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Monday, August 13, 2007

back from evanston

It was, as expected, hot and muggy in Evanston, a little suburb of Chicago, where I spent the weekend at the Medill writers' workshop, both attending and working. AAN's editorial and diversity committees met over the weekend, and I am a member of both. I also critiqued four writers attending the workshop. In between, I attempted to make the Internet work in my hotel room and tried not to pass out from the humidity. Highlights of the weekend were visiting the home of the Chicago Reader owner (the outgoing owner I suppose I should say ) Bob Roth, who has the most insanely impressive collection of Outsider Art I've ever seen, including at least three by Henry Darger. (As proof that I am really not fit for polite society, I actually attempted to photograph some of the art on my cell phone when the host wasn't looking. Fortunately, they are such bad photos that I am not going to embarrass myself by posting them.
I have a strange antipathetic relationship with Evanston, which is a perfectly pleasant town that works my nerves. On the one hand, it's very lively and easy to get around (even for me, queen of getting lost while walking around the block). Within three blocks of the hotel are: Whole Foods, Starbucks and Urban Outfitters, my favorite evil corporate chains. Unfortunately, there never seems to be a whole lot else—although I haven't really given it that thorough a search. It's pretty and the university campus is nice, the lake is lovely. I don't know. I may just be psychologically incapable of saying anything nice about the suburbs, although in some ways it's less suburban than parts of Santa Fe. Although I never really think of Santa Fe as being suburban at all...except for, maybe, Eldorado and Rancho Viejo.
Anyway, I digress. I flew home yesterday feeling quite under the weather, passed out upon reaching home and now, here it is, Monday again. I am trying, now, to plan a real vacation (well, a real three-day vacation anyway) with the boy for LA in September. Am researching cheap deals online. I need to see the beach! And now I need to get back to work!