Friday, February 13, 2009

The Neverending Day

So many days ago it feels like a lifetime, coffee was a Starbuck's iced mocha with an extra shot of espresso at the gate in Hartsfield airport. My music a few hourslater was an exhibitor services electrician talking about how bad the car show here in the Philadelphia Convention Center was. In between the coffee and the electrician was the flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia with its thought-provoking visual vignettes. In hindsight I wish I had captured them with my camera as I doubt my prose will trigger even half the reaction I had to seeing them.

The image that has most stayed with me was a view from the plane as we were leaving Atlanta. We flew over a relatively new, tidily planned, subdivision with identically sized lots and very similar boxy houses all in beige (or maybe that's just what it looked like from a distance). It had the little winding streets all subdivisions seem to have now, and a balancing number of cul-de-sacs--normal Americana. What looked to be right across the street but was probably a couple of blocks away was a junkyard. From the distance and up in the air, the junkyard with its little winding truck paths between the towering piles of trash looked just like the subdivision. Same footprint, same little cul-de-sac dead ends, same quaint charm (or lack thereof). Sadly, more normal Americana. I slept the rest of the flight, and by 11:45 am we had our luggage, were checked in at our hotel, and were at the Buyer's Market of American Craft (BMAC).

The electrical layout of our booth was screwed up (hence the afore-mentioned conversation with the electrician), but it was quickly fixed. Then we had to wait another hour and a half for exhibition services to find two of our crates that they managed to lose between their storage unit and our booth. Too bad it was the crates with the foamcore and gridwalls that went on walkabout as we couldn't do anything but wait for them--and have lunch.

The first day ended relatively early (6:30 pm) with the gridwalls and foamcore up and ebullient spirits in all as we looked forward to a pretty easy second day putting up lights and artwork. As usual, we were deluded--lucky for us we all got what wanted out of the rest of the evening so we were prepared for the next day. Bill went back to their hotel and crashed, and Elaine and Todd and I went for fondue and martinis at the Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant). I have always been amazed how people will pay more for dinner out if they have to cook it themselves--but it sure was fun thanks to Billy and Alexis (our servers).

Yesterday we followed the program (it was a set-up day) and at 8:00 am we threw ourselves enthusiastically into putting the work up in Our Best Booth Ever. By the time we finished last night at 11:00 pm, I was too pooped to post. We stopped for a bite in the Marriott hotel cafe as we had to walk by it to get to our hotels and it was still open, and then we went our seperate ways to crash.

This morning the show begins--I still have to do pricing (what else is new?), and Todd has to figure out a way to display garden stakes, but we're ready to go. Next post: dilemmas of friendship, the economy, and copying someone else's work.


Bill said...

I was afraid something bad had happened to you, what with your extended absence and all.

I await your posts with bated breath...

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda!

This is Alexis from the Melting Pot. Billy and I had such a pleasure waiting on you guys! Good luck with everything! Thank you for mentioning us in your blog, I feel slightly famous!

Take care,