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Year 4 Conference Day 2—conference boogaloo

by admin on May 7th, 2007


I woke up at 4:30am.

That’s early…I was planning on waking up at 5am…to go photograph a bit..but the old man who shared a room with me (our VP) snores…a lot. Finally I was just up at 4:30…and figured I was awake, so best to leave then…rather than fall back asleep and wake up cranky 45 minutes later.

While I was getting dressed, VP woke up…and began his day too. Once dressed, I got in the elevator and hit the bottom floor. The lobby was nearly empty. It was me and the airline crews. I went into the restroom to drop a “grogan” as my friend puts it…and at 4:30 in the morning the muzak plays some wierd crap…It was some kind of Latin-funk…not a bad soundtrack given the task at hand.

Now relieved of an unwanted passenger, I headed for the parking garage and a morning of hiking and photographing. I get up early because A) I shoot a lot of waterfalls, and they’re best photogrpahed either early in the morning, or late in the evening. B) I don’t like to deal with a bunch of other people ruining my shot swimming, or just gawking. C) This place was about an hours drive away…and I wanted to be at the waterfall when the sun came up.

I stopped briefly for a cup of coffee and some fuel at the AM/PM, and was on my way. There isn’t much better than a good cup of coffee at a early hour. Even a half crap cup of coffee is pretty nice at a early hour.

The drive was good. The radio played a nice mix of tunes, with limited commericals. The location of the waterfall was off of Highway 49…not exactly the middle of nowhere, but you could definitely see it from there. When I arrived at the parking area there was already a car there. This was odd. it was 6am…and someone had beaten me here?

The car didn’t have a menacing look to it, so I parked and started on the trail. 1/4 of the way down the trail it hit me, today was the opening of creek and stream fishing…The car belonged to fishermen.

A bit more down the trail I began to hear voices.

A bit more still I saw two people walking. One elderly man, and a kid about 12.

They had no idea I was there. I kept walking. Soon I was about 5 feet behind the old man. He still had no idea I was there. Rather than just walk by him…I decided to give a friendly, ‘Hello’

He was NOT expecting that.

He let out a yelp…I think he thought his time was up. I thought for a second I gave him a heart attack. He finally recovered and introduced himself..and his grandson…and told me a bit about the waterfall. I followed them the rest of the way to the fall. They set up and fished, I set up and took my pictures. 20 frames later, I was done and back at the car…ready to go back to the conference.


I got back about 8am…just in time to set up the art show. The conference has an art show, to showcase work from school throughout California. I brought down about 10 pieces. I placed them in a cardboard portfolio underneath the registration table the evening before. I had my name on it.

I went to grab my artwork from under the table.


I looked around the entire table.


I asked the man who was sitting at the table jacking his laptop RIGHT where my artwork was located. He said he hadn’t seen it.

He’s a lying bastard. I know he moved it. He’s an old crumudgeon by all accounts, and I’m sure it bumped his legs when he sat down to type…so rather than read the outside, or check INSIDE, he just tossed it into the scrap pile with the boxes. The other people working the table were with me when I put it there…so I know they didn’t do it.

I’m mad now. My best of show piece, as well as all my other show entries are NOWHERE to be found. I’m cursing up a storm and looking for someone who works there to take me to the trash area of the hotel.

I find a man who leads me outside to the cardboard heap. I get on my hands and knees and scrounge through a pile of cardboard…and low and behold…there is my artwork.

I’m really mad now. My presentation was in that portfolio too. The guy who works there senses my anger and responds.

“Ugggggggggggggggh. fgorgng,,,”

The artwork seems in decent shape, although one or two pieces are pretty dirty.

The guy sees my presentation and offers to make me more copies. He assures me he’s sorry this happend.

I tell him it’s not his fault…it’s that old d-bag at the registration. He threw it out. He still apologizes.

I grab the work and head back to the registration. That old cougar is lucky I’m a patient, nice person. I wanted to choke his ass out. I showed him the work and told him I found it in the trash. He told me there wansn’t anything here when he got there. The hotel staff must have moved it. He’s a liar. The hotel staff wouldn’t mess with our registration table, and look UNDER the table cloth to find garbage. He’s a bigger liar now.

I got set up the show…a guy from a school in San Diego helps me. It looks pretty good when we’re done.

15 minutes until my first presentation.

On my way to the presentation I see a guy who looks like Chris Daughtry from American Idol. I was going to take his picture…but I just never felt like tracking him down when I actually had my camera. I bet his students make fun of him all the time…he even had wrist bands on…and a David Bowie shirt. He wore his sunglasses the entire conference. I felt sorry for him…he was screaming for attention.

My first presentation got off to a rocky start. There was a guy from the previous presentation who would not stop selling his damn book. I’m standing there, in front of the room…ready. He’s still talking with people about some lame book he wrote. I hadn’t had a very good start to my conference day, so I was just about to choke him out when he finally saw I was glaring at him and left.

The presentation itself was short and sweet. I had about 30 fans there, waiting for my nuggets of wisdom. It was lame actually. A lot of people just left after my 20 minutes of yabbering was over. Then 10 of us stayed to discuss project ideas and things like that. Shop talk. I was happy it was over though. Then I realized I still had one more to do. UGGGGHHH. I really don’t want to do it again.


Lunch was alright. We had some chicken-esque thing. During lunch I won a TV in a raffle. I have a lot of TVs…I sold it for $100. It wasn’t any great tv anyway. After lunch we went to the capital building for a “rally”. Some of the state essay contest winners read their stories of how continuation schools rule, and had changed their lives for the better. It was the typical, “I used to be so miserable and disruptive UNTIL…” stories. They were good…and I applaud them for getting up and reading them. It was just too hot for me to sit in the sun for very long.

