Josh Play Gay motss.con.x: Josh's con report

Originally posted Aug13/97; last updated Jul16/05

The following is my motss.con.x con report, or my experiences of the 10th soc.motss.con (held August 7-11 in San Francisco, CA). If you don't like such things, feel free to hit 'n' and not read it. It won't bother me. Much.

(For more details about motss.con, refer to this year's web site,, while it lasts.)

Thursday, August 7

Catch the airport shuttle and fly (leaving on time and landing early, wow!) to San Francisco. Meet up with Melinda Shore and Leith Chu at the International terminal benches, hang out and chat until we've managed to acquire John Dorrance, Jeremy Mallory, and Alan Batie, then catch the shuttle into SF proper and to the Metro Hotel in particular.

Small room. Odd-colored reddish pinkish wall. Lots of mirrors (tho' none on the ceiling). Napped some. Not enough.

The lobby of the hotel was effectively non-existent, but the back garden was very nice and turned into con.central quite nicely. A bunch of us chatted there until 'twas time to get cleaned up and dressed for dinner at La Folie. Terri at the hotel was flabbergasted at us calmly requesting 5 taxis to get us across town; I shared mine with Robert and John Gincorentell, Michael Palmer, and Arnold Zwicky. Dined (oi, did we dine!) at the table with David Chuk David Roger Vadim Joseph and Bill. Wonderful meal; many many thanks to Ken Rudolph for organizing it. (Good thing I don't eat like that every night or I'd be more of a blimp than I already am! Quite possibly one of the best five meals I've ever eaten in my life.)

Caught a cab back to the hotel with Tony Sarris and Michael Lambert. Went immediately to bed (it was, after all, past 3am biologically).

Friday, August 8

Breakfast in the hotel cafe with Robert, John, Phredd, Shane, Ned, Alan, Champ, Scott, Clay, Sean, Jeremy, Steve, Kevin, Chuk, and David. More or less. Develop the room list (who's registered where; as for who sleeps where, that's another story entirely) and (like the technogeeks too many of us are) we beam it around to each other so we all have copies. Then, off to the Cannery to meet up with Steven Levine and party. A group of us ascended to a deck over Fisherman's Wharf to eat moderately okay (if overpriced) cheap food. Walked to Pier 39, where Clay (one) and John (two) recorded some songs at the studio there. We embarrassed Clay severely by playing his song — a Happy Birthday to Champ — first over the pier and later at the Reception at Casa Sanchez. But I digress.

Wandered back to Ghiardelli Square for ice cream and split an Earthquake — 8 scoops of ice cream and 8 toppings — with Champ, Scott, Leith, Anneli, and Alan. Urp. (And woo hoo!) Vadim gave us a lift back to the hotel (thanks!), where we eventually headed off to Casa Sanchez for the Reception. Excellent company, wonderful food (so that's what glop is), great entertainment (including at least 3 drag queens (including at least 2 who are Well Known Motssers) and Steven Levine's 3-minute Hamlet). I can't say enough good things about the hospitality and kindness of all concerned: many, many thanks.

I did enjoy finally meeting Harry and Max (and Weiner!) and Ellen and Kathryn and Charlie and Arne and many others I met for the first time. And of course it was great to see so many previously-met friends (you thought I was gonna say "old," didn't you?), too.

Walked back to the hotel with Leroy and Arnold, and completely collapsed into sleep.

Saturday, August 9

Minor chatting in the courtyard of the hotel before 32 of us (as of when I left) managed to stagger in for breakfast at the cafe. Chatted on the back patio until the Alcatraz group left (11:30), the Vertigo tour left (1:00), and finally headed off to the Exploratorium (1:30) with Leith, Cliff, Jeremy, and Clay. We explored (I liked the light and sound exhibits best, I think; the previous weekend I'd done the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with friends, and there's only so many different ways to teach about basic science), and got very silly on the way back, singing loudly in several different keys and finally beginning to filk a song to the tune of *My Sharona* (or however the heck it's spelled). (The song may show up later. Other than title, first line and a half, and tune recommendation, I have to disclaim all participation. (It's all the smurfs' fault, really!))

Chatted on the patio (where Peter, Anneli's surname-less boyfriend, provided the world premiere of the aforementioned song (With some help from the background singers)) until dinnertime, when it was off to Little Italy for a truly delicious feast for 19. (Garlic bread with lots of fresh chopped garlic, stuffed 'shrooms, and a fried bread-and-cheese somethingorother that was just heavenly; all the entrees I sampled were fabu.) Dessert with a non-motsseur friend of mine from Mountain View at Sparky's in the Castro. Got back to the hotel to witness the final endgame of those rowdy Scrabble players in the garden.

Sunday, August 10

Did the AIDS Memorial Grove tour. Powerful, especially for what is still effectively a work in progress. Dim sum at Hong Kong Flower Lounge (while not the best I've ever had, surely the most affordable; we pigged out and still did it for $9 or $10 a person (at our table, and as it happens we had just enough food to go around for the 10 of us)). Then off to Baker Beach with Mike Aric Derik David Per Mark Chuk David Brian and Robert (and most of us did indeed take it all off (so if anyone ever doubts if Marc Talusan is a natural blond, we have evidence that he is indeed)); Season and Maria joined us there later. Ocean was not as cold as I'd feared (though I'd've brought a bigger towel if the hotel'd had ones). Climbing back up the cliff didn't quite give me a heart attack (pulse topped out above 250 bpm and was sustained over 240 while at rest for easily 5 minutes though). Dinner with Arnold and Jack Hamilton at Zuni; I had a fantastic Caesar salad, and a very nice roasted pork entree (with bright green zucchini and white beans). Dessert was a pretty good flour-less chocolate cake, and the 1985 vintage port was tres tasty with it. Excellent dining companions, by the way. (If Arnold or Jack ever visits your town, take them to dinner. Really.)

After dinner, we adjourned to Arnold's room for a party — 8 or 10 or so of us wound up on the bed at the same time. Was fun. (And less rowdy than the Scrabblers in the garden last night. :-) ) Of course, was kinda sad at times too, as folks started leaving to pack (or worse yet, go home).... Many people seemed surprised that (a) Arnold had a desk in his room, (b) Arnold had a closet in his room, (c) Arnold's closet had shelves, (d) Arnold's closet had *room*.... Must've been nice.

Monday, August 11

Chat on the patio and begin the goodbyes as people start vanishing to catch their flights. Breakfast at Ti Couz (yummy crepes), then off to the airport (Thanks Vadim!). Depart 25 minutes late, take off 40 minutes late, smooth flight until landing (turbulence due to rain in Chicago) on time. And yet there was no gate agent to meet the plane, so we sat waiting for 10 minutes until they sent someone.

Missing y'all terribly. See you next year!