A few short letters I thought of writing during and after my trip to Montreal for ASAs:
Dear Fortunate Timing: Thanks for taking me to Montreal on Wednesday, instead of Thursday.
Dear Canada: Your twenty dollar bill is lovely.
Dear Montreal: I really like your city but I think you ought to work on the whole running-red-lights-at-high-speed issue. Admittedly, it was impressive to see that Porsche rocket down the hill, but the narrow margin between it and my knees still makes me a little queasy.
Dear Air Canada: My overall experience with you was quite nice. Forgetting to transfer my baggage to terminal 2 in Toronto so that I could clear customs in time to catch my flight to Phoenix, however, was a pretty big oops. Thanks for holding the plane a little longer.
Dear Customs/Immigration Guy: I was sweating because I had been running. Didn’t mean to freak you out or anything. Still, you could have been a little nicer when it took me a second to get my brain in gear and tell you what I’ve been doing in Canada. For a few seconds, “Waiting with low blood sugar for my bag” was all I could think of.
Dear Apple: I had earlier believed that I had escaped the sudden and random shutdowns I hear tell of on the MacBook. Turns out, not so much. It’s hard to write and give a presentation on a computer that doesn’t turn on. It’s like the prettiest, most expensive lucite paperweight I’ve ever seen, currently. *
Dear ASA: Again with the cross-country trip? 2007 is New York. Maybe 2008 could be in Miami, or Boston, or Chicago—yeah, we haven’t all gone there for at least a couple of years. How about some attention to the West? Seriously, Salt Lake City hosted the olympics; I think it could handle us, but you’d all have to get over the High Culture bias first. I can tell you where to go for a beer, if you want. Denver, Seattle, San Diego, and Portland are also just fine.
Dear ASA: If you’re going to have conference hotels, how about having the conference, you know, at the hotels? The palais was a pretty neat building, but if the meetings aren’t even going to involve the hotels in the slightest, maybe we could promote any of the multiple very nice, much cheaper, free-breakfast-including spots instead? Again, you’d have to get over the High Culture bias first.
Dear cabbie: You say you’ve been driving that elderly couple, the one I shared a ride back to the airport at 5am with, all week? Do they know how much you’ve been ripping them off? The hotel-airport fare isn’t normally $50, dude.
Dear Portugese restaraunt on Crescent: You’re kidding, right? The only thing Portugese about our meal was … well, I don’t know anything about Portugese food, but I’m pretty sure you don’t either.
Dear French-Canadian TV: Wow, we can’t show anything like that on broadcast television in the States. How very European. Also, I caught a little bit of Star Trek 2 dubbed into French late one night. Know what’s the same in any language? “KAAAAAHHHNNN!”
Dear sociology bloggers: Sorry I couldn’t stay. See you next year.
* I was going to do the joke where I write, “My computer has been shutting itself down unexpect NO CARRIER”, but Drek beat me to it. Damn you and your compatible sense of humor, Drek.
Update 8/26/2006: Because I know folks are on the edge of their seats, I returned the MacBook for repair, received it three days later, and it has performed great ever since. Fingers crossed that Apple has zeroed in on the shutdowns problem and I’ll have smooth computing from here on out.