LOOK INTO MY NOSE

(aka Suze's Adventures at the 2002 B&B Convention)

by Suze, Queen of the Con Report (tm) ;)

  

Dedicated to the "roomies" from a hopeful adjunct. You gals are the

best. Thanks for taking me under your wings. :)

 

To all of this year's con virgins - I hope your experience was every bit as

wonderful as mine was last year.

 

And to Steven Musacchio, the neatest, funniest, most helpful, most

artistic, and coolest kid I know. Thank you for keeping us all entertained! 

*****

  

Wednesday, July 10

 

Well, here I sit, all packed and ready to head to Florida (aside from a few

last-minute items). Too bad my flight isn't for another 14 hours! I'm

going to try desperately to get some sleep tonight because I *know* I'll be

up late this weekend, and I'm already a little sleep-deprived. I don't

want to arrive at the con and then spend the whole time in my room snoozing

away!

 

Anyway, I remembered my LEARNED LESSONS from last year and have prepared a

little better this year. In with my clothes and whatnot, I've also

included some snacks to keep in my room (I'm famous for missing meals,

especially breakfast!) and a full CD player (in case there isn't one for

the Talent Show... I'm assuming there *is* a Talent Show, though I haven't

heard any specifics...). I'm definitely psyched about having a fridge and

microwave in the hotel room - no more going hungry for me (like that was

REALLY an option!).

 

The countdown is on. I have been looking forward to the con since last

year. Yes, I know I said (at the time) that I wouldn't be able to make it,

but by the time I finished typing up last year's con report, I just *knew*

that I had to be there this year, too.

 

Now at 9:00pm, my laundry is done, everything is packed (except for a few

last minute items), the self-tanner has been applied (yes, I didn't learn

from my adventures last year, but I wisely stuck to one application instead

of the many repeated ones from last year - I don't think I'll be a freaky

caramel color this year! <grin>), my alarm is set, the doggie has been

taken out to pee, and it's time for me to get as much sleep as I can before

winging my way to Florida tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see everybody

again!  

***** 

 

Thursday, July 11

 

After getting up at 4:45am (UGH!) to deal with my morning libations and

last-minute packing, we (my hubby, Dave, and I) are on the road by 6:00am

to get to the airport in Manchester, NH. It's not that far away (about 45

minutes), but I want to make sure that I have plenty of time before my

8:40am flight. Everything is rather uneventful, and my flight leaves right

on time. I was happy to learn that it was only about 1/3rd full, so I had

plenty of room to stretch out. I read for part of the flight, but soon my

early wake-up call caught up with me and I snoozed the rest of the way.

 

We got into Orlando a little early and by noon I was standing in front of

the Mears shuttle kiosk arranging my ride to the hotel. There were LOTS of

people waiting and I was a little confused as to how the whole thing worked

(you were supposed to buy your ticket, then go downstairs to where the

buses and vans were and give them your number and destination), but I soon

figured it out and made it to the right van.

 

Wouldn't you know, I was soon joined by Kathleen (who I called "Caitlin" in

my report last year - sorry!!!!). I just loved it that I managed to find a

fellow con-goer right at the airport, even though we were on completely

separate flights. That tunnel magic was starting early!

 

We were a little nervous about finding the correct hotel. Apparently there

are two Holiday Inns on International Drive, but we did find the right one

- confirmed when we were met by Kathleen's roommate at the door. I said a

quick "see you later" to them and went to check in. Check-in went smoothly

and I was handed a map of the hotel and told to go down the ramp, through

the convention center to my building.

 

Now, maybe it's because I'm a New Englander, but I expected the hotel's

buildings to all be connected, at least by some sort of walkway. I went

down the ramp and through the convention center, past all of the rooms

and... hit the end. Hmmm. The only thing here is a door to the

outside. Maybe I missed something.

 

So, I walked all the way back to the other end and still didn't see any

directions to the other building. Hmmm. Okay, maybe I wasn't supposed to

go through the convention center, but past it. So I went back into the

lobby and looked around. Nope, no other entrances.

 

Okay, time to consult the map. I looked at it and looked at it and it

definitely appeared as though there should be some sort of entrance from

the end of the convention center. I decided to try it one more time. So,

yet again, I walked through the convention center to the far end. Still no

walkway.

 

Then a light bulb went off. Oh wait...maybe they DID mean that you had to

go outside! So, I went out the door at the end of the hall, and sure

enough, I could see my building across the parking lot. Well, geez, they

could have been more specific!

 

I did, ultimately (though not without further incident!), figure out the

layout of the hotel. As you walked in the main entrance, the front desk

was to your left and a ramp and stairs leading to the convention center

were on your right. As you kept going straight, on the left there was a

walkway to one of the other buildings, a small jewelry store, a gift shop

(the cheapie tourist crap kind), an arcade, and the bar. To the right was

a convenience store/food court, bathrooms, and the cafe - which I never

made it into, so I have no idea how it was (anybody try it out?).

 

If you kept walking forward, you'd exit into the pool area. Again, I never

got the chance to check this out, so I don't know how it was. And if you

kept following the pathways to the left, you'd eventually come to the C, D

and E buildings (hotel rooms).

 

Going back to the lobby, if you went down the ramp and into the convention

center, you'd end up in a long hallway, flanked on both sides by meeting

rooms. The banquet was held in the first two rooms on the left (opened

into one big room), the Amelia and the Biscayne. The room next to that

(Captiva) was used for panels and such and opened to the Dealer's/Art Room

next door (Cypress). The Sanibel and Marco rooms were after that, but were

used most of the weekend by a large family reunion.

 

On the right were the restrooms, the Board Room, a lobby area (where we

hung out quite a bit), a door to the outside/foyer area, and the Citrus

Ballroom, which could be (and was) sectioned off into three separate

rooms. The one in the far corner was used for the pizza party while a

wedding reception went on next door.

 

At the end of the hall was another door to the outside. If you walked left

along the sidewalk, you'd eventually reach the A and B buildings, while the

Tower Building was across the parking lot.

 

Anyway, I grabbed my stuff and hustled over to the Tower Building. My room

was on the 12th floor (#7245), right around the corner from the

Presidential Suite. I idly wondered who (if any) of the stars might be

staying there...and a little devilish part of me thought of knocking on

their door in the wee hours of the morning (just kidding! I wouldn't

really do it! <grin>).

 

My hotel room was **HUGE**! As last year, I did not have a roommate, so I

had asked for a room with just one bed. What I got was a room with a

king-sized bed, enough room for another, but instead, had a couch and

coffee table. There was a work desk and office chair, 27-inch TV, a

microwave, fridge, coffeemaker, in-room safe... What more could you ask

for??? The room was done in blues and seagreen with a tropical theme -

pictures of islands and palm trees on the walls, festive prints on the

drapes and bedspread, and dark cherry-stained woods. I had a fairly

good-sized window (which didn't open) - under which was the requisite air

conditioner - and a view of...whoo hoo! The highway! <laughing> Oh well,

you can't have 'em all. At least I could see Universal Studios off on the

right - it was fun to be able to see the folks riding the rollercoasters.

 

I spent the next 45 minutes or so unpacking and organizing my stuff (ah

yes, gotta love being anal retentive!), then decided to head back to the

main building to check it out and ask about finding a nearby grocery store

to stock my fridge with drinks. As I said, I'd wisely remembered my

LEARNED LESSONs from last year and brought snacks to keep in the room, but

I wanted to take advantage of the fridge and get some water and soda, too.

 

As I was walking through the convention center, I spotted Lori in the

doorway of one of the convention rooms...and realized that I'd found the

Dealer's/Art Room! I found the con! There was much hugging all around as

I reunited with PatK, JoAnn, Deb, Sandy2, Cathy, Chan, Lyn...who were all

busy setting up the dealer's tables and the art panels. It was just like

coming home again. It's amazing how much of a family atmosphere this

fandom has. Even as a relatively new member, I still felt it so strongly

from the moment I set foot in the door. If only it could last all year!

