Monday, December 27, 2010

A Weekend to Remember (or not) ... The Follow Up

This is a postscript to my "A Weekend To Remember" entry.  Here's a letter that I wrote the the hotel manager:  and a letter from him as his response. 

Dear Mr. Cox,

This e-mail is in regards to our hotel stay in room 3560 on December 11, 2010. We have our annual Christmas visit in Seattle, and thought that staying in a hotel we remembered as first class would be great.

Well, it started out on a sour note. When we arrived at 10 p.m. in the midst of a horrible storm, we expected to have our vehicle valet parked so we could go upstairs to relax. No such luck. The valet parking lot was filled, and we were forced to park our vehicle across the street, drag our bag in the pouring rain to a lobby filled with 20-somethings. When I complained to the desk about having to park off-property, she just gave a blank stare.

At 12:30 a.m., my husband was awakened to the couple next door engaged in sexual activity: banging and thumping on the wall, etc. This would have been funny any other time but seeing that we had been poorly treated mere hours prior, it wasn't laughable. At 2:15 a.m., we both were awakened to the sound of a loud party held by 20-somethings in the same room in which the sexual activity was heard. I call downstairs, and am told they have been notified by other guests of this party, and that security was on their way. 30 minutes later, I put my clothes on and head downstairs because there's no sign of security to break up this raucous party. In the lobby, I find security at the front desk smoozing with another female guest. They follow me upstairs, and clear the room of all but two hotel occupants. After a brief sleep on our part, we are again awakened at 5 a.m. to the LOUD sounds of sexual intercourse.

Here are a few questions. What is your policy on valet parking? It seems as though registered guests should have priority when it comes to parking on the premises. I saw lots of eveningwear in the valet parking area, and lots of kids in dressy garbs. Was there some party/gathering going on that made it impossible for those who were paying hotel guests to park? Sending your guests at night into the pouring rain doesn't seem like good policy. And I can rest assure that if an older couple were to show up at 10 p.m., their keys would have been taken, and their car parked!

Also, what is your policy on allowing anyone under the age of 25 to rent rooms? These youngsters turned the Westin into a spring-break-type location wherein drunken kids were allowed to disturb other guests who had come to enjoy the view and relax. Everyone should have been thrown out of that hotel room, including the registered guests who showed a total lack of judgment. I'm sure they were in violation of their hotel registration agreement with the party and excessive noise. This certainly should be grounds for them to be extricated along with their party guests.

Also, the lack of response by the security staff in taking care of problem hotel guests is despicable! With all things considered, our night at your hotel can be compared to the perfect storm: everything lined up to make our stay a miserable one.

Hopefully the poor treatment we received as hotel guests isn't typical.

Yours truly,

rainwriter jones (of course this ain't my name, silly!)  (LOL)


Ms. Jones,

First off please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your e-mail. I have been on vacation and this is my first day back in the office.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your recent stay with us. I’m sorry to learn that you had such an awful experience. Our goal is to have every guest leave feeling relaxed and renewed and clearly we did not provide that experience for you.

On the day you arrived we had a group of guest attending a large social event in our ballroom. Clearly we underestimated the impact of this on our parking garage. You are correct in thinking that you should have priority when it comes to parking at the hotel. I was shocked to hear that you were not allowed to park in our garage.

To rent a room at our hotel you must be at least 18 years of age. However none of our guest should be engaged in such debaucherous activates as you described in this email.

I will be sharing this email with our parking, security and front desk staff to make sure this never happens again.

As a gesture of regret, I feel it is only fair to refund you for the room and tax. I have contacted our accounting office to issue a credit of $137.56.

Once again, Thank you for sharing your comments on your recent stay with us. While it is never pleasant to receive bad news, it is only through honest feedback that we are able to identify and address our shortcomings.

Warm Regards,



And although I haven't the notion to stay there again, at least I feel like I didn't pay for horrid treatment.

rainwriter jones

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Holidays

Please come visit my store on Lulu for some really great gifts for the holiday season and throughout the year!

rainwriter jones

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Weekend to Remember

Downtown Seattle View from the 35th Floor
Photographer:  Korliss Sewer

Our family has a tradition of spending a weekend in Seattle for the Christmas holiday. However, due to training on my part, we had an abbreviated but lovely Saturday at Pike Place Market. We were a little unconventional this time around as we didn't just concentrate on the shops and restaurants, but visiting with some of the street musicians and performers that frequent the market. We had a caricature made by one of them of the entire family which I will soon frame and display in our home.

