Owl In New York • 8 August 2007

Tomorrow, Manhattan.

(Just picked up the new William Gibson to read en route. Germane reading material, I anticipate. Will touch the earth, in the zen sense, for DZM when I land briefly at Sky Harbor. That oddest of places with the SciFi name.)

God I love New York.

Friday, a conference at Columbia on consumerism and consumption.

That should be amusing. People who wear dockers and don’t watch TV (I fit exactly one of these categories) talking about why others buy. Incidentally, I’m also into market research lately. To fill in the picture from the, well, Cayce Pollard side of things.

Then: four solid days of the American Sociological Association, the main disciplinary conference where we enact all the rituals that tell us who we are as professionals, and establish the hierarchies, and posture like hell…, and in the meantime share ideas, get a handle on the leading edges, rub shoulders with people whose books have taught us much. Yes, I’m ambivalent. I don’t speak until Tuesday afternoon, by which time we’ll all be deeply wound inside this straaaaange world of thinking and interacting.

I’m looking forward, in a snarky way, to a wine a cheese reception entitled “Sociologists meet New York activists” as well as a presentation about how mindfulness practice is the handmaiden of the “late-capitalist” cult of self-creation. We’ll see if either is sufficiently bad to be blogworthy.

I’m also looking forward to thunderstorms, if any remain. God that would be a nice release; and besides, that torque of barometric pressure the seaboard builds up in summertime can make me a little weird.

As for the yoga. Yes. In addition to the astanga in the land of plenty (though I hear several teachers are in Mysore now?), I’m eyeing a Mark Whitwell workshop, Alan Finger the chakra guy with the inappropriate name, and Dharma Mittra’s midday masterclass. Since there are about 50 sessions going on at once at the ASA, sporadic disappearance will be achievable.

Colleague: I didn’t see you in the Global Supply Chains session?

Owl: No, I caught a different session. Brilliant.

Then… house-sitting some professors’ place up in WashingtonHeights for a few excellent excellent days before coming back west in time for Jury Duty the week after next. Of all things. Thanks for reeling me in there, Los Angeles Superior Court.

       Which reminds me:

I’m a most quiet, clean, extremely grateful house-sitter who loves plants and pets and benefits immeasurably from a refreshing place to be a silent little writing ghost for a few days while you’re off in the mountains. All I do is sit at the dining room table with the notebook, take meditation breaks on the living room floor. I leave gourmet cheeses and nut butters and Green & Blacks in the fridge when I go. I pacify your cats because they secretly miss you.

Just so you know. Because for weeks I’ve been itching to get off campus and take my work on the road, and I’m free from teaching all the coming year. I’ve not much mentioned it here, but restlessness has overtaken me in a way that hasn’t been seen since August of ’99. It’s a little intense. I’m listening to Gordon Lightfoot and doing flickr searches for Reykjavik and thinking about storage units.

My father in law wanted to know the exact dates of the NYC trip so that he could mark it on his calendar to pray about it. (Christian fundamentalists do fear the place.)

God bless you, New York. And thank you for taking me in.