You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2007.

I started noticing, as the holidays approached, that Rhode Islanders like to put Christmas wreaths on the grills of their cars. The first time I saw this, I stared a little, eventually dismissing it as something some cute little old lady does. When I saw it the second time, I craned my neck around trying to determine if it was the same car as before, and by the 3rd 4th, 20th times, I was completely numb. They come in a variety of sizes and fancinesses, but at the end of the day, it’s a wreath on your car, which I still think is a little odd.

After I came to terms with the car wreaths, I saw a car with antlers. No other holiday adornment, just a pair of plush antlers jutting out above the front doors. They were in pristine condition despite the fact that recently we had a lot of rain and the “blizzard” that dumped 6.5 inches. I wondered if this person ever took them off and laundered them, or if these car antlers are just really well made.

If I had to choose between the two, I would have to go antlers every time, for a number of reasons:

  1. They seem more whimsical. You can just see a prankster, that guy in your office who is always joking around and making the day go faster (or slower), finding these antlers in the store where you buy car antlers and saying “eureka! I’ll spread holiday cheer from my car by pretending to be one of eight tiny reindeer—doesn’t matter which!”
  2. I don’t get wreaths. I guess they smell good (?), but we’re never had one that was real, so ours always smelled like plastic. In first grade, one of our assignments (cause I went to an elementary school where it seems all we did were art projects—no this wasn’t an art school) was to make a wreath out of pine-scented garbage bags. Yes, they make pine-scented garbage bags, although I can tell you definitively that in a town of 1200 people and about 4 stores, it’s a real pain in the ass to find them. One girl either waited too long, or just couldn’t find pine, so she would up with cranberry, which was a lovely magenta color. At first I felt really bad for her because she was the odd one, but then I looked at my dull, green garbage collection that smelled more like a cleaner than a tree, and I got jealous. What a waste of garbage bags.
  3. There really is no third reason, I just don’t get wreaths.

After I accepted the car-wreath and car-antler phenomenon, I felt like there was nothing New Englanders could put on their cars that would make me turn and look. Then I was driving home from work one night over the Claiborne-Pell bridge, and an SUV drove by me completely coated in blinking Christmas lights. This was alarming, to say the least. The SUV looked like a giant ball of light shooting over the top of the bridge. It was after dark by this point, so the bridge was also lit up, and since I couldn’t look away from this monstrosity of holiday cheer, I got little light trails blinking behind my retinas making this a very unsafe endeavor.

This guy (I’m assuming it was a guy, cause I couldn’t see) must have plugged like 10 strings of lights into his cigarette lighter somehow and then driven around with the windows down (?) This is only speculation, because it was so bright that even looking straight at it, all I could see was *BRIGHT*.

Maybe I’m a Grinch or a Scrooge or a girl who has been hurt by Christmas decorations in the past—but the lights are too much. They did not make me say “oh how fun, and/or quaint”, they made me say “I really hope he gets pulled over.” Yeah, I really hope he did.

Advertisements

Recently, a friend told me that the only way to get people to read your blogs is to make lists. Lists are the answer, apparently. Well, to do a little recap of the year, I’m going to make a list of the things that have happened to me over the past year that are cool. These are in no particular order:

