The Important Information

The MLA badges feature people’s first names in large letters on top and much smaller last names on the bottom. Which makes no sense at a conference where it’s all about last names. We are not in business, for Pete’s sakes. We don’t need to establish the false camaraderie of business meetings. I need to know if “JILL” in the fifth row is the person I always quote in my work or some other Jill.

This reminded me of a recent gruesome murder 2 minutes from where I live. The murderer was caught immediately, and the local authorities went on TV to give a press conference. The state attorney was living the stellar moment of his existence, preening and posturing about “the outsiders who come here to destroy our way of life and our values!!! But the need to know that whoever brings violence to Madison County will experience the Madison County justice!”

Then he went on to “thank the brave WOMEN!!!! (and men) of the Major Case squad because these brave WOMEN!!!! (and men) caught the transient and nomadic individual who committed this horrific crime.”

The 23 men AND TWO WOMEN!!! of the Major Case squad looked extremely confused.

Not Anonymous

“I really enjoyed your presentation,” I say to somebody at the MLA. “It’s very close to what I do in my research.”

“Well, that’s not surprising,” he responded. “Half of my bibliography is your books and your articles.”

Another participant shared that he’s been teaching a graduate seminar using my book. It’s so funny not to be anonymous any more.

A Sad Store

Barnes and Noble in downtown Seattle is a very sad place. The one we have back at home is so different I had trouble believing it was the same chain. I imagine that Amazon delivers within minutes here, plus families with kids don’t live in the business district, so the store is dying. It’s still sad, though.

On the positive side, I bought a crapton of activity books for Klara at a gigantic discount.