kittylady: (Default)
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.
kittylady: (Default)
Day two started at seven in the morning. I was never able to sleep past seven the whole time we were there.

The system for many of the events involved putting a small ticket with your name printed on it into a box for a random lottery drawing. I did not get my name drawn for a single event, which in a way was useful as it gave me more time for recovery, which I later wasted by getting far more drunk than I should have, especially considering it was another hundred degree day. But I did my morning volunteer hour, then promptly went and unvolunteered myself with no hard feelings and a standing invite to the afterparty.

The Theives' Guild event was fun, as this time I got to do the mugging and not fall down, but I spent most of my time by the door shooing people away after we got to full seats and a wall of people on one side of the room. People were still trying to get in even when it was ten minutes to the end.

Then there was time spent outside but at least in the shade at the pub where Bernard went to speak. He is really an amazing storyteller. Many entertaining stories of his time as a constable in an extremely small town, and also of his days crafting wonderful things with Sir Terry. Even a few absolutely tearjerking stories about time spent with Sir Terry's mother. I was also able to get a rather tasty plate of chicken tenders, which was much nicer on the tummy than the rest of the menu would have been.

The rest of the day was mostly focused on taking pictures of people getting ready for the Maskerade, followed by time in a wonderfully air-conditioned alcove in the hotel bar. It was so hot that I even tried to step into the pool, but pretty much all the kids and their parents had all had the same idea, so that didn't last long, and the air conditioning was blissful. The alcove was also nicely secluded, which meant it was easier to hear friends talking when they came down to join.

I made the mistake of taking a serious visit to the dealer's room, and after getting a few con trinkets, some presents for other people and a visit to the signed books table, my spending money was pretty much wiped out. I had a bit left, but only a bit, and I was very glad I had budgeted seperately for food and booze money. Of course, I had the better half of two bottles in my room to kill off, and the last thing I wanted to do was try to drive home with an open container in the car.

I didn't see much of the Maskerade, but I did see some wonderful pictures taken by other people, and then there was mingling and drinking and lots of hugs and more stories and then it was past three in the morning yet again.
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
So the first day dawned after far too little sleep. This would prove to be a recurring trend.

I made the mistake of volunteering. This is not a mistake I will be repeating. Not to say that volunteering isn't good for what it is, but I missed nearly everything that I wanted to see that day because I was doing hour-long blocks in other parts of the hotel and couldn't teleport to the door fast enough.

I did get to the Thieves' Guild events, and that was epic. For the first day my other two friends who'd signed up for the show as well hadn't quite made it, so I got to stand in front of the group and get play-mugged and went over the finer points of receipt leaving. It was grand fun, but my nerves were so tightly strung that when I tried to meet the group in the bar later my hands shook so badly I slopped half of my overpriced shot on the bar when I picked it up.

Then there was more running around and volunteering, and finally friends did arrive, and then there was smoking and catching up and running around and volunteering, all in nearly a hundred degree weather. The opening ceremony was wonderful, if shorter than everybody would have liked, and then I got changed for the Bedtime Stories event, in which a Skype meeting with Rob Wilkins had been arranged so that the guests could hear the first thirty pages of the new book, Raising Steam. I had volunteered to be security for the reading, which consisted of walking around quietly and making sure nobody was recording anything. I am pleased to report that everyone was well behaved and the new book is going to be fucking awesome.

The only truly annoying thing about the event was that I got more compliments on my Batman pyjamas than I have on any other costume I've ever worn. An adorable little cherub of a girl in a Tiffany costume came up and handed me a costume ticket and asked which character I was supposed to be. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Then there was the Guild party, and lots of ribbons were had by all. My personal favorites were the Guild of Ecdysiasts, Nautchers, Cancanieries and Exponents of Exotic Dance, guild motto "Veni, Vedi, Eget Linteo"* and the Guild of Librarians, guild motto "Ego Similis Magna Librorvm Et Mentiri Non Protest".**

Afterwards I could finally relax, so I went to the bar and ordered some delicious sliders. This was around midnight. Then there was the mingling outside on the finally cooled brick of the smoking area, and me and one of my friends got into the kind of argument that had the husband going, "Here she goes again," and trying to hint to me to tone it down while I was blatantly ignoring him and doing my best to prove to said friend that I was right and he was wrong. It was great fun, even if we did scare the others to the point where one of them started shouting, "Ewoks! Jar-Jar Binks! Ewoks!" in a desperate attempt to change the conversation. To give total credit to the quick thinker, it worked, and then everyone could talk again instead of listening to the two of us rant at each other.

