Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Ugh. Long weekend. I begin to think that my habit of working long hours on vacation isn't the best long-term leisure strategy I could have possibly chosen for my life. It begins to feel like going to Disneyland to help run it, rather than riding the attractions.

As usual, I walked my feet to shreds. I didn’t really walk all that far, either. I'm starting to suspect that this aching feet thing is some sort of psychosomatic reaction to the city - it only happens when I go visiting a major urban centre like Baltimore or Manhattan for an extended period of movement. As soon as I got back to Centre County, my feet were no longer aching, even though the blisters and raw spots were still in the same places…

The lowball projections were correct - a little less than 21,000, although there were enough problems with mail-in preregistration that you couldn't be certain of the numbers on the high end - too many people whose cheques had been deposited without entry into the database. Correspondence's name is shit this week. A push for a full-time employee-secretary is definitely in the works. Aside from some self-destructive mania late Saturday night, the con was relatively peaceful. Some girls tried to steal a banner off of the Pratt Street lobby balcony, and were damned lucky they didn't accidentally jerk themselves off the balcony to a horrible impaled death on the field of stansions below. Some hacky-sackers lost their hacky-sack on the top of one of the cross-bars in the lobby, and decided to form a human pyramid to retrieve said four-dollar toy from its perch fifteen feet from the floor of the lobby. We managed to get them down without any injuries, although one of the monkeys managed to hang by his fingernails from the edge for a bit.

They say the concert went well. I hope it went well enough to justify the murderous cost of the whole thing.

The numbers of homeless sleeping in the Inner Harbor seems to increase from year to year. I kept running into clustered nests of them while walking back to the hotel late at night. There was a particularly aggressive cluster southeast of the Wyndam on Sunday night, in the plaza beside the theatre. Very off-putting, given the lack of light there. Really, though, the big difference between those hairy-looking vagrants and I is that I make my nest on the floor of a two-hundred-fifty-dollar-a-night room in the Harbor Court, instead of under the stars by Pratt Street or where-ever. I felt weird about sleeping on the floor in such a high-tone hotel, but the beds were too damned small to share in that room unless you were really, really friendly with the other guy. The Harbor Court Hotel is just not otaku country. It's decorated like a combination of a museum and a pretentious gentleman's parlor. It doesn't actually look like the fancy European hotels they no doubt were going for, but the effect achieved is still impressive in its own snooty way.

I didn't really have the energy to see much of the con itself. Some folks mentioned that everything went pretty fast this year - seems we're getting old, where time begins to race the clock in our heads. That would explain the fatigue, I suppose.

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