 

JoAnn handed me some pictures of myself from last year's con, which I

really need to scan in and post somewhere. I hob-nobbed with them for a

few minutes, then ran back to my room to get the stuff I had brought for

the 2003 convention table. I am on the team for next year (San Francisco,

California, July 11-13, 2003 - plug plug plug...) and had a few things to

add to the mix.

 

I came back and handed out the buttons that I had made to the con

members. I had offered the use of my office's button maker and we came up

with the idea of giving away buttons to everybody who registered for next

year's con at *this* year's con. And to distinguish the con team from the

registrants, I made separate buttons for us that said "Meet Me By the Bay"

while the others said "Follow Your Heart" (the title of the con). Both

buttons had a part of the con logo and the dates, and they were very well

received by everybody. Yea!

 

I spent the next hour and a half helping with the set-up - stapling,

decorating, etc. And I browsed around and checked out what was already

available from the dealer's tables and decided that I needed to get my

checkbook before all the good stuff was gone!

 

I ran back to my room to grab my purse and some money and then headed back

to the con area. I'd intended to go to the front desk to see about finding

a grocery store (my original mission before I got distracted by the

Dealer's/Art Room), but I bumped into Pixie and her mom in the hall and got

to talking with them about cons and what usually happens at them. Nice to

meet you, ladies!

 

By this point, I was STARVING. It was around 3:45 and breakfast was a

looooong time ago. So, I went to the little convenience store/food court,

got a personal pizza and a soda and sat in the little cafe area, eating my

lunch and watching part of "The Mummy 2" on the TV.

 

After finishing up, I headed back to the con area, and chatted with JoAnn,

PatK, and Deb for a while. Then Aurea showed up, and we chatted with her,

too! Gotta love it - once you've been to a con, you end up spending a good

portion of subsequent cons catching up with those folks that you only get

to see once a year. :)

 

We made plans to meet up at 5:30 to go to T.G.I. Friday's for dinner. I

finally gave up on the whole "find a grocery store" idea and just made a

quick raid on the convenience store for soda and water ($13!!!). I stopped

by the Dealer's Room again on the way back and perused Peggy Garvin's table

(she had LOTS of great goodies!). I ended up picking up 7 'zines (most on

the recommendation of JoAnn, who continues to be my Fairy Zinemother) for

$114, which was not bad. I was especially tickled by notes that Peggy had

put into each 'zine, critiquing it and noting basic plot points. Very cool!

 

BTW, who ended up with the 'zine that had the "reference material" in

it? I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy that when I had the chance! ;D

 

Anyway, I wasn't supposed to be buying anything, since technically the

dealer's room wasn't open yet so... shhhhh! Don't tell anybody! <grin>

 

After that, I ran back up to my room to drop off my purchases, update my

notes (you didn't think I could remember all these details on my own brain

power did you???), and veg before dinner. I had a brief moment of panic as

I tried my CD player and it didn't work. Thankfully, it was just a loose

power cord, but I think I took a few months off my life (especially since

it's my hubby's CD player and if I'd broken it, he would not have been

happy!).

 

But everything was fine, so I ran through the couple of songs that I'd been

contemplating doing in the Talent Show. I had it narrowed down to two, but

was having a very hard time decided between them. So, I figured that I'd

just keep practicing both of them and pick one at the last minute.

 

At 5:30, I met up with Chan, Aurea, Sandy2, Deb, JoAnn, Larry (JoAnn's

hubby, for those who don't know), Cathy, PatK, Lynn Wright, and Lyn M.'s

little boy Steven. We all walked the couple of blocks down International

Drive to T.G.I. Friday's. I was surprised to find out that it was located

next door to Pirate's Dinner Adventure - a Medieval Times-like dinner

theater that I'd gone to a few years ago with my hubby and mother-in-law.

 

We were definitely a rowdy group, and our waiter did very well taking care

of us. We had loads of fun talking about cons past, favorite TV shows (we

do all seem to watch the same things, don't we?), and generally being

entertained by Steven.

 

In fact, the title of this con report comes out of a moment that happened

during dinner. Steven had been making faces and saying silly things all

night, when suddenly he turned to the table and said "I'm going to

hypnotize you... look into my nose!" Then he flared his nostrils at

us. It was the most hilarious thing I'd ever seen. After that, "Look into

my nose" became one of the catch phrases of the weekend. Gotta love kids,

huh? <grin>

 

We leisurely made our way back to the hotel at around 7:00pm to attend the

welcome party. It was pretty low key - most folks just hanging out and

talking. I bumped into KathyB there and after promising that I would get

her name right in my con report (yes, I still know who you are!), she gave

me another photo of myself from last year's con. Thank you, Kathy!!!

 

I wandered into the Dealer's Room and chatted with various folks, then

wandered back to the welcome party area next door. Eventually, Sheila

(Official Con Virgin Wrangler) showed up and I had to collect my requisite

hug. For those of you who haven't yet met Sheila, she gives the *BEST*

hugs (I almost typed "beast" there - geez, you couldn't guess what I've had

on the brain lately, huh? <g>).

 

Limited con registration started at around 8:15pm. We picked up our

schedules and paid for any remaining items (I hadn't pre-ordered anything

except for the meal plan, so there wasn't much for me). I chatted with a

few folks there and got myself signed up at a table for the Saturday night

banquet.

 

After that, I headed back to my room to review the schedule and relax for a

little while. The schedule didn't look too demanding. There were no

overlapping functions (two or more events going on at the same time), so it

was very easy to decide what to attend! I noted that the talent show

rehearsal was slated for 3:00pm on Saturday. Guess I'd need to choose a

song by then!

 

At 9:15 I headed back to the con area to meet up with the folks who were

going to watch the 2003 con promo video in Phil and Julie's room. We spent

*considerable* time wandering around the grounds trying to FIND Phil and

Julie's room (remember my confusion when finding my hotel room? It never

got any better!).

 

We finally found them and got underway at around 9:45. We got the chance

to review the new music videos for this year (which I'll describe later

when they're aired publicly - I will say that EVERYBODY was crying!) and

then the 2003 con promo video. It was great!!! A few folks had wandered

in late, so we watched one of the videos again, then one by one we all

meandered out.

 

By now it was around 10:30 and I was quite tired from having gotten up at

4:45am. I was looking forward to just going back to my room to relax and

get some sleep, but I got shanghaied by Sheila and Lori (yes,

*shanghaied*!) into the hotel bar to have a drink and check out the karaoke

that was going on. After watching for a little while, I got up and sang

"Almost Home" by Mary Chapin Carpenter (I love that song, even if it is a

tad too low for me). But the show was absolutely stolen by 2 brothers

(twins, I later found out) who did the Celine Dion/Barbara Streisand duet

"Tell Me", in falsetto, complete with movements! The whole place was

rolling on the floor laughing. And the cool thing is that they were

actually GOOD! They were silly, yes, but they had the whole thing down

cold. They must do this sort of thing on a regular basis (not sure what

that says about them, but I sure had fun watching them!).

 

I finally called it a night around 11:30pm and went back to my room. I

cranked up the A/C (not that it helped much - I know other folks were

freezing, but I was definitely hot all weekend), laid out my clothes for

the next day, changed into my jammies (or lack of jammies, to be more

precise <g>), arranged for a wake-up call, turned on my Brookstone Sound

Soother (don't leave home without it!), and drifted off to dreamland...

  

*****

 

...to be continued in Part 2!

 

In tomorrow's installment: Suze spends money, admires some amazing art,

tries her hand as a Tunnel Togs Tailor (say that three times fast!), thinks

she has some talent, checks out some cool costumes, reunites with some

celebs, and actually does the "Time Warp" in public (what the hell was I

thinking???).

 

'night all! :D

 

Suze

Hey there! I'm back again!

 

Yeah, I decided not to leave you hanging for too long. I actually have the

entire report written (unlike last year where I was writing and posting at

the same time), so I may post more than one part today. We'll see... ;)

 

Anyway, here is the next part:

 

LOOK INTO MY NOSE

(aka Suze's Adventures at the 2002 B&B Convention)

by Suze, Queen of the Con Report (tm) ;)

  

Part the Second 

[all disclaimers and whatnot can be found in Part 1]

 

Friday, July 12 - Day 1 of the Con!!!

