Land of Ports

This past Friday I was invited to a conference in Portland to drop some of my profesh knowledges on some unsuspecting librarians. I planned to head out after work on Thursday in my car until I realized that four things would be happening at that time. One, it would be lights out, pitch black, dark (Daylight Savings, TOTAL CRAP). Two, it was raining cats and dogs and hairy toads. Three, it would be rush hour. And four, I would be really tired after my work day. One plus one plus one plus one equals not a great time for me to be getting behind the wheel. So, I took a bus. Which was ok except for that fact that I forgot to pack my earbuds which is a First World Tragedy of the highest order because it meant I had to sit still in a bus for hours with no music no podcasts no nothing except my own thoughts. OH GOD NO NOT MY OWN THOUGHTS.

I arrived there around 8pm and checked into my hotel, ready to eat my own face. At the hotel, the doormen all wore full on Alice in Wonderland style Beefeater outfits. I mean, God Bless them, every one, is all I have to say about that. Also, when I was getting all checked in and stuff, the checker-inner guy listed off the hotel amenities and the list went something like this: “Your room will be on the 10th floor. We provide bathrobes, a french press coffee maker, elevators, and a full mini-bar.” ELEVATORS, people. I am pretty sure he said elevators.

My friend and roomie for the evening @librarianista and I wandered around and ate at a hipster Portland restaurant (there was a taxidermy head of a bear on the wall, wearing a top hat and a monocle, which I believe is the international hipster mascot) which was so delicious it almost killed us both. We had a good night’s sleep, made use of the french press coffee pot, watched Three’s Company, and extra-appreciated those elevators.

My talk/presentation/jabber was the next morning and it was good. I know that standing up in front of people and talking is like, a thing that makes people have more anxiety than the thought of death (is that apocryphal? do people really fear it that bad?), but it is not an activity that makes me nervous. I do not know why. Maybe it is because the first time I was on stage with hundreds of people staring at me was when I was like, four. Or maybe it’s because I was a child who was put through the audition wringer and after you have been scrutinized like that you just don’t feel nervous anymore. Maybe it is because in my current job I have to talk to groups of people every single day. Talking in front of folks just doesn’t put me in a tizzy, and for this I am truly thankful because that would make my job really hard.

Just in case you think I am too good to have tizzies, Ima list things that do make me nervous.

Heights. This is a new one for me. I think it’s a sign of getting old. Gramma is afraid of falling, y’all.

If my dude is late coming home or meeting me. I can go to a very OH MY GOD HE IS LATE AND THEREFORE DEAD place. High stakes punctuality.

Clowns. SELF EXPLANATORY.

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One comment

  1. Glad your presentation went well! And that you had an elevator! 🙂 (But seriously, french press at a hotel? That sounds amazing.)

    I think there’s definitely something about theater kids and feeling comfortable in front of crowds. I presented last week at my state’s library conference and while my coworker and co-presenter was a ball of nerves, I was just super excited. Give me a crowd and an opportunity to show you how well I can project my voice and I am stoked. But yes, I make up for that lack nervousness in other areas–including a total fear of falling down stairs and dying from my injuries.

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