January 4, 2007

I’ve bitched before about the poor timing of Macworld, but this year it seems especially unfair to be swamped with tradeshow preparations on a week I would just like to relax and unwind from the travel and chaos of Christmas.

The last few days leading up to the show are always insane as I frantically scurry around looking for boxes and scheduling FedEx pickups and packing up massive piles of ethernet cable and freaking the hell out for the millionth time as I realize I totally forgot about whatever mission-critical thing I forgot about. I have an enormous checklist (brochures, CDs, license key stickers, manuals, ballpoint pens, t-shirts, pricing sheets, energy bars, credit card slips, oh my god the list goes on and on and on) but it’s inevitable I will manage to space out on at least one important detail that I’ll probably remember around 3 AM Monday morning.

Tradeshows are unbelievably expensive. This year I had a custom booth built for Workplace, and it cost, oh, about a fucking hojillion dollars. That’s just for the structure–the exposition services like labor, shipping, electrical, internet, and furniture cost another arm and a leg. Assuming we are talking about diamond-plated appendages lined with pure heroin, that is.

In the past, we have paid for the use of a trashcan in our booth space. I believe it cost something like $100 per day, and it was literally a piece of cardboard folded into a sort of cube and taped shut. Having it emptied at the end of each day cost extra.

We should all go into the exposition business, is what I’m saying. All we’ll need is a team of cardboard-folders, and we’ll be rich. Rich, I say! Of course, our souls will be black and dead inside, but hey.

I have one more scrambling workday to get the last-minute crap taken care of, then I fly to San Francisco on Monday at the unbelievable departure hour of 7 AM. I believe that entails getting ready and leaving the house around 5, which makes me cry a little painful tear every time I think about it.

Almost every tradeshow I’ve ever gone to has prominently featured the festive morale-building activity of getting shitfaced drunk each night with my coworkers. I remember one show several years back when a bunch of us stopped by a coworker’s hotel room to pick him up in the morning, and there was a folded-up towel in front of the toilet with two knee-shaped dents in it from the night before. “Tradeshow badge of honor,” the guy said, grinning and shrugging.

This time I’ll be sober as a goddamn owl. I won’t lie, I kind of miss the days when “I love you, man” was a totally acceptable thing to slobber around 1:30 in the morning when everyone had blown their per diem on rum-and-cokes; when we were all in a new city together, trading war stories and gossip and feeling like kids on a field trip.

Then again, there is nothing quite on this earth like standing in the booth the next day, your mouth feeling as though you had chewed fifteen dead mice for breakfast and your head throbbing in time to the obnoxious music the booth next to you keeps playing over. And over. AND OVER. And you know that you’ve got the whole hellish day stretching in front of you, you have to smile and talk to people, and you probably should try not to throw up on anyone’s shoes.

I will say this about my personal take on sobriety: among other benefits, a life without hangovers is a vast improvement.

Every time I think about the fact that I’m going to be away from Riley for a whole week, my brain sort of skitters off to the side. Jesus, I’m going to miss him.

I changed my return flight and instead of coming home I’ll go directly to Eugene to meet up with JB before heading on to Coos Bay. His grandmother died today (it’s okay, it was mostly definitely her time to go and it was relatively peaceful) and the service is Saturday the 13th. JB gets to drive Riley down there by himself, which should be…interesting.

Anyway, it’s been a busy-ass week and I have exactly zero plans for the weekend. JB’s brother is coming to town and the two guys are going to the Seahawks game on Saturday (because all of a sudden, out of nowhere, JB has been into football lately. He claims it’s so he can watch games with Riley, but uhhh Riley isn’t really into much TV-wise unless Elmo is up there talking about how Mr. Noodle needs to wash his hands, wash your hands Mr. Noodle, you know, your hands, they are at the ends of your arms! — which oh jesus someone just give Mr. Fucking Noodle some antibacterial gel already) and I believe I will spend my time trying to find one single solitary outfit that is appropriate for a funeral service. Are my black Old Navy slouchy pants no good? Probably not.

So, tell me. What are you doing this weekend? (I LOVE THIS PART.)


93 Responses to “Pre-show jitters”

  1. missbanshee on January 5th, 2007 10:45 am

    I am doing as little as possible, after a week of insanity that consisted of moving from NJ to Savannah, GA. I will not be dealing with rental trucks, storage spaces, or boxes of any kind. I will not be spending 15 hours in said rental truck, I will not be unpacking, I will not be shrieking to the heavens about how I hate everything I own and that I will be throwing it all away and living like a monk for the rest of my life. I will be doing none of these things. Yay for me!

