I loved the train. I was in business class, and it was amazing and comfortable. Not to mention that, by the time I go to the airport early, make it through security, wait on my flight, arrive in Chicago, and collect my baggage, it takes as much time as it did to take the train, and the train was far more relaxing. I watched the sun rise, and marveled over the trees, and thought about the time I drove to Wiscon with revena and mr_revena and Robyn talked about the monsters in the trees. (I have a poem started about that. I should finish it someday.)
The bus to Madison was the same as last year, except it skipped one stop, the stop with food, so I didn't have a real meal for quite some time. I was starving when I arrived and nikitangel was waiting for me. We split a burger and fries, and then headed back to her place.
Highlights of the pre-Wiscon visit include:
+ Watching and mocking The Breed with nikitangel and rm_renfield. We also ate chips and dip for dinner, which might not have been the smartest idea because we started drinking and then went to karaoke.
+ cabell's Nerd Karaoke, where I not only got to see fabulous people do fabulous songs (of course I love when nikitangel sings, but I hadn't heard cabell or chr0me_kitten before and really wanted to hear them. Plus there were plenty of other Wiscon people who sounded fantastic) but I did my first turn at karaoke. (I sang the Cheers theme song with nikitangel. We were going to do Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" but the karaoke people apparently hate that song.)
+ Helping nikitangel pack. I really do love packing, especially books, and was pleased I could combine doing something organized that I love with helping someone I care about. Plus I got to go through all this artwork she's collected, which was fabulous.
+ Having a Day O Gay with nikitangel where we watched D.E.B.S. and Imagine You & Me while drinking wine.
+ Showing Rebecca Stick It for the first time. Such a cute movie.
I didn't participate in any panels this year. I didn't take any notes during panels this year. I barely went to panels at all. It was a quiet year for me, including parties. Mostly I was there to see my people.
+ Playing Apples to Apples in the con suite with nikitangel, naiadea, and three other people whose LJs I don't know. One of them came up to Rebecca and me while we were sitting there, wallowing in our disappointment at the karaoke dance party, and asked if we wanted to play. She was very brave to approach strangers, and it ended up being the highlight of the night. There were some hilarious rounds.
+ sparkymonster's amazing fat positive panel. Some of the panelists were annoying, and of course this is one of the places where Rachel did part of her SA thing, but Starkey was fabulous and dynamic and I was just awed by her mod powers and the observations from the audience.
+ The Capes & Consoles party was one of my favorite parties of the weekend. It got terribly crowded, as such things do, but there was a great energy to it, and I was pleased for revena and karenhealey. They both deserve great success, and I think it was a success. Plus I won a prize, though not the Pink Lantern doll I wanted. cabell's purple-ish drink with bubble tea bubbles was interesting. Very sweet, and I dislike bubbles, but it was a fun drink anyway.
+ Seeing friends, old and new. There were two fantastic dinners with other people (Mexican with nikitangel, nwhepcat, gwynnega, and someone else whose LJ name I don't know; quick pub food with nikitangel, revena, karenhealey, madolan, costumegoddess_, and some other people whose LJ names I don't know), gelato and watching the storm roll in with Rebecca and Maddie, sitting outside with deepforestowl and her friend, baking with cabell, meeting Starkey, getting to fangirl Tempest and ladyjax from afar, talking to resolute after I'd left an annoying panel, meeting gamers from A2 in the con suite and making contact info for when I get back, and on and on.
+ Haiku earring party! HAIKU EARRING PARTY! This is always my favorite party (though, Wiscon 30, it was a toss-up with that party where the bartender kept refilling nikitangel's and my wine glasses when we weren't paying attention and were instead babbling at each other). I've considered offering to write the haiku for anyone who wants the earrings but doesn't want to haiku, because I love that part so much, even though I can't wear the earrings. I'm particularly fond of this year's haikus.
+ Rebecca asked me to write her a poem for her new house. This really touched me.
On Monday, nikitangel and I rented a car (a nice one, actually, it was roomy and smooth and awesome) and drove up into northern Wisconsin (or something like that) for a horse show. The Niece (her niece) was in a horse show, as the rider during a lead line class. (Rebecca's cousin, I think, was the one who was really being judged, but The Niece was adorable. ADORABLE.) Rebecca's family is amazing, and friendly, and her mom, in particular, is hilarious. I'm so glad we went, because we surprised The Niece, and just had a great time. The horses were beautiful, and I got to help, which made me feel good. I enjoy helping people.
Once her family went to bed, we sat up talking for awhile, in a room with no curtains and big plate glass windows. I kept picturing things outside it, just beyond where we could see, because of the way the light turned it into a mirror. It was creepy, and glorious, and I thought she was going to beat me for putting horror stories in her head.
It was hard saying good-bye. It's always hard to say good-bye to my people, I see them so rarely. I keep expecting it to get easier, but it doesn't.
Oh! Her family still mocks her for losing my keys at the Michigan-Ohio game last fall. HEE! I am so amused.
She rose from the reef
trailing seaweed fingertips
I totally forgot the title to this one. Damn it.
ETA: Rebecca is my hero and remembered the title.
Pele bleeds on sand,
stone roses bloom as she flows
along to the sea.
Stuff what I brought to Seattle from Wisconsin.
+ Jim Munroe Therefore Repent! (signed)
+ David Clement-Davies Fell (uncorrected proof) (EEE! More wolves!)
+ Julie Bertagna Exodus (arc) (This is really good so far.)
+ Dawn of the Dead (remake)(from rm_renfield's discard moving prep)
+ Dogma (special edition)(from rm_renfield's discard moving prep)
+ M*A*S*H* (five star collection)(from rm_renfield's discard moving prep)
+ Josie and the Pussycats (from rm_renfield's discard moving prep)
+ Friday Night Lights (from rm_renfield's discard moving prep)
+ "how could you use a poor maiden so" mixed CD from cabell
+ Infest Wisely
+ Rosemary Clement-Moore Hell Week (arc)
+ Chris Howard Seaborn (preview)
+ Shelly Mazzanoble Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress (this is what I won at Capes & Consoles)
+ Ellen Schreiber The Coffin Club (uncorrected proof)
+ Lois Beardslee The Women's Warrior Society (arc)
I also bought this gorgeous carved lion puzzle thing for Rebecca which will go well in her new place. Which I can't wait to see, when it's all set up and I'm back in A2 and closer to her than ever.
Oh, fab! Supernatural's repeat episode tonight is the scary kids one.