At about one thirty we tried to call it a night and went back to the room, but I'd pushed myself way too hard. Those burgers came right back up, after which I felt worlds better. So I brushed my teeth and we went and visited the staff party and then went back outside, and I'm reasonably sure it was past four when we did manage to head in for the night.

*"I came, I saw, I need a towel." Although I do think the first two should have been juxtaposed.

**"I like big books and I cannot lie."
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
We left early on the fourth, and I'm glad we did because otherwise traffic would have been a joke. As it was, the drive itself was just too damn long.

But get there we did, and we went to check in and discovered that we were going to really dislike the hotel. Some smarmy little git behind the desk tried to tell us that our registry was wrong, despite months ago booking the room for two people and having the booking reminder confirm that we had registered two people. Said smarmy little git tried to charge us an extra three hundred dollars over what we had been told previously, and it was about to go rather poorly until Chip got the hotel manager out, at which point we were only charged a little over a hundred what we had originally been told. Our experience with the hotel did not improve from there.

But, despite being put on the twenty-first floor in a room with a leaky tub and the worst air conditioning, the water was hot and there was two-ply toilet paper. A shower helped get rid of the worst of the irritation, as well as a couple of shots from the bottle of Jack Daniels that I had so fore-sightedly brought with me, as hotel prices were about eight to ten bucks a drink, depending on if you went to the hotel bar or the bars that had been set up for events. I also discovered that I look good in a bowler hat.

Many other people had booked a day early as well, and there were costumes in plenty as people got ready for the fireworks celebration, a paid event that was announced long after hotel reservations had been made. Chip stayed in his room while I went and mingled and got to hear Bernard Pearson and Esther Friesner talk about democracy and monarchy and why the English should take the Kardashians. I ran into old friends and got to catch up, happy to hear that many of them are doing well, and much booze and laughter was had by all.

Then we went onto the reserved balcony for the fireworks only to discover that the view was terrible. So those same friends and myself went to one of their rooms, from which we could see three different shows including one over the Constellation, and had a really interesting chat with a security specialist about Snowden and why it is perfectly all right to have mixed feelings about the whole clusterfuck.

After that came what is generally my favorite part of convention going - hanging outside and mingling in the cool air with no kids about and the rude, drunken stories flowing like booze out of hip flasks. Bernard is a habitual pipe smoker, and he has the most wonderful stories, all about his own very interesting life and also about the long and varied time he's worked with Sir Terry. Nearly as good as having the man himself there, and in some ways better because I don't have the huge hero worship thing with Bernard and that makes it easier to just talk.

Unsurprisingly, it was past three when it was decided to call it a night. But it had been a wonderful night.


Jul. 3rd, 2013 07:42 pm
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
Tomorrow I leave for NADWCON.

I would be more excited about this, but there was last minute news that Sir Terry will not be in attendance. Rather disappointed, truthfully, but the news indicated that he and Rob and working hard on the new book and deadlines are looming. Personally, I would far rather see him for what may be the last time and get the book a week or so late, but I am not the publisher.

On the other hand, the main guest not attending does free up quite a bit of my weekend, and I was thinking of actually seeing the city, or at least some of it. There will also be more relaxed times for visiting old friends and making new ones.

I just really, really wanted signatures. And hopefully a photo opportunity. But mostly signatures.
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
So it's been a long damn year.

Orca is doing as well as can be expected; when she lays down on her side the tumors make her belly stand higher than her ears. She's still grooming and eating and rolling in catnip, and she hates me for not letting her go back outside. I don't care if she hates me, because as bad as it is that I've resigned myself to her passing, the thought of her dying alone in the cold is the stuff of nightmares for me.

