Thursday, April 17, 2003

Convention Before Convention

The Information – Course Of Empire
Knowing I would be helping out with set up on Thursday I dressed rather conservatively – well, conservative for me. I wore my black jeans, comfy moccasins, and a nifty t-shirt with metal studs on the shoulders. [1] I was just reading Humans by Robert J. Sawyer (one of the convention's guests of honor) when Joe arrived.

A relatively quick lunch at Einstein's Bagels with Romeo (a friend of Joe’s and a fan) and we were off the hotel. I immediately took my first pictures of the con and then I set to work with Marilee in blowing up some of the inflatable decorations and pool toys. I particularly remember two things. First I finally connected up things I knew from rasff with the fact this was Marilee sitting here in front of me, not just some random fan. Second I made a weak joke about feeling like Dr. Schlock inflating all these things[2].

After about an hour of that I was requisitioned to go help unload supplies from the truck. I was quite interested to see the different system used by Minicon to display their art. It consists of PVC pipes forming square frames with the sheet of particleboard suspended in the middle[3]. It looks very good, but I think it does not store quite as well as Milehicon's all wood system. I'll have to participate in the set up process some other year to see how fast it goes up. It certainly looks very professional once assembled though I suspect most people do not notice what the art is on very often.

Then it was back upstairs where I helped do some more set up in the con suite (which was very sweet set of rooms) and I was assigned to cut up cantaloupe and honeydew melon the next morning.

'Round about 5pm Larry asked me if I would like to go out to dinner with him, Sue, and Rachel Lininger[4]. Would I ever! I had been internally scheming to go out to dinner at some point in the weekend and here opportunity knocked the very first day! My only regret is not taking my camera, as we went to a new tapas bar called Solera.

The restaurant turned out to be a bit pricey in my penny-pinching opinion. The food was very good, but the staff was overworked and we sometimes had trouble being able to order new things. And our bill was wrong the first time around. We also heard Alison over at another table with another group of fans. This is the inevitable result of going out a restaurant near a con, many familiar faces, even when it is not planned.

Back to the hotel for some more work, changing into my red and yellow shirt, more photo taking, and encountering Jo Walton in the dome. People pestering her about what exactly happened at Boskone surrounded her[5]. I had a message about that from a friend, basically saying that David Brin had deserved to have a Coke dumped on him for quite sometime. Jo is still embarrassed, perhaps more so by the outpouring of support for an action that she herself is not proud of. But things like this tend to take on a life of their own, so I'm afraid she'll just have to ride the wave. (Though I conveyed the message, I don't exactly agree with it. This is probably going to be a small social war straight out of _Dangerous Liaisons_ and I’m trying just going to back away slowly while maintaining eye contact with the argument.) I shared a room with Larry the first night.

[1] See Larry Sanderson’s Picture of Me
[2] Sluggy Freelance for more on Schlock
[3] Here is David Dyer-Bennet’s picture of the set up.
[4] And here we is Sue, myself, and Rachel Lininger at Solera
[5] And this is what it looked like. Jo Walton & "minions."

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