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So, once again after no effective sleep, I did wake up at just past seven in the bloody morning. I tried, so very hard did I try, to lay back down and get more sleep, but it never showed up for longer than ten minutes at a time.

But I showered, nibbled at the breakfast, and found out that of all things I put in my name for I did manage to get one, which I ended up feeling really bad about because I had to leave halfway through, and if I'd spent more than two seconds of thought on it I would have sacrificed my seat to one of the follow-ups.

By this point I was getting dizzy when standing still and in generally poor health, so for the Thieves' Guild meeting I just stood at the door and tried not to fall over while shooing away those we hadn't had room for. The poor bastard who'd volunteered me got to do all the falling down and being mugged, and he was nearly as wiped out as I was. But he did get his certificate as head of the North American chapter, which he plans to frame and hang on his cubicle at work, which is in the fraud prevention division of a bank.

I barely managed to make it to the Editing Discworld panel, and I really wish my hands hadn't been shaking so much because I would have liked better pictures. Anne Hoppe was smiling as she talked about her favorite books she's worked on, and there was mention that the man prefers to work with children's book editors because they are significantly less intimidated by a big name and far more determined to do their job right. There was talk of other things as well, but most of my attention was on leaning against the wall without falling and trying very hard not to be irritated by the sounds of cell phones. Is it that freaking hard to turn the sound off when you know you're going to be in a room of people straining to hear every word?

Later came a special treat; a Skype chat with Sir Terry himself, answering questions from the audience. It was just fantastic, even if I did get many things in my eye. Rob was in the background making some of the best jokes, and the only thing that could have been better is if there had been more of it.

After that I helped some friends get ready for the Gala Banquet, and I got to play with someone else's hair, which is something I have not done in forever. A wonderful storm was blowing in around then, and it was the only thing in Baltimore that I considered truly impressive. Unfortunately, it did not last much past the Gala itself, but it was enough to cool things down to the point where it was comfortable.

I probably would have enjoyed the whole event more if I'd actually been rested. The food was fantastic, just fantastic, but once again I found the entertainment to be... well, just not my thing. There was a Cirque-du-Soleil style act with a length of cloth dropped from a high support and a bendy girl, but considering my profession I've seen a lot of bendy girls. This one wasn't bad, but, well, it just felt like being at work. I clapped along to be polite, but more and more I was feeling like a cranky toddler who needed a nap. Then came some truly awful puns, and then a man with a box of props came out. I didn't last long, I'm afraid, but I didn't want my crankiness to spread to people who were otherwise enjoying themselves. Although according to my friends, I should have stuck around for a bit, as the man's skit ended with a rail spike up his nose, but overall I feel I did the right thing.

Then I did what I really probably shouldn't have done, but it was my last night there and I still had booze to dispose of. I did more mingling and chatting and made sure there was no booze left to dispose of and got into another argument with my ranty friend and was up until past five because there is absolutely no way that anyone will ever convince me that the Catholic church can be a force for good in the world. Yeah. That was dumb of me. Especially since I managed to sleep until about ten till seven and was extremely irritable in the morning. That was the point where I decided to call it and we packed up the room and got our last minute hugs and checked out.

I do wish I'd been able to rest better, as I wanted to see the musical act and the closing ceremony. But I was just absolutely useless at that point. I spent most of the ride home dozing in the seat only to flop onto my bed and pass out for twelve straight hours the moment I got home, shortly after which I took a five hour nap, followed by another ten hours of sleep. My animals missed me, and I'm wondering if my lack of sleep was due to their absence.

But it was fun. Totally worth what I put me through. And I can't wait for the next one.
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