Kids and CONvergence

CONvergence is a big convention.

Not SDCC big, sure, but a big convention, nonetheless. Somewhere upwards of five thousand people in a hotel for four days. There is a lot to do and see at CONvergence. A lot. Over the last four years or so, I have been bringing my kids to CVG. Each year, as my kids get older, the conversations we have before the con are a bit different.

This year the new component is How To Be A Good Roommate. The kids are sharing a hotel room with two other kids their age. Four tweeners for three nights. Now, all of these kids have plenty of convention experience. And they all have plenty of hotel experience. But my kids have not stayed in a hotel room without an adult before.

(I am in the adjoining room. I am not completely abandoning them! That might prove rude to the hotel, and We Do Not Harsh The Hotel. We. Do. Not.)

So we went over the gist of how to be a good roommate.

Do you remember when you learned how to sneak into the hotel room at 2:30 a.m., last one in? It’s a skill-set! Some things are not immediately obvious! Or, what happens when you wake up at 6:30 and no-one else does? We talked cleanliness, and politeness, and standards of behavior. (The Room Shall Be Clean Enough That Housekeeping Can Attend To It.) My kids seem to be pretty clear on the expectations.

We shall see how long this lasts. I mean, I don’t know about you, but my own standards falter by day three of a convention.

Other talks we have had in the past, and will have again this week, include:

“How to navigate the convention in a way that means no random adult will wonder where your parents are.”

“What sexual predation looks like, how to get detect and avoid sexual predators, how to get away from them.”

“Yes, we do shower every day, that is not negotiable.”

“No-one else is keeping track of your stuff, if you lose it it’s gone, that includes your money and your phone.”

I’m sure there’s more.

But, hey, we all have to learn this at some point, right?


Happy Pride, all

Gay marriage is the law of the land.

Or, rather, no state can prohibit same-sex couples from getting legally married.

I was the right age during the heyday of ACT-UP and Queer Nation to remember why gay marriage became a thing we fought for. It was because everyone was dying, and the partners of dying people had no rights. No rights in the hospitals, no rights to the property, no rights to the children — we wanted to be married so that we could be there as people died.

The right to marry is bittersweet, in that light.

When I went to my first Pride march, over twenty years ago, I didn’t really imagine today. I didn’t imagine that I would be married, with kids, and that all of this would be *legal*. That my family would be protected by law.

It’s a damn good feeling.


Reconstruction is a wound

Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, by Eugene Genovese is a a good intro to the role slavery played in the United States before the Civil War.

Mourning Lincoln, by Martha Hodes, looks at the conflicted nature of the nation in our response to Lincoln’s death.

Erci Foner’s Reconstruction is probably the best overview of the post-war years. I found it a bit dry, and haven’t finished it yet.

The War That Forged a Nation, by James McPhereson, is somewhat more readable.

And there’s After Lincoln: How the North Won the War and Lost the Peace, by A. J. Langguth.

Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow explains the links between Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration.

I recommend you read what Ta-Nehisi Coates is saying these days.

CONvergence is nigh!

It’s nearly time for my hometown convention, convention of my youth and my people, CONvergence.

CONvergence is July 2-5, 2015, at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Bloomington, MN.

The schedule is live, here, for your perusal.

I will be on:

Enthusiastic Consent! How to Get Some at Cons – Thursday, 7:00 pm, Plaza 1

Beyond Marvel and DC – Friday, 3:30, Atrium 3

Podcasts You Should Be Listening To – Saturday, 2:00, Plaza 3

One-on-One With Charlotte Fullerton – Saturday, 7:00, Atrium 7

I will also be tweeting from the con. You can follow me @sigridellis.

CONvergence is nigh! I hope to see y’all there!


He’s such a great kid

My son is away for a week of sleep-away camp for the first time.

We saw him off yesterday morning. He was so excited, and also, he hugged us a lot and said he would miss us.

I miss him already.

I missed him even as the bus pulled away.

I have really great kids, and I love them both.


One Voice Mixed Chorus this weekend!

This weekend the One Voice Mixed Chorus is performing their summer concert, Gender Unchecked at the Ordway.

Moreover, it’s the twentieth anniversary of their director, Jane Ramseyer Miller.

This is the choir that J and N both sing in, and if you get a chance to go, I recommend it!


Nebula Award Winner Jackalope Wives!


The Nebula Awards were held this weekend.

Here’s the slate of winners!

As io9 noted, women swept the awards with the exception of Best Novel.

Ursula Vernon’s story Jackalope Wives won for best short story.

You can watch her acceptance speech here, at the 1:10:00 mark or so.

I was, am, and continue to be so pleased and proud that Ursula wrote that story, that Apex had the honor of publishing it. Congratulation, Ursula. You write a damn fine short story.



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