Should sleep now, but a brief recap (spoiler: I fail to be brief): londo asked me to help run a room party on behalf of the afore-mentioned ambitious Finns at Boskone 50 (as in the 50th year of the con-- wow!) on Friday, and prior to that Crystal had asked me to help with another project throughout the con (more on that later-- first, the party). For a variety of reasons, a critical mass of people whose opinions I respect on this sort of thing seem to be on Team Helsinki, and inasmuch as I understand WorldCon stuff at all, their arguments for it make sense to me. Also, it gave me a place to stay for the night. Boskone tends to attract an older crowd and not have much of a party scene, so we expected things to have wound down by 11ish, but noooo, it seems wherever we young 'uns go, sleep withers and dies. The party didn't end up winding down until around 3:30am, and since I was to sleep on the floor where said party was being held, that means I didn't get to sleep until a bit thereafter. Side note: buying a high-quality cot to keep in the trunk of my car has proven entirely worthwhile multiple times now.
The party was a success, I think. Lots of people came by, I shilled for Helsinki like I was... umm... a desperate herring salesman? I'm actually not sure where I was going with that metaphor. Have I mention that I've not slept much of late? Anyway, had some great conversations with some swell people, ate tasty Finnish cheese, and met my match in some really intense (by my wussy American standards, at least) licorice. Also served hors d'ouvres to Vernor Vinge and Charles Stross. Good times.
Oh, and I appear to have volunteered to edit Helsinki's bid video later this year. Yay projects!
Anyway, slept a bit, and then on Saturday I did the thing that had originally pulled me into attending Boskone at all, helping Crystal run the Boskone "photo booth". The goal of this project was to "encourage whimsy" at Boskone, and to facilitate this we had some professional-quality photo equipment that was donated by another friend attending the con, and a big box of "props" which ranged from stuffed animals to silly hats. A bunch of us took shifts enticing people from the crowd to dig through the props box, snap shots of them, and then print them each a copy. Some people actually used the opportunity to get legit headshots and professional photos done, but mostly people buried each other in stuffed penguins, mimed being attacked by vampiric My Little Ponies, and so forth, like you do. We got some *great* photos, and people really seemed to enjoy it.
I'll be honest, I don't usually feel like I pull my weight at cons. I mean, I pay the admission fee and technically that entitles me to enjoy the con without lifting a finger to help out otherwise, but almost everyone I know volunteers and in most cases does so more than I do. So, basically, what I'm saying is that I was nervous to commit the better part of a day to helping run a single event, but also kind of looking forward to it.
I loved it. People got a lot of joy out of the photo booth, and it felt great to have had a hand in that joy. I split my time between being the barker (the one who invites people to take part, helps them get properly ridiculous, etc) and once I got up the nerve to even touch the Very Expensive Camera, shooting the photos. So I got both social and creative outlets and basically had a grand old time. Also, my friends now have more potential blackmail photos of me than I should probably be ok with, but there we are. If I had that much of a sense of shame, I probably wouldn't be doing most of the things that make me happy nowadays anyway.
There is probably more to say about all this, but there is also sleep to be had, and I need some. The remainder of the long weekend still includes at least making music with friends tomorrow and bussing to NYC to see my favorite French metal band on Monday, so I should probably try to pace myself, or something.
In closing, here is a photo booth photo of me trying to look legit.
You don't get to see the one where I'm smooching a My Little Pony. For now.