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FiranCon Memories

FiranCon started for me back in October when I took over OOC Player Management. In November I called the hotel and Key West catering services, who handle the ballroom, to see what pricing we could get and to see if the ballroom was available for the night of the LARP. As luck would have it, the ballroom was available. I had Tanya, the very patient hotel manager, draw up contracts, and by January we were good to go.

The other task I personally oversaw was obtaining a booking for the Acropolis, which was no trouble at all. I’ve been working with George to get the Acropolis for the last three years, though dealing with his family is always an amusing factor. His mother told me one year that if George wanted to go on vacation he was welcome to go, but they were not closing down the restaurant for him to do it. I called to see if the room was available, and then a month or so later got pricing for our normal dinner fare.

While getting the hotel, ballroom and the restaurant together are all monumental tasks in arranging FiranCon, they are not by far the only tasks. Tori was assigned to take care of our budgeting needs so we could determine the con fees. Leia volunteered to take care of the entertainment aspect of Con – the pentathlon, impersonate a noble contest, the various panels, etc. Pakeera volunteered to work on or Con program this year. Steph and Adam had the LARP to write. RoseBuilder agreed to do the cover art for the program and do the Door Tags, Name Badges and LARP Badges. Adam was given the challenge of completing the online registration process he started last year, but hadn’t been completed in time to be used for FC 2005. These were all tasks that needed to be accomplished before Con, along with other minor sundry details.

As the coordinator of this event this year, my prime task was to make certain everyone stayed on top of things. I’d like to think I did a pretty good job of this. As a result, the online registration process, while not completely finished, was completed enough to be functional and used for registration this year. This was a very, very handy tool in keeping track of who was coming and who wasn’t, and who’d paid and who hadn’t, etc. Steph and Adam were able to complete the LARP this year, and still have some time to do other things, rather than be consumed by it entirely. Overall, I think everything ran very, very well, and it’s thanks to everyone who was involved in the organization process.

So, my CON experiences:

Monday:

I ran to Steph and Adam’s house to take my printer to them. Their laser printer wouldn’t accept card stock and I knew that mine would, though mine was a desk jet and a quite bit slower than a laser printer. I stayed until about 9:30 helping them with printing needs, running errands and putting together the Firan Temples – which are given out as awards to members of the staff who’ve been staffing for 5 years.

Tuesday:

Took the night off of Firan and went shopping for some new clothes. Found many great sales at Kohls and was very squeeful over some of the things I found (many of which I wore to Con, so that was spiff). I started packing for Con, because I knew that I wouldn’t be around to do it on Wednesday.

Wednesday:

I went home to my father’s house to visit with him some because I wouldn’t be there for the weekend. Mainly, I went there to get my camera since I had left it there over Easter. Went to Dover for dinner and some shopping and picked up some last minute things I needed before Con.

Thursday:

Returned home to finish packing for Con, and was so happy that I had everything I needed packed that I almost forgot to load it all into the car. Remedied that problem, then headed out to Steph and Adam’s again. There, I helped with the folding the LARP rules, Nydiam’s will, combat rules, the timeline of events and other non-secretive information needed for the LARP and stuffing them into the envelopes. I helped Adam make sure everyone got their Best LARPer cards in their envelopes then helped sort them by tables. We’d also started printing Con badges and the Con Programs, rather than going to Kinkos, in order to save on some money this year. Afterwards, I got ready to go to Legal Seafood for the usual dinner we have for staff and friends on Thursday night.

Legal was fun. I got to meet people I hadn’t met before, and be with some who I haven’t seen in years, which is always fun, and had many interesting conversations with those surrounding me. I don’t think I’ve ever talked so much in my life at dinner before! After dinner we went off to a club where I proceeded “not to notice” much of anything, for variant reasons. I enjoyed hanging out with people, but then it was time to go. Taleo and Elizabeth had lost their rides after dinner, so they hitched one back to Steph and Adam’s so I could drive them back to the hotel (I’d hitched my own ride over to Legal with Steph and Adam since I was at their house).

We visited with Steph’s kitty for a small bit, finished some outstanding LARP tasks, and then jaunted off back to the hotel. We got in around 3:30 am where I proceeded to check in at the front desk and was met with a very nice, very patient Nancy who helped me get a room, despite that evil, nasty Muhammad, who I talked to earlier to try and cancel my room for Thursday night and just saying forget it in the end I’ll be there, and marking me down as a No Show rather than someone who would absolutely be there. Mark and Elizabeth helped me bring in my stuff, and then I proceeded to crash for the night.

Friday:

Con planning wasn’t over yet for me though, even though I would have much enjoyed sitting back and relaxing all day on Friday. Oh no. There was still Friday’s Meet & Greet menu to prepare. I got up somewhere around 9:00 am and took some time for me before heading down into the lobby. I had a nice 45 minute bath using the bath salts that Steph and Adam had given me as part of a “Con Organizer Relaxation Package” for Christmas, which resulted in nice smelling VS bathing salts, a nice smelling candle (I love candles, it’s the pyro in me really) and an organizer to keep me on track for Con.

Relaxed and dressed, I went to the lobby to see about getting my room changed. They had put me on the 6th floor the night before and my room was needed for the 7th floor. Tanya was very nice in helping me get switched and even had them clean my room first so I could get moved over. While we were waiting, several FC attendees helped Elizabeth and I put together the official Con name badges and pass them out to those who were already present and accounted for. Anxious to get started on shopping though, I moved everything out, turned in the old keys and was told I could just pick up new ones once I got back, then headed out with Elizabeth to go shopping.

Shopping turned into something of an adventure. I completely forgot where any of the grocery stores close by were so I took us all the way to Glen Burnie instead. That’s just fine by me, because as my luck always proves to hold out for me at that particular Giant store, we ended up hitting a TON of great sales. As Elizabeth can attest, I literally squeed with joy at every sale I saw for the things we needed. Meat, cheese, crackers, vegetables all obtained, we went back to the hotel and enlisted the aid of many of the people who were already there.

That afternoon, for me, was filled with many great people hanging out in my room, chatting and relaxing and just simply unwinding for a few hours. I got to meet Brent for the first time, and Akiva for the second – I’d seen her briefly in Seattle when Jeanne had picked me up at the airport and took me to the hotel I was staying out for a wedding that weekend. It was good to meet the man behind my Bro on the game, and hang out with him for a bit of time.

It wasn’t long, however, before I had to get things prepared, so I started putting together the various platters I’d planned for the Con Meet and Greet; a meat and cheese tray for sandwiches, a vegetable tray for snacking, and a series of cheese and cracker trays for munching. Steph and Adam arrived just before I finished, and I put things into the fridge to cool a bit before we were all to gather in the Con suites.

Friday evening seemed to go by in a blur. Or, perhaps it only felt that way because people went to bed super early on Friday. Many of us hung out in the Food Suite for awhile before moving off to sitting in the hallway, starting “The Gauntlet” early – a time honored tradition of sprawling down and across the hall, where by people who wanted to get through had to walk over you. It wasn’t before long that groups of people broke off and went away privately or just went to hang out elsewhere. After SarahScott arrived (which much gleeful squeeing to be had to see her again) some of us went down to hang out in Mike’s room for a bit, helping SSB wrap her hair in curlers for the next day, before heading off to bed, but not before being enticed to stay a bit longer by Achillus/Jon and his amazing hands. Mmm. Massages.

Saturday:

The amazing dress that SarahScott made me still needed to be hemmed, so even though I went to bed around 2, I got up around 10. Turns out that we didn’t have enough time to do my dress in the morning, but that was fine by me. There was enough time to do it between when we got back from the Acropolis and the LARP. Pakeera, Petrina, Susia, Teonia, SSB and a few others got ready in my room that morning. It was kinda fun, hanging out and being girley. SSB’s curls turned out amazing, and her dress even more amazing, once they’d gotten the hemline fixed for her and worked out the zipper not working. Stupid zipper!

Off to dinner we went, with everyone piling into cars. The Acropolis, as always, had amazing food. I think the cute waiter, the one with the long hair, was flirting with me. He was like: So… you got a website? I think I got kinda flustered because I was trying to think about how to respond and all I could think was “deer in headlights”. It was kinda cute though. He was also the same waiter who was helping out with the special needs people. Apparently he’d asked a few others the same question. And, YAY, FLAMING CHEESE! They flamed it on the floor just like they were supposed to, which was very, very good.

The keynote address by Steph was amazing. Predictiably, it made me a little sniffly. The gift they gave for helping out at Con at the Acropolis was too much, but very appreciated. They’d already given me so much! I look forward to being able to wear my new pair of earrings, though. Then Adam showed how long everyone was playing on Firan before he gave out the staff 5 year Temple awards – which turned out quite well after all the gluing Steph and I (mostly Steph though) did.

The games and the Firan Oscar Awards went off without a hitch. This year I not only participated in the Impersonate a Noble Contest – which I’d never been able to figure out who to impersonate before this year – but also the Kissing Contest. Yes, there was much relief when I did not win!

Getting back to the hotel, we took some time to unwind before the hemming of the dress. We decided to only hem the front and to leave a train in the back, since really it’s just the front that needed hemming. While the hemming ensued, I redid my hair and made sure to curl the ends, then plopped in the hairpins – or rather had someone else plop them in for me. Once dressed and ready, I hung out in SSB’s room for some downtime a bit before needing to head down to the LARP.

The LARP, as always, was fun. This year my character was Kenilla Didoron. Or, rather, she was actually Eesha in the guise of Kenilla Didoