Life as an Extreme Sport

ASBH, wrapped

I’m still in DC, sitting in the hotel lobby, wishing it was at all possible to simply snap my fingers, find a transporter, and end up at home, in bed, with the cats. I’d settle for a second best of in my hotel room bed, but they wanted the room so I had to check out. Bother.

I’m beyond tired, of course, although I didn’t have the as many days “on” as I was expecting. The hotel nicely arranged for me to have a good chunk – about seven hours – of Saturday off, courtesy food poisoning that afflicted everyone who drank from the creamer provided on our end of the table. Since I tend to take my coffee half cream, half milk, it was… unpleasant, to say the least. And of course, I did come back out as soon as I could, and went back to working. Because I am either ambitious or dumb like that – most likely some from column A, some from column B.

But it was a good conference, my glow cubes were an unmitigated success, and it was gratifying to hear, over and over, “oh hey, you’re Kelly….”

started up again almost 12 hours later, at home, as I am lectured by two upset cats
As I was writing, I got a variation of the “hey, you’re Kelly” and was joined in the lobby by an undergraduate student who “belongs” to a friend of mine. I ended up spending the next five-ish hours talking to her; we were joined, at one point, by a doctoral student up in Montreal I had met earlier in the day. The two have similar interests, so I played the networking game.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading and thinking since I started the above, and I’m not really sure what I think at the moment. I mean, I am – the conference was a success, I don’t think I screwed up badly in any political sense, and so forth. It’s just, as I was telling Michael when we spoke briefly earlier, that post-conference is a lot like post-teaching, in that the adrenaline drops out of your body and you realize how much of yourself you spent. It’s post-teaching blues magnified beyond belief. Only it’s also got an element of post-acting in it, too. When you’re in a production, you’re thrilled and delighted, and spend every second of the day with a small group of people – and the minute you close curtain and strike the set that final night, and walk out of the after party, how much you loathe every single person you just spent the last 6 weeks of your life with. Every quirk is an annoyance, every personality quirk a flaw. You hate them all, all the people you see and spend hours with daily, and never want to see them again – for about a week.


The rest is still a jumble, I think, of things I need to process. It has been hard to not reflect on the last year of life, and the differences – it’s such a clear way to mark both time and change.

posting bender

As I’ve mentioned in one of these blogs, ASBH has my mind going a mile a minute, and I’ve literally been unable to sleep. My 7:30am meeting ought to be charming. For that matter, so should the 8:30pm one… but, as wiser people than me have said, that is what this conference is all about.

So, I went on a bit of a posting bender – posted here, obviously, but also posted the following, which may be of interest to some of you:

At the Women’s Bioethics Blog, I posted about misogyny in the movies, and furthered the question of women as scapegoats.

Over at the AJOBlog, I posted about an an aspirin a day possibly not being beneficial to women, as well as potentially harmful (due to its tendency to irritate the stomach, etc), as well as a rather startling story abouta health clinic inside a Portland, Maine middle school offering prescription contraceptives to the students without parental consent or notification.

And of course, my own blog was, thanks to a certain UK academic, updated about Deborah Kerr’s death.

It’s now 5:20am, and I’m going to place myself back in bed (curse this hotel for not having wifi in room – I have to sit at a desk and be wired to be online! What’s the point of having a laptop if you have to have wires, I ask you!) and attempt to grab another hour’s worth of sleep before stumbling my way downstairs to meet Franciscan Friar Daniel Sulmasy and fellow students for an academic breakfast.

west coast culture

In DC and having a fabulous time so far. Have done none of the tourist things I had wanted to, but instead was responsible and did homework and laundry, and then napped in the afternoon. A fabulous dinner with S~, A~ and H~, and then we stumbled across just the right people with wine in the hotel bar – almost five hours later, I’m tumbling in to bed and remembering everything I love about what I do. I am very blessed to be where I am at this stage in life, and it would do me well to remember this when I think or feel otherwise.