Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The new W Dallas

It’s been a relaxing couple of weeks actually. I’ve kept my travel schedule light, which gave me a chance to drive up to Dallas recently and check out the new (and Texas’s first) W Hotel. For those who don’t know the brand, it’s Westin’s stab at the mod-design, minimalist, hip look that Ian Schrager has made all the rage in New York City. I love staying in new hotel properties, especially the first week, as all the staff is still learning things and the general feeling of chaos is somewhat adventurous. Added, a hotel usually offers deals during that ‘soft opening’ period and you can really snag a nice room for peanut prices.

They put me in a corner suite with a lovely view of the Dallas highway system (very romantic the smell of hot asphalt). The color scheme on the walls and furniture involved dark chocolate, maroon, orange, earthy green and black. It was complimentary, but not particularly good at making the room feel spacious (even though it was roughly a 1100 sq ft room). A Bang & Olufsen stereo system sat next to a plasma screen television in the living room, as well as W’s typically well-stocked minibar and functional desk setup. High-speed internet is present and accounted for.

The bedroom flows openly into the bathroom, with a floating mirror in between the two spaces. Another plasma screen in the bedroom, along with a touchscreen telephone system, round out the tech gizmos. The bed was well-appointed with high thread count crisp white sheeting, 7 pillows (both feather and synthetic choices) and a leather bolstered headboard. The bathroom featured a built-in rainfall shower (clear-glassed in for those with a little exhibitionist in them), a separate private room for the toilet and W’s signature Bliss spa products around the sink and in the shower. I was hoping for one of those nifty little toilet seats from Japan that wipes and dries for you, but alas, i was left to do the dirty deed myself. It really is job being this lethargic.

Speaking of Bliss, they have a full spa on the 16th floor and it’s incredible. Look for various deals running on treatments each month. Also, as a hotel guest you’re entitled to 20% off Bliss products when you buy them while you’re there. WHOOHOO!

A/C systems are separate and per-room. I learned this the tough way, as the bedroom stayed MUCH warmer than the sitting room. I also noticed that the whole property was covered in a thin layer of dust (probably from ongoing construction). If you’ve got allergies, I would greatly recommend asking for a HEPA-filter unit for your room until they’re done with the whole hotel.

The heated pool area on the 15th floor of the W is incredible. In all of the hotels I’ve had the pleasure of shacking up at, I’ve never seen a layout like this. It’s like they cut a huge chunk out of the middle of the building and put in an infinity-edged pool overlooking downtown Dallas. It’s absolutely beautiful and probably a very relaxing way to spend a day. The decor is somewhat roman with a modernized twist. Overall, it’s VERY comfortable (and very cool).

For virtual tours of the property (including the pool area and Ghostbar), click HERE.

Friends of mine who lived in town came with me to eat at the W’s eatery, Craft. Originally started in NYC and then chained to Vegas, Craft has a non-fussy menu geared toward the carnivore who likes his food simple, but with high quality standards. The dining room is almost a carbon-copy of the Las Vegas location (at the MGM Grand) and the wait staff was incredibly spot-on for only being on the floor for less than a week.

Aside from a few minor quirks, which were expected, the W Dallas is a great property and one that I can recommend as one of their nicest and most striking in terms of design. If you happen to be in the Dallas area, this is not only the hippest, but definitely the most fun hotel you can rest your weary bones at. Highly recommended.

This month I saw the deliciously satiric Thank You For Smoking, and it started me thinking about the nature of evil. Hunky Aaron Eckhart plays a spinmeister for the tobacco industry, who gets high on promoting nicotine as a civil rights issue. His buddies are lobbyists for organized alcohol and the firearms cartel, and they’re all so much giddy fun that they prove a basic moral commandment: People who do bad things are almost always more appealing that the folks who organize all-star concerts to protect the rain forests, or who ask America to talk to our kids about drugs.

