Aug. 30th, 2009 09:49 pm
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Originally uploaded by bovil

Sam Spade may not be very steampunk, but this is from SF/SF Steampunk Picnic at Rosicrucian Park

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Gah. Workflow is work. Now I remember how I got the first four sets up so quickly. I had a bunch of time in the airport and on the plane where straightening and cropping photos was pretty much all I could do.

[livejournal.com profile] aramintamd, I just got to the girls' entry. They're too cute for words.


May. 13th, 2009 09:47 am
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Originally uploaded by bovil

Andrea Schewe's "Near Future Fashion Show" including previews of unreleased Simplicity patterns she's designed. 67 images.


May. 12th, 2009 05:40 pm
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Originally uploaded by bovil

Future Fashion Show is up, 99 images.

These pics a bit more to your liking, [livejournal.com profile] sarcasm_hime?

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Originally uploaded by bovil

It's posted. 315 pictures. Check it out.

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So yeah, this weekend we flew out to Timonium, MD for Costume-Con 27.

Flight was uneventful and on-time. We got to the hotel, the lovely recently remodeled Crown Plaza Baltimore North (kind of like the Crown Plaza Oakland South in Union City... what's with CP naming hotels after cities they're not in?) a bit before dark. It's an odd little atrium hotel with a large open area where once the indoor pool resided. Ricky was sitting at the reg desk, and a bunch of people were already there. We got checked in, picked up badges, got into our room and got dinner at the hotel restaurant. We ate there over and over, but it was pretty good.

When we finished dinner, quite a few more people had showed up in the lobby. Bruce and Nora and others were folding tri-folds to promote the ICG Archives. Carol and Stephanie were drinking champagne-like substance. We brought down the bottle of Agua Azul Añejo, and ended up staying up until 1-ish. The Agua Azul was almost (but not quite finished) that night.

Friday we got up early-ish. Tech was moving in, building the stages at the far end of the atrium. It looked less than promising; the stage position was limited by the bar/restaurant entrance, the risers provided by the hotel were crap and the available area for seating looked way too small. On the other hand, Technofandom is an amazing co-op of highly skilled folks who have made silk purses out of bigger sow's ears in the past.

The ICG meeting was relatively painless. There were really no reports that were surprising. There were only two items of "new business" and both could be referred to the appropriate officers and did not require votes of the membership. A new slate of officers was elected, and the previous administration will be missed.

Consuite was the main lobby (outside the area that was being changed into a stage) and a conference room off to the side (where the food and drink was). It was successful because it was a great public space for meeting and talking, but it was flawed because it wasn't immediately obvious that snackies could be found in the Timonium room.

Dealers' Room (or rooms in this case) was, well, mixed. There were several interesting dealers whom we don't see much (not getting out to the east coast very often) including Kass McGann (Reconstructing History), Devra (Poison Pen) and some interesting fabric dealers. There were also some prop and weapons dealers (odd, as someone noted, because east coast conventions tend to have very strict weapons policies).

Programming seemed to run well, and panels were generally well-attended.

There was a lot of experimentation because of the nature of the space. CC28 tried an experiment, hosting the spies' cocktail hour at the bar (since officially serving alcohol in the Timonium room or out in the lobby wasn't going to fly), bringing in several unique bottles of gin and vodka. It was a little out of the way because of where backstage started, but it was well-attended.

One of the other experiments was moving the Single Pattern Contest to the consuite on Friday night (instead of co-running with the Fashion Show on Sunday). This was a mixed success. Its location was changed at the last minute (well, earlier in the day; but the night before I had seen the BEOs for the lobby set-up that was canceled) to one of the ballrooms. I missed it. From what I heard, the day change was a reasonable success. Still, I would have liked to see it run in the social as a "cafe style" fashion show.

The social itself was well attended, with music and silly trophies provided by Thomas Atkinson. It ran very late.

