So, I went to my eighth Southern Comfort Conference, held annually in Atlanta. This was our second year at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, and things went far better than last year with the hotel. A lot of positive things, some weird ones, and a few missteps...
+ As I said, the hotel was far better than last year. They were not prepared for us, and it showed with slow service, problems with housekeeping, and backups. This year, they were well-staffed, things went a lot faster, and housekeeping was great. The staff loved us; we tip well and don't tear up rooms or cause problems.
+ The hotel is also across the street from Perimeter Mall, one of the best malls in the city. The stores are great, and their staffs were wonderful to us. I never had anything but the best service! MAC of course had a wonderfully professional staff. I got some great tips on fixing a problem I've been having with under eye circles; learned a lot about avoiding putting certain things there and the make up artist found the right concealer to use.
And then there's Bloomingdale's Yves St. Laurent counter. I was just walking past, on my way out, and ended up in a fun conversation with the make up artist and her boss-whos son owns a restaurant in Dallas. I had to promise to come back again to get my eye makeup done (hey, a girl's got her priorities)...
+ Seeing people who have not been to an SCC in some time. And seeing more new people than before, including younger transpeople. Also, more transmen than last year. Even though overall attendance was slightly down, the mix made up for it.
+ SCC once again had excellent presentations. We always manage to get some great people, and this year was no exception
+ Atlanta is a great city. The people are friendly and there are lots of things to do. I never had a cross word or odd look.
+ Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse is still the best LGBT bookstore anywhere, with a great selection of books and music, good coffee and pastries, and a wonderful location (Piedmont and 10th in Midtown). It used to be in walking distance from the old hotel, and is one of the few things I really miss with the new location.
+ Meeting Ronnie Rho finally. She's even more fun in person than she is online. We just clicked right off, going into total rifts on things and confusing one and all. That's a sign. She also helped me when I thought I had a major disaster on my hands (which turned out okay). She didn't need to, but she helped a lot.
+ Seeing Renee again. I forgot how great she was to hang around with. She's also great to conspire with-which is a plus in my book. She is trying to make me go to Frolicon, and tempting me with her wicked ways...
+ The usual suspects: Emma and her spouse, Divinyl and Jennifer. We always seem to see each other and have far more fun than we ought to. Great people to spend time with :)
+ My long-suffering roommate, Christianne. A year has made a lot of difference and none. And you're still one of the easiest people I know to get along with.
+ Starbucks. Because I wouldn't make it without coffee.
+ Andrea and Brooke are wonderful people to spend a day with, have a meal, share drinks. They make such a cute couple. And they're getting hitched soon!
+ The Fabulous Sabrina Pandora, a force of nature who is one of the best friends I could have. She's told me things I needed to hear, even when I may not have wanted to. And she's got the most distracting personality I know...
+ There are a lot of other people I have forgotten. Know that I am glad to have seen you :)
+ There is something so empowering about being in a place where you are in the majority. Hundreds of people who are like you, who you feel connected with, and who you can share an experience with.
- Atlanta traffic is killer. And it's so easy to get lost, espcially with the constant road construction.
- The gas crisis, which caused people to do silly things but thank goodness, was less of a crisis by the end of the week.
- Why do I find ways to cause me to mental? It's always little stuff, like wardrobe failures that make me take forever to get ready and put things behind. And then I feel pressure on myself to try to catch up again...
- Can someone explain to me why TSA agents in Atlanta have to act like pricks, while the ones at DFW are professionals?
+/- AirTran is nearly as good as Southwest, but their stupid fees suck. At least they are not as bad as American or Delta.
- There is never enough time to do all you want to at SCC. So it motivates you to come back, I suppose.
- You leave SCC on Sunday and things seem so different. And it takes time to get back to the world...