Archive for November 17th, 2009

Rock Hotel Rocks!

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009


If God took a vacation in Southern California, He’d stay at the San Diego Hard Rock Hotel. The place is futuristic, chic beyond belief, fun, loud, and, in some places, burst-out-laughing tacky. In other words, Rock and Roll Heaven!

My client was cool enough to book me a small suite and I loved the place as soon as I walked through the lobby filled with loud rock music and a subtle sixties light show. The staff was friendly, funny, and giggled out loud when they had to say “How may we rock your world?” It was like kids playing ‘hotel’ but somehow it all worked. And young? Each of the staff had to be born 20 years after the Beatles broke up – retirement age looked to be about 28.


My suite featured two huge TV’s which hung on the wall of each room, a large, walk-around shower, a great stereo system with a free disc, bold colors, and a pricey, mind-blowing mini-bar. Why was it mind-blowing?

bongvodkaThe star of the drink show was BONG Vodka, a large bottle of which invitingly sat on the counter. The room service guy kindly pointed out that when the bottle was done, the medallion on the bottom could be pulled out to make (are you ready?) a Bong. Price? $150.00. Yikes!

Oh yeh, the prices. In every hotel, my first ritual is to order a room-service cheeseburger. Hard Rock Hotels’ cheeseburgers are among the best I’ve ever eaten anywhere – and they should be. With fries and a Pepsi and a delivery charge ($4.00), sales tax (8%), hotel tax (17%), and tip ($5) . . . the burger cost $31.20.

The Hard Rock Hotel isn’t cheap – but it’s an adventure and fun and funny and sometimes tacky. Tacky? Large sign on the snacks:  EAT ME.

Ah, rock my world!

“Yes You’re Going. There’s a Nurse There.”

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009


My Mom was  a walking encyclopedia of common sense.  I don’t know how many times I heard her say the words above when I felt sick and wanted to stay home rather than go to school. Or telling my grade school teachers, “If he misbehaves, make sure you punish him. Then call me and he’ll get it twice as bad when he gets home.”  Can you imagine a parent saying that today?  She’d be in court the rest of her life.

When we were kids,  Mom would take out her ‘wooden spoon’, wave it around, and let us know we’d meet the business end of it if we didn’t straighten up. She also told us the spanking would hurt her more than it hurt us but she’d have to do it because she loved us. We never doubted either premise for a second. Now – I never remember actually being spanked by the wooden spoon, but it wasn’t the worst punishment anyway.

The worst punishment was disappointing my parents.

Being sent to the principal’s office or getting a bad teacher’s note never resulted in any loud theatrics in our home. But the hurt looks and gentle shaking of my parents’ heads were enough to make me melt into the floor. A rotten report card was put on the kitchen counter to “talk about after dinner.” It sat there like a turd and I just picked at my food during those sad, quiet meals.

What was my Mom like? When the heavy duty discussion led by my Dad was finally over, she’d quietly say, “Let’s go back in the kitchen. I kept your dinner warm in the stove.”