Dance it Out

On Tuesday night, the conference held their big event at the History Museum of Mobile. They had a large buffet of gulf specialties such as shrimp and grits, gumbo (not gumbalaya), jambalaya, fried shrimp, fried oysters, fried crab claws, and fried green tomatoes. I tried it all.

I have an appointment with a cardiac surgeon to clean out my arteries next week. It was worth it.

The food was great even though they only had tiny dessert plates available to put it on. They might have thought that those would keep people restricted to reasonable portions, but I wasn’t the only one trying to balance three tiny plates and walk at the same time. After eating, my coworker and I checked out the actual museum.

IMG_5931I cannot imagine what a nightmare it must be for a museum director to have people not only eating in the museum, but also partying with an open bar. He was very nice and I had the opportunity to visit with him at several points while I was looking around, but bless his heart. That must have been a terrifying evening.

Before visiting Mobile, I had no idea that it was the original home of Mardi Gras. I’ve never been to Mardi Gras, so I know almost nothing about it in general, so I was quite excited about the extensive historical information available.

IMG_5865I thought the most interesting part of it was the information about the mystic societies in Mobile. The secret societies are Mardi Gras social organizations that host balls for their members and participate in the parades. I want to go to a ball. I need to move to Mobile and make some classy friends.IMG_5868I also need a magnificent jewel-encrusted robe.

PicMonkey CollageThe museum also featured a significant amount of information about their participation in the Civil War and their maritime history. The flag from Harper’s Ferry:

IMG_5876 IMG_5887How terrible would it be to be the manpower in a Civil War submarine. No thank you.PicMonkey Collage1

They also had a traveling collection from Alabama artist Roderick Mackenzie. He traveled to India in 1893 and there was an entire room of his photographs, drawings, and paintings.

IMG_5899Oh and this dinky little thing:IMG_5903I’ll take two.

The other awesome part of the museum was the dollhouse collection. Dollhouses give me the creeps in many ways, but these were nothing short of magnificent.

IMG_5927I really enjoyed this scandalous bathroom art:IMG_5916 Sexual.

IMG_5911IMG_5929After seeing most of the museum, we joined the dance party. It was nuts. The conference was the southern sector of our national organization, so it was a solid mix of people who had truly incredible dance moves and the rest of us who were dorks with wine. Two lovely gentlemen reenacted Katy Perry on her giant cat thing at the Super Bowl. IMG_5938

IMG_5933I danced for hours in my cardigan because go dorky or go home.

IMG_5947We had an awesome time.IMG_5950They even hired members of the famed Mobile Excelsior Band (you can see my video here) which was fabulous because we got a tiny taste of Mardi Gras since we missed the parades.

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They were terrific.

On Wednesday we wrapped up our final meetings and headed to Panini Pete’s for our last greasy meal of the trip. Best panini of my life.

IMG_5942We walked around and managed to see a little bit of the historical downtown area, but not much. I wish had more time to explore, but I guess that means I just need to go back.IMG_5944Then we flew back to Texas and spent two hours sitting on the runway in Houston thanks to a busted oxygen tank. Thank God for good books.

Also, look what I found for you Grace!

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Greetings from LA

Not that LA, Lower Alabama! Mores specifically, Mobile, Alabama.

After about half the amount of sleep I wanted on Saturday night, I woke up at an ungodly hour and headed to the airport. I met up with my boss and some coworkers and we made our way east for a conference.

IMG_5806We had the joy of flying into a cold front, so that made from some fun times aboard the tiny aircraft. Thankfully, we arrived safe and sound Sunday afternoon. I made sure I had a room in the upper floors of the hotel, and I was greeted by a spectacular view.

IMG_5812Or not.

That night we headed to the opening session of the conference. Jon Vroman was the keynote speaker and he was full of energy. He is the author of several books about living life on the “front row” (as in actually participate in your life). He also started the “Front Row Foundation” which gives adults and kids fighting critical health challenges the chance to attend the concert of their dreams in the front row. He was an enthusiastic speaker and I really enjoyed his message. Well, I enjoyed everything until he made us hug. We had to full body hug two people for three  to six seconds. I hated it. Especially since my lovely colleagues decided to group hug me for an unacceptable length of time. It was awful.

After he finished, they set up snack tables (fried appetizers for days!) and showed the Super Bowl on the big screens. I stuck around just long enough to watch the Katy Perry circus. I’m sorry, but if she could sing live (I realize it was pre-recorded, but it was still live at some point) or dance, then she wouldn’t need all the distractions. But, I will tolerate her annoying self because MISSY ELLIOT.

She is so ridiculously talented. I hope this means we are going to see more from her in the future. Sadly, only one other person at my table knew who she was (someone seriously asked if it was Lil Jon), so that was pretty depressing.

After the halftime show, I zipped up to my room to shower and watch Downton Abbey. And ugh, EDITH STAHP. Also, that was not at all what I was expecting as the “one thing you can do” for Lady Mary regarding Tony. I need more Mr. Blake in this show.

Then I watched the last few dramatic minutes of the Super Bowl which worked out perfectly since I could talk about it on Monday as if I watched the whole damn thing.

Monday was the first full day of the conference and I attended several sessions about the world of registrars. It’s so fun to be surrounded by people who share the same passion and are seeking to improve our profession. That night one of our vendors took my boss and I along with several other users from other universities to dinner at Wintzell’s Oyster House.

Our host ordered fried green tomatoes, onion rings, fried crab claws, and fried and buttered bread. It was all wonderful. And don’t think for one second I didn’t have hearty helpings of each dish. Because my hunger knows no bounds and I was determined to eat oysters in Alabama, I ordered the Oyster Sampler. The platter featured four of each of the following: Chargrilled Oysters, Oysters Monterrey, Oysters Bienville, and Oysters Rockefeller.

IMG_5830From the left: shrimp, crabmeat, and parmesan; cheddar, jalapenos, and bacon (or, Nacho Oysters); peppery butter, parmesan, and romano cheese; and then spinach Oysters Rockefeller. I didn’t care much for the nachos because melted cheddar isn’t my favorite, but I still fished the oysters out and ate them. The other three types were incredible.

I rolled back to the hotel and was in an oyster coma by ten. Then I woke up with heartburn about 27 times, but I regret nothing.