-Um, first, Bey/buxom_bey and I spent four days together, including plane travel, and never had a cross word. Things went swimmingly between us. This bodes well for the future. [smile]
-My new job has issued me a laptop. With a DVD player. And I happen to own a set of headphone splitters. A few episodes of Firefly made the flights, and waiting about in airports, much more tolerable.
-The hotel (a Sheraton) had fabulous beds. Nicely firm, and with fantastic isolation. If I was on one side, and Bey got out of bed on the other side, I couldn't tell unless I saw her walking around.
-Got to meet athanatic, Bey's ex, and the man responsible for a lot of the things she and I have in common. Very nice guy. Easily as big a geek as I am.
-In one of the lobbies, the science division of the con had done Near Space, in Helium Balloons. They'd laid out a grid on the floor, placed a "sun" helium ballon on an eight-foot string in the middle, and then arranged the rest of the nearby stars around it, out to about 20 to 40 light years. The weight on the bottom of each string included the name and other info about the star, and the balloons were color-coordinated to match the spectral type. When I realized what it was, I was enthralled. "Okay, that's obviously Alpha Centauri — yup, in the southern hemisphere, that's right. Hmm, one of those yellow ones should be Tau Ceti. Is it this one? Yep, got it! And that means one of those two is Epsilon Eridani . . . yep, right again!" (Guessing right twice was partly luck, and partly simply knowing the names of the two yellow, non-binary stars — i.e., those most likely to have habitable planets — closest to Earth.) Was tres nifty. I joked that someone should sneak in and replace all the ballons with black ones, clustered together, to represent the Big Crunch . . .
-Bey and I went to three panels. One was on Firefly, and since no one there had seen the movie, I had to keep biting my knuckle to keep from blurting stuff out. One was on Geek Dating, and was moderately entertaining. And, one was called "Decorating Your Pod", and was about home decorating for geeks. It mostly focused on storage issues; I would have liked to hear more about actual decorating. Maybe this would be a good panel topic for Arisia?
-Larry Niven, alas, was nowhere to be found, but I did get to meet comic book writers Marv Wolfman and Len Wein. Wolfman was having a signing in the main hallway, and I diffidently went up to him, introduced myself, and presented my hardbound copis of Crisis and Teen Titan Archives to be signed. I then said, "There's a small chance you may have heard of my website, The Annotated Crisis on Infinite Earths . . . "
-To which he replied, "That's your site? It's quite good." My ego swelled to about the size of a big-ass watermelon. He then continued, "I used it as reference, while I was working on the novelization of Crisis." At that point, my ego swelled to a size most tersely measured in A.U. I managed to fumble out, "I'm honored. And thank you, you've brought me many happy hours of comics reading over the years," before I stumbled away to do the Eee-Eee Dance someplace less conspicuous.
-I got Len Wein's autographs later, on reprints of the first appearances of Swamp Thing and Wolverine, on my Marvel Masterworks: X-Men, and also on Teen Titans Archives (he was the editor). While there, I got all geeky: "Sir, in Wolverine's first two appearances in Hulk, he never retracts his claws. Had you decided whether his claws were retractable at that point, or did that come later?" He replied, "Huh. No, they were always retractable. I guess we just didn't get around to it." So, I am now that much wiser in Wolverine trivia.
(I should do a chart of Wolverine "firsts" at some point. Like, it wasn't until the sixth issue of the All-New X-Men (#98) that we saw his face, and we didn't learn the name "Logan" until 22 issues later (#120).)
-Okay, enough for now, more later, including pics, promise.