Seems like I start a bunch of LJ posts, don't manage to finish them, and by the time I get back to them they're out-of-date. So if I have to leave as I'm composing this one, I'm just going to post it, no matter where it's at.

Took Wednesday as a sick day, which was good. I felt pretty good all day (well enough to feel even guiltier for taking the day off). But then some ConFusion folks came over for a packet stuffing party, which started late and took longer than expected, so I didn't get to bed until after 11 pm and I was wiped by then. This cold definitely gets worse as the day goes on.

Although it also gets worse in the early morning, now that I think about it. I'm up godawful early because I was lying in bed awake, trying not to cough and choke and bring up all the gunk that has collected overnight. So I left Liam cuddled up with Eric and came downstairs. Aside about morning pumping )

So now I'm writing an LJ post when I should be tackling my to-do list, which is long. Mostly a lot of packing and assembling stuff - babies mean much, much stuff. But the packing and assembly can be hard to do with an awake baby, so I really should get on that. I've got all the registration stuff in order and put together, although as I was typing this I remembered that I still needed to print a couple of things (done) and to revise my staff instructions based on my new decision about the most efficient way to structure the flow and print them (next up after this post). Everyone assured me that I wouldn't need to print registration forms this year, that we had enough left from last year, but when I actually looked in the box I discovered that that was not the case, and that we are at least 100 forms short for our expected reg numbers. I submitted my order to Kinkos online last night, but I still have to get there for the pickup before heading out midmorning.

Amusing Liam story: I probably wouldn't be so rushed if I'd skipped Mothering Arts yesterday and did some of this stuff then, but I need my time with the moms. We went out for lunch after, as is our custom. The restaurant was just far enough away for Liam to fall thoroughly asleep in the car, but not far enough that it counted as a real nap. Upon arrival, I very carefully scooped him out of his car seat so that he'd stay asleep as I carried him in. I got him all the way to our table, where I rested most of his body on top of the table as Brian and I undid his snowsuit so he wouldn't overheat. He was still totally out, so I thought - what the heck - and carefully let his head down so he was lying on top of the table. He slept there at least 15 minutes after we arrived, all the way through ordering drinks and lunch. It was very cute - this little baby, fast asleep on top of the table!

I'm a little worried about trying to run registration and look after Liam. Assuming I can get all my volunteer needs met, I won't actually have to work a station, just supervise and troubleshoot. I'll be bringing a plethora of baby carriers with me, and maybe even a playpen for behind the desk. But if you're reading this and attending ConFusion and would like a chance to hang with Liam, he and I will be eagerly accepting offers from his legion of internet aunts and uncles.

Well, the boy is now up for the day, so I must signoff if I'm going to get anything done. See many of you at Fusion, if you aren't already there.
Okay, I've given the blow by blow, but not really said how much I enjoyed the weekend. And I did.

It was fabulous being [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan's guest liaison - she was everything a girl could want in a guest. It was very fun to have a chance to hang out and get to know each other better. Ben just sent me email to say that he'd heard from her and that she'd arrived home safe and sound (and was going immediately to bed!).

The new hotel rocks. It's a real hotel, with real staff, and they were a joy to work with. They followed our agreements to the letter, like contacting Operations or the Hotel Liaison whenever any issues arose, which meant that the few problems there were did not blow up into something bigger. They were welcoming and friendly and I never saw one of them so much as roll their eyes at our weird antics. Note to self - suggest to [livejournal.com profile] netmouse that we follow up with a big thank you card for all of the staff. More than one person reported getting hugs from their housekeeping staff! Quintessential example of the welcome we received - in the wee hours of Sunday morning, [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K and two friends "liberated" the hot tub and a bunch of people indulged in some skinny dipping. A hotel staffer walked in, saw what was going on, didn't say anything to the people in the tub, but reported it to the front desk. The front desk called our hotel liaison to discuss the situation. Final result? That they should put their clothes back on by 5:15, since the pool opened to the public at 5:30. That's something I'd expect from a hotel that we'd been at for a couple/few years, not the very first time!!!

Being pregnant at a convention was a lot of work. My midwives have been wanting me to get more exercise, but I don't think they meant all in one weekend! I'm really regretting not getting my picture done last week like I wanted to, because due to me standing and walking around so much more than usual, my belly dropped by about 1-2 inches. For a while there my belly and boobs were looking like they were about to merge, I was carrying so high up! So it was work, but aside from overdoing it a bit on Friday, I managed it pretty well. I went to programming, sat down in room parties for a longer stretches of time, tried to stay well hydrated and fed, and generally took it easy. (Yes, for me, this weekend really was taking it easy. Honest.)

