Weekend Update

I spent my weekend in Michigan, watching this:

That’s my friend Yanni feeding creme brulee to Krissy while both of them are wearing very sexy cocktail dresses. I could watch that all evening long, and did. So there.

We were in Michigan to visit friends, but as it happens most of the friends in Michigan whom we wished to visit were also at the ConFusion science fiction convention, so that’s where we were as well. As noted earlier, I’m mostly taking the year off from actively participating at science fiction conventions, so my “programming” at ConFusion this year largely consisted of parking my ass in the bar and talking my head off with whomever came to sit down. Occasionally I would leave the bar to eat or sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. Yes, there is an irony to my living in the bar for a weekend, considering I don’t drink at all. But hey, it’s a convention. Sooner or later, everyone walks through the bar.

Anyway, it was a perfectly lovely weekend and a fine excuse to get away from the Teh Internets for a couple of days. Hope your weekend was equally relaxing and friend-filled. Even if they were not wearing sexy cocktail dresses and feeding desserts to your spouse.

30 Comments on “Weekend Update”

  1. I’ve spent so much time working in restaurants, figuring out how each management team wants it’s creme brulee burned, that I can’t eat it anymore. It nauseates me. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy getting to wield a blowtorch at work.

  2. Jake:

    “Is there an interesting story you feel like sharing behind that?”

    Nope. I don’t drink because I never got started, and if I started now, I’d just get fatter. Also, Krissy married me with the understanding I would be her lifetime designated driver.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    That picture makes me feel funny. In kind of a good way.

  4. Aw man, I missed an opportunity to see you wife again.

    And to all those who think that not drinking in the bar is difficult, that hotel bar is not the easiest to get service in. So it’s not all that hard to not drink there, even for those of us who do imbibe.

  5. “And to all those who think that not drinking in the bar is difficult, that hotel bar is not the easiest to get service in. ”

    What I saw — the two people trying to work the bar were doing their flat-out-best, but there needed to be four or five. It was annoying, but the fault was the management for improper staffing.

    To be evenhanded, though — while the economy sucks overall, the economy has take hotels out back, beaten them up, stole their car, set fire to their house, and sold their mother into slavery. Hotels in Detroit? All of that, squared.

    Hotels are currently universally short staffed, because there are two kinds of hotels right now, moderately understaffed and closed.* If publishing is in dire straits right now (and it is) the hotel industry has run dire aground and is sinking into the dire mire.

    However, I remember the last hotel that convention was in. (shudders) I’m hoping some of the issues can be sorted, but this is a pretty good hotel for the con.

    And, JS, you did not spend all of your time in the bar. You spent at least 30% of it in the lobby — some 15, maybe 20 *feet* from the bar.

    It’s a pretty comfy lobby, though….

    * The last hotels that Windycon and Capricon (both in Chicagoland) were in closed this month. We’re going to remember that in hotel negotiations. “You know what happened to the last hotel who didn’t give us a good deal? (makes teepee with hands, stares over rim of glasses.)

  6. Erik V. Olson, I should say that the service in the bar last year was a distinct improvement over the previous years I’ve been there. I wasn’t able to attend this year, so I don’t know the actual conditions there this time around.

    My impression of their service comes from three years ago when I stood at the actual bar service area, with two people working the bar and light attendance in the bar area, and still had to shout to get their attention (the $10 bill in my hand didn’t seem to be working). The only reason I went up to the bar was because after waiting an hour at one of the tables talking with people I hadn’t seen anyone servicing them. If they had been servicing customers, I would have waited and been patient.

    The hotel, overall, has excellent service, though. The front desk and room maintenance are very customer oriented.

  7. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    I’d like to state to those assembled (and especially my fiancee, should she be reading) that the enthusiastic expression of appreciation by David H. for the subjects of the above photograph do not necessarily reflect the opinions of myself.

    I have enough reasons to be in the dog house, thank you very much. (grin)

  8. Okay, several hours after first reading this post I still cannot wrap my head around the notion of sharing creme brulee. I mean, the evidence is right there in front of my eyes, but it refuses to make sense. You’re telling me someone had a dish of creme brulee, and was presumably enjoying it — I see her smiling — and then, what?, voluntarily gave some to someone else?

    Gah. My whole grasp of The Way Things Are is rattled. Where does this end? Next thing you know people will be sharing flan. ::shudder::

  9. Jeff Hentosz:

    Actually, it was my dish of creme brulee, and I shared it with both of them. Because, well, you know. Look what I got out of it.

  10. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    I’m beginning to suspect our host is a corporate fabrication, the face of a brand like Betty Crocker, a composite entity with all the things we envy: a successful writing career, a gorgeous spouse and friends, godlike photographic skills, a house in the country, and cats. He’s kind of like Martha Stewart without that inconvenient “gone to prison” thing.

    Now if John starts selling something that for $19.99 promises that we, too, can live the marvelous life of a writer, say a book on how to write successfully, then we’ll know he’s, um…

    The prosecution rests, your honor.

  11. Nice picture, though I have a feeling that I don’t quite appreciate it fully, as Catherine said at 11.

    Glad you had a good time…but John, if you title a post “Weekend Update,” shouldn’t it close with “good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow”? Or have you forgotten that basic element of style? :-)

  12. I feel compelled to brag on John’s wife and Yanni a bit more: Krissy, stunning in black, Yanni, luscious in red. Seriously, a double dose of feminine beauty that had every man and woman in the place looking with wide eyes. John and B., you’re two lucky dawgs!

  13. That’s HAWT, I don’t care who you are.

    Also, the gloves totally MAKE IT.

    (And great photo, too: technically, I mean.)

  14. The men (including me) noticed the beautiful woman. The woman I was with noticed the gloves. Or at least that’s all she mentioned.

    I still wish I’d managed to come up with something semi-clever like “If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me in a court of law?”

  15. Yes, the effect this photo has on me is, “Creme brulee! Yum!” and “Nice gloves, where’d you get them?”

  16. The trio of beautiful women in cocktail dresses stunned me into an inability to remember who they were; I think I even forgot Yanni’s name while she was introducing the others to me.

    Since I’d never met her before, the mental image I have for Krissy is her in the cocktail dress.

    Go Geeks with Hot Wives!

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