Monday, March 14, 2005

My Florida trip was, as I may have mentioned, perfect in that it was rainy and overcast but warm. (I’m not sure that my fellow conference-goers felt the same way about that.) The streets were curiously empty of people, which may have just been because it was a downtown on the weekend. Still, that was a bit eerie. Also, the area around the hotel was like a giant gated community. It felt very artificial and claustrophobic. I can’t believe that people pay the toppest dollar possible to get into those kind of areas.

I used the power of MapPoint to find the nearest Kinko’s so that my friend/colleague (frolleague?) Melanie could copy her presentation onto overheads. We got slightly lost on the way, so I had to stop and view the map again on the way (see photo of me inside my portable computer-viewing booth [i.e. jacket]).

Later I escaped the conference to patronize a local bistro kind of place, where I had the traditional classy Florida lunch of chicken satay with a can of Boddington’s.

I also took a picture of the restaurant’s cool Vespa calendar specifically for Mark, but the low light made it blurry. I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with the pint I drank.

I really wanted to visit the Aquarium, but by the time the conference sessions were over at 5 on Saturday, it was closed. (What kind of a tourist attraction closes at 5 on Saturday in the height of tourist season?)

Tampa has a convenient and quaint little trolley, which I took to the Latin Quarter (Ybor City). I think that was my favorite area there; the streets were blocked off and full of pedestrians. The populace was less uniformly white there, which seemed less unnatural. I also liked the cobbled streets and older architecture, even though the whole area had obviously been made into a giant tourist trap. There was a cool vintage store, where I bought a tie for the evening’s dance back at the hotel.

(As you can see, the tie really completed the effect of my suit. Annie Lennox, eat your heart out.)

A guy on a street corner in Ybor City enthusiastically offered me a personality test, which I declined, saying that I was a psychologist. When several of my frolleagues arrived, we walked past the same guy, and a few people thought they would go along with it for a while, until we realized that he was a shill for the Scientology storefront around the corner (they apparently thrive in areas where there are plenty of tattoo parlors.) When we then declined, saying we were all psychologists, he jokingly (?) made an anti-vampire kind of cross with his fingers at us.

We also saw a most excellent mullet, of which I managed to get a hasty photo.


argotnaut said...

That may be my most favoritest picture of you yet! Can you send me a higher-res one? Darnit, you're The Glamourous One.

I was just telling Frinkenstein tonight that I need to cultivate my inner goth again. My classmates think I'm Sandra Dee. Ha! Looking all boring makes me feel old and undesirable.

argotnaut said...

And wait a minute, are you flashing some gang sign? Secret psychologist club mudra?

liz said...

No secret sign, just trying for the Sears model effect...but when I smallified the picture, it made my teeth look orange. I swear they're not like that in real life!

Mark said...

Ohhh... I want one of those calendars!

I second argotnaut's comment, that is a nice pic of you in the suit.

Andrew said...

Is your "man suit" a product of your gender-oriented paper?

Also, yes, you look very Fran Drescher-like in that photo. Wait! That's a good thing! I think she's actually very attractive until she lets loose with the nasal, "goose huffing helium" voice!

liz said...

1. Unfortunately, one pint was not quite enough to make me drunk enough to steal the calendar.

2. The dance had some gender-whatchamacallit theme or other. My paper leaned more towards vitamins.

liz said...

3. Oh, and the lady who was taking pictures said I looked like _Mic hael Ja_ c kson_. Real flattering, youse guys.