Friday, November 14, 2014

The Fort Worth IDAL Diaries Part One

Every year I would look at the posts of IDAL attendees with some envy thinking “maybe this is the year I should’ve gone?”  But the convention would pass and other things would make any feelings of regret become a distant memory. I should confess at this point in my story, that I was a transient IDAL member.  One time I went to Chicago as an attendee and we went to Charleston to kick-off our clothing line. If you were hit in the eye by candy or a beads then you will remember that event. But other than those 2 times, sometimes I was a member but most of the time I was not.

So why now? Did a bush talk to me? Was there a blinding a light? A sign on my toast?  Nothing so dramatic but one reason is simple and the other more complex. Simply, Texas is close to me and a good market for our business. I could drive and bring all my studio stuff which satisfies both my OCD and love of road trips. 

And the more complex? The environment for finishing is changing.  My biggest producers were aging out and there were not as many younger people taking their place.  The professional finishers are working harder to get better jobs with decent pay. The students attending my classes are sharing their frustrations and need for an organization that would better support their professional development.  At this same time, Lyna Farkas contacted me about heading a think tank to work on IDAL. It was the Magic Eight Ball moment-“All signs point to yes.”  So I headed a think tank, became a board member, and headed to Fort Worth to teach 3 classes. Go Big or Go Home! Isn’t that on the Texas flag or something?

This is all the stuff  prepped and packed for my class with the help of Emily and Jeanette!

Saturday, September 27th

So my trusty side kick Sue Hon agreed to join this adventure (are you Thelma or Louise? Which one gets Brad Pitt? Because that is me). And yes, that is a pill bottle by my leg.  Maybe I became committed because I am medicated? We drove Bruce’s truck that says “Bruce’s Balls of Clay” on all sides and the back which was the funniest thing about the trip until we stopped in Guthrie, Oklahoma for gas.

Now, I asked Sue (who is Louise thanks to a quick Wiki search about which one gets Brad) before we left, “is there any trick to this truck’s gas tank?” She looked at it and determined it to be idiot proof…hold that thought.  We stop at a truck stop to fill up and guess what? I can’t get the hose to fit in the tank.  How can this be? I try to call Bruce but no answer so I grab the owner’s manual frantically looking for the page entitled “An idiots guide to filling this truck.”  At this time a man drives up in the exact same truck. “Oh Sir,” says Sue in her nicest damsel in distress voice, “Do you know how to put gas in this truck?” He looks at us, determines our ineptitude and says “Do you want to put diesel in that truck?” Clunk. Sure it is a green handle and says Diesel all over…anyone could make that mistake right? Right?
To make ourselves feel better we stock up on road trip food which for me is Diet Coke and
Corn Nuts! What is a Corn Nut (besides a trip to the dentist) anyway?
And we stop in Edmond, Oklahoma to shop and take Instagram pictures.
Poor Jim, Sue's husband could not understand
why it took us 10 hours to get to Fort Worth.

We cruise into Fort Worth just in time to change clothes and meet my parents (who live in Oklahoma) for dinner. My dad is a guest speaker at the Southwestern Veterinary Conference at the same conference center as IDAL. See…Karma.  My Mom raves about Molly the Trolley so we board the trolley and enter the Gates of Hell. The TCU and SMU football game ends in a win for TCU and a loss for anyone else trying to drive or eat in the convention center area. Our Trolley driver seems perplexed and decides that keeping the door closed and going one inch per minute is the best choice.  Then we go off the route and pick-up a random person that flags down Molly. Somehow she convinces the driver to take her to her home! Are we really trapped in a cab? After over an hour stuck on the trolley, we arrive exactly one block from where we started.
The bright light is the Angel of Mercy descending to let us off Molly the Trolley!

Sunday, September 28th
My Dad treated us to a yummy dinner and we had a good night's rest after our long trip.. I begin the day like most Sunday’s with a run and photograph for my Facebook Fitness group. The weather is beautiful and I know that I will be spending the day in my First Board of Director’s Meeting so the fresh air is welcome.  We had a long but productive meeting spent talking about the needed IDAL reorganization. It is time to make some tough decisions with the hardest part yet to come...the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday!
I did get some cool Texas stuff from Theresa-the outgoing IDAL President and now Past President. I ate the fantastic cake and packed up the rubs for Bruce!
And Janie (outgoing Past President) brought Zombie Chocolates made by her husband. Perfect for me!

Sunday afternoon, Sue and I had the opportunity to stop by the JFK Memorial.  It really is a touching tribute and it a nice place to think about the week ahead on a lovely afternoon.

Things really get going once Convention Starts.....






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