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NOTE: For the Photo Essay, click the link in the main header (above) or HERE.

So, here it is just turning Saturday July 24, the first day of my trip. The trip I’ve been anticipating for months…and I’m still packing and attempting to load a gazillion cds onto my iPod. I made a few stabs at both activities over the past month, but obviously didn’t do it in an efficient, effective manner.

I used to be organized. I used to be capable of both starting and finishing things I set out to do.

What happened?

It isn’t laziness, this compulsive procrastination. I know that much, and could locate people who would testify that I can become ferociously devoted to projects and activities. Mind you, I might procrastinate this, so if references and/or testimonies are required, it would be wise to give me a deadline. I do fairly well with those, still–as long as they’re not self imposed.

And, of course, it will be done at the Midnight Hour, so to speak…or literally. Case in point: tonight’s shenanigans with the iPod.

Really, though, I should be resuming the semi-destructive search for my lost 2009 Conference Pin. (More proof that my organizational skills are not what they once were.) After taking great care of the darn thing all year, I’ve managed to lose it…somewhere, I suspect, in the room I claim as my own in a shared apartment. I’ve crawled underneath the bed, looked beneath a reasonable portion of the rug, shaken out blankets, plowed through piles of paper, flipped through and re-stacked books–all to no avail. No pin.

I began to suspect the pin would not be located earlier this week and contacted RWA to see about getting a new one. Unfortunately for me, last year’s conference was such a sell-out, they don’t have any pins left.

Why is this such a big deal, you ask. It’s just a little pin—and not a well made one, at that—to display on my conference badge.

That’s the trouble. Displaying it on my conference badge. This year’s badge, next year’s badge, and on down the line. It’s like counting coup. A visible showing of my Conference Cred. There are ladies walking around with hardly any badge visible for all of their darn pins. And now, when I could have four,  I’ll have only three: one conference pins + two online writing group pins…one of which looks, frankly, a bit obscene and could stand to be hidden (or, better yet, lost; maybe I could ask the universe, here, for a trade?).

So, it looks like I’ll be heading off to Florida with an incomplete iPod, two (small) confused suitcases and a computer-bag short one crucial Piece of Flair. At this competency-rate, I’ll probably forget some other vital stuff–like my iPod charger or the pay-as-you-go cellular internet gizmo. Oh, heck, that reminds me I need to….

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