Saturday, ah, Saturday. We slept in late-ish, got up in time for breakfast and K's panel. I hung out and chatted with people. Tech finished building the stage, and it started looking like a real serious operation. Tech rehearsals for F&SF ran. Tech rehearsals for Historical were rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. When things settled down, I confirmed with Larry Schroeder that I could sit up on one of the spotlight platforms to shoot pictures of the masquerade. Best seat in the house.

In the afternoon, we went to Donna's Kentucky Derby party. It was a blast. We heckled bad celebrity fashion, drank mint juleps and chatted about all sorts of costume silliness.

When it was time for the F&SF Masquerade to start, I climbed up the spot platform and talked with Talis until it was time for the show to start. Seating was a bit short, but not as bad as I expected. It wouldn't have been nearly as short if there had been a "voice of god" call asking people to scooch over and fill the empty seats between them (best seat in the house, as I said). The show ran very smoothly. Unfortunately, with an 8:30 start time, we got to see how, even when everything goes well, awards can still wrap up after midnight. I shot around 700 frames.

After masquerade, we went up to the Pretty, Pretty Princess party. It had kind of a shaky start, but eventually got rolling. Pear vodka in little tiny slippers was very popular.

Sunday morning we almost got another experiment. There was a plan to reset the stage and have the fashion show in the consuite side of the lobby, but this didn't happen; it wasn't logistically feasible. Instead we got the fashion show on the main stage (with a quickly-assembled runway). Once again, I arranged with the stage manager to sit up on the spot platform. Since single pattern ran on Friday night, after the fashion show entries ran we got a preview of Andrea Schewe's new patterns on real bodies. This worked out very nicely. I shot around 700 frames.

Sense a pattern? Yeah, the 8gb card I'm running can fit about 770 RAW files.

Sunday afternoon historical tech rehearsals ran. Again, I hung out with folks and chatted, and confirmed that I could return to the spot platform for the last show. The Historical masquerade started a little late, but not horribly late. I shot around 700 frames.

There was an "incident" on Sunday night that I'm not going to go into. It was, at the time, rather low-profile if incendiary. It's been referred to the proper folks for action. Do not ask about or comment on it here (this is your only warning). There were also drunk obnoxious mundanes (and I use that term intentionally) at the bar; one threw a drink on the bartender and they were ejected from the hotel.

Around midnight we went to the tech party. The crew was taking a well-deserved drink after making it through so many shows.

Monday we were thinking of going to the Smithsonian, but we decided to sleep in and went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore (inner harbor) instead. We packed a bit when we got back, and went down the Ridgley room for the dead dog party. I sorted pics and ran a slide show of some of the best while we sat around and chatted.

Tuesday we moved out, headed to the airport, and flew back. It was not a good day to fly; we had turbulence for most of the flight from Baltimore to Vegas. I spent a lot of time cropping photos. Vegas to SJ was much better. Got in at a reasonable hour.

So in the end?

The hotel was quirky and charming, perfectly sized for the event.

Timonium wasn't thrilling, but it would have been better if not for the rain (which made leaving the site for near-by restaurants inconvenient).

The new experiments were a qualified success, but still for the most part a success. A few that had to be aborted/modified still came off well. Some were even wildly successful in spite of execution errors.

Kudos to Technofandom. They are a well-oiled machine, and made the show directors look very good (I know about how the tech crew makes show directors look good). Big thanks to Larry, Syd and Joel for giving me the space to work during their shows.

Hall costumes were great. The competition entries were, to a one, stunning. Even the trashy ones.

Several of the Milwaukee and New Jersey folks were there, taking notes. They've got a lot of new information to work with.

All in all, a great time.
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First things first.

I had a blast at Denvention 3. For all the worries among smoffish types, it turned out to be a flawed but generally good convention.

