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Catching up, again

Penguicon was lots of fun, I'm definitely glad I went and would go again. The drive was fine, we had beautiful weather. lunch at Cracker Barrel (mmm, cheesy hash browns) and found a couple of caches on the way. We got to Troy in time to have dinner with lverhulst, register, and wander the con hotel. We wound up in the gaming room playing "Betrayal at House on the Hill" until 2am. Somewhere in there my right eye started hurting and continued hurting even after I took my contact lens out. I managed to get to sleep though and dreamt about missing the Kaffeeklatch with matociquala that I had signed up for but was nervous about attending as I'm a little in awe of her and marykaykare, who had also signed up. I made myself go and was glad I went. It was interesting and other people asked lots of good questions. I didn't ask anything as I thought I was further behind in her books than I was, the only one I hadn't read that has been released is Carnival. She has three more novels coming out this year so I'd better get reading!

Then spot and I 'helped' Leane with the Capricon table, handing out cool chocolate 'coins' and "Yarr!!-ing" at passersby. I went to the dealers' room (the teeny tiny dealer's room) and ordered a custom printed shirt. One of the dealers was a guy with what amounted to an inkjet printer for fabric, you give him a file with a picture that you want printed and he'd print it for you, on totebags, t-shirts, underwear (yes, underwear), etc. Leane leant me a copy of the Capricon 28 logo (the skull and crossbones with a 'Borg' eye, flanked by a pirate ship and a pirate spaceship) and I ordered a shirt with that design. The nice woman taking orders told me it would be a couple hours. (Hah!) I also bought a pre-made shirt that said " < sarcasm > " on the front and "< /sarcasm >" on the back. Hee! This left time to see Charles Stross read from his upcoming novel Halting State. I can't wait, what he read was funny and unusual. The entire novel is written in second-person, present tense, just as the old text adventure games were (hint hint).
Then it was off for a late lunch (deep fried onion, yumm!) and running up to the autograping table _just _ before John Scalzi got out from behind it. Spot and I got our books signed and lobbied for a Chicago stop on his fabulous book tour. He was very nice but I have to say it was a little strange to actually meet someone you feel as though you already know. Obviously I only 'know' the public John Scalzi, but still. I've been reading his blog for a couple of years now and it was odd to feel as though I already knew him and had plenty to talk about even though we'd only just met.
After his signing it was back to the dealers' room to try and get my shirt (no luck) and then hang around the Cap table some more, attend a panel with Charlie and Karl Schroeder, then (finally) retrieve my shirt and make the rounds of the parties.
The parties were pretty lame. The two best were a Guitar Hero Party which featured the game Guitar Hero projected on a big screen (bed sheet) and set up for two-player action. That was fun to watch and Spot did pretty well when it was finally his turn. Also someone turned up at this party with a real guitar modded into a Guitar Hero controller! That was pretty cool. They had ok snacks, but nothing to drink. The Ohio LUG party was a regular hotel room with no decorations and minimal snacks but it was the only party with beer. The consuite had beer, along with Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, Brazilian style steaks and sushi, but that doesn't excuse the parties for not having something to drink. Most of them didn't even seem to have pop.

Needless to say we decided the gaming room was more exciting, so we went back there for more "Betrayal" and another game who's name escapes me but made my brain hurt.

That was another late night, but the next day was gorgeous and after another quick pass through the dealers' room it was time to hit the road. We stopped for a few caches along the way and even so, made good time back to Chicago.
Wednesday was the monthly dinner with friends from my old department at work and after dinner I stupidly drank a large coffee. So I was up until 3am. Can I get a D'oh! from the congregation? Thursday was the last night of bowling for my company's league. We were bowling for third and lost, but my favorite team (that's not ours) beat the Bowling Nazis and won first place, so that was good.
Tonight a friend and I went to a gallery opening, my first. After a little uncertaintly about what we should wear (when we got there we realized we couldn't really have chosen wrong, the crazy hat, James Joyce specs and paint-spattered clothes we were thinking of wearing would have fit right in) we made it to Architrouve for Tony Fitzpatrick's show. It was pretty cool, except the pictures (etchings) were very very small, like the 'big' ones were 5x7 small, and the little ones were 3x5. The Three Floyds beer was good though. We were both too chicken to go meet the artist, and wound up the night at the Mercury Cafe.
Tomorrow is the Close Reading Group for chicago-sf.org, then games with my mundane friends. And Sunday is the April Geocaching meetup. Monday is another book group, Tuesday is the chicago-sf.org social, and Friday it looks like I'll be driving up to Milwaukee for the Scalzi signing and my first visit to The Safehouse.

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Elephants That Are on FIRE

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