At 8 am I, along with two colleagues from the Baylor Ph.D. program, set out for New Orleans. Driving. 10 hours. It was, though, quite a good time, full of incessant laughs, intellectual conversation, and our expectations and hopes for the meeting.
We arrived in New Orleans at about 6ish, though my friend’s GPS on his phone wasn’t working too well (read: it was totally useless). Finally, after circling a long strip twice, we spotted our hotel in the distance. We were fortunate enough to park in front of a parking meter; the receptionist at our hotel (the JW Marriott) informed us the meter would be free all weekend. Score! That saved us about $35/day on parking.
We headed to the conference hotel to check in. By that time, though, they had stopped handing out tote bags, but I realized I had forgotten my name badge at home. Fortunately, SBL had this covered, and printed me up a new one. Thanks! I would’ve been quite embarrassed walking around with a hand-written one all weekend!
On the way out from checking in, I saw someone who looked very much like Mike Whitenton of Ecce Homo fame. Indeed, it was. I went over and introduced myself briefly; Rob Kashow was also there. Rob has blogged his initial impression of that encounter HERE. I don’t know why my tremendously deep voice is so surprising. Oh well! It was good to meet them!
We then set out for supper, asking someone at a local coffee shop next to our hotel for recommendations of something reasonably priced. She suggested a place a few blocks away that she claimed had the best burritos. Ok. So we went there. And were underwhelmed. Later we returned to the coffee shop to sit and chat with some others, and the worker asked us how we liked it. We were polite, but explained to her that such a reaction was to be expected when you send three Texas guys to a burrito shop outside Texas.
It was an early night on Friday. I had two job interviews in the morning, as well as a recording session with Chris Heard for the Pepperdine iTunesU/SBL project on the topic of Jacob the Trickster. Plus, we were all tired from the driving.
And in the interest of full disclosure, my roommates were quite unhappy to realize that I snore. Loudly. Like a banshee. I got razzed pretty good for that in the morning. They were, however, kind enough to let me sleep, given my two interviews.