I am back from Montreal, after a few very good days. Thursday afternoon cattitude
and I went to a couple of used book stores, and as we were walking from the metro station, I realized that it had a "showing someone my neighborhood" feeling. Not something I was expecting: I've lived with Cattitude since 1985. But the places we went are places in walking distance of papersky
's home, a bit of Montreal that feels familiar and comfortable. We got some used books (mostly by Avram Davidson), cups of tea, chocolate truffles, and then an assortment of food—deli meat, cheese, more chocolate, tea, bread, and fruit—from several shops in Marche Atwater, since we had a kitchenette in our hotel room. One treat was a really good melon: when the fruit seller saw me sniffing the canteloupe, she asked if I wanted a ripe melon, I said yes, and she asked when I planned to use it. So she found me a melon optimized to be cut for breakfast Friday morning.
We got the room with the kitchenette because I hoped I'd sleep better than I had in the regular hotel rooms in previous years. I slept decently, making the extra expense well worth it. The teakettle and fridge were also pleasant, for things including breakfast; the ability to get a cup of tea in mid-afternoon and not miss an entire panel; and a very pleasant conversation with mrissa
this morning over a light breakfast in our room.
After going book and grocery shopping Thurday afternoon, Cattitude and I had a nice dinner with Mrissa and timprov
, hung out with other early arrivals in the hotel lobby for a bit, and went to bed. I didn't stay up incredibly late any night: 12:30 or so Saturday and Sunday. The endpoint to Saturday's party was when Papersky gathered her household, the people staying with them, and a few other people who weren't staying at the hotel, so they could be sure to catch the last metro home.
I overextended myself a little bit Thursday and Friday, but not badly: when asked I told Papersky that I didn't have the energy to lead a group to the Jardin Botanique, and it turned out zorinth
liked that idea better than taking a Biodome group, so I took a few people to look at animals and walk some, and Z took people to look at plants and walk lots. (rysmiel took a bookstore group, and Papersky got to sit down for a bit.) The lynxes were extremely active, as were the rodents of moderately unusual size. The trumpeter (a mostly black tropical bird) continues to boldly walk all over the rain forest area. We didn't see the sloth, and the otters were napping in their little transparent-walled den, looking very cozy and cute.
Friday night Cattitude and I had dinner with three people we don't see anywhere near as often as we'd like: wild_irises
, and davidlevine
. We wound up at a randomly selected quasi-tapas place on Mont Royal called Nuevo, good food and good service in their back garden. We went to the designated Friday evening rendezvous, where I played a quick game of Zombie Fluxx (not, based on the one game, as good as the original game), and then I chatted with rysmiel and stakebait
for a while, and then a bit with other people, and then went to bed.
With any luck, other people will say interesting things about most of the programming. I'll just note that Sunday mornings "Joy of Reading" panel was excellent, as in previous years, and that the * panel went quite well, though more linearly than the Minicon original.
showed up with an example of some fruit she'd hoped jonsinger
could identify. From her description, se'd at first thought mangosteen, but these were something different, with an odd citrus-and-pear smell. She also brought some mangosteens, and handed one around, priority to people who'd never tasted it, but enough sections that I got a bit. I also got to try the mystery fruit, but it didn't impress me the way the mangosteens a previous year did. At the Sunday afternoon "Solid Poetry" panel, a continuation of last year's "Making Real Things and Making Things Real" discussion of things like how to make the physical things in books feel solid, and the ways writing connects to pottery, painting, jewelry, and other crafts, everyone had visual aids. tnh
's included a small glass of some kind of rather bitter citrusy liqueur she'd made; we never did find out what was in it, in part because she'd started with wanting to stump Singer and then the conversation wandered, but grapefruit seems pretty definite. Jon, Tanac, if you find out what that fruit is, I'd love to know.
I would have liked to have more and possibly quieter time to talk to Papersky, but as she noted last night, she keeps thinking that it's a small enough con that she'll have time to talk to all her friends, and not thinking about the extent to which almost everyone there are already her friends. We'll catch up later.
As usual at such events, I found myself talking to people about wanting to see them more—in this case including people who live in New York. But the energy constraints that are why I don't socialize as much as I wish I could haven't changed. The conversations with Stakebait were fun, and there's more short-term temptation and/or regret there, because she lives in New York City, than with Mris or elisem
(who I also only talked to for a few minutes) or wild_irises or…
I have no idea of whether I'll go to the Montreal Worldcon next summer; I prefer smaller cons, most of the time, but there's some temptation there, for reasons including a chance to see some of my British friends, and my fondness for the city.
[this is incomplete, but I want to get it posted before I forget all about it]