11/04/2005

WEFTEC 05

This post may be pretty boring to most of you, but it's my blog so you'll have to indulge me. As I mentioned in my last post, Saturday I drove to D.C. for my annual wastewater convention. I stood around all afternoon watching my boss try to get our fishtank display working right, and then I waited around most of the early evening waiting for a friend to get back from golfing so we could go eat. While waiting in the lobby I saw many of my old colleagues at the company who sued me because they were apparently staying in the same hotel as I. I also had a glass of wine with several other old friends, and then I finally got to have dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse which was delicious. I turned in pretty early at 11:30 but due to the time change I was wide awake at 6 am and my first meeting wasn't till 9, so I used the hotel gym. It was state of the art, with brand new weight machines and elipticals with individual TV screens. It was a great way to start my day.

Sunday I walked into my young professionals committee meeting where it was quickly revealed that the committee chair and vice-chair (good friends of mine who I haven't seen face-to-face in 2 years, completely did not recognize me. They were embarressed and we all got a good laugh out if it. When they saw me last my hair was short and blonde, I was three sizes bigger, and I wore glasses. Who can blame them? Unfortunately I ruined a joke the chair had planned on making about my fundraising abilities having to do with my blonde hair. I got an unexpected award, which was very nice, and had an all around good time planning cool activities for young engineers.

Sunday night I had dinner with Professor Andrew and some other people, including his girlfriend. I hardly even got to talk to him but surprisingly I had a wonderful time chatting with his girlfriend, another engineer in our industry. Here's a picture of that dinner.

Sunday night I think I got to bed around 1, and I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting the next morning. I didn't sleep very well, I think the wine and cappucino kept me tossing and turning. Monday after the breakfast meeting I worked in the booth almost all day. I saw lots of old friends and my pre-arranged schedule of rep and customer meetings kept us busy and was very successful. Here's a picture of our booth activity, with me in the back explaining our display to an old friend.


Monday evening I rushed around getting all the cartons of donated door prizes over to the resturant where my young professionals "YP" reception was to be held. I had a lovely dinner with some customers I know pretty well and like a lot, and then headed upstairs to the private lounge where my party was already raging. We had room and budget for 100-150 but I think we ended up with 200-300 if I had to guess. Everyone got two free drinks, hot appetizers, and a raffle ticket for my door prizes. A handful showed up in costume and they all got prizes. A new friend of mine on the committee called out numbers in a booming voice and kept the crowd happy. After a few hours our private bar closed and the party wound down until just six of us decided to head to Georgetown for Halloween.

I knew Georgetown was a cool place at night with all the bars, but I was unprepared for what I saw. Georgetown on Halloween night is kind of like Mardi Gras, except less drinking and more costumes. The cops close down the streets to traffic and hordes of people in elaborate outfits roam the sidewalks just to see and be seen. Our cab dropped us off six blocks away from the action because he couldn't get any further and as we walked toward Wisconsin and M streets the crowd got thicker and thicker. We found a nice little table by a big window at J. Paul's where we could drink and watch the crazy costumes. Here are a few pictures.





That night I got to bed at 2:30 and again had a 7:30 breakfast meeting the next morning. Ouch. Tuesday I led a tour of YP's around the exhibit floor, attended an interesting technical paper by a friend of mine, and worked my booth some more. We had dinner with a customer at Chef Geoff's, a hip new resturant where we saw Nora O'Donnell. I wasn't sure it was her, but a brief search of the internet told me that she is married to Geoff Tracey, owner of Chef Geoff's. I was unimpressed with my dinner but everyone else loved theirs and my dessert was great. I turned in fairly early (before midnight) but was up from 2-3 and had to get up and check out before a 7 am meeting on Wed.

After that meeting I moderated my first technical session without an assistant because she abandoned me, and I had fun bossing people around and introducing speakers. My former best friend from my old company and his evil boss that sued me were in the front row the whole time. It was fun showing off in front of them. Then I spoke on a panel of engineers about issues facing Generation X in our industry, and then I drove all the way back to Philly, utterly exhausted. I didn't miss Mike or Nathan much while I was so busy, but as soon as I walked in and saw how much my baby had grown in a week, I burst into tears. Glad to be home!

1 comment:

Alisa said...

What a fantastic time you had! and it makes all sweeter with such a great homecoming.

I don't know the story behind your former company, but I can say I'm glad you got to upstage them a bit!

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