I’ve spent the past hour exhaustively searching my hotel room, calling lost and found, etc. What I’ve lost is my Greyhound ticket. For the life of me I can’t remember when I had it last, but I must have lost it before I reached the hotel room, so it could be anywhere.
I called Greyhound to ask if they could print a new copy of the ticket if I gave them the reference number, but instead I got a condescending spiel about my responsibility to hold onto the ticket. I guess a ticket can be considered a form of currency, so maybe the lady had a point, but she could’ve been kinder about it.
I guess I have no choice but to spend another 72 bucks to replace the ticket. Unless I can find someone who’s driving to the vicinity of Cincinnati and can bum a ride.
And to think — my biggest concern this morning was that the sole of my sneaker was falling apart. I tried tearing off the loose flap and tore off so much that the shoe was wobbly to walk on. I brought along my dress shoes just in case, but they aren’t comfortable for long use. Thanks to Howard Weinstein for suggesting I ask at one of the model-ship tables for superglue. I was thinking of something along those lines, which was why I was in the dealer area, but I was thinking too narrowly in terms of clothing repair materials.
It’s been a full day of panels, though I was only on one of them, the Pocket Books Preview panel, along with Marco Palmieri, Scott Pearson, Dayton Ward, and Peter David. I got to talk a bit about DTI along with the others talking about their upcoming books and novellas. Then I went over to Panera for lunch, just by myself. I had a Mediterranean veggie half-sandwich and chicken noodle soup, which were pretty good. I got back in time to see most of a panel on the future of Voyager fiction featuring Kirsten Beyer (whose adorable baby I got to meet today) and Marco. Then I sat in on the Vanguard panel with Marco, Dayton, Kevin Dilmore, and David Mack; the Typhon Pact panel with Dave, Dayton, Marco, and Keith DeCandido; and finally a panel on the Merlin TV series and Arthurian lore in general with Marco, Mike Barr, Terri Osborne, and Allyn Gibson. Marco sure is getting around this year considering that he’s no longer the Trek editor.
For dinner, I wanted something simple and light, so I got a turkey sandwich and fruit salad from the hotel cafe. It was expensive, but it was surprisingly good. I forgot to get any mayo or mustard or anything for the sandwich, but the turkey was moist and the tomato was juicy, so I didn’t need anything.
And then I started searching for my ticket and found myself in my current mess. Oh, boy.
Let’s see, I last posted yesterday afternoon, right? Well, by the time I got out of my room to look for dinner, most everyone else had apparently gone off already or was busy with other stuff. I did run into Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore at the Dealers’ Room, and we chatted a bit and got geeky over the goods. I expressed a vain hope that there might be action figures of Lucsly & Dulmur, which might’ve been cool props to have for the Time Travel panel tomorrow morning, but apparently they’re among the only Star Trek characters never to have been immortalized in plastic. Even the folks who used to do custom action figures couldn’t help. Well, I couldn’t have afforded it anyway.
But I ended up going to dinner on my own, since Dayton & Kevin had other plans (they were participants in the roast of Michael Jan Friedman, which I sat out since it’s not my style of humor; I went to the roast of Keith DeCandido last year, and once was enough for me). I was in the mood for pizza, so I tried going to the California Pizza Kitchen, where several colleagues took me to lunch last year, but it was jampacked. So I went looking for somewhere else to eat in the mall, and I discovered another pizza establishment, Carmine’s New York Pizzeria, which seemed to live up to the name, being set up roughly like the various pizza places I’ve visited in Manhattan. They had a good variety of different specialty pizzas. I was planning on getting a single slice of vegetarian pizza, but I was enticed by a chicken florentine pizza in rosé sauce. Which was pretty good, but I underestimated two things: 1) how big the single slice was — I’ve had entire personal-size pizzas that were smaller — and 2) how rich rosé sauce is. Apparently it’s a mix of tomato sauce and cream, or something dairy, and it was rather heavy. So it turned out being a bigger, richer meal than I’d intended. It’s good it was a substantial walk from the hotel, so I got to burn off a few of those calories.
Then I just hung out in my room until it was time to go down to Meet the Pros. I watched half an episode of Flashpoint, so that if my cheap old VCR failed to record the two consecutive episodes last night, at least I wouldn’t have completely missed them both. But I decided I’d better head down early enough to set up the pile of books I was going to have on sale.
Turns out I needn’t have bothered. Trying to sell my Trek books at Shore Leave was like bringing coals to Newcastle. Everyone who would’ve bought them already had them. I brought 22 mass-market paperbacks and 6 trade paperbacks, and at the end of the night I’d sold one copy each of Star Trek: Ex Machina and Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder (which I sold once I assured the buyer that it was set pre-One More Day). At first I figured it was because I’m a lousy salesman, but then it turned out that Keith DeCandido, whose gift for patter impresses me, didn’t sell much more of his stuff. I think it was a slow night overall, less busy than past Meet the Pros events. Perhaps it’s because there was no new Trek book debuting this month. If the Abramsverse books had come out on schedule, then Seek a Newer World would’ve still been new and attracting attention, and Dave Mack’s More Beautiful Than Death might’ve been debuting at the con.
I was also hoping the Borders people would’ve managed to get some back issues of the Analog containing “The Hub of the Matter,” but no such luck. Maybe I should’ve just bought some extra copies myself at author rates and sold them at my table, but if they hadn’t sold, I wouldn’t have made up the overhead, and I can’t afford to take that kind of loss right now.
Still, it went okay as a social event. I got to talk to some fans (though fewer than usual) and touch base with a number of my colleagues, including Mike Barr, Keith, Greg Cox, Bob Greenberger, and mainly Kirsten Beyer, whom I was glad to see again after she had to miss last year’s event due to maternity leave.
On the downside, my shoes are falling apart. I knew I should’ve bought new ones before the con, but again, I’m in penny-pinching mode lately. A big flap of the bottom sole of my right sneaker came loose from all the walking I’ve done and was flopping around all evening. I tried tearing off the loose flap this morning and tore off too much, and now the bottom of the shoe is uneven and I hesitate to walk around in it lest I hurt my ankle or knee. I brought my only other viable pair of shoes, my dress shoes, as an emergency backup, so I guess I’ll try them, though I’m not sure how much walking around I can comfortably do in them. I might decide to buy a new pair of shoes at the mall here, but breaking in a new pair of sneakers would probably be more uncomfortable than using either of the pairs I have with me. And if I buy a pair of shoes in Baltimore and then find out back in Cincinnati that I need to return them for some reason, I’d be out of luck.
As usual, for my Saturday room-service breakfast I had the french toast coated in corn flakes and served with strawberry and banana slices. As well as the usual orange juice, I used the coffee-and-tea kit in the room to brew a cup of English Breakfast tea, and found that two packets of sweetener was more than I needed.
And then I went online and started writing in my blog. And then I wrote a paragraph saying that I went online and started writing in my blog. And then I… aaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!! Recursive loop!