This last installment of conference notes falls into the category of "you can't make this up." I apologize in advance for the alliteration. :)
Without further adieu, here's my list of "Surreal Things:"
- Airing it out in the Airport - Right after we de-boarded the plane in San Francisco, on our way to baggage claim, we passed an odd, older gentleman. He was wearing dress slacks, a belt, and nice shoes. And that's it. NO shirt. He had a bag slung over his naked shoulder and walked toward the gates as if it were the most natural thing in the world, which, I suppose, it was. More bizarre than his state of undress was the fact no one else seemed to notice. My question is: if I'm going to see a half-dressed man in the airport, why, oh why, can't it be David Beckham or James McAvoy or the guy who plays Sawyer on "Lost?"
- Sidestepping Stuff on the Sidewalk - The hotel where we stayed was a city block away from the conference Marriott. It was an easy walk, but on the night of the awards ceremony, after I dressed up in my long, silk gown and strappy sandals, I debated whether or not to take a cab. Since it was a pretty mild night by San Fran standards, and since I'm rather cheap, I decided to walk. My shoes felt fine at first, but half-way there I realized the glittery straps had the same exact texture as 200 grit sandpaper. Also, I had to lift the hem of my dress as I dodged a - warning, don't read on if you're squeamish! - pile of excrement on the pavement. Even if the cab was 20 bucks, it would have been worth it.
- Conversing without a Clue - I was checking voicemail in between workshops one day when a woman came and sat down on the chair beside me. She said, "Nice shoes." I liked her immediately, of course, thanked her, and we started chatting. We talked about our families, where we're from, and highlights of the conference so far. She asked me what I write, so I told her and asked her what she writes. She replied she's not a writer. She's an agent. Had I bothered to look at her name tag, I would have known this, but I just felt weird looking at people's chests all the time. Anyway, we exchanged cards and you never know what might come out of it. We have the same taste in shoes, after all.