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2005-11-07 - 9:15 a.m.

Well, I have finally gotten around to this. There were teases. There were hints. And now, the full journalcon load. Oh yes.

So, I arrived on Thursday night, after a flight of hell. HELL. My commuter flight had been rescheduled to a full size plane. So, instead of a small, intimate flight where everyone knows their place and how to board, de-board, and act whilst on the plane I’m stuck in the window seat next to two old Jewish women playing canasta while the man in the seat behind me tells everyone within a three aisle radius about his conversion to Jesus the week before.

But, I persevered. And arrived in San Diego. I had originally thought that the girl wearing the ironic t-shirt and preppy glasses would actually be at Journalcon, something about the way she wore her nose ring and sneered during the flight safety announcements just said “Online Journaler” to me. But alas. She wasn’t there. I retrieved my bag, and was on the way to the hotel.

I do have to say that the Westin Horton Plaza staff is fantastic. I was checked in and on my way to my room almost as soon as I walked in. And since I thought everyone was enjoying drag queens cover ballads from the ‘80s I went to my room and unpacked. Met the nice housekeeper who turned down my bed and gave me a chocolate bar, and watched not so much see TV. Weetabix called me from her cab, and I met her in her hotel room. There, we had mixed drinks and caught up.

Friday morning dawned early and overcast. Weetabix and I went in search of coffee and breakfast. We chatted with Deb, who was up and chipper, and chatted a bit. Then off to the Starbucks and Jamba, before heading out for something more substantial. We ended up at Hennessey’s, an Irish Pub that had an excellent breakfast soundtrack of British Punk, both old and new, that went with my very delicious spinach, tomato, and cream cheese scramble. I intend to add that particular item to my repertoire of menu items. Catching the time, we quickly made it back to the hotel and changed into our t-shirts for check in.

I met up with Minarae, the lovely Mare (who, despite all the personal trials did not look like someone in grief, but her sadness, it was there. And it made her all the more lovely) and Deb.

Minarae went over the complicated and yet not organization system that she had utilized, rant through the different scenarios, and let me loose upon a room that consisted of only committee members. Which was fine, actually, as Weet and I had swag to finish for Product Junkie. Science Girl and Mr SG showed up, and I checked them in. The mighty Kymm arrived, and we all soon fell to chatting away while Weet pressed them into finishing up our swag for us. I met Beth, or rather, was re-introduced to Beth, as she had been at San Francisco. She was starring in the Panel I was moderating on Saturday. Cruel Irony showed up soon after, and deftly avoided being pressed into the chain gang. She’s crafty that one. Watch her. Mo Pie and Ian were checked in, and then off in search of food. Amanda Page arrived, promising me Tim Tams (that never arrived. Which is probably good because I would have holed up in my bathroom and eaten them all. Gluttony is never attractive) and Weet and I passed off the baton of check in to she and Deb.

A quick change out of my Corporate Softball look and it was to the Horton Plaza for Weet and I. We shopped. Or rather, I shopped. Flitting here and there, and purchasing, purchasing, purchasing. Culminating in a Nordstrom’s visit where I managed to wipe out everything in 7 minutes. While Weet was in the bathroom. And so, having spent the GDP of Latin America (when adjusted for inflation) on clothes, shoes, and watches, we retired to the Library Lounge in the hotel to rest. There I was introduced to Pablo Kickasso, who does, the British Bastard, and the lovely Jecca, who oohed and aahed over my purchases very politely. Kymm joined us, as well as Thatgrrrl, when suddenly we realized that the reason the Library was filling up was that dinner would be in 10 minutes. I fled to the room to change and made it back down.

Dinner was delightful. The Jingo ice breaker game was an excellent way to chat around, and it was over so quickly. I re-introduced myself to the darling Meg whose smile will light up a room, and was fortunate to have KarenD sitting at my table. KarenD and her husband were the first online journalers I ever met in San Francisco, and was a terrified newbie that they so put to rest with their kindness and quilted swag that I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for them ever since. You just know that things will be okay when they are in the room. Science Girl and Mr SG also actually have that vibe to them, but it’s more, you want them at your back when it all goes to hell, because damn. If that hotel had been hit by a wave of water, tipping it upside down, I guarantee you that Mr. SG would have led the survivors to safety. And Karen D would have been one of them. Tough people. But I digress. I was glad to meet Art Caldwell, as I felt it kind of cool that Utah was representing (and there’s THAT whole issue, which I’m not going to go into. But yeah, Utah did represent. Sorry.) and loved that people felt like they could approach me. One of the advantages to doing this so late, is that I’ve read so many other people’s accounts, and find it amazing that anyone would be embarrassed to approach me, I mean, I’m really not a rockstar. Just an online journaler with a cement humping fetish.

