I’m a feature writer for a magazine, which sounds more impressive than it is, but one of the perks is that I basically got a free trip to Asheville for the association’s annual meeting.  My trip was blink-and-miss-it quick, but still pretty great.  On the Saturday before, I drove to my parents’ place for church, then continued up to Charlotte to spend the night at Ed’s place (he moved recently).  We hung out that evening, and in the morning I drove the rest of the way to Asheville in time for the educational sessions.  I’ve never been to that sort of meeting as an attendee, and it was so nice not having to worry about exhibiting or meeting planning for a change.

At some point I looked around realized there weren’t a lot of people there my age, and one of the first sessions was about bridging the generation gap in association membership.  The speaker talked about the typical member of Generation Y—most of which didn’t apply to me.  I don’t tweet, don’t have a smart phone or an e-reader, and I’m more old-fashioned than most 50-year-olds I’ve met.  The speaker paused and asked any members of the audience born after 1981 to stand up.  Five of us stood there awkwardly as 50 or 60 middle-aged executives looked at us as though we had possibly just come in from the moon.  “And who among you is the youngest?” the speaker asked brightly.  That’s right, I was the youngest person at the entire conference.  I won a free book for being the baby, which I had to go to the front to get from the speaker.  For the rest of the conference, people would wander by me and say, “Well hello there, YOUNG lady!”  I guess there are worse things to be known for?

On Sunday night we were bussed to a downtown Asheville hotel for a swanky reception.  The food was great, but the reception included loud music, a silent auction, an open bar, and a comedy routine, the combination of which was basically the antithesis of my interests, so I took off by myself to explore Asheville in the pouring rain.  Most things were closed, but I got to see a fair amount of the place, and I found I hadn’t missed a thing when I got back.  While perusing the small gift shop for lack of anything better to do, I found a small section of used books.  The elderly fellow manning the shop said that the hotel allowed him to put a few used books out for sale.  I was very excited to find a beautiful book of rediscovered writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I didn’t even know existed, and the sweet old man gave it to me for only $3 because he was so glad to see it go to a loving home.

After the educational sessions ended on Monday, I stuck around to go ziplining, conveniently located at the hotel.  I have to say, it was a blast, and I felt sorry for the guides on my tour for having to deal with my adrenaline junkie ways.  I was put on a trip with a family on vacation, and they very kindly got a video of me zipping.  I drove home later that night, marathoning one Radiolab episode after another until my brain threatened to explode.  I’m working on listening to every episode; right now I’m working on 2010, and I highly recommend checking them all out.

I saw the new Trek movie with a bunch of friends (actually a few weeks ago, but I’ve been busy!), and for the most part I was awfully disappointed.  This review expresses my feelings pretty well.  After reading a few quotes from the Trek Powers that Be, however… *plumber’s voice*  “Well, there’s your problem, ma’am.”  Speaking of movies, here’s a rather depressing article: At the movies, the women are gone.

In happier acting-related news, check out my brilliant brother’s new website!

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