Friday: Walked out the door of Hospital about 11:30 but had two errands to run before could leave town, one which involved dropping livestock feed off at teh Ranch. These were completed and I hit the road for St. Pete by 14:15. Made good time, despite traffic slowdown at the I-4/I-275 interchange (time about 16:00). Arrived at Skippys House, dropped off luggage (two bags), waited for rosewildeirish to get off work, rode over to the hotel with her.
On the way, numerous people attempted to tell us we should park for fees around the stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays game. Not so much.
Got to hotel, no worries, got registered. This was close to time for the Art Auction and Dealers Rooms to close, but with sufficient time for me to walk through the art room first. Then several folk wandered across the road to a Chinese quick-food place. I got chicken fried rice. Good, not great, definitely what I needed at the time.
Back over to the hotel for the 3rd Annual Cthulhu Memorial Eye Scream Social. Ice cream and a fund-raiser auction. Fun. Then a debate, since that ended (more or less) at 21:00, to head upstairs for the Ygor/Igor Party. Which didn't start until 22:00. I am a lightweight. Since I got up at 05:dark_frackin_00, and had no nap, I opted for back to the House and sleep.
Saturday: Up not terribly early but still, over to the hotel by 08:00 for some breakfast since Skippy needed to be there for the Dealer Room at 09:00. Wandered through the Art Room after buying Tinne's Fine Steampunk T-Shirt. Then at 10:00 the first of two panels for myself today, "Plotting a Novel". A respectable panel as far as information presented, but more properly titled "How These Four Writers Write Novels" than plotting. All four indicate that they get to know their characters, then see what's going to happen as they go along. This is a fine way to write, no worries. Simply, there wasn't much discussed about plot.
Following "Plotting Something By Writing Characters" I went to "Business Tips for Creative People" which was both more aptly named, and a good presentation on things to do making a transition from hobbyist/creative type to earning money creative type. Some of it fairly basic, other things some nice tips. There's still a question about 'doing work on spec' (i.e. someone asks to use something for free, permission granted but building into the work a link back to the artist). Not so sure on that for myself. I've sold work, and it still seems quite unfair to people who've purchased something to let someone else use it for free.
Then I wandered over to the Dealers Room to check on Skippy and having eaten lunch (she had), so I wandered out the door and across the road to the Farmers Market for my own lunch. Ate some excellent Jamaican Curry Chicken and Rice (rice and black beans, good curry sauce, small salad with a vinaigrette dressing, good chicken). While eating, I sat on a curb, propped my camera in my lap (under the food, well protected), and tripped the shutter as people walked by with their dogs. Or rode by on their bicycles.
Back to the Con to watch Stardust, an interesting movie which is worth checking out for several reasons. One reason specifically, as mentioned in my brief recap, is Robert DeNiro playing a gay sky-pirate in the closet, who 'comes out' during the film. No, the quotes don't mean he sort of comes out, he does. It's just there's a fabulous scene where one of the antagonists discovers him in his closet, with all his frocks...
Go see it. *G*
Taking a short break after the movie, rosewildeirish rang me up to come photograph the childrens Halloween costumes for a couple friends of hers. This was fun! A very feline Kitty (including a rather cute tail), and an extremely slippery (because the costume used satin fabrics entirely) toddler Pirate. The parents in fact decided that safety for the toddler meant he wouldn't be wearing the Pirate costume out of the room, since it proved as slippery slick as it did. Toddler could quite literally slip out of a firm hand grip.
Dinner at Cafe Alma, where I ate a Caesar salad with a truly excellent Clam and Shrimp Bisque. Same folk as hit the Chinese place the night before, and a couple of them seemed surprised at my choices. However, it was just what I both wanted and needed at the time.
Then the annual Masquerade Contest. Some truly impressive costumes along with the Steampunk theme, though not for all of them. One of the most fun ones consisted of an ensemble of 4 doing a 'frankensteins monster' animation. Not truly Frankensteins Monster in appearance but it worked! The Mad Scientist was a lady, with an assistant named (wait for it)... Igor which led to the usual shouting match of Igor... Ygor... Igor... Ygor... Best of all is the power source for the animation of the creation. Might not of been the Eveready Bunny, but at least a first cousin.
Two outstanding Steampunk ensembles, both of which won prizes. Yes, I did get photos of the rocket-pack, no I've not processed them yet. Also Queen Susan from Narnia (she hand-made her bow and arrows). I particularly liked the Addams Family, Morticia, Wednesday, Cousin Itt, and Thing. Yes, Thing was there, holding up thank-you signs from Itts box.
Caught a few more photos after the show, then headed back to the House again and chilled while visiting with Skippy.
Sunday: Dealer room opened later, at like 10:00, so not up until around 07:00. Got myself cleaned up after Skippy & RWI left, packed the car, and drove over to the hotel for two more panels.
The first was Be a 'Digital Artist on the Cheap', which provided some great resources via a give-away CD from the presenter, Rubey Shea (Carol Jeffers). Next, in the same room, followed 'Steampunk Props' and the combined presenters were members of the two winning ensembles from the Masquerade Contest! Great examples, more sketchbook photos. I may post some of those, even with them being sketchbook simply because of the excellent examples of how to use resources in a manner not originally designed.
After that, another brief conversation with another Dealer in the Dealer Room looking for some resources to make some props I'm contemplating for Studio, plus brief visit with Skippy. Then out the door, across the road for a Subway lunch, and then back up the road to home. Got back to teh Ranch right about 16:00 to an enthusiastic greeting from the Border Collie Bros, and just in time to help Herself replace some of our broken screens. Now, more windows open, far fewer mosquitoes coming in for dinner while we sleep.
Hot, hot soak before bed and after a dinner of Herself's Fried Rice along with watching 'The Water Horse' which she'd recorded while I was gone. All in all, a good weekend followed by a great evening home.
But, yanno, I don't think we're in our 30's any more, Toto.