 

My wake-up call was right on time at 7:00am. As per usual, it took me a

little while to get going, but I was up and about by 7:30, which is not bad

for me! I headed down to the con area at around 8:30 to get some breakfast

(fruit and a bagel) and pick up my name badge. I ran into a few folks who

I'd met last year (like Annik) and chatted with them for a while. Right

around this time, Sandy2 gave me a lovely handkerchief with a red and white

rose on it, thanking me for providing her with a copy of Photoshop (and the

adventures I had trying to do that is a whole other story! <g>). Thank

you, Sandy!!! Also around this time (I think), Sheila handed me a gift bag

with a little pink teddy bear in it along with a memo book, some potpourri,

and a "believe in your dreams" bookmark. Thank you, Sheila!!! Geez, I

feel guilty - I got all of these wonderful gifts and I didn't bring

anything. I'm going to rectify that next year!

 

The opening ceremonies began around 10:00am. Lyn gave us an overview of

the con and the schedule, with Steven providing the entertainment. Then

Annik and Cecio (CP) got up and did some international renditions of the

Beauty and the Beast opening lines. Annik did both French and German and

Cecio did Italian. It was just lovely!

 

We then adjourned to the Dealer's/Art Room which was now officially

open. And, of course, my "this is going to be a cheap con" plan went right

out the window! I bought the conzine and a nightshirt with the con logo on

it (Claire Sieffert's "Walk in Sunshine" piece), ordered two pieces of

stained glass - one a custom piece with a red rose and white bud and the

other a palm tree, placed bids on a couple of pieces of art, and officially

registered for the 2003 convention (in San Francisco, California, July

11-13... plug plug plug... <vbg>). Terri and I were at the stained

glass table at the same time and we both suggested that if she could create

Vincent's window, she'd probably get a lot of business. She seemed very

receptive to the idea and just asked if we could provide a photo of it. We

pointed her toward Chan and that was the last I heard about it.

 

I suppose I should describe the room. Let's see... well, as you came in

the doors from the hallway, immediately to the right was the table with

Mary, the stained glass lady. She had some *gorgeous* pieces and was

definitely a popular table. Next to that (moving counterclockwise) was

Peggy Garvin's table. As I mentioned previously, she had lots of wonderful

B&B goodies - 'zines, cards, prints - definitely something for

everyone. Next to her was the "roomies" table (Sandy2, JoAnn, etc.) - they

had plenty of B&B stuff, too, including a new 16-month calendar featuring

art from Chan and Sandy2.

 

Next to them was the 2003 convention table. We had registration

information and feedback sheets, as well as postcards and brochures about

San Francisco. We were also running a raffle for everybody who registered

for next year. The winner would get a lovely basket of San Francisco

mementos provided by PatK and lovingly packaged by Judy Loyd (thank you,

ladies!). Next to us was the "rose" people, selling all sorts of items -

boxes, ornaments, glassware - decorated with fabric roses.

 

Next to them, in the corner, was Vincent's Chamber. Chan did an AWESOME

job setting this up! She had carefully painted the backdrop (depicting the

window, book shelf and part of the bed) onto a sheet over the past year,

then crafted a "bed" (tables covered with quilting) to place in front of

it, on and around which was heaped all sorts of tunnelish items - pillows

with scenes from the show, candles, painted boxes and mirrors, and, of

course, Vinnie himself! It was just gorgeous! The neat thing is that much

of what was there would then be later auctioned off - functional AND

moneymaking... we definitely like that! Oh, and Marilyn Howard had allowed

Chan to display Vincent's robe (from "Though Lovers Be Lost") and it was

just SO cool to see in person.

 

Next to that, along the back wall, was the "Art Room" (really just a

section of the dealers room). Chan and her helpers (Larry, Steven, etc.)

had set up latticework into little cubicles and decorated it with fabric

roses and greenery, then hung the artwork from the lattice. There was art

from Chan, Sandy2, David Z. (who does fantasy art), Kathleen, among others.

 

But perhaps the most stunning were the two pieces from Claire

Sieffert. The first was a portrait of Vincent and Catherine, etched (with

a dental drill) into a large piece of crystal. Oh, it was just SO

beautiful. I put in the first bid, but I knew it would eventually get too

pricey for me. The other piece was a hand-crafted Vincent egg. I don't

even know how to describe it - there are several of Claire's portraits on

the side of the egg and she'd embedded a light into the top, which had been

replaced with amber glass. I thought I'd taken a picture of it, but

apparently I never did. Darn it - if anyone out there has one, I'd love to

see it!

 

Anyway, continuing on, in front of the art area there was another circle

(or, rather, rectangle) of tables. At the end closest to the art room

there was Claire Sieffert's table where she was selling prints of her

artwork and copies of a Vincent cross-stitch pattern, and next to that were

the "soap" people who had all kinds of (very!) fragrant soaps and incense

for sale (I had to avoid them as strong smells give me a headache).

 

Continuing counter clockwise, there were a couple of tables that I was

never sure who owned (Lyn??), but they had lots of books, 'zines and prints

for sale. At the far end of the rectangle was the con table, selling the

conzine, shirts, etc. And on the other side (facing the other dealers

tables) was Lyn's scrapbooking table (also selling candy and necklaces from

Steven <g>), and the "egg" people who were selling eggs which had been made

into music boxes, jewelry boxes or just for decoration (they were quite

lovely - not my thing, but lovely).

 

I must say that all of the outside dealers were VERY cool people. They

were extremely friendly and got right into the swing of things. From what

I heard, they had just as great a time at the con as *we* did! I hope that

they all had a successful weekend...

 

As others have mentioned, the wall between the dealer's room and the room

next door (where all of the panels were held) was left open most of the

time. This was great for those of us who had to spend time manning the

tables. We could still hear what was going on and even pop over

occasionally to check things out without worrying about leaving the tables

unattended. It really worked out great.

 

As I was moseying around the Dealer's Room, Lori caught me and asked me to

"pick one" then held out a bag to me. I looked inside and found a whole

bunch of little stuffed animal keychains. After checking them all out, I

finally decided on the little striped tabby kitty... and it turns out

that's the same one that everybody else was picking! Geez, we aren't

predictable, are we??? <laughing>

 

Unfortunately, as I was milling around, I missed the International panel,

which I later heard was *really* wonderful. Sandra (from Germany?) had

pulled together two CDs of dialog from Beauty and the Beast in various

languages (English, French, German, Russian, Italian, etc.) and Annik and

Cecio discussed the differences in the translations (it's not always the

same thing from one language to another!). I have to say a huge thank you

to Sandra for doing this - it must have taken hours and hours of work to

put together AND she made lots of copies of the CDs to give away. Wisely,

the folks in the panel advised that those taking the CDs make a donation to

the charity, so that's what we did. I quickly snagged copies for myself

and when I was finally packing up to leave the con, I popped one into my CD

player. It was SO neat to hear the intro and other key bits of dialog in

all those different languages. Italian is just so damn sexy...I only wish

I could understand it! <g>

 

Anyway, so it's now around 11:30 and I've got a pile of stuff, so I decided

to run back to my room to drop off my purchases and gifts and just sit down

for a few minutes.

 

At noon I headed back to the con area to join the Tunnel Togs

panel. Maranda and Karen were running it and they (and Lyn) had hit

Goodwill and assembled a pile of odds and ends that we could put together

however we liked. I selected a pale green knit vest and added pale pink

yarn stitching along the seam (after removing the buttons - and, dang, did

that stitching take a long time!) and fringe, leather ties cut from a woven

belt, pink pockets made out of shoulder pads with lace trim added, and a

blue embroidered scarf to finish off the ensemble. I grabbed a quick lunch

from the deli tray at about 1:00, then continued to work on my vest until

2:30. It was WAY past time for us to be finished and when I left, there

were still people working on their costumes! This was definitely a big hit

and we've already decided to add it to the panels for next year's con.

 

I then quickly ran back to my room to drop off my vest, pick up my karaoke

CD and CD player, and headed back for the talent show

rehearsal. Unfortunately, this part of the program wasn't well advertised,

so there were only a few of us participating, but the cool thing is that

the extra time meant I could perform both of the songs that I'd been

agonizing over. Yea! One less decision I have to make!

