Tuesday, September 26, 2006

and the panic sets in

otherwise known as: what was I thinking????

what is this thing called bouchercon?
and why in the hell am i going????
why did it seem so appealing several months ago?

i haven't been to a conference in over 10 years. conferences involve a lot of things i normally avoid:
1) crowds
2) hotels, especially expensive hotels that make me glaringly aware of my frayed jeans and department-store hair. yes, mine is a slacker attitude by choice, but i still succumb to loser status in these high-brow joints.
3) weird food swimming in oil and garlic
4) crowds
5) strangers
6) crowds
7) panels, especially if i'm on one
8) alien places
9) dressing up. ain't gonna happen. not even for the publishing-house dinner. (see number 2)
10) doorways that lead to the unknown

i'd thought i'd take my laptop and post snatches of overheard conversation, but it's a bad idea to leave a laptop in the hotel room, and i don't want to lug it everywhere with me. i might need to run away really fast, and that would be hard if i'm carrying a laptop.


Susan Flemming said...

I have that crowd thing too. I can usually handle people in small groups, but not in crowds. The way I get through it is take short breaks for fresh air, a quick meditation and grounding before going back into the fray.

From the sounds of it by reading other blogs, there are going to be lots of neat people there, so many that will help.

anne frasier said...

susan, i think i'd feel better if i were actually staying at the conference hotel -- because i could go back to my room for those short calming rechanges. they are helpful!! but maybe NOT being at the conference hotel will have it's pluses too. and sometimes once i arrive at a place i'm dreading, i actually am no longer nervous at all. it's like it get it over with before i get there.
very strange.

anne frasier said...

wow. blogger is really messed up today. this post keeps vanishing, the reappearing. i've never seen that happen before.

Jer said...

I take my laptop and leave it in my hotel room all the time. Never a problem.

Also, I carry it in a backpack. Great for quick getaways, and you don't need a purse if you have a backpack.

You're welcome.

Bill Cameron said...

I am a mix of excited and nervous. This will be my first conference like this ever. Usually I start out really shy and quiet, then get comfortable and the logorrhea strikes. I expect to be variously overwhelmed and delighted. I'm debating on the laptop myself. It's hard to be without it, but I want to keep it, you know? It's got my stuff on it!

Can't wait to meet you, whatever madness may surround us!

Bill Cameron said...

I am a mix of excited and nervous. This will be my first conference like this ever. Usually I start out really shy and quiet, then get comfortable and the logorrhea strikes. I expect to be variously overwhelmed and delighted. I'm debating on the laptop myself. It's hard to be without it, but I want to keep it, you know? It's got my stuff on it!

Can't wait to meet you, whatever madness may surround us!

Bill Cameron said...

Blogger strikes twice!

Word verification: qozag

Kelly Parra said...

You are totally giving off panic vibes. I'm freaking out for you now. *laughs*

anne frasier said...

jer, you always leave it in the hotel? hmmm. so tempting. i did a google on the subject, and came up with NEVER LEAVE YOUR LAPTOP IN YOUR ROOM!!! so it scared me. and i'm a backpack person too. what's a purse??? :D

anne frasier said...

bill, i'm a mixture too. panic is winning at the moment! yeah, i only have my laptop -- it's my one and only computer, and the book that's due in two months is on it. that's probably my biggest concern. yes, i have backed it up on a CD and external drive, so i don'ty know why i'm that worried. maybe i'll do a complete external drive backup and take it.

and yes, i'm really looking foward to meeting you!!

anne frasier said...

kelly: *snort*!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I recommend taking slow, deep breaths, reminding yourself that you are there by choice and that no one can force you to be anywhere you don't want to be, that you're there to have fun and that people are genuinely interested in spending time with you for who you are.

Failing that drink heavily. It makes everyone else much more interesting.

Stephen Blackmoore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Voss Peterson said...

