The Way Things Are






There is no scintillation here, and for that I apologize.
2006-04-03, 6:41 p.m.

Well well well…look who pulled her head out of her ass enough to figure out how to get online at the hotel (me). I’m paying (not me, really - the Man. But actually, I am the Man) about $10 a day for this connection, so I’ll be durned if I’m going to let an opportunity to update the scintillation around here pass me by.

Now for some scintillation.

There is no scintillation here, and for that I apologize.

I got to Big D, the Emerald City, about 10:00 last night, and got a cab to the hotel. I’m not normally a cab person: I prefer the much slower and less reliable Super Shuttle, but (1) I have had to take a cab to downtown before, so I knew it was painless and (2) Super Shuttle is a little slow on the uptake, and its price to downtown is not much less than a cab.

So there I am in my cab, conversing with my driver whom I estimate to be Nigerian, not because I’m assuming, but because I have a Nigerian friend, and I had the same challenge understanding this man’s accent as I do my friend’s. I had to turn the language centers in my brain about a quarter turn, and then I was all set. We conversed about the fact that if you stay away from Dallas for a year, you will come back and not recognize jack shit, because this city does not sit still.

No vacant land is safe! No old building shall sit fallow! We’ll build, we’ll tear down, we’ll renovate, and we’ll develop. It’s crazy to me, the amount of money in this city. It’s a pretty fast-paced place, too, so I suppose while the people and land are moving along at a fair clip, money is being made.

When I got to my hotel, I noticed that the lobby was a bit warmish and humid. And when I got to my room, I noticed that it, too, was warmish and humid. I chalked it up to the A/C not having been on long enough before my arrival (what? they weren’t waiting with bated breath?), performed my evening ablutions, and went to bed.

It was like camping. It was hot all night, I tossed and turned, I broke a sweat, I woke up about every 30 minutes. All you had to was furnish the bathroom with spiders, and I would have been camping.

If I had been thinking, I would have taken a lovely photo of myself this morning, rife with puffy eyes and sweaty hair. Luckily for all of you, we don’t provide that kind of scintillation around here.

But I pulled myself together, for I am strong! And resilient! And I look upon all experiences as challenges to write about here! And before class started, I registered my complaint about my lack of air conditioning, and learned that one of the main chillers was down.

So strangely enough, the management moved me one room down, and it’s nice and cool and really sort of freezing in here. How does the chiller work in room 644, and not in room 643? I had to take a shower this evening to wash off the sweat and stank from the beginning of my day, as well as to warm up from the coldness of this room.

I’m just never happy, am I? Yes I am. I can order a pitcher of beer from room service for $7, and that makes me happy.

I was sitting at the little complimentary continental breakfast this morning, chatting with fellow class-takers, and whenever asked the inevitable “Where are you from?” I would answer “San Antonio, but I grew up here in Dallas.”

Not that ANYBODY was interested, but it gave me more syllables than just “San Antonio”, plus I imagine it gave me an air of mystery and cosmopolitana (not a real word. I just made that up). Dallas! She grew up in Dallas!

One man at the table replied to me, “Oh, then you probably have some recommendations for going out tonight,” to which I had to say, “No, sir, I sure don’t. I haven’t lived here in over 20 years. All I can think of is that you should go to White Rock Lake and drink beer on the T-dock after the football game.”

He did NOT share my sense of humor, and said that he didn’t know where White Rock Lake was. Well, duh. He couldn’t find T-dock, either ( here are some handy directions, in case YOU want to soak up my high school experience), and I’ll bet he couldn’t find a football game tonight with both hands and a forked stick. I should have shrugged and said, “I dunno, then. Taco Bell?”

Hey! Remember how I said on Friday that I would have to get spectacularly drunk in order to give myself something to write about? I did that Friday night. I don’t even know what I was thinking. We went to some friends’ house, and they are clearly trying to kill me. Wine after wine after wine. I just threw ‘em back.

And when I got home, I threw ‘em up, along with a burrito. I haven’t vomited from drinking since January of 1999, and that time, I was with my sister, on a cruise ship, in the middle of a winter Caribbean storm. So, sure, I threw up then from drinking, but that was a hangover exacerbated by seasickness.

This one? Was just a hangover combined with stupidity. I threw up before bed, slept badly, woke up early, tried to drink some water, and then threw that up, too. I did not fully recover until about 5:00 Saturday evening, and if you know me, you know I HATE to waste a day.

It was a wasted day. It was a wasted drunk, too. No hijinx, no fun stories, just me standing in my friends’ kitchen, getting drunker and drunker and drunker, blathering on and on and on, ad nauseum. Literally.

I want to let you guys know, for I know how you worry, that this class is neither kicking my ass nor killing me, so far. I credit the instructor’s ability to convey complicated theories to simpletons, and all those fresh, new brain cells I had to grow to replace the ones I killed Friday.

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