Pausing to review what made it into that entry...
I cut off narative yesterday at the point that I left Lexington. While I was in the air, my mother-in-law had a heart attack.
Hmm. Back up. Better to be clear about the order in which I heard events. Glossing over the flights: The segment from LEX to ATL was crowded, and mercifully short, as expected to merely fly to Atlanta. The next segment would be the determinant of the trip. I had a window seat, which meant I'd be able to lean. A plus. The flight wasn't full, and our row had the middle seat vacant. Bonus. The flight included dinner and a movie, and I didn't even have to put out. ;) Didn't buy the movie, but it intrigued me enough to look for it on satellite: Life, or Something Like It. Dinner was shells stuffed with ricotta in a red sauce. Pretty yummy, with exceptable salad and roll, and I'd love to get the recipe for the dessert. So, good flights, and we arrived 15 minutes early.
On the ground in San Jose, I called home to announce my arrival. On the phone, I found out that Barbar is back in the hospital. Now that I think of it, Flar had known (and passed along to me) that she was in the hospital before I left. All he knew at the time was that her blood pressure was high and that they were running tests. On the phone, he told me that he'd sent me detailed email, but that they were planning to do a heart catheterization on Friday. It was rather late back in KY, so we didn't talk long. Before I was done checking in at the hotel, my mom called, and wanted to know if I was going to go back home early. She had gotten a copy of the email from Flar, and sounded very concerned. I couldn't really stay on the phone, since I was in the middle of checking in, and it was late enough that I didn't ask why she sounded so much more concerned than Flar.
The next evening I called Flar to check on his mom, and he said the procedure had been postponed, because they hadn't been able to stabilize her blood pressure yet. He thought it was postponed until Saturday, but it turns out it won't happen until tomorrow. We talked about our days, the boys, etc. I asked about some shopping I'd identified in the dealer room; that kind of thing.
Fast forward to Sunday, when I finally got access to the internet to check my mail. That's when I found out that the tests they ran on Barbar indicated that she had had a heart attack. It also said that there was a risk of the catheterization causing another heart attack. And that her doctor was not optimistic about her prospects. Which all sounded much more serious than Flar had sounded over the phone. I answered the email with all of my contact phone numbers, in case he needed to contact me quickly.
So once I was in San Jose, that was about it for Thursday.
Friday was split between the con and time with Turnip. We started out by having breakfast with Knight and Ro at IHOP. I then rode to the con with them, while Turnip drove back to the hotel to get more sleep.
After checkin, poked about the dealer room with Knight and then Cinder, and when we were joined up by Ro, we hit the hotel cafe for lunch. After lunch I checked in at all the dealer tables, and then went to a panel about flirting with Cinder and Knight. Once that was over, it was time to meet Turnip, who picked me up and took me back to the hotel. We had time to chill out and talk and relax, before dressing to meet Knight and Ro and Cinder and TaterGuy and Her at a steak and lobster place called the Bold Knight.
It was great to see TaterGuy again, even if I'd had the privilege just a week ago. We had yummy steak, with service that was a tad slow, and Knight and Ro learned a lesson about "market price."
We spent Saturday at Great America, a pretty decent amusement park.
We got up early enough to be there when the park opened, and started with the Extreme Sky Flyer. It's sort of like a giant swing set. We donned full body harnesses complete with foot bar, were escorted to a raised platform, where we linked arms and were hooked up to two cables. One was used to raise us to the top of the tower, the other cable is the one we were suspended from as we "flew." As they lowered the platform, we flipped forward to face the ground, and then they started to haul us up. Once we reached the top of the tower, before they finished the standard release command, Turnip pulled the ripcord and down we went. The first part of the experience is pure free fall, a straight drop until the slack came out of the support cable, and then the rest of the ride was swinging back and forth at the end of the cable, until our speed was reduced enough to grab the retrieval loop and be pulled back onto the exit platform.
It was an exhilirating way to wake up.. And then we rode Invertigo. I think I'll skip the detailed descriptions, but this ride rocked. It was early enough in the day that we didn't have to wait in line at all, and we rode in the front seat. Which then became the back, since this ride runs the same tracks both directions.
At this point, I should note that I was having difficulty adapting to the Pacific time zone. I'd been waking around 7am Eastern time, which is somewhat generously late, were I at home, but damn early still, in CA. Oh and, I generally do a much better job doing time zone calculations on time pieces, if I don't change my watch, since I have local conditions to coach me in the math. Unfortunately, Saturday morning I absolutely forgot to do the math. So I woke the two of us up three hours early! By the time we realized it, we were already eating breakfast, so we ate, then slept again.
Aside from the interripted sleep, the other unfortunate result of this was the amount of time elapsed between breakfast and a set of about three or four rides in a row, with no waiting. I never fully lost it, but I spent most of our time at the park in various levels of queasiness. Other than that, it was a perfect day at the park. It wasn't crowded - we'd ridden about 6 rides before the lines had anything to do with our speed. By the end of the day, we'd ridden 10 of the rides in four and a half hours. Well, I sat out one of them, because I just didn't think my stomach could take it at the time. So Turnip rode 10, and I rode 9.
