Of course, what i really wanna do is read commentary on Thursday's presidential debate. I finally read a transcript and read some bloggers and i like the sane engagement with issues, rather than all the snide remarks that kept coming up at the con (and not all of those remarks were even about politics) and that of course happen all over Smith and LJ. I think i'm actually probably gonna end up posting something (didn't i say i was on sabbatical?) and there are also posts i wanna make about the interesting stuff i've been learning in my classes, and i think i had other posts in progress, too. ::sighs::
"Rituals are like donuts -- there's a hole in the middle." - religion professor Joel Kaminsky (talking about how part of the power of ritual is that the participants don't fully understand the ritual)
"It takes three to tango." - Laura
News from my hometown: Aww, Ms. Jackson got married and changed her surname. (Not that the teacher at my school is the woman of the song, but a couple guys i knew would always sing that song when they had Senior Corner on the morning news at my high school.)
Also, my brother has 100.5 average in AP Calc (which is a fucking hard class; he's a total outlier). Damn. [Current top schools for the boy: Drexel, Rensselaer, RIT, WPI, Washington University at St. Louis]
The Buffyverse panel wasn't that great. There were few people there (big surprise) and although they knew the show(s) very well, they were all also very tired. But i always enjoying talking about the show with people who know it, and i was glad i was there instead of chick flick night (though that would have been fun, too). And wow, someone who actually liked the S6 Willow arc.
I decided to go home and go to bed instead of staying and watching Firefly, but then when i got home i ended up watching On the Town with Kate and Elaine. Bizarre movie. Though fun. Wow the women were forward for 1949 -- though the centerpiece romance is tremendously wholesome. "You can milk me dry." Laura and i were very good at being quiet during the gay parts. (Sidenote: Kate and Laura are still supercool and i wanna hang out with them more often.)
Allie, you're not the only person who read The Princess Bride before seeing the movie; Kate did too.
Slept in, had brunch, went to Amherst, watched people boffing for some time (and at one point a horse-drawn carriage passed by in the background since it was the Apple Harvest & Crafts Festival), then went inside and chatted with Nathaniel until the first panel i wanted to go to.
Josepha Sherman did both the panels i went to -- Folklore in Fantasy and Vampire Mythos -- and i was underwhelmed. If you're a recent college graduate who got roped into doing a panel you're allowed to not really know what you're doing, but if you do this for a living.... Josepha seems to just not like talking for extended periods of time. She also has a tendency to go off on tangents a lot.
Thinking back on the weekend, here are my three problems with the panels:
1) I'm used to LiveJournal where we can have multiple conversations at once. In a "real life" panel, if everyone talks at once it quickly deteriorates, so you have to keep picking a single topic and that means if you pursue any of the tangents, everything that came before it doesn't get fully developed.
2) I understand that these panel topics are very broad, but i felt like with a little research and preparation i could have given them. (Emma suggested i probably could have even without preparation.)
3) Because i know a lot about all this, there's the "Tell me something i don't know factor" (which is why i have come to feel very "why bother" re: queer cons).
Somewhere during the vampire panel we got off onto Bill Gates. She mentioned how in his mansion the walls of rooms are giant computer panels that change their image displays depending on who walks into the room. She said one of these days Bill Gates is going to come home and the computer is going to say "I can't do that." Someone else suggested the Blue Screen of Death. She also mentioned Highlander and her conviction that Giles is an Immortal.
Nathaniel was taking Josepha out to dinner at Panda East and 10 more of us tagged along. We actually all fit around one large round table (no puns) with us three vegetarians together and all the food on a spinny thing in the middle of the table.
We did "in bed" with all the fortune cookies (of course). One of the guys got "You are very generous and always think of the other fellow." :D
If i hadn't been with 11 other people i would have gotten a dessert (they had this fried banana ice cream thing) and possibly a Mai Tai, but i was reasonably well-fed for $10 (this included a generous tip and all of us pitching in to cover Josepha's meal) though the miso soup wasn't very good.
There was lots of talk about Kingdom of Loathing and those of us who don't play just watched amusedly. I liked that you defeat the l33t haxors by reading an unabdridged dictionary at them. (There was also a pun about bridges in there, but i didn't catch it.)
After we got back Nathaniel taught me Munchkin before Storytelling. I got to be a half-breed cleric wizard super munchkin.
I honestly don't think Josepha's a great storyteller. Throughout the weekend she told amusing anecdotes, and the stories she told during the official Storytelling weren't bad, but she doesn't quite have the right flair for it.
Honestly, i think the best part of the weekend was after the official storytelling was over and we were just sitting in the Red Room (which i love, btw) sharing anecdotes.
There was an extended conversation about Sousaphones. "It's like John Philip Sousa thought the entire Marine Corps tuba section wasn't enough; he had to take a rocket launcher or something and make it into an instrument. And then he probably went down to the brig and pulled out some guy and said ‘You're not going to be hanged. Instead you're going to play this.' " Someone suggested that someone who is artistically inclined should make a cartoon showing a whole line of Borg with the one at the end having a Sousaphone because a sousaphone player is more metal than person.
I left around 11, partly because it was getting into gaming talk.
Went to services at the chapel, in part because Jennifer Walters was preaching and in part because i overslept and chapel services start a half hour later than First Churches.
The fanfic panel started late because everyone was at the How To Survive a Zombie Attack interactive PowerPoint presentation so Nathaniel taught me how to play Fluxx. And then of course the panel itself was underwhelming. Le sigh.
I donated money to ConDuct because i'm a nice person. None of the raffle items appealled to me, but Nathaniel pointed out that i could just sell them, so i decided to buy raffle tickets. So i now have some Dark Horse Comics and a roleplaying book or something. Put a couple up on half.com, but it doesn't recognize a couple and i don't wanna do the eBay thing, so i'm still figuring out what to do about that. Also got some Northampton gift certificates, but they're for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more, and when am i gonna drop $25 at a single store? so anyone who wants one, lemme know. (Plus they expire October 11.) They also had buttons that had the area college names in Elvish, so i picked up some Smith ones, so um, take them off my hands please.