There was reason to worry. The facilities contracts and usage was a mess (don't blame facilities, the actual facilities team came on after the letters of intent had already expired and had to renegotiate everything from behind the 8-ball). The local fannish groups (as in Denver local, not the more generous Colorado local) weren't feeling the love from the committee over the last few years, and weren't happy about that. Programming was showing some pretty rough edges, and there was a definite lack of breadth compared to what people expect from Worldcon programming. Communication with top levels of the committee (with the exception of [livejournal.com profile] lauriemann, who ran the website and posted buckets of useful official information on [livejournal.com profile] denvention3) wasn't terribly reliable.

On the up-side, in spite of the long (and understated) walks between some hotels (like, say, the hospitality/party hotel) and the convention center, downtown Denver was an excellent location and (wonkiness aside) the facilities were, for the most part, excellent facilities for a Worldcon. With better facilities options/contracts during the campaign and different people running the bid, I would vote for a Denver bid again.

So what happened?

We flew in on Tuesday morning, got our badges (pre-reg pick-up on Tuesday was pretty efficient, but we heard it wasn't on Wednesday) and got checked in to the hotel. The Sheraton was being a bit sloppy with check-in, but after a bit of fiddling we got into our party-floor room. There was a bit of concern about parties being on the top (and concierge/club level) floor of the Sheraton, but it turned out to work far better than expected (though there were problems). We also caught up with Jill and Don (for whom we were working on the Masquerade) and Jim Mann in program ops (who was applying massive amounts of fixit to the program) to confirm that the supplies for K's Friday panel were actually arranged. We also stopped at the Australia 2010 Bid Party (in a function room in the secret sub-basement of the Sheraton, which triggered the 8th sign of the apocalypse, no beer in an Aussie bid party) and chatted with folks there.

Wednesday was the beginning of work on the con. K was making an appearance in opening ceremonies, and unfortunately things were a bit confused. Still, we found the Mannings and got adequate answers on where and when he had to show up. We also visted [livejournal.com profile] philfoglio and [livejournal.com profile] kajafoglio at their dealers table (where K showed off his Van costume). I also grabbed a little time with [livejournal.com profile] mishalak to run to the liquor store to pick up champagne.

Opening Ceremonies did turn out to screw up more of the day than we had anticipated, but not that badly. On the upside, they were short and simple, rather than long and boring. The "Barrayaran Summerfair" that followed was a nice idea, but the execution was a bit mixed. I don't think they were really ready to open the Summerfair when opening ceremonies ended, and the convention center catering staff certainly wasn't. There was also no attempt to clear the chairs from part of opening ceremonies, so a large ballroom full of people sitting was stuck with a small (1/6) ballroom of social area.

After dinner we headed to the parties. Xerps in 2010, Reno in 2011 and Seattle in 2011 were anchoring the floor, and would continue to do so throughout the weekend. We ran into Wil McCarthy (with whom K was working on Masquerade) and talked over MC scenarios and plans for the show. Wil had some great ideas that we helped flesh out.

Thursday was a bit of madness. I talked with a few of the other masquerade judges about our direction for Friday night, and we ended up doing a printer-shopping run for Jill (who discovered the printer they were planning to use for mug shots was a bit too slow). Parties happened again.

Friday was real madness. K had to spend the day at masquerade tech rehearsal, working with Wil. That was the theory at least. Programming, though, hadn't taken Wil's job (as Toastmaster) into account, nor K's job as MC's assistant. Wil had two panels scheduled against rehearsal, and K had one. This was a really big, really bad mistake, but one that could be covered for.

I had to sort out things with the judges, and we got everyone we could over to "Pi" at the Hilton Garden for happy-hour appetizers (so we wouldn't die of starvation). There we dealt with the other program schedule screw-ups. Rick Sternbach (artist GoH and all-around great guy) was scheduled for his GoH interview in the last slot before the masquerade, so he had that deadline hanging over him. That wasn't a real big deal, but he couldn't join us for dinner. John Hertz was scheduled for his Jack Vance retrospective panel in the last slot before the masquerade, while he was supposed to be in the green room judging workmanship. That was a big deal, and one that couldn't really be covered up.