After dropping off our daughters, my husband took me around Tacoma to take night time photos. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to go shoot certain locations because I don't feel safe taking photos after dark. Snagged some really cool photos, too! Award-winning, I might add.  :-D

We headed to the Westin for a little couple time. It started pouring as we made our way to the valet parking feeling secure we would be comfy in our suite shortly. We pulled up to the curb just to find out the valet lot was full, and we had to park our own vehicle off the property. Dang-blanged fools wouldn't even park our ride. So at 10 p.m. in the pouring rain we find a lot, pay $24, and then drag our bag across the street like a little run-away boy to the hotel lobby. A slip of a girl worked behind the desk: I decided to ask her about the parking situation (or lack thereof). She looked a wee bit afraid, so I let it go.

We have a grand view of downtown Seattle from the 35th floor, and again, I score some excellent shots. A little alcohol later we fall asleep, just to be awakened at 3 a.m. by a WILD party in the next room over. Drunken 20-somethings making all sorts of noise dancing and singing. Half asleep, I call the lobby to lodge a complaint. They say they have security coming up shortly. Well, 20 minutes later there was no security, so I put my clothes are to confront the front desk. Guess who's still on duty? (lol) She busied herself as I stood and stared at her with braided hair peeking beneath my hood. Finally, security shows up, and I tell them about the wild party. We go upstairs, and they shoo away the partygoers, leaving the couple behind that originally rented the room.

Back to sleep I fall 'til 5 p.m. LOTS of mad humpin' going on against our headboard. Sounded like homeboy was going to slam her through the wall into our bed. I'm like, damn, can you keep it down! I couldn't even take care of my business with them taking care of theirs! (LMBAO) According to my husband, these two were going at it around 12:30 a.m. which originally woke him up, and then the party started around 2 a.m. Damned kids!

Time for check-out, and I'm exhausted. No real resolution to the poor service from this hotel.  But all in all, the weekend was a good one.  We're securing another weekend get-away to make up for this fiasco. But it won't be at the Westin, that's for sure!

rainwriter jones

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Gift of Thrift

L.A. Sellin' & Tellin'
Photography by rainwriter jones

The thrift store (or charity shop) was once condemned as a place where only poor folks would tread: now they're all the rage in even the wealthier communities. My first experience with bargain shopping was back when I was a mere lass (well, not so young, 12-ish) when the very first Value Village opened within walking distance of my house. It smelled kind of musty with the toss-offs of clothing, furniture, and knick-knacks from God knows who: but it smelled like paradise to a cheap-o like me! Mind you, I'll spend top dollar for something that "calls my name," but for everyday clothes? The cheaper the better! I remember I purchased a lovely sky blue cashmere sweater for $.25! I wish I still had it, but it is long-gone (probably someone else's thrift store find). And seeing as though this was a reduction from the $.50 price 'cause it was half off that day?? LUXURY!!

Yesterday I had to spend a little more than I wanted heading to Goodwill instead. My favorite items are sweaters, purses, men's jeans and sweaters (none of that prissy ladies sweaters), vintage clothing, and teacups. I scored two of the latter for $.69. Of course they match as they are the love ritual cups for our morning joe. :-)

Here I offer some tips for the casual thrift shopper:

1. If you find something interesting but it hasn't "called your name," place it in your shopping cart any way. If it calls to you before you're ready to head to the cash register, buy it. You'll be pissed if you changed your mind, went back for it, and found it riding in someone else's cart.

2. Be frugal. If it costs more than what you think it should, ask if you can get a price reduction. They don't want to deal? Put it back!

3. Keep your mind open as to what you are looking for. Things "call to you" (at least they do for me). It may be a pair of jeans or an antique desk.

4. Bring a vehicle big enough to haul larger items. You don't want to head back home to get the truck to find your item gone.

5. Don't let the pushy thriftshopper budge you from your scouring area. Stand your ground, and cast a glaring eye if necessary.

6. Some of the questionable items that you placed back on the shelf may call your name later. Come back 'round to see if it's still there. If it isn't, it wasn't meant to be yours.

7. Be sure to look for any imperfections BEFORE you purchase. If you can live it 'em, buy it and/or repair it at your leisure.

8. Don't buy it 'cause it's cheap. Buy it 'cause it suits a purpose! You don't want to be deemed as a hoarder! (LMBAO)

9. Go out shopping without adornments: come home with the necklace of your dreams. He'll just figure this is a piece he hasn't seen.