Foundling's tumors came back under her arm; the vet said the same thing about her that he did about Orca: keep her warm and comfy and full of meat and catnip, and when she's in pain to go back for that horrible final visit. She's still very active and loving, and the only noticeable signs of her condition are the lumps and a marked loss of fur over her belly and legs. She still terrorizes the dogs and chases the other cats from her sleepy spots, so hopefully that visit will be a good long while away.

Beyond those two awful exceptions, everyone else is healthy and happy and doing fine. The puppies got new balls and ropes for xmas and have been bothering the two-leggers in the house constantly for play, and the kitties all got drugs and fuzzy mice and new things to shred.

I've also been a total slacker on getting the dog licenses renewed, so I'll likely have to pay a late fee on that. But since that's likely going to be the worst thing I've dealt with concerning the dogs, not including Neuman's popped stitch after his fixing, I'll take it as a win.

My mom is coming to visit soon, and thankfully won't be staying long. The older I get, the more I realize that we have nothing in common besides blood, and in all honesty it's damn stressful having a fundie in my house telling me that how I pay my bills is sinful when I can't yell back.

Not that I can yell much right now anyway. Been sick as anything since last friday, and at this point my voice sounds like Minnie Mouse in a room full of helium after a weekend of heavy smoking and drinking. Does not help that the husband thinks it's the height of fucking hilarity to needle me until I swear profusely at him. In strict fairness, the husband is not alone in this, and going back to work without my voice will result in much the same from the co-workers, so I suppose I should just get used to it.

In happier news, xmas was a wonderful time for swag, and my happiest gifts include two autographed novels, one Gaiman and one Pratchett, some absolutely stunning blue diamond earrings and a matching ring, and the most awesome ant farm I have ever seen. I'll have to wait for nicer weather to get my ants, but it's still very cool.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with no drama. And thank Bast we don't have to deal with it again until next year.
kittylady: (so much squee)
Earlier this month word was spread that Sir Terry Pratchett, my long-time most favorite and beloved of all living authors, would be in my half of the country, and I promptly went crazy with joy and frantic planning. After a few days of selling stuff and asking nicely and promising delicious foody things as bribes, me and the husband managed to scrape up a borrowed car and enough for gas, tolls and road food, and picking up most of the gas and muchies the night before.

Woke up yesterday morning at way too early an hour to hear the husband and roommate discussing exactly how they were going to fix the hot water tank, which had decided during the night to finally lay down it's life in the service of all the wonderful hot showers I'd had. I didn't have enough time to go into full blown panic mode before said husband calmly explained that he'd already listed the last of the silver online and yes, there would be enough to get it fixed by friday. Which means I should only have to borrow a friend's shower once or maybe twice before the end of the work week.

So we head out. At what turned out to be way too early, and after feeling old for hearing Hendrix on the oldies station we get there nearly three hours before the event and got to stand around really bored. We did see a clock tower that reminded me strongly of the newish Batman games and made me wish for a grappling hook in the worst way. I also think that the location the event was held at was the object of some kind of local scavenger hunt, as there were two occasions where people posed in front of the door and someone else would take their picture from across the street.

Finally people started coming in, which was very good for me as I was bored stupid by that time. I was lucky enough to see a few faces from previous conventions and even luckier to talk to a few people I'd only seen before in passing. Everyone was really cool and time passed much faster at that point until seating began.

We were told that this was Sir Terry's last US tour, but heard no clairification as to whether he would be at NADWCON. If he's not, I'll be really sad, but I honestly don't know, were I an older person with a busy schedule, if I could handle dealing with the TSA more than once every couple of years if I didn't absolutely have to. So while I'd still be sad, I'd understand. We were also told that there would be no signing of anything, which I'd half expected, and would recieve signed stickers made for the book launch, and there would be stamping afterwards.

