So last night I finally crashed again, and despite a nap and some pretty intense foot pain (hills. Why do they make cities with hills?) that I massaged out, the day was pretty awesome.
As predicted, got up, but a bit later than I wanted and so we rushed to go get breakfast, which was decent enough. We could bitch and whine but it was hot, it tasted good, and it gave us critical energy for the day, so what the hell would bitchin about it accomplish, y’know?
Good coffee, too.
After breakfast, there was a bit of wandering, including CVS (which saw us four times, lol), as we got our bearings for the walk between hotels. The day was warmish, again, for which I am thankful, and we made it over to the hotel to register after seeing a bit of the area and noting possible future places for food and meetings.
The Hilton was a pretty typical Hilton, and I noted right away they needed to staff up in the one main level bar/eatery. It was going to get a really heavy hit over the next few days. Today was the Youth stuff, so a lot of the amazing people who work with the younger advocates and activists in the community where there, and throughout the day, the energy was building along with the people.
Right after registering, I fell into meetings with several people, and started seeing folks I only really get to see once a year. I’m only going to drop one name this post, because this isn’t about “names” so much as it is about reconnecting with people who inspire, who interest, who attract, and who amuse you. But they are people from whom I learn a lot even though I don’t always see them or even talk to them — I know they are good smart people and often people who, like myself, sorta prefer to work without being seen.
There was a lull, and we headed back to the room, where there was some catching up on stuff, trips to CVS, and other things, mostly while I napped, the cold having kicked my hind end and worn me out. After a couple hours, we went out for my Birthday dinner to a Brazilian place that was very good but slightly pricey, and then after that we dove back into the conference with a vengeance, not getting back to the room until an early 9:30.
Sober. I only had one drink. Was too busy enjoying myself and saying hi to other people and meeting new ones and soaking in the spirit and energy and did I mention that I really enjoy the feel of this thing?
It is like that feeling you get when you go to a concert by a band that has been having trouble, and it is packed and you are all kinda bothered because people are antsy and unsure but there’s no real bitching, its all excitement and hurry and this is going to be and hey, look, over there and the next thing you know you are just sorta floating along with a thousand other people and its more than just a concert, its a total experience man.
Just that kinda natural high. Normally salted with lots of alcohol starting at about 6:30 pm. But that’s a common thing to a lot of the community, in the broader sense (and our own Trans community as a whole, as well.).
So into the dark room we go and we are meeting and greeting, hugging and laughing, joking and kidding, business cards floating, memories being retouched, catching up on changes and new stuff asked and unasked. Smiling, and then, out of the corner of my eye…
There is a little face. It is on a little person. I recognize it, but have to do a double take.
It is indeed Jazz.
Introductions follow. She is absolutely just as adorable in person. And very much an 11 year old. Reminds me of my granddaughter.
Was a nice little birthday present surprise.
Floating, saying hi, old friends and new again follow, and then we begin the hobbling back to the hotel once more, still thankful that the night air, while cold, is not frigid as I expect it to be following tomorrow’s projected storm.
In the room, it takes a good long while to wind down, to prepare for the morrow. Simple stuff tomorrow — Institutes, each of the three of us attending a different one, with my probably dancing between two of them.
Finally, as it passes 2:30, I sit down to write this.
Next year, the Conference will be in Houston. After that, Denver. After that, Chicago. It is a new thing to say where it will be ahead to me.
If I see the set up committee, I will once again ask and bug them about Phoenix. I know why it doesn’t come therein the winter — too expensive. We are where people go to escape the cold, lol.
Yet I know my Phoenicians would treat them right. They are awesome people.
I have already started to — and the conference is only really just starting…