Mistakes Parents Make While Traveling.

It’s Saturday and I’m wide awake

(mostly)

so I think it’s time to use my seventeen years of experience serving the public constructively and judge others. Don’t you agree?

I knew you would. We’re a perfect team, aren’t we?

The timing is serendipitous; the hotel is overrun with cheerleaders, hockey teams and the usual wandering suspects so I have plenty of subjects to exploit choose from. So let’s examine just where many of these progenitors go wrong as they travel the Canadian highways and byways.

1)  They forget/ignore the stakes.

Family trips stay imbedded in a child’s memory forever. Period. Whether that recollection is of a positive nature or not depends largely on the action’s of the family overseers. If mom and dad fail to see the Big Picture, they’ll pay for it down the road, trust me.

Many of us have images of our younger selves crammed into the back seat of the Familymobile, singing travelin’ tunes – badly – and watching our parents fuss with maps while adjusting the radio volume every time the car made another noise. Inevitably, the backseat volume drowned out the radio and a single threat was issued;

“If you kids don’t knock it off, I swear to God, I’ll drive this car off the next cliff we come to. You can say ‘We’re sorry, Daddy!’ all you want as we plunge to a fiery death, but it’ll be too late!”

Or was that just my family that made such declarations? oh well, you get the point, right? Family trips can become precious memories or nightmares, the choice is up to you, mom and dad.

2)  They let their little devils off the leash.

In some cases, the rugrats don’t even have leashes and this can be a fatal mistake that others pay for. Just because your kids are capable of wiping their own arses doesn’t mean they’re in a position to self-govern, folks. Now, I know what you’re thinking,

“But Hook, our kids never seem to run out of energy, so we let them go wild after they’ve been cooped up in the car for seventeen hours and they wind down – eventually! If we don’t let them go, they’ll be up all night and the hubby and I won’t get a chance to play ‘The UPS delivery man and the housewife who can’t cover the COD cost of her package!’ and that would suck!”

Incidentally, folks, that was an actual quote from a guest I served yesterday. My response?

“I hate to say it, miss, but everyone around you, myself included, has no vested interest in your ability to achieve orgasm while your children slumber. Your fellow travelers have spent good money to be here and all they want is a little peace and quiet. Granted, they’re not going to get it with a cheerleading competition and a hockey tournament here, but your kids aren’t helping by reenacting Lord of the Flies in the lobby!”

And for the record, the young lady understood my position fully and after she finished spitting her coffee out, she not only tipped me large, she flirted with me while her husband parked the mini-van and her kids, you guessed it, continued to run wild!

There’s win in there somewhere, I know it…

I’m quite tall, I’m afraid I have to be brief, folks. The first call of the day awaits and so the lesson ends here.

For now.

See you in the lobby, kids….

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Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

The Hook:

There is a cheerleading competition (stampede) at the hotel right now. I’m in no shape to blog, so here’s Daile to entertain and enlighten. You’re welcome.

Originally posted on kissmeoutofdesire:

20-dating-questions-20051110 Best First Date Questions (or why I don’t get 2nd dates)

1. What is your biggest regret in life?

The things that people regret say a lot about them. Personally I regret nothing, not one stupid idiotic or even hurtful moment in my life. I think I am a better person for it but some may just see it as an avoidance technique.

2. Name your most annoying habit that you are stubbornly unlikely to ever change.

I feel this is an important one to know early in the dating game. Lots of people think they can change habits, wardrobe or personalities of the people they are dating. I say be honest and let your potential suitor know the things that they will be stuck with FOREVER…

3. What is your least favourite household chore?

Because it’s nice to know which shitty domestic duty you may be stuck with…

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A gift from The Hook (or why I tell him I don’t celebrate Christmas)

The Hook:

Ned Hickson has become a fast friend. This is how I treat my friends. (Yes, I’m a strange guy, thank you very much.) Enjoy.

Originally posted on Ned's Blog:

image They say the best gifts are the ones you never ask for. They also say to never look a gift horse in the mouth. While I agree with both of those sentiments, I have to assume “they” have never received a gift from Robert Hookey , comedic maestro behind The Hook and Rob Ford’s running mate for the 2016 Niagara Falls Moose Lodge presidential race.

Perhaps because he is Canadian and not subject to U.S. privacy laws, or possibly because he has an overactive imagination fueled by pure maple syrup, Hook claimed to have discovered information about me which — as a gift — he promised to keep quiet. However, because I believe in full disclosure, and because these were too funny to keep to myself, I have included his discoveries here, along with some explanations. Mostly because I don’t want Peter Dinklage kicking down my door.

