To say I spend a lot of time on the road for my job would be an understatement. In the last year or two, I've been to Boston, Chicago, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Binghamton, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, and all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I've been to most of those places more than once, and in 6 weeks I'll be in Seattle. Right now, I am in Nashville Tennessee, once again for work, but this time not in the execution of my actual job, but to attend a training conference designed to sharpen my skills.
Let me digress a moment from my intended topic to say a few word about Nashville. Called NashVegas by locals, to say this town marches to the beat of it's own banjo would be an understatement. I walked down to Broadway this evening for dinner, and I was amazed at all the various Honky Tonk's gearing up for the night of merriment. At a place called Wannabe's there was a sign that beckoned you in to try your hand at singing live on stage, in the hopes of becoming the next big country music star. Fittingly enough, just a few boot scoots away at the world famous Ryman Auditorium there was some huge country shindig a-happenin', complete with red carpet and dudes in Tuxes and cowboy hats. I guess that's the circle of life in Music City, USA.
The last time I was in this town was with Inky and XL nearly 10 years ago. We came down here, to the Opry Land Hotel in December of 1998 to attend the Baseball Winter Meetings, in an effort to get a job in the industry. Now, a decade into my working life, it is career development that brings me back. This time, rather than hoping to land a job while walking around with my name tag on, I am supposed to be getting better at my job by swapping stories with other name tagged individuals. The problem seems to be that everyone else wants to tell you how you should be doing it, because they all think they are the ones doing it right. Something about chiefs and Indians comes to mind.
So, what's a guy to do when confronted by all this? Well, having a bit of fun never hurt, and so I decided to make one of Inky's dreams come true, and I turned her into an Aussie. I've posted before about how I like to make shit up on occasion, when I am with a group of strangers that I will most likely never meet again. (Oddly enough, I can't link that post right now, since the hotel's computer has blocked my blog, saying, rightfully so I might add, that it's content might be harmful to children.) So when asked by some people from California and Canada about my wife, I mentioned that she is Australian, and had come to the US to play basketball in college. For those of you who know my wife, I'll allow you a moment to laugh your ass off hysterically at that.
All done? Good. When further asked how we met, I informed my table mates that my she and my sister had gone to school together, and that was how we were introduced. I made jokes about her only wanting me for the greencard, and shot down ideas that just because she is a basketball player then she has to be very tall, saying that every team needs a pointgaurd. I even had to fight back fits of laughter, spurned on by images of XL in a devil suit on my shoulder when I made reference to her "magnificent ball handling skills" which I proudly boasted "continue to this day." It helped to pass the time between sessions, and put a smile on my face as I rode the elevator back to my room at the end of the day.