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In the 70s my father often traveled to Albany, NY on business. One day he overheard my sister playing the soundtrack for the musical TUSCALOOSA'S CALLING ME BUT I'M NOT GOING! and immediately fell in love with the chorus of one of the songs, which he used to sing every time someone mentioned Albany.

And then there's Albany,
Exciting Albany.
What a great place to have yourself a ball!
After nine o'clock,
You're in culture shock,
How long can you stare at the goddamn wall?

I'm in Albany this weekend, but luckily for me, I'm at Albacon, so there's no lack of like minded folks and plenty of entertainment. But in my father's honor I had to sing the song anyway.
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Back from Albacon. It was smaller than in past years, in fact the only time the con felt crowded was at the ice cream social. But the good part about a small con is that I ran into everyone I wanted to catch up with, and was able to spend time with old friends and new.

Went out to lunch with the backup parental units, aka Jennifer_Dunne's parents, who live nearby, and wanted to see their adopted daughter. Since Jennifer moved to Colorado I've gradually been replacing her as daughter number one, and in fact Jennifer has decided to come in for Thanksgiving just to forestall her mom's decision to redecorate Jennifer's old bedroom in my favorite colors.

Watched the Amazing Race tonight, where the best part of the episode was the preview for the movie THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. The title alone would be enough to inspire, but knowing that the movie stars George Clooney means my cup runneth over.

And on that note, it's time to sign off and think about getting ready for another work week.
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Take one sci-fi con. Assemble group of writers at table in bar, apply alcohol. Stir, wait. As the mixture begins to froth and bubble, story ideas will be generated, witty bon mots exchanged, and entire worlds will be built.

Pars will be snipped. And the most inappropiate saying of the entire evening, the one that brought howls of laughter, turned out to be "Insert Sam here."

Here's hoping day 2 of Albacon will be equally fun.


Oct. 5th, 2009 05:06 pm
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Albacon has posted their preliminary schedule, so here's where I'll be this coming weekend:

Friday, 5PM, That Little Shop in Schenectady: where writers get their ideas

Saturday, 10AM, Science Fiction Films We Love

Saturday, 2PM, Nontraditional fantasy settings

Sunday, 10AM, Do you Outline or not?

Oddly enough, Joshua Palmatier and I aren't on any panels together, perhaps a punishment for past sins (but the brains were so tasty! honest!)

Anyway, if you're there, be sure to stop by and say "Hi!"
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On Friday, Jennifer Dunne, Joshua Palmatier and I drove up to Albany together. After dropping Josh off at the con hotel, we proceeded to Jennifer's parents house where they'd made dinner for us. Since Jennifer is about to move to Colorado she'd requested her favorites, but her mom decided to make my favorites instead. Oops. Guess Jennifer's already been replaced as favorite (adopted) daughter.

Jennifer and I arrived back at the con in time to hear Josh's reading, which was well attended, and then proceeded to the ice cream social where Ben & Jerry's ensured a sugar-high.

Next up Josh and I were on the "All You Zombies" panel which was ably moderated by Michael McAfee. At one point in the panel I declared my urgent need for BWAAAINNSSS! and then attempted to snack on Josh's head. Later Josh returned the favor. Members of the audience had cameras, and may be posting incriminating photos at some point.

Saturday's panel on Favorite Bad Sci-Fi Films was also lots of fun, and I came away with a list of to-be-watched suggestions from my fellow panelists and the audience.

On Sunday morning Josh was a hero of the revolution and covered my 10AM panel for me, since I'd realized that there was no way I'd be able to get there in time. The noon panel on Believable Evil reunited me with Josh, and in an attempt to illustrate lurking evil I lunged and stabbed him with a (collapsible) dagger, much to the amazement of the audience. Josh had his own dagger and fought back, while the rest of the panelists edged away.

Both Jennifer and I were exhausted--Jennifer from getting ready to relocate to Colorado and me from working for 12 straight days, so we wound up crashing early both nights, rather than getting to hang out in the bar. But I did get to catch up with numerous friends and had a great meal at the Albany Pump Station (mmm, beer!)

As always, in the dealer's room I bought far more books than I'll ever have time to read. One interesting find was John Grant's Discarded Science: Ideas that seemed good at the time which looks like a fun read and potential launching point for alternate histories. Other scores included an autographed copy of DUAINFEY by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and an ARC of Walter Hunt's soon to be released A SONG IN STONE, which looks intriguing.

Jennifer and Joshua had afternoon panels on Sunday, and then, alas, it was time to head back to home and the day job.

It was a great weekend. Folks were disappointed that the GoH Anne McCaffrey was unable to be there, but co-GoH Todd McCaffrey ably filled in, and for me, anyway, Anne's presence would have been a bonus, but the main reason I was there was to connect with my friends. After the chaos of a Worldcon it was a nice change to be somewhere where everyone's in one place, and there's plenty of time to chat with old friends and make new ones.
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Here's my schedule for Albacon next weekend. If you're trying to catch me, looks like the best time will be after a panel, or in the bar on Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday, 8PM: Ice Cream Social

Friday, 9PM: All You Zombies
Bray, McAfee, Palmatier (aka brain-friend), Schwabach

Saturday, 5PM: My Favorite Bad Sci-Fi Films
Crowley, Huston, Stephenson, Zebrowski, Lay, Bray

Sunday, 10AM: Mining Your Obsessions for Fun and Profit
Bray, Fludd, Macdonald.

Sunday, Noon: Believable Evil
Doyle, Palmatier, Hunt, Sklar, Spoor, Bray

Two of my panels have six participants, which is usually too many unless there is a strong moderator and/or set format. But overall I'm happy with my program schedule and looking forward to a great time at Albacon.

August 2017



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