10. Make sure your spouse doesn't see you bring it in. E...A...S...E into the house whilst your significant other is out and about. Like with the adornments, they won't notice that new sofa if you've got a slip cover on it! (LMBAO)

Ummmm....saw a distressed shelving unit yesterday. Heading out to see if it's still there!

rainwriter jones

Friday, June 11, 2010

Child Abuse and the Solo Risk Taker

Okay, I don't come "here" often, but every now and again something just chaps my hide so much that I've got to blog about it.

What's been troubling me, you might ask?  The fact that there are actually parents who let their children fly airplanes, sail 'cross the world, or other risky ventures on their own!  Yes, they may say that they are indeed supervised in the respect that they're in radio contact with an adult at all times, but look at the latest situation involving Abby Sunderland.  Who's idea was it to let this 16 year-old attempt such a feat?  Even if it was hers, the parents should have patted her on her head like lil' Sue Who and send her upstairs to bed with a glass of milk!  And to think that her brother Zac did a solo trip on the Indian Ocean, too?  And another 16 year-old named Jessica Watson sailed around the world.  Are these parents crazy? 

No.  Just sensationalists!  Trying to gain fame for themselves through the efforts of their children.  I do believe this behavior is closely akin to the mental health diagnosis Munchausen by proxy whereby the adult caretaker exaggerates their child's illness (or even sickens them) in order to gain attention for themselves.  (See link below).  But instead of the illness aspect, they have substituted risk-taking for their children.  While they are out sailing or flying, the parents are basking in the media.  Even the Heene's put their children at risk for fame and fortune with the "Balloon Boy" fiasco.

So what are we to do with these parents who endanger the lives of their children?  I know for me, I don't watch anything that is reported in the media in regards to their antics.  Giving them attention is what they want (along with the money, of course).  Neither of which this writer is giving.

rainwriter jones

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sitting Here Watching Slugs Slime

The days around here have been cool, if not cold.  Looking forward to some consistently warm temperatures.  They must be on their way with the emergence of this little fellow.  Took a picture of him easing his way down a bathroom mirror outside of my front door.  The mirror makes the yard look bigger.

Even this gastropod finds motivation; even if it's just to find a tasty morsel in our garden on which to munch.  Yes, I know it's only instinct, but why can't we human be instinctual in regards to finding something productive to do?  Create something?  Inspire someone?  By taking time to blog this, you should know by know that motivation is sorely lacking for me, and I think I shall return to bed for a few hours:  see what inspires me to even rise from the sheets. 

Or grab the salt shaker to watch him shrink...

Ain't instinct beautiful?

rainwriter jones

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peeking Through The Key Hole: Three Songs For Romance

Today we celebrate another anniversary together.  We fell in love quickly; marrying only after a 3-month courtship.  I knew he was "the one" after our very first kiss!

The weather is the same as it was 23 years ago, partly cloudy with occasional rain showers.  I remember quite clearly the image of my future husband standing in the doorway of the courthouse, smiling and nervous.  Taking on this new responsibility of a wife; promising my Father he will honor and cherish me.  I know he is smiling down from Heaven knowing I made a good choice in my marriage.

I have this strange habit of associating a song with a particular time/event.  There are three songs that play to our relationship:

1.  "Something About You" by Level 42.  This is the tune that I knew I had to learn more about this man who made me pause in 1987.  He was different than the average man enjoying a large variety of music, always striving towards improving his circumstance, and funny as hell!  Different:  like me. 

2.  "I Don't Run From Danger" by The System.  We rolled to this back in the day:  before marriage, before children, before everything we are at this moment.  This is where we cemented our love for each other.

3.  "Always" by Atlantic Starr.  Our first dance was to this tune.  It still brings a tear to my eye as I remember the couple featured on the video young like we were, and then standing aged on the porch watching their children and grandchildren.  We have followed their timeline. 

As I watched my husband sleep this morning I wondered:  What will be the fourth song of our union?  I guess I'll just have to stick around to find out!

Happy Anniversary.  I love you more than the day we said "I do!"

As Always...


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Give Me That Old Time Religion: A Guide to the Self-Righteous

Are there people who are truly dedicated to their religion?  I'm not speaking of any religion in particular, but all sects.  Where is character formed:  inside or outside the church?  I remember attending services as a youngster.  No sooner had the preaching ceased were sisters such-and-so gossiping about another church member inside the vestibule. 

