Tag Archives: Big Easy

What am I doing wrong?

Magazine rack from RYoung http://www.sxc.hu/photo/7520More and more I find myself having to defend my status as a shallow person. There are those who perceive my introspection as being incongruent with what I profess to be my true nature. I have gone to great lengths to counter these accusations, providing clear definitions and understandings of life as a shallow person and even subjecting myself to a rigorous grading process which I am pleased to say I passed most handily. And I think if someone were to have a reread of this blog to date there would be little doubt that I have made my case. As a matter of fact, when Kev and I first shared our plan to write the shallow blog with a close friend, his immediate response was “I can’t think of two better people for the job!” and we took that as a compliment. But now it would appear that doubt runs deeper than even I had imagined and at this point I am at my wit’s end as to what to do about it.

This new obstacle was brought to my attention on my recent return flight from New Orleans where I found myself buckling into a seat beside two very nice ladies, one perhaps much younger than the other, both likely much younger than me. As I am want to do, I struck up a conversation with my closest neighbor and as conversations go, this one was both congenial and illuminating. I discovered that my new friend (I like to call her that) was a scrapbook consultant returning home from a scrapbook convention where she learned about all of the new and upcoming trends of her craft. Now I can’t say that I have a a great deal of experience in her world but I have never been averse to learning new things, so I listened. She explained to me all of the “ins and outs” of scrapbooking and I asked what I thought to be reasonable and engaging questions. As she told me how she masterfully arranges all of the photos and artifacts in her home I thought better than to mention that when my children were in their elementary years I had politely requested they refrain from bringing home their “artwork” as I had no where to put it, not to mention that I have a particular disdain for fridge magnets. And all went well, or so I thought, until she pulled out a stack of magazines and offered the younger woman in the window seat her choice from the pile. As I sat quietly anticipating my turn to have a look at what was left, she turned to me and said, in the nicest sort of way, “you don’t seem the type to read trashy magazines” and then proceeded to put them back into her bag. So there I was, left straining to read the headlines on US magazine before Ms “Generation Y” turned each of the pages.

That’s when I knew I had a problem. What was it I wondered, that made my scrapbooking friend think I was somehow above reading all the latest dirt from tinsel town? Me who has every episode of Glee on my iPad just in case there are no “romcoms” playing on the inflight entertainment system. Me, who can rhyme off the names of the most recent bachelors and bachelorettes along with their chosen mates. Me who takes solace in knowing there are people who need to lose more weight than I do and are willing to go on TV to prove it. Does she not realize that I am the one who writes a blog about being and becoming shallow? How could she be so wrong? How could I look so wrong?

So now it’s time for me to take stock. Is there something about my round, tortoise shell glasses which, although quite fashionable, transform me into a rather bookish looking gal? I can take those off. Are my lucky jeans that I always wear on the plane but never anywhere else, causing me to appear a tad out of date? If they are I can make a different pair of jeans lucky. Or do people mistake the rainbow Star of David pin I wear on my jean jacket as support for some sort of obscure cause? Honestly, it was a gift. I don’t even know what it means! Whatever it is something has got to change, and quickly. I’m looking for your ideas and suggestions because if I don’t figure this thing out soon I’m afraid I’m never going to find out which stars were caught walking on Rodeo Drive without their makeup on.

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Things I learned at the Conference

Just back from a hot time in the “Big Easy” and I mean that in the most literal way. Boy, was it hot! It’s been more than thirty years since I have lived in a humid climate and I was painfully reminded of why I left. The oppressive heat hits like a brick each and every time you walk outside while the blast of cold air as you enter the always over air-conditioned buildings sends shivers up your spine. You change your clothes multiple times each day knowing that after a few short minutes outside you will feel the need to change them again. Although you have every intention to drink in all the sights, sounds and smells of this truly amazing city, you find yourself longing for the comfort of your hotel room, a cold drink and some rest for your tired and blistered feet. And while you would think that together these harsh realities would be enough for me to find myself craving the cool, dry air of my prairie/mountain town, none of it holds a candle to the real reason for my discontent. No, the truth of it is, the most distressing part of my stay in the deep south was my inability, no matter how hard I tried, to maintain my naturally curly locks in the manner to which they and I have become accustomed. I’m afraid there is no product, no appliance, no amount of effort that would allow me to recreate the no fuss, straight bob I so enjoy when I am north of the 49th. And that, my friends, is possibly the most important thing I learned at the conference. Indulge me while I reflect on some others.

Things I learned at the conference in New Orleans:

  1. Vegan food is only meant to be eaten by vegans.
  2. When visiting Youngwood, PA drop by TGI Fridays but be on the look-out for long, pointy things. (Thanks to Annette for the tip.)
  3. Got a bookshelf to fill? Try using the colour block method of selection. Your room will look great, you can buy in bulk for less than 2 bucks each, and you may even find a good read among the bunch.
  4. Quote from a presentation: “Starbucks is more than coffee; Amazon is more than books; iTunes is more than music.” Wait, I tried the smoothie at Starbucks. Take my advice and stick with the coffee.
  5. Who would have imagined that talking to a 17-year-old kid from Flint, Michigan would be the highlight of my three days among the eLearning elite. Okay, so that’s not such a stretch after all.
  6. 1600 sorority women at your hotel, all dressed in blue and yellow, is not “a good thing”.
  7. Some of the toughest looking people are really nice and some of the nicest looking ones are not.
  8. Apparently there are still people who don’t know the difference between SWAG and chotskies so I’ll explain. SWAG is good. Chotskies, not so much.
  9. While southern hospitality is divine, my hair and I will always have a strong preference for the west coast.
  10. What’s so magical about the number 10 anyway?
  11. Even a shallow person knows that there’s no such thing as a “free drink”.

Oh, you thought I was going to talk about the sessions? Come on people! Have you not been reading this blog?

While I’m here I’d like to give a “shout-out” to designer extrodinaire Wade, for the nifty new logo.  Let me know what you think.


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