 

I got the chance to run through part of each song to do a mic and sound

level check and everything seemed to go fine. After that, I headed into

the dealer's room and chatted with Deb for a while as we watched over the

con table.

 

At 4:15pm I decided to go back to my room to veg and rest before the big

night. I knew I wouldn't want to eat before I got up to sing so I had a

snack and watched "Serendipity" through the in-house movie system. Not a

bad movie - nice little romantic comedy, definitely the right kind of

mood. After it was over, I changed into my talent show duds. I I'd brought

a dusky rose peasant-style shirt with flowing cuffs (very Tunnelish, I

thought) and some funky, dangly, multi-beaded earrings. I topped it off

with my newly-created Tunnel vest and scarf and some $7 Indian-style

Payless sandles, threw on a little make-up, and I was good to go.

 

At 7:00pm I returned to the con area where everybody was hanging out,

eating, and taking pictures (of costumes, etc.). At about 7:40pm we headed

into the room and then hung out for a while waiting for the festivities to

start.

 

Things got rolling at 8:00pm when Muffy, Fluffy, and Buffy (aka Judy,

Maranda & Karen) stepped up to play M.C. NovTek showed the first of the

new videos - "Help!" by the Beatles, which was kind of a Batman-inspired

silly piece (lots of fun). Then Muffy, Fluffy and Buffy led us in an

audience participation segment. We were all divided into groups and when a

certain word was uttered, we had to recite our lines. Any time "Vincent"

was mentioned, one group would say "Oh, baby!". When "Catherine" was

mentioned, my group would say "Hubba, hubba!". When "Father" was

mentioned, another group would say "That's not a very good idea,

Vincent". When "candles" were mentioned, another group would say "Flicker

flicker!". When the "tunnels" were mentioned, the group (called to the

front) were supposed to blow into their noisemakers and make a whistling

sound. And lastly, when "CBS" was mentioned, the last group would say "Get

a rope!".

 

Okay, so we all knew what we were supposed to say and Muffy (Judy) started

to read us a story. We definitely got into it! And as Deb mentioned,

JoAnn was just unable to get the hang of working the noisemaker and that

whole side of the line was just laughing hysterically through the whole

thing. It was great! And, of course, we definitely took to our lines and

for the rest of the weekend "hubba hubba", "oh, baby" and especially

"flicker flicker!" were often heard in conversations.

 

After that, all of the participants in the costume workshop (Tunnel Togs)

were called up on stage to display what we had created. The audience voted

by applause for their favorite and Kathleen won hands down (she did a

beautiful job on her brocade vest with leather ties and clips and all sorts

of stuff).

 

Then it was yours truly's time to get up on stage. The first song I

performed was "How Do I Live" which has been sung by both Trisha Yearwood

and LeAnn Rimes (I was using the LeAnn Rimes version). Then I did a song

that I had written the lyrics for. The backstory is that upon Karen's

recommendation (she knows I like Jim Brickman), I picked up Jim's "Destiny"

CD, and there was an instrumental song on there called "Crossroads" that I

immediately felt should have words, but didn't.

 

So, I decided that I would try to do like I did last year and write some

lyrics to go along with it. It didn't end up being as B&B specific as last

year's "Solemn Vow", but I still think it turned out pretty well. I called

my piece "Coming Home" and the lyrics are as follows:

 

All my life I've been searching

Far and wide across this crazy world

Every road, every highway

Seems to have led to distant shores

 

Bright lights called out to me

But didn't know my name

I made some friends along the way

But it was not the same

 

In your smile there was laughter

In your arms there was a gentle warmth

In your eyes was a light

That I could simply not ignore

 

I've traveled all around the world

Searching every face

But though I came so close sometimes

None could take your place

 

I've known kings, I've known princes

I've had wealth beyond the common man

But I known now I would give it up

For just a touch of your hand

 

In your smile I saw laughter

In your arms I felt a gentle warmth

In your heart I found love at last

And I knew that I - I wanted nothing more

 

Now as I watch the world go by

I don't even see the view

'Cause my roaming days are over now

I'm coming home to you

 

I'm coming home

I'm coming home to you

  

Anyway, I think it was pretty well received and I was definitely a LOT less

nervous than I was last year. No more lips stuck to teeth for me! :D

 

After that, we had the costume parade featuring Rebecca's legged mermaid,

Lisa's Vincent, Renee's Tunnel person, the Tunnel "gypsies", J'ecris

"Jamie" (complete with flashlights attached to her hat!), and lots of

others. It was very cool!

 

Then Claire got up and read a story about how quantum physics leads us to

believe that there really are infinite parallel universes and since that's

so, Vincent and Catherine are real and everything that's happened to them

in fanfic - good and bad - has happened and is still happening. :) Then

she sang a lovely rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone".

 

Somewhere around here, David Schwartz and Jay Acovone (our celebs for the

weekend) finally made it. They were supposed to get in hours before, but

were apparently delayed. They got up to say a few words (and I had to give

them a hard time for missing my turn at bat! <g>), then sat down to watch

the rest of the festivities.

 

Andy and Steven M. got up to do a skit about the Crocodile Hunter which was

*extremely* cute, followed by Phil, Julie and Critter (Jordan) as Mulder,

Scully and William. Apparently, Jordan got a case of stage fright and did

NOT (most vehemently NOT) want to participate. Finally, Phil and Julie

plunked him on stage and they did their spiel with Mulder and Scully

reading the classifieds (as their show has been cancelled and they're now

out of work - get it?). Poor Jordan! :)

 

I think at this point (though it may have been earlier - geez, even with

the notes I'm still confused!), the... oh shoot, I don't remember what they

called themselves. The Underground Puppet Theater (I think) did several

numbers for us including frogs singing "Blue Moon" and an absolutely

gut-busting rendition of chickens singing "In the Mood" (with chickens

actually singing "In the Mood" on the tape!).

 

Then, lord help us, the "Three Kitties" got up and recited their poem about

a cat hanging around their mother's door, leaving mom with a litter (them),

and that cat's name is Vincent! (I swear it was much funnier than

that!) Then they ran down the aisle to hug Vincent (Lisa) and give him a

huge "#1 Dad" medal. It was definitely a hoot!

 

Finally, NovTek ran another video - "That's What Friends Are For" by Dion

Warwick, using still photos taken by Judy Loyd at past cons (lots of

familiar faces!). And last, but not least, Claire led us all in a round of

"God Bless America".

 

Things wrapped up at this point (around 9:00pm) and I hung around and

chatted with folks for a while before finally heading back to my room to

ditch my "Tunnel Togs" (the vest and scarf were itchy in that humid Florida

weather!), and update my notes (see, I'm always thinking of you guys!).

 

Then it was back to the con area where I ended up getting sucked into a

conversation with David (after I'd collected my requisite hug), Cecio, Pat

Jackson, Rebecca, and a few others. We talked about movies, WWII, Sept.

11, NYC, Ron, Roy Dotrice... just all kinds of stuff.

 

Finally, after several attempts, we got David and Jay to join us in the bar

for karaoke, which had apparently been in progress for several hours. I

heard (but unfortunately missed) that K.G. and Pixie were absolutely

AWESOME, so I'm definitely adding you two to the roster for the talent show

next year - no ifs ands or buts!

 

Many from our group got up to sing (as we were the overwhelming majority of

the patrons) - Teri, Claire, Brooke, Kathleen, Cynthia - and I finally got

up and did "Valentine" by Jim Brickman/Martina McBride. I've done it

before in karaoke and I don't like to repeat myself if I can help it, but

it was my 3rd choice for a talent show song, so I figured this was a good

time to do it. Everybody seemed to like it and I even got a kiss blown to

me by David. <g> David and Jay took off around 11:30pm and we kept right

on going.

 

The twins from the previous night showed up around 11:45pm and we coerced

them into getting up and doing a couple of numbers (including an Air Supply

song and "Stayin' Alive", which was hysterical). Then the DJ did Macy

Gray's "I'll Try" (which he'd done the night before) and Sheila (it's

always the quiet ones...) got up and stuffed dollar bills down his

pants! I swear! She did!