With all that mess, though, Jill and [livejournal.com profile] wren13 pulled together an excellent masquerade. The facilities were superb. Don G. ran a great green room. We started on time. Tech was rock-solid. Wil was funny. The entries were great. Judging wrapped in an hour. Awards were given (although the entrants had a difficult time hearing their awards). We were done and cleaning up by 10:40, well before the "you must be out" deadline with the theater.

Parties happened again. We missed the Gaylaxians party and Match Game SF but still had a great time. We had folks over for champagne, and eventually went to bed.

Saturday we could finally relax a bit. We showed up for the post-masq panel, but didn't stay. Most of the day was spent hanging out.

We did, though, go to the Hugo Awards on Saturday night. The theater was so nice we decided it was worth it to attend in person, and it was a good choice. Alas, my choices for the fan Hugos went unrecognized, and my fave for best Pro Artist came in 4th (of 6). It was an excellent show, though. Wil, again, was fabulous, as were all the presenters.

Saturday was the last big party blow-out. It was fun, though. [livejournal.com profile] kevin_standlee passed along his "Hugo Losers Party" invitation to us, and Wil got us in to the SFWA suite, but both were very crowded so we bailed quickly and headed back to the regular party floor.

Sunday the con wrapped at (I think) 2:00pm. Closing ceremonies was as short as opening, and Anticipation (Montreal 2009) ran a funny (but partially inaudible, until a microphone was retrieved for them) little sketch introducing their division heads and pimping their skills (I think to point out how they wouldn't be another Torcon 3 or Denvention 3). There wasn't much of an official or unofficial "dead dog" party, just the consuite trying to clear out all their excess food (and having to close down at 10:00 because of the aforementioned renegotiated contracts). We cleaned up, checked email and went to bed.

Monday morning we awoke to a wonky hotel bill. Apparently, so did everybody else who was staying on the 22nd floor. It was remarked that the Sheraton's billing system was written by drunken trolls, but I'm betting on drunken gnomes. Still, the fabulous TR was able to get our bills correctly credited as we checked out and made our way to the airport.

So, again, a flawed con, but in many ways better than it deserved to be. It wasn't another Torcon 3. It wasn't even close. It wasn't another Nolacon. It was easy to overlook most of the problems, or even miss them entirely, and that's a sign that the on-site staff and committee were doing, for the most part, an excellent job.
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A busy not-busy weekend it was.

Saturday was, of course, PenWAG meeting. It was the summer pot-luck brunch meeting, so we had a good crowd, if a somewhat warm room (we have divined that there is no A/C in the fellowship hall).

The afternoon program was a trunk show by Rachel D.K. Clark. The woman is a blast. Seriously one of the best speakers the club has had in ages.

Sunday we went to Obon with [livejournal.com profile] yotefoxwolf and [livejournal.com profile] gurdymonkey.

It was... interesting.

We did not dress. I didn't feel like pressing our hakama. Then again, there were very few people in traditional clothing, aside from the taiko performers. We may dress next year.

In many ways it was just a standard church festival/carnival. There were food vendors, lots of food vendors, with interesting and very fresh Japanese goodies. There was a performance area. We got to see some of the UC Irvine Jodaiko performance. They were pretty good.

Most of the local shops were open, so we did a bit of shopping. Nichi Bei Bussan was a pleasant surprise; we had never gone in because it's at the edge of the shopping district. They had a very nice selection of vintage clothing, an excellent selection of footwear, and a very large martial arts store.

Nikkei Traditions (the Hawaiian Japanese store) had some cute stuff.

We almost always make a stop at Kogura Company, and made some good finds there. They had some nice books on tsukemonon (Japanese "pickles") and some other goodies. There will be a return shopping trip soon.

Nikaku Japanese Arts (the website is focused on the Nikaku Animart portion of the business) was also a good stop. We didn't buy anything, but if you ever want a big tanuki statue (and are willing to pay real money) they've got them.

