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Mad World
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Here I am in Madison, with delicious free wireless, writing on Heather's laptop while she snoozes off the effects of a rockin' karaoke party.

Our trip out was actually quite pleasant -- we had a 9 a.m. flight, so we didn't have to get up until after the sun had already risen, which is a change; usually we leave for Wiscon at 3 or 4 a.m. We were in "economy plus" seating, so our knees didn't hit the backs of the seats ahead of us, and Heather and I had a little two-seat row to ourselves, so we sprawled all over each other. It was pretty comfortable. The mad dash across Chicago O'Hare airport, usually a lunatic deathrace to make our connection, was relatively leisurely this year. Both flights arrived at their destinations early. No screaming babies or giant guys with scabby arms sitting beside me, no Elbows McGee or Jimmy the Twitch interrupting my attempts to sleep on the plane, no complaints at all (except that somehow I strained a muscle in my shoulder while traveling, but I'm hoping it'll pass).

We met Cherie Priest (author of Four and Twenty Blackbirds) while waiting for the shuttle from the airport, continuing the long Wiscon tradition of meeting people in person whom I'd only ever encountered online. As soon as we entered the lobby of the hotel I saw five people I wanted to talk to, but we were virtuous, and checked in, and so on. Down at registration we encountered Jenn, Sarah P., and Lisa, and we all went out for dinner at the Angelic. Mmm, waffle fries and beer. Lots of other great people at the restaurant (I'm going to quit mentioning everybody I talked to, or this will never end).

Last night's big event was the Ratbastards karaoke party, in celebration of the latest edition of Rabid Transit (which includes Heather's story "Mountain, Man"). Said party also featured the triumphant return of Chris Barzak, who thrilled us with his song stylings and mad MC skills. There was much dancing, and though I didn't sing, Heather and Barzak did a duet of "Love Shack" that got everybody up on the dancefloor and moving. I managed to have some nice chats with lots of people in the midst of a drunk and noisy night. This year is shaping up to be as fun as ever.

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