Tattoos, Extra Souls and Westin Love in Atlanta

11 09 2012

Atlanta was a blast and served up cool people, comfy beds and gorgeous art. I was at the airport on Thursday by 5 am and – since I couldn’t be in bed – I did the next best thing, which was talk to a stranger.

The background: In the community where I grew up, tattoos are prohibited by biblical law and are not at all normative.  However, I have seen more and more body art on the road and know that tattoos carry deep meaning for many people.

Todd The Tattoo Guy! (And My New Friend)

Todd The Tattoo Guy! (And My New Friend)

Todd had the (good?) fortune of sitting across from me at the airport and so I seized the opportunity to chat with him about his tattoo.  Todd has always loved dragons.  His dad took him to get his very first tattoo at sixteen, and Todd waited fourteen years until his 30th birthday to adopt a second dragon on his leg.  Todd has always loved dragons and was even born in the year of the dragon.

Asking about people’s tattoos could make for an interesting social experiment around Austin.  Hmm…

All Hail The Mighty Dragon

All Hail The Mighty Dragon

Though exhausted from the flight, I was really excited for my Thursday presentations!  Every time that I have been faced with the grunt work of phone and e-mails for Faces, I forget about how much I love teaching.

It’s like a one-woman show, and I get to go up there and perform for people while offering educational content and important messages. Sometimes I feel like I am given an extra neshama (soul / spirit / energy) when I speak. Other times, I get so revved off of a speaking high that I just want to break into song or dance. Maybe I will on the last gig that I do!

Four Speaking Engagements in Four Days – Yay

Four Speaking Engagements in Four Days – Yay

A Small Parlor Faces of Israel Session at a Private Home in Atlanta

A Small Parlor Faces of Israel Session at a Private Home in Atlanta

I’m a nut for challenges and – during my Friday night presentation – I wasn’t able to use any film in observance of the Sabbath.  This meant that I had to keep ~100 Emory University students engaged for around an hour just through my speaking.  I got to ad lib, be extra dynamic and I even created cool educational techniques on the spot by having the students role play the scenario of proving one’s Jewishness to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate for marriage processing.  It was rockin’!

My women’s luncheon event was hilarious as there were loud whispers of “how old is she?” and “is she single?”  I had unwittingly walked into a room of southern wealthy Republican prospective mother-in-laws who wanted me to meet their sons.  The questions greatly amused me, though I just laughed them off.  No one is ever going to come close to competing with Roberta (Yair’s mom).

I had a couple days of play time meeting up with fellows RVers Chris and Cherie, and going for a swim and exploring the local farmer’s market with ROI and Schusterman buddy Yaniv.

Farmer's Market Adventure with ROI Friend Yaniv

Farmer’s Market Adventure with ROI Friend Yaniv

Chris and Cherie at the Apple – I Mean Microsoft – Store (Check Out the Store Layout... What a Knock-Off!)

Chris and Cherie at the Apple – I Mean Microsoft – Store (Check Out the Store Layout… What a Knock-Off!)

A highlight of the trip for me was that I got to stay in a Westin!  This might seem strange, but staying at a Westins feels almost as much like coming home as Arvie and the East Coast do.

You see, I spent almost a year living in the (super posh) Charlotte Westin during my former life as a management consultant and have such fond memories.  The furniture, hotel style and bathroom products just welcome me back in time in a really nice way.  (Tip:  If they charge for internet, just nicely ask a manager to waive the fee and they will.)

I was totally ready to come home to Austin and the co-op by the time the trip was over, but Atlanta ain’t too shabby!

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posted by ayo

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