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6:35 a.m. - 2002-03-25

THINGS TO DO IN BOISE WHEN YOU'RE DEAD

For the first time since Jesus was a baby, I didn't watch all of the Oscars last night.

Which was appropriate since I had seen a total of NONE of the movies that were up for awards. I didn't CARE to see any of those movies and I WON'T be seeing any of those movies when they come on cable.

I watched some of the Oscars simply because when I was a kid, I happened to be watching the time a streaker ran across the stage.

And I guess for the last 30 years I've tuned in, hoping this time a woman would run across the stage naked. Preferably a woman with decent boobies.

...rabble scrabble Oscar producers. Sucking me in to their little dog and pony show, dangling the carrot of possible nudity right in front of my face.

I curse you, Oscar producers. And your families as well.

CURSE!!!

(Is that how you curse somebody? Yell the word "CURSE!" and wave your fingers at a laptop monitor while propped up in a hotel room bed? I hate to ask, but I've never actually cursed someone before.)


So let's see...after I left you yesterday...

I showered, got dressed and went over to the hotel lobby for a delicious continental breakfast.

I'm really, REALLY starting to begrudge the words "Continental Breakfast". They sound like you have a feast waiting on you when you walk in. Because the word "Continental" sounds like "Continent" and you know ... continents are pretty big things. There's only like ... eight or so of them in the world. Yep. Pretty big things, those continents.

So "Continental Breakfast" technically means "Big Assed Breakfast".

Right?

Wrong.

Therefore, I must curse Continental Breakfasts in general.

CURSE!

(This is getting to be pretty fun!)

I get to the lobby and I have my choice of a sticky bun or a bagel that hasn't even been taken out of the little Sara Lee bag.

The bagels look old but the sticky buns look like some pervert took care of the "Sticky" part on his own.

There's also coffee. But I don't like coffee. ItmakesmefeellikethisandIdon'tlikefeelinglikethis.

So I go bug the lady at the front desk.

"I have some questions," I say.

"Sure," the lady says in her non-descript Idaho tone.

(An interesting fact...a lot of consumer hotlines are based in Boise, Idaho because people's voices are free of any accents here. No southern drawl or midwest twang or New Yawk bullshit. Just a plain voice that you can understand perfectly)

"First off, is there a grocery store nearby?"

Yes, she tells me. In fact, there's an Albertson's grocery store for every two square miles in the city as I found out driving around yesterday. They have more grocery stores than gas stations in this place.

"Second, can I get a non-smoking room?"

She does some checking and I'm already IN a non-smoking room.

Well, tell that to my hair, lady. Because it smells like I've got a pack of flaming Marlboros crammed in my ears.

"My room smells like smoke," I politely complain. "And it's giving me a headache."

Ohhhhh...poor fat guy on a business trip. Wah, wah, wah. His big fat head is hurting because somebody had to have a nicotine fix. Wah wah wah.

She tells me that someone probably snuck a smoke in the room but there wasn't much else she could do for me.

I asked if she had a hair dryer I could borrow since there were no hair dryers in the room and I never pack hair dryers for trips because by God...it's just a fact these days that hotel rooms come equipped with hair dryers, dammit, because this is America and we want...neigh...DEMAND that our hair be dry when travelling.

No hair dryers.

How about an iron and ironing board?

Okay. There's one iron and ironing board for the entire hotel.

...Guess who still has it in their room nearly 24 hours later?

Tee hee!

I'm such an ironing slut!!!

In my defense, she said that housekeeping would pick it up.

Housekeeping didn't. Housekeeping looked at it and walked away from it. Housekeeping couldn't speak English (one of the few people in this city with an accent, Maria Conchita Ahousekeepah could barely say "housecleaning" without wanting to roll an "R" in there somewhere).

So I got my room cleaned...went to Albertson's and bought some KETTLE COOKED POTATO CHIPS (shout out to Edweird whose latest bitchfest has been about the genuine lack of kettle cooked potato chips in Alabama. And dammit....these are THE BEST kettle cooked potato chips I've ever eaten, Eddie!! I've got callouses on my tongue from eating these crunchy little bastards nonstop!!!

...I'm sure that will keep the boy sufficiently pissed off for the rest of the day...

I then went to church.

