Sunday, December 24, 2006

Scout Junior

In the midst of moving, buying a house, job searching, and planning for the holidays, Scout and I have his daughter at our house for the first time. Ever.

Scout Junior is eight years old, and she is freakin' hilarious. I can't tell you how many times I have laughed uncontrollably at some of the things she has said.

A few days ago, I drove 14 hours from Texas to Tennessee to pick her up. I chose to stay at a Days Inn, because up until that point it had been nothing but impressive to me. Well, I should have known when I called to make reservations that this was not a typical Days Inn. The guy who answered the phone was from India. Seriously, I think he arrived in America the day before and was immediately thrown into responsibilities that should be reserved for people that speak at least ten words in English. I had to spell my name for him at least 17 times before he handed the phone to the owner - who was also from India. The owner didn't speak much better English. I took my chances and hoped that neither one of them were working when I arrived.

As luck would have it, the first dude was the only one working when I came to check in. Imagine trying to explain to someone that doesn't speak English that you would like to pay cash for the room because even though there is plenty of money in your account, your debit card won't work as credit because it's defective and you haven't called the bank for a new one. You could also write a check, but since they don't take checks, cash is the only option. Also try explaining that you don't have any cash on you, so you would like to pay when you check out (which has been the norm at other Days Inns). Then try explaining that you have a dog without having to resort to barking at the man so that you don't get a $100 charge on your room when they find out that you've been hiding one, instead of the $10 fee for telling them up front. Fuck, it's irritating.

And then imagine after all of that, the man grabs your defective credit card and makes a carbon copy of it despite the fact that you've told him it won't work. I finally gave up, checked into my room, and went to pick up Scout Junior.

And just for the record, the room was supposed to have a king-size bed but had a full-size. The room smelled of bad incense and there were footprints on the bottom of the tub from the previous tenants. There were people dealing crack a few doors down (I'm guessing on the type of drug, but there were junkies for sure of some kind). The office even had a "night window" with bullet-proof glass and locks on the doors. Good choice, Erin.

When we returned to the room, the phone began to ring. It was the frantic owner, telling me that my credit card was declined. "I need money NOW!" he screamed. I hung up the phone and was glad I decided to get cash while I was out picking up Scout Junior. Her and I walked over to the office and the man almost jumped over the counter to grab the money I had in my hand. I yanked it back and said, "I told your guy that the card wouldn't work as credit. It only works as debit. But seeing as there was a language barrier (as I gritted my teeth), he didn't understand. I told him I wanted to pay in cash."

"Yeah, yeah," he said. "We were at Christmas party. Not my fault."

As we walked away, I realized that he hadn't charged me for my dog. I grumbled something about not wanting to figure out how to tell him that again, and Scout Junior replied, "Why don't you just say 'I have a dog' in Spanish?

I was rolling. She was completely serious and thought that this would be the perfect solution. You gotta love it.

And there's more to blog about, but Scout Junior is actually about to stroke right now because we are going to the movies and I'm *still* on the computer. Parenthood is calling, people. Gotta go.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Hi. It’s Erin’s friend Sarah here. When my parents’ internet was down, Erin wrote a post for my readers explaining what was going on. Now she asked me to do the same for her. She and Scout made the journey across most of the US. They even got to stop and meet Debey, which I think is so cool: I love when bloggers meet! They made it to Texas and managed to pick out a house in record time. They put in a contract and now are just waiting for closing. Luckily, they were able to rent their own house from the current owner until closing, so they have a place to live. When Erin just called, she was attending a job hunting seminar, so she’s already looking to fill the void now that she finished her degree! Also she told me that she just found out she’s going to be an aunt! Lots of news from Erin, and hopefully she’ll be back online soon to tell you all the details herself. They can’t really get internet access until the house is officially theirs, so it might be a while. But keep checking back here; one of these days she’ll be online from her new house!