I had a strange situation with a person of faith who had been picking up someone I know to take them to church every Sunday.  I had doubts about this young man from the start as he had the "look" of someone untrustworthy, though he expounded the word with great conviction.  He had previous run-ins with law enforcement, and claimed he was a changed man.  He started out well enough, but eventually picked my guy up later and later (or not at all).  Well, this Sunday he called to tell me he wouldn't be taking him any more; that he was working with another group of folks, etc., and that he would tell my guy when he picked him up later in the afternoon.   I said okay, but knowing that this was yet another fabrication.  Lo and behold, brother never showed up:  even after two phones calls asking if he was coming.  He hasn't called back yet, and it's Tuesday morning. 

This brings up our troubled Tiger Woods.  He says that he hasn't followed his Buddhist upbringing, and that's why he strayed.  Jimmy Swaggart strayed.  Tammy Faye Baker strayed (so did her husband...big time).  There are innumerous members of the religious community who have strayed:  turned to the dark side, no less.  There is a common theme with all these folks in that they were held to a higher standard than most of us.  To behave in a manner that many of us can't (or won't).  I have to wonder whether they are standards that any one of us can uphold.  It's almost as if these folks were set to fail, maybe by their own doing.  Their self-righteousness being used to shield their untowardly ways from public view. 

Can people really change their ungodly behaviors when they've strayed from their beliefs?  Did they ever change in the first place? 

rainwriter jones

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sex Addiction 101

There's been lots of discussion regarding Tiger Woods and his recently publicized antics.  His infidelities have brought to the forefront a disturbing disorder:  sex addiction.  What is it, and how is it treated? 

The symptoms for sexual addiction are as follows: 

- Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)

- Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
- Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
- Consistent use of pornography
- Unsafe sex
- Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
- Prostitution or use of prostitutes
- Exhibitionism
- Obsessive dating through personal ads
- Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
 -Sexual harassment

Like any addict, he/she places their needs in front of all else:  their daily routine revolves around how to obtain what they desire without care of consequences.  I know a few addicts, and have worked with some in a clinical setting.  I have watched them relentlessly pursue their drug of choice.  It is not unusual for them to have multiple addictions.  In the case of sexual addiction, sex is their "monkey on the back," causing them to put themselves and their family in precarious positions, risking everything for that next "hit."  Satisfaction is always out of reach.

The treatment for sex addiction may include:

- Controlling addictive behavior
- Helping the person develop a healthy sexuality
- Education about healthy sexuality, individual counseling, and marital and/or family therapy
- Support groups and 12 step recovery programs for people with sexual addictions
- Medications like Prozac or Anafranil which treat obsessive-compulsive aspect of this disorder

Sexual addiction is extremely hard to treat effectively, if not impossible.  And like with all addictions, there is no cure.  Relapses can be a possibility with any addiction.

I believe sex addiction exists, but for those to use it as an excuse for his/her infidelity is appalling!  It's easy to hide behind a diagnosis rather than to admit one's human fragility.

Check yourself, Mr. Woods.

rainwriter jones

*information from*

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ethnicity Within The Black Community

Light-skinned versus dark-skinned.  This war is centuries-old, beginning back in the days of slavery.  Thought of as resembling their owners because of their shade, the fairer-skinned slaves worked in the house while the darker ones toiled in the fields.  First initiated by Whites, a tradition carried on by Blacks. 

I was born in the time of "two hospitals."  There were only two hospitals which delivered Black babies in Seattle.  Though segregation was not openly practiced, there definitely were color lines wherein Blacks were not allowed to cross.  A quiet separation of Whites and Blacks.  Only a small amount of White doctors took Black patients.  The others simply didn't admit any into their practice.  That was a mere 50 years ago.

Back in the 60s, there was a definite color line:  a division between dark-skinned Blacks versus light-skinned ones.  Our darker brothers and sisters were often color coded:  being treated as though they were less worthy of the benefits fairer-skinned Blacks received.  There were even names associated with being of a darker hue (of which I will not mention here).  And of course, there's the matter of "good" hair versus "bad" hair.  I have two children, both of which state that the same old tune is still playing on the Victrola.  After all this time, it's hard for me to believe this is true. 

What is trying to be "White?"  What is trying to act "Black?"  Do you think if Obama was dark skinned that he would have won the election?  Your thoughts...

Debating With Self...

rainwriter jones

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dangerous Height-Challenged Son-O-Guns!

I have to tell you, this has indeed been troubling me for quite a time.  Those who are excessively limited in height can be excessively aggressive?  (note:  I said "can be").  I think this is a timely topic as I've had a recent conversation with a friend from another site who spoke upon the topic, and her experience with an aggressive checker who scares the hell out of her!  God bless her!  (LOL)

I remember attending a concert in Seattle with my sister in 2006.  We were all standing 'round singing 80s tunes, some folks somewhat inebriated, but all waiting for the performance to begin.  A clipper ship of a woman came cruising through the crowd, pushing intoxicants aside in a wave of drunkeness.  Folks were just about to start cursing her out, this lil' 4ft. x 4ft. mass wearing a fez, but the look gave us let us know that if you DARED say a single word to her, she'd let you have it.  Her ship cruised to the front of the crowd beneath the stage:  just where she wanted to be. 

