Thursday night I got very little sleep, because I spent the week catching up at work, then did class (such fun: the students all gave fantastic presentations on Thursday evening! Such creativity - this is why I teach), and stay up much of the night prepping for a new Nebula event: "Author-Agent Speed Dating." Slept for a few hours, got up before sunrise on Friday to ride with Nate to the airport. We hopped the red-eye to land in NYC in time to get ready for our first panel, "About AboutSF," which was well attended, and Nate did a fine job of presenting our mission.
Right after that was the speed-dating. I got a chance to talk with three agents who all want to see my stuff, hooray! Two like SF and my kind of stuff (the written ones, that is). The last one was very interesting: I walked up to her table and heard her tell a friend, "I need a drink." I smiled and responded, "Well, you might get the chance right away, because I read your profile and don't think you'll like what I write." Apparently she took that as a challenge, because she asked if I wrote anything set on Earth. Well, I do have these couple of things I want to write... and she got really excited about The Vivisectionist: "When you finish that, send it to me! I could so sell that book."
Well! And she was the the least-well-suited agent I spoke to. Huh!
Afterward, claireeddy took kijjohnson and me out to an amazing restaurant, Les Halles, a French peasant place where I ate the most amazing food ever. We started with drinks, then I had the most incredible salad - caramelized walnuts dancing in a bed of greens and veggie-things...
- then an indescribable main course ("choucroute garnie") consisting of four types of wine-marinated meat - each of which must have cost sixteen chefs their souls - atop a sea of savory sauerkraut with mustard so good it made my toes curl. I could not see, it was so good, and my tail was wagging for the entire meal.
For dessert (we were stuffed but it was soooo gooood! that we couldn't end the experience yet), we got three of the best desserts I have ever eaten: creme brulee that was apparently fluffed by virgin angels in the sweet vacuum surrounding Heaven and crisped by whisking it quickly past the fires of Hades; chocolate mousse made with cocoa so dark that the beans must have been grown in the light of a black hole, so light that the gravity must have stretched all the molecules to their limits of cohesion... oh my; and tarte tatin, which if I were to describe as "apple pie" would cause me guilt forever.
*whew* give me a moment to recover from the memory.... Thank you, Claire. I didn't know that I liked French cooking. Wow, have I been missing out. Oh, and it's reasonably priced! Go there when you're in NYC.
After we got back, I spent Friday night in the con suite talking with friends, some of whom I haven't seen in many years. This is why we go to cons. So good to see y'all!
Crashed at about 11pm on Friday. Didn't wake up when the other guys got back to the room.
Was the first one up on Saturday morning. Nate, Matthew, Kij, and I then took the subway to the American Museum of Natural History, where we sort of split up and hit what seems to be about 1/2% of the exhibits. Wow, what an amazing place. See my photo page for some examples of the exhibits and the place. (Be sure to hover over the thumbnails to see brief descriptions.) Just wow.
Then we serendipitously gathered at the same time out front at the streetside sausage dealer and hit Central Park, where we climbed rocks, visited the lake, and chatted. Back to the hotel in time to clean up for the Nebula Awards ceremony. I am so pleased and proud to call James Gunn my friend, and I think I had a stupid grin all night as four people inducted him as Science Fiction Grand Master: tmseay (who relayed our Congresspeople's best wishes), kijjohnson, John Kessel, and robinbailey (who was instrumental in getting Jim recognized). The Nebula Awards, Author Emeritus, and Andre Norton Award were also presented. All told, we got out at midnight.
Then off to party in the con suite! More great conversations with friends, meeting new and interesting people, drinking much wine... which was a big factor in my taking off when the party wound down at 4am with new friends to explore New York City and its environs via subway! I spent quite a while at the still-unifinished ruins of the World Trade Center, rode under the water to (Jersey? Brooklyn?), and only returned to the hotel in time for breakfast: authentic New York pizza! A passel of us walked down to Battery Park, where we saw giant ocean-going vessels playing chicken with the Statue of Liberty.
All too soon, it was time to return to the airport. *sigh* _starlady_ kindly gave several of us a ride to the airport. I ate my lunch - a particularly New York confection, a sandwich full of meat and cabbage and sauce - before boarding the plane, sat down in my seat, and passed out. I awoke three times: once when asked if I wanted something to drink, once when the fragrance of fresh Midwest Airlines cookie tickled my nose, and once as we started our descent into Kansas City.
Ah, what a trip! I must go back before too long, and I must spend more time visiting folks.