The guest was a bit late, but that passed quickly enough, and then there was joy. Sadly, they all looked a bit wiped out. It occurred to me that they'd spent a few days at NYCC, and recalling my own convention experiences there was a good chance they were recovering from jet lag, hangovers, and Chicago traffic, the last of which is the worst because the cause is endless and ongoing. Rob Wilkins looked a bit better than Sir Terry, but they seemed to get better as the night went on. There was also a chance that they were just blinded by the stage lights, so I could be overthinking things.

There was talk of Sir Terry's production company, Narrativia. This is the company that is going to be bringing to the screen Good Omens and what will not be called CSI: Ankh-Morpork because that would be bad. The smiles when they talked about it were huge.

The man did confirm there is in existence the first draft of the next Discworld novel. Yes, I did squee.

There was talk of Dodger, and the work that was done in finding everything possible that would make it accurate, even down to knowing when wooden sewer grates were replaced by cast iron ones. They'd found the oldest tailor's in all of London, and the very first question that was asked of them was "What was the color of your front door in 1892?"* What surprised them was that not only did the establisment have the answer, but they also volunteered that not only did they provide custom to Robert Peel, a character in the book, but that they had also designed the first police uniforms, which gave Sir Terry a very useful thing to give the characters to talk to each other about.

Rob read the first chapter of Dodger, and after that came questions that the audience had written on cards beforehand. My question did not get asked, but many of the ones asked were wonderful, even if I really wanted a written transcript of what was said just so I could follow along better. Twelve hours in a car and then sitting around mostly bored are not the best way to prepare yourself to focus on something.

For example, one of the questions asked, which he's surely heard a few million times by now, was "what advice would you give to new writers?" This was immediately followed by an anecdote about Sir Terry giving a presentation in a writer's workshop with the opening of "What are you all doing here? You should be writing."

Another was Rob with silly grin as he said that there was one that he knew Sir Terry would answer with one word, then asked, "How do you pronounce 'Vimes'?", at which point Rob started cracking up, and when Sir Terry answered, "The 'g' is silent." well, at that point Rob went rather red in the face as he couldn't stop laughing.

All too soon it was over. I was looking gloomily at the very long drive home in my head when one of the ladies from the store that was promoting the event said that everyone who had a ticket number under one hundred could wait and have their picture taken, and that made me fairly giddy.

I was a bit of a pest, but it was totally worth it, because I managed to get a picture of Sir Terry, Rob Wilkins, myself and Anne Hoppe all together. For those who may not know, Anne Hoppe is Sir Terry's YA editor at Harper Collins, and she is the reason I get to read The Amazing Maurice and all of the Tiffany books. If you come to Baltimore and she's got anything on the event schedule, go and listen, because she loves what she does and it shows. I'm hoping to get everyone's signature on the picture once I get it properly printed out. Since she doesn't have any pictures listed on any of the Discworld sites I frequent, I decided I wouldn't upload it, but I love it lots.

Then came the insanely long and frustrating drive home. We crawled in the door at almost five in the morning, and took a few hours to unwind enough from all the caffeine we'd taken to make the trip back.

Sadly, even after not enough sleep today, I realize that the whole thing just makes me think next July can't get here fast enough.

*I could be wrong about the exact date, as I was a bit travel foggy.
kittylady: (Default)
So after a very long and stupidly hot summer, I finally have productive things happening in my garden.

Today I got my first ruby colored cayenne pepper, almost six inches long and looking hot enough to turn my sinuses to vapor before I finish the first bite. Love it. Also have a giant pile of sweet banana peppers, though I have no clue what I'm going to do with them.

Been finding cucumbers all over the place; I have everything in raised beds, and I was a bit neglectful on getting trellising, so the cucumber vines strongly resemble a medusa sculpture at a distance. I'd honestly thought they were going to give me a whole lot of nothing for the year when I went out and found four of the things, all as long as my arm and heavy enough to club seals to death. I suppose I should learn what to do with them all now.

Turns out that onions need a lot more light than I get in my backyard; the whole bed just seemed to sigh, call me an asshole, and die completely. I think I'll plant radishes there in a few weeks.

