I had a great time in Chicago. We got a lot out of the conference professionally, and the time away was good for my writing. I wrote the Mal/Kaylee bit I've been thinking about (which, now that I've reread it, needs a lot of work), and I have several pages of the start of a CK/DB high school football and cowboys AU. (Um. It's supposed to be. I keep forgetting the cowboy part.)Friday
We arrived on Friday, and the stupid hotel does not guarantee non-smoking rooms. So once I dropped my stuff in my smoking room (let me emphasize the grrr), I went downstairs to sit on the grand ballroom steps with the art teachers. It was fascinating to me that once the National Art Education Association was gone, no one else sat on the steps. After the step sitting, we went out for real Chicago pizza. I'm not sold on the deep dish thing being the best pizza ever, but our end of the table had a fantastic garlic, tomato, and cheese pizza.
After dinner, I spent some more time on the steps, and then went back up to my room in time to watch Conviction
. The show is really growing on me. ( The last two episodes. )
If you're interested in knowing what the hell I'm talking about, iTunes apparently has Conviction
episodes for sale.Saturday
On Saturday morning, I went to The Art Institute of Chicago. I have a minor problem with art museums: I just don't appreciate art that much. This is the problem I have with comic books, too. Without a solid appreciation for the art, a comic just isn't a good entertainment value. (Graphic novels are much better.) So after attempting a systematic wandering of the museum, which did take me through a fantastic photography exhibit (The Concerned Photographer
), I decided I was too tired for that and headed off to the European art. For the record, the art I like best is sixteenth century European religious art, and The Art Institute didn't disappoint. In addition to all the sorts of things you might expect, I came across a very interesting Mary Magdalen by Alessandro Boncivino (Moretto da Brescia)
. I have good luck with Magdalenes. When I visited The National Gallery in London, I saw Giovanni Girolamo Salvando's Mary Magdalene
across the room and immediately recognized it from the cover of Graham Joyce's Requiem
The Art Institute also offered me a chance to use my overeducation as I recognized an El Greco by its style and recognized the style of a Goya without being able to put a name to it.
After lunch and a nap, I headed off to the Shedd Aquarium
. I was disappointed. Instead of being an aquarium the way, say, the Monterey Bay Aquarium
is, it feels a lot like a museum with small windows of fish instead of paintings. I was also very uncomfortable with their whale tank. It seemed way too small for five whales.
On Saturday night, Molly came down to visit. We ate a ton of food while gossiping and then headed off to see ( Inside Man. )
The theater itself was entertaining as we stood in a very long line, found the not to exceed 426 persons sign in our theater, and then discovered we were in the 11:00 showing that was not anywhere near sold out.Sunday
Molly went home on Sunday morning (sad!), and I went off to a really good working session on evaluation.
Sunday evening, I was in my room for Malcolm in the Middle
. I find I write more commentary when I'm in hotel rooms because I have my notebook open. This episode had a very slashy plotline about Dewey and Malcolm finding a new mattress. Yeah.Monday
My presentation was on Monday afternoon, and it went very well. We had a lot of compliments from the participants.
On Monday night, we went to Second City
, which was awesome.
Their first skit was all about MySpace. At one point, one character doubtfully approves another one as a friend and then writes back to express his concern that "you didn't even mention Lost
In the intermission between the second and third acts, there was a crowd around the door to the restrooms at the edge of the stage. One of my coworkers went over there and got Dan Aykroyd's autograph on the back of a business card. When the third act started, we found out that there's a young Belushi working as an understudy in the touring company.
After the show, as we were waiting for cabs back to the hotel, we saw Dan Aykroyd across the street while a group of intoxicated audience members asked me to take a picture of them with the Belushi kid and one of the other actors (Brad Morris, I think). And then we got a cab so I couldn't continue to watch the Belushi kid and the other guy be slashy together. However, our cab driver did then just barely avoid running over Dan AykroydTuesday
On Tuesday, I went to one of the best sessions I went to all week: The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood: New Ideas and Brain Research. I was a little concerned that they would focus on teenagers, but they were actually talking about young adults, which, depending on the researcher, means 18-25 or 18-35. One of the things they talked about is that only around this time do we start to be able to engage in relativistic thinking. So, for example, only when we reach that stage are we able to understand that people offering constructive criticism may actually have our best interests in mind. Now, doesn't that just explain a whole lot about fandom?Wednesday
Wednesday was our last day, and I started out the morning in a session on lgbt families, which was excellent and gave me ideas of some things we need to steal for our trainings.
At the airport on Wednesday evening, I saw a guy in a pink "Virginia is for lovers" shirt with another guy. Hee!Thursday
I went in to work on Thursday after not much sleep, and I was okay until about 3:00, when I was ready to crash.
On Thursday evening, I was home from belly dance in time to catch Without a Trace
. I've been reading my way through The Danny/Martin Slash Archive
, and the overabundance of slash is starting to show. ( Spoilers )Friday
Because I worked on Thursday, I took yesterday off and spent the time starting to catch up on my taped TV and watching six episodes (for a total of nine hours) of Taken
. I have only two episodes to go, and it's killing me to have to wait until the next disc gets here from Netflix. I even went out to Hollywood Video today to see if they had it, but I had no luck.