Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

ConClave Report

We had a great time at ConClave.

We left early, as we were carrying the last of the sound system gear that I'd borrowed from Bob at Gand and which would be needed for the Emerald Rose concert on Friday and Saturday evenings. Having it show up late would have been bad.

Loading out into the Dealers' Room was slightly complicated by the elevators, but not badly so as there weren't that many fans there yet. The elevators were slow and badly overloaded by traffic later in the weekend, but they all kept working, so that was a plus.

Our stock no longer fits onto two six-foot tables. We're going to need to get three tables from now on, as we've done about all we can to hide titles away on the grid. And CDs that aren't displayed so that they can be seen aren't likely to sell well.

I met the folks from Emerald Rose who were a nice bunch and a fun band to listen to (although I didn't get a shot at that until Saturday, since I needed to get dinner once the Dealers' Room closed). They were happy with what I'd brought, I was happy that they were happy, and there was much happiness all around. :) Also, they run sound at a level that doesn't make your eardrums bleed -- which is a good thing.

Unfortunately, Sam was stuck at work -- unexpectedly -- until well after 7 PM Chicago time, so Sam and Bonnie wouldn't show up until the next day. This meant that Steve had a room to himself on Friday and that we got to worry about exactly when they would show up with the props and lights for the SpaceTime Theater show. (The answer: about 3 PM on Saturday afternoon.)

I picked up dinner from Wendy's and brought it back to the hotel where daisy_knotwise, daddy_guido, and lverhulst had started setting things up for the Capricon party. I helped hang lights and ivy, then kissed Gretchen goodbye and headed for the filk.

The filking was a bit thin, but worked out pretty well. catalana arrived a few hours late, her plane having been delayed when the engine swallowed a piece of paper before arriving in Champaign, and having needed to be checked out thoroughly before being allowed to fly. I ran her out to Wendy's so she could get something to eat, as there'd been no food available in Champaign while she was waiting, since she had no dollar bills for the vending machines. Then I loaned her the cedar-topped Taylor that I'd brought for her to use in the open filk, so we didn't have to keep swapping guitars.

I crashed out relatively early as I'd gotten up at 6 AM to make sure I arrived on time. I was still awake when Gretchen wandered in from the Capricon party. We compared notes, then got too little sleep, as we needed to get up for the Dorsai Irregulars business meeting at 10 AM. We'd originally planned to wait to open up the table until after the meeting, but Erica was good enough to volunteer to run it while we were indisposed, so we gratefully turned it over to her.

After the meeting, Erica and I ran out to a Coney Island place just north of the hotel. It turned out to be more of a sitdown place than I'd originally thought, but they did do carryout, so I was able to bring food back for Gretchen and Steve, which was a good thing.

Many of our friends took the opportunity to congratulate us on the progress in Project Baby (due November 21st). Thanks to everyone for the good wishes!

I skipped out on the table to go to one panel on "The Future of the Art Show" at science-fiction conventions. I had to duck out when tarkrai called to let me know that Bob Tucker had died on Friday night. I passed the sad news along to various folks who I thought would care. Nearly ninety two isn't too bad... *sigh*

When Sam and Bonnie arrived, he and Jerry went to bring in the lights, while Bonnie and I went to do recon work in the space. I'd already had three sections of risers removed on Friday so that there'd be room for us and the sound table stage right. We'd also talked it over with the concom and staff and they'd pulled the round tables that had originally been called for in the room layout and replaced them with theater-style seating so that there was enough seating for things like the Emerald Rose concert.

Of course, by now the room had been reset for panels, all the chairs faced the wrong way, the airwall was up, and the DJ had left his equipment piled in the space that we needed to use as our backstage. We moved his stuff carefully to the opposite corner of the room (stage left) where no one would trip on it, since he wouldn't be needing it until later. Unfortunately, this never got transmitted to the DJ who panicked for a few minutes when his gear wasn't where he left it, which I can certainly understand. Fortunately, it didn't take too long to find it. :)

We'd have been there to tell him, but there was a panel at 4 PM, so we cleared out so as not to bother them and waited to continue until the designated setup time of 5 PM. Emerald Rose set up while we erected grid and curtains and arranged our props. When they were done, we just pulled the mic cables out of the grid and hung the last sets of curtains, then went up with our show shortly after 7 PM.

It was a great audience and we all had a lot of fun. It was also great to get a chance to work with both daddy_guido and dek9 who hadn't actually had a chance to meet each other until the previous weekend. But the chemistry was as good as we'd hoped it would be.

How to get the whole cast to call Freeze at the same time: Tap out the person who's already on stage with Greg and then announce, "It's the Naked Greg show, with your host, Naked Greg!"

There are some things man was not meant to know. Or see. Or something like that.

I set up a live mic for the Masquerade and we headed out for dinner, joined by beamjockey. A good time was had by all. We returned to find the dance in full swing as we disassembled the sound gear and lights to get them out. I think we only lost one windscreen, which is a pretty good percentage, all things considered.

catalana and I headed to the filk, joined later by daisy_knotwise, which meant that we had the chance to sing Apology. This went over nicely. :) I also had a chance to show Logan of Emerald Rose my Taylor 710 short-scale guitar, which he liked quite a bit. (I got to show him the cedar-top on Sunday.)

Did I mention somewhere that the Emerald Rose folks were all delightful and fun to work with?

On Sunday, Gretchen and I woke up early and got our stuff packed out of the room. We located a key to the party suite and Bill Dyer was good enough to help me (and later Gretchen) pack up the decorations that we'd left standing during Liz and Dave's reception and the DI party on Saturday night. Gretchen sent me off to Erica's concert, which drew about a dozen people -- quite respectable for Sunday morning. Afterwards, we talked with Dorotha about a harmony idea I had for Erica's album, then I headed off to the Dealers' Room, picked up Gretchen and Steve's lunch order, and headed off to lunch at Wendy's with Erica before dropping her at the airport and bringing back lunch for Gretchen and Steve.

I grabbed a couple of books from Sally (Larry was at Archon): the new 1632 novel and the Heinlein / Robinson "collaboration", both of which will be read by me eventually.

I got a chance to congratulate Liz and Pat on the convention's success. Membership seems to have been up substantially from the previous year and sales were certainly good for us at the table. It's nice to see, as we really like ConClave.

We got packed out by 5 PM (with more help from Bill Dyer getting things into the car -- thanks, Bill!) and hit the road.

Serendipitously, we were looking for the Culver's in Jackson for dinner and found Hudson's Classic Diner instead. That was a nice surprise that I'll happily recommend if you find yourself at exit 137 on I-94. Just head north a bit less than a mile...

And eventually, I found the Cards / Padres game on the radio with its happy result (Cards win!) just moments after we got home.

All in all, a fun weekend. But, boy, am I tired!
Tags: baseball, cardinals, cons, filk, musings, spacetime

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