Ah, packing day. I leave tomorrow morning for Grinnell, Iowa, and the Midwest Weavers Conference. The day before I leave on a trip is always a little frenetic, getting everything finished I put on my list, things like watering the plants, finishing the laundry, organizing bills so I can pay them the day I return, and filling up the suitcases with everything I need to bring for the trip. And because this is a weaving conference, it means pouring over the notes in my files, what I promised for the faculty exhibit, what I promised for the fashion show, what I need for each of the classes, and any supplies I need to bring for any seminar I am actually taking.
This conference has been a little nerve wracking, for a number of odd reasons. First, this will be the first time in years I’ve traveled without my own LCD projector. I know I longed for the day when I could fly someplace, armed with only a stick drive or CD, pop it in, and start the presentation. I have been assured, at great length, that the different facilities I am lecturing in, all have projectors and equipment for both PowerPoint, and PDF presentations. So, this means back ups of everything. I have a CD copy in one suitcase, my laptop in another, my stick drive in my purse, and another hard drive in another suitcase. One can never have enough back ups, and one has to remember to update all of the back ups when one changes anything on a presentation…
This has been another nerve wracking down to the wire experience because of the proverbial overlap of work, coming from one exhibit, hopefully in time to take to the next. When an artwork finishes up at an exhibit, there is always a lag, as the volunteers or committee get to the packing and shipping of each work. It is an overwhelming job, and I’m not really complaining, but I asked when I shipped the piece to the last exhibit if they could make an exception and get mine back to me sooner than the contract stated. That’s always a crap shoot, and I was really lucky, the Frosted Florals Dress made it back to me from the Surface Design Fashion Show in Kansas City with 6 hours to spare, in time to pack it for the conference.
And then there was the 37 pound box I shipped last week, to someone in Grinnell Iowa. I got an email notification it was delivered, but what I didn’t know, was that the address I had been given was wrong, and someone called today from the conference to say they retrieved the package from a vacant house. I’m really glad I didn’t know this until after the fact. It would have been hard to teach the class without the handouts and the pattern paper, which were in the box, along with hundreds of dollars of Monographs.
The most stressful of all, that I absolutely have no control over whatsoever, is the flight. So, here is the itinerary, I fly out of Newark around 9am tomorrow to the hot spot of air travel, Houston. Home of the summer thunderstorm. I have a couple hour layover in Houston, and then on to Des Moines, Iowa. Thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow in Newark, in Des Moines, and I’m sure Houston. I arrive in Iowa at 4:17, and have a dinner engagement at 5:15 (it takes more than an hour from the airport to the conference), and then I have to give a lecture at the Faulconer Gallery for the Small Expressions Exhibit reception at 7pm. So you do the math… The chances of me actually making it for dinner are pretty slim. The chances of making it in time for the reception/gallery talk are only slightly better. I’m pretty good at just letting go of that with I can’t control, but I went ahead and followed up with a plan B, I wrote out the whole talk and plugged it into a PowerPoint presentation along with the accompanying images, and emailed it to the gallery. So if I don’t make it in time, my words of wisdom will be projected on a screen for all to read instead of listening to my lovely voice with a wicked NJ accent. It is about the best I could come up with.
I am all packed, except for my personal clothing, and files are all copied and backed up. My daughter has a trombone recital tonight, I look forward to it every year. The sound of brass instruments including the Baroque Sackbut (early trombone) in a vaulted ceiling church is just gorgeous. The kids are wickedly talented, and the music teacher, Bob Ferrel, is one of the best trombone players in the state. Here is a video clip of a performance he did at the middle school jazz festival in our town last year. Skip past the talking part in the beginning.
So, once again, I’m on the road, I’ll be home late Sunday night, I am assured they have wireless in the dorms, oh goody, I get to sleep on a plastic dorm mattress… But the good news is, I’ll be seeing my friend Robyn Spady again, and my oldest and dearest friend, weaver/designer Candiss Cole, will be only an hour away in Des Moines at a craft festival. I’m hoping we can connect while I’m there.
Will Daryl make it tomorrow night, or won’t she, that is the question… Stay tuned…