  2. sooboo on January 5th, 2007 10:45 am

    This weekend I am moving into the house we just bought! We actually close today. A friend of ours is randomly in town for the weekend and volunteered to help with the heavy stuff. So, we will probably be taking him out for a semi-fancy dinner on Saturday. Hope Macworld goes well and I am also sorry for JB’s loss.

  3. Leah on January 5th, 2007 10:50 am

    This weekend: getting legal internet (at a price *sob*), having dinner at our house with a felon who still has his house-arrest anklet on and active, tripping up to Napa and Sonoma for some wiiiiiiine.

    (I’m only 15 minutes away from SF, so, you know…)

  4. Cari on January 5th, 2007 11:13 am

    I, too, am sorry for the loss of JB’s grandmother. After hospice care, it’s truly not as sad as one would think, is it?

    This weekend I am cleaning my kitchen floor (it’s been WAY too long, I am too embarassed to even say), going to our first childbirthing class, and attending my first baby shower. Aside from the floor-cleaning and the video of miniature humans emerging from 70’s bush, it should be pretty fun, I guess.

    Congrats on being the sober one this upcoming week; and enjoy the rewards you will receive after returning to your solo-parenting husband after a week away, whatever they may be. :)

  5. Heidi on January 5th, 2007 11:42 am

    Yay for the weekend! Tonight I’m dressing up and going out to see my husband’s band play, which is always fun because damn if the boy doesn’t look good with a guitar. Saturday is shopping for lacy things and having lunch with a friend. The rest of the weekend will be spent watching football and testing out some new recipes.

  6. Emily on January 5th, 2007 11:47 am

    I’ve got my first roller derby bout of the new season on Sunday…and I am so. not. ready. I’m the bout director, so I’ve been up to my eyeballs in lists and frantic emails back and forth with forty bajillion people and the fact that I’m actually, y’know, *skating*, has been relegated to the background. Which is totally uncool… I’ve gotta get myself ready to kick some serious ass and get my bitch on!

    Which, if anybody’s in Chicagoland–come check us out! Or check out your local roller girl scene! It’s a great way to spend a weekend.

  7. Allie on January 5th, 2007 12:38 pm

    Saturday I’m driving an hour to spend all day with my best friend. I’m so excited and want it to be Saturday like RIGHT NOW! Sunday will be filled with laundry and cleaning. Oh joy! Good luck at Macworld! I’m sorry for JB’s loss.

  8. Amy on January 5th, 2007 12:44 pm

    My husband’s father passed away on Christmas eve. He lived in Alabama and the funeral was there. However, this weekend is the memorial service here in our area. We are bringing the meat and cheese for the luncheon following. Today we are going to but my husband a suit. Big fun here in Minnesota.

  9. Mychal on January 5th, 2007 1:12 pm

    Now that you mention it, I should probably be packing for MacWorld. I started going with my dad about 4 years ago and now my entire family goes. I’m sure my experience of MacWorld is vastly different than yours since I am an attender not an exhibitor, but I hope that amidst all the work there is some enjoyment in it.

    Question: Do you mind when your readers come say hi to you or should I just watch you from afar like some freaky stalker? (The way I started that off with “Question” reminded me of Dwight from The Office and I just had a nice little laugh at how TV has invaded my life.)

  10. Mychal on January 5th, 2007 1:19 pm

    Another question: How did you get your blog to do the live preview of comments?

  11. Daily Tragedies on January 5th, 2007 1:49 pm

    I’m free! FREEEEEEEEEEEE! this weekend. I have big plans to read a book and maybe bake Christmas cookies. Yes, as in Christmas 2006, I’m sorry you’re not getting your card until mid-January, will these cookies shut you up? Oh. Perhaps I should write the cards, too.

    Sorry about JB’s grandma…hope the arrangements/funeral go well.

  12. Miranda on January 5th, 2007 2:06 pm

    I’m going to spend a large chunk of this weekend in my parents’ basement, digging through moving boxes in an attempt to find appropriate shoes to wear to a job interview on Monday. Somehow I don’t think the silver open-toed slingbacks I wear out to the bar are “professional attire.”

  13. April on January 5th, 2007 2:29 pm

    Darnit people, you just reminded me that I had to do laundry. I guess that’s good, as waking up on Monday morning with no socks would kind of suck.

    Other than that – making birthday cupcakes for a friend and seeing a friend’s band play.

  14. janet on January 5th, 2007 2:31 pm

    so speaking of Macworld do I seem like a crazy stalker when I say that I opened my Macworld magazine (just got a subscription for Xmas yay!) and I’m browsing and reading and then I think I see an illustration of you and your coworkers in an ad for your company. And that I recognize you? Oh my I hope this does not make me a stalker. Just a fellow Mac person okay? I swear!

