Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Orleans, New Schmorleans

I am in New Orleans at the Allied Social Science Associations Convention, running the American Economic Association General Information booth. I have not set foot out of this hotel since I arrived on Wednesday night. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing about this place to tell me that I'm in New Orleans are the piles of Mardi Gras beads we have put out for a bit of decorative color, and the andouille sausage I had last night in some really yummy puff pastry.

I do have a nice view of the river from my window, but the architecture on each side is nothing to look at - it's like a river running through a series of power plants and oil refineries. I am also exceedingly bored. Although the first day here was the typical frenetic flood of questions and answers to 90% non-native speakers (which I actually enjoy; I like being helpful, I like sharing information, and I like the idea of making someone from another country feel like Americans can be kind people), since then, it's been rather boring. I am required to be at my post at all times, and there's just enough traffic to keep me from settling in comfortably to some online project, but not enough to make the day go by swiftly.

I have been doing website updates for Eric Volz whenever I could work on it surreptitiously, and whenever I had a lunch or dinner break. So there's that, but I was initially anxious because I was fearful that I wouldn't be able to get it done on time for them. Things are still fairly dreadful in the case; although Eric is out of Nicaragua and safe, the ugliness and the travesty of justice has continued in his absence, and he has been made into a political weapon for the Sandinistas to fire at. They are even going after the Appellate judges who actually did an honest job in reviewing the evidence and releasing him. I think it must be rather hellish to live in a country like that; to know that the only way to be safe is to have tons of money, tons of political muscle, and journalists on the payroll.

I head home tomorrow afternoon, and although my hotel room here has been delightful (in marked contrast to my hotel room in Chicago last year!) I will be sooooo glad to be back home. I am happiest with routine. Like a small child on a consistent nap and bedtime schedule.

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