16 August 2008

Crinis 2008.

I'm warning you guys now, this will be kinda long. I suggest getting a sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk before proceeding.

Tonight was the 2nd annual Nevada Renewable Energy Leadership Award Banquet, otherwise known as Crinis, or "rays of sunlight". Aptly named for an event hosted by Solar NV, I think. Anyway, I did go, though I was incredibly nervous, and I didn't even have to slam shots to feel at ease.

I showed up early to help out a little, then was introduced by Deidre to Cili's house riesling..it was delicious and sadly I didn't catch the name. That's not the point, really, but after paying $9 for that I stood back, as most everything was ready. The items for the silent auction were really excellent: a certificate for skydiving, a mounted and framed American flag donated by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), a NASCAR ride-along, a Capitol Building keepsake box, two really nice restaurant comps, a gift basket from Trader Joe's and another from Whole Foods, and the one that I knew I must own: a matted and framed print of Nellis Air Force Base, with the solar panels and jets on a fly-by both visible. I was only barely able to keep calm. Julia (who I'd just met at the bar as we both ordered wine) came up with a fantastic strategy: if we don't bid at first, and stay away then no one will notice what a big deal it is, and we'll likely win. I decided that was a pretty awesome way to go; I set my sight on the print, she had hers set on the Whole Foods basket.

We talked for some time as the hors d'oeuvres made their rounds. Remembering how alcohol turns me into someone not always appropriate, I merely sipped on the riesling, and declined any food at the moment. But that was fine, I got a chance to meet with others and talk a bit; plus, Julia and I had picked strategic seating to allow us to see most of the guests and also who was hovering near our items. At one point, several of us were joking about sniping or otherwise turning the auction to our favour, and as one man leaned over to look at the Nellis AFB print, I mentioned that I had no problem taking out whoever won that item and running, with or without my heels on. He laughed (luckily, because as soon as I said it I realised that it was likely not the nicest thing to say) and soon thereafter we were asked to find our seats.

Then came the speeches: I have atrocious hearing so I missed most of what was going on, but Congress-hopeful Dina Titus (D-NV), made a short speech, followed by Solar NV's president, Allison. I know several people were recognised because a few stood up but as I said, I didn't quite hear why. Steve was presented with an award as well; I know he was Solar NV's president last year so I'm wondering if it was due to that. After all, he's been with Solar NV since the beginning from what I understand, and has a plethora of proper contacts with media and other green and/or renewable-friendly organisations. What really freaked me out, though, was the guest of honour...when Dr. Robert Boehm stood up and made an acceptance speech for his award, I realised he was the one I made the comment to. You know, about taking out whoever won the print I'd been eyeballing. I can only seriously hope he knew I was kidding.


And then speeches were over. Salads came, people talked about everything, mostly renewable energy but we met a Bulgarian girl who was intensely interesting and we spoke of international politics for a bit, which was refreshing. Between courses, Julia and I checked on our bids, hoping to look inconspicuous. And yes, I was still only sipping the wine, which I intended to finish by the main course: yummy chunk of cow, risotto, and asparagus...mmm! Before the crème brûlée arrived I wanted to freshen up as my hair was wanting very much to be swallowed, so off I went (pausing momentarily to check bids of course) and on my way back to the table something possessed Snow to call out to me from across the room to meet everyone at the G&G table. Some I had met before, others I hadn't, but I shook hands when appropriate and kept my answers short and concise. As far as I know, I won't be getting that paycheck on Monday, as I bid them good evening at the first available moment that wasn't rude to do so.

In the middle of enjoying my crème brûlée, an announcement was made that bidding for the items in the silent auction would be closed at 21h00. I set my iPhone's alarm to 20h57 and then Julia and I hovered over our items from a short distance away. The alarm went off, I made my bid, and was pretty confident...then another bid came in right at 21h00, even as I looked at the time on my phone it said 21h01, so I was all depressive (in a really nice, proper manner) and the other party conceded...but seemed pretty upset...which made me feel bad...it was odd. I'm not even detailing it because I think somehow it's more complicated than I feel like typing out. At any rate, I paid through Paypal on the spot and was able to take the print home with me...and I would post an image of it here except that I'm seriously exhausted, this entry is long enough as it is, and it'll give me something to write about next time. :)

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