Finally we returned to the performance area to see San Jose Taiko perform. They were, as always, fabulous.

Rather than staying for Bon Odori (traditional dance) we bailed on the festival and went downtown to the Camera 12 to see Wall-E. It was a good film. Highly recommended. Strange, but highly recommended.
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We've definitely got PenWAG going on Saturday.

It's the big July Pot-luck Picnic Brunch, followed by a trunk show by Rachel D.K. Clark. The club requests a $5 donation from non-members for the meeting itself, and the trunk show is $15 (no registration cap, no membership requirement, it can be signed up for at the brunch).

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin's Obon is also this weekend, but it's Saturday and Sunday. We've never gone before, but I've heard it's one of the iconic Japanese festivals of the west coast. [livejournal.com profile] gurdymonkey wants to go. We could do Saturday after Ms. Clark's trunk show, or we could go Sunday. Just need to pick a day (Sunday is tempting). I figure that rather than dealing with J-town parking, we can park at Curtner Station and right the light rail up to Japantown/Ayer.
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Saturday morning's PenWAG Fashion Show wasn't a walk in the park, but in the end ran smooth as glass. Started on time, ran on time, the show itself was beautiful, and finished on time.

Saturday afternoon's visit to The Computer History Museum for the Babbage Difference Engine reception was a blast, even if it started with "I don't remember where the museum is, do you?" [livejournal.com profile] johnnyeponymous gave us a quick personal highlights tour of the "Visible Storage." It was too cool.

Saturday night's Imagecraft product release party was great, with a bunch of the usual suspects and some folks from the CC26 staff who have never been to one of these before. If you were there, get on over to [livejournal.com profile] didjiman's LJ and let him know who you are.

Sunday was spent sleeping, mostly.

We did a run to see Iron Man. This is what a comic book movie is supposed to be. I loved the Stan Lee cameo.

We did dinner at E&O Trading Company. I have to remember that I'm not thrilled by their Pad Thai, but everything else was good and the soy mushroom rice was breathtaking.

We may skip BASFA tonight, K is feeling a smidge off.
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There's not much to write about Tuesday.

We got up.

We had lunch.

We packed out hospitality and our room. It sucked.

We hauled crap home (with the help of [livejournal.com profile] yotefoxwolf). It sucked.

K had the first "post-con" meeting with hotel management. It went well.

We slept.
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I overslept my Monday panel.

Once I had confirmed the last 'zine had been printed, I shut down the Xerox for cool-down so it could be moved. I also pulled and packed most of the accessories attached to the computer.

I called the wineries to let them know that we weren't coming. This was good. The two who would have been open on weekdays had just changed their schedules to Sat-Sun only.

I spent some time in the consuite, and helped tear down the decor after the official 4:00 closing time. What really happened was "It's 4:00, do y'all want to help pack? We're not kicking you out.".

K ran a bunch of stuff back to the storage locker, and on the way stopped with [livejournal.com profile] aramintamd at Michaels to get craft supplies. When they got back we went down to the bar to get some sushi while they worked on their Mouskerade entries. I remembered the bag of plushies in the consuite (left from Scott Evil's Evil Petting Zoo) and brought those down. Pretty soon we had a quarter of the bar making Mouskerade entries. Mine was a little bear with an aloha shirt, matching headband and sharpie-marker beard: Chaz Boston Bear-Den.

[livejournal.com profile] iamradar did a great job upholding the traditions of the first Mouskerade (10 years ago at CC16 in St. Louis) and we had a great Dead Dog party. Dead Dog officially closed at 1:00am, and I think we got out of there around 5:30am.

Sleep: 3 hours
Alcohol: Lots; everybody's left-overs
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Sunday started rough. I should have been out of bed at 9:00, but instead woke up 5 minutes before my 10:00am panel.

