Friday, May 13, 2005

At the 'Zoo

This past week I made the annual pilgrimage to the International Medieval Congress held, incongruously enough, in Kalamazoo MI. This year I flew into Detroit to meet gal pal Wendy. We picked up the rental car and met my high school friend, Susan, for dinner. The only thing better than knowing witty and intelligent women is being able to introduce them to one another. We had a great conversation, then Wendy and I got on the road to Kazoo.

For once, I had to give my paper on Thursday. It was great to get it out of the way at the beginning of the conference and relax. (FYI: my paper was on the Corrector of Burchard of Worms and I got good feedback.) At the wine hour I wasn't able to locate someone I had been trying to meet up with--it gets more crowded every year! But Wendy and I met up with my co-editor Scott and off we went for a fine seafood dinner.

I played hookey Friday to finish writing an article, but still managed to run into a bunch of people the rest of the day. I had dinner with my older brother, Steve, and Wendy. It was a momentous day--the last car rolled off the line in Lansing's Oldsmobile plant where Steve works, but as a carpenter, he's not too worried about keeping busy.

Saturday was a busy time: attending panels, meeting with a publisher, running into lots of folks (including Meredith, whom I'd been searching for since Thursday). Wendy and I met up with another grad school pal, Carolyn and her husband Brian, and had a lively dinner discussion. Of course, the big Saturday night dance is the cap of the week--nothing like a bunch of medievalists dancing to disco hits and classic rock. Naturally I took the opportunity to demand my advisor buy me a beer (fortunately he complied). As always we left late, sweaty and tired.

The drive back to Detroit was pleasant, especially after we stopped for a big breakfast. It's always good to share a long car ride with a good friend, and Wendy and I had a lot to catch up on. Of course, the end of the journey proved less fun--my flight was rerouted to Dallas without notice to avoid the storms around Houston. Ugh. Four and a half hours late, we finally arrived in Houston. The Kalamazoo curse strikes again!

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