Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Chicon 7 Day 1: Busy Busy Busy

As has seemed increasingly common these days for me, Thursday, the first day of Worldcon, might turn out to be the busiest day in terms of individual items of things to do.

After collecting our Program Participant materials, we walked over to the adjacent Illinois Center and found breakfast in one of the places there, then went back to the convention area, where I found the login instructions for the internet connections in the convention space published in the convention newsletter. That let me upload yesterday’s LJ entries and check my e-mail. Oboy, do I wish they weren’t charging $13/day for internet connectivity in the hotel rooms. It would be vastly more convenient if I could deal with this stuff from the hotel room instead of having to haul stuff downstairs to get it done.

The function/exhibition area, including the Westercon 66 table where I’d volunteered for a shift from 11 AM, didn’t open until Noon. I could have slept in an hour or two, it turns out. Lisa and I hung out for a while until close to Noon, when Lisa suggested we go to the grocery store across the street from the hotel and get some lunch meat and bread and have lunch early, given how busy our afternoon was supposed to be.

On the way upstairs, I ran across Chicon chairman Dave McCarty, who gave me my Past Worldcon Chair ribbon. That allowed me to add my other ribbons because that ribbon outranks all of the others and always goes first on my badge. Besides "Program Participant," I also have a ribbon from David Clark that says "Sausage Maker of Fandom."

While we were getting lunch prepared in the room, we got a call from a convention staffer who I will not name asking me if Lisa was planning on recording the Opening Ceremonies, and when we said we were not suggested that possibly we might want to do so. Remember that neither Lisa nor I are staff members of Chicon. Chicon was not officially recording their Opening Ceremonies and the little riser from which the official videos will be shot later in the convention for the Masquerade and Hugo Awards were vacant. There are substantial costs and hotel issues about what convention staff members can do and what they can plug into hotel outlets, but ordinary convention members just doing recording on their own have more leeway. So we asked them if we could use their space to unofficially record the ceremony, and they said yes.

Lisa, Kuma, and I donned our Chicon 7 flight suits: our premier costumes for this year. There was a bit of a delay because my shoulder patch was not quite right and Lisa had to take it off and re-sew it, but fortunately we had enough time and were able to get down to the Grand Ballroom and set up the camera gear with plenty of time to spare. When a hotel person asked, the convention staff assured them that we weren’t part of the convention staff, just individual members who they were letting use the space. Our jumpsuits made it look a bit like we were acting in some official capacity, so I can certainly understand the confusion.

I took the other camera and shot handheld video of the 90-minute-long ceremony, where John Scalzi acted as host of a Tonight-show-style interview program including a live band on stage, interviewing the guests of honor (or in Rowena Morrill’s case since Rowena is too sick to attend the convention, her sister), the introducing Deb Kosiba, who unveiled the design of this year’s Hugo Award trophy base a few days earlier than usual. (There’s no rule that says you have to wait until the night of the Hugo Awards ceremony. Personally, I like the idea of unveiling the trophy early in the convention and putting it on display early on so people can look at it before the Hugo ceremony.

I will post a photo of the Hugo Award trophy on once I can obtain a good quality copy — I hope one of the official photos from Chicon. It’s a little challenging sometimes with everyone rushing around on the day to get this stuff done. Even if you sit still, people come to you and want to chat. And I couldn’t sit still.

I had a 4:30 PM panel on "The Best of Bidding" for which I was late because of recording the Opening Ceremonies and from which I had to leave early because of a 6:00 PM WSFS Mark Protection Committee Meeting in the other tower of the hotel. In between, I dashed to the Green Room, where I grabbed a cola and a food bar. On the way out, I saw some of the other CanSMOF Board of Directors members going the other way. They’d been meeting and I couldn’t attend the meeting, having been (in effect) triple-booked with Opening Ceremonies and the 4:30 PM panel. I told you Thursday was busy.

The Mark Protection Committee discussed our current finances (good, since Aussiecon 4 is winding itself up and gave us about US$4K, so we have no worries about paying legal fees and mark registration fees for the medium-term future) and the ongoing issues involving trying to get the WSFS internet domains untangled. I really don’t want to discuss this too much because it’s so messy. Getting a domain untangled from someone who has gafiated requires things that WSFS doesn’t easily have, like a permanent address and legal existence. It is nowhere near as easy as people seem to think it is, regardless of what you may have read on Network Solutions’ web site. Several people have tried and failed.

The other issue with the web site is replacing it with a more robust, modern, up-to-date site. As I’ve pointed out multiple times before, we could have done this in 2008 but the MPC rejected what I considered the best offer, and since then we’ve had a succession of committees who keep working on different new solutions. I thought we might get something done this last year, but it didn’t happen. Maybe this next year will be different.

After the MPC meeting, I found Lisa at the Luna Society table and we agreed that it was long past time for dinner. Not wanting to risk our new jumpsuits, particularly because we plan to wear them multiple times the rest of Worldcon, we changed out of them and went to the Noodles & Co a few blocks from the hotel.

The convention was having an Opening Night Event at the Adler Planetarium and was running shuttle buses between the hotel and the Adler, but we were just too tired. Remember that Lisa is still getting over her cold and is subject to intense wracking coughing spells, and I’ve presumably caught her cold and have been doing some coughing of my own and my voice is starting to fade out. So after a brief swing by the parties — UK in 2014 have a huge spread in the Monarch Suite on the top floor and they have done an amazing job of decorating to boot — we turned in early.

After composing this LJ entry offline, I considered going downstairs to upload it and the photos we took, but I couldn’t face the Elevator Clog and the prospect of a long wait to get back upstairs. Once you’re up here on the 33rd floor, it’s best to move between the party floors by interior stairs than to depend on the six elevators. They’re already getting clogged at times and it's only Thursday.

I have the Opening Ceremonies video as raw footage, but no time to edit or upload it, particularly because I cannot leave it to upload to a wired connection in my hotel room while I go get other productive things done — like sleeping.
Tags: chicon, costumes, kuma bear, lisa, worldcon

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