The plan involves braids

While making my packing list for dragon*con on Monday afternoon, I began thinking about what clothes I wanted to take. They needed to be comfortable, easy to move in, sweat-absorbing (because anyone who thinks they won't sweat while racing around to set up for the enormous costume contest is seriously deluded), and somewhat funky.

The 'That Guy' virus

Just about every story told by anyone who has ever worked retail in this side of the galaxy begins with the phrase, "There was this guy…"

With it comes the unspoken understanding: Don't be that guy.

Given the way this universe works, it seems highly likely that "that guy" doesn't actually exist. Instead, what we're likely to be dealing with is a highly invasive microorganism which jumps to host to host, infecting them with a strange kind of temporary insanity that compels them to go to the nearest grocery store.

capable of invoking

From here to central Georgia (and back) is something over four hundred miles. Four hundred miles of alterna-rock radio stations (who don't really seem to remember what they're the alternative to) and trees that stand politely out of the way of the gently-winding interstate.We are eleven days away from dragon*con, and the pie-in-the-sky battle plans are cementing themselves into plans for the weekend after next. Oompa is recovering from brown recluse bites on his legs and can't do much lifting, so Jeremy (our very own rock-steady Mr. Sulu) will be his second-in-command this year.

I'll put my trust in Oompa Loompa

In some strange, bizarre way, I actually like driving on the freeways of Atlanta. Spaghetti Junction. The Vehicle Accelerator. The Watermelon 400. I can now officially say that I've done 'em all.

Illinois: You'll do, miss. You'll do.

I get asked sometimes about the kind of people I meet when I travel. Mostly because I always seem to come back with stories of the people that I didn't intend to meet, but somehow managed to bump into, anyway.

When I travel alone, I ask a lot of questions. Telling perfect strangers that you're a writer is almost tantamount to asking them for the story of their life; stand there quietly, perhaps with a pen and a piece of paper, and the world opens up to you. The next thing you know, you're sitting on a park bench with someone who formerly looked like everyone else (but who now is suddenly very interesting), and they're telling you the story of their life, their loves, and why they live where they live.

It's fascinating, and it's very, very addicting.While in Illinois, I took two day trips to Springfield. The first I devoted mostly to Lincoln-related sightseeing.

The monument dwarfs individual humans.  I am at the center of the photo, and can barely be seen.Amy, Lincoln Memorial

Pictorial memoir: Illinois

I confess. I was a bad, bad girl while I was on my trip. I didn't take any pictures. But—for those of you who just can't live without having this sort of thing, I did save strange and random bits of things to put together into a collage.

A collage of bits and pieces from my trip to Illinois in 2001.  Mouse over the notes to find out what each item was, or see the entry that originally accompanied this photo.2001 Illinois trip collage

[see full-sized version on flickr]

Here's what you'll find in the picture:

  1. The all-important packing list, taken from my visor. Can't forget the cell phone, or beer for the host.
  2. My alarm clock, with the 'alarm' pointer still signifying my four a.m. wakeup time.
  3. Chicago Transit Authority bus pass.
  4. Pass to the Dana-Thomas house, which I toured in the rain.
  5. Movie ticket from Innocence. I cried.
  6. 'Cashier was USCAN'? Aaron and I both boggled over that one. Quite funny, we thought.