I just discovered that my pharmacy's prescription label tells me to contact my doctor if I experience any of four things, including "sadness" or "fear," while taking a particular prescription. I suspect the pharmacy did not have a conference-related version of that pair in mind.
(A postscript: the writing part of the odyssey may be over!)
(And a second postscript, to anyone who might have been concerned by this post yesterday: my tongue was in my cheek when I wrote it, but I know that tone is hard to read and that jokes are often more revelatory than their tellers. Having to go to a professional conference two days after Christmas is no good; having to write a paper the day before Christmas is also no good; these things were already on my mind when the label jumped off the bottle at me in the morning. (To be honest, I was also thinking of the scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin where Andy calls the pharmaceutical company's hotline because he's seen their ad and is concerned about his erection.) No cause for alarm.
However, I will say that I'm learning anew about how impossible it is to control people's reactions to one's writing, and also how malleable and subjective memory is, particularly if one has a keen sense of narrative. This weekend I'm seeing my mother for the first time since starting the blog, and I'm getting her corrections to the things I've written, which is a nice confirmation that she's reading. Chiefly: she never drew me as a mouth on feet; she only pictured me as a mouth on feet when she was able to hear me coming home, even though I was still a whole subdivision block away, and six years old at that. (I have made the appropriate alteration to the haiku.) This makes sense to me; I know that I have a big mouth, always have had. It's one of my best attributes, as a teacher (and maybe just as myself, period). Also, she knew the Rhapsody well before Somewhere in Time (unfairly derided!) came out; it's a standard in ice skating. Interestingly enough, Buffange let me know earlier this winter that a Canadian couple did an ice dancing routine to music from Somewhere in Time. Ice dancing is my hands down favorite sport to watch. Everything converges.)