted with a problem without a number 2 pencil and bubble things start to shit themselves. I guess the good news is though that they do work cheap!
5. Be grateful that there are pricks like me in the world. Could you imagine life as we know it without a few haphazard reckless pricks in it? I mean what would a trip be to the local bar if not for the intelligent loafer in the corner espousing beatitudes of life, or if you did not have this distraction for your written by a self-absorbed middle aged fat guy? Albeit, I am not the biggest prick in the world, therefore, I am thankful that I can rest assured that although folks don't always like me, they choose to tolerate me because I am not the biggest swinging dick sucking up the airspace in the room.
I could go on, but you should be grateful that my plane awaits at gate C44 - and I am compelled with Christian Compassion to end my satiric rant on things to be grateful for - in all reality, I am grateful for just about everything that I have and the people that I am surrounded by - they are what makes life as I know it, and without a few good people, and a few challenges, I am afraid that I would probably just spend more of my time drinking generic vodka and surfing internet porn/gambling sites. I have a job, I have a family, I have a house, I have a car, I have a significant other - and most of all, the ticker still works no matter how many times the collections folks call - so for all of that and to all them - thanks, I sincerely cannot imagine my life without each of you, and for your compassion, I am grateful.
Until next time -