That was actually fun in a way. Lotsa old people who were very friendly. It reminded me a lot of my own church, which was nice. I just pretended that everyone there were actually people that I would normally see at church who had just gotten facelifts and could speak without using the words "Ain't, reckon, fixin' and fried". The people were all very nice to me, introducing themselves to me and wanting to know what the hell I was doing in their church. I explained that I was on a business trip and that I was only going to be there this one time and wasn't going to bother committing anyone's name to memory.

There was a little 2 year-old boy sitting next to me named Cade though. He reminded me of my own son. Only because he was a 2 year-old little boy. He looked and acted nothing like my son, but he was wearing corduroy overalls, which my son sometimes wears, and he was looking at books, which my son likes to do, so that was pretty close.

I wanted to ask his parents if I could hold him for a bit, to get my fix of holding a small boy for the day. But I thought they might be a bit taken aback by a strange man wanting to hold their child just to smell him.

I left church and had lunch at the Idaho Pizza Company.

With a name like that, you'd expect your pizza to be covered in sliced raw potatoes, wouldn't you?

Sorry to say, but you'd be pretty disappointed. It was a decent pizza, but no raw potatoes to be found.

Came back to the room after stuffing myself with pizza and laid down to take a nap and gain a few pounds.

Woke up 30 minutes later and decided to go find my way around town so that today I wouldn't be completely lost.

Before I left home, I printed out some Yahoo Maps to each of my destinations FROM my previous destination which was a pretty damned good idea if I say so myself.

You know...as long as you put the correct city in the "City, State, Zip" line.

I didn't do that. And I didn't catch that when I printed out the maps.

And I didn't realize that until an hour into my little journey around town and I wound up in a small town called "Eagle, Idaho" (pop. 13) looking for the Bon Marche, a pretty swanky department store.

I ended up in a trailer park, looking for a hoity toity department store. That's when I looked at the map, saw Eagle, Idaho rather than Boise, Idaho, slapped myself in the forehead with a resounding "D'oh!" and began my trek back to the city to purchase a real map.

I found the Bon Marche right smack in the middle of downtown Boise. Speaking of which, downtown Boise is a great place. Clean...historic...full of unique shopping and restaurants. A park your car and walk type of atmosphere.

...You know...if the wind wasn't so cold, whipping your face like a bored dominatrix. I'm sure it's delightful in the summertime. In late March, it's about as delightful as a rectal exam.

From there, the Yahoo maps did me proud. I highly recommend them as they really steered me around the city quite nicely.

That's Yahoo Maps, as used by Uncle Bob.

There's a ringing endorsement if I ever saw one.


I got through finding my way around town and it was 4:30.

I didn't want to go back to the hotel room and sit for the next six hours. So I went to an area that looked like a mall from the interstate.

It was actually a huge 21-complex theater with a large outdoor food court built around it.

I wasn't that hungry, but I was there and knew I'd be hungry in a few hours.

And since there's more pizzarias than Albertson's grocery stores in Boise...I had pizza for dinner as well.

Smoky Mountain Pizza blew the Idaho Pizza Company away.

Except...with a name like Smoky Mountain Pizza...you'd expect your pizza to have chopped up Tennessee hillbillies on it, wouldn't you?

You'd walk away sadly depressed if that was the case, Bucko. No chopped up hillbilly on these pizzas.

...Although...the sausage did have a unique taste to it. And I could swear I ate a chipped tooth on my pizza. So maybe they are tossing a little shredded hillbilly on it.

Anyway...it was delicious and that's what I'm having for breakfast this morning.

I'm sure the people I see today will be thankful for that.


All in all, a decent day. Came home, called the wife and this time it's HER that is having the lousy time while I'm away.

Last time, in Oregon, I had a little breakdown as I HATED being away from my wife and child.

This time, I knew what to expect and I've accepted it. And I'm doing much better mentally.

Susie's the one battling depression on this trip. She said it's pretty lonely in the house with only Andrew and the dog.

I told her to try sitting in a hotel room with brick walls by herself for 20 hours a day.

But for some reason, it's not bothering me. I think I'm cool with it. Mainly because I know my trip's a day shorter this time than it was last time, which is good.

And from here on out, my day's will be occupied with work, which is good. Makes the time go by quicker.

Anyway...I'm done here. My ankles hurt from having this computer propped on my lap in the same position for the last hour. Time to get up and clean up this room for the maid.

...Which amounts to throwing two Diet Dr. Pepper cans away.

But you know what I mean. It's my way of saying I'm out of things to say.

Peace out.

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