* There are a lot of smart people out there working on really cool stuff.
* All hotel rooms that are equipped with double beds should also come with double bathrooms. I'd never encountered such rooms before, but I hope they catch on. Brilliant for room-shares.
* One can recover from dropping a full plate of hors d'oeuvres to the floor in front of one's friend's senior colleagues, but only if said colleagues are really gracious.
* It's nice to be the person who comes up with questions for the otherwise-ignored grad student(s) on a given panel. It feels like repaying a debt.
* Any time a conference dinner outing involves a) 12 people, 8 of whom one did not previously know; b) squeezing the aforesaid 12 people into a limousine with groovy colored lights in the ceiling (when no cabs were to be found); c) excellent food; and d) lots of booze. . . well, it's going to be a good time.
* Sometimes friends-of-friends are as cool as the friends themselves.
* One of those friends-of-friends described aggressively bad papers--the kind that make you want to impale the presenter with a roller-ball pen before leading the rest of the room's hostages to freedom--as "conference terrorism." I'm so stealing that term.
* Recent evidence suggests that I may have become That Girl (by which I do not mean Marlo Thomas). I'm not sure whether this is a positive development.