the hotel on the sun was booked

Having just returned from more than a week of work-related travel, I’m tempted to delay writing a digest post for fear that it will consume most of my day. Instead, I’ll just jam this out because I’ve got work that needs attention. So, expect typing, spelling, and logical errors and we’ll both come out of this experience satisfied.

First, a few newsy bits before we get to the ASA recap:

1. My dear friend and smart sociologist Jeff Lane was recently featured in an MTV Brazil show called Peripheries. He’s in the second segment. His research on how Harlem crews use online identities to engage in (and diffuse) conflict is really wonderful stuff.

2. Nick Ashford (of songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson) died this week, and Jay Smooth has a great embedded video lineup of some greatest hits. Two of my favorite all-time female vocalists are Tammi Terrell and Chaka Khan, and they wrote for both. A real American treasure.

Now, onto the ASA recap:

I’m in the pro-Las Vegas camp, although the smoke did a number on me…I’m a libertarian in spirit, but it was a bit too much of “your stuff interfering with my stuff” especially what with the non-allergic rhinitis. It was great to be in one space, although I probably walked more steps than when we’re spread across hotels. I’ll be wearing heel-less shoes for at least a few days while mine heal–this means I’m tramping around NYC in crocs, which would be awful were we not preparing for a huge rain storm, which might justify them even without the injury. I do wonder at the magic of Vegas’s “girls to your door in 20 minutes” since it takes at least that long to transverse the lobby. They must have girls stashed away in some holding pen within the hotels to make that work.

I enjoyed the Social Structures (JLMartin) author meets critics, both because I enjoy watching the conventional sociologist bump up against the stuff John is selling and because Ann Mische was on the panel, and I adore her. I also enjoyed my own panel because it went extraordinarily well, in spite of or because I was not there. I still haven’t gotten a straight answer about how Delta justifies a 9 hour hold on a flight only to cancel it, and how they further defend the fact that we were in the plane on the tarmac for most of that. Anyway, the verdict is that folks seemed to like the newest project, but were confused about how I grew such a beautiful beard in such a short amount of time. I plan to hire Bill Roy for all my future speaking engagements.

As always, I loved the time I spent with friends and colleagues and left with the sad realization I had missed spending time with others. I would like to acknowledge that the blog has done wonders for my social and professional life–had good times with OrgTheory folks (Omar, Brayden, and met Jeff, plus ex-guest bloggers Mike Sauder, Gabriel Rossman & Steve Vaisey) including watching Kieran win big money at the slots. Scatterplot folks also joined the fun: Tina, Jessica, Shamus, Andy and–for a minute–Jeremy. I may have glanced Drek, and Dan H. skittered by my view at the party. Anyway, my love to all of them, friends new and old. Thanks for another great August week.

I’ll try to say something more substantive (let’s have a round of “what I learned at the meetings!”) later this week.



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6 responses to “the hotel on the sun was booked

  1. Great to see you, albeit briefly, as well! Let’s hope you get to attend all of next year’s ASA, and we can revel in the (presumably) smoke-free Denver air. Between that and the cleaning agents needed to exorcise my old apartment prior to move-out (yesterday’s post red-eye task), my lungs need a break. If I had any doubts about the wisdom of the recent state-level smoking bans, I no longer do.

  2. It was great to finally meet in person. I had a great ASA, but am firmly in the anti-Vegas camp. I came home sick thanks to the six days of smoke, and trying to discuss work while the Pussycat Dolls gyrated behind us was a bit much. The conference site should facilitate interaction, not make it more difficult.


  3. Jenn Lena

    Ah–Dave! I forgot to add you to the list of blog types I met and enjoyed! Dammit. Anyway, it was great to meet in person and next year we’ll plan a real conversation, smoke- and Doll-free.

  4. Speaking of the hotel not on the sun, they overcharged us for wi-fi, but they understand the problem and will refund your money instantly if you ask. Check your billing statement.

    Notwithstanding that and the second hand smoke, I remain pro-Vegas. As a West coast guy how can I not appreciate taking Southwest for an hour instead of the usual six hours each way?

    Also enjoyed both the “Social Structure” session and seeing everybody at the blog party, though it’s funny to contrast the two what with John’s comment that Facebook is the greatest destruction of social capital since the bubonic plague. (These aren’t necessarily contradictory, I’m pro-blog and anti-Facebook because I think JLM’s critique of enforced triadic closure, etc, mostly applies to the latter).

    And as for the express hookers, I think they hide in the ice machines.

  5. Pro-Vegas all the way, although I think doing it more than once every 10 years would be too often. I rather liked the awkward interactions of sociologists in casinos. Besides that, I’m really fascinated by Vegas itself. As a non-drinker, non-smoker, and skeptical gambler, I feel like Margaret Mead in Samoa when I’m in Vegas. One of my grad school friends had to talk off the ledge when I seriously discussed the idea of doing research on the organization of the stripper labor market.

  6. Jenn Lena

    Actually, Brayden, I had the same thought. I didn’t have a friend talk me off the ledge–I just remembered that Sudhir is already cornering that market. The one for research, of course.

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