June?

Wasn’t it just May? And February? Where does the time go?? Wondering what’s up with all these question marks? Sorry. I know I haven’t written in a bit, but absence makes the heart grow fonder right? So you must be very fonder by now, right? Right? Sorry again.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

- I haven’t been working out or doing a cleanse. Shocked?

- We finished up 10th grade and 4th grade. Piano lessons with Ms. Tatyana are over. Dasvidaniya!

- We started camp. Slept until 2pm. Started complaining about camp. Have already been to a beach, a mall and an amusement park in the 2 days that we’ve been off. Notice that I don’t incriminate anyone. I use the royal “WE”. I’m a good mom like that.

- Since I’m all caught up with The Good Wife, I needed another binge show. Hello Walking Dead. The zombie apocalypse, blood, gore and old fashioned romance. What’s there not to love? Although I’m not built for that. I know my limitations. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d never make it if the world ended. All that fighting-to-survive stuff seems exhausting. Here’s a quote from my other summer obsession, The Mindy Project, that explains it best – “You know my plan in an emergency is to count to ten and wait for death’s embrace.” Yep. That’s about right.

- After 42 years of obsessing if food is vegetarian or not – I’m eating Cesar salad now. To hell with anchovy paste! I’ve probable had 5 or 6 little fish by now. I’m a rebel. Not really.

- I’ve been taking random sunset pictures. From planes, trains and automobiles. Cause why not? Sorry, had to finish with a question mark. Is that annoying?

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A little quesadilla with my jalapeño

Who’s a happy girl at the airport?

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Pee and Poop are my purview

Hope you’re having a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning.
I’ve been traumatized and it’s just 8am.
I feel like calling it a day. It’s over.
Here’s what went down.
You should know two things before I start. These things may not be a surprise to you.
First – I am not what you’d call a pet person. I didn’t grow up with dogs or cats. I don’t long to touch a cute dog walking down the street or cuddle with a cute kitty. Take all that with peace and love.
Second – we have a cat. Technically my husband and kids have a cat, but it’s hard to ignore because we all live together.
It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable living with a cat, but I’ve done well. In fact, I’ve done very well. I feed the cat. I make sure it’s not thirsty. I’ve even come to terms with the litter box.
But I have limits people.
Back to my morning.
So I’m up early, excited to tackle the day and do some chores. I don’t mind chores. I especially don’t mind them when it’s this beautiful out.
I gather up all the laundry – there’s two piles. Dry cleaning and regular. The regular stuff is in a basket. The dry cleaning is in a heap next to it. I go about my merry, delusional way and take them downstairs. I notice an…odor. That’s not surprising because it’s dirty laundry inclusive of a 10 year old boy’s soccer clothes and more importantly, I always notice an odor. Constantly. Good, bad, ugly – I have super olfactory powers. I shake it off. Soon everything will smell of lavender and bleach. All will be right in the world.
I start a load and scoop up the dry cleaning and head to the car.
More odor.
Different odor.
3 more things to note. 1) We’ve had some busy weekends and I haven’t been able to drop off the dry cleaning in a bit. Like a month. So it’s a lot of stuff. 2) Coming back from one such weekend we noticed that we’d inadvertently left the laundry room door closed. 3) We keep the cat’s litter box in the laundry room.
Back to present.
I drive to my favorite dry cleaners. Stop for coffee. Sing a tune out loud.
I grab the clothes out of the car and head in. As always it’s busy on a Saturday. I wait my turn – still clutching the clothes. I make a mental note to buy some sort of foot spray for my son’s shoes. It must be his stinky socks infecting all the laundry.
Then I get to the counter, dump the clothes and they start separating as we make small talk. Yes, it’s finally sunny we say, no more rain. This winter was hard, we say smiling and nodding.
And then it happens. She lifts a shirt and there it is. A pair of pants with a pile of cat poop and a shirt stained a special shade of yellow. I think I screamed. Or maybe they screamed. I don’t remember, I blacked out.
They quickly folded up the clothes and politely told me to go wash with vinegar and soap before bringing them back.
I drove home in a trance.
As a mother, most of my life has been about pee or poop. That’s what they don’t tell you before kids. It’s just all pee and poop.
But I’m finally at the stage in life where my kids are, for the most part, keeping all that to themselves. But I realized this morning that I can’t get away. I’ll never get away. My world is one big bathroom joke.
How could this have happened? I mean, I know how it happened. We locked the cat out of the liter box, which lives in our laundry room. So the cat went and did her business in our laundry. Oh the irony. Oh the horror. Is she an evil genius bent on revenge? Was it a cosmic karma joke on us? On me? I dunno.
I’m going back to bed.

#yawn

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This is how I wish I felt today.

