My Next Convention
by Lesley Reece
My involvement with fandom didn't happen until after I became a student. The unfortunate thing that has meant for me is that I haven't been able to go to any out-of-town conventions. Most of the time I haven't had the money, but even if I think I can scare the cash up for a trip someplace, my school schedule always seems to get in the way. This year, for example, I had tentatively planned to attend Corflu. I almost had the finances worked out when I checked my calendar, and found that this year it's happening right in the middle of finals week. So I was glad Potlatch was located not only in Seattle, but at the University Plaza Hotel, a mere fifteen-minute bus ride from my Capitol Hill apartment. How cool, I thought, I can go and hang out without my conscience bothering me about homework.
Friday I went mainly so I could play poker. I'd never played much until Andy talked me into joining him and Victor at the monthly games they play in. I've been getting a lot better at it, and I've actually come out ahead the last couple of times. Not that I win as much as the King of Weird Poker Games, Ian Hagemann, but at least I don't lose. I did have to endure some teasing about playing in the "Men's" game, but I had fun anyway as I watched Art Widner clean almost everyone out (I did win a couple of dollars, but he won eleven). When the game was over, I spent some time in the Consuite "Silly Area," smoking way too many cigarettes and talking to Rod Garcia y Robertson about the Pere Lachaises cemetery in Paris. He was also nice enough to give me a copy of The Spiral Dance (which I can't read until Spring Break!).
Saturday, I went for Vanguard, but ended up spending most of my evening dancing to the CDs Andy's been auditioning so carefully for the last couple of months. It was amusing to see Seattle fans actually dancing; I didn't think it ever happened, but there they were. Afterward it was back to the Silly Area. Andy's memories of the evening may be fuzzy, but I distinctly remember hearing him give a lovely performance of "My Darling Clementine," set to Beethoven's Ode to Joy. I could be wrong, though; it was a bit of a late night.
I had so much fun I decided to go back for just a little while on Sunday, even though the Virgil and Ovid I had to read were beginning to loom large in my mind. I'm glad I went, though, because I finally got a chance to talk to Tommy Ferguson and confirm the favorable opinions of him that the other Apparatchiki had voiced. He and AP McQuiddy did try to make me eat dried, cheddar-cheese-flavored worms at several points in the evening, but I somehow managed to resist. (Art Widner ate one and pronounced it "dry.")
I'll be done with my degree this year, and I've decided that once I become gainfully employed, more conventions will definitely be on the agenda. Until then, I'll be attending the ones I can get to. This last weekend I finally got an idea of what I've been missing all these years.
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