I had lunch with Gretchen, Katie, and Julie and got out of town at a reasonable hour, so I arrived at Erica's at also a reasonable hour where we did some serious damage to the stew and dumplings she'd prepared. We sat around talking for a while, compared various thicknesses of guitar picks that I'd brought with me, and put together a set list for my concert on Saturday night which Erica agreed to sing backup harmonies for. Constructing the set list was a simple case of listing songs that definitely needed to be included, then figuring out what else needed to be there to turn it into a set. :) I ended up with:
Into the Day
Too Many Years
Beyond the Sky
Running Down the Stars
I was the guinea pig for the new guest bedroom which is now looking distinctly like a bedroom and served admirably. We got on the road about 11 AM local time and grabbed a bite to eat so we didn't die before getting to Columbus. I was a bit confused about the route until I realized that the last time that I'd come this way, I started from Lima instead of Ada. This makes a bit of a difference. :) I am, however, envious of the state of Ohio's highways as opposed to those around Chicago.
Knowing where the Max and Erma's was near the OVFF hotel, we took advantage of it for lunch. Then it was off to the Hyatt where the former dealer loading area was now mostly full of an Einstein's Bagels. Fortunately, the con was well prepared for this and load-in was nice and smooth. Set up wasn't too difficult (interrupted by only one call from work), but it's becoming apparent that our stock no longer really fits in anything less than 18 linear table feet and that was accomplished by leaving the silly things at home. I've got to work on this.
Our table was just diagonally across the center aisle from Juanita which was nice as there was both conversation and the opportunity to send customers back and forth looking for things that we didn't have. And that was pretty much all I saw of the room until Sunday, other than a quick trip by Sally's table to chat with WindyCon's dealer's room manager and to grab a few books while I was there.
Sales were slow. That's not a great surprise, given the state of the economy, but I'm really wondering exactly how many people were actually on site. I heard that they'd gotten over 500 walk-in memberships on Saturday -- I'm not sure how many of those ever set foot in the dealers' room.
After the room closed, we grabbed dinner in the conveniently located food court with Trace and unclechristo. Then Chris was off to a panel and we were off to Erica's 10 PM theme filk on the subject of "British filk". She didn't actually find out what the theme was until she got to the con, so the theme was a trifle underprepared. Erica allowed as to how pretty much anything in the English language was going to qualify under the rather loose rules she was using. And thus, a good time was had by all. :)
As opposed to the massive crowd last year, the filk seemed a bit thin this time around. On the other hand, there were a lot of people who just didn't make it to the con for one reason or another.
On Saturday, we got up, opened the table, grabbed lunch, and then Erica headed off to her panel on crafting a song, which I understand went pretty well. There were various bits of conversation with our friends who wandered by the table, which were quite pleasant. We traded off trips to the art show to see what was there, then spent the end of the afternoon (between the occasional customer) running over the material that Erica was singing backup on for my concert. Then it was time to close up, grab dinner, and head off to the concert.
The concert seemed to go pretty well. Erica sang backup for everything except "Imagination Rising" (which she's still working on) and "Too Many Years" (which doesn't really want backup). And the harmonies make everything sound better...
I caught Juanita and markbernstein's concerts before Chris' theme circle on British filk. Jordin had been scheduled for a late concert at 11:30 PM, so we broke for that. I missed a bit of it while we ran down to the food court to grab more soda before things closed, but what I heard sounded good. And then the circle resumed and we sang until a moderately (but not extremely) late hour before deciding to crash.
Sunday, we got out of the room and down the elevators without a problem. This was perhaps the most convincing sign that attendance was down, because that never happens. But Chris came by the table and chatted with us for a while, which was fun, and filmed a brief excerpt that may show up on YouTube at some point. Jordin spent some time chatting with Erica about things Pegasus-related and elsewise, while I got to tour the room and pick up a few things to take home with me. And sales picked up a bit, as people seemed to find they had some money left over that they wanted to leave with us. :)
Perhaps because of the state of the loading dock, load out went really smoothly. We were actually on the road by 4:20 PM local time. We got dinner at Max and Erma's, then headed back to Ada, where I dropped Erica off. Then it was back up U.S. 30 to Chicago.
And although the con was a wonderful time, it was also wonderful to get home to Gretchen, Katie, and Julie.
Even if Julie was already asleep by the time I got there.
But Katie wasn't. And I think she likes her new stuffed dinosaur. :)