  • I got accepted into the URI graduate school of library and information sciences
  • Upon telling my parents that I was going back to grad school and moving halfway across the country, they cried and disowned me. Then they came around and have gone so far as to say that this was a wonderful decision on my part
  • I moved to Providence, RI, one of the coolest cities I’ve ever seen
  • I got a kick-ass job at the oldest lending library in America (still in its original building)
  • Before leaving Fargo, I worked at 3 jobs, now I only have 2
  • One of the jobs I had in Fargo, Fargo Public Library, is the first job I’ve ever left that I still loved, so I am capable of having a job that doesn’t fill me with rage
  • Watson (kitty), Jill (human traveling companion), and I made it safely and successfully across the country and my car didn’t break under the weight of all my crap
  • I managed to furnish my new 1100 square foot apartment spending only about $75
  • I didn’t flunk cataloging
  • I reconnected with the friend I’ve known the longest (since preschool) via Facebook and via that friend, the friend that I’ve known second-longest (almost, that’s still a work in progress)
  • I decided for sure that the field I’m pursuing is really the one that I can see myself working in indefinitely
  • My scrabble game has improved quite a bit, even though I’m still not very good
  • I just set my Ipod on shuffle, and it landed on the BeeGee’s cover of Islands in the Stream, which apparently includes them actually saying “ghetto superstar, that is what you are”
  • I have free cable, how weird is that?
  • There’s no sales tax on beer in Massachusetts, and you get 5cents back for every bottle you return
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee is a delicious meal in a cup and it’s affordable
  • The other day, one of my new Providence friends told me that she’s very glad to know me and call me her friend
  • I now know the deliciousness of tempeh
  • In the time after I graduated and before I moved, even though I was working all the time, I managed to read a really lot of books and see a lot of movies
  • One of my best friends finally ended a relationship she should have bailed on years ago
  • As much as I hate the commute, I do appreciate the fact that I get to spend time in a city as beautiful and historic as Newport, RI
  • Another friend told me a few days ago that he loves my blogs
  • Although library school is the most tedious thing I’ve ever done, and most of the people I go to school with are the strangest kind of weirdo I’ve ever encountered—I’m one of the cool kids, which is hilarious
  • I just found $20 in one of my pants pockets!
  • This list could go one for quite a while

I expressed to my boss the other day that I need to get a wall calendar. The last time I bought one was two years ago, but I left it hanging on my wall until I left Fargo. Actually, I left it hanging on my wall after I left Fargo because years ago, in a fit of rage, an ex-boyfriend punched a hole in my kitchen wall. Not being a carpenter, or wanting to pay for one, I patched the giant, gaping, conspicuous hole with a combination of spackle, duct tape, and an old poster of a Parisian scene. The wall appeared solid, but over the years started to get wavy. I disguised my handiwork with a wall calendar of more Parisian scenes and called it good.

Naturally, after a year, the calendar went bad. The dates it gave me didn’t correspond with the new days of the week in 2007, and my last-minuteness prevented me from buying a current one. I would still consult the calendar, even though it was still on December of 2006, then I’d remember that it could not give me true information, and get out my checkbook register.

Since I left this calendar in Fargo, and it would be nice to have an accurate one, I decided to suck it up, wait until after the New Year, and then get one (most likely lame) for 75% off at Border’s or some such place. When I told my boss that I needed one, though, she said “Oh, I have quite a few, I’ll bring you in one.”

This is odd, who has quite a few calendars just lying around, waiting to be gifted to a cheap co-worker? So I figured that these were free calendars that her husband’s business gives away, or some that she got free from the bank. Imagine my surprise when she bought in a pristine calendar (still in the plastic) of Monet paintings. I don’t have the boner for Monet that most old ladies seem to, but his work is soothing on the eyes, and in this case, free. I accepted it graciously, and ran it out to my car so I didn’t forget it at work, and hurt her feelings.

A little later that day, I wandered by the circulation desk, and she said, “Andria, I found this calendar in VOGUE magazine, if you want another one.” I looked at it, white background with bright lettering in a variety of colors, and a nice, plump, smiling woman over the words “New Year, New You. alli”

“Isn’t this the weightloss drug that causes anal leakage?” I asked.

Without missing a beat, she replied, “I believe so.”

If anyone is unfamiliar with this product, here’s what it says on the website:

The active ingredient in alli attaches to some of the natural enzymes in the digestive system, preventing them from breaking down about a quarter of the fat you eat. Undigested fat cannot be absorbed and passes through the body naturally. The excess fat is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza.

Some people would rather poo oil, than be fat. Why am I surprised at all at this?

I flipped though the months and saw that at the beginning of each month, you were supposed to record your weight, then again at the end, doing the math as to how much you lost. For a brief moment I thought hey, that could be kind of fun. Then I realized that while, yes, I have indulged in cookies, fudge, baklava, ice cream, and mixed nuts over the holiday season resulting in my pants feeling a little tighter—once I stop eating all that crap, I’ll go back to normal. Also, I don’t have a scale, so partaking in the dieting adventure that the calendar holds, would requiring me buying something, which negates the joy of a free (second) calendar in the first place.

I passed on the free second calendar and all of its anal leakage propaganda. I’ll stick with Monet. According to the alli readiness quiz, I may not be ready for alli, but I can retake the quiz, or come back when I am ready– to poo oil.

