I have worked for the better part of 2 years trying to find a new home for MFM. It's been a VERY trying experience because of how the market has been (with New Orleans still not back to 100%) a lot of conventions of moved up river to Memphis. Plus for MFM we need a LOT of public space (the old hotel was 37k square ft) and to get something affordable, with the proper con space, in a good neighborhood was a daunting task. But one of the hotels that I had talked with in the past had restructured and opened as a conference center and hotel and we talked, found that we would be VERY happy each other and a deal was struck. I really did have to look at this year that this might be the last MFM. It's not something I wanted but I felt like I had hit a wall on many levels and my frustration level was off the chart with some issues. But with this......the issues we had in the past with the now old hotel and the chance at a new home and new beginning of sorts I had to make sure that everyone remembered why MFM was special to them. I have to make hundreds of hard decisions for MFM each year and I know that I'm not well liked by some for some of those decisions but I do what I do to see things keep going. So I plotted and planned with my cohorts in crime to make a lasting impression. I wanted #1 to make sure everyone remembered why there were there, #2 I wanted to make sure that everyone realized I was trying to find us a new home and #3 I wanted to really have the chance at a fresh start. Yes I used shock value but I did get my points across. When I said this was going to be the last mfm.... it was...at that hotel. I had left clues all over through the weekend that MFM was going to keep going (just look at the last page of the con book at the MFM 2010 ad, the skunks are carrying moving boxes) pre-reg forms in the con bags and more. I also used the Furry gossip network to it's full capacity. But when I spoke at closing I meant what I said. We have survived so much over the years of MFM and many times the question comes up "is it worth it?" and as I once again saw in the happy face and hearing the kind words....yes it is worth it. When I made the announcement and had the video run, you could feel the oxygen leave the room with the collective gasp......the video ran and the "goodbye" was said to the old hotel and "hello" to the new hotel the mood changed to a huge roar of celebration. The staff worked their asses off this year making things happen even though many came on a shoestring budget, some lost jobs, lost friends and we were ourselves fighting all to keep going as individuals and as well as a collective. We had staffers that were not able to come so some did double and triple duty covering for those that weren't there. But we did it. We made MFM 13 the best we posswibly could and look forward to a bright new future down the road in Olive Branch Mississippi. for those that haven't seen the new hotel, it's the Whispering Woods Those that went with me on Monday to see it were blown away by the layout, convenience and location. It's gonna rock!
We finally got home late on Monday and by the time we unloaded the truck, returned the truck and got to bed it was 130am. Tuesday was back to my normal work week with the "real" job, had catering on Wed and Thurs this week in the evenings and my Thurs social group our regular facilitator was out so I got thrown in running things at the last minute. Tonight is another last minute catering gig for a party at the bar and tomorrow is putting things away in the MFM storage unit and back to my normal Sat shift at the bar that night. I AM sleeping in on Sunday!
This week also celebrates my one year anniversary of having my motorcycle license again after a 25 year lapse. Last year the weekend after MFM I spent 26 hours in class over 4 days and was proud that I was able to pull off a 100% on both my written and riding test. I love my motorcycle and it really has been my escape a lot of times over the last year and I'm sure will be more so in the years to come.
Life is pretty good and I think going to get a lot better!
Hugs y'all off to gear up for catering tonight!