Busy, Busy

IMG_0334[1]Thursday, 8 August 2013

I lead a pretty stress-free life.  But the last two weeks have been a hassle.  Mostly in a good way.  (But not in a conducive to sleep way.)

Work has been hectic and I’ve been closing in on contracts over 18 months in the forming.  I learned something new with this contract.  (I say this often, recently:  “Try new things.”)  When finally, finally closing in on a contract meet every day to work through all the details.  A good idea, and it worked well last week and this.  But it meant I was up at midnight doing my “homework” to be ready for the next day’s meeting.  (Cue tiny violin player.)  I have a great job that lets me do all the goof around, world traveling things that I want to do.  I’m not complaining.

IMG_0322[1]Last Sunday I met Connie to run 12 miles through Sunset and Huntington Beaches.  Places I’ve not run before.  Easy and flat.  (My kind of running.)  Connie probably ran much slower than she anticipated, but I wasn’t in the mood to run 12 miles, much less at pace.  Actually, I surprized myself that I went the whole distance.  Although we literally ran into Pauline during our run (who was looking for us because of my FB post).

Then I took a shower, packed, and leaded out for San Diego, arriving just in time to put on long pants and attend an opening ceremony.  Did you know that there’s a park that stretches the entire backside of the convention center?  Nice.  But San Diego can get chilly after the sun goes down, and it did.  And the food was really bread based.  And I mean really.  There was one whole buffet area with different types of hummus, veggie jams, and other spreads – all for bread.  I tried all “plain”, but I was literally eating off a spoon.  There were no vegetables of any kind (somebody, not me, remarked on it).

This convention is classes during the morning, lunch with association business and a big speaker, then 3 hours of convention floor time.  I didn’t get to take any classes because I was working on contract every morning.   (I’m not complaining.  I got to work in my jammies instead of dressing up to get educated.)

IMG_0323[1]Monday lunch the big speaker was Jewel.  I knew nothing about her going in.  I know a lot more about her now.  I care exactly the same amount before and after – not much.  Frankly, I thought she was an odd choice and I still think that.  Apparently the woman has overcome significant adversity, but she tells her story in such a random fashion that it’s hard to tell what impact/emotion she’s going for.  And I’m completely unimpressed with her singing.  (Hopefully, there were people in the audience thrilled to be in her presence.)

Lunch, by the way, we all agreed at the end of the week, was bad or weird.  Monday was a deconstructed iceberg-lettuce-and-ranch salad that turned out to be the highlight of the meal.  Both the chicken and the potatoes were too spicy for me to eat – although admittedly I’m a wimp in the spice department.

The time on the convention floor was interesting – Jet Blue is announcing a new seat configuration for the LA to NY and LA to DC routes.  Fully lay-down seats.  I think it’s so the really high rollers can connect to other high-rollin’ airlines across the water, using Jet Blue over the US.  Anyway, we ate Terra Blue chips and sat in these cool new seats on the day they were unveiled.

IMG_0327[1]Then Monday night I went to a chef’s dinner.  A guy who was the chef for Queen Elizabeth for 11 years and then for Princess Diana for 4 years demo-ed 3 dishes and then sat with us while we had a 4 course, 7 dish meal from his recipes.  The food was mostly great – and the wines were fabulous.  The starter (which we watched him make and which I might make) was pea soup with avocado and lobster.  You start with fresh English peas (not dried split peas).  Who knew peas and avocado were so good together.

IMG_0330[1]The second course was a cod and salmon en crute (?).  The salmon was delish.  The cod not so remarkable.  I didn’t eat the bread.  The third course was a steak.  The best description was that it tasted British.  It was the only dud in the entire meal.  The 2 desserts  were  bread and butter pudding and a chocolate pie.  Bread and butter pudding is not so bread-filled at the bread pudding we know.  The pie was unremarkable.

IMG_0331[1]Tuesday the salad was 2 slices of goat cheese, mandarin oranges, and dressing I cannot remember.  Good.  The lunch was chicken and veggies.  Not too spicy, but not good.  I ate the goat cheese off the salad plate next to me.  (Nobody sat there.)  Laura Bush came out and spoke for 30 minutes about life since the White House.  Pleasant enough.  She looks different – maybe thinner.

Tuesday night we went to a reception by Hilton (or Hyatt, I forget which) at the Hilton (or Hyatt) on the bay next to the convention center.  Lots of fun food and drink.  Lots of bread-things.  Every event is completely open bar.  Wide open bar.  For a non-drinker, it’s all a bit much.

IMG_0340[1]Wednesday lunch was a roast beef sandwich with a HUGE roll and a corn/bean salad.  I ate the roast beef out of the center and the salad.  OK.  The lunch speaker was Hillary Clinton.  She looks fabulous.  And her hair is great – shorter and super cute.

Then I drove like a bat out of hell to get home by 6:30 to run at the beach.  Which I did.  A GREAT run at below race pace.  (Only for 3 miles.  I was tired)  I had Thai for dinner.

And then back to work today.

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