We got to the hotel at a decent hour, later than celticdragonfly wanted but with the bare minimum of time needed to get ready for our room party. Lee Ann, our truly blessed babysitter was there and helped us settle in. This was a big DVD weekend for the kids, but Brendan still got a lot of homework done and Maggie made a new friend in Amanda Bohnhoff, who came by to visit for a bit.
The room party was a lot of fun. We got to see Bujold fans including Dawn Benton, Tom Vinson, filkferengi, "Nebbish", and more people who I remember fondly but can't remember the names of. kd5mdk brought jazz007 to the party so we had a chance to meet her. She's a lovely lady and I'm sure she'll be a great Bujold fan as soon as she catches up on her reading. joyeuse13 and Aaron staggered in late after brutal abuse from the airline. celticdragonfly led them to their reserved room, and then helped them get another where the previous occupant understood what "no smoking" meant. Once they were settled they came back to the room party and many footrubs were had. celticdragonfly revealed her Secret Plan and presented buttons. I can now officially proclaim my status as a "Very Upset Engineer."
I was a slightly upset engineer the next day when I found out another one had snagged the last copy of the NESFA edition of Falling Free.
The video room was showing an episode of Firefly, which the ORAC folks have praised, so I checked it out.
"Jesus. Addictive on a single hit." "No, no, it's the truth that's addictive."
- Satan's Children, Spider Robinson
Oooh. Great show. Okay, definitely drawing on old themes, but very well done. I love it. They're making a movie. Maybe we should go reserve the opening weekend with Lee Ann . . . well, I should let celticdragonfly see it first. Though you have to worry about Whedon. If he's making TV shows that perfectly appeal to a guy who doesn't even have cable he may be in the wrong business.
joyeuse13 had preached the gospel of Carla Ulbrich to me and I finally got to hear her. Terrifically funny stuff. Though this time the best laugh went to a heckler. She had a lyric comparing herself to a pancake "short and sweet." "And stacked!" yelled the heckler, bringing down the house. True, though.
I also saw Michael Longcor's Filk GoH concert. Wonderful music, also did a Kipling piece. The world needs more Kipling. He had a very moving song for the crew of Columbia, I liked it a lot, but it also made me angry at the waste of lives and money and time spent on only marking time.
A sighting of abovenyquist was reported but not confirmed.
I only stayed for a part of Larry Niven's GoH speech. He was discussing the danger of asteroid strikes and what we can do about it. I've been following this so I knew the gist--lots and nothing right now. I've done my best at changing the latter and don't really want more info on the former right now. Instead I got changed into my fancy clothes. Purple ruffles and black velvet . . . I like it, but I still want to get a utilikilt to add to it. celticdragonfly also put on her party clothes. You'd think one of us would've thought to take a picture, but we were feeling so spiffy we just wanted to go promenade.
The costume contest was integrated with the cabaret show. The acts were good, though they did have some technical difficulties. The belly dancers worked to rock music. The magic show had a louder soundtrack, except for the "we're stalling while we find a drive that likes our CD" card tricks. The costumers looked good, though none of them were in joyeuse13's league. The filkers did rotating improv to give the judges time to come to a decision, and then even more improv to give the concom time to get the award certificate printer working. Next year they may say "certificates will be passed out later" and let the poor folks take the outfits off before they melt. joyeuse13 won the grand prize, and then we took her upstairs to change into something more comfortable than the Elizerator Gown.
By the time that was done the hotel restaurant had closed, so we wound up having room service for dinner, followed up by desperate improvisations to get a crying baby to go to sleep.
Sunday morning was a flurry of packing and kid-shuttling (they went to church with Lee Ann). Fortunately kd5mdk saved me half an hour of standing in line on behalf of meerkat1 so everything was out of the room by noon.
That let us go to the concom feedback session. celticdragonfly and joyeuse13 wanted to demand dancing for next year. Since Aaron and I weren't needed for that we snuck off to play tank games. He'd owned Ogre but hadn't played it. I gave him a quickie tutorial and started a simple scenario. We'd maneuvered our troops into two opposing lines by the time our wives came back from the panel to propose lunch. Since there'd only be a few more turns they agreed to go ahead to the hotel restaurant and order for us, and we'd be along in 10-15 minutes. Much sooner than that they were back to let us know it was closed, we'd have to go out, and they were hungry so let's go now. I asked for a few more minutes to have one more turn. The reply boiled down to "EAT NOW!" so I told Aaron "Well, in another turn there'd be a lot of shooting, so this game isn't all maneuvering, there is a lot of action."
kd5mdk and jazz007 joined us for late lunch/early dinner. Aaron wasn't super hungry and complained about all the Texas-sized portions. "Can't I get a Massachusetts sized portion?" I told him "Only on the pancakes" while making flip-flip-flip gestures (saying this required getting a waiver of the weekend's No Politics rule). The lovebirds headed back to Austin afterwards while we went back to the con to register for next year. joyeuse13 had two free memberships as the prize so she signed herself and Aaron up. We also registered. Laura volunteered to run the dance track so I figure we'd be here anyway. And I want to go again. This was a lot of fun. Even if it was a first-time convention it was one of the smoothest-run ones I've ever been to. I was a little shocked to realize that I hadn't been to a single panel the whole con. That's never happened before and I've been to lots of cons. Plenty of other stuff to keep me busy I guess. But that was enough for this year. So we went home and introduced joyeuse13 and Aaron to our hot tub.