It's the Ocean State, You Know!

10:30 AM - I pick up the "road machine." The 4-to-the-floor, kick ass, HAWSOME (thanks, Wil) vehicle for my three day business trip to that no man's desolate wasteland known as...

...Rhode Island. Newport, Rhode Island, to be exact.

So this is going to be one of those trips where I have to put in an appearance as the designated "trainer" for the Northeast Region's Sales Conference. In corporate speak, the words "Regional Sales Meeting" loosely translates to, "Three days of massive drinking, hangovers, and contests to see who can get into who's pants." This is of course a rough translation. But, never having been to Rhode Island and getting the chance to drive there, I decided to take the plunge. Lorraine, putting in her designated appearance as "HR representative" to ensure that if anything uh, naughty, does in fact occur, that it is at least semi-officially "sanctioned" by Human Resources, asked if she could ride along with me. Being 5 months pregnant (her, not me), I acquiesced. So, no screaming metal for the drive - that was okay. I've been blowing my eardrums out anyway lately. We jumped into the road machine (see below) and took off.

Yes, it is the precision, mechanical perfection that is the 2006 Nissan Sentra.

Driving along 95 North for over 3 hours with a short pregnant woman is about how you would expect it to be. Since the first couple hours were music-free, it gave me a chance to think over the gameplan for the meeting.

Normally, my modus operandi is to be as quiet as possible, slink along, and hope that nobody notices me so I can get back to my room as soon as possible after the meetings and group dinners. This usually works when I'm with my boss, since she can then take up the slack. Solo is a different story. Especially when I'm no longer drinking (25 pounds lost so far, 7 more to go). So I decided I would try to be sociable, smile as much as possible, and then slink back to my room ASAP. When I got to the hotel room, I practiced smiling in the mirror a couple times to make sure I had my "Yes, I totally get you and I'm having a blast here wih salespeople" face:

Just a little more practice, and I'll be set for the dinner tonight. More details to come when I return.