Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amy Heads to New Orleans

So I love Fraggle Rock. And I've had a few paper ideas that I've mentioned to some FSU colleagues about the show. And last fall, a call for papers came out in search of new ways to look at children's television as being educational. This was a perfect fit for something I had envisioned, and so I submitted an abstract. It was accepted in the fall for the 2009 PCA/ACA (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association) Conference.

Fast-forward to last week. The conference runs from noon Wednesday until Saturday evening, so it's long. And the panels go from 8am-10pm each day, with board meetings and get-togethers often taking place in the early-morning hours. Still, it won my heart pretty easily. If this makes sense to you, this is my new hierarchy: LMDA>PCA/ACA>ATHE. <3>

Long story short, this trip was overly stressful for no reason. Nothing actually went wrong, but I was more paranoid on this trip than I have ever been before. And for decent reason, which I'll write about in another post. Anyway, the panic vegan as soon as Jonathan dropped me off at SJC. I was afraid that my baggage would be too heavy, or that it would get lost (it was 1 pound over but they didn't make me take anything out, and it arrived just fine). I was afraid I'd miss my connection, but that was fine. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find the shuttle booth, and that they wouldn't take credit, and that I'd never find the shuttle station (found it, they took credit, and I was directed to the proper station). The shuttle was 45 minutes late, which was the only real problem. I was worried about getting lost in the Quarter (I know that area a lot better than I thought, apparently). I worried about staying in one hotel while checking my bags during the day at the conference hotel (no problem, and I pulled it off Wednesday and Saturday). I worried about check-in since I wasn't the primary guest on the reservation (no questions). I worried about my laptop getting stolen from my suitcase because it wouldn't fit in the safe (laptop was fine). I worried about the shuttle to the airport being late (only by 5 min, so no big deal), and then worried about baggage being too heavy (ironically, it weighed 51 pounds again, after I shifted things around, haha), and about baggage getting lost (MCO was overwhelmed with travelers so although it took longer than usual, my bag appeared with no problem. I also worried about finding a place for my carry-on in the overhead, since Southwest is apparently infamous for not having room for everyone's (not only was there space, my bag was the only one in the compartment I stuck it in). And I was worried that DJ wouldn't be able to find me, and he did.

Hopefully my subconscious learned that it was being ridiculous and will not cause me such distress in future trips.
A word about the hotels before I stop for the day. I stayed for one night at Parc St. Charles, which wasn't much to look at downstairs, but had a lovely room. I was only there from like 6pm until check-out the following morning, but I got a lot done working on my conference plans.
The other nights, I stayed at a Holiday Inn that was about eight blocks from the conference. It was neat, and they had a player piano going in the lobby. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn't get a chance since I didn't realize it is only on at night and I planned to photograph it the morning that I checked out. The view from the balcony was nice, and there was a violin lamp in the hallway near the elevator on my floor.
The actual conference was at the Marriott at Canal & Camp. It was a neat hotel for a conference (although I think I preferred the Sheraton across the street, where I was for the 2007 ATHE). There were two towers to the hotel, and only the first three floors spanned both, if you wanted to go higher than that you needed to make sure you were using the proper elevators. this was problematic since the maps weren't very clear about which rooms were in which towers. The other flaw was the elevator system... there were no "up" and "down" buttons, but instead a keypad where you actually enter the floor number you want to go to, then the screen directs you to a lettered elevator, which only stops at the floors chosen by those sent to it. It's kinda difficult to explain further without going into examples and such, which drone on and on, so here I stop.

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