Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thoughts from the Floor

So I've been sleeping/sitting on the floor of the Austin airport on and off all day. I got here (for what was supposed to be a 1 o'clock flight) about two hours early--because E! and Z were flying to Chicago to look for places to live. And, well, I needed a ride to the airport.

Since then, my flight has been delayed several times (it is now supposed to arrive at our gate at about 3:30, according to Doug, the very nice desk guy for JetBlue. Also, apparently, his uncle is a detective for the NYPD--I like to chat with people at the airport, in between sleeping on the floor and eating cheeseburgers.) Another interesting guy sitting next to me on the floor is from Buffalo. He told me about some kind of sandwich called a "beef on weck". He says that THE PLACE to go is called Charlie the Butcher's--so, if you are ever in Buffalo, and you want a big hunk of salty meat... there ya go. I kinda wish I had one right now.

Because the plane is almost here (Thank God!), I have decided to post some thoughts and observations from the floor here, just for you, dear reader.

1) Tater tots are superior in every way to french fries.
2) This is more of a guideline than a rule, really, but French horn players really are better kissers, more consistently, than other musicians. They are also pretty good with their hands (but not as good as drummers).
3) I can sleep anywhere when I am hungover.
4) When you are sleeping next to the gate, people flying to Boston are nice enough to tap you and make sure that you aren't going to miss your flight.
5) I look more like a Texan than a New Yorker, and I am OK with that.
6) Journals are dangerous.
7) I am much more likely to make out with someone who makes me laugh than someone who has a chiseled jaw.
8) The "Sex and the City" movie is better than I thought it would be. It's still no "Aliens" or anything, but it's better than I thought it would be.
9) Jesus, my feet are cold.
10) The University of Texas has taught me many things--some accidentally, some on purpose, some really really hard. But I made it through, bitches. With panache.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sitting in E!'s office, part deux

We talk alot. And by we, I mean, the people that I Know, the people with whom I work, and, um, me. I have been traveling for over two weeks now--living out of two suitcases packed with WAY too many shoes, lugging various plastic bags of toiletries from hotel to friend's house to hotel to friend's house, etc... Part of the travel was a conference. Part of it was a graduation. So, all of the time has been subsumed and saturated with interpersonal interactions that are different from "normal" life for two reasons: (1) These are people who don't meet all that often. Family and friends and colleagues who live in different parts of the country (and the world) and are, therefore, scarce; and (2) These events are always already amped up. I mean, c'mon! Graduation from PhD? And a conference in Seattle?--which is eons away from most of the people who are going there and is, actually, a really fucking awesome place to be. Seriously, these intense situations are so wonderful, and so exhausting bothatonce.

So, this is my conclusion from all the past two weeks of schmoozing and boozing and making out and laughing and dancing and conferencing and graduating: we talk alot. We talk about the papers we're presenting.
We talk about the papers we've presented at conferences past.
We talk about the crises we're experiencing.
We talk about the crises our friends are going through.
We talk about each other.
We talk about ourselves.
We talk about upcoming movies and books that we've read.
We talk about our children and our aging parents.
We talk about Tokyo.
We talk about coffee.
We talk about love and the (im)possibilities of our expectations for it.
We talk about the shoes we didn't pack
And the people we wish we could kiss
And the words we'd like to take back
And the aching feeling that this talk
This talk
This talk
Is the only thing keeping us going.

And it probably is.

But, that said, I am looking forward to returning home tomorrow. To seeing my cat (who does not talk) and sitting, with her, in our favorite patch of sunlight on the red chair in my living room.

I will scratch behind her ears. I will shut my eyes. I may turn my phone off. I WILL turn off the computer. And I will rest.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am sitting in E!'s office

And she has told me to post something about being in a surly mood. I think that I am in a surly mood for these reasons:

1) Graduation and all the parties are over, so everybody has gone back to their regular programming. I hate endings.
2) It is as HOT as the sun in Austin today, and all of the cars that I have been riding in do not have functioning air conditioners. My dear friend TS once remarked about Austin--"You get used to the feeling of your own sweat." So, I am becoming reacquainted with the feeling of being very, very sweaty.
3) I have not actually finished either of the papers that I am presenting this weekend in Seattle, and I do not want to write them still.
4) I miss people I should not miss more than I should.
5) Stupid conventional expectations of "how things should be" are upsetting several people that I love alot.
6) There are several weirdly tall condo building in downtown Austin that were not there last fall. Austin, I worry, is rapidly becoming more and more like Dallas, south. Boo yuppie condos.

