I got up at 0800, showered, dressed, and went forth to get whatever breakfast-like stuff I could from the Consuite. This quest was successful, and I wound up in COF2E2 chatting with qob while sucking up OJ, milk and coffee along with the scone and muffin. After that, I went forth to the Otaku panel. revolutionaryjo had put a lot of thought into this panel and produced a good agenda, which for the most part we (jariten, revolutionaryjo, Rebecca Marjesdatter and myself) stuck to although we did wander off on occasional tangents like the history of local anime fandom. The audience started small but eventually filled about half the room; unfortunately, I think most of them were already anime fans, so the panel didn't realy reach the people it was intended to. Oh, well. At least the anime fans who were there got a good look at themselves and their history.
I didn't have any plans for the next block of programming but wound up following the stuckintraffiks into the Comedy Music panel, which featured local filker skylarker, Dementoid legend lukeski, and Scott Keever. It wasn't supposed to be a filk v. novelty song kind of panel but that's kind of the way it went; unfortunately for lukeski his mix CD was terminally scratched and wouldn't play. skylarker's voice and mandolin worked just fine FTW. ^^ Despite the simmering disagreement (which, to his credit, Scott tried to moderate some) I think the audience got a very good grounding in the merits of filking and the wider availability of novelty/parody music via the Internet, what with podcasts and Internet radio bringing the likes of Dr. Demento into our homes despite the lame programming choices of Jack 104 and other iPod stations that never seem to play the comedy hits.
After that, the last panel of the day was Politics in Fandom, which had the potential to devolve into a foodfight but thanks to kaustin, michaellee and myself didn't. (It may also be due to Frank/Gypsy's absence; when I ran into him Saturday night he was looking forward to the panel with drunken glee as he had a few things to get off his chest.) Anyway, I think I may have wound up doing most of the talking, because in truth AD/ATC are organized quite differently from MNSF and MISFITS and their conventions. Which is no accident; we did that quite deliberately and I managed to explain while avoiding any HRMP-related flaming. One amusing moment of audience participation occurred when barondave carped about the lack of institutional memory in Convergence (and I think he mentioned newer conventions, but I could be wrong) to which michaellee responded by pointing out that most of the CVG staff were in fact veterans of Minicon and remembered quite well how things had gone. pwn3d!! kaustin didn't seem to have a lot to say, although that may be because I was talking so much. :( Well, Mike thought it went well, so I guess it did.
After that, off to the post-mortem, which featured the following exchange before it got underway:
Me (to tjstriker): Well, time to tell the CVG exec what a crappy convention they have. [/sarcasm]
petsnakereggie: I'll take that from you, because you know I could care less what you think.
Me: Oh yeah? Well, if I thought you cared about my opinion, I wouldn't waste my time giving it to you!
No good ideas to steal this year, except for the pocket programming grid. Lots of love for this year's edition of the consuite, which did a very good job despite being short-staffed, losing the reefer truck on Thursday night, and having it replaced by one that needed to be restarted every five hours. (Boy, that brought back some unpleasant memories.)
Then came the tearing down and packing up of the programming office, which took very little time. We were all done and had everything down to secure storage well before closing ceremonies, which people were lining up for well in advance. Why, I don't know, because there were plenty of empty seats, btu there you are. Various skits and presentations followed, the announcement of membership (2553, no mention of the warm body count) and hotel sales (505 of 535 rooms sold) ritual thanks from guests (featuring Bridget Landry in a most fetching ST:TOS uniform) and announcement of next year's theme, "Creature Feature".
Sunday night seemed really dead, especially for a Convergence dead dog party. P and I went home for a couple of hours so she could shower (?) and get some work clothes for Monday, since she'd only taken Friday off, and then we went back. I played some Dalmuti down in COF2E2 with Jaffer and Amanda and some other folks until the game fell apart around 2300; P then went to bed and I wandered upstairs to the Consuite, where Clay had a game of Zar going. He dealt me in, and the game went on until about 0100. I did my diet no good by noshing on much pita bread and cream cheese; also tried the blue cheese with walnuts, which surprisingly did not taste as hideous as blue cheese and walnuts usually do. Someone had turned over their room party's chocolate fountain to the consuite and I tried a couple of graham crackers on it. MMMM. Somewhere in there I helped Ellie dispose of a couple boxes of soup, a couple bags of carrots, some dip and some orange juice.
Hit the rack about 0130, got up at 0600 so I could drag Melody off to her bus; got a McBreakfast on the way back and then hung out in the strangely empty consuite until I found myself helping to clean up. That way lay madness, so I went back to the room and started packing up. Once I'd gotten that into the truck I hung around for the rest of the morning with the Rakehell crew, which I described briefly here; we talked about costuming and how what Klingons do is closer to anime cosplay than it is to normal SF&F masquerade costuming, the history of conventions in Iowa, the difference between the origins of Marscon and Convergence, and other fannish topics until we all realized we were kind of hungry, at which point I turned them on to Q. Cumbers, which most of them (except for the evil & sadistic First Officer) enjoyed tremendously.
After that there was really nothing to do but go home and collapse, although I didn't actually get to bed until about 1800...
Couple of odd things that are worth mentioning: the guys that came by Friday afternoon, stuck their heads into the Green Room and greeted me with a cheerful "Hi, Wombat! How's retirement going?". We had a short conversation before they wandered off to continue looking for some friend of theirs. I then turned to P and asked, "Do you have any idea who the hell those guys were?" "I think one of them worked security as a volunteer," she replied doubtfully. Less unsettling was running into Rei and her new BF a couple of times over the weekend. She seems to have recovered nicely from the drama at AD, which I'm glad to see.
The membership count may have been up this year, but it seemed to me that there weren't as many people around as there were last year, especially on Saturday night. Last year it was almost impossible to get through the crush of people down by the pool and in front of Consuite, and it just wasn't that impacted this year. I suppose it's possible that the expanded gaming on the 22nd floor might have siphoned a couple hundred people off, but I honestly don't think it could have had that much impact. Chris from the Rakehell was of the opinion that a lot of folks who normally come up from Chicago, KC and St. Louis decided to sit this one out due to the high price of gas - last year about this time it was only a little over $2, while this year it was a lot closer to $3. He could be right.