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» Friday, February 27, 2015Anachroconning, Part 1
But first, yeah, we slept late. As all the memes say, remember when you were a kid and hated to take naps, and now you'd pay good money for one?
I took the dog out to discover that TruGreen had shown up while we were getting dressed and did not ring the doorbell. This is getting really old, guys. Now I have to call them back to do the back yard. Plus I had to wash Tucker's feet when we got back in because Mr. Unknowing just strolled across the lawn.
We ate a minimal breakfast because we were going to have lunch on the dot of noon and then raced to Kroger to do the shopping. Two of us covered the store pretty quickly, and I got my prescriptions turned in finally. I had coupons and they had lots of chocolate yogurt whips, so I now have lots of yogurt. (I would have gotten more but there's no room in the fridge!) We got home in time to eat the leftover soup from the other night, which was a filling and tasty meal (James said we got the soup mix at World Market; we should get more—it tastes wonderful with cooked chicken thigh and it has a nice rich base), and then were off to the Marriott Century Center for Anachrocon.
On the way there we turned on the radio and the first thing on the news was the death of Leonard Nimoy. Wow. There's a big chunk out of my childhood. I was never a big Spock fan (Dr. McCoy was my guy), but McCoy played so many times against Spock that that "pointy-eared Vulcan" was always in the picture somewhere. And now he really is on his way to the stars. Godspeed, sir!
We attended conventions at this hotel wayyyyy back when it was...James said it was a Sheraton. I just remember a big barn of convention area, very sterile and impersonal. I'm pretty sure we saw Jonathan Frakes there, just after he had grown his beard for the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, so you know how long ago that was. Someone else was there from the cast as well—maybe LeVar Burton? Whatever. Now it has a little cafè on the way in (but the silly thing closes in mid-afternoon; how stupid is that?) and a restaurant (expensive like all hotel restaurants, whose guests are usually on expense accounts), but also a nice little warren of meeting rooms which have been amply labeled by the convention. We got registered in a trice and then faced the biggest obstacle of the day: James was on a "building an airship" panel with John Campbell and the room was up a flight of stairs! There was a wheelchair lift, but it wasn't working. When the hotel employee and the mechanic couldn't get it to work, the former just escorted James outside and around the side of the hotel where there was an entrance door at the top of the stairs.
The rest of the day was free of problems and full of panels. I had intended on going to the Ben Franklin panel, but ended up at the "Rococo Punk" literature panel just because I wondered what it was about: well, think the Musketeer/French salons era with some early steampunk thrown in. Apparently there are Rococo punk costumes, but they were theorizing about literature that could be written about that theme. Surprisingly, although I wasn't really interested in the subject, I had a great time.
I took a quick turn around the dealer's room—either steampunk clothing or lovely handcrafted things I can't afford—and then went to the Doctor Who panel "Original vs. New Series." I think we reached the conclusion that, had the old series continued, perhaps it would have turned out looking just like the new series. The seeds were there with Ace in the final season. Also that the original series was plot driven, the new series character driven, and had the old series been like the new series we might have had some better insight on companions who had experienced tragedy, especially Nyssa.
Walked with James to his next panel, which was about the history of naval warfare, and then curiously went to see what "Creating Historical and Alternative History Characters" was all about. It turned out to be mislabeled and was actually a panel with a family of World War II reinactors. They showed us all their kit, some of which was actual war surplus and some which was reproduction for going to events. They showed some footage of battle re-enactments that were scripted, filmed up at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I didn't get a chance to grab the list of re-enactment events he had. These events are enormously popular in Great Britain; every issue of BBC History Magazine I read has some sort of three or four page ad for different events. Best of British used to do picture essays on them. Anyway, I couldn't resist pulling up the photos of my dad and showing them.
Finally at five, I went to "The Uses of History: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Alternate History." We discussed all three, and which of them each of the writer panelists gravitated toward—yes, of course we mentioned Harry Turtledove!—and which era the panelists would not like to write in.
We both had a free hour, so we had supper at the restaurant. As I said, hotel food for people on expense accounts. James had a bowl of soup and a hamburger with fries and a pickle, which was $20 all by itself. I had a potsticker appetizer (excellent dipping sauce!), filched some of the fries, had half the pickle, and the ends of the bacon from the burger. Filled me up enough, but, goodness! For $31 we can both get a steak dinner at Longhorn!!!
Final panel of the day for me was one about books involving the Regency period and magic, like Sorcery and Cecelia and its sequels, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell (which I have but haven't read), and a book called Shades of Milk and Honey, which I haven't heard of. I'd just finished the last SAC sequel and was ripe for this panel. :-) Each of the panelists had a different favorite Regency fantasy, which was fun because all of them could be discussed and their use of magic compared to each other.
After the panel was over, I went looking for James and discovered him in the hallway outside the dealer's room talking with Robert Teague. Robert and his wife Marilyn had just recently lost their son (Marilyn's son, Robert's stepson) to several illnesses. Chris used to come to the Terminus TARDIS meetings at White Hall at Emory University from when he was young; he was a sweet kid and young adult, and the way he suffered in his last few years was so sad. It's hard to think of him being gone. Maybe somewhere Chris is talking with Leonard Nimoy. Or I'd like to think so. Some other folks from the Brittrack group gathered around to say hello and express condolences, then we all went our separate ways.
So we got home, and I walked Tucker, and we both played fetch with him for a while, and now it's getting to be bedtime.