Feb: 24-26: We all get drunk at conference, blah blah blah...
How on earth can one sum up 3.5 weeks of insanity in one blog post...?
One can not.
So, I'll start off with some stories from concerence in Kentucky way back in February:
16 hour drive, 4 drivers, 3 tubs of hummus, one goal: PADUCAH!
Along the way, one Jersey kid, who likes wearing a sarong while driving, and who was also wearing a pink and white poncho he was knitting to sell, almost caused a riot when he left the mens' room door unlocked at a rest stop in West Virginia while he filled his water bottle. While I waited on line to puchase more caffeine, a *large* man wearing a camouflaged hat emblazoned with a *flaming* Confederate flag entered the mens' room as well. The look on his face when he hurriedly left the mens' room about 3 seconds later was priceless.
The NJ contingent, after driving the entire route of a freak south-eastern snow storm, arrived in Kentucky (god)Dam Village at around noon Friday. It's home to a destructive dam-powered nuclear power plant. Irony abounded... As did alcohol. Which resulted in the following near-bad accidents:
1) A smashed cabin window was averted when someone opened the window just as a frisbee tore through it.
2) A regional director was very nearly struck by a 'burb tooling around the campgrounds when he tried to hail it for a ride. (The rumors that it was the Jersey burb are completely without evidence.... Luckily...)
3) An ultimate frisbee game was briefly halted when one FM was clothes-lined by a power line.
4) The regionals drunk-dialed Ralph Nader.
In general, this conference was not too different from the last (see: "We're Built for this Shit"). Lots of alcohol, politics, and goofiness.
This year, rather than getting so drunk that I fell in a ditch, I got so drunk that when two friends thought up the brilliant idea that they should "teach Kerry how to smoke a ciggarette", I went right along. Very middle-school and redonkulous in general.
I think my favorite conference moment, by far, though, was the opening speaker Friday night. Everyone had begun partying early that afternoon, so the smart offices were claiming seats either in the back of the room or on the far side, away from the regionals. Jersey arrived fashionably barely on-time, though, so we were forced to sit right on the aisle, next to the regionals and canvass directors, and also fairly close to the front. I'm not going to lie. I was completely exhausted and still a little drunk, so I didn't hear a word of the speakers. I *did* do a dang good job of not letting on that I was dozing, though. Unfortunately, one member of the Jersey crew, the one sitting in the actual aisle-most chair, did a less good job of masking his asleepness. The deeper he fell into sleep, the more sideways he was positioned, until he was practically horizontal and hanging well into the aisle. Apparently, our canvass director was frantically trying to get either me or another Jersey kid to hit him and wake him up, but as we were basically asleep too, it never happened. We also were too sleepy to notice that the speaker specifically mentioned our sleeping comrade while at the podium. Whoops. Our office's keynote speaker antics were the toast of the parties that lasted well into Saturday morning. =D
Oh, and one Jersey kid tried to make us all breakfast that same morning (french toast casserole) (...FREEDOM toast casserole!), but he forgot to set his alarm, so he didn't start it until about 30 minutes before we had to be at a workshop. It was still pretty oozey when we sat down to eat it, but no one wanted to hurt his feelings, so we all wolfed it down.... and got sick 3 hours later. A bellyful of raw eggs, cream cheese, and syrup is not a good cure for hangovers, it turns out.
Not that *I* was hungover...
During conference, I made it my goal to meet as many of the Michigan kids as possible which was a daunting task considering there were 4 offices from Michigan and 2 of them were East Lansing. Sorting out who I was going to spend March with took some time. But they seemed like pretty cool kids.
Around 4am Saturday, as the revelers were just beginning to slow down, the NJ office decided it was time to begin driving home. Which left me with a dilemma: Where the heck was *I* supposed to go? KT drove me to the East Lansing cabin, which was oddly quiet, and the canvass director there tossed me a pile of blankets, offered a couch, and wished me a good night.
I was awoken at 8am when someone gyanked one of my blankets. Sleepily, and somewhat still drunkenly, I opened my eyes to see who it was.
"I'm Rex. Why are you on our couch with my blankets?"
"I'm Kerry. I'm the cross-train."
"Oh... Welcome to the East Lansing office! Night."