I am at my discipline’s big yearly conference. It is interesting to look back on the ten years (!!) I have been attending this conference and to sort of assess the changes in my life by examining the changes in my relationship to it (the conference (also my life)). At first this conference was fun, then it was a horrible stressful ordeal, and now it is less stressful but still stressful, but I have my own hotel room, which I always thought would make me feel like my ship had come in, and honestly, it has, a little bit.
Every person in this hotel bar is a musicologist staring out the window at the freeway. What are we all thinking. I bet we are all thinking really similar things. I bet almost everyone at this conference feels terrible about themselves and fearful about who they are going to meet and how big of a fool they are going to make of themselves. Fox News has been blasting this whole time; apparently Donald Trump has promised to implement a “Deportation Squad” wherein illegal immigrants will be (killed in a giant gas chamber); everyone cheers; this is America, look it in the face. This is what you get when you say things like “that could never happen HERE.” The greater idiot ever scolds the lesser, I guess
I love that Obama is compared to Hitler, but then someone comes along and LITERALLY advocates doing what Hitler did and the news is like “is this a reasonable immigration policy? Tweet us your opinion!” Ha ha ha ha haaaa
I also read an article attempting to shame the public for no longer having faith in journalism. HA HA HA HA HA HAAA
I got here way too early and tried to be adventurous and go to a LOCAL place for breakfast, not the HOTEL, and I walked and walked and walked and all I found was this weird local chain that served maybe the worst breakfast I’ve ever had, and they had a full bar, and at one point I actually looked closely at the bar, and EVERY SINGLE BOTTLE–probably 75 bottles total–was BOURBON. Can you guess where I am?
I think I’m realizing I just don’t like traveling that much. I don’t actually care that much about eating hush puppies in Georgia or whatever. I like to stay home. My old man is always like, “lets go to INDIA” or “don’t you want to go to MADAGASCAR” and I just don’t want to. I would go to a B&B in the Berkshires and that’s pretty much it. And I’d still be glad to get home afterward. I like my dog and my stuff and my routine. I’m like a dog myself. Here is where the sun shines; here is where the sky is blue.
Except I will say I would love to live in France for a year, specifically and solely to become fluent. I like goal-based travel, I guess. I guess I’d also like to go sit on a beach somewhere for a week and not speak or read or move. “We will NEVER do that,” my old man hatefully informed me. I also would like to go to the Moon. So those are my four exceptions.
I will say that this hotel bar is made of an aquarium. So you sit and lean your elbows on an aquarium, with living creatures in it. It is horrifying. There is also a giant bird cage in the middle of the room, filled with living birds. I am in a nightmare.
On the plus side, they for some reason put me in a suite, with a balcony overlooking the river/freeway. What a lovely place to get so much grading done! Last night after working on my paper somehow for four hours, I went down to the hotel bar, got two beers, and brought them back up to my room. And felt pretty great about my life in that moment.
I do enjoy staying in a hotel by myself. It is like a moment out of time. You just sort of INHABIT. It feels very basic. Here is where I brush my teeth; here is me in the shower. I never turn on the TV. In the morning it is impossible to tell what time it is.
Here is a nice man
I truly wish my paper were over. I am so tired of worrying about it. I am so tired of worrying about a lot of things, including some things that are much, much bigger than my stupid paper.
“Worrying does not rob tomorrow of its sorrow; it only robs today of its joy”
I also somehow always pack weirdly for this conference. I always end up with outfits that are somehow not professional but also not even nice looking. Like pants that I abruptly realize are way too big, or somehow I bring no long sleeves even though it’s 10 degrees in the city where the conference is, or a weird dress. One time I brought boots I thought were very professional and then literally everyone at the conference was like “Wow, those boots are…..fun”
Everybody hates Wagner but me. Maybe that should be what I write a book about. “How Come I Like Wagner When I Am Not The Kind Of Person Who Likes Wagner: A Dialectics of Ontology”
Every time I look up there are more musicologists in here. It is starting. The Beethoven panel has already begun. Soon I will be doing my annual thing where I somehow always miss all the exciting papers even though I try so hard to figure out which ones they will be. This year I am going to follow one of my smarter friends around instead of making my own decisions. Last year I missed the super-packed panel on pedagogy where everyone was yelling and attendees had to stand out in the hall because there was no more room. I missed it because I went instead to this incredibly weird theory paper that I didn’t even understand. I don’t know what is wrong with me. “How Do You Know How To Be”
Here is what happens re: the love story in Days of Thunder.
A car racing man crashes his car and goes into the hospital
When his doctor Nicole Kidman comes in to examine him, he thinks she is a stripper, and puts her hand on his dick
She is not mad
When he realizes she is actually a doctor, and thus worthy of human respect (unlike a stripper), he is chagrined
He gets her personal home address from the hospital somehow, and orders that her apartment be filled completely with flowers and balloons
She is charmed rather than terrified by this; she has sex with him
Then he goes on a furious car chase with her in the car screaming for him to stop and let her out, which he does not do, and it is legitimately actually dark and scary
She screams at him and shoves and punches him, and again he is chagrined, his face is like, “why did I do that crazy thing, this human doctor is right to shove me”
Then he goes on one last big car race even though he is afraid of grievous brain injury and honestly just wants his daddy
He doesn’t have a daddy though, just Robert Duvall, who builds him a special car
Nicole Kidman shows back up inexplicably and is impressed by his manly stoic behavior before the big race even though she knows he is afraid of brain injury, because she is a brain doctor and told him that crashing your car can hurt your brain, which is what scared him a lot, because he didn’t know that before
He’s like “I made another man a promise so I am going to do the big race even though I’m scared of injuring my brain”
She’s like “you are brave and heroic”
She watches him win the big race
He kisses her once then looks frantically around for his daddy
He finds his daddy and runs over to him
They talk for awhile about how they love one another as a father and a son (not literally)
then they race each other to the bar for victory shots
We never see Nicole Kidman again