June 2nd, 2014

#4244: THAT was nice.

After work Saturday, Mrs. Fungus and I got out of town for a couple of days. We hied ourselves northward to Wisconsin, where we rented a room at a resort on a lake and proceeded to have Lots Of Fun (TM).

Among this, we rented a boat for four hours. It was a 20-foot pontoon boat with a 50 HP engine, and while you would never be able to water ski behind the thing I do believe it would be fun to go tubing behind it. We quite enjoyed our time on the water with the thing. We alternated between just buzzing up and down the lake and then shutting off the engine and letting it drift, and it was just such a gorgeous day it was impossible not to have a blast.

After a quick shower to wash off the sweat and sunscreen, we went to find dinner at one of the resort restaurants. We waited...and waited...and waited, in a restaurant that had six occupied tables. We had to ask the bus boy to bring us more table bread and refill our drinks because our waiter was nowhere to be found. After we'd been there for forty minutes and had been served only appetizers and salads--at the same time!--we decided that we'd had enough of waiting and would find food elsewhere.

"Unfortunately," the front-of-house manager said, "you kind of got shoved behind that big table over there." I didn't retort that there were six occupied tables in the restaurant, and if they were that slow when they're dead I didn't want to see the wait times when they were slammed. We paid for our appetizer but they comped our salads and we left. Mrs. Fungus left no tip for the waiter--totally out of character, esp. since she was once a waitress--and handed a $5 to the bus boy. Yeah.

Okay, it's a Sunday night, I get that they're not fully staffed. But when the cheapest non-vegetarian entree on the menu is $21, you'd think they'd find a way to serve everyone in the restaurant when the f-ing place is virtually empty, for fuck's sake. (Our appetizer was chicken satay, $8...for two skewers.)

"I don't think I've ever seen you get that mad in a restaurant," Mrs. Fungus said.

"I'm channeling Chef Ramsay." *sigh* But we got to the restaurant around 7, gave up and left at 7:45, for crying out loud, and they were just ready to serve our entrees. In fact, the waiter brought some food to the table, but another guy showed up and was taking one of the plates off the platter for some reason, and as far as I was concerned, that only confirmed I've had enough of this clusterfuck.

Our original plan had been to have dinner, then get a dip in the pool. This had assumed it might take as much as forty minutes for dinner, after which we could use the pool until it closed at 10 PM. The lousy service at the restaurant threw a monkey wrench in that plan; it was now nearly 8 and we hadn't had dinner, and if we went to get dinner we'd probably have less than an hour to swim--so we went swimming first.

After that we ordered Domino's. It was pretty good, and for a medium pizza with wings and a 2-liter I paid $20, not including the tip. They were one of a very few places still open on a Sunday night after 9 PM, and as a further advantage they delivered, which was a big plus.

Hit the hay pretty early; we were bushed.

Got up this morning around 9-ish. Mrs. Fungus wanted breakfast, so I called room service. Room service is taken care of by the same joint that took 45 minutes to serve us salads and an appetizer the night before, so while I wasn't surprised that I had to call them five times and then call the concierge to order room service, I was rather annoyed.

"How can I help you?"

"Well, I want to order room service."

"*SIGH* Okay, what did you want?"

Unsaid: "Oh, sorry; am I interrupting your vacation? I don't mean to inconvenience you but I sure would like it if you could find it within you to bring us some overpriced food." No, I didn't say any of that; I merely ordered the things my wife wanted me to order for her. I wasn't hungry (especially now that I was so irritated at the room disservice at the place).

I concluded, much later, that the restaurant responsible for all this really needs a change of management. Shit.

But despite the hotel restaurant's best efforts, my wife and I had a wonderful, wonderful time. It was relaxing and fun, and the time we spent on the boat reminded me how much I like boating. Pity it couldn't have been longer.

The drive up on Saturday night was not too bad, though the GPS took us through all these backwoods Wisconsin roads. The late evening was dead at work so I was able to get out of there a little early. We hadn't planned on that, but it let us get to the resort early enough that we could take a swim before the pool closed (it closes earlier than usual on Sunday) though it seemed as if the attendant chased us out about ten minutes before it was actually time.

To get home I got on the nearest highway and headed south, and after a while we found our way to I-90, and the rest of the trip from there was a route I knew. I didn't need the GPS to get home, and I don't think I'll need it to get there again, except for the last five miles. (And that's just to remind me where to turn.)

Thanks to a liberal application of sunscreen I did not get sunburned, though you can tell I got some sun.

* * *

Then, Sunday, I got a call from my sister. Voice mail: "We're on the front porch! Where are you?"

...

I called her back and learned that they'd come down from my brother's house, and were visiting my uncle here in town; when she said they could come back to the house I told her, "Well, we're in Wisconsin...."

"What are you doing in Wisconsin?"

Trying to have some fun?...

Well, anyway, that's what happens when you pop up on someone's doorstep without warning. She told me she'd sent an e-mail, but as I've said here I haven't checked my e-mail since Tuesday because I haven't gotten the e-mail client working yet.

* * *

The other thing? I really liked how the hotel did their tub surrounds. I'm now thinking I might want to do something like that here, because it looked really nice. One thing I noticed that might make it worthwhile to buy a new tub was how the tub had a flange sticking up about one inch from the side. The tile was thicker than that flange, so instead of having a L with a seam at the joint where water could accumulate and seep, it was more of a [_ shape. Water running down the tile would tend to drip off, and because the grout's on the underside it can't collect water. And since the part that's L-shaped has no seam where water can soak through, the entire works will stay a hell of a lot dryer.

And I'd want to take that kind of step because the sort of tile that place used was spendy stuff. Not cheap white tile at $11 a case. Heh.

* * *

Anyway, I'm home for the first time since Saturday night, and I need to get my WoW on.

#4245: Still can't remember what I wanted to write about the other day.

I can see why people go on writing retreats, though. If I'd been at that place for a week, I might have been moved actually to write something. It's an expensive way to do things, though (there's a reason we only stayed two nights) and I'm not rich enough to make a habit out of this kind of thing.

Which is just as well.

I used to write some every night, but that was when I was an unemployed "betweener"--out of high school, not yet in college--and had nothing to do nor any interest in figuring out what I ought to be doing, but did have a lot of ideas zinging around in my brain. I suppose that growing up and becoming a responsible adult shunted the writing thing off to the side; working as a technical writer was hard enough that at the end of the day I didn't have anything left with which to write fiction, and so my age-old habit suffered.

...and then I took up blogging.

Sometimes I think I'd be best served if I simply hung up my bloggeratin' spurs. It's true that writing this blog satisfies my need to write; further, it's much easier to write a daily blog post than it is to write several pages per day of a coherent novel. This shit's stream of consciousness, and thirty years of typing has taken all conscious consideration out of getting the words from my brain onto the screen. I think it, it goes through a little signal processing on the fly, and then it goes out the fingers and into the computer. (That rather neatly explains why I didn't write much even when unemployed and otherwise unoccupied, I might add.)

I'm possessed of a rather ordinary amount of self-discipline, so I suppose if I were to confine myself to writing a blog post only after writing at least one page of fiction per day I could get by without backsliding too often. That's still pretty hard to accomplish, relatively speaking, because I am in a job where I have to think on my feet.

The stories--there's just not the pressure that there used to be. I don't feel like it's urgent that I get it all written down soonest. That's led to a vast improvement in the overall quality of my writing, because I am patient enough to write what needs writing rather than trying to do it all at once, but it's also led to a vast reduction in output.

Again, if I wrote half as much fiction as I write about writing, I'd have no trouble at all.

So what am I doing here?