Last January, as I blogged about previously, my dad (Wayne) and I traveled to Florida to run The Walt Disney World Marathon and Half-Marathon respectively. We flew out of Minneapolis, where neither of us lived, so we have to do the “get up early and hit the road” thing. We stopped at a Holiday station on the way so I could get a giant coffee and he could get—cookies, I guess. He bought 4 giant cookies in a variety of flavors, offered me half of one, and when I refused, ate them all.

This was strange to me, but I thought, okay, maybe this is the carb-loading that people say you should do before a big race. Maybe it’s not pasta the night before, like I always thought, but cookies, five days before. For the duration of the trip, he just kept on eating cookies. Every day. “I’m going to go get a cookie for breakfast.” He’d say. The day after my race, when I was lying in bed and praying for the sweet release of death (or actually unconciousness)—he brought me a cup full of mini-chocolate chip nibblers that I’m sure were grossly overpriced.

Fast-Forward to this Thanksgiving when the parents came out to Providence to visit me. They would get up early every morning to go for a long walk around my shady neighborhood, then complain later when I took them on walking tours. These moments were all punctuated by my dad eating cookies. There’s a Tim Horton’s down the street from me that Wayne would visit constantly. Every time we’d drive by he’d say “Tim Horton’s, I hkasjlha frequent that place.”

“You do what, Wayne? You’ve gotta frequent that place, or you kind of frequent that place?”

He’d just nod and say “yup.” This happened more than once.

I’d been living next to that Tim Horton’s for three months by that point, and had never gone in. I still haven’t gone in. I’d had Tim Horton’s before, in Canada, and it was fine, usually. There was the one time when I asked the girl for half ‘n’ half for my coffee and she demanded “Half and half what? Half of what? What are you asking me for? I don’t understand you.”

She kept getting more and more agitated, so finally, I just spluttered “Cream.” I guess they don’t do half ‘n’ half in Canada.

She indicated the end of the counter, where it was hiding behind some napkins, and gave me an amazingly dirty look.

I don’t hate Tim Horton’s based upon that experience, even if it may sound like I do, I just don’t need to go there. For coffee-on-the-go, I seek out the state religion of Rhode Island—Dunkin’ Donuts.

When mom and I were working on the finishing touches of paint in my place, Wayne hovered around like an eager puppy, asking over and over if we were hungry, finally just saying, “I’m going to run down to the Tim Horton’s, if you want anything.” We said no, we were fine, but he came back with a bag of six cookies in a variety of flavors. When we finished up, washed our hands, and actually did want a cookie; we found that Wayne had made short work of the ½ dozen. He was quick to offer to go back and get more, though.

He got more cookies, also sandwiches, and the following morning, muffins. While he was on the second cookie run of the day, I finally asked mom, “What is the deal with Wayne and all of the cookies, is he always like this?”

“No, I don’t think so anyway. I think it’s just when he’s on vacation, he thinks he needs to eat cookies all the time.”

She looked thoughtful for a bit, until I finally asked her, “Do you think it’s weird too?”

“Yes, also, it’s not very good for him.”

Then Wayne showed up with 6 more cookies in a variety of flavors, and three sandwiches.

I’m spending x-mas in Providence by myself this year, and that fact has caused many people a lot of distress. Even my Jewish friend who is spending the holiday babysitting (and who got nothing from her parents for Hannukah– she’s the one everyone should feel sorry for) cried out when I told her that I had no big plans.

Here is why my spending x-mas alone is not a big deal:

— I spent 10 days (and 9 nights) with my parents over Thanksgiving—It’s best if I don’t see them again any time soon, so we can maintain a healthy relationship.

— I’m broke, so I can neither afford to fly, nor can I afford to shun the hours available to me at work since everyone else is gone.

— I enjoy spending time by myself, doing what I want, and not feeling guilty about it.

— I’ve been adopted for x-mas day, so I will end up fed and cared for. I’m alone on x-mas eve only.

— I’m an atheist, and don’t particularly care for x-mas in the first place.

— I spent the last five years working in television, which means I volunteered to work x-mas eve and day so other people who had long drives (and who really care about x-mas) could see their families—I’m just glad to have a couple guilt-free days off.

— My family has never been good at the holiday festivities, so all I’m really missing are a couple games of pinochle, too much HGTV, probably some family-friendly movie that I didn’t care to see, and mashed potatoes (which I make better than my mother anyway).

