Anne (netmouse) wrote,

Penguicon Report

I had a good time at Penguicon!

Cory Doctorow and his girlfriend Alice Taylor were both very cool. I was Cory's liaison and they were fun to hang out with and very easy to take care of. Cory works for the EFF and also helps run and has a few science fiction novels and short stories out. Alice is a games researcher for the BBC... very cool, and very sweet. I took them to the Henry Ford Museum on Friday, which was very interesting, especially for Cory's running commentary on everything and his many side stories. Alice is british, so she found many things particularly bizarre. I hadn't realized how big the place had gotten, with how many buildings pulled from completely different places to become part of Greenfield Village.

During the con, Cory gave lots of talks about open source, creative commons and the history of copyright and implications for digital media rights. His keynote speech was really great. It reminded me of the heady days of the EFF blue ribbon campaign, back when a lot of us had just recently started having web pages and we put blue ribbons on them and wrote to our representatives and we defeated the Communications Decency Act and it felt very radical and rebellious.

And I met Nat Torkington, of O'Reilly, who also seems quite neat. I didn't really talk to him until the last day, which was too bad, but he and Alice and Cory and I had a really interesting conversation about how to get more women involved in Open Source and computing conventions that I hope we'll pick up again at some other time.

I had fun throughout the weekend hanging out with John Scalzi, an author I'd met at ConFusion. He joined a gang of us for dinner at Benihana's on Friday - Scott Colcord, Mike Whelan and his wife, Tammy, Eric, and Liam, Anne Harris, Joan Vinge, Chad Childers (who was Joan's liaison), Rikhei, me, Matt Arnold, Alice, and Cory and, like I said, John. John also helped Rennie and me teach "dancing for geeks" Saturday afternoon - we had more instructors than students, but it went well and we think we'll try it again next year, see if we can bump up attendance by having our own room (This year we were sharing with the Aegis swordfighting folks) and billing it a little differently. Both our students came by the Dance later on Saturday so we thought that was a good sign.

I did hit the ConFusion party for a little while Friday night, but it was late and though it was fascinating talking to John Scalzi and Anne Harris about biotechnology and genetics, all of us were too tired to stay for long.

People I saw but wished I'd spent more time with include tammylc, brendand, and rikhei - Rikhei was rooming with me but the largest piece of time we spent together was when she generously curled my hair for my performance of Buffy in Buffy: Once More with Feeling (the musical episode). It looked so very much better than anything I could have done! The show as a whole went really well! Everyone seemed to like it and we had fun! It was good.

Though now that I think about it, I did have lunch with Rikhei on Saturday, so that was nice too. But I've been running short on Rikhei time in the last few months, so I still have catching up to do.

Sunday I was exhausted, partly because of rehearsing and performing the show, and dancing before and after it, and partly because on Thursday when I arrived I ended up spending a couple hours helping Char set up the consuite and supervising the load-in of consuite supplies to the storage room. It was kind of fun to do compulsive organizing / grunt work, but it involved lifting and moving pallets of pop and left me pretty tired going into the weekend.

I crashed out on the couch in the hallway to rest before driving through the snow (!) to get home. Brendan, Mike, Hope, and someone I don't know joined me in hanging out there, which was nice. Especially when Mike gave me a taco. Thanks Mike! I guess lots of things were nice. Nothing was really bad, except for the usual having to walk forever to get from your room or other programming space to the ballroom, and for listening to people complain about the disorganization of programming, or to the head of programming being defensive or stressed about things. I didn't actually hear anyone complain that any program items had been ruined by being short people or anything, so I don't know that any were.

Bill (murphyw) was absolutely wonderful and gave me much-needed massage when I got home, let me nap for a couple hours, and cooked dinner! We watched Catwoman, which really wasn't bad - I mean, it was fun. All the parts except when she's being a whining downtrodden victimized person. Those were annoying. But the catwoman parts were fun, especially visually.

Speaking of massage, Penguicon continues to rock by having a massage therapist on staff on the Green Room. Cory was particularly pleased about that, commenting on how much better his life would be if he could have someone else read his email and he could get a massage every day. Jenna also rubbed my neck on Sunday, which it really really needed, so like I say, it rocked.

Oh, and M Keaton gave me a jigsaw puzzle from his wife. That was very sweet of him, and of her. People are so... nice! And Cory brought me a nifty square thing colored in Gateway-style cow spots with a tail that turned out to be a tape measure! Gifts galore!

Cory and Alice had a really good time (they even said so! repeatedly!) so I felt good about my part in helping with that, and I also had a lot of fun. Extra kudos to matt_arnold and Bill Putt (and all the rest of the gang) for putting on a good con despite the politics and the problems.

And today there's sun, so the snow is melting. If you're not here and are curious what it looked like, go look at renniekins, she has pictures. I actually think snow on flowers and flowering and green trees is kind of pretty, but it was horrible stinging cold wet stuff while it was coming down Sunday morning. I'm glad it's warming up again.

One thing that didn't go as well as hoped was the charity auction, so you should all go donate to the Electronic Frontier Foundation so they can keep working to protect your digital liberty.

I didn't take very many pictures, so please let me know if you have some or see some posted. Thanks!

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