Things started out well -- Ben arrived on time, and I was reasonably on time to pick him up. I dragged him up to Devon with me as planned, where we picked up my blouses, had idli and mysore masala dosai, sambar, and lassis. Then back home to basically futz around the house the rest of the day. I did a bit of packing, but honestly, I'm not sure what else we did, other than chat at high speed and try to stay awake 'til a reasonable hour. Ordered more Indian food for dinner; I loved the saag, and the bhuna shrimp was tasty (like something my mom makes), although just swimming in oil. We were both asleep by 8:30 or 9, I think.
Thursday we were up early, chatting more, hanging out with kids, and then I took Ben over to the house with me to plant some roses. This happens every year -- I order some plants from Jackson & Perkins in oh, November or so, and I forgot that first safe planting date in Chicago is the same weekend as WisCon, so they always arrive just as I'm about to get on the road, and I have to scramble. We got them in the ground (with Ben's help digging much appreciated), but sadly, while showing Ben the house, I managed to gouge a good big splinter into my toe. Ow. (Yes, Pam, I know you warned me to always wear covered shoes on a job site. You warned me several times. I am an idiot.)
We went back to the house and Ben spent a good twenty minutes very carefully digging the splinter out of my toe, and I will be forever grateful for his good offices in that regard. He is an extremely skilled splinter remover, and I recommend him to you should you ever be in similarly dire straits. Then Alex arrived, we picked up the rental, we packed it up, and finally left for WisCon, only an hour and fifteen minutes later than I'd planned to leave.
Despite one bad wrong turn, we made it up to A Room of One's Own for my first GOH reading in good time -- fifteen minutes before the event was due to start. Triumph! And as it turned out, we started late, because we were waiting for Nnedi, who was inexplicably delayed. Since Nnedi is generally the soul of responsibility and punctuality, I think there must have been some kind of miscommunication somewhere along the line. Sad. But at least my part of the reading went well, I think. I read "Monsoon Day," and people seemed to like it. I realized about halfway through that I was at a SF/F convention and had picked a story to read that had nothing speculative in it -- oops. Maybe I should have read "Jump Space" instead. Ah well. Maybe tomorrow, for my long reading. Although I have to time it first, and see how long it is. It would make Sumana happy if I read it, or part of it, anyway, which is a powerful incentive.
Afterwards, good dinner at Himal Chuli with Alex, Ben, and Ian. I had the chicken kihar, which was mild but tasty. Alex and Ian have diametrically opposed economic views, so we may have been in some danger of a battle royale, but Ben played moderator, and peace reigned in our time. An uneasy peace, perhaps, but we'll take what we can get. I know almost nothing about economics, so mostly I shut up and listened, which is an unusual position for me, and kind of nice. I should do that more often. (Says the girl posting the insanely long blog entry.) Jed joined us partway through, hooray!
And then I came back to the hotel and actually checked in, came up to my room with Jed to find all sorts of lovely Guest of Honor gifts for me. A big bowl of fresh fruit, including some of the most perfect grapes I've ever eaten. A box of local artisanal dark chocolate. And a gorgeous and adorable handmade stuffed dragon, in purple and wine, specially designed for me. Aww...
Interfering slightly with my GOH glee was how freaked out I was that maybe the brutally throbbing wound on my foot was actually infected. I got some antibiotic cream from the hotel, applied it, researched infection on the internet (terrifying), tried to go to sleep, failed because my foot hurt so much, got so exhausted that my restless leg thing kicked in, so I eventually got up and took a long, hot shower, and after all of that, my foot and legs calmed down enough that I could fall asleep, around 11:30. I slept 8.5 astonishing hours, and woke up feeling almost human. Also, my foot feels better, so it is probably not actually going to fall off due to a gangrenous infection. Hooray.
This morning, breakfast with Alex, joined by Therese, very nice. Eventually met up with Jed, ran out to Enterprise to put his name on rental car so he could drive it. Came back, hung up art in art show. Ran into Nisi, and had a nice lunch with her at Noodles, catching up on her writing doings, which are multiple and awesome. The various books she's completed recently sound so cool, and I can't wait to read them. Hear that, publishers?? I feel so proud that I published one of stories early on. Yay, me, the talent-recognizer! :-)
And now I'm back, and the tentative plan is to go sign my work in the art show (forgot to do so, which is a post in and of itself, but anyway), swing by the Gathering and say hey to folks, and then come back to my room to either work on Guest of Honor speech or go swimming. Possibly both, depending on whether I actually want to go to any panels at 4. POC dinner at 5:30, Opening Ceremonies at 7:30 (where apparently I will be carrying around something on a stick, according to Ms. Klages and Ms. Murphy), Ratbastards fabulous karaoke party at 9, and feminism / crafts panel at 10:30. Bed by midnight (skipping parties tonight), 8 hours of sleep, meeting Nisi for a swim at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, and then on with day 3 of WisCon.