By the time tryouts (she got in) and rehearsal and planning was done we were ready for the Friday night pizza. Morphicon, wonderfully, gets dozens of pizzas delivered for all congoers on Friday nights and we were there early. Early enough to be stuck in that strange state where there's a line forming and a dozen pizzas set on the table but nobody's quite sure if we have permission to start so nobody starts and after some nudging we were able to encourage a consensus that, hey, it's after 6:00 and the pizza won't get any warmer now that it's set out like that, right? So that got dinner started. I had after a couple go-rounds maybe too much pizza, but I somehow always do at these things.
After the pizza party we had the cake-decorating contest to attend. This is another of Morphicon's traditions, and bunny_hugger hasn't missed one yet. The winner of the decorating went, as it always does, to the person who had the idea to slice up the cake and carve it into a mound of cake sculpture. This person also severely grossed out bunny_hugger by asking for a glass of water which was near me in order to dilute some of the frosting. What's disgusting about that is we don't know where the water came from, or whether it had been drunk from.
Anyway, I did fairly well, I think, drawing a generic haunted house type of sculpture with a gnarly tree out front and a streak of yellow-icing lightning that impressed people. bunny_hugger drew a pet cemetery, complete with ghost cat. Other sculptures along the lines of the con theme included a fair number of spider webs and the like. The judges reviewed each of the cakes, finding something ``award-winning'' to mention to all the audience, and then gave the actual award to the sliced-cup and possibly backwashed cake. They gave bunny_hugger and me a cake-decorating book as the runner-up, leaving us confused about whether it was actually for the two of us, or whether it was for one of us and they realized belatedly that the two of us were sticking together.
The end of the cake-decorating contest was just in time as I had my first-ever session to run: the nicely timed and, I thought, nicely named ``I Didn't Make Up My Species!'' Sig. The idea is simple: for a long time after getting into furry fandom I'd have people that I had known, sometimes for years, come up and say they just saw on a nature program or something that coatis are a real actual animal and not some fanciful variant of raccoons that comes from my imagination. So surely that's happened to other people who play one of the creatures --- real or imaginary (eg, apparently Japanese folklore allows there to be animated paper umbrellas or kimonos or tea kettles) --- that don't get so much attention. So a bunch of offbeat people could get together and talk about themselves, and, it was in the same room as the Exotics Species SIG just one hour later. (If not for the cake decorating contest I'd have gone to Exotics and beat the drum for my own thing.) What could go wrong?
Well, the room could be locked, for one. Apparently the Exotics SIG, if it actually got held, ended early and they all left the room and (reasonably) closed the door. I dashed over to Con Ops/Registration to ask for the door to get opened and, yeah, nobody knew where the people with the key cards were. Some walkie-talkie work later Talmak was pinned down, opened the door, and maybe ten minutes late the door opened and I took my sneakers off to serve as doorstops and ...
I don't know if it was the hour of day, or the delay in getting the room opened (though bunny_hugger was standing watch for passers-by), or the lack of a con booklet leaving people with no idea what sigs were going on (there would be lousy attendance at the other sigs we went to, and note the Letterbox flop earlier in the day). Or maybe Morphicon's by design too small a con to have many people who'd want to attend. But it was mostly an exercise in the minor teacher's stress dream of sitting around waiting to see if the class would show. I think someone did finally wander in and we chatted a little but, overall, my first-ever con sig was a bust.
Trivia: IBM issued 24 interim releases of the Primary Avionics System Software for the space shuttle between October 1977 and the launch of STS-1 in April 1981. The ninth release (December 1978) was the first to support the entire flight's needs. Source: Development of the Space Shuttle, 1971 - 1981, T A Heppenheimer.
Currently Reading: Early Baseball And The Rise Of The National League, Tom Melville.
PS: Reading the Comics, May 13, 2014: Good Class Problems Edition, more mathematics comics for your review. It features some fine, snarky commentary from Florian Cajori, who was quite good when he got snarky.