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Put me in, coach

March 12, 2011

I am worn out. This was a particularly exhausting conference because a) there are so fricking many bands and b) I don’t know very many people and most of the people I do know I don’t know very well. By brain checked out halfway through the reception this evening and I excused myself and took myself out to an Indian restaurant for dinner, where I sat at the counter and read Sense and Sensibility on my iPod. Now I’m back in the room to get some writing done. The last conference I went to encouraged me into working. This one’s scaring me into working.

But there was one bit of encouragement: the book to which I contributed an article won an award that will help defray publishing costs (academic publishing is not only not lucrative, it’s a money pit). This will give it some more press. And also, someone stood up in front of the whole meeting and said very nice things about it. Kind of exciting.

I heard a whole lot of papers about Sousa today and one really interesting one on Riotgrrrl and feminist historiography. I heard two band concerts and also watched the Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Day parade, which went right by our hotel. The parade had several marching bands, a whole bunch of pipe bands, and a truckload of shriners playing double reeds. Right now I’m ready for a little peace and quiet. And tomorrow, there’s the long drive home. By car, this time.

But it’s been interesting to be here. Cincinnati is bustling. For the last several days — since I got here, when it was snowing like cray, there were a whole bunch of tents set up in a plaza down the street. No one could figure out what was going on and I was assuming it was some kind of protest or something. But this morning it all became clear. When I went out to breakfast, the tents were packed up and all the people were standing in line, all dressed in red and white. They had been camping out to buy season tickets for the Cincinnati Reds, which went on sale this morning. At 8 a.m., they were blasting Jon Fogerty’s Centerfield. It was kind of festive. Tonight, in the same plaza, there was a rock band playing and lots of people standing around. It’s lovely and warm here — I went to dinner in just my suit jacket and I wasn’t the least bit cold. And when I got back to the hotel, the jazz band was playing in the lobby again. It’s nice to be somewhere where things are happening, even if I don’t necessarily wish to participate in them.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2011 9:04 am

    Camping out to buy tickets. I never would have guessed that!

  2. March 13, 2011 9:36 pm

    I wouldn’t have guessed it either. I was kind of glad to have witnessed it, though.

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