rubibees: (queen)
[personal profile] rubibees
What a whirlwind! George Bey said last night as we were waiting to get picked up for dinner that every meeting has its own personality...and we agreed that this years SAAs was all about networking. Everyone seemed to be meeting with other people, and I felt like every archaeologist I know was in Austin. Apparently it was nearly 5000 people, so one of the largest ever. I had a lot of fun and some really important professional stuff happened, so I'm going to try and put some of that down here.

Wed I arrived about 3pm but my luggage did not. Sad panda. I headed to the hotel and did some shopping for different shoes (I was wearing my tennis shoes so I could work out) and a new blouse, since I had dinner plans for Wed evening with my undergrad adviser and his brother. Good thing too, since my bag did not arrive at the hotel until about 11pm. Luckily Austin has so many cool shops, although I spent a lot of $ on those emergency purchases! Dinner that night was really nice--Tony is always great and had 4 glasses of wine within an hour...we were at a French place called Peche. I had a fancy brie grilled cheese that had apple butter on it--sounds weird but it was delicious. They made a Spicy Bees Knees, with gin, honey, lemon and fresh jalapeƱo juice that was a lot of fun. Tony's big bro Will intimidated me for the first 20 years I knew him but we are good now and he treats me like a colleague. Except that they picked up the tab, which was nice and typical for those great guys.


Thur morning I met with Travis for breakfast...well the UM students were there at first since they were getting ready for the ethics bowl. I bought them breakfast and tried to help them not be too nervous. After they left Travis and I got to talking and he brought up the topic of me working at Yaxuna in the future. We had talked about this briefly last summer (I brought it up that time) but he thought it would be too threatening to Aline. However now Aline is talking about leaving archaeology since she did not get a job this year, and while we all hope she does not do that he does need more help with the project, specifically from someone who has an academic job and those types of resources. I had a feeling days before that this was what he wanted to talk about and I mostly listened to what he said, although I admit my heart was doing lil flippity-flops since Yaxuna is where my heart resides as far as Yucatan. Then I went to the ethics bowl and watched the UM kids--they were great and should have won! All three other teams were made up of grad students so my kids were at a bit of a disadvantage. However the did it, did well, and lost honorably (as they described it). So then it was time for the consolation BBQ lunch at Iron Works, just around the corner. In the meantime Charles had texted to see if I was free for lunch since he thought he might have to be out of town on Sat (when we planned to get together). So I invited him to join me and the students for BBQ, and he did...it was good to see him of course, but he still tenses up if things archaeological come up as he is still a bit sad that he isnt doing archaeology...and the little bit he is doing on an article with some colleagues isnt going too well. But it was an okay lunch. On the way out we walked right into Kam, so I begrudgingly got his cell number and said something about getting together. After that I needed some fresh air, and took a walk then toured the book room. At 6pm I checked out the processions session organized by the folks who just invited me to present at their Dumbarton Oaks symposium--it was interesting but I left around 7:30 to meet up with the UM crowd, including Justin etc at a bakery and beer hall nearby (Austin is full of way too many cool places like this). We had beers, sat outside and had a grand time...Tara arrived from Dallas and eventually we headed back to the hotel.

Friday morning was the session on pre-contact masculinities in the new world that I organized, so I had to get up early and get the laptop ready, etc. I really enjoyed listening to those papers and this was probably the high point intellectually of the conference. Grabbed a breakfast burrito afterward and then talked some more with Travis (I had questions!) and at 1pm it was time for the session where I was to present a paper. This was the abundance session and as I said on Fbk, my paper was a bit of a disaster, but there were some other interesting ideas in the session that I enjoyed. Despite whining on Fbk a number of people told me I handled the projector crisis well, LOL. That session ended at 4pm, and then the UM crew met up again at the lobby bar, since now Will was in town. Snacks and talking with the FL Dept of State archaeologists (more former Mayanists) about NAGPRA and other stuff...One of these guys walked up to me and said, "I know your mom!" since she is always networking around the Trail of Florida's Indian Heritage. Later I went to dinner with my abundance session folks, which was mediocre Tex-Mex and endless small talk. Drinks in the bar with UM students and friends afterward, which ended with a drunken Swede semi-stalker cornering me and whining about how he has always wanted to meet me, I never cite his work, didn't I want to write an article together? I got out of this by saying, Hey, its 1am! and promising to talk to him the next day.

