Friday, November 10, 2006

Notes from a hotel

We're currently sitting in a hotel room in Victoria, Texas. By "we" I mean me, Guthrie, and Turner. And I will confess to being total bums and having brought along not only the laptop, but also the portable DVD player and a few of Guthrie's movies. The drive was only 4-ish hours, but we didn't get out of town until close to dark, and I figured what the heck, it might make it an easier drive for Guthrie. It wasn't bad, though - I actually had fun sitting between the boys, teaching Guthrie about nocturnal animals, making Turner's little teddy bear do crazy dances to Rush songs, and generally feeling like a Total Mom.

Eric is currently off at the University of Houston-Victoria, where he's doing lectures and readings and all kinds of fancy-pants stuff like that. There was no need for me and the boys to come, but to be honest, I was ready to get out of the Valley for a little while. Seriously.

We're going to go hunt up a park in a little while, after Turner wakes up from his nap and Guthrie finishes watching his Cars DVD.

In the meantime, I have to admit there are things I love about staying in hotels. We're total crunchy freaks (yeah, right) in that we don't have a TV (technically, we do - we own one, but it's sitting in our garage, where it will stay). We also eat a mainly healthy diet at home, and don't allow a lot of the normal average "Standard American Diet" foods into our home at all - sugary breakfast cereals, white bread, and the like.

On road trips, and in hotels, we relax most of our rules. No, the boys still may not have any soda, and we don't ever eat conventionally grown beef, but other than that, just about anything goes. On the drive home, Guthrie's going to get a bag of Cheetos, and I've already had two bottles of Pepsi. As rarely as we take road trips, and as well as we eat most of the time, I figure for a trip we should just relax and let the whole thing be seen as a treat. We also gorge ourselves on TV. Last night I kept trying to go to sleep, but it was almost 1 a.m. before I finally crashed, after watching South Park, "Iron Chef America," Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report. I just couldn't stop watching.

The good thing about all of this is that it reinforces to me why we do things the way we do at home. Aside from the gems of Stewart and Colbert, and the 5 million channels to feed me bizarre news addiction, TV today is CRAP. It was darn near impossible to find anything other than some form of "reality TV." And the constant barrage of advertisements, whether it obvious commercials or in the form of interviews and features on talk shows, was also inescapable.

I tried to find something decent for Guthrie to watch on TV. While I don't think (or even care) whether SpongeBob is gay, I don't like him. And it seemed like SB was on 24/7.

The commercials during the shows Eric and I were watching were scary too - "Ultimate Fighting DVDs," violent war games for your Playstation, or how about some sex, sex or more sex.

The hotel breakfast? Between the sweetened yogurt (but it's low-fat!), the maple-flavored pancake syrup (the secret, I believe, is fenugreek - I know when I took it I couldn't figure out why I had such a craving for pancakes all the time, because I smelled like freaking syrup), the 4 cups of sugared, creamed coffeine, and the toast with grape jelly (I loves me some grape jelly), I have a sugar rush to end all sugar rushes. Why can't hotel breakfasts have any substantial protein?

I guess I could have eaten a tub of peanut butter flavored trans fat.

So, off we will go soon to explore Victoria, eat us some junk food (I saw an Arby's last night - I'm having me a Roast Turkey Reuben. And when we get home - no TV, no crap food, no soda.

But I must admit, there was something addictive about Iron Chef. When it first came on, I couldn't quit laughing, and Eric just stared at me. It seemed like America had finally lost it, and this was proof of our impending doom: A food contest reality TV game show whatever the hell you want to call it. But I would be so addicted to this show if we had cable. A bunch of chefs, making venison taquitos, and rack of venison, and running around like crazy people throwing dried blueberries and pureeing apricots and avocados and who knows what else, in some crazy American competition to please a bunch of snooty pretentious judges. I LOVE IT! Makes me want to go eat some freedom fries.

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