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Capricon report - Phil's Rambling Rants
February 17th, 2008
09:44 pm

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Capricon report
I'm back from Capricon.  Here's my con:

We got there a bit after 1 on Friday.  When I made reservations, it didn't seem like I could afford the extra night, but I didn't want to arrive after dinner on Friday, so I took a day of vacation.  The hotel said my room wasn't ready, and since it was well before official check-in time I wasn't shocked.  Oddly enough birder2's room was available, and even on the same floor as mine was going to be, so we shared a luggage cart and I left my stuff in her room.  I took my art bag and headed down to the art show.  After collecting my badge, I filled out art show paperwork and put some photos on display.  I wasn't worrying about money at this show so much as trying to test the market, so I put much lower minimum bids on my pictures than normal, to see what would happen.  I'll talk about that later.  I got to the Internet Cafe in time for part of tollers' set.  (That poem about the cannibal mice is creepy.  I'd heard it before, but I followed the words more closely this time.)  Then I listened to billroper for a while.  Bill got me into filking about 30 years ago, and he's still writing songs that won't let me leave.  But I wanted to check back with the front desk and see if I could have my own room now (I could), and then to see if the panel about "what works in the art show" might suggest anything relevant to me.  I got back to the Internet Cafe when ericcoleman was finishing up his set so he could be a radio personality.  Since an exciting dinner plan didn't seem to be happening, I was thinking of going to the movie room and seeing Bridge to Terebithia, but I ran into an obviously distressed tollers in the hallway.  Chase was having a crisis and was going to need to go to a local vet.  I asked if she needed any help, and ended up drafted to carry Mr. Chase to the car that was volunteered.  Chase isn't a very heavy dog to me, but I don't have a separated shoulder.  I know too well how it feels to have an old dog in a crisis, so I'm glad I was able to help a bit.  Then I grabbed a sandwich and a few minutes of down time, followed by the main stage concerts.  filkertom was his usual hugely entertaining self.  tollers managed to make it back from the vet just in time for the Wild Mercy set, which was cool.  Most (or at least many) of the Dream of a Far Light songs were new to me, and I can tell I'm going to have to hear them a few times before I fully get them.  Which isn't going to be a hardship.  Unfortunately, I was definitely feeling the fact that by the time the open filk started my body believed it was bedtime, and my sinuses are having a flareup, so a lot of the time this weekend I had a really bad headache.  And I've been a bad person and ignored my guitar since GAFilk, which left me with very little feeling that I actually had anything to sing.  I did a couple of songs, but I faded out pretty fast.

Saturday, I got up too late to get to any of the interesting program items at 10:00.  I actually looked through the art show, but didn't find anything I had to have.  I went through the dealer's room, where I looked at a tiger throw that I decided I really couldn't justify buying, and bought some books from Larry Smith.  I made a point of getting to Mike Resnick's reading early, since it was in a teeny room and I thought it might be crowded, where I discovered that the book discussion about Starship: Mutiny had included the author himself.  Had I known that I would have made a point of being there.  The reading was good; Resnick is one of my favorite authors and he reads well.  Then I headed down to the Internet Cafe again, where bedlamhouse's set was interrupted by my encountering Pete Zelchenko, whom I sort of know from way back.  We chatted a bit, but we weren't connecting, and when we encountered polyfrog, I was relieved that Pete seemed more interested in talking to him than me.  Back to the Internet Cafe, where I enjoyed some more music from bedlamhouse and min0taur, and a sort of plan developed to go to Sweet Tomatoes.  A most excellent conversation with min0taur which I regret cutting short to get my coat.  This was followed by a fairly successful dinner outing.  At least early on, I noticed that we were all too busy stuffing our faces to do much conversing.  Unfortunately, though unsurprisingly for fannish dinner parties, we left a bit late and got back a bit later and missed half of the Bed&Breakfast concert.  But in the parking lot when we got back, my dear friends Barisha and Carol stopped me from running in because they had something for me.  They had bought the tiger throw for me.  I felt very loved.  Moonwulf's concert was, of course, excellent.  Unfortunately, again, by the time the open filk was starting I was fading, pushed on by the fact that I was starting to have a sore throat.  I gamely set up and was sort of ready to play, but there were too many zombie songs and I had too few songs inside me demanding to get out.  I finally did "Dancing Bear" because I was going to be pretty upset with myself in the morning if I went to bed without having done anything, but despite having ducked out to take drugs, I had to give up a bit after 1.  The circle was getting thin at that point.  The 11 AM checkout time was weighing on my mind.

Sunday, I collected the results of my art show experiment.  5 pieces sold, but all but one for the $5 minimum I'd tried, and that one for only $7.  Which, to me, confirms what I believed from the last few cons:  there never was a lot of interest in the art show crowd in my stuff, and what there was has mostly been tapped out. (At most one of the pieces generated even a single case of one person bidding against another.)  People like to look at my stuff, but they don't particularly want to buy it in this form.  I was feeling sicker than I had Saturday night, and didn't feel like trying to stick around.  Of course, once we were an hour on the road I started feeling lonely and was mentally beating myself up for not sticking around as long as I could with fannish people.

Next year's Capricon will be at a new hotel.  The old location was comfortable, but as soon as I heard about the move, I started thinking about the things I won't miss about the old place, and there were a lot, so maybe that's a sign that it's time.  Really, since they built the water park, I haven't liked the function space layout.

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[User Picture]
From:daisy_knotwise
Date:February 18th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
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The space issue was what sent us looking for a new Hotel.
The corridor of little conference rooms was perfect for most program items and left the big rooms free for big stuff.
I'm really looking forward to the new space. I hope you all like it.

GHR
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From:tollers
Date:February 19th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
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I'm a happy camper... I couldn't remember if Westins were Starwood, but they are, so yay! (I can't help it... I'm a sucker for my Starwood points, plus Starwood's the only chain with beds that my back and shoulder routinely find sleepworthy.)
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From:tigertoy
Date:February 19th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
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Mmph. One of the things I really don't like about the Cap hotel is their 11 AM checkout time, and if that's a Starwood thing (like I sort of think it is), then the new place being Starwood is Not Good in my book.
[User Picture]
From:tollers
Date:February 19th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
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It's not universally a Starwood thing. The Westin's homepage is showing a check-in time of 3 p.m. and a check-out time of noon. Plus, the chances of a Westin being booked solid for a Sunday night (when they mostly get business travellers during the week) is slim, so it should be easier to get late checkout than it's been at the Sheraton since they put in the waterpark.
[User Picture]
From:tigertoy
Date:February 19th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
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The 11 AM checkout is several years old; it didn't come with the water park. But I'm heartened to learn that the Westin is advertising noon.
[User Picture]
From:tollers
Date:February 19th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I wasn't very clear. The waterpark isn't to blame for the 11 a.m. checkout, but I'm pretty sure it's to blame for the hotel's unwillingness to grant late checkout for the last couple of years.

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