Chicago, 2004

It was that time of year again, and I was off to Convergence 10, my 9th Convergence, and I dragged Cris along with me.

Thur May 5

I was off work due to rsi, but since our flight left at 12:15, I got up at 8:30am anyway to get ready, amazingly enough able to sleep the night through. Some excitement built, but it was tempered by my and Cris's arm problems (he'd fractured his finger recently, and had a bulky cast still). Finished up packing and took the T to the airport. Cris was a bit late due to busses not running into Davis, but we got our boarding passes and breezed through security (mostly due to the delay in front of us of a catering guy putting 5 trays of salads through the metal detecdtor, and giving us time to take off our boots). We were in the first group to board, and United lived up to it's "friendly skies" motto: the captain was chatty over the intercom, and I got a note on the back of his buisness card thanking me for flying. First time I've flown on my Silver aeroplan card, that could have been what netted it for me. Some turbulance, but we managed to ignore the movie (along came polly). Read and talked, and craned around trying to see through the windows in our adjoining rows - despite having a window seat, there wasn't a window in our row.

Siobhan and Axel were there to pick us up, and we had a quick drive down to the Congress. Saw Amy and Stuart as we pulled up. Forgot my credit card at the check in desk, so ran down to get it when they called me, freshened up, and around 4pm headed out for food. Walked over to the Italian Village, had a really good seafood ravioli. Will probably go back and try out other floors there. Back to the hotel, hung out in the lobby gathering people. Ended up hanging out there until 11 or so, and not making it to the night at Vision.

The hotel room is okay, you can tell it's an old place, but the bay window with a bit of a park view, the fridge and the walk in closet (with half height rods, but still) make up for it.

Fri May 6/04

Woke up at arond 8am, very hungry, as I'd only ended up with 2 meals yesterday. Walked over to Lou Mitchells for a great waffle and Cris's choice of a very cheesy omlette. Then sorted out my missing paycheque - my hr person had forgotten to put in my hours last week, with the deposit down on our new apt, I'm excrutiatingly poor for the weekend. *sigh* Then onto the green line, through the loop, and down to Garfield St in Hyde Park. Walked a ways through the park, saw a red winged blackbird and canada geece and ducks in a pond. Windy and threatening rain, fresh, thunderstorm had hit while we were asleep. Spotted Medici, got caffeine, then onto MSI. Networld is still mostly working, the Genetics exhibit is pretty cool (a sister to Networld in design), butthe Uboat was closed for renovations. Got ice cream and managed not to kill any of the yelling kids. Checked out the VR exhibit, the heart, aids, learning, and a few others. Walked over to Medici for lunch (cheesy pizza and strawberry lemonde), then managed to catc h a metra train back to the loop. Ran into Michelle and Joe on the street, and the wild women of toronto in the lobby (Monica, Astrid, and Amy). Up to ice cris's hand and dig up some moleskin before heading down to the meet and greet, as it's just past three now. Grabbed our goodie bags (lots of cds, flyers and stickers). Then Jordan and Channing, Alli and Shannon, Matt and us all went out to the red line up to belmont st. Split up in the first shoe shop, most off to eat, Matt and Cris and I browsed there, hit a used cd store (got a Karma Sutra disk), through the Alley, lost Matt there looking in the balinese inspired puppet bins. Cris and I popped into tabou tabou, I tried to try on some $5 capris, but the smalll was really small. Grabbed a green tea soy shake and back onto the El to the hotel. Had some time to request an ironing board, shower, and get ready for dinner. Got on the first goth bus shuttle to the metro around 8pm, waited there for a bit, with cold wind finding it's way under my skirt, until I called Eileen and found she was waiting for us with Ezra and Nate at Chen's, unlike Axel had said that she'd wait for us at the Metro. Decent shushi, but a bit spendy. Cris and I shared a platter and put in our money and walked back through the cubs fans near Wrigly and caught the last of Arch Viscereal Parlour (ran into Nate / Mothra) - the lead singer had a nice voice. Short wait, while lurking off to the side of the stage, then Frank the Baptist did a good gothic rock set, top hat and scarf and striped shirt and all. Started getting excited to see Goteki and bounced around more, found Maureen and Carla, Jeanette and her man, Micheal and Tricia, Adam. Shannon and went down to dance to the dj, and Goteki took the stage soon after. My new boots seemed comfy, but my knee started twitching and then my feet aching as I threw myself around the dance floor for their full set. New keyboardist and drummer lent a crunchier sound. Lots of fun. Found Q and Foe and Tegin (they'd been delayed lots on the tarmac, came over with Jordan and Channing). Danced a bit with the Boston crew, then outside to wait for the return shuttle. Long wait. People went for hot dogs across the street. Finally came, and back to hotel. Changed into PJs after a quick shower and trolled for after parties. IPM one on third floor too loud and smokey, 4th fl suite party was too smokey. In bed just before 4am.