Madison is really laid back. It's the home of the University of Wisconsin AND state government, so you'll see everything from suits to rags at any given place. Any kind of dress is appropriate. Really. So cross that worry off your list.

I hope to see you there!

Jaye Wells said...

Would a laptop fit in the room's safe?

Also, in the (totally rewritten) words of Dr. Seuss.

I do not like green newbies and (panel) hams, I do not like them Sam I am.

Would you like them when you're drunk?

I would not, could not when I'm drunk.

Try them, try them you will see, Boucheron's the place to be.

Sandra Ruttan said...

My cousin co-wrote a country song called What Was I Thinking. It was a big hit for Dierks Bentley.

And it will be what I'm humming at B'con...

Christa M. Miller said...

Argh. I wish I were going... I'd totally hang out with you. For three reasons:

1) Crowds.
2) "i still sucumb to loser status in these high-brow joints." Me too. In fact I succumb to loser status just about everywhere I go. ;)
3) I have a PDA. We could surreptitiously record conversations, then download them to your laptop.

Have a GREAT time! :D

anne frasier said...

stephen, good advice all the way around!

ann, thanks so much for stopping by and for the pep talk and info! if you see me slinking around, say hi!

jaye: LOL! i LOVE that!!! i have a feeling it will be popping into my head a few times this weekend. hehe!

i wondered if the laptop would fit in the safe. that's a possibility.

sandra, nice to know we'll be humming similar songs. have a good flight!

anne frasier said...

christa, i wish you were going too! i feel sure we'll run into each other somewhere! and i like the idea of recording the conversations. but i will definitely be taking notes. if i don't take my laptop, i'll post the overheards when i get home. funny is funny.
thanks for the well-wishes!

Jeff said...

I'm probably the strange one of the bunch, but I've never had a problem meeting and being around new people.
As far as "high-brow" hotels, dress the way you want to, and if people don't like it, that's their problem. Loser status is nothing more than a mind game. Trust me, I've met a lot of well dressed losers. Besides, what's wrong with frayed jeans and department store hair? :)

I always take my laptop with me when I travel and I have never had a problem with leaving it in a hotel room. I put it in one of the dresser drawers when I leave and I make sure the room door is locked.

I'm not going to be able to make it to the conference this year,Anne, but I hope you and the rest of the people going have a good time and you get to sign a lot of copies of Pale Immortal.

And don't worry about the panel, you'll do fine. :)

Bill Cameron said...

There is a fairly high likelihood I will be humming the Magical Trevor song, since I have been humming it for the last 58 weeks.

anne frasier said...

jeff, i think the saying he's never met a stranger might apply to you! for me it's not so much individual people or new people -- it's the mass of people! i suppose it's kind of a social anxiety. what if i go blank and forget somebody's name? which WILL happen. the kind of worry crowds bring. or what if i get really hyper, which can also happen. both could be sad things to see.

bill, i had to google magical trevor. they have ringtones!

Daniel Hatadi said...

In the immortal words of that guy in all the Adam Sandler movies, "YOU CAN DO IT!"

Daniel Hatadi said...

With the laptop I assume you of course have extensive backups of monthly data all the way back to when the laptop was invented.

Don't some hotels have safes in the room? Otherwise, you could get a chain/padlock to use the Kensington lock on the laptop.

anne frasier said...

daniel, i love those movies! billy madison and happy gilmore are still my favorites.

yes, some hotels do have safes. and i think i could also leave the laptop in the desk safe downstairs. but i'm thinking maybe i need some time away from my laptop.... but can i do it???

Anonymous said...

This calls for lots and lots of Tequila.

Then lots and lots of breath mints.

bekbek said...

You've all just convinced me that someday the teen must return my trusty but OLD notebook computer. I'll put Linux on it, and email and stuff, and then I'll get a 4 GB thumb drive. Just before leaving on a trip, I'll put a bunch of my recent stuff on my thumb drive.

