October 4th, 2004


Arcana: My bloody valentine

Of the half-dozen conventions in Minnesota and Iowa that I get to with any kind of regularity, I sometimes think I like Arcana the best. This is strange, to say the least, because I'm not really a big horror fan. Sure, I've read pretty much all the Lovecraft I could get my hands on, watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer obsessively, and have been known to enjoy the occasional Stephen King novel, but I don't really know the big names in the field and have only a passing familiarity with horror movies. So why is it that every October I find myself going over to the Holiday Inn Express at Bandana Square and hanging out with the regulars at this tiny convention (40 people most years, 51 this year, which was considered a raging success) until all hours?

Well, it's more like a large house party than a small convention - there's one track of programming, a dealer's room which seems to mainly cater to collectors (specialty publishing house Fedogan & Bremer always has a table), the hospitality suite (my responsibility these days) and Krushenko's. The panels are more like discussion groups than panels, since the audience often knows as much about the subjects being discussed as the panelists, and the Guest of Honor usually says something in their closing remarks to the effect that we have as many smart, intelligent audience members as conventions many times our size. (Joe Bob Briggs, 2002 and Tim Powers, 2004; maybe David Drake and Gahan Wilson as well, though I don't remember for sure.)

So if you have a taste for horror, either literary or media style, you could do a lot worse than Arcana. It's a nice little convention, right in your back yard. I'll have the cheese lumps and crackers waiting for you. ^_^
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Monday night fatigue

phoenixalpha was talking about making chili tonight, but since she and Scott both set out to return the defective new cat around 1530 to the Humane Society in St. Paul, I don't expect to see them by the time I get home unless a miracle occurs, even considering that I took the train in to work and so have a 30-minute commute home via Cub, where I'll pick up some milk and beans. Can't have chili without beans - well, you can, but that's not the way we do things. Anyway, I fully expect to fix dinner for myself and go to bed early, since the weekend's long commutes and short nights caught up with me this afternoon despite the medium Guatemala I picked up over lunch.

Rick finally got the revised contract from the T-bird. The annoying electricity clause is still in there, as well as the defective wording in the cancellation clause, and we still think they want too much for the suites: they're nice suites, but not any larger or nicer than the ones in the Sheraton which are about half the price. So I'll retype the contract and send it back this week, and if they don't like it they can make changes by hand and send it back. We're basically just haggling over details and grammar at this point, but those are the things that will hang you if things go sideways.