on such a winter’s day
I haven’t seen much of the city, but what I see is very beautiful. I spent 13 hours yesterday in meetings, only going outside for a few minutes to walk to the Starbucks across the street with a colleague for a breakfast meeting and across another street for a dinner meeting. But if you’ve got to be stuck indoors in a conference, this is a pretty nice place to be stuck. On the way to dinner, we walked along the bay, past the piers where ferries were pulling in and out of their slips. While the natives have all been complaining about the cold, those of us from hardier climates were walking around in our suit jackets talking about how warm it felt. All through dinner, it was all I could do not to be staring at the lights on the bridge outside. On the way back we walked past an ice rink set up under a row of enormous palm trees. Back in the hotel again, they were setting up Christmas trees in the lobby. Conferences are always a somewhat surreal environment, but this one is particularly so.
Today was a little lighter, but still intense. I met up with the other staff from the Toy Factory to set up our exhibit. I disappeared to work and have a phone meeting with my assistant, who has been having a rough week. Printed out my paper handouts, and returned to the Toy Factory booth. I had lunch with an adjunct of the Toy Factory, which was not at the restaurant we’d talked about, but still very good. I met with the publisher who wants to buy my book and HOLY COW, SHE REALLY WANTS TO BUY MY BOOK. Like, she was trying to sell me on why I should go with her press and not someone else. I spent the afternoon talking to various musicologists – some I knew, some I’d heard of, and some where were new to me. Just when I thought I couldn’t manage another minute, I met up with Dr. Geek — another friend who is imaginary no more. We grabbed tacos by the bay and had a beer at an Irish bar where his wife once danced. And now I’m back in the hotel wishing I could collapse, but trying to do some editing. Outside my window, a saxophone player is crooning “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” A cable car is tooting. A horn is honking. And I am falling asleep listening to San Francisco.