May 26, 2005

Boggle Ye With Me

First a CLARIFICATION: I am not unhappy to have 50,000 rowdy boys churning the air into butter in my basement. We picked our neighborhood because it had a PACK of roving boys playing kickball and etc in the cul de sacs EVERY TIME we drove through, and we picked our house in it because of the basement and the big pondy-froggy-turtle-y lot. Then we set up the downstairs with specific CHILD ATTRACTING equipment. As Sam gets older we will finish out the BIG BASEMENT ROOM and put in a MOVIE THEATRE and get rid of the KIDDIE POOL TABLE and put in a real one (Scott is PANTING to do this right now because he is a SHARK!) And I'll add a downstairs fridge and keep it stocked with cokes and popcorn and ice cream and strawberries and let Sam and Maisy pick the colors and put the old, comfy furniture and not care if it is utterly destroyed or permeated with the smell of adolescent boy feet. Because I want to be THE HOUSE. You know?

It is IMPORTANT to be THE HOUSE. There is ALWAYS a THE HOUSE. When Sam (and later Maisy) is a teenager, if it is 1 AM on a Friday night, and it becomes necessary to ask the question WHERE IS SAM, I want the answer to be, "IN MY BASEMENT WATCHING MOVIES AND SHOOTING POOL AND EATING FREE FOOD WITH A HERD OF HIS FRIENDS." Not, "At some other THE HOUSE, licking investigatively at a big block of heroin and fondling a hooker."

WELCOME BACK TO TRAVEL SANS MERCY!
I have been to, what, like 19 hotels in the last month? And you have ONLY heard about the 2 where I had bad things happen. SO. Let me say, the others were like Barbie's Dream House, all lofted ceilings and flat screen TVs with monstrously good cable and hot and cold running naked oiled cabana boys and crab cake room service and starbucks coffee free in the lobby....VERY nice hotels. NOT the sort of hotel where the bed has a slot for a quarter and if you put one in, the bed jiggles you for ten minutes. More like, the bed had a slot where you could feed it five dollar bills and it would play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata for you. Maybe a little TOO good for a cotton and kudzu backwater rube-chick like me.

And even the bad experiences...they were NICE hotels. One was a very nice hotel, except it had an evil money-sucking exploitative restaurant manager who is going to be SO SORRY when he goes to hell and is thrown into a pile of burning credit cards to smolder eternally in the stink of melting plastic. One hotel was having a genuinely troubled day, what with the SPIDER and the MEAN PERSON and the CONSTRUCTION, but for the record I stayed at that SPIDER MEAN PERSON CONSTRUCTION hotel on the pre-tour and it was PERFECT. So.

I say all this to say: I am at an internet cafe FULL OF TEENAGE BOYS playing WarCraft. It's a pretty cool cafe...it is trying to be THE HOUSE and attract the kids here to avoid the heroin licking/hooker thing. It is NEXT TO and OWNED BY this cute little church, and it has FREE INTERNET,and a stage for BANDS and cheap coffee drinks and cookies and sammies. EVERYONE in here is 17 or under, except me, yet here I sit, listening to my FOURTH SOLID HOUR of contemporary Christian Music as I write this, and...wow. Four hours is a LOT OF CCM. HEH. But I WILL NOT GO NO NEVER NO NEVER because, are you ready for this??? The hotel where I am staying is EVIL.

Oh, it has a BAY VIEW and a DOWN COMFORTER and a HEATED indoor outdoor pool and a four star restauraunt...But...are you ready??? You are not. SIT DOWN and hold hands with someone comforting:
THE HOTEL HAS NO INTERNET CONNECTION.

Pause and boggle with me. NO. INTERNET. CONNECTION. That's right. I cannot get to you from there, nor you to me. IT IS CUT OFF! IT IS SILENT! IT IS A WIREFREE TOMB OF DOOM! I like me some internet in the same way I like me some oxygen...

I got there and the FIRST THING OUT OF MY MOUTH??? As per usual...

Me: How to I connect to the internet? Cable ro wireless?
Hotel Guy: Um, neither!
Me: *boggles at him* HA! HA! NO, BUT REALLY BECAUSE. UM. BUT REALLY WHICH?
Hotel Guy: Well, we have dial up.
Me: HA HA HA. Um What is dial up? THE PHONE THING with the WREEEEEE noise? Because um..*nervous tittering* you are scaring me. No really. HOW DO I CONNECT TO THE INTERNET???
Hotel Guy: You come back in 2006 when the 40 million dollar renovation is over and we have internet.
Me: *boggles*

SO I have spent the day here at Cafe CCM. I LOVE IT HERE. All the kids are looking at me all askance but HERE is good, and I do not MIND that this News Boys CD has played through 4 times now. BECAUSE THIS CAFE HAS YOU, OH MY BELOVED INTERNET! MY LOVELY VIRTUAL FRIENDS! MY POSSUMS, MY BLOSSOMS, OH MY BEST INVISIBLE BELOVEDS. I was SO lonely without you yesterday....But ALAS! My ride is coming to take me to the event, so I must post this and trail sadly away, back to a place with...with...*choked sobbing* NO CONNECTION!!!!!!!!!

