I am back from Apollocon, and after an unexpectedly long stayover in Houston due to weather/airline trouble, and having successfully pleasantly surprised our father with a retirement party and greetings from many of his colleagues and friends from all over the world Wednesday night, and then a day of recovery from that, I am finally starting to catch up with the rest of life.
At Apollocon they had me scheduled pretty heavily but even that public schedule did not reflect all I had to do there. I was on a seekret mission from the Reno in 2011 bid to extend our appreciation to Artist GoH Brad Foster in the form of one of our banners as well as a cake featuring one of the wonderful characters he created to promote our humble worldcon bid. Brad was also pleasantly surprised, as you can see in these pictures of the event, which happened during the artists reception Friday night.
That was after my smoothieklatch, and the Friday night Concert wherein Brian and I and a host of volunteers performed four Monkey Rampant sketches and then there was music by Steven Brust and also the filk guest of honor. After the artists reception I went back out into panel-land for a discussion on sexual and social mores and morals which gave me stuff to think about; that may be a different post later.
On Saturday morning I was delighted to have some very willing students in the "Dancing for geeks" workshop, which is different each time based on the skills and interests of the people there. We covered some basics and went quite quickly into some formal ballroom forms - namely east coast swing and a basic waltz. I copied much of my teaching style from the many U of M Ballroom and Friday night Swing classes I took last year, and the swing part actually went much better than the waltz, which surprised me. It may be harder to teach something you've known longer compared to something you've learned more recently.
So that went well, and then I watched John Picacio interview Lou Anders, and then in the afternoon I conducted my own interview of Allen Steele. That went pretty well too, I thought. Allen called it "nice" and "not non-intelligent", so I think those are good signs. I have to thank John Scalzi for some coaching in the week running up to the con; some conversations with him helped me structure the interview. Good to have a journalist to ask for advice on that sort of thing. I got a video of about half of the interview before the batteries in my little flipVideo recorder ran out, and I've posted it on google video in case anyone is interested.
(As is to be expected, the beginning is a little slow and mainly highlights how often I actually say "uh" or "um" while I'm talking...)
The radio play Saturday night -- "Skip Thruster and the Doomsday Device" -- was well received. I kept finding myself channeling a little bit of Zoe as the straight-arrow sharp second to Skip ("I don't deal in hypothetical poopy-heads, sir."). The cast was great, with the fellow playing Dr. Doom being particularly good at improvising to make things just a little better.
Then there was nighttime swimming, and then a bit of the party scene, meeting lots of nice people (many thanks to John Picacio for taking me around and making with the introductions), and then sleep. Sunday was much quieter, starting very nicely with breakfast with a couple of Brian's friends before they hauled him off to gaming. We'd had dinner with them and an old friend of mine from college the night before, which was also nice.
I met lots of nice people over the weekend. Todd and Sam, Jacen and Joe were particularly friendly and good company; many extra thanks to Todd for coming to the interview AT did with me on Sunday so we weren't completely alone in the room... I am looking forward to seeing the pictures from the cameras Todd and Sam were carrying around and will let you know when I have links. Joe's idea of putting a bit of coffee in the banana chocolate smoothie first thing Friday was quite a nice one, and I was glad to read he had fun at the dancing class as well. Jacen, I owe you an email back for your kind offer to show us around on Monday. We were really out of it and mostly just slept and ate, aside from dealing with the airline and doing some laundry since the airline had my only bag that had clean clothes in it.
My good friends Kim and Mark were busy running the con all weekend, so in a way being held over due to weather was nice since it gave us an opportunity to actually visit with them. We had a lovely Japanese/sushi feast together Monday night, much more relaxed than we'd been all weekend. That was after we were taken out for a huge cajun lunch with other great concom members Katy and Chuck and Val -- quite a day for eating, Monday turned out to be. It was also great to see eposia and skzbrust, with whom Bri and I caught dinner on Friday at the hotel. I completely missed seeing Maureen McHugh, who was also at the con, but these things happen.
Chuck was my hero throughout the con, for his idea of putting a cooler full of snacks *just for me* in Ops so I could refuel my hypoglycemic self between panels without having to hit the consuite on the fifth floor. Plus there were Odwalla drinks and veggies and stuff in there, and Chuck kept it restocked all weekend. It was awesome. The cooler is pictured to the right.