While getting stuck into work, I got an automated call from United Airlines that my flight was delayed from 7:35pm to 9:21pm, which meant that I was going to miss my connecting flight to Austin. For the first time I tried using the Travelocity VIP customer service number and the guy I got on the phone played intermediary with me (though the first tier of service was all stuff I'd done already). End result: I could either rebook from Boston tomorrow morning and arrive in Austin after 6pm, or take the flight to Houston and when I arrived too late to catch my connector, go to a ticket desk and ask for a hotel voucher and a seat on the 10:27am flight to Austin, no guarantees that I'd get either. Luckily, my room mate in Austin was driving from Houston, and some quick text messaging with Amy as I was on hold determined that she could hold off on her drive until I arrived and she'd give me a lift. Still keeping my fingers crossed that my flights will magically get sorted out, but I've got a backup plan (secondary one is to pay $140 to rent a car one way). Travelocity also said to give them a call if I don't take the Houston-Austin flight and they can get me refunded for that portion of the itinerary. So much for carefully planning my outgoing trip to avoid losing work or spending all day travelling...
I headed to the airport so that I would get there in time for a magically on time flight, just in case (because if I didn't, I would be freaking myself out with the what ifs). I settled in in the lounge and kept an eye on updates. By the time we left, I was definitely going to miss my Austin flight, so I just relaxed into the zen of not quite knowing what would happen. Turns out: the Austin flight was delayed *just* enough for me to get on it! They closed the door behind us Boston folks, to the grumbling of the people who'd been sitting on the plane for an hour. :-( It was a short hop from Houston, and Amy had driven on to Austin when I updated her at how late I was going to be, but she very willingly left the pre party at Elysium to come pick me up at the airport. By the time we got to the Red Roof Inn, I was deliriously tired, collapsing into bed at around 3:30am in our cozy room.
The Convergence Meet and Greet/badge pick up was going on, so we headed over to the official hotel, popping in to the 10th floor lobby to see friends first (I think Justin had to come down and let us up since we didn't have hotel pass keys). Badges were being handed out up on the 6th floor, we ran into Rhonda there. Then we headed back up to the 10th floor to hang out with the collected goths. The low table in front of the couches was filled with alcohol and mixers, so I had a gin and tonic. I also met a first time converger, David from San Jose.
After hanging out a while, we drove back to our hotel. I changed into a punky outfit, and she droped me back off for the eldergoth cocktail reunion gathering that I wanted to attend at a tiny little bar called Casino El Camino (night had fallen by this point, I was well on my way turning nocturnal). There I re-met Timmy and Julianne (had stayed with the former when I was visiting my friend David in England once), as well as Justin's friends Amanda, her hubby and sister. Service was glacially slow, I shared fries with Kym and managed to order a drink at the bar. I'd wanted to see the fashion show, so headed over a block or so back to the official hotel, where we were seated in hotel chairs, two sets facing a "catwalk", aka an open long space between them. There was a DJ spinning on decks in the corner as we ended up waiting over an hour for the show to start. It was much higher concept than in previous years, Atelier Benton dominated with what seemed like professional models (aka I didn't recognise any alt.gothic.fashion faces, though I think they were represented in accessories).
After that finished up, in less than half an hour I think, it was time to wander over to Elysium and Beerland for the bands. I grabbed myself a gin and tonic and caught Cervello Electronico at Beerland - knob twiddling but good music. I popped next door to Elysium, the larger of the two venues to catch Soria, who was doing Tuvan style throat singing and seemed to have appropriated a lot of Tibetan cultural markers as well. Kinda monotonous and drone-y but well done. I was getting peckish, so I popped out to the food truck parking lot and got a chicken sandwhich. I flagged down Kym as she walked past, and we were asked about bars by a group of guys.
Back to Beerland and saw Pinkish Black or their stand in? They were growly and shouty, ended with a nice cover of "Sail". The theme of the night was club hopping, glad that they were literally next door to each other. In Elysium I saw Adam H and the Wounds, who did not bad gothic rock. They were followed by David J and all of them on stage. I had a red death drink and talked with Miss Janette for a while. Then it was back to Beerland for Provision, a synthpop band who got me dancing. I also met Amy's roommate. Back to Elysium for Douglas McCarthy (from Nizter Eb) - it was kinda generic, with just 1 singer and a repetitive machine knob twiddler. Everything was running a bit late, it was supposed to wrap up around 1 but pretty sure we left at around 2 to head back to our hotel.
