The full, upright, and locked position: day one
But flying on December 27 takes traveling tension to another dimension. December 27 is the first day of my profession's annual convention, which draws researchers, teachers, interviewers, interviewees, the beautiful, the wretched, the damned, the hip, and the surly from all corners of North America (and beyond) to a single city--actually, to a single ghetto of chi-chi hotels somewhere within a single city--for three days of tightly controlled and calibrated Academic Mayhem. For seven years out of the past eight, I've left my family (if I've even been able to make it to them before the convention) to head to the A.M. on either December 26 or 27. This year, I was able to leave it till the 27th. And here I am, in an oversized hotel room, taking call after call from friends as they arrive in the city and at the hotel. My one full-on professional duty happens tonight at 8:45 p.m.
(And now it's done; I have given my paper, and it has been received well. And tomorrow I will write more about remaining in, as the flight attendants say, the full, upright, and locked position.)