If I had enough money, I'd counter that billboard with one directly behind it, saying "J/K -- God".
I suspected that coming to Colorado Springs for this conference would be a bad idea, but a free trip didn't seem like something I should pass up. The flight arrived on time with no delays or cancellations, despite my coworkers fears. The flight from NYC to Minneapolis was pretty rough though. There was a family of four. The father and daughter sat in row 13 next to my coworker Julie. The mother and the boy sat directly behind them in row 14. I was behind Julie The children were awful. The boy was loud, sullen, and whiny. He was rude to his mom and sister, he was opening and shutting the window, he was kicking the wall of the plane so hard that I woke up and thought someone behind me was kicking my seat. The girl was squirmy and loud. And the parents weren't even trying to control the children. Neither child was wearing their seat belt as the plane landed. I mean, it's one thing to let your children run amuck in the confines of your home, but you definitely need to nip that shit in the bud when they are around other people in confined spaces. Or at least apologize to them for raising a monster.
Anyway, I booked my hotel late so I got the Mariott two miles from the Broadmoor resort, where the conference was being held. Julie was staying in the Broadmoor, and it is very nice resort. She had the best view of a half frozen lake and there are deer on the resort. The weather was nice. I was expecting it to be all cold and snowy, since Colorado is known for it's skiing. It was, like, 50, during the day. My boss registered me for this extra, full-day, pre-conference, sleep-a-thon workshop on Sunday. I bounced at lunchtime and went to the major Colorado Springs attraction, Garden of the Gods (for some reason I kept referring to it as Grey Gardens). It was a nice adventure, I meant to go to the zoo the morning before my flight back (you could hand feed the giraffes!), but decided to sleep in and take advantage of cable tv instead.
The terrible thing about this conference is how useless it is to both Julie and I. First, it's a conference centered around our library catalog software. We're using a 3 year old version, because our IT department is impossible and doesn't know how (and frankly, doesn't try to learn) the software we use in order to faccilitate an upgrade (yet they are strangely opposed to allowing us to hire competent technicians). Some conference topics were focused on using feature offered by the new software. Some were focused on things we don't implement in our library (paying fines, acquisitions, programming, consortium library problems). I went to this workshop on training library staff members (which I thought would be useful because I actually train people), but this woman was talking about organizing training for a staff of 900 people. Our library only has 7. Other topics were so advanced that I didn't even know what they were used for. And then other workshops were about products the library could buy to do certain things, the few products that would be helpful (but not necessary) in our library were far too expensive for anyone to even think about asking for in the budget. So really, this was a waste of time and the waste of a long weekend (I think we're getting comp time, at least).
I was in a similar family situation on the flight from Minnesota to New York. While the plane was boarding, I was praying that the two seats in my aisle remained empty. Finally after most people boarded, a family of four entered, and the father and his small daughter took the window and middle seats next to me. The mother and son were directly in front of them. While I was mouthing complaints to her Julie, we both had aisle seats next to each other, and the woman next to Julie offered to switch seats with me. She said that since we knew each other we should sit together. I wondered if she knew what she was getting into. Maybe the woman just wanted to switch her middle seat with an aisle seat. Maybe she was just being kind. Perhaps she was watching as I mouthed expletive-laced things about my aisle mates to Julie. Whatever it is, that woman was a hero, because she saved a small child's life that day. The child was significantly better behaved than the two we encountered before. That being said, she was still annoying, even four seats away. She talked the entire flight, and like most children, she has absolutely no control over the volume of her voice.
I brought back a nice souvenir for myself. Usually, if someone goes away somewhere and asks what I want as a souvenir I always suggest earrings. I usually like and will wear any kind of earring, and you can never have too many pairs. The Broadmoor had this beautiful handmade jewelry shop. I love jewelry. Since it's unlikely I'll own any anytime soon, I never developed much of a taste for expensive gems or precious metals, but I do like the less expensive stuff, as long as it's funky, chunky, and slightly odd. After a few days of consideration, I finally decided on this fruit charm bracelet that was much more that I usually pay for jewelry (I always take pride in paying very little for this type of thing), but it will be one of my few pleasant memories of Colorado Springs. It inspired me to one day learn how to make my own jewelry.
Every once in a while I hunger for Taco Bell. I always finish the meal feeling mildly grossed out by what I just consumed, but it's so good going down. And this morning I found out that the only Taco Bell I go to, the one closest to work, has been shut down by the health department due to it's gregarious rat population. After the lettuce incident, and the fact that I always feel nauseous after consuming it, I think I'm never going to eat Taco Bell again.