Romantic Times #2014 Trip report -- Chapter 6 Grapes of Wrath
New the the Report? START HERE Chapter 1
New the the Report? START HERE Chapter 1
I’m writing this chapter from Florida. We are housesitting for a place in the retirement community. It has a pool in the back! How fun. My kids will have gills by the end of our vacation. I accidently wrote grills instead of gills at first. I think that would make a great name for a restaurant. Grills and Gills. I like that. But I don’t like fish. Anything that swims actually. Well, I guess cows can swim if a pinch. It’s just not their favorite mode of transportation.
Anyway. So I almost got in a fist fight with a Wal-Mart old lady today. Granted I was in Wal-Mart and I was hungry. Ever do that? The emotions that your body manufactures is what they use to make the atomic bomb. So much rage. Anyway I’m trying to get some god damn produce that my kids might eat so they don’t get scurvy (my constant battle) and I see some nice fucking grapes.
In front of the grape display is an old lady. I park my cart and wait it out. She’d blocking the whole display like she was a Gringott’s troll.
I observe her. She has one precious bag that contain “the ones.” Sometimes the pre-bagged produce is a giant rip off. You see it's $2.98 a pound but they cram 10 pounds of grapes in every bag. So she was, I assumed, reducing the weight. I get it. That makes sense. She’s there for like 4 minutes. Minutes in Wal-Mart stretch the time space continuum. It feels like you’ve lived a sea turtles lifetime per minute. I watch her more closely. She is taste-testing grapes from every bag. And selecting only the juiciest, best fruit for her precious selection bag. The husband walks up. I try and get him to get us a bag of grapes. No dice. He’s all, “We’ll come back later.” But that’s not good enough. There is some numbing anesthesia aerosoled through the vents in that damn place. And the minute you walk away you will be jazzed about the Gangnam Style shirt they have on sale.
And honestly this old chick’s bogarting the grape display is pissing me off. I abandon my cart and say excuse me as I make my way into her personal space. They I try and just grab the first bag and leave. Of course I grab her precious bag first. Not intentionally, but in hindsight it was kind of a boss move. I hold it long enough so that I can watch the anger ripple through her body. I realize I'm holding the grapes she has chosen for Cleopatra or whoever, so I drop it and grab my own.
The husband tells me the woman is staring daggers at my back. I look over my shoulder and tell her, “Bring it, damn it. I’m so hungry I'd love to fight.”
And then I left Wal-Mart. I bet that saying is uttered by 95% of the customers coming out of Wal-Mart. Did I tell you there was 25 registers and 2 were open? That’s right, two. Never, ever ever have I seen all the registers open at a Wal-Mart.
Lord help me Wal-Mart and I are on a slippery slope. I love their deals but you always pay in other ways.
Anyway, back to New Orleans. I tell the hostess that I’m to meet some girls and she tells me to look around.
I find Micha! (Why do I know have pictures with all of these women? I don’t know.) She and I have been buds throughout my whole publishing experience. We’ve meet before at Book Bash and I just love her. You would too. She is so fun and huggable and pretty. Anyway, then the ladies start to trickle in. CJ, Lisa, Traci, and finally Elizabeth. I hug them all. Even the ones whose body language was clearly saying, “You are one weird chick.”
We proceeded to have breakfast from the buffet. I made Elizabeth sit next to me. And we laughed. God we laughed and had so much to talk about. I got to tell Elizabeth thank you in person, which was long overdue.
We were supposed to be talking about our panel, instead we were catching up. After breakfast we retreated to a hotel room. Everything that happened there was wonderful. We did eventually get around to planning the panel specifics. It was a crazy fun out-of-body experience with a beautiful view. I’ve always liked the Omnific ladies but it was really cool to see them in action, making decisions and plans. They are really in tune with each other.
After I have my part down, and Lisa had grabbed my registration, I was out and headed to the lobby.
In the convention hotel there are a series of elevators that are ginormous. It had a button system like I’ve never seen before. You press a button and then it tells you which elevator to get on. For example, if I pressed 11, the screen next to it would say B. You (if you were a smart person) go wait by the correct elevator. And you don’t get in the others that open because they might take you somewhere else.
For serious I did not know how these worked until the third day in New Orleans. I would press the button and then wait in the center, bouncing on the balls of my feet, for a door to open. Then I would dash in. Then the elevator took you wherever the hell it wanted. So I picked up my phone and tried finding my sister and Karen.
As I get on the elevator, I see a gorgeous redhead looking at my boobs. And then Daisy, who is on the ball, reads my brand new name tag and hugs me. Author Daisy Prescott is a-fucking-dorable. We met in person at last years Book Bash and then again in NOLA. So I’m on the phone, Daisy and the other elevator hostages and I are talking to each other.
The door behind me opens, and I go to get out. Daisy yells, “No wait! That’s the third floor!”
I return to the elevator.
Let me just put this out here. I’m an asshole. I’m like a giant baby that needs other humans to help me get from point A to Point B. These helpers I find along the way are sent by God or my grandfather. They keep me from wandering into traffic, etc.
My sister was the first human to pull me away from an electrical outlet after she found me licking my finger and sticking it in. Yes I was doing it. Yes more than once. I couldn’t decide if it made me feel pain or cold.
Anyway, unknowingly Daisy became a Pam. Humans that keep me away from fire and traffic are really just another Pam. I bring this up now because it will come handy in later in this trip.
Next there was lunch. What the hell did I do for lunch? I can’t remember. There’s a picture of a pancake in my iphotos right between my dressed up outfit and the panel.
So I don’t know what it was. Let’s assume I went to Brad Pitt’s house and he made me and my sister and Karen pancakes.
Then, next we have my panel with my Omnific buddies. (PS if you saw me at lunch on the first day of RT, send up a flare.)