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Worldcon 10: Home Again

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 07:39

When last we saw our SFF adventurer (i.e., me), it was Sunday late afternoon and I was getting a post in before figuring out what to do for a pre-Hugo dinner. Given the timing, I decided not to try to coordinate with anyone else and had a solo-but-not-exactly-alone dinner at a small sushi place on the river bank between my hotel and the convention center. I'd been eyeing it speculatively for several days and can now confirm that you can find excellent sushi in Dublin (J2 Sushi & Grill). (I note that the menu said "American-style sushi" with I suspect referred to the prominence of complex rolls on the menu as opposed to a focus on nigiri and single-ingredient rolls.) I went for the chirashi bowl with some unagi nigiri on the side. The scallops were quite good (I don't usually like raw scallops) and the salmon was excellent (as one might expect).

I texted back and forth with @fromankyra to coordinate meeting up with her and her father to get seated and we found space toward the back of the main level, right next to the tech booth. The ceremony was great and full of passion and excellent award results. (I won't give a recap -- you can find full results and videos online.) Dublin certainly set a high bar for the non-award entertainment between groups, and co-MC Afua Richardson set what is probably an unmatchable standard for MC talent when (in addition to the artwork that led to her being named a featured artist) she sang and played the flute in some of the musical numbers.

After the ceremony, I joined a small group of friends hanging out in the back of the convention bar/lounge where we discussed and analyzed the award results for an hour or two before heading to bed.

I had thought about participating in the final business meeting, but wanted to go listen to the live podcast recording for Breaking the Glass Slipper, and since the latter was in the main convention center I couldn't do both. Maybe some day my podcast will have enough established presence in the SFF community to do a live show at a Worldcon. It would be a lot of fun.

My last program item was my reading at 1:30. I was gratified to find several friends hanging out in the lobby waiting to join me for it, but even more gratified to have about 10 people in the audience, most of whom were not close personal friends. I read my favorite "performance selection" from "The Language of Roses" (yep, I still love it lots) and then gave the audience a choice between a Flooditde excerpt about fortune-telling and one about laundry charms. They picked laundry charms and I was happily surprised that they even found parts funny!

I was able to snag several people who had been at the reading to record audio postcards for the podcast and have enough for a respectable (if short) show. It's more meant as a "concept" episode than a "content" one. Today's non-work time will be spent editing the postcards and drafting some connecting text.

I went to the official closing ceremonies, which as usual are mostly thank you speeches, some organizational attaboy awards, and the official handing off of the gavel to the next year's committee. It's a nice way to feel closure.

After that I had dinner at the Harbourmaster restaurant with Jen Zink and Shaun Duke from the Skiffy and Fanty podcast (they were both on the podcast panel I moderated) where I completed my "lamb tour of Dublin" with a meltingly-braised lamb shank and some great conversation. Jen has been working on transcriptions for some of my interview shows and it was great to meet her in person.

After dinner I went back to the convention center for the "dead dog" party in the convention bar/lounge and--with the instigation of @fromankyra--participated in a group twitter art project of cartoons of Welsh-speaking Patagonian sheep that we then tweeted at Ursula Vernon (because that's what one does with random sheep). The inspiration was an offhand joke by Hugo Awards co-host Michael Scott (during the ceremony) that no one wanted to hear him talk about Welsh-speaking Patagonian sheep farmers. I mean, with a prompt like that, what else could we have done?

My only adventures on Tuesday were the discovery that two and a half hours were nowhere nearly enough to get through airline security/customs with any comfort margin. The Dublin airport has a deal with US Immigration/Customs that they pre-process US-bound people in Dublin. So you get the standard Dublin security queue, the US-specific security queue, and then the US Customs queue, all with Disneylandesque levels of "turn the corner and discover that you're nowhere near the end of the line yet." And on top of that, there was some issue with my ticket when I tried to use the automated kiosk and I had to wait in line half an hour to talk to a human agent. Fortunately, the airlines were sufficiently aware of the overall delays that I didn't actually have to have run from Customs to the gate (which was doing "last call for boarding") since they were still boarding late-comers half an hour later. It did mean that I didn't dare stop at any point in the airport to pick up some last-minue edible souvenirs for the office. So I must now face them without the traditional post-vacation gifts. But I'm home and got a reasonably proper night's sleep. (Only woke up at 3am.) Onward to face the day!

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