Plan b

So we ran away to the beach. Just cause.
I was going to write a post about my week, work, home, maybe about Kim and Kanye and that photo op errr…wedding. I was going to comment on Gwyneth vs the Green Beret. Someone get that girl a friend to confide in so we don’t have to see all the crazy. I think wacky thoughts too – but I only tell those thoughts to my husband or my friends. One is legally obliged to not judge me, and the others shake their heads in disbelief and shock but don’t write me an angry retort.
Then I was going to tell you all my opinions on politics, the Pope and gluten.
But I went with another plan.
I’m going to lay around all day and zone out.
See below.

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Peace out NOLA

The conference ended yesterday and we all headed home after a long 7 days. Like every major event there are highs and lows.

High – we registered 755 people in 5 hours one day. That’s 151 people an hour. About 3 people a minute. No one had to wait. Not one person/family waited on line. That’s miraculous. Also miraculous? We fed, entertained, moved, and formed relationships with this group.

Low – I won’t go into the depth of how horrible the hotel was. It was a case study in bad service. If I were a hotel GM, I’d send my staff there to see how horribly wrong it could get.

In the end, and this is what I told my team, the odds were with us.

Because we had almost 800 people – not everyone had the same experience. Some folks loved the food, some hated it. Some folks made the best of New Orleans – some locked down and never went out. There were smiling faces in the crowd. Many of them.

I know my role on site. I’m the complaint department. I get it. I own it. I went on a daily apology tour, but that’s my job. That isn’t what I’ll remember. I’ll remember hugging a lot of people on the last day. I’ll remember the kind words we all heard. People telling me how amazing and committed my team is. I’ll remember laughing every single day with that team. Laughing hard.

New Orleans didn’t let me leave without a fight either. Flight delays. Turbulence. A missed 4th grade concert. I won’t even tell you about the hit and run I saw while waiting for my car to the airport. Another story for another day.

Here’s some random pics. The ballroom before and after. A beautiful plate of oysters (just because I won’t eat it doesn’t mean I’m not impressed by it!). My first Jamba Juice (too sweet). The stepping stone clings we had all over the hotel – helping people find their way. And then my view on the plane. A thick, cloudy fog that opened up to pockets of sun.

.

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New Orleans Day 4

Are we there yet?
That moment when you realize you’ve been working 14 hour days for 4 days and it’s just the first day of the conference.
Today was great. One of the most fun things about this job is seeing people’s reaction to the experience you’ve put together.
Tonight was Mardi Gras night!
And I thought I’d show you where event professionals usually eat. In a service hallway, by the fire exit. Sexy.

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New Orleans – Day 3

It was a soft start to the conference. Our VIPs, some senior execs and about 110 of the 900 expected guests checked in.
Here’s what went down today:
- the ballroom/staging was set. Before and after below.
- our security operatives arrived (don’t ask).
- I yelled at approximately 3 people before 8am. Pretty good for a Sunday.
- we had birthday cake for one of the planners and I decided to pass on a piece and have some fruit. Or! I had a delicious hearty piece. Which one of these scenarios is more likely you think?
- we took our guests to a beautiful historic building called The Chicory for some live jazz and dinner. It was a perfect evening – complete with the largest piece of meat I’ve ever seen being served. A 65 pound roast called a Steamboat something or other. I spoke to the chef – he said it took 7 hours at 350 degrees. Have you ever? I know this sounds awkward but I’m obsessed with this piece of meat. Pictures below. Ofcourse.
- official kick-off tomorrow! Say a prayer to all the gods that you know and love for me.
- peace out

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New Orleans – Day 2

What’s wrong with a day that starts with fried dough? Nothing.
Today was full of set-up and prep.
For all of you who dream of the glam world of events – our day started at 7am and just ended at midnight. Super sexy right?
Here’s a look at some highlights.
We had some amazing beignets, saw some colorful characters on Bourbon street, and began the event set up.
And ofcourse , we had the all staff meeting. When we get everyone in a room and boss them around for an hour. Look at how excited they all are. Not.

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New Orleans. Day 1

I’m going to one of our biggest conferences of the year and I thought you should come along. Whether you want to or not.
So the next few days I’ll be posting some pics and some stories about my time in New Orleans (pronounced NuOrlins, not New. Or-Leans).
I left a rainy, humid airport and headed south.
2.40 hours and mucho turbulence later – I was here!
My first time post Katrina.
Here’s a few pics of today. The rainy terminal back home. The beautiful blue skies when we landed. And then of my view for the majority of the time here. A war room. If you don’t like a lot of clutter, this place isn’t for you. It’s computer cords gone wild here.
But there are plenty of snacks to take your mind off the fire hazards.
Ok, let’s do this!

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