Old Apr 2, 09, 12:37 pm
  #7  
violist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203
Checked out between sessions and picked up an early lunch
at Peachtree Center's food court, a dismal little affair.
Special Thai Cuisine seemed the best choice, but the rather
Chinese-looking lady behind the counter seemed unduly
pleased when I actually made a purchase, which was a combo
of chicken in red curry (not enough flavor; the heat could
be doctored with the available Sriracha, but the lack of
basil, onion, and coconut could not); fried tofu with
vegetables (actually pretty good in a Chinese sort of way);
and a substrate that was styled as pad thai, but was about
as Thai as I am (it was lo mein-style rice noodles). Back to
the classroom for more sessions, then the UGA Symphony,
which gave committed and intense performances of Webern's
Langsamer Satz and the ballet music from Romeo and Juliet by
Prokofiev.

Off to find my room and my presenter, whose early career it
turns out had been facilitated by a grant from a fund whose
general counsel had been my high school dream girl's dad
(small world). I had actually very little to do - make sure
everything was set up, which it wasn't, give a little
speech, moderate any discussion (there wasn't any), and
sign continuing education credit forms.

After presiding over my session, which was marred by the
audio being on the fritz, I stayed over for the next, an
intro to jazz improv by Christian Howes, presided by my
friend Babette. This presenter brought his own audio
equipment, a good idea.

I finally excused myself to check in here at the Marriott,
where the blessed computer kiosk gave me a deluxe room on
the 39th floor with a very similar view to that I had had
from my seat at the restaurant the night before.

The bathroom was slightly less nice than the newly renovated
one at the Hilton, with a somewhat mildewy shower curtain (I
complained, and it was replaced); otherwise the room was
superior because of the noise issue and slightly nicer
furnishings.

glasses: fairly nice glass
toiletries: hotel brand I believe, ginger citrus, pleasant
wireless: $12.95/day, includes unlimited local and LD calls
bed: king with okay firm mattress, 5 pillows, 2 kinds

A reception in the exhibit hall, where a passed snack of
rubbery sweet satay provided not enough sustenance. Babette
was representing the Mark O'Connor workshops, and we chewed
the fat with those people and a couple of the makers with
nearby booths, and then I tried without success to find
someone to go to dinner with. Apparently, the satay
substance had provided enough nourishment for them, either
that or I was being even less charming than usual.

So off to Trader Vic's in the Hilton, because I had a
coupon from the last night, entitling me to a pupu platter
and a Mai Tai for $10.95, such a deal. Plunked me down and
sat while a totally slammed bar made dozens of umbrella
drinks for a large party, and sat and sat and sat. Now the
very pretty blonde waitress could have done a few walks up
and down to the private function, distributing cheer, but,
no, she stood there doing nothing until two huge trays were
full, and she and a sidekick took them unsteadily off to
their destination. And then, what did the bartender do but
start making a third trayful ... so I left and checked out
the scene back home.

Pulse is a striking bar overseen by a sailboat thing that
reminds one of the Burj-al-Arab; the clientele largely
imports - the cream of Atlanta youth at its most fashionable
and vapid. I escaped quickly next door to High Velocity,
equally depressing but a sports bar, so I could fit in
somewhat more easily. I had an excellent Sweetwater 420
ale and an order of screamin' hot wings, which were sort
of murmuring warm and of mixed levels of tenderness and
freshness and proper cookedness. I got one short of my
dozen, but by this time I didn't care and had to head off
to the next event.

Which was a truly spectacular concert by the winners of the
Alternative Styles competition, elementary, junior, and
adult (to age 26 I believe) divisions. I was totally blown
away by the talent of these kids. Unfortunately, there was
a dearth of printed programs, and I have no idea who them
were. I'm sure I will recognize some of them in the future,
though. Afterwards, there was a jam session, but I was
pretty tired, so off to bed.
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