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A very snowy night and a Major Award

I would like to have just one day. Just one day (!) where I do not have to thump on someone’s parade at work. Seriously, today it was a conference call for what was my big hairy project for 2006 that is now thisclose to being finished (and has been handed off to my replacement in my former role, although I sit in on the meetings as an advisor/ consultant/ Yoda figure) and when one of the users pointed out a serious design flaw in the app’s logic, the developer just confirmed that yup, yep, that’s how it works, yep, you nailed it and was just going to steamroll over the issue until I took myself off of mute and basically cried “Oh hells no” except in project coordinator-ese and then a very sullen and dejected developer scurried back to their corner. I’m pretty sure that they didn’t want to deal with it because the issue seems like it’s cosmetic, but in actuality, I suspect it speaks to a flaw in the internal logic of the app and oh my god, I just read how boring this shit is and please forgive me and I’ll try to be funnier. Fart cookies!

So, when last we left, I was heading out to the BFE suburb to meet up with Mary Kaye in the party suite she had for the occasion. I decided to take the highway, because while the city is pretty half-assed during a snowstorm, the county normally has their shit together and the beltline is their highest priority. And I was right, the roads were fine, but visibility was unbelievably awful and my windshield wipers were icing over constantly. Fucking winter!

Mary Kaye looked seriously drop dead gorgeous in an absolute perfect Gwyneth Paltrow-type gown and antique rhinestone cuff bracelet. Seriously, it was like being in the company of an Oscar winner. I was going to wear one of my collection of Igigi wrap dresses, but given the fact that the weather outside was frightful, I opted instead for dress slacks and a Kiyonna wrap top (with, as Esteban called it, a Judo belt) and the little black shrug sweater (purchased on a whim from Torrid but should have purchased twenty because I wear it almost everywhere) with heeled but stable black pumps. I was the first to arrive due to the roads, but soon we were joined by her cadre of supporters and then it was time to head to the college across the river. I figured I’d meet them there, since I already planned to cut out early, because I was worried about the level of accumulation and my 15 mile drive back home. Mary Kaye asks if I know where Pope Hilarius’ cafeteria was, and I say Yes, and off we all go.

Except that when I get there, the cafeteria is deserted and the lights are turned off. Given that the dinner was at 5:30 and it was, at that moment, 5:25, clearly I was in the wrong spot. Plus, there were no cars pulling up, no fancy people getting out, nothing. I drove around, looking for the rest of the party, but the snowstorm had gotten worse and it was difficult to identify even the color of passing cars. I finally parked and tried calling Mary Kaye’s cell, but apparently I didn’t have a correct cell phone number for her. I tried searching my Gmail through my phone. Nothing. Then I called the house and asked Esteban to search through our caller id for a long distance area code that he didn’t recognize, which he could only do if he was not on the phone. Great. He called back and had nothing. I drove around some more, but the snow was so bad that you couldn’t even see where roads were and where parking lots ended. I drove up at least three curbs trying to find places to turn around. I called Esteban back and asked him to log into Pope Hilarius’ website and find the cafeteria. He found nothing, just names of halls and references to the cafeteria (and student’s favorite dishes there) but no mention of where the cafeteria actually was. I flagged down a kid struggling to drag his trombone through the snow and asked him where the cafeteria was, and he gestured back in the general area of everything in the world. Helpful, thanks! But I could understand his dismay, because the weather? It was a shit bag.

Then a car passed me, turned around, honked, and then slowly passed me, as though urging me to follow it. Aha! This must be one of the party, sent out to fetch me! I followed it through the campus until it parked and then someone got out looking pissed, someone who was not part of Mary Kaye’s support committee. I wanted to cry. How could this happen when all we did was cross the bridge! If it hadn’t been thick as peanut butter outside, I would have been able to actually see the hotel from where I was! WTMFF!

At this point, it was 6:15 and I had had it. The speeches were either mostly or already done and I could think of nothing else to do, so I went home (which took another 45 minutes), put on my pajamas and demanded that Esteban watch Shrek 3 with me.

Yesterday, Mary Kaye called to find out what happened. It turned out that she didn’t have my cell phone number in her phone and apparently when you walked into the deserted cafeteria, there was a sign telling you to go somewhere else, and I didn’t see anyone because they had to park three blocks away and walk through buildings to get there. So yeah, the whole thing was fubar and I was very disappointed to have missed Mary Kaye’s big night and speech and all of her recognition for being the first person in the history of Pope Hilarius to come out publicly but also pioneering the awareness of GLBT issues and leaving a lasting legacy on a very conservative Catholic campus. Ten years ago, I was so afraid that when she came out, they were going to expel her for some bogus reason, but instead, they gave her a Major Award and a big shindig in her honor. Clearly sometimes I don’t give this town enough credit, but it just makes the surprise and delight that much more enjoyable.

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