day 36 phoenix

the grand canyon was never truly in the plans. neither was phoenix but thats where im at right now. the plan was to kiss a girl in every state but sometimes girls pretend like they dont wanna get kissed which is pretty much the stupidest game ive ever heard but if kissing girls is what youre after get used to stupidity.

grand canyon was big and deep and colorful and it wasnt my first time there so i sorta knew what to expect however it sure took a long time to get there. so long that i kept asking myself, am i there yet am i there yet? the trip there, to be honest, was better than being there until a japanese girl asked me extremely politely if i had a lighter so that she and her friend could get high and sit on a bench and look at the grand canyon and i said i had one but it was in my car and they didnt trust me to come to my car even though there were like a million people around us, and they outnumbered me two to one and they were the ones who asked ME.

so i said baby if you dont trust me then theres nothing i can do, go ask grampa over there. which they did but grampa spoke french and french only. little did i know but this was international day on the southern rim of the canyon, since all the normal americans were in their living rooms watching football and ordering pizza.

everyone had a camera. everyone thought they were Mr. Photographer. everyone walked around like they were Mr Natureboy. people rode their bikes, people hiked with camera bags over one shoulder. people pretended to understand maps. i was pretending too. i was pretending that i wasnt getting a minor case of vertigo where i couldnt see how close the rail was to my hand. my depth perception was taking a little holiday and i was all where are those japanese girls to set this shit straight again.

i drove down the mountain and got sleepy after only an hour and i pulled over at an abandoned motel that looked like it had Just gotten shut down. i cracked the window, eased the seat back and put the alphabet city girl’s sweater over my eyes and tried to sniff her perfume from it but i think i sniffed it all off. and i fell asleep for exactly ten minutes and woke up forgetting that i had left my lights on accidentally but because i had a new battery all was good in the hood and i tried to google maps where i was but Grand Canyon, AZ doesnt really do well in google maps, little known fact, and lots of places around it dont have real addresses so i couldnt figure out if Vegas was really only three hours away or not

so i drove south to some little town and ate and then decided to come here to Phoenix because da bears are playing here for Monday Night Football and the Cardinals have a new stadium and i didnt really wanna be in Vegas on a Sunday since i try to keep it holy by not fingering girls’s assholes or beating off or being mean or being in vegas. so here i am. i ate the hugest chinese meal ever that included two crab legs. i got stared at by two girls in a fucked up car who wanted to find some trouble and sometimes girls just give you that eye contact that says take us somewhere tony we’re so bored being dirty hot young chicks in zona with no one to tell us to dance on the spare bed in the non smoking embassy suites room that you just got

but its sunday so i watched andrew sullivan get interviewed by brian lamb then i took Marie’s advice and watched Lost via you tube and then i ate ice cream and i wrote one email and then i played PSP golf and tomorrow i will do laundry and maybe a movie and then go see Da Bears break matt lienarts everything.

day 34. flagstaff

if you remember, flagstaff was the town that made me turn around and go home when i first started this trip two months ago. i was told by two auto parts people that my engine would probably need to be replaced because of an oil problem, but as long as i checked the oil every 100 miles i would be able to make it back to LA.

of course i did make it back to LA, and after a $6 part i went back on the road a few weeks later, and here i am still with a slight oil issue, and a hood that doesnt like to open, but ive made it around the country and today i will go to the Grand Canyon followed by Vegas and then i will be back in LA.

because a lot of hotel and motel owners read the busblog heres some tips i have for you

1) when the checkout time is noon, dont have your maids knock on doors at 11am, particularily on doors that have the Do Not Disturb sign on the handle.

2) some people are grossed out with the idea that hundreds if not thousands of people have entered the room and “lived” in it throughout the year. have a checklist that declares that not just the sheets, toilet, sink, and pillowcases have been cleaned, but also: the remote control, the tabletops, the blankets, the spreads, the carpets, the faucet knobs, and the door handles. if you can establish that your rooms are clean, you can demand a higher rate.

3) this is a new world. i am just one person and i carry several electronic devices. therefore motels should invest in one or two power strips next to the bed so the modern traveler can plug his ipod, laptop, video game, camcorder, and digital camera battery charger in and place those items on the night stand. instead we have to disconnect lamps all around the room and spread our equipment all over. i was particularily amazed that “executive” and “residence” inns didn’t have a place for a variety of electronics.

4) if you are advertising hi-speed Internet (like 75% of better motels & hotels do), make sure that you are providing an ethernet cable long enough to reach the bed. just because you invested in a desk for the room or suite doesnt mean that we want to sit at that desk to use our computer. sure it looked great in the blueprint, but it’s a lap top that the majority of us brought into the room, let us put it on our lap, on the bed, as we watch tv.

5) it’s time for motels and hotels to go green. its nice that you ask us to re-use towels if we stay more than one night. we can live with that. but how about stopping your bizarre behavior of the little soaps and the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner? even the best spas use soap dispensers as well as shampoo and conditioner dispensers right there in the shower. not only would you save money on soap, but you will please the greens by cutting down on paper waste and plastic waste from those little bottles.

6) keep the hot tub open until 2am. if you’re worried that people will party in there and be loud, simply ask them to keep it down. communication really does work. and since most motels shut down their pool and hot tubs at the ridiculously early 10pm, the chain that begins to cater to responsible adults will win.

7) any front desk worth its salt would have an ipod charger available for the guest who left his behind. most of us have ipods. most of us on the road lose something. same goes for digital cam battery chargers and cell phone charger. its easy to invest in one ipod charger, and a universal digital camera battery charger, and several cell phone chargers. ask $5 for a charge and not only would you recoup your investment but your guests would probably love you forever.

im sure i will have more tips later. its now time to see americas ass crack.