1) Back home safe and sound. Exhausted, but generally good.
2) I love Pittsburgh.
3) I love academics. Kind of like how I love politics. ...Pretty much just like that, actually. Further: Academic conferences follow the same general rules of behavior as online fan communities do, only with less hugging (unless I'm involved), and more--yes, more--wankery. Perhaps more on this later. They're also like Stealer's Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You," at least if you're prone to social anxiety and taking open bars up on their offers.
4) I got to meet Chris's oldest friend, Bob--34 years worth--and re-meet one of his best friends from grad school, Dave. And it was really, really fucking nice. I had a fantastic time. (Maybe more on this, too.) I've been facebook bingeing and blog-trawling for most of the night,* actually, since that, broken up only by fitful naps I didn't mean to take and consequent nightmares, and a compulsive playing and re-playing of an IQ-y brain game. And wine.
5) I got to meet an online Hockey Friend, and that was fantastic, too! When we saw the game with Dave, we met up with her first, and I got to get my fangirl-meets-actual-sport-interest on, which was great. It was a good game, despite the loss, and I have a face/voice to put to the blog!
6) Between the flights (San Jose -> Atlanta -> Pittsburgh and back the same route) and the conference sessions (wherein I need to run interference to keep my brain roughly on the task at hand), I knit a long, wide, ribbed scarf for an xmas present, drew two sketches of scenes in Pittsburgh (one w/ Mellon arena and conference-goer's silhouettes I'm actually quite pleased with, for what it is--may post this), scribbled on things I'm writing/plotted, and read a novel. Consequently, I felt very productive, and seem to have sustained a minor shoulder injury from the above abuse (as they were performed in very cramped quarters, and I am me). Also, speaking of Chris's college pals: the book was "Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break," by Steve Sherrill, and it filled me with this sad, diffuse warmth. It was really lovely.
Overall, I have a sense of health and thriving, despite the bone-deep tired.
So goodnight, and LOVE.
*Bob's blog turned up this quote from The Long Emergency and it'll give you a sense of the way conversation went while we were there, but it's also gorgeous, and strangely soothing in the face of collapse, so I had to repost it:
If it happens that the human race doesn't make it [through the Long Emergency], then the fact that we were here once will not be altered, that once upon a time we peopled this astonishing blue planet, and wondered intelligently at everything about it and the other things who lived here with us on it, and that we celebrated the beauty of it in music and art, architecture, literature, and dance, and that there were times when we approached something godlike in our abilities and aspirations. We emerged out of a depthless mystery, and back into mystery we returned, and in the end the mystery is all there is.