We DID get to have some face to face conversation with the Dreaded Macdonald, he of tarkrai fame. That was very, very good; he is very much a kindred spirit, and I feel bad that I have not kept closer ties with him.
On Wednesday or Thursday I was talking to CeeCee on IM, and mentioned that I always get sick the week before conventions. She suggested I see a shrink; I responded that without respect and trust, counseling is pointless, and I don't, for the most part, do either respect or trust very well, and never when I am PAYING the other person to talk to me. This leaves me to solve the riddle on my own, though it isn't really very difficult.
I am hugely ambivalent about conventions; they represent an opportunity to do many things I truly enjoy, and to see many people that I might not otherwise. On the other hand, they involve dealing with people in large groups, which I hate, and inevitably dealing with a variety of broken people whom I would happily flush out of the gene pool.
There is also the fact that preparing for conventions takes energy I don't have, and the fact that I am pretty much ALWAYS fighting some minor bug or other, that is just waiting for me to lower my guard. The end result is that I usually turn up sick the day before the con. Usually I go; if it is boring, I spend a lot of time sleeping, and come home more-or-less glad I went. If I have a really good time, I usually spend the following week on the verge of hospitalization. Such is life.