As for the tomatoes... well, blossom end rot blows dead goat. Been dissolving a lot of Tums in water and pouring it over the poor things, and while it seems to be helping the new growth, it's doing dick for the poor ones that were already on the vine. On the plus side, the grandmother-in-law has suffered no such problems and was happy to pass on some of her harvest, so I get to spend tomorrow making lots of sauce.

I also found a place that sells the precious food mills that I have been needing, and they are a great joy. The little batch of sauce I made yesterday went so beautifully fast I almost cried, especially when I remembered using a colander last year.

I've missed proper sauce. Hopefully I'll make enough for a year this time and never have to taste that store-bought stuff ever again.
kittylady: (Default)
So here's a link to one of the very first coins ever created by the United States government. I was introduced to it one day in a pawn shop, and after I recovered from the sticker shock, I laughed myself into an asthma attack.

So I had to share, because things like this amuse me, and Bast knows I need amusement right now.
kittylady: (Default)
To everyone who says this tragedy could have been prevented by stricter gun control laws, and especially to those who say it could have been prevented by everyone in the theater having a gun on them, I say that you are not only wrong, but also full of shit.

Stricter gun control laws in this country would have meant that he'd need a few extra magazines as opposed to a gigantic hundred-round drum. Don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely convinced that any civilian needs a hundred-round drum anywhere outside of a gun range. But it wouldn't have stopped a damn thing.

Everyone in the theater being armed would have just meant the body could would have been so much higher, because there's just not a whole lot of accuracy you can get in a dark crowded room filled with teargas and panicking people, even if you're a certified marksman.

The only thing that could have prevented this is a radical overhaul of our mental health care system. I will go so far as to say that if every citizen of this country had free access to qualified professional mental help, problems like this would dwindle down to the point that they would be remarkably tragic, as opposed to merely everyday tragic.
kittylady: (so much squee)
This has been a good weekend. There was candy and jewelry, and that makes all things good.

I found out that standing in the aisle at Toys-R-Us with a notebook writing down serial numbers of blindbag pony toys is not the weirdest thing that the poor people who work the store have ever seen, and that makes me feel a little better about myself. I also found Easter eggs shaped like dinosaur heads, and they are very cool.

But on top of it all, after a wonderful weekend with lots of good food and shopping and a fun egg hunt, on this birthday, Tomas Kincaide is dead.

Thank you, Universe. You do care.
kittylady: (default)

I will say it with no shame:

I like the new My Little Ponies.

It is not right.

So what if the colors make your eyes bleed, the music is forgettable at best, and it tastes like diabetes?

There's tribbles, racism, genocide, extremely questionable morals, and bad visual jokes featuring limp, spotty horns. The main character is named Twillight Sparkle. As bad as that is, there's also Pinkie Pie. And to make matters far worse, there's a very well-known fanfic called "Cupcakes", and for the love of your sanity do not read it unless you are very fucked up in the head. Then again, you're reading one of my posts, so go for it.
kittylady: (so much squee)
Today I learned two new skills; canning and jelly making. The latter is much simpler than the former.

I also learned that there is no damn place in this part of Ohio that sells food mills, even when they lie and say they have them stocked and in store on the website. No matter what anyone says, colanders are not the same thing, so don't let them lie to you. Also, it seems that canning funnels are some rare commodity as well, but one did turn up eventually.

Canning is a right pain in the ass. Seemed no matter what I did, something was about to get dangerous. Boiling water, simmering sauce, boiling sugar, sharp metal bits and dogs underfoot every moment of it. Not as fun as it sounds. And endless washing. I detest washing dishes.

But jelly making was fun. Turns out that savory jellies are fairly popular, as I discovered when I tried desperately to find recpies that would use up the ungodly amount of basil that my garden was putting out. Basil jelly may sound weird, but tastes wonderful, smells fantastic, and is a great way to use up extra plant bits. Mind, I ended up using nearly twice the amount of basil called for, but it hurt nothing, and see above about taste and smell.

Still waiting to see how many of the jars will seal. If all goes well, will have ten jars of spaghetti sauce and seven of jelly.
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
So Sunday started bright and early with another hangover, a visit to the concession suite for some water and a bit of fruit for breakfast, and the Rob Wilkin's Kaffee Klatch, wherein I got to hear more out of Snuff! and it was awesome.

