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Report from the Hynes Trenches

I’m in Boston, at ASA. Arrived yesterday. The rough start to my ASA adventure included: waking up yesterday with a nauseating migraine; a bus driver who got lost leaving NYC and entering Boston, making us late and unable to attend the panel we were arriving for; a panic that I might puke on the bus; a near-accident that involved the bus-driver slamming on the brakes and swerving into another lane. I don’t know if you have ever been on a bus that has had its brakes slammed on, but it doesn’t slow the bus down much. Upon arrival in Boston, I discovered there had been a mystery flood in the bus luggage compartment, and my bag and all of its contents were soaking wet. My precious interview outfits! A few loads of laundry and beers later, I calmed down, and dragged Greg and Rachel to the Scatterparty. We made a few new friends, speculated on the identity of various anonymous bloggers, and had a nice chat with one of my favorite soc bloggers.

Today has been much smoother. My talk went fine, I’ve done a few interviews that were fun and not scary, and I’m feeling pretty good. The conference is in several hotels, but they are all connected by a gigantic mall! I am heading to the food court now.


  1. You realize that this–“The conference is in several hotels, but they are all connected by a gigantic mall! I am heading to the food court now”–is a fairly accurate description of my version of Heaven, right? Please post your food court decisions later.

    I was once on a Peter Pan from Baltimore to NYC on which the driver *fell asleep.* It was pretty horrifying. As the folks up front screamed at her, she startled awake and then in a defensive rage got off at some service exit and drove well into the night away from the Turnpike and stopped the bus and said that she could turn us all out into the fields if she wanted to, and there was not one thing any of us could do about it. It was scary! The middle of the night! So dark! True story! When I got home I wrote an angry letter to Peter Pan, assuming they would agree with me that what transpired was thoroughly unacceptable and of *course* they’d give me a free ticket for future travel. But no! I got a form letter in the mail assuring me that Peter Pan drivers are given the highest level of training in the industry. Somehow I doubt it.

    Glad to hear things are looking up. Enjoy the rest of your stay!

    Posted on 01-Aug-08 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  2. Aww….I had fun with you guys! Next year, we’re playing your CD at the party.

    Posted on 01-Aug-08 at 5:32 pm | Permalink
  3. smalinky

    CD release party + bloggers + new soc profs = great party plan for 09. Btw, I got called out this afternoon by a Scatterplotter for not wearing my ribbon. I was all — Well, I’m doing the Employment Service, and, well . . . It was deemed a valid excuse.

    Emily: Pork quesadilla with guacomole, and large Fountain Coke, from Qdoba. It was a kind of high-end food court.

    Posted on 01-Aug-08 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
  4. I took the Chinatown bus — $15, no problems (except for NYC rush hour traffic). Wish I’d met you at the Scatterplot party.

    Posted on 02-Aug-08 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  5. smalinky

    I usually take the Chinatown bus, but I was seduced by the promise of free WiFi on Bolt. I think I will be Chinatown-ing it back. Well hopefully the party will be an annual thing, or maybe we’ll cross paths over the next few days… Hope your ASA is going well.

    Posted on 02-Aug-08 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  6. I think your bus troubles exceeded my Amtrak problems. Sorry to have missed you at the conference; and yes, I will call on your support for a Socially Awkward Caucus!

    Posted on 02-Aug-08 at 6:44 pm | Permalink
  7. Nice to meet you!

    Posted on 03-Aug-08 at 7:11 am | Permalink
  8. smalinky

    You too! And thanks again for organizing the party!

    Posted on 03-Aug-08 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  9. Oh! I think I know where you’re staying. The Boston Public Library’s pretty close to where you are, and the Public Gardens and Boston Common are a fine walk, too. If you’re still here tomorrow night, I’m thinking of going to see A Fistful of Dollars at The Other Side cafe ( I think it’s within walking (or easy-T) distance of where you are. Let me know if you’d like to go.

    Your conference fashion report was quite interesting, by the way. I’m always curious about what to wear when I go to conferences, and find myself wondering how other inter/disciplines dress (like, really, what to those critical goegraphers wear?) I wonder about the differences, especially now that I go back and forth between library conferences (more casual) and academic ones (where casual-ness & style seem to depend more on rank).

    Posted on 04-Aug-08 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  10. I wish I could have joined you at the Other Side! Alas, I did no non-conference activities on this trip. It was strictly business, though I have to say, the business was surprisingly fun. I met a bunch of good people, re-found some people I know and like, etc. I think the sociologist dress code is generally all over the place, and there is at least some pressure to accept casual wear as ok, seeing as we’re supposed to be Marxists or leftists. I bet the critical geographers are a cute bunch.

    Posted on 05-Aug-08 at 12:15 am | Permalink

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