February 23rd, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

Camp Capricon - Thursday

Prelude:  What a peaceful word for getting a call from an employment agency, setting up an interview for the next day, and then finding out that they want two IDs (to prove I'm a citizen), right now, for the first interview.  Well, I knew that would be needed to start a new job, but it was far from foremost in my mind lately.  And said papers weren't where I remembered leaving them.  Admittedly, between my last trip to Canada for FilkOntario and last week, I'd had radiators freeze with attendant chaos to the things in that general area, but still, I told myself, jobs are more important than cons, and I set to trying to find the necessary papers.  I found all sorts of cool things (photos of me at the Worldcon where I won ribbons for my Scraps (The Patchwork Girl of Oz) costume, for instance, but not them.  Finally, having stayed up way too late, I gave up and tried to get to sleep.  I did pretty well at the job interview, even OK at the typing test--I've been typing on an ergonomic keyboard for ten+ years, and they only had a standard one.  Then I got home, changed clothes, went online to get the bid sheets and control sheets to fill in, and started to gather things to put in the art show.  First the things that came back from Windycon (another, much shorter search, to find the Windycon receipt, since I was tired and wanted reminders of what I'd called things and how I'd priced them).  Then a few other things--oh, look, here are my birth certificate and SS card. 

Gee, if only I'd ignored duty and got art for the con packed first, I'd have had an earlier, more fun, and less frantic Tuesday night.  And better sleep.  And less chaos.  And I might even have finished the artist's challenge piece before the con!.  And been packing my music up earlier and in a better rested state, which later proved to be an important point.  Finally, I resigned myself to packing clothes the next morning, put my picks and such into the Martin gig bag, and headed for bed, only to oversleep the alarms.

So we did not get there as early on Thursday as I'd hoped (I wanted to get there by 2 or 3 and set up the art show items before setting up to paint at the Winterfaire, which was 5:30 to 7:30).  Instead we got there just before 5:30, I peeked in the green room to grab a soda (where I was told they didn't have stickers with our schedules to put on our badges yet), and then set up to paint.  I worked on The Dryad's Jewels, and a young lady sat down to paint with me (she got a sketchbook page).  It was fun, and since she said the dragon she painted was by far her best effort to date, I guess I did a good job with pointers and suggestions.  Oh, and I got my first real cloth "merit badge" of the con, for participating in special events.

In the meantime, my Angel parked the car, stopped by the Winterfaire for pizza and to pick up the stuff for the art show, headed there, unpacked (most of) the art, and started getting it set up.  The plan had been for her to stick the bid sheets on, but she had mislaid her reading glasses.  The process was also hindered by the fact that she hurried off before I could remind her that all the bid sheets were printed and in one of the bags, so she came to tell me she couldn't read the blank sheets to start filling them in for me without her glasses, but what she actually said was "everything is all hung up", so I went to see and approve of her mighty efforts, and make sure she'd taped the bid sheets to the right pieces of art, leaving the not-empty bags with my stuff in the Winterfaire.  Sigh.  I sent her back with bid sheets and the rest of the art, saying "do what you can", then finished Winterfaire before heading to the art show to finish setting things up.  Thank goodness I could do that Thursday, as I had three panels and a concert to do Friday!  I really didn't want to get up early Friday. 

Then I grabbed a sandwich in the green room, which tasted far more wonderful than cold cuts should, and consoled myself that arriving late to "Camp" Capricon at least didn't require me to set up a tent in the dark.

I wanted to tune the autoharps, cittern, and guitar, or at least the two that I needed for Friday's concert, but as soon as I'd finished eating, my body made it very clear to me that a nap was imperative, so I set up the facehugger and laid down to doze for a couple of hours.  Up again before midnight, I put an autoharp on the bed and dug in the gig bag for the Korg tuner.  Picks.  Extra picks.  Capos.  Another capo.  Pens.  Songs.  Kleenex.  But no tuner.  I searched all the instrument cases and the other bags related to filk, and then searched them again, spreading things all over our roommate's bed.  Nothing.  Well, lots of things, but no tuner.  With a panel and then a concert the next morning.  Aargh.  I could tune to myself of course, but that is a far cry from being sure that filkart  and I were both tuned to the proper 440A.  Ugh.  I rushed to clear off my stuff from the roommate's bed and then set off toward the filk room to borrow a tuner, praying that someone there would let me borrow one until the next morning, so I could touch up the tuning before the first panel.

And it was locked.  Empty.  Dark.  There were no filkers in sight.  Not in the lobby or the hallways or the consuite.  I checked Ops for completeness, they cheerfully told me that they didn't have a tuner (I knew that, with reasonable certainty, before I even poked my nose in there) and that they weren't filkers (once I'd set eyes on them I knew that for sure), but since they asked I figured I'd explain why I had poked my head in and stared at them.  Perhaps I should have said simply that they weren't the droids I was looking for.