On my way back to the cool air-conditioned conference I stopped at Kinko’s. I had to get more copies of my presentation. There was some lady in there trying to make copies of her “free Jamba Juice” coupons.

“No…No..I just want to fit as many as possible on one sheet….it’ll be double sided right? You got paper like this kind?”

Some people. It was funny watching the lady who worked there trying to help someone buck the system.

Before starting round two of my talk, my principal bought he and I cocktails to make the presentations go smoother. He had two to do as well. Both of his were after lunch…I only had one left.

When I got finished it was time to set-up shop for round two. I had about 20 people in my second show. One lady would NOT let me talk. She kept saying ” Oh, this is what I do.., or ” I’ve tried this…and that and they work.” It became a show about her …after a bit I was fine with that and let her run…it let me sit and zone out.

A principal in the room tried to yak at me about the legality of charging an art fee. Whatever. I assured her I was not making it mandatory. I don’t…but I make it darn close. I wanted to tell her I used the fee to supplement my income….but I just couldn’t.
Near the end, the lady who wouldn’t keep her mouth shut told us all about a wonderful project she had her kids do…and just happened to have one with her. She ran anf got her project then spent the last few minutes talking about how cool it was.

it was a great idea, the example she had sucked though.

After my day was over…I hopped back in my car and drove back out to the hinterlands to take more photos. I was at about 5400 feet, and really out in the middle of nowhere. There’s a 120 foot waterfall out there (Bassi Falls) I arrived at my destination earlier than I planned, and hiked in earlier than I planned…so that put me at my destination about 1 hour earlier than I wanted to be there. My goal was to show up at sunset, take pictures for 20 minutes, and boogie back to my car very quickly. I like photographing outdoors stuff…I just don’t like being out there by myself. I’m a chicken.

I got there early…and there were still people milling about the waterfall…which was a very cool fall with a lot of huge granite areas to sit and relax. I was siitng, relaxing, the camera was on it’s tripod, waiting for sunset.

Here’s is a good time to mention…my friend refers to my tripod as “Shawn Bradley”, after the ex-NBA player who was 7′ 6″ and real skinny. My tripod is tall and lanky…thus the nickname.

I was sitting down…and a breeze came in…for about 4 seconds I thought, “wow…how refreshing…” Then I realized my camera was sitting on Shawn Bradley…and he wasn’t exactly a stable source.

I just turned to grab my camera when it went down…landing on it’s back (the screen side)


Damn you Shawn Bradley.

The camera still works. For some reason my lens is funky now…and has trouble turning.

Damn you Shawn Bradley.

Needless to say this was Shawn’s last attempt at ever holding my camera. I’m back to using my JC Penny deluxe model…it’s almost as bad.

I waited forever for sunset…and it would NOT come. I was all by myself on the top of this mountain. I hate that. I waited as long as I could but my internal animal fear got the best of me and I bugged out a few minutes before optimal shooting time.

I got back late. It was well after 9pm. There weren’t any party rooms this year…everyone just went out. I ended up meeting up with a few coworkers and we just sat and talked. It was fun, but not terribly exciting. We tried to go find food too. Downtown Sacramento is a terrible place to find food after 10pm…we found one place but the soup was like $9…and we left before being waited on.

I left to go find food. I went to school here, I should be able to find food….right? I went to a taco place about 15 blocks from our hotel…but the crackheads were swarming people’s cars as they tried to order in the drive-thru. I opted to not eat there. I continued to drive, and ended up at Jack in the box. BLAH.

Waiting for my food took FOREVER. I guess the car in front of me was a long lost relative of the guy inside…they sat and talked forever.

“What’s up BRAH!”
“DUUUUUDE brah what’s going on?”
“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuh dude…gettin’ out gettin some food dude…”
“Cool brah…you still see ————”
“Nah dude, you heard what went down right?”

They went into ‘what went down.’

I waited forever.

to try and cut some time off my drive home I opted to cut through my old college campus, and hit the freeway.

Just when you think you know someplace. It was so different. The first few minutes I was in full on flashback mode. “Ahhhh I remember this place…oooohhh there’s the pub….ahhhh” then there were new turns, new buildings…and the next thing I know I’m on my way to the ghetto.

It took me 45 minutes to finally get back to the hotel.

I ate and went to sleep.

In the morning we had our brunch/teacher of the year award. Brunch sucked.

When it was time for me to win my award…I had to go up with the other winners…to see who got the state award. It was me and 8 ladies.

“…and the winners were………co-winners….” (cool I have a better % chance of winning)

“Our co-state teachers of the year are…..”

Not me. It was two old ladies who had 67 years combined in continuation school. I had no chance. One of them looked like she was made of rubber…she was stretch-arm-teacher. I wasn’t too upset I didn’t win the BIG award. I was suffering from a severe lack of sleep by this time from my long day on Saturday. I just wanted to go home.

On my way out of the conference, I turned to look and I noticed this table…”Is it just me or is that table kind of fallic?” I asked a coworker. We laughed and spent 10 minutes wondering whether or not it was intentional.

The ride home was long, or at least it seemed like it. I wanted to be at home, and asleep so badly.

Overall, this weekend was the most productive conference I’ve had…but also one of the more boring as far as being interesting to write about.

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One Comment
  1. Eduardo permalink

    Did you actually get to sit at the ‘head’ of the flaccid dong table?

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