Saturday night after I posted the previous entry, I wandered the halls as I usually did. At about 10 o'clock, the Art Show had their gala with a Toga theme, and they server grapes, hummus, pita bread, and apple juice. Then our friend Roberta stopped by, and I introduced her to everyone. In the process, I bumped into Rocky again, and I had been waiting to comment on his music.
It turns out he was in the middle of a poetry panel, but since there was only him, Dawt, and Miguel there, they were just chatting because they had all read their poetry the previous night. Miguel teaches poetry, and I didn't know that, and he had some positive comments to make about my bad haiku page. We also had a great discussion on whether modern poetry is meaningful or just all hack. I have been meaning to have this discussion with poets for a long time, and this was a fantastic opportunity. More people came in, and we all started discussing writing and submissions. Then Rocky read one of his pieces about food allergies, and we analyzed what made THAT poetry. I swear to god, it was one of the most satisfying hours I have ever spent at a con; it filled in some significant gaps in my knowledge of poetry.
During this time, apparently, the power went out in the hotel. Now, we were all in a dimly lit room, and we noticed nothing. But apparently, this hosed the video and computer room bad. The hotel guy came in at one point, saying that Dominion Virginia Power had a brownout in Reston, and the hotel generators had kicked in, creating a power surge. The rest of the night, there were a few more incidents like these, always in pairs: first the brownout that activated the hotel generator ... and then 15 minutes later, the generator switching back to Virginia Power.
This caused a lot of people to mill about, looking for things to do. I went to the art show, and Steve, a friend of Sean and Louann's, pulled out his acoustic guitar, and played some awesome music. But Paul and Vanora wanted to go to bed, and the art show was their room, so we moved the party to the lobby, but then Bruce asked us to more to the con suite because it was threatening to close down because they only had one volunteer. What happened next was magical, and is the core reason I go to cons and I love fandom. An impromptu concert just started. It involved Steve at first, by Moggy was there, and he played his mandolin. Then people started using empty plastic cheesy poof barrels as drums. Albedo got out his keyboard, and soon a very orchestrated concert of strings and percussion wove a tapestry of music. It was magic. It was awesome.
But then we had to go home to take care of the dogs. Christine had to get up early anyway to open the art show and get ready for auction on Sunday. We got to be at like 3am, and woke up (if you can call it that) at 9am. The rest of the day was kind of a blur, but I did art auction, and we had a few pieces generate war, but not many. Then Christine closed the art show with the valuable help of Paul, Moria, and other volunteers. I managed to get one of Mark Mandolia's pieces, one I watched his draw. It's a cool girl in a secret spy-cloak getup with some sort of blasters powered by a pack on her back. I also got some stuff to put on my monitor at work, two fiber optic carvings of a walrus and a penguin.
Our friend Travis had been to Hong Kong this spring, and gave us gifts he got for us (we haven't seen him in person since he returned). They were also copper-colored fiber optic glass, and were hanging items: one of a foo-lion (lion-dog, like Ahfu), and another of a curved vessel of some sort. Both hang from woven cords. He also gave me a small crystal ball that had been hollowed out and painted from the inside of some birds in a flowering tree. Very cool.
Christine closed the art show for the last time, because she's passing the baton to Moria. Christine has run the FanTek art show for almost 7 years, that's 14 shows, which is quite possibly the longest of anyone who ran the shows. Among the previous people were Elspeth, Darryl, Ralph (Sasquatch), and Suzi. She'll still hang out there, she doesn't want to run it anymore. It's a hard job, and Christine wants to focus more on her art and artists.
We got home, ordered Chinese food (as we always do when we come back from cons), and I started on some neglected household chores, like repairing the vacuum cleaner (punctured hose and worn belt, I patched what I could, and then ordered replacement parts), laundry, computer maintenance (fixing some registry issues with Christine's computer, doing the scandisk/defrag thing), and other household projects.
I also worked on some of the Red Hat training I have to give at work. See, I have gotten approval for RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) Rapid Track #300 at work, and I also was required to sign up some of my coworkers. Some of them needed a crash course on prerequisites, which I am to provide. This is very exciting for me, because if I pass the RHCE exam, an RHCE is a really good certification to get right now. And yes, I still plan on completing my CCNA at some point, Bruce. :-)
Oh... and Cape Hatteras Beach Trip and CastleCon pictures are up... but I suck at picture taking so the ones that came out are kind of dull.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000148.html