Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Back from LA - New Orleans, LA, that is!

Well, after a very nice four days in New Orleans, I am back to life-as-usual in the Twin Cities. The ICA conference, overall, was good: I saw some wonderful panels, and I saw some terrible panels, and I saw some that made me shrug and say, "so what?" But for the most part, the panel presentations I went to were pretty solid. I managed to attend a number of sessions on internet studies, including a few methodology panels and some that featured specifically blog-oriented papers. I saw or met a few people that I have to this point only heard of, and it is always nice to put faces and names together! I also attended a wonderful panel on feminism, law, and ethics. I need to download or request about a million papers sometime soon. I also need to email my own paper to a few people. My presentation went fairly well, I think. I am always the worst judge of my own performance, because I am my own worst critic. I do know I was nervous and having lower back spasms (thanks, baby!) during the presentation, as well as during the two hours preceding my own panel.

Of course, I did more than attend the conference, and that included a lot of strolling (more accurately: pregnant-with-back-pain limp-waddling) around the French Quarter, especially Bourbon and Royal Streets. Some sampling of New Orleans cuisine, but not a lot, as my budget was tight and because of baby I am severely limiting seafood (basis of much of the cuisine!) right now, but I certainly did have coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde (twice). Mmmm, deep-fried dough, powdered sugar, coffee, and people-watching. What a great combination! I also wandered around watching other people sip a variety of beverages of an alcoholic nature. I think it was Saturday evening that we wandered for hours, and by the time we were heading back to the hotel for some shuteye (keeping in mind that conference sessions began at 8:15), things were beginning to get going on Bourbon. Lots of drunken frat-boy types hanging off upper balconies yelling at women and dangling beads. I only saw one woman who actually flashed her breasts, though. (Along those lines, the most disturbing bit of the trip was seeing the number of parents wandering around the French Quarter with their young daughters, who were proudly draped in beads. Now really, Mom and Dad, is it appropriate to give your child such trinkets, which are usually awarded to young women who expose their bodies before the gaze of strange, lascivious men? I wouldn't want my seven-year-old tromping around with twenty strands of Mardi Gras beads dangling from her neck, but hey, that's me.)

Anyway, a good time was had by all. I've got an editorial meeting later today that I have to get geared up for, and I need to get ready to take off on another trip Friday - this time for a friend's wedding - but I hope to write a bit more about the conference soon!

- posted by laurie @ 6/02/2004 07:39:00 AM
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