— Watson (kitty) and I have big plans to watch a James Bond movie, and read for pleasure, which I’m looking forward to immensely.

— Finally, if I don’t feel sorry for myself, don’t stress out worrying about me. I appreciate the consideration, but I am more than fine. I am thriving.

Is catching up on an old friend’s blog (among other things), and I found this, which is kind of fun, and also the kind of thing I’ve been subjected to over and over from other people– my turn.

So you go to the Google search bar and type in “(your name) is” with the quotes.  Mine is “Andria is”, and here are the results:

Andria is thinking of a clever tagline.

Andria is a student pursuing a dual MBA/MS in Public Policy at

Andria is a spicy girl next door who hangs out in Glendale, A

Andria is a small hotel founded at the end of the 19th century managed by the 4th generation of the Peguera-Sort family.

Andria is featured in the following brochure

Andria is a certified Usui Reiki Master and an Angel Therapy Practitioner®

Andria is running as good now as she was in February of last year 

Andria is a city in Bari Province, Puglia, Italy

Andria is in your extended network

Andria is the president of SpeakEasy M.E.D.I.A., Inc.

Since moving out here, I had met some truly tiny people; people that don’t clear five feet, but hover around the 4’8” and lower mark. I didn’t realize that people came that short, especially not so many. It seems logical then, that since so many people I’ve met are short, that makes me tall. For the first time in my life I am described more often than not as “tall” rather than “average”, “short”, or in the drunken words of a friend who seeing me without shoes on for the first time “oh, you’re so little!”

 

It’s a strange phenomenon, especially now that I’ve started to accept it, and actually feel tall. I bought some average length jeans instead of short ones, and they don’t drag on the ground (can it be that Old Navy cuts jeans differently according to region? That doesn’t make any sense) I have the attitude of a girl who is above-average height, and I don’t want to let that go. I even quit wearing heels for a time, although that was more because of cobblestones, and it didn’t last. I guess I can never move again unless I go to a place known for short people, and what place is that?

 

Another New England, more specifically Rhode Island quirk, is the notion that everything is so far away. I really wondered about this before coming out here, actually, if smaller size makes trips seem longer. Interestingly enough, one reason that I picked Providence was because if by some chance I didn’t like that city, it’s close to lots of other cool places.

 

My dad and brother often go on male-bonding road trips across chunks of the U.S. They visit historical sights, eat a lot of hamburgers (cookies in my dad’s case, who while on vacation comes to regard cookies as actual food, for reasons unknown. I’m sure there’s a blog about that coming sometime as I find it fascinating and disgusting). It’s something they do and enjoy, and have invited me on more than once, but I refuse to spend so many hours cooped up in the car with them listening to Lynard Skynard, and finding ways to incorporate a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame into every trip. The point is that my brother said that when he and Wayne were on their “New England, Niagra Falls, and Some Canada” road trip, they drove across Rhode Island and it took about an hour and half.

 

In Fargo, I know of people (I do agree this is crazy, but whatever), who would drive to Minneapolis in the morning, shop all day, then drive back at night. 8 hours round trip. People in Providence think Boston is sooooooooo far away (an hour, usually less on the train). When I tell people that I work in Newport, they feel so sorry for me; and the people who live in Newport and the surrounding cities on Aquidneck Island, absolutely cringe in they have to cross the bridge to the mainland. I invited a co-worker to trivia night at a local pub, she said, “That sounds really fun, but it’s all the way in Providence.”

 

“yeah, it’s like 45 minutes.”

“yeah.” She just shrugged. We’ll see if she decides to attend.

My neighborhood’s reputation is not good. In the few months that I’ve lived here, I can really see why. Aside from having vice cops hunkered down in my backyard, there is an abandoned car parked in the yard that is not my yard, but that looks like it should be, people walk by all hours of the night and day swearing at each other on those goddamn Nextel walkie-talkie phones, I witnessed a drug deal go bad on my way home from work but it barely registered with me, and there’s a bullet hole in one of my front windows. That said: I have a really nice apartment, which is even nicer now that I’ve painted it. It’s huge and airy, cheap for the city, and I really, really like it. I have on-site laundry for the first time in 7 years, off-street parking, and my landlady is pretty cool.