After that came two missed events in a row, the Publishers, Agents & Editors panel followed by the Nanny Sutra panel, both of which were standing-room only by the time I showed up, and I was not fit enough to deal with that. But I did manage to get into the Fireside Chat with Bernard, and that was very fun. In addition to hearing about him growing cannabis in the police yard, I got to hear the story of how Bernard met his wife and volunteered an entire pub into creating a pottery class for her to attend, and it may have been one of the sweetest things I've ever listened to. Totally worth missing getting into the Pratchett and the Pagans panel that I wanted to attend next.

Some bigger rooms would have been nice.

Then came the Good Omens panel, and here I must issue an apology to some people. I didn't know. I really didn't know. All I knew was that seat-saving had been going on the whole con, my friends had gotten an early spot, and I cut in front of many people to join them since the doors weren't open. I'm so sorry. Here I just thought that there were more rude people than I'd expected, when I'd totally earned their rudeness and more. How was I to know that Neil fucking Gaiman was going to walk through the door with Sir Terry? Nobody had told me. I had no psychic ability to read the crowd and find out. I'm so sorry. And it was still worth it.

It was amazing. They chatted, well, like two friends who hadn't seen each other in forever, and after a while it seemed that they even forgot they had an audience. They joked, they laughed, they sang, and they swore like they were in a bar. I loved every minute of it, and my hands shook so much I couldn't get a single decent picture. They mostly talked about the infinite amount of problems they had releasing their book, the aggravation of trying to bend to impossible standards when adapting a screenplay, the difference that twenty years of amazing success in their field can accomplish when combined with two decades of graphics improvement, and how completely fantastic the four-part miniseries is going to be.


I confess to being a bit starstruck, and spent the next twenty minutes in a daze of happy adrenaline and hangover toxins. Then I nerded with some more really cool folk, saw some more costumes, and mused that hopefully the next con wouldn't be held during a record heatwave because most of the detailed costumes seemed to be really heavy.

After that, I enjoyed some quiet in my air-conditioned room, rinsed the sweat off, and got ready for the Gala Banquet, one of the pearls of the last con. I'm afraid it was not so enjoyable this time around. The food was decent, even if the potatoes had been frozen, and the cheese samples were delicious. The floral clock was an unexpected nice touch, and the loot at the table was just as nice as at the Tempe convention. Sir Terry came in wearing a foam cheese hat and necktie, much to the amusement of all, and there was a charming knighting ceremony for several people that I barely recognized, and there was a bar. And the catering staff were almost invisible, they were that efficient. That's pretty much it on the good things.

The entertainment was... well, it was certainly memorable, although I walked out after a few skits. Many others were sensible enough to make it out before me. Some local improv group called Chad Vader. I'm not the biggest fan of improv at the best of times, but seeing them completely fuck up what should have been several easy skits... Well, if you're going to be the entertainment at a themed convention during one of the pricier events, you should probably brush up on the theme. I should have stayed, though. I have the feeling that if more had stuck around we might have gotten to see a rare event of bad clowns commiting suicide by mob. Cracking a bad line about writers commiting suicide at that con... yeah, I really have nothing more to add to that.

And then came moar drinking! So much more. You'd think I would have learned by that point, but no. I had learned nothing. And I was also drinking to hide the sad at the fact that I would be leaving early the next morning, missing all of the events of the closing day.

Here is where the cowardice comes in; I could have stayed an extra day, but we'd spent most of our available cash, it was a ten hour drive home, the husband had to go back to work sooner than both of us liked, and I did not want to sit through the closing ceremony, because that would bring home the realization that everything was over and I would spend the drive home sad and grumpy and snappish. By leaving early, I spent the drive being sleep-deprived and grumpy and snappish, with alternating times of extreme bounciness as I sorted through my box of loot. And I got home to my kitties and my own bed and my own bathroom that much faster, the last of which I had missed far more than I expected.

