Misadventures at the CLA Conference – Day One (Wednesday)

I meant to post
yesterday but the fact that we're staying at a residence.  On
campus.  In the year 2006.  And it still doesn't have ANY
Internet connection fuddled those plans.  So I'm probably going to
change the date stamp on this entry so it counts as yesterday. 
And then my next blog post will likely be from a Starbucks tonight
while I'm drinking an $8 cup of tea.  The Conference Centre has
about eight Internet terminals which are handy but always busy so I'm
skipping a session to do this entry (my priorities may be slightly out
of whack.) 

The drive up to Ottawa was an adventure – starting with me driving over
a curb and nearly into oncoming traffic as we tried to pick up one
passenger at a Tim Horton's where apparently, “Exit Only” means “Exit
ONLY!”  Ooops.  Shea, Sabina, Michelle, Denise, Paul and I were the
passengers in the van and it was a fairly boring ride after that
start.  We ended up going away from the McPuke's fast food rows of
every city for lunch and found a small town cafe run by two local
farmers who were trying to diversify by buying this business but
finding running a restaurant HARDER than farming!  Got to Ottawa
right at 5pm and having seen only the preliminary program, we thought
the keynote speakers (Stephen and Avi Lewis) were up at 5pm.  So
more crazy driving as I park in a bus lane till I get honked at, drive
through one red light (slowly – hard to explain how that happened) and
finally get to the conference hotel which has a bunch of police cars
and police tape right across the street.  I thought the librarians
were already beginning to party or their reputation precedes them but
turns out there was a murder.  Welcome to Ottawa – yours and my
capital city!  Shea and I realise that the keynote's been changed
to 7pm (which makes more sense anyhow) and so we go check into the
University residence, the rest of our paseengers having dispersed to
various points.   Turn around twice and come back to the
keynote while Shea goes shopping (cue nervous smile).  Stephen and
Avi Lewis were amazing in their “father-son as cross-generational
activists” chat and as one colleague said, that was worth the price of
admission by itself!  Went for supper at a nearby Scottish pub
with Michelle, came back and closed down the reception then ended up
going for a drink with a retired children's librarian from Ottawa while
Shea and Michelle went back to the residence.  I think that's all
I'm going to write today (er, yesterday if I can figure out how to
change the time stamp!) and I'll do some more later, either here or at
Starbucks.  It's the 21st Century and we're at a venue where I
can't access wireless?  Unbelievable. 

Comments 1

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Jason
    Go to Bridgehead. You will love the coffee and they have wireless. There is one at Elgin and Mclaren (about five blocks south of Laurier and Elgin). I hope you are at U of Ottawa, otherwise it may be difficult to get to Bridgehead.
    Also, if you can, treat yourself and go to Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro. It is in the Byward Market on Murray St. The menu is astounding (the closest thing to Canadian cuisine) and the service is impeccable.
    C

    Posted 16 Jun 2006 at 3:10 am

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