How it comes at just the right time. Petty department squabbles over course caps, an office floor covered in crumbs from the reheated leftovers eaten at the desk, an inbox full of applications, of theses, of prospective incoming student questions, meeting meeting meeting requests. We travel westerly tomorrow to visit our friends in LA whose baby is in the hospital. Perspective. We also get to visit our friends who live near Big Bear. We're staying in a hotel that is not close to our LA friends. I don't know LA. I'm nervous it's too far from their house. What if it's a hellhole? I should cancel now and stay at the Culver Hotel where all the dwarfs stayed when they were filming Wizard of Oz. I will go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which is right across from the hotel, even if we're not staying in said hotel.
Speaking of hotels, I stayed in the hotel next to the conference hotel for AWP. What a dream. First, it was a very nice hotel. Second, the buzz and drama and anxiety of the book fair did not permeate through 19 floors to agitate me through the night. The whole AWP was good. I saw almost (almost) everyone I hoped to see. I had a great dinner with good friends and a great lunch with Big Bear friend (see her twice in one year, what luck is that?) and great drinks with the whole contingent of Utah grads--1999 until present (some key people keyly missing). It was a large party and I snuck off to the liquor store to store liquor in my purse and pour it not only more cheaply (not the point, really) but more quickly (indeed, the point) than the hotel bar staff could pour.
I must go to AWP Boston but AWP has become something, specifics above notwithstanding, that is a lot like work. AWP is not Spring Break but a good thing to do before Spring Break so you can work a lot at the book fair, at readings, at panels and get home, get all riled up by department squabbles and crumbs and inboxes, and then do something restorative like go to Los Angeles where you hope you can do some good.