Just a few observations from the second day of SLAYAGE here at Henderson State University, as it's late and I need to review my paper one more time before I turn in. I'm always a touch nervous about running too long in my presentations, so I need to look it over again and fret a little.
1. I love it here! These are truly wonderfully generous, intelligent, passionate people. Put us all together and you can't help but both have fun and get at least some glimmers of inspiration.
2. Rhonda Wilcox just sees things differently. She took an episode that I enjoy and have often thought is brilliant in its structure ("Conversations with Dead People" from Season 7, if you're interested) and shows you patterns and links that you never saw before. She does this so effortlessly that you want to throw yourself under a train. But then she's so generous towards the work of other people that you decide to stick around - besides, if you threw yourself under a train, it'd make quite a mess and she'd probably insist on cleaning it up.
3. Chinese fortune cookies that contain gems like this one that I got in my lunch today: "You will be the mast of all you survey." Not "master," but "mast." I still don't know what that one means. Smooth sailing, perhaps?
4. Matthew Pateman gets major points for (1) having Buffy and Angel cutouts in his office, (2) having his picture taken with said cutouts, and (3) presenting one of the most articulate answers to the question, "You study what?" that I've heard to date. And it's not just the English accent - his arguments are well thought out, humorous, and dead-on accurate.
5. It's great to be here. At most conferences, once the sessions are over for the day, attendees break off and head out to dinner, then maybe hit a club or just disappear into their rooms. I came home from dinner tonight (Arkansas BBQ - let us not speak of it. I grew up in mighty fine Carolina pig country and admit to being biased.) to find most attendees gathered around the lobby television. Yep, watching Buffy. Together.