Sunday, March 13, 2022

Holmes, Doyle & Friends 2022 -- The Final Wrap-up

 I realized, putting a podcast together, that I've been calling this conference by the wrong name. It is, according to the program, "Holmes, Doyle & Friends: 2021-B." 

Get it? 2021 proper got cancelled, so "B?" Of course, you got it, but I just enjoy that someone came up with that. So. Where did we leave off?

There were two more speakers on Saturday, Maureen Mascha giving a very in-depth, scholarly analysis of the roles of women in the Canon, where villains as well as victims roam, and their motivations and portrayals. After Maureen was Lise Sherwood-Fabre, back for a second time with the real facts about opium dens, which were a lot different from the tropes portrayed in "Twisted Lip" and other Victorian fiction. I was up and down a lot by that point, as those banquet hall chairs are never meant for a full day of sitting, especially with my back -- an issue I have at every full-day conference.

I missed the gift basket raffles, and made sure I knew the way to drive my carload to Company 7 BBQ for our casual banquet of toasting and conversation. There was plenty of BBQ and sides for all, and after a while we all wandered back to the hotel. I dragged my laptop and microphone to the bar to record a little bit for the Watsonian Weekly, which you can find here:

And that quickly came to an end when the DJ arrived and started karaoke night for the handful of patrons, who, I was delighted to find, were not those karaoke star types . . . no, this was my sort of karaoke night, where folks with nothing to prove were just having a good time, off-key or not. And let me tell you -- anyone who's ever not worried about their voice enough to do a weekly podcast for a few years straight, well, that person probably isn't going to have a problem getting up in front of folks with a microphone and looking foolish. Probably not the best idea to sing your throat raw with the possibility of Omicron still floating around out there, and even at that . . . well, fingers crossed.

Doing the daylight savings time change in a different time zone than you own is just as confusing as heck, but everybody seemed to make it down to breakfast at about the same time, a nice chance to see everybody one last time before heading out.

It was a really good weekend, and I have a lot of thoughts which will pop up in future blog posts. It was so good to see people in person again, to talk about those things you talk about in little casual moments that don't occur on Zoom. To laugh together at some little shared experience. To remind yourself how how cool some people are that you only see when in person. High fives and hugs, simple hellos and unexpected comments or compliments. Humans are just a little better when we're together and not on the other end of a digital connection, as useful as they can be.

When I got out of the car at the first rest stop across the state line into Illinois, I was happily surprised that the weather had turned warm again, after snow and temperature drops filled our weekend in Ohio. But, hey, we didn't mind a little outside frigid weather at all this weekend as long as the Holmes fires were burning in Dayton.

Hoping to see you soon, maybe Atlanta, maybe who knows where. 

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