Belated trip report is belated. Well, that's what happens when there's a convention on.
A bit of an odd and different WFC for me this weekend, and in some ways a bit of the same WFC it always is. Coming off a week of vacation might not be the best mental mode in which to do a con: I was impressively disinclined to do anything like programming. I did see one reading (Nalo Hopkinson's, on Friday afternoon, which was bunches of fun) and did two of my own (a quickie from Chilling Tales
at the EDGE party, and then a chapter of Above
late Saturday night), and attended Delia Sherman's book launch. Otherwise, that was the whole of my relationship with programming all weekend long.
What I did
do? Mostly talk to people.
It's a different crowd at west coast conventions: a lot of people were there who I hadn't seen in a while (sometimes a space of years), and it was really nice to catch up with them over lunches, or dinner, or just hanging out somewhere in the massive hotel complex. And the hotel complex was massive, and actually terrifically creepy in this decaying-splendour-of-the-late-1950s sort of way: all the buildings looked vaguely alike, and the plants were maybe excessively lush (how were they watering all those roses with the water issues in California?), and there were a lot of very dark little alleyways between things which I felt disturbingly unsafe in, even though I'd been nipping about the Downtown Eastside not one week before. There was a story going around that someone had been there for a con in the late 1960s, and the place hadn't changed a bit. I'd believe it.
There were a lot of new-to-me people there too, or people I'd just known on the internet and not in real life, and it's always awesome to put a face to a name.
And then there were a lot of people I didn't see, or only saw in passing throughout the weekend. Again, size of space and quantity of attendees had to do with this: you could quite easily travel in one circle throughout the weekend and just not see certain other people for the whole time. There were a few people I only found out were there
at midnight on Saturday night.
I think I am generally not going to do shoutouts: there were too many people involved, and my brain is too tired, and things have fuzzed to an alarming degree. Let's just leave it at: If I saw you, yay! If I didn't, boo!
Coincidentally -- or maybe not, because, as sora_blue
pointed out, there was just the one reasonable direct flight home on Sunday -- she, and I, and msagara
and her husband were all on the same flight home. So we cabbed to the airport together and hung out, and Chandra and I changed our seats so we could sit together (kinda pointless in the end; I dozed off inside half an hour of takeoff and slept the whole way home). And then I ran into my second cousin on the way out of the airport, cabbed home (tired), got some takeout hot and sour soup (the official meal of coming home from a trip and wanting hot food even though I cleared out the fridge before leaving and have no perishable food), and fell down into bed.
Coming home after being away so long, and in so many places, feels very weird. My apartment felt cluttered, and my street too dark, and my computer screen weirdly laid out, and nothing reasserted as properly familiar until I crawled into bed, turned off the lamp, and the way the light from the streetlight outside falls through the window onto my walls and the view past the books on my bedside table just finally clicked
. The clothing selection this morning felt absolutely decadent and excessive. I think I have gotten used to a certain spareness in my environment after ten days of hostel rooms and hotel rooms and the living rooms of friends, and living out of a suitcase small enough to carry on airplanes. I may have to reorganize my bedroom this week. I am feeling an excess of stuff.
Luckily, I could sleep in a bit this morning -- had two precious hours left of lieu time at work, and I planned ahead for jet leg/sleep-in purposes and used them on a late start this morning -- but I'm still a little tired and bemused, and I've had Walk on the Ocean
stuck in my head since about half an hour after I got home. I am out of the loop on just about everything right now and don't half care.
I miss the ocean, I think. And redwoods. And Musical 1998. And subject_zero
constantly making fun of me, and slow-paced things, and backpackers, and writers, and the wide, wide sky.
It is always much too quiet when you get home.
Laundry tonight, and groceries, and some e-mail I couldn't answer, as tired as I was, last night; shouldering myself gently back into my life to see if it still fits. And maybe doing some things differently; not more, just differently. The great theme of this year for me has been this long conversation about my time, and how I use it, and which are shining worthwhile things and which obligations should not actually obligate just because they're there, and the last week has most definitely been part of that.
And thus endeth the Great West Coast Jaunt of 2011.