Thursday, October 25, 2012

Goin' to Miami

I'm in Miami for a conference this week. It's been awesome. This is the first conference I've been to in a while where I've wanted to go to every single session. I mean, these guys were the keynote this morning:

That's a wind tunnel. With two full-sized buildings inside. Amazing. Also, go for the "stronger" construction, it was only an extra $3,000.

And after that were the technical sessions. Including my talk. I had to sit up front on the stage the whole freaking time. I was very conscious of how many times I had to scratch my nose. I was nervous when it was my turn to talk, but it wasn't too bad and I felt like I did a good job and used my time well even if I don't remember a freaking thing from the whole talk. I did not say "um" too many times or "Big Bird", "Ships that Go Underwater", or anything else that will get me my own dedicated Tumblr.

Little did I know that bullet point number two from my historical work slide was SITTING IN THE AUDIENCE. His hand shot up as soon as I asked for questions. I answered his question and then it was time for the next speaker and Bullet Point Number Two left for another session. And then I had to sit back down and not scratch my nose for another forty minutes. But first I slammed two glasses of water just like Paul Ryan in the vice presidential debate.

Mah pants suit fit better when I bought it to interview for jobs in 2000, but some control top hose and extremely well sewn buttons did the trick.

Could this picture BE anymore awkward? Good lord.

You know who else is here? Hurricane freaking Sandy.

It is just offshore, but close enough that every once in a while we get a really awesome squall that I get to go watch from the huge windows in the hotel. All the engineers are highly excited about this and tonight at the cocktail party I overheard the following conversation:

Person 1: "Did you see the eddies shedding off the corner of the building earlier? Freaking awesome."

Person 2: "YEAH, I DID! Did you see that standing wave set up in the canal? I wanted to get out there and get some video somehow."

You guys, I have found the mothership.

Speaking of the party, there was a party tonight in the hotel and they said if I played five games I could put a card in a drawing for an iPad. I played pool with someone, I did some virtual bowling, and then I had to make a jump shot and a three pointer in the full-size gym that is in the hotel (I KNOW). I was still wearing my suit and my pilgrim shoes (and my name badge if we're being totally honest) and (shockingly) I did not make it (our backboard at home is about eight feet, not ten). In fact, I cannot even HIT the BACKBOARD from the free throw line (when throwing the ball like a normal person).

So I tried like ten embarrassing more times before deciding I'd given it all I had (and needed a refill on my drink) and turned in my card. I did not win the iPad, but there was a table loaded with about twelve kinds of mini-desserts and a quesadilla making station so I think we all kind of won, really.

Tomorrow, if the windfield of the hurricane doesn't expand too much, I will be heading home, where I am told I am missed even though Ryan plays basketball with them and makes them eggs in the morning.


Sarah said...

love the suit! hope you are still having a great time :)

Rima said...

Wow, that conference sounds like engineering Nirvana! I'm always so impressed by your endeavors, Becca. And, of course, the humorous way in which you present them to us!

Erica said...

i'm going to need more information about this quesadilla making station.

Brooke said...

Lol. The mother ship. And you definitely won--iPad or not.