How I Spent My Summer Vacation Part 2: CONvergence

The other part of my summer vacation this year was CONvergence, a science fiction convention in Minnesota. Because Minnesota is a saner state than Iowa, it was required vaccination/required mask convention, and yes, everyone played by the rules. Bryon and I hid in our room more often than usual. We were on a few (masked) panels, and we wore a few costumes. Some of the pictures are with us masked and some unmasked, although we were with no one else when we unmasked.

It was a good time, but it was a con during Covid. Less to do, no author antics, but after a year of not getting out, it felt pretty good. We were on the cusp of learning that we needed to mask back up, so we were a little nervous at the same time. However, we liked going back to Cinema Rex even though there were no treats. We enjoyed seeing some old friends, some we hadn’t seen for years. And we enjoyed dressing up.

Here are some pictures for you of what we wore.

Me, dressed as Moira Rose for the Schitt’s Creek panel.

Bryon and me in our swell Musketeer suits.

Bryon as the Roger Delgado version of the Master from Dr. Who.

Me as Zelda Spellman, my fellow panelist as Madame Satan, and her husband as Father Blackwood, all from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation 2021: House on the Rock

During the two months that the CDC suggested we vaccinated could go maskless, I took a trip with Bryon and our friends Dani and Lisa to see the fabled House on the Rock. I am parking those pictures right here.

How was it? Strangely cool and a cautionary tale at the same time. The tour started as a legitimate biography of the builder and his life, moved into the house he built on the rock, almost by himself, a writer’s retreat, and then…well, things got weird.

We moved into a warehouse of yesteryear, a place for our collector to store hats, phones, and fake Russian eggs. And then we moved into a progression of stranger and stranger edifices. A room of a raging sea battle between a giant squid and a whale with teeth, sculpted out of plaster, maybe. A room of balloons and Rube Goldberg machines, with tiled cars and a place to break for ice cream. A giant five layer carousel that amazed because of lights and animals, none of them horses, the horses on the walls around the carousel, and store mannequins clothed and winged as angels.

Through the throat of a demonic monster into a room of madness containing a chandelier of chandeliers, an impossible organ, and a clock works. A room of armor, including elephants. Circus models. Asian art collections. Animated jewelry store displays. A mini-carousel full of dolls. Acres and acres and acres of interest falling into overload, into exhaustion, and out into the world, forever changed.

Here are the pictures. I hope you enjoy them.