...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

Stuff What I need/Stuff what I don't need
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I’m acutely aware that I’ve had nothing to say for days and that I’m off to Bouchercon in a couple days where I’d HOPED to blog but….

I’m also acutely aware of my inability to deal with packing right at the moment. I want to bring too much STUFF and since it’s just ME, I really can’t. I’m not that bad at the whole packing thing; I’ve learned that what I need to do usually is put out LOTS of stuff that I had hoped to bring, then talk myself out of it. That works pretty well. I’m not a clotheshorse; I don’t have THAT much to wear but since Bouchercon is like a party, there’s usually something I want to bring to play in. Alas, I don’t have a lot of play clothes. And this year’s suitcase is already in danger since I’ve got convention STUFF to bring.

Since I’ve got a convention happening in a while, I thought I’d bring flyers (200 flyers, check). Then of course, what if someone wants a membership? I HOPE that happens, right? So something to put the check in. (Beautiful fabric bag from Steve Torres which works well as a cash bag. Check.) At LCC last year, folks handed back the whole flyer, so they didn’t have any info; trusting of them, but I believe they want to know WHEN it is and how to contact us. So I went out last week (it’s back to school sales time) and bought CHEAP scissors (actually plastic ones) and a little stapler, so that I could a) cut the flyer and give them the top part and b) staple their payment to the flyer so I didn’t have to fold it in creatively, since I’m not skilled in origami. (scissors and stapler, check.) And something to put them in so I gave into temptation and bought a pencil box. (container, check), Okay I bought TWO pencil boxes since they were really cheap (66 cents) and I can donate the other one. There are LOTS of donation programs around for needy kids for the school year; for a big like $4 I could buy a bunch of stuff and drop it off, either at the shelter program where I volunteer or at the big department store nearby. It’s a standing joke with me that every year I want a new pencil box; I don’t recall ever HAVING a pencil box, but it’s what you have when school starts, right? I think I bought my sister one when she got into grad school. But no protractor.

And since I already blew it last year by forgetting to take my Swiss Army knife out of my little Guatemalan bag/purse, and losing it, I wanted to stash the dangerous plastic scissors in the suitcase. With the flyers. And the flyers from the hotel (check). And the tourist maps of Seattle from the convention and visitors bureau (check) And the cute little Seattle stickers (check).

Okay, now that WEIGHS way too much all that stuff, but in it goes. Now, we’ve got clothes and books left. No CDs and Walkthing because I’m loading up the happy little iPod (do NOT ask me how I totally fucked it up the other day but I did). And stuff for the airplane that will go in my magic carry on bag (ok, not magic but I SO wish it were, like Mary Poppins carpetbag with the bottomless bottom.) And clothes for 80 degree weather BUT air conditioning. For three plus days (plus because I go home Sunday so don’t have to worry TOO much about what I’m wearing to go home in.) And hoping I get to have dinner OUT enough to dress up for at least once. And that doesn’t wrinkle. And to pack up all my toys and weaknesses- hair toys, jewelry, buttons and pins. Little orange “literacysite” wrist bands promoting “First Book”. Charger for iPod. Booklight in case I need to read late at night and don’t want to wake my roommate (we’ve never roomed together before, Cornelia and me, but I suspect she could sleep through a tsunami or a KISS reunion in our room. Still….)

Books. Ah gee. Books to get signed. Books to read on airplane. Books by TOO many people coming to Bcon who I won’t see next time around since I’m not going to LCC next year.

Notebook for writing down suggestions. Suggestions about what panel to DO at LCC 2007. For what panel NOT to do at LCC 2007. What person to have as moderator. What person to Not have as moderator.

And notes on what kind of promo stuff to design. Not a very elegant segue but there it is. Conventions DO certain stuff and it’s often the usual, very handy stuff and sometimes it’s not so usual. I think the Seattle Bcon in 94 was the first to introduce the now sacred and hallowed tradition of the enamel pin – ours was SO wonderful we still get comments on it. Stu’s design of the “space needle dagger” is just SO great. And of course, major con organizers would be lynched if we didn’t offer a bookbag. Btw, that’s NOT a common thing in s.f. conventions, just mystery, but boy do we have bookbags chez roscoe. And every time you think “this one can’t be topped (Milwaukee’s elegant canvas briefcase) you get a better one (Monterey’s HUGE bag complete with pockets for your water bottle and for your cell phone. big enough to buy groceries for a week. Okay, for the 2 of us.)

Then there are pens and pads of paper. Pretty standard. I’m still using some pens that an author had made up ages ago and gave away at the Seattle LCC – we had extras. It’s amazing but they still work; nowadays, however, I like fatter pens. And here’s where it all gets silly because well, thank the gods we have someone on the LCC committee who’ll be handling the “merchandising” because I would still be debating about pens 2 years after we were done. But sitting here next to me is the Bouchercon coffee mug which we offered in ’94 (we sold it – it’s too much work to do that so we won’t do stuff for sale again). I love the thing and have used it pretty much daily for over 10 years now. We have a set – the navy with silver lettering and a couple of the special edition with the gold. And I still use the Milwaukee “soup mug” for my ice cream.

You can get anything imprinted, it would seem, nowadays. And when El Paso LCC offered the amazingly clever lip gloss this year, I was enchanted; because hotels are notoriously DRY and miserable and cracked/chapped lips are the norm for me while attending a convention. AND it was El Paso, a dry hot place, so it suited the convention. And no, I dunno if we’ll do that but I’m in favor – no, Seattle is not a dry hot place but our hotels are just as arid as those in other places and I lose my voice here in a hotel as quickly as I do elsewhere because I have a tendency to get laryngitis when the air is dry. Within 3 hours usually or arriving. So water bottles are on the list too.

So why this segue? Because a few weeks ago, Stu and I were at the Bite of Seattle and we picked up some giveaways and last night when he pointed one out, we realized that sometimes it just don’t work. Yeah, we really appreciated the Pepcids they gave away (though I still wonder if it’s not just a wee tad tacky to give away antacids at a food festival) and T-Mobile gave away little pocket mirrors which I can use (on the rare occasion I remember to replace the lipstick I put on 5 hours ago) And they gave away little pillows of sunscreen which I admit to using – it’s bright pink and SPARKLY and it sticks.

But the “I Robot” lip gloss?

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