kiwisue (kiwisue) wrote,

Bistocon 2014

I have been nursing a sore right wrist for the past few days – due, I think, to forgetting how heavy our large cast iron frying pan really is on my first night back. It was exacerbated by chopping firewood, which I normally enjoy – so I've been forced to minimise typing on the computer and the report has stayed largely in my head. No matter, as [personal profile] moonlightmead and others have already done an excellent job, so this is really just an assemblage of dot points, in not quite random order.

• The flight there: prior to the Con I'd been visiting family in northern California, so getting to DTW meant a 4:30 am wake-up call on Thursday morning. I met [personal profile] snowhite44 and [personal profile] krisserci5 in the LAX departure lounge for our Detroit flight. Sno and I wore 'Agents of Shield' T-shirts. I'm told Krisser owns one as well, but she settled on 'Welcome to Nightvale' for travel. Note to self - remember to pack Pros T-shirts next time.

• The hotel was welcoming and seemed well organised. I had a room to myself, which was a nice retreat when I really needed one, although with better organisation I'm pretty sure I could have found a roomie. I located my orders for the next day – they were cleverly hidden in plain view at reception - before walking the short distance to Bob Evans' for dinner. Thanks to Cindy – newly met that evening - who stayed and chatted while the others headed off shopping after their meal.

• Breakfasts (supplied): the continental breakfast options were quite varied, including fruit, but the bananas tended to go early and while there was a toaster there was only “French Toast", waffles or pop tarts. A few other items (muffins, pastries etc) were not great quality, IMO. There was a solution though - I bought some multi-grain bread and nectarines at Meier, and with the hotel's Raisin Bran and yoghurt (and plenty of their strongest coffee blend which was pretty good) I was perfectly happy.

• Comparisons with MK: the main one was that La Quinta didn't have a pubbar attached or even next door - the closest was probably the Sporting News Bar and Grill at the Holiday Inn. It was about a third of a mile away on foot, although getting there required crossing a moderately busy road without pedestrian lights and dodging the mosquitoes that infested some damp spots along the way#. An alternative for next time might be to bring your own preferred poison, as rooms at the La Quinta are furnished with refrigerators. I can recommend Michigan craft beers, although if you're a wine drinker I'd bring a corkscrew – they don't really do Stelvin caps in the US.

• The guest laundry was useful (packets of detergent available on request), as was the exercise facility, although I must point out that I only managed to get out of bed for one pre-breakfast session, unlike mead and [personal profile] msmoat who were far more dedicated - the spirit was willing but the flesh wasn't. Apparently there was also a pool somewhere…

• Cultural oddity (1): I am not sure why the cuisine at Beiruit was described as “Mediterranean” – around here it would be called “Lebanese”, as the menu seemed quite specific to that part of a rather big geographical area. It was yummy+++ food, whatever you normally name it!

• The organisation: [personal profile] fjbryan and [personal profile] przed did an amazing job. I can’t help thinking they were expecting 10-15 people max and then it grew :). They put together a really well-balanced program which had something for everyone, and more. Other People Who Helped, who ran panels, or kept the food table supplied, or just stuffed bags the night before *g* deserve their own kudos; the general mood the whole weekend was collaborative-in-the-search-of-fun awesome. Alas, [personal profile] blktauna couldn’t make it, which made me sad as I’d been looking forward to seeing her again.

• Panels: as others have said, having Lorraine and Suzan on a panel together was a brilliant idea. The 70’s panel was lively, although I think we still need to clear up that issue of levels for junior doctors (any takers?) – and [personal profile] moonlightmead, consider yourself reminded about notes and memory sticks. I’ve got the research bug after that fanon/canon discussion moderated by K and C and will produce a further Cowley post in due course. That’s not all, but some things are running together in my head now. I also need to find more of my notes *g*

• Games: Pros against Humanity was hilarious, as was Pros Pictionary (I had to look up what a mason jar was…*blushes*); I also had a lot of fun playing Krisser’s The Professionals Mystery Game, based on the old Nancy Drew board game. Laughed a lot at various attempts to pin appendages on the boys – the winners were remarkably accurate in their positioning. The trivia contest was well thought out and enjoyable, even if one team totally outclassed the rest of us!

• Episode watching: in general, more please, especially as the new DVDs show to advantage on a big screen (although the old still have their place). I think my home quiet-watching habit is too ingrained; I am probably never going to be entirely comfortable with a chatty commentariat, but I can mostly cope. Maybe if I don’t sit at the back of the room next time, because people were between me and the sound. Or… I don’t know, it seems to me that squee about patches on bums is one thing (entirely understandable); ridiculing a character for being an older woman with an old-fashioned (but period-normal) hairstyle is not that thing.

• Cultural Oddity (2) – biscuits are so like scones! A basic scone recipe is 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon raising agent, a knob of butter - rubbed or cut in, a pinch of salt, milk, lightly mixed and shaped without kneading and cut into pieces for baking. All other flavourings - buttermilk, fruit, spice, sugar, cheese, pumpkin, left over oatmeal etc. - are optional. Biscuits are apparently not sweetened ever, seem to use more rising agent, and the buttermilk is standard, I believe, which makes them lighter overall (I hope I have quoted my sources correctly, do tell me if I’m wrong). But so alike, really! Of course, both are very nice!

[personal profile] sc_fossil did the vid show and it was great, some favourite vids, a couple of classics I’d never seen, and a couple that were new.

• Leaving: was on Monday and was very sad. I’d already farewelled a lot of people on the Sunday evening, now it was my turn. Luckily I had some time to spare, because the driver really didn’t know where the Michigan Flyer stand was, and I had to call the company and then walk back across the land-bridge to International Arrivals. But it was all good in the end.

• Other things: I remember telling someone about the Almighty Johnsons, which is apparently airing on SyFy with only the season one finale to go. And I talked to someone who likes the Avengers movies and shares my Natasha love, so that was cool.

• I got a great present! Sadly I don’t have it to show you right now, as it is (eep! hopefully) en route from East Lansing via USPS and Australia Post. I decided I’d rather risk that than the horribleness of economy class baggage lockers.

In summary then, it was a terrific Con weekend. I’d met several attendees before, at the last Zebra Con or on travels, but many were new *waves*. I hope to see everyone again in a couple of years.

#We were told that the hotel shuttle will ferry guests within the locality if they aren’t busy taking folk to and from the airport. That might be worth thinking about for next time.

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