27 August 2008


Okay, so this is my first big fashion industry show, and it is HUGE. It takes over the entire Las Vegas Convention Center complex, which is several enormous buildings, plus the adjacent Hilton - a big complex in itself. It's not just designers showing their lines here; there are buyers looking for product, of course, and sales reps looking for lines, other designers looking to see what's out there, suppliers looking for potential customers - upwards of 100,000 people. Like I said, HUGE!

For all that, though, the "Ecollection" section where we are feels small and intimate. And we've got musical entertainment. Yesterday, while I was stuck at the booth by myself, a singer with guitar started playing and singing. A lot of his repertoire were songs by Toad the Wet Sprocket, which was a band who started up when I was in college 20 years ago and one I absolutely loved (not the least because they had a really cute lead singer). I only got to see them play once, back in '95, but it is one of my favorite concert memories.

As I sat there waiting for potential customers to stop and ask about David's line, I thought, "Boy, that guy is doing a pretty good job of sounding like Glen Phillips." When the mini-concert was over, David's production manager, Christine, came back to the booth and our conversation went kind of like this:

C: "That guy used to be the lead singer of this band, Toad the...."
Me: "OMFG, it was Glen Phillips!"
C: "Yeah, I went up and introduced myself."
Me: "OMFG, I am soooo jealous!"

Not only that, he was there with Sara and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek, another band I love. They played today, and Glen got back up on stage for several songs with them. And this time, I got to go over and say hi and had a really nice conversation with a musical idol. And then David brought over socks for them all.

What's even funnier/odder about all this is that all last week I had Nightingale Song by Toad bouncing around in my head for no apparent reason (It's a YouTube video, but I can't figure how to turn off the autoplay so I'm just linking - and I'm not sure what the deal is with the trains). I hadn't even heard any of their music in quite a while and it just popped up in there.

So yeah, it totally made my day.

Small World

The other freaky thing that happened today is that this morning we were sitting in the booth when this guy comes by looking at the line and he turned out to be someone I knew from college in South Carolina. For those who may be a little confused, I started college at a small school in South Carolina, then went to Spain for a semester, then went to the University of Maine, where I earned my undergrad degree - a little complicated, but that's how life often works.

Anyway, this guy was a year behind me, but he had an older brother in my class, we lived in the same dorm and basically ran in the same circles (not hard, considering there were barely 1000 students at the entire school). He actually ended up rooming with my former roommate when I left for Spain. Now he's in charge of sales for a knit fabric producer in South Carolina with a division that specializes in organics. So freakin' bizarre to bump into him like that after 20 years.

When we were in school, he was a buff, blond 18-year-old hottie. Now I can work a fitted t-shirt so much better, despite having a little extra flesh of my own. I think I even have better hair - what's left of it. Is it bad that I feel just slightly good about that?

26 August 2008

Potty Mouths

Okay, so I've overheard two weird cell phone conversations in bathrooms today. Is this a Vegas thing?

First, I went to the bathroom in the convention center this morning and got to listen to a guy who was sitting on the toilet while giving relationship advice very loudly in Spanish. His argument was repetitive but basically along the lines of, "She's a nice girl and all, but her character just doesn't really balance yours so I think you're being with her is a mistake." Just stretch that out for several minutes and imagine it emanating from a bathroom stall.

Then this evening we went out to eat at an Asian fusion sort of restaurant, which was pretty good. At the end of the evening I decided I'd better go pee before we headed back to the hotel, and when I opened the door to the bathroom, it bumped one of the servers, who was standing right behind it talking on his cell phone.

He was apparently talking to a girlfriend (possibly a boyfriend, but my gaydar says not likely), because there was a bit of "I love you" going on. Then he said, "George wants to smoke with us tonight, so we're gonna go pick up a gram somewhere. Did you smoke that other stuff? Okay, I love you."

So, um, yeah. It's an interesting city.

24 August 2008

It Never Fails

I'm in Cleveland at the moment awaiting my connection to Las Vegas. The flight from Boston was loaded with cute boys and fabulosity. Of course, I got stuck sitting next to the old guy with the tropical print shirt and no sense of personal space who was reading the large print version of The Greatest Generation. *sigh*

And the Cleveland airport is full of scary people and smells funny. Prospects for a halfway interesting neighbor on this flight look even grimmer.

Oh well, only 4 more hours 'til the land of whores and poker.

Viva Las Vegas!

