However it's been (knocks on wood!) quiet today. I'm thinking it will probably pick up later today or tomorrow as people come back online from the long weekend sludge.
The training class was a lot of fun in some ways: It's always good to brush up on skills that might have been slipping over time.
Friday, as I noted, I was off. I slept in a bit (though I have trouble sleeping past 10 AM if I'm not sick), got to spend some time with Audra to continue that process of sorting out the mess that is our interpersonal communication style (still progressing pretty well, I'm cautiously optimistic to say), and went to have a soak with Kim (she'd been wanting to treat me to a tub for my Birthday, and Friday was the earliest opportunity to do so).
Saturday Roni, Kim and I all went to Pantheacon for the day. I went in my usual "uniform" of Z-Coil sandals, jeans, a tee shirt and open hawaiian shirt -- I just wasn't up for "dressing up". My sole concession to the environment was the Tee was my original "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" source.
We arrived at the Double Tree, almost 18 years to the day of my arrival in California (The first place I slept in CA was then the Red Lion, since redubbed the Double Tree), to find the parking to be as screwed up as I had been led to fear. My annoyance was partially ameliorated by the foreknowledge that my con day pass acted as validation.
In one of these fits of irony, it was the boy in our little trio who wound up being a shopping hound. CLOTHES shopping, yet.
It started with my usual source for cheap silk shirts. Every year it has almost become a tradition to find one or two excellent silk shirts for under 10 bucks each, and this year was no exception. I scored two silk hawaiian shirts for 15 bucks, whereupon I realized I only had 16 bucks cash on me.
So I wandered off to be raped by the Hotel ATM. I found the lobby blocked by the Edward Norton Morris Dancers, but the only other path was blocked by none other than Kathleen and Mike of HSV2 debacle infamy. I did the chicken shit thing and walked the long way around to the ATM machine, which proceeded to tell me to bend over. Not ONLY was the fee an insane 2.50, the withdrawal limit was 100 bucks -- that's right, basically a 2.5% extortion cut for the privilege to get you're own money to use in the same venue.
Thus fortified with two maxxed withdrawals, I made it back to the dealer room. We wandered around the outside edge until coming to this booth with much ruffleage. I couldn't resist a wonderful purple number in satin, and an even frillier number in dark green. I decided to switch into the green shirt, and called it costume change number one.
After the first sweep through the dealer's room, we went to sit in the lobby for a bit and people watch. Funny thing is I was not very interested in most of the women there -- none of them were doing much for me. The only exception was this one cute thing in fairly mundane garb (black slacks and a pretty standard long sleeve top). I kept catching myself from wanting to pinch her cheeks... either set.
Awhile later I ran upstairs to hook up with perlandria in the Horse Brutality suite. As usual I was pleasantly startled by how much she missed me, and was sorely disappointed that, despite my good timing (she wasn't due on shift until 3 PM, a full hour later) and paka's usual generosity, there was no place we could go for some (ahem) quality time... until her always blessed co-workers mentioned that she show me the tub.
After a lovely detailed and exhaustive examination of aforementioned tub we emerged only a few minutes into her shift. If the day had ended right there, I would have considered it a fine con.
When I returned downstairs Roni had gotten a henna tattoo on both hands (she's always been a big fan of the artist who does P'Con). This made for interesting contortions as she attempted to avoid disturbing the henna on one Palm (the other hand was decorated on the back, which was STILL a tricky thing).
Roni, Kim and I wound up eating in the worst hotel based restaurant in the bay area. Ok, so the food was ok, but the service was STILL among the worst I had ever experienced in a hotel. We told Kim the story of one year when we had arrived to the con undistinguishable from the Mundanes, and hadn't had a chance to register when Roni "hit the wall" foodwise. One of the waitstaff had made the multiple error of not only bitching about the "freaks" to "pagans in disguise"*, he did it to RONI, someone who was (at the time) in the eatery business herself. We let him hang himself to the point that he not only didn't get a tip, Roni had a little chat with the manager. The last (and I mean LASST) we saw of intolerant boy he was being summarily called to the back.
