Travellin’ Tales: Yeehaw, I’m in Arkansas

Hello, hello – from Arkansas!

It’s been a busy past 24 hours, but so far it’s been such an amazing adventure and I’m loving everyone that I have the opportunity to work with out here.  What am I doing in Arkansas? Well, I currently work for Walt Disney Studios Distribution as a Retail Space Planner. The short of that being I’m part of our Movie Supply Chain; the long of it being I’m in charge of maintaining our title assortment across a few accounts (if you ever wonder why ‘Bubble Boy’, ‘Deuce Bigalo’ or ‘Cool Runnings’ is in Sam’s Club, that was partially my fault… (#sorryimnotsorry)) and I’m the head librarian for all Walt Disney titles…I even have the sexy nerd glasses to prove it!

Several times a year, Wal Mart brings all the Movie Studios together at their Headquarters for something they like to call ‘Bring It Week’.  We crowd around at vendor specific tables (Echo Bridge, Universal, Fox, etc) in a room of wires, modems and conference tables while we attempt to put the latest, greatest and best selling movies on individual fixtures.  Over the last six years, no one from my department has been part of this process – and, because of this, no one legitimately understands the process.  Well, that’s what I’m here for – for the rest of the week I’ll be helping the Disney team build and place fixtures for your consuming pleasure come March 2013.

I spent the majority of yesterday flying around the country: starting off at LAX, I flew into the ridiculously expansive Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.  The only airport that I’ve been to that might be bigger is Denver International – DFW has trams to each of the terminals, which I might’ve had a little too much fun on; but I digress (per usual).  I had my obligatory “I’m-in-Texas-and-eating-BBQ” meal from Cousins’ BBQ in the airport and then carried on my merry way to Northwest Arkansas Regional.  I have to say, short rides in prop planes are the furthest thing from my preferred mode of travel; I don’t know about y’all but I enjoy being able to stand up straight so good thing it was uneventful and quick as a bunny.

I was put up at an Embassy Suites and um, it’s a little swanky! The room is big enough that I’m lonely, so thank goodness there’s a bar downstairs.  Originally, I was hesitant about visiting Benton County because I heard some very true rumors about it being a dry (aka having no effing alcohol).  Well thank goodness for two very different things (a) I’m staying in the town next to it called Rogers and (b) five days ago, voters approved a wet Benton County; beer bongs and shot pong, anyone?

The faux Wal Mart set-up you see to your left is my playground for the next few days – I’m tearing DVDs down and building them right back up again.  It’s actually very cathartic to be so organized and I have (so far) no complaints. I’ve been mingling with the other studios, and made friends with the company that distributes South Park for syndication.

The great thing about Benton County is it was built around the culture of Wal Mart Headquarters.  There are tons of Executives always coming into town to establish, or further, their businesses – so over time, it’s become a sort of “hot spot”, if you will.  My coworkers told me about some stellar, and other not so stellar, restaurants I should get my grub on in and places I need to visit.  I got maybe more exited than I should have that my hotel is across the freeway from a mall, but even better is the Walton and Wal Mart sponsored Crystal Bridges Museum that my co-workers and I are visiting tomorrow night.  GE is co-sponsoring an exhibit called See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art which is based around the evolution of light and fluorescence in American art – I can’t wait to report back on it!

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