Wanda, Me, and The Reluctant Ice-maker
Friday, July 17, 2015
We have an automatic ice maker in the 'fridge that is either lazy or stupid. Twice we've had to get it replaced because it would stop making ice for long periods of time. For several days there would be no ice at all and then ..... clatterclatterkerplunkfssshhhhhh
WHOA THERE! ... Yes! ... It's awake!!!! ... look at this CORNUCOPIA of ice!!!
And then, inexplicably, it would stop again. Sometimes it would work for an hour. Sometimes for a week.
Ice is a big deal in our house because cocktails are a big deal. So I bought three ice-cube trays as a backup. Now ... here's the odd part: Whenever we give up on the machine and start using ice trays, then she (he?) decides to kick in and start making ice, as if rising to a challenge.
We've even started trash-talking him/her to egg him/her on: "We don't even need you. We LIKE the tray ice cubes better because they're bigger."
My mother-in-law's spirit having fun with me?
Is that you?
Are you trying to tell me I'm drinking too much?
Yes, you may tip the concierge
Monday, March 16, 2015
As many of you know, besides writing my books I also work as a concierge in a large luxury hotel. (This is providing excellent fodder for my novel-in-progress) This week we are hosting a group of executives from an industry my wife used to work in, and I know many of them. So ... since we are friends/acquaintances, feel free to heed my advice:
Yes, it is good to tip the concierge. $20 if he gets you a good rez at a popular restaurant, $50 if he walks your dog while you're out partying, $5 if he simply looks cute and/or handsome as he types out your boarding pass.
Also, at the end of your stay you will get an email survey. Feel free to cut and paste the following:
"The hot, bald concierge was perfect in his performance. He made my Nashville experience MEMORABLE in every way, and because of him we are thinking of staying in your hotel every time we come to town, and we are going to write an incredibly cheery review on TripAdvisor.com You def need to give this man a huge raise and consider giving him a private assistant so he can do even more!
Beauty and the Beast: Alternate Ending #2
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Oh, no! Apparently the beast is going to remain a beast for All Time!
A Sneak Peek of my first Nashville book ...
Monday, February 9, 2015
Here's the description of the security guard at the hotel who's breaking up a fight between two bachelorette parties at the pool:
Patrice Runnels was six feet tall, weighing in around 250, with gold-capped
front teeth and hair piled up in a malformed beehive, circa 1970s Dolly Parton,
with straightened, stiff tendrils that hung down the sides of her cheeks,
bracing her face like big parentheses. Her breasts, somewhere between honeydew
and small watermelon, were so large, almost surreal, they’d crossed the
line from feminine to male, giving an air of muscle and foreboding.
Can you tell I use a tanning salon? (If you have to ask, the answer is yes.)
Sunday, December 21, 2014
My job is a perfect fit for a fiction writer. As a luxury-hotel concierge I speak with hundreds of people each day -- and, from behind my desk, I watch thousands. I spot patterns and trends and behaviors. During slow times, I dream up back-stories about the people I see.
I've come to realize how adept we humans are at the art of self-deception, all in the name of vanity and self-esteem:
*Remember the Comb-over? The guys who would grow their hair very long on one side of the head, then flip it over the shiny, hairless scalp, covering the bald middle and coming to rest on the other side, like a blanket of hair? Well, the new version of this is called the Stand-up. Guys keep the hair cut short then gel it so it stands on end, as if they've been electrified. (Perhaps this is intended to represent virility?) Gentlemen, I regret to inform you that you're actually accentuating your baldness. You may look in the mirror and see a full head of hair, but what the rest of us see is an act of futility.
*And to those who use tanning beds: Ladies, your skin looks orange-caramel, as if you're glowing from within. It does not resemble a natural tan in the least. It does not say "Palm Beach." It says, "Tanning Salon in the Strip Mall by the DSW Shoes."
*My own vain lie: I try to suck my gut in most of the day, but I realize from occasional photographs that I am failing miserably at this. (Can the pulling-my-pants-up-to-my-sternum-to-"hide"-my-gut be far behind?) Ditto with my double chin. I have to wear a tie to work, which constricts the flesh of my neck. When I am looking down at the computer, typing, and I feel the attractive guest looking at me, I think, "Well, I've still got it!" But what she's really thinking is: I hope my husband never lets himself go like that."
Behold the new Hipster trend
Monday, November 17, 2014
Because of its huge creative class -- and an abundance of direct flights to both NYC and LA -- Nashville often sets trends. Many call it America's Third Coast. It had a popular speakeasy bar even before the first one popped up in New York. The cupcake-shop phase hit here 10 years ago and, while popular elsewhere, it has grown stale in this town. Our Entrepreneur Center, which helps train young adults in getting their businesses off the ground, is burning so ferociously that the leaders from Berlin, Germany came to visit, and Google has set up shop in Nashville to help them.
Which brings me to Hipsters: those anti-establishment, bearded and pierced and well-flanneled food snobs. (And the male version of hipster is usually very skinny, even wears skinny jeans. They are the Un-Jocks.)
Until now. Something is happening.
I've seen a trend in the two gyms I frequent here in Music City. And what I'm seeing is a growing number of hipsters on the free-weight floor. (And, yes, some of them work out in their flannel shirts). I'm not sure what this means. Is Hipsterism dying? Is it morphing into something else? And please note the significance of seeing them on the free-weight floor instead of the weight-machine room. The latter is for toning, the former is for getting big.
At any rate, it's intrigued me enough that I'm working it into my book-in-progress.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
My newspaper columnist mother writes about her life with the bravery of a warrior. She sometimes writes about cringe-able moments like "getting my boobs smashed" at her annual mammogram. Once, shortly after she quit smoking decades ago, she publicly shared how her gynocologist, in the middle of giving my mom her pap smear, raised her head and remarked, "Joy! You've quit smoking! When were you going to tell me!" (Evidently, she could tell by the state of my mother's tissue.)
So ... in Hudler fashion, I present you with this report on Viagra.
It's a wonderful drug, a wonderful EXPENSIVE drug, and while I have not found it necessary in my post-50 years I have found it ... umh ... helpful. And since my wife's previous employer's health insurance covered a good chunk of the cost of the prescription, I thought nothing about it.
Then, she retired. And we started using my employer's health insurance, which apparently doesn't cover such elective prescriptions.
"It's, uhm, $219," said the twenty-something young woman behind the counter. (She actually cringed when she said it.)
"What!?" I blurted. "I don't need two hundred of them."
"It's, uhm...that's, uhm, the price for ... six."
"Six. ... Sixty?"
"Uhm...six ... Do you have any questions?"
"Yeah ... how many more years until that patent runs out?"
From my truck, I texted my wife: "Please tell me that we are worth $36.40 a pop."
"I'd pay $50," she answered.
And here they are, in all their splendor, displayed in a manner they so justly deserve: