norwescon recap

My ride: Gorgeous, bizarre, a massive vintage green beast of a machine bought off the Watchman when they dismantled the movie set. I hear it outside before Ross calls to say he’s arrived, loud, incredible, purring an actual vroom hrum hrum hrumph every time he hit the gas. A steel gas sucker, sure, and it needs to be tuned, but I love it. Talk about personality. We filled it with swords, of course, stuffing the trunk full of pointy things on the way down, and even more on the way back. Blades for sale, for hobby, for profit, for trade. You need something sharp and likely highly impractical, then Ross is your guy.

Norwescon itself was only slightly less colourful.

Tony and I are desultory congoers, lacking the rockstar fannish vibe, glad to see friends, but not terribly organized about the whole thing. (Seriously, the ratio of People I Looked For VS. People I Found borders on shameful. I love you people, where were you hiding?) Thursday we skipped altogether, because I am fail, and thought Kris was reading on Friday, and Friday we didn’t arrive until late, only in time to catch the end of the dance. Saturday we did much better. No panels, no readings, but lucky enough to find seats at the Kitten Sundae concert, a sweet and pretty band what is two bands combined: Vixy & Tony mixed with S.J. Tucker, aka Skinny White Chick. We also bid and won a space mouse in the art room, picked up some prints, and not only did I commission another replacement garnet ear cuff from Angela, I booked a shoot with her next week, which I expect will be tremendous fun.

All things must pass, however, and before we were swept up by anyone in particular, we crept away from social time to hide in our room to celebrate our proto-anniversary until evening, luxuriating in sloth, nibbling on a brought picnic of strawberries, chevre, vegetable crackers, and pepper salami slices, and watching Ghost, (more proof that Tony is more of a girl than me, yes), and Pretty Woman while naked in bed, refusing to emerge until it was time to dance/party. The rest of the night was made of boogie, dancing at various parties and in the main ballroom with Gustavo and Angel until our legs were fit to fall off, not getting to bed until five in the morning.

Sunday, we left in the early afternoon, taking light rail back into town with a girl named Shoshona, eating breakfast downtown, then passing out on the couch at home for five hours, wiped out completely and content.

now to figure out how to get home from the double-tree inn with no american monies

Packing for Norwescon is driving me crazy today. Generally it’s simple; find what fits, throw it in a suitcase. Except today. To finish the task, I must paw through a month’s worth of dirty clothes, as my landlord continues to ignore my requests to buy laundry tokens. Every few minutes, I must quash my irrational desire to shake a tiny fist in the air and declare him damned to a similar fate. Bad enough that he’s ignoring me and nothing’s being done, must I really throw myself elbow deep into a land of mud, tree bark, sweat and stains? To comfort myself, I have begun eating a strawberry for every successful laundry find. The bad news is that I’m running out of supplies.

Later this afternoon, however, Christine will be by from Montreal, which is all kinds of good, and tomorrow I’m getting a ride down to Seattle, which saves me four hours of being on a bus.

help some artists get to norwescon!

Regarding my recent post about Norwescon, I have to admit the primary reason I’m planning to attend this year is because my friend Myke Amend and his incredible partner Bethalynne Bajema will be in attendance. (Check out their super website, the Miskatonic Archive.) Both of them are absolutely lovely people, treasures in the world, and though I’ve known Myke for many, many years, we’ve never yet had a chance to meet!

For me, attending is simple. Seattle is three hours away by bus, the con will be full of friends, and it’s all very familiar territory. For them, not so much. Late-payment by a publisher has made the point of payment pretty much pointless, as their plane ticket prices have jumped $500 in the time it has taken (so far) for them to make good. To help, I’m asking my readers to take a look at their art and purchase something or pass it on to someone else who might.

What do these two do? Style, panache, airships, steampunk, tentacles, elegance, and dark, deadly wit. If you’re at all interested in ‘teh spooky’, these two are where it’s at. (To give you some references, Myke just recently did a book cover for another friend, Cherie Priest, author of Boneshaker, which has just been nominated for the Locus Awards, {vote for her at the link}, and had a painting commissioned by Robert of Abney Park to hang in his study.)

They have Airship Pirate T-shirts and Babydoll tees, prints from Myke Amend’s Airships and Tentacles series, pretty box purses, and Bethalynne’s striking neo-victorian art for sale at Etta Diem. Prices range from $10 for a print to $375 for an original painting, with a lot offered in between. For a more visual view of what they have on offer, they also have an Etsy shop.


Norwescon is coming up, and Tony and I are wondering who’s going. Are you? If so, what panels are you going to? Where are you staying? Mainly we’re just trying to find out what other people’s plans are, because ours (so far) is exceedingly simple: Find Friends -> Spend Time With Them -> Socialize/Dance/Hot-Tub/Sleep.

to further clarify/muddy the waters

Doctors confirm woman’s imaginary third arm.

I have returned from the Middle America with a ridiculous amount of ice-cream. Richard, my darling ride home, wanted to stop and shop on the way back, and blessed be, he had a cooler. Now my freezer is creaking at the seams like a cruelly overstuffed, force fed goose of pure deliciousness. Once again, I can spend time with a spoon and flavours like Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream ice-cream or Pomegranate Choco Chip, (not available in Canada), sold by the quart, (which also doesn’t happen up North). Life is good. (Though seriously, United States, knock it the fuck off with the corn syrup.)

