June 07, 2004

Convention Hangover

My wife has returned been returned to me, after a 2-week loan to the Mythic Journeys conference. She's a bit frazzled from it all, but making the acquaintance of Alan Lee (Illustrator, Lord of the Rings") and Peter S. Beagle (Author, "The Last Unicorn"), made it very worth it. In her absence, our son and I have been able to spend some quality man-bonding time. Specifically, ordering a pizza and watching "Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island" on HBO.

Saturday Night, a group of us attended the "Lord of the Rings Symphony", conducted by Howard Shore himself, and featuring a video montage of Alan Lee's conceptual sketches of the story. It was an excellent production: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus were great, and the Sound Technicians were incredible, making the concert sound every bit as good as the CD. The only drawback was the theater itself.

For those of you not familiar, the Woodruff Arts Center is this whitewashed monstrosity that was probably designed from the nightmare journal of Frank Lloyd Wright. In the attempt to be multi-purpose, this theater has accomplished being just as ugly and unusable to any purpose. The building and lobby appear to be modern, but once inside the theater, you get the impression that you are in a restored theater from The Great Depression. Or maybe you feel a great depression once you are inside the theater, either way, it's not pretty.

Anyway, the night was capped off by Melissa introducing me to Mr. Alan Lee himself. "You're a lucky man," he said to me, with a nod to Melissa. Don't I know it. I thanked him, and kept myself from saying anymore. My history talking to important people has not been good.

Let's rewind to meeting Sean Astin (Sam from "Lord of the Rings," Mikey from "The Goonies") In London last year: After he autographed a 8x10 glossy to Melissa, I went to thank him. "You've just made my wife a very happy man," is what came out of my mouth.

Sean grinned and squinted. "Did you just tell me that I just made your wife a happy MAN?"

I realized that it was true. My mind raced to find an escape, some witty rebuttal that would make him forget the unfortunate slip-up, but there was no way out of that one. I grinned, shook my head and said "You know, I probably did," and walked off.

So needless to say, I kept my lips buttoned when addressing Alan Lee.

In Other News, The Atlanta Journal Constitution will be running my "UGA-What's in a Name?" article in a Guest Columnist spot on Thursday or Sunday. The only picture I had of myself to submit was the one on my work ID. It was taken in 1998, and was a bit faded and blurry, but I did my best to Photoshop it into mediocrity.

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