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That was the week that was

We're back from World Fantasy. We got back on Monday, in fact, and I spent yesterday doing laundry, working my way through the email pile and being descended on by assorted cats. ('You left us! What kind of service do you call that! I need brushing! I need more food! I need cuddles! I need your lap/dinner/pillow!' They had groliffe to look after them, but they remain convinced that they were, in fact, starved, ignored and abused for the whole nine days.)

I had a lovely time. We got into San Diego late on the Sunday before WFC and stayed overnight in an airport hotel, then on Monday, the marquis set off to L.A. to work, while I took a plane on to Portland, where calendula_witch very kindly let me infest her spare room and eat her bagels and read her books -- and drove me all over and let me meet her friends. Her house is gorgeous, and Portland may well have replaced Chicago as my favourite US city. So many trees! Such a friendly atmosphere! People walking and cycling and using buses! I had lunch with the fabulous jaylake, who took me to a very nice bar which looked to have excellent beer, had I only been not jet-lagged. Tuesday afternoon S and I inspected Chinatown, which is small and neat and has some interesting restaurants, and then she took me to Powells, which left me stunned and overwhelmed. So good to know that there are still such fine bookshops in the world. They had my book, even though it's two years old. On Wednesday, we had lunch with my fellow Dawuthor ramblin_phyl, who showed us the Multnomah Falls. (Did I mention how beautiful Portland and its environs are? And that it has normal weather? If I ever have to live in the US, I want to live there.) And in the evening we cooked and ate with the legendary La Enigma and her husband, who were delightful.

Thursday, S and I flew down to Portland, where markferrari collected us at the airport, having, as he pointed out, manfully driven all the way from Seattle just to do this. He's a true gentleman. And I reunited with the marquis at the con.
After that, it's a bit of a blur. We hung out with msagara and kateelliott and suricattus and jemck and I did a podcast for Locus with swan_tower, which was huge fun (I will post the details later on, when it goes live), and was on a scary-but-good panel on class, where I learnt a lot about the US, and failed to see enough of stina_leicht, and got to meet shweta_narayan in person (she rocks); and was given a puppet ferret by fireun, which was very badly behaved at the mass signing (she's posted photographs. She's a very bad woman, which is why we love her). and waved to and chatted with lots of other people, including matociquala in a very, very fine red dress, and the beautiful leahbobet. I also had a long and very productive meeting with nice editor, about which more anon.

And I got to catch up with zaan, who I haven't seen since she moved. That may well have been the best of all: we miss her, and it was lovely to see her and hear her news and to get to spend time with her.

The site has garnered mixed reviews. I found it comfortable enough, but it was very disabled unfriendly, which is unnecessary and unforgivable, and many people had room issues to do with faulty appliances, blankets and noise. The marquis and I were lucky in that respect. I did find it hard to navigate, though, and the food places were not reliably open or accessible, which was difficult. On the other hand, most of the staff were very helpful and kind to us. And I enjoyed the convention programme.

There were a series of very disturbing incidents of sexual harassment, too: this was not the site's fault, but in 2011 is not acceptable, and the women who were subjected to it have my full support. I've been there myself. Fandom and sff culture in general needs to shape up and step up and ensure that this kind of thing does not go on happening or being connived at.

And then we came home. This was the most settled I've felt at a WFC: at the previous two, I've been very aware of how few people I know, but this time we always seemed to find people who didn't mind hanging out with us. I probably talked too much. And I did stand on a chair in a short skirt. (I blame suricattus. And the ferret.) But I did have a lovely time: thank you all, for making us so welcome.

Skirts that went with me: long green and gold, long grey with black hem; blue wedgewood; new green cord mini.
Skirt of the day: long blue cotton.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 2nd, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
You took the grand tour. I envy you your time in Portland. It's quickly turning into the American city I'd most like to visit because everything I hear about it is so wonderful.
Nov. 2nd, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
It's really beautiful.
Nov. 2nd, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
Welcome home!
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 2nd, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
It really is a lovely place: it felt much more relaxed than many of the other US cities I've visited.
Nov. 2nd, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear. I didn't get to see as much as I wanted when I visited years ago (working) but it is a really nice place. And Powell's is brilliant.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 2nd, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
I heard about it from others, but there a public account here: http://jaymgates.com/misc/wfc-2011-creeper/
Nov. 3rd, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Did not the hotel have security officers? Surely this person's actions were criminal and arrestable?
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
It was a private party, so no-one was sure of the exact rules. But you're quite right.
Nov. 4th, 2011 06:31 am (UTC)
Cons should have a Standard Operating Procedure made known to all, perhaps someone designated as liaison to the local civil security authorities. They should be of appropriate manner and bearing for the locality to maximise the likelihood that said security services will automatically consider them credible interlocutors (the Designated Suit, if you will). Then if this sort of thing happens, the victim knows to complain to liaison, liaison knows to summon police, perpetrator is at the very least, severely embarrassed, if not, as would be ideal, prosecuted. Rather like the shops that announce that all shoplifters will automatically be handed over to the police.

This would also reduce embarrassment for the con, since otherwise,as will inevitably happen, some future victim will take the initiative and call the police directly without bothering to go through either con or hotel.
Nov. 4th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
You'd think, wouldn't you? But they don't, and it's proving very difficult to set up any kind of initiative to do so, too. Le sigh.
Nov. 2nd, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
It was great to see you and the marquis again. And your skirts were marvelous.
Nov. 2nd, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Nov. 2nd, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
It was so very good to see you both! Thank you again for the books :)
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Nov. 3rd, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)

Was good to finally meet you!

Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Nov. 3rd, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
It was so great to spend time with you! And to meet the Marquis. :)
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
Ditto, ditto -- and to meet Mark!
Nov. 3rd, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
It was utterly wonderful to see you and Phil again, and spend quality time with you both. You both look just the same as when I last saw you!
When I finally get settled with a job and stuff, you must come out and see more of not only San D, but up where I live in the hills. Having also been to Portland, and visited my guys out in Scappoose when they lived there (not far from Portland) I much prefer it down south here - no winter, very little rain and not too hot with our lovely balmy breezes.
Miss you already. :( /le sighs.. and loved your skirts - did you mention the lovely frock of Salmon color you wore at the dinner?
Nov. 3rd, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
Just read about the Creeper. I'm studying Forensics here, with ex law enforcement officers. Their take on this type of activity is report him to the police. It's what happens here at the college because courses like mine also attract those who are weird and like violence, and anything happens, it gets reported to our local police force.
Do not bother with Hotel security, con security, go straight to the police. In California we have very good laws to prevent Stalkers and folk going round an event systematically physically/sexually harassing and abusing women, or men.
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
I think it was the usual thing where everyone is afraid of making trouble, causing the con trouble etc etc. Too many of us have been raised to be 'nice' about this. You are quite right, of course: this kind of thing is not acceptable and illegal.
Ah, the pink dress! I'm never quite sure about it -- it's so very bright. But it does go well with that necklace, and I do love that necklace!
You looked fantastic.
Nov. 3rd, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) And so me dear, did you. You showed off all your jewelry to its best, and it was super jewelry!
Nov. 4th, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
Too many of us have been raised to be 'nice' about this.

One can always call the police in a civil and agreeable tone of voice.
Nov. 3rd, 2011 09:30 am (UTC)
Welcome back! I hope the ferret crossed the Atlantic with you and we'll be able to meet him/her/it soon.
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
Definitely. I have a new monkey for you, too.
Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ooook! Or do I mean Eeeek?
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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