One thing that I’m really fed up with, despite the positives of my place, is the mail theft. Before I moved out here, the power cord for my laptop was fried to the point of sparking and being a general safety hazard. I decided to not take it with me, and instead, order a new one to arrive in Providence about the same time I did. Genius? Yes. Unfortunately, it did not arrive. I had a laptop with wireless but the battery was dead so I had no internet. The only place in the entire city of Providence where you can go and use a computer with internet is the public library. Since I moved over labor day weekend, I had to wait until Tuesday to check on the status of my order. Apparently, the item in question had been delivered 2 days before I arrived, but my landlady (who I asked to look out for it), had not seen it anywhere. I tried to give my neighborhood the benefit of the doubt, told Dell that it never arrived, and got a replacement 5-8 days later.

Now USPS.com is telling me that the two items I ordered from Amazon.com were delivered Wednesday, December 19. I do not have these items. I ambushed my friendly mailman today and asked if he remembered dropping anything off for me on Wednesday. He remembered a package that arrived the previous week (I swear I don’t do that much internet shopping, it’s just been a run of things), but didn’t recall anything from Wednesday. Then in true Providence fashion he proceeded to tell me stuff that was none of my business and most likely, classified: the lady two doors down had received a number of smaller boxes (he held one up as an example), and that the gentleman next door had gotten something on Thursday, but he just didn’t recall anything for me.

“I usually leave your packages by the back door, you know. You didn’t see anything there?”

I told him no, and thanked him for being so thoughtful as to do that (I really do love my mailman), then I said that USPS.com had the package status as delivered 12:13pm on Wednesday the 19th. His face just fell, “It said delivered, huh? That’s not good. That’s the time I usually end up at your place too.”

I concurred that he was very punctual, and that was also the reason for my concern in this matter (he’s kind of amazing in the punctuality department, even the day after the “blizzard” he was dropping off my Netflix at 12:05).

“I’ll call Amazon,” I assured him, “and have them re-send it. I just wanted to check with you first.”

“Man, I feel terrible.” He deflated, right in front of me. “I hate this street. I just really hate this street. It’s even worse than (here he named some street that I’ve never been on, but hope I can avoid).

So fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. People in my neighborhood steal mail. I always thought the whole “it’s a felony” thing was so scary that no one would ever actually do it, but I guess when you’re already a drug dealer, you might as well rack up the charges. So I hope some young (or old) felon is out there smoking crack and enjoying the amazing performance of Bette Davis in “All About Eve”, while I wait for my replacement shipment.

I went to a Christmas cocktail party the other night (how old do I sound, and I have another one on Sunday, with actual old people, but more about that later). Anyway, this was a cookies and cocktails party, where the plan was to drink peppermint martinis, and decorate Christmas cookies, while eating appetizers and having scintillating conversation. Sounds like a good plan to me.

I was informed, however, upon my arrival, that my dear friend who was hostessing this shindig, had one other activity in mind, Turns out she and her husband bought some karaoke game for PS2, and she planned on requiring everyone to play.

“It’s fun.” She assured me, “no one is good, so it’s just fun.”

I have had “sing karaoke” on my list of life goals for about 6 or so years. It’s been on there so long that I’ve lost the physical list it was written on, but I remember that it was there. Karaoke just baffles me though. Are you supposed to really try; get up there and sing your heart out and open yourself up the ridicule and scorn? Or do you go up on a dare and muddle through in a flat and nonchalant voice? I’ve been prodded and urged to sing over the years, but was always just too chicken, which is embarrassing to admit. This game scores you on pitch and timing, so in the spirit of not letting the team down, I had to try to do well.

So the time came for the singing. We made teams, and thankfully, people other than me went first. Then the dial settled on “Wake me up before you Go-Go” by my old friends Wham! This was my song. My heart was pounding and I started to perspire. I gripped the microphone with an intensity that I’m sure looked painful, and I don’t really remember the rest. I think I did respectably, but when I turned around everyone was just looking at me with these big eyes.

Later I got up to do a duet of “Material Girl” and I heard people talking behind me, “Yeah, Andria’s awesome. We’re totally going to win.” I had suspicions that I could carry a tune, but “awesome”—that’s a heady idea. Of course this is awesome at a game that’s similar to guitar hero, which doesn’t require you be able to actually play guitar, so maybe this is all moot.

Also that night, I inadvertently got called a beer expert. Surreal, but much more believable.

