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My butt would not unclench about this conference

Issue Date: Friday, Dec. 10, 2004

Good morning poppets! I have returned from my grueling 10-day and three city trip, I got back late Tuesday night and boy howdy, am I glad to be home.

It has been so hard being away from home this time of the year. I don’t know if it’s that Mister is unemployed right now, or if it’s that I just need to be in closer proximity to him, but it has been brutal being away. I feel like I am abandoning my post when I leave town.

I know that I am leaving town to go to work. I know that I have to work, I know this. Really. I am just being a whiny little bitch but… it is just not easy this time. I hate to leave.

Let’s run down the past few days shall we? We shall. And by the way, Thanksgiving? Fab. U. Lous!

The week of November 24th (and before) I had been running around like Beavis trying to get everything ready for this huge undertaking of a three-city conference. I got all of my boxes packed and completely drove the man in our shipping department nuts with my neurotic rantings and Rainman-like mutterings, “It must be there on or before the 24th, It must be there on or before the 24th, It Must be there on or there before the 24th…”

You get the picture.

And that was just for ONE of the three cities. This conference around a holiday bullshit is for the birds.

I had all this shit mapped out and planned down to the most minute detail and with such military anal retentive asshattery that I must have received the most impressive eyebrow raise award from my co-worker at least six dozen times. She was all… “Who gives a crap? Where’s my Stoli!? I’m SO over people right now.” I wanted to join her so badly, but my butt would not unclench about this conference.

So… Mister and I got our stuff together the night of the 24th and left town for my parent’s house out in East Texas. After, I must say, Mister made the most delish smoked salmon dip and beautiful salmon for salad that I have ever put in my mouth. MMM mmm MMM!

We made good time, but still didn’t get to my parent’s place until almost 10pm.

After we got there and unpacked, we talked for an hour or two and relaxed. My parent’s place is like a giant Valium. It just gets into your blood stream and makes you gooey all over.

I stayed gooey for a few days, regardless of the lack of sleep and the intense nightmares that the work stress was causing.

While Mister worked on my folks computer to help them graduate from AO-hell, Momma, Daddy and I made Thanksgiving dinner. Oh Momma… gooood stuff. I ate turkey and dressing and pie… the pie, Lordy the pie. I wanted to just lie on the floor and have a whole pie shoved in my face.

Oh, and please unbutton my pants whilst you’re at it my good man. They may have gotten a bit snug is all I’m sayin.

Sweats can have buttons… Shut up.

So… Saturday evening Mister and I headed for the house. Why Saturday you ask? Well, because I had to be at the first conference site Sunday afternoon at noon sharp. Ready to rock and roll. Or at least throw boxes around and set up a registration area. Suck.

Sunday night I was in bed at like 10 pm because my alarm was set for 4:00… that is AM. I had to be at the convention center at 5:45am. It wasn’t pretty. I looked like I’d been hit by a runaway Mary Kay saleslady, in the dark… but she apparently forgot to tell me how to get the puffiness to “Get Thee Behind Me Satan!” Ugh.

It was a long day.

And that night… I got an errant wake up call at 12:30 am from the front desk, so I was up the rest of the night; afraid the phone was going to ring again.

So we’re where now? Tuesday? Ok, I packed up the conference, took my stuff home, did some laundry, cut Mister’s hair (didn’t sleep… remember?… constant butt clench) and went into the office the next morning with my suitcase in the car. I printed out rosters, packed more stuff for my last city (“It must be there no later than the 3rd, It must be there no later than the 3rd… yadda yadda yadda”… WE GET IT ALREADY!) and hopped into my car at 12:30pm to get to the airport by 1:00pm for a 1:30pm flight.

Cuttin it a little close?

Nah.

Lunch? Fuck it.

So… now I’m in Houston. I think. I set up the conference that night, drag myself to dinner with my boss, we graze on appetizers and I fell into bed at 9:30 or so. Up at the ass crack of dawn in the morning to make sure the conference is set straight and then I braced myself for the barrage of people who hate this property, who show up late and still want credit for classes that they were not in, who are too cold, who are too hot, who didn’t get the materials for class because they were late, who don’t like that the chairs are close together, who want tables in the rooms, who don’t like the food, who want more of the food, we need more coffee!, you’re out of hot water! And on and on and on and on. You almost expect these grown people to come to you and say, “Sally touched me so I punched her in the vagina(tm Todd Glass) and stole her No. 2 pencil!”

I spent my day making engineering crazy: “Can you turn the a/c down in Ballroom D?” “Can you turn the a/c up in Ballroom D?” “Can you turn down the player piano in the lobby? It sounds like elves on crack.” “Can you turn up the a/c in Wedgwood?” “Can you turn down the a/c in Wedgwood?”

