austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I feel a hot wind on my shoulder

It was something like six months ago that I agreed bunny_hugger was going to be absolutely miserable in mid-January. But I also warned she was going to be quite happy afterwards because of the misery.

The question was about the Minding Animals conference. This is an international conference of academics who study human relationships with animals. bunny_hugger had been to the first, in Australia, in 2009. Its meeting in the Netherlands gave us the chance to make it part of our honeymoon. The 2015 meeting she skipped, as it was at too awkward a time in the semester and the location seemed too difficult for basically unadventurous people like us. The 2018 meeting, though ... that would be in Mexico City. bunny_hugger at least has had several years of Spanish. And conferences like this are the best part of her job. Also ... there's several amusement parks there, including the only wooden Möbius-strip roller coaster we hadn't yet ridden. (There's only three in the world anymore.) The downside: she'd have to write a paper. Or at least enough of a paper to give a talk. She'd have to get the paper based on the last conference we attended into good enough shape to get published somewhere (lest the university decline reimbursing her; publications are the thing that make them fund trips). And it would be a week out of the country just after the start of the semester. The conference was scheduled for seven whole days; this would wipe out at least three class days.

She ultimately decided it would be worth all the trouble. But she said she was going to be absolutely miserable in the run-up to leaving. And I agreed. Trips are always stressful, and longer trips the moreso, and trips with work prerequisites --- it's not easy to write papers, or to get them into publishable shape --- worse still.

The plans would be disturbed a bit by the earthquake in Mexico City in September. The organizers soon announced that no, the conference would still continue. One event had to be cancelled, an art show at a venue that wasn't going to be usable by January. But the rest of the conference could go on as planned.

So that's my story now.

Trivia: An 1848 mutiny on the 44-gun frigate United States, at Port Mahon in the Mediterranean Sea, was settled when Captain Joseph Smoot agreed to 48 hours' furlough for all men plus eight dollars of spending money. The mutineers had wanted ten each; they settled for the lesser amount plus permission to sell their pea jackets. Source: Mutiny: A History of Naval Insurrection, Leonard F Guttridge.

Currently Reading: The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle Against Poverty in Asia, Nick Cullather.

PS: At the VFW etc.


In the tournament! I was player 1. ... When we reset (it was a best-of-three on the same table) the score reels reset to 000 versus 004, and I joked, ``Oh, leave it. What are the odds the game will come down to four points?'' My opponent didn't hear at first, and I had to repeat, murdering an otherwise adequate joke.


Williams's 1984 Still Crazy, the rare vertically-aligned pinball-like table (you have to work the flippers to get as many balls as high as possible). Also a rare game to have raccoons on it; see the lower right corner. Only twelve were made; it never got out of prototype.


(Bally executive.) ``Well, it's 1990! We had jolly well best move with the times, ey what?''

Tags: mexico city
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