I promise it…

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5×5 With The Hook: Nadia S.

She’s a side-splittingly funny gal and she’s bursting at the seams with life.

What else is there to say, really?

Okay, so there are a few more things, I suppose. Let’s get to them, shall we?

For me, her comedic brilliance is best encapsulated in a single paragraph from her award-winning blog. (It’s at the top of the FBI cyber division’s “Blogs to Watch” list.)

I started What would Nadia do? after a night of dry humping champagne bottles and sweet talking a hat stand. As I make the best decisions when my liver is in a state of decomposition, I visited WordPress, ready to rehash tales of expat loneliness and my search for identity. It would be a deep and meaningful blog, brought together by just the right combination of margarita misery, Celine Dion facial expressions and toilet bowl wisdom.

You’re welcome.

But as with most writers of quality, Nadia has her dark days…

But these last two months, I’ve been fighting another bipolar depressive episode, which sadly renders my mind as empty as Martha Stewart’s sex toy collection. My depressive episode has also inspired me to create a new mental health blog, Heavy Mental.

WWND’s big sister was born out of a need to live and blog authentically. I have never openly talked about how mental illness has deeply affected my life, both positively and negatively. I want to give the silence around mental illnesses the finger, help others and kick stigma where it hurts. I hope you love it as hard and repeatedly as I do.

Told you she was brilliant. And she’s human. I like that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish depression on anyone (well, okay, the Kardashians and Bieber, but that’s it), but Nadia has taken her challenges and used them to help others, while maintaining her upbeat outlook and continuing to make others shoot milk out their nose. (She did it to me and I wasn’t even drinking milk at the time. Weird, right?)

But enough of this sappy shit, I work for a living so I’m knackered. Take over, Nadia, won’t you?

1) If you had to pick an action star to be your spirit guide, who would you choose?

   I’d rather do a cavity search on Dick Cheney than sit through an action movie, but I’d channel Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men when the impulse strikes to go all Cell Block H inmate on that guy in the Volvo’s ass. Instead of frothing at the mouth and head-butting the steering wheel, Anton would flip a coin, deciding whether to splatter his victim’s remains over the interstate without ever changing facial expression.

   And did I mention that Anton is played by Javier Bardem? Sigh.

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/c8/c80e7fc16b405d1bee573bf6f65b1381b4682065b1a687c98240accb65498729.jpg

I’m gong to give Nadia a moment to compose herself before we continue…

2) This feature exists to shine a positive light across the blogosphere, Nadia: What do you turn to when the darkness becomes to dense to ignore? (Ice cream? Friends/family? Blogging?)

   Ten years ago my post-dump prescription included Alanis Morissette, three-for-ten-dollar Shiraz Cabernet and cheese on everything. For days when I’d rather be toiling in my feather-lined queen-sized home office, these are still my go-tos, except that I sometimes drink from a glass and prefer a hit of Patti Smith or The Rolling Stones these days. Throw in a couple of friends and some serious booty clapping, and my ladyballs are swinging again.
I love this Stones cover from Patti – the best of both worlds.

   Oh, and also this.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1321/1404415579_14c3694bd4.jpg

Let’s take a shower together.

3) Pretend you’re in a hardboiled detective novel/film: What would your character’s name be? (For some reason I can picture you as an old-time gangster’s moll. Although, you’re no one’s possession, I bet you’d look good done up in an outfit from that period. Yes, my mind is a strange place.)

   Hook, you know me too well. As I drooled over Boardwalk Empire like I would over my third cheesecake or a pantless Javier Bardem, I would be a 1920s gun moll solely for the outfits. But because I’m not afraid of getting my flapper dress dirty or ruffling my Marcel wave, I’d join my gangster man as Penelope Pistol Pumper.

4) What’s the best thing about being Nadia? (’cause you seem pretty cool to me.)

   Look at you making me blush like an 11-year-old in sex ed.

   Besides the fact that I can guzzle five gallons of Häagen-Dazs in under five minutes? Most of the marriage proposals waxed lyrical about my way with cuss words and jerky twerk, but being Nadia means there’s always an excuse to grab a bottle of Discount Liquor’s finest, round up a few friends, grab my crotch to a cheesy 90s number and stuff my cakehole with trans fats. I like to lighten the mood and make people laugh. Can you tell?