 

Karaoke finally wrapped up at about 12:15pm with a rousing version of "The

Time Warp" (yes, I got up and danced - you *have* to!) and by this point I

was Wiped with a capital "W". I headed back to my room, quickly cleaned

up, laid out my clothes for the next day (remember, I'm anal), set up my

wake-up call, turned on my Sound Soother, and fell asleep to dreams of

singing and laughter...

*****

 

...to be continued!

 

In the next installment (maybe tomorrow, maybe later today...depends on how

much you guys beg! LOL!): Suze tries her luck at Beast Bingo, learns the

"Sky King" story, cheats at "Who Wants to Be a Beastie-aire", buys stuff,

buys more stuff, gets dressed up, takes lots of pictures, avoids potatoes

(YUCK!), and buys yet more stuff (did I mention buying stuff?).

 

Until then! :)

 

-- Suze

 

Well, I really didn't mean to tease you that badly. I did intend to post

another part of this last night, but then I got caught up doing other

things (including working on my con photos) and didn't get the

chance. Sorry about that. Maybe I'll manage it today.

 

And before I go any further, I need to apologize to Claire Sieffert and

post a correction. I knew I didn't know the name of her piece that was

being used as the con logo but I was...*ahem*...a little too lazy to go

find out. Claire graciously posted the correct title which is "The Two of

Us in the Sunshine". Thank you, Claire! I actually got to see the

original of this piece at last year's con and it is simply *gorgeous*!

 

And now, without any further ado...

  

LOOK INTO MY NOSE

(aka Suze's Adventures at the 2002 B&B Convention)

by Suze, Queen of the Con Report (tm) ;)

 

 

Part the Third 

[see part 1 for all disclaimers, etc.] 

Saturday, July 13 - Day 2 of the con!

 

Yet again, my wake-up call was right on time at 8:00am. I slowly got

myself moving, up and dressed, and headed down to the con area around

9:00am. I grabbed some breakfast (fruit and bagel again), then sat down to

chat with JoAnn, Terri, PatK, Sandy2, Lynn and Lori. We were discussing

"badfic" and they had me utterly in hysterics!

 

At 9:45am, Muffy, Fluffy and Buffy (now in their human guises <g>) started

up Beast Bingo. For those of you who have never played before, it works

like regular bingo except that instead of "Bingo" you have "Beast" across

the top and instead of numbers, there are people, places, things and

episode titles from the show in each square. For a minimal donation of $1

per card, per game, to the "fishbowl" (the charity collection plate for the

weekend), you could play along. I only had $20 bills, so I just tossed one

into the fishbowl, and asked to play two cards for all of the games. I They

were all too happy to take my money! ;)

 

I lost the first couple of games, but won the third one! I looked over the

prizes and selected one of Steven's necklaces - a gold Asian-looking charm

on a leather thong. I lost the next game and the next and the next and

finally lost the last game, which was a "blackout" game (you have to cover

the entire board).

 

However, there were two people who covered their boards at the same time,

so they had to play a tie-breaker game. The rest of us were allowed to

play for the regular prizes, but the other two were playing for a $15 gift

certificate to the dealer's room. And wouldn't you know? I won

again! The game kept going (as they still had to decide the tie-breaker),

but I wandered up and selected a small digest 'zine (Best Mirrors) for my

prize.

 

At 10:45, David and Jay returned for the Celebrity Q&A session. There was

some chatting about what they're up to now. David took the last year off

to concentrate on writing and has some spec scripts up for grabs and is

working on developing a "Wonder Years"-type series with his writing partner

that is meant to feature Ron Perlman. Jay has done a number of guest-star

stints (including a hard-assed drill instructor on "JAG"), as well as some

corporate work.

 

The highlight was, yes, the "Sky King" story. Jay told us this hilarious

story about David getting him involved in an infomercial for Intel. For

whatever reason, he (along with a bunch of young kids) were playing

soldier-types, and as part of the shoot, they were going to throw a bunch

of computer parts out of an airplane. David convinced Jay that it would be

"fun" to go up in the plane with them.

 

Now apparently Jay isn't thrilled with flying, but he went along with

it. I can't do the rest of the story justice, but let's just say that it

involved a plane without doors (Jay thought it was a junk plane and was

horrified to learn that's what he was about to go up in), crazy kids

tossing equipment out of the plane then casually jumping after it, and "Sky

King", the crazy old coot flying the plane who took the thing into a

nosedive to "save fuel". Ooookay. Needless to say, I don't think Jay will

be letting David talk him into anything like this in the future!

 

There was also some brief discussion about the new B&B series that had been

proposed a few months ago. Apparently, Ron Perlman was heavily involved in

it and The Powers That Be at UPN/Paramount were very much in favor of it

and it was speeding down the pipeline at record speed. Then,

unfortunately, there was a big changing of the guard at Paramount and

everybody who supported the series was gone and the new PTB didn't like the

idea and it died out. There is, however, a pilot script out there, and

some folks with some interest. This is the closest we've gotten to getting

our new series, and I figure we should take that as a good sign. Maybe in

a few years things will work out, you just never know!

 

The Q&A session wrapped up around 11:45 and we moved onto "Who Wants to Be

a Beastie-aire" (based, of course, on "Who Wants to Be a

Millionaire"). Four people got up to do the "fastest finger" round, where

they had to put a list of conventions into their proper chronological

order. Lori won and was the first contestant. The questions were all

based on B&B or those involved with B&B. They were a little uneven,

difficulty-wise (for some reason the $200 and $300 questions seemed to end

up being much harder than most of the higher level questions), but it was

LOADS of fun. There was lots of rampant cheating going on, as we all

(including Lyn, who helped create the questions) had a great time giving

hints. I think Lori made it to the $32,000 question before making an error.

 

There was another "fastest finger" round (which got a little confusing - it

had something to do with the women in Vincent's life, but we couldn't

figure out how "Eddy" [sic] fit into it) and Irene won this one. She

got...hmm...I don't remember...I think she went all the way to the million

dollar question, but I'm not sure. All I can say is that we all had a

wonderful time and I even learned a few interesting facts! (like, did you

know that Jay's first stint on a soap opera was on "All My Children"? or

that David played a trash collector in "The Rest is Silence"?)

 

We broke for lunch at around 12:45 (deli meats for sandwiches and cold

salads) and I ended up hanging out with Teri, Pat Jackson, Laura and Brooke

Hardy, and a few others. We were talking about Brooke getting ready to

head off to college next year. The rest of the crew was trying to tell her

that college was going to be so much harder than high school and that she

was going to need to bust her butt taking all of these classes...and I

leaned over to her and said, "Hey, I found college a lot easier than high

school because I could choose my own path. Yeah, I goofed around and made

some mistakes, but I had a great time doing it!" So maybe I'm the bad

influence, but all work and no play makes Suze a dull girl, ya know?

 

At 1:30 we had a panel discussing the 2003 convention. Deb gave an

overview of what would be happening and what our plans are. Everybody

seemed to be very enthusiastic, which I am grateful for. It helps to know

that everybody is so supportive of our efforts.

 

At 2:00 I wandered back into the Dealer's Room and found that the stained

glass lady had indeed found a photo of Vincent's window and had gone home

and asked her husband to put together a design for her. I was just

amazed! And I *HAD* to have one! It wasn't as detailed as the original,

but, hell, it's close enough. And we were able to choose our own glass for

each part. I picked a marbleized amber glass for the main part of the

window, a medium green glass for the design work, and a hammered blue glass

for the small arch. I can't wait to see it finished!

 

About this time, I'm really starting to realize how much money is going out

the door, but I just can't help it. There's so much cool stuff and I'm

still a relative newbie and need to build up my collection! Plus, my hubby

was out of town right before I left, so he couldn't give me the "Remember

we're poor speech" before I left. Silence implies consent, right? LOL!

