Tag Archives: nerdy goodness

You Can Check Out Anytime You Like

To my friends & family who witnessed my gleeful boasting during my week-long sojourn in the sun… here’s a wee bit of Schadenfreude in which you can happily bask.

No vacation would be perfect without, at least, one minor hiccup in the proceedings. And ours was no exception to that rule.

The day had been perfect. We’d just spent six-plus hours trekking around the Kennedy Space Center, witnessing some of mankind’s most exciting moments in history and we were looking forward to relaxing in what we had been led to believe would be a charmingly, lovely resort-type hotel on Cocoa Beach.

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We’d taken a chance and used Hotwire. We’d heard, first-hand, from others who’d done likewise and had great results. So, we figured we’d give it a whirl ourselves. We selected the amenities that were important. We chose the location we thought would be fun. And we made sure to select nothing below a 3-star option.

But something went wrong. So very wrong.

We’re not sure if it was the excitement of knowing that we were going to get to personally witness history the next day in the 39th & final launching of the Space Shuttle: Discovery. Or maybe it was simply the thought of sipping Mai Tais at a balmy beach bar that caused us to lose our usual attention to detail. Either way, we clearly missed the fact that Hotwire had insidiously decided to somewhat alter our search parameters. Because of the shortage of the room calibre we’d selected (due, likely, to the fact that about a kajillion others were also going to be in town that night for the shuttle launch the next day), the Hotwire search engine unilaterally decided to throw in a few 2-star choices to our results page. I know.

Welcome to The International Palms Resort Cocoa Beach. The name drums up some pretty swanky, luxurious mental pictures doesn’t it? Yeah. Not so much.

We stayed in, bar none, the ugliest, tiniest hotel room either of us had ever seen. In fairness, the last hotel we stayed at was on our honeymoon. And it was the Bellagio in Las Vegas. But, whatever. So not the point.

Despite our having been checked into a double room (I guess they figured we wanted separate beds), this place was so small that the bathroom sink… wasn’t even in the bathroom. The vanity & sink were, for some reason, located in the room proper. Lovely.

And the tiny wee (broken) coffee pot was also proudly situated on that very same vanity. Oh, but you couldn’t actually turn it on and brew that half pot of rank Maxwell House java. No, you see the only electrical outlet available in this room was in such a position that, in order to use said (broken) coffee pot you had to sit it on the floor & balance the broken basket on top of the carafe. Oh, how I wish I were kidding.

Oh! Did I mention that when we turned off the AC (that had been set to stun), the room affected a charmingly musty smell by morning? Yep. Pretty awesome.

Despite it’s charming Eau de Basement scent, the place was clean. I’ll give them that. And it did come with free reading material (courtesy the Gideons) in the bedside stand. Singular. There was one; two (wobbly & uncomfortable) beds – but only one bedside stand. Oy vey.

The International Palms Resort was just… sad. Oh, so sad. So very, very sad.  Oddly, though? Free Wi-Fi. I know.  I don’t get it, either.

We were determined, nevertheless, to salvage the rest of the night and make the most of it. And, just when we thought all was lost, a light shone out. A bright beacon from within a dark & dingy window glimmered out to greet us.  It wasn’t quite a choir of angels we heard, but it was enough to take our dreary night and turn it right around – all thanks to three magical little words…
#1. Cheap.
#2. Beer.
#3. Karaoke.


Weezie’s Reading Roundup: January 2011

Remember in school when it was time to write the dreaded English class book report? Everyone moaned and groaned and was quick to find something they knew could be rented from Blockbuster. Except me. Yeah, I was the dork at the back of the classroom, secretly thinking “Yay!”

Not a lot has changed since then, really. I still read just about everything I can get my hands on; some of it good, some of it not so good & some of it downright horrid (I even have favourites that fall into all three of those categories.) And I still love to share my opinion (asked for or otherwise – heh.)

Here’s a bit of what fell into my lap this month:
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook: A Tale Of Sex, Money, Genius And Betrayal
By Ben Mezrich
(Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

I actually watched the movie (The Social Network) that was based on this book first because, well… Justin Timberlake. Then I figured reading the book might actually clear up a few of the vagaries and unanswered questions left after the credits rolled. Not so much. Because so much of the book is pretty speculative (based, apparently, on legal documents and email correspondence rather than actual interviews with the parties involved) it’s more of a salacious bit of Geekboy Overcomes All fiction, rather than an actual account of what went down & who was actually responsible for creating the portal of daily time suckage we call Facebook. So, if you’re not so concerned with a clear cut answer to the world’s lingering Zuckerburg questions, then this is a fun read. Personally, though, I preferred the movie because, well… Justin Timberlake.

The Bishop’s Man
By Linden MacIntyre
(Random House of Canada / Kobo eBook)

Father Duncan MacAskill is “the Bishop’s man” – a priest exceptionally skilled at sweeping away sexual impropriety in the Catholic Church so as to avoid public scandal. Tasked, early in his career, with convincing a Priest (who’d impregnated his own housekeeper) to leave his rural Nova Scotia parish for a sojourn in Toronto, Father Duncan finds himself pigeonholed. It was never a job he wanted. But he was devout and did as his superiors dictated. And, for Father Duncan, a dark past combined with a sordid present prove that everyone has a breaking point. This novel is fictitious, but I would hazard a guess is based in a lot of truth. In fact, it could have quite easily been ripped directly from the headlines. I highly recommend this one.

Naked in Knightsbridge
By Nicky Schmidt
(Gazelle Distribution Trade / Kobo eBook)

If you’re headed to the beach, grab this and throw it in your tote along with your sun block & vitamin water. This is pure, unadulterated Chick Lit (sorry, I understand that the PC term is now Women’s Fiction) and it’s quite engagingly fun. Which is a bit surprising, considering the main protagonist isn’t a particularly endearing or likeable character. Jools Grand is 28, single, down on her luck (understatement of the year: she’s actually just lost her business as a result of torching a client’s home; she’s penniless and owes over £20,000 to the bank & is about to be evicted) and about to resort to selling herself to the highest bidder in order to dig herself out of her self-imposed hole. All the usual twists, turns, hilarity & romance ensue. So, if you’re looking for a cute distraction while on holiday (or home on a sick day, heh), this will certainly fit the bill.

By Brian Lumley
(Tom Doherty Associates)

I was browsing through some of LX’s paperbacks and found this little gem hidden away on a bottom shelf. He’d read part of the series and suggested I give it a whirl. I’m glad I did, because this is good old-fashioned schlocky horror fun – at its finest. A ‘necroscope’ (not to be confused with a ‘necromancer’) is a person who can speak with the dead. We meet two such individuals in this book – each with their own means of communication: one is polite about it, the other – not so much; one is an English schoolboy, the other works for an elite branch of the KGB; one is trying to raise an ancient vampire (or, in this instance: Whampyri) in order to steal his power, the other has had a wee chat with August Möbius and learned that time travel is, indeed, possible. See? FUN! The only problem is – I just learned that, what I thought was a 3 novel series… is actually 16. I may wait for the TV series.

Rock Star’s Rainbow
by Kevin Glavin
(Kevin Glavin Publishing / Kobo eBook)

Kobobooks.com has quite a selection of free downloads. This was one of them.

I have the next two in the Brian Lumley series on deck for February. And my father-in-law lent me his copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, so I’ll be hopping on that bandwagon as well.

What have you read so far this year?