Thursday morning we hopped a plane to Salt Lake City, Utah so we could catch a shuttle bus up to Ogden and the Ogden Marriott for Costume-Con 23: Crossroads in Space and Time. We had something of a wait for our shuttle, but found ourselves riding with koshka_the_cat, Sarah Holt, Deb Salisbury, Jacqui Ward and a few others on the 40 minute trip up to Ogden.
So the downside: we were in Utah. That meant dry, dry, dry (even by California standards, even with rain forecast for the weekend), high, high, high (4,200 feet above sea level) and dry, dry, dry (well, there was alcohol, but we'll get back to that).
The upside was that we were in a very nice little Marriott (even if the climate control made it even drier). Our trunks were waiting for us. The hotel room was big. We had a beautiful view of the mountains from our hotel window. The tap water was eminently drinkable (tho a bit hard for showering). We were a half-block from historic down-town Ogden with a pretty good selection of interesting restaurants and shops. The same Mormon aversion to intoxicants that makes getting alcohol complicated also extends to cigarettes so there wasn't as much smoke as in other western cities outside California.
And, of course, nearly everybody was already there.
After getting moved in and spending a bit of time with Char and Henry (who had driven in from Milwaukee), we had dinner up in the mountains with Empress Marquita and Emperor Steve of Ogden. Alas, they were leaving the next morning for Vancouver, WA coronation so they couldn't join us the rest of the weekend. When we finally got back we found the Victorian Bathing Party in full swing at the ConSuite (it opened on to the pool).
That's about all I remember about Thursday. Chalk it up to altitude and continuous lack of sleep. This will be a pattern throughout the weekend.
Friday morning we got up way too early to get breakfast and make it to the ICG Annual meeting at 9:30 am. I didn't have the last guidelines draft ready, so we didn't submit at the meeting (it should have been submitted a month ago, late wasn't good but not submitting at the meeting was). The meeting went mostly smoothly (some folks learned a bit more about parliamentary procedure and maneuvering and helped the meeting move along) and got some really substantive things done. If you catch Kendra mention that you heard that everybody at the meeting was very impressed at her vast proxies.
After the meeting I joined reddheart and trystbat for the "Goth and Fetish Fashion" panel. Other than a bit of general discussion about the big differences between goth fashion and fetish fashion (goth fashion is symbolic, fetish fashion is functional and symbolic, if you get my drift), we mostly skewed towards the Goth.
We also went to laroberouge's retrospective panel. It was a bit... raw. Jwlhyfer has had a complicated life, and much of the retrospective turned on how her life influenced her costume work. Not, I think, what some people bargained for, but absolutely brilliant.
Henry and Char took us shopping for party supplies, which basically ended the afternoon. Even in a state that's as much a monoculture as Utah we were able to find interesting snacks. Much of it was the standard candy we can find nationwide, but there were a few special things.
The Stargate Social had a few interesting aspects, absolutely the least of which being the beautiful carved styrofoam Stargate. Marty Gear introduced all the past Costume-Con chairpersons (at least those present, though he read all the names); something I don't remember being done before. There were some very nice snack buffets put out, including a chocolate fountain. Alas, we were in Utah, so there were no beverages (the hotel demanded a bar-minimum even to serve soft-drinks), so we absconded to the bar... er... Private Club off the Lobby where we met Betsy Burger and Andrea Schewe from Simplicity. Costume-Con is attracting professional attention. karisu_sama, didjiman and the girls got in about that time and joined us. Finally, a few of us went up to the room for a few more drinks while kproche finished his Staff-of-Ra for Saturday's masquerade.
Saturday I slept in while K went to a 9:00 panel. Even then the day was a touch mad; K had two rehearsals, two panels and masquerade call, and I had to decorate the ConSuite for the post-masquerade loeg party. We also had to slip in a bid presentation panel during lunch. The presentation wasn't that well attended, but I did get to meet the Library Collections Manager from FIDM. Did I mention CC was starting to attract professional attention?
Decorating took too long. I hate cloth wallpaper.
I made it in time for the last 1/3 of the F&SF masquerade, and what I saw was excellent. Oh, I didn't mention. It was in Peery's Egyptian Theater, a beautifully renovated deco-Egyptian movie palace? That's why all the Egyptian (and Stargate) references came in. I missed our bid entry, but the crowd was still chanting "RA! RA! RA!" anytime anything exciting happened. The facility was excellent and practical, and even solo entries didn't get lost on the big stage. At the end of it all, Cat Devereaux was awarded the ICG Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005.
After Masquerade was, as I mentioned, our loeg party. We ran from midnight to 3:30, and with the help of Carole Parker were cleaned up before 4:30. Another (no surprise) late night.
Sunday I was ostensibly free (yeah, right) and K had a pair of panels and his half-time bit for the Historical Masquerade. I don't remember a lot of Sunday; we woke up noon-ish, and what happened between lunch and Historical was a bit of a blur. I know we missed the Future Fashion Show and Single Pattern Contest in the morning.
I did get to see the whole HIstorical Masquerade, and it was excellent. It finished up with Karen Dick giving aramintamd the Costume-Con Founder's Award for service to the conference and the community.
Oh, yeah, and with the voting results. 50 ballots were cast. Of those, 48 were valid. 1 vote to Baptisttown, NJ (Byron?), 1 vote to "Kevin & Andy's Place" (Henry?) and one to "No Preference" leaving us with 45 valid votes in favor of CC26 in Silicon Valley. That's a huge vote in any CC site selection, much less an uncontested site selection. We're official now.
So back to the ConSuite for more party and celebration, and more missed sleep.
Monday was relatively light. Well, in theory. We were going to ship our trunks back, but I had panels in the morning and afternoon, so that had to wait until Tuesday morning. The panel itself went well. Pierre Pettinger, Janet Anderson and I did a workshop on masquerade judging from the inside. We were scheduled for two panel slots (theory and practical) and the second ran over (we were the last item). If it happens again, though, we need to do it on Friday afternoon before the competitions.
Other bits? Dealers room was excellent. Exhibits was excellent. Doll Costume Contest entries were excellent.
Excellent, but over.
A bunch of us hauled up to the mall for the 4:45 showing of the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. Flawless it wasn't, but it was pretty good and a lot of fun. There was no way that every good line from the books, radio series or play could be fit in, but it held together. That was followed by a run to Tona (a nice little Japanese restaurant) and finally the dead-dog party (yep, more lack of sleep).
Tuesday morning Dave helped us get our trunks to FedEx, we checked out of the hotel, and headed west.
I am so fried.