Got up Sat morning at 9:45 just to meet the stalker, and he wasnt at our meeting place, which was a huge relief. I didn't wait around for long to see if he was running late. Each SAA more and more people approach me and say, I have always wanted to meet you! or something similar, but this guy was obviously flirting, and I dont do flirting at archaeology conferences. Yick. One of the abundance session guys said to me, "I loved that you were sitting behind me, you have the most delicious laugh," more ick, but I chalk this up to the Oshun energy that is running around me right now...easy enough to ignore those dweebs. Another meeting with another publisher that I'm not that interested in working with, and seeing students of various types. An hour with Kam that was calm and productive...I decided to go ahead and tell him that I dont want to do any more fieldwork with him and we agreed on a an amicable divorce. Doesn't change the fact that the informe needs to happen first, then a plan for publication of what data we have out of the ground already. I dont care if he thinks he "won" or whatever by me leaving, I am just relieved to be out. Then I got to escape the Rez...the convention center is right across the street from the hotel which added to the frantic pace. I Fbk messaged Steve's BFF who moved to Austin about a year ago, and he was free on Sat to have lunch. So about 2pm Louis picked me up and we went to this kitschy Austin place on a lake called the Hula Hut. Louis is a character, I knew he would be, and he pretty much talked non-stop. At one point he said, "I know I talk a lot, I guess when you are with Steve you must do all the talking since he is so quiet." and I said, No, Steve does most of the talking, then Louis said, "Oh I dont give him that chance I guess." But he was funny and I was genuinely interested in getting to know him a bit. He and Steve have been friends since high school and he is very protective of S...I'm pretty sure I'm not good enough for S in his mind...although he seemed open enough to the poly idea (not sure how much he knew but he seemed to already know the broad outlines). He expressed concern that S isolates himself and needs physical contact, did I have a high sex drive and was I just toying with S, etc? It was a strange and funny and very honest conversation...including Louis talking about how he is asexual, not into relationships, gay, etc. Amusing. We went for a short hike after lunch up a local mountain/hill which was very beautiful. Then he took me back to the hotel. A couple of hours later it was time for another escape...I met up with my closest archaeologist friend George Bey and our friend Suzanne picked us up. She lives in Austin and we all met long ago in the 90's when she was an environmental volunteer in Yucatan...she and George keep up and see each other at least once a year, they have an attraction that they never consummate...but I had not seen her in 6 years? 8 years? Not sure, quite a while. We picked up her husband Garett and drove out of downtown for a drink before dinner. At first I was kinda dreading the night, as I dont know how much I have in common with Suzanne and Garett any longer--they live in a big fancy house and drive a SUV...they seem to get fucked up for fun....but Garett started talking politics and he is super liberal so that was entertaining. And when we got to dinner at Fonda San Miguel, the food was excellent. Much laughter and toasting my "divorce" from Kam. We had the cute waiter thinking I was back on the market and that caused more laughter. I got a text from Charles saying he was in San Antonio so wasnt going to be at Continental Club...and Travis had already sort of bailed...so I just went with the George and Suzanne plan and went to Suzanne's house to smoke nice weed and drink fancy sparkling water. More laughter enjoying the warm night sitting outside...she drove us back to the hotel about 1am. All my UM kids were in the room asleep, the little babies, so I tried not to make much noise.

Today we all slept in, I had tea and a muffin with Julie, another student, and then went to a couple of papers. One was by Kelin, my favorite pagan-archaeologist! Left for the airport with Julie around noon and been on a plane ever since.

Of the many things that happened, the biggest is the invitation to work at Yaxuna again. I will need to think about this but I can hardly say no. Another step away from Kam and Xuenjkal is also big, and healthy. Meeting with a couple of new presses/editors was also exciting, the new person who I will be working with at Cambridge was very friendly and she wants me to do another book with them. Not having my Continental Club celebration was sort of sad, but I shouldnt have counted on Charles. That relationship is growing more distant, which is fine, he isnt comfortable with anything more. George described me as the most creative archaeologist working in Yucatan (okay, he was high and drunk) but that is exactly the rep I have been trying to build, so its cool to hear it happening. We are close friends but I dont think he would say that about my work unless he meant it. Much validation and love from my students which is the best part, hands down.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-04-28 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rowanf.livejournal.com
Sounds like a great conference. I always enjoyed SAA back in the day. I love the part about Steve's friend. It is nice to know that loved one's have people who care. And yay "most creative archaeologist working in Yucatan" you rock.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-04-29 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rubibees.livejournal.com
Thanks. It is lovely and intimate to meet a dear one's dear ones.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-04-28 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rio-luna.livejournal.com
you are my hero and star-crush. congrats on the divorce being final, finally

ps. j's latest fb photos make her look like a drag queen and Russian prostitute.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-04-29 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rubibees.livejournal.com
Still things to do before the divorce is complete, but yes, hooray for baby steps forward.

OMG, will have to check out those pics.

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