Sunday started not quite as happily as Saturday did. bunny_hugger had a second panel to host, explaining the hobby of letterboxing, and that was set for 11 am.
This did mean we got up early enough for the buffet brunch, though. It had a Mexican theme, with taco shells and fajita pieces and such provided alongside beef and lettuce and tomatoes and beans and all that. We were certainly able to eat something from there. And there were salads as well, although one interesting-looking potato salad turned out to be diced chicken salad. Remember previous comments about the hotel restaurant just not getting the idea of eating vegetarian.
The dessert --- the Chef's Selection --- was cookies, which doesn't seem like a very tough selection to make. It also encouraged bunny_hugger to make a wicked, to me, joke about how the chef viewed his life, what with having reached the peak of running a hotel restaurant. Granted, chef of an airport hotel restaurant isn't the most glamorous position in the world, but it still seems to me like a pretty respectable one.
bunny_hugger's letterboxing panel was, unfortunately, victim of the hour, probably; early Sunday events face a terrible uphill struggle. There's also that she was put in the Tech Room, admittedly at her request: she'd thought it might be necessary to use an overhead projector to show off what she was doing, and they gave her a room with a computer projector. That would be an amusing little foible except the Tech Room was separated from the traffic flow outside, so not only was there a small attendance to start, but there wasn't any hope of anyone joining because they heard something interesting in there.
I was foiled in my attempt to stop in the art show. Last year it had got me a couple decent little presents; this year, between the business Friday and Saturday I didn't have the chance until Sunday when, what do you know, but the only people allowed in were those picking up their auction winnings or artists picking up what hadn't sold. I'll have to make some kind of effort to find presents this year around.
We went of course to the puppet show; it's one of the convention's closing day traditions and I certainly like puppet stuff. It enjoyed the traditional ramshackle structure, with an hour wrapped more or less around a theme of Driving Route 66 (they didn't get close to a quarter of the way along before running out of time) and the other half hour Christmas Songs, some of them not even novelty songs. Both halves were entertaining, particularly since the guy who last year was in the audience trying to divert Every. Single. Joke. into something about cookies wasn't there, or at least wasn't audible; and they had an appreciably different selection of Christmas songs from previous years.
A side benefit to being at the puppet show is that since it's unjustly under-attended, we had good seats for the Con Closing Ceremony held in the same spot just afterwards. Closing Ceremonies were the usual sorts of things --- announcements of who's on staff for next year, theme for next year (I believe it was ``It Came From TV'', which is so broad as to not be a theme at all), and bringing tears of joy to the charity folks. Their breaking down at the donation is one of the loveliest parts of each year's Closing Ceremonies. The joy was boosted this year since --- OK, this is complicated.
In past years the con has had custom-made hotel key cards with con-based artwork on them. But the hotel is in the midst of changing from the cards you slide through slots into ones you just tap on a sensor. Somehow this made getting custom-logo cards impractically expensive. So we the congoers got perfectly white cards, and the budget which would have gone to them went to the charity instead.
We had dinner plans: Babs found us --- she'd found us several times over the weekend --- and invited us to the big massive blowout at the Italian restaurant where we'd attended a similar massive affair the previous year. This would be another pretty good showing for spindizzy_muck folks, although some of them, Babs included, are only occasionally there. Mostly it turned into the chance to test a restaurant's patience with a group of fifteen people who hadn't established early on whether they were going to split the check.
It was the sort of raucous, busy dinner that you get when the dining table is large enough to have time zones, and bunny_hugger and I were seated neatly enough near the middle. The group pressed someone else who'd just looked dangerously helpful and volunteering into taking photographs of the table, through several sets of cameras (not mine, though), and he didn't seem to mind appreciably. Also there was some utterly bizarre commercial on one of the TVs, but the volume was low enough we couldn't make out what it was, just that somehow we'd been at a furry con all weekend and that was the weirdest thing we'd seen. (It was mentioned that since the TV was on NBC, that might be counted as yet another SpinDizzy person present, as a peacock named NBC has become one of the muck's favorite odd characters this year.)
Also I took the chance to give roofae a little sanity-threatening gift. I haven't yet got a full report on the results of that.
Despite the dinner party being fifteen people and our not making clear that this should be separate checks, we managed to get out through a process of everybody taking turns figuring out what they had got and how much of the total that was. And then going through agains, trying to correct that, since of course it didn't add up. This is why I favor the ``everybody throw some money in a big pile'' model of splitting complicated checks, but I was outvoted. In any case although bunny_hugger and I both got the same dinners, we owed different amounts somehow, and neither of us was going to argue the point. We got through the restaurant without them feeling we-the-group had stiffed them on the check.
Back at the hotel we spent some time in the lingering remnants of con suite with Babs and her crew (and also regretting that there were now packages of pretty good cheddar which had no home; I did eat maybe too many slices considering how much I'd already eaten that day, though), and talking, and finding some other folks we knew, usually from the mucks. It's grand having the time to just hang out without missing anything; it's a pity that we only really have that time before the con starts or after it's ended.
Or at least it was almost done. There was still the Dead Dog Dance to attend, the last blastings of music and lights for people in costume or relaxing their ways out of costume. We went to that, even with the thought that we should go to bed not too late so as to be ready for the Monday travels, and still spent more time there. Who really wanted to leave?
Well, just before bed, I did realize I'd overlooked something, and went over to the room where nimblesquirrel was staying, to give another little gift. I then failed to recognize nimblesquirrel, who'd deceived me by answering the door immediately. Well, that would happen. But I gave a small bag of Squirrel Nut Zippers, the candy, and that fairly closed out the night. nimblesquirrel had not been aware of the name as anything other than a band, which is a pretty normal state of affairs.
Trivia: In 1847, Boston confectioner Oliver R Chase patented a lozenge cutter, which appears to be the first American candy machine. Source: Sweets: A History Of Temptation, Tim Richarson.
Currently Reading: Triumph: The Untold Story Of Jesse Owens And Hitler's Olympics, Jeremy Schaap.
PS: Ted Baxter and the Binomial Distribution, an anecdote with a word problem.