A Busy Belated Labor Day

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Image courtesy of Pat Loika. Licensed under CCY BY 2.0.

Labor Day weekend is, as I have mentioned before, a Busy Weekend in Atlanta. Since, as a city, we don’t know how to schedule things in a reasonable fashion, Labor Day weekend is host to: Dragon Con (largest independent sci fi/fantasy convention in the country), the Decatur Book Festival (largest independent book festival in the country),  and Black Gay Pride (largest Black Gay Pride celebration in the country). Plus there’s a massive college football thing.

This happens every year. It is a delightful logistical nightmare. Several hundred thousand people with really intense, really disparate interests descend on a city that is an infrastructure nightmare at the best of times.

Labor Day weekend is, of course, the Best.

Normally, I confine myself to the quiet nerds at the Decatur Book Festival. They drink beer, (politely), and care about books (politely), and listen to readings (politely). They go home at 5. There are no after parties. But this year, I decided that I had to spend at least a day amongst the rowdier nerds: I was going to try to go to Dragon Con.

A bit of Dragon Con backstory: prior to this year, I had been to Dragon Con twice. I was 12 the first time and 13 the second, and at neither point was a chaperoned. It was terrifying. At the time (and this was 10 years ago, now), the con had somewhere around 17,000 attendees. It was crowded, and it was full of people in bondage gear, and it did not have anti-harassment policies on display. I got to see Anne McCaffrey speak, but made no effort to go back during high school or college.  Continue reading

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Seeing Kathy Reichs

This morning was not, broadly speaking, a success.

It started in a promising fashion. I grabbed two friends and headed to the local library to hear Kathy Reichs, author of forensic anthropology-tastic crime fiction, speak as part of the Decatur Book Festival. Unfortunately, I had misread the schedule–while doublechecking that we were in the right room (yay, neuroses!) I realized that we were at the panel for Kerry Reichs. She does not write about murder. You can understand how I might have misread all of this in the catalogue.

My friends and I beat a hasty retreat. Since there were four hours or so until Kathy Reichs was actually scheduled to appear, we hauled over to the second planned event of the day–a trip to meet a dog that I might possibly adopt from Urban Pet Project. I had emailed the manager the previous night and so was operating on the assumption that there would be someone at the shelter. Because of the long weekend (which the shelter manager had forgotten) there was no one there.

After some less-than-fruitful doorbell ringing, my friends and I managed to chat with some employees at the Barking Hound Village next door, who figured out what was up. Though very apologetic (and helpful!), they weren’t able to get us in to the shelter. Slightly irritated, we tried to salvage the morning: I suggested we get cupcakes at West Egg Cafe, which has the best cupcakes in town and is less than a mile from the shelter.

We walked in and almost immediately turned around: the cafe had a 40 minute wait. Though I do love the cupcakes, there are no baked goods that I love enough to stand in line for 40 minutes. (I’m fickle.) My friends, game for anything, walked with me to the yogurt shop next door. It was closed.

The morning was not going as planned.

Continue reading