October 9th, 2006


Surviving Silicon

It's not so much "weathering Silicon" in that it's not the con's fault that I'm so wiped. I'm just over-taxed because we've been running non-stop since the middle of September.

Sure, the con had some flaws, a few friends got hit by some of them, but it was mostly a good con. It was definitely an improvement on last year, where one didn't have to look too closely to see it fraying around the edges.

kproche took a half-day off of work Friday (he's got more vacation than I do), did our party shopping and hauled our crap to the hotel. As it turned out, I got there about an hour after he did and was able to get our con badges while he was meeting with the hotel.

Meeting with the hotel? Yep, it just happened that our CC26 Hotel Liaison had got the last of the contract details and corrections nailed down with the Doubletree and it was time to sign the contract. Costume-Con 26 is now officially scheduled for April 25-28, 2008 at the Doubletree Hotel San Jose. A bunch of us sat down in the lobby bar to have a celebratory drink, possibly before the ink was even dry.

We all hauled over to the ballroom for the "meet the guests" reception. Not surprisingly, it was small and under-attended. The "auditorium seating" layout (which made sense for the rest of the weekend, but not for this) and the lack of a bar (which wouldn't have made minimum sales, so the lack was good for the convention) didn't make it very schmoozy. It finished up quickly, so we headed up to the party floor.

Some of the party hosts were a bit surprised that things ended so quickly, but most were happy to open before 9:00. We met up with iamradar and britgeekgrrl who had opened "Pancho's Crosstime Cantina" about 45 minutes earlier than they anticipated. Since we were subletting the room to them, we got VIP stamps. We spent most of the night there drinking and chatting with folks. J had brought the remains of a bottle of Jade Nouvelle Orleans so we had a little bit of that. The BASFA party seemed to do pretty well, and I picked up my BASFA ribbon there.

It was a long night. karisu_sama and didjiman hauled us over to Denny's around 2:00 to get some food before we crashed and they went home.

Saturday we slept in, and then started moving our stuff down to the party room. K had Saturday panels, so I spent most of the afternoon with cmdrsuzdal talking about Doctor Who and putting up decorations. It was a nice and relatively relaxed pace, and we took occasional breaks to talk with our neighbors setting up the furcon party. We provided them with a stack of our orange wristbands, so both parties could use the same tags to identify people after we checked their IDs. R and a few friends also came over and helped with posters for a bit. Silicon Ops did a great job for us, delivering ice nice and early and checking in regularly to make sure we were doing well. Big thanks to everybody who made this go easily.

The Evil Geniuses party went very well. We're getting better at estimating supply buys for an event. We also succeeded at getting rid of some of the extra supplies left over from Pancho's (including two bottles of Vodka that were sent to the FC Martini party). Again, we were up really late.

Sunday was rough. We had to check out of both rooms, I had an 11:30 panel and K and I each had a 1:00 panel. It was touch-and-go for a bit, but we worked out the worst problems.

My 11:30 was "SF Militaria" with britgeekgrrl, chrisber and Tracy Newby. J had put together a nice slide show, and they all brought some great samples of various real and fantasy uniforms that they had built. The audience was really happy.

Yes, there was an audience for a 11:30 Sunday panel. Last year Silicon had the most fabulous programming that nobody attended. This year there was a little less programming (although it didn't feel like there was that much difference) and much higher attendance at panels.

My 1:00 (which I was a smidge late to) was "Taking it on the Plane" with Tracy Newby and Stacy Meyn (both active costumers and also air travel professionals). We were all over the board, but we covered a lot of useful information about how to be successful travelers.

I went to the 2:30 "Science Fiction/San Francisco" panel, featuring editors Chris Garcia and Jean Martin, calendar keeper and proofreader David Moyce and contributor Doctor Noe. As it turns out, almost half of the audience had contributed to at least one issue, so it was pretty wild. There will very likely be a special April Fools issue of SF/SF coming up next year.

We got a bit of lunch and decided to haul luggage home; we had also scheduled a Costume-Con 26 meeting for the evening at the Coffee Garden, and there was an empty two hour slot. It was a good plan.

Meeting went really well, K introduced all the committee members who were in attendance, we talked about the org chart and a few major department issues. Pretty simple and clear.

We finished by heading up to the dead dog party. It was pretty quiet, we talked with the con chair and a few other folks, and that was about it. All in all, a good time.