October 24, 2005


JournalCon, or Snobby WhoreCon if you prefer, was fun. I was a little worried about that, since there would be no one I had met in person and only a few people with whom I'd exchange e-mails. There were in fact no snobby whores present, or if so they kept both facets well concealed. A gratifying number of people knew who I was, and my swag (silvered beads from India, on cords tied in jeweler's knots so they could be shortened or lengthened) went over well.

I was worried about getting there in time to register, but the drive in went smoothly, and I had no trouble finding the hotel. The Westin was nice - fluffy beds, modern decor, helpful staff (a little too helpful; when I was taking my assorted baggage down at the end of the weekend, they wouldn't let me just take a luggage cart. I had to have someone to roll it for me. Not sure if this was meant to make me feel pampered or if they were afraid I'd oll it into people). The Heavenly bed had me waking up sore every morning, but the pillows and the down blanket also had me sleeping like a dead thing (getting to bed 4-5 hours after my usual bedtime may have contributed). Apparently there were some complaints about the room rates, but it was a fairly smokin' deal for being in a hot area, right in the middle of the Gaslamp District. It's a tradeoff: be out in the boonies and sleep cheap, or be in walking distance of good restaurants and bars and near a major airport and pay more. We did take advantage of the walking distance, for a bar Friday night and tapas Saturday, so I think the JCon committee made the right decision. Dinner Friday featured Jingo, JournalCon bingo - I got to talk to a few people then by virtue of being able to sign in several squares: visited Australia, visited South America, used a car to get to JCon, a few others. I think that was when Jen Trance started telling people, "Yeah, Dichroic's done everything." Fortunately, that's not true, or I'd have to go die now.

Dinner was OK but not spectacular. Part of that was my own fault for ordering chicken; if I were running a caterer, I'd make the chicken option relatively bland, too, for people who like that. I should have gotten the salmon or the vegetarian entree, which looked more interesting. People were raving about the dessert, which was a small tower of three flavors that were either heavy mousse or light cheesecake, but I thought it was not only too sweet, but tasted too much like granular sugar. Maybe I'm just spoiled, because I rarely eat dessert and when I do it's for good reason. Also, we were all just getting acquainted, so conversation was a little light at my table. Saturday's dinner was a little better: excellent company and good tapas at Cafe Sevilla. The main problem with the restaurant is that so many things on the menu looked wonderful, and we could only try a few. Still, I got to sample about six different tapas and some paella, so it was definitely a good place for my first tapas experience. LA or CI: do either of you know the name of the other woman at our table? She's the one who had a limp and was hoarding aioli that night. I really liked her, talked to her quite a bit, but never quite got her name or site name and I'd like to read her.

There are several people I want to start reading regularly now, in fact - whoever that was, Mary, Minarae, Pratt, Carol Elaine, Fredlet, a bunch of others. The ones I already knew were mostly as advertised. LA is fabulous - no surprise there - and I was lucky enough to get to spend time with her, shopping and talking, and even got a short reading. Deb and I need to spend some time together comparing musical favorites. Cruel-Irony was about the only person there who was smaller than I am, and was another one I found easy to talk to. Trance is as cool as you probably thought she was.

The panels were OK; there was only one at a time, and they were informal, so mostly ended up as general discussions. They weren't the highlight of the event, but they were interesting. From what I can gather, this has been true of earlier years as well, so the committee chose a JournalCon Lite format on purpose. Given how much stuff there is to do in the area, I also appreciated the breaks between sessions.

The highlight, for me, was the karaoke session. Best party I've been to in a long time. There was also a Texas Hold-Em game going, but since I have very little interest in gambling, I never did stop in there. The karaoke ranged from "Ouch! I need to leave the room" to nearly professional. I don't know who recorded Sin Wagon, but I can tell you she's not much better at it than Jen Trance. And I don't know who Biensoul was channelling, but I'm guessing he's about 6'2", black, and wears big baggy pants and a lot of chains. She had not only the words but all the moves down. Her sister made me wish I had signed up to sing Me and Bobby McGee, except that she did it way better than I would have. I think I was somewhere in the middle; at least no one ran screaming from the room; I got some gratifying comments, and a whole chorus line got up to dance Timewarp with me. AND the DJ had the complete version, so I got to do Columbia. Yay!

It was even worth still having ringing in my ears the next morning.

(I think I told a couple of people I hadn't done karaoke since my wedding. Not strictly true, as I remembered later; the last time I sang karaoke was with a crazy Russian seaman and a couple other American women in the crew's recreation area on the Akademik Ioffe in the Antarctic Sea. But this was a better party, and no one had to be pried off me by soberer people. (Actually, it wasn't the karaoke singer but a crazier Russian who had to be pried off. Just in the interests of accuracy.))

That ended at midnight. Afterwards, some of us headed out to find a bar except then we lost everyone else, so went back to get them and then sat around the hotel, until most of them went out to get pancakes and I went to bed. Considering it was 1AM by then, I was impressed at the turnout at the 9AM session. Clearly these people are far more hardened than I.

I snuck out early in order to get home in time to have a proper dinner with Rudder, but did at least get to hug a few people goodbye. On the drive home I listened to some of the swag CDs, my iPod, which apparently had a little tiny DJ in it playing Twofer Sundays, and audiobooks from the library. I discovered I apparently eat like a French woman, except for all the pretzels. (Maybe a French woman near the German border?) I looked at red rock mountains and cacti, and thought of pulling over to take a picture to document the end of my weekend, but didn't. And for some reason, I did enjoy the drive.

My only regret from the weekend is that most of my pictures came out lousy. In a few cases, this is just because of over- or under-lighting, though. If I can fix them to look better, I'll post a few.

Posted by dichroic at October 24, 2005 05:23 PM

Seriously, my ears? Still ringing. It was LOUD in there! I thought the karaoke highlight was the "Time Warp"...way to get the audience involved! :)

Posted by: biensoul at October 24, 2005 05:27 PM

I knew you'd be fun, but little did I know you'd be THAT much fun! I have one of your squiggly knitting needles (long story). Missing you like hell already. This country is just too darn big, you know? Mmmmmwah! ~LA

Posted by: LA at October 25, 2005 12:12 AM

I'm so glad I got to meet you, but I'm sorry I made you cry on Sunday... I just figured everyone was having way too much fun so I decided to put a stop to it! ;-)

And the aioli girl? Arianne, aka purplefishy. I'm amazed I can remember that.

Posted by: Bozoette Mary at October 25, 2005 10:25 AM

It was a pleasure meeting you, and doing karaoke, I'm adding you to my links.Say hello anytime.

Posted by: Pratt at October 25, 2005 12:10 PM

Oh, man! The Time Warp was awesome! I'm so happy I got to meet you, even if it was for the briefest of weekends! Cheers!

Posted by: Lisa-Marie at October 25, 2005 05:25 PM

Ditto Lisa Marie -- You rocked The Time Warp! (Really, is there ANYTHING you can't do??) I was so looking forward to meeting you and I'm glad we had a chance to spend some time together. Best of all, I'm so glad you came to JCon and had a chance to experience the true magic of it and the attendees. Oh, just on as a sidenote, watching you and LA wander around together reminded me of Trance and myself wandering together. The tallest and the shortest... it's um ironic.

Posted by: Cruel-Irony at October 26, 2005 08:35 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?