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.)

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Laura
17 years ago

This weekend I am going to a BEARD PARTY. We all have to wear beards! It’s going to be amaaaazing.

I am also going back to Toronto for school, but that is less amazing. Toronto smells of smog.

honeybecke
honeybecke
17 years ago

Well, my grandmother is 100 and isn’t doing so good either. So, I kinda know what you mean about it being JB’s Grandma’s time. It’s still sad though. So, sorry about that. I loved your last post with the memories and the hotwheels. I have a lot of good memories of my Grandma, too.

A week? Man. You know, it’s gonna be hard but it’ll be OK. JB will certainly come to a clear view of all that you do- (not that, he doesn’t already, but you know what I mean). He’ll be racing to the airport to pick up his hottbabymama!

I don’t miss hangovers, either. I hope you have some fun while you are in San Fran.
It’s about the best place for people watching that I’ve ever been to. Well, besides Amsterdam. I couldnt’ get over the fact that people were smoking joints in bars. Whoa.
Good luck at the spendy ‘spensive SmacWorld!!

honeybecke
honeybecke
17 years ago

Oh yeah, this weekend I’m going to be watching my best friend’s two kiddos for a night. My BF is in Russia and her husband got invited to go skiing, so we’ll probably do all the fun things like McDonalds and a movie and let’s all shred a roll of toilet paper or somesuch fun.
Ooooh is she gonna owe me for this one! Can anyone say “night away” for mama and dad??
I can’t wait.

Amy
Amy
17 years ago

Oh God how I hate that whole Sesame Street segment. Think you’ll feel nostalgic for Mr. Noodle and the ladybugs by the end of the week?

I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend involving exactly zero cross-country flights with a 16-month-old. And an Aquarium trip, probably! It’s been at least 3 weeks since we’ve spent 45 minutes in front of the sea otters, excitedly tapping the glass (him), grinning like fools (both of us), and saying “Duh! Duh! Duh!” (him). ;-)

heather
heather
17 years ago

hey, i live in SF and your shindig is right down the street from my office! (i’m not stalking, i promise…it’s just where all the shindigs of this sort are). i’ll wave to you from my window!

this weekend i am seeing a sweet band called elephone play, and then on saturday i’m going to a gallery/lingerie shop where i shall purchase no art, but some sweet undies. good times!

Kirsten
17 years ago

Actually we are headed up your way tommorow to go to Ikealand since ours won’t be finished till summer and we cannot possibly wait for cheap veneered furniture at bargain prices with names like leiderhosen another day.

vague
17 years ago

The bit about the trash can both cracks me up and deeply horrified me. I’m horrified, but I’m laughing! Also, sorry to hear about JB’s grandmother. A friend of mine lost his grandmother today, too–seems like a sad day for grandmas, and I think I am going to write mine a letter later.

This weekend I’ll be finishing a draft of the dissertation chapter I’m currently working on (and am oh-so-awfully behind on), which means I’ll be holed up in my office for at least 24 hours. Pretty much everybody’s weekend plans are looking awesome compared to mine.

Ashlea
Ashlea
17 years ago

Well.. going out to dinner with my parents this weekend.. and then another joyful move back to my college dorm and the roommate from hell!

angela
angela
17 years ago

My condolences to JB.

My BF’s teenaged kids fly home (one actually going home, she lives in TX with her mother, the other going just to visit for a week) and we both thought they were going on Friday morning, but no, they go on Saturday evening, so our first weekend sans 18 year old boy has been whittled down. Not that it matters much, all he does is sit around and play WoW and eat frozen burritos and drink gallons of grape soda; only ocaisionally does he come out of his room to insult our moms and mock our affection with loud kissy noises. Heh. Then My BF leaves for Seattle for some work bullshit, so Saturday will be our last day together for a month or so. Stupid conflicting schedules.

The good news is, my DVR gets installed on Saturday afternoon. YES!

Jennifer
Jennifer
17 years ago

I’ve worked tradeshows at the Moscone Center as well; the worst was standing up all day long without a padded floor in your booth. I hope that you went to the extra expense to buy some padding when you put the gazillion-dollar-whiz-booth together!

This weekend I hope to figure out how to hook up my new 600G disk to my Macbook and get regular backups running. If I can get that far, I’ll start reorganizing my iTunes and backing them all up. If I can get past that, I might even work on my website, which has been languishing for a year. And if the weather’s any good, I might fit in a bike ride somewhere.

For YOUR weekend, try to kick back a bit willya? You’ve got a stressful week a’coming.

Erin
17 years ago

This weekend I am praying. A lot.

My roommate got married this Christmas and I don’t know if I’ve been randomly assigned another roommate. So, I’m praying that my room is empty when I get back to school.

I am, as you could guess, also moving back to campus. If my car ever gets out of the shop. I’m praying for that, too.

Penny
17 years ago

This weekend I am celebrating my 22nd wedding anniversary! Go me! We are going to a nice restrauant then to a place called “old town”. Best of all the kids are staying home! Enjoy your tradeshow.

serror
serror
17 years ago

Congrats on a sober, non-puking, hangover free, co-worker field trip. I like to think of conferences/out of town work as “the field trip”, which brought me such joy as a youngster. You will be so happy to be the comprehensive one in the booth in the morning, even if you are surrounded by alcohol-addled dummies. I have been that dummie wishing I was the smart one who thought not to drink myself stupid the night before. Morning is so much happier! Seriously. Be on your goddamn High Horse about that, Linda. You deserve it.

Enjoy watching TV reruns in your hotel room, missing your boys and missing the little things that make your life happy. Eating dinner out in a semi-strange town and realizing what you miss about home is a great experience. We should all be so lucky to have time to understand what is important to us in life.

Enough of my blabbering and lecturing on. You know it all already. I have very few plans this weekend, aside from doing a whole lot of nothing (holidays got to me) and sleeping in my own bed. Maybe some friends and some trivial pursuit, and some brunch as well.

Thursday
17 years ago

This weekend, I’m going to be clutter-clearing so that packing up all my stuff when I imminently leave my partner will be easier.

Swistle
17 years ago

This weekend, I’m doing laundry. Perhaps I did not need to waste a comment to say so.

warcrygirl
17 years ago

Getting my kids a haircut because one looks a bit shaggy and the other one looks like a GIRL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOULD YOU TAKE MY KIDS TO GET A HAIRCUT, WOMAN!

Jeeez, it’s just hair.

Then I get to finish the housework I’ve been putting off all week (slob!) and try to find a venue to hold my son’s birthday party on the 20th because some soccer mom tramp got to the rec center before me and now I’ve got a whole class of kids showing up and no place to have the party oh why didn’t I do this BEFORE Christmas when I was supposed to? And then maybe I’ll get some professional help because sentences like that should be illegal.

Carol
17 years ago

Back in the day of working a job that actually provided a paycheck, I managed professional non-profits…we managed many conferences, but none like the type you describe. Yes, we had sections for tradeshow folks, but never did more than 5 maybe 6 come. I’m sure that we were just entirely too cheap for the *serious* sellers. I loved that job.

My condolances to JB as well. Even when its time and you have all of those memories, loss is hard.

As for this weekend. Randy has a guys night tonight, so I’ll probably rent a kid movie with mine and pop popcorn for dinner for the four of us. Tomorrow, other than running my eldest kid to a birthday party, in the afternoon, nothing is on the books. Hopefully it will be a relaxing weekend.

Jenny
Jenny
17 years ago

I’ve got to go to a beard party. Somehow, I don’t think I will have lived until I have.

This weekend, we’re taking down the Christmas decorations. I think we’re teetering on the edge of being those crazy people who leave them up way too long, but come on, it’s not even a week into January yet, and besides, as long as I get it done before my neighbors I’m golden. Also, I’m particularly jazzed this time because we bought a bunch of those red-and-green storage bins at Lowe’s this year (on sale!) and so we’re going to pack everything back up in an eminently organized and thoughtful manner. With LABELS.

Other than that — the usual: laundry, some stuff for work, putting things on the dog’s head, etc.

Emily
17 years ago

I am going to be busy trying to find a roommate, since my previous roommate (who was PERFECT, by the way: cooked, cleaned, went grocery shopping, paid bills, owned a washer and dryer, etc.) got out of the Army last week and headed home to Jersey. I will also probably spend some time curled up in a ball on the floor, contemplating the fact that I just might be headed back to Iraq this summer, if my higher-ranking leadership doesn’t get off their collective ASS and get me up to my next assignment in Virginia. Oh, and obviously, chocolate will be involved.

