February 18, 2005

Pantheacon 2005 - Day 1

Posted at February 18, 2005 05:01 PM in Paganism .

I got up at seven-something this morning, put lots of food and water out for the pets and headed down to the airport for my flight to San Jose (which was at 11:20). I checked in around 9:30 AM and noticed that instead of a seat number, I now had "See attendent for seating." I bought this ticket about a month ago.

It turns out that Alaska Airlines is now overbooking flights. I was told when I got to my gate that while I had a valid ticket, they had sold too many. They were going to ask for volunteers to get a free round trip ticket to not get on the plane. When I asked "What if no one takes you up on that?", I was told "Then you won't get on the plane." I thought to myself, "Well, a few hours to the next flight sucks but I can manage." That's when I found out that the next flight was 6:00 AM Saturday morning. WTF?!? While waiting, I saw a flight to San Diego leave my gate and one to Phoenix at the next gate over. Both Alaska, both with five to eight people being forced on stand-by because of the flights being overbooked. It looks like some kind of policy change about how they book flights.

They boarded the plane and told us that no one had taken them up on the offer. At the last minute, they kept calling some guy's name. He'd obviously checked in at the airport. He was nowhere to found. Suddenly, the attendent calls my name over the speaker and I got on. I literally got on the plane ten minutes before it left and I was the only one, out of the people waiting, that got lucky. The gods smiled upon me (and not on the bitchy businessman next to me). I'm a little torqued about them doing this to people though. Fucking airlines are the Greyhound of the Sky.

I spent the plane flight reading the first half of The Golden Compass by Pullman, which I am finally getting around to going through.

I arrived at San Jose without problems and am now at the Double-Tree there. I got some lunch at the hotel and R arrived with her parents from Berkeley, where she had been visiting. We checked into the convention and our rooms and wandered around a bit.

For those that don't know, Pantheacon is a pagan covention in its second decade of life (though it shows). This is the third time that I've been and I always have a good time. That being said, I do find my pagan coreligionists (when I'm not a Buddhist) a bit odd or scary in a geeky sort of way. When a professional geek finds you odd or scary, it is not a good sign...

Lots of aging boomers in tiedye and bad hair.

R and I ran into my mother, who is presenting on The Mystic Rose: Soul, Symbol, and Sacred Feminine tomorrow morning. I have also repeatedly run into my nemesis, John Michael Greer, which is amusing. For those that don't know (and may care), John Michael and I went to college together, were in the Odd Fellows at the same point, and were both involved in the founding of a Golden Dawn-derived organization in the early to mid-90s. The group self-destructed due to political bullshit (not even my fault!) in 1997 and he hasn't been willing to speak to me since. In fact, he's been quite hostile to the few attempts to bury the hatchet and be adults that I have made. This is mainly annoying because he was my best friend from college until that point (about four years) and was in my wedding party when I was married the first time. Now he writes occult works of varying quality (seeming to go down the last few years) and is very involved in Masonry and such. I'm sure we'll keep running into each other though he avoided eye contact with me earlier.

Quite a few of the pagans that I normally only speak to online are normally here so I'm hoping to run into them over the weekend. R and I are here until noonish on Monday. We're going to an Absinthe Party later on tonight.


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