The gathering was, as usual, awesome. But man, someone obviously hated that wall of the hotel. Look at what they stabbed it with!
The high point of any gathering for me is seeing all the friends I don’t otherwise run into. From my old Mensa group. From other groups. From other AGs. I’d sit in the hospitality suite, grab some snacks, someone would sit down, we’d talk, someone else would show up …
Hospitality meals came with plenty of vegetarian alternatives except one where the option was tossed salad (or spaghetti without any sauce). Food quality was not great (cardboard pizza, a very bland veggie lasagna) but it was plentiful and some dishes were exceptions: the tomato bisque was very tasty.
Tea was a frustration. I brought my own, correctly suspecting the hotel would have Lipton’s (bleah!) but by the end of the week they weren’t even heating the tea urns hot enough — lukewarm as best. That guarantees shit tea.
I went to more presentations than I usually do. One of the best featured Ben Ferencz (above), the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor. It was awesome. There was a good one on tarot reading; a presentation on alternate history by SF author Ian Randal Strock; one on the changes in Miami’s Cuban population over the years; and a couple that I walked out of fast because the speakers seemed rambling or unsatisfactory. One by a participant in the Bay of Pigs, for instance, was more a detached history than the eyewitness account I’d anticipated.
Hanging out was the biggest and funnest thing. Though I got a little overstimulated at times and had to take a break in my room. But not too often. After all, the AG only comes around once a year. And yes, that is a trace of glitter in my hair — some friends used me as a guinea pig.