austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

In this dirty old part of the city

When I got us lost in Ohio I imagined that it wouldn't be any great trouble to get back on course. It was entirely my fault. We were driving to AnthrOhio, at its traditional Holiday Inn in Worthington, just outside Columbus. Conceptually it is incredibly easy to get there. From bunny_hugger's parents' house take I-94 east to US 23 South. Follow US 23 south into Ohio, there to divert to I-75 south in order to save some time. Then when 23 South crosses I-75 again, get back on that. The Holiday Inn is a right off of 23, in Worthington. This is not a complicated drive and after making it something like five times I felt sure about my directions. I didn't even turn on the satellite navigator since, heck, what's to navigate?

The answer is that the turnoff from I-75 to US 23 South is pretty abrupt, actually, with less warnings and fewer turn lanes than I was expecting. And at a turnoff just a tiny bit more complicated than I imagined would be. I blasted right past it while wondering, should I be in that lane instead? And by the time I knew I should have been it was too late to do anything about it.

Off to the glove compartment to grab the thing. I imagined the embarrassing result would be to turn at the next exit and retrace our steps. There wasn't any next exit for a good while, maybe something like 17 miles. The satellite navigator's advice was keep going on I-75 and then cut onto a series of ever-smaller state and county roads instead. We were amazed such a small misstep could change our path so dramatically. But also amazing: it didn't really set us behind schedule. We had to go through a lot of small Ohio towns with speed limits dropping to 25. But that's all right. We saw a lot of small Ohio towns looking in far better shape than the whole universe of Funky Winkerbean, many of them with sidewalk theaters showing Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Also many of them with drive-through beer stores. And lots of parks that looked like natural habitations for letterboxes, if we had our letterboxing gear (we didn't) or any clues (none) or the time to stop (debatable).

So, for once, we approached Worthington and the Holiday Inn from the wrong direction. We wouldn't see the Creepiest House in Worthington on the way in, nor would we see the Other Creepiest House in Worthington. We'd come in ultimately from the west, on an Interstate we know only because of the traffic jam it produces just before the Holiday Inn. It was a weird, unsettling approach to a convention that had always been our favorite, and that had weird, ominous portents going in.

We checked in, with the concierge over-explaining how to get to our room --- number 299, at the far end of the main hall, past one of the fire doors and across the hallway from the elevator --- and after getting our badges went to the burrito place that's become our traditional conveniently easy place to find a meal. We get there once, maybe twice a year, when we're in Columbus for Morphicon/AnthrOhio. Somehow our loyalty card had enough reward points on it we got one or two dollars off.

And we came back to the hotel, put on our ears and tail, and went to see the karaoke night, the one real event scheduled for Thursday night. Karaoke's come and gone at the convention and we're so glad to have it. They didn't have a proper karaoke machine, just a laptop with a video projector running stuff off of YouTube, frustrating my literal-minded desire to have a catalogue of acceptable songs in the hopes of finding one that's within my singing range. I have no singing range. bunny_hugger does, and she represents the family. It's a good bunch, though, particularly with a large pair of guys capable of singing harmony and everything. I'm best off just sitting quietly and not being worried about missing the chance to perform.

We were at AnthrOhio.

Trivia: Czechoslovakia's first loans for rebuilding after World War I came from Germany. Source: A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930 - 1941, Paul N Hehn.

Currently Reading: DC Showcase Presents: Superman, Volume 3 Editors Dan DiDio, Mort Weisinger. Allow me to quote: ``Since I, too, as a CHAMELEON MAN from the thirtieth century, can disguise myself as anything human or non-human, I'll turn myself into a scraggly TREE!'' Where can I get this sort of wonderfully natural, unforcedly awkward dialogue in a modern comic book?

PS: Why Shouldn't We Talk About Mathematics In The Deli Line?, a popular social-media mystery solved!

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