This is January. On our fannish calendar, that means Arisia. This is a Boston area SF con with a slight gaming emphasis that has taken Martin Luther King Day and the Boston Park Plaza as its own. It came about because the February Boston SF con, Boskhone (okay, Boskone) went down in flames one year, having grown way too big. Thus, the next year it trimmed itself down an order of magnitude and alienated a lot of fans. Arisia was the result. We don't go to Boskhone. We lost our car the last time we did, and we don't want to tempt fate. However, we like Arisia.
We left for the con Thursday night, at about 9:3 PM, after dinner at a new kosher wood oven pizza place (where I left a book behind, something I didn't realize until Connecticut.) We loaded up the rental car with luggage, books, backpacks, filk books and softsided coolers, and took off north. It was actually a good time to leave - after rush hour but before the trucks. By 11PM, we'd reached West Haven and were ready to stop for the night.
Next morning, we took advantage of the "continental breakfast" - corn flakes and coffee - and were off to Boston. We got to Brookline by 1PM, which gave us time to shop in The Butcherie, one of the best kosher grocery stores we know, pay a visit to a Jewish bookstore and have lunch at our favorite restaurant there, a place called Taam China. We still reached the convention by three.
This gave us plenty of time to check in, get put on the wrong floor, contact the con "inn keeper", who straightened everything out - yes, we ended up with a double bed in a tiny room, but it was on the fifth floor, as opposed to a king sized bed on the tenth. Much better. They never did give us the fridge we'd asked for. They never do. Luckily, we know how to deal - we just fill ziplocs with ice and put them in our coolers. That works very nicely. And then we had time to shower and change and register at the convention.
Jonathan had asked that my badge name be "MamaDeb", as that's my IRC/online name. It's not my fannish name. He had to go down and get it changed. Meanwhile, a friend of mine got me on a fanfic panel called "Borrowed Worlds", so I had to get the proper ribbon and materials. It also gave me access to the Green Room, which was conveniently down the hall from my sleeping room. Meant I had access to coffee and soda, as I didn't know the kashrut of anything else.
Friday night was Friday night. We had dinner with the other observant fans, although there was some confusion, as we waited in a room two floors lower than the room we were supposed to use, but that was straightened out in time. Then we went to panels and filking and such, and my husband checked out the ball, which had a live orchestra. He chatted with the countertenor recorder player. At one panel, about Smallville, a straight, married male friend of mine called Tom Welling "Yummy."
We got to sleep earlyish, as we tend to do the first night of a con. That's because we're getting old.
Same stuff the next day. We had lunch with friends, pooling resources - they had lots of salmon and cold cuts, we had meatloaf and salads, and really nice mushroom/spinach knishes. At two pm, I had my panel. It went fairly well. They'd put it in too small a room, so it was crowded. And the conversation did go to mostly slash. In the end, I was asked to do a slash panel next year. I accepted.
At havdala, the separation ceremony performed after the Sabbath is over, I burned my finger - the match burned too fast. Blisters and everything. Despite that, we managed to go shopping in the hour and a half before the dealer's room closed. In that time, I purchased one necklace of petrified wood chips and one of garnet chips, $60 of paperbacks, including one by Peg Kerr called The Wild Swans, which I heartily recommend. I also ordered garb.
Then the three of us - me, my husband and my ice pack - went to the masquerade, where we saw the first ever complete opera with an orchestra ever put on at a convention - "Trial by Jury." It was a lot of fun. The Masquerade was okay. I've seen better, but this was fine.
At this point, the blister broke. I got a bandaid, and my finger stopped hurting, so I could spend the rest of the night doing counted cross stitch. Thanks to my craftglove, I could actually embroider all night without my carpal tunnel acting up.
And I mean the rest of the night. After doing a turn around dealer's row - a row of sleeping rooms filled with dealers - sort of like a mall with odd jewelry stores, odder boutiques - selling garb, corsets and armor - and at least one bookstore run by a man and his son. Son read books. Dad read gay porn. I kid you not. I bought a zine there. I also ordered a necklace - amber and silver. I have to call Kirsten to get it set up.
I dropped by other friends and talked comic books for awhile and bought a couple of Legions from the eighties.
Then we filked. All night. We went from the one filkroom to the "drunken revel" room, which was a lot more fun. I stitched and joined in the choruses, but my husband managed to get in a lot of recorder time. At 2AM. we marched into the larger room just in time to sing the filk anthem, "Hope Eyrie", and stayed there until 4AM, when we finally went to bed.
We woke up late, obviously, but as we planned to leave on Monday, that just meant missing some panels. More panels, some dead dogging, a nap in the afternoon, and then we went to dinner with friends. Taam China again. It's good.
Back at the con, which was now mostly over, we wandered around dealer's row some more and then went to the con suite, and then to bed. We got up at a reasonable hour and by 10:50, we were on our way home. We got there at 6:00, just in time to drop off the car. We had to call ahead, but that was fine. And when we got there, I *dashed* to the bathroom. Imagine, if you will, downing a large cup of coffee at about 3PM - and not getting to a bathroom until three hours later. I was in real pain. We took a cab home, and then went to dinner. At the same place we went Thursday night. I got my book back, too.