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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

As usual, getting there is half the fun.

As I said Thursday night, we decided on the spur of the moment to go to Lunacon, on the promise of car and room space with another couple.

(When I say spur of the moment - I canceled a shabbat lunch invite *and* I had a turkey bottom in the fridge to be made into stew. And I forgot to put it in the freezer. :( )

We decided to rent our own car, and because there was a chance that our friends would get a king instead of a double double, I even reserved a room. (Two religious couples cannot share a king room, not even with a cot. It would end up floorspace and I don't do floorspace. I haven't in fifteen years, and I'm old now.) We were renting our own car because my in-laws were celebrating their 40th anniversary in Manhattan on Sunday and it would be logistically easier.

It took me all morning to rent a car - we even made contingency plans to have J&D drive us. We'd send the luggage back with them and take a train from the con to the dinner.

Except, as I found out when I returned with the rental, J's car wouldn't start. She took it to a service station, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong.

So, instead of them driving us in their car, we drove them in ours - it was just about big enough. Nice car, actually - a Mitsubishi Galant. We got there an hour before Shabbat. The room was a double double, so we canceled our own room (with a bit of a fuss) and we also arranged for mechanical keys, which meant we could keep the door to our room locked. There was the fuss of meeting others and changing clothes and registering for the convention and getting the room ready and getting a fridge and so on, but by 5:48, we were ready to make our way down to the room designated for Shabbat services.

There we made a make-shift mechitza (partition) out of a row of chairs so we had separate seating and we had enough for a minyan, and so we had Friday night daavening, and then we had a group dinner (we supplied challah and wine for those who didn't want grape juice.) And then we did con stuff - panels, filking, hanging around Dealer's Row.

I went to stakebait's panel on fanfiction, and found that no one else had showed up. So, I joined her. That was fun.

We did decide to go to bed early, though.

And that was cute. Here's the situations. Two married Orthodox couples in one room. How do we do that and maintain modesty? Especially since hotel rooms tend to be hot and it's warm sharing a double bed? Jonathan wore a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I wore a nightshirt over a pair of wildly clashing pajama pants that I'd just bought in anticipation of ConneXions. And I wore a silk scarf over my hair in the hopes it would stay on. It didn't. It also clashed even more. Our roommates had less well-thought out solutions - M forgot he was sharing with a woman, and J forgot headgear to sleep in. I lent her a snood, and M spent a lot of time under the covers.

Otherwise, we did all our changing in the bathroom.

We had Shabbat morning services - no sefer torah, but we did have a minyan and we finished in time for the 10AM panel. Jonathan led musaf. He doesn't get to do that much anymore, so it was nice.

Then we wandered to the con suite to get coffee, where I noticed that the woman in charge looked exhausted, and she was clearly by herself. I asked if she needed help and she said yes, from 12:30-3:30. It was 10AM then. I helped her set out some veggie platters and some trays of crackers and went to a panel and then went back to the con suite by noon.

She saw I knew what I was doing (I can't sit still when I run a con suite, so I'm always bustling - refilling bowls and trays, picking up trash, checking supplies) and was willing to do it, so she "went to take a power nap with the good drugs." In an hour or so she was back, looking much refreshed. I stayed until about 3, when there was a cyberpunk party there and left.

While I was there, a teenaged girl noticed my name badge. "You're Debra Fran Baker? I've read Sweetcheeks a thousand times!" On the one hand - yay, a fan! On the other - ack, a kid!

I told her she made my convention. She glowed.

And that's when I went to Dealer's Row and tried on a corset. Kirsten found a lovely one - purple and copper flowers on a dark background. I was wearing a black skirt and long-sleeved t-shirt under a star-field t-shirt. I took off the top shirt and she laced me in. And in. And in. And in.

I had a waist. An actual waist. And it made me look - tidy. Neat. Not sloppy. Plus, with a little adjustments, I had *something* on top - visible even under the t-shirt. I'm not sure it didn't violate halacha, but, oh, I felt beautiful and elegant and, yes, sexy. It was amazing. I got nice comments from men in the hallway when I "test drove" it.

And Jonathan's reaction? "It's beautiful and you look sexy, but you don't look like *you*." His eyes didn't bug out the way they did when I bought my fake fur, or when I wear my bodice dress, which laces tightly, but not like that. He seems to like me squishy and round.

If it had been half the price, I'd have gotten it anyway. But $250 two weeks before going to another con and an expensive holiday - no. Maybe at Worldcon. Or I'll get Cloak and Dagger to make me a bodice in similar colors that will give me the neatness and the elegance without the waistline. If his eyes had bugged out - if he'd found it as gorgeous as I did - I'd have gotten it for the price quoted. And poor Seed would have been lacing me up at ConnX. :) Which would have been a waste, I suppose, but it's not something I can wear outside of cons.

After havdalah and dinner, I changed to my Bujold list t-shirt and hung out on dealer's row and in the con suite until we decided to filk. We went to bed around one (I know, but we need our sleep.) Sunday morning, I went to a Harry Potter panel, and it was strange. So many things they were discussing have been hashed out in fanfic and there was universal Snape *disdain* and much discussion about how they didn't like how Harry was in book 5. "He should get over himself. He's not the center of the universe!"

