I went into the office for approximately five seconds this morning and then packed up and headed over to the International Country Music Conference. I hadn’t been in a little bit, since my job has changed, but it was like old home day. I saw a ton of people I’ve known forever and it was awesome.
I tell you, I like academics in general, but I think the two nicest bunches are the country music scholars and the Hispanists. I mean, get this about the Hispanists. When I started my job, I was assigned to deal with the Hispanists because I had a literary background and Hispanists love to talk and write about literature. But literally, that was my only qualification–I knew a little about literature.
People, I don’t even speak Spanish.
And yet, did I ever encounter anything but gracious, generous, interesting scholars who work on awesome stuff I loved to read about?
I did not.
Those were also the only academics I ran with that, as a matter of course, would literally lay curses on fuckers in their departments, but I never heard of a curse that wasn’t heartily deserved.
The country music scholars don’t run around laying curses–at least as far as I know–but they do know how to throw a conference. The food is delicious (We had cookies at lunch and then brownies in the middle of the afternoon!), the people friendly, the music great, and the presentations interesting.
I won’t bore you with details of everything, but Jewly Hight gave a presentation about different ways that religious imagery is used in mainstream country music and Americana. She mentioned something about Gillian Welch liking to really play with these really mythic words that put me in a mind of the album cover I shared with y’all yesterday, so I found her later outside the bathroom and tried to describe it to her. I could see she was not quite getting the wonderful absurdity of it, so I later-later showed it to her and, people, it was the second best thing I saw all day (I’m hoping I get permission to show you the first best thing I saw today) to see her face as she tried to process what, exactly, she was seeing.
I want to say that it was just a lovely day, but the other day I used “lovely” on Facebook and my dad called me to chastise me about sounding like an old maid and then he called me back to try to apologize and said, instead, that he was just thrown by my nice tone.
I’m half tempted to start making up a bunch of shit and posting all of my fake sexual exploits–and I mean awesome shit: fireworks, dudes named Todd who ride bicycles naked around my bed before leaping into it, curvy gals who wear Christmas lights slung low on their hips so that all you see in the dark as they make their way to you is that glow of anticipation, Jake Gyllenhall who just shows up because he heard Mumford and Sons would be performing at halftime (Yeah, I’m going to have to invent formal sex halftime, but y’all know what I mean.), CIA spies and the New York Times reporters who love them, pregnant women who bellydance, and on and on and on–just to reassure and embarrass him.
But I will not.