I'm back from Miami Beach, where I attended a trade show with one of my clients. Shelly accompanied me; kellyasmith sent her along with me on the theory that I would be less likely to be lost if I had some companionship for the drive.
I am legendary for my poor sense of direction. Shelly has a sense of direction every bit the equal of mine. We very nearly ended up in the Florida Keys, many hours south of Miami, before we realized we'd missed our exit.
We arrived wicked late--well after 2 AM--which was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing, because it helped ensure Shelly would not accidentally run into my client (who is unaware of my non-traditional relationship model), and a curse because i was bound to look and feel my best the next morning when the convention opened.
The Perverts of Room 206
Being on "affair protocol" for the weekend didn't really seem to get in the way of what is becoming a tradition between Shelly and I--frightening the hotel staff.
We don't try to do it. Really, we don't.
The cleaning lady arrived earlier than expected Saturday, catching Shelly unawares--and with insufficient time to hide the toys.
The thing I remember most about the trade show is being cold. Florida has been unseasonably cold all winter this winter, but that did not discourage the convention center staff from cranking the air conditioner. Many hours of misery later--"Hi, would you like to see a demonstration of imposition and workflow software?"--I was more than ready to recreate; preferably somewhere warm.
Shelly put the time to good use, however, shopping in Miami Beach.
For black leather pants.
Not something I had ever, or could ever, imagine myself wearing.
Rabbits and Dobermans
Shelly had met a poly couple from Miami online, so she arranged to meet up with them while we were in Miami Beach. They had discussed going out to a club; since I was on business, I hadn't brought any suitable club wear with me.
An oversight Shelly was quick to remedy.
A new Nine Inch Nails T-shirt, a pair of black leather pants, and my trusty black leather jacket later, we were ready to meet her friends and head out.
To a techno club.
Shelly and I were head-to-foot black leather. Her friends, Josh and Dargee, were...um, not. We had pizza, made small talk, and throughout the evening, generally gave our hosts the impression, I suspect, that they had rather ended up with more than they'd bargained for.
Still, they treated us nicely and with good humor, and took us to their favorite techno club to do some dancing.
Shelly and I blended in with the careless ease of a couple of Dobermans in a cage of rabbits.
Techno clubs are interesting places, if not entirely for the right reasons. With apologies in advance to anyone who appreciates the techno scene, the club struck me as nothing so much as a place where pretty people can meet to network and pair up more or less at random for more or less meaningless sex. It's quite a contrast to what I'm used to.
In any dance club, the early evening always starts with nobody dancing. Nobody ever seems to want to be the first one out on the dance floor, so until someone breaks the ice, little happens. After someone finally goes out, then some tacit social barrier is broken, and soon everyone is dancing.
Apparently, techno clubs are like any other in this regard.
Shelly was in a mood to dance. I was in a mood to dance. Neither of us really does the techno scene.
We were the first ones out on the dance floor. We are both more accustomed to the goth and industrial scene. We frightened people. It was fun.
Some dancing and a nine-dollar vodka cranberry later, we elected to depart, which seemed to fill our hosts with relief. We got lost only once on the walk back to the hotel, and only for about twenty minutes, so the remainder of the evening was relatively uneventful.
Next day, same as the last--convention and cold. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Home Again, Home Again
Did I mention that we both have a poor sense of direction?
The trip back, we somehow ended up on the interstate heading south instead of north, an error we realized only when we started heading into--you guessed it--the Florida Keys.
Clearly, the gods wanted us to visit the Keys. Those silly, silly gods.
Nevertheless, fates and gods notwithstanding, we did eventually make it back to Tampa, where i was absolutely delighted to be back with kellyasmith and sleeping in my own bed again.
So I'm done with the trade-show circuit for a while, which makes me sorry not one little bit.
This week, I plan to concentrate on finishing my new plane, which I still have not seen in the air. Saturday, i hope to get out to the field and fly it for the first time.
Saturday night, Shelly, M, and I will be meeting sunyata__ at the Castle, a local goth club where we'll have the opportunity to be surrounded by other Dobermans.
And people on leashes. :)
Sunday, I've scheduled a photo shoot with a lovely young woman I met when kellyasmith, our friend Kathy, and I ate at Macaroni Grill a few weeks back.
Somewhere in between, there's doubtless some work that needs to get done as well, but work is overrated anyway.