It was a bit empty, everyone was in Beerland. I talked a bit with Scary Lady Sarah (no idea how many cities/countries we've run into each other in!) and she told me that she's planning to put in a bit for Convergence 20 for Chicago. I caught part of Mirabilis's set in Beerland, I think they were ex Machine in the Garden members, very swirly. I was getting a bit sleepy and headed back over to Elysium were I saw Talmage d'Amor, then 8MM from LA. The lead singer likes shiny things, they were very rock like, and the band was tight. Next up was Belweather Syndicate with Scary Lady Sarah and William Faith. It relied heavily on Faith, but it was fun. Led Er Est was kinda generic, and I just wasn't into Mentallo and the Fixer. Kym ended up having lots of tequila, and Justin escorted her back to the hotel. When he came back, he and I and Amy (Pam had gone back to the hotel to sleep) went to check out the official afterparty at the hotel. It was noisy and dark and drunk, so instead we went up to the 10th floor lounge and chatted on the couches under the overhang. I got hungry tired and we headed back to our hotel around 3 I think. My pashmina wrap came in handy to keep me warm as it cooled down that night.
I went back to the vendor's bazaar, and got a death star necklace from the guy doing circuit board stuff. I waited for Amy to finish up a chat and then we went to eat, we picked up San Jose David on the way to Moonlight. I had a huge and delicious green chili macaroni. I left them there, grabbed my bag from the car and went up to Justin and Kym's to change into my steampunk outfit for the bat cruise. It was a bit of a rush (firm departure time), no time to do makeup. Amy met us in the lobby to give us a lift over to save taxi far, and we all got stopped for a picture by a pair doing a special on Austin city life. We were early to the boat in the end, we boarded at 7 and climbed carefully upstairs to the upper deck. We ended up sharing a table with a pair of older women, one of whom I'm met at another Convergence. The cruise was awesome, there was an enthusiastic brass band playing on the top deck, and lots and lots of bats streaming out from the exposed joints in the Congress Street Bridge. They formed streamers of millions of bats winding along over the river as they left their perches to feed as dusk settled over the city. There were warm lights to see by, dancing, and three wine tickets that helped me stay warm.
After we docked, we walked over the bridge and joined a group going to the Driscoll hotel - Rhonda, Sean & Amanda, Amy, Justin and Kym, and the bearded guy from our Convergence Park City road trip. Justin bought me a Sage Advice cocktail, it was very yummy and the setting was gorgeous, an old ornate hotel bar with lots of gold and mirrors and huge couches and chairs. Then it was time to head over down 6th with Amy to meet Peter and Geekers for our reservation at the speakeasy, Midnight Cowboy. I had a Hauptmann then a Eulogy when the others arrived and we moved to the private room. The bartender came with a rolling bar to make our drinks table side. The Aviation I ordered was a mistake, as was sipping a Mint Julep, that was just way too much alcohol for one nigth, though at least most of it was high shelf and tasty. I talked weight lifting with Sean and Amy after we and Peter were the last ones standing... er sitting. We went back to the host hotel at 2 (closing out Midnight Cowboy I think, and I definitely made use of Peter's arm for stability) and then to ours. I'm honestly missing memories of a few things, but I had lots of water in between the cocktails at least.
I forgot my book in the seat back pocket on the flight to Dallas from Austin, I had to run back to the gate to try and retrive it. They were already loading the plane so I had to wait, and got to hear an
irate businessman tearing a strip into the gate agents for not allowing him to do something (he'd paid extra to get on another flight and wanted to do the same for this to make his meeting).
There was no tea at Au Bon Pain, so ordered one at a Starbucks counter. The guy working there asked about my accent (I suspect it got re-Canadianified from hanging out with Canucks most of the weekend) (or he could have just been trying to hit on me). It was a bumpy flight but quiet.