Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day 3

On day 3 we were treated to a panel featuring Pat Madden and the former OU crew, and another panel featuring both Dinty Moore and Pat Madden, among others.

In the first panel Pat and friends talk about quotidiana—the commonplace, everyday things from which many essays are and should be constructed. It was a breath of fresh air, a concrete and entertaining presentation that left me with something nearly tangible (I don't mean the cool bookmarks Pat made either) where other panels and forums left me with only tentative musings. Pat's powerpoint presentation was awesome as usual, a testament to Microsoft's ability to get some things right despite the end-users' general inability to comprehend and excel.1 I also enjoyed hearing a beautiful elegy-for/rally-to-remember A. A. Milne's forgotten essay endeavors.

Dinty's panel consisted of six essayists writing imitations of Montaigne's "Of Thumbs." The way it worked was that Dinty had constructed a series of constraints each writer had to follow in constructing their homage essays, things like, "Write in the second person," and, "Use the same number of paragraphs and the same first letters of each as Montaigne did in writing your piece," and, "Write an essay on a topic that rhymes with 'thumbs' (drums, hums, chysanthemums)." Each writer had rolled two dice to see which constraints would guide their work and now presented their attempts to our applause and laughter. A good time was had by all.

I noticed today that the most-used word throughout the conference was probably "ostensible." This word means "stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so."

I also noticed that L was wielding a blue Papermate Write Bros. medium point pen, my favorite pen in the whole wide world.

I left early from a reading in the ballroom to sit in the hall softly dozing while pretending to read the Agatha Christie book I've toted around all week. Sometime while I was sleeping, L got up and left the reading too, ostensibly to return to her hotel and watch some TV. As this was the last day of the conference and she wouldn't be returning for dinner, it was the last we ever saw of L.

At dinner Joey and I were sitting with Brad, a student from Bowling Green we'd befriended. All of a sudden a nicelooking guy came up and asked if he could sit with us; we assented. His nametag read "Daniel Jones, New York Times." We asked him what he did, and would you believe it—he edits the "Modern Love" column featured every Sunday in the Style section of the paper. I love that column, and I told him so. He knew of Joey from his publication in 20something Essays. It was fun to chat and promise to send something to him for the column as soon as I manage to fall in love and thus have something to write about.

1Pun intended. Word.

1 comment:

Bart Bradshaw said...

I'm glad the pun was intended.

Junwha bunho baudaussayo (L'iranen yojah)?