I'm positive that I will forget many things that happened during the weekend, but that's not surprising, given the general lack of sleep that goes along with a con like OVFF. daisy_knotwise and I started out on moderately short sleep, as we were up late finishing things the night before, then got up early the next morning to try to get on the road by a reasonable hour. We rolled out by just after 9 AM and arrived at our former White Hen that has now been converted to a 7-11. This turned out to mean that they would no longer make a sandwich at the deli that was no longer there. Grumble. Another hitting-the-road tradition bites the dust. We ended up going through the drive-through at Burger King to get something to eat to start the day.
Now what you have to consider is that I had spent the entire week before the con pumping Benadryl, because my food allergy had gone off just as I was getting over a potentially nasty little cold. When I'm being well and truly allergic to food, I'm allergic to many things that I'm not normally allergic to (chocolate being among them) and I tend to hold water. As we started to detour around the construction at the I-65 / I-80 interchange, my body finally decided that it was time to start releasing all of that stored up water.
One hour and three restroom breaks later, we finally started making some reasonable time. :) We got to Indy around 2 PM local time, grabbed lunch at Shapiro's, then got back on the road to Columbus, getting in just after 6 PM, which was later than we'd intended, but in plenty of time for the Pegasus Concert at 8 PM. I got some help hauling in boxes and luggage from the van, which made life much easier and barely got started unloading onto the table before it was time to change for the concert.
Apology was the second song up overall and went quite well. Gretchen was in good voice and form as was judifilksign who I must see a recording of someday, as I don't dare watch during a performance. I had enough voice to live through the process. :)
catalana had kindly asked me to cover Sealskin Jacket for the Best Tragedy segment of the concert, which I was happy to do, although I don't think I'd heard the song before it was nominated. Fortunately, tarkrai had gotten me an MP3 and I'd pulled the lyrics from the Pegasus website and added chords. Unfortunately, I hadn't practiced it quite as much as I'd hoped, because of the cold and allergies, so I farbled a couple of words, but since several of the Toronto-area fans came up and thanked me for doing a good cover of it after the concert, I conclude that it couldn't have been too bad. :)
After the concert, we left Katie with no-longer-so-Wee Talis and went with Erica and decadent_dave over to Max & Erma's for a late dinner where we had a fine time. When I got back, it was late enough that I decided to crash out early so I could set up the table in the morning before the dealers room opened.
That plan didn't work out so well, because Katie somehow managed to dump a glass of water onto the table where I had unloaded several dozen CDs. We moved and dried all the affected CDs, but everything on that table had to be moved and the tablecloth replaced before I could continue, which really set things back. Gretchen took Katie and Julie out in the hall to get out of the way and somewhere during that process collected a clarinet lesson from poltr1 while Erica came by and helped me sort things out and get the table opened up. I think I was done setting up sometime a bit after noon, which was way later than I'd planned.
But there was a lot of good conversation around the table. Several of my friends came by, including Liz and Dorotha, as well as Erica, who helped keep the table running in the general chaos that is OVFF. Gretchen took Katie and Julie off for a nap which -- sadly! -- proved to be a futile and low-caloric effort, as Katie wasn't having anything to do with a nap. We'd pay for that later. And I got to sing a couple of the new songs for Dorotha and Erica which was good, along with taking a run at Crystal Dance where they're working on harmonies.
Gretchen gave me a pass to catch micktim and stevieannie's GoH concert. Katie tagged along and was about as well-behaved and quiet as anyone in the audience -- at least until the dealers room closed and Gretchen stuck her head in to let me know what was up. At that point, Katie wanted Mommy and started to squawk, so I had to take her out of the room. Gretchen decided to take them both back to our room and I got to hear the rest of the concert which I enjoyed quite a bit.
We'd made arrangements for Talis to sit with Katie during the banquet -- Gretchen figured we'd take Julie with us in the stroller. That turned out not to work out, as Katie had a meltdown in the OVFF Kidspace and I was told not to bring her back. I ended up taking Katie down to the banquet and getting a high chair for her and she behaved pretty well there.
