Monday, April 18, 2005

Back in ConferenceLand

I've returned to the time-shifting fluorescent world, and I'm having eventlag. I had a good night's sleep (that comment's for you, Mom), and am feeling ok, glad that it's all underway so that I'll be home sooner. Yesterday was settling in, remembering what it's like to watch TV (commercials are just such a waste of time!), and a pleasant dinner with colleagues. Fortune at today's lunch: "Meet a new challenge with calm assurance." Oh, great...

I had one odd experience walking over to the little foodmart at a nearby gas station: Santa Clara has sort of a split personality--where the conference is happening is a wasteland of corporate office parks and superstreets, but there's a wildlife (seagulls and the occasional waterfowl) corridor on the other side of the convention center. As I was crossing an overpass where some of the trails through the wetlands began, I looked down at the creek, and was amazed to see four or five enormous fish wriggling mightily from pool to pool in the shallow water. Salmon? Catfish? Where were they on their journey?

Tonight will most likely be dinner in the hotel and a round of Nanny 911 while 'jammy-clad and ensconced in the Heavenly Bed the Westins are famous for.


Misc. Moments from the Week Past:

As Rebecca blogged, we went to a reading of local poetry from 1933 at a local historical society meeting which was both odd ("interesting" assortment of attendees, we felt like interlopers) and refreshing (non-lit-types reading and enjoying poetry, a prose background presentation that was a nice counterpoint to the poe'). I mainly wanted to see our county's poet laureate, Terry Ehret, and was glad I did. I enjoyed her work, she read works by other poets too--including Billy Collins, my hero--and just bracketed each poem with plenty of info, which helps me listen better.

I had a lovely few hours hangin' at Borders with a well-travelled friend who has all but convinced me to go to Florence in October after my Amsterdam conference. We gabbed for hours, thoroughly shopped the fiction and cookbook sections, which was pleasant and relaxing.

One of my brothers had an extra ticket to the A's game for Saturday (hence my rendezvous with Stomper), so I spent much of the day in Oakland with his family and in-laws. We gourmet-tailgated, and brother and I had lots of good blab time. I did feel a little wistful--my niece brought her boyfriend, and my nephew brought a friend, so I didn't really get a chance to connect with them much. They're growing up...

Wedding reply cards are starting to arrive. I've been waking up in the middle of the night a lot lately, thinking of both work and wedding stuff. The other night I mentally started to compose my vows, and had the usual experience of thinking how eloquent it all was at 3 a.m., but when I tried to practice saying my phrases aloud, it all sounded awkward. I know that prep is the key, but sometimes the wedding just doesn't seem real--"How did I get here?" as David Byrne said.

M is taking his second final tonight, and will take his final first-year final on Thursday. Oh happy day. And he's only taking one summer class, so we might see each other for more than five minutes every day--until school starts up again in August.


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