5) Your favorite fairy tale character is…

   My brother-from-another-mother is Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
On a good day, the most balanced thing about me are my hormone levels. Some days I’m surprised that I haven’t worn my crotchless panties as a crop top or tripped over my balcony railing. Even my couch has more wine stains than Lindsay Lohan’s liver, and I once nearly called a locksmith to open my neighbor’s front door after an hour’s key-turning and my best police kicks.

   I blame all of this on medication.

The other side looks good too.

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 I want to thank today’s victim guest for being such a cool, insightful subject and for being a pleasure to “interview”. I don’t know about you, but Nadia’s given me plenty to think about, so you’re on your own.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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5×5 With The Hook: Ann St. Vincent

She’s on a journey of self-discovery and she wants to tell you all about it.

In her own words:

I am a professional businesswoman living in a big city. I’ve just experienced a milestone birthday. The turbulence in the last 2 years in my life – involving open marriage, affairs, divorce, a sexual reawakening, and online dating – has inspired me to put some of my thoughts and experience on “paper”.

Unlike many recently divorced women, I am not bitter or angry at my ex. I’m not using a dating coach (yet). I’m not looking to replace my husband and get re-married. What I am, after a 15 year almost totally sexless relationship, is very keen on fulfilling every physical desire I have. So far, so good. I’m also a mom to a young child – and my ex and I share custody of him. So life is fun and quite messy and I’m just figuring it out as I go along.

Everything here is true and my first hand experience but the names of those I mention have been disguised to protect the guilty. Enjoy.

And I have so far. The truth is, I stumbled upon Ann’s blog (do yourself a favor, empty any and all fluids out of your system, and click on the link, gang), last week while I was moving across the blogosphere like a drunken frat boy looking for flapjacks at three am. She has since become my favorite mistake. So while I don’t know very much about her, I know she’s earned her place here.

And her blog header is pretty damn cool too…

But I’ll let you make the final judgement.

And since this 5×5 installment is centered on a lifestyle blogger who focuses on the wild ‘n wonderful world of dating, I thought I’d let Jessica Alba extend the official kick-off. (I stand by my decision. Shut up.)

 

1)  Your blog is chock full of raw honesty about your love life; what’s the best part about sharing your ongoing sensual journey with the world?

   Writing is therapy for me. I started to keep a diary when I was a little girl, and I stopped right at the point that my ex first broke my heart. It was at that point that my gut and my brain took different paths, and it was a long time for them to get back together again. So the best thing about sharing my journey is that it is helping me process what I’m going through. I’ve been trying to approach all of this with humor and humility, and some of the experiences I’ve had I find ridiculous. Writing them down helps keep me honest.  I can stare at the words and know that “yup, I should dump that guy”. What I didn’t expect when I started writing was that anyone would pay attention – so hearing from other people, reading other stories, and feeling a sense of relief that I’m not overly crazy has also been awesome!

 (As the saying goes, Ann, we’re all mad here.)

2)  How do you lift your spirits when the world attempts to drag you under with its patented brand of madness?

   I’m generally a pretty happy person. I’m exceedingly fortunate that I love my job and I’m financially secure and my ex isn’t a complete douchebag.  Although he’s only with me every other week, my son is a constant reminder of how awesome life is.  If I’m peeved when I go to sleep because some dude isn’t texting me back, but my small person crawled into my bed in the middle of the night, and wakes me up at 7am telling me that the quetzalcoatlus dinosaur was one of the largest flying animals of all time (true!), I mentally decide to forget the non-texting-dude and give all my mental time and energy to the person in my life that means more than anything else.

 (All together now: Awww!  Seriously, that was sweet and honest, right?)

   But at times I need other spirit lifting methods.  I like to drink and eat with friends.  I write.  I stay in touch with people who have known me a long time and who can remind me I am fine, and will be fine.  I love to dance and I’m still looking for a guy who likes that as well.  As you will know from reading my blog, I love to have sex.  I occasionally lament to some close girlfriends and my Mom that my dating life sucks.  Even the friend I’ve written about in my blog reminds me that by anyone’s measure, I’m getting laid a LOT.  My married girlfriends tease me for saying I “only” have three guys in rotation.  My Mom reminds me to be patient with myself and to enjoy the journey.  She’s pretty smart about this stuff; she went through it as well.

3)  If you could be any sci-fi character (of any gender or race), who would you choose?

(Yes, I’m a hopeless nerd, but I’ve had sex, so I don’t feel completely beyond hope.)

