Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the road again: a long trip, day 12
CONtraflow, New Orleans, day 4

I can tell I ran myself too far down in part from how long it's taking me to heal--I'm nowhere near healthy yet--and in part from the fact that no matter how much I sleep, I am always exhausted. Still, I will get there.

My con duties began today with the job of moderator on the panel, "Paranormal Skeptics vs. Believers." I began by revealing my bias--strongly on the skeptic/disbeliever side--and then asked the panelists to give their opening positions. As it turned out, David Brin and I held down the skeptic end, while three of the four other panelists took the believer position. (One said he was uninformed and open.) The discussion ran the full hour and was polite but occasionally rather lively. I think the audience had a good time, which is always the most important thing.

After a quick trip out for lunch, I acted as the auctioneer for the art auction, which was a decidedly low-key affair that raised a little money for the artists and a few dollars for Falling Whistles, thanks to some lovely pots the child con attendees had painted and donated.

Work filled all the free time in the day before, around, and after these activities except for a run for take-out Italian dinner and a short time at the dead-dog party.

The folks here love their con, love their town, love SF, and give their all to this event. I was honored to get to serve as their inaugural Toastmaster.

Oh, yeah: I promised to talk about the show.

I was to perform Mr. Poor Choices in the hotel bar/lounge, Rumors, at 11:30 last night. The problem is, the LSU/Alabama football game had ended not too long before that, and the local crowd was still celebrating the overtime LSU victory. The TVs were loud, the people were drunk, and almost no one remembered the comedy show.

For a bit, it looked like the show might not happen, but about 11:45 folks decided I should do it. They turned off the TVs, a very small crowd (maybe 20 folks, some of them not con attendees) gathered, and I took the tiny makeshift stage under the three very hot lights. I did a fifty-five-minute set, people laughed a lot, and everyone seemed happy at the end. It was a bit demoralizing going from over 400 folks at Balticon to fewer than two dozen here, but, hey, that's the gig, and I gave it my best. I received only praise, including from the bartender, who loved it, so I must have gotten at least some of it right. When I have time and bandwidth later, I'll study the video.

For now, I will finish work, pack, and then crash.

Tomorrow, I will work, hope to grab lunch in New Orleans, and do a lot of traveling and working en route to home.

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