Scenes from an investment conference at 7 a.m.

Rev Run (of Run-DMC fame) said something interesting on Twitter, that you never lose when you love; you lose when you’re afraid to. Hmm. I’ll get to that later.

So Day 6 of my 7-day Montreal adventure is upon me. I will be in customs at this time tomorrow, heading back to sand and sun and bullshit.

I’ve had my phone mostly off for a week, thanks to international voice/data charges. It’s been heavenly.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve had a few calls and texts, most notably from my mother — whose calls I never answer — who taught herself how to take a photo and sent a photo of herself to me to remind me of her.

(Gee, thanks for the data charge.)

I spent the first few nights by myself here. It’s quite a difference with this group from the Ye Olde Workplace Establishment of days past. We worked for a bigger company, but were part of the coolest division within it. The people in our division were the Teletubbies — we were all really good friends who spent every waking (and some passed-out) minutes together.

I was surprised but ultimately happy to be on my own for the first few nights. Then everyone started asking where I kept disappearing to. So I’ve been present the past two nights.

It’s different from years past. But I gotta say, it’s been worth it.

It think the cast of characters at every job has been a cross between “The Island of Misfit Toys” and “The Real World.” While I may never find the group of BFFs from my ill-fated Awesome Department (thank God I still have those people in my life. Thank. God.), I managed to find a group of very astute young people who are actually kind of a riot outside the office.

Two of us rolled up to Crescent Street the other night, which is sort of the Clematis Street of West Palm Beach or Carson Street in Pittsburgh. Canada had just triumphed over Philly (boo) and the streets were FILLED with thousands of happy Canadians in my high school colors of red and blue.

Just fair warning: They take hockey seriously here. I didn’t realize the Canadians and the Maple Leafs were two separate teams … and got corrected by a VERY angry cab driver about that. Screw them — Philly lost. (Did I mention, boo?)

So we ended up at Sir Winston Churchill Pub (on the British side of town, clearly), and my new friend said that I seem like I’m drowning.

That caught me off-guard. I don’t think she was talking about work. I didn’t ask — I just contemplated it.

I guess I was just so unfamiliar with being out and having fun. I do it on occasion. But I guess I don’t ever thoroughly enjoy myself anymore. Work, home, friends, boys … everything’s good — even great sometimes — but not of the remarkable and memorable and “I can’t wait to get out of bed because it’s going to be the best day of my life” caliber. But then again, what is?

At the pub, as if on cue, my fun sat right down next to me. James is a sailor from Scotland. And when my gal introduced me as her boss, he was very interested.

And I let myself … just for a few moments … get caught up in it all. I thought, wow — what a story this will make. Florida girl meets Scottish boy in Canada. Reminded me of an old colleague, a U.S. Navy chap who met his Australian bride in Japan.

And while I’m not “happily ever after” girl because I harbor no delusions, I gave a sweet, passing thought to how I would describe the night to my friends.

Suffice it to say, my gal has blackmail material on me. 😉

But when it boils right down to it, no delusions can be a good thing. I watched all his sailor buddies trying to pick up chicks. It’s what they DO.

They roll into town for a night or two in their clean, pressed white uniforms. They put their white caps with their country’s emblem on girls’ heads and tell us how sexy we all are. If they are anything like me, they make the joke that later, that’s the only thing we’re going to be wearing.

(That IS what you all say, right? No? Just me? Carry on…)

And I had to decide between having him (which there was no doubt I could) and being content with just knowing it.

The Goddess of her 20s (and the occasional time in her 30s) would do it just for the story. The Goddess of her 30s, as I explained to one of my young charges last night, has to make a decision whether to spend 30 minutes of her night staring at the ceiling. 😉

Because, sometimes that’s what a girl needs … even if it’s not what she really wants. But if it’s not what you really want — and it comes with risks that just aren’t worth taking — well, there you have it.

So, if you’re looking for the punchline here, I’ll say this: If someone isn’t that great of a kisser, they ain’t gonna be all that wondrous anywhere else. Put THAT on a bumpersticker and remind your friends (or yourself), OK?

So maybe I am drowning. Maybe I forget how to really truly have fun.

I’m not even in a dark place right now — it’s simply devoid of color and light. And I can always flip on the light switch and paint the walls purple. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Or maybe I’m just lazy and I’m not ready to decorate till I’m willing to live with it for a while. 🙂

I work in trading and investing, and at the bottom line of everything I do is the risk/reward ratio.

And I’m range-bound right now. I’m not at my 52-week lows, but when it comes time to break through overhead resistance, I am willing to invest in a risky security (hell, they’re all risky) as long as I I believe the volatility will pay off.

And I’m NOT talking about stocks.

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