I had a great time at Chicon7
, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention. It was a great convention with great people, and lots of fun. I couldn't find anyone to help with Squeaky's move, so I decided to leave via Greyhound on Friday afternoon instead of Thursday morning. I was only there for about three days, and that was about right for me.
The first pictures I took were on Saturday morning, so we'll start with the traveling story and no photos.
The Greyhound was as pleasant and efficient as was possible, and though we encountered much, MUCH crappier than normal traffic on the way out of town, we were only fifteen minutes late arriving. Our driver Tony was great, and was only cheerful and helpful despite driving for more than a full eight hour day with no meal breaks and only two short fifteen minute breaks for potty and cigarettes. At the beginning of the trip, Tony told us to come up and tell him if there was anything he could do to make our trip more comfortable, and to let him know if we were too hot or cold. When we stopped in Tomah, WI he took a quick and informal poll of the riders, with a stated willingness to defer to the majority. To underline the importance that everyone's opinion would be considered, he said, "This is America and George Bush in't President anymore."
Any halfway good comic can get a laugh out of a happy crowd. Tony got a laugh out of a tired, weary crowd.
(I did not interpret it as any political endorsement, only a reference to Bush being very clearly and transparently not elected democratically)
My busmates and I arrived late on Friday night (actually very early Saturday morning, but it was before sleeping). I had my bearings as to which way was up until the second time that we had to circle the building, and then all hell broke loose. The hotel is two miles from the Greyhound Station and I planned to take the city bus to the hotel. I had printed directions to the bus and the bus schedule, but I could not find the bus stop, and I wasn't sure which way was which.
A cab driver stopped at a red light with his window rolled down, and I asked him if he was available to pick up a fare. In Minneapolis, a two mile trip is a shit fare, so I told him that I knew it was a crummy little two mile trip, but I'd happily tip ten bucks. He said he was available, and when he dropped me off, I gave him a twenty for an eight dollar ride. Later in the weekend, I found out that big city cab drivers don't mind short fares as much as medium city drivers - but harried and bedraggled as I was, I still think that it was worth ten bucks to give up my worry that the driver wouldn't want to pick my lost self up.
I got to the hotel and saw that there was lots of hobnobbing and schmoozing in the front lobby. Though I wasn't yet physically tired, I was emotionally exhausted and I did not respond warmly to the prominent display of celebrity culture. I called caffeine
so that I could get into our room, and because T-Mobile is awesome, the phone rang twice and dumped me to voicemail. This indicated to me that caffeine was the world's biggest asshole who deserved all the crabbyness I'd been storing up.
Fortunately for him, I saw J first. J had conceived of but neglected to implement a plan that Minnesota people would all stay on the same floor and have a suite where we could hang out during the convention. I made sure to get our registration in as early as possible to assure that we would be included in the block, and we paid the recommended donation to be included on the floor. Our room was nowhere near the party floor. When I asked J for an explanation, he gave me multiple, conflicting excuses, and eventually tried to change the subject to deflect attention. I was very clear that I wasn't buying it.
On the bus, I'd been reading Lying
by Sam Harris, which provided no new information to me, but really emboldened my trust in my existing convictions. If J had told the truth and said to me "I've been extremely busy with everything for this convention and the party, and I'm sorry you were forgotten," I would have forgiven him immediately. As it is, I don't think he's sorry, I don't think he values my trust, and I know that he'll lie to me if he thinks it's necessary. I'm still very mad and will probably be so for a while yet.
Sometimes, I wish I was the kind of person who didn't carry a grudge. Sometimes I don't.
After I talked to J and got good and pissed off, yet tired of being good and pissed off, I called caffeine again. This time, he called me right back. I met him at the room, dropped off my stuff, and ranted and raved about what a jerk he was for dumping me to voicemail.
After a few drinks and a chance to calm down, it was pretty clear that I was wrong about that one. It turns out he's a pretty good guy.