On Thursday, Tara and I headed up to Pasadena for this year’s Westercon, which is also this year’s ConChord.
Thursday morning got off to a fairly relaxed start. After finishing packing, we had to take the dog over to the vet/boarding place and get him checked in, request that they do a free exam – we had a coupon – and schedule him for grooming on Monday. After that we headed home, loaded up the car – and a bit of last minute packing – and headed up to Pasadena.
Following the advice of both the GPS and Google Maps we took the inlnad route – up I-15 and then across on CA-91 and CA-71 to I-210. As we were getting near Pasadena, we decided we were hungry, so detoured to Slaw Dogs before heading to the hotel. We enjoyed our dogs – and the EVIL ice cream that they also sell – got a menu to share with the Info desk and headed to the hotel.
We got checked in and settled fairly quickly, found our way to con registration and caught up with other friends there. We did confirm that the Chicago Bid Kit was still with Bobbie, who had yet to arrive (and also had a lot of the Seattle Bid stuff), so we didn’t have more than a minimal bid presence on Thursday. The San Diego Con Table (single table covering ConJecture, ConDor, Anime Conji, Gaslight Gaslamp and the 2011 World Fantasy Con) was better staffed and set up – but mostly had Conjecture and WFC material.
I didn’t go to any panels or concerts on Thursday. Tara and I did head out at dinner time and found the nearby Paseo Colorado shopping complex where we had a meal at a Rubio’s that we were a bit disappointed with. The fish tacos had, in addition to the expected creamy sauce, a hot sauce. And the chips that Tara had were not as fresh as we’re used to.
We hit up the two parties on Thursday night (Tonapah bid in the con suite and the Seattle bid) and turned in fairly early.
Saturday started too early for both of us due to waking up way to early and not being able to get back to sleep. So we had a lazy morning and still were able to get downstairs for the 9:00 opening of most of the stuff down there. But the bid kits were still locked in the Seattle room, so it was a bit later that we actually got the Chicago bid going.
Before we left, we heard the – still not 100% confirmed in detail – rumor about further changes in the con I was involved with in Chicago for many years, this one involving the Filk track. Off and on over the day, I’ve thought it would be very nice to be able to be a bit of a fly on the way around some of the ConChord filkers here, perhaps feeding the rumor or at least steering conversation in the direction that would lead to that discussion without revealing myself and my former affiliation. (I don’t have any shirts from that con with me, so I cannot encourage by t-shirt presence direct conversation with me about it, and I’m too shy to directly bring this up)
But before our stuff arrived we discovered that someone had forgotten to allocate space for Raleigh, so Reno and Chicago both worked out a way to compress our space and squeeze an extra chair in for Raleigh.
For me on Friday, I spent a fair amount of time at the table, a lot of which was also spent talking to the people on either side – the Texas bid and Masquarde on one side, and Raleigh, Reno and the other Chicago person on the others. We did also talk to several people, and I did sell one pre-support.
I’ll admit that when I saw a former filk guest of honor from the Chigago Con, debating asking if she’d heard the rumor and what she thought about it, but I decided that was not a politic thing to do – especially when sitting identified with the Chicago bid which, has, emphasized that it has involvement from most of the Chicago cons.
In the afternoon, I did get to most of the panel with Harry Turtledove and Tim Powers on using history when writing – at least when writing Alternate History and Secret History Fantasy which are what Turtledove and Powers mostly write (respectively). This was a very interesting panel, albeit a bit more focused on skills needed for writers than readers. Towards the end, the turned into a bit of a discussion of how attitudes have changed over time, and how that can make it hard to relate to accurate historical figures.
Later, I got to the Bonhoff’s concert (now often a trio since their daughter has joined them in recording and performing). While I only heard a couple of songs that I’d not heard either at LosCon or on one of their 4 earlier albums, I did throughly enjoy the concert. However, one of the new to me, but from their 5th album – and third of parodies – is set to the tune of “Dust in the Wind” and is called “Lust on the Bridge” and talks about original Star Trek. This instantly hit me of an example of some of what was being talked about during the earlier panel – an odd but not totally unexpected synchronisity.
After the concert, Tara and I headed out and got dinner again at the Paseo Colorado food court and headed back to the hotel. After dinner, Tara started nodding off, so I headed down to the Match Game SF (R-Rated version). About the time that I was finding myself hungry and thinking about pulling my name from the potential contestant bag, I was called as the replacement for someone who’d stepped out of the room- ironically another San Diego fan/con runner.
I didn’t do well – at least at matching panelists, so lost with zero matches to two or three. But I did score a partial victory by coming up with a better answer to (not an exact quote) “When the aliens arrived, they found that the nanotechnoligists worst fears weren’t bad enough. Instead of the Earth having been reduced to gray goo, it was reduced to _____.” My answer, delivered with appropriate style was “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon.” I didn’t match any of the panelists, but they all agreed that I had the best of the 7 answers.
I stuck around to hear that my opponent didn’t win her bonus prize, but left to hit up the parties – assuming that Tara had turned in. After scouting the parties I headed up to our room, and ended up heading back down with Tara. We still turned in fairly early (at least by con standards).
We are now up on Saturday and ready to head down and get the bid table opened.