Have fun at Smacworld! And hey, props for the continuous non-drinking. I always blame my hangovers on whatever I mixed the liquor with, rather than the drink itself, so you’re one step ahead of me. I suppose just swearing off cranberry juice isn’t exactly an effective measure to take, eh?

Chataine
Chataine
17 years ago

We’re going to Atlanta this weekend. There’s some church history conference that my husband is super-excited about, and that I am absolutely THRILLED not to be going to! While he’s listening to lectures and having history-nerd conversations with his friends, I’ll be shopping and having margaritas and seeing a movie with one of MY friends. And hopefully we’ll get to see my cousins in there too. Should be fun! (Especially the part where I get to leave work at NOON today, wooooo!)

el-e-e
17 years ago

Good luck with your show! This weekend we’ll be removing the Christmas tree and trying to explain to our 2-yr-old that Christmas will come back again next year. I haven’t told him yet about the Rudolph & Frosty DVDs going into storage along with the tree… that should be interesting.

Other than that, relishing a weekend with no houseguests and reading my book. And the obligatory January “must workout” notion. :)

Ter
Ter
17 years ago

Good luck with the show! As for my weekend, tonight is my boyfriend’s company party. A casino theme. Ought to be interesting, knowing the bozos he works with :) Saturday I open the store I work at, then another party to go to. Sunday seems free as a bird, but knowing us, anything is possible.

Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Brown
17 years ago

I’m packing! And then moving NEXT weekend….into the mother in laws house….for a month. And when that month is up (counting down the days!) I then get to move in with MY parents. YAY! Can’t this damn surgery be over already please? geeze!
enjoy your weekend :)

Jenny
Jenny
17 years ago

This weekend I am going to enjoy my last days of nothingness before I go back to school on Monday. And by going back, I mean going back after ten years of no school. One day I was thinking if I could do it all over again I would have finished school and done something medical so I went online, applied at school and here I am. My timing is not so great with a 14 month old daughter and trying for another, but eh, so what.

Good luck with your tradeshow and good luck with being away from your babe for a week!

victoria
victoria
17 years ago

I’m hosting a dinner party for six. Featuring handmade egg pasta, homemade foccaccia, and almond-amaretto torte. Not that I would ever boast about this kind of thing.

Rae
Rae
17 years ago

I’ll be doing homework (gottta love the classes over winter break). But, I’m going out for dinner with friends tonight to a place with sushi and live jazz. It is quite possibly my favorite flavor combination.

Ang
Ang
17 years ago

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I can’t wait! What a nice break it will be after the craziness of the holidays.

kara marie
17 years ago

I think we’re going bowling tonight with a lot of my fiance’s fellow grad students. The rest of the weekend will probably involve taking down the Christmas tree, some housework, and hopefully some cleaning time and painting time in my studio.

Sorry for JB’s loss. And I hope the tradeshow goes well!

Lawyerish
17 years ago

Working. On a brief, a big important brief. Pah.

Since I will be working on it from home, possibly I will make a tasty snack to break up the blah of the working on the weekend, such as cheese puffs (or gougeres, if you’re feeling fancy).

Sunday night we’re supposed to go out for a belated birthday dinner for my husband at our favorite restaurant, so all is not lost.

My sympathies for JB and all of you, and good luck with the tradeshow!

Melissa
17 years ago

Tonight is weekly poker night with friends. The rest of the weekend I am doing nothing, glorious nothing, and it’s going to be fabulous. After a busy holiday season I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

Enjoy the trade show!

H
H
17 years ago

I’m sorry for JB’s loss.

Thankfully, we have a slow weekend ahead of us. One kid has to be carted to and from basketball practice and a required confirmation event, the house must be cleaned and that’s it. Yay!

Hannah
17 years ago

Tonight, I’m heading with friends to a screening of a documentary that some of our friends were involved in making. (The website for the film is http://www.dariusgoeswest.com.) I’m really excited about that, even though I’m guessing that the film itself will leave me a bawling mess. And tomorrow is the first UGA Gymdogs meet of the year. Whoo hoo! And my roommates are moving out, so there will likely be some housecleaning/getting my life back in order.

