This weekend was a cavalcade of contradictions. I was really, really excited to be out of town and with geeks and in a terrible hotel (terrible in the way that all national chains that hold conferences can be) and yet I was feeling very shy and introverted. Other than my one friend who invited me down, I didn’t know anyone there. The theme was “law, order, and crime,” and it featured panels like “Charismatic Criminals — Why We Love Them ” and “Anarchists! Innnn! Spaaaaace!” As I said this morning I think the best thing that happened is that it resuscitated my love of writing and for that it was worth all the costs of the trip, both financial and social.
I mostly went to panels and talked to people on occasion, and spent a lot of time by myself reading, or people watching at the bar at night, which I love. I met some new people I really liked and found out about cons in Seattle that I didn’t know about. On Friday night the bar was full of middle-aged people, mostly white, with a sick cover band composed of older gentlemen (always a good sign for quality). They started with mellower jazz covers and as the bar got drunker they started to crank it up and cover Barry White and so on. There was grinding in the Marriott. I slept well (unground).
On Sunday night the conference was over, but due to circumstances beyond my control I didn’t have a place to stay, so I stayed over in the hotel again.
“Old-fashioned?” the bartender said as I sat down.
I was reading the book of an author I was lucky enough to meet over the weekend at the con on my phone when the bar erupted in applause. I turned to see a crowd of people dressed formally. A bride walked in holding a baby in one of those baby bucket things. An older gentleman raised a glass and announced, “I’ve gained a grandson and a daughter-in-law all at once!” Everyone applauded again. Did she have the baby as soon as she was married? DURING? Was it not his son’s baby? Was the baby not acknowledged until the wedding? It is a mystery.
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