Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Conference Countdown

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

By Annette Dashofy

Twenty-three days until the conference. I have moments of calm knowing that my responsibilities will soon be over followed by panic attacks because things need to be done and I don’t have the time to do it all.

But of course I do. The thing about panic attacks is they aren’t rational.

In the past week, I’ve discovered a perk to being conference coordinator. Meetings. Okay, the meeting itself isn’t a perk. The food that comes with it, however, is.

First I met with the hotel’s catering and detailing managers. Michelle and Katie are lovely gals who bend over backward to accommodate our needs. We got together for lunch in the Marriott’s restaurant. Let me tell you, the Marriott has an EXCELLENT restaurant. And since the hotel was picking up the tab, it was all that much better. We covered a lot of ground and a lot of calories. Chocolate crème brulee, anyone?

Two days later, I had a meeting with my critique buddies. It had absolutely nothing to do with the conference, but we ate just the same. Spinach and cheese omelet sandwich. Calories dripping with fat. Yum.

Next came the final conference planning committee meeting. And with it, a venti white chocolate mocha (no whip cream, skim milk, please) and a slice of chocolate cheesecake. Kind of like ordering a large hot fudge sundae with a diet cola.

Lastly, I had lunch with one of the committee members who couldn’t make the meeting. I behaved myself and had a salad. A very LARGE salad with lots of black olives.

Don’t anyone tell me to relax and everything will be fine. I need to fret away all those extra calories I’ve picked up at these meetings.


Gina said...

Annette -
Have you ever noticed that writers' critique groups have a tendency to turn into writers' eating groups? Maybe we just need comfort food to cope with hearing that our writing isn't quite as stellar as we'd hoped.
I'm really looking forward to the conference, but I'm going to have to be commuting in and out so I'm not sure how much free time I'll have there. And if anybody hasn't signed up yet, do it! The conference is well worth the price.

Tory said...

We have lots of meetings at work, but rarely have food there. :-(

When I had a job that I was mostly in my office and rarely saw people, I loved meetings as a way to get out. Now, I just see my time being wasted in meetings.

P.S. Word verification is "watent." Is that short for "water tent"?

Annette said...

Gina, the chocolate cheesecake was definitely comfort food. I do at least recognize when I'm medicating myself with food.

One time I was trying to find a new location for a writing group and I suggested the local library. Such an outcry! NO FOOD???

Pat Remick said...

I think it's a good thing you've fortified yourself for running around once the conference begins. Coordinators have to keep their strength up. Think of it as medicinal and necessary for the health of the conference!
I can relate to the "no food?" whining. At one point during a prior NH primary season, I actually told a presidential candidate rally organizer I wasn't interested in attending unless food was being served...
Good luck with the conference!

Joyce Tremel said...

I want some of that cheesecake.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I'll just leave you with a "Good Luck" with the conference and a wish that nothing to out of the ordinary happens.

I think it was at Forensics University, the National SinC conference several years ago here in St. Louis. I was helping through our St. Louis Chapter and some kids came through the hallway and took most of the breakfast one morning.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't realize there was a lot of law enforcement around. Hungry law enforcement and the kids swiped their breakfast. The kids were aprehended. However, the food had to be replaced and that took an hour.

Other than a few grumbling stomachs, no real harm done.

Annette said...

Pat, I like the way you think. Yes, I need fortification. Bring on the chocolate!

Joyce, it really was wicked good. See, you should have come to the meeting Sunday.

Will, oh my. One should never mess with hungry law officers' food. Thankfully, most of our meals will be INSIDE the banquet rooms. I'd hate to have to hire armed guards.

My word verification is JOYINGS. Suddenly, I'm feeling quite happy.

Joyce Tremel said...

Annette, I'm sure the food was better than what was served at the First Communion party. Ick.

I'd be happy to guard any pastry or dessert table. Heh.

Pat Remick said...

Hey Annette -- looks like all those calories attracted some great news today! Congrats on having your story accepted into the Guppies anthology. And congrats also to another Working Stiffs blogger -- Pat Gulley!

Annette said...

Thanks, Pat, but Pat G. and I aren't in yet. We just made the first cut. One more to go. And I've been this far before without making it the rest of the way, so I'm just waiting.

But I do want to congratulate Pat G., too for making it to this round with me. Crossing fingers.

Joyce Tremel said...

Annette, if your story is as good as the one in Mysterical-e, you're in.

Annette said...

Thanks, Joyce. But we're down to one editor making the final picks and when it's one person's opinion on one given day, you just never know.