Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not So Hotlanta

Sunday, April 18

1100, Driving to airport

Man, just when you were confident the Train era had ended.

1140, At the gate

A group of TSA subcontractors (or something) are loudly discussing the means celebrities like John Cleese and Whitney Houston have employed to travel despite the Icelandic volcano. I am thirsty, but don't know how to address that and still avoid the airplane restroom - I'm going to be in a window seat. The eternal struggle.

1200, At the gate

A young woman to my right is wearing an Elon University tee and blue hospital scrub pants. I know medical personnel who swear by their comfort, but if those are your best option for flight pants then your wardrobe is in rough shape.

1230, In the plane

I am in seat 17E. My carry-on is above row 31. Is this as bad as it will ever be for storage capacity, or will it get even worse?

1250, In the air

The first page of Bantam Books' "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" reads "Carson McCullers was only twenty-two when she wrote "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and became the youngest American writer ever to join the company of immortals." Huh?

1310, In the air

"Blount just sat with his hand over his mouth and shook his head...Biff noted this. He was thinking in that nearly every person there was some special physical part kept always guarded. With the mute his hands. The kid Mick picked at the front of her blouse to keep the cloth from rubbing the new, tender nipples beginning to come out on her breast. With Alice it was her hair..."

Immortals make me feel pervy.

1600, Atlanta airport

Saw former KU (and former Cleveland Cavalier) forward Darnell Jackson walk by the luggage carousel. He's still tall.

Monday, April 19

0930, At the conference

Everyone is in the big ballroom for the opening session. The newly passed national health care law is being discussed. The woman sitting in front of me is making a show of herself, shaking her head "no" again and again and again as she stares down the speaker. She's wearing sunglasses on top of her head. In a darkened hotel ballroom.

I always hated sitting in a classroom and seeing another student nod their head up and down in response to something the professor said. Sort of a, "Hey, yes, I already knew that fact, and I should inform, Teach, and everyone else who can see me, that I knew that. I knew that." But at least those were always affirmative responses, and usually died out after one or two nods. This lady -- a Virginian according to her nametag -- seems to think her disapproval will change the opinion of the Department of Health and Human Services.

1115, At the conference

The phrase, "Ugh. Kill me," pops in my head for the first time since arriving in Atlanta nineteen hours ago. A personal best! The people who chose to sit in the back of this very large, very accommodating room are complaining about not being able to hear the speaker.

1140, At the conference

The third powerpoint presentation of this session is standard white text on a blue background. One slide has a chart with blue trendline on this blue background -- that's a powerpoint dealbreaker, ladies. Pathetic.

1210, Lunch

Turner Broadcasting owns TNT, TBS, CNN, Headline News, the Cartoon Network, and maybe more -- yet this is face they've chosen to force upon the citizenry.

TBS has promised "the biggest promotional campaign in television history" for Conan's new show. So why can I buy a "The Closer" baby tee and a "Morning Express with Robin Meade" bathrobe at the CNN Center gift shop, but no Coco merchandise?

1410, At the conference

Powerpoint #1 - the "Nashville region" label points to New York state.
Powerpoint #2 - the chart's x-axis starts at September '09 and goes through March '09?
Powerpoint #3 - the speaker moves the cursor along each bullet point as she reads it

1520, In the restroom

The Hyatt claims that each of its waterless urinals saves up to 40,000 gallons of water each year. That calculates to about 110 gallons per day. Per fixture! No way are they flushing that much per day -- not even if they host a enlarged prostate sufferers' convention for 52 consecutive weeks.

2000, At dinner

While enjoying some chicken at South City Kitchen, we noticed a couple dining next to us. One was a young, slight blond; across from her was a black-haired man with an injured right arm. The arm was in traction (or something), like the treatment you'd see for a broken neck. The man and woman spent the entire meal looking at their iPhones. I don't mean that they constantly checked their phones, or constantly spoke on their phones. They looked at their iPhone screens instead of each other or their food.

I didn't noticed them get up to leave, but I did see them walking down the sidewalk outside. That's when I realized how tall the man was, and when I remembered the Milwaukee Bucks were in town to play the Hawks in the NBA playoffs, and when I remembered that Bucks center Andrew Bogut severely injured his arm a few weeks earlier. ITEM: Andrew Bogut loves iPhones, fried chicken, and speaking to attractive blonds, in that order.

Tuesday, April 20

0830, In my hotel room

I'm willing to forgive the quirks of this IKEA tower the Hyatt has built, but there is no USA Today outside my door. Is this even a real hotel?

1112, At the conference

"cervical intraepithelial neoplasia"

1117, At the conference


1125, At the conference

"anal intraepithelial neoplasia"

1240, At the conference

It's no longer cute or funny when middle-aged individuals cannot connect a laptop to a projector, or in this case, cannot make a DVD play on a laptop. Not in a post-autorun world, lady. Wise up.

1900, Before dinner

Man, I love watching the local tourism channels they air in hotels. Meet my very modest friend, Dante.

"Bride Wars" is on HBO. Kate Hudson plays a cutthroat Manhattan attorney? Makes sense. What a good, well-thought-out film.

2100, After dinner

The NBA game is a blowout, so a coworker and I flip over to HBO and start watching the documentary about media/life suppression in Burma. Just drinking some Bud Lights in silence, watching monks get beaten up.

Wednesday, April 21

0915, At the conference

I just had the "What would I do if gun-toting terrorists busted into this hotel ballroom right now?" daydream. Kudos to this insultingly elementary presentation for dusting off that old nugget.

2030, At the ballgame

The organist knows two songs: Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London", and the theme to NBC's "The Office". Cool baseball atmosphere, Turner Field.

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