 

Anyway, then I headed over to the "roomies" table and bought one of the

16-month calenders (which are gorgeous!), then went over to sign all of the

cards going to BBTV members who couldn't be at the con (we missed

you!). After that, I went over to man the 2003 con table for a while and

help stuff the BBTV cards into their envelopes (in fact, JoAnn wandered

away after the first few and I ended up doing all of them! <g>).

 

Chan's sculpting workshop was going on at this time, but I couldn't get

away from the table to attend. It looked like lots of fun, though! I got

to head over and see the results. Everyone had been instructed on how to

create Vincent's head, but each one was slightly different. And they were

all just great! I hope that they survived the trips home...

 

At 5:00pm the autograph session finally got started (very late!). I had

Jay and David sign this year's con poster (and David wrote me a lovely

little note - thank you, David!), a printout of the 2003 con logo, and I

had Jay sign one of his headshots for my friend Debbie, who is a big

Stargate SG-1 fan. He signed it from "Kawalski" (his character), which was

very cool. (Enjoy Deb!!! That's your surprise! <g>)

 

By the time I got out of the autograph line, it was 5:45pm and we were

supposed to be assembling at 6:00pm for drinks and such before the

banquet. No pressure! (and I was definitely not the last in line - there

were folks who were leaving to change as the first wave of people were

arriving for the banquet) I ran back to my room to drop off my stuff and I

realized that I'd already written about $500 in checks and spent about $300

in cash...and we hadn't even made it to the auction yet. Yikes! My

"cheap" con was getting very expensive! I couldn't pass up the stained

glass, though, and I wanted to sign up for next year's con before the

prices went up, but it still hurts when you total it all up! ;)

 

So, I quickly cleaned up and changed, threw on some make up, and headed

back to the con area. This year I was wearing a floor-length,

scoop-necked, short-sleeve sparkly silver/navy (metallic fibers) dress with

the same dangly rhinestone "Catherine" earrings from last year and some

sparkly sling-back shoes that I'd bought to wear in my sister's wedding

last fall and hadn't worn since!

 

I hung out in the lobby where everybody was taking LOTS of pictures. I had

decided to leave my camera in my room in deference to the "no cameras"

rule, but it looked like nobody else did! I'm just going to have to beg

for those of you who brought your cameras to please send me a copy of your

photos, huh? Pretty please????

 

The BBTV group got the honor of being selected to introduce the con on the

video. We all gathered in a corner and Ron filmed us saying "Welcome to A

Kingdom By the Sea III!" Cool!

 

Many people were dressed up in regular dress clothes as I was, but some

were wearing their Tunnel Togs, and some had outfits from the show (JoAnn

was wearing the large red coat that Catherine wears in Siege - *everybody*

wanted to try it on!). K.G., Roy, Phil, Julie and Nancy had all gotten

together and wore these sort of fancy Old West style outfits. They were

really neat!

 

After milling around for a while, we were allowed into the banquet room and

I went to find my table. No confusion this year! I found table #5 and

joined my tablemates: JoAnn, Larry, PatK, Sandy2, Cathy, Lori, Lynn, Deb,

and Sheila. We settled in and soon started the candle lighting ceremony,

read by David and Jay. The candles, as last year, had been provided by the

Chesapeake B&B club (whose official name I don't recall) and were the same

orange, yellow and white as the Winterfest candles on B&B. It was quite

beautiful as all of those lights filled the darkened room and we came

together once more. You could really feel the love in the room as all our

hearts were one, for just a brief moment.

 

After it was over, we blew out our candles and I was able to check the

place out. The centerpieces at each table were large glass hurricane lamps

(that type of shade) etched with a portrait of Catherine and Vincent on one

side and quotes from the opening on the other, surrounding a Summerfest

candle. They were so gorgeous!

 

Throughout dinner, we just chatted amongst ourselves about various

things. We had an appetizer of green salad with a choice of Italian or

Ranch dressing and some dinner rolls. I'd decided to have the chicken this

year, which came with potatoes (YUCK!), baby carrots and broccoli. Except

that there was no broccoli on my plate! Lori offered to give me her

broccoli for my potatoes and I eagerly made the trade. She thinks that she

got the better end of the deal but believe me, I was all too happy to get

those things off my plate (YUCK, YUCK, YUCK! There *will* be a rice option

next year if I can help it!). For dessert there was chocolate cake, which

more than made up for the potatoes. Yum!

 

As things were winding down, Lyn and David asked everyone to please put

away their cameras. They were very graciously placing their trust in us as

they produced that certain video for our enjoyment. There was a bit of a

shadow over this moment, which is usually the highlight of the weekend, but

the video was as wonderful as always and thank you SO much to everybody

involved in procuring it again this year, especially after all of the

unpleasantness that happened right before the convention.

 

After that, NovTek ran their next two videos, both created by Julie. The

first was "Breathe" sung by Faith Hill, which was simply GORGEOUS! Very

romantic and definitely hitting the best points of the series. And the

second was "Anyway" a song by Nicole Nordeman. This was the only time I

cried the whole weekend. It was just so moving. There was an intro of

still photos of Catherine over a waving flag with the "You have the

strength" dialog running over it. Then the video came on and the basic

"story" is of how Catherine wasn't a perfect person and had flaws and made

mistakes, but Vincent's love made her beautiful and gave her the strength

to be the person she wanted to be (and vice versa, though Catherine was the

primary focus). I just can't describe how absolutely beautiful and

touching this is. If you have the chance to purchase this music video set

from NovTek, do it, if only for this one video. Thank you, Julie, for this

incredible creation.

 

To lighten the mood, Claire got up and read an oldie but goodie, "Twas the

Night", then the puppeteers did a couple of numbers. The first was a

reinactment of Catherine being rescued by Vincent (from the pilot), then as

he is reading her the fairytale Beauty and the Beast, we segue into a few

acts using the music from the Disney musical (both screen and stage). They

also did a reinactment of Catherine's return at the end of "A Happy Life"

complete with car (it was hilarious - this little red car kept rolling

across the top of the stage set) and Vincent getting tackled by

Catherine. Of course, there was no "soul kiss" here...in fact, it got

downright R-rated there (at least, as R-rated as puppets can get!

<g>). They also did a scene with Vincent to "My Boyfriend's Back" with

Puppet!Vinnie breaking through numerous doors, riding the top of the

elevator, riding the top of the subway, etc. It was just a lot of fun!

 

After that, NovTek showed another music video by Ron - "A New Day Has Come"

sung by Celine Dion that was a combination of her video with scenes from

the show. Very cool! Then...ta da! The 2003 convention promo video. It

was so awesome to finally see it after all of the agonizing about it over

the past few months (and I'm sure it was even more so for Deb, who actually

helped create it). I was so happy with the way it turned out - definitely

a wonderful promotion for next year (I hope you'll all be there!!!).

 

I think they showed the "Help!" video one more time after that, then the

banquet was officially over. I made a dash back to my room to change into

my comfy clothes, grabbed my camera, and ran back to the con area. Of

course they were still taking pictures and had grabbed David and Jay for a

quick photo op with next year's con team. PatK and I got relegated to the

back row (and being as short as I am, that's not exactly where you want to

be) to hide the fact that we were no longer dressed up. Oh well...

 

Then it was auction time! (aka the David and Jay Show) Most of the crew

from my table (plus one or two others) dragged our chairs over toward the

right side of the stage to get a better view. Cathy very bravely got up

and spoke briefly about how SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (one of the

designated charities) - had affected her life...I don't think there was a

dry eye in the house. Then Lyn got up and talked a little about the

American Cancer Society (the other charity), and then we were underway!

 

I tried for an autographed 45 LP of "The First Time I Loved Forever" but

was quickly outbid. I tried for another few items, but was outbid on those

as well. I finally got a print of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Twin Towers

in the background, mat signed by Ron P., for $60. I think I got off pretty

cheap on that one.

 

The most hilarious moment of the night was definitely - as many people have

mentioned - Jay donning the little lion backpack. First he wore it

appropriately (although it was about 5 sizes too small for him and his arms

stuck out at odd angles), then David got the brilliant idea that it could

also be used "at the beach" and had Jay step into the backpack and hike it

up...well...to his crotch. Oh, man, the room went nuts. A little backpack

that was worth nothing went to JoAnn (I think) for $50! Then David decided

to stay with the theme and stuck a little lion toy into his pants. What nuts!

