Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Such a Lovely Place, Such a Lovely Place...

Hello Friends.

I've started a new job which I quite enjoy, so far. It's been a long time since I've done anything from nine to five, though, and I've a bit of a commute, so I haven't spent much of the past few days at home. Rather, between leaving extra early to ensure punctuality, and getting groceries after work (and by groceries, I mean Cool Whip, Doritos, and those stain-removal pens), I'm usually only home to eat and sleep. I'm not complaining, mind you, I'm thrilled to be out of the house, but it does make me wish I could design my home like my very favourite vacation destination.

Dream: Duplicate the awesomeness of a hotel in my crappy apartment.

Goal: Achievable, because I've done it before. My last job also required a hectic first week of early mornings and late nights filled with errands. At the time I had, no joke, a blow-up bed from Canadian Tire as my everyday big boy bed. While it was less like sleeping on a cloud and more akin to tossing and turning on a moon-bounce of farts, the one advantage to this bed was that it was easily mobile. For that taxing first week, I easily moved by “bed” into the living room and made it face my tv, hotel-style. Trust me, it's not weird waking up next to your living room couch. It's awesome.

Plan: Look to replicate the qualities of hotels and motels I've stayed in that made them so rad. I've always believed in the trite maxims, "Happiness is a journey, not the destination" and "Half the fun is in getting there" as it applies to stops at a Best Western. Whether it was visits to the big American motel chains during the week long car trips we used to take from my childhood home here in the Big City to visit my parents' college friends in Georgia, or stopovers in small-town Saskatchewan's less reputable lodgings on a children's theatre tour, or night with the Doctor on one of our many out of town trips for a wedding or conference, I've always loved a stay in a hotel.

For the purposes of these entry, by the way, I use "hotel" loosely, when what I probably mean is motel. I've never stayed in a really fancy hotel myself, though I've visited friends and family while they've stayed in one. They're luxurious, to be sure, but something about the money it must cost to spend even a night there would sort of ruin the experience for me. As much as I could get used to silk sheets and in-room hot tubs, I'm sure part of me would always be thinking, "I'm paying $200 a night to sit naked eating onion rings and watch Pop Up Video." Anyway, hotel or motel, I just want keep their best attributes in mind when redecorating this crap shack with the leaky roof. Attributes like:

Beds nearly as big as the room. Alright, I know the obvious response here is, "The beds aren't bigger, the rooms are just smaller!" But that's fine, Captain Buzzkill, that's not the point. The point is, you can't not be really comfortable in a hotel room because you sort of have to lie down. There's one poor sap who gets stuck in the office chair or overturned bucket they offer in addition to the beds, but it's never me. I'm here to lie down.

Television is the focal point. If beds are the meat and potatoes of the hotel industry, television is the gravy that gets into everything. You can't not watch tv in a hotel room. I think you sort of forget how to read or use a computer because suddenly there's this thing on a network you've never heard of called like Discovery Indoors about prisons and "what life is like on the inside" and there's no way you're not going to watch that!
Swimmin'. I go to this fitness club downtown where I don't do any fitness, but I do swim. I like swimming, I figure it's ironically the one thing that keeps me from looking like a whale, but every time I finish up, I kind of want to watch tv on different channels and use an ice machine. I love the over-chlorinated, heavily populated hotel pool. Whoever came up with that is a genius that proves the expression, "With nothing but time to occupy the traveller, but that he shall float around and be closer to God." (Just made that shit up, but doesn't it sound like it could be an expression?).

Cleanliness. I know a different person has slept in the same hotel bed every night for as long as the hotel has existed, but it always feels like the cleanest place in the world, because some poor, hunched-over person spends an awkward hour cleaning it while you pretend to watch golf or read the local attractions map. And I know, I know, hotel bedspreads are filthy, they find all kinds of bodily fluids on them with that gross camera on Dateline, but it just feels clean. That's all I really need in an environment anyway. Give me a pine or bleach smell and I'll take off my clothes and roll around, even if there's a corpse under the bed (isn't that the premise of those new Febreze commercials?).

Food in your bed. This is tricky, because while snack food on a bed is acceptable to me, something about eating an entree on a bed gives me pause. Until I consider it further. Room service, or ordering food to the room was something my parents would never allow (not that we stayed in places with room service, mind you, but anyway), and so I've never really developed a taste for it. But there's always that pizza that you order when you're drunk on coolers after a wedding. You plan to eat it at the dumb little table off of little paper towel "plates", but eventually, you're sprawled in bed with crusts on your stomach and you can't tell me that's not a little piece of Heaven.

But I guess what makes every hotel room truly special is whomever you're sharing it with (even if they make you stay in the car while they check in because it's cheaper if they think you're just one guest). Whether it's family, drunk friends, ambitious actors, or your Doctor, spending quality with loved ones is what really makes a hotel feel like home, and makes home feel, like, awesome.

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