Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Room service

I am staying at a hotel tonight so I don't have to commute the 96 miles to get to the new job.

Dive - I salute you. I don't know how you do it man. The only thing you have got going is that you can fall asleep on the train and drool on one of your fellow passengers. If I fall asleep at the wheel (and I think I've done it a few times) you'll be reading about it on the evening news!!!

The hotel is in Bethlehem, PA. Kind of fitting dontcha think?

Christmas time?


Get it?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh nevermind.

What can I tell you about Bethlehem, PA. Nothing really. I've never been here before today and what I've seen so far is just a small glimmer of Route 22 and I don't think it's Bethlehem's best side!

I can copy and paste this information from Wikipedia though:

The Christmas Star
On December 7, 1937, at a grand ceremony, Mrs. Marion Brown Grace pulled a large switch to light the new Christmas street lights and a large wooden star. Mrs. Grace was the daughter of a former South Bethlehem burgess, Charles F. Brown and wife of Eugene Grace, President of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Hundreds of Bethlehem’s leading citizens attended the ceremony and thousands more listened to the speeches and musical performances on the radio. The switch for the lights was located in the ballroom of the Hotel Bethlehem. This was the first year that Mayor Robert Pfeifle and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce adopted the nickname "Christmas City, USA" for Bethlehem. Donations from the community were raised for the street decorations. The Bethlehem Globe-Times underwrote the expense of the large wooden star on the top of South Mountain, at a cost of $460.

The star of Bethlehem viewed from Main Street at night The star was attached to two wooden poles and was smaller than the current star. The star was created with four wooden planks, overlapped to create an eight point star. The dimensions were 60’ high, 51’ wide lit by 150 bulbs, 50 watts each. The installation of the star was done by PP&L and Bethlehem Water Department. The star was erected on the top of South Mountain, on property owned by the Water Department, located in Lower Saucon Township. The lighting ceremony, in the Hotel Bethlehem, was an appropriate location. This was the site of the first building in Bethlehem, a two room log house. On Christmas Eve in 1741, the original settlers were conducting their evening worship in this building. As their benefactor, Count Zinzendorf, observed the farm animals that shared the space and listened to the words of the hymn they sang, “Not Jerusalem, But Lowly Bethlehem.” he proclaimed the name of the settlement to be Bethlehem. The people gathered at the 1937 ceremony also heard those same words when the Bach Choir, under the direction of Dr. T. Edgar Shields, sang the old German hymn “Jesu, Rufe Mich (Jesus, Call Thou Me),” by Adam Drese. Malcolm Gross, the Mayor of Allentown, Joseph Morrison, Easton’s Chief Executive, Bethlehem School administrators, and prominent church officials were also there to celebrate. In 1939 the wooden star was replaced with a star made of Bethlehem steel, at a cost of $5000. It had eight rays with the main horizontal ray extended eighty-one feet and the main vertical ray was fifty-three feet long. In 1967, the star was redesigned, and Plexiglas was installed to protect the 250 light bulbs, 50 watts each. It was installed on the old steel frame which was ninety-one feet high and twenty-five feet wide at the base with a depth of five feet, set in concrete. In the summer of 2006, the city attended to some much needed repairs of the base. Rust was scraped off the steel base then it was primed and painted at a cost of $25,000. This is the star we see today. The star is surrounded by a 9-foot chain link fence topped with razor wire. A crew of municipal electricians changes the bulbs every two years. It can be a dangerous job so the crew wears safety gear and they avoid bad weather. Beginning in the mid-'90s, the star was lit from 4:30 p.m. until midnight, every day of the year. This schedule continues today. However during World War II, from 1941 to 1945, none of the Christmas decorations in Bethlehem were lit. At the time, Bethlehem officials explained that the lit star made "too good of an air raid target" and “during the global strife it didn't seem right for the lights to be all lit up when our boys were out in the darkness fighting for us." When lit, the star can be seen from as far as Wind Gap, 20 miles away. The star has become an important symbol for Bethlehem. Blue-and-white signs surround the city and direct tourists to "Follow the Star to Bethlehem.

So, there you have it.

My Dad tells me he vaguely recalls taking a car ride down here when he was a wee lad to see the big star.

I am at the Best Western and I have to tell you it's a really nice place to stay! The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly and I've had one of THE best dinners I've had in a long time. It was chicken something and something. Grilled chicken with mozzarella cheese and grilled vegetables and a bit of balsamic and some kind of potato something or other (because you know an Irish lass needs her potatoes).

It was DAMN tasty.

AND - they gave me 20% off the bill because they didn't have the wine I wanted.

How freakin' cool is that?

So hear I am...in a hotel room,

all by myself,

blogging about some little town in butt-fuck Pennsylvania

eating and drinking all by my little lonesome.

How freakin' sad is that?



Whatever...it's Christmas! It's Happy Happy Joy Joy!!! Both of my kids will be here on Christmas morning and we'll have a nice big breakfast and then good ol' semi-conductor will be here for Christmas Dinner and then somewhere on the weekend I'll meet with Neetzy and her family and we'll have a gay ol' time!

Wooooo Hooooo!

(fuckin' holidays)

Back to the favorite Holiday songs for 2008. I'm going a little off script because this isn't really a favorite of mine, but sitting here in a hotel room by myself I thought it to be the better pick. (can you tell I'm feeling a bit lonely tonight?)

I'm popping my ambien and inserting my earplugs and heading off to laa laa land and I will leave you with this!

Happy Freakin' Holidays Y'all!



dive said...

Best Western, Shazza? At least get into the spirit of the thing and go sleep in a manger.
While you were hogging that room last night a couple and their donkey were turned away and the poor woman's about to give birth.

Have a great Christmas and give Neetzy a big hug from me when you see her.

Shazza said...

I know it was very selfish of me but I was lured by the all you can eat breakfast buffet.

dive said...

Hee hee