I went to 4 panels and the Masquerade. That may be a record for me. In fact, that may be more programming than I usually go to in an entire year!

[livejournal.com profile] netmouse did a really fabulous job. She pulled together a team of really good people, and set them loose to make things work. And they did! Our art show was the best in years. The ConSuites continued to be the social centers of the convention, even on the 14th and 15th floor. Everything came together, as it does.

I wrote a mothering analogy in my second convention post, and that continued to resonate for me throughout the weekend. I still think of ConFusion as my baby, and feel very protective of it. I want to see it grow and become bigger and better and stronger and wiser. And right now, it's in someone else's hands, and that's a good, wonderful thing. My baby's gone off to boarding school. *sniff sniff* Sometimes it's a challenge not to be the overprotective, doting mother, but it's worthwhile and important to make the effort.

And I suspect you've all heard enough on the subject from me, so I'll shut up about it now...
I'd asked [livejournal.com profile] drsnark to delay the print run of the newsletter until morning, so I'd have a chance to write up the party report. He agreed to print it at 10, which meant that at 9 am, I dragged myself out of bed to go down to Ops. I was definitely still sleeping when I walked into the Green Room and got some breakfast, and only marginally more awake when I sat down the computer. When Paul hadn't appeared by shortly after ten, I just went ahead and printed off the originals and made some copies. But clearly I should have waited for him, as my sleep deprived state produced several typos. Which apparently provided much amusement to people hanging out in the consuite Monday morning. They're favorite was "Penugicon," but mine was "Candian." Ahh well, I had a mighty good excuse.

This is the part of the con that starts to become a big blur. I looked around the art show and saw one piece that caught my eye, but didn't buy it. I said goodbye to various people as they were heading out. I pretty much just bummed around until the feedback panel started. We got lots of positive feedback about the hotel change, which made me feel nicely vindicated, and several good suggestions for things that could be done better next year. One woman suggested that we deal with the elevator lines by having the consuite on a lower floor. Ummm... don't ya think we would have done that already if we could have? (The lowest suite is on 14.) Sigh.

After the feedback session I headed up to the consuite, where I realized that nothing was being packed out or prepped to go, and the truck crew were loading and could be expected shortly. I had been screwed over by a similar situation my second year as conchair - when I didn't realize until midnight on Sunday that almost _nothing_ from the consuite had been taken back in the truck (there were still big coffee urns with coffee in them and a crockpot with two day old encrusted chocolate sauce, for example) and that my consuite head had driven back to Ann Arbor to take some friends out to dinner - I attempted to mobilize some kind of organized pack out. But I was tired and cranky and needlessly harsh with several people, and should probably have just gone away and let other people do their jobs. My apologies to anyone who was on the receiving end of cranky Tammy.

I did eventually go away, and out to dinner with [livejournal.com profile] eviljohn and [livejournal.com profile] dagibbs. We just went back to Champps across the street - it was close and convenient and the food was respectable. My dessert was awesome - a hot chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream and butterscotch and espresso-chocolate sauces and whipped cream. Yum.

On our return, a few people were singing excessively loud and killing any hope of conversation at the Dead Dog, so we ended up hanging out in [livejournal.com profile] kgkofmel's room for a while. But next time we made it back up to the Dead Dog things were much better, thanks to special guest host [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan's management of the situation.. A couple different groups went off on excursions to the hot tub. It was a really nice party in that sleepy, satisfied Sunday night kinda way. We did some smoffing and some exchanging con stories and just generally had a good time. I was feeling antsy, so I went back to my room to get my laptop and spent the next couple hours entering at-con registrations into the database. The party seemed to be wrapping up at 1 or so, but then we started talking about sex, and it was 3 before things actually started breaking up. [livejournal.com profile] dagibbs left to go to bed at one point, but his room was right across from the consuite and even with the door closed he could still hear us. Eventually FOMS* got the best of him, and he returned.

I didn't get to bed until after 3, and then I couldn't get to sleep. Aargh. I dozed off and on until a little after 8, then got up and showered and packed and got ready to go. Met up with Anne and Krysta and Geri and Matt for breakfast at Shula's, which was quite yummy. Geri gave me an adorable little metal monkey sculpture as a thank you gift, and it's just the cutest thing. Thanks again, [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan. We got the car all loaded up and took off to the airport, arriving with plenty of time to spare. Driving home by myself I started getting a little tired, even with having NPR on the radio. But I arrived home without incident.

