Pennsylvania Conference for Women

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on October 16. TNP paid for all of their female employees to go which, as I type it out, is weird and sad for the men.

It was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Arch Street in Philadelphia. Just a PATCO/Speedline trip for me! The doors opened at 7:30 pm for the Exhibit Hall and the complimentary breakfast. I arrived at 8:10, and all of the food was gone except for 2 muffins, and all of the coffee was gone except for decaf. They had to have known how many people were attending, so I can only assume my fellow conference goers were taking more than their share. I’ve worked enough meetings to know that’s often the case.

The opening keynote speakers were Jane Pauley, Jill Abramson and Candy Chang. Jane and Jill were warm, witty, and intelligent. They had inspiring stories and anecdotes for us. I never heard of Candy Chang, but after hearing about half of her speech, it was evident that she should have opened for Jane and Jill. I ducked out to rustle up some food. Continue Reading →

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The Night Circus review

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In The Night Circus, two reprehensible men who happen to be magicians bind their two children (Celia and Marco) into a magical battle that only ends when one is unable to continue to compete. This years-long battle is set within the world of Le Cirque des Rêves, aka the Circus of Dreams, an amazing travelling circus that operates from dusk until dawn.

It’s a complicated and bizarre story. There over a dozen different points of view and it jumps back and forth in time with each chapter. I don’t do well with that writing device, but I wasn’t confused too much by it. I’m glad I bought this book instead of borrowing it because I want to reread it in a few months to see what else I can pick up.

This is a slow moving book, so if you’re looking for epic and fast-paced magical battles, you should probably pick another book. There are moments where you’ll have to reread a chapter more than once to try and understand what happened. The descriptions of the circus are lush and breathtaking. I ate this up, but I can see it bugging other readers in a “get on with it!” way.

The inevitable romance between Celia and Marco moves as slowly as a steam train just leaving a station. There is a scene in the middle of the book when Celia and Marco start revealing their magical powers to each other that knocked my socks off. I also enjoyed the story’s respectful take on fandom, as illustrated by the Rêveurs, the group of people who adore and follow the Circus.

The Night Circus has a little of everything: mystery and warmth, hope and dread, cruelty and romance. And lots of beautiful magic.

Once I stopped fighting the plot and the pacing, I adored it.

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Fall business trip 2014: Atlanta

After the respiratory nightmare that was Las Vegas I was eager for my Fall business trip so I could have some fun without ending up on an inhaler. I was up to go to either Denver or Atlanta. I was sent to Atlanta. I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed because I wanted some place different, and Denver with its lovely weather and phalanxes of legal stoners seemed more interesting than … Atlanta.

But to Atlanta I went. I left on a Wednesday morning and came back Saturday evening.

Some quick backstory — as part of what I do at TNP I occasionally can travel to different medical conferences and exhibit on behalf of our association at meetings. Meeting seasons are in spring and fall, and I grab one city each season. I could do more, but I choose to limit myself to two, because I think I’d burn out if I traveled more than that. Most of the exhibit day includes standing at a table, being a booth crone. The days are weirdly scheduled with longish breaks throughout. During the breaks and after the day is over, I sightsee.

Like Las Vegas, I was lucky enough to be able to stay in the same hotel where the conference was held – the W Midtown. This helps a lot because it’s easier for me to quick-change into my tourist duds and hit the road.

The W | They changed the elevator mats all day

The W | They changed the elevator mats all day

The W was very swanky and hip, and decorated the way I would have decorated a hotel when I was 21 years old. Their minibar is called “The Munchie Box”, their pool area is called “The Wet Deck”, and there are many nook and crannies around the lobby with hidden seating that had to be intended for people to make out in. Continue Reading →

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Sunday 5: Wheeling and Dealing

Haha! So I was going to completely do this on Friday night, but here’s what happened.

Rando picture from early morning dogwalk. Nothing to do with this post.

Rando picture from early morning dogwalk. Nothing to do with this post.

WM is an advisor to the Class of 2016 (or 2K16 as the kids say, as if their graduation is a Madden game) at the high school where he teaches, and as such he had to go to Homecoming and help man a bake sale table.

Bake sale? Okay. I’m down!

On Friday night he and I dipped pretzel rods into chocolate and baked cookies. The cookies were a Pinterest lazy baker special – cake mix and a can of pumpkin. I tossed in some nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. The result was pretty darn disappointing to me, but the kids liked it so there’s that. I could have done better.

We spent most of Saturday overseeing a group of bubbly high school juniors. The day was gorgeous, the team won, and mpney was raised to go toward prom and their senior trip.

Saturday night I tagged along with my nephew and his entourage to a 31 Designs party. Lasagna was eaten and money was spent. I was drooled on, but that’s okay. He’s the only human allowed to drool on me. Continue Reading →

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