Question: Does a vacation really help?
Answer: No. But it's fun while it lasts.
Actually, that answer may be too categorical. I actually, despite feeling achy, dehydrated, and whiny last night (the night we got home from Montana, the McDreamy of states, although I don't really know what that means since I've never watched Grey's Anatomy), have accomplished quite a bit this morning in the way of responding to student posts in my online classes and answering work-y e-mail.
That said, let me account for myself and my vacation. We drove to Pocatello where we (a) ate at Applebee's (motto: Let's add just one more incongruous ingredient to this plate!), because it was right next door to our motel, and (b) watched Dirty Sexy Money which seems to be panning out, in my opinion. Also, (c) delivered temperate but possibly slightly on-edge helpful suggestion to the desk clerk about the fact that they list Bravo as one of their cable channels but don't in fact have it. Feedback is useful, right? We all want to use feedback to improve our performance, right? Oh well, the final episode of Top Chef is in fact dvr'd so I can watch it whenever.
We got up the next morning and drove to Bozeman, stopping in Island Park to visit Big Springs. We like it best when there aren't lots of people around. In fact, we kind of feel like other people are downright obnoxious and intruding on our Springs when they're there. But they cleared out soon enough. That kind of quiet is intoxicating.
Bozeman is kind of a great town, worth a trip up there for its own merits. The town was having its fourth annual HATCHfest, a small film-and-media festival. It was housed largely at The Emerson, a turn-of-the-century elementary school that's now a home for all kinds of arts/cultural events and organizations. It's a wonderful space--the historian and I roamed around the galleries and peeked into studios for several hours. We also attended a panel on "Convergence Media" that was pretty interesting--a filmmaker (also an erstwhile marketing guy), a "trend-hunter," and a design guy (who's also a snowboarding photographer). I'm not exactly sure what convergence media are, or how or where they converge . . . but the panel was interesting in helping me think about the literacies people need to flourish in marketing-saturated world. They showed reels from their work that were unbelievably creative. Too bad I minored in French and learned to scan poetry. What a loser.
But my overall loserishness was cool in Bozeman, because there are a lot of analog types who live there, as well. Plain old buy your oats at the co-op types. Hang out on the street while it's snowing because there's a homecoming parade (that's right my people, we were in Bozeman on the weekend of MSU's homecoming). So we hung out at the fest for awhile, we went to the brand spanking new and gorgeous Bozeman Public Library (it's very green, architecture-wise). We had tacos at La Tinga, the taqueria with Main Street digs--cheap and delicious. I watched the historian try on jackets at a vintage store (this was a big event, both the trying on and my watching it). I didn't bring my laptop and I wore sensible shoes. We had a fine time, and I'm thinking about moving there. Buying a herd of cattle, some acreage, and moving there.