March 14th, 2009

New Tilley Hat

Marscon 2009: Sunday

continuing from Saturday, Part II

Click on picture for larger image

The con was too good to leave Saturday, so it was early Sunday by the time I made it home. The time change further set me back. I tried to make it to pixelene's performance, but was too far behind schedule. (I did get her CD, Giant Kitten, worth it for the cover art alone.)

Arriving early in the afternoon, I ducked up to the consuite for some caffeine and (late) breakfast. Sat down with Major Mike and other stragglers to not have a political discussion. We talked about haircuts. Marscon, more than most conventions, is a collection of barely-interacting sub-cons. As people came and left, I talked with several fans who I'd never met before. Ah, early morning consuite interaction in the afternoon. A sign of a good con.

Sustained, it was time to head down to the 2nd floor and the Main Stage concerts. But wait!

Dragon and creator, Marscon 3/8/09 Dragon and creator, Marscon 3/8/09

Handmade dragons on sale in the hotel foyer. I worked hard to get a good background for one she was especially proud of. Marscon 3/8/09

One of the great advantages to going home each night is that I can look at my pictures from the previous day. I had taken a few shots of the dealer and her dragons on Saturday, but I didn't like them. The background was too dark. I wanted a good shot. She and one of the people sitting nearby bustled to find a good backdrop for her handmade creations. This was the best shot of the bunch. (To the left of the tip of the dragon's tail you can see the fingers of the guy holding the white piece. If I'd been more awake, I would have gotten all their names.)

=ShoEboX=, Earl Luckes and Chris Mezzolesta take part in a recreation of a video mashup of LazyTown's song with unbidden guest (not pictured). Dementia Smackdown, Marscon 3/8/09

The Dementia Music Smackdown has really grown in just a few years. What started as a few musicians playing around, having fun while making basement tapes, has grown into a series of mini-concerts where everyone goes all out. Mostly, it's musicians doing covers or other variants.

pixelene's entry was so complicated that I could only get three of the five people into the shot, wormquartet, wyngarde and powersalad. I didn't know what to expect, but I'll try to explain exactly what was going on here, though it's a bit tricky.

Originally, a children's show called LazyTown did a fun song called Cooking By The Book, Then, for reasons unexplained, a an internet remixer did a video mashup whereby he inserted Lil' John's profanity-laced rapping into the children's song. Then, because it seemed like a good idea, the Smackdown did a recreation/parody of the profanity-laced children's video that was much longer and didn't have any profanity. Got it? The great Luke Ski posts the original mashup (?) and a video of the Marscon performance in his LJ. While this is my favorite shot from the sequence, pixelene and lukeski both took part. Candy was tossed.

I'm not going to talk about all the acts in the Smackdown because I don't remember them. Not that they melted together, but it was a lot to take in. I got to hear Wally Pleasant to a medley of sad songs that was pretty funny. The Feng Shui Ninjas did their version of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" complete with suicide hotline operator. eye_ar_smaurt did his primal scream.

lukeski did one of my favorite Lost Songs: "Vacuum Cleaner Hoses". It's "lost" because I had it on vinyl and hadn't digitized it and last time I looked it wasn't on CD. I used to put that, and a few other cuts, on various Mix Tapes. Luke and I traded: He got the album and I'll get the digitized tracks.

My Insidious Plan To Corrupt The Youth Of Today, Ha Ha! continued when I gave a copy of Ascent of Madness to Alchav. I wonder what I'll get back from him. If he remembers that it's an exchange. If he remembers me giving him the CD amidst the whirlwind of Dementia he plunged into that weekend.

Closing Ceremonies was short and sweet, with no further skits or information about attendance. I ducked into Ops to see if they had a Warm Body count, but they didn't. Overall impression by most is that fewer people were here this year than last, probably due to the economy. We'll see. They promised a firm number by the Alien Autopsy 3/22, so I may have an epilog to this conreport.

Alien Invasion Progress Alien Invasion Progress

The Map on Sunday, somewhat different than the map at the beginning of the con. A person helping with teardown looks on. Marscon Ops, 3/8/09

Compare this map with how it looked on Friday. I can blow up the image big enough to read most of the progress. My contribution is up in Lake Superior, where I've marked the Minnesota-Michigan Border (setting for Shockwave Radio's "Wrapping the Border", conceptual artist Jason Reignboughs' report about the boundaries of the St. Paul Spaceport, 78% of the former state of Wisconsin).

Marscon Operations was more sedate than in previous times (at least when I was there), which is probably fine by them. Things went smoothly.

Rudy's Figurehead Rudy's Figurehead

The Art Show teardown was a time to let off steam. A volunteer poses as a ship's figurehead on a cart with a Convergence t-shirt. I never found out why. Marscon 3/8/09

Art Show people are often a little weird. That's part of their charm. On my way out of the hotel, I poked my head in, to find this tableau. I think they wanted to call it "Rudy's Figurehead". I didn't ask why and they didn't seem predisposed to tell me, so I took a couple of pictures and left.

A good Marscon. A little rough in patches, but I have a steady stream of good memories, somewhat mushed together. In some respects, I wish I had taken more pictures... in other respects, I wish I'd taken fewer.

More Marscon pictures on Facebook, I'll make a formal gallery with far more pictures RealSoonNow.

edited per comments
New Tilley Hat

Gunfight in the parking lot

Well, gunshots, anyway.

As I was leaving a store in the Hi-Lake mall (the newly rebuilt mall just east of Hiawatha on Lake, near the Target store mall), gunfire sounded behind me.

My instincts weren't sharp enough to throw myself to the ground, but I turned to look and backed into the shielding corner of the building. I tried to snap into Sherlock Holmes Observation mode, though there's no way to check: Five shots fired (maybe only 4?), medium tall black guy (5'10-6'), stubby facial hair (?), wearing a light gray sweatshirt with something on it, hood down. He was shooting a pistol; I didn't see him firing but I did see him pointing the weapon. When done, he paused and fled towards Lake Street.

By then it was all over. The whole thing was maybe 10 seconds max, possibly closer to 5. It was loud, and my right ear still feels it.

The guy he was shooting at was on the ground, cell phone a few feet away. "Are you okay?" I asked, and the several other people in the area also looked on. He got up, unharmed but shaken. "You dropped your cell phone," said another onlooker. He picked it up, looked around trepidatiously, and walked away, in the other direction from the shooter. There was no blood on the ground and he looked nervous but physically okay. The owner of the closest store popped his head out, and I assume the cops were called.

If it was a real shooting (which I had to assume in the heat of the moment), the guy was a lousy shot. His victim was 20-30 feet away. Directly behind him in the line of fire was my car. I looked it over for bullet holes and found nothing. I wasn't shaken or anything, but it was disturbing.

I drove home, parked in the garage downstairs. One of my neighbors was also getting out of his car, with his grandson. The kid, around 8, was in a good mood and we talked a bit. Unbidden,he gave me a hug. I needed that.