We loaded the car on Thursday night (oof... all in one load instead of two, what with the 60-mile round-trip) and drove up to the San Mateo Marriott. There was much hotel drama going on at check-in, but we came in clear. We later learned that was because the missing drapes in our room had already been dealt with that morning.
Folks were already there. We had dinner, got our badges, chatted for a while and went to sleep.
Friday morning we woke up, had breakfast, worked a bit on the masquerade database, and went up to open our masquerade registration table. There was a smidge of confusion about our table, but it turned out that the info desk sign wasn't in quite the right place, and our table did exist.
Unfortunately, there was also a bit of confusion with the masquerade line-management (hereafter referred to as "that wristband mess"). Because we barely had space for 450 seats in the ballroom and no space for a line, the con had come up with a wristband scheme to balance all this with the forecast 2000 attendees of the convention.
The newsletter article in the first issue, while telling the people the right location in the hotel (outside Collaborate 3, where gaming was) and time (noon on Saturday) mentioned all that right next to "Masquerade Registration Desk" (which wasn't anywhere near Collaborate 3). Compound this by our being more visible than the information desk (which was across from us, at the entrance to an alcove) and we dealt with a lot of questions that weren't at all related with masquerade registration.
So after a day of registering a few masquerade entries and answering a lot of questions, we got some dinner and went to a few parties.
Oh, yeah. I checked into the party room. The loft suites are... strange. Still, very good for hosting parties in.
britgeekgrrl and iamradar's UV party was, well, dark and glowy. Tom Whitmore had a nice Other Change of Hobbit anniversary party in our party suite. The klingons were a lot of fun.
Sunday we opened our desk only a little after 9:00 (when we were scheduled). Repeat of earlier stuff. By the time we closed at 12:45, we had just under 20 entries.
We also learned that wristband mess was in fact less of a mess than forecast. Yes, there was a line for wristbands when the desk opened. Yes, there was confusion about where the wristband line actually was, and several mass migrations. No, there wasn't a line at our desk, as we made it very obvious that we weren't giving them out...
...but when the line cleared, they still had a few (and I mean a few, perhaps only a dozen) bands left over. A few folks who showed up late were even able to get bands. Nobody who waited in line went away empty-handed.
We had our contestant meeting, and people were thrilled to learn that by giving up a bit of time in the early afternoon they were saving around two hours in the green room.
I can't really remember what I did on Saturday after the meeting, but K, Shelly and fairegoddess whipped the line-up into shape. I did get us and our judges into dinner a smidge early (since there was barely enough time for the workmanship judges to eat before they had to start).
fairegoddess and Shelly opened the green room, and things were in full swing when we got up there. As soon as we had the photo room, we got set up. Not having the photo space earlier was the only serious hitch of the evening.
Part II of that wristband mess also went very smoothly, which was a mixed blessing. It was good because we didn't have to delay the show to finish filling the house. It was bad because it only took about 20 minutes, and most folks spent 40-60 minutes waiting in the house for the show to begin.
Things beyond that were a bit of a blur. I put the back-of-house ushers in place to get the contestants back to the green room, and handled the queue getting entrants through the back halls to the stage entrance. The show started on schedule (even if Seanan ended up vamping a bit longer after that than we hoped), and ran quickly and smoothly. We whisked the judges away to their secret home while "Ashes of the Phoenix" (a Star Wars swordfight exhibition) kept the audience distracted for 15 minutes, and then Match Game SF started.
The judges were done by the start of the second Match Game round, and paperwork was done to give awards after it was over. The game broke after the second round, and awards were given. Unfortunately, a few things prevented the Match Game from coming back for their third round. Awards were out and the show was done, though, by 10:30.
We went back to the room. K worked on masquerade certificates. I cleaned up again. Then we did our party loop.
Klingons were in full-swing, but out of Revenge. A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. had a full room at the Ichiriki Tea House. We stayed out a bit, and then went to sleep.
Sunday we had breakfast and finished printing certificates. We decorated for our party. I got the iPod to output a slide-show to the big TVs in the room.
The afternoon was interrupted by a Costume-Con 26 committee meeting. Then we got a little dinner, cleaned up again and went up to open the party.
300 "Minion" ribbons given out. 100 "Lab Rat" ribbons given out. Well over 200 ID wristbands ("Yes, I'm old enough to drink") given out. 2 cases of wine cleared between 9:30 and 1:10am. Two and a half bottles of chipotle bottles cleared.
It was just non-stop. When we ran out of alcohol, folks came back with more. We got to sleep around 4:30.
Monday we called for late check-out on the party room (and got it, the room was being pulled out of service again a soon as we left) and slept a few more hours. We got breakfast and cleared the room. Hauled party supplies back home. Came back for dinner and the Dead Dog party. Stayed up with a few people watching Eurovision highlights.
Headed home Tuesday morning.
So here's the list. If I miss you, it's because I can't brain, I still have the stupid.
Thank you to everybody who worked on the masquerade and helped with the party.
and a host of others for whom I don't have LJ IDs...
Biggest thanks to everybody who competed in the masquerade. Without you, we wouldn't have had a show.
...and of course, pentaclemoon, who ran the zoo and made it through the weekend without murdering anybody.