Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In Denton, KareBear Birthday

As the title says, I'm in Denton, Texas this evening at a lovely Holiday Inn.

I really don't get the deal behind paying a lot for staying in a 5 star hotel. If the place has fresh towels and a bed, I'm good. If there's a restaurant in the actual hotel, usually that's very good.

I get it if the hotel is, say, on the beach, such as Las Brisas del Pacifico where we stayed in Costa Rica. or the place at Arenal where we could lay in bed and listen to the rumblings of the volcano and watch it from our balcony. But when you're just moving from place to place? Meh.

That said, I had an absolutely terrible cheeseburger for dinner. Awful. I don't even feel well now.

Driving up I listened to about half of the unabridged "The Wordy Shipmates" by Sarah Vowell. I've only read one of her other books, and I think I listened to the audio book of "Assassination Vacation". I need to see if we still have that anywhere.

Vowell is an interesting writer in our blogging age. She's certainly not writing in the David McCullough or Stephen Ambrose style (my "way back from Lubbock" book will be "Flags of Our Fathers", btw). She kind of jumps all over the place, tells personal anecdotes to cement home points about how we carry a spirit or history with us, and often relates history through the eyes of the typical white-bread American suburbanite (we know our history through sit-coms more than school). And it works. It sticks with you far more than a prattling off of names, dates or even reconstructing complex paths to historical events.

She's not going to win over any Reaganites with her deconstruction of The Gipper's use of Winthrop's "City on a Hill" sermon, aka: A Model of Christian Charity. But she does bring to life (thus far, I'm only half-way thru) the spirit of the Puritans, their perspective, etc... And just as we accept that we may not always comprehend cultures separated from a distance for their different ideals, Vowell is excellent at delineating the differences between what a modern reader might see and our founding culture, separated by time.

Anyhow, if I'm going to be on the road, I prefer I find a good way to spend the time, and audio books always seem to fit the bill.

Man, the air conditioner blower in my room is enormous and hangs half-way over the bed. When it comes on, it totally mutes the television. Unreal.

I am going to sleep like a log tonight.

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday. I hope she has the happiest of birthdays, and I hope I can manage to get her on the phone, which is always hard on her birthday. She's usually off and running as friends or my dad take her out and about.

Spoke with her tonight, and she related a story that sort of sums up my mother.

They now own a house in Austin as well as their other place in Spring. Upon returning home Sunday, Karebear realized she might have left the oven on in Austin. Rather than ask Jamie, Jason, Susan or I to go check, she got up at 5:00 or so on Monday morning and drove all the way to Austin. The stove wasn't on, so she turned around and went home.

My mother, ladies and gentlemen. This is, I might add, the second 1 day trip like this she's made in recent memory. The last was when we needed someone to be in austin in October to be here when we moved the furniture out of the downstairs. Maybe a 30 minute job.

The Karebear would make an excellent long-haul trucker, I think. Especially if she had Peggy riding shotgun.

Anyhow, Happy Birthday, Mum. See you this weekend. Jamie and I love you.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Happy Birthday to the League's mom, too. And thank you for being so welcoming to friends of Ryan and Jason at your home. I always enjoyed talking with y'all.