Delhi, NY; Chippy update; Dad update
I had an audiobook loaded up to listen to, kissed the dogs and Chris goodbye and headed out. I had 3/4 of a tank of gas when I left at 10 am.
The drive was long, but with the massage action of the seat cushion, it was more than bearable. The foliage was gorgeous and when I hit my last highway, it was a two-lane road through the country, near the Catskills and even more gorgeous.
I got to the Buena Vista Motel at about 4 pm. And it was not even half as bad as the reviews claimed it was. My biggest beef was that they still had me down for one night instead of two, even after Marty (from SUNY Delhi), Cindy (from Wolfman Productions, who booked me) and I called to confirm two nights. But it wasn't a problem and the owner was very nice when he checked me in.
The room was standard roadside motel, but no hair dryer (thank goodness I thought to pack my travel one) and the travel size shampoo was a squeeze packet (thank goodness double I packed shampoo and conditioner). The room was clean and comfy. I crashed for an hour and then Marty picked me up at 6pm to take me out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant. The food was great and I got a bubble tea to go. I love that stuff!
The next morning I got up to get breakfast in the hotel lobby, which was basic continental style, but homey. I couldn't get my laptop to connect to their wireless connection, so I gave up and decided to head out to the SUNY Delhi campus to see where I'd be speaking. I didn't make it and ended up driving on a road in the back woods, admiring the foliage and ended up in Oneonta. I did some shopping at a BJs there, as well as JC Penney, then had lunch at Denny's and headed back to the motel.
I discovered that some McDonald's have wifi, so I called the one in Delhi and sure enough, they had it, so I headed there, bought a milkshake (bad Jayne!) and checked my email and caught up on things.
I went back to the motel, showered, changed, got my things ready for my talk and headed to the campus. I got lost. It's a small campus, but there are too many one ways to figure out. So I went to the campus police office and the woman there helped me get to Farrell Hall, where I was speaking. Marty and two students helped me bring my books and things in and I set up.
I joked around with the students as I set my laptop up. I brought candy with me (what college kid doesn't need chocolate, ha ha?) and talked with students as they came in.
I began my presentation at 8 pm to about 30 students and when I got to the part about Myspace, where I showcase a male and female student who put up too much info, the room howled when I showed the girl. It turned out she was working in the food court next door and someone ran to get her.
She was shocked that I found her profile and that it was so easy to find. She was shocked to realize her full name was there and I did a free white pages search to discover where her parents live. She was even more shocked when I quickly showed a post from her blog about some extremely personal things she wrote online. I gave her a locking diary (paper version) and told her to change her preferences and put her deepest thoughts in the diary and not online.
Someone called the guy I profiled - he put his dorm room number and told people to stop by and had photos of himself with a joint. He's 18 and his Myspace name was smoke2joints (not exactly that spelling).
I then talked about Facebook and how students will approve anyone to be their friends. To prove it, I found Delhi students, asked to be added as a friend and sure enough, one girl did. Without even asking me who I was and why I wanted to be her friend. So I profiled her, and how she put where she lived on campus and her cell phone number. Hello?
She messaged me the next day ticked off I showed her profile "to the world." She should never have added me as a friend. I could have been a predator.
Marty was over the moon afterwards and told me how wonderful I was. In fact, he called Wolfman Productions and they sent me the following email:
I spoke to Marty this morning and he started the conversation with, "I am a very jaded guy when it comes to reviewing a speaker. I have been in this business way too long." He then went on to say that Jayne was "PHENOMENAL", "I have not been this impressed by a speaker in a very long time", "blew people away", "very personable", "accessible", "very relevant", "entertaining for the students", "every school needs to bring her in", and "we will be bringing her back next year".
He just got back from a conference and was swamped but said he will be writing a glowing letter later next week.
Thank you Jayne......this is fantastic!
Thank you, thank you very much (as I take a bow).
I am blushing!
Chippy is on the lam again. He disappeared for a week last time and it's been almost week now since I saw him. But Sweetie has been coming by almost every day to take his place and almost ate out of my hand yesterday. Another chipmunk with a long tail (I'd mentioned this one as being the one Chippy "threw" at the lawnmower in a previous post) showed up this morning and ate sunflower seeds off the fence post. Chris has named him Julian after King Julian in the movie "Madagascar."
I want my Chippy back!
Dad looked great when I saw him today. Much better than last week. The dark circles are almost gone from under his eyes and he looks like he's gained some weight back. His voice was raspy, but otherwise he seemed stronger. Chris' sisters, Debbie and Sandy, were there. They got in yesterday and leave Sunday. When I arrived, it looked like a party was going on - the hospice nurse and visiting nurse were both there.
I gave Debbie and Sandy and Mom a stuffed moose dressed in hunting gear holding a pencil as a gift and hugged them all. I told Dad about my road trip and had him laughing.
Their brother, Bill, who has been in a nursing home for many years due to his Multiple Sclerosis, was going to be coming over at 12:30 pm. Someone from the nursing home was dropping him off and picking him back up. Since I knew it would probably be an emotional time, I left before he arrived.
I love Mom and Dad like my own, but this was their family thing and I did not want to intrude.
Chris said it went well and we're both relaxing tonight.
We watched the movie, "Over The Hedge," last night and laughed our butts off. We needed to laugh.
I'm off to Monterey on Monday morning. 5:45 am. Blech.
But we're having dinner with my best bud, V2 (aka Vivi aka Vivian) and Bob.
That will be good.