Good news, everyone! I survived a busy weekend in "South Toronto
," that dreaded enclave of radical Islam and Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals.
I was there for a conference, but managed to sneak off the reservation and see sneech515
(briefly), and, rara avis
. (Most of whom don't really update their journals, but it is the LJ convention to list everyone you meet like that, and it's nice to know that nearly my entire social circle can be delineated with nonsensical nicknames and little faceless mannequin icons.)
Saturday night was the first full convergence of the original four Donut RunnersTM
since my wedding, I believe, and that was great. We stayed up until all hours playing reprehensible video games, and it really could have been any Saturday night with us four friends from 1986 on, except that Chris' TV is much bigger these days, and the graphics of those reprehensible video games have markedly improved. There was a brief window of opportunity, as one of the Seans pointed out the next day, when we almost
turned the Xbox off to spend some time catching up with one another and perhaps even sharing our thoughts and feelings, but the pull of scantily-clad wrestling polygons was too strong, and the moment passed. As we trundled home just before dawn, I felt a little sheepish about how thoroughly we'd wasted the evening, but in retrospect, a thoroughly wasted evening may have been just what the doctor ordered. Thanks, guys. Let's not wait five years to do it again.
The conference itself went well, considering I'd slapped my talk together between diaper changes and late-night soothing sessions. It was one of the first conferences I've been to where I wasn't on the job market, wasn't trying to hook a publisher, and basically didn't have anything to prove. That was a great feeling. I didn't even bother to put a PowerPoint presentation togetherjust offered to show pictures of You Know Who instead. It helps that I've been to this particular conference a couple of times now
: I still remain mostly beneath the notice of the serious old guard, but there are lots of friendly folks at the middle of the profession who know me now, and a genuine cohort of recent PhDs and advanced grad students that I actually like to hang around with.
I also went to a dinner at the UofT business school for "business historians and business leaders," and even that was kind of fun. I didn't bone up on my Canadian Business Leaders Trading Cards before hand like I should have, but as the avuncular old guy I was chatting with was Jim F, and the room we were in was the James D. F Atrium, I suspect he's done fairly well for himself. I have to say, I like hanging out with ridiculously successful businessmen. They tend to be smart, droll, and hilariously un-PC. They usually love history, in an A&E sort of way, and they spend most of their time talking about how to give away vast sums of money. Plus they often look like classic character actors.
It was weird to be away from You Know Who for so long, thoughthese were my first nights away from home since she arrived. I tried
not to spend the whole damn weekend talking about her, with limited success. She seems to be punishing me now for going away by only letting Mommy soothe her. Which could mean more sleep for me, but at the cost of a broken heart. Mea culpa:
Between prepping for, and going to, the conference, I've barely looked at the For Want of a Nail
lexicon in about a week. Final round due tomorrow? Alternate time flies! Sorry for my slackitude: I'll try to get something up at least, so I can pretend like I was in it from start to finish.