Gretchen and I had made plans to leave for OVFF on Thursday night rather than our usual pattern of trying to drive down on Friday morning. Then the Cubs got into the playoffs and there was the distinct danger that we'd find ourselves at a World Series game that night and leaving very late. But this was the Cubs. We needn't have worried.
We actually got piled into the car about 7 PM and headed off, which meant that most of the traffic had cleared on the Interstate. Grabbed dinner at an Outback in Merrillville (because going to a con means you're never sure when your next meal on a plate will be :) ) and just kept on driving. We got in at absurd o'clock in the morning and crawled into bed.
Got out of the room around lunch time and figured that would be a good idea. We collected Daniel, Melissa, and Spencer and ducked off to the Max and Erma's down the street (because going to a con means you're never sure when your next meal on a plate will be...), ate too much food, and headed back to the hotel.
This year, the hotel decided to distinguish itself by renting the function rooms that the con was supposed to be setting up in during the afternoon. I'm sure that the committee will be having more discussions with the hotel about this; it certainly wasn't making their life any easier. We finally got the Dealers' Room around 5 PM and Gretchen and I started frantically throwing CDs and tapes onto the table. We were pretty much done by 7 when the Mad Hatter's Tea Party was starting. I ducked up to the room to change.
A couple of years ago at Dorsai Thing, folks were invited to come to the banquet as their "palindromic opposite". It wasn't exactly clear what this was supposed to be, mind you. And the more folks asked, the more the committee grinned back at us. Hmm. What to go as?
I thought about it and realized that many of my friends have noted my ability to talk them into doing unlikely things -- a power which, of course, I try to use only for good. Then I thought some more and realized that the opposite of that would be someone who tried to talk people into things to benefit himself to the victim's detriment -- a fast-talking con man.
Like, say, Harold Hill.
So Gretchen made me a blue satin bandleader's jacket and tall blue satin cap with a large insignia on it reading "RCBB". It seemed appropriate somehow and had been quite popular at Thing. This was another fine chance to pull it out of the closet.
I stepped off the elevator as Terence Chua was stepping on. And I heard him say as the door closed, "River City Boys Band". Sharp fellow, Terence. :)
It was a popular costume at the tea party.
(Looking at my watch, I see that this is going to be Part I, because I need to pack up the car and head off to Smac's house concert tonight. More later.)