   Assuming I can choose a “live action” character, it would be Dana Scully, no question.  I am a huge X-Files fan (I have the whole series on DVD…but prior to that I taped every episode on VHS). She is fucking awesome. She got to hang out (and sleep with!) with Fox Mulder.  I like her character because she’s smart and fit and can hold her own with all kinds of crazy characters – of this earth and not of this earth.

4)  What’s the best thing about being a mom? 

   A bit of back story before I answer this.  I never knew I wanted children.  I wasn’t one of those people who talked about when I was having a child…it was always if. (It was the same with marriage as well).  I wasn’t a women who, when seeing a baby, would immediately want to hold it.  I could kinda take-or-leave other peoples children.

    My ex wasn’t that different, but we decided together that we would like to have a child.  We were lucky that it didn’t take very long for me to get pregnant, and I had a great pregnancy – I was in suits and heels until right before I left for my leave. All that to say, I didn’t have any of the emotional or physical scars that can come with a journey to have a child.

    Best thing?  That I can raise a child to do and be all the things that I was never able to do and be. 

    Kidding. 

    I see being a Mom as the ultimate responsibility as a person – to raise another person and send them off into the world armed with the skills and attitudes to survive, thrive, and make it a better place.  I’m not raising my son in my image - I don’t see him as a vehicle to meet my unmet needs.  What I’m really enjoying right now is watching his personality shine, seeing how he works out problems, and finding the ways I can encourage his development, his big brain, his curiosity, and his kindness.  This age is an amazing time – he is still innocent and believes in magic.  I’m still cool and a welcome companion, and it’s the best thing to see the world through his eyes.

    Oh and it’s great to have a little kid to take on roller coasters for the first time, stop on the street to talk about the trees and worms, and teach how to twirl pasta.

5)  What’s the perfect date movie?  (A chick flick like Bridget Jones? A comedy? Pirates with Jesse Jane?)

   I love all movies, so I will watch anything, really.  It’s one of my favorite things to do if I’m alone at home at night (when I’m not writing).  Wine and popcorn are must-haves, by the way.  Last time I sat down to watch movies (not including porn), I watched Blue Jasmine, Vertigo, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  Eclectic, like my men.

    The perfect date movie for me would be a movie I see in a theater. Preceded by dinner and drinks.  With a man and no children in attendance.  In other words, a real date.  For some reason, real dates have been elusive.  The kinds of movies I prefer to see in theaters are those that benefit from the big screen and great sound…things like action and sci-fi. Not horror… I don’t like those anymore.  Definitely not a chick flick…I don’t need something romantic or sappy to get me in the mood.

I swear I won’t wipe out this year! Let me walk the red carpet!

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So here’s what we’ve learned about Ann today, friends: She’s sweet, sassy, sexy, intelligent and a devoted mom. That’s good enough for me. Welcome to The Hook’s cyber-hotel, Ann. Allow me to take your bags and show you to your room.

As for the rest of you, see you in the lobby, kids…

Cover photo

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This is Not a Guest Post. This Actually Came From My Mind.

They say failure is a bitter pill to swallow.

So don’t.

Take the pill of failure upon your tongue, roll it around until the flavor fills your mouth and penetrates your senses and mind, but never, ever swallow it whole. Let the taste flow through your consciousness, store the memory for days to come and spit it out when you’ve taken what you need.

Never let failure enter your system fully or it will be with you forever. Let the sensation return when you need it most, when the days grow dark and cold, and when you feel the icy, numbing touch of personal crisis around your throat. Use your failure to fuel your hunger for success. Let it be your companion all of your days, but refuse to let it take root in your center, lest it consume you.

And yes, I carry luggage for a living – and I have for seventeen years now. My past is a wellspring of knowledge which I have only begun to drink from.

See you in the lobby, my companions in this odyssey we call life.

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5×5 With The Hook: Ericka Clay.

There are literally hundreds of writers/bloggers whose work I admire enough to secretly worship and envy in equal amounts, but today we’re going to spend some time with someone truly special and gifted.

This is Ericka Clay at her happiest (to be honest, I’m sure there are moments when Ericka is happier but this isn’t that kind of blog), with her brand-spanking new book contract!

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 (Cue the “very special episode” music.)

But Ericka needs your help. As you’ll soon see, Ericka Clay is one helluva writer and glitterer of cats. But the world needs to know that as well. Enter the EC Readers, Ericka’s very own Mouseketeers. In her own words:

What is EC Readers you may ask?  Just the hottest thing to happen to the Internet since I posted that photo of my husband half naked in a sombrero. The EC Readers is a group of reading and reviewing superheros who make up my street team whose main job is to put out the word about my books. 