Thankfully, too, life is good for other reasons. I have returned from Seattle spontaneously engaged to my friend Rafael, which was a bit of a surprise, even though I was the one who proposed, (while under the influence of vast quantities of chocolate and a rather well timed foot-rub), especially as I’m still single, which seems both seamlessly appropriate and monumentally unfair. As I said to Frank earlier, being a pair of only relatively nice Jewish children, we decided it would be the most fun if we continued with it enough to declare it three times in three days, which is sort of the Judaic networking equivalent to jumping over a broomstick, just to see what would happen. It’s not like we’re writing up a Ketubah or anything, (1. facebook 2. twitter. 3. livejournal), but as a social experiment goes, we’re rocking the house. His family, for example, seem to completely support us in this “decision” for no reason I can fathom.

Also while at Norwescon, I woke up wrapped in the embrace of two, count them, two incredibly distractingly attractive young men, something I’ve never done before, (no, I’m still not ‘getting any’, shove off you perverts), the morning after I gave up my last surviving pair of black pants for SCIENCE!!* Sexy SCIENCE!! even, as they were donated to further experimentation when it was discovered that once Tony‘s svelte, wiggling, dance-floor hips are sheathed in my pants instead of hidden under a kilt, they set the ladies on fire. I approve of ladies on fire. The only drawback is that I am now almost completely pantsless. So – internet – where does a girl go to buy black pants in Vancouver? I haven’t the vaguest clue.

In the Event That You Have Accidentally Swallowed the Higgs Boson

*SCIENCE!! is not actually real science, it is science with jazz hands.

getting in trouble is one of those kissing terms

Seattle is a more solid place to me than Vancouver, no matter that I’m sitting in it. Here, I’m not real yet. I’m in a miniskirt, army green under black lace, way too short, and a black shirt, lace at the cuffs, ruffles down the front, both borrowed. I look like myself, but not at all. I’m feeling happy, content, surrounded by seventies decor. It makes me think of old photographs of Berkley. I feel like I could be anywhere in the western world.

Getting on the bus was easier than I thought it would be. There was no sense of loss, no sticking to my choice to watch the city go by as if it were the last time. Instead my book was comforting, a story I like well. My morning had been on schedule, my border crossing I had no worry for. When it came to the crunch, the guard was more interested in what I was reading than my identification.

After the border, there was a strike of lightning, a clap of thunder louder than the voice of mother to a child. I jolted awake, suddenly hallucinating that I was traveling with someone instead of just my black carry bag. Long in jeans I closed my eyes and refused to look until I felt them close a kiss upon my mouth. I have a terror of insanity, but when I opened my eyes to the expected absence of a lover, I felt fine. Something has changed, something’s been accepted. A moment of mystery, borne on everything I want to be. I made a decision.

Dropped off a block away from the EMP, I decided not to go in, but to take the pictures I felt I missed last time. Grinning, it was like I could see myself walking without needing light. I touched the building and felt set afire. Seattle a world apart from the one I knew, a piece of reality that anchored me. From last time, I knew my way around. Here is where I can get a walking map, here is where I’m tempted by a small brass statue of the tower for Andrew. No step taken was wrong, no word superfluous. The bus took me to where I wanted to be, the services I required were exactly as stingy as I’d thought they’d be.

Pike Place Market, I got there in time to walk through while it was closing, the endless rows of dollar tulips nodding as the proprietors of the stalls swept them up in white plastic buckets. Bouquets labelled five, ten, fifteen. I was tempted. Red, green, all of them fresh and light as perfect rain. Brocolli flower, vegetable hair the colour of school-book honey. My loves were right, it was the place I needed to go. At one closing stall I bought a plum for a dollar and kept walking, fingering cut silk scarfs and small creatures made of glass. I took a picture at one end and laughed when I saw someone do the same. There was nothing there at all special except for my being there. I guess they felt the same.

On transit to the airport, a man got on and sold CD players to the latino men sitting next to me. “Ten dollars for one, fifteen for two, twenty with batteries, do you want the batteries? Course you want the batteries. Where’s the other ten?” He had disposable razors too, a buck each, he said. Usually he had more or different things, same time next week. I was looked at kindly, as part of the conspiracy, and I appreciated it. “Good doing business with you.”

The airport was everything airports are meant to be, somewhere to stand and wait until your transportation arrives. There was a shuttle bus and easy directions to it, third floor, outside, bay one. Pick up the phone there, dial the number that you need. A pleasant voice answered, she said it would take four minutes. I watched carefully, reading the signs on every bus, worried that I would miss it, be unable to flag it down in time. My worries were unfounded, eventually it worked out fine. A pretty girl who got off the transit bus with me got on a moment later. We’re both in long black coats and individual jewelry, so we spoke briefly in the manner of new found acquaintances about how unsurprised we were that the other person would have the same destination. Her name is Anna and she’s experienced with conventions. Me, I’ve barely been. I don’t know what I’m walking into.

Already I know that I’m seeking culture shock to jar me from the rut my life is making in Vancouver. I’m grasping for something I know I can take, a life where I’m happier, a distraction against my constant feeling of suffocating. Entering the hotel does it for me. There are a hundred costumes, a hundred conversations bubbling around me like revelry. I feel underdressed almost immediately and that makes me grin. Anna finds her people or they find her, she’s known, her friends are all about here, so I walk on alone after promising to come to her party. I set out to seek Devon, an easy mark even in this sort of crowd, I figure. Look for the pirates, look for the swords. Height, the key is height. I sweep through a wide hall, take a cursory look at a hotel bar full of gremlins, fairies, and anime characters, and find a room of photographers, a woman holding her arms up to show off her demon wings.

Wrong direction, I decide, and turn back, looking for hallways to follow, looking for heads without bright raver wigs. The first table I come across has a sword on it and Devon behind it. People are still walking by in fantastic paints, jackets, bits of coloured leather and plastic, but I found what I was looking for. I win. My joy has caught up with my lifting courage. No matter later where I settle, I have found where I needed to go.