March 10, 2011

Gonna Miss Touring

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 11:39 am

With the tour almost over, this morning I’m reminded of one of the things I’m going to miss most.

We just checked into a hotel this morning. We always arrive early in the morning after driving overnight, so early check-in makes our whole day. At this particular hotel we knew the manager, so when the rooms of the correct size weren’t ready for check-in, we got upgraded to suites because they were vacant. Regardless of the upgrade, this has been true of plenty of the hotels we’ve stayed at this year, many of which have been suites.

My bedroom is the size of my living room back home.
My bed is only slightly smaller than my bedROOM back home.
And my living room is the size of my entire first apartment.

It doesn’t help much when we rarely stay more than one night, and can’t really settle in. But still, it’s nice.

The one thing I will say is that at $89 a night, this particular hotel would be much more expensive to live in on a monthly basis than my apartment. So there’s that. I remember being on tour in 1999 and spending a week in a 1-bedroom suite with full kicthen that was huge and cost the same as my studio apartment. That was depressing.

The other thing about staying in such nicely furnished places is that I’m more inspired about ways I can make my apartment feel more like home. I’m out of town so much, and so often unemployed when I’m home, that I never really bothered to furnish it beyond the basics of bed, desk/chair and shelves. It really is more welcoming to come into a hotel room that’s nicely set up. So I’ve been observing things that make hotel rooms feel cozy and useful to me, in the hopes that I can inexpensively improve my own dwelling when I get back.

November 11, 2010

AT&T vs. Sucky Hotel Internet

I call this: phones,tech — Posted by KP @ 12:46 am

OK, AT&T. You win. The Holiday Inn Express in Palm Springs, the Hilton in Northridge, the Sandman Inn in Santa Barbara, the Hilton Suites in Phoenix, and the Hotel Arizona in Tucson have finally broken me. Take your $10, and be happy.

My iPhone provides so much more of a reliable internet connection than the wifi at any of these establishments, that I have exceeded my 2GB data allowance for the month for the first time since giving up the unlimited plan.

I could have made it, I think. I was on day 28 of my month. If things had gone well, I might have just snuck in under the wire. But trying to stream TV shows on my night off sent me over the edge. It’s physically impossible. And it’s really pathetic that I could connect with a freaking phone and watch shows without interruption. On AT&T, no less! So I decided that the internet this month has been so sucky that I deserve to be able to watch a show I want to see on my night off, and I don’t care if I have to pay ten bucks to do it.

This is why I tolerate AT&T’s tethering plan. I know what happens when you tour. You get screwed over by every hotel you enter — blocking ports (this one blocks my favorite MMO, and AIM, of all things, and God knows what else), terrible bandwidth, and things that load so slow that whatever you’re trying to do just plain times out, even if that thing you’re trying to do is check your email. And then there’s the Herberger Theater, which blocks email ports. There are times when you are so frustrated by lack of bandwidth that paying $10 per GB for a connection that works and is yours alone is actually worth it. I knew this day would come, and I am not upset at AT&T. I kind of wish I hadn’t hit this limit on something so frivolous like a 500MB TV episode, when I have plenty of other TV shows on an external hard drive, but it was more about expressing my freedom to do whatever the hell I feel like on the internet, when I want to.

So there. Are you happy now, AT&T? I’ll be giving you your 10 bucks, and I said something nice about you. Mark this day on your calendar.

November 8, 2010

Life Lessons for the Road

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 1:12 pm

When you’ve just gotten into a city, and are determining what time you need to wake up the next day, don’t make any assumptions until you know how the water pressure is at the hotel.

If it’s normal, your normal time will be OK.
If it sucks, you will need more time.
And if it’s awesome, you will probably want more time.

March 27, 2010

So Much Interwebs I Want to Cry

I call this: computers,gaming,tech — Posted by KP @ 9:15 am

We have been rehearsing and loading in on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Yesterday in the rehearsal room we discovered that not only is the interwebs fast, it’s like insanely, inconceivably fast. This score above isn’t even as high as what we got yesterday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bandwidth in my life. I don’t know what I would do with it.

I have been excited that our hotel (the Chattanooga Choo Choo) has occasional speeds over 1mbps, which is enough for gaming, and enough to make you doubly pissed when it inexplicably craps out in the middle of your gaming session.

And here we are, with more bandwidth than we have at home through the lowly cables of Time Warner, and we’re at work. Not necessarily work-ing, mind you, but it’s really hard to have a full gaming session with mouse, headset, gamepad and such when everybody else is working.

When I was in college we had dial-up. I don’t want to go back to college, I just wish I even had the option to have this much interwebs in my home.

Most of all, I’m really sick of hotels providing such crappy bandwidth, on purpose. Of course universities get tuition from their students to pay for such services, but their housing fees aren’t the equivalent of $100 per night per student. Why do I pay $100 per night in a hotel and get dial-up speeds? And my favorite is the hotels that provide crap bandwidth for free and then charge for more. Like it really costs them $12/day to provide one guest with bandwidth that you’d still say sucked if it was in your house. It’s like if warm water was free and you had to pay extra for every day you wanted hot water in your shower. Come to think of it, I hope no hotel owners are reading this, because they’d probably do it. And is the hospitality business so inherently unprofitable that buying a TV package that includes the History Channel would put half of them out of business? Apparently so.


Honestly, I don’t mind frequently working 18 hours a day. I don’t mind being away from friends and family for months at a time. I don’t even really mind being away from my stuff. Hotel internet is what makes touring suck.