Curing 30 Years One Month At A Time

May 5, 2009

The Elusive Internet Connection Has Mr. Tinkle Cranky At The Hampton Inn

Filed under: Anger, Cynical Side — Tags: , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 11:25 pm

Another night finds me burning the midnight oil. Wow, that was a horrible way to start a post.  What the heck does that expression even mean? Right off the bat I am unoriginal and far from engaging. Hands down that was the worst opening line ever. I’ll be lucky if a single person continues to read on after that gem of a beginner. Of course, this one avid reader would be my mother so I guess technically that doesn’t count considering everything I do is genius in her eyes.

Sorry for being snippy. I realize this month is all about learning to cure my anger issues, but the ‘joys’ of business traveling can cause anyone to get a little edgy. Just think about it. You start off the trip cramming into a rented mini-van with little to no legroom due to the baggage everyone brought with them. 

For some reason, everyone morphs into one of the three bears because for some the van is too hot, too cool, but never just right. As you go from shivering to sweating you try to occupy your time, but mostly end up talking shop or doing all the work that would be piled up on your desk when you get back.

N1111_mcdonalds _tb006The debate eventually begins on when and where to stop for a bite to eat meaning more than likely you will be visiting your first landmark, The Golden Arches. Throwing all healthy eating habits out the window, you purge the entire trip off of fast food or vending machine munchies.

Let me just tell you this does wonders to your bowels. Having the world’s smallest bladder, I normally have to go number one before we’ve hit the highway on ramp. Not wanting to claim the nickname “Mr. Tinkle,” I hold it in praying someone will budge first and make a request for a potty break. On the other hand, the new all carb and fat diet plugs up my other end like a hairball blocking the shower drain. Painfully, the captives remain held up in jail and cannot be freed.

neon-shanghaiJust around the time your legs go completely numb you end up at the hotel and find out that your roommate is the guy who not only stopped at the ethnic joint for dinner but feasted upon teriyaki beef jerky and trail mix all the way down. As loud and powerful as his constant toots are, they are incapable of drowning out the constant hum of the refrigerator or the air conditioning sounding like a bomb going off every time it kicks on, which just in case you are wondering is every 10 minutes.

Finding it impossible to sleep you head down to the hotel lobby with your laptop figuring you might as well check your email and sports scores. After all, the building has free high speed Internet. Unfortunately, I am quickly learning the hotel I am staying at holds a very loose definition of what exactly constitutes something as high speed. I guess the old adage is true that you get what you paid for.

fix-for-wireless-connection-problems-on-macbook-proAlready tired and constipated, I can add fuming to the list after spending a good part of an hour in the lobby of the hotel trying to find an outlet to recharge my laptop along with a wireless Internet connection that actually works. Doesn’t the Hampton Inn know the fate of the world depends on me updating my fantasy baseball team?

The search for a power source proved to be successful. Sadly, finding that elusive Internet connection seems like a lost caused. All the self-help material I am reading that deals with anger suggests finding humor in the midst of every frustrating situation you face. So, instead of being aggravated that the only available power outlet has me huddled in the corner next to a fake potted plant, I will figure out a way for this to bring a smile to my face.

My opportunity for chuckles presents itself when I see someone coming down the hallway in the mirror. I can see him, but thanks to this glorious potted plant I am out of sight and mind. The poor sap looking for ice has no clue what awaits him around the corner.

The footsteps get louder; my moment is almost here and then…..BOO! He jumps and ice goes flying everywhere. Apparently, unlike myself I helped free that person’s captives. Relief of sorts for him and a humor relief for me. Looks like ‘Mission Smiles, Not Frowns’ accomplished.

March 6, 2009

Hearing “I Don’t Know…Where Do You Want To Eat?” Always Makes Me Grimace

 

Didn't You Watch Super Size Me? This Is Your Body On McDonalds

Didn't You Watch Super Size Me? This Is Your Body On McDonalds

 

 

After a challenging day at work, nothing cheers me up more than walking through the front door of my house and being bombarded with hugs and kisses from Maddie and Paige. If I am also greeted with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen, I know it is going to be a good evening. Jenn is an amazing cook with lasagna, cheesy corn chowder, shepherd’s pie and teriyaki chicken being some of my favorites.

Every once in awhile Jenn will experience a day when the girls have been a pill demanding her full attention and the last thing she wants to do is cook. Some husbands would say, “Don’t worry honey. You take a break. I’ll fix dinner” as they whip up a three course meal. Unfortunately for Jenn, she married a man whose extent of cooking before meeting her involved making Ramen Noodles in a coffee pot. The cook I am not.

Instead, I play the cavalry by picking her and the two littles up from home and taking them out to eat. The funny thing is that this should offer some form of relief, but it often creates more stress as it means someone has to pick the dinning establishment for the evening. Not good news for a man who struggles with indecisiveness.

One would assume deciding on a dinner destination would not be that challenging of a task for two highly functional adults. After all, the shoestring budget we live on knocks out fancy French food unless it comes in the fry variety. Our options continue to dwindle when we take away places where being kid friendly means they serve ice tea, but only tea that is brewed straight out of Long Island.

We then have to subtract the places where our family’s picture is plastered on the hostess stand with the inscription “allow entrance at your own risk.” These restaurants match up almost identically to the locations on our “Walk of Parental Shame” list and involve stories of tossed chicken fingers, meltdowns and spilled drinks.

This leaves us with the garden variety sit down chain restaurants whose menus are almost interchangeable. There are just so many times you can dine at a Ruby Tuesday’s or TGI Friday’s before the thought of eating another meal there gives you a bad case of the Mondays.  Now you find yourself hurting, as it appears you are left with only fast food joints. You know that frequenting McDonald’s will leave you grimacing every time you try to squeeze into your jeans as you slowly turn into the chubby purple being known as Grimace one Big Mac at a time. 

So, what does that leave Jenn and I with? Not much other than a great possibility that we will either hear or utter the expression we despise the most “I don’t know…. where do you want to eat?” This normally takes place the moment my car keys enter the ignition, but before exiting the driveway. We then proceed to scan through the Attractions Coupon Book the next-door neighbor kids roped us into buying along with the chocolate bars, magazine subscriptions and Avon products. On a side note, I would not be surprised if they were secret business moguls who have their own Twitter accounts where they sell an e-book focused on utilizing the guilt factor to boost your sales quota. 

Back to the car where I am now playing the time honored multiple-choice game known as “Give Me Three Options” where Jenn offers up the same suggestions she did the last time we found ourselves in the CRV hungry and looking at each other clueless. The peanut gallery in the second row listening to The Count Sings About Numbers offers up their two cents as well.

Tonight’s winner is Atlanta Bread Company. In my battle to combat indecisiveness, I wonder if this technically counts as a decision or a step towards growth. Granted, I did decide where we were going (1 point for me). However, it was kid’s night (minus 1 point) at place we frequent so often the majority of the staff knows our name (minus 1 point), exactly what we order (minus 1 point) and gives us an extra free cookie coupon so both girls can get a desert (minus 1 point) as they’ve seen the chaos the can be caused by splitting a cookie between girls. If I am doing my math right, this means making the “simple” decision of where to eat put me three in the hole towards decisiveness. 

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