I love the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. I had an amazing time last year meeting people and watching a ton of movies. This year I had a different sort of amazing time hanging out in the immaculate weather, much of the time on Andrew Fuller’s porch, meeting a few new friends, and doing stuff around Portland. I hardly saw any films at all—just Dunderland, and I’d say 25% of Prince of Darkness, which despite having Victor Wong and Dennis Dun, was so very boring I snoozed through it. And startled awake at one point, spilling an entire cup of water over Nick Mamatas. He was very kind about it, though.
Portland is my very favorite city, and this trip I took advantage of being there. I got some great food, and many great drinks. Eh, at least I’m a giddy drunk! With … forgiving friends.
Picture time! I actually remembered to take some.
First day: Hanging out with Nick, Camille Alexa, and Andrew, hanging out at The Moon and Sixpence (a rockin’ British pub) after the VIP reception. I got to try Deschutes’ The Abyss on tap (pictured!), a beer I wanted to try last year but never got a chance. I got the 2012; Andrew the 2011. They weren’t much different, but I think the 2012 was a little more coffee-tasting.
I like, needed doughnuts the next morning, so I took the Max into town and got some Voodoos at Voodoo Too. I think this is the maple stick I’m holding up so you can see my gross bite. Also you can see their ridiculous Froot Loops doughnut, the classic Voodoo, a Oreo-covered one (BREAKFAST!), and one covered in Chik-o-Stix. Voodoo Doughnuts are so good, the fact they do both raised and cake-style fucking rocks. I didn’t make it through them all, but I brought some home, where they were promptly devoured by my family. They stayed amazingly fresh!
The second day Wendy Wagner joined our little posse, and we saw a reading and then attended the Bizarro panel. Oh, and Nick lifted Scott Nicolay, as you can see. Later we went out for pizza at Sizzle Pie, where we met Barry Graham, he of The Big Click fame and extreme niceness. At first he thought I was Raechel, which goes to prove that people think we are the same person even over the internet.
We dipped through Powell’s to get to a cocktail place Camille likes for “dessert martinis,” and en route I was convinced to get over myself and sign my books. By the time I went back to buy a few things on Monday (Bruce Lee’s Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Denfense, which is also turning out to be so good, though obviously in a different kind of way), they’d turned my book out! Very exciting stuff, I tell you what.
That second night I fully planned to see, like, something, but the theatres were the temperature of the inside of the sun and packed to the gills. Innsmouth joke! Hilarious. So I dipped out, went to the Moon, and later went to Tony Starlight’s, where I got to hang out with Orrin Grey and Amanda Downum, as well as Miss Wendy, and others.
The final morning I went to brunch, which is apparently a big Portland thing to do, then did my reading with Nick and Camille. We all read from Fungi, so I got to do my Tubby voice. I only cracked up a few times, all after the, I dunno, ionization in the audience changed when they realized it was a story about gross-ass talking cats. I also watched the panel on writing supernatural fiction. Later we went for dinner/cocktails at a vegan bar (!!) called Sweet Hereafter, where I had a boss Bahn Mi and a drink called “The Mature Sour” which I figure I’ll adopt as a nickname. Then we went to another place fore more cocktails and food for those who did not care to eat at Sweet Hereafter (which, btw—the Bahn Mi was 100% totally delicious, but the Buffalo soy curls sammich is the way to go!), and by the time we got back we’d missed everything showing and had to do more hanging out and having fun instead. OH WELL!
Monday morning I felt a little sad, because HPLFF is the only con I get a little sad at the end of, but I made do with having another awesome day. I went to Powell’s, as I mentioned, and grabbed lunch with Cameron Pierce at DC Vegetarian, on the advice of David Agranoff. Then we got a beer and I hopped on the Max to head to the airport. It was a little traumatizing … the Max wasn’t running across the river due to some technical concerns, and while that morning the Tri-Met people had thought it would be done by afternoon, that turned out not to be the case. Thus I cut it very close indeed, getting to my flight, which anyone who knows me knows is like, my number one source of travel anxiety. But, all’s well and whatever.
I had such a good time. People I saw but briefly, and wish I’d seen more: Nick Gucker, Joe Pulver, Mike Davis, Lena and Mike Griffin, the rest of the Bizarros, Wilum Pugmire, Ross Lockhart, and I dunno, everyone else, including the people I saw the most of. At HPLFF pretty much everyone is nice, and clean, and personable, and super-stoked about Lovecraftiana. I always get writerly ideas there, too: Something about Portland, and the festival, and everyone just … recharges my batteries. But today I’m catching up on life stuff, like laundry and whatever, and hanging out in my fucking sweet new Miskatonic University hoodie. OH YEAH:
Bye, Portland. See you again, as soon as I possibly can!