 So there you have it. There are plenty of perks for Ericka’s cheerleaders, of course, but I’m afraid I can’t discuss such “rewards” on a family-friendly blog, so you can click HERE and read all about them for yourself.

And by the way, our guest today is also the Chick-in-Chief of Tipsy Lit, one of the most… You know what? I’m going to let Ericka explain it… Picture of a girl reading a book in cowboy boots.

Tipsy Lit is pretty much what happens when you’re me, and you’re sitting around and you’re all like: “I’d really love to get out more but I really don’t want to change out of these yoga pants.”

So the easiest solution is to create a book club on the Internet where you promote reading REAL literature (no shopping, vampires or shopping vampires allowed) and promote the consumption of alcohol while discussing said literature online.  New reading friends?  Check.  Glass of wine?  Check.  Still in my yoga pants?  Check.  We’re good to go.

Now that I’ve buttered up Ericka like a Christmas goose, I think we should get down to business, don’t you?

1) As is the case with most creative types, you’ve undergone a transformation in your life. What is the most positive difference between The Ericka of Then and The Ericka of Now?

   I’m very proud to say the Ericka of Now has better toned calves. I’m not saying The Ericka of Then didn’t have nice calves, because let’s face it, The Ericka of Every Moment In Time is quite the catch. She can glitter a cat in 3.2 seconds and she tricked Dave Coulier into following her on Twitter. Hubba hubba.

   Seriously (what’s that?) though, The Ericka of Now just doesn’t give a shit. She did for a long while and would worry until she got this cute little worry trench between her eyes, but now she’s all like “what the crap” and really, Roberto (Can I call you, Roberto? No? Can I at least glitter your cat? Wait, don’t answer! Let me just live in the “maybe” for a moment…), you have to have a “what the crap” attitude if you’re ever going to publish a million books, meet Oprah, and glitter every animal within a fifty mile radius, otherwise known as The American Dream.

(Did I mention I love this woman’s attitude? But I won’t answer to Roberto. Sorry, Ericka.)

2) What would your viking warrior name be? (Can you tell which television “drama” I just started watching?)

   No I actually can’t. Like seriously, if it’s not on Netflix and doesn’t have Kevin Spacey in it, I probably don’t watch it. But let me see…uh, probably Astrid because of that Office episode where Michael kept pronouncing the name “Ass Turd.”

   Okay, I also watch The Office.

3) Your favorite guilty musical pleasure is…

   Hanson although I don’t have to be guilty about that because there is nothing wrong with a nearly-thirty woman who likes to relax with a little MMMBop on her headphones while taking a run…to her neighbor’s house. To borrow her cat.

   This reminds me, I need to buy more glitter.

(Hook’s Note: Don’t blame me if you succumb to temptation and click on the box below. You’ve been warned.)

4) People are beginning to have mixed feelings about the power of the web (we have cyber-bullies and animal shamers to thank for this). You’ve begun to utilize YouTube to get the word out about recent developments in your professional life. Tell us something positive about YouTube.

(And if you say “I’m on it!”, I’ll cover you from head-to-toe in glitter on behalf of your many feline victims.)

   Hmm…did we cover the part about me being on it? Kidding. No but really, there is that. But there’s also the opportunity to appeal to a particular segment in our population that doesn’t like having to look at letters and figure out what they mean. And I’ve found people in this segment like to share silly videos of women singing at the camera and yelling at their dogs. “SERIOUSLY ROCCO CAN’T I GET A MOMENT OF PEACE????”

   Wait, what was I saying?

   But not really, I like that there’s an outlet available where I can appeal to the dramatic side of myself that tried out for that Oscar Mayer Wiener commercial when she was five and forgot all the words mid-audition. Plus, it’s like really super awesome for SEO. That’s what a computer nerd told me. Her name was Ericka.

5) Do you like to wear scarves?

   Only when I’m writing a book or tricking people into thinking they should follow me on Twitter.

The clues have been subtle (Kardashian subtle, in fact), but just to clarify: Ericka has written a book that will be unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace soon. But don’t be very afraid, kids, be excited… Like you were when your parents went away and you found your dad’s “movie/magazine collection”.

Or was that just me?

At any rate, I’m actually overjoyed for my pal, Ericka. Her success is my success. In fact, I’m going to head out right now and get her a gift to commemorate her hard-fought victory.

Perhaps something with coattails…

See you in the lobby, folks…

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