The next night I went to bed at 9:22. Party up! Or on, or whatever it is that people who party usually say.
And then the next night was spent watching hours and hours of my life vanish into the time zone map as my very delayed flight home from California turned into an impromptu red-eye (HELPFUL AIRLINE MONITOR: Reason for Aircraft Delay: Aircraft Delayed), during which I really did share a row with a businesswoman and a Tibetan monk, although there is absolutely no punchline to that story, except that the businesswoman was very kind and filled me in on what I'd missed on the in-flight movie during each and every one of my 439 trips to the lavatory, and the monk brought along about 15 chicken snack wraps from McDonald's and you know what? I don't think those things are really designed to be kept in a paper bag for six hours before consuming.
And now I am back on the East Coast, where I remain solidly on West Coast time, going to bed at 3 am and feeding my child breakfast at 11ish and not updating my blog at all, just like all those California bloggers. With their laid-back attitudes and bean sprouts and whatnot.
(Last night I hallucinated that I heard the garbage truck outside at 4 am and shook Jason awake and ordered him to chase after it with our trash and mixed recyclables, which he did not, and my point is, everything coming out of my mouth at this point is a big, steaming, sleep-deprived lie.)
I went to California, and all I got was a lousy four metric tons of fancy digital imaging equipment.
We had to move our PILES O' SWAG to the floor because they were substantial enough to mess with the hotel's wifi signal.
I have to admit that I am generally a cranky old bastard when it comes to anything that stinks of Bloggers! We Here At <Corporation Name> Really Get and Dig What You Do PR tactics. (A lot of those PR tactics tend to be something like GIVE US VALUABLE MARKET RESEARCH AND FREE ADVERTISING IN EXCHANGE FOR...UH...THIS T-SHIRT! THAT IS NOT ACTUALLY IN YOUR SIZE! NO? HOW ABOUT ONE OF THOSE SQUEEZY STRESS BALL THINGS?) And I got the sense that several of the other attendees were expecting to be similarly annoyed by the whole thing, but then the boxes of cameras and camcorders and lenses and camera accessories starting piling up and everybody started ripping things open and the air was full of bubble wrap and packing peanuts and we all looked at each other, frantically trying to get unspoken permission from the crowd to OMFG SQUEEEEEEEE????
For some reason, I think the view from my hotel room helped improve my usual curmudgeonly demeanor.
At one point, I returned from my 230,293 trip to the lavatory and noticed that almost everybody had been given silver travel coffee mugs. EXCEPT FOR EVERYBODY AT MY SIDE OF THE TABLE. And our eyes got big and ugly and Bilbo-Baggins-like because WE DIDN'T GET TRAVEL MUGS. WHERE'D EVERYBODY GET THOSE TRAVEL MUGS! GAR! SWAG! MINE! NOW!
(The travel mugs were still in the process of being unpacked and distributed. I did indeed get a travel mug, although it's hard to look at, since the polished metal only seems to reflect the blackness of my soul.)
The best part of the trip, hands down, was the fact that Sony did not just hand us complicated A/V equipment and expect us to like, read the manuals. They also gave us the gift of KNOWLEDGE, by bringing in someone who could explain DSLR cameras and aperture and ISO to us in a way we could understand. Also known as drawings on a chalkboard and makeup analogies. (You know how your makeup looks awesome in the bathroom mirror and then looks like ass outside? THAT'S WHITE BALANCE, LADIES.)
(Me Ra, by the way, will be speaking at BlogHer this summer, so if you're as camera-challenged as I
am was, she's TOTALLY worth the price of admission, for real.)
It was jaw-droppingly awesome for this blogger/influencer/opinion-maker, who prior to this weekend had never taken her fancy camera out of the green box mode, but who now desperately needs like, seven different lenses and a wireless flash and sent her husband the following email from the conference:
HI GUESS WHAT! I KNOW HOW TO WORK OUR CAMERA NOW! I KNOW ABOUT SHUTTER SPEED! AND ISO! AND APPERATURE! APPEARATURE? APPATURE? I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT BUT IT'S THE THINGIE THAT CONTROLS THE SIZE OF THE THINGIE THAT LIGHT SHINES THROUGH AND I THINK MY LIFE IS CHANGED FOREVER.
(Yes. I send emails in all caps sometimes. I also call people sometimes just to scream into their voicemail when I am very excited about something.)
(HI GUESS WHAT I AM AT THE MALL AND I GOT THE GREATEST PARKING SPACE IN THE WORLD! I WILL PROBABLY NEVER LEAVE BECAUSE IT'S JUST THAT GREAT! CALL ME BACK, WHORE!)
Did it just get really smelly in here?
So...at some point I do plan to post something other than camera phone photos. You know, maybe some photos with some of the new cameras that really demonstrate just how far I've come as a photographer and as a person. I will. Just as soon as I get over my current bout of hyper-perfectionism ("well, this photo is lovely, but I just didn't really fill the frame with my subject as well as I'd like") and go back to not really caring about whether Noah is really "in focus" or "not covered with yams."
This was the sign on the inside of the bathroom door at the hotel's meeting room. I spent a lot of time looking at it (fetus vs. bladder = rock vs. small defenseless insects), and pondering just what are these "other alcoholic beverages" that are not 1) distilled spirits, 2) beer, 3) coolers, or 4) wine. Cough syrup? Xanaxaritas?
I still have so much to learn about so many things. Including how to get all the pretty photos off of my new cameras, and how to stop staring at the camcorder in bafflement because you don't a tape in it. So how does it record? Where do the videos go? Does it involve some sort of gnome? Does this mean I will be significantly less likely to accidentally record over the birth of my second child like I did with my first? Huh!