Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mythcon, Here I Come

Long time no post, I know. It's been a packed week: I'm the scholarships coordinator for our department and our annual awards ceremony was yesterday, so I was busy getting ready for that, and I also had an article deadline. The scholarships have been awarded and the article's in (although I haven't heard from the editor yet, so I don't know if she's accepted it). I still have one more set of classes on Monday, and a final exam the following Monday, but I feel like I can breathe a little easier.

Sabbatical's almost here.

To celebrate my getting through the week, we went out for pizza last night, to the place in town that serves soy cheese on gluten-free crust. It's surprisingly good: not "real" pizza, of course, but as close as I'm going to get, and tasty in its own right. Over dinner, I mentioned that Mythcon's in Albuquerque this year, and Gary said, "You should go." (The article I just sent in will, I hope, appear in the MLA's volume on Approaches to Teaching Tolkien, which is how we got onto Mythcon.)

I've only been to one Mythcon, back when The Necessary Beggar was nominated for a Mythopoeic Award. I didn't win, but I had a wonderful time anyway. Everyone was very friendly. The papers were both accessible and interesting, which is more than I can say of some conferences I've attended. I felt at home there, not least because I didn't have to worry about being bashed for being Christian (Wiscon can get pretty hostile that way). A conference devoted to the work of the Inklings isn't going to bash anybody for being Christian!

The problem is that even if UNR has any travel money left -- doubtful, in the present climate -- I can't get it unless I'm giving an academic paper, and Mythcon's theme this year hasn't inspired me . "You should go anyway," Gary said. "You'll have a good time. You'll see friends."

So I'm going. I got up this morning and made my hotel reservation and plane reservation, and then bought my membership and meal plan. One of the great things about Mythcon is that everyone eats together, so you really get to meet people, and there's none of that seventh-grade-ish "oh man whom I gonna eat lunch with and will that group over there let me in?" thing that tends to happen at Wiscon and other cons, where small groups congregate in the hotel lobby right before mealtimes and unattached folks wander around trolling for invitations. I didn't enjoy seventh grade the first time, and I still don't. Mythcon's much more restful; you just find an empty seat, sit down and start talking to people.

But, yeah: here I go again, spending money right before sabbatical. We have more left over this month than we expected, though, and it will cover the entire Mythcon package.

So in July I'm going to Mythcon, and in August, Worldcon's coming to Reno, and my old friends are coming to my house for dinner. Bwah-hah-ha!

I can't remember the last time I attended two conventions in two months. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever attended two conventions in two months.

Huh. My geek quotient may be lower than I thought!

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