March 10, 2010
(As these things tend to do, this entry got REALLY long–and that’s without me managing to write about much less link anywhere near as many people as I wanted to (Mo! Jason! Keri! Sarah! Jane! Dave! Trance! Jessie! Everyone!)–so if you want to just go look at the pictures, they’re here. Actually, they’re there whether you want to look at them or not. And they’ll still be there if you want to read this whole entry and then go look.)
I didn’t have enough vacation time left to do a third ski week this season (my vacation year ends on my hire anniversary in April) but I did have enough to go to Weetacon in Green Bay, which I’ve been meaning to do again ever since I went for the first time in 2006, so that is exactly what I did this past weekend. I flew out of Detroit on Thursday around noon and spent most of the next 96 hours socializing, sleeping, or changing my nail polish. I have just now recovered enough to post about it.
Day 1: I squeezed into a tiny seat on a small airplane and spent pretty much the entire flight looking out the window at the sunshine trying to distract myself from feeling claustrophobic. No so long after I landed in Green Bay, I was at the hotel and the hugging commenced. Not so long after that, I headed out for bowling and dinner with most of the other early arrivals. I can’t remember the last time I bowled, but I managed to do so without injuring myself or anyone else or destroying any property, so I’d say it went well. Mary (whom I’ve know a long time and spent quality time with in various cities across the country) and Deb (whom I met a Weetcon II) and Ladyloo (whom I’ve known online what feels like forever but had never met in person before) and I shared a lane. Fueled by some of the best deep fried cheese curds ever, Andrea and I made it into the four-person bowl-off (I finished 3rd or 4th). Post-bowling, there was steak at a supper club. Post-dinner, I skipped out on any further group activities so as to save up my energy for future hijinks later in the weekend.
[Nail polish look #1: Sally Hansen Beyond Perfect in Almond Essence, which I had worn to work all week and which survived bowling pretty much intact.]
Day 2: Since I’d had a fairly early night, I was awake and down at breakfast when the fire alarm in the hotel went off. At first, we were told there was no problem, they just didn’t know how to turn it off. Then the fire fighters and police showed up and we all had to evacuate; fortunately the weather was sunny and really warm for early March (as it would be all weekend) so that was no huge hardship. There was evidently no problem after all, as we got to go back inside before too long, only to come back out a short while later for opening ceremonies and boarding the bus with our bus buddies (Fredlet was my buddy). First stop was lunch, which was as close to home cooking as a restaurant can come (at least the home I grew up in as the child of two Wisconsin natives). Then we were off to play laser tag. I had never played laser tag, and was not at all sure I was laser tag material, but figured I needed to try it to find out, so I suited up with 31 of my closest friends and entered the arena. I was surprised at how much I liked shooting people. At one point I tripped and fell hard (it’s possible I was violating the “not running” rule at the time) and all I could think was “must get back up and shoot people” (I am now sporting several impressive bruises from this incident). Next up was the sleigh ride and bonfire, followed by the brats and booyah feast, followed by the charity raffle. I had amazing raffle karma and won so much stuff, including my favorite prize–books by Wendy. I was happy to see the two hats I donated go to good homes; Deb won the green and black reversible double layer one and Susan won the red striped beanie. All of that seems like more than enough for one day, but noâ€”there was karaoke back at the hotel. Having tried one new thing already that day (see: laser tag), I managed to resist jenfoo’s considerable charm and persuasiveness and did not let myself get talked into singing, but I enjoyed watching until I could barely stay awake and called it a night.
[Nail polish look #2: Taupe ombre, refined from the last time I did it for better shading from light to dark.]
Day 3: After breakfast, I zipped around town taking pictures for the photo scavenger hunt, getting back just after the crew heading out for my preferred lunch destination had left the building. But I was not to be denied one of the hamburgers I’d heard so much about, so I hopped in my rental car (thank goodness I had one) and caught up before orders went in. The burger was as good as I’d imagined and very much like the ones my dad made me when I was growing up. I wish I could report that I took a nice long nap after lunch to rest up for the long night ahead, but I did not. Instead, I messed around online and changed my nail polish and caught the tail end of the afternoon session on taking better photographs (which I’d earlier decided was not for me because it said something about DSLRs in the description and I am strictly a point and shoot kind of personâ€”at least for now). Then I got dressed for dinner; my outfit featured a fabulous top provided by Igigi, a piece of clothing that deserves and will get a separate entry. Driving to dinner, I got to talking with Eileen, one of the Weetacon newbies and not someone I’d met online beforehand, and managed to take several wrong turns even though the restaurant was ridiculously close to the hotel and I’d been there before. Fortunately, I’d gotten a GPS unit with the rental car and soon the Australian/British/robot voice had us where we needed to be. After dinner it was time for a bit more primping before heading to the Bad Bar. One of the raffle prizes I won included some blingy false eyelashes and I decided those would be perfect for a night out. Wrong. I have vague memories of wearing false eyelashes at least once before, but if I did, I sure didn’t retain any skill at putting them on. I glued the eyelashes to my hand and to various parts of my eyelid (none of them the right parts) before I gave up on the idea and just piled on more eyeshadow than I normally wear to hide the remaining glue bits I couldn’t seem to rub off. I caught a ride over the bar with Corinna and her husband Jim and Lisa-Marie. Once at our destination, there was, as one might expect, drinking and dancing and singing and stuff. I surprised myself by being a) there and b) fairly awake when the call was made to move on the all-night diner for pancakes. I finally got to bed a little before four; it’s quite possible the last time that happened was after a long night of playing D&D in high school.
[Nail polish look #3: OPI Jade is the New Black with OPI Mad as a Hatter on my ring fingers as an accent.]
Day 4: Tempted as I was to try and nap the day away, I got up in time to have breakfast (which I guess was really second breakfast, since I’d had eggs and pancakes at 2 a.m.) before closing ceremonies and then spent the afternoon exploring small slices of Green Bay, De Pere, and Appleton. I found one cemetery online before I headed out but there were many more I just came across as I droveâ€”so many I could only stop at a tiny fraction of them or I would have missed meeting up for dinner with most of the stragglers who were left in town. I felt very fortunate to be able to spend a few more hours in the company of friends (and help socialize a young pug in the bargain).
[Nail polish look #4: Borghese La Strada Rose.]
Day 5: Now we were down in the single digits (people-wise, not temperature-wise; the weather was still beautiful). One more breakfast (with an omelet person who, unlike the one we’d had on prior mornings, knew not to stop cooking until the cheese was melty) then parting and sadness. Ladyloo had left while the rest of us were sleeping, but Kelly and I were there to say goodbye to Melinda and Kevin and Suzannadanna aka Susan. Kelly and I were on the same flight to Detroit, so that helped put off my post-con blues for a few more hours. Now, though, I am home and still a little bit tired and sore (bowling and laser tag and dancing use evidently use muscles my circuit training does not) and feeling bummed that now I can see these friends only online until the next time I can manage to get myself to a gathering. I guess that’s better than not seeing them at all.