Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bienvenidos a Miami

Memo to Will Smith, Dan Marino and Sonny Crocket: you can keep Miami. That place sucks.

Beginning Sunday, I had to spend three days in Miami Beach for an American Health Care Association conference. It wasn't fun from moment one. On Sunday morning I went downstairs to meet the car that was giving me a ride to the airport. I litterally live about 15 minutes from the airport and I was going to be there an hour and a half before my flight.

Not bad. I don't mind being at the airport early. So I get in the car and I know this guy, he's picked me up before. He's a cool dude. We shoot the shit and I notice that he's not going the normal way through the Callahan Tunnel into East Boston.

"Where are we going?"

"Through the Ted Williams tunnel (in Southie)."

Whatever. Maybe it's a short cut. He's the professional. He should know. We get to wear we're supposed to make a left into the tunnel and there's marathon going on. A fucking marathon. We stay in line for over 15 minutes before he decides to drive around. Everywhere we go, we are met by the marathon and throng of people running on a beautiful Boston Sunday morning.

It's now 10:50. The driver, I think his name is John, is swearing and driving around in circles. We end up in Chinatown. Stuck in traffic. We drive around some more. It is now 11:05 and we're in Quincy. At 11:15 we finally end up at the airport. My flight is at 11:27. The ticket lady says I'm already too late. I realized my second worst traveling fear ... I missed my flight.

I wait around for three hours and get on another one. I touch down in Miami just before 5:00, any hope of doing any sort of work is out the door. I end up grabbing a taxi to my hotel, the Wyndham Miami Beach. Not a bad hotel. It's like every other Miami hotel though, it was probably once really nice, but it has deteriorated and no one has spent the time or the money to fix it up.

That's all Miami Beach is, a bunch of run down, buildings that were hollow and souless when they were new. Now they're relics of an era where Jim Crow still ruled and Miami Beach was THE place to hang. I was lead to believe that it still was. I guess I was wrong.

The one cool thing about this trip is that I literally had to work for three hours a day. That's it. But those three hours sort of sucked, I really had to put on my happy face and pretend that I actually loved everyone. "Come to our booth and win this camera!" "Yes sir, are prices are too but, look at the value you get!" "Please take a look at our catalogs." Whatever. You either want to buy this shit or you don't.

One woman in the booth next to us who was hocking maniucures-at-home was an overachieving power saleswoman. She'd try to take people that we were talking to, until I said something to her. What a pain in the ass.

The two people I went with were pretty cool: Paul and Chris. Chris and I didn't really hang out that much, she's a 50-year-old lesbian who has a kid, so we didn't have much in common. She was interesting to talk to though, she lives in Machester and used to commute every day to Leominster. She's really psyched that she doesn't have to do that any more. Now that's a crap-ass commute.

Paul and I had more in common. He's about my age, so we ended up getting a couple of beers after the conference and went out on Tuesday night. We were originally going to go to this place called Dellano. He went there with a bunch of chicks who picked him up on Sunday night while he was having a beer alone in his hotel bar.

He said this place Dellano is amazing. Lots of hot chicks and it's an outdoor bar that has a pool in the middle. Around the outside of the pool are a bunch of beds. He said it was very "decadent". In any event, when we went there on Tuesday, I saw probably one of the hottest chicks I've ever seen in my life leaving the bar (which was in a hotel). Smoking body, beautiful face, this was shaping up to be a good night.

Wouldn't you know that the bar was closed because it was a party for hotel guests. Ah well, I probably wouldn't have fit in very well there. That's a brie crowd, I'm more cheddar.

I went to the beach on Monday and took a stroll to the water. As I was coming back to my seat, I noticed a plastic cylinder. It was a hypodermic needle (sans needle). Nice place Miami. Beside needles on the shore, it was humid. Had to be 90% humidity every day. I was literally sweating my ass off just breathing.

On Wednesday, I was about to go the conference when Monica called up. Apparently something went wrong at a conference on Sunday and she was pissed. She didn't know what exactly went wrong, she was to meet with the complaint giver at 3:00, but for some reason she wanted me aware of this. You know me. I don't handle this sort of stuff very well. For the next five hours, I was freaking. Badly. I honestly thought I was going to be fired.

I called her around 4:00 and it turns out it wasn't my fault. Did she call to tell me that? No. So I completely got myself bent out of shape for nothing. Thanks. That fucking rules. It's definitely time for a new job.

Today I went to the doctor's about my Graves' Disease. Looks like I have it. I'm not worried though. I just have to take two pills every day for a year. AFter that I should be cured. If I'm not, I will get radiation treatments. My doctor is convinced that since the disease is so slight, the pills should take care of everything.

Am I a bit nervous? Of course I am a little, but I just have to have faith that I will be ok. If you were to ask my mom, I officially have inopperable brain cancer. That's what mothers do though. They worry. That's a pretty shitty job, but if your mom doesn't worry about you, no one will.

And yes, I get the irony of me getting pissed about my mom over worrying, while getting angry at someone else for causing me to over worry.

Last Friday Aly and I went to Ryan's new house. It's really nice. Big, old and has plenty of rooms for him, Kristen and the boys. This is THE house that you live in for the majority of your life. He must be very happy and content with it. They really had a tough time finding a place, but I'm sure it's all worth it now.

On Saturday, Ryan's folks invited us down for dinner with Aly's parents and my parents, Byrnie and Keri and Ryan and the boys. We had a good time. Bill cooked both turkey and ham and we played bocce. I love days like that, drinking, goofing around, hanging with family. It was a good Saturday.

I'm pretty tired right now, so I'm out. I have some other things to say, but I'll wait until either tomorrow or Saturday.

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