Friday, July 9, 2010

Weirdness Abounds

Given that I spend a lot of my free time dealing with the weird in literature and on TV, it would seem pretty much an aphorism that there is weirdness in my life. It just seems I am feeling it a bit more in the last couple of days.

On the one hand, I'm not going to San Diego and Comic-con this year. There are a number of reasons, starting with Mrs. Speculator being in school and the schedule not allowing her to go. I had permission to go by myself, and I had the offer of a roommate, but I took some time to re-evaluate finances and my general feeling about the con. Given the experiences of last year—the crowding, the lack of a feeling of "genre-ness" (see the last paragraph of, I felt pretty good about not going. Sure, I was going to miss a great vacation time, and gods, San Diego is a lovely (though expensive) city, and yeah, I would miss out on seeing some friends, but a year's break felt right. I'd lose out on the registration fee, but I would save close to $1000 o airfare and hotel alone. I still have permission to go by myself next year, and I may well.

But then the schedule has started coming out, and with only Thursday's schedule available, the jones is creeping back in. Two panels with China Mieville, a panel discussion between JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon, a sneak preview of a new documentary on the history of DC Comics, panels on Burn Notice and White Collar…and that's just Thursday. I made the mistake of mentioning some of these to Mrs. Speculator, and now she's jonesing too.

It's no help that Comic-con has made some interesting changes to help deal with some of the issues we had. For instance, they've opened a second location for attendees to get their badges, thereby hopefully reducing the crowd on Preview Night and the long lines to get badges that tend to block entrances to the convention hall. They've moved some programming to the two really big hotels adjacent to the convention center, which will also help to relieve some of the congestion. And they've even made some modifications to the layout of the main floor, appearing to de-emphasize the non-genre, non-art things (like gaming) and keeping the artists together. These all seem like good first steps, though as always, the real test will be the stress of 125000 people.

It feels really odd not to be making plans while reading the schedule, feeling the excitement of such cool things but knowing there will be no pay-off. I'll just have to experience it vicariously, testing my theory that we can get a lot of content from the Web. I'll still miss some cool stuff (drink a pint for me at Dublin Square, Mark), but perhaps it will all just make it that much more exciting next year, perhaps the last in San Diego.

Of course, another factor in the decision not to go is medical; not asking for sympathy here, just dealing with the facts that I am under doctor's orders not to do anything strenuous for a while. And really, there's no way of travelling around San Diego and the convention site without a little strain. One of the symptoms I'm dealing with is best described as a lot of malaise, extremely low energy, and it is for this reason that I haven't been writing so much lately. Sitting or lying around reading is pretty easy, but getting up the energy to try to be critical has proved difficult in the last few weeks. So far, I'm four books behind in my reviews, as well as missing a golden opportunity to talk about the "new" Wonder Woman. But then, I could also blame the subject matter—hey, if it had only been a little more exciting, I would have been writing up a storm. Fortunately, the last book I read and the one I am currently working through do have me excited, and looking through the con info has also been kinda thrilling. And lo and behold, there is some energy, which I am very carefully applying to this blog.

So, I'm back, sorta. I owe you readers some reviews and maybe a discussion on Wonder Woman and some thoughts on the new Dr. Who. And since I'm not going to be in San Diego, I appear to have some time on my hands. You've been warned.

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