I made it to the conference. Everyone warned me that the traffic to MSP would be bad on the Fourth of July, so that I left 45 minutes early ... and arrived at the airport 45 minutes early. Not as clear as a Saturday morning NARN run, but pretty close. Flight was uneventful, even peaceful, but the airport at the other end was miserable because the shuttle service I used 1) didn't show up for forty minutes; 2) had a driver who went fast or slow, no medium; 3) took some guy to the Mission District first, and then drives past every adult bookstore in town, and 4) picks up a Latina who speaks no English and goes in search of someone who speaks Spanish. Flight arrival time: 11:40pm. Hotel arrival time: 1:50am. The guy behind the desk, perhaps looking at the clumps of hair in my hands, pours me a shot of tequila that I guess greets new guests. I'm going to like that place.
A young scholar and I agreed to meet after my session and lunch (thanks for the sandwich, Edi!) and, since we both have laptops in search of connectivity, went to look for a Starbucks. The young one does not have the usual male apprehensions of asking for directions (he'll make a good husband) and so asks four or five people "Where's Starbucks?" Each answers "There's one on every corner." Yet we sit now ten blocks from where we started, finally in one. It's odd that we perceive Starbucks is so omnipresent and yet we will walk blocks to find one. Why is that? If we indeed are that attracted to brand, why put one everywhere?
Off to find some news. Back as I can.