Sadie
Sadie
17 years ago

Ugh, I have had to man our booth at business expos and such for my job and it is godawful (and not nearly on the schmancy scale of MacWorld). And I also remember that we had to pay extra for CHAIRS in our booth so when the booth next to ours was unmanned, I stole their chairs. ;)

This weekend I will be taking down my Christmas tree and wondering what to do with its sad, dried-out carcass (every year I forget – do the garbage men take trees? I will have to watch what the neighbors do). Then my living room will look all sad and empty, until I again get used to not having a glittering evergreen in the middle of it. My other weekend plans consist of watching Season 1 of Da Ali G Show, which I got for Christmas, and trying to make homemade foccacia – I have never worked with um, yeast, before.

Sabine
17 years ago

I love this part too – I find myself looking forward to the comments almost as much as the entry. :)

I’m mostly cleaning the house and doing yardwork this weekend, and I’ll probably do some sewing and reading at leisure also My bellydance troupe has been hired to be the “9 ladies dancing” in a 12 Days of Christmas Celebration tomorrow night, so at least I’ll get of the house for that.

JennB
JennB
17 years ago

Cleaning the house and wishing I could be at MacWorld but not only did I plan poorly, it’s also the girl’s 2nd birthday, so that’s that. The reason I mostly want to come to MW is to meet you, dear Linda! and get a week away from work, too.
We’re having friends over for dinner Saturday, and possibly an old friend of mine will join us. His sister-in-law, who lives in Burlington, just had a baby so he’s up to meet the baby.

gabby
gabby
17 years ago

Buying a new (king sized!) bed. So very happy about it…

Diana
Diana
17 years ago

Sorry about the crazy as hell week you are going to be having. I hope it goes quick and as painlessly as possible.

My only contribution to this is that my “baby daddy” is a carpenter that BUILDS the custom tradeshow booths and not only does he make a butt-load of money doing so, but he also gets to travel to beautiful cities and sit around on his ass during the actual “shows” while someone pays him an arm and a leg to be there JUST IN CASE some minor disaster occurs with the cadrillion dollar miracle booth. Oh – and he gets to also partake in the “festive morale-building activity of getting shitfaced drunk each night with HIS coworkers”.

Yeah, I’m bitter about it too. But thankful in a small way about the butt-load amount of money he makes. :)

Claudia
17 years ago

Boy, this is going to be exciting for you. We’re taking down the tree and packing Christmas away for another 10 or 11 months – thank god. Then a friend is coming by and then my mother will come over on Sunday and bring our gifts from her sister that she forgot to bring on Xmas day. Not that we need anymore ANYthing at this point. But, she’ll at least be a distraction for the two-year-old while we hastily wrap and pack away all the ornaments she DIDN’T eat or break while the tree was up. So that’s something. i guess.

Aunt Linda
Aunt Linda
17 years ago

The last trade show that I had to attend was the Shot Show in Las Vegas. It is for all types of gun manufacturers. I was representing a BB gun so you can imagine how much respect we got. Upstairs from us was the Gem Buyers Show. It was rumored that they liked to have their show at the same time as the Shot Show so no one would be able to tell who was carrying what when they left for the evening. “Jeez, I thought you had rubies, not that UZI” Probably not true, but a nice story. AL

Shannon
17 years ago

We are dropping our cold-ridden, snotty, pink-eyed child off with the grandparents and heading to Leavenworth to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday. I’m sure that 76% of that time will be spent calling the aforementioned grandparents to make sure that the daughter is fine. Should be fun.

jen
jen
17 years ago

I hate mr noodle.

this weekend, hopefully, I am taking down my christmas decorations. If the husband doesn’t bring the boxes down, I might just throw it all out the window.

Her Ladyship
17 years ago

I’m sorry to hear about JB’s grandmother. I don’t know what you wear to the MacWorld, but maybe something from that? Anything that looks remotely business-like should be fine for the funeral.

