July 01, 2002
Return from the Edge

Yup, I made it back. I almost wrote a day-by-day account, which is probably what I would've done if I'd had a key to the pressroom and could sneak back at night. But I didn't, so instead I give you...

The Things I Learned at Convention:

  • Never accept mysterious green shot drinks from a tall Yankee, no matter how good people say they taste.
  • Always bring Advil with you. Do not wait until your head fissures open and allows tiny blue monsters inside with pickaxes and evil intentions before correcting this oversight.
  • No matter how much you drink, there's always someone dumb enough to drink more. This is God's way of showing you what will happen the next time you ignore him.
  • A nameless staff member, let's call her Nermal, who is so insanely bouncy you've secretly decided to drown her when the opportunity presents itself (and her roommate has agreed to help), is actually a darned good hangover buddy.
  • When working registration, it's always better to have someone just as hungover as yourself sitting next to you.
  • Downtown Cincinnati smells like the inside of an old tire after it gets rained on.
  • There's no hiding from our members. While trying to ride out my pre-hangover (to go along with the pre-conference I guess), a tiny old Jewish lady with an absolutely classic queens accent just sort of wandered in to the staff office. She bitched her husband out, who was trying to get her to come into the right room, and then talked to me for thirty minutes about a state congressman she didn't like. All I could focus on was that her teeth clacked in time with the red demon pulsing behind my eyes.
  • Dana and Connie have enough to do, and put up with our members more frequently and for longer durations. Do not expect rescue from them. Smile and take your medicine.
  • Convention time brings out the true nature in the staff. You get to find out who is truly cool, truly lame, particularly clueless, prone to panics, or a complete poser. I've taken notes. You know who you are.
  • It's funny having a roommate that swears in his sleep.
  • Subway puts some scary stuff in their roast chicken sandwiches in Cincinnati. Much safer to go to the Sbarro's next door.
  • Quiznos makes the best sandwiches on the planet.
  • The only problem with a free continental breakfast is that other staff members, chatty, loud, teetotaler staff members tend to take advantage of them at the same time as you. Worse still, you know it's not their fault, so you have to be chatty and cheerful back to them. This is God's version of a noogy (for those who don't know: a noogy is when you grab someone around their head and then rub your knuckles hard and fast on the top of their skull).
  • Cincinnati has at least one good steakhouse, but the ribs are over-rated.
  • The people that put on our convention may be politically inconvenient, but they are the coolest people on the planet. Nothing is more impressive than watching one person solve three crises at once while being nice to the member standing in front of them chatting about their cat.
  • There are elevators out there big enough to hold full panel trucks.
  • Always remember to pack dark socks.
  • Just because you're four hundred miles away does not mean you get to stop being a husband. Learn how to get flowers delivered by internet or by phone. You'll be glad you did.
  • Convention is the time when you can ignore the petty political bullshit of this place and focus on the passions and pains of the people that really count. The members you're trying to help.

I also got to go to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, which is one of the coolest places on the planet. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Posted by scott at July 01, 2002 10:01 AM

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