Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

Vacation/Worldcon report

Since the phone man (cute, btw) is currently fixing the lines, which means the DSL line is also down, I have time to write a long report.

Parental Visit

Well, jonbaker's parents, anyway.

I picked up the car, a Mercury Sable with a CD player but not a tape deck, on Friday. We were going to leave Saturday night, but Jonathan's parents were going to be busy Sunday with a lot of things they'd had to neglect while Mom was sitting shiva so we left Sunday instead. Because we don't do mornings and were packing, well, pretty much everything, we left at about noon. The trip itself was pretty much uneventful. We stopped for lunch in the last rest stop in New Jersey (good old Vince Lombardi), and got to his parents' country house at about 6PM.

We spent the next day doing not much - we were thinking about antiquing, but the antique store was closed, it being Monday. So we bought some kitchen stuff in a tiny kitchen store and had coffee and bought some survival rations (Mom is an excellent cook and she makes very tasty food, but, as she never tires of telling us, their appetites have decreased over the years, so she doesn't feel the need to make big meals. Also, she's on a low carb diet (which she also never tires of telling us) for her diabetes and cooks to suit. The end result is that we get rather hungry, as *our* appetites are not decreasing yet.) These consist of corn chips and pistachio nuts. Oh, and as I'd used up a lot of her eggs to make lunch, with her permission, I decided it would be good to buy another dozen.

The next day. The next day was hard. We went to Jonathan's uncle's house to begin the clean up.

It was like a snapshot. There was a plant in the sink that he'd been watering. And the books he'd been reading were open on his table. And there was a bag of moldy bread on the counter. And a pot of moldy coffee in the coffeemaker. And cat food for the kitten who is now happy in her new family (we have a picture.) Just - the evidence of a life that had simply. Stopped.

Even getting to his computer records proved pretty much impossible. His big desktop was not functioning, and there was a new power supply on the floor, so he was probably repairing it. His laptop was functioning (I was going to nick it, I admit, but not after we saw it was a 1999 IBM, with a worn "eraser", Win98 and no battery.) but didn't have many records.

I emptied his fridge of perishables while Mom sorted through decades of paper. I do mean decades - we found records dating from 1984. He was a major packrat. And with all that, she couldn't find his credit card information. And Jonathan, when he wasn't trying to deal with the computers, looked at books. We were there for hours, and didn't make much of dent and it was just awful.

Wednesday we set off for Worldcon.


Forgive me, all of you, but I'm not going to be good with LJ names. I'll try, but it won't be 100%.

We got there on Wednesday night. It was nice to not have to race the sun. After we got our room - technically, a non-smoking room but it stank of cigarettes anyway. It was also handicapped access, which we weren't thrilled about since we aren't handicapped. We took it because it was the lowest king room available, after ascertaining that they had plenty of other handicapped access rooms. And as "accessible" in *this* room meant a large bathroom with a wide door with interesting latches, and bars everywhere, but a regular bathtub instead of a roll-in shower, I didn't feel too bad. It meant that we didn't take up one of those bathrooms.

We wandered around, running into people like gnomi and visiting the filk office. The filk office was a great idea - a central location to check up on concerts, program changes, store instruments for those who had them and just, you know. Meet people. There was a filk that night even though the con itself hadn't started. The Golds were holding court.

And there I had one of my biggest moments. A few years ago, I wrote a filk of "Daddy's Little Girl" about Smallville, and Lee Gold helped fix it up. And while we were sitting in the little filk room, she turned to her husband Barry (for those who don't know, Lee writes the songs and Barry sings them) and told him to sing "Debra's song, the one you love." And he did. Since Jonathan sings a capella, it was the first time I'd ever heard it sung to music. And. My goodness. Barry Gold loves one of my songs. I knew he'd sung it in concert, but. Wow.


(Phone line is still down, but DSL is now up again.)

We registered on Thursday and attended a concert and then panels and had lunch and did some shopping in the dealer's room and then went out to dinner after doing some shopping for Shabbat (our room had a fridge.) And then did some filking and...well, that was pretty much the con. We had a group Shabbat dinner on Friday night; we had chaos_wrangler and her husband with us for lunch on Saturday. We watched the Hugos Saturday night and atteneded the Masquerade on Sunday night.

On one of those days (I think Shabbat), we attended the "Filkado" - a filk version of the Mikado. We drank lots of Starbucks coffee because there was a Starbucks in the lobby. And, unpleasantly enough, I woke up several mornings with a nasty headache dispelled, in time, by acetominophen, ibuprofen, coffee and showers, which mean I rarely got to programming until the afternoon. I missed some really good panels that way.

There was also a meeting of the NorthEast Filk Convention "smifs" on Monday, where we confirmed that I am, indeed, chairing Contata next year (Gd help me.

Random Moments

I got a bunch of t-shirts and buttons. One tee says, "Warning: I have a vocabularay of 75,000 words and I'm not afraid to use it." The other basically says that English doesn't borrow from other languages. It mugs them.

And one of my buttons says, "SHE WHO would like to BE OBEYED at least some of the time." It goes with the mini cat-herder button.

I saw a lot of indications of the future of fandom - kids running around kid's programming (and you know *that*'s successful when you see munchkin holding onto daddy's hand and jabbering a mile a minute while brandishing his balloon sabre), a junior high school aged boy excited about working in the kid's programming, teen age kids in various degrees of con wear (staffs, t-shirts exhorting one to read books instead of the t-shirt, big velvet drawstring bags) sitting around the jazz piano and dancing. A young man we've watched grow up enjoying the worldcon for himself.

And then there was the crowing moment. This was at the dead dog filk - the final filk circle after the con was officially over. It was about 1:30 or so. Filkers being nocturnal beasts, there were always a couple of kids around. This time there was the seven year old son of friends of ours - and his parents. At that time of night, the filks start to get a little bawdy, and someone started singing "Scotland's Depraved".

Just as the song's about to end, we hear a question - Liam was obviously paying attention. What did Liam ask concerning this particular song, with its references to beastiality, incest and ostrich feathers?

"What's a Saxon?"

(This goes along with one of my beliefs - kids too young to understand sexual references will ignore them.)

We got home about 7PM on Tuesday, pretty well satisfied with the con.

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