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It’s a Bird..It’s a Plane..It’s KeAnne Going to Another Conference

Today I felt like I had a split personality. By morning I was “Mommy,” dressed in ratty, stretchy, slouchy PJ pants and a t-shirt that had seen better days. I made Daniel pancakes for breakfast and tried to keep him entertained (because he felt 100% better and was frustrated that we wouldn’t let him go outside) while fighting off my own case of the queasies. By afternoon, I was Professional KeAnne, dressed in work clothes and downtown for the first part of a conference.

It felt really weird and for the first little bit, I felt like I was playing dress-up.  Sometimes after I take a day off – for vacation or for illness – re-entry is difficult. It is amazing how little time it takes for me to become enmeshed in the cocoon of home. It’s surreal. It’s like the real world doesn’t really exist outside of what I read on Twitter or my news sites.  We don’t have cable any longer, so any TV we watch is on demand and doesn’t include news. I’ve gotten better at not checking work email, so it’s like another tether is fraying.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; it’s just interesting how quickly being “off the grid” in a way takes hold.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I was at a conference today based on the number of tweets I made.  Feel free to mute me until Thursday night if you need. I won’t be offended.  The conference is the Internet Summit, an annual digital conference held in Raleigh.  This is the the 6th year of the conference, and I’ve been to almost all of them. I was at the first one in Chapel Hill in 2008.  That one was interesting because my cousin gave birth to her son at the same time, and his birth kicked off the Year of Boys our family was about to experience.  Four babies.  All boys. November 2008, February 2009, May 2009 and June 2009 (Daniel).

I like the Internet Summit because it is a good conference with a nice mix of topics that appeals to techies, marketers, innovators and everyone else.  After years of being on Twitter and going to local conferences and events, I swear that everyone looks like someone I know.  Some of the ladies I’ve met locally through blogging are attending professionally as well, and let me just say that it is odd when worlds converge.  To Beth Anne, Kathleen and Brandy, I apologize if I seemed overly stiff and weird!

In the past I’ve attended a lot of social media sessions since that was part of my job.  This year I justified going based on the “Big Data” and data analytics sessions.  It is all interesting content, and I’m sure I’ll have a post or two to write about it. I feel at home at this type of conference because I really “get” the content.  Last week’s conference wasn’t in my field exactly, so I felt more like a fish out of water.  It’s good to be with people who spend the conference tweeting and taking notes via laptop or tablet. It feels right.

Tomorrow all of us re-enter the real world again. Daniel will return to school and go on his field trip to the history museum.  Jimmy will have a full day at work.  I’ll try to accessorize well (you should see some of the outfits) and head to the convention center for day 2 of the conference.  It was already going to be a short week for me and Daniel because his school is closed on Friday and Monday for parent-teacher conferences, so after this one day of returning to normal, we’ll be home again.

Fingers crossed that our one day of re-entry is smooth.

 

Lame-O, NaBloPoMo Post

I admit it: this post is being published only to fulfill the requirements of NaBloPoMo. Everyone likely has one post like that, right?

I’m home. Back in Raleigh. On terra firma and with my luggage, which earlier in the evening seemed unlikely (the luggage, not the terra firma part). Another series of very full flights and by the time I had raced through the Atlanta airport after my flight from Nashville landed (which looked like a lovely airport by the way), making it to my gate just in time to board, I was feeling a bit punchy and irritated at those passengers who tried to cram large carry-ons into the overhead compartments, holding up the line.

They had the last laugh because luggage shifted during the flight to Raleigh, causing the hatch door to be stuck. No one could get it open, which meant the rest of us poor suckers who had checked our luggage were left to cool our heels at baggage claim for an hour.  Eventually, Delta Baggage Services told us that the crew was going to have to remove seats in order to get to the luggage and our choices were to wait for who knew how long, come back later or have the luggage shipped. I chose to leave, thinking the only thing I really needed was contact lens solution, and I could buy that easily.

Just as the exit door opened, several passengers yelled for me to return, saying that the crew had gotten the door open and our luggage would be here soon.  Another 15 minutes passed before our precious bags emerged from the bowels of the baggage claim area. I claimed mine with a good deal of ferocity and stalked off. I knew it had been a long shot because of the time my plane had landed, but I had hoped to be able to make it home to kiss Daniel good night.  Instead, he’s snoozing well and we’re finishing up a few tasks that need to be done for tomorrow.

So to my fellow passengers with checked bags, I apologize for jinxing us.

It wasn’t completely awful. My seat mates were a father and his 4-year-old little girl on their way to visit grandparents.  The little girl kept us entertained in the baggage claim and hugged me several times.  She offered me one of her chocolate cookies, and when I told her thanks but no thanks because I don’t like chocolate, she looked at me curiously and asked, “why do you not like chocolate?”  It was just like how Daniel would have asked it.

Back to work tomorrow, but I am so looking forward to being the first face Daniel sees tomorrow and giving him a huge bear hug.

It’s good to be home.