We sat with Erica, Dave, Sib, Jan, Steve W., Persis, and Spencer. The conversation was good, although the kid wrangling was keeping life entertaining. Gretchen had to take Katie out of the room to be changed before the awards, while I spent all of the time during the awards determinedly bouncing Julie on my knee and trying to keep her quiet. She's teething right now, so she has an excuse.
Apology didn't win, which was kind of a shame, but four of us weren't going to win and it's always nice to be nominated. :)
After the banquet, I think Gretchen and I took the kids back to the room and put them to bed. Gretchen hung around there while I went out to see if there was anything interesting going on. I wasn't really in the mood to watch "Whose Line" in the main room and none of the other rooms had a lot going on at the time. catsittingstill reminded me that she'd been interested in hearing some of my new songs, so we swapped songs back and forth for a bit in the hallway outside the improv session. A filk later accreted around us and I determined -- after singing one song at full voice -- that I didn't have enough voice to handle a space of that size. I apologized to filkertom and took my leave and eventually decided that it would be intelligent to get to bed early.
It would have been even more intelligent had my body cooperated and let me get to sleep before something like 4:15 AM. *sigh*
We'd decided to stay through until Monday, so we didn't have to worry about clearing out of the room, which was good. We got the table opened up, set Katie to watch Winnie the Pooh videos again in the corner, and kept handing out Tim and Annie and Jeff and Maia CDs. :)
(Gretchen hasn't counted the box yet, but I think sales were down a bit this year, which isn't a surprise, given the state of the economy. I also suspect that the con was down about 30 or 40 members, but I could be completely wrong about that as I'm just guessing based on what I saw in the big room.)
Erica came by to help with the table. Jessica came by again to ask more about filk and I handed her off to Gretchen who had more voice than I did. :) (Dry hotel air wasn't helping.) Eventually, the room closed, I wrote a bunch of checks to folks, and started to pack up. sexybass kindly helped at first; then when Erica returned, I thanked Tom and swapped Erica in as she's a bit more practiced at the whole packout ritual. It's really a two-person job and Gretchen had taken the kids down for a much more successful run at an afternoon nap than had happened on Saturday, so the help was very helpful.
The weather was quite nice as I loaded up the van. Then Erica and I collected tollers, Gretchen, and the kids and went off to Max & Erma's for dinner and to the ice cream shop next door for dessert. The ice cream was quite good and I'm sure it will be even better when chocolate is back on my diet. :)
We went to the dead dog filk where we set Katie up in the corner with the video player, which kept her occupied pretty well. Gretchen took Julie out to the hall as she was squawking and found some nice conversation there while still following the thread of what was going on in the room. I got to sing Snowflakes with cadhla in the room, which was something that I'd been (correctly) looking forward to. :) And I sang Crystal Dance with Erica's backing harmonies at Gretchen's request before she took the kids off to bed, as Katie was making definite "I'm tired" motions.
Some time later, I'd wandered down to the con suite in search of a small bite to eat when I got a phone call from Gretchen. It turned out that Katie really wanted Daddy. A lot. So Erica helped me pack up my guitar and stuff and I headed abruptly back to the room to help pacify my older daughter. (If you were wondering why I left in such a hurry, that would be it. :) )
About twenty minutes later, she crawled happily into her crib to go to sleep, after Daddy had played some songs on the guitar for her. And we decided it was time to crawl into bed too.
We skipped breakfast on Monday morning in favor of getting packed and on the road. I had a chance for some final goodbyes in the lobby, then we headed home with my MP3 player synchronistically playing The Association's Goodbye, Columbus. We stopped at Shapiro's for lunch where Katie had another meltdown -- halted by a kind employee with a cookie -- and eventually got home around 6 PM local time, with Gretchen driving through a bit of sleet and snow to welcome us home.
I've got more things to say, but that'll end the narrative part of our program. :)