"s&co" - a photo by Flickr user austinevan
Thoughts on media, culture, and the world-at-large bubbling up from the dusty corners of my cluttered mind
May 15, 2011
The Crew

Bridesmaids was marketed like a raunch-com centered on female friendship and the absurdities of weddings, but there's a whole lot more going on. The film's wide-ranging (and, to some, surprisingly cross-gender) appeal appeal is based on something far more universal.

Posted By Saralyn on/at 3/17/2010 07:07:00 AM

My undergraduate program didn’t place much (read: any, that I was aware of) emphasis on going to conferences. I wasn’t even aware that there were conferences for undergrads. Imagine my surprise to enter my first semester of graduate school and find my peers already accepted to and attending conferences! I feel a little as though I’m playing catch-up in that regard.

...All of which is a wordy lead-in to the fact that I am attending my first conference ever this week - the Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Image in Society’s conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This year’s theme is “The Image of the Hero in Literature, Media, and Society”, and I will be presenting a rebooted and streamlined paper from an undergraduate honors seminar titled “Of Cowboys and Ubermensch: Romantic Strains in German and American Heroes”. I’ll also be moderating a panel, which, I’ve been informed, will consist mainly of informing panelists of their time constraints. I’m hoping it will all be a low-key, smooth introductory experience that will boost my confidence to submit to larger, more prestigious gatherings.

While I usually reserve this site for “academic” meanderings, I thought I would mix it up with a daily blog during the conference. In addition to this being my first conference, it is also my first time couch surfing - bunking down with strangers who have kindly agreed to open their homes and their spare bedrooms for traveling souls. I made the decision based on my lack of funds for a hotel room and the desire to touch back in with some of the principles around simplicity & community I committed myself to while living in an intentional community. All in all, this week should be an interesting confluence of academic, social, and personal experiences.

That being said, follow the link to the full episode for a blow-by-blow of Day Zero - Leavin’ On a Jetplane (not everyday will be such a literal accounting of my time)

Place: Holiday Inn, Ontario Airport, California
5:00 a.m. - Alarm sounds, calling me to rise, shower, and get ready. I decide a shower is less important than another half-hour in bed.

5:30 a.m. - Alarm sounds again and I obey. Dress, perform a minor miracle by french braiding my hair, gather things, chow down on a Nutrigrain bar to stop growling stomach.

6:00 a.m. - Startle mother awake with a goodbye kiss and scuttle down to catch the airport shuttle.

6:15 a.m. - Try to take a photo of my bedraggled self, end up with a photo of how I feel (fuzzy).

6:20 a.m. - Make it through security to find a virtually deserted terminal. Not even iconic See’s Candy is open for me to buy a gift for my hosts.

6:25 a.m. - Realize I left my camera’s USB cord at home. On purpose. Meaning I have no way to transfer my photos to my computer. Thus, non-camera phone photos and videos will be edited in later.

6:30 - 6:45 a.m. - Over-priced breakfast burrito with “brunch potatoes” at Applebee’s, served by some of the most adorable and wonderful wait staff I have ever encountered.

6:50 a.m. - The miracle has already come undone. I accordingly look a mess.

7:00 a.m. - Realize my boarding group has already been called, but somehow make it onto the plane and find overhead space for my bags anyway.

7:15 a.m. - In the middle of reading the emergency procedures as mandated for those of us in the exit row, I realize I didn’t leave a tip for the wonderful Applebee’s wait staff. Feel like an absolute ass.

7:25 (PST) - 10:40 a.m. (MST) - Take-off, attempts at sleeping, an episode of “No Reservations” (Japan!), and landing at Denver.

11:35 a.m. - Take-off for Colorado Springs!

12:00 p.m. - Land, tidy self, and meet up with the folks with whom I’ll be staying. Their house has a view of Pike’s Peak (this isn’t it, though....I’ll get an actual one up eventually):

12:45 - 10:30 p.m. - Settle in my room (they’ve given me almost the whole top of the floor! and my own bathroom!), work on the computer, play with their adorable great dane:

Then to bed, with images of heroes and fears of oversleeping and missing the conference dancing in my head....

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paalomino said...

Saralyn, I'm still catching up with my reading of blogs, so may work backwards through yours, having happened on this most recent entry, which is engaging, informative and delightful to read/view. This is a very appropos intro, the apparent lack of an academic approach notwithstanding (does this make sense?). Anyway, I'd never heard of the term 'couch surfing' in this context. At first I thought this had something to do with vegging out in front of a television set, surfing channels, which of course was jumping to conclusions, much too fast. So, I learned this is a new term for camping out with friends when traveling, thanks for the update ;-) This piece is beginning to have a 'digital storytelling' feel -- nice.

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