Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers' Day

I don't really have anything in particular to blog about today, but was feeling guilty for not having made an entry for a long time.

"Holidays" like this one sort of annoy me. My brother and I have talked about it frequently, and I guess it is sort of a "consumer" topic. He calls them "Hallmark Holidays," and they include Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, and Valentine's Day -- holidays that serve no purpose except to encourage consumerism. Maybe it's the fact that both of my parents are gone, but I would hope that people express appreciation for parents and mates on days besides the ones the calendar tells them they should. I suppose one could throw Christmas into that category, too, except that I love everything about Christmas, save the religious stuff. I love the music, the lights, the tree, the presents (given and received), the food, the rekindling of old friendships, the special efforts family make to be together, and the general feeling of good will (although I do object to it starting at Halloween). Tom tends to avoid all holidays as if they were a virus he might catch. In the meantime, he's off celebrating the day with our daughter and his family (Günter and Beca are on vacation) while I stay home nursing a sore back.

I recently returned from a lovely solo trip to Montana. I've never taken a road trip all by myself before and, while it's fun to share experiences with others, there's a definite up side to traveling alone. I could eat when and where I wanted, listen to whatever I wanted, stop whenever I wanted, and just think about stuff. Here's a weird consumer-related thing, though: Why do car rental agencies give you two keys to the car, but put both of them on the same key ring that you can't take apart? We've rented a car for three trips now, and that's been the case each time. The only other consumer-related thing I would mention about this trip is that "cheap" motels (like Super 8) are generally better than the 4-star hotels in so many ways: free wi-fi, free phone, free cable tv, in-room refrigerator, etc. Fancy hotels charge $10 a day for wi-fi, $1.00 for each LOCAL phone call, and give you about 10 channels of tv. Not to mention the 10 people you have to tip between the driveway and your room. All a traveling person really wants is a comfy bed with clean sheets, to call home & tell them they're okay, a cold beer, maybe check e-mail to see how work is faring without them, & anything they usually watch on tv. The lobby of a fancy hotel is usually pretty schnazzy, but how much time does the average person spend in a hotel lobby? There's not much difference in the rooms.

Maybe it's my sore back, but I'm crabby. Probably not the best time to blog -- I'm irritated with everything today.