July 5th, 2015


A Much Better Day

Only woke twice, 3 am and 6 am, and then finally 10:30. Did my morning stuff, which included Collapse )

Down to the Con Suite, pleasantly surprised to find three boxes of a variety of donuts, I grabbed a chocolate covered custard filled one. And a brownie. Breakfast of champions. Morning Hgl of 90 meant I needed some sugar.

Went to some excellent events. Missed Historic Airship Battles, but caught the last half of Economic Recovery After the Zombie Apocalypse, when I saw David Brin on the panel next to Seanan. And they did complement each other.

Next was a choice between Ask Me Another and Drones: Technological possibilities. Glad I chose the former, it was a lot of fun, added attraction was Eben Brooks as the musical guest star, and his long-time concert partner caprine won the game., James H. Hay was superb as the MC, doing a good job of improvising as needed.

From there to the Interfilk Concert with Canadians Morva Bowman & Alan Pollard. Morva has this Diva quality voice, and Alan provides spot-on harmonies & guitar accompaniment. One tune they did, which features a sudden jump in the verse to a high note, I could swear she was half a step below the target note the first three times, but nailed it the next 20 or so. It is possible it was the right note and it just took repeating for my brain to accept it, but I don't think so. OTOH, Morva is such a pro, I'm probably wrong. Several of the numbers were instant sing-alongs, such as her Facebook parody of John Denver's Follow Me.

I may be the only filker on the planet who doesn't get Talis Kimberly. I thoroughly enjoyed the one of her tunes they sang, even though I didn't understand 5 words of it, or really follow the tune. Alan & Morva are really easy to listen to.

I skipped the auction, because there weren't nearly enough people for critical mass. Wenching needs more competition.

Instead I toured the dealer's room. Lots and lots of impressive costuming companies, too many bead stringers calling themselves gemstone jewelers. Only about 2/3 of the space was taken. The art show only used about 1/4 of its space, and way too many of the stuffs on the pegboards had no business being there. Masks, figurines, jewelry, costume pieces -  things which should have been on tables, and probably in the dealer's section. Very high quality, most of them.

Next was something I had scheduled only if I'd had eaten, but went anyway: Arms, Armor, and Sword Work of the Middle Ages. Very hardcore armored individuals demonstrating what they imagined to be true middle ages hand to hand combat. Very loud persons. A couple of the fights were quite vicious, and somewhat bogus. Note to armor wearers - just because your armor has fancy knee and elbow fans which can easily be smashed doesn't mean that's how they built them 1500 years ago. And ditto the light mail shirts which look like NFL jerseys over thin metallic shoulder pads.

With about 30 minutes to go they offered everyone (at once) the chance to learn some basic moves. When they gave longswords to preschoolers, it was time to leave.

Next up was The Prevalence of Bad Science in Movies and TV with a good mix of writers and actual scientists. Lots of good stuff, but for some reason the one panelist out of my line of sight who got the most laughs had a habit of dropping his voice at the punch line, so I missed most of them. And one of the other writers had not acquired the habit of opening her mouth when she spoke.

Back to the con suite for snacks. I wanted to go to the mall for dinner, but the weather was turning cold and blustery, and it's a long walk, and I didn't want to be late for masq. And I'll have all afternoon sunday and almost all day Monday to hang at the mall if I want.

So I went back to my room, set the alarm for 7:45 on the off-chance that I needed reminding about masq. I fell asleep in the big chair, and was totally out when the alarm woke me.

Masquerade was a mixed bag. Tadoa was the best possible MC. It required a superb improvisational actor, which he is. kproche, be thankful you were spared. Tech sucked lemons through a soda straw. The stage only had steps at one end, and they had the contestants enter from behind the curtain at center stage, which meant a very awkward 2-step-high vault. Light cues were missed, sound cues were missed, there were major delays for unexplained reasons, and I really felt sorry for the masq chairperson who was busting her butt running everywhere trying to make it all good. Glenn Glazer ran the green room door, which was only used as an exit.

There were some great costumes, and the skits were short and mostly entertaining.

Finally, I was on the panel for Match Game at 10:30 pm, so I went to help set up. The costume contestants had left the room a mess, but we got it cleaned up and the game set in time.

It was a lot of fun, as usual, but by the time it was over I was beat.

Took a detour on my way to the room to grab a diet cola from the now-empty and officially closed con suite, then up to the room, grabbed the ice bucket, got some ice, and tried to buy another diet soda, but the machine would not take my dollar bills, even though the price was $2 and it said "exact change only". It should have said "coins only". Brilliant idea, went up to the 4th floor, tried the machine there. It ate 2 bills, but instead of giving me a soda, it gave me two quarters.

Back to the room, Hgl still at 90, so I only shot up half my usual overnight insulin, and also ate half the PNB sandwich I brought on the plane.

