forget about stars

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I have returned from Kentucky with the following items:

1. 12 Ferraro Rocher truffles.
2. A $200 Costco gift card.
3. A new sister in-law.
4. 128 photos, 13 of which aren’t blurry.
5. Showerhead-induced microdermabrasion.
6. New insight into hotel quality ratings.

The natural thing to do would be to write about our travel nightmares (lost luggage and riding in the trunk of a car), the wedding (perfectly beautiful)… or the Louisville experience (they eat spaghetti with chili on it). But since it’s me, and since I am clearly not interested in writing about things people are interested in…I’m going to share my thoughts on hotel quality ratings.

If you’ve ever looked for a hotel online, you know about the different rating methods for hotel quality. You can select a hotel based on a star rating (ranging from 1-5) or on anecdotal customer reviews. If you’ve ever actually BOOKED a hotel through one of these sites, you know that the ratings aren’t always accurate. A hotel that received a combined rating of 3.5/”We’ll certainly be back”… turned out to be more of a 2.0/”I got crabs.”

I think I’ve come up with a more reliable rating system. No stars. No reviews. Just showerheads. I can think of six showerhead configurations that perfectly communicate hotel quality. I think you’ll recognize some of them.

1. Ring of Fire
This configuration is easily distinguished by its ability to completely soak one’s hairline, ears and neck, while leaving the entire face bone dry. Facial wetting is accomplished through a series of circular motions and periodic bobbing. Thorough rinsing is nearly impossible.

2. Rock Tunneler
The original “power shower,” this configuration is inexplicably popular and uncommonly painful. Based on the assumption that More is More when it comes to water pressure, the Rock Tunneler is one ridiculously powerful blast of water capable of removing dirt, debris and nipples.

3. Select-A-Stream
While I totally respect the concept of a select-your-own showerhead configuration, it is almost never successful. To wit:
Hey! An adjustable showerhead!
Oooh, a massage setting… YEEE OUCH.
How ‘bout the fine mist setting…okay, that stings.
Ah well, I guess the original setting was the best one

4. D.I.Y.
Like the Select-A-Stream, I appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into installing a self-service showerhead… but my shower frustrations don’t often stem from the inability to remove the showerhead from the wall. The problem with D.I.Y. is: there is almost always a pesky cord that is almost always twisted, causing the water to shoot off at a wonky angle. So I end up needing to remove the showerhead from the wall.

5. Normal Showerhead
An unremarkable configuration. It expels water and you don’t notice anything about it at all. Rarest of the configurations.

6. Waterfall
This configuration is most often seen in fancy hotels and home design magazines. It is the size of a trash can lid, uses one million gallons of water per second and feels like bathing in angel tears.

I don’t think travel websites would need to do much of anything else to describe the hotel. I imagine the ad would look something like this:

say "what" again, brett!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I don't want my blog to just turn into a chronicle of celebrity sightings... but I couldn't resist sharing this: I saw another celebrity today. This one slightly more obscure than Apolo Anton Ohno. It was Frank Whaley, the guy who plays Brett in Pulp Fiction.

He was talking on his cell phone and looking like he was coming off of a ten-day coke binge (I know what this looks like because I watch Intervention). But I still recognized him. Since I'm unable to enjoy a celebrity sighting in solitude, I fumbled for my phone and sent a text to FLD.

Me: Guess who I saw at the Gap on my lunch break? Brett from Pulp Fiction!
Him: I don't know who that is.
Me: Remember? "Say 'what' again, Brett! I dare you! I double dare you!"
Him: You mean Tim Roth?
Me: Sigh. No.

I realize I was more excited than I should have been, given the caliber of celebrity. I even told the sales associate there was a celebrity in her midst. She didn't hide her disappointment well when I told her who it was. She was clearly hoping for someone more glamorous. Possibly someone who is famous.

If you're totally lost, here's the clip from Pulp Fiction. Oh, and it's in Spanish. Somehow it seems less vulgar that way. To my Latino and Spanish-speaking readers, viewer discretion IS advised.

come again

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The best question I heard today:

"Are you ready to eat your face off?"

I think Nat was confused about face-melting and its relationship to things that are really awesome or attractive or well executed. Her quilt was all of those things.

it's called aristos

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm not sure if you can clearly see what's going on here (not that I even know what's going on here)... but these are some photos I took with my phone tonight. I was having dinner at a local Greek Restaurant that shall remain nameless. Dinner was wonderful, the atmosphere was delightful... it's a classy place. I excused myself to use the restroom (which was also well appointed and as classy as can be expected). I don't know what compelled me to look under the sink, but I was a little disturbed to find the following items:

1. Plunger
2. Jar of Petroleum Jelly

I know you have questions. So do I. I don't even think I need to write them at this point. I guess I'm just hoping I have a friend out there who knows a little about plumbing and may be able to answer these questions for us. I'm really really hoping there is a logical explanation. Petroleum jelly helps unclog a slow-moving drain. Twice-weekly applications of petroleum jelly help a plunger stay pliable and thus, more effective. Something like that. I think we can all imagine a number of unacceptable explanations and I'll thank you to refrain from offering your ideas.