 

I wanted the Ron P.-signed book of Shakespeare's sonnets, but that ended up

going for $100. I *REALLY* wanted (but knew I couldn't afford) this

GORGEOUS statue of an entwined Catherine and Vincent, which was apparently

one of the centerpieces at the 1995 con. That ended up going to Sheila for

a whopping $700, but I think it was worth every penny (and if they'd

accepted credit cards, I would have been tempted to give her a run for her

money!). Somewhere around this point, our little group in the corner got

called the "hot seats", 'cause we were upping the prices. <g>

 

I finally settled on a PC game voiced by Ron P. and a few others for

$10. Well, at least it was cheap! My personal favorite moments were David

yelling out "I have a bid of $6!" on the game, just to drive me crazy (I'd

already bid $10), because he "like to hear me laugh". <g> Also, I was

amused by him scoping me out as I was stretched out prone on the floor

trying to get a shot of the above-mentioned centerpiece against the dark

green table skirting, and making some sort of comment that if I didn't get

up he was going to have to marry me or something (I dunno, it was something

silly to that effect - I was busy trying to get my picture!), then giving

me a smootch. :)

 

The auction was still going strong and there were still LOTS of items left

when they finally called it a night at about 1:15am. We were all drooping

(although things do seem be awfully funny when you're short on sleep, so

there was a lot of laughing going on!), so they decided to pick it up again

during Sunday's brunch. I collected and paid for my two items, then headed

back to my room to clean-up, change, turn on the ol' Sound Soother, and

utterly collapse into a dreamless sleep...

*****

 

...to be continued (oh yes, there's lots more!).

 

In the next installment: Suze is running a little late (big surprise!),

buys YET more stuff (uh, honey? How much do we have in the checking

account???), battles for some artwork, challenges her math skills, waves

goodbye to yet another con (although the fun isn't over yet!), gets up

close and personal with Vinnie, helps clean up the place, eats some pizza,

and laughs with friends until the wee hours of the morning (oof...I'm

getting too old for this...).

 

Until next time, true believers! :)

 

Suze

 

LOOK INTO MY NOSE

(aka Suze's Adventures at the 2002 B&B Convention)

by Suze, Queen of the Con Report (tm) ;) 

 

Part the Fourth 

[disclaimers, etc. in part 1] 

 

Sunday, July 14 - Day 3 of the con! (last official day)

 

Well, due to lack of proper sleep (I'm one of those people for whom

anything less than 9 hours of sleep feels like I've had about 2!), I was

getting slower and slower about getting up in the morning. I didn't bother

to set up a wake-up call, and I finally woke up on my own a little before

9:00am. I slowly got up and did my usual morning thing (it's times like

these when I wish I liked coffee!), then headed down to the con area

shortly before 10:00am.

 

The brunch had started at 9:30am and I was obviously late as the place was

already packed with eating (and even finished!) people. I was able to find

a place at the same table I'd sat at during the banquet, and joined up with

Annik, JoAnn, Larry, Pat, Sandy2, Lori, Cathy and a few others (my brain

was still not yet awake enough to take the full census!). I ate my eggs,

bacon, and danish while hanging out and chatting with them.

 

At 10:30am, the auction started up again. I started bids on numerous items

(just to get the ball rolling) but was quickly outbid just about every

time. I did finally end up with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,

signed by Ron P., for $75 (which is not much more than the book would have

cost anyway, so I think this was a good deal). I also won a VHS tape of

the 1946 Jean Cocteau version of Beauty and the Beast. In the discussion I

was in with David on Friday night, we'd talked about this movie and I

mentioned how I'd never seen it and how much I wanted to. Well, I got my

wish! Sure, the $40 price tag was a whole lot more than I would have paid

for it at Blockbuster, but it was going to a good cause, so what the

heck! :) (BTW, I finally watched it yesterday and it was *very* cool -

the special effects are quite impressive, given the lack of today's fancy

technology)

 

There were various art pieces (most by Chan) that went for respectable

amounts, but the big ticket item was the dinner with Ron P. I can't recall

who won it (there was a bidding duel between Jan Sutter and Marilyn

Howard), but it went for $1100. Wow. That money is going to help a lot of

people. We are such a great, giving group of people and I am very proud to

be a part of this!

 

After that, they started up the "Who Wants to Be a Beastie-aire" again. I

picked up my purchases and paid, then tried to run back to my room to drop

off my stuff, but I got corralled by Deb and asked to watch the con table

for a few minutes. Those few minutes seem to last a long time,

Deb! LOL! I actually had to take several registrations which, although I

was extremely pleased to do, I am not good with money and receipts and

stuff (it makes me nervous - I think it's the math involved) so it was a

bit of a circus! Thank goodness Lori came over and helped me or we'd

probably *still* be there! ;)

 

I finally managed to get away to watch most of the last game with Jay in

the hot seat and David asking the questions. He got up to $1

million...with a lot of coaching! (and blatant cheating! <vbg>) We wrapped

at around 1:15pm as David and Jay had to get ready to leave. They said a

quick round of goodbyes and I went to collect my hugs from each, then they

headed off to pack.

 

Shortly after, I collected my stuff and started to head back to my room. I

swung by the NovTek table first to pick up my copy of the Teaser video with

all of the music videos and the 2003 con promo on it (HAD to have that,

what are you kidding???). Then I was off to my room to drop off my stuff

and update my notes. I had spent SO much money by this point. Dave (my

hubby) is going to go nuts. I called him yesterday to check in and after

I'd mentioned a few of the items I'd bought, he frantically trotted out his

"Remember we're poor!" line. Too late, buddy! I'll just have to sneak

some money from the savings account into the checking account while he's

not looking. Shhhhhhh! <g>

 

By 1:45 I was hungry again, so I swung by the convenience store/food court

to grab a sandwich, then headed back to the con area for the art auction

(already in progress). I hadn't planned to buy anything, but I ended up

with a matted photocopy of a Rita Terrell piece of Vincent and Catherine as

"The Phantom of the Opera" (which I then donated to next year's

auction). I still really wanted that one piece of Sandy2's called "Stolen

Moment" and I got into a bidding war with JoAnn over it. I finally

couldn't afford the $200 bid and had to let it go (I wish we could have

used credit cards!), but JoAnn and Sandy graciously offered to make prints

of it and send me a matted copy. Thank you, ladies!!!

 

I was consoled, however, as I was able to walk away with my second favorite

Sandy2 piece of Vincent and Catherine reading called "It's Good to Read"

for only $30. That's not a bad deal for original art. My first one! Yea!

 

I missed the lovely shadowbox being auctioned (I knew I couldn't afford

that), but I did see Claire's beautiful etched crystal go for $400. Worth

every penny!

 

The auction wrapped up at around 3:30pm and after picking up and paying for

my art, I started to head back to room to drop them off. I had to pass by

the NovTek table on my way and decided to give in and purchase the video

for this year's con (what the hell - I've already *more* than blown my

budget!). So after signing up for and paying for that, I continued on to

my room to add to my ever-growing piles of con loot! ;)

 

At 4:00, I headed back to the con area for the closing ceremonies. There

were teary words of thanks from Lyn for Chan, hubby Andy, and the

precocious Steven. She called up all of us on the 2003 con team to perform

the ritual of passing on the light to the next year's con organizers. We

all got another Summerfest candle and slowly lit each other's candles all

the way down the line and officially took over the con duties. After

blowing out the candles, we had Steven pick one of the raffle tickets out

of the converted shoebox (thank you, Cathy! <g>) and awarded the San

Francisco basket to Lisa Gould (congrats, Lisa!). There was one last big

goodbye, then that was it!

 

I went to help pack up the con table and retrieve my coffee basket (from my

room) which had been holding candy all weekend. We got one last

registration while I was there (from Rebecca, who said she'd never

registered for a con at the previous con before - yea, Rebecca!) which

brought us up to a grand total of 39 registrations - 9 more than we'd

planned on! And there were still members of the con team who hadn't signed

up yet! Woo hood!!!!

