With my stuff tucked in the back of bunny_hugger's car, and the car driven by skylerbunny, we had a basic agenda of getting to the overflow hotel where my stuff could be dropped off, getting to the con hotel where I could get my registration and badge and whatnot, and getting something to eat. Optional but desired would be catching the Opening Ceremonies, set for noon and not quite so distant in time as might be desireable. Also it might be nice to get some kind of medication for skylerbunny, who was feeling the traces of what would seem to be some sort of plague which bunny_hugger would aptly dub the California Plague, and which would become a motif of the week.
The first goal required some creative lying since bunny_hugger got a wonderful and menacing early Christmas present, a satellite navigation system. The problem is her navigator picked up a fondness for having her drive through the heart of Chicago. There are times that one must drive through Chicago, but this was not one of them, and getting directions to our hotel which did not go through the traffic jam we assumed was present required telling it we wanted to go somewhere else entirely until we had fooled it to thinking we could go directly to the heart of Chicago only by going straight to the hotel first. You know technology like this.
Meanwhile I looked through bunny_hugger's con mini-program, providing titles and schedules for various events in order to see what attracted me. I haven't been to a con of any kind since, I think, 2003 when rcoony and I snuck into the last day of Genericon; and hadn't been to any genre convention this millennium. So I didn't have any particular objectives and was glad to just take what events happened as they happened. I certainly wanted to attend the bunnies panel, as bunny_hugger was its host, but otherwise I didn't have any must-see things. Various puppet presentations looked interesting --- I think I may be a pre-outbreak puppeteer --- which she planned to see anyway, and she also hoped to go to the Atheist Tea on Sunday morning. That all sounded fine by me. I didn't want to sound like I had no preferences, but the basics of it were, what she and skylerbunny hoped to see sounded good to me.
At the hotel and with a room key of my own I unpacked just enough for the purposes of hotel-staying. I tend to leave stuff in my bags as much as possible while at a hotel, and for that matter for a couple days after arriving back home; skylerbunny seems to be the same way. bunny_hugger makes full use of the closets and dressers and such and again that's fine by me.
We decided eating would probably be a good thing to do. I'd had two doughnuts yes, and a Zagnut bar and some cookies on the planes, and there were some bags of Sun Chip-type snacks which came with the hotel room, but we didn't know when we might eat next. While it would cost the chance to see the convention's Opening Ceremonies, sometimes you just have to eat instead. There was on the long road between our Overflow Hotel and the Con Hotel a sushi place, and bunny_hugger is a big sushi fan, and I'm warm to it and that's where we ended up. It was a nice place, not terribly busy although it wasn't quite lunch hour yet even if it was Friday.
My recollection is that I had some noodle-based thing as my main meal, rather than sushi rolls, but I did get something on the side: a set of Popeye rolls. This proved to be a spinach-based sushi roll, which was rather nicely tasty. I'm not sure what's been making Popeye appear more in the pop culture this year (he'd even get to be a Google Doodle for the anniversary of E C Segar's birth) but this is one more of those little outcroppings of Popness. I didn't used to be much of a spinach fan, but that might be because until about 1988 nobody knew that it was possible to serve spinach as something other than a soggy, flavorless, overboiled mush, and we're now past the discovery of non-mush fruits and vegetables for United States diets.
We lingered a bit while finishing eating, and listening to the restaurant's background music which was apparently tuned to the popular Songs That Kind Of Sound Like The Tron Closing Credits channel, and revealing to the waiter that there was a convention in town and maybe somebody would find the sushi place. We were certainly happy with it. We started early talking about friends we intended to meet but who were not with us right then --- augustfourth, bluerain, kevinjdog, and orv specifically. And then came one of those odd little accidents, as bunny_hugger poured herself some more tea and remembered a bit late that the pot on the table was not so much tea as soy sauce.
She was fine if amused by this, but skylerbunny promptly called over the waiter to get replacement tea. Replacement soy was at this point unnecessary. Remember earlier comments about him being very good to have when catastrophe was breaking out, and I suspect in the absence of real catastrophe things like pouring soy into the tea cup would do. The waiter was quite understanding, promising us that this sort of accident happens all the time. ``Well, it had never happened before, but it happens all the time.'' He explained when he came back that he had once accidentally poured miso soup rather than salad dressing into a salad, and that sort of thing is the kind of accident that happens all the time. In any case while this was a wondrous and strange thing to have happen I don't think that I'm responsible for it in any way. These things just happen around me.
With skylerbunny becoming more convinced of his incoming cold, or California Plague, we went to the 7-Eleven next door to pick up cold medicines. I also picked up a bottle of hand lotion since for whatever reason I didn't bring any with me and my hands get chapped easily. Maybe I didn't want to see if Airport Security would swipe the travel-sized bottles that aren't three ounces anyway; they're erratic on that score. skylerbunny also picked up a bottle of the same hand lotion, which lead to a brief conversation about how he already bought that same bottle, and the problem introduction to philosophy students can have with unique objects versus identical examples of the same object.
With minor shopping done, though, we were ready to head for the Con Hotel.
Trivia: In the first half of the 14th century between 725 and 1,360 ships per year set out for England carrying Gascon wine. Between 8 October 1349 and 27 August 1350 only 141 ships sailed. Source: In The Wake Of The Plague: The Black Death And The World It Made, Norman F Cantor.
Currently Reading: But Didn't We Have Fun? An Informal History Of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843 - 1870, Peter Morris. Oh, this is a lot of fun.