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ConFusion 2008 Report

As I mentioned in my last post, ConFusion utterly and completely rocked... and now for the details (as always, of course I'm going to forget names, details, and all kinda other stuff... please, feel free to remind me of fun events I neglected to mention or names I mess up in the comments below):

Friday Afternoon

I managed to hit the hotel around noon and, after greeting our conchair (Brendan), Aaron, and Roxanne setting up registration, I made my way upstairs to the ConSuite to meet up with our assistant conchair, Jess, so I could set up the volunteer station in the lobby. Several hours working volunteers (thank you so much Jess and Jenann(sp?) for your sign making prowess) gave me time to play a new game with Matt, along with Eric and Cathy Raymond (the game was a blast, as was the company).

Friday Night

Around 5ish, Allison, Amanda, and I went to Costco on a shopping run for the Penguicon room party where I entertained myself at the expense of the gals (mostly Allison) through sliding things in their purses, begging a man not to poison himself with fabric softener, questing for chips, being a poor cart driver, and--most of all--being very, very gregarious!

Since Friday was Chuck's birthday, Matt, Rachael, Chuck's wife Rachael, and Amanda joined him for dinner across the street at Champps. Great food, great company... what a great start to the con. Upon our return to the hotel, it was time for room-party hopping interrupted only occasionally by having to find a volunteer for some department or another. After some gaming in the ConSuite, Ger finally made it to the hotel despite the crappy weather between her place and Troy. We were both tired, so we just went to bed. In bed by midnight and asleep by 230am.

Saturday

Up for what was meant to be a relatively early breakfast that kept getting pushed later and later as I dealt with the various quasi-emergencies that popped up here and there. Ultimately, Ger and I hit a quick meal at a local Ram's Horn then returned so that I could work the Volunteers table for a couple of hours to fill in some much needed gaps. Suddenly, it was time for Catherynne Valente to read an excerpt from her most recent book. I must confess, I have read nothing from Miss Valente in the past. In fact, I'd never even heard of her until this weekend. Having listened to her read, I've added her award winning The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden to my wishlist (actually, if they had it in the dealer's room, I'd already own it).

From there, it was off to a panel that Ger and I were really into about Feminism in science fiction, and when we finally found the room, imagine our surprise when the Ferrett and Catherynne were on that panel too! It turned out to be a very good panel, although in the middle one of my ongoing irritations with modern feminism reared its head... but it was a minor quibble in an otherwise fantastic panel.

After the panel, Ger and I hopped into the much awaited (at least by me) How to Improv workshop put on by Space Time Improv (who I would throw a link to if they would get a webpage. Wait, I said the same thing LAST YEAR!). Notably, we looked forward to seeing Guido and Dawn again. Unfortunately, moments into the workshop, all hell broke loose with several con-related snafus causing my phone to start ringing like it forgot how to stop, so I had to bail and do some problem solving for several hours. Ger, however, stayed behind and was--by all accounts--a huge success. I suggest that all of you ask her to re-enact her role as "nymphomaniac gamer" if you get a chance.

After chatting with Kat (who I was so excited to see made it despite a sick significant other), Ferrett, Randy, Sheryl (and their delightful, alliterative young'ns) and several other folks whose names I either failed to get, should have known, or just plain forgot; we zipped upstairs to help set up the Penguicon room party.

I helped Allison, Matt, and Amanda arrange the room to some degree and get things ordered up that we might need (tables and chairs and such). It was decided that for traffic flow and room purposes, we would take our pre-registrations in the hall outside the door, as our registration person has expressed some degree of consternation at having to be in cramped quarters in the past. For those keeping score at home, hold on to that little tidbit, it will come back to bite my ass later.

At about 6pm, Ger and I were leaving to take a nap, and we asked Amanda to please call if there were any problems.

At 6:30, we got a call. There were problems.

Crisis Control

Apparently, our reg person was complaining about being stuck out in the hall, despite the extreme lack of room inside the party. I got dressed and came downstairs only to find that when I asked the reg folks if there were any problems, all complaints mysteriously dried up.

In the interim, a miscommunication with regards to the appreciation pizza party for the volunteers meant that the pizzas showed up for an 8PM party at 6:40. Oh, and since the party was to be in the sleeping space, we had the further delightful problem of someone sleeping in each crash room.

The upside to this micro-fiasco was that Krista(?), Brendan, Jenna, and everyone else involved really pulled together to help me out so we were able to throw the shindig early in the Concierge Lounge (awesome diggs for such a thing, by the way) and all was well.

But thank god for Ger, because while I was solving this issue, I got another call that the reg person from the room party has decided to take registrations while sitting on the toilet.

Sitting... on.. the.. fucking... toilet

I know, it boggles the mind. So Ger babysat the pizzas in the lounge while I ran upstairs and played a passive aggressive game I like to call "are we really doing this bullshit" for a while until things became rational again.

Crises averted, we decided that naptime wasn't in the cards so we went party hopping.

Saturday Night

The parties were AWESOME. As always, the Gaylaxians did an amazing job, and I have been fairly well BEGGING them to come to Penguicon. Amanda could not have done a better job of putting Cafe Penguicon on the map. Thank you so much Amanda and Allison. And you would have to SEE the Pirate Party to believe it. Nothing short of astonishing.

During the wandering, we happened upon the Ferrett, Catherynne, Randy, and Sheryl's little social experiment (oh, and Mike was finally feeling much better and was able to join us). I fear that I don't want to give away the potential surprise at Penguicon; suffice to say that A) the experiment was a complete success, B) all of the ladies have gorgeous breasts, and C) if any of the above people say to you "hey, we're doing a social experiment, want to come along" the correct answer is an enthusiastic "Yes!".

Ultimately, Dawn and Greg made it back to the hotel, where we wandered about and just generally laughed ourselves sick before I pussed out and declared my need for sleep... or at least the need to go to bed.

Sunday

The con was over too soon, so we helped break down, went to the feedback session, then chilled at the dead dog party until dinner, which was fantastic Vietnamese/Thai with Matt, Rachael, Nick and Amanda. (For the record, it totally kicked Coney Island's ass. CONEY'S SUCK, ETHNIC FOOD 4 LIFE.

After dinner, we retired to casa de Nick and Amanda for coffee and such where the gals started planning for their Invader Zim themed room party at Penguicon, and discussed the possibility of throwing a lingere themed party one of the nights.

Yes, you read that right. These two babes are kickin' around the idea of throwing a lingere party at Penguicon. I don't know what it's going to take to make this happen... but happen it MUST! So if you would be interested in attending such a thing, make your voice heard right here! Guys, gals, lets make this work! :)

So... what and who did I forget? I know there's some, so let me know, and while you're at it, please post links to YOUR reports, or others you've read. I want to read about what your time at con was like.