The last two and a half weeks since my return from Lille have gone by in a blur. I got some good ideas from the workshop that I wanted to implement in a short paper that I had on hand, which I figured I could do by a pair of deadlines Feb. 15 (for a 400 word abstract) and Feb. 22 (for the full 6-page paper). The idea was something conceptually simple and should have involved just a transposition of notation, but I then spent three days beating my head against the wall trying to sort it all out, to the point where Friday evening before the first deadline I was utterly unglued by stress -- Joel said he'd never seen me so agitated about something before. I ended up spending most of Saturday out at the office trying to work on things; in the morning I dealt with my author proofs for a paper to come out in the Journal of Philosophical Logic
, which was very satisfying. It also meant that no matter how little else I got done on the other paper, I could still count a successful day if I sent the proofs back to the editor (which I did). Then starting on Sunday I got sucked into the Olympics -- I've been up till 12:30-1:30am every night for the last two weeks slavishly switching between BBC2 (English commentary, but not much coverage), Eurosport (Dutch commentary and continuous coverage, but sometimes of things like biathlon, and frankly, I've now seen more than enough biathlon to last me another four years), or Nederlands 1 (Dutch commentary, and the place to go to watch the skating). I got my abstract off on the 15th and then Martijn came to our place for Dutch lessons and he and I ended up spending the entire night sitting on the bed watching the Olympics while Joel worked at the office and then came home late and continued working in the livingroom (he had the same deadline I did). I've now learned all sorts of Dutch sporting commentary words.
A week ago Wednesday Joel and I went to Shearwater
's first show of their European tour for their new album -- it's the third show of theirs we've gotten to in less than a year, which is awesome. Over the weekend, I went to London for Insulae Draconis's first coronet tourney; Bertrik and Floris were planning to drive so I caught a ride with them. The plan was Floris would pick me up at noon, and we'd pick up Bertrik at 12:30, and we'd hopefully get the 6pm ferry from Dunkirk; if traffic was good, we might even make the 4pm. That didn't happen...just after I saw a road sign saying "Belgium 1 km", Floris goes "Oh no." Turns out, he'd forgotten his passport. So we drove all the way back to Amsterdam...and hence got on the road about 4pm and thus had rush hour traffic all through the Netherlands and Belgium. When we reached Brussels we realized there was no way we were even going to make the 8pm ferry, so we stopped at a grocery store for necessities (i.e., beer for all three of us, a brand of Mexican grill sauce that's hard to find in Amsterdam any more for Floris, and some good Belgian bread for me), and then dinner. We ended up on the 10pm ferry which meant we got into site around 2am (1am UK time), where I went straight to bed (this to the amazement of Bertrik and Floris, who had marveled at the fact that I slept pretty much the entire time in the car, and
on the ferry, meaning I got about 12 hours of sleep over the course of the trip. Boy, did I need it.) In the morning I watched some of the opening rounds of the tourney, accompanied by Baroness Katherine and Baron Bartholomew visiting from Lochac, and Dagny, a transplant to London from the Outlands who was at her second event in the kingdom, so I got to tell them all the gossip about the contestants during the processional. After that, I went inside (warmth! sunshine!) to commandeer a table for the scriptorium, as I had to do the calligraphy for Alaric & Nerissa's court barony scroll
(beautifully illuminated by nusbacher
and her team, and then washed dishes with maryf
for awhile. I always enjoy washing dishes because it's something one can do without needing to get directions/instructions from the kitchen crew (which can often be more of a pain than the benefit they get from having helpers), and it's often a chance to get to chat with someone that I'd otherwise not get to talk to. Afterwards bend_gules
organized some dancing in the other hall, and I danced to my heart's content. All in all, it was a very good, fun event.
The next Monday I did manage to get the paper sent off, and Martijn came over for Dutch lessons again, question words this time; he'd ask us questions and then make us answer them in Dutch, in full sentences...we did pretty well. I can now ask Joel to hand me my beer in Dutch, and he can tell me "get it yourself". :) The three of us all sat on the bed, so that Martijn and I could watch the Olympics and I could sort through the box of backlog scribal stuff that I brought home from the event. I'd taken the box out with me to the office that day and scanned all of the backlog scrolls so that I could put them on Flickr
in hopes of finding contact info for their recipients. In less than a week, I've already mailed off 12 and have contact info for another 8.
Then last Wednesday, as I noted in an earlier post, Martijn and I went to see Vampire Weekend at the Paradiso. Thursday evening Joel and I went out to a pub between Dam Square and Spui as Reut had just gotten her dissertations that day and was offering free beer and signed copies. So we were out again until past midnight...Friday I spent the afternoon working with a student on a paper we hope to submit on the 15th of March (only one of the paper deadlines I have that day -- and I have another on the 16th!), and by the time Friday afternoon drinks came around, I was ready!
In the last week I have also booked my trip to Australia, registered for and made travel arrangements for the Leeds International Medieval Congress in July, and registered for and made travel arrangements for the Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress in May (which involves flying in a few days early and spending them with friends in Fort Wayne). I still have to sort out travel for the Hamburg -> Bologna -> Portland, OR trip in early June, and the Nottingham -> Dublin -> Lisbon -> Azores -> Toulouse trip in the end of June/beginning of July. And purchase tickets to Winchester Pilgrimage in May. I haven't even started thinking about Pennsic yet, that's way too far out.
And in the midst of all of this, the three sovereigns, Palimpsest, and a group of past sovereigns and other intelligent folks have been hashing out proposals for new Rules for Submissions (the mailing list has generated 862 messages this month so far, and I only just finished catching up on all of them about 10 minutes before starting to write this post). I feel like I've been drowning in the discussion -- I haven't had enough time to read all of the messages as they come in, much less think about them and respond to them in any deep fashion. I have some strong thoughts about name conflict which I thought I'd be able to write up after getting back from Lille, but finishing that paper for the 22nd swallowed me instead, and finally only this morning did I sit down and type up my thoughts, which means they are not very articulate and way more incomplete than I had hoped. All of this, not to mention trying to finish up writing my decisions for February, and deal with proofreading for January...it's no wonder that I feel like the last two and a half weeks have gone by in a blurry, sleep-deprived, mentally-taxing, sport-filled haze. Oh, and teaching. The course I'm teaching, since it covers material I've never taught before, and material that has never been taught here before, is costing me about 2-3 days each week in prep time (reading, writing up lecture notes
, making slides), in addition to two hours a week lecturing which is both exhilarating and exhausting.