Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Preparation Day

I made a good dent in the daunting to-do list yesterday, hitting all the stuff I had designated as Monday chores. I did cross off a couple of items, one because I got an e-mail saying it wasn't necessary and one because I made an executive decision that it was better suited for after the trip. The most time-consuming stuff on my list today involves getting the house clean enough that it will be pleasant to come home to. That shouldn't be too epic, even though I sort of slacked off on my routines. I really can't seem to write and keep my house clean at the same time.

I'm mostly packed. There were some things I washed yesterday that needed to dry before I put them in the suitcase, but otherwise, other than things I need between now and the time I leave, it's all together, and it will fit in the tiny suitcase. I remember a time when for a trip this long I'd take a full-sized suitcase and a hanging garment bag. It helps that I'm mostly wearing skirts, which take less room in the suitcase. Any rumors that this is also a strategy to show off my legs are totally unfounded.

This WorldCon is going to be a bit different because it's in my home time zone, so I won't be waking up at weird times. However, it's also starting earlier in the mornings, with programming at 9 a.m. When I was two hours off and fighting to stay asleep until 6 in the morning, the convention started at 10, so I could have leisurely mornings. When I'm in my usual time zone and am not having my summer morning person phase, it starts at 9, so I'll likely be a bit rushed. Since I'm not a morning person and need breakfast before I can really face people, I'm making plans for breakfast in my room. I got some Tang and put enough in a baggie to allow me to make juice without refrigeration (and get some extra vitamin C), and there I encountered a product packaging failure. I don't remember the last time I've had Tang. We mostly used it for camping trips, but it was an ingredient in the spiced "tea" that was a popular homemade gift item in the 80s. I remember it being in a jar with a regular lid. Now, though, it comes in this weird plastic canister whose lid is like a measuring cup, and the label is shrink-wrapped around the canister. But to open the canister, you have to cut off part of the label -- the part with the directions for how much powder to combine with how much water to make a certain quantity. Did no one do any testing of this packaging before releasing the product this way? I guess I'll have to tape the relevant part of the label onto the canister. But anyway, I also have my travel teakettle and some tea, and there's a nearby bakery where I can get some bagels or rolls. And then I can have a semi-leisurely morning with breakfast in my room before I have to face people.

I don't know how often I'll be posting this week because the hotel doesn't offer free in-room Internet, which is something else that brings out my stubborn Scottishness. If the EconoLodge can offer free in-room Internet in a $40/night room, then I expect it to be free in a $100+ a night room. There's Wi-Fi in the convention center area, and then there are the Starbucks and McDonald's access points, so depending on my schedule and when I feel like hauling a laptop around, I may be able to get online, but it will be sporadic. There may be more Facebook updates via the phone. I'm taking the laptop because I suspect that being in the room with no Internet may allow me to get some writing done.

I do hope I'll be able to keep up with the Doctor Who prequel series. Here's the latest installment, in which we learn what it's like to have a Time Lord as your best friend (don't count on getting a lot of sleep). And then Steven Moffat has a guide to this Saturday's season premiere.

Now, off to pack, clean and get my life in order so I can catch the bus early in the morning and get to the airport on time. I had a few nightmares about that last night, so I'm giving myself extra time and catching an earlier bus than I need to, just in case.


CrankyBeach said...

I had the same question about fleabag free wifi and swanky expensive wifi, and a friend in the high-tech world said it's because at the fleabag, they can get away with one lousy little cheap router, whereas at the swanky (bigger) places they have to install boosters, repeaters, whatever you call 'em, so it's more expensive from their end and they ::cough:: pass the cost on to the customer who presumably can afford it. Or something.

Shanna Swendson said...

Then, of course, there's the full range of cable channels at the fleabags, with the limited range of "LodgeNet" service at expensive places. And free breakfast at cheap places, vs. expensive at expensive places. The most expensive hotel I've ever stayed at didn't even have an in-room coffeemaker. To get coffee, you had to order through room service.

I guess they figure their guests can afford it, so why not soak them?