I hate the days before I travel--specifically when I'm missing school. It is so stressful! I also had to miss drawing class only to find my plane was delayed due to crappy weather in Chicago. Beer, fish, & chips. Too much money spent at the airport Borders. Plane. Train to Caseys. Cab to her apartment. Ah, yes, planes, trains, and automobiles. OH! And I almost forgot. I got picked up on the train. By a man with an open Red Stripe, but it was entertaining nonetheless.
I got a Ghiradelli hot cocoa that the guys sneezed on a lot. His coworker said, "OH hayfever" but I highly doubt that in February. I checked in and went to a panel on teaching grad students to work in public high schools--it was boring and worthless. Afterwards, I went to a panel on the modern black writer and hip hop, which was fantastic. The panelists didn't really stick to the question, but each one was insightful, energetic, and a pleasure to listen to.
Then to the book fair. Today was survey--and getting anything that was on my list. Although, by the end of the day, I'm pretty sure I was $100 poorer. I had lunch with Cathy, which was great. I live far away from my friends, so to be able to sit down and talk about people we know and their relationships . . . what is totally ordinary on Sex and the City is something very cherished to me. Back to the book fair. I went to a panel on Art School Confidential--teaching creative writing at an art school. Some of it was interesting . . . some of it was, uh, interesting. I did appreciate that Jac was mentioned in the program. Made me feel special. I did chat with Mariead, which was nice. Cathy and I headed towards the Quickies reading, and we grabbed dinner, which was AMAZING. Beer. Sandwiches on pretzel rolls . . . sigh . . . The Quickies reading was fantastic. (At the Inner Town Pub: Home of the Arts!) It was nice to see Theune, and I was very happy with the reading. It was nice to see such entertaining, quality writing . . . in a bar. And listened to. Jac and I went on a literary drinking adventure. Rainbor Room. Then the Hideout--which reminds me of my grandma's basement. We danced. I bought tamales from a cooler. It was a lovely night. Casey was working when I got back, so I went to her bar and just hung out. It was funny.
I was hungover and missed my breakfast date with Liz and Mac. I got breakfast at the hotel--some cereal, a croissant, and a juice: $14! I went to a panel on the Rec Room Reading series (which also featured pictures of Jac Jemc.) and totally loved it. A lot of smart, funny women. I'm sad I don't live in chicago, but I want to steal all their ideas and start a reading in Providence. Bad. I went out to lunch with diego, another Wesleyan person Jo, and her boyfriend from grad school. We had indian buffet. It was quite lovely. And privatey awkward. I grabbed the check and hope this all evens out cosmically . . . some day, someone will change my diapers.
In the afternoon, I went to a panel on "polyphony" a high school lit mag. It was poorly attended but very interesting for me. I went and had Kim Addonozio sign my book. I told her I used "First Poem for You" with freshmen . . . she was a little taken aback. I didn't tell her it was probably my favorite poem ever. That I hold it in my head like a wrapped gift. That part of getting a tattoo has to do with that poem. Next it was onto a panel on creative collaboration about cool stuff they're doing down in Houston--and it really was some amazingly cool stuff with writing and the opera, etc. I bumped into Stumpo for the first time. More books. I ran into Mac and had a nice little stroll and chat. Went back to Casey's and took a nap.
That night, Casey and I met Jac at the Beat Kitchen for a Featherproof reading and Dollar Store reading (where the host buys things from the dollar store and sends it to the authors--who write something about that piece). Amelia Gray did a reading from her book AM/PM, which I adored. Casey and I scooted and went to TMLMTBGB, which holds a special place in my heart. Kudos to Case fro rolling a 1 and a 2! Then home. Home.
I dragged my butt out of bed . . . later and later each day. I made it in for a Poetry Everywhere presentation from the poetry foundation. I had lunch down the street with Cathy, Anne, and Jessica. Then all these other Wesleyan people filtered in. I went and brought drawing supplies and went to the art institute in the afternoon. It was Free February, so it was packed. I ran around taking pictures of anything Greek mythology themed. There was a big winter festival downtown with snow sculptures and sled dogs and such. Teh snow sculptures were pretty kick-ass.
I went back to AWP for a Chicago slam panel . . . and found that no one showed up. So we went renegade, and all the slam poets in the room got up on the mic. It was pretty damn awesome. After that, I went to Barnes & Noble to see Jeffrey McDaniel, Patricia Smith, and Susan Somers-Willette read, which was lovely. Then back to AWP for a lonely Valentine's Day evening at the hotel bar. Hoping. Then the AWP college slam. Which wasn't a slam. It was show down between Riler and Jeff, and the rest of us read. Again, lovely. Then I trekked home.
Some work. Breakfast @ Casey's work--they give you a BAG OF DOUGHNUTS if you come in for breakfast. Mom came and picked me up. I did some work. Had dinner with mom and dad.
I drove down to Thawville to surprise Katrina for her birthday. It was a crazy day of driving around, but lots of quality time with the Tammen clan. The main highlight of the day was wedding dress shopping. And arguments about how mant porta potties to have. It really was a lovely day. I miss my friends so much.