But, as I am typing this rather douchey post, I am thinking of the things that make me feel that the surly may be leaving pretty soon:
1) I am spending the afternoon with E!
2) Central air is delicious.
3) I am about to see a penis on the big screen--we are going to the Alamo Drafhouse momentarily to watch "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Also, there will be fried pickles.
4) This weekend will be filled with more wonderful reunions and dinners.
5) I just bought airplane tickets to visit my dear mom in June.
6) Tokyo, like a gorgeous beacon, stands ready and waiting.

So, all in all, this surly too shall pass.

I think.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Westbound and Down

Seriously, I woke up this morning (at 5 AM) (before the alarm) because I am so very excited about going to Austin. Also, I cannot get the Jerry Reed song out of my head--which is my fault, I'll admit.

Updates from the JetBlue waiting spot here at JFK:

-People are eating pizza at 8:30AM.

-Some dude wearing an Alabama t-shirt just strolled by. Roll Tide, big guy.

-Got felt up by the security people because I kept beeping when I walked through the metal detector thing. Realized, belatedly, that it was my IPod, carefully stashed in my decolletage. I keep things there--keys, phone, IPod, rings when I'm getting a manicure, credit cards, money. Not all at the same time, people...

-Now I kinda want pizza at 8:30AM.

-Am hoping that the Big Thunderstorms predicted in TX do not delay my flight. I love thunder storms except (a) when I am in a big steel tube in the sky; (b) I am wanting to go swimming at Barton Springs; (c) I am in a flood zone; (d) I am wanting to get to Austin on time.

-The second paper I am supposed to deliver at RSA is not even begun. That's professional.

-There is a man wearing jams.

-I packed nine (or possibly ten) pairs of shoes and four different books. I do not know where and when I will wear/read all of those things, but now, should that time arise, I will be prepared.

-People in airports are always so surprised when I smile at them. That is kind of sad.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This is Sparta

Alright, you people

I am leaving for Austin on Wednesday--for the long-awaited and much-deserved doctoral graduation ceremony on May 17. Super-excited!!!

But, as Jerry Reed put it so eloquently, I've got a long way to go and a short time to get there... Here are some of the things that need to get done before I leave on Wednesday morning.

1)um. laundry. Unless I do some laundry but-quick, I will be arriving in Austin nekkid. I miss my washer and dryer. Sigh.
2) Yeah, I should probably finish that paper. Despite my best efforts, I have gotten really excited about this Second Life thing for RSA, which is good and bad. The good: it will be submission-ready by the end of June. The bad: I also have to write a whole nother paper for a whole nother panel that I have not even begun. I'm thinking that one might be more like "Here are some thoughts, dear conference attendees, for your consideration."
3) Submit grades. Of course, students are coming out of the woodwork to find out why they did "all that work" for a "lousy B." So Monday is grade submission/grade-grubbing day.
4) Clean the house.
5) Get an extra key made for kitty sitter.
6) Decide how to pack for a week in humid, Africa-hot Austin and a week in This-is-not-my-beautiful-Spring-what-the-hell-it's-54-degrees-and-raining Seattle. Top priority = outfits that will go with new turquoise stillettos.
7) Watch "Zombie Strippers." My colleague just gave me a copy, and it is going to be awesome.
8) Call my godmother and make sure she knows which hotel we're staying in for the graduation.
9) Shop for thank you presents (to advisors and the office ladies) and Mom's day presents (for the Mom, of course).
10) Return/renew library books.

I am certain that there are things missing from this list. Never fear--they will get done--with all the panache of the Bandit and less runins with the law. Mostly.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

For Alex... and you

I just heard last night that an acquaintance of mine (a dear friend of several dear friends) died unexpectedly. He was wonderful--sparkly, witty, beautiful, and charming. And he was young.

And the news is awful, and I know my dear friends are suffering. So I am writing this post for three reasons:
1) Because a Great Light has gone out.
2) Because I am here in NYC physically, but I am with my mourning friends mentally and emotionally.
3) And because, if you're reading this post and I haven't yet told you today how much I love you, well then, I love you. And I'm glad that I get to be a part of your symbolic universe, if only for a little while.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I am thinking about Austin

And here are the top 11 things that I miss:

1) My dear E!
2) Barton Springs
3) Accidental suntan lines
4) Alamo Drafthouse
5) Caps Tuesday
6) Monday night/Blues night at TC's
7) Kao Soi at Madam Mam's
8) That cheap earring place on Guadalupe
9) Bats
10) Zack's mom's pool
11) Happy hour at Kyoto's

Mmmmmm, Austin...

Friday, May 2, 2008

In Honor of the Lusty Month of May

These are the shoes I will wear to my doctoral graduation, and it will be hot.