Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday in Cincinnati

No snow today -- sunny and dry roads all the way. Nothing too much to report other than about 3:00 I started getting sleepy while driving  and I did the right thing and didn't fool around with it, even though I was only about an hour away from my destination. I did tell myself I don't have to be there at any particular time; in fact, I dont have to show up until tomorrow morning so I got off the highway, pulled into a McDonalds parking lot, took a back space, put the electronic seat way back and slept for about 20 minutes. When I awoke, these two charming little old ladies pulled right next to me, both of them eating ice cream cones which was weird since it is in the low 20s.

But the cones looked so good that I decided to get one. Went to the drive thru, ordered a cone, and that was all I got, no tax and so the total was 99 cents, the price of the cone. I went to the first window, handed him a dollar bill and he shut the window. Didn't know if he was going to bring the cone, so when he opened the window, he was digging through his own wallet for a penny. I said to him, "I don't want you to take it out of your own wallet" and he said something like "Well, I have three of them" so I took the penny but then felt sort of stupid about it. I was thinking that there are plenty of people who just hand the dollar, don't wait and go to the second window for the cone.

I didn't like taking a penny from a 15-year old, but I did.

I have to say that I have a bit of a superstitious nature about this -- that as long as I mind my pennies I won't ever need a penny. There's something more at work here than being cheap because I would not characterize myself that way. So I got my cone and drove on. And I don't think I've ever had a soft-serve cone from McDonalds, but it was good.

So then I get to the hotel and drive up to the front door. I had already decided that I was going to pull up to the front door and check in to see where my room was as I have often parked, lugged my suitcase, only to be told to go park somewhere else. The hotel clerk was standing outside smoking, and when he saw me, he went back in and so when I went in, I apologized to him for intruding on his smoke break. Which I meant genuinely, but that led to a discussion of how he's trying to stop and trying those electronic cigarettes, which I have to say fascinate me.

On another trip, I saw them at the cashier of this truck stop place, and I was tempted, but really thought better of it. He was saying it does fulfill the "hand stuff" -- the way your fingers stay busy smoking. I didn't know that it does have nicotine in it, but he says using them has made him cut back and save money. He says that he'll smoke the electronic ones in restaurants, anywhere. I don't think I've seen anybody use one in NY, but I did read you can't use them on airplanes. I asked him if he would smoke one at work and he laughed and he said he did it once just to tease his boss.

We had a nice little chat, and he was calling me Miss Pat which I sort of find endearing and respectful.

So I get in my room and there are two beds in it, and I realize I always take the same bed -- the one nearest the window. I think it's because I've lived in dark apartments for so long that I love the sunlight. If I were sharing the room, it wouldn't bother me to have the other one -- not at all -- but given a choice, I'll take the one closer to the window, farther from the door. Maybe it's just habit.

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