October 9, 2002
In our last episode, Mr. Karen and I spent Friday running all over touristy bits of San Francisco before arriving back at the hotel in time to hear Jen make the opening remarks. We then joined the parade following Lucy to the restaurant for the banquet. Mr. Karen and I were fortunate to end up at a table with Kymm and basked in her mightiness, joined by Amanda, Renee, and Shelly, whom I cannot link to because she does not have an online journal, although she should because I liked her a lot and would read her obsessively. Shelly’s got great stories to tell and already knows a ton of journalers thanks to being friends with Lucy, so really the only thing that’s keeping her from journaling rockstardom is the whole not having a journal thing. (Well, that and not being Pamie, and not starting in 1996, and not being a even slightly train wrecky that I could see, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
Saturday the panels began, along with the hard choices about which ones to attend. For the first session, I chose based on content and went to “Can’t Help Myself: Thematic Journals”, because I’ve thought about splitting all my quilt stuff off into a separate journal. (As of now, I’m not planning to do that; I’ll just keep using the Quilt Gallery as my main link on quilting forums and rely on the those of you who aren’t interested to look away when you see the word “quilt”.) For the second session, I ended up at “How to Have the Most Popular Journal in the History of the Universe”, not because I’m interested in being the Online Journaling Homecoming Queen but because I hadn’t seen Beth yet and thought for sure I would get the chance if I went to the panel she was on. I really wanted to go to “Full Disclosure: How Much is Too Much”, too, because that topic interested me, and two of the panelists, Jill and Lisa are fellow hangers out at The Usual Suspects, but in the end my slightly unhealthy interest in gawking at Beth won out. It was during this panel that I learned that it’s a good thing I’m not pining to be everyone’s journal sweetheart, since I cannot time travel and start writing back when Kymm did, nor do I generate a lot of controversy, and I’m certainly not Pamie. Not answering one’s reader mail was also mentioned as a strategy, which surprised me, since I’ve gotten more than one response from Kymm over the years I’ve been reading her, but then she clarified that it’s only the good mail she doesn’t answer. Hee. I’m choosing to believe that my mail is the exception to that rule, that it’s just so completely compelling she can’t help but reply.
Saturday was also the start of serious swag swapping. My magnets made their debut on the official swag table along with Weetabix’s Play-Doh and lots of other goodies. I was thrilled to get Beth’s mix CD and the audio book of Alice in Wonderland as read by The Usual Suspects that Lynda had worked so long and hard on. Krystyn made personalized glitter packets for everyone, which added a festive and sparkly air to the entire Con. (I’m still finding glitter in the most unexpected places, like the gear shift knob in my car that was parked at home the whole time I was in San Francisco).
Other people have already written great descriptions of the escape to Alcatraz excursion on Saturday afternoon. On the bus, I missed BitterHag getting spit on because I was studiously ignoring the spitter, having seen him try to give Jill the change she’d given him back because he thought she could come up with more and knowing I’m a big wimp and would probably end up emptying my pockets for him. (Though I doubt he’d like the koroshiya.com pin I got from Trish as much I did.) Mr. Karen and I lagged behind the rest of the group on the island and it was just lucky that we ended up on the same boat back as most of the rest of the journalers. Because we’d eaten at the wharf the day before, we joined Kymm’s march to Ghirardelli Square for ice cream. When we got there, we realized we should have gotten ice cream the day before , too, since the line was crazy long. So, no ice cream, but the fries place wasn’t too busy and we had a fun meal with Kymm, Jared, Meg, Jill, Amanda, Renee, and Beth and Vic.
We got back to the hotel just after most of the dinner groups had left. One group was still there, so Jared and Mr. Karen and I joined up with them for the short walk to Lori’s Diner. It was great to spend some time with Trish, Krystyn, Michael, and Lunesse, none of whom I’d gotten a chance to talk to much up ‘til this point. Because we’d gotten a later start than the other diners, by the time we returned to the hotel after dinner the karaoke crowd had left, but those of us who wanted to check out the scene caught cabs and caught up with the rest of the crew. I’d heard so much about karaoke at prior JournalCons that I at least wanted to get a look at the goings on, even though singing is not one of my many talents. It was fun to see the performances, but not fun to deal with the all one high price no matter what you’re drinking bar policy and the “you give me two dollar” karaoke hostess who demanded her money even if she’d been paid already. (I’m still not sure if she was greedy or just bad at math.) Mr. Karen and I grabbed a cab back to the hotel soon after he was told that there was no way he could use the microphone to do a song they didn’t have on the list, regardless of what he paid. We might have stayed longer if the refusal to grant the acapella proposal hadn’t been followed up in the same breath with a push for us to buy more drinks to replace the ones the bartender had dumped out while we had our backs to the bar. It just seemed like the time to go. I was tired from all the socializing and walking and general overload, so we didn’t try to find where the vortex of fun previously located in the hotel lobby had moved on to and just went up to bed when we got back.
Next: Part 3 – The Fun Ends, But The Afterglow Remains