I threw on Japanese and went to find my panel, only 5 minutes late. Only one problem. I didn't know where it was. I found a display screen that told me it was in an empty room. After a few minutes I went to [livejournal.com profile] gurdymonkey's panel on pre-Edo Japanese costume (where I joked I was 50 years late in my Edo-style kataginu kamishimo). I helped her and Tara get one of their laptops up and running for her slide show, and sat in for most of the panel.

It turns out my panel was in another room, but the rest of the folks handled it well without me.

I was a smidge late for PDID (the Future Fashion Show), and missed wearable art, hats (single pattern) and the Polish coat (single pattern 2) but I saw the clown costume (single pattern 3) and the fashion show entries. It went off flawlessly (on the surface at least). All of the entries were fabu.

Around (late) lunch we had our real emergency of the weekend. One of the attendees slipped in the green room and slashed her leg. It was messy, but the folks who were there did the right thing before our staff medics could get to her, and by the time the EMTs got to her she was stable enough she didn't have to be hauled out on a stretcher. The last I heard she got stitches and was able to drive herself home. If you were wondering about the fire truck, that was it.

K and I actually got a nap. HTH?

He decided to dress in his St. George uniform, so I followed suit. We went down for Historical Masq. All the errors of Saturday were accounted for. The room opened on time. The show started on time. There were only one or two tech glitches. The Screen did not return.

Oh, and all the entries were just amazing. Judging ran a smidge long, but with that panel I'm surprised that we didn't see blood pouring from under the door. They're all very thorough and opinionated. Awards were printed and distributed.

Around midnight we went up to the party floor where things were, again, in full swing.

Well, that was the theory. I stopped at ops to drop off stuff from the masquerade, and found the Xerox printer was crashing. I spent some time with Spike and Tom futzing with it, and did get it to reboot, at which point we put it to sleep and put off more printing until morning.

"Daleks in Manhattan" returned. They had done a large enough supply buy for two nights, and they had the room for Sunday, so they decided to re-open. On Saturday we had our Dr. Who SF party, "Daleks in Manhattan." On Sunday we had our Dr. Who Historical party, "Daleks in Manhattan." Lisa & Chris also re-opened, and consuite ran a bit later than Saturday.

Eventually we helped rescue Merv & Judith from their party guests so they could close, and went up to the Seattle party, where one of the crew was celebrating her win in Historical masq. There were enough members of Beyond Reality Costumers Guild to have a quorum, and they called a meeting to discuss perhaps running a Costume-Con in Seattle again in the future.

We then hauled down to our own room for a few more drinks, and stayed up until 6:00am.

Sleep: 5 hours
Alcohol: Lots
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So if I could skip writing about one day, this would be it. Saturday was rough.

I got up in time for breakfast to make it to my 10:00 am panel. Yep, 10:00 am panel, after getting to sleep at 6:00 am.

Fortunately it was the masquerade judging panel, a panel I could moderate in my sleep. I wasn't scheduled to moderate, but things got shuffled around and I found myself moderator with Pierre, Sandy and Janet W-A. It went very well.

I looked around the dealers room again and chatted with folks.

I called the bus company to cancel the Tuesday winery tour. We only had 5 people, including me, and noon was my cancellation deadline.

I also changed into my St. Mungo's Hospital scrubs. I also got K changed into his before the masquerade started. That was an effort.

The rest of the day got eaten by working on F&SF masq glitches.

K spent much of the afternoon fighting with a F&SF masq registration database issue, and finally got it sorted out. F&SF masq tech rehearsals ran long. There were issues with transcription of tech notes and MC scripts. Snack order/delivery to the green room was flubbed, and only the kosher snacks were handled (yes, it was still Passover). House opened 15 minutes late (no big deal). Scripts for tech, MC and stage crew were still printing. Show started 45 minutes late (a big deal). There were many tech glitches. Judges reference photos took longer to process than anticipated.

Many of these problems could be laid to process errors and automation errors. It was the first show of the weekend. It was the first time we had ever used the masq database with pre-reg data from another source. It was the first time we used the masq database at a con with full tech rehearsals. There are other contributing factors but you're going to have to buy me a drink to get them.