After desert we adjoined to the Library Lounge again, where I learned that Poolagirl was a part time pirate, Pablo was a food writer, and LA is quite possibly the coolest mother ever. I also learned that Cruel Irony is available for hire, and that Jen’s mother was on the list. I hope that fight is on pay per view. As mentioned in other recaps of the weekend, Cruel Irony and Mr. SG should go into business together. As like, cleaners or something. They would be millionaires. I fully intend to hire them to work in the shadow group of my large international corporation. My roommate –b showed up, late, and demanding hookers and limos, and so I went to help him get situated with the room sans the hookers which, he didn’t give me a chance to scare up as he promptly went to bed. Then back to the lounge. There was much laughing, and drinking, and I ended up at a bar in the Gaslight District watching hillbilly magic, much to my delight, with Pablo and Mare. And then it was time for bed. That was me taking a long story, and making it short. Seriously, Hillbilly Magic is the best, abetted by the fact that I was tipsy and surrounded by people that I love. But all Hillbilly’s should do magic.

Saturday morning dawned early, and a quick Starbucks run before the first panel. Mo, as always, handled herself and the topic like a pro, and despite the small crowd, it was fun. My own Person vs Persona panel was next, and I was near panic. However, mimosas and two panelists that handled themselves gracefully (Thank you Beth and KarenD) made the time fly quickly. My third panelist had a family emergency, and I hope that everything worked out. I was banking on Karl Elvis and Beth getting into a fight, whereas I could be on the evening news under a tagline “Online Journal Event Turns Violent” but no, there would be no surge of hits. I’ll guess I’ll just have to go the Beth route and try to get a write up in Salon. Or, you know, update every day.

After the panel was lunch with a large group of people at Baja Fresh. Then napping. I missed the popular journal panel. Because it was a very good nap. And the Serenity panel, as I would liked to have seen the film again. As well as discuss the film with like minded individuals that, I hope, wouldn’t dress up as characters from the film. Because that’s the alternative where I live.

Saturday evening was, special. It truly was. I enjoyed myself immensely. I sang, with other people, by myself. But mostly, I sang. Other people, well, they SANG, and it was lovely. While I did not have the voice of an angel, merely that of a fat man dressed impeccably and full of liquid courage, it seems that drunk is where the mysteries of pitch and key no longer elude me, and I find the confidence in my voice that is lacking at other times. However, there was excess. And there was a search for pancakes that was unfortunate. And a cab ride of typicalness, followed by Denny’s. And I must say, that Denny’s late night staff, that’s purgatory right there. Where the almost lost souls go to work off their debt to God.

And technically, at that point, it was Sunday.

Later that Sunday, I arose. Showered. Went in search of Alka Seltzer morning after, something that should be sold on street corners in machines, or in the toilets like condoms. But alas, the people in Long’s cared nothing for my plight. And I could not face caffeine. So, I found myself in a McDonald’s, waiting an eternity for a Sausage McMuffin. The mighty Kymm met me there, and was off to feed her mother, something she declared loudly to anyone and everyone, upon ordering. I was not well enough to be amused. But later, later, it was lovely. Like the pendant on a necklace.

I returned to the hotel, as it was time for the wrap up panel. But, I was full of the DT’s and so I banished myself to the patio, and the mist that fell from the sky. The lovely Arianne kept me company, despite my threats to her life and limbs. Which was so very, very kind that I can’t, to this day, come up with something suitable to say thanks with.

And the rest of the day was spent lounging in the library, getting Tattoo advice from Shawn, and discussing things of great import at the time with Beth and Shannon, and the revolving group of people both coming and going. It was sad. And also, tiring. And at the same time very, very fulfilling. Because all of these people, who come from all over the place, and different backgrounds, experiences, and lives, are connected in a small way to myself. And so it was sad too see them go, but also good to see them go. So that I could get home and obsess over what they had said about me, and what pictures where out there of me, and what kind of petty crap would surface when it was all said and done. And that made the partings fun.

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Zen and don't cry out loud - 2007-07-29

Zen and the stumbling rocks of fitness - 2007-07-19

- - 2007-07-11

Zen and fasting - 2007-06-20

Zen and hiccups - 2007-06-18

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