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busted brow

I *am* a milkshake punk, bitch.

Posted on 2007.05.29 at 20:23
Current Mood: tiredtired
Tags: ,
No, I will not explain the title of this blog entry.

I'm finally back from Balticon. I think I managed to get on-line all of two times since last week, so for the 300 spammers and 3.5 real people waiting on replies to e-mails from the last four days, I'll get to it.

So. The con. As a rule, I'm not fond of being around people. But then as a rule authors, and especially podcasters, are not people. They're mutants. Technosaturated subsubculture mutants whose debauched lifestyles and overwrought personas have rendered them unfit for civilized company. And by that standard I had a fuckin' blast-and-a-half. It's also nice to be a guest at a con where somebody actually knows who the fuck you are for a change. That's another thing. Lot of Failed Cities fans collected in Baltimore over the weekend. I almost felt legit.

Anyway. I rolled in late on Friday only to discover that my rotten producer, the man holding my room key and who was patently aware of my arrival time, was nowhere to be found. Fortunately 7th Son author and podosphere megastar JC Hutchins was holding things down up in the room and he let me in, one of the many times Hutch came to my aid during the con (don't get me wrong, though. JC HUTCHINS IS A SON-OF-A-BITCH). As a bonus, Mur Lafferty had invaded our humble lodgings, too. It truly was like picking the door with the '78 Camaro behind it on Let's Make A Deal.

Eventually Jason Adams from Lulu.com showed up and we all went out to dinner, where Hutch taught me how to use chopsticks, Jason schooled me on the legend of The 12-inch Renegade, and Mur punched me. Hard. I don't remember why, but I'm sure I deserved it. Ask anyone who knows me. I usually deserve it. After a near-abortive attempt at finding a panel I didn't even really wanna go to, we ended up back at the hotel bar where many other familiar names were gathered. I hung out for the first of what was to be many times with podcasting's Rich Sigfrit, who I'm becoming increasingly convinced is related to me in some way. I bought Mur a dirty martini WITH the ridiculously expensive gin she likes. Because Mur is worth it. She just is. And the night spiraled on from there. I tapped out pretty early. Fuck you. It was a long day.

Saturday was a mixed bag. Of what is for you to judge. My reading went well. Attendance was sparse but distinguished. Hutch, Mur, and even the man himself, Evo Terra, turned up for it. I was touched. They all had razor things to say about the job I did, and these are the people who know, so it meant something. I moved some of the swag I brought with me. I sweated through a couple of panels, one of which gave birth to the now infamous "It's dead" between myself, Stranger Things creator Earl Newton, and all those Earl went on to tell the story to, which felt like everyone at the fucking con by the end. The rest of the afternoon/evening gets a little hazy for me. Saturday turned out to be the designated drama day for a lot of people, and even I, Stoic in the classical sense that I am, didn't make it out unscathed. I missed both the live recordings of Slice of Sci-Fi and Wingin' It, although that didn't stop Evo from talkin' smack about me during the latter. I also missed Jack Mangan rockin' out on the main stage in the lobby, which I'll regret 'til I can see him do it again next year. Jack's one of the originals, and he's an awesome dude.

I did manage to catch most of George Hrab's concert. Ever genius, that guy. I also managed to sort my sorry ass out in time to read "This Week in Alternate History" for the 100th episode of Geek Fu Action Grip, which was an event. Mur invited a fan on to read the first chapter of her abso-fucking-lutely amazing unpublished novel Playing For Keeps. You will bow to it one day soon. She also put together an audio drama presentation from the new season of her ongoing podcast fiction epic Heaven that was stellar. Incidentally, if you haven't already listened to Heaven, Hell, AND bought the t-shirts for both, then there's really nothing I can do for you. You have lost at the game of Life.

Sunday was much kinder to me. I attended a live performance of Mister Adventure that featured our own Rick Stringer gettin' his 30's super hero mack on. You would've thought he was born into this. I checked out The FuMP doin' it festival-style in one of the ballrooms. Then I cut out for what was supposed to be no more than five minutes, only to be abducted to the bar by Mike Mennenga and Brave Men Run author Matthew Wayne Selznick. They forced me to drink with them and reenact a podcasters' version of the scar-comparing scene from Jaws. I'm sure Mike would have you believe that he was Robert Shaw, but fuck that. If anyone is Quint, I am Quint. Selznick, of course, is Hooper. Go look at the guy, man. That is a young Dreyfuss for our generation right there.

The bar was good to me on Sunday. I spent a lot of time there later on hanging out with Jason, who is a bearded low-key badass of a human being, and with Susan and Biscuit from the Kulture Kast. I finally met Phil Rossi, author of the rock-solid podcast novel Crescent (and who, by the way, laid it down on the music tip alongside the lovely and immensely talented Heather Welliver a few nights earlier), in person. At one point I snuck up to the designated party room where Evo introduced me to Dr. Tran. If you've never seen it, Dr. Tran is the YouTube equivalent of Sugar Ray Leonard, in that by the time it gets around to the HOT DICKINGS I was ripping the earbuds out and moaning "no más" like Roberto Duran, albeit through bowel-and-bladder-threatening fits of laughter. Tee Morris is actually threatening to post the pix that he took of my reaction unless I admit he's handsomer than me. But I'm just not that big a liar.

Rick and I also got the chance to grub with devospice on Sunday. Spice is the man behind the Manic Mondays podcast, the greatest comedy rap act on the planet Sudden Death, and he's also the voice of Sterne from the Failed Cities. We had a good time. And then later I inadvertently helped steal all the sound equipment from him and his fellow funny musicians. It was a dick move, but I maintain my complete lack of intent.

I had very little hope and/or ambition for Monday. Most everyone else split the scene pretty early. Rick Stringer and I were among the last men standing. But we hooked up with Matt Selznick, John Cmar and his wife Laura Burns, and went to an Irish pub for dinner, then hung out back in John and Laura's room (apparently the nexus of all alcohol not consumed during the con). It turned out to be one of the best times I had all weekend. These are quality folks in every way. John is a doctor with the voice of Boris Karloff whose specialty is infectious diseases and Laura is among the contractors working for NASA on the James Webb Space Telescope, officially making her the coolest fucking person I've ever met in my life. And Selznick is Selznick. Couldn't have scripted a better way to round out the con, and I owe those guys some serious props.

I brought along a very expensive digital camera and took all of a single photo the entire weekend. Rick did waaaa-aaaay better with his even more expensive camera and captured a lot of great stuff. Hopefully I'll get some of those up on my website in the next few days. But right now and for no adequately explored reason, here's a pic of sailormur wearing her tiara.



It's definitely not the most professional or provocative shot of Mur from the con, but goddammit, it's the one I took and I shall cherish it always.

I'm sure I left some shit out, but that was all probably way more thorough than I needed to be or you cared to read.

It's dead. No, it's dead.

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