Since then I've been catching up with LJ, writing these reports, making and eating lunch, and basically just vegging out. I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and take a nap now, or try to push through all the way to tonight. I'm feeling rather sleepy, and thinking a nap might really be in order. I averaged about 4 hours of sleep a night over the last four, afterall.
Well, I really fell off the daily update bandwagon. But that just means these posts will be shorter, as lack of sleep has seriously impacted my memories of the weekend!

When last we left our narrator, she was just beginning Day 3 - Saturday - of ConFusion. The first thing I did on Saturday was go to a panel. I hear the gasps of shock and awe from here. Tammy, going to programming? Yep - I attended a panel where Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo did an improv drawing thing from audience suggestions, and talked about composition and selling art and where they get their ideas. And I had so much fun in that panel, that what do you know, I went and did it again! This time it was the 30 years of fanzines, where miraculously enough, the audience actually outnumbered the panelists about 3 to 1.

Then I hung out in Ops for a while kibbitzing and typing up the room party report from the night before. At one point Anne needed to take a nap, so I took her phone and was "on deck" for a while. I popped into the Clarion auction for a bit to see how it was going and to give my financial support. Unfortunately, the scheduling of the auction was not well thought out, so it was poorly attended. But I did buy a collection of short stories that had several authors I've been meaning to read in it. I left the auction about halfway through so I could catch the last half of the 30 Years of ConFusion panel and hear stories of the cuddle squad and other bits of ConFusion history. Then off to the Fan GoH induction ceremony to see Geri get welcomed to our little club.

I had intended to get a nap myself sometime that afternoon, but as you can see, that just wasn't happening. We met up with the other two thirds of our Village and took them to our favorite cheap Thai place for dinner, which was yummy and lots of fun. And quick, so I was able to make it back in time to go to the masquerade!

This was only ConFusion's second year doing a stage masquerade, and it went really, really well. First up were the lightning round contestants, who had assembled their costumes in an hour or less from a pile of assorted junk and cloth and stuff. Then there were about 12 entries, very good for only our second year! And the entries were bigger and more elaborate than last year too. The room was very full, with probably around 150 or 175 people in attendance. Very cool. One of the entries was of 9 VERY scantily clad fairies. This caused a bit of a fuss when they were standing in the hotel lobby and one of the non-convention-members coming out of the hotel restaurant saw them and complained. But the hotel continued to live up to their excellent behavior so far, directing the problem to Operations, who were able to quickly and efficiently resolve it.

After the masq I eventually made it upstairs to start checking out the party scene. Saturday night is the slow night for parties at ConFusion - most people hang out in the dance. But there are usually more parties, since people who don't arrive until late on Friday want to have their party on Saturday. So less people spread through even more parties makes it harder to get critical mass. But I enjoyed wandering around and hanging out here and there. I eventually made it down to the hot tub, where [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan was hosting "SMOFfing in the Hot Tub." I couldn't tub, of course, but I took off my socks and rolled up my pants and dangled my feet in for a little while. Right after that I poked my head into the dance to take a look around. The room worked as well as we'd hoped it would, and it was a great space for a dance. They started playing Tainted Love just as I was planning to leave, and Karol made me get out on the dance floor. Right after that they put on the Time Warp (must have been midnight) and I danced to that for a little while, but it was a long mix and pregnant bellies are hard to dance with, so I gave up halfway through.Then more party surfing. I was getting tired-er and tired-er all the time, but because of Geri's late panel, she was just getting around to the parties when us judges were scheduled to meet at 1 am. So we decided to reconvene at 2 am. We had a strong favorite, but wanted to make sure we'd fully considered two other parties that were close behind. But since both of them were in the process of closing their doors when we showed up and our favorite was still going strong, the answer was pretty obvious. We awarded Best Saturday Party to Midwestcon. But then we were stuck deciding between Minneapolis in '73/Minicon and Midwestcon for best overall party (and winner of a free suite night at next year's convention). That took a long time, so I still didn't make it to bed until 3 am!

Dead Dog

Jan. 26th, 2004 03:17 am
Lots more ConFusion report to come later, but I just wanted to note that it's after 3, and the Dead Dog Party is just finally breaking up. I love this convention! Thanks for everyone who made it such a good weekend.

