On a day which can only be described as 'on the cruddier side of cruddy', I discovered that Dexter Season 4 is even darker than previous seasons. It unnerved me so much that at least one point I had to stop eating my dinner. ... Hurrah! I also discovered, in the mail, my custom-made 2010 Demotivators calendar. Who knew you could build these suckers with all your own favourite demotivational posters, hand-chosen for their most appropriate month?! (And why did you not mention this earlier?) In other good news, Conflux 6 was damn good fun. It began, alas, with a bus ride so bad I spent the 3 hours composing a complaint letter in my head (it began with 'Dear Fucking Murrays' and ended with 'the worst bus ride ever!' Until I realised it wasn't the worst bus ride ever, it was only the second worst.) (Since we're on the topic, the worst bus ride ever was the bus ride from, I think, Vienna to Amsterdam. It took somewhere over 10 hours & it crammed the majority of people on the SMALLER bus while leaving the BIGGER bus over half empty. It stopped once in 10 hours -- at a German airport -- not counting a couple of border crossings, & wound up in Amsterdam well into the dark of night, when the hostel was booked out & only a handful of us got in, leaving the others to seedier & seedier options as the night progressed. At which point we all decided that, fck sleeping, we were gonna see what all the fuss was about. And -- Nige, do you remember this?! -- we came across a striking hooker in a blue-lit window, & her eyes -- I kid you not -- were electric. Those eyes GLOWED brilliant blue. I remember hardly anything else about that night, but I remember her eyes.) Anyhow. Murrays can still expect a letter from me, yes. At Conflux I hung out for a few hours Saturday afternoon, taking part in the mass signing -- which could have been awkward & embarrassing, but was made excellent fun by the company. And then even more fun when Chris Barnes announced, "I'm going to go get your book and bring it back and announce loudly, 'Where is that wonderful writer, Deborah Biancotti?!' And then bow obsequiously when I pretend to spot you for the first time.'" And, of course, it proved to be even more hilarious when he actually did it. (Thanks, Chris!) After that, it was laughs in the bar, & then I forlornly left the rest of the con to attend the banquet, & I took the bf off to a more low-key dinner at Mecca Bah. Which was also excellent, but honestly? Lacked the thrill of a Polack-inspired menu. The next day was a leisurely breakfast at Gus's, of course (every Canberra trip needs breakfast at Gus's), then off to the bar & dealers' room for several hours of 'strategising', then more bar time & lunch with some of the gang (Alisa, Rob, Alan, Chris). And then helping the awesome Karen Herkes with the cake for Nick Stathoplous while fending off several rather vain attempts with the icing pens by con-goers (though several other attempts were brilliant -- obviously the trained painters in the group). I also got to tell Nicole Murphy that she's my hero. AND THEN it was nothing but chilling, grabbing extra copies of A Book of Endings from 'the publisher' as I like to call gj, dinner with the bf (who was avoiding the con through ample application of fishing), & popping back to the Marque to find Nick Stathopoulos, give him a birthday present & catch the beginning of the birthday festivities. And so -- as they say in the classics -- to bed. Thanks to the Conflux team for making this such a fun, chilled con.