Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Infinitus... And Beyond! (Part IV)

The Night of a Thousand Wizards took a lot out of us (it lasted 'til 2 a.m.!), so Brianna and I decided to skip the early programming, sleep a little later, and head to the convention around 11 a.m. or so. Once there, we decided to split up, she attending a "Writing Wizard Rock!" workshop given by her friend Lena, about whom I've already told you much.

I chose to see a presentation just a few doors down the hall: The Better Man: The Morality of Youth in the Harry Potter Series. The speech was given by a guy named Garreth Fisher, who "teaches religion and anthropology in upstate New York". He was a fascinating and well-informed speaker, and I was intrigued by many of the points he argued. Unfortunately, I can't remember the most of the things he said, which is what happens when you're lazy and don't write down your experiences quickly enough. (What I wouldn't give for a Pensieve right now...)

As it ended, I turned around to go and saw Brianna waiting for me at the door. It turned out that Lena had massively overexerted herself the night before, and was sleeping in, trying not to succumb for a second-time to a stress-induced illness which she had picked up, as a result of her overbooked schedule and musical debut. Brianna was understanding of Lean's desire to not get sick during the convention, but at the same time disappointed that her friend had failed to show up for a crowd of 90 people, all eager to speak with her about Wizard Rock.

But the next presentation I remember quite clearly, because it was about an undeniably awesome subject: Werewolves! I won't quote you the entire presentation (My, What Big Eyes You Have! Lupin, Greyback, and the Modern Werewolf Revival), but she managed to work in stuff like AIDS, homosexuality, pedophilia, witchcraft, and social justice issues addressed by Rowling through the characters of Fenrir Greyback and Remus Lupin.

From there, it was off to a speech given by a woman majoring in a field of criticism so obscure that I had never heard of it before: "Fat Studies"! She had some interesting points, but not much in the way of eye contact. She basically read us her dissertation, verbatim. After her, in the same room in fact, came a 15 year old girl from Chicago, who gave one of the most animated speeches I had heard all weekend: Snape, Dumbledore, and the Power of Love and Choice.

Next up was a round-table discussion on The Problem of Hermione. Too often, round-table discussions devolve into either pointless banter or flame wars, but this was stayed remarkably on-topic. Brianna maintained, as she often does, that Hermione should have gone with Viktor Krum, on the basis that he is much more responsible and honest about his feelings towards Hermione; that Ron simply "isn't good enough for her." I countered that Ron may not be the most responsible person, but his heart's in the right place. Ron has friends who care about him; it is unknown whether Krum has any close friends at all. My money's on Ron.

After sticking around for Snape, Dumbledore, and the Power of Love and Choice, there wasn't really anything we were dying to see, we decided to go back to the hotel and take one last swim in the pool. (Did I mention that this pool had a little beach of its own? Made of actual sand? And a water slide disguised as an old castle? It was freakin' sweet. The nicest hotel pool in which I've even had the privilege of swimming.)

When the time came, Brianna and I went back to our room to change into our formal-wear. She wore a white silky dress which she bought specially for the occasion, set of by an adorable little black hat with feathers. She looked extremely glamorous. I wore a bright blue shirt, pinstriped gray slacks, and a deep blue velvet cloak which used to belong to my Dad. And a wand holster on my hip, of course (courtesy of Brianna's skill with a sewing machine.)

We arrived a little late to the Night of Frivolity Ball, but we had time to dance to a few Muggle songs, before the start of the Wizard Rock Comedy Slam (again, I find it bizarre to think of Wrock as having subgenres, but there you go.)

The first band, The Quaffle Kids, were pretty bad. I didn't like any of their songs, I'm afraid. The next group, Hawthorn and Holly, were slightly better, but not by a lot. The Blibbering Humdingers were pretty funny, though they needed to work on less repetitive lyrics. I enjoyed Fred Lives, but by the time they got onstage, Brianna and I were both falling on our faces, and annoyed that the star attraction of the evening, The Parselmouths, wouldn't be plying till well after 3 in the morning.

Fortunate that we did decide to cut out when we did, or we would've stayed up late for no reason! We learned the next morning from other convention-attendees that The Parselmouths had been canceled, and were going to perform at breakfast (a.k.a. the Leaving Feast), as a way to make it up to their many fans. At least we got to hear them play, and on the bright side, we got our picture taken with them! So we didn't miss too much.

The trip home was largely uneventful, except for a somewhat serious delay in the bus that was supposed to take us from the hotel to the airport (it was more than an hour late!) But we didn't miss our flight, we got home safely, and we had a great time doing it.


Well, I'm afraid I don't have anything more to tell you. It was a wild ride, and the tale was long, but I've nothing more to say. I hope that you had as much fun reading about Infinitus as I did writing about it.

Mischief managed.

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