Headcold or no headcold, I took a weekend jaunt down to Bethesda for the 2010 S(mall)P(ress)(e)X(po). The idea was to support Kalliope Dalto, who got herself a table there and prepared a bunch of materials to sell (if she ever gets around to selling stuff online, I'll post a link, and you will buy). The reality was that I did a better job of supporting by not being at the table. Kalliope's entourage this trip consisted of her father Peter, brother Phoenix and boyfriend Spencer - along with a couple of friends of the family, so that anyone who approached the (small) table would have been intimidated away by the throng of homunculi milling about behind the artist. As it turned out, more people approached and bought material when it was just Kalliope than with the gang, so the rest of us set about wandering or just sitting elsewhere.
I did one full round of the floor, bought a couple of items, felt badly about not doing more to support the artists there, then plopped myself down in a corner of the hall near an outlet and proceeded to do some Photoshop retouching.
The trip down was with the above mentioned Peter, Kalliope, Phoenix and Spencer, with Peter driving and the other three in the back seat. The conversation was largely centered on the semantic differences in approach to film, literature and music between myself, Peter and Kalliope, with the soft-spoken Spencer chiming in now and then on the middle road, with Peter and Kalliope staking out one extreme end and myself at the other. The main source of contention turned out to be the Easton Ellis novel Lunar Park, which the Dalto's regard as being a novel unique in the history of letters, unparalleled in depth and feeling, and myself feeling that it was diverting but derivative and clumsy. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle. It was a heated enough debate that Peter actually ignored his GPS and drove around the block to give himself extra time to deliver his final point, which is exactly what I would have done.
Where I was being dropped off was the house of another Peter, in this case Parduba and wife Wowie, who were kind enough to host me even though Wowie is seven months pregnant. I thought that I'd crash as soon as I arrived, since I was under the weather but had still been to work all day and then taken the ride down to Baltimore - Pete and Wowie live about 20 minutes north of the city - but I managed to not fall asleep until around 2 AM.
Sounds like you needed this trip like a hole in the head.
I enjoyed a lot of it, but I'll confess I felt about as useful as a 19th wheel. The train ride and hanging out were good fun (the train ride was UH-MAZIN fun), but comic conventions stir in me all sorts of conflicted emotions.
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