Wednesday, June 18, 2003

A conversation with Lance today about a party he's giving the same weekend as GenCon got me thinking about my schedule this summer. This is the first year GenCon is in Indianapolis after being in Milwaukee forever, and I was (very much) looking forward to the shorter drive. It's impossible to drive to Milwaukee from the east without going through that awful Chicago traffic, and I was so looking forward to never doing that again.

But now, with my job situation being so precarious, I am starting to think I won't go to GC. The trip ends up costing me about a grand each year, and I would rather spend the money on other things. Plus, Historicon is the same weekend as GenCon this year, and is only in Lancaster, PA, so it's a show I can drive to for the day and enjoy without spending a fortune.

So the only big national show I will be attending this year is Origins in Columbus, OH. That's next weekend, the last weekend in June. This year, unfortunately, they seem to have a bunch of media guests from fandoms I don't particularly care for (Babylon 5 especially), but nevertheless Origins is always a good show, with an excellent balance of historical/military gaming and fantasy gaming. Origins is the one show where I end up playing lots of games at rather than simply chatting with people and buying stuff.

And the best part of all this scheduling and figuring was that I was reminded of one of my favorite Giovanni stories.

In the course of looking up one of these convention sites, I noticed a mention of a company owned by a person who some time ago worked at one of Giovanni's American business partners. One night at his apartment in Milan, he was telling the story of meeting her and thinking her a nice person, but finding her a little...unusual. He just couldn't put his finger on it, but there was something odd about her. He felt a little sad for her, because she was nice, but there was just, just something...she was not a very feminine woman and he felt sorry for her a little, and was a little ashamed of some of the remarks he'd made to Silvio about her. She was an unusual person in a way he couldn't quite...

"Oh," I said, "You mean you didn't know that she used to be a man? You didn't know she had a sex change operation a couple of years ago?"

I will never forget the look on his face: if you can imagine a mixture of shame and horror for not figuring it out himself, and proud vindication for sensing that something was up with her.

He never tired of telling that story.

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