cathyr19355: (Haley)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 12:56pm on 26/01/2009 under , ,
This weekend, I attended ConFusion in Troy, MI. I am typing this from a computer in Pinckney, MI, where [ profile] esrblog and I are staying for a few days of socializing before flying home Tuesday night.

One thing I noticed about the con was the surprising prevalence of steampunk costumes. Granted, "Steampunk" was the costuming theme for the Masquerade, but I've been to other cons with official Masquerade themes, and that fact didn't induce even the hall costumers to dress in theme! Some of the costumes were very good, too. There was also a vendor in the dealer's room selling steampunk accessories, including nifty goggles with changeable colored lenses ($90!) and facemasks (I didn't have the nerve to ask the price).

I was on four panels, but the real fun for me at this ConFusion was gaming and socializing. We got to have breakfast with [ profile] metalfatigue0, and a late-night food expedition with [ profile] treebones, [ profile] the1trueheather, and others. The gaming included three sessions of "Betrayal at the House on the Hill", which [ profile] esrblog really likes, but I can do without. Unless I have friends willing to roleplay the betrayal part, of course. :-)

All the same, I'll be happy to come back to my home, and our cat.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
location: Pinckney Community Public Library, Pinckney, MI
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
I spent this past weekend in Troy, Michigan, at ConFusion, a favorite SF convention of [ profile] esrblog's and mine.

This year's theme was "High Voltage ConFusion." Despite the theme, I thought the con was rather low voltage, with a more relaxed attitude about adding items and decorations in keeping with the theme than some of the ConFusions I've been to in years past.

That's not to say that the con wasn't fun, though. There were quite a few parties, at least on Saturday (even though some of those parties were just a bunch of friends, three types of food, a DVD player and a ton of videos). As always, there was a Masquerade (of which I was one of the judges), and two dances. And since the crew of the floating Pirate Party was the Fan GOH, the pirates were out in full fig. They even set up a Pirate suite, all (reasonably convincing fake) Gothic stone tracery windows and flickering (fake) torches, stocked with nearly $500 in gold foil wrapped chocolate coins.

Speaking of chocolate, [ profile] esrblog and I attended a dark chocolate tasting, instead of running one. This one was run by [ profile] tammylc, who does this sort of thing professionally (check out her website! We tasted and evaluated 8 different dark chocolates for texture, mouthfeel, aroma, and flavors, and I learned some interesting things about chocolate as well as a *LOT* about how a chocolate tasting can be run. It was great fun, and I may attend another one of [ profile] tammylc's tastings some time.

But I was feeling too low-energy, this time around, to push myself to do a large number of events. [ profile] esrblog was away on a trip to the Bay Area and his flight in was delayed, so that he finally made it to the con hotel at about 3:00 A.M. on Friday morning (kudos and thanks again, [ profile] matt_arnold, for driving out to Detroit Metro to retrieve him). In addition, I had a cold and an ear infection when I headed out for the con (both of which are a lot better now, thank Ghod), and a persistently achy shoulder which will be the subject of surgery next month.

On the other hand, we had a lovely sit down dinner at a very nice restaurant with several friends who live in the area, including [ profile] treebones, [ profile] phecda, and [ profile] dawnwolf, and I got to play India Rails, Munchkin Cthulhu, and a game I had never heard of before called Tuchulcha, which, according to [ profile] esrblog, was something like Sorry and something like backgammon, but had vaguely Etruscan trappings.

Oh, and I got very good food and lots of sleep. In many ways, it was the perfect convention weekend.
Music:: is that big band era music coming out of Eric's office?
location: home
Mood:: 'calm' calm
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:04pm on 22/01/2007 under ,
Time to post my ConFusion report, before I forget.

It was a very low-key ConFusion for me. I spent a lot of time eating meals and playing Puerto Rico with various friends, and not much time at panels or the Dealers' Room, or even parties. I didn't even make it to the Masquerade. Though there *were* some very good parties, and the three panels I was part of went very well indeed.

ConFusion was also my con for acquiring free books. There was a box of free books outside the Dealers' Room, and one at the Pajama Party (yes, there was a pajama party) which I raided. In addition, one of my fellow panelists gave me a copy of her book for free (it's her free rendition of an obscure Greek myth about what happened to Odysseus after the events in the Odyssey).

Friday was kind of quiet, but Saturday night had a lot of parties, and I cruised through a bunch of them, including the roving Pirate Party.

Overall, it was a nearly perfect convention for me.
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
location: home
Music:: Battle of Wesnoth mood music
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:31pm on 21/01/2007 under
But it's late so I don't intend to do a con report now. Later! (This one's for you, [ profile] metalfatigue0).
Music:: Joe Satriani, "Not of this Earth" (coming from ESR's office)
location: home
Mood:: 'tired' tired
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:07pm on 23/01/2006 under
Eric and I spent the past weekend at ConFusion, a science fiction convention in the Detroit metropolitan area. Eric was the Science Guest of Honor at ConFusion 19100 six years ago, and we've been back every year ever since.

