Sunday, November 1, 2009

On the road again: World Fantasy Con, San Jose, day 6

Last night's dinner was a trip into strangeness. A group of us went to Picasso Tapas for, well, tapas. The food was generally tasty, but the wait staff had a great deal of trouble understanding our orders, even when one of our party repeated the items in fluent Spanish. The weirdness started when a man in chef's dress with a huge, fake gray moustache and a rubber chicken on his costume began rocking out on a keyboard. The songs slid ever closer to lounge music until he broke out with a rousing rendition of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head." That was the moment we knew we had to escape. Fortunately, we were able to slither between the chairs and flee the place only five minutes later.

Later that night, I moderated a Liars' Panel for the second time (the first was at Balticon). We entertained a modest-sized audience, raised $375 for Variety Children's Charity, and laughed quite a lot in the process.

Afterward, over dessert in the bar, new friend Griffin and I laughed ourselves to the point of chest pain over a particularly odd motorized conveyance idea (no, I won't tell you, because I still hope to make it real) and some of his cop stories.

This afternoon's World Fantasy Con banquet was an interesting blend of the unusual and the mundane. On the one hand, the room is full of SF and fantasy writers, editors, artists, agents, and fans, so a certain amount of weirdness is what one would expect. On the other hand, put any group in a large hotel ballroom, seat them at eight-tops, put a podium and a microphone at the front, and serve them rubber chicken (or beef or vegetarian, your choice), and it becomes exactly like any other group in the same situation. Still, it was a pleasant time, and the awards, which like all authors I crave but expect never to win, went to deserving recipients.

Tomorrow, I will report from farther north, the land of chef Thomas Keller, whose food I will eat in at least two restaurants.

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