Travel. Sans. Mercy.

Posted by joshilyn at May 26, 2005 5:32 PM
Comments

It sounds like heaven...of course you know how I feel about computers...if it weren't for you getting me all addicted to reading blogs and email I would never even approach a computer willingly. Being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, yes I am!
"Licking investgatively at a big block of heroin" - *chortle* - only you could make that particular parent-paranoia so hilarious! :)

Posted by: Amy at May 26, 2005 6:02 PM

Ack! I have dialup at home and on the work laptop when I travel. I am so 20th-century!

Posted by: Dara at May 26, 2005 6:09 PM

That's barbaric. I hope you called them all Luddites and told them their stupid prehistoric hotel will be featured in a future Joshilyn Jackson bestseller, titled Isolation Can Drive You To Christian Rock.

Posted by: Mir at May 26, 2005 7:03 PM

We are turning our youth building into a coffee shop/computer place too. It iwll be called Holy Grounds. I named it. LOL!

We plan to be THE HOUSE too. :)

Posted by: Heather at May 26, 2005 8:26 PM

Damn, I want a basement for my kids, too. Can my kids come hang out at yours when they're teenagers so I can relax?

Posted by: lizardek at May 27, 2005 3:18 AM

I've been back on dial-up for over a year now. I have been just fine with it (after getting of my DSL DTs)...until yesterday. I tried to download a trial program and was told it would take 4 hours. 4! And then, 50% of the way done? I got disconnected! I wound up trying again at bedtime, leaving everything running through the night. I have the trial program, but now I hate dial-up again. All that to say, I'm eva so sorry!

We want to be The House, too :)

Posted by: AGK at May 27, 2005 7:56 AM

And the truly frustrating thing about hotels with no internet IN THE ROOMS? They have it in the office. Not hard to set up a wireless network, folks! It's not like they don't have to have it in the office for their work... They just don't WANT to deal with it.

Blah.

Posted by: Kestralyn at May 27, 2005 9:42 AM

For someone who's come to love blogging as much as I have, I'm astounded now that we didn't even own a computer 2-1/2 years ago! And naive puppies that we were, we were perfectly content with the slower-than-Bush's-brain dial-up we had in the tropics. LOSERS! Ah, the joys of broadband and wireless...I'm so very happy to be back in the 'real' world again. Although I have to say, we recently stayed in a fairly new, very nice hotel here in California where dial-up was the only option, which surprised me.

Posted by: Marilyn at May 27, 2005 9:58 AM

THE HOUSE: YES!!! This is the ENTIRE KEY TO PARENTING!!! Our kids are 20 and 17 now, and we have always been THE HOUSE, on purpose like. Also the gay kids are welcome here because I'm so pro-gay kids, and they come out of the closet here before they do at home. I love being THE HOUSE. Jos, eventually you will walk down the halls at your kidslets' high school and there will be shouts of HEY MRS. JACKSON WHUS HAPP NINN? and it is VERY cool, especially if you are with a mom without THE HOUSE and they don't know her name ha. Two crucial investments for the basement: dumpster-sized trash barrel that can be lined with anti-bug/anti-smell plastic bags, and 2) MICROWAVE oh and, 3) FRO PIZZAS. One more thing: here is what Possible Pregnancy Happening sounds like: "MMMMN, AHMMNNNN, NO DON'T, OKAY DO, MNMNNSSHAHAHAH!!!" Raid immediately.

Posted by: Jilly at May 27, 2005 5:25 PM

Just yesterday I was examining our damp basement-- hoping for visionary guidance as to how to create a cool teenage den down there. The problem is that the house was built in the 1920s and the ceiling in the basement is literally 5'8" high, which won't be a problem for my daughter, who will most likely top out at 5'6" like me, but my son is already on the 6-foot path. And I would be horrified if he stoops or develops a hump from spending all of his time in a 5'8" room. What to do?

Posted by: Edgy Mama at May 28, 2005 10:45 AM

I grew up in THE HOUSE and successfully avoided licking any blocks of heroin, so I plan to continue the tradition with my kids too. The pool table is an excellent lure; I'll have to try that.

Posted by: Amanda at May 28, 2005 4:42 PM