We'd decided to drive up to Worscester on Friday, instead of our normal method of starting on Thursday night, stopping somewhere in Connecticut for the night and then continuing in the morning. The reasons went thusly: It's summer, and therefore Shabbat comes in late; Worcester is an hour south of Boston, which would be that much more time saved; since we would not be stopping in Boston for food, it would make sense to take it all that morning instead.
And, yes, despite horrendous traffic along the way, including the roads leading out of NYC, we did make it to the hotel in time, so the gamble paid off. However, we paid a heavy price - because we had a latish start and because I was worried and because we had all those difficulties, I spent half the trip being generally awful - yelling at jjbaker and hitting his maps and...well.
It didn't help that we never got a full break. My stamina is better since I've started the martial arts, but it took us seven hours to drive to Worcester with all the traffic, and all I got were three ten minute in-and-out of rest stop bathroom break, plus one five minutes longer to eat half a sandwich sitting in the car. I ate the remaining sandwich while driving. Jonathan doesn't drive.
I have decided that, bli neder, this will not happen again. We will do the two part thing. I don't mean for Noreasecon, which starts on a Wednesday so it doesn't matter when we arrive, or for Arisia, when we have no choice about when to leave. I mean for Readercon or the next Concertino, even if it is summer and we are only going to Worscester. Or Framingham.
We got there just before seven. As candlelighting was at 8PM, this was plenty of time to register and shower and set the room up and so on. tigerbright and teddywolf made Shabbat dinner in his parents' house, so that was one worry we didn't have, and I'd volunteered our room for the meal itself. We were still destressing and showering and so on when people arrived at the room, but soon all was sorted out, and dinner was lovely. I do not see any of these people often enough. It's just that Boston is so far away...
Collected a lot of hugs along the way, too.
After dinner, while Jonathan was at choir practice, I wandered a bit, and stopped into the dealer's room to chat with people and even get a jar of curry set aside for me. The open filking hadn't started yet, and I wasn't in a mood for the rest of the evening programming, and, well. I was tired. Very tired, in fact. So much so that Jonathan and I were in bed by eleven and I was asleep by twelve, with the light still on. He was out even earlier. The timer took care of the light by 1AM.
After kiddush, we kinda went our separate ways. Jonathan had choir practice. Ed Stauff had adapted filk songs (or filks of filks, or filks of hymns) to the Sacred Harp method and created some lovely stuff. Jonathan had some problems with the subject matter of some of the song s- it's hard sometimes being a Traditional Monotheist with a belief in divine revelation in a science fiction fannish crowd that seems to tend to either athieism or paganism, but that's our thing to deal with, and certainly we get a lot of support ourselves from the people who know us - pushing elevator buttons or taking hints about the lamp on a timer that the chambermaid turned off.
Anyway, I went to the concerts that afternoon and evening, taking time during the dinner break for a nap. I spent relatively little time in the con suite, which is odd for me. The con suite was...well. A lot of people loved it and I can understand why. It had plenty of real food - chili and soup and a bread machine and sandwiches, plus home made baked goods and veggies and dip.
In other words, nothing I could eat except for the veggies. This is why I run con suites - so I know I can eat there. However, even in con suites that aren't specifically kosher, I can usually find something - bowls of various chips and pretzels, if absolutely nothing else. Instead, all there was was the smell of cooking treif. Again, most of the other people in the con loved it, and that's what does count.
However, that was one of the reasons...well, I'll get into that later.
We went to the Interfilk auction, which was a lot of fun to watch. And then I changed clothes - and that was a fun bit. See, there was a huge wedding at the convention on Saturday, so the main part was full of extremely well dressed people, as were the more public bathrooms. At one point, I had a strange one sided conversation with a guest in the bathroom - one who apparently decided that she couldn't bear to be parted with her beer because she had the bottle with her. Yep. Drunk. So were a lot of the guests.
