I’m just checking in from what has to be one of the ugliest hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. Don’t get me wrong. It’s clean. It’s tidy. There’s a place for me to put everything, and all of the bare necessities are available. And the service so far has been really good.
The thing is, I’m still not feeling well. My head is still quite congested. I’m tired. And I kept myself awake last night on the late 3.5-hour drive down here entertaining thoughts of the next four days, living in the lap of luxury. [Ok, maybe “luxury” is too strong of a word, but the image of the room on the website looked new and nice.] When I arrived around 9:30pm, I parked in the garage, unloaded my stuff, schlepped it to the front desk, and attempted to check in. “Oh, we have you in the other hotel.”
Apparently there were not enough rooms in the main conference hotel, so those of us who were losers enough to wait until the last minute to book a room got to go to their sister hotel a few blocks away. That meant schlepping my junk back up to the parking garage and paying $5 for the privilege of using their parking space for all of 11 minutes.
After a few minutes of driving around looking for the other hotel, I decided to avoid a repeat of last weekend, and just give Neil a call. He kindly looked up the address for me, and I found the place about a block from where I was calling. They were nice enough to refund my $5 parking fee from the other place, and they carted my junk up to my room for me so I avoided another round of schlepping.
I was pretty disappointed when I walked in the door and saw this place. It’s got all of the natural lighting of a cave, and the decor hasn’t been updated since the mid-80’s from the looks of it. It was freeeeeeezing. I kept all of the blankets on the bed last night and still was cold. Thank goodness for hot showers or I might never have crawled out of bed this morning.
Gosh, are you tired of hearing me complain yet? I’m really not the miserable grouch I sound like. This suite is fine in all of the important ways. I just don’t particularly want to be in it all that much. Which is fine, because I’m here for other things, anyway!
As far as those other things go, I’ve had one seminar so far: “Beyond the Blend” with Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes, which sparked some great ideas for stripey canes that I can’t wait to play with. I also heard Kathleen Dustin talk about the history of polymer clay – the ancient stuff from the 70’s and 80’s through to the early 90’s, *just* before my involvement began. I’d already read much of what she talkedabout in various other places, but it was still quite interesting to hear it talked about by someone who has been there.
In just under an hour I’ll be attending the panel discussion on “Hallmarks of Craftsmanship” which I think will be a good thing for me to absorb. I am of the “get it done quickly so I can wear it in an hour” school of design, and although I get very nice results doing it that way, I think I could really elevate my work if I were to spend quality time on the finishing. Anyway. I’ve got to run. The soup I brought with me separated when I defrosted it (ewwww) and now I have no lunch here. I have to grab some quickly before the panel starts.
Oh! I forgot to mention, I’m a little bit star-struck. Is that funny to say? It’s not like I’m at some Hollywood premiere, but I think it’s just as exciting. While listening to Kathleen Dustin’s talk, as if it wasn’t enough to see Kathleen Dustin in the flesh, I scanned the sea of faces and did a little double-take every time I noticed a familiar face. “oh! I think that’s the Mitchell sisters!” “ooh, is that Grant Diffendaffer?” “How cool, I think I see Kim Cavendar!” Hee hee. So many more faces to see, too. I have to keep my camera handy, although I’m too much of a wimp to actually take any pictures of anybody