Mexico, Day 2


All morning, we ended up meeting and giving talks. We presented our Content Management System to everyone, and gave an overview of how we envisioned the coming months. We’re looking to move everyone off of Dreamweaver Templates, and breaking down roles/permissions so that various tasks can be delegated and assigned.

While I’m really proud of all of our work on this, there’s no real easy way for me to show it off here just yet. Suffice it to say, the last four weeks have been nothing but this CMS (or, as we’re calling it: The Mothership). Beyond that, though, there’s been a solid year of work before now, to say nothing of the conversations that took place prior to that year.

The CMS stuff is going to fundamentally alter the way our webmasters create, update, and manage their respective sites. Good stuff.

1st iguana spotted, right outside the meeting place. This is like the third or fourth shot I took, mainly because I had to keep wiping down the camera lens. To give you a sense of the temperature differences… inside the meeting area, it was air-conditioned. Walking outside, my glasses (and my camera lens) immediately fogged up.

Elephant or anteater, your choice. As it turns out, the hotel staff choose a new animal/thing each time they clean the room. Towel origami!

I spent a good while just hanging out on my balcony. I think I cracked open a Tecate and started reading “The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint,” a novel by Brady Udall. I’m a big fan of his short stories, and so far I’ve been pretty happy with the novel.

After a bit, I slapped on my sandals and did some more wandering around. Happened to catch this little guy scurrying around.

I honestly am not sure where I am here. I just started walking, and came across this large courtyard area. I’m hoping this gives you a sense of the size of the resort.

As should this. Walking by, I first thought it was some sort of display case. But my guess here is that, in the event of a very large fire, hotel staff will come here and… put on this shit, and fight the fire themselves? I know the resort is a bit far away from the rest of the city, but sheesh.

Hammocks aplenty.

Wandered back to that sweat lodge area. Talked to the guy there some more and found out I had to set up an appointment with the hotel to use the premises.

Dinnertime! Everyone broke off into (pre-assigned) groups, and my group was assigned to have dinner inside the Japanese restaurant. L to R, it’s Gayle (Phoenix), Brian (Los Angeles) and Rob (Indianapolis).

Rick Cummings (President of the Radio Division), along with his wife, also dined at our table. I decided that perhaps, for this meal, I should try not to eat with my hands and use utensils instead.

As we did last year, each group got a “quiz” they had to completed. Some questions were technical, some were less business-oriented. Here’s Anthony (Chicago), helping us to cheat by trying to call up Cathie (back in the States) for answers.
Tony (St. Louis) and Gayle (Phoenix).

Did I mention we had some drinks right before dinnertime? Here’s me and Keith (New York).

After dinner, Brian convinced me that I should go grab a nearby umbrella off the buffet table and pose with it. Unable to argue with his logic, I complied.

Before I knew it, the servers started bringing me various other props, including this fake palm tree.

Brian, helping our group compose a “group poem,” which was one of the assignments.

Initially, Deb wanted me to read some poetry on the final night. And in all honesty, I felt a bit awkward. The context seemed a bit weird, and it really didn’t seem to fit, in my opinion. Instead of me reading, she decided to have each group write a poem together.

I suggested the exercise that Billy Collins gave, back when he taught a workshop at the Ohio State University. Basically, the first and last lines of the poem are already written. Each person then writes down one line, and passes it on to the next person. You can make the line make sense, or make it ridiculous. Up to you. But whatever you end up doing, the person after you has to either run with it, or go off on their own tangent.

You’d think this would produce some ugly stuff but, more often than not, it works out remarkably well. As an exercise, it shows how certain logical leaps can work to benefit a poem.

At any rate, this is us, working on our poem. Which I insisted NOT rhyme, incidentally.

I think I started a trend. Not five minutes after I got done posing with the umbrella, a nearby table ended up asking for the props and started taking pictures.

They stole my bit!

After dinner, everyone met back up at the lobby bar and hung out for a while, chatting. L to R, Cheryl (Indianapolis), Adron (St. Louis) and Phil (Chicago).

Keith hams it up for the camera.

Mia and Mike, talking shop (notice the hair wrap that Mia’s got). Getting your hair put into braids is, apparently, the thing to do when you’re on vacation in Mexico. I’m not talking one, I’m talking getting ALL YOUR HAIR put into braids.

Towards the end of the trip, Ben and Justin were practically begging me to do it. They even offered to pay for the braids.

Statue of Liberty!

Chris, Orlando (Los Angeles), and Justin.

Shortly after this, everyone sort of dispersed. Some folks ended up going to the club on the premises, others took a cab and went into town (Playa del Carme
n), about 15-20 minutes away. Debating what to do, I ended up hanging out with Amanda (St. Louis) and Cheryl for a good long while. By the time we parted ways, most everyone else had gone off.

I ended up talking with one of the bellhops in Spanish for a long while, while waiting for a resort bus. I knew there was a disco somewhere on the premises… but it was dark. And I was fairly in the bag. And in a burst of good judgement, decided to wait for the bus to take me instead of just walking in a random direction and listening for music.

At the club. And right around here is where I don’t remember things.

Matt and Angie and me.

Adron (St. Louis) and Phil (Chicago).

Angie and me (that would be a Cuban cigar I’m smoking, which I got courtesy of Rey).

This is some god-awful shot of… lemon something. I don’t really recall our trip back to our rooms, and I don’t recall my declaration to the group that we should go “wake up Rey and party in his room.”

I don’t know if there were other cameras besides mine there. I shudder to think of what kinds of pictures might be floating around out there.


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