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November 13, 1998
a year ago

Quiet Friday at OryCon

Didn't really do all that much today. Mostly just met people, lots of people, which, I guess was to be expected.

It helped in that we didn't get up until 10 a.m.. Breakfast was a small adventure, walking beyond the hotel, as the free breakfast ended 9 a.m.. There was an old-fashioned diner named Waddle's just beyond the Safeway we found the night before.

It is an ex-drive-in with big band music and a menu befitting the decor and music. The food matched the buildup of the ambiance. Unhealthy, large, generous portions of food that should have stopped hearts. It was delicious. My buttermilk, blueberry pancakes were thick and chewy, juicy sweet and bursting with blueberries. I set the huge blob of whipped butter aside and was happily generous with the hot blueberry compote. Mm… The bacon was a bit uneven, some slices nearly burnt crisp others a bit soggy and under cooked. John's straightforward breakfast of hash browns, bacon, scrambled eggs, and dry toast had crisp-tender hash, competent eggs, and toast that reminded John to get it that way more often.

We went back to the room afterwards and Carl was finishing up Komarrto prevent any spoilers at the Con. So we had fun reading and writing Lonnie finished and then headed over to the convention along a very much more covered and straightforward route. The two Doubletree hotels actually shared a parking lot under the freeway, which made the walk much easier.

We went to the panel on space operas and listen to some really cool stuff about what the authors felt space opera was and wasn't, what made it good or bad and how it could be improved. Space opera has gotten of bad reputation in the realms of science fiction, and it was interesting to find that many of the authors felt that the main difference between space opera and hard science fiction was that the first was character-centric and the latter was puzzle/technological whiz-bang-centric. That if the story was driven by human emotion or human motivation, then it could well be space opera, along with the plot line of a single person having much more leverage on the affairs of everyone and everything.

We met up with Bruce and Jason at the panels, wandered through the dealer's room a number of times and through the Art Show, where I saw Hutch and Aahz, whom I haven't seen for year. The art show was almost exactly the same show I've seen at every other SF con, that was funny to realize.

The toy session contained more action-figures and collectible items than I've ever seen in my life. It was a mass of comic book, SF, and fantasy figures, mostly comic book cartoon figures and movie figures from Aliens and other SF movies. They all glowed in the dark, moved funny ways, spoke different lines, or just looked cool. The collectors were fun to listen to as they told tales of how they'd gotten what they'd gotten and where and when. That was cool. They were really in it for the toys, not for the money and it what was cool was listening to how much fun they had playing with the toys they'd found.

The day was fairly slow at the Con, the hotel lobby mildly busy with the folks that could get off early Friday to check in and get arraigned. There was a line down one of the hallways for at-the-door memberships that morning. By dinner time the lobby of the Columbia River Hotel was complete chaos and in less than fifteen minutes we'd picked up a party of ten for dinner. It also turned out that by dinner time there were no more memberships. So, when Bryant showed up with Cass, they were unable to get con memberships, even though they had hotel accommodations. They, however, joined us for dinner, as did Jon Singer. Jon arrived and was showing people his latest cup, fresh from the kiln, brilliant with color. tyg was in the lobby saying "hi" to people and hooked up with another friend on sight.

Cera and Jim waved hi from the stairs, as did several other friends. Sonia and Devin were already seated and eating with another friend. Jon and I went over to say hello and talk for a bit. That was fun, and Sonia was mildly shocked by my blue hair, which amused me greatly. She liked it a lot, as did many people at the Con.

Dinner was a boisterous affair, and we were kind to our waitress after being admonishment by the restaurant manager to behave, as it was the waitress' first time out on the floor. She used to do room service, but was pressed into service on the floor with the extra business that the Con brought. She did beautifully and we tipped her big for been prompt, happy, and thorough. The food was okay, but it was even nicer to just be able to sit in the open-air area and watch people wandered by and wave. Hutch and Penny showed up at one point and talked with me for a bit. A good half-dozen folks called waved at Jon. That was fun to watch.

By the time dinner was over I was exhausted and tired of caring all my new books about, so John and I went back to the room and realized that if I were going to make it to Powells it would have to be Saturday morning, as some folks wanted to do it Sunday afternoon and with the overdrive problems we were having with the car we'd have to drive home in the light. So a Powells run Sunday afternoon seemed less than less likely.

So we went back, organized with Bryant and Cass, and then organized with other friends I wanted to meet who weren't going to be at the Con. It's always fun to organize meeting with an electronic friend that one has never met, especially when they haven't check out my pictures and, even then, relative size doesn't really help. It is always amusing to say that I am a 5 ft. 10 in. Chinese woman with about the ft. of blue hair and to hear the reaction on the other end of the phone line. John and I watched a little TV, I drank a second steep of tea, John had some of his microwave popcorn, and then went to sleep.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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