May 23, 2008

WisCon Day One

I understand that live blogging when one can't reliably type "Google" into one's browser may not be the best idea, but hey, what's three Sambucas between friends?

Day one of WisCon was lovely, as expected. I had a nice, if brief, chat with Liz Henry at the Gathering. I complimented her on her post on the profile of the Google VP and thanked her for posting frankly about living with a disability. She's working for BlogHer these days, and we compared notes on discovering our unexpectedly butch (read results-oriented) sides when dealing with groups composed exclusively of women.

It was nearly dinner time when we reached Madison. We ate at the Brocach, on the opposite side of the capitol from our hotel. Wow. All the food, from the steak with blue cheese butter to the fish and chips, was stunning. And our waiter was cute enough that even Ben noticed. Top-shelf drinks were half off for happy hour, so Ben ordered the 18-year Caol Ila. Yum. Even James tipped back a few drops of Jameson--literally a few drops.

The bar was open in the hotel club by then, so we headed back. Programming is light Friday nights, with opening ceremonies taking up much of the evening, so the bar becomes the main attraction for anyone with an aversion to ceremony. For once in my life, I started a trend. First round of drinks, I was the only one with a Sambuca. Second round of drinks, there were five of us. We were all from the Twin Cities, even though we rarely see each other in town. Somewhere along the way, the flaming Sambuca story had to be told. Then the story of the folded-pinky hand gesture that always accompanies Rick's name. Then Sean showed up with the flask of absinthe, and we all had to try it. I suspect it loses a little of the bitter when you don't put the wormwood in it, but what was left was tasty, even without sugar and water.

Rachel and Dave stopped by and added the story of how their middle child ended up with his genitalia glued back together. I laughed until I cried over the line, "It's a crib injury, although it wasn't my crib." Okay, I said it, but it was still funny.

Then it was off to the panel on grammar and punctuation. Really. You have to be the right kind of person to appreciate it, but it was pretty good. Of course, being WisCon, there was discussion of whether focusing on grammar priviledges the communications of particular groups, and of course, being grammar geeks, we said, well, yes and no. Grammar is important, you know.

We haven't made it to the hot tub yet, but it's been a long day, so bed is calling. There's always tomorrow, at least when the pool isn't reserved for the kids. More later...probably.

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