The crappy old notebook can be like the crappy (heavy) bike I used to have for similar occasions. When you know you're going to be out all night, you do NOT leave the lightweight Brody mountain bike locked up to a telephone pole, that's for sure. The notebook can stay in the hotel room, and the thumb drive can stay in my pocket.

I like hotels.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

I've taken my laptop to many, many hotels and left it in the room, never had a problem. I suppose there's always a first time, but if it disappears, it disappears. I'm willing to take the chance. Especially since I've never had a lick of trouble.

Okay, now, nobody hunt me down and steal my laptop just to prove a point...

Bill Cameron said...

Rob, I think you have to worry about the lavender oil more.

Off to the airport! See you tomorrow!

Jer said...

anne, if you're concerned about your laptop, then always take it with you. With a backpack, it's not a problem.

Personally I leave the computer in the hotel room, and fill my backpack with booze.

That's why I'm so friendly.

mai wen said...

Good luck! Conferences definitely sound intimidating. Good luck and give any snobs at the fancy hotel the middle finger for me :).


anne frasier said...

jason, thanks for the advice. i've filled my suitcase with booze and am almost ready!!!

bekbek, you mean your old laptop still works? woot! my old computers die and never come back to life.

i haven't stayed in a fancy hotel in YEARS! i think last time i was still a country gal, so this will be interesting. maybe not so shocking. i'll be shrieking, where's my f'n bidet???

anne frasier said...

rob: LOL! of course i googled hotels and laptops and came up with lots of stolen stories -- which is going to happen when you google something. you aren't going to get things like, my laptop wasn't stolen. :D

bill, have an uneventful flight!

anne frasier said...

jer: lol! and do you have a really long, curly straw???? the adult version of a sippy cup. :D

mai wen: i'll give you a finger report when i get back. hopefully i won't have to use it at all, but you never know... i'm guessing i'll need it...let's say 3 times.

Bill Cameron said...

When we get home again, maybe we should do a "my laptop wasn't stolen" blog party. We'll Google Storm "laptops", "hotels" and "+not +stolen"!

(I'm in the airport, waiting to board. Free PDX WiFi!)

anne frasier said...

bill, ah-hah! so you're bringing yours!
here in minneapolis/st paul we don't have free wifi!!! you have to pay!!! sheesh!

yes, i think the my laptop wasn't stolen blog party is a good idea. :D

anne frasier said...

i've decided to see if i can actually live without my computer.

Bill Cameron said...

This is just in the airport. There's talk of free downtown WiFi, but it hasn't happened yet.

With this set up, I have to click a checkbox agreeing to a lot of stuff before it works. As far as I can tell, I have agreed not to surf porn or commit acts of digital mayhem. Party poopers.

But now my flight has been called, so I am off!

Tami said...

have a great flight Bill. Have fun to everyone who is going to the convention!!! Can't wait to hear the reports when you all arrive back safely.

anne frasier said...

tami, the whole thing seems to be one big secret. i've never gone to bouchercon because i've never been able to find any information about it. not even from the people who've been!! but i'll try to smuggle out info and report back.

Helen Brenna said...

Anne, I think you're bumming out for nothing. Bring your laptop, don't bring your laptop, wear jeans, wear boxers, it won't matter. You emanate, even if you're not aware of it, coolness.

Everyone's going to want to be you!

anne frasier said...

helen, LOL! and add a big chortle to that.
thank you, sweetie!
i've been sewing buttons on a coat i got off the reject rack at sears -- for 12 bucks. whoops. wow. i spelled bucks with an F instead of a B!!! hahaha! 12 bucks. it's either an incredibly cool coat, or incredibly lame. but i feel it's pretty cool and might be just what i need for the weekend. and nothing that cost money is cool. that's kind of how i think about these things. you have to find it tucked away, and it has to be almost free.

Patry Francis said...

Love to read about someone who has the same attitude as me to crowds, strangers, and fancy clothes. Maybe it's a writer thing. P.S. Love the phrase department store hair. I've got that, too.