Anyway, with no tuner in hand, and no idea how badly out of tune the autoharp I needed for just about all the songs Art had picked for his concert, now I needed to go back to sleep right away, so as to get up way, way too early in the hopes that some other, well-equipped filker might also be up early, or failing that, might there be a guitar store near the hotel?  And could I get there and back with time to tune (and without getting lost) before my first panel?  Having started the last two days short on sleep, and really needing a good night's sleep, naturally, it was a very long time before I caught any.

Creative Joyous Cat

Capricon - Friday

As you will remember, our intrepid fan is stuck without necessary equipment...

So, far too early, my cell phone starts singing to me, "Right Now...  (I'm not fond of many of the songs you don't have to pay for on this phone, but those words seem right for "wake up NOW".)  So I get up, hurry through a shower (with or without a tuner, I'll be onstage soon), and dash off to the con suite, where, happily, I find a bleary eyed musician with a wide-awake son, who is willing to lend me a tuner, "after I have some coffee".  So, we sit and talk, and I have some breakfast.  I am not exactly awake yet myself, when I go to get more milk, without looking I grab his cup, which clearly says "Starbucks Coffee" on it.  So, he loans me a tuner of a make I've never used before.  I assume there is a mysterious way to set it to something other than 440A, but don't need that function.  I head off to the Capricon Cafe room, where the concert will be, and set to tuning.  A friend is running the room, so I don't have to take the instruments to my panel--bonus.  And a kind-looking gentleman offered to read to me, from what turned out to be a sequel to Bronte's Egg.  Extra bonus.  A personal reading by Richard Chwedyk.  I enjoyed it a lot, and meant to introduce myself and find out when and where it would be published before rushing off, but it passed the time all too well and I suddenly realized I had two minutes to get to my first panel, at the other end of the hotel.  I hope he knows the hurried expression of appreciation I gave him while tucking the instruments behind the stage were heartfelt!

I figured I could find him later during the con, but my memory for faces is poor, and the whole time he was reading my eyes were fixed on tiny indicator lights.  The only time I saw him later, he had a whole circle of listeners, and I wasn't about to interrupt that!

My first panel was MCSI (Magical Crime Scene Investigation) where we talked a little about magic and a lot about real world issues that would relate to how the magic would (or wouldn't) work.  For instance, if a spell figures out (like a futuristic brain scan might be able to do) if someone is aware they are saying something made-up, it still won't tell you what they are making up, or how it relates to the investigation.  The difference between mistaken and lying.  "Pseudologia Fantastica" - the ability of some con men to enter so deeply into the con that they believe it while they are in it.  (Is this related to the ability of so many people to internalize the world and characters in their favorite TV shows or novels?)  The symbiotic relationship between language and one's perception of reality.

Then to the concert, where due to Capricon moving to a format of 75-minute panels in 90-minute time slots, I arrived a bit early.  Good thing--the borrowed tuner's 440A and filkart 's tuner's 440A did not match.  Everyone's brains croggled.  Retuning 42 strings (one autoharp and my guitar) would take pretty much the whole concert time; Art didn't want to do the concert without the autoharp, so we figured out that of the people present billroper could probably retune Art's 12-string fastest, so that's what happened.  Thanks Bill!  I still haven't figured out how the tuners weren't matched up, that's just so, so, wrong!  (I try to keep certain stronger words out of posts I don't friends-lock).  And I can't imagine that the question that goes with the answer regarding life, the universe, and everything, has to do with the number of strings I tuned...

I had just enough time to pack up the instruments and return them to my room, before heading toward my next panel, SF on TV.  In honor of The Twilight Zone, which hits its 50th anniversary in November, there was cake.  And I learned things, as I often do in panels--for instance, part of the reason the Firefly series failed is that Fox decided to air the episodes out of order.  I got to explain the term "story arc".

Then I was scheduled for Cap 101, where no neofen showed up at all, and Steven Silver spent a great deal of his time detailing the differences between the Chicago conventions, and the organizations that run them, and the fannish opportunities for socialization in between conventions in Chicago.  They weren't interested in filk, or happenings in Milwaukee, so I started writing down the bones of the short story that took shape in my head while I was chasing the elusive sleep the night before.  Longhand.  Ugh.  But the people were friendly, and I handed out the "merit badge" FIAWOL stickers.  (The earlier panels were Celluloid Devotee and hmm...I don't see a TV related sticker here.  Oh, well, if I find it later, I'll edit the post.)

After that, there was food and conversation and some filking, though no one stayed up very late, least of all me, since I had a panel sheduled for the next day at the un-ghodly hour of 10:00 a.m.  I even went in the Dealer's room, though I'm not much for window shopping, but it is a good place to run into people.</lj></lj>