August 2nd, 2006


Con day 2

I know nothing about Texas history and have no strong feelings about the Alamo, but as long as I was in San Antonio I thought I should see it. Most people had already gone and said it didn't require a lot of time (fuldu described it with a consonantcy I'll leave to the reader).

I arranged to meet Roy at 11. In front of the hotel, Will told of taking a cab where the driver talked about movies. Will asked if he'd seen "Wordplay" and he gave a two-word review: "It sucked." Will decided not to introduce himself. We heard the movie was gone after only a week in San Antonio, but after getting home I still found it listed; either our information was wrong, or perhaps press coverage about the con brought it back.

We took a trolley to the nice but empty-looking downtown area, and walked to the Alamo, passing the Menger Hotel where the con almost was. A sign in front of the Alamo warned that no photos were allowed inside, and men should remove their hats (to show proper respect for the shrine). We wandered around inside and then out onto the grounds where the temperature was hot as a sauna. Back inside to air conditioning and a quick look at the exhibits.

We were meeting a large group at Texas Land & Cattle for lunch. We found the entrance to the Riverwalk (running into a bunch of Krewe coming up), and descended into... hell. Hot and humid, with a lot of butterflies. It was pretty, but uncomfortable. We chose the wrong direction and had to double back, but eventually found the place. A dozen others soon joined us, including jedusor (Hooligan) and Fork who had just arrived. I had chopped steak (people sometimes think I'm a vegetarian, but I ordered hamburgers almost exclusively my entire childhood), and heard how Hemlock met her husband, and Hooligan's college visiting plans. Sluggo and I didn't want to walk back so left to look for a cab. None were roaming the streets, and we headed in the direction of Market Square, never seeing one the whole way. Despite our earlier start, the rest of the group got back before us, but in that weather we really didn't want to rush.

thedan was running his Pop Culture Jeopardy, and we went to tablesaw's room to play. I didn't do well but it was fun to hear a reprise of the Sean Connery song lyrics category. Manx had constantly joked that no one should come to the panel where he was speaking on crosswords, and after the game we arrived just in time to miss his segment. I would have liked to hear him, but the rest was OK. I almost took the chair of a woman who needed to elevate her leg, and apologized later.

I don't remember what happened between the panel and dinner. Come to think of it, I don't remember much about dinner either (was I sitting near Coach? Sorry to anyone who was there; it's all a blur now). I wondered if other people wanted plain water instead of the iced tea that was set out. The night's games were 50/50 trivia part 2, answering the questions we composed the night before (I got 19 right). Then Sirhound flats. They dimmed the lights, making it impossible for me to see my paper so I had a hard time solving in my head. The sound was too loud, but thankfully someone complained and it was lowered a tad. The Hitchcock parodies were cute.

I wanted to play Al Desuda's game after-hours, but he couldn't get a critical mass with everyone at Dart's game. I then wandered around, seeing lots of people co-solving cryptics and nothing much going on. Since I had been yawning and literally nodding off during the program, I decided to do the sane thing and go back to the room even though it was only 10:45. After surfing the net and doing E-mail it was around midnight and I was tempted to go back (I wanted to play Texas Jeopardy and Maelstrom's game), but decided to go to sleep.

Con day 3

Despite all that sleep, I still couldn't wake up for breakfast or the business meeting. I heard about the change in editorship, and then headed in to lunch. I would have liked to have the roll separately with butter, but didn't see any butter. Helene, Sluggo and I couldn't believe that Lucis has a 30-year-old daughter.

I always solve alone during the Saturday afternoon pencil games, and continued this despite a few people asking to co-solve. I did OK on End Game, but got stuck for a while assuming oriole instead of osprey. I still had two of rubrick's Triple Plays unsolved, and barely made a dent in the flat competition (18 or so out of 40). Will borrowed my laptop, and I got antsy worrying he wouldn't finish in time for me to freshen up for the picture.

It turned out I got to poolside early, and everyone soon gathered for the shot. It was hot and crowded. I don't see how anyone could live in this climate (as I sit writing this in 100+ degrees in New York - but it's only a few days instead of year-round). The picture was taken from a balcony, which turned out to be a great way to see everyone. I know this because we already have the final print.

The banquet included chicken-fried steak, which was good. saxikath was called away for Texas Jeopardy, but I was still on the waiting list (I wonder if I could have played the night before, when I wasn't around). Then it was time for the extravaganza. My team of Anomaly, Artistry and janglernpl was fun to work with, and we ended up third. I liked that the final quote required results from every team, and the ingenious touch of including the winning team's name by putting those letters in the packets of later finishers.

After-hours, I did GenCon puzzles by Wombat and Slik, solving with persona and someone else I'm forgetting. I watched Ladybug a while before joining the game, getting giggly when suggesting words I knew weren't right. I kept an eye on Xemu and Greg, hoping they'd do another Texas Jeopardy, but this was their time to play other people's games so I never had a chance; it sounded like a hoot. Heading back to the room dead-tired, I passed the room where Encore was going on, and played until it broke up at 4:30 a.m.

Con day 4 and beyond

There's not much to say about the end of con. I dressed and packed and managed to catch the end of breakfast, even though I got there after 10. I wondered if there was fruit, and then saw kabobs stuck into a pineapple sculpture.

As usual, I didn't get any awards (there were fewer books on the prize table than usual), though my name was mentioned for one of the pencil games and for being third in the Extravaganza. I signed a zillion programs for absent members. I think this has gotten out of hand. Some of these people have not exactly been con regulars.

I rode to the airport again with the Voks family, with Manx taking Wampahoofus's spot and GPS Vanessa again showing the way. After going through security, we found several Krewe in the snack area, many of whom were on my flight to Newark. None of the food appealed to me so I didn't eat. On the flight, I was next to elainetyger but was too tired to do much more than listen to music and half-heartedly make a dent in magazine reading. There was a surprisingly good spinach/cheese stromboli snack. Manx had arranged to join Pen Gwyn's car service ride, so jeffurrynpl and I took a bus back to Port Authority, and I then got a cab home. Jiggety jig.

From incredibly hot and humid San Antonio, I went to incredibly hot and humid NYC. I have air conditioning, but it's not very effective. I also don't really like the feel of air conditioning (in San Antonio, it was generally freezing). This too shall pass, and I'll be complaining about the cold winter weather.

I slept 12 hours today, from noon to midnight. Maybe now I'm caught up on sleep, and it's time to get moving on work.