Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wiscon Days #2-#4: Good Night Aerobics

I should preface this post by the slight reminder that I am out-of-shape, and I have fibromyalgia, which does not take to unexpected exercise very well.

Saturday dawned bright and early, and I even wrote a blog post! I went and had a nice breakfast with John Joseph Adams, Ted Kosmatka, and John's friend, the infamous Rob. Rob actually has a last name, which is Rob Bland, but I had heard John talking about how cool and awesome Rob was for... god knows how many months... and I couldn't remember ever meeting him (although it turns out I had, in March 2008). Which is why Rob has gotten stuck in my head as "the infamous Rob", and it turns out that he is actually just as cool and awesome as John said.


After breakfast, which started at 9:30am, I had a scheduled lunch with Jim Frenkel, one of the editors I do business with... at 11:30am. Saturday was scheduled to be the day of eating.

Met Jim, had a good lunch with him, and then walked back to the hotel. At which point my stomach started being unhappy, which is actually not the fault of ANYONE I had eaten with, but more the fact that my digestive system likes to have its quirks.

So I retreated to my hotel room and slept for a long, long time on Saturday. Woke up finally in time for the Tiptree auction and the parties (I was underwhelmed by the auction, but also, not feeling particularly great still.) I made the rounds of the parties with Holly and Jodi, as well as our friend Laurel and her husband Chris. They were tremendous amounts of fun, particularly getting to meet new people and see old ones--I could name names, but it might be too many. Suffice it to say that I was happy to see my friend Erin who had come all the way from California, and I was also happy to see my friend Ben who had come all the way from Switzerland. And to meet many more people, including Mary Anne Mohanraj (spelling?), who I learned is the author of a choose-your-own adventure erotic novel, which I now feel compelled to find and read. Out of pure curiosity.

Holly and Jodi and I finally made it back to our room at 3:30am, at which point Holly decided we were doing aerobics. We were not drunk. We were just insane. Or rather Holly and Jodi were insane, since they did the ENTIRE workout, and I only did part of it.

I cannot tell you what part of my brain compelled me to join in for a third of the workout, but I think I'd like to disinherit that part. My legs hurt. It is now Tuesday morning and my legs STILL hurt. Good night aerobics are NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Happily, although my legs still hurt terribly on Sunday and Monday, my stomach was feeling better. I went to some panels, discovered that Jack McDevitt is a very interesting man to listen to, met many more new people, and went to the Tiptree ceremony and dessert buffet.

Which is the point in the convention when I realized that I felt very out-of-my-element.

I was sitting at a table with some very nice people. And they were discussing how they had gone to Wiscon for decades, and they were all much, much older than me. And although they were very nice, I suddenly felt trapped. I had nothing in common with any of them, other than a love of science fiction. I didn't believe in the same things they were talking about. It's a very hard thing to quantify because they were completely and totally nice individuals. But I didn't belong.

And then there were the Wiscon guest of honor speeches, which were both lovely. Geoff Ryman was serious and intelligent; Ellen Klages was hilarious because well, it's Ellen Klages. And Ellen started talking about how she had come to Wiscon seventeen years ago, and she had finally felt like she had found her tribe. And I realized that this wasn't really my tribe.

I don't know what my tribe is, but this year's Wiscon wasn't it.

I enjoyed myself at the convention. I enjoyed seeing friends I hadn't seen in a long time. I enjoyed meeting one of my favorite authors, Patricia Wrede, and discussing sock knitting with her. But I don't know if it's just because I have different priorities in life or because I like different things or because I just feel that the graying of science fiction conventions is something that makes me feel very alienated at times. Or maybe I'm just a different type of feminist, and I have different priorities in life.

So I left the convention and made my way back to the airport on Monday with John Joseph Adams, Rob, and Genevieve Valentine (who is lovely, although I hadn't met her before Wiscon), since we all had the same flight. And we went out to dinner at the airport and hung out and joked around... and that was when I really felt that that was my tribe Or my kind of people. Or at least, people I enjoy being with and potentially being friends with. And I don't know if Wiscon will ever be that for me.

I may come back to it. I may not come back to it. But this is my con report about it.

I am nothing, if not honest. =)

1 comment:

Tara Maya said...

Personally, I'm an introvert and, although I love cons like this, I find the more intensively I try to "belong" the faster I burn out. The pressure to feel like one of the gang can also be exhausting. I like it, in a way, but big, jovial crowds often have the contradictory affect of making me feel lonely.