Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Picture Some Sort of Thelma & Louise Situation Probably

Tomorrow I am leaving for Las Vegas. My friends Erika and David and I heard that an academic conference we like was going to be there, and we were all, "Oh surely we can come up with SOMETHING to say at that thing, we gots lotsa idears." We proposed a panel, it was accepted, and we are Vegas bound. So really it will probably be like Thelma and Louise, if they had had better educational opportunities, and a gayer, better-dressed Brad Pitt, and instead of driving into the void, we'll write devastatingly witty things in our conference notes. "Oh no she DIDN'T just confuse fabula and syuzhet. Bitch please!"

Don't you hate that you're going to miss that?

The thing is at Harrah's, and we're staying there. I have never been to that hotel, and I'm a little disappointed that it's not one of the places that has indoor sea battles or a chocolate volcano or something. I'm sure we'll find some fun though.

Now, the mom types among you know that it is far from a trivial matter to get away from one's home and children for multiple days, when schooling and activities must continue in one's absence and one's husband must also continue to do productive work. Unfortunately, all of my children's grandparents are living their own lives in other places, and Matt will be on his own. He asked me for a written schedule of everything that needs to happen and everything he needs to remember from Thursday through Sunday morning. I'm including every detail and leaving nothing to chance.

And as I was composing this document, it dawned on me that I'll be gone on Friday, when Hank is supposed to wear a green shirt to school for St. Patrick's Day, and Matt will have to be in charge of that. And also Matt is color blind. So I'm leaving my five year-old baby likely to be dressed by his dad in a red or brown shirt and therefore vulnerable to the pinching that the Korean kids probably get. (They're like, St. What?)

So yes, I am laying out the clothing and writing on the schedule, "Hank PE day, needs tennis shoes. Also wear green! Green robot shirt on top of his chest of drawers!" Luckily I will be here to dress him in the morning because tomorrow is school spirit shirt day and Chick-fil-A lunch day, and I just don't think I could leave two separate memos about special shirts. I'm pretty sure it was that kind of needless system complexity that caused the Challenger explosion.

I am also pre-wrapping two birthday presents that I have pre-bought. Each child has a weekend bday party to attend. And Laura has a science project due on Friday (make a model of a cell out of edible materials? why for the love of Pete?) and she has a swim meet on Saturday afternoon, to which I am leaving directions.

They will have a blast, because he is the fun parent. And he really is.

And I bet I will have some fun too. I will pop in on the SubMat facebook page if something interesting happens or if I need bail money. Go "like" me on there if you might be willing to provide that.



Christian said...

I am currently smashed into a Korean subway car like a little foreign sardine among all the native sardines, and your deployment of my favorite narratological terms of all time, fabula and szujet, is totally getting my life together right now. Thank you, and may your panel be great.

Aimee said...

I almost started whine about wanting to join you at the conference...then I realized that everyone there is likely loads more intelligent and/or educated than I, so I would spend the whole time mortified of my own ignorance and/or lack of intelligence.

So....have fun! Get your braininess on! See you on the flip side.

Becky said...

Aimee, you would be right at home, believe.

Christian, I love hearing from you in this moment. I am often thinking of you and your fish-out-of-water tale unfolding. xoxo

Lisa Lilienthal said...

It's probably too late for me to send you my template for all the crap I have to write up when I travel -- it really is amazing how much information we keep in our heads!! Have a great time!

Veronica said...

SOOOO jealous. Have fun!! xoxo

Common Household Mom said...

My son once made a model of a cell out of jello and candy. I do not recommend this. He did not take it into school. And you are wise not to leave the Procuring of Birthday Presents to the Husband.

Have a great time!

Elizabeth said...

Have a wonderful time, and please don't drive your car over a cliff.

yelladoesstuff said...

I live in Vegas! Let me know if you need any pointers...or bail.

M said...

I hear 4cs is in Vegas next year. it would be worth the price of admission just to see academics in that environment. Please take names and make copious notes. Do have real fun in the most faux city on earth.

AlGalMom said...

I look forward to the day when my kids are all school-aged and can be left alone with their father for multiple days. Although, the conference I have my heart set on is the sheep & goat birthing class you can take with Heifer International. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to remember the last time I left lists & instructions. I mean, my kids are both Laura's age, right, and there are two of them. I guess usually I just give them a review session about their goals for the time I'm gone and a pep talk about advocating for themselves.

There was once an epoch of food prepared for the freezer, but then I found out they would eat takeout every night I was away. So, now, yk, it's just BYE! Laissez les bons temps rouler, see you!

Bon voyage! Behave. Don't forget to pack something warm in case of a spring blizzard while you're away. xo

Nina said...

I'm really wishing that you could have a control group to discover what would happen with no schedule, no outfits laid out, no birthday presents, no instructions. I want to know! And having found out, you could go to another conference to present the results. Have fun!

Amy said...

Nina, that is a great idea! I'm predicting: lots of popcorn and Chik-fil-A, which are Matt's specialties, wrestling matches, and X-box. That sounds pretty awesome, actually!

Have fun, Beck! Pls come back with stories! And I am convinced I'd feel dumb at this thing, cause even with this afternoon's FaceTime explanation of fabula and the other one, I still only get it about 30%. YOU'RE fabula!

Michele said...

Road trips! My favorite type of travel.

Beth said...

I, too, am envious of this conference party madness. I can't imagine another time an academic conference has been held in Vegas... it's those narrative people. If I may count myself among you all for a moment, we are cray-zee.

Will someone please throw in a question about De Certeau or performativity or jouissance, for me?

I am sure Vladimir Propp will be turning over in his grave.

gretchen said...

Oh dear. This is why I never go anywhere. Because though Jimmy is not color blind, he is basically useless.

You have Chick-Fil-A day? I am NOT telling this to Jude. Though his school does have In-N-Out Burger day, and that's damned good.

Are there really Korean kids in Atlanta now? The world has certainly changed. We had one Asian kid in my entire school when I was little. That comment about the Korean kids actually made me snort wine out my nose, because we live in Koreatown, and I always feel a little sad for the Korean kids at Jude's school, even though they do totally screw with the curve by being uber students. Except for Jude's friend Nathan, whose darling father, Jun, is diligent about Americanizing his family. Nathan is the only Korean kid who wears the right kids on "free dress" day.

Have fun in Vegas, Baby!