Sleepless in Seattle

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It's not like I have insomnia or anything, but I'm pretty sleepy and am just trying to keep my eyes open until my flight boards in an hour or so. I'm sitting in the departure lounge at Sea-Tac, empty Starbucks cafe latte (grande) cup next to me, waiting for the two-hour flight that will carry me to San Francisco for a five-hour flight to JFK. I've been up for about seven hours already, having driven here from Portland this morning in my rental car. Whole lotta travel still ahead, and I'm not forgetting the car trip from JFK home. Tired tired tired.

It's been a good trip, though. I had three-plus days in San Francisco at the 2004 Joint Conference on Mumblety-Mumble Mum. Tech support in our exhibit booth, web site demos, sessions on the ramifications of new legislation for this and that. Yada yada yada. I did get to catch up with some current and former coworkers, which was nice. Even better, I saw my brother (not the one in Iraw) and his wife one night for great pan-Asian food at the E&O Trading Company. I saw my cousin and her husband another night, and I finally met the five kids that weren't yet born last time I visited. And had a great, great Burmese lunch with [info]curmudgeon, who also dragged me (well, "drag" would be a strong word) to her local used bookstore where I bought more books than I could really carry in my luggage.

Late Friday I flew to Seattle, where I crashed with my pal Dr. Gabe, a pediatrician late of the Bronx. We had breakfast at Mae's, which was the one place in Seattle I needed needed to visit. That's other than the Westin downtown for the Nebula Awards banquet, of course.

I arrived at the Westin in the afternoon and ran into friends right off the bat. Then I was found by Joe and Gay Haldeman, and I sat down for a drink with them (Balvenie Double Wood for me) for half an hour or so. Then that little gathering merged with another little one that included Harlan Ellison, and, as Gordon Van Gelder put it, I was Harlaned for the first time. I did my best not to fawn, but it was cool.

Saw more old Seattle and Portland friends at the banquet, not to mention running into a former POSSLQ and pasting on a smile for thirty long seconds or so. Also ran into a former coworker from New York whom I did not know had relocated to Seattle. Very pleasant surprise. Headed up to the post-Neb parties and hobnobbed until 1:00 am, then drove back to to Dr. Gabe's for a few hours' shuteye.

Sunday morning I set out south for Portland, and I spent the rest of that day and all of the next with my son and his mom. I saw his very, very nice school, visited the Children's Museum (OMSI sadly being closed Mondays), played games at an arcade, and scoured Powell's for old Robert Silverberg paperbacks. At Powell's, I was able to add my signature to the science fiction pillar, alongside plenty of other folks I know, names like Mark Bourne, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Kris Rusch. This time I had my books shipped home. It was very sad to say goodbye to my son—he shed some tears—but he'll be out to New York for a while this summer.

I now I wait for my plane, looking forward to seeing Laura again after eleven days, and looking forward to meeting the fabulous Ella for the first time! Selected pics will follow.

Crossposted from Inhuman Swill

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on April 20, 2004 12:06 PM.

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