Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Talking OVFF (Thursday and Friday)

It's been more than a week since I came home from OVFF, so numerous details are starting to fade. In some cases, that may be good. :) But let's see what I do remember.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a fan of the four-day SF con. It eats extra vacation, which I'm not long on. It eats an extra night of hotel room, which isn't cheap. And, as a dealer, it doesn't really bring in more money -- you just stretch out the normal three days of sales across four days. So the fact that OVFF was four days long this year was not something that I saw as a big bonus.

All that said, I usually was having a good time. :)

We got out of the house a bit later than I'd intended on Thursday morning, but made pretty good time on the trip to Columbus, stopping for lunch at Shapiro's in Indianapolis. I had hoped to unload into the Dealers' Room on Thursday night, but they weren't really ready for it, so the boxes stayed in the car until the following morning (when Evil was good enough to help me get them through the door). We were there in plenty of time for the Old Farts Round Robin, which included Tom Smith, Juanita, Judith Hayman, and Bill and Brenda Sutton. And there were a reasonable number of people who were there on Thursday night -- I could tell, because they were in the audience! Everyone seemed to have a pretty good time. After the concert, Gretchen, Katie, Julie, and I went over to Max & Erma's for dinner.

Thursday was more complicated than it should have been, because I was still finishing up something I was doing for work. I had left the computer at home busily trying to convert 1100 hijacked files to checkouts. That had finally completed -- mostly. I had to hand merge about five files in order to get them checked out successfully. Then I could start the 1100 file check in. I think I got some singing done around this fiasco, but I tend to forget at this remove. :)

Meanwhile, Juanita had spoken to me after the round robin and had suggested gently that she was going to have one heckuva time trying to sing Chess for the Pegasus Nominees Concert given the current recovering-from-a-bad-cold state of her voice. Erica had been working on learning the song -- perhaps she would be able to cover it? So I dropped a message on Erica's answering machine and we swapped several e-mails during that long file mangling process I was going through above. We agreed that Erica would sing it and I'd play it, thereby maximizing our chances of success.

Friday, I set up the table while Gretchen kept Katie and Julie occupied. I already mentioned some of the help I got from Evil; Erica came by and helped me put together a few things. We finally opened up only a little bit late.

Back at the Chess board, Juanita had determined that she could maybe sing the song if she stayed entirely under her break, but that wouldn't be a good idea in her opinion. So we hacked at the song in the Dealers' Room and decided that Erica and I would both sing, as having me around to cover some of the low notes in the duet would be advantageous. On a good day, Erica can hit those notes, but we didn't need to push our luck more than absolutely required. :)

The concert started half-an-hour early this year, which meant that it started before the Dealers' Room officially closed. That's probably a bad idea. We just shut the table down anyway, because Gretchen was providing backup shaker rhythm for Fluorine Atom, so we were out of bodies. (And Gretchen wanted to come to the concert anyway.) I have now completely spaced on which of our friends were good enough to keep an eye on Katie and Julie during that song. *sigh* But, boy, did we appreciate the help!

I think all of the songs that I participated in during the concert went well. (I haven't heard recordings yet, so it's hard to be sure, but no one threw tomatoes.) I was concerned about the half-line in Fluorine Atom where I vaulted into falsetto -- and observed a look on the faces of several of my friends in the audience that either translated to "I didn't know he could do that" or "Oh, my God, that's a bad note!" I'm told I hit the note, so I'm guessing it was the former. :)

I was happy to hear Barry's reaction to the performance which was (approximately) "That really had tail fins on it." That's what Gretchen and I were going for, as it seemed appropriate to the song, especially since it was in the rock category.

When I'm working something up that's not my own for the Pegasus Nominees Concert, one of the things that I always look at is what "take" on the song I should use, as it helps me understand how to approach it. Fluorine Atom seemed to want those tail fins. Still Catch the Tide, on the other hand, struck me as a song that was being sung by a man whose thoughts about the situation seemed to be summed up by "I have messed this up in every possible way." (Other takes are always possible -- this just struck me as the one that suited me for the song.) And Chess was, well, Chess. In the end, we win, but not without difficulties.

I heard almost all of the concert from within the room. Gretchen had retreated with the girls for the sake of peace, so she missed a chunk of it. And when Erica realized that the gifts for the performers were locked in the Dealers' Room, I got deputized to get the room unlocked and the gifts recovered, which I managed to do with some help from Trace pretty much just in time. :)

Gretchen decided she didn't want to try taking the girls back to Max & Erma's, so she sent me, Erica, and Erica's mom, Linda, off to the restaurant without her. I brought her a sandwich, soup, and cookies back to the room where the girls were creating mayhem. I ascertained that the check in was finally done and went out to hit the open filk, eventually settling in the hall filk near Debbie and Brenda. Erica joined us after finishing counting ballots, but everybody was pretty tired by that time, so we folded up around 2 AM.

And having gotten through Thursday and Friday, I think I'll continue this on the next rock.
Tags: cons, filk, gretchen, kids, musings, report

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