And I really hope the 2013 con is a closer drive. New York would be awesome. Pennsylvania would be even better.
kittylady: (sistene finger)
I think I'm finally done with lj. Two damn weeks before I can get to see my friends page, can't post anything because it gets eaten, and too damn many server crashes. Done.

Will still be posting there for a bit, but only because I like some of the nice people there.

So anyway, my arm still hurts, my plants are still huge, and I finally started getting tomatoes. They grew taller than me, then fell over in a rainstorm and by the time I could get out to them they cracked when I tried to pull them upright and they broke their old stakes. Not dealing with Big Boy or Better Boy tomatoes next year. Romas all the way. And a really good trellis.

Tomato hornworms are scary fuckers, and I've found three that were bigger than my hand. Stuff of nightmares, they are. Something's been chewing on the basil and zombie plants, my green pepper turned out to be a pretty red that also attracts weird things, the cucumber seems to be mostly dead, but there's a couple of good vines with fruit left on it, and the only things that aren't having problems are the parsley and cayenne.

My sinuses asploded again, and it's extra annoying because I've missed every day at work this week and last week was surprisingly profitable. I should be well enough to deal with the friday assholes, and then I get a couple more days to recover before I wander forth among the masses again.

Cats are fine, puppies are fine, all are slightly pissed at me that I haven't gotten their flea drops yet. I'll make it up to them.
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
Saturday began far too early; I don't think I got more than five hours of sleep at a time the whole convention. But the very patient people at the hospitality suite provided a good bottle of water and a chance to eat some food that had actually been cooked and not processed.

The first convention activity on my agenda was the much anticipated Wizards of Warwick (which I found out is pronounced "warrick") chat via Skype. Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen are both brilliant, and if I'd gotten more sleep or been slightly less wasted from the nights before, I might have been able to at least keep up, instead of feeling brain drift every five minutes. It was still worth missing the second Wyrd Sisters performance, and I'm not just saying that because some douchey parents let their kids stand on the seat in front of me for the whole play the night before. There were some great questions, like "what happens to the Disc if A'tuin dies" and several others to which the answer was "I don't know". It didn't fill up right away, which meant I got a great seat, but when it let out I was surprised to see that about a third of the room had filled up.

And then I went and did some sight-seeing, and the Art room was excellent for that. There were some fantastic pieces, ranging from sculpey masterpieces to a quilted Librarian and all manner of things in between, and I was the dumbshit that did not get enough pictures of it all. But other people did. Yay for other people with better cameras!

The Long Earth panel came next, and that was very cool. New books! New books! And Stephen Baxter was very easy to listen to, and although my view wasn't the best, I could hear the enthusiasm in his voice. A lot of love went into the making of the new books, and I am really looking forward to them. Unfortunately, I think that's another thing that I'm not allowed to tell you more of. But it was really cool.

And then the last few days caught up with me. I did some quiet wandering in the Dealer's room, where the husband's eye caught some sterling silver hedgehog earrings; the lady running the booth was kind enough to sell me three of the larger hedgehog beads, and then all of my disappointment over missing the beading class disappeared entirely, with a bonus for the friend who had missed the class with me. Then I went and visited the Art Fair thing in the outside world that was happening with some more cool people, and made the mistake of getting a burger from one of the carny stalls. That mistake lasted for some time, and I missed the Talking with Terry panel, for which I am still pissed off at myself. One of these days I'll learn. But overall, I'm sure the other people are glad I stayed away.

After that, well, there was really nothing that was scheduled that made up for a cool shower and a light salad. The Maskerade was really hot and crowded, and I at least made the effort to be there for the photo call. Thankfully I missed most of the Morris dancing. The most awesome costume I saw was of a working clacks tower, and I think it was the same guy in the very detailed Ronnie Soak costume. There was also an excellent Nanny Ogg, a really cool Death of Rats, a Sybil complete with flame-retardant clothing and a beautiful Errol, and so many others that I could not get pictures of because my hands were shaking. Never again will I touch a carny burger. Or any carny food.