The networks have been running a series of heart-wrenching reality ads on TV featuring smokers who are dying of lung cancer and their bereft children. While these ads are effective, after I’ve seen 50 of them, I just want those cancer dads to go into remission and stop interrupting 24. I really don’t need to be bummed out by X-rays of rotting body parts while I’m trying to concentrate on Keifer Sutherland rescuing an underage Russian hooker.

If Thank You For Smoking is a good movie about evil, then V For Vendetta is a ridiculous movie about an even greater moral debate: The questions concerning Natalie Portman’s hair. For those who have seen the film, you might remember Portman being tortured endlessly for information on the elusive V. Her head is shaved and she’s thrown into a small cell. When she’s finally able to confront her captor, she cries out ‘You cut my hair?’
Clearly, if you want to break a Hollywood starlett, don’t bother threatening her family or her physical well-being: Go right for the bangs. The real tag line for V’s ad campaign should’ve read: ‘If you cut my hair, I’ll kill you...’

It's been seven hours and fifteen days, since they took my hair away.

I’ve been getting a whole mess of emails about how things are going with the new house and I appreciate it. Everything’s finally bought in terms of furniture, the paint isn’t yet dry and the yard needs to be re-seeded, but it’s coming along nicely. It’s a nice feeling of domestication to just sit at home and work on something. I never knew that painting a wall could be so enjoyable. When things are totally finished out, look for pics here on the blog and also in the group site.

I had a friend of mine snap this new pic while in Dallas the other day. I think I look like the gay terminator:

I'll be... on my back!

I’m happy with how my MySpace page is progressing and shocked at how many people have friend requested me. It’s a pretty cool little site that’s teaching me more about HTML code than I ever knew before. Are YOU on MySpace?

I’m cutting up in the gym right now, which means I’m taking a lot of classes involving yoga, spinning and boot camp-style training. With that also comes a lower calorie, higher protein diet and a change in supplementation. I found an awesome stack of creatine/NO2/pro-hormone. It’s honestly the best combo of supplements I’ve taken and the change in both workout and look of my muscle is incredible. They’re made by Controlled Labs and the products are called White Blood, Green Bulge and Blue up. Three separate bottles that can be taken together for a really kick-ass effect. If you’re wanting to move to the next level in muscle building (legally), this is the stuff. Check out the forums for more chat on this product.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading through the archive of 15 Minutes. Wow. There’s more to read there than I had thought. It’s morphed into something totally different than how it began, for both the better and worse depending on your point-of-view. I realized long ago that this blog is nothing more (and should be nothing more) than amusement: Interesting anecdotes and silly stories to fill up about fifteen minutes of your day. There were times in the beginning when I felt the need to discuss what was really going on in my head on a inner-personal level, but that soon backfired and frankly, everyone with a blog seems to grandstand about one inane thing or another. I didn’t want to be a ‘cause blog.’ I just wanted to entertain. I still do.

While it would be nice in theory to bare my soul for everyone to read, I’d be much too self-conscious wondering what people were thinking about my personal revelations. I get a good amount of web traffic on this page, so I’d constantly be second-guessing what I wrote if it was truly straight from the heart. With that also comes the added risk of leaving yourself open for even more public scrutiny... That’s something I’m quite used to, but in growing up I’ve learned to pick my battles. Never fight when you know there won’t be a clear-cut winner. It’s a waste of time and life is way too short to sweat over people who don’t know the shot.

With that, let’s get back on the entertainment track and to this week’s WHACKOFF OF THE WEEK WEBSITE: Teen Muscle Guys Forum.

This is an incredible resource for those who are enamored with the teenage physique at its best. There’s nothing pornographic here, but the sheer volume of images are awesome, not to mention great whack-attack material. You’ll need to sign up with EZBoard to access the group, but it’s free and fast to do. This is a main outlet for where I get my Eye Candy images.

And speaking of, here’s this week’s edition of the EC. Enjoy (as always):

Thanks you guys for tuning in this week. I plan on going back to a more regular posting format with the blog, so look for a new edition of the 15 now on Wednesday evening.

Nothing goes along better with 'hump day' than an injection of Benjamin ;)


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