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Monday, March 22, 2010

Mama, I'm Coming Home!

This weekend marks a very important moment for me...well, technically, two very important moments. Not only am I returning home to sunny South Florida with the mister (you might know him as Kevin, or @sundriedcoder, or the boy that I'm always tweeting about which causes you to throw up in your mouth, get the idea) and introducing him to MamaOrlandoTechNuts, we're also making the trek to Orlando for...wait for it....freaking Orlando .Net Code Camp, 2010! Heck yes! Both are very big deals to me and I couldn't be more excited!

This is actually the first time (ever, ever) I've been really excited to bring a guy home to meet my mom. Before Mr. Kevin came into my life I looked at the "Meet the Parents" fiasco as a necessary evil...and dreaded it every single time. I brought my ex-husband home kind of on accident. I needed someone to help me transport my poodles, Willard and Griffin, home to Jupiter from Orlando because I couldn't bare to do the drive with them alone again. (Inevitably, one of them always ends up on your lap, very shortly followed by the other one...and then you end up careening off the side of I-95 because you can't see over the massive pile of poodle fluff in your face. Game freakin' over.) In any event, my brother decided he had something better to do than help his sister, so I had to resort to asking the guy (Mr. Ex) that I was quasi dating. I was on the fence about him so I wasn't jazzed about him meeting my crazy family, but alas, in the spirit of getting Willard and Griff home to their poodle brothers (yes, there are two more: Patrick, and Little Ed. We like poodles. Shut up.) I ended up asking the man formerly known as Mr. Megan Hopkins for his assistance.

On the car ride there, I silently planned how "the drop" would go down. I figured I'd call my mom when I was about 5 minutes away from the house, have her come outside, grab her two fluffy children, wave to the newly acquired almost-though not so sure what he is-boyfriend, give her a hug and kiss, maybe extend my palm looking for some cash, and then get back up to Orlando STAT. That way, I figured, she saw the guy, but didn't have a chance to talk to him...AKA embarrass the living crap out of me.

Sadly, it didn't happen quite like that....or ANYTHING like that, for that matter.

Instead, Willard managed to launch his fat poodle butt out of the door as soon as we parked in the driveway, causing Mr. Ex to get out of the car in hot pursuit of fat, black, spoiled poodle.

And then he met my mother.

And then she invited him inside.

And she was wearing her ratty scrubs.

And then she put on her lawyer cap and interrogated the living hell out of him.

And then my brother, Casey, came running downstairs with "family videos" and naked pictures of me (when I was little).

And then my other brother, Kevin, told the story about me eating the last piece of his birthday cake (many, many moons ago) when I was chubby.

And the humiliation continued.

And then I tied a cement block around my feet and threw myself in the Intracoastal Waterway.

Seriously, though. It was awful. (Maybe I should have taken it as a sign of things to come, but clairvoyance was never my strength).

I am, however, quite excited for Kevin to meet my mom. I have waited a bit to bring him home, (mostly because we moved clear across the country together shortly after we met), and I vowed to myself to not bring a guy home again that I didn't think was the real deal. I've never been more certain about anyone or anything in my entire life so I'm very ready for whatever naked pictures, fat pictures, humiliating stories (you get the idea), that gets thrown our way this weekend, by way of the Mother. (He has already met my brothers...and they approved :) It is a nice feeling knowing I'm bringing him home by choice and not because a couple of poodles need an escort. I guess that's what love is?

After we see my mom on Friday evening, we are waking up bright and early and heading to Orlando for Orlando .Net Code Camp and to reunite with the old crew. To say I'm excited about this is a massive understatement. One of the things I miss most about Florida (other than my mom, brothers, and girlfriends) is the development community. I made a great group of friends and leaving all of those guys was one of the hardest parts about moving to California. Since I've landed here in Cali, I've started to rebuild my "network" in the development community, but truth be told, nobody can replace my buddies in Orlando.

I tell candidates a lot to focus on finding their tribe and really taking the time to get to know those people. Usually, your "tribe" consists of people that share the same passions as you do. For me, that was the group in Orlando. Some (*ahem* Fabio...ScottyD...David...) have moved, too, but most of my tribe is still in Orlando. It is going to be wonderful to see everyone again and see what they have put together for Code Camp this year. Last I checked, they have over 500 people registered, with more registering each day, and a good group of awesome and well known speakers. From Silverlight to MEF, to Windows Mobile/Phone, to SharePoint to SQL to DotNetNuke, to Technical Interview Prep to Social Media pointers, Orlando Code Camp is chalk full of great topics and a track for anyone with an interest in emerging Microsoft technologies. I've seen a preview of the Silverlight Streaming presentation by Kevin Rohling (my boyfriend...assuming he survives his encounter with MamaOrlandoTechNuts) and it is freakin' sweet. I'm really interested to see the different presentations on Windows Phone (finally, MS is getting is right! Suck it, Apple!), and will be checking out MEF U, and as many of the others ones as I can squeeze into. Code Camp is free to all that register and if you register, lunch is included, too! (Make sure you check off that you will be eating, though, and if you want a vegetarian lunch, make sure you say so!) I have the honors of being lunch lady extraordinaire, so look out for my smiling face (hair net and all) as I serve up yummy sammies to accompany all of the technical yumminess you'll be getting! As always, there will be some great sponsors there (Carl Dunn and Ryan Bell from The Force!) and some even greater raffle items! The fun doesn't end at 5:00pm either...for all that are interested, there is a pretty sweet After Party, too! For more information on Orlando Code Camp, please check out their website! You can register there so be sure to do it! For those that are tweeting on Twitter, make sure to follow @OrlandoCC (hash tag OrlandoCC#) for additional information!

This weekend is going to be a flippin' party! I can't wait to get back to Florida for a little sun, warmth, "Meet the Parents" humiliation, and technical goodness! For those of you that aren't planning on hitting Orlando Code Camp as of yet, get with the picture and put it on your calendar! After all, folks, if I am flying clear across the country, you can get in your car and drive a few miles...and if you need an escort, I heard my ex might be available. (Poodles optional.)

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