Sunday, August 06, 2006

When You're Happy and You Know It

Just got back from Victoria, British Columbia, where I ostensibly was attending the North American Society for Social (and Political) Philosophy conference, but mostly was being amazed by 74 degrees, sunny, light breezes, and open water in August. Victoria is gorgeous, fun, and odd: drive on the right, but with generally British signage, road markers, and styles of road layout; stoplights, but also roundabouts; functional stucco-and-concrete everywhere, but even houses made of that stuff are set in little English cottage garden-type yards...which in turn are incongruously but beautifully lined by 100 + foot tall spruces and firs: a shire in the redwoods, on an island.

The conference was fine. The old guys (a Brit and an American) who heard my paper pretty much said to start over, which is pretty much what they say to younger guys (I count as such, for a few more months anyway). But it was nice to be at a laid-back gathering of a hundred or so (the APA meetings are a thousand and up, and lots of competitiveness and tension), where most of the interaction was questions ("so where'd you find that?" "which thinker/argument helps you with that issue?" "could I have a copy of your paper?"), and even the criticisms were constructive ("if you're going to try to do that, then you're going to need to protect yourself from this sort of attack" "nice idea, but you can't just assert that, you'll have to argue for it" and that sort of thing). Ya just hafta keep pickin yerself up and doin it again.

This is Civil Peace week: I'm going north, and I'm going south. North, to Oklahoma, where the various and sundry Loyds took leave of their senses and invited me up to yak at their resident group. Then South, to the Valley, for Adam and Sarah's wedding (yay!). After that, professor camp, and then report for duty.

Praying types might pray for rain--here, very soon--for all the plants and animals that are suffering, not to mention the crabby mood the humans all get in when it goes on day after day with no relief in sight. (A break in the temps would also do, but is even more asking for a miracle, and doesn't actually help as much as water would.) Also for Steven's impending move to England to prep for college, that all the logistical hooha will get sorted, as the British say. And for roommates for Jonathan that are not from hell, or heck, or even purgatory.


Blogger Lorenloo said...

i miss thunderstorms when i think of them, but actually am always surprised by rain it's so infrequent. of course this will all change after i move to SLO.

i think "sorted" is an excellent term that i wish i felt more comfortable using in the states.

and as for jonathan-he'll either get an ok one, or he'll switch, or he'll sleep at the library and have really good stories later :).

4:32 AM  

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