I am back from my second conference trip of the school year, which went very well. Because the vast majority of the time I am focused on teaching, it’s always nice to work on the research and writing sides of life. Of course, conferences are a great chance to present one’s academic work and receive feedback from one’s peers, but let’s face it: it’s also really fun! Once again I was able to use the conference as a way to travel with and/or meet up with some far-away friends and we had a wonderful time of it.
One of my favorite places to visit in Louisville is the Seelbach Hotel, which is very glamorous indeed. It has this lovely old bar, which is — according to legend — the very bar where one F. Scott Fitzgerald met the man who inspired him to create Jay Gatsby. The bar has great character and a list of bourbons a mile long. It’s always on my list of places to go when in town for the conference and so far I’ve had at least one drink there every year.
I know it sounds like this was a drinking conference and not a literary conference, but for one thing I don’t like to blog about work, and for another thing, listen! Kentucky is where bourbon comes from! And bourbon is my favorite! So you will not be shocked when I tell you that B. and D. and I also managed to squeeze in a distillery tour. On Friday, E. had to teach classes, none of us had an conference sessions to attend, so the timing seemed perfect to escape to Lawrenceburg, where Four Roses Distillery is located. Our tour guide, Terry, showed us all of the operations and led us through a tasting afterward.
I was excited to learn that their Small Batch Bourbon is made specifically with the K and the O strains of yeast — my initials! — and it was also my favorite of the samples we tried, so of course I had to buy a bottle. I haven’t opened it yet — saving for a special occasion.
I am thankful that I’ve had a couple of days to wind down from the trip and the absolutely insane two work-weeks that preceded it. If I hadn’t worked my butt off all last week, I’d have found myself with stacks of essays to grade upon coming home. As it was, I was able to attend a friend’s fabulous Oscar party last night, where we all dressed up in costumes inspired by the ten best picture nominees. I went Black Swan style (as did a few others), and The Fighter, 127 Hours, The King’s Speech, and Toy Story 3 were also represented.
If you are thinking that my costume was merely an excuse to buy myself a pair of legwarmers, you are only half right: I also got to attend a party in what were basically pajamas. Totally fun. Sadly the broadcast itself was a bit underwhelming, but I did enjoy the following elements: Helen Mirren looking like a total fox and speaking French, Trent Reznor looking also foxy but charmingly normal and articulate, and James Franco’s bit about all the film titles that sounded dirty. Heh. Winter’s Bone. Heh.
So how have you been? I’ve been rushing around so much and so behind on the internet that I need an update on YOU! What’s up?