Afterwards I wanted to see if the Utilikilt booth had any of the black standard kilts in my size. TO my shock, they did -- though being fit for the kilt in the middle of a crowded room sans dressing room was a bit like switching out of one's bathing suit at the beach using the towel wrapped waist technique, and just as un-nerving. THe guy almost lost a sale by being a bit snippy with Roni when she asked about "girlier" colors. Something about kilts being "for boys" -- I had to bite back the snarky comment that I knew a lot of dykes who wore them, but why did he think that she was asking for HER benefit? I forbore, making a mental note to write about it in my blog and to send a little note to the home office.
So, suddenly costume change number two. I was resplendent in my blousey green ruffles shirt and black kilt, which I'm certain confused a lot of people.
These included Alma (the only one who could afford to make it down from Santa Rosa), Valerie and her Mom (they say "Hi!", Michele), Reva (also says "Hello!" to Michele!) and quite a few others.
We all decided to head up to Hops Totality to hang with Esther a tad and catch our breath. We wound up sitting and chatting with a small group of people about assorted things, including the one lovely who had some great ink-work on her bosom. After about an hour of great conversation, she got up to leave... and confessed that she didn't just know me from the web-site (she recognized the logo on my arm when we compared works), but that she and Mike were an item. Yes, THAT Mike. TO her credit she claimed to be completely divorced from all of that drama. I was bemused at my uncanny ability to flirt with or otherwise connect with people that are already, in some way, involved or connected to my life. Ah well... if you're reading, it WAS really nice to meet you.
It was an odd feeling leaving as early as we did. This isn't the first time I skipped the late night drumming circle on Saturday, but it still felt weird. It just didn't feel right this time.
Sunday... Well, Roni and Kim went off to Bingo in San Leandro somewhere, I had another "date" (meeting and appointment sound too formal... get-together sounds like we we're meeting for coffee... so, call it a date) to continue processing. Things continue to progress. Yes, that's been a few in short succession, but there's a lot to talk about.
I had a very brief meeting with Eileen right before I left her in Hayward -- a few words and a hug that wasn't completely awkward. Too much work to even contemplate at the moment.
That night was me and Roni hanging out and watching the Olympics on the Tivo until we couldn't stand any more, then switching to watching the "Mr and Mrs Smith" DVD we had scored from CostCo the week before.
Monday was Roni Birthday! Since I had already given her pressie early (those tickets to see "Lestat: The Musical!"), I tried to make the day as special as I could. Started the day with great sex, went to "Ole's Waffle House", drove to Brentwood, CA where we caught "Firewall" -- We had just missed the start of "Freedomland", and they weren't showing "Capote". Snap review: Formulaic, but Harrison still kicks ass. The technology was all well researched so the geek in my cringed not, but the writer was screaming inside at the major plot flaws.
The movie was actually the secondary reason we were there, as Roni was craving Carvel. Sure, that makes me the pusher that got her hooked, but at least now she's as enthusiastic as I am at the idea of one opening in Walnut Creek. I scored a chocolate cone, she decided on a Bananas Foster Sunday. I hadn't thought to bring a cooler, so I wasn't willing to risk buying some "FLying Saucer" ice cream sandwiches this time around. Maybe once they finish the bypass it might be possible.
We went home, ordered chinese, watched more olympics, caught the latest "24" (where Sean Astin is slowly losing it, though it's not entirely his fault), and finished the day as we had begun.
So, here I am, nearly 2000 words into this post... and STILL things are quiet. My next project will be to start work on cleaning up a script that I've been wanting to re-do to improve it's efficiency (read: it's currently dog slow. As in a DEAD dog) and robustness (read: You breath too hard and it either won't work or produces bizarre results). Onwards through the last week of February!
* Sung to the tune of "Judy in Disguise".