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If I saw you there, I really loved seeing you there. If I didn't see you there, I missed you.

We're taking this week to travel home at a relaxed pace, so I'm pretty scarce. I've been really not posting to DW in the past year, and I can't guarantee I'll post more this year, but I just wanted to say that whether or not I end up updating my journal more, I do very much value the chance to interact with all of you in comments.
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I woke up on my birthday to a call from my mother. Aww, thanks, Madre! Then Sumana and I went down to the green room to prep for the Imaginary Book Club panel. I wasn't on it, but Sumana said Benjamin Rosenbaum had a video camera and they could use someone to run it. Since Sumana and I had conceived of this panel and brainstormed a lot of the stuff for her proposed book together, I was a natural cameraperson choice. This was probably my favorite panel of the con (and I say this with the knowledge that I was on three other strong panels) because it had a great panelist lineup, wonderful creativity both beforehand and improvised on the spot, excellent moderation (yay moderator!Sumana), and a really great audience. Basically, everyone had fun with this one, and I was super impressed with Ellen Klages and Richard Chwedyk for creating cover art and excerpts for their books. I was also amused when [personal profile] aedifica tuckerized me into her imaginary book as a sparkly purple dragon! Hee! I am hoping the video of this will have turned out all right and be up online eventually so I can see it again and direct you there. If not, I may do more detailed panel notes later, but for now, let us move on!

Lunch, awesome things about WisCon's structure, panels, dinners, things to think about improving, and more )

After second dinner it was back to the hotel for a quiet group conversation with Jed and Mary Anne and some others. It was lovely, but by the end of it, most of us were starting to fall asleep. I said I would go to bed, but Sumana told me I really needed to stop by the Haiku Earring Party first. I didn't know what that was, but I said all right as long as I could only go for a few minutes. Ha!

The Haiku Earring Party turns out to be a WisCon tradition wherein [ profile] elisem makes earrings and gives you a title, you write a haiku, and then with Elise's approval, you keep the earrings in exchange for the words. How cool is that? My earrings had red flowers, clear roundish faceted beads, and red rectangular beads. Elise asked if I had a genre preference, and I said no, and then she sized me up, and, as if she knew my inner soul, asked, "You don't mind if I take this in a very silly direction?" Of course I didn't, which is how I ended up writing this:

The Vampire's Babysitter

Her favorite things
are geraniums and blood
and summer evenings.

I thought the roundish beads looked like stars, you see. And in summer, I bet the babysitter has more time to linger before her shift starts.

Of course as soon as I was done with my earrings, I got caught up in conversation again and then eventually ended up at Cat Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making launch party. This party was one of the most hopping things on Saturday night, and it was full of amazing performers. S. J. Tucker reprised her earlier concert, and then it sort of turned into an open mic, such that I got to finish my birthday by listening to Liz Argall singing songs she wrote, and Amal singing "Stairs in Her Hair" and then dueting with Claire on a Mister Fox ballad. All while sitting with a lovely group of people including [ profile] pattytempleton, and getting birthday wishes from all directions. I couldn't really regret staying up past my intended bedtime for that.

Next up: Sunday, which was my big panel day, and which will certainly require its own entry.
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I have just returned from my first ever WisCon. For those of you who are unfamiliar with WisCon, it's a feminist science fiction convention, which takes place every Memorial Day weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. The astute reader may recall that this is usually my birthday weekend. Historically, this means I usually spend my birthday weekend watching with some wistfulness as scads of my friends post all about how much fun they're having far away from me. This year, I decided to change that.

Okay, so first I went to New York to stay over at Sumana's place so we could travel to Wisconsin together. I was pretty sure this would be an excellent trip when the woman next to me saw me working on the OA Podcast on my laptop and told her new friend about how her 70-year-old aunt makes, "BAAAAAD tapes with GarageBand. I mean it was the baddest tape. You know some tapes, you wanna skip a song or go to the next one? No! This one, you wanted to hear everything! It was the baddest tape I ever had. I mean, it was a CD, but it was a tape." I am now going to measure every mix I ever receive by whether or not it's a tape. Seriously. Apparently this one was so BAAAAAAD, that the woman's mechanic stole it when he fixed her car. That totally bites! But the conversation didn't bite at all. It segued into a discussion of Tina Turner's legs (also BAAAAAAD), and how she's proof that 70 is the new 60. Meanwhile, I quietly worked on my podcast editing, and grinned with glee.

