Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rebellious Fire Alarm


Think of the shrillest, loudest, most piercing noise you can imagine. Now add another 50 decibels. That was the sound of the fire alarm in our hotel the other night. It startles one into a state of awakeness that forces the brain to go from rational to whoa. In this case, the alarm started at 2:54am. It continued until 3:06am. That 12 minutes of constant alarm felt like 48 minutes.

Now, over the past few weeks, I have been reading "The Hunger Games" series. Semi-futuristic, the plot essentially rests on the foundation of The Capitol (government) against The Districts (tribal groups) through the eyes of 17-year old Katniss. Katniss is fierce. Katniss is awesome. The books are good. I usually avoid all things super popular culture, but stumbled in to these. You should read them.

Anyways. I am in the midst of reading these and may have fallen asleep while reading one. No big deal. In fact, I fall asleep reading a lot (a product of graduate school). So when that alarm went off the first thought that popped into my mind was:


Immediate follow up thoughts included the violent death of Katniss and the horrible victory of the Capitol. It only took another half a minute for me to remember: This is not my bed. This is not a book. I am in a hotel and in charge of a group of people.

The shrill alarm distracted me from thinking clearly (although, it being 3am did not help) and I found the items I thought I would need in the event of an emergency: my wallet, my room key card, shoes. I left my room with the intent of finding stairs and walking down, when I realized I had no idea what direction would take me to a stair well. I was about to return to my room to find my map when the announcer came across the loudspeaker that the alarm was a false alarm.

Aw, thanks, guys.  Turns out the whole thing started because somebody left their shower running with hot water and the steam activated the alarm. Our lesson? False fire alarms are not enough to overpower the strength of The Rebellion. Or something like that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

this is what we call "fat and happy"

Did you know it is possible to gain eight pounds in two weeks? It is. I could be in the opposite-of-weight loss commercial. I toured New Orleans and south Louisiana for two weeks and I gained a half pound a day. AND that was with regular use of the hotel-provided treadmills. This is what happens when you have to decide between French toast, beignets, and eggs benedict for breakfast. Hmmm. Should I kickstart this 14-hour day with 2,000 calories of deliciousness, 2,200 calories of deliciousness, or 3,000 calories of deliciousness? Well, the eggs are protein, so they'll be good for me...

Do not misinterpret my jest as complaining! This is legitimately the first of first-world problems, I know. I love that I get to eat amazing breakfasts and that I have no dishes to clean up. I love that my coffee cup stays warm. I am on my fourth week of these tours so now the staff recognize me and some know to bring the orange juice and coffee when they greet me with a smile. And I love every minute of it.

Am I happy about the extra poundage? You bet. They were earned. That's why God invented elastic.

Now off to my morning visit to the hotel workout room to battle my half pound today. Maybe I can leave this week only three pounds heavier.