austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

And there are things to be loved and things only to attend

I forget whether there was a closing speech at the conference. It seems like there ought to have been, but maybe that was rolled in to the dinner afterwards. I remember the major business wrapping up and then some milling around in the quad as people exchanged business cards and thanked each other for talks and then started shuffling towards the buses before the rain came in. It would only sprinkle, a little bit, at least then.

And so we got back to the hotel room, me having wholly gotten away with it. By ``it'' I mean attending a day at the conference; my badge was properly just one for attending the welcome reception a week before. But we had figured that nobody was really looking closely at the badges and even if they did, by the last day of the conference nobody would care. Plus, you know, I'm a tall white male who just looks like an academic.

After some down time at the hotel room we emerged to the reception, an echo of the original night's one with a bunch of free-standing tables and hors d'ouvres brought around by staff whom I kept trying to say ``gracias'' to possibly too many times. Also, for a while, a DJ showing 80s (American) music videos. I don't know. The important thing is that bunny_hugger got to talk to people who knew something about the field she's most interested in, and who wanted to hear what she had to say.

It is, as best I can tell, the good part of her job. She teaches. So her students and her administration want to punish her for that. It's an eternal grind. She doesn't have much chance to read current literature. Nor to write papers, which isn't fun, especially once they get to submissions and revisions. But being in this sort of crowd, that's the glorious part. She gets to be in love with philosophy again, and I get to watch her in love. It's a pity we get to only one of these every few years.

And then there's the normal sorts of conference cocktail-party shenanigans. Spotting people from afar and trying to catch them before they disappear into some unknown dimension. Being absorbed into a nearby chat circle and then quietly abandoned by all but the one slightly dotty and endlessly talkative person there. Wondering what stage of edible snacks everyone else is on since it doesn't seem to be anything like what you have. You've lived this; I don't have to go into detail.

Oh, I should say, someone with the conference got a picture of us and put it up on their Facebook page. (Warning: Facebook.) So you can see bunny_hugger shining in her professional capacity. You can also see me rocking my image of ``high school physics teacher who thinks this class just might be ready to learn about a little something amazing we like to call the Conservation of Angular Momentum''.

I've also been remiss in sharing photos. I mean someone else's photos. bunny_hugger's been working on captioning and tagging pictures from the Mexico City trip and she's surprisingly close to being in synch with my writing here. Here's her album of Mexico City pictures.

Anyway, that's all as you might expect. After several hours the reception seemed to be winding down, and we made our excuses to we weren't exactly sure who should get them. We got our last round of Internet access codes. These had started out written out on neat, formal-looking paper receipts. As the week went on, and particularly as we'd occasionally get a bad code, they'd find alternate scraps of paper. By now they were down to just grabbing surfaces, this time the cardboard from the back of a peel-off notepad. I wouldn't think we could have exhausted the hotel's ability to write down codes on a sheet of paper so easily but there you have it.

We packed, as much as possible, and closed out our last full day in Mexico City.

Trivia: The first charter to a turnpike in Massachusetts was issued in 1808, to connect Boston to Worcester by way of Shrewsbury. Source: The Old Post Road: The Story of the Boston Post Road, Stewart H Holbrook.

Currently Reading: The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before The War, 1890 - 1914, Barbara W Tuchman.


PS: So what was that glass-blowing show building up to? From Cedar Point, June 2017:

SAM_4120.jpg

The glass-blowing demonstration was of a goldfish. I think it's been that every time we've stopped in. Here you can see most of the shape having been completed.


SAM_4127.jpg

Detail work being done on the goldfish. I don't know how but I always end up sitting from a slightly obscured vantage point.


SAM_4131.jpg

And back outside. People were riding the log flume already.


Tags: cedar point, mexico city
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