When we left the park, we were both pretty much wiped. Turnip attributed it to the nausea -- I figured that the sun and walking and minimal water consumption played roles for me, at least. We picked up dinner on the way back to the hotel, and napped. Turnip went for a walk later, but other than that we spend the rest of the evening in the hotel room, recovering.
Staying in bed tends to make me sleepy. I couldn't even stay up to watch Jennifer Tilly in The Cat's Meow. But it was intriguing enough for me to look for later.
Sunday was to be my last day at the con. I'd found out that the con offered laptop access in the internet room, so I packed my laptop with me to the con, along with my pocket program, and book, and a couple of bottles of water. Turnip dropped me at the Fairmount, where the Internet room was, and I caught up on my email, and started in live journal.
At 1, I met Ro and Knight and Cinder outside the dealer room. I told them that if we hurried, we could catch the Improv Storytelling before they started the actual stories. Knight and Ro were interested, but Cinder went back to the dealer room. Terry Pratchett and Phil Foglio were on the panel for Improv Story Telling, and it was a hoot. Well worth the listen.
After the story was over, Ro and I set off for a panel about "When to Give it Up." Connie Willis was on it, and I was hoping to hear entertaining stories about really bad writing. The panel hadn't started yet, so we set off for food to eat during the panel, and took a "short cut" through the dealer room, where I found out that I'd have to order my planned gift for Roo online (they sold out on Saturday), and bought something for Wolf, instead. After we procured our food, we went back to the panel, and listened to some pretty funny stories, as well as a lot of advice for aspiring writers. I think the strongest piece of advice I heard was to find a writers' workshop, and join it.
Our next panel was a reading by Jennifer Roberson. In her preamble, she mentioned that Swordsworn is out in paperback, and I don't think I've read that far in the series. But I might be two books back, so I need to research when I go home. She's starting a new series -- more of a universe, really, although the first three books are to be chronological: Karavans She read Not Nearly Enough of it, and didn't know when it would be published, since she's overdo on sending it to DAW. Grr.
We had time before our next panel to return to the dealer room, where I bought something for Sydb and a new game for the boys. I'd picked up a box for my mom on Friday, and the four gifts together averaged only 17 apiece, which was under the 20 suggested bar set by Flar. And the bag that I bought for myself was only 18. Pretty good restraint, compared to my sometime excesses at cons.
Our next panel was the polyamory SIG. The room was small, but the crowd was interesting. There was a slow start with finding out some of the other things we had in common, and then a Brit asked how the poly "movement" got started, and then we talked about how it's not really a movement, and then that segued into people who want to make it a movement. At least, they want more political activism to influence reform in marriage law, discrimination in the workplace, child custody rulings, etc.
About that time, Turnip called to say he was back in the area, so we left for dinner.
And oh I should regret having turned the Restaurant Guide over to Knight and Cinder, in order to select our dinner location. But if I had, I'd have deprived Turnip such a memorable experience, retelling the tale, oh, three times since? Maybe four? The wait was too long, the waitstaff was not just harried, but snippy, the portions were generous byt slow, but the beverage glasses were small, and refills at full charge. Oh, and the Restaurant Guide? The review used the sentence "Almost makes you wish it all tasted good." in a paragraph to itself. In their defense, I think the next sentence may have gone too far to mitigate the insult: "Not that the food tastes actively bad, it's just uninspired to the 21st Century palate." Maybe Knight and Cinder consider themselves to have 20th Century palates. :)
After dinner, it was hard to say good-bye to Cinder, since I don't know when I'll get to see her again. We made vague plans with Ro and Knight to get together the next day, and then drove to Turnip's, with a brief stop at Safeway for soda and miscellanae.
This morning was the first morning I sleeped until an almost normal time for CA. Most likely attributable to having email and live journal access the night before. Well, live journal access, anyway. Turnip had to mess with his DHCP server before I could use my laptop on his net, so I just read and wrote live journal. This morning I caught up on email, read more live journal and finally started working on graphics for Erosul. Gotta get that up tomorrow.
We had planned to lunch with R and A at noon, but it was 12:45pm before we got on the road. Turnip was IMing with R before we left, so I assume our delay was worked out in the messaging. I got to meet R, and had lunch at a yummy pasta place called Pasta Pomodoro. After lunch, through about three or four phone calls, we found out that vague plans didn't gel out for meeting Ro and Knight, so I got Turnip to drive me out to Foster City to take pictures of the houses where I used to live. There's a big church on the corner of my old neighborhood, and if I'm right, it's the church we used to go to, when it still met at the community center. I'll be sending pictures to Mom, soon.
On our way back to SF, Turnip made contact with MorningStar and HalfBee, and we made plans to meet them at the Metreon. We window-shopped, and then played two hours of Hyperbowling. Once again I'm reminded how much I like MorningStar. And this was the first time I met Halfbee, although Turnip talks about him quite often. Hyperbowling was fun: there were two new scenarios, and I remembered to take off my jewelry this time -- although I still did a number on my thumb joints.
We ate dinner at Jillian's, and then watched Blue Crush. I have to say it was a good film, because it made me actually care about the subject matter, and did a neat job of cinamatography. It was epecially neat that they included footage of families surfing at the public beaches, while they rolled the credits.
Wow. That brings us to the present.
- Erosul work
- Borderlands SF bookstore
- Dinner at the Beach Chalet
And now, sleep, or maybe more graphics work.