Thursday, October 16, 2008

Conference Highlights: Shiny Head

Last Sunday through Tuesday I was over in Nashville, Tennessee for a conference about how to pass time when you're bored out of your mind and the man next to you keeps eating the free mints and rustling their wrappers until you think you might have to excuse yourself to the bathroom to scream. That was a slight exaggeration, because the conference was actually about nothing. The highlights:

Sunday: I have friends in Nashville, Casey Kelly and Leslie Ellis, they are singer/songwriters that I know through my time at my previous job, where we had a monthly songwriter's in the round musical show. Anywho, they are great and we've never been to their house before. We saw an owl, which was awesome, it was HUGE! It was hanging out in a tall tree in their backyard and we got to watch it take off while the sun was setting. Very picturesque. Leslie made us a lovely vegetable-filled dinner, which I needed badly after a day filled with carbs and cream cheese and trail mix. She also did the "scratch and scootch" with her cat, Bo. This basically means she gets on the floor and scratches his back until he scootches away a few inches, and she follows him and scratches him until he moves again - apparently they sometimes traverse the whole house this way. Bo is one of those cats who stares at you, right into your soul, until you blink and then he laughs at your lack of willpower. I liked him. Dinner also involved copious amounts of wine for me, which means I remember getting home and getting in bed but not much else. Fun times!

Monday: I had to go to the conference all day. I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't serve Barbecue at lunch. I got the old vegetarian standby, pasta. It was actually pretty good. I spent a good part of my day staring at the top of the head of the man sitting in front of me. He was bald and he had the shiniest head I have ever seen. It was actually reflecting the ceiling lights and I thought I could probably see my reflection in it if I got close enough. I mentioned this to Anthony, who thinks he must wax it. Is head wax a real product, available to the general bald public? I must research this. After the conference was over we went for sushi and walked around Centennial Park, which has a recreation of the Parthenon in it! It was fun to walk around.

Tuesday: The morning was more conference stuff. One woman talked twice as long as she was scheduled to. She mostly complained about the marketing department of her place of employment. I stared at Shiny Head the whole time. When the conference ended Anthony and I tried to have lunch at the Pancake Pantry, because I love me some pancakes and this place is pretty well known. Sadly we could not find parking and it was very busy everywhere and both of us were starving and very close to gnawing on each other instead of pancakes. We went to some diner instead and I had something that was definitely not a pancake. Oh well, we're going to Cades Cove and Gatlinburg on Sunday, they have a Pancake Pantry, too. After lunch we went to the Nashville Zoo:

This is me laying in the grass, I was so tired from being at the conference for two days.

This is a cloud leopard but it reminded us of Nola when she's trying to get outside. He or she (didn't have a chance to check the plumbing) was beautiful but really seemed desperate to get out.

If that was Nola than this was my other cat, Coconut. It's a Bengal Tiger and it was as far away as it could possibly get from the annoying and noisy humans. Much like Coconut.

This is a picture of me and Anthony just chillin' out.

Me again, not my best angle.

These are elephants. They were pretty close to us, it was neat.

The real reason I didn't write what some of these animals are is because I have a terrible memory and very little knowledge of what your more foreign animal names are. Llama is pretty much my limit on exotics. So this bird, above, is a big, bluish purple bird, okay?

After the zoo and on the way home, we were scanning through the radio stations and a song by Justin Timberlake came on, "Rock Your Body". Anthony really and truly thought JT was saying something about a laser printer. I told him what the words were, but he kept singing about the laser printer and also added in some lyrics about color copiers and scanners, it was probably the best part of my day because I was laughing so I hard I was able to ignore the scary, mountainous, curvy, truck-filled road surrounding us.

Then I came home. No more conferences for me this year, thank goodness. I've been to three and that's plenty!

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