    This weekend I am going to scrub my house. Apparently while I was away for the holiday the dust bunnies decided to have tons of little dust bunny sex and they have multiplied exponentially.

  15. sundry on January 5th, 2007 2:41 pm

    Janet: oh my god, I look so awful in that ad. There were 100 photos in which I did not look like a Cro-Magnon, but guess which one got used in the artwork. YEAH.

    Mychal: FACT: (heh) I’d love it if you said hello. Unless you are one of those Macworld attendees who likes to harangue the poor booth people about why haven’t we added Feature X yet WHY OH GOD WHY, in which case…well, okay, I’d probably be nice to you anyway. : ) Also: the comment preview thing is a feature of the WordPress theme. *shrug* I have no idea how it works.

  16. Becky on January 5th, 2007 3:13 pm

    Long time reader..first time poster….Sympathies to JB and His family on grandma….

    My weekend will be spend binding the “secret” quilt I have made for my SUPER pregnant sister…I just hope the baby holds out till at least Sunday! Other than that laundry, football and messing with the dog!

  17. Nikki on January 5th, 2007 4:11 pm

    I’m spending the weekend cleaning out my pantry and cupboards because I swear that dishware and canned goods procreate like rabbits in those dark spaces!
    I also have to go to an after-Christmas dinner on Saturday with a bunch of people I don’t know,
    eating food I don’t recognize, in a place I don’t like while listening to music I can’t stand.
    So Saturday should be really pleasant. I’m sure I’ll be a nice woman afterwards.
    My condolences to JB—as expected as it might have been, loss always hurts.
    Try to enjoy your sober week away and remember how much you’ll look forward to coming home!

  18. laura on January 5th, 2007 4:36 pm

    I promise you’ll make it through next week, as hellish as it may be. JB, on the other hand… well, good luck to him!

    This weekend I will be taking many videos of the young one as things have just started getting interesting: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9149455780652113490&pr=goog-sl

    I will also be going to the outlets sans bebe, which is pretty much a dream come true these days.

  19. sundry on January 5th, 2007 4:40 pm

    Oh my GOD, Laura, that video is hilarious.

  20. LLL on January 5th, 2007 4:47 pm

    Like Lawyerish, I will be workin on…legal things. Mostly preparing to take the depsotion of someone who claims he was fired in retaliation for having the horror of having to witness a man dance in an speedo on a Utube video (he says his female managers watched it and then menically laughed while estrogen waffed through the error and he was horrified). I kid you not. Uh, maybe it was the fact that he was stealing from the company that got him fired (WTF?!)…. This is my life reading endless amounts of notes created by people who are looking for any errant comment to write down in some bizarre journal of “why I am being singled out by my evil employer” and then sue for a million plus dollars. They have all been fired. Oh and reading I will be reading his medical records, that’s the fun part. Folks who claim that being fired, demoted, not promoted, etc. always claim they were so emotionally despondent because of the adverse employment action that their company must pay several million dollars but – surprise – have been taking Xana and Paxil for 10 years and suffer from obestity, recently had a death in the family and are getting divorced. Of course, they will tetsify none of those things caused them and stress….it was the job. WOO HOO and a fun weekend was had by all!

  21. Bianca on January 5th, 2007 5:08 pm

    Tonight i’m hanging out with my boyfriend because I don’t have a choice now since we moved in together. We’ll probably load up the old Intellivision and play some games because we both seem to be trapped in the 80’s.

    Tomorrow I’ll watch the Sharks game and listen to fantastic gossip with my gay.

    Sunday I’m having coffee with an ex from many years back to get back my Harry Potter book that he’s had for the last 2 years or so.

    The rest of the time I’ll probably be napping and recovering from my New Year’s trip to Costa Rica or cleaning up. (Nothing says “happy new year!” like counting down in Spanish with a bunch of gringos and Costa Rican prostitutes!)

    Big fun here! Actually, if I’m honest its a perfect weekend (except for the hanging out with the ex part).

  22. Sara on January 5th, 2007 5:20 pm

    What is up with that Mr. Noodle? The other day I saw him giving Elmo a backrub and it just wasn’t…right. I felt like I was interrupting…something.
    This weekend? You know, I may be at my very own Macworld because I’m helping my parents set up a used Mac they bought. The previous owner doesn’t remember the password, so I have to fix that (how they hell the previous owner doesn’t “remember” is beyond me, but whatever!). They also need help installing software and a new printer.
    Best of luck at the show!