Then there was The Screen. What was in reality an ugly tech error was seen as a hilarious piece of guerilla theater (that the participants didn't realize). It started out as a WTF? moment and quickly turned into mad laughter among the audience. One day The Screen will return.

[livejournal.com profile] johnnyeponymous and Tadao did a most excellent job of keeping the audience entertained. Awards were finished, printed and handed out.

Then we went to parties. It was around midnight. The Klingons were still open, and still had Revenge. BASFA had a quiet (and somewhat unanticipated) party. The "Daleks in Manhattan" party was rolling hard. I'm not sure what Chris & Lisa's party was, but they had great sangria. I ended up hanging out in the sewing workroom with [livejournal.com profile] flotsomnjetsom and finally got to bed around 6:00am.

Sleep: 3.5 hours
Alcohol: Plenty, but less than Friday
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Well, this is where the diaries start getting really lost. Thursday's 4-5 hours of sleep is the largest stretch in the weekend.

Friday started early-ish, as I still had a scanner in Ops to get up and running. It was a bigger fight than the printer. I had forgotten how old and slow that machine is (not having done anything but run videos on it in the last few years). Still, after an hour or so, it was working. I didn't go to the ICG annual meeting, although I was awake for it.

I got to spend some time in the dealers' room, mostly visiting with dealers I know, and not buying anything. Aziza had an excellent purple coat and collar, and if she didn't sell it I will probably buy it at BayCon.

I'm spacing Friday afternoon. I haven't the foggiest. I think I spent a little time in Ops and in the Consuite, and mostly wandered around chatting with people. Before lunch I did spend time in mainstage helping tech hang lights and cables.

At around 7:00 I caught K and pointed out that he didn't have much time to get dressed for the Victorian Underwear party. This was a good thing, for some reason he thought it was 6:00. We got up to the room, changed quickly, and he went backstage to be ready for his set in the entertainment. Cathleen & James did an excellent job mixing the entertainment that K had booked with open and performance dances. We hit the jackpot on the theme. So many people coming already did skin-out historical costume that they had it easy, and quite a few people just went crazy with their ideas. DJ Neshemah spun a fabulous set after the main entertainment ended. We kept running into people who said "we were going to come to the parties, but we just couldn't leave until the next song was over!"

Both consuite and the Pretty Pink Princess party were hopping. I showed [livejournal.com profile] trystbat and [livejournal.com profile] demode_kvc the secret (well, if the curtains had been open it wouldn't have been secret) patio which allowed their party to expand and grow without reaching critical density. We brought some pink wine, and drank some pink drinks. It was excellent.

As PPP was wrapping up, we hauled a gang up to the room for more drinks and snacks. [livejournal.com profile] gurdymonkey brought "100 Poems" sake, and we opened [livejournal.com profile] obi_have's bottle of imported ozeki. Both were fabulous. The infamous cheezu-mochi snacks were officially declared "crack" and the frosted seaweed crackers (only slightly less addictive) were declared "heroin." Things lasted until a bit before 6:00 am.

This proved to be a pattern. I saw very little of K in prime-hours, and we stayed up late after the big events.

Sleep: 2 hours
Alcohol: Enough
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Thursday started early-ish. I needed to get the printer for ops up and running, get breakfast and meet my tour group between 9:30 and 10:00.

I had downloaded the non-web printer driver set-up, so the load went just peachy.

Breakfast was quick (a pattern for the weekend, but also an exception for each day), and I arrived to find one of my group already waiting. I was down 7 seats from a full bus, and as we were collecting Julie and Greg Sardo showed up to check in. They needed a nap, but their room wasn't ready so they joined us too.

Our bus arrived, the incomparable Al from Mercury Tours, and he got us on the road post-haste. We easily made Scharffen Berger with shopping time to spare. Bill arrived with Sakuta-san (who had flown in from Japan that morning) just in time for the tour.

