Wiscon report, Thurs. night

room of one’s own bookstore
Originally uploaded by Liz .

Huzzah for Wiscon!

We got into Madison’s tiny airport & realized at the baggage claim there were several wiscon-ish people, one wearing a Broad Universe shirt! So we shared a hotel shuttle with Margaret and . . . blanking on her name. . . Lisa? from Boulder. Margaret had just taught Air at U. of Oregon.

Babbling is in effect! We were up at 4am this morning. I couldn’t believe that while waiting for the hotel shuttle, huddling in a tiny booth out of the rain, we were already discussing Camouflage and Troll.

At the hotel I regret to say they somehow lost all record that I cancelled last night and kept the rest of the reservation and are trying to charge me for the extra night! Arrrrrgh, because I know I didn’t hallucinate that phone call that I made when I bought the plane tickets.

Me and Rook helped whump a lilttle bit with computer setup. I want to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart or something! He’s so spazzy. And you know, I’m pretty spazzy, so coming from me, that must be extreme!

Tasted the creamylicious lip gloss of wired_ferret! Oh, she’s cute as pie in her feathered hat! she disappeared off somewhere, I think to collapse and sleep after a red-eye flight.

While I helped a crew of people stuff name cards into badge holders we all talked about various nerd things. diseases and bird flu. I told them about the amusing game “Black Death” where everyone gets to be a different disease and you compete to see who can wipe out the most millions of people in Europe and Asia.

I am never going to remember people’s names. I forget right in the middle of talking to someone what their name is. It’s not helping that I got up at 4am. So, if I have just been rude, forgive me…

To the room where Rook took Milo to rest. They were watching cartoons. I went to the reading & they had dinner close to the hotel since Moomin was so tired.

Yay, so many people I know at the bookstore, Room of One’s Own! It’s a great bookstore. It reminded me of that super good bookstore in Brooklyn or Park Slope or whatever that Serena took me to – except this one is much better. Saw Ian & sat with oursin during the reading bits. She told me about Debo’s book Counting My Chickens and I babbled a little while feeling like I wanted to lie down and take a nap. And yet I don’t want to miss anything. Also. oursin held up a book triumphantly… “Look! It’s on Bramwell! It’s by Mr. Mybug!” and it was! yow!

I draw a merciful veil over the readings until later next week when I’m home. That way there will be fewer people to lynch me after I say what I have to say about it!

Dinner with oursin, Ellen K (no, els, the other Ellen K) who kept me laughing with her stories about sex ed. She read some book when she was 16… where a girl forgot her diaphraghm and “got into trouble” and she asked her camp counselor, “I need to know what a diaphraghm is.” Later she mixed up “pessary” with “peccary”. Whether this is true or not, I was charmed… & by her story that she learned to masturbate from the book “Everything you always wanted to know about sex”. Story told complete with evocative gestures and facial expressions of curiosity, bewilderment (Ow!), and eventual surprise (Oh! That must be it!) The guy with the beard and funky hat and bi-pride pin (yah right, THAT narrows it down) and everyone else were v. funny with stories… Snd? STN? what was her name? Chick from NY with livejournal… who talked about laughing at street harrassment and flashers…. general discussion of rudeness and responses… and the other person who told the story about horrible rudeness at an antique store. I was moved to ask: What about when a person corners you into a stituation where you either must be rude or dishonest? Or at best, weasel out of it in a way that makes it obvious… Like, if someone says “Oh, really you don’t want to hang out with me, you’re just being polite, and I’m annoying and boring you and you probably don’t REALLY want to come to my birthday party.” What to say? If you demur, then they will continue annoying and boring you and you have to go the party. If you weasel, it is usually obvious unless you hit upon exactly the right evasion, but even then, evasions suck. And if you say as politely as possible, “Well, actually… yes” then you’ve been rude, sort of. What is the person even thinking as they put themselves down and dare you to agree with them? It strikes me as a very hostile thing to do.