 

I helped Deb clean up and organize all of the various paperwork,

decorations, etc. Then we ran a load up to her room to drop off and while

she figured out what she was going to need to ship, I ran up to my room to

drop off the basket and a couple of other items.

 

Around 5:00, I met up with Deb again and grabbed the load of stuff that

needed to be shipped, then we headed back to the con area where Mailboxes,

Etc. was setting up court.

 

Around this time, I noticed that Vinnie (who had been lying on the bed in

his chamber and also sitting in a little photo op spot at the banquet) was

lying, abandoned, on his back on the floor. Well! Who could pass up an

opportunity like that??? Not me! I quickly ran over, lay down on the

floor, and snuggled up to Vinnie - right there in the middle of the

Dealer's Room! It was only a few milliseconds before we were spotted and

the flashbulbs started going off. I'm sure it won't be long before we see

those shots in the National Enquirer...just don't send them to Catherine,

okay? ;D

 

Anyway, after my close encounter, I needed a drink! (wouldn't you???

<veg>) So I headed to the store to restock my fridge (I was definitely low

on beverages again!). I took the drinks back to my room, and hung out for

a few minutes before heading down to the pizza party.

 

I ate and chatted (poor Lori was getting the hard sell to be the con chair

for 2004! LOL!) and tried to ignore the big water leak that had started in

the middle of the room. Around 7:30, I headed back to my room to clean up

and just veg for a little while (needed a *few* minutes of downtime after

this whirlwind weekend!).

 

At around 8:20, I headed down to the "roomies" room to participate in

fanfic reading with Peggy Garvin, Terri, JoAnn, Sandy2, Cathy, Lori,

PatK, Linda Barth So--something (I can't remember how to spell it,

Linda!). We had a WONDERFUL time! Each of us took turns reading a page

and it was just so much fun (tum...tum, tum, tum...TUM! <veg>). We

eventually dissolved into just general chat with interesting gossip about

previous cons (I love being a still relative newbie!), discussion of the

state of B&B fandom today, and pretty much anything we could think of to

bring up, we did! I had a BLAST!

 

The party finally broke up shortly after 2:00am and I headed back to my

room. Con team meeting in less than 8 hours. Ugh!

 

It took me a while to wind down, so it was around 3:00am before I finally

turned on my Sound Soother, hopped into bed, and finally got some well

needed SLEEP!

 

 

*****

 

...to be continued (one more time!)

 

In the last installment: Suze spends lots of time in meetings (what is

this? work???), has a brief encounter with a "tobacco inhaler", reads some

frantic, acquires a one-of-a-kind piece of art, watches TV with people as

interactive as she is, packs up all of her loot, and finally says goodbye

to the con for another year (::sniff::).

 

Until then! :)

 

-- Suze

Well, this is it...the last part of my con report (kinda short, but last

couple of days weren't as eventful). I had an absolute blast and I hope

you all enjoyed hearing about every, single, little, teeny, tiny detail of

my experience! <grin> I hope that everybody will be able to make it to

San Francisco next year, 'cause I can't wait to see you all again!

 

And so, the weekend comes to a close...

 

 

LOOK INTO MY NOSE

(aka Suze's Adventures at the 2002 B&B Convention)

by Suze, Queen of the Con Report (tm) ;)

 

 

Part the Fifth (last one!) 

[all disclaimers, etc. can be found in Part 1]

 

Monday, July 15

 

I honestly can't remember if I called for a wake-up call or not (the

details are MOST fuzzy at this point), but I did manage to get up around

9:00am, shower and dress, and grab a breakfast of some Nutragrain-like bars

in my room before heading off to the "roomies" room for the 2003 con meeting.

 

We spent about 3 1/2 hours reviewing the status so far and going over ideas

for next year. Things are definitely in good shape. We got more

registrations than we'd planned on and the website is up and running, so we

couldn't complain! We did have some more con business to attend to, but we

decided to put it off until later that night. Deb then gave each of us

this neat little card with a mini rose candle holder and teeny little

candles to go in it (thank you, Deb!!!). We all agreed that we needed to

try to find more of these for the con next year!

 

The meeting broke up at around 1:30pm and most of us headed across the

street to Quiznos (a sandwich place) for lunch. We bumped into Judy and

Maranda outside the hotel on our way over and Judy handed me a little

stuffed lion with a "Beast Wishes" card tied around his neck. How

cute! Thank you, Judy! (geez, more gifts! I've got to start stocking up

for next year!)

 

Some took their lunches and headed back to the hotel, but Deb, Lori and I

stayed and ate there. I had a honey bourbon chicken sandwich that was to

DIE for. Yum!

 

As we left, we took a quick peek in the tattoo parlor next door. Nope,

definitely not tempted. I did that once (a small, discreet heart on my

left ankle), and NEVER again. I did see a number of bongs (excuse me

"tobacco inhalers"...uh huh...) on the wall and idly thought about buying

one for my brother, but decided it would be too much of a pain in the ass

to try to ship it. Can you imagine me trying to get THAT through airport

security??? <laughing>

 

We headed back to the hotel and everybody pitched in to help Lyn, Andy and

Chan load up the van with the remaining con items. It didn't take long at

all and soon we were all hanging out in the lobby area of the convention

center. We chatted and watched Steven draw (I now have a beautiful picture

of Catherine and Vincent gracing a prominent place on my fridge - thank

you, Steven!), discussed fandom, next year's con, and everything that

happened at this one. We were soon joined by J'ecris (it was nice to meet

you!), and we decided to do some more fanfic reading. We picked one of

JoAnn's stories from the conzine and everybody took turns reading a

page. It was just beautiful, JoAnn!

 

Around 5:30pm, some folks headed off to dinner, and I returned to my room

for a little while before going back to the "roomies" room to finish up our

con business. At least it was *fun* work this time! (can't tell you the

details - top secret! <g>) We got dinner from room service (I think I

still owe you money for that, JoAnn!) and quickly managed to find the

obsceneness (is that a word?) in various food items (pickles, french

fries...). We are a sad, pathetic group of people. LOL!

 

We wrapped things up in time to watch "Witchblade" at 9:00pm. I have to

say, it is quite an experience watching one of your favorite shows with

people who yell at the TV as much as you do! I swear, I missed a bunch of

the lines because we were all talking over each other, but I've never had

so much fun! After the show was over, we chatted for a few minutes, then

things wound down and we went our separate ways.

 

By 10:30pm I was back in my room, and spent the next hour or so packing up

all of the stuff I'd bought (it all fit into my one suitcase! Woo

hoo!!! I am the Queen of Packing!!!!), then finally turned on my Sound

Soother one last time and hit the hay, dreaming of all the fun we're going

to have in San Francisco next year (...plug, plug, plug! <g>).

 

 

*****

 

 

Tuesday, July 16 - It's over! WAH!

 

I was up by 9:30am and leisurely got dressed, ate the remaining room snacks

for breakfast, and finished up my packing. After doing one last check of

the place, I headed down to the "roomies" room (I promised I'd stop in

before I left) to hang out for a few minutes. Finally it got to be around

11:30 and I had to leave or I'd miss my shuttle ride to the airport. There

was one last round of hugs, then I was on my way.

 

I ran into Maranda and Judy at the check-out counter and it turns out that

they were also taking the 11:45am shuttle to the airport. Isn't it funny

how things work out? That tunnel magic was still with me and wanted to

make sure that I left with friends.

 

I chatted with them during the ride, but it wasn't long before we'd gotten

to my departure area. I hugged them goodbye, reclaimed my luggage and

finally said my last farewell to this year's con.

 

My flight back to Manchester was just as uneventful as the one down (though

slightly more crowded) and before I knew it, I was home. But a piece of me

will always be in the Tunnels. Once you've been to a con, you can't help

but leave a part of yourself with all of those wonderful folks that you

meet along the way.

 

I miss you all so much already, and I hope that I will see you, as well as

those of you who couldn't make it this year, in San Francisco. Not because

I'm on the committee (though there is a part of me that would be grateful

for the attendance!), but because I just can't wait to be with all of you

again. 

Be well, and I'll see you around the Tunnels... 

Love,

 

Suze