So should I make up a story about being whisked away in the Windy City, off on some marvelous but chilly adventure?
Or just tell the truth?
I ended 2007 with a trip to a very large, very scary conference/ job interview/ program reunion sort of event. 15,000+ neurotics stuck in the same four city blocks, hyped up on expensive coffee and forced to actually engage with people rather than books. It wasn’t necessarily pretty. Oh, and then add a good ol’ wet snowstorm to get a chuckle at the less-than-fashionable academics try and slide around in their heels and suits when we’re all used to wearing khaki pants from 10 years ago and shoes chosen for their orthopedic function rather than fashion. We really should just charge admission for people to watch the antics.
Anyway, I went, I talked, I showed pictures of camels and just tried to alternate my coffee and alcohol in the right order to keep myself going through the day and at least closing my eyes at night. (Sleep sorta became optional around mid-December and only recently returned to my life. I missed her.)
I knew it was going to be a doozy, but I didn’t really plan on it knocking me completely on my tuckus. Overachiever much? Not that I’ve been stressing about this very event for four or five years now or anything. I just kept saying that I could handle it. It was just a paper and a few interviews. I’d even be able to spend one afternoon shopping, maybe find Anthropologie or a yarn store for a little treat.
By the time my free afternoon rolled around, I tried to meet with the Lone Knitter and I think the poor woman ought to earn a patience medal for having to answer the same questions three times. It was like the brain was spending all my energy keeping myself from drooling that I couldn’t focus on actually having an intelligent conversation. Thank goodness she’s even lovelier in person and was quite kind about my mental fog.
Besides my dignity, I managed to also lose my new hat, the first one that I’d knit this winter and one I was actually happy to wear in public. The first day I really had to run around, the snow was coming down in hunks and I really didn’t want to do an interview with wet hair. I’m pretty sure even academics recognize that this is not a good look. I was whining that night when we splurged on pizza (mmmm… Chicago deep dish…mmm…) and jokingly, my former Dickens camp roommate asks if it was a black beret.
“Well, yes, it was. A black knit beret.”
“Were you in the Fairmont?”
“Yes, I was.”
“Yes, second floor.”
“Dude, you saw my hat!”
Alas, she only saw it and left it there, never to be turned in or seen again. Le Sigh for Le Slouch. In actuality, it really needed to be reknit with a little more slouch so add that one back to the list.
And that was Chicago.
So now I’m waiting, trying to get caught up on life and sleep and laundry. Trying to write everyday and work on those New Year’s goals. Hitting the gym and the library. I took a week off after I returned, thinking I’d be able to whip out some major crafty projects. Um, not so much. I finished a few things and will post some pictures in the next few days but basically, I took a lot of time to just sit and not think about a single thing. How ‘bout that for a real winter vacay?