Sunday, January 17, 2010

On the road again: Boston, day 5 - Arisia, day 3

Why does noon seem so early to me? Yes, that's a rhetorical question.

In any case, it came rather sooner today than I would have liked and found me on a panel on the mechanics of anthology construction. Gardner Dozois, the writer/editor guest of honor of the con, has edited dozens of anthologies. Another panelist, Cecelia Tan, has also created many, many of these volumes. My own experience in this area--all of co-editing two books and working on another now--rather pales by comparison, so I tried to limit my contributions and largely let the experts talk. The small audience of 14, which included multiple friends of the panelists, stayed interested and attentive, and they seemed happy at the end. Good enough by me.

Because I had so much to do today, we ate at the hotel restaurant. I ordered something I was sure would be safe: the appetizer beef nachos.

Alas, I was wrong.

First, what arrived was a platter piled with so many chips that I could have fed a dozen friends. Then, in a move that still puzzles me, all the cheese was melted on the bottom of the plate. The bottom. I imagine the kitchen conversation:

"Hey, how do you make nachos?"

"I dunno. Chips and cheese and meat and stuff."

"What goes where?"

"I dunno."

"How about I melt the cheese on the plate, then put the chips on top?"

"Sounds good to me."
They then added a small jar of sour cream and enough mediocre guacamole to completely fill a small teddy bear. (Don't blame me for that image; I'm reading Dexter By Design, the most recent Dexter book by Jeff Lindsay. Read it, and then the comparison will make sense.)

The result was exactly as tasty as you'd expect, which makes it all the more amazing that I ate a sizable portion of it.

The afternoon brought work, a delightful IM session with Sarah, and a frantic drive to a grocery store and some quickie marts to fetch supplies for the Baen party we later hosted.

Dinner was at Oishii, where last year we ate two of the very best meals of the trip. Each preparation we tasted was good, but not one dish was up to the norm of what they served us before. I'll hope the difference was due to us dining on a Sunday night and not a decline in the general level of the restaurant, but as with the other dinners on this trip, the food was good, even very good, but at no point great.

The late evening brought the Baen party, which I co-hosted. We had sweet snacks and many beverages and books and goodies to give away, and people came and ate and drank and took things. They also talked and visited, until the point well after two when we said the last goodbyes and finally shut down.

And now, to write some more!

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