Sunday, March 4, 2012


3-3-12: Brugger swinging with the dead folk

Back from Stellarcon weekend in High Point, and this year, much more than others in relatively recent memory, it was quite a good one. I headed over on Friday evening—doing a little caching along the way, of course—and went right into the first of several panels. It was a fun one about bad movie monsters, a topic so rife with material that the panel could have gone far longer than its one-hour limit. I headed out for a late dinner at Thai Chiang Mai, which was, as usual, quite decent, though very, very slow to doubt due to a wall-to-wall crowd (which seemed to be the norm all over High Point this weekend; to my knowledge, there was no major event happening in town, but I was beginning to fear that High Point might fall through the earth's crust). Then back to the con to participate in the "Horror Through the Ages" panel, which proved to be a lively discussion about things that have scared people since the dawn of man. It might have been subtitled "Arachnophobia." Once done, I made my way through a dense and wonderfully eerie fog to a few more caches and then home.

Saturday, I grabbed Brugger and returned to the con for my reading ("The Jack-o'-Lantern Memoirs"), which had a very attentive audience. Not large, but attentive. Out for a most welcome lunch at Tex & Shirley's, where I allowed the server to talk me into trying their Manhattan pancakes...which proved to be fantastic. Then a few more caches, the most interesting of which we found at a scenic graveyard that had its own little playground to entertain the wee young undead. (Notice in the photo above that Brugger has displaced the unfortunate undead to take her turn on the swings.) A couple of drinks at the very pleasant Uptowne Tavern on Main Street (we didn't even make fun of the pretentious "e"), and then back to the con for the well-attended and energetic panel, "Writing as Therapy." A special shout out to writers Andi Newton, Chad Bowser, and Janine K. Spendlove, whom I had never met before and really enjoyed making their acquaintance.

Another Asian dinner seemed quite appropriate, since High Point has a large number of Asian restaurants, so we chose Taste of Asia, which I had visited once before, a few weeks back. The sushi was excellent, but I can't boast enough about the service; as before, they were very attentive and anxious to see that we left more than satisfied. We did.

The evening's last panel...with apologies to all involved...was the only low point of the weekend for me. The subject: "The Messiest Way to Kill a Zombie." And that's what it was...for an hour. The panelists and audience were certainly spirited, but I can't really see devoting a few minutes to the topic, much less an entire hour-long panel. To each his own, of course. I compensated with bourbon.

My final con activity was a booksigning this morning, which went quite well; I sold and signed enough books to more than make the entire weekend worthwhile—even the zombie panel. Brugger and I hit Ham's for traditional bison burger...and then off we went, her to an open house and me on a couple of long hikes after some caches in Jamestown. My favorite of the bunch had me out on a tree half-submerged in the lake. Much to my relief, I managed to sign the log and return to the lake bank without falling in.

Brugger and I ended the evening by watching Angel Heart, which I hadn't seen in its entirety since its initial theatrical release in '87. It held up very well; I do quite like it, despite its almost excruciatingly slow pace. Trevor Jones's magnificent musical score really helps make that movie.

I sleep now.

I look like this . . . because this is where my feets are.

No comments: