This past weekend was Con*Cept, Montreal's annual con, and so I headed up Friday afternoon with Lloyd and Yvonne Penney. I was supposed to put in some time working from home, but they arrived after I'd only been logged on for about two hours and was in the middle of modifying some French translations for the site (which I was subsequently told not to bother with, today).
Warning: I'm sure I have some of the details wrong, as for some reason some of the weekend is a bit fuzzy in my mind. Considering that I only drank one shot of Southern Comfort, four Smirnoff Ice and one margarita all weekend, that's quite surprising...
We arrived around 7:30 or so and checked into our room. kaijugal
and her bf were going to be sharing the room with us, so with two couples in the room, I was given an air mattress and some blankets to sleep on. I'm not sure that I knew that was the arrangement before we arrived, though I did know that kaijugal
and her bf were supposed to be travelling with us (a plan that was changed). It wasn't uncomfortable, though, and it was handy to be able to come in at 4 or 5 in the morning each night and not have to worry about waking someone up when I crawled into bed...
I was supposed to be going on a tour of the Palais de Congres with other people who are working on the 2009 Worldcon, but our arrival was about half an hour too late. I'm blanking on where we went for dinner that night beyond the fact that I had a very nice - and very LARGE
- smoked meat sandwich, but I do remember talking at one point to Terry Fong after he returned from the Palais de Congres; Terry's been pressuring me to work on the con, and he told me that my name had come up in connection with a job other than the one he'd previously suggested to me. I told him that I wasn't comfortable with committing to anything, as I want to talk to some people here first, and I haven't had the opportunity.
Later, at 10, I was a panelist on a Torchwood panel. I hadn't had the time to re-watch the first season before going to the con, so I was worried that I wouldn't have much to contribute, but most of the audience didn't really want to talk too much about specifics, as they've been watching the show on CBC and it only premiered a few weeks ago. For those moments when we did discuss specifics, thankfully assetic
and the fourth panelist were very well-versed and it enabled me to remember enough to contribute. I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with Polaris folk.
Saturday, I mostly hung around and went to a few panels. In the afternoon, I was on a Doctor Who panel, with the same three co-panelists as the Torchwood panel. Following that panel, I made my way to the second half of the Anticipation information session.
I then went for a late lunch/early dinner with elizard100
at Reuben's, where I had a mango/strawberry margarita and linguine alfredo with chicken and avocado (yeah, with a name like Reuben's, I was expecting another deli too, but it's a Mexican restaurant) and watched dx4
drool over our very cute waiter, Patrick.
Later Saturday night, I was on a panel called "Sex And Technology". Going in, none of us really knew what we wanted to discuss, but we still got a pretty good conversation going about toys, virtual sex/relationships and whether or not the latter are going to lead to the elimination of human contact. Apparently I disappointed aprilsnark
, Garth and Declan by failing to live up to my reputation as the Queen Of TMI by not being fully forthcoming when the topic of fetishes came up. (Sorry. :P )
Following the panel, starting around midnight, was a Polaris room party, hosted by aprilsnark
and Declan. They had originally been placed on a non-party floor by mistake, so dx4
offered to switch rooms with them. I happened to come by while the swap was in progress, so I carried a few items and then spent the rest of the night drinking Smirnoff Ice and generally talking people's heads off. Larry Stewart joined us for a bit, which was nice - we usually work him so hard at Polaris that he doesn't get to just hang out much with us. After the party shut down, I spent about 15 more minutes with kairi_kiss
and her friend Christopher, and then crawled into bed around 5.
Sunday, Lloyd and Yvonne wanted to leave around noon, but I had two more panels still - "What Makes Good Reviews, From The Fan's Perspective?" and "Books Vs. Film", the latter with andpuff
as one of my co-panelists. gurudata
had graciously said that he would give me a ride home, so I bade Lloyd and Yvonne a safe trip home.
The panel on reviews was an interesting one, as many of the panelists had different perspectives. I generally want to know if I'll be entertained by a book, while a couple of the others look for something deeper, and one of them said he actually wants to see a point-by-point plot synopsis. I felt a little out of place, admittedly, since my usual sources for book reviews are my LJ friendslist and the Globe and Mail (which, admittedly, doesn't review a lot of SF), whereas the others on the panel generally use sources like Locus and the New York Times Review Of Science Fiction.
The books-versus-film panel was a lot of fun, too. andpuff
answered several questions about working on Blood Ties
, naturally, and the example of the Lord of the Rings movies came up a few times, as one might expect.
After my last panel, I ended up hanging around in the second floor hallway near Registration (which is a traditional hangout area) with Andre Lieven until most of the Toronto group remaining gathered to leave. Terry came up at one point to apply more pressure. (Had I had a chance to talk to the people here I want to talk to? No, of course not. But that didn't stop him...) He didn't really seem to understand - but then again, he's the guy who made me pull an all-nighter the night before Torcon to do the work he should have done several months earlier, and which I'd already done twice and which he'd ignored both times... leading to my near-drowning in a Royal York Hotel bathtub on the morning of the first day of the con when I fell asleep while taking a bath. (And he wonders why I'm reluctant to work with him again?)
Following the bitch panel, the Toronto group gathered, and gurudata
determined that my suitcase (I'd finally gotten it back Thursday afternoon, just in time to repack it) was going to be a problem as he had a pretty full trunk (as kanecool
had earlier warned me). Fortunately, dx4
, who was going to be driving neoengel
, had room and offered to take it in his trunk. We hung around a while longer chatting with wookiemart
before saying goodbye around 6. wookiemart
was greatly amused by my and briankit
's goodbye - we have a ritual of grabbing each other's asses at any opportunity (even though he's straight - though perhaps that makes it more fun *grin*), and we managed to time it so that we grabbed each other simultaneously while we were hugging goodbye. :) With stops for gas, Wendy's and Tim Horton's, we arrived at my place a little after midnight. I said goodnight and came in, checked my email, and went to bed around 1, exhausted despite having dozed for a bit in the car. That was actually kind of amusing - apparently my head was doing that drop-forward-jerk-back thing, so Garth moved my cooler bag that was between us, patted his shoulder, and said, "Sleep. I'm tired of seeing your head bobbing." (Cue the innuendo. Three, two, one...)
So overall, it was a fun weekend. I'm grateful for any opportunity I have to hang out with friends for more than three minutes without one of us having to run off to do something, and Con*Cept is always good for providing that. And lest anyone wonder, yes, that includes the friends whom I didn't explicitly mention in the above paragraphs. :)
Other stuff that happened: I told some people about the Gaylaxicon 2010 idea, and three or four folks are interested in helping out, though Rene Walling warned me that a year after co-chairing a Worldcon, he might not be up to doing a whole lot pre-con. (No kidding.) He did give me some advice about some possible hotels, though - but I do want someone who's actually in Montreal to be our Hotel Liaison. If
we actually go ahead with the bid. ;)
And apparently I'm mentioned in andpuff
's new book. For those who weren't aware, I'm a character in The Better Part Of Valor
, the second book in the Confederacy series. I don't appear in the third book, but my name is mentioned. Cool. So go out and buy it when it hits the shelves. :)
And finally - I think I'm getting too old to stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning at cons. :(