I did not tell my own stories about early childhood sex-book reading, because everyone else’s were so funny and I wanted to hear. But I have no qualms about telling about the strange books I read at 10 or 11: psychopathia sexualis, the kinsey reports, the masters and johnson books, all sorts of trashy paperbacks pretending to be vaguely scientific, and we shoudl not leave out “Droll Stories” read much earlier in my grandma’s house… I do love that book. Plain old sex ed books for kids were put into my greedy hands when I was 5, by my mom, from the pediatrician’s office. I really wanted to know.

Back to the hotel… I read 2 chapters of “The Patchwork Girl of Oz” to Moomin. Rook is at the Oddcon party two floors below!

Tomorrow: Lurk about in the morning. Breakfast can be leisurely. Settle Moomin in childcare… I bet he would like the kids’ track programming better… and he is the same grade level as the 7 year olds. . . hell. Maybe they’ll let him in to some of it. He would dig the puzzles and legos and “take things apart”.

I’m excited to go to “Differential Diffusion of Created Languages”. “Sex and the Believable Alien” also sounds like fun, but there’s no way I can pass up a panel on Laadan vs. Klingon. One of the main things I want to find at this con is a copy of the laadan dictionary.

then Quilty gets into town! oh frabjous day!

then I’ll work the computer area for a while… not sure if anyone will want or need help but I volunteered for a shift. Dinner. introduce Moomin and babysitter to each other. Feminist think tank panel! yeah!!!!! Then the Gender in Gaming panel. whump dropped out of it to give Rook his spot, partly because he’s tired but partly because he thinks Rook should be on it b/c Rook is the one who can benefit most from the hordes of kinky polyamorous ass-kicking feminist gamer chicks who will throw themselves into his arms gratefully at being understood (as I do nearly every night) and of manly gamer lads who will want to play gladiators in “Brawny Thews” to have fabulous ephiphanies about their gender.

Oh and a guy on the street stopped me and said, “Hey! I know you from your blog!” and turned out to be a local journalist looking to interview Wiscon folks. I noticed businesses on State Street had signs that said “Welcome Wiscon!”… we must be a spending-money sort of crowd, the darling of the chamber of commerce. hmmm!

On that note… I saw a pair of plum-colored brocaded converse, exactly what I need to be my new “formal sneakers” since the black and pink ones have holes and are 3 years old.

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7 Responses to “Wiscon report, Thurs. night”

  1. e

    ‘Like, if someone says “Oh, really you don’t want to hang out with me, you’re just being polite, and I’m annoying and boring you and you probably don’t REALLY want to come to my birthday party.” What to say?’
    the correct answer would be “okay.”

  2. TW

    WAh! I am so jealous. I felt twinges of jealousy every time you mentioned Madison. Now you go and talk about Room of One’s Own. I lived in Madison in the early 90s and loved a number of things about it. Room of Ones Own ranks right up there at the top. It definitely is the coolest women’s bookstore I ever have spent time at. I spent a lot of time there too. sigh. I miss it. I like our women’s bookstore in town and am grateful to have such a place but…Room of One’s Own holds a special place in my heart.

  3. Lea

    Tee heee. Whump has always been a ball of energy. I would be worried if he was not.
    If you want to slow him down, ask him about peer pressure at 94th Aero Squadron and gulping down snails. (I mean delicious mollusks, not metaphorical snails.)

  4. Mary Tsao

    I would love to visit Madison. Wiscon sounds like a blast. Have a great time!!

  5. elswhere

    Was that the Ellen who wrote the book that was in the package that I just got today? which also has in it the other delicious-looking book that I forgot I bought?
    For sending which, thank you thank you thank you! What a great way to start a long weekend.

  6. GraceD

    OF COURSE someone would know you from your blog! You’re also one of the chicks who created upcoming.org.

  7. sdn

    hi, liz — i’m sharyn november (known informally as sdn, because that’s how i sign my letters and it’s my lj name). you looked great in that dress during the ceremony.

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