One of the underratedly great things about staying in a hotel is that there's always a pen and paper handy. It's a lovely little retro convenience in today's digital age. Even the hotels that are nothing spectacular still leave a small pad of paper by the phone.
This, of course, comes in handy for many reasons.
Anyway, last night, despite my attempt at getting to sleep early so that I was bright eyed and bushy tailed for the long day of work plus return flight home, I was awakened on several occasions by a group of conventioneers having some kind of contest to see who can be the loudest, most annoying drunk, out in the common areas. The last disturbance was at about 2 in the morning (3 Eastern), and I found falling back to sleep particularly challenging. So, I grabbed the pen and paper and started writing random things down. Lists, mostly.
It started with a to-do list. And then a to-pack list. Somehow, the last list -- the one that put me to sleep -- was a list of states, divided into the following eight categories:
- States in which I've lived [New Jersey, Florida, Virginia];
- States in which I have spent considerable time (a sum total of at least one week) in the last 10 years [New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, Illinois];
- States in which I spent considerable time when I was younger [Massachusetts, New Hampshire];
- States in which I have spent at least one night (that I remember) [California, Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado, Indiana];
- States that I saw as a child, but I don't really remember [Vermont, Maine];
- States that I saw as a child, but as an adult only sat in the car when the rest of the family went into a casino [Connecticut];
- States I have driven or flown through (including those in which I have stopped for food) [Ohio, Arizona, Delaware, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Wisconsin]; and
- States that I have never entered for any reason [Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma].
This exercise -- which reminds me of the map exercise from a while back -- put me to sleep quicker than you can say "Ambien." In fact, I'm getting tired just repeating it here.