So with knowledge of beer, and an ability to sing, perhaps those rock star dreams aren’t so foolish after all. Perhaps my bragging will bit me in the ass; that seems most likely.

Years ago I visited the Roman baths in Bath, England and upon entering was presented with a large, awkward piece of plastic that looked like a quasi-futuristic telephone in a bad sci-fi movie.

“You’re all set.” The aloof, but still unfailingly polite in the way only the British can be, woman told me.

I puzzled over what in the world this thing was until I realized that it was talking to me. I pressed the thing to my ear and realized that the soothing voice was going to give me the tour of the baths. We all quickly realized that these “acoustiguides” gave a person entirely too much information resulting in the lot of us standing around awkwardly trying to find a point on the wall to stare at while not being underfoot of the other tourists. We rejected the idea of acoustiguides and wandered around with absolutely no idea what we were looking at.

My parents came to stay with me recently, and I was charged with the overwhelming task of finding ten days’ worth of family-friendly entertainment for them. I decided that touring the Newport Mansions was a good way to eat up an afternoon. We started at “The Breakers”, the Vanderbilt family’s summer home. It was big, and I didn’t see Anderson Cooper anywhere.

Then we went to Marble House. We walked in and the smiling lady ripped my ticket, then another woman hung a heavy, black, piece of electronic equipment around my neck.

“100 should get you started.”

I had been acoustiguided.

I quickly rallied, and once we were in the first room of the “tour”, a room that looked like Versailles, only much smaller, but with the same amount of stuff, I grabbed my mother, “You don’t want to listen to these things do you? These things are terrible. Let’s just walk through without them.”

She glanced over at my father, now fully absorbed in staring at an ornate fireplace that was hemorrhaging gold cherubs, “I think your father likes it.”

I tapped him on the shoulder, and he spun around with a dazed look on his face. After awkwardly fumbling for the pause button, he finally said, “what?”

“Do you really want to use these things, or should we just go through without them and read the placards?”

“No, this is really interesting. I want to do this.”

I glanced back at mom, who just shrugged. “Okay, but don’t listen to the extra stuff at all, just the basics.”

H acquiesced and then struggled to turn the acoustiguide back on. Finally, I reached over and the play/pause button for him.

Admittedly, this acoustiguided tour was much better than the one at Bath. I learned that whatshername Vanderbilt had chosen an Italian marble because it has golden tones in it and looks warmer. Frankly, if warmth is a concern, I’d say don’t build a house out of marble—but it’s too late for that. The dining room chairs were huge, and completely plated in gold, which made them so heavy, that the Vanderbilts couldn’t move them themselves, and the room was decorated with “scenes from the hunt” i.e. wild boars and stags, all in gold, and all completely creepy. There is nothing more disgustingly fascinating to me than extreme wealth.

Honestly, the one thing I can really appreciate about the acoustiguided tour, is once my tour of a room is over, moving to the back and just watching everyone else. The silence is almost eerie, and it’s like watching someone rock out to music only they can hear. Certain rooms had very ornate ceilings so I’d stand back and watch people’s heads swivel around and pause on significant decorations.

My newfound acceptance of acoustiguides was tested when we got upstairs. We saw the separate bedrooms that Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt occupied, heard an actress read from Mrs. Vanderbilt’s memoires addressing her divorce, and wandered into the trophy room bursting with sailing memorabilia. Mom and I wandered into the daughter, Consuelo’s room, taking in the austerity, and in my case, wondering why the hell this woman named her daughter Consuelo.

After leaving poor Consuelo’s room, we waited for Wayne to meet up with us. He didn’t show up. I ducked back into Consuelo’s room, but he wasn’t there. Finally we noticed that he was still in the trophy room, staring gape-mouthed at a giant painting.

“You’re doing extracurricular listening.” I accused.

He turned toward me looking sheepish, which quickly turned to indignation. He fumbled again for the pause button on his acoustiguide, finally, again, just letting me do it.

“Wayne, we agreed that we were going to stick with the basic tour.”

He pointed at the painting, “But, this is really an interesting story.”

“But we’re standing in a stairwell waiting for you.”

“Oh.” he said as if this had not occurred to him, “I’ll hurry then.”

I don’t know what I’ll do next time I encounter an acoustiguide. My biggest gripe with them is that it just seems so much like cheating. Either give me a guided tour, or give me placards that I can read myself.