Well…I went to a convention. PortConMaine — you’ve heard me talk about it here before. As expected, I had a very good time, and welcomed the chance to stretch my con-going muscles a bit before WorldCon.
Steve and I had been guests at PortCon, back in…’04?, I think, when it was held in the Best Western Merrye Manor. This year’s venue — the Wyndham in South Portland (aka, the Round Towers) — was significantly larger, but still not quite large enough to hold the whole convention, necessitating the addition of A Big Tent — which really is a Big Tent, set up in the side parking lot — where the biggish items of programming — the techno dance, and the masquerade, to mention two that leap to mind — were scheduled.
Steve and I were writer guests of honor this year. We presented a couple of craft-related panels to a polite, cheerful, and welcoming audience — really, if I had to pick one thing that stands out for me from both of the PortCons we’ve managed to attend it would be the general attitude of cheerful politeness.
Since all of our events were on Saturday, and the con hotel was sold out, we opted to stay in Old Orchard Beach, and add a little bit of sea air into an already rarefied atmosphere. This worked out well, too. On Friday evening, after we left the con, we attended the Grand Opening of Jumpin Jake’s Seafood Restaurant, where we were pleased to listen to the Jerks of Grass while enjoying a really excellent dinner.
Saturday morning, we arrived at The Round Towers early (so as to secure a parking spot; no easy feat), and ate breakfast on-site before immersing ourselves.
Sunday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast at Michelle’s Garden Cafe before heading back to the con.
We had an interview arranged for 1:00 with Emmanuel and Maura from Nerd Caliber. At about 11, I left Steve to roam the dealer’s room and settled into a ‘way too comfy chair in the lobby of the bar to read. I hadn’t turned too many pages on the Nook when I heard a very soft, “Ms. Lee?” and looked up to find that the NerdCaliber squad had arrived early. Maura confessed that she had recognized, not me, grey head bent over Nook, but The Starry Jacket of Many Titles.
We extracted Steve from the vendor area, appealed to Chairman Patrick for a quiet spot — which was cheerfully and politely provided, with an absolute minimum of fuss (and thank you! to the nice man who was building a deck in the game room and gave up his corner table to us) — and had us a delightful interview. At the end, Maura asked if she could take some stills of TSJoMT. I took it off, and we arranged it on the table so that it could be shot — and so its fame continues to precede it — and me.
Sunday evening, we wound down with dinner at JJ’s, did a short walk around town, and headed back to our room, there to sleep the sleep of the justly exhausted.
Monday, we came home via the Maine Mall and Hunt’s Photography, arriving somewhat later in the day than we had planned, to discover a sadly depleted Hexapuma, who had apparently taken exception to the back-up auxiliary cat-sitter and failed to eat or drink until she produced Steve, or, in a pinch, Sharon. Needless to say, the results of this autocratic and dictatorial behavior won Hex a visit to his friend Dr. Slack this morning, where he was rehydrated and allowed to return home, with a recheck-up scheduled for tomorrow morning.
And, after having been warmish and glary all day, it’s now cloudy, accompanied by a small breeze. P’rhaps we’ll have a thunderstorm. That would be pleasant.
Still a little bit of laundry to do, and I have to shift all my Stuff out of my purple bag into the new red bag that arrived while I was away in the South. Tomorrow is, I see by the calendar, Wednesday, which means I’m due at the day-job.
Only ten more days of school.by