Saturday May 7

Woke up at arond 10, back to Lou Mitchells for breafast (busier, had to eat at the counter, waitress forgot my juice and Cris had to fight for his coffee), but french toast good. Sunnier today, and walking slowly as feet a bit sore still. Back to hotel, to vendor's room, talked with Etienne and Jason, Columbine, bought Goteki corrupted files - back to room, then found art room, rant into Nate, AShannon and Alli, Jen, Carla, Kest. Logged onto ING and transfererd money for Monday as running really really low. Now in lobby updating this while Cris reads Writhe and Shine. Nap time later, so tired.

Never did get my nap...

Up to room to get ready for dinner and main event. Made a reservation for 9 at Little Quiapo, but came down to four. Steph didn't wake up in time for her and Martin to join us, Foe and Tegin we ran into on the way to the red line, Quang and Tricia bailed when they realised we were going to the Metro from the restaurant. So just Shannon and Alli and us. Cris and i were ready a half hour early so dropped inot Bennigans to see Art ad Kirsta and Sio and Bob and co at dinner, bought Cris a guinness. Back to hotel and found Q and Tricia and Michael and then headed out. Bit of a walk, cafeteria style almost place, but good food - the chicken adobo was great.They got fruit shakes but I stuck to water. All the desserts good too, fruit in cream, ube cake, sweet potato stuff.

Walked from there to the Metro, spotted the balut in the display case on the way out, no coffee shops presented themselves. Got there in tme for Manuskript's set, al in suits and button down tops, some ties, Lead singer as frenetic as Sneaky, very fun, though the vocals were hard to hear. Passion play didn't grab me, all sounded similar, so wandered and talked. Outside to get air a bit. Got Forest ninjafied by Janette. Black Tape for a Blue Girl was nice, Lisa had her arms bare in a bustier and was amazing to watch while playing the tambourine, whole body moving with it. Her flute wasn't high enough in the mix though. The Brides were punky and punchy, but by that point, smoke and lights and crowds had done a number on me, so we headed back to the hotel in the shutttle. Ended up just catching it and sitting separately. I stayed up a bit in the lobby, seemed like the party in the third floor space as more lively - Metro had sent over booze as they were drunk out of some stuff. In bed at about 3:30am. Details fuzzy, updating on Monday.

Sunday May 9/04

Slept in a bit, but woked up by a parade or the picketters with a megaphone at around 10. Got up and went down to the exercise room and attempted a work out - not much there, no free weights or even a stretching mat. Did push ups and chin ups, lat pull downs, chest press, biceps and triceps and situps. Up to room and had a nice hot bath, as had a headahche and stiff shoulder muscles. Cris was still sleeping so I woke him up then.

Got in touch with Ryan, as we were supposed to have a tea party at noon, and it was close to 11:30 and we neeeded to eat, but he and Lara had checked out and were in their Element outside, so we all drove up to the northern area and had brunch at the Chicago diner (vegeatrian fare). The tortilla chip / egg thing I had was good warm, but icky cold. Ryan and I brewed our own tea, Cris got coffee spilled on him. Dropped off back at the hotel around 1pm. Down to bazzaar while Cris showered, since ran into Steph in hte lobby. Sat with her and Martin and Etienne and Lee Chaos a bit, browsed bazaar, hi to Jason, gave Columbine a bathroom break, spotted Black Market, thought that they did my collar and cuffs, but when ran upstairs to get them to order another set of cuffs in a wider gauge, the chain didn't match and they were stamped Vekzar. Woman not there, so didn't get to talk to her to say no. Back to lobby to pick up Cris, hung out listlessly there for a bit. Then at 3:30, grabbed Martin and went over to the Art Institute.

