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Hotel Hades and Long Lost Ladies

I don't mean to be a snob. And contrary to popular belief, I don't necessarily have to have the best of everything.

However ...

When traveling, especially on business, I embrace the quaint notion that one should be comfortable. Arranged accommodations should at least be as nice (wel, I'd prefer nicer) than what I have at home. As those of you who have visited 420, Cape Fear or the new place (which apparently needs a nickname) know, we don't inhabit in the poshest of places, but we're comfortable.

It's important to note that "comfort" is one of the three Cs that have been life's guideposts for the past decade or so. For those keeping score at home, Casual and Convenient make up the rest of the triumvirate.

Comfortable is not the word that comes to mind for the rubbish hotel I dislodged myself from this morning. "Three stars" indeed. I guess if your stars are of the Ruth Buzzi caliber, then perhaps the guidebook is on to something. I should have paid more attention to the adjoining pub before I agreed to check in.

Never sleep near "The Bleeding Horse."

My yellow room had two twin beds (I've been in read about saunas with more comfortable mattresses), with floral bedspreads (most certainly not duvets) enriched with synthetic fibers. The towels at my gym are nicer than those at this swankless shelter. Um, there was no mini-bar. And (the extra sensitive among you may wish to read no further ... ) there was no turn-down service.

I'm quite shocked that I survived.

Shocked and yet somehow a better person. By golly, I *can* live without turn-down service. For at least two nights. Yes, I spent two nights with a hotel full of Ecclesiastical Insurance conveeners, dodgy linen, low-pressure showers, and have lived to tell the tale.

Other than that, it was a perfectly grand trip to Dublin ... a gem of a city that I'm getting to almost as much as I used to trek down to Atlanta from New York.

And my diet consisted of something more substantial than Guinness and Smithwick's this time. After being stood up by a bonnie lass who I *thought* was going to be my dinner date (really, how much traffic can there be from Limerick??), I found the wonderful Mermaid Cafe. It's all about sage-mustard mash. Trust. And then had amazing Indian food last night with the work crew. Hmm, Indian food twice in one week ... what's up with dot?

Oh yeah, I had some good meetings, learned valuable lessons about the judicious use of email, played a short game of Brand This! (the Irish episode) and realized (again) that too many lawyers make for slooooowww going when it comes to international financial regulatory matters.

And, bonus, I found myself privy (not in the privy ... although with all that Indian food one would not be surprised ) to the answer to one of life's great mysteries: What ever became of Bananarama?

Seems that the two-thirds of girls are still using their fruity moniker, and playing at the local fruit bar (what? no URL for George Bar?) this weekend. I heard a rumor I should have stayed, but I can't help it, love in the first degree brought me back to my shy boy. Help!

Aaaand ... scene.

Oh! Belinda Carlisle's going to be there at the beginning of August. How much fun would that be? From Go-Go to coke whore to headliner at a gay pub in Dublin. Heaven *is* a place on earth!

I think I'll have to be there that weekend. But not at the Camden Court.