David is already there for the MAGIC trade show. After I finish tonight's shift at work, I have to run home, pack, hit the ATM, make sure the pet sitter is all ready for the hand-off, and get myself down to Boston to fly out there myself.

The forecast for the coming week: 107, 106, 105, 105, 106, 107; no clouds; overnight lows of around 80 (for the metricals out there, that's around 41, give or take, in the daytime and 27 at night). What's that you say? It's a dry heat? Ah yes, the daytime humidity will be running somewhere between 12% & 17%, which should actually make a huge difference. That 107 high will only feel like a mere 102.

So long as we can get tickets to one of the Cirque du Soleil shows, I suppose I can deal with it. Just wish me luck at the quarter slots!

22 August 2008

Happy Flu!

This just warms my little epidemiologically-minded heart. Come on and go viral with me.

Hint: Pull the scroll bar all the way down. Then click and drag.

16 August 2008

Twitter Humor

From my friend Jonathan:

My German isn't very good, but I'm pretty sure it's not a direct translation.

13 August 2008


I spoke to the loan officer at the bank today, and the appraisal on the house came in below the purchase price. Way below. In fact, it appraised pretty close to what I had originally thought would be a reasonable market price for the house. The realtor The Ladies talked to thought differently, but then I don't know that he ever really got a look under the hood, so to speak.

This bit of news wouldn't be so bad if there were a chance on negotiating down somewhere close to the appraisal value. I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen, though. Which leaves us in a bit of a state of limbo until we can sort out the possibilities. The bank apparently told Wendy that there's some sort of process of appeal on the appraisal, but the discrepancy is so huge, that I don't expect a rethinking of the appraisal to come anywhere to The Ladies' comfort zone.

In other news, I decided I'd gone a little too fast on stepping up the new meds. So after several very dizzy and not terribly productive days, I decided to back off just a little until I've adjusted a bit better. In the meantime, I do like being able to sleep really deeply for a change.

10 August 2008

Making Up

Since I've been such a slacker lately and because we actually had nice weather for a change, I thought I'd take a few photos today. It was even a nice enough day that I could do this:


And before anyone says anything, yes, there are some tightie whities on those lines. I'll leave it to you to guess whether they're mine or David's. Of course, because my day starts rather late, some items were still a little damp by the time it was getting dark, so they did end up in the dryer for a short run to finish the job. Still, that's less energy than would have been used otherwise, and I'm very happy the sun obliged.

Also, I've been meaning to get pictures of the cedar waxwing nest in the sumacs in our sideyard. I swear she's been sitting in this same position for the past week.


Can't see her? How about from this angle (biggifying might help, too)?


Lastly, these are some duck eggs I got from Wendy & Paula this evening. The ducks have been laying like crazy, so The Ladies have been more than happy to give us all we'll take off their hands. They're a little different from chicken eggs (bigger, for one thing), but they still made a very tasty omelet for tonight's dinner.


09 August 2008


I haven't updated in 9 days, which is a bit unusual for me. Partly I think it's the summer doldrums which hit a lot of bloggers, but I've also not had much of interest to blog. I've been working a lot (put in 80+ hours in 8 days), knitting a little on the second Hundertwasser sock (yeah, I finally finished the first one, but no pics as yet), and not too much else aside from the incredibly mundane.

Today it was a bit of handyman stuff while David's off at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. I filled in a hole in the kitchen mudroom that's been a thoroughfare for mice, bugs, and slugs with some low expansion foam. The "low" part of it is a relative term and I'll be cutting away the excess tomorrow. Aside from that, I planed down the door to the same mudroom so that it'll actually close. It's still a little snug, but it's super humid around these parts at the moment and I figure there'll be shrinkage when things dry out this winter. I also took my Dremel to a cast iron skillet that's been waiting for me to attend to it for a long time. The seasoning was never great and had cracked all to hell, so I had to grind and buff away all the stuff that was still sticking to the metal then reseason it properly. It now has two good coatings on it, and I think I'll add a third tomorrow for good measure.

When I was done, I made myself a caipirinha, which I'd never had before. I used Darren's recipe and was very pleased. The only problem was that I've been running on not quite enough sleep. Plus I just stepped up my gabapentin to the full dose yesterday. So even though I nursed the drink, when I finished I had to take a nap. And then woke up two hours later with a headache, which I still have 6 hours later.

I still plan to try a variation made with peaches (The local supermarket actually had South Carolina peaches!) instead of lime, though. Just not tonight.