Except, he *is*. I mean, besides the normal 15 year old stuff. He has the future of the wizarding world on his still-narrow shoulders. He doesn't like it, but it's true. And he has every reason to be angry - maybe not to shout and threaten, but anger...yes. Because of incomplete information, he and his cousin were nearly killed. Ah, well.

(The teenagers, btw, thought Harry was perfectly justified. Which means she got it right.)

We packed and checked out and loaded up the rental car and I reparked it. and I realized the best bet would be to leave early, take the Ds home, and take a subway to Manhattan. I realized this as I wandered the Dealer's rooms, where I bought a few books and nothing more. Although, had I been wearing a snood instead of a hat, I might have tried on a circlet. I think a thin band over one of my snoods would look nice.

It took a while but eventually we all assembled together. I made sure of it by staking out a couple of chairs and just *sitting* so there was one place to go. Then we got into the car and an hour later, despite one snarl of traffic, we were home.


forgive my ignorance, what is lunacon and what is sweetcheeks?

Lunacon is the New York Regional Science Fiction convention. It's held every March. We used to go every year, but we stopped for a while. We're Fans - we attend, work in and run science fiction convention.


Sweetcheeks is...ah. How do I describe Sweetcheeks?

You know I write fanfic, right? One of the series I write fanfic for was called "The Sentinel", featuring a big, buff, macho cop and his cute, longhaired anthropologist partner. "Sweetcheeks" is a somewhat (although not completely) humorous series of stories set in a slightly alternate universe where it turned out that Mr. Macho was hiding the fact that he was a raging queen - and that he was tired of hiding it. A lot of people seem to like it. Shrug.

It's slash, so I don't think you'd be interested, but if you are, it's here.

so frum ppl go to lunacon? thats neat! whats slash?

i'm sorry i'm so ignorant! i grew up in yuppie/hick land

It's something that you probably won't approve of.

It's a form of fanfiction - stories using characters from movies, tv series or books. To be precise, it's stories featuring a same-sex romance between two of those characters, even if they're conanically straight. The classic example is Kirk/Spock from Classic Trek. The term come from the "/" between the names. The stories range from so mild they could be on network television to explicitly erotic.

Most, although not all, of these stories tend to be male/male, and the writers are about 95% female, many identifying as straight.

OOOOOOOOOOOH! that explains everything! most i wouldnt mind...but i cant handle harry potter ones bc i love harry potter! kirk and spock sounds funny though...

thank you for putting up with my ignorance :)

This is when you want to edit comments.

<a href="http://www.NightRoadsAssoc.com/frummies.html>Cons for Frummies</a>. And http://www.lunacon.org

That's a great essay; I'm going to bookmark it, and probably steer other people to it.

(And: I don't go to cons much any more -- Lunacon was my first in almost five years -- but I make a good Shabbos goy (is that the best spelling?), so you (and your friends) may feel free to ask me where I'm going if you see me on Saturdays. As a datapoint, my ex, Mark Richards, was raised Episcopalian, is now -- like me -- a lapsed pagan, but his mother is Jewish; thus, I don't know where he falls in the scheme of things.)

By our standards, he's Jewish. It's genetic along the female line. :)

It was great seeing you there. We've all but sworn off Lunacon ourselves - it's not good when the seams show, you know?

It sounds like you had a good time. How many frum people go to cons? It sounded like a big group...That's so cool. (I'm so jealous - NO way would I ever get to a con...I have a non-fan husband.)

Oh man, sleeping with more than one couple in the room! I hate doing that, especially when the other people are my inlaws who get insulted when I sleep in a robe and cover my hair! It's good you found a solution (although I've found snoods stay on better than a scarf when sleeping).

East Coast Fandom has a decent frum contingent. We can get enough to have a minyan if we work at it, and last Arisia (January in Boston) had three separate well-attended Shabbat dinners.

Also, this Lunacon was special in that one observant member was the Fan Guest of Honor. Normally, only her daughter attends conventions, but this time her husband and two sons and daughter-in-law also attended - along with her brand new (they got married Feb. 29) son-in-law, but he was already a con-goer. So we had more than usual.

I've tried snoods. They come off. NOthing stays on my head. :)

I wonder if the haircovering you use for pakua would have worked better?

I'm glad you had fun! Say hi to J and D for me? I last saw them when I came by with Sarah some years back, when Sarah was still frum. Their kids must be school-aged now!

What I'd need would be a nightcap with a chin strap, I think. :)

Or something rough on the inside and smooth on the outside.

The oldest is 8.5, the youngest just turned three.

sleeping headgear

My grandma slept in a sleepcap the entirety of my life. Not for reasons of religiosity, but to protect her bouffant hairdo. She had this doofy looking ruffled nylon hat that was big enough to fit over her hair, often her hair with curlers in it. It was something like a "mob cap" that colonials wore, except bigger. Have you ever slept in something like that?

I've thought of this, and if I ever have to share a room with other men again, I might well try it.

I still think it needs chin straps. :)