Monday, October 29, 2007

Nashville Recap

I'm back! Well, we're back! Thankfully, we're back uneventfully. . . no travel problems (which is saying a lot these days!), we even got home early by getting on standby on an earlier flight out of Charlotte.

The SWE conference was so much better than I expected it to be! It's been several years (well, OK 7) since I've gone to one, I'd forgotten how empowering it is to be around so many people so similar to me. I sometimes convince myself I'm crazy about work situations, because my boss tells me I'm overreacting, or simply because I don't have another pre-30 technical professional ANYWHERE in my organization. . . . all the way up to my Vice President! I can't tell you how comforting it was during the Keynote breakfast, when the woman sitting next to me said "Well, I see you have the blessing/curse of looking young, too. Have you found any effective ways of getting people to take you seriously without spouting your resume?" HALLELUJAH!! I'm NOT crazy!! I'm not reading too much into things!! When people (read: 50+ year old men) see me and the first questions they ask are not-so-subtley designed to figure out if I just graduated from college, they really ARE having a problem taking you seriously and want you to justify your qualifications. It was like a huge weight coming off my shoulders. Phew!

I attended some great sessions, a lot centered around 'what do I want to be when I grow up' themes. I feel so much more motivated to take charge and REALLY find a new position. It's so not worth being so cranky about my day to day job! I milled around the career fair for a few hours Friday, exploring what companies do business nearby, in case I run out of options to switch positions within my current company. I also got some cool swag from career fair exhibitors. My favorites? This little bag from Honda
, which is the perfect size for a small project bag and, with no zipper, I can hold it on my arm to hold the yarn without any concerns about snagging it. This much bigger bag from Kellogg is going to be an awesome addition to my current collection of grocery bags. I felt a bit scummy just going to Kellogg to snag a bag, since I wasn't interested in talking to them about a position, so I made them a deal. Here is me posing with Tony the Tiger. . . and here is me following thru with my end of the deal --> Go HERE if you are interested in looking at job opportunities with Kellogg!

I ran in to several old friends, which was so nice to catch up. I also met another knitter! I was supposed to meet up with Jen, who I met on Ravelry, but I got distracted by the friends I had caught up with. While knitting before the 'Motivation, Procrastination, Inspiration' session started, Miriam came over to show me she was knitting on socks, too :) Of course, in addition to trading cards, we traded Ravelry IDs :) Unfortunately, our speaker made us (well not just the two of us, everyone in the session) put everything away except a pen & paper to have a very interactive session. Not before 4 of the girls sitting around me asked for quick lessons, though!

Jake got in kinda late Friday. . . flight delays, big surprise! We went out to dinner near Vanderbilt, then went down Broadway to listen to some music. And, if you've been to Nashville, you know there is live music. . . EVERYWHERE. Every single bar has a band playing, so we just picked one that was less crowded so we could sit and hung out for a while. Saturday I wrapped up conference events, while Jake slept in :) Then we walked around exploring the sights and shops downtown Nashville. Here is the view from the Shelby Street Bridge. . . on a lovely day, I might add! And I learned that this building, which I always had thought was R&C, and was something to do with the recording industry, is actually L&CLife & Casualty Insurance. The name made Jake chuckle. . . more in the context of the 'Life & Casualty Building' and how it is determined what you get upon entering the building. . .he he :)

Jake & I both bought cowboy boots. . . these are mine, his are unavailable for photograph, as they are on his feet at work! We wore our fancy new boots out that night for Sushi, followed by more fabulous music. I have to say, I'm not a country music fan in general, but I love live music, and every single band we saw (5 in total) was amazingly good, but the best was the Travis Mann Band. Seriously, if you are in Nashville, you need to check them out!!

And, finally, knitting. I carried the Imagiknit scarf with me thru the conference. .. easiest to knit on without paying attention. I knit while standing in lines and while waiting for sessions to start. I knit in a few sessions that weren't ones I needed to take notes in. I made a lot of progress, but again, not picture worthy, as it looks the same only longer. On the flight on the way out, I made progress on the endpapers, but ironically, on the way back, it was so friggin' cold in the airport and on the plane, that my fingers just about froze trying to knit, so I was resigned to magazine flipping with my hands firmly drawn into the sleeves of my long sleeve shirt! I have 3 more rows to knit before I split off the thumb.
I can't wait to finish so I can wear them!! I also joined this KAL to show off my mitts, thanks to all the love from you all on my last post :)

Lelah and my seeded rib socks made the trip to Nashville, but unfortunately, they did not see the outside of their ziploc bags.
Phew! That was a long one, but now we're all caught up! After work today we are going to get our pumpkins so we can carve and roast seeds. Yay!! And of course, the most exciting thing? My birthday is only 3 days away!


Anonymous said...

welcome back.


IrishgirlieKnits said...

Sounds like a fabulous trip! I haven't been to Nashville, but I hear its a great city! 3 more fun fun!!!