To the shock of most of my compadres and myself, I had a fantastic time in Albuquerque. Admittedly, I was a little nervous about the trip given that none of my peeps (shout out: Goose, Corruptor, J-rod) were going. I felt very nekkidified by the whole thing, but we did some bonding (not bondage) and I had a wonderful time. Now there will probably be nasty stories about me floating around the department Monday because they all secretly hated me and wanted to fling me over the balcony. But at least I have the memories.
We left town at 6am Tuesday morning in the Happy-Sunny-Fun-Bus (technical term for the university van). There were 8 of us. I spent most of the trip up not listening to David's mp3 player and not watching movies because D-rock was blasting Woody Allen CD's. Good times. We jumped out of the van at every available opportunity to take pictures and frolick, thus putting us in Albuquerque around 7:00ish. It shouldn't have taken that long, but we were really keen to frolick. We checked in, walked up and down Central Ave. (main drag) until someone said "WE ARE EATING HERE" and we all piled into a pasta bar. It was sort of like herding cats to get us all to make a decision on ANYTHING that first night. Politeties and all.
Wednesday dawned chilly and the girls--there were four of us in one room of The Hotel Blue--walked the 5 blocks to the boys' hotel which just happened to be the conference hotel and the Hyatt. Fuckers. We registered at 11, and it was then that I realized the magnitude of my first, academic conference. Over 1,000 people. I felt my bowels let out a groan, folks. But there were real Scottish boys with real Scottish accents in kilts there, and that made everything OK somehow.
Note: I paid approximately $140 in registration to attend this conference. They gave us a backpack as a goody. $140 backpack. But it's nice. I shall use it. And it's not even too cheesey lookin'. Better than a pen.
Panels started at 1:00 and I managed to squeeze in three of 'em on the first day. My head HURT like a motherfucker at the end of Day 1. For those of you not familiar with this panel business, it's a group of 2-4 related papers on a broad topic. Each paper lasts about 20 mins and there's Q&A at the end putting each panel at approximately 1.5 hours.
The panels I attended throughout day 1:
1. Sci-fi/Fantasy: Sex, Death, and Philosophy in the Whedonverse...a panel on Buffy, people! OH my fucking god. I'm SO in the right field. One of the papers didn't show for that one, and an overweight Canadian man did Tai-chi, but it was a nice experience. And the kilt was there.
2. Women's Studies: Entertainment and Gender Stereotypes...I went for a paper on Jessica Simpson as compared to Lucille Ball and that relationship's applicability to Postfeminism. It was one of the best presentations throughout. There was also a guy giving a paper on Bond girls and how they've changed from the early days to now. I thought he was going to have his scrotum forcefully removed at one point. Good times.
3. Computer Culture: The Blog Explosion: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous...this one was a bloody disaster. The first paper was almost unintelligible, the second was boring but decent, and the third was on Filipino mail-order brides. I gave it up after that and went to dinner.
We met several people that D-rock went to graduate school with (I've lost all control of the English language, apparently). NETWORKING! Woot! After that first full day of conference-fun we met one of his professor friends from Iowa State. She was incredibly interesting and we all chatted over Tai food (my first Tai food). She teaches multi-ethnic lit, and we discussed my plan to PhD in children's and multi-ethnic. She thought it was a great idea given the fact that on their last search they almost couldn't find ANYONE with both of those specializations. She taught at East Carolina University for 2 years, so we discussed NC, too. We also hung out with a couple of librarians from LSU one of which saw my paper title in the program and HAD to come see it. I had a fan base. Yay!
Enough of this first installment. More to come.....