  23. Magpie on January 5th, 2007 5:27 pm

    I have absolutely nothing of note going on this weekend, but I thought you (and your brother-in-law) needed to know about this.

  24. Magpie on January 5th, 2007 5:28 pm

    OK, on second thought, perhaps this was not the post to put that link on. My condolences to JB’s family.

  25. Rebecca on January 5th, 2007 5:51 pm

    Weekend plans. I’d rather do nothing. But I have to get ready to move, watch the Seahawks game (just in case we win), go to a kiddie party, an adult party and somehow find the time to do the dishes. Good luck in San Francisco. I daresay that despite the negatives, it will be quite pleasant to escape this horrid weather we’ve been having. I nearly blew away down by the market today. Uck!

  26. CA on January 5th, 2007 7:55 pm

    My big plan is to clean out all my closets in the whole house. Thrilling, I know, but it gives me an odd sense of satisfaction just thinking about it. Also hope to set up and try using my new Canon Pixma to print some old (wedding 2 years ago) and new (New Years debauchery) photos. Also it’s supposed to be 64 here in Boston tomorrow, breaking the all-time record, so maybe spend some time outside at the Arboretum or something. I probably should take down Christmas decorations, too, but I love them so and am resisting.

    My condolences to JB. I’m praying for a peaceful parting for my own Grandma sometime soon. Her quality of life is not so good.

  27. Melanie on January 5th, 2007 8:08 pm

    I love the dead mice line – that had me cracking up. I’m sorry about JB’s grandma, but glad that she went peacefully – that’s definitely a blessing. Hopefully this trade show doesn’t make you too crazy (especially booze-free – people are going to look at you like you have two heads when you say “no, thank you, I don’t drink”. Of course later that night they will actually see two heads on you, while you can laugh at their foolishness – which is definitely a benefit of sobriety…) Anyway, this weekend we have nada planned. Laundry at my mom’s (can’t WAIT to get a washer and not have to do that or, even worse, the laundromat), and disposing of the Xmas tree, and probably 98 gazillion games of the boyo’s new obsession, Connect 4. I like the game, I do, but after a while it gets hard to just play it over and over and over and over and over and over and over……..

  28. thejunebug on January 5th, 2007 8:35 pm

    This weekend I am PACKING, because NEXT weekend we are moving out of our lovely apartment with craptastic disgusting slob garbage loving neighbors into a TOWNHOUSE. And I cannot wait. Pack-pack-packing all weekend long – bring on the boxes!

  29. Emma on January 5th, 2007 9:04 pm

    Spending it in bed cruising the blogsphere looking for great blogs to read. Having been assigned to bed-arrest for the next few months, I need to find some entertainment just a few keystrokes away.

  30. jonniker on January 5th, 2007 10:21 pm

    You know, I loathed the drunken bonding at tradeshows. It was my least favorite part, and it always left me exhausted and miserable, and I was too tired to do more than one night, contrary to my frat-boy sales reps, who were ready to party the night away, free from the shackles of wives and children! Oh, and would I like to come back to their room with them? Ah, no. No, I would not. But seriously, I hated being so hungover the next day that I couldn’t function, and as a PR person, that was pretty impossible. I distinctly recall introducing myself – TWICE – to a gigantic customer of ours (Delta, for chrissake), because I was in too much pain to realize that I’d just met him moments before.

    Sober, whether for a personal/medical reason or not, I’ve determined, is the only way to go.

    As for our weekend, it will involve writing, going to the movies, and oh yes: geocaching with strangers, thanks in no small part to your direction. I can’t wait to see how it goes.

  31. Michelle on January 5th, 2007 10:42 pm

    I’m going to plot how I’m going to get time off work next week so I can drive over to SF and STALK YOU! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaa!

    Um…no. Not really. Put down the mace. You’re going to be fine.

    I’m single parent this weekend because my hubby is going to be out of town. Tell me, is it psychotic to try to take my rather rambunctious 28-month-old son to the zoo by myself? How ’bout if I tell you one of his favorite things to say to me lately is “Run, mommy! Let’s exercise!”

    Knock ’em dead at the expo!

  32. Sonia on January 5th, 2007 10:54 pm

    I am (crazy) babysitting my 4 month old nephew and my 4 year old niece while chasing my own 6 year old son. By myself. From 9am until 10pm Saturday. And then! I am (even more crazy than you already agreed I was) watching them all again on Sunday from 10am until 3pm. So Sunday night, I will engage my son in a movie marathon and will curl into the fetal position and suck my thumb.

