The first Journalcon entry is here. The pictures are linked from that entry.

Okay, where was I? The ride in, check, meeting the first people, check. Headache from hell, well, that is where we’ll start.

The heat, I fucking hate it. It doesn’t matter that I have lived in Virginia for the past 21 years, I don’t like it. And, it was hot Friday. On our drive up it was between 94 and 98 degrees and humid as hell.

Our van doesn’t have air conditioning, oh, it did but it died not long after we bought the van. We got settled in the van right at noon and headed out. Tony and I never do things the simple way, we had several stops to make. I needed cigarettes (hello, VA much cheaper than MD or DC), we needed sodas and food as we didn’t have time to eat at home.

Adding in all the stops plus how Mapquest has no fucking clue about actually getting you places, well, I was done for. I was hot, sweaty, and starting to get a heat induced migraine. After a few minutes, Tony pushed my big ass upstairs through the tiny, padded (yes, padded) funkily lit, loud musiced elevator and I stripped down to try and cool off.

Excedrin, Cherry Coke, and ice on my head stamped the headache down enough for me to foray back downstairs for a while. We hit the outdoor lounge area, which on hindsight probably wasn’t a good idea as it was still hot and humid.

Out there is where I meet Chickie and her darling daughter, Chicklet. Now, kids adore Tony for some reason. Where ever Chickie and baby were, we could watch her turn to watch Tony and smile at him.

A couple other people approached us and they all seemed nice, but, honestly, I was feeling so bad that I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything. We ordered a turkey club, devoured that between the two of us, and I got to meet Doogie, who no longer actually has a journal so, I can’t even link him.

He was wearing a shirt that declared something about fucking your mom and that’s pretty much all I can remember. After paying our tab (2.75 for an 8 oz glass of Coke, y’all. Half of the glass was ice, too. And people wonder why I brought soda and a cooler with us? That’s fucking highway robbery.)

I wanted to watch Matthew perform and by then we were late. Tony squished my chair through the door, which would be the theme for the weekend, my chair barely fit through the doors, the halls were narrow and we had to angle it around. Unfortunately we were kind of stuck right inside the door, with Tony having to stand behind me.

TheMatthewShow was worth it, though. He is funny and has a great voice. With the rooms being small it had that intimate, club feel. I wanted to get the CD he had with him but, as soon as he was done we got the hell out of everyone’s way.

Back outside, which was just a pain, I had to be lowered down a gimp lift, then outside and up the ramp that had a big ass plant in the middle of it. By the time the weekend was over, that plant was not in good shape but, it was that or remove all the furniture from the lounge to get through that way.

Yeah, the Hotel Helix while claiming to be handicap accessible, isn’t entirely. If Tony hadn’t been with me, I would have spent must of the weekend in my room.

Eventually, my headache, our tiredness, and lack of food (one sandwich does not fill two people) pushed us towards our room. A couple different groups had invited us for dinner but, damn pizza, nice cold AC and quiet was just too tempting.

We ordered a pizza from a local place ate dinner and tried to settle in for the night.

Oh, Tony slept but, I could not fall asleep to save my life. I read two books, a magazine and watched some of the Olympics before I finally crashed. By 3AM, I was wide awake, again. And, I stayed that way.

I ended up spending 3 – 6 AM reading, then ironing, as we both had clothes that couldn’t be worn in public until I took an iron to them.

Now, the shower’s at the Helix had pitiful water pressure. Adding the fact that my poor hair is used to soft water and the water at the hotel was hard as hell, made my hair look like a gigantic brillo pad that had been up on a 3 day acid trip.

I got dressed, convinced Tony to get moving and we headed to the hospitality room for breakfast.

Pastries and juice, cigarette smoked, and Tony planted me in the one room, where I remained until lunch time. The opening panel was an icebreaker where I bunch of us introduced ourselves. The second was on professional writing.

And, really, I’m going to stop here for a little while as I’m even boring myself.