Heeeey, I'm back!* This blog is about how to eat good on bitch money.

*This is a lie.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Conventional eating, part I: coffee

How do you keep body and soul together in a convention center if you're there for days on end? It's scary even to think about it. They feed you at these things sometimes, but not always--you can't count on it when you sign up, and anyway, you don't want to eat what they feed you in the first place! You're hardly better off when it's "lunch on your own," since your Radissons and your Doubletrees are always located in the fajitaMojito districts in their host cities--rank nests of tourism where nutritive food that can be purchased for less than the cost of a used car is all but impossible to find.

The first thing to do is take care of coffee. In a pinch you could live on that alone, but not if you're stuck with nothing but the stuff in the hotel.

Grind a ziploc full of your own the morning of your flight. Roll it up and stuff it in a shoe or something. Sometime in the last ten or fifteen years a federal law must have been passed requiring hotels and motels to put a little crappy coffee maker in all the guest rooms, because now they're always there. They're not normal coffee makers, though, since it came out on TV that those things are universally put to use to make methamphetamine and burn down the building. Fox usually shows footage of some flaming fleabag on a back street, but it has to be going on at the DoubleTree, too, because normal coffeemakers have fallen out of favor in the big towers and have been replaced by these truly awful tiny carafe things that take little pre-sealed sacks of Juan Valdez's floor sweepings.

Convention-savvy coffee-lovers know the workaround. Find a sharp--if Homeland Security took your nail scissors, fashion a shiv from a piece of the desk chair. Use this to slit the packet open. Dump out the mummified stuff in it and pour your own in. You'll need to doctor at least two of these packets because the Biscayne Bay Hilton wants the guests on weak coffee so they have to race out of the hotel to find a coffee shop before the grueling morning breakout sessions instead of using that precious free time to get in the manager's face over the fact that a gin and tonic costs $11.43, the elevator call buttons don't work, the construction noise keeps everyone awake all night and the pool they advertised on the website is closed for repairs. Well, not you! Pour yourself a cup of ambition like Dolly Parton says, and head on down to the front desk for a little chat.

NOTE: It is wrong to take out conventional rage on rank and file hotel staff: they are suffering, too. Tip freely and generously, and offer them a decent cup of coffee when they come to clean the room.


Corky said...

Do you have thoughts about tea?

Booga said...

I love food! And i love your blog! But what happened to that chap, Robin? He used to be here all the time and get annoyed at my brilliant commenting abilities! Where art thou Robin? Come back! All is forgiven!

Still reading,

Robin P said...

@Booga: you rang? I've all but given up on this blog and its erratic owner with the unlikely name of Nom, nom, nom! Our erstwhile imaginary Summer romance is long over. She has no understanding of how to run a half decent blog. Neither do I. Of course, that never stopped me from opening my pie hole about a topic. (grin)

Take this entry as an example. In fact, take it and put it in the hotel room's small garbage can! It lacks soul because the Triple Nomer didn't have her heart in it while she wrote it. Sure, bring your own coffee to the hotel room, if all you want is coffee. Or roll on down to the hotel's semi-deluxe restaurant, and enjoy the best, cheapest, most filling meal on the American restaurant scene: breakfast. Do like Uncle Robbie does (infrequently), and tuck into some sunny-side-up eggs with sausages. And if you really want to splurge, get a side of pancakes. Make certain to put the eggs, unbroken, on the pancakes, and enjoy the yolks mixing with the sugary syrup. Yummm! Slurp your mediocre restaurant coffee while you people watch: where does that guy staring at his laptop work? Is he just trying to look busy and important, or is he reading the Well blog at the NY Times website? Ask for a coffee refill. Enjoy NOT being at home and NOT eating the same stuff you eat there day in and day out. Enjoy another day awakening to the greatest country in the world, a country that just elected a man of color to its highest office, a man with the middle name of Hussein. There must be a God.

Nom's best stuff is essentially social commentary around the topic of food. Just like I provided in the second paragraph. But she has such picky, fearful, politically-motivated food habits that she can't find anything good to eat or write about anywhere except at her one-and-only "End-of-the-World" farmer's market. It is all a bit confining. So what if she drives her ancient Volvo to visit the Viking and buy his weird-ass fruit? Well, the blog entry she wrote about doing so was a good one. She has writing ability and an eye for telling details, when her heart is in her pen hand. But she lacks commitment and fervor.

Big deal if in the process of driving to that market,she ends up polluting the air more in 7 miles than her neighbors do in a week of driving their newer cars! But, what the hey! At least she isn't buying all those Chinese-made, melamine-ladened Wal-Mart pieces of fruit, no siree! Big frigg'n deal, that's what I say! So sue me because I buy cheap, corporate food like 99% of all the other Americans. Being on a fixed income, and believing what I do, I feel great about it, all of it.

I know that crummy coffee won't hurt you if you know how and where to drink it. This is more than Nom Chomsky knows. A tip: if you are jammed up and need O.K. coffee, go in a Mickey D's (McDonalds = the Golden Arches). It ain't bad coffee, and the half and half is the real stuff, too.

Which reminds: we were so poor when I was growing up, we didn't use half and half. We only had one quarter and one quarter. (Laugh now. That joke is one of my originals.)

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Robin, kindly cease to use this blog as a platform to advocate MURDER. As a Wellblog regular, you know very well McDonalds boils their coffee until it is the temperature of the surface of the sun.

Furthermore how dare you even mention my dear little Swedish kettle when every single ONE of your vehicles is the ultimate pot? For instance- and don't ask me how I know this, just take a little more care in future, for INstance, what about your LAWNMOWER? I happen to know, robin, that you took your top of the line late model riding mower down to the track and had it retrofitted to burn jet fuel and nitrous just because it enables you to mow your private nine hole course in 36.2 seconds. Now then! Who's the monstrous global warmer, now, Mr. "I eat my eggs and pancakes in a proudly grody way" ?