Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard

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A better Saturday

Saturday at CONvergence started out rotten, but got better as the day went along.

We got up a bit after 8. Got online, checked stuff out, got dressed, went out into the teeming masses.

The first panel I went to was on *When did geeks become cool?". It went fairly well, until late in the hour. Someone made a comment about how the way to find out what's cool is to look on TV. I stuck my hand in the air to comment on that, abd got thoroughly ignored for the rest of the session. I walked out furious, and was still seething when I went looking for vakkotaur a few minutes later. He'd walked out of the panel when one of the panelists - who'd been in the panel on LJ Friday - said something hypocritical. In retrospect, I should have done the same.

I found Paul in the project room, talking to a guy who turned out to be the husband of someone we know from the faire world, Diana Steben (who we know as Rilla the Spinner). I ranted at him a bit, then at he when she came in. I told them that I was so furious I was seriously considering writing off the second night's hotel room and blowing off the rest of the con.

We went to get lunch. When we returned, I went through the dealer's room and bought a copy of The Flying Sorcerers, a funny SF novel by David Gerrold and Larry Niven. Both of them are guests of honor at the con, and I got them both to sign the book.

I went off to the masquerade orientation session, and Paul went back to his room to read a book he'd bought and had signed, Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself. Unlike the session on how the masquerade was supposed to work, the orientation was to the point. I handed in my paperwork, and saw where things were happening. After that, I went to a panel by Niven and Gerrold on collaborating. They had many insights to offer, since they've collaborated on many projects. I wish I could do it justice here.

Back to the room to record the music and voiceover for my masquerade performance. I had the closing music from TRON as an MP3 file. Audacity made short work of recording the narration, adjusting its level and the music, shifting the narration to where I wanted it, and mixing it down to an MP3, which then got burned to a CD with iTunes. A quick test on the car's CD changer to make sure it was playable, and it was done.

I went to the main stage where they were holding rehearsals and handed the sound guy my CD for a test. It worked fine there, too. I found Paul on the way to the room where they have performances by acoustic musicians. We saw most of a performance by the group Ten Seconds of Harmony, which we'd heard was good but never managed to see at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. They lived up to their billing.

Next was another panel, with Larry Niven and a few other folks, on SF as prediction. I got a phone call almost as soon as the panel started, and so didn't see much of it, but Niven summed it up: "We're not in this to make predictions. We want a Hugo."

I had to duck out to go to my masquerade rehearsal. I went in not having a clue as to what to do on stage, but 15 minutes later, with a lot of help from the lady running it, I did. I bummed around for a few more minutes, then went upstairs. I studied the speech I'd written more closely, thinking about what I wanted to do onstage, then got cleaned up and into costume to go down to the green room and wait.

I got to the green room about 5:45 and checked in. (The masquerade started at 7.) For the next hour and then some, I stood around and talked to folks, as my costume was as ready as it ever got, and others needed the time to finish things up. The workmanship judges got their crack at me in the middle of that. They asked me about how I'd made it, and how the el-wire worked, and how I did the unitard. Diana was one of the judges; she made a point of asking, for the other judges' benefit, how many costumes I'd made before this one (zero). Then it was more waiting.

When the show started, we clustered around a couple of very small monitors to watch. The signal kept dropping out due to a loose connection in the hall. Still, I saw most of it, and there were a lot of very good entries that had obviously had a lot of work put into them. I was sure I wasn't going to take anything home after seeing that. My turn out on stage didn't go as well as I'd hoped; I felt like I was fumbling around a bit.

When I got back into the green room, I watched the rest of the entries on the monitors, and talked to the lady who'd suggested I come to CONvergence in the first place. I mentioned that I was feeling better about the con than I had the previous night, and she said she'd read the entry. We also talked about her disappointment with some parts of how Renaissance Dancewear had handled her order. During the halftime show, I sat down, hoping to rest my back. I wound up talking to a reporter/photographer from the St. Paul Pioneer-Press for about 20 minutes about my costume, my experiences with it, and on into lots of other aspects of growing up as a geek. He promised to let me know if a story runs based on that.

Then came the awards. The only surprise there was that I managed to take home a workmanship award : Best Phosphorescence. Diana explained later that they couldn't really figure out what to call it, but felt I deserved an award. I didn't take home one of the main awards, which I was expecting after seeing the competition. (I have no quarrel with who won any of them; they were all quite good.)

I went out front to let folks take my picture, and ran into Larry Niven again. I told him how he was to blame for all of this, as the first book anyone gave me was his first novel, World of Ptavvs, when I was 8. He said he'd taken responsibility for a lot of things over the years, and would add me to the list.

I snagged Diana and dragged her up to our room to show her the video from Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live. She loved it. We talked for another hour, then went out to get a very late dinner at IHOP. Back to the hotel at midnight, and after bidding her goodnight, to bed.

I'm feeling better about the con now than I did this time yesterday. I'm going to get cleaned up, go out to the car and get my con badge (which I'd left in it, of course, after dinner), then put the costume on and wander around. Fortunately, the hotel has extended checkout time till 4 PM, so I won't have to rush anything.
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