I've lived in the Bay Area for 9 years and have never gone on the Scharffen Berger tour. Big mistake. It's really cool. It's even better with a big bunch of friends. Terry, tour guide extraodinare, made a bunch of jokes that we all got. It might be the first time a tour got every joke. We also surprised him by wanting to keep our hair nets and beard nets.

The schedule from there was pretty tight, but we had about 50 minutes for lunch at Café Cacao. Oy, was it worth it. The Niman Ranch Jambon (ham) and Gruyere Panini was amazing. I think everybody was thrilled.

From there Al got us promptly to St. George Spirits, which was (not surprisingly for a Thursday afternoon) dead-empty. Our gang of 18 lined up at the bar and proceeded to taste the whole line, including an apple brandy that wasn't on the list and both the old "Lot #6" and the new "Lot #7" single-malt Whisky. We also pulled out the bottle of "Alchemist Series #1" Wasabi Vodka from 2005 that I brought, and that the folks at the distillery hadn't tasted any of in over a year. It had mellowed out a lot, but it still had a strong, rich (and strange) flavor.

Lou (the tasting room manager) and Dave (the junior distiller) took us on a tour of the facilities. People were well impressed by the stills, the aging area and a big vat of orange blossoms macerating in vodka. Much alcohol was purchased.

Al got us back to the hotel by 4:45 (only a little later than anticipated), a happy gang laden with chocolate and booze.

I don't remember much about dinner, I'm sure it was at the Coffee Garden. Wait, I do remember. Pre-reg pick-up opened while we were at dinner, and we could see the desk from our table. There was a steady rush for badges, but the line moved quickly and they stayed open nearly an hour later than they anticipated.

We went up to hospitality, and found a few people hanging out. That picked up a little after 10:00 pm, and by 10:30 the room was busy. This is a sign the convention has really started.

Around midnight a few of us went up to our room and discussed logistical issues going on at the con over drinks. Or, rather, we went up to the room for drinks, and as non-committee folks trailed out it shifted to discussing behind-the-scenes stuff. Now that the weekend is over, I've changed my opinion on a few of them. A few I still hold the same position on. I think, though, as things played out these issues ended up being relatively minor. We did, though, stay up until almost 4:00am talking these things through.

Sleep: 4-5 hours
Alcohol: Some
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K's last day at work before the convention was Friday, 4/18, so he could stay home and get a bunch of stuff done before move-in.

My last day at work was Wednesday, 4/23. I planned to put in a short day, but it got shorter when I received an emergency call (not K) and went home to make sure that we could deal with the possible effects.

K had run a load over to the hotel already, including the computer equipment for ops. I got home, packed, and ran a load over to the hotel while he finished a shirt for the weekend. Finally, we got one more load packed and hauled in. I think I got that count right... there may have been another load after dinner.

The room was gorgeous. We had the same suite as when we were fan guests at BayCon 2005, but it had been remodeled. The whirlpool tub had been replaced by a smaller but deeper soaking tub. The shower was nice. Furniture was an improvement.

There were quite a few folks onsite already, and the ops office was being moved in. I got the computer up and running and plugged in the printer but it wouldn't install the drivers without an internet connection.

I think that's when we decided to go to bed.

Sleep: 7+ hours
Alcohol: none (I think)
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The photo workflow office is back in Orange County, and is still working like mad to process the over 20,000 pictures that volunteers shot and turned in. It's going to take a few days for these to get uploaded.

But don't wait! There's hope!

If you're a Flickr member, and you shot photos at Costume-Con 26, please consider adding your convention sets to the Costume-Con 26 group photo pool. We've already got two members who have added their sets, but we would love to see more.
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So of course, on the weird side...

...we finish the con and at dinner tonight I get this crazy idea of how to promote the CC28 video masquerade.

It's going to take a lot of people.

I want to do a series of very short videos to put up on youtube: Number Two instructing people to enter in the video masquerade.
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