3 More Observations on Conference Attendance

1) Travel to get here was…odd. Usually, because I am spectacularly unlucky with air travel, I find myself stuck with missed connections, cancelled flights, etc. I was taking a BIG risk flying to the conference on the day when I was supposed to present.

On the first leg of my trip, apparently the Gods of Travel decided to screw with me a bit before letting me carry on. In the row behind me on the plane, there were four men travelling together (two of them brothers, all of them — judging by their conversation — in the ag business). A woman came down the aisle and insisted (correctly) that one of the men was actually in her seat (and a comparison of tickets revealed that they had both been sold the same seat). That was part 1 of the problem. Part 2 of the problem arose when the various travellers noted that the brothers had identical boarding passes (right down to the seat). This caused considerable consternation. The one guy shouldn’t even have been able to get past security with his boarding pass — the name on thepass didn’t  match his ID. The TSA agent at the security screening (who I suspect is in BIG trouble right now) noticed that the guy’s ID was about to expire, but completely missed the mismatch and duplication. The result? The air stewards and gate agents were FREAKING THE FUCK OUT (calmly and professionally). Luckily, they sorted it out at least well enough to get us off the ground and on our way to Denver, where I’m sure the local United gate agents were also FREAKING THE FUCK OUT (calmly and professionally) to figure out what to do with double-sold seats and a guy who may or may not be a security problem.
Another successful episode of Security Theatre!
2) Apparently, all meals in restaurants around here (other than, say, Subway) somehow end up costing at least $11.
I mention this in order to explain why I am currently sitting in my room and using a plastic Starbucks spoon to eat Cup Noodle that I made with the hotel’s coffee machine.
I am THRIFTY.
3) I took a nice, long walk into Old Town and back, and had a lovely time at the Albuquerque Museum.

A few things worthy of notice:

 – Even the museum cafe meals cost $11. I had a nice grilled cheese sandwich and a salad.
 – The architecture of Albuquerque is fascinating — so many adobe houses (or adobe-like houses), all low, often with tiny garden spaces enclosed by a short-ish wall. This isn’t the country for green lawns, but the plants that are here fill even those often grim-looking spaces with life (even in the winter). The colors alternate between warm desert drab and vibrant blues and red and turquoise. 
 – City layouts have their own priorities. The street I walked back to the hotel on — Lomas — was all law offices, pawn shops, and bail-bonds (sometimes the latter two in very, very close proximity), growing ever closer and more frequent as I approached the court complex and city buildings. Quite sensible, really, and probably largely accidental.
 -The museum is really quite good, and there are some great exhibits there now, including B/W photography of area architecture and some splendid examples of textiles, sculptures, paintings, household accoutrements, etc. from colonial-period South and Central America and the Caribbean. They’ve also got some awesome clothing, saddles, and other items from traditional Mexican equestrian sport culture. You can see a shot of a beautiful sidesaddle below.

Totally worth the walk!
I suppose I should finish this Cup Noodle, get some grading done, and toddle off to the Doctor Who “Day of the Doctor” screening and roundtable discussion…

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About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. Otherwise, I labor to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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