After I got to the con on Friday, I finished setting up the Secret Empire table. catalana dropped by and I put her in touch with filkertom so she could get her luggage moved into the room they were sharing. She came back by the table later to discuss the panel that we were doing with Tom at 8 PM. I suggested that we run and grab a quick dinner at Portillo's, so I closed the table up about 10 minutes early to give us a bit of slack.
The panel, "Death Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard", discussed the differences between writing serious songs and funny ones. Erica survived being sandwiched between Tom and I (we talk a lot) and the audience seemed to have a good time. We had a nice little filk that evening and even talked Tom into playing PQR for the occasion, since it had come up during the panel. daisy_knotwise didn't get to the con until well after 11 PM when the IT staff at the bank determined that they couldn't get the new phone and computer systems working that night, so she had to go back in the morning to finish up. But janmagic was good enough to work some kinks out of Gretchen's shoulders while she sat in a corner of the filkroom for a few minutes and I got to play Dance by Starlight for her, so the evening wasn't a total loss on that front. :)
I've concluded that I would hear Erica sing more in our Midwest Chaos circles if she wasn't really, really polite. OTOH, I did get to hear a fair amount of her over the weekend, but maybe not as much as would have been absolutely desirable, at least in the open circles.
I set up the sound system before Opening Ceremonies on Thursday night, having offered to let the con use it for the weekend. When I came in to do the last bit of setup to run sound for Erica's concert on Saturday, I discovered that someone had yanked the table out from under the PA amplifier and left it dumped on the floor off the edge of the stage where the table had been. They'd also thoughtfully borrowed the extension cord and power strip that I had brought to power the video projector that, on further review, turned out to be on the table that they had yanked out from under me.
I was ticked. By the time the previous panel finally vacated the room (late) and got their stuff off of the stage (late) and I was able to get yet another table into the room (with thanks to kevinnickerson who had been at the previous panel and helped me snag a table from the hallway), we started the concert about 10 minutes late. Fortunately, Erica had timed things out pretty well and we were able to clear out without delaying the fellow from the Heinlein Society too much. I had already decided that the sound system was leaving with me, so I stacked it up on my cart, and Erica helped me roll it out to the car. *sigh* (I left the extension cord for the Heinlein Society presentation and recovered it later. No need to make his life any more difficult because someone else had been an idiot.)
Richard had asked me to do a set in the Internet Cafe at 5 PM. I got there -- after all the sound system entertainment -- just after Tom's 4 PM set there ended. My set seemed to go pretty well, and Steve Austin (the current leading name for the new Taylor) seems capable of tossing sound across a room nicely.
After that, Erica, Jerry, Gretchen, and I grabbed dinner in the hotel steak house. Erica and Gretchen left a few minutes early for Erica's 7 PM set in the Internet Cafe (an idea which seemed to work really nicely, BTW, and reminded me of the old Dark Star setup at the big Minicons of years past); I headed over after settling the check. Erica's set was sounding just fine, but I had to leave early to head over to the Art Auction, where Dr. Bob, daddy_guido, and I knocked down a lot of art from 8 to 10:30 PM. Gretchen stopped by early on to grab her car keys which I'd forgotten to give her back after throwing the sound system into the van. Erica came by late in the auction to see what we were doing and found out just how loony (and entertaining, hopefully) things can get there. Somewhere in the middle, I threw out a bid and won a sterling silver pin which I gave to Gretchen on Sunday.
Of course, all this meant that I missed Tom's concert. Tom was pretty wiped and headed out shortly after I got there. I filked until some absurd hour of the morning; then spent a bit of time in the hall chatting with Erica, tigertoy, Helen, and Jan about various things, including Erica's current interview process.
I got up early the next morning to hit the Phandemonium board meeting so I could vote on the new board members. As board meetings went, it was pretty entertaining. Then Gretchen had to run Tom downtown to catch his train back to Michigan and I had to run off to the ISFiC board meeting. We left Steve Salaba to watch the table, but he was feeling bad and worse as the day went on. I got back to the table just before 1 PM to find that Erica had pretty much taken over there (Thanks!) and that Steve was looking pretty awful. I called Gretchen on her cellphone and found out that she was just picking up lunch, so I asked her to grab something for Erica as well.
When Gretchen got back, I ran to get Erica checked out of her room (she'd already brought her luggage down); then Bonnie came up and helped me haul our stuff out and I checked out of our room. After I finished lunch, Gretchen went off to put the finishing touches on the goat suit for Closing Ceremonies. Steve was looking like death warmed over, so we sent him with Bonnie to our house to crash; then Sam rescued Bonnie and took her home.
Erica stayed to help me mind the table and we chatted until closing. Then she helped me pack up until Closing Ceremonies started. We ducked over there to watch the fun; then came back with Gretchen and resumed packing.
Eventually, Erica hooked up with Phil and Helen and headed back to Champaign-Urbana. Gretchen and I finished packing out of the room and into the van and my car. I stopped by the store and grabbed some bread and juice for Steve, who wasn't going anywhere that night. After we made him some toast, Gretchen and I ducked out for a late dinner, then finally came home and collapsed in a heap.
Overall, I had a really good time. And it was good to get a chance to talk to Erica and spend some time planning recording her next album. It would have been nice to see and hear a bit more of Tom, but that's the way that scheduling goes some times. *sigh*
And thanks to tigertoy and Helen for providing transportation for Erica to and from the con!