Wednesday, April 09, 2014

California, Conferences, Crappy Comedy

About as soon as I had settled into March I found it passing. Aside from snow, snow, and more snow, the entire month had its usual variety of ups and downs and was for the most part pleasant. More Hubbard Street and John Prine certainly didn’t hurt. The end of the month featured a scheduled trip to California. While mostly for work, there was the upshot of possibly seeing the Balance who I had not seen in close to three years, so I figured I was about due.

Traveling meant airports, and I usually loved airports, although I had not expected to actually be asked to pay a bag fee. I can’t remember when that last happened, so I was amused that, yet again, I was taking a bag with me that contained not only vibrators, but dildos, and of course restraints, because, like any bondage scout, even for work I traveled prepared. The Bardwho I was traveling withexplained to me with patience that once we had actually lugged our bags out to the plane under the power of our own two feet, they would most likely offer to take it off our hands for free and then we could be done with it. Seemed rather stupid to me, as, by charging the fee you are pretty much guaranteeing that people will not check bags until the very last minute, but apparently this was the current game being played on national airlines.

Wonders, cease-not.

Californiawhen we finally landed at John Wayne Airport, which sadly I failed to capture in pictureswas cooler than I had hoped. I’d packed for the edges of summer and as far as I could tell winter was not yet quite done with us, Chicago or not. The first night we sat on a patio at the hotel, ordering food and being cold enough that I ran back to my room to get coats and stole a blanket from a table that had just left. All I wanted, after all these long months of winter was to just be warm outside for ten seconds.

I swear, when summer hits this city the first thing I am going to do is find a bar with an outdoor patio and build camp there for ten days or until my liver gives out.

The next day we had a dinner that was both hoity and toity, but had free booze, which was our main reason for going. The Bard had a pre-event meeting, so I was left to sit at a bar on my own and lamented the fact that a simple thing like a cheese plate was not to be had on the fancy menus of most expensive bar restaurants. I mean, really, you want to charge 24 dollars for a glass, GLASS, of wine; I should be able to get a cheese plate. Sadly, no. As I was waiting I heard a rather familiar voice drifting up the stairs as the Bard had pointed me out as sitting at the bar. In walked the Balance.

“Ms. Deville,” he drawled and I'll admit it was good to see him. He was traveling for this conference with a young man who, at that moment seemed to be blandly taking it all in, and who it became almost immediately clear, was The Project.

“Ms. Deville, you filthy, filthy, woman; what have you been up to?”

“Oh, you know me.”

“We’ll see you tonight after the dinner.”

And so it was arranged that we would all of us find each other again after the dinner. There is not much to say about the dinner: people were dressed in frippery, drinking, making conversation, saying hellos, being self-congratulatory, etc. It was corporate without being corporate and was hosted by a comic that managed to offend almost everyone in the room simply because he didn’t know who to make fun of his audience so tried instead for general humor. Sad that: it’s very easy to find humor in the lives of those who are in professional education, and I mean that quite seriously. Have you ever met a student? It takes a context though, and there isn’t a big market, nor a lot of money, in making light of the trials and tribulations of education, so he can’t be faulted entirely for that.

After dinner, it was time to meet the Balance with the Bard, and this, indeed, was always the more interesting way to spend any time at such a conference.

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