.....A brief conversation, started somewhere in the social media landscape.....
Marji Vecchio [author, instigator-in-chief]:
oh gawd, the stories are already coming in as to remind me why I hate CAA...thanks folks, for confirming why I went home last week and not as tourist this week. DO NOT GO TO BOTTINO, FYI.
NEWSgrist [aka Joy Garnett]:
Life is too short and too good to clutter it up with any or all: conferences, committee meetings, meetings that don’t include some form of alcohol, controlled play, endless panels. Bad food. Name tags. Did I forget anything? Bedbugs. Long flights to an entire weekend spent inside a hotel. Comfortable shoes. Corduroy. Greasy glasses lenses. Long papers read out loud. Long lines to the only hotel Starbucks open at that hour. Sweaty armpits at the committee table. Committee tables. Dry scones. Dry art. Professional competitiveness. Interviews. Taking a number. Slipping resumes under doors. Pretending to enjoy the performance. Being the third wheel. MSG poisoning because you thought that after all that you should treat yourself to the filet mignon on the museum’s dime but didn’t reckon that even the best restaurant in the Marriott uses heaps of MSG. GMO cornflakes. Overcooked coffee. Overpriced bourbon. Powdered eggs. Polyester draperies. A view of the parking lot. Broken air conditioning. A strange rash from the sheets. Did I leave anything out??? The trots. Sinus infection leading to légionnaires disease. Fear of flying. Taxi rip-off. Speeches. Endless pattings on backs. Ugly branding. Ballpoint pens that don’t work when you need them. Embarrassing encounters on escalators with the very person from 3000 miles away that you figured you wouldn’t bump into and hoped to god you wouldn’t, but who spotted you across the crowded lobby like a laser-guided ICBM. Coffee stains on your last non-smelly shirt. Heartburn. Pickpockets. Broken strap on your favorite bag. Bad wifi. Wall-to-wall carpeting from the eighties.
Eve Sinaiko [author, editor]:
Powerpoint. Forgetting the thingy that lets the laptop connect to the projector. People thanking each other over and over on panel after panel. No trash cans anywhere. Jargon. Jargonjargonjargon.
... Of course, the thing I really have the most trouble with is the fact that an awful lot of people still recognize me, whereas I am a moron and can't remember who anyone is and have to look at their badges even though I probably worked with them for years and really liked them and they probably stayed at my house and I probably borrowed $5 from them that time when I hadn't had lunch since the day before yesterday and I helped them get their dissertation published and twisted their arm to review a book.
Steven Mesler [who blogs about making art for the Huffington Post, among other things]:
Pitchers of ice water, hard candies, stackable chairs, no one knows which light switch dims the lights, room dividers, easels used for signage not art, rooms named after the Great Lakes or Canadian Provinces or Vice Presidents, diet coke, badges with names and tribal affiliation that you forget to take off when your out looking for a pharmacy because you forgot your toothbrush (again), tourist magazines on the nite stand and gideon's bible in the drawer, not your iron, stain guard sprayed on every surface, flat screen TV's that wouldn't fit in your apartment much less the wall space because your an artist and you live art and so you keep that on your walls, cheap bad art everywhere on the walls, lamps that rip off brancusi's endless column, staff in bad ill fitting stain resistant outfits, not one scrap of litter, running into important professional people who's name you have totally blanked on while standing next to someone who you should introduce and calling them "buddy"....
And little tiny coffee makers in the bathroom, and "continental" (this is code for they manufactured your waffles and scrambled eggs in another country) breakfast, and wake up calls, and broken wheels on your luggage with a handle that is a half inch short of being comfortable to roll behind you, and parking garages, other people's ideas of "great food",no subways fucking no subways, nice people, gift shops, and pocket guides to the conference with no maps...
And boarding passes, taking out your ID and panicking later because you stuffed in your pocket because you had to take off your belt, pat downs that brushed against your naughty bits, layovers in Minneapolis, food courts, carry-ons, beverage carts, aisle seats, coach class walking passed first class, a pocket full of business cards, knitting seat mates who are chatty, being charged $2 by credit card only for the two pronged headphones so you can watch a Romantic comedy starring two former child TV stars from the eighties about their hilarious funky house in the wilderness of Connecticut...
And lastly, shit I left my phone charger back at the hotel and can't call my ride when I get to the airport because my phone just dies.
...windows that are screwed shut, hidden thermostats and noisy heaters, $500 deposits above and beyond the two nights stay because you are an artist and don't have an American Express so are operating on what cash you do have on your debit card, that same debit card getting declined while trying to buy that toothbrush (and a trashy magazine you would never buy in NYC and that you hope that important colleague who's name you just remembered wont see you buying) because you never travel to Memphis/Chicago/Indianapolis and therefore the bank was concerned so you give the magazine back and pay for the fucking toothbrush with the change left over from the Charbucks coffee and protein platter from this morning, at which point you get on the phone with said bank, get debit card hold released which takes 38 minutes which makes you late for the lecture that now you can't focus on because your wondering if that deposit is going to be released in time to pay rent on Monday.