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Worldcon 77

Blog entry

When last we saw our SFF adventurer (i.e., me), it was Sunday late afternoon and I was getting a post in before figuring out what to do for a pre-Hugo dinner. Given the timing, I decided not to try to coordinate with anyone else and had a solo-but-not-exactly-alone dinner at a small sushi place on the river bank between my hotel and the convention center. I'd been eyeing it speculatively for several days and can now confirm that you can find excellent sushi in Dublin (J2 Sushi & Grill).

Let's see, where was I? Ah yes, up to dinner time on Friday with no definite plans. I was reminded at that point that I had a loose date to meet people for ice cream at Murphy's after dinner-ish, so I got a bite of something more substantial at a cafe across the street from the ice cream shop then joined an amorphously shifting group in the back of Murphy's for chatting and ice cream.

Let's see, where were we? Thursday was the first full day of the convention. I picked up my participant's packet and wandered around orienting myself to all the locations it would be useful to know about. (Since the numbering on the function rooms is cometimes ambiguous, this was not an idle task.) My first panel was "Dragons and Debutantes" on the topic of Regency fantasy (moderated by Mary Robinette Kowal, with me, Zen Cho, and Susan de Guardiola).

Wednesday was all about moving from vacation mode to Worldcon mode. Breakfast in my room, working on various computer housekeeping things, then the hike down three floors of stairs with my luggage to check out. By pure coincidence, I got to the Hilton check-in desk just as my roommate arrived from the airport. As expected we couldn't get into the room yet, but after dumping luggage we went over to the convention center to register. I then spent entirely too much time and wandering between venues to get my transit pass for the second half of the week.

Last time I was in Dublin, two years ago, I spent a very intensive day in the archaeology museum, taking lots of photos and careful notes on things of interest. This time I simply did a casual walk-through, enjoying the flow of the layout and organization. The individual item labels do well enough, and there are a small number of larger "context" explanations, but it would be great if they could do some mid-level interpretation.

Today was the only pre-booked tour on my schedule. Some friends were going on a bus toor to Tara and Newgrange and I took the opportunity to tag along. Tara is the sort of site where you need some deep background to understand what you're seeing. The tour guide did a great job of sketching in the background in the available time, but I suspect for many of the tour members it was simply a big hill with a bunch of bumps on it. The tour was enjoyable, but there was a certain sense of being processed through a tourism machine.

(This post is stitched together from various facebook postings throughout the day.)

My "rest day" was restful in the sense that I didn't have anything in particular I was committed to accomplishing. It started with an excellent night's sleep. (Maybe readers are bored with me talking about my sleep habits, but between my usual sleep issues and coming off jet lag, the topic is highly relevant to me.) 

I’ve given up on the idea that I can plan where to eat breakfast. The lovely place I ate on Friday opens much later on weekends. The recommended bakery has yet to be open any time I drop by, despite it being within advertised hours. So my strategy will simply be to wander until I see a likely looking place that’s open.

I took the train that got me in to Waterford around noon, with the last return train leaving at 18:30. That was plenty of time to see the things I wanted to see, plus time to sit at the river’s edge with a sandwich when I didn’t want to walk any more.

By some miracle, I got a full night's sleep Thursday night (that is, a full night plus going to bed around 7pm), briefly interrupted by a very resonant rainstorm in the wee hours. But the placement of my room means I get no street noise, which is nice.

Despite all my self-deprecating mentions of getting to airports entirely too early for Significant Trips, I didn't actually spend that much time hanging out twiddling my thumbs. After check-in and security, I had an early dinner--or rather a late and substantial lunch. I figured they'd feed us something dinner-like on the plane but didn't want to count on it too heavily. (They did, but it was fairly light.) Then I really only had half an hour or so of wandering around the gate before they started boarding.


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