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Saturday, 1/27/01 and Sunday, 1/28/01 - Weekend in Richmond

My weekend was pretty uneventful, spent mostly in the RV, writing and reading. And doing things around the RV.

I finally got around to emptying the tanks in the RV - a task that proved much more difficult with the new sewer pipe setup (for those who didn't read earlier entries, I broke of the pipe and had a quandry about repairs.) I had to back the RV up right on top of the sewer opening and then practically crawl under the RV to reach the pipe with the hose. I'm going to have to do something about this eventually, but for now, I'll have to "rough it."

For Superbowl Sunday, I thought my sister would call to invite me over to watch the game, but she didn't, so I watched it myself, although I flipped channels a lot. By default, I was rooting for the NY Giants, but decided I preferred the Ravens once they started really kicking butt. So much for team loyalty.

I also watched "Survivor" even though I never really followed the first one. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Ultimately, I just wanted to see who got kicked off which I think is really everyone's motivation for tuning in.

I've been feeling a little guilty for watching so much TV. At first, I was RVing without a TV or VCR and I ended up reading more books than I had in years. Now with the TV, I feel like I get sucked in. I even turn it on with the sound off or nothing particular on the screen, just to have its presence. I think I better go back to reading books! toni

Monday, 1/29/01 - Midlothian, Life in the 'Burbs

I went to visit my friend Toni at her home since she had the day off, and she invited me to stay at her place instead of the campground. So I parked the RV on the cul-de-sac in front of her house in the heart of suburban Midlothian, Virginia, and settled onto the sofa in her family room. This would be my spot for the next week.

The Berts were relieved to be on solid ground and in a warm house, although they were not too pleased to be sharing the house with Holly, the 70 pound, eight month old black lab. At first, Holly just wanted to play with the little chihuahuas, but once Chewie decided to attack her, she was determined to show them who was boss.

Staying with Toni is my exposure to "normal" life - 3 kids, a dog, a house, a husband, a yard, 3 cars. All of the things that I haven't yet had (other than the dog part). Each time I visit, her boys have transformed from toddler to kid to pre-teen to teenager, and its like watching a condensed version of rearing children.

Toni and I went shopping, ending up at Sears where I spotted a long, blue blazer that I liked. She convinced me to try it on, and the next thing I knew, I had a blazer, a skirt, a blouse, a sweater and two pairs of matching tights - a totally coordinated outfit. And it was made of polyester so it would hold up nicely in the RV. Toni knows me very well, particularly my jeans and turtleneck style, and was amazed that I actually bought the outfit, saying how "grownup" I looked.

Toni has been my dearest friend since we met in the 1980s when she hired me to open the Charlotte office for the company where she worked - EastCoast Entertainment. That was my "big break" into the music business, and Toni and I really hit it off, even though we came from totally different backgrounds and were leading totally different lives. We're still nearly polar opposites, but we can be apart for years and then see each other and it is like we've been together all our lives.

We rented some movies and watched them both - "Passion of Mind" with Demi Moore and "Gossip." We started falling asleep at the end of the last one so went to bed soonafter. Ah, life in suburbia.

Tuesday, 1/30/01 - Newport News, VA

I left by RV in the morning to drive to Newport News, Virginia for a speaking engagement. I arrived in the afternoon, snuck the Berts into the hotel with me, and a few minutes later, the maid walked into the room without knocking and Chewie went ballastic. Needless to say, I snuck them back out and made them stay in the RV for a while until I was sure the manager wasn't going to appear at my door.

I ordered room service and got ready, putting on my new outfit from Sears. I had the woman who picked me up from the hotel to bring me to the speaking engagement take a photograph of me in my new outfit so I could email it to my mom who would be very impressed. speaking

The speaking gig was at Chistopher Newport University and the audience was less college-aged students and more people from the community, particularly boomers and seniors. I spoke about my experiences as a woman online and observations of women on the Internet and how we are portrayed in the media and advertising in conjunction with technology. My speech seemed to go over well and the audience asked a lot of excellent questions.

Afterward, there was a reception and many people came up to me to talk about Internet issues. Overall, it was a good event. I got back to the hotel exhausted and ready for sleep. I did, however, first get the Berts out of the RV, snuck them back inside the hotel, and we all went to sleep on the king sized bed.

Wednesday, 1/31/01

I drove back to Richmond in the morning and stopped by Toni's office so we could have lunch. Then I drove back to her house and watched a video she had rented the night before, "What Lies Beneath." I thought it was pretty scary - good thing I watched it in the afternoon.

It was another suburban evening, sipping Miller Lite in front of the big screen TV, chihuahuas warm and cozy and family sounds buzzing all around.

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