I called the bank and had a borderline hostile conversation, ending when they turned my card back on and I was able to check us into the hotel. Wes and I then went to pick up the wheelchair Amy had booked for me. (My walking difficulties are continuing to improve, but "improving" doesn't mean the same as "better," and we very much wanted to be sure that I would be able to walk both in Paris and at Eurocon the following week.) It turned out that, despite us having put the booking in ultra-early, there were no independent mobility (IE, "big round wheels") chairs left, and I was put into a hospital-style chair that required someone to push me. Not so awesome.
We got me checked in and were off to my first panel, on pseudonyms. While I was there, Wes took the hospital chair back to the mobility desk and got me upgraded to a mobility scooter, on account of I did not have the independent movement I had been promised and no one wanted to have to help me get to the bathrooms. Everybody wins! (Vixy and I did not have a fully handicapped-accessible room, but had decided that parking the scooter in the shower was better than, again, no independence at all.) The panel went well, and we borked off for supper with a lot of my favorite people—Mary and Simon, Talis and Pippa, Brooke and Amy and Vixy and Wes—at the Indian restaurant at the end of the walk. We ran into Wesley Chu on the way back, and a good time was had by all.
That night was I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue, hosted by Lee Harris, and we had a splendid time. It was me and Cat "vs." Paul and Emma, and everyone acquitted themselves handsomely. I was still struggling with the tail end of my cold, and so made plans to tap out if necessary (Heath was ready to be our stunt Seanan), but I was able to get through the whole session, and only coughed so hard I stopped breathing once. Meg was seated in the front row, and was able to interpret my pantomime and get me my cough syrup. Life was very good indeed.
Friday passed in a blur. For my reading, I did half of "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War," and followed it up with an impromptu hallway signing that lasted no shit half an hour, courtesy of my not having an actual signing. (This was not the fault of the convention; I was the one who mis-booked the train tickets.) The queue was remarkably orderly, and crowned by Hisham walking over and offering me Pokemon. I LOVE YOU HISHAM. Pokemon: the way to my heart.
Saturday's panel on girl scientists was excellent, and I basically used Amanda as my guide. "Does this piss Amanda off?" I would ask myself, and then ask the question.
My concert was splendid and the filk track organizers were brilliant when they forced me to accept the big room (I had said I would be perfectly happy with the normal filk concert space). It held three hundred people, and we near to filled it. Dead Sexy was wonderful, as always. (Dead Sexy is the version of my backing band consisting of Bill and Brenda Sutton, Amy McNally, Dr. Mary Crowell, and Michelle Dockrey.) We scrapped "What A Woman's For" at the last minute, due to concerns about my voice and our arrangement, and dropped in "Still Catch the Tide," because it's something we can do without lyric sheets or practice. Talis was in the audience.
She'd never heard us do it live before.
I made Talis cry.
It was a good night, overall, and I am very glad to have been there.
I stayed on Sunday, just long enough for my panel on fan works, and then it was off to the rail station to catch the Eurostar to Paris. Vixy and I "watched" the Hugos over Twitter from our Parisian apartment (the wireless wasn't good enough to stream), and while I was sorry not to be there, Sunil was so happy to be me that I was honestly glad to have mis-booked the train: he glows in all the pictures I've seen, and I am always happy when I can give good experiences to my friends.
Congratulations to all the winners, solidarity to all the losers (of whom I am one), and I'll see you all next year.
Next up: DISNEYLAND.