You almost don’t hear the attendees by the end of the day, it’s sad. “Frank is on fire in Salon 3.” “Ok, thank you, I’ll call engineering and have them turn the a/c down.”

Bless their hearts, I hired out the audio visual to a team of experts and let them handle the high maintenance speakers and their crazy requests. “Can you wire my voice into this remote controlled dog?” “But of course sir, I’ll get right on it.”

Friday was a bit more laid back. I was more anxious to hear about an interview Mister had with a large corporation. It’s his 3rd interview with them and I want to scream at them to hurry the hell up already, but they are taking their time with it.

So, I did my time at the conference, packed it up when the day was over and headed to the airport. I got home at 10pm or so and was dog-tired. So Saturday I don’t even remember. I think Mister did my laundry for me as I sat, shell shocked, on the couch, with the History channel turned on for comfort, and my cat in my lap.

Sunday we went to church and then I came home and packed again to leave for San Antonio. This trip would be my favorite, I thought. It’s my favorite property out of all of the properties that we normally use, I love the staff, they are so easy to work with and they make things run so smoothly for me. And the people in San Antonio are so laid back. As long as I was not going to be at the San Antonio Convention Center I would be fine.

I got a little panicked as I was on the plane and the flight was so bumpy that the stewardess almost fell into my neighbors lap as she was headed back to her seat. And then even more freaked when I realized that I didn’t remember where I was going. But, we landed, my co-worker raised her eyebrow at me (that’s probably seven dozen) and said “Goob, we’re in San Antonio.”

The lack of sleep was probably my biggest problem this whole time. The hopping from hotel room to hotel room and never being comfortable, worrying that my materials would arrive in time for each conference, worrying about Mister and all things stressful just added up to be one big ball of, “Oh Hell NO, you are NOT sleepin!”

Monday night the committee and the speakers headed out to their normal first day of the conference dinner and as always asked me to go with them, I actually told them I would, which was a mistake. Not because of the company, the company was great, the food was great, the margarita was great… but I had a raging migraine that wanted to spank my ass and for me to call it Daddy that started at about 3:30pm. I figured it would go away after I got some protein in my system. No way Jose’. (By the way, who the hell is Jose’? Cuervo?… Anyway…) I was practically retching by the time I got to my room Monday night.

A pleasant thing did happen while in San Antonio… hey, The Other Chad… do you ever go to the Laugh Stop in Houston?

Hush… I’m getting to the point.

Ya’ll remember me telling you about the sweet guys I hired out to do the audio visual? Well they helped me out in Houston (Dave K. did) and then he sent his counter part Charlie to do the San Antonio portion of the conference. And what do you know…? During the course of the conversation, (somehow, who knows… no really, don’t ask…) I impersonated the large gay guy from Mad TV doing the “Fanta Girls” commercial dressed up as the purple one, “Hi, I’m LuLu…” Shut it. It’s funny.

Well, one conversation led to another and I guess because I was such a dork to make an ass out of myself in front of a complete stranger he decided to trust me with the information that he… the sound guy, Charlie (stage name Chuck Savage) is a stand up comic in the Houston area and he does those promos for the Improv in Addison with Todd Glass and all that funny stuff. I can’t wait to see his show… he’s a riot… here, click on the link… that’s him … on the right… without the mustache.

As I suspected, San Antonio did go very well, and I am finally home. All of my stuff made it to their perspective cities and now, back to the office. But I have yet to unclench my butt.

I have a planning meeting with a large committee for a difference conference on Monday.

Quick note: Wednesday I left work at 3:30 to go run some errands before I went to the house. I stopped by PetCo to get Max some litter and jumped on the tollway to go home.

Where the tollway and 190 merge I saw this large white van with no windows on the side panels and a 99.5 The Wolf sticker on the back bumper. I immediately got this cold feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach.

The van looked like it was moving pretty slowly so I pulled around behind it so I could get over into the fast lane. When I did so I saw this large man in the driver seat gesturing wildly to his passenger as he was talking.

I knew who it was but I had to make sure.

Dear God.

I pulled into the fast lane and made sure that there was a truck in between me and the van, but where I could get a positive glance at the driver of the white van.

It’s him. Shit. He’s back in town.

You guys remember me talking about Neal? The seven-foot (6’11”) junky? Yeah, that jewel is back in Texas.

I immediately called Amy to let her know that I saw him so she could tell her husband so they could be aware. He knows their last name, not where they live now, but I’m sure that he could find them if he wanted to.

That got me to thinking. Public records have my name change on file and my marriage license too. He could find me just as easily.

I went home and told Mister.

He’s not worried.

I have to admit… it shook me up a bit seeing him that way, somewhere I never expected to see him again. Texas.

I’ll tell you guys the full story someday. But I think I’ve reached my word limit for today.

Email me babies! It’s good to be back!

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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