And as for me, tomorrow night I’m doing The Texan a favor and we’re going to the Majestic Theater downtown to see the Pink Floyd Laser show. San Antonio, despite being the 7th largest city in the country, does not normally have any way to fulfill Pink Floyd cravings – no planetarium or anything like that – so one has to grab whatever opportunity you get. I am not, for the record, a Pink Floyd fan, but I do like the Majestic – it’s one of those old renovated movie houses that’s just gorgeous inside. Plus they sell booze at the concession stands. Win-win!

dorrie
dorrie
17 years ago

Um…laundry. I am horrified at the amount of laundry in my home, piled up like snow drifts in every corner of every bed room. My sister, her husband, and their six kids came for new year’s which was super fun but I don’t think the house will ever recover! Some girlfriend time tonight, also.

So sorry to hear about your family’s loss. I am glad you could find a way to make it to the funeral, I am sure that JB will be absolutely kissing your ass when he sees you after a week of single parenting! Try to enjoy yourself. Be well.

Jennifer
Jennifer
17 years ago

I’m so glad to see that not everyone has fun plans for the weekend! Me, I’m going to go to Sam’s to buy laundry detergent. Sounds like fun, huh? Oh yeah, and I’m going to organize the office during my son’s naptimes. This weekend should be a real hoot.

Sorry about your loss. Good luck to JB with Riley this weekend.

Jamie
Jamie
17 years ago

Oh, Nelly. I used to work in the technology tradeshow/convention business and I feel you on the goddamn wastebaskets. Plus standing on your feet all day (unless you paid the extra $250 to have the expo services assholes lay down padding underneath your skanky navy blue carpet square), dealing with skeezy attendees hitting on me and touching my hair (yes!), trying to avoid “making friends” with the neighboring booths, and having every man in the room stare at me like I was a “booth babe” but clearly dressed in a branded polo, khakis, and brandishing a large plastic exhibitor badge. Seriously. Those events are hell on earth, complete with plastic freebies and an irritating soundtrack.

Here’s hoping that you can find a way to make it through the day! Will be thinking of you.

wealhtheow
17 years ago

I’m sorry for the loss of JB’s grandmother, but I know just what you mean about not being very sad. We were in the same boat a few weeks ago with my husband’s grandmother.

This weekend I am continuing my apres-Christmas resolution of not letting our bedroom look as though several small bombs have exploded. I’m also going to my sight-singing class after a month off. It will be oh-so-nice to start using my brain again. Also, I’m going to pick up my knitting needles again, after a 2-week rest from the pre-Christmas knitting flurry.

Not very exciting I’m afraid.

Kerri
Kerri
17 years ago

Tomorrow I am going to deliver our used Christmas tree to the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lakewood, NJ. I saw a photo of an baby elephant in Germany eating a Christmas treet (EATING IT! WHOLE!) and I wondered if the zoo could use it. Popcorn Park is run by the Associated Humane Societies and they have all kinds of wild animals – some of them injured, a lot of them left behind by owners who apparently didn’t realize a frigging PUMA is not an appropriate pet. As it turns out, the zoo happily accepts Christmas trees for use in its “deer yard,” which I guess I’ll see tomorrow. It’s always so sad taking the tree down, but I’m glad this year it will be an adventure.

My fiance and I are also finally planning our honeymoon tomorrow. Not a moment too soon, since we’re nearing 3 months until the wedding. Yikes. Incidentally, there is nothing I would like so much as to think about Hawaii this weekend after the crappy time I’ve been having of late.

Enjoy the weekend, Linda. :)

Kerri
Kerri
17 years ago

That was “Christmas tree”, not “treet,” but I suppose the latter is strangely appropriate in context.

Trina
Trina
17 years ago

We are going to spend the weekend putting the new plow on the ATV and attempting to free ourselves from the snow.

I am also hoping to slap some fabulous gold/yellow paint on the kitchen walls, that will be fun!

Sorry to hear about Grandma, we lost my Gramps the week before Christmas, she is in great company up there!

Bitter Betty
17 years ago

My condolences about Grandma. Even when it’s a blessing it’s a bitter-sweet one.

This weekend I’m starting to pack our house up in anticipation of a life-altering, panic-inducing, exciting (?) move from San Diego to Portland. I think I have about 400 and 1 million knick-knacks to blow 8 years of dust off then lovingly swathe in bubble wrap. There might be an impromptu garage sale on Sunday, I’m not sure. Then there’s the cleaning and the getting rid of and the why the fuck am I keeping this? And I’ll stop there. My to-do list is as long as an elephants dick.