Bring on the Insanity!
I must say I love the annual meetings. I usually arrive feeling down and depressed about the amount of work the oncoming year will require. Yet, I leave feeling energized. I do love my job, and conferences always seem to remind me why. I certainly hope some of you have the same experience. Failing that, I hope some of you manage to link into the casual hookup network that seems to operate in the seedy underside of conventions. I have somehow never fallen into it myself, but I don't think I'm complaining.
While you're in San Francisco, it's worth getting out to see the sights. Chinatown is fascinating, and has so much worthless crap available for very reasonable prices you'd think you were at one of my relatives' yard sales. Little Italy has a fine, fine selection of pornographic theaters and also a supply of gelato. I have no idea if those are related somehow, and don't really want to explore the matter. For those who don't know, Gelato is basically ice cream, but better. Fisherman's Wharf is... well... just a wharf. Admittedly it's really touristy, but it ain't anything too special. It does, however, play host to some kickass clam chowder and is mighty near the Ghirardelli chocolate store. They give free samples.
For the fitness-inclined, please keep in mind that San Francisco is "hilly" in the same sense that the Iraq war is "controversial." It's a pretty small town, but with the hills a short trip can involve a lot of sweat. There are, however, relatively convenient streetcars that can give you a lift if you're not willing to hoof it. I recommend clinging swashbuckler-like to the railings on the outside of the streetcars, rather than actually sitting within them. Also, if you're walking along a street and hear a strange gringing/humming noise, don't be alarmed. The cable cars are not self-powered, but rather connect to a system beneath the streets. It's pretty cool, actually.
For anyone who wants to go see the Golden Gate bridge... good luck. It's a fair distance from the conference, so plan accordingly and bring a lunch.
And, of course, if you're reading this you should consider coming to the Blogger's get-together scheduled by Tina over at Kickass Sociology. If nothing else it should be an interesting experience.
So, with that, good luck, good travels, and I'll see you in San Francisco!
Even if you won't know it at the time.