According to our conference schedule, the hotel provides free breakfast. I skipped that since I paid for the conference meal plan and, like dinner, breakfast was a Hobbit-approved assortment of comfort food (biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage, bacon, French Toast, and cereal).
Opening ceremonies were this morning after breakfast. They are usually done in full academic regalia but since it was 103F today most people wore shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. What a casual, fun conference!
I heard several interesting papers today, including an afternoon-long session of four papers on Tolkien and Shakespeare. Look for three of them in an essay collection of the same name early next year.
Nathan, you will be glad to know I turned the AC off (briefly) in my room this morning. LOL. It has two settings: on and off. I wore shorts again today. The sessions and vendors are in one building, meals in another, and the hotel another. The buildings are nice and cool, but the few steps outside between buildings are like stepping into an oven.
Dinner tonight was another Hobbit-approved meal (where it snowed food and rained drink). We had Chicken Kiev and Salmon for dinner with the usual salad, potatoes, bread, and choice of three desserts. (I had key lime pie.) This was after a similar lunch featuring pasta. I'm sure I've already gained weight!
At dinner I learned that the banquet Sun is at the Natural History Museum we visited Fri! Judy and I are glad because we liked it so much we were talking about going back. I forgot to mention that the museum has a replica of Sue the T-Rex from Chicago's field museum. We are hoping the banquet will be in a room with dinosaurs!
I feel like a real author now. Tonight when I was hanging out in the hospitality room Wendell Wagner handed me a copy of Tolkien on Film and asked me to sign my essay. I was quite flattered! I wrote "thank you" in Elvish and signed my name. (Don't be impressed. It's only two words and most of my Elvish vocabulary.)
My presentation is tomorrow, in the last time slot before the banquet. I figure that means I'll have no one or everyone. I'll let you know how it goes!