Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tales of gem show madness.

Today it's grey and windy in Tucson. The forecast for the next few days calls for rain. Well, we definitely need the rain, so I don't mind, even though I have to do laundry tomorrow. I'm hoping that we get plenty of rain for the next week or two, and then it dries back up for gem show. As anyone who lives in Tucson knows, we almost always have the worst weather of the year during gem show season.

In case non-Tucsonans doubt me, let me tell you a story. Back before I started beading professionally, there was only one gem show that my family went to (this happened probably back when I was about 14), and that was the Congress Street Expo, which was right off of the freeway. It was one of those big tent shows with a dirt parking lot, with transient-looking people camping out in the patch of trees on the edge. It was the sort of show with cheap beads, hippies, and general "cool stuff." It was also far less crowded and easier to park at than the big show at the Convention Center, and free to get into. Basically a good way to kill an afternoon and pick up some jewelry and beads and doo-dads. This show has since moved to Tucson Electric Park, changed its name, and become more like a swap meet in a tent, but I digress.

During one of the last years that the Expo was on Congress Street, we had these huge storms. Being a cheap show, the Expo didn't have a real floor, so it was basically soggy, muddy astroturf, and it was kind of cold and drafty in there. But that wasn't the worst of it... One night, the tent collapsed. The high winds and the mud were too much, and it just came down. Luckily it was after hours so no one was physically hurt, but a lot of the businesses had it pretty bad. The supports for the tent fell down on peoples' booths, destroying displays and products. Tons of water got in. It was a MESS.

And I hear that a couple of years before I moved out here, there was an even worse storm-gem show debacle.

Needless to say, I'm very happy that I work at an indoor show these days, with a paved parking lot. I used to work in tents, one of which was a little better than the Expo and one which was really nice, but still a tent.

I spent a nice chunk of this afternoon on the phone with my boss Lois, making plans for said gem show. We've got it all figured out. With only two people working the booth (last year we had three) we had to plan things in such a way that we could both shop and schmooze, two very important elements of gem show. And of course we had to plan out our pre-show shopping, hitting those shows which will start a few days before the one we're working at.

I could talk all day about gem show, but honestly, since it's still almost 3 weeks away, you'd probably get sick of it fast if I talked about nothing but shows every post. That said, I will mention that today I am once again baking delicious tea cookies. The weather couldn't possibly be better for cookie-baking, and of course, I have L5R tonight, so there will be plenty of people to devour said cookies. Last time the entire batch went in one night, and this time I have to set some aside for Chris's tea-buddy at work.

My cookies need my attention now, so I'll leave you with today's Cool Thing: Delightfully Sinnful gothic dolls! If I had more room, I would spend some of my holiday money on one of these dolls. They're so cool!

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