I remember way back when having a boyfriend who was short.  He was a real son-o-bitch, with his conniving self.  Played me and many other women at the same time!  I think his lack of height and male appendage made him what he was, and he had to prove himself by being the Stud of Seattle.  The last time I saw him was at a barbeque with his ugly wife-y.  She looked like a pig.  (LMAO)

Please watch this film as a testament to the potential woes of short folks, and possibly why they act a fool!:

You heard him??  "Women don't give short men no play!"  (LMBAOOO)
As for myself?  I stand 5'2":  5'0" without glasses.  I, too, have a tendency to "act" taller than my actual height, pushing and shoving my way through life, sometimes with reckless abandon.  Maybe I should score a fez like the one above.  Then you know I've got to be crazy, and I will get my way without knocking you over!  (LMBAO)

Your thoughts?

Broadcasting With Elevator Shoes...

rainwriter jones

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Partie Merlot Pour Deux

My husband and I had an intimate wine tasting party this Friday by the fireside. I was the host this month, deciding upon Merlot as our grape in its varietal form. There were five labels for consideration, two from Washington, and three from California:

2007 J. Lohr Merlot Los Osos
2007 181 Wine Cellars Merlot Clay Station
2006 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard
2006 Ghost Pines Merlot Winemaker’s Blend
2007 Charles Smith Merlot Velvet Devil

The bottles were allowed to breath for one hour prior to tasting. Britannia Crisps were used to clear the palate between wines. Korky’s meatballs were served along with a few other munchies.



- J. Lohr: The attack was harsh, though flavor mellowed into a nice cherry with deep flavored richness. Overall, a delightful wine, especially during second round of tasting.

- 181: Cherry nose, buttery short finish. (note: with my palate if a wine is enjoyable, the finish is usually a “butter-flavored” one, and not in reference to the wine being a Chardonnay). Floral notes throughout. Another keeper!

- Chateau Ste. Michelle: Not very impressive, taste barely discernible; hollow. A blend of tangerine and oak perceived. Fairly flat; thin-bodied. With a 2009-2011 drinking window, I have to question the quality of the wine. Will not re-purchase.

- Ghost Pines: Cherry nose, a little bit drier than the other wines; less tannins. Pleasant backdrop of almonds. I may be a wee bit partial to Louis M. Martini’s wines as all I’ve tasted thus far have been very good. A re-buy for this one!

- Charles Smith Velvet Devil: Gasoline nose up front; very offsetting. Plum-y taste towards mid-palate, buttery backdrop. I’ve tasted this wine in the past and compared to the other three California offerings, it doesn’t measure up. Re-purchase only if on sale.


Truthfully, the California wines fared much better than that of Washington state. I haven’t given up on our wine producers, but I need to taste a greater variety from different wineries.

After the first small samples, a break was taken to sufficiently clear our palates. Upon re-tasting, our favorite oscillated between J. Lohr and 181. J. Lohr got the tip of our fedora! A cigar to finish the evening, of course.

rainwriter jones

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Airline Industry (i.e., let's git nekkid!)

Do you think the world's gone crazy?  I mean, with all the mess going on with the airlines, and folks threatening our very lives with their radical views? 

Here lately, there's been a grip of threats and near distasters involving air travel.  I don't know if it's from a lack of sufficient airport staff, their lack of training, or just a lack-lusterness that I've been feeling for the past several years wherein nothing or no one matters.  All I know is that there needs to be an improvement in securing all places in which large amounts of people gather:  malls, theaters, amusement parks, and yes, airports.

And with that said, I've got a proposal which may be somewhat controversial.  I think everyone needs to be strip searched with body cavities probed to the fullest extent!  Yep, I said it!  Grandma Jenkins bent over a counter, with a gloved worker's hand up her coochie!  As indelicate as that sounds, it will keep all but the hard heads from flying.  Look at it this way, the airports won't be crowded with all those damned families trying to get to grandma's house as their dignity won't allow them to get nekkid in front of a crowd of people.  A true relief to the weary traveler that don''t want their flight-time sleep impaired by screaming kids.

I, for one, will be the weirdo who would be the first to volunteer!  (LMBAO)

rainwriter jones