Plans for tomorrow:
If I am awake, which I probably won't be at 10: The Mechanics of Basic Screenwriting
At noon: Cassini's Mission to Saturn and/or the Kazoo Awards, which look like BS to me, but could be fun
1 pm - Instaband concerts
2 pm - Two-shots
3 pm - Meeting of the Mindless
4 pm - Closing ceremonies

And maybe attend the first dead dog filk in many years.
Then walk to the mall
And maybe take the trolley somewhere random.

Professional Crastintor

Just cannot decide. The weather has turned cloudy and blustery, and I was counting on sunny and warm when I booked my 9 pm flight home for tomorrow. The idea was to park my bags with the hotel, and take the trolley all over the place. And hang out at the mall behind the hotel, then grabbing a suopershuttle to the airport dinner-ish.

Maybe I'll still do that, because SW says changing my flight will cost as much as the original booking.

Need to call the concierge to confirm I can check my bags here.

Nobody is answering. :-(

I miss the good old days when there were lockers at the airports.

It was a horrible night last night. Not eating a lot meant my blood sugars were normal, and even though I only shot up half my usual insulin before bedtime, it was more than enough to push me into a major reaction, which only barely responded to the two packets of sugar in the coffee service, and the half of a PNB sandwich I did not eat before bedtime.

Woke up at 6, then 7, dressed and went to the buffet at the terrace cafe, then back to my room and bed.

Kind of amazed that at 7 there were half a dozen people in  the hot tub.

Did not sleep well, after several false starts finally up and showered and medicated and at the ConChord room by 12:45, expecting the band scramble at 1. But apparently they had run out of eggs, and it was just a handful of The Usual Suspects waiting for 2 pm two-shots.

Those were mostly pretty good, except nobody announced their names. Okay, I lied. One couple did, but then they launched into a 15-minute power epic ode to Odin and Loki which was horribly overbearing and dark and loud and unbalanced (at several points the woman was singing one line and the man another, one was Odin one was Loki and I didn't care which because neither could be heard clearly). Almost fell out of my chair when they said the whole thing could be found on some CD. Jane M. gave metaphor a nice try with "Clean Your Room" referring to the planet. As in clean Earth up before going to another planet. But she forgets that most children leave home to make a mess elsewhere. Have done so for millenia.

And this may be a first - all the singers could actually sing. Even the Loki/Odins. Though they could have used some instrumental help.

3 pm was a panel called Meeting of the Mindless, in which 5 panelists took on alter egos to make up answers to audience questions. Baron von Münchhausen was the moderator. Complete with wig and pasted on goatee which he kept pushing on, though it did not look in danger of falling off. Others were not in costume: Bullwinkle, Peabody, a generic physicist, a very poor imitation of Caradine's Buddhist abbot. There were not enough audience members to keep it going, and the moderator didn't establish any order for panelists to answer in, so it was not terribly entertaining.

Finally, 4 pm was the closing ceremony, which took 20 seconds as the chairman handed the gavel to next year's chairperson. And then there was a feedback session, in which this year's chairman and several of his minions fielded compliments, complaints and suggestions. I was pleased with the way they were answered, though most of the answers were "we didn't have the staff". Some of that was the occupational hazard of having 2 years to prepare, and part of that was the local fan base is focused on next week's ComiCon. Methinks it will be eons before SD hosts another 4th of July con.

As I was walking to the dead dog filk, I passed half the usual filkers camped out in the hallway, far from the filk room. So instead I walked back to my room, ditched the con lanyard & badge, pocketed my tablet and walked through the back parking lot to the trolley station. After establishing that the trolley does not go anywhere near the airport, I went back downstairs and into the mall, found the food court and had some dinner.

And oh, the eye candy! My goodness. What a change from fandom.

But it was getting chilly and windy, so after dinner and a dessert, it was a slow walk back to my room. The Con Suite is totally shut, and nobody was at the tables on the lawn behind it.

As usually happens at away cons, I was impressed by a couple of people enough to see what books they have out. During the Mars panel, a fellow named Chris Butler was one, and I was surprised to see him in the art show, doing some live painting. Turns out he is an illustrator/animator for Griffith Observatory. Another B, Steven Brust, killed at one of the filk concerts, and I also caught the last half of his one-person panel when Band Scramble didn't happen. And was surprised to find he is a fantasy writer, with huge numbers of sequels (like 15 for one particular series). And I was reminded how brilliant Allison Lonsdale is.

I cannot say how very disappointed I am that the con was unable to replace GoH Spider Robinson with someone of similar fame. It was well known Spider has had an extremely rough year, and he backed out of the con in plenty of time for his regrets to be printed in the con magazine.

Plans for tomorrow:
Check out of the hotel by noon
Fly home at about 9 pm
fake the rest of it.