Anyway, it was after Shabbat and I didn't see any reason to stay in my Shabbos clothes, so I decided to go up to the room to change. In the elevator, the other women there asked me if I were part of the "craziness." Normally, I'd've said yes, but this time..."Which craziness?"
"The wedding, of course."
"Oh, no. I'm part of the science fiction convention."
"There's a science fiction convention here?"
And the elevator doors opened and I left, entirely bemused that we were invisible. I guess it was because people don't tend to wear hall costumes during filk conventions, and a bunch of people in jeans and t-shirts just don't get noticed. On the other hand, I was wearing an outfit that was only a little too casual for the wedding, so maybe it stood out.
I know that when I changed to a t-shirt and denim skirt, I wasn't noticed anymore, either. :)
We bought some stuff at the dealer's room - I now own saffron - and went to the food and drink theme filk until it became - officially - the bawdy filk. We then went to the main filk room, which was crowded and full of guitars and harps and Jonathan wanted to stay because he wanted to hear the people there.
And I pouted and we left for a much smaller filk circle in a smaller room. It was officially rule less, but Lady Bear, who'd sat there alone until people joined her, moderated it anyway while saying she didn't. Jonathan got to make requests and sing several songs, and I sang my Harry Potter filk with fear and trembling at my very first time singing in a filk circle.
And this went on until past two in the morning when we decided it was time for bed.
We'd decided to stay at the hotel Sunday night, so Sunday morning was calm and relaxed. We didn't need to run around packing and so on. Instead, Jonathan went to another choir practice and I went to the one shots and more concerts, and then to the con suite for coffee, where there was a rousing discussion of HP5. A real literary discussion. My goodness, that was fun. Thesis was that Snape is testing Harry's nonVoldemortness on behalf of Dumbledore *and* that he's in charge of making the potential sociopaths of Slytherin into a healthy unit loyal to him. No, Tamar does not read fanfic and has never heard of Sorcerer's Apprentice. :)
Somewhere in there, the choir performed. They sang four songs - "Coming Down on New Jersey" (which is from "Coming back to Old Maui"), "Babylon is Fallen" (a Babylon 5 filk to the obvious tune), a hymn to Hubble and finally, "Hope Eyrie", which is the fannish anthem. The choir had to look at their songbooks when singing that; I don't think anyone in the audience did. It was absolutely lovely.
Eventually, everything wound down. The last official song was sung, the gripe session ended and people began gathering - most to go to the dead dog dinner. We'd tried to organize our own to a kosher place, but two of the people who keep strictly kosher had to leave early and the third couldn't eat middle eastern food, which was our only choice, so we went alone. :(
After we came back, which was about the same time as the other mission, we went to the dead dog filk. And that was wonderful. It lasted until - well, until past midnight, which was when we'd folded. There were two filk circles and backrubs and hugs and songs from people we'd missed during the convention. But then, the dead dog is often the best part of the con. Which is another reason to stay Sunday night.
We left the hotel, with more hugs and goodbyes, at noon, but then spent a long time at the local Borders, just sitting and talking and drinking coffee and buying books and reading, so we didn't actually get started until about 2PM. And, even though we started later and took longer breaks, we hit far less traffic on the way down - only getting stuck in rush hour traffic twice - and got home at about 8PM. I made grilled salami sandwiches for dinner. :)
I did, however, lose my mind that weekend. First, after weeks of dithering, I told the Conterpoint people that yes, I would do their con suite next summer. Even though I'd have to depend on them for the shopping and would be unable to attend any live concom meetings. I did insist on having an assistant, preferably a non-Jew who could make the coffee, and they promised they could wire the con suite so I could hear the concerts. It will be my normal con suite - munchies and veggies and canned soda and kosher.
Second. I think I want to chair Contata in 2008. Note the date - it means I have time to recover my sanity. I know I can do the job. I also I know something's wrong that I want to do it. But something planted the idea and it won't go away.
Someone has three years to talk me out of it. Anyone.