  33. Josh on January 5th, 2007 11:06 pm

    So while browsing through the comments I noticed something odd. Apparently I’m the only person reading your blog who doesn’t have a vagina. Sorry to crash the party, but I likes what I likes.

    My weekend will entail a lot of not working. Also a high probability of alcohol consumption in the forcast. Perhaps I will put together a video idea I had. (in between the drinking and not working of course) And if I’m feeling espesially go-getsy I might even wash some dirty clothes. Or I might just stop wearing socks. It’s been one of those weeks, and I haven’t gotten more than four hours of sleep at a time for the last four days or so.

    My condolances on the untimely Mac Fest. Which I am not familiar with but probably involves computer things I’m not savvy to. Or possibly mac n’ cheese, although I would probably know about a mac n’ cheese convention if it existed. I hope it doesn’t suck as bad as it could. If you get too stressed, just close your eyes, count to ten, and imagine my weekend. Also imagine me at the beach, that would be cool. And imagine it’s not freezing balls outside.

  34. Elizabeth on January 5th, 2007 11:21 pm

    This weekend will consist of moving back into the dorm. Well, not the same dorm, because I transferred schools and I’m moving into the dorm at my new school. And hoping my roommate isn’t a fuckwit fashion major, like the last one, who won’t stop blabbing out her Louis Vuitton purses and meathead boyfriend with an IQ of 40. Exciting, no? And also buying a completely new work-appropriate wardrobe [read: minimum of at least 2 suits and many pairs of heels], because god help me, I start on Monday.

    Good luck with everything going on! I’m sure Riley will miss you, but JB will do just fine. :)

  35. Laurie(inoly) on January 6th, 2007 1:07 am

    Since I just discovered your site tonight, and since I just read your embalming post, I’m probably going to be spending the weekend reading your archives. Damn that Plain Jane for linking to you.

  36. mo from ne on January 6th, 2007 11:00 am

    Condolances to JB and family.
    Good Luck with the trade show. I used to be one of those women who would entice people into the booth but that was fifty pounds ago.
    This weekend I am watching season 2 of 24 and preparing stuff for my classes. I am also trying not to cry cause my filmmaking partner decided to bail on me in the middle of a project. Such is life as an invisable middle aged woman who pretends to be a filmmaker in her spare time instead of cleaning her house.

  37. Sarah on January 6th, 2007 3:19 pm

    This weekend, we’re chillin’ wit’ the dogbaby and doing nothing. I might go out to the barn and ride and if all else fails, I’ll be watching football (because Jon is also a surprisingly big football fan) and teaching myself to spin angora. Yay! Have fun at Macworld; I know you’ll think I’m crazy, but I miss that I’m not going this year… I think it’s fun. I must be broken.

  38. Jane on January 6th, 2007 10:59 pm

    The weekend is almost over, but here’s what I did…

    I am in Nelson (NZ) holidaying with my boyfriend and his family who live here. I’ve been here since boxing day and while my idea of a relaxing holiday involves a certain amount of actual relaxing, it seems those round these parts have other ideas – and when in Nelson… Just this weekend (if you include Friday, which I am going to do because otherwise it doesn’t sound as impressive) I have been wakeboarding, snorkelling, and kayaking. I have also played Cranium for the use of a double bed (and won).

    Now I am mostly packed and ready to head back to Auckland, sad to say goodbye to beautiful Nelson, but kinda looking forward to going back to work for some relaxing. (That’s actually a big fat lie because I am also about to head into our busiest time of year, but the lame gag wouldn’t have worked if I’d said that… yes, that was supposed to be a gag of sorts… sorry).

  39. Jem on January 8th, 2007 2:47 am

    Sorry to hear about JBs grandmother. :( I know I missed this entry a little, but I’ve been in Alexandra in the South Island…

  40. veralynn on January 8th, 2007 2:42 pm

    Sorry to hear about JB’s grandmother. Even when it’s expected, it still sucks. This weekend the BF and I wandered a pretty touristy town in unseasonable 68 degree sunshine. We also had sushi and Indian food and cocktails at the goth bar. We watched the original Shaft (bom-chick-a-bow) and he flew me to Lancaster for lunch in the midst of farmland. He even let me steer the plane a bit. Good times.

  41. Daniel on November 7th, 2007 12:29 pm

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding Sundry, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)

  42. Michelle Kwan on December 4th, 2007 8:49 am

    Hey!…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts about Sundry comin..holy Tuesday .

  43. the pilatesbiz on February 8th, 2012 6:54 am

    We need real people that are doing the real work to get these awards not just because people view Bono as someone important,or he has money or that he is considered to be among an elite group of people.

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