Then I went and joined in what was probably a collective mistake on the part of many people as we went to the Seamstress Guild party, and I'm damn glad I did, because Sir Terry kindly graced us with his presence again, and the look on his face when someone tried to present him with a balloon sculpture shaped like a giant penis was just a thing of beauty. My camera was not on, and I did not get a picture, but I assure you that it was golden.

And then I went and made the bigger mistake of listening to the staff again, and after me and several others had spent much longer than we thought trying to out-nerd each other, we realized it was three in the morning again. And then another hour passed untill we all finally parted and went in search of rest, if not sleep.
kittylady: (teach the controversy)
Every night of the convention, including thursday, featured an open bar courtesy of the Seamstresses Guild. Thursday, I met up with awesome old friends and got very wasted, and don't remember nearly as much as I would like. But what I do remember was fucking awesome, and I have an excellent picture of said awesome that a lucky few will get to see.

Friday, despite the mild hangover, was wonderful. Thanks to the hangover and being from a timezone an hour ahead, I woke up in time to get my name on the Thieves Guild sign-up sheet. I was fortunate enough to have a ticket for the first signing session, and Sir Terry was kind enough to give my passport book* a fingerprint. I was only a little bouncy about that. Just a little.

Then came mingling as everybody waited for the Opening Ceremony. Maybe not so much mingling as nerding. The nerding was cool, but the ceremony was better. Two guys and a stuffed turtle did a fantastic musical skit that should have earned them a standing ovation, the benediction started a running joke, and the costumes made me wish for a better camera and a steadier hand.

Then came what is still my favorite part of both conventions: the Thieves Guild meeting. Unfortunately, I got there a bit late and didn't get a seat, but that was perfectly all right as I still got my packet. It was crowded, but I'm not surprised, because it was completely worth standing in the back for the whole show. I also received an awesome extra stamp in my book.

After that was the Reading with Rob. And here I'm going to do my little happy dance, because I got to hear a whole bunch out of the upcoming book Snuff, featuring the always-cynical character of Vimes. And I don't think I'm allowed to tell you more than that.

The next big scheduled event was the movie premiere of "Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die", and I really didn't want to harsh my happy, so I ordered a burger that was nearly as big as my head from the restaurant and sat quietly in my room for a bit and watched Spongebob. In hindsight, if I had done more of that I probably would be recovering faster.

Later me and a friend tried to get into the hedgehog beading class, but it turned out that it was sign-in only, and we hadn't found the sheet in time, or even known of its existence. It made us somewhat sad, so we went to the bar and got drinks, and that brought the happy right back.

Then came my second favorite part of the convention, and that is by no means saying that it was anything but wonderful: the Wyrd Sisters play, performed by The Cromulent Shakespeare Company. They were just amazing. The surprisingly young woman who played Granny totally stole the show, and was a treat just to watch. The sheer amount of creativity that went into the production was staggering, and you could feel the love of the original coming through every scene. Sir Terry was there, and from what I could tell, he was loving every second of it.

At the Seamstress Guild party that night, the talented folks from the play were hanging out with us non-thespian folk, and were kind enough to let me pester them until all but one signed my passport book, because he wasn't there. As it turned out, the actress playing Granny was also celebrating her birthday, and she was extra kind enough to share a sip of her flask with me. She opened it and it smelled like sugar, then I tried a sip and it tasted like frosting. I have since determined that cake vodka would likely be something wonderful to make very dangerously boozy treats with, and I will put that plan into motion when I get my bills caught up.

It was at that point that I learned something dangerous: the staff were some of the coolest people at the con, and had some damn entertaining stories. Next thing I knew, it was three in the morning and I was already wiped out from the night before, and I needed to wake up early for a panel that I'd been looking forward to.

All in all, friday was the busiest day for me at the convention. I never did quite get that level of energy again, even though I really tried. Growing old sucks ass.

*The passport was this really spiffy thing designed by Bernard Pearson, a totally awesome person that if you should meet him then you should buy him drinks and just listen to him talk. You had a blank passport book at the beginning, and you got different stamps in it for visiting different parts of the con. Considering that there were several rooms I didn't get to at the last one, this was a spiffy way to encourage me to see all the sights.
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