Now, I must sleep, so I don't kill [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan and I when I drive her to the airport tomorrow. We've got breakfast with Anne at 9, and need to leave the hotel by 10. Yikes!
Oh forgot to mention - all weather concerns aside, the convention is going wonderfully and [livejournal.com profile] netmouse and the rest of her team are doing a really fabulous job. People love the new hotel and the hotel staff have been very accomodating and welcoming to our motley crew. People are raving about being in a "real hotel." Which is both vindicating and annoying. Vindicating, because after listening for a couple of years to them telling me why a ConFusion in a good hotel would be a disaster, it's not. Annoying, because damnit - we could have been here last year, but I let the worriers convince me to give the VDP another try!
Long and busy day. Up early for breakfast with [livejournal.com profile] kgkofmel, then back to the hotel to get the last bits of registration stuff taken care of and ready to be passed off to Robyn. Then I met up with Geri and Ben to go to the zoo. As Geri's guest liaison, it's my job to keep her well fed and entertained. I'm glad she decided she wanted to leave the hotel - it was good for me and for [livejournal.com profile] netmouse that I not be there attempting (and probably failing) to push down my desire to backseat drive! I still very much think of ConFusion as my baby, and it was hard to leave it on its own as it entered this next phase in its life. Geri says that my a) recognition that I needed to do that and b) actually doing so are signs that I'm worrying too much about being an overly protective or obsessive parent to Little Bean.

The Detroit Zoo is a pretty good place to visit in the winter. Read more... )

The trip back to the hotel was a little slow, but otherwise generally uneventful. But the snow was continuing to fall, and it was clear that it was going to cause problems later. By the time we got back, a convention had miraculously appeared in the hotel! I did some troubleshooting of various problems registration was having, and then left them to their own devices so I could take Geri off for dinner.

I've mentioned the snow a couple of times. It feel pretty continuously for about 6 or 7 hours starting at 3 in the afternoon. While not quite the blizzard that we're all worried will someday happen to ConFusion, it was enough to seriously slow people down. It was taking 3 hours to get here from Ann Arbor and a similar time from the airport. Some folks from Chicago took as long at 12 hours! So people trickled in slowly all night, and because of that Opening Ceremonies and other Friday events were pretty sparsely attended. Our at-the-door membership took a hit, as you'd expect - looks to me that we're down at least 100 people at this point from where I would have expected/wanted to be. But hopefully we'll make up those numbers today.

After listening to Geri's fabulous speech and seeing [livejournal.com profile] bighoward inducted into the newly formed "Detroit Science Fiction Hall of Fame" at Opening Ceremonies, I got a chance to hang out and see people and socialize. Eventually I headed back upstairs to do several rounds of the parties in my capacity as secret room party judge. At 1 AM, I met up with my other party judges in the consuite to kibbitz on our Friday choices. When I'm done writing this, I need to write up our newsletter article about the results.

All the party hopping combined with the zoo trip meant that I was on my feet for a long time yesterday, and by the end of the night, boy could I feel it! Not in my feet, which were fine, but in my belly muscles that were holding up Little Bean all day long! I was expecting them to be really sore today, but so far they feel alright. Today I will endeavor to sit down more often and drink more water. And probably take a nap - I haven't slept well either night that I've been here. After I went to bed last night (well, this morning - 3 AM) I was paranoid because I realized I hadn't been feeling Little Bean move, so I spent too much of the night was paying great attention to my belly and worrying that something was wrong. But I've had some stirrings this morning, so all seems to be well, and I'm definitely going to take it easier today. Many, many people were greatly surprised that I was pregnant - they're people that we see mostly at conventions, and since we didn't got to ConClave it was a big shock for many of them. So lots of congratulations all around, and happily, very little unsolicited advice and no uninvited belly touching.

And now I think it's time to start day three!
Remarkably, I got all of my various and sundry tasks done in perfect time today. Of course, everybody's plane came in a little early, so I didn't get to the airport until they had disembarked and picked up luggage, but that wasn't so bad. Then I took a wrong turn getting to the hotel and had to have Geri dig out the map and give me directions to get back on track. But we arrived safe and sound, so all's well that ends well. Hung out in the consuite for a little while, then went to Priya for dinner, which did an excellent job of dealing with our large and somewhat unruly group. Back to the hotel and helping out here and there in the consuite, getting stuff ready for tomorrow.

After 1 year of conchair in training, 1 year of assistant chairing and 3 years in a row of running the show, it's very, very strange not to be in charge. It's probably for the best that I'm taking Geri (and maybe Ben, depending how things go with a Boskone-related problem he's handling) to the Detroit Zoo tomorrow. It'll help me resist the temptation to do too much and stick my nose in where it doesn't belong.

But now I really must get to bed. I hope I sleep better than I did last night!
It is a testament to how well I've been sleeping lately that last night's bout of insomnia was an entirely unfamiliar experience. Lying in bed, wanting but unable to sleep, tossing and turning. Oh yeah - that's what that's like.

Sadly, I really needed to get a good night's sleep last night, as I'm heading into a convention weekend and will be sleeping in an unfamiliar bed.

And I have a ton to do today before I can go to the airport to pick people up:
- pay overdue bills that I've been putting off
- do laundry
- pack
- get all the reg paperwork ready
- go to office supply store and buy paper and labels
- go into work to deal with a couple of work things that didn't get resolved yesterday and need to get done with before I leave for the weekend
- borrow high speed work printer to print reg paperwork and badges, since my home printer is a piece of crap
- borrow the work crappy paper cutter to cut the badges - still in progress at 2:45 pm. I can only cut five sheets at a time and it's killing my lower back to stand at my desk. Thus, this update - I needed to sit down and take a break. But I've got the first batch of 600 done, so I'm more than halfway, with 45 minutes to go before I need to leave for the airport.

It's just as well I got up at 7 am, I suppose, as I need to be finished all of this in time to leave for the airport around 3:20 or so. And then it's into convention mode - take [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan, [livejournal.com profile] erikvolson and Ben to the hotel, and get everyone checked in and settled. Find [livejournal.com profile] netmouse to see what she needs me to do and provide any necessary moral support. Whisk my people off to the GoH/ConCom dinner, then come back to the hotel to do further prep on registration paperwork, fold pocket programs, and stuff panelist participant packages. Then try to get some sleep.

Haven't yet to talked to [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan about what she'd like to do tomorrow. ConFusion doesn't really get going until late afternoon, so Friday is a free day for our GoHs. Geri and Ben being of the SMOFfish sort, it's entirely likely that they'll just want to hang out and help with set up, but if not there's the Detroit Zoo (mabye the snow monkeys will be out frolicking in their hot tub!) or the Detroit Institute of Art, or a gallavant back to Ann Arbor for a house tour, lunch and used bookstore shopping... Geri would probably adore Peaceable Kingdom... The possibilities are endless.
Hey - I skipped a day posting to LJ and didn't even notice it. That's great - I've been online too much lately and I'm trying to cut back. But of course, now I'm back at work and we all know what _that_ means... So, have some updates (all, coincidentally* enough, beginning with the letter C).

Cost of Window Treatments )
Cooking with Neighbors )
ConFusion )
Carpooling )

* Alright, not entirely coincidentally. I will admit to hacking the first one, after realizing that the next three started with C all on their own.
ConFusion is coming up. 2 weeks from today I'll be off work. 2 weeks and 2 hours from now I'll be picking up [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan, Ben Yalow and [livejournal.com profile] erikvolson at the airport.

There are a lot of neat people coming to ConFusion this year. There are a bunch of cool room parties scheduled. People and parties - these are the things that matter to me about cons. We have some cool guests too, of course - Bruce Sterling, Julie Bell, Ron Westrum, Rob Sawyer, and the aforementioend [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan.

And my committments at-con are really minimal. Recruit and oversee the judges for the room party contest (bribes now being accepted), and take care of Geri. That's it. So I'll have lots of time to spend hanging out with all those neat people.

I expect that I'll have to work to stay in the background and hands-off unless I'm asked for help. After three years in a row as chair, it'll be a challenge not to immediately go into problem-solving and trouble-shooting mode at the con. But I think I've done pretty well with that through the convention planning year, so hopefully I can keep it up. [livejournal.com profile] netmouse is not running the convention the way I would run it, but that's okay. I'm sure it will be an excellent convention.

If you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, please visit http://www.stilyagi.org/cons/2004.
Got all caught up on entering registrations for ConFusion. I'm still waiting on the complete staff and panelist lists, but things are definitely coming along. Numbers look good - I think it will be a good year.

Got the room party situation organized as well, and have assurances from the hotel via Anne that the room availability situation is fine, so I can stop stressing about that. I'm waiting for a couple people to confirm room choices with me, but I'm going to send the list of what I have for party room blocking to the hotel tomorrow. If you or someone you know is planning to hold a party at ConFusion ([livejournal.com profile] lsanderson and [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K, this means you) I need information asap.

Got my pile of papers organized, and paid the one bill that needed paying right away. The rest I'll do tomorrow.

All in all, a pretty productive night. Now I must be off to bed.

Oh - and I think the baby just had the hiccups!

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tammylc

April 2010

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