NOT EVEN A F**KING MINT FOR MY PILLOW?
22 July 2005
I'm going to stop staying at big name hotels. I arrived at the Hilton at 10:30 and checked in. My key didn't work, so I had to send for someone to get me into the room. I had been on the road since 6 a.m. and the only thing of "substance" I'd had to eat all day was a breakfast foccacia at the Sacramento Airport.
Know how many peanuts are in one of those packettes that you get on Southwest? 18. EIGHTEEN. It looks like more because they are actually peanut halves (36 of them). Eighteen fucking peanuts.
Well, actually we did get a snack pack out of Los Angeles. Some low cal crackers, 2 graham crackers, and 4 mini Oreos.
My plan had been to pick up food at LAX, but lemme tell you, terrorist threats have done nothing to make Americans uncomfortable about flying. Once I had my place in line, with mini elbow room, which constantly got pushed by airport staff pushing through with wheelchairs (I swear, I'm going to get "injured" before I travel again!), I wasn't going to risk getting out of line, even if there was a McDonalds just a few feet behind me.
I almost got a good deal. They were looking for people to give up tickets because the flight was oversold. We would get a $200 voucher, get pre-boarding privileges, and the next flight would leave only two hours later, which would mean I could actually sit down and have lunch.
But though they were thrilled to have my ticket available, they didn't need it, and so I shuffled onto the plane like a cow headed for slaughter with the rest of the herd.
On the ride in from the airport on the Super Shuttle I got to listen to nearly an hour of Focus on the Family sponsored programming and Jesus rock music.
The Hilton is undergoing remodeling, so their fancy lobby is closed off. The Shuttle service let me off at a back entrance and I registered at some make-shift desk and then headed up here to the 11th floor.
I wanted two things: something to drink and something to eat.
But I was told that the restaurant had closed and there is no restaurant open that I can see from here. I was thrilled to find this lovely bottle of Fiji water sitting on the desk but before I opened it, I found out that if I open it, a $5 charge will be added to my bill.
I went looking for a vending machine and found the "vending" area which consists of a place to buy soft drinks. Period. Not even a packette of 18 peanuts.
Ok. So I can't eat. And I have to have tap water. At least I can fire up the computer. But a local call is 75 cents and if it goes over 30 minutes, it will cost 10 cents a minute. "This policy is not designated to gain profits but to ensure avaiklability of telephone service to all guests at costs relative to their usage."
Yeah. Whatever. Forget web surfing. I'll pay the 75 cents to post a journal entry and pick up e-mail but that will probably take over 30 minutes right there. (Internet access at their business center is 75 cents per minute. It took me 30 minutes to post this entry and download e-mail, with no time to read or answer e-mail. Grrrrr.
The room seems to have two temperatures: hot and freezing. Take your pick. Freezing wouldn't be so bad if yhou could direct the flow of air from the cooler, but it blows directly on me as I sit at the desk and there is no way to point it in any other direction.
At least the TV is free. I think.
My plan for this weekend was to read the new "Harry Potter." The book is 600+ pages and I figured I'de read a big chunk of it on the flight here, read during "down" times, and then finish it up on the flight home.
I didn't count on finishing it before the plane landed, so I hadn't brought a back-up book, which I almost always do. Now not only do I have no food, I have nothing to read either.
However, the book was good. I've heard conflicting reports on it, but I liked it and I decided that if I were J.K. Rowling wring book 6 of a 7 book series, I probably would have ended it exactly the same way. It seems to make sense in the context of the plot.
All the scuttlebutt about this book was that "somebody dies" at the end and there has been all sort of speculation about who it is. I knew who it was before I'd opened the book--and I was right.
So here I sit. Hungry. Bored. Without the freedom of computer access and I guess I'll just go to sleep, even though if I were home, I'd just barely be finished watching Jeopardy.
I swear--next time it's a Motel 6 for me. They have vending machines and free local calls. They also have larger rooms, I believe!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Harry, Weasley, Hagrid