ConFusion is one of the high points in my convention-going year, and this year's ConFusion exemplified all the reasons why I keep returning. There were more room parties, for example, at this year's ConFusion than there have been at the last 3 Philcons I've attended. And they were *fun* parties. Like the roving Pirate party, which carried its own music and refreshments from floor to floor, and dared passersby to "walk the plank" (yes, they carried their own plank for the purpose). Or Cafe Penguicon, which was open to hand out free fudge and promote Penguicon, a Detroit-area convention that is part Linux show, part SF con, and all fun. The ConSuite had more food (and more *real* food) than the Green Room, and a nifty Tiki Party God outside the door, made of painted styrofoam. There was a Port Tasting party (courtesy of Aegis Consulting), a Snowflake Day party (courtesy of fans of a bizarre, extinct cartoon SF-ish series called Clone High), and more that I never managed to visit.

There were some panels (though fewer than last year), but the only one I attended was the one (only one! thank Ghod!) costuming panel I was on. However, there was more than enough fun even if you didn't make it to the panels. As they have done for the past three years, Mayfair Games sent representatives to teach people their games, including the many variants of Settlers of Catan. I got to play the game with a copy of their special, $380 dollar Settlers of Catan set, on which the board hexes are sculpted in painted 3-D relief, and the road, settlement and city pieces are works of art. I learned a new game, "Hey, Those Are My Fish!" which features fishing penguins and would be right at home at Penguicon (see above).

For some reason, only one or two artists brought works to the Art Show, which was an almost total bust, but the success of the Masquerade (at which I was one of three judges) more than made up for it. It began with a "lightning round" featuring the brave souls who dared the "junk yard" costume wars--a workshop where would-be costumers were led to piles of household junk and dared to make a costume in a single hour; success was judged solely by the amount of applause each costume garnered. (The winner of this round: Belly Man! No, don't ask.) After that, there were 15 competitive entries, and celebrity judges [ profile] thatguychuck and Steve Stiles were hard put to it to select winners. Before we left to deliberate, there was a surprise performance by Causing A Scene Productions, a dance troupe of which Masquerade MC [ profile] xaina is a member. CASP did a kind of high-speed Goth ballet in black robes and red-painted gas masks, followed by a hysterically funny interlude where Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia (in full Jabba-slave-girl drag) and Darth Vader dance-pantomimed their interest in love, and each other which started with combat and ended with the three of them alternately pairing off and dancing in a happy threesome to "Strangers in the Night". Their final number was a kind of feminist parable which featured female characters strung up like puppets and ultimately, triumphantly, freeing themselves.

Throw in a huge bunch of old friends, an absence of snow and a decent dealers' room, and it was a ConFusion to remember. I was truly sorry to leave on Sunday night, and can only look forward expectantly to see many of the same friends (and a few additional ones) at Penguicon in April.
Music:: soundtrack of Eric's "Spaceward Ho!" game
Mood:: 'nostalgic' nostalgic
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
Happy New Year, everybody!

Yes, I know that I haven't updated this journal since 2005. (December 31, 2005, to be exact.) Sorry about that.

I haven't done much on LiveJournal because [ profile] landley was staying with us until the 8th, and after he left to get ready for his move to Pittsburgh Eric spent nearly a week working in New York, so I've been working late, and when I've been home I've been too tired to LiveJournal. Last weekend, I spent the time I might have spent LiveJournaling doing updates on a site I help to moderate, MedCos, a resource and mailing list site for people interested in historic costume from before 1600 C.E. By way of apology, here's a brief catch-up/catchall post on personal news.

Eric's laptop refused to boot one morning about a week ago. It refused even to be turned on. I took it back to the repair job where we'd just gotten the new system board replaced, and scowled at them. The tech removed the board and the battery, put both back in, and the machine powered up and worked fine. And continues to work fine, so far. Cost = $0. (Insert deep sigh of relief here).

Meanwhile, the insurance company where Eric fell and dropped his laptop (see this entry) has agreed to cover the repair bill provided that he signs a release. He was just about to do that....the day his laptop refused to boot. Fearing that we would need to increase our demand to cover additional repairs, we held off on sending out the release. Now, we just have to get the release signed and mailed.

But probably not tonight. Tomorrow, we fly out to ConFusion. So naturally I'm typing this instead of getting last-minute tasks done, thanks to a certain friend who nudged me to post. [ profile] metalfatigue0, I'm going to make you pay for this! :-)
Mood:: 'rushed' rushed
Music:: "Jeff" by Jeff Beck, burbling out of Eric's speakers