OK, well, I understand this year, we're putting in a lot of work promoting Costume-Con 26 and that means we're doing whatever may help us in that goal. Still...
Next year we check in on Wednesday night. Even if we have to go to work on Thursday. Neither of us started our packing until Thursday after work, and thankfully we both left work early. It still kind of felt like late-night packing before flying to a con at ridiculous hours of the morning. Winter light was probably the biggest contributor to that, though. We got to the hotel sometime after 8:00pm and hauled in our stuff. Well, the first load of our stuff. There wasn't a bellman or a cart to be found, which meant schlepping what should have been a cartload up by hand. Then we got our badges and went for sushi. With all the prep before work I had left my wallet at home, so that was my first (only) meal of the day. kaysho sat with us for a while, and we gabbed and waved to folks coming past the bar. It was an early crash night.
Friday morning K had an early workout, and I had to go down to the fan tables area to meet lisa_marli to set up our CC26 fan table. I found our spot (or rather, where it was supposed to be and Karl got the hotel to replace the tables that had gone missing), put out some fliers, and relaxed for a bit. bosn (the world's greatest room-fixer) came by and let me know that our party room was already clean and available for check-in. When lisa_marli showed up, I got checked into the party room and we finished set-up. We had a large captive audience (a.k.a. the at-con registration line) and got a few questions from folks coming past.
On the way back from the gym, K stopped at home to pick up a bunch of the party supplies. These went straight to the party room. Then he went up to the Furry Night Live orientation while I spent a bit more time at the table. Afterward, we got some crappy lunch at the Coffee Garden (a sign of things to come), and I headed out for the second supply run. Decor was picked up, wristbands were picked up and brought back to the party room.
The room went together pretty well. Then we found that neither of us had remembered that the Evil Genius posters weren't in a trunk, and K had to make one more run home to pick up the envelopes. lisa_marli, Moose, Merv, Judith and Maurine helped us tape posters and put them up. We cheated a bit and only put up 40 posters, the furry villains and the spy villains. It was a good thing, though. I'd be lying if I didn't say things were a bit rough without unayok or lobolance; both of them have been through building the room enough to make sure we don't have to worry about some parts.
We all went down to the Coffee Garden for a bit of dinner. The grilled flank steak special was surprisingly good (well, it was good, and we were surprised). The rest of the items folks ordered not so much. Then it was time to clean up and get ready to open the room.
We opened at 9-ish (where "-ish" equals ":30") to thronging crowds. No, not really, the party floor wasn't that busy at 9:30 yet. But we opened, Carole took on the ID-check duty, and it took a while before people came in. Once there were a few folks besides us, things picked up. The "Scott Evil's Evil Petting Zoo" idea went over well, and the deformed plushes were popular. We had a few issues with one or two people who weren't acquainted with the concept of "moderation" but mostly had an excellent time. Only serious problem was a door malfunction; the patio door decided to stop closing (the wheel broke) and hotel maintenance had to come by at 2:00 am to close it. We still kept going until about 3:45.
I'm not quite sure why, but somehow I woke up at 8:30 and went down to tear out our decorations. K joined me at 10:00, and by 11:00 we had everything up in our room. Again, I spent a bit of time at our fan table, and then went up to the room, called a bellman, and got nearly all the party supplies in our car and home. It's amazing what a difference having that done made; I was still running on only 4 hours sleep, but almost all of my major duties were discharged.
Well, except for masquerade judging.
It took a bit of work, but we were able to talk to the events head and find out when and where we had to show up for judging. Then we took a nap. I went back down to the table after, and did a more thorough run through the dealers' room and the art show.
Again, clean-up and getting to the right place at the right time. The masquerade directors were new this year, and there was a bit of chaos that had to be dealt with. We pointed out a small flaw in their judging plans, but were able to come up with a solution that would allow us to give the awards that they were asking for. We judged the "professional" division (separate from "master") for best-in-division awards. Silver (who was part of the judging panel for novice, journeyman and master divisions) joined us to deliberate over the Best-in-Show award (her co-judges were competing in pro division, so they couldn't participate on Best-in-Show). There were some serious music cue problems, but since we had the run list (that included music cues) we could factor that out and make a good decision. Chaos aside, everyone involved was doing their level best to ensure that this was a good and fair show, and I think that was obvious to anybody looking.
That done, we spent some time running around to parties. The Klingons were a blast, and had the huge styrofoam bas-relief targ mural.
Sunday morning was an early morning for K, what with 9:00 am rehearsal for Furry Night Live. I slept in, let lisa_marli pick up table supplies, and then met K for lunch. The day was pretty busy, as K was also joining the Fursuit Parade at 3:00 pm (with 279 participants, I believe) and had final dress rehearsal at 6:00 pm. jorhett and johnnyeponymous chatted about all sorts of fannish weirdness while we waited for the house to open for FNL. There was, not surprisingly, a delay on the house opening for the show itself. The schedule was just too tight to account for any of the problems that might have happened.
When the doors finally opened, we got seats about half-way back in the house, perfect spots for snarking on the skits. Well, it would have been, but the scripting and pacing on the sketches were uniformly good. There wasn't too much to snark on. I filled up a memory card shooting the parade, and another shooting FNL. When it was all over, we headed up to Super Jayhawk's room for the FNL cast & crew party. I finally got to put some faces to some of the fursuits I saw walking around. We got out around 3:45 am (sound familiar?).
Monday was the wind-up day. We got up, packed out the room and hauled stuff home. K did an afternoon workout, and I did a bit of housekeeping. When we realized that if we just kept watching TV we'd fall asleep before 6:00 pm, we decided to head back for the dead dog party. There bosn and melchar announced the theme for next year's tenth anniversary con: "The Fur East." Once again, they're back at the Doubletree. Ideas are bubbling already.
Next year will be another over-commitment year. The con is only 3 months before CC26, so we're going to be running in full-swing. Friday night's loeg party will be The Fiendish Party of Doctor Moo Manchu. We're also considering running a post-Masquerade cast & crew party. The masquerade folks have our contact information, and we've said we would help in whatever way we reasonably could. We've also been approached about helping with the technical/costuming section of fursuit programming.
I haven't had this much fun at a convention in ages, and that's saying something. I've been going to conventions for 15 years, and have attended conventions around the world. I'm not the type to go to a convention and not have fun. Further Confusion 2007 compares well with the best years of Minicon, some of the best Worldcons I've attended, and even with Costume-Con in its best years.
Big thanks to:
- Squirrel for picking a kick-ass theme. Spies were just what the doctor ordered
- bosn for being such a great hotel liason
- Karl for answering our questions and fixing things that needed to be fixed with the fan tables
- Luphinus and Flipper for listening when we found a problem with the masquerade that needed attention.
- Silver for being such a conscientious judge, and stepping up when we needed her help
- Yippee Coyote for wrangling FNL
- The FNL Ninjas... what can I say?
- badwox for putting together that huge array of tech and rolling with the problems
- SmilingWolf for being a great party maven
- The whole ops and FLARE teams for just doing their jobs
- The bunnywarez folks for just being a blast to hang around with