Nice walk, sunny out. Only had about an hour until it closed at 5pm, saw arms and armour, textiles (only quilts, though there was a great one with all different tupes of ships on it), almost got to photography but the galleries were closing. Impressionists, modern american, and done. Walked back to hotel, Martin off to the Travelodge. Cris dug around for dinner options, I sat int eh lobby for a bit vegging with people - unfortunately at the table the flies liked.

Up to roomo to get gressed for dinner, changed top from ghost in the shell to blue one to go with capries and purple accent docs. No reservations available at Gibson's, so grabbed a table for two at Hugo's frog bar. Took the red line up and walked further up State to Rush and Oak. Had a waitress, a bus boy and a water boy popping by our corner nook. I got the flounder with a fig reduction sauce that was divine,Cris got a Chicago cut steak (bone in). Had frog legs as an appetiser, I quite liked them though it could hve been the great sauce. Then we both agreed that we had to have the dutch apple pie cheesecake. They gave us a quarter cake, it was bigger than my head, and enough for three. It defeated us. I finished up my Tequila sunrise (first drink of the weekend) and we rolled home, getting off a stop early to walk more. Ran into Lisa of BTfaBG on the El.

Changed and put on cargos and red/black top and headed over to the venue. Got there to hear a bit of DJ Ferrett's set, then another one then then fashion show. Volutputogoth segment fun, lots of high goth couture. Kambriel's ending was great, all bostonians reading Gorey limerks.

Managed to introduce Jennie to Steph, Channing to Amy and Stuart, but Krista had gone home before Jordan came out, and Eileen couldn't come. Had a good talk with Martin, cleared things up a bit with Joy, bought Greg a couple of drinks and will send him a Frank the Baptist Cd to cover the Zombina one he gave me. Said goodbyes over the course of the evening, Nate picked me up and kissed my forehead, so I picked him up when I hugged him back - he was impressed, but he's a tiny thing. :)

Left after Fross's set, thoguh the boston crew got to dance together off to the right of the stage for a while and it was good. Q and Greg were on our shuttle, as well as some pirates. Hung out in the lobby, Jennie and Donald joined us, then Erith and Steph, Donald lent me his jacket as I was cold. Tried a sip of JAK's black cherry vodka via Erith. Stomach started doing that empty nausea tired thing so headed up to bed around 4. Took a shower and packed a bit more, and in bed by 4:30.

Monday May 10

Woke up ill, nauseous, finished packing in spurts, with lying down in between. Threw up just before checkout, that seemed to help. Then got some of Petro's leftover room food dumped in front of me as we waited with Amy and a Bostonian that I forget her name in the lobby for Steph and Martin to come so we could share a taxi to the airport. I had one of Petro's wheat crackers, it tasted like a graham cracker and settled my stomach a bit more. Still icky, but taxi ride was sort of okay, a bit of traffic on I90 to O'Hare, about $40 fare. We got dropped off first, eticket check in, easy through security, I went through first with boots, but they set them off so walked back through and took them off. Found the gate, then Cris went off to get food, and they announced our flight was cancelled. I was rebooked automatically on the 2pm since I had the silver card, but Cris had to go down to cust service to get onto the 3pm flight. The desk drones came back from lunch and we got me on the 3pm flight as well, then we trekked down to gate 20 from 5. Ran into Jason, killing time before his 4pm flight, and talked with him while I nibbled on a fruit mix and sipped a power-c drink. Finally got on our plane and then thunderstorms delayed us due to lightening strikes on the tarmac. Then more delay as we lost our spot in the take off sequence. Landed around 7pm eastern time, my bag had come throgh on the 2pm flight and was in the office which was luckily still staffed. ING money didn't go through today, so $35 in account. *gulp* Cris sprang for a taxi to his place and I picked up dinner from Green Pea Pod once we got to mine.
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