March 1, 2012

AWP12 Day 1: Pre-game

My presenter bio in the AWP conference program, pretty sweet!
I don't care how sophisticated and above it all you are, when you see your name in print you can't help but go all Steve Martin in The Jerk -- THE NEW PHONE BOOK'S HERE!!! THE NEW PHONE BOOK'S HERE!!

I didn't do much today other than register for the conference and walk to CVS through what I assume is Chicago's equivalent of a sandstorm. I did what I usually do on conference arrival day (of whatever conference I happen to be attending): I trek over to the CVS, Walgreens or whatever the nearest thing is called, and buy provisions:

  • 1 gallon of water - I ain't paying $7 for a bottle of water in my hotel room
  • Diet Cherry 7up - I gotta have diet something and they don't make diet M&Ms
  • M&Ms - a small bag of peanut M&Ms, one for each day I'm at the conference.
  • Chips - because you have to have a little crunch, right?
  • Advil Liquid Gels (or the off brand equivalent) because schlepping around that luggage and an overstuffed conference bag makes me feel as old as I am.
  • A postcard - I send myself a postcard every time I travel. It's something I started a long time ago. I write a fresh memory on it during my travel. It's nice to get home and see a postcard among all those bills.
On my way back to the hotel I usually stop by a Subway or some inexpensive eating place to get a quick and easy dinner. After a long day of travel where I'm not just around people but I'm pushed up against them in airplane seats, shuttle bus seats, waiting in lines, TSA screenings, baggage claim, and conference registration lines, I need to hide in my room to spend what will probably be my only evening where I can enjoy my own space and silence.

I relax and spend the evening getting used to the weird channel arrangement on the hotel TV. WHAT?! You can have 6 ESPN channels but don't carry Comedy Central?! Can I really survive the packed conference days without The Daily Show and Colbert Report? Thank God for you, internets. To its credit, this hotel offers the free WiFis.

Oh I forgot, if the CVS doesn't sell liquor, I find a place where I can get an inexpensive bottle of wine which I usually drink out of a coffee cup as I mark up the conference program trying to decide which sessions to attended the next day.

Just looking at this day of sessions tells me that tomorrow (actually today) will be a full day with a few after hours events I want to attend.