The cricket’s march over the saltbox
The conference is more or less over. I’m done with it, anyway. I had planned to take myself out to dinner this evening, but the St. Patty’s day chaos is too much for me, so I curled up in an armchair, put my feet on an ottoman and ordered room service.
Sometime on the Saturday of every conference I’ve ever attended, I hit a wall. Conference fatigue. It happened around lunchtime today, and I headed for a quiet corner with my laptop to get some writing done but mostly to get my head together. Conference fatigue tends to come on all at once and without warning. It’s as if all of a sudden I become autistic. I want to stick my fingers in my ears and yell. I am incoherent and nervous when talking to people. It’s all too much.
But I heard many excellent and thought-provoking papers today and one horrifically bad one. It was so bad that no one asked questions afterwards because it was so completely incomprehensible. Within 30 minutes of the paper’s end, it’s all anyone was talking about. I feel kind of bad for the guy. It wasn’t like he seemed unprepared. It seemed like he had no idea what a conference paper was supposed to be. And he was in a place in his career where he should have known better.
Saturday night always closes with the annual meeting, where treasury and development reports are read and awards are given out. The lovely man who won the distinguished service award up there got up and started talking with excitement and suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion and had to sit down. To get an award from your peers for doing good work is one of the more meaningful kinds of awards you can get. You could watch the realization hit all at once, like a sock in the gut. It was beautiful.
Afterwards I worked the Toy Factory’s table for a little while, and then helped pack everything up. I’m now in my room finishing up a room service dinner and trying to get up the energy to pack. Thunderstorms are rumbling through and I’ve got a grand view of the lighting from my upper story window. I am trying to decide if the rain will mean more or less St. Patrick’s day noise in the hotel.
AJ spent his afternoon with his rock band performing their first gig at my friend L’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party. I hear it went well. Here’a a picture of AJ getting his game face on:
We had a nice long talk about his gig afterwards and also about a paper I heard on video game music. AJ had interesting things to say about it. I am liking almost-11.
I catch an early cab to the airport tomorrow to head back to New York where, if the gods of transportation and weather are willing, I hope to spend the afternoon with Cranky and Toddler J.