- Worked all week on symposium thingum and finished up the paper for Peshawar Lancers at SPWF.
- Symposium went well. Vinh, Jesse and Kasim came out to see the first two panels, which was pretty awesome of them. It was really cool hearing what the rest of my cohort was up to, which makes me all the more mad that I had to miss them!! =((
- So, I was told I had to take a bus to Square One, and from there to Pearson. Turns out the airport bus doesn't go to Square One anymore, but the next stop over (Meadowlea? Something-lea). But I got there on time. My flight wasn't even delayed! But I still had to go do the body scan. Sigh.
- Got into Newark at 7.30, and took a taxi into Somerset with a flirtily sketchy taxi dude. It cost me $100 (sigh) but I was so tired I was way too cranky to deal with getting a train into New Brunswick and then to Somerset. Pick Ay-Leen up from Crowne Plaza into DoubleTree where we were staying, with the Comiku Girls on sleeping bags and all. Ay-Leen and I went upstairs to meet the Texan steampunk crew the Airship Isabelle, and Mr. Saturday and Sixpence, who were neat people and let me bum off a couple of pizza slices. Then I crashed.
- Saturday was a whirlwind of activity. Apparently this year's Fair was just.............. full of administrative drama. Our presentation was too short, because somehow the programming director didn't learn from last year that we need more than one hour. Lunch was in the con suite. I remember very little. I know I had a nap. That night Lucretia read one of moniquill
's short stories.
- Sunday was more even hectic since we had to check out and throw our bags in, and both Ay-Leen and I had back-to-back programming - she had to run off to do a fashion show after our roundtable, and I continued to moderate the roundtable until it was definitely time to have the academic panel. And at the very last comment, I had to yell at everyone to shut up and siddown and let the woman of colour have the last comment on the topic of race goddammit.
- People seemed to really enjoy my paper. I'm sorry I didn't get to hear Catherine's, but Leah Richardson's paper, connecting steampunk to Marxist critique, was terrific, just the sort of masterful theorizin' I want to do when I grow up someday.
- Also, I met Magpie Killjoy, who founded Steampunk Magazine! He plays the accordion wonderfully and is pretty hot. And just so soft-spoken and lovely and I wish I got to talk to him more. I also wish I got to talk to Jake von Slatt more. Oh cripes, I wish I got to talk to a lot more people more but didn't get a chance to. Sigh.
- Ay-Leen's friend was sick, so Jonathan Grimm, one of the event coordinators, spent a lot of time running around trying to help me, Lucretia and Ay-Leen get a room. At the end of the day, by a complete fluke, we found a couple of girls who had a room for the night, but were leaving, and had the room for one more night because they needed a nap before the drive home and didn't want the hassle of checking out that day by 12pm, so they essentially... gave us the room. For free. Ridiculous. Amazing. Then we got free Indian food. Again, ridiculous. Amazing. And free wine. (Jon Grimm ended up crashing with us later that night, too)
- Lucretia also agreed to give Professor Elemental a ride into NYC! We met up on Monday morning, repacked the car and everything, squeezed in, and went to the International House of Pancakes for breakfast. Paul (Elemental's real name) was absolutely lovely to hang out with, and I explained more indepth my postcolonial squirrel peeing on the book. He was very frank about his work (he's a special needs teacher) and about how terrible things happened in history and it was just a very lively conversation.
- In order: hanging out at Ay-Leen's, wandering downtown to meet up with Pablo and couple other Texan steampunks, meeting up with melissagrey
, dinner with Lucretia, Ay-Leen, Melissa, and OMGrey (who I ran into a lot but never quite had a sit-down conversation with), ice-cream with all of them and Paul (who spent his day with comics and a desolate Coney Island).
- NYC people. It is ridiculous. I WOULD NEVER WANT TO LIVE HERE OMG. I came in during rush hour with Melissa, and as we were walking up to the exit at Grand Central, I looked at the drab gray surroundings and at the drab uniform horde of people and I felt SO FILLED WITH DESPAIR. I mean, Times Square? Seriously? What is this shit? Buncha flashing advertisements? I can find this in Malaysia, kthx. And I was told, NYC is so exciting! So much to see and do! But the museums are expensive and there aren't a whole lotta street musicians out on weekdays, so blah. Would like to see Central park again though.
- I sat in Union Square Park eating cake and drinking hot chocolate, watching the local wildlife. Then I went to the Strand, and got so exhausted within fifteen minutes (pretty much the only compelling book was a comic about a john). Then I had my interview with Don Spiro (a documentarian on the steampunk phenomenon as it's happening now) and lunch at a nearby Japanese place, and we talked for a long time more. Then I wandered around Union Square a while more before getting totally bored and heading to Melissa's workplace. She was stressed, I was exhausted just walking around doing nothing, we got home, and did a mini-celebration of her dad's birthday. Good times.
- Tomorrow, I'm going to meet a photographer dude I've been in contact with for two years now, and then it's to the Way Station to check it out like any good steampunk tourist. Thursday, I pack my shit again and head to Ay-Leen's to sleep all day before the Steampunk Bible signing and the resultant all-nighter. THEN WISCON. SO EXCITED.