Then the trip got its second brilliant start the next morning as we were getting ready to walk out the door. Sumana said, "You know what they say, as long as you have your ID, your boarding pass, and your debit card, you'll be fine... Wait a second. Where's my driver's license?" This then led her to realize she'd left it at a wine shop, and to tell our taxi driver, "Okay, so, before we got to the airport, I have to make a very important stop. Yeah, just pull up right here. No, not after the light, right here. At the Wine and Spirits Shop." It was 10am, and the shop wasn't quite open yet, so Sumana then had to bang on the door until someone let her in. Heaven knows what the cab driver made of that. "Before I leave town, it's imperative that I beat down the door to get into the liquor store. I MUST!" Hee!

The trip got its third great start at the airport, where we ran into three awesome WisCon people (and then several more, including [personal profile] shadesong once we arrived in Milwaukee for our layover).

By the time we got to Madison, I was pretty worn out, so I'm afraid that first night I wasn't very good at socializing. We went to the reading at A Room of One's Own, where Candra Gill read Joanna Russ's "When it Changed", and then Nisi Shawl read part of "Pataki". Both of them were wonderful. I really loved the way Candra read the Russ story. Even though I'd read it not long before (maybe a week?), her reading was full of warmth and humor and expression, which totally engaged me. And Nisi? Well, Nisi was WisCon's Guest of Honor this year, and if anyone doubted she was awesome before she read, they wouldn't have doubted it after. When the reading was over, I went for birthday sushi with [personal profile] ckd and [personal profile] aedifica, which was lovely, too.

Friday, I had a major migraine and a podcast to finish, so I sequestered myself in the hotel room and worked all day. I managed to completely miss The Gathering, which I am told is one of the big WisCon Things. I did manage to get Sumana to take some of my clothes down to the clothing swap, though, so at least there's that. I did get the OA podcast up, too. That night I dined with [personal profile] gwynnega and [personal profile] nwhepcat in the hotel restaurant before making my way over to the super exciting karaoke night.

Okay, so: karaoke! I heard about it from [personal profile] cathschaffstump, who totally rocked with "These Boots Are Made for Walking" (among other songs). I sang "I Love Rock and Roll", which was fine, except I did not remember to plan my breathing for the end of the song, which requires a hell of a lot of breath control. Still, I think it got people dancing. Getting people to dance is a good thing. Other highlights included The Christopher Barzak Players performing "The Love Shack We Share Without Knowing", an amazing singer who called herself Buffy and sang "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse (and one other thing, which I forget, save that her voice was really incredibly good), Mary Anne Mohanraj and Ben Rosenbaum singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart", Liz Argall's spectacular version of "I Touch Myself", Margaret Ronald's dance party inducing "Bad Romance", and finally, the smash hit incredible song of the night: Amal El-Mohtar, David Moles, and Ben Rosebaum performing "Roll a D6" (the original parody video is here). The awesomeness that was this performance cannot be overstated. All three of them have amazing charisma, and Amal is totally a wizard. Fighting dragons in her mind!

After that I went up to the 6th floor, which is the party floor, where I met some OA people, like Sunny Moraine and Keffy Kehrli, and proceeded to have great thinky conversations about gender until way too late o'clock. This is one of the things I loved about WisCon: it went from extreme silliness to extreme thoughtfulness over and over again, and everyone seemed totally down with enjoying both modes.

Okay, I think that's probably all I can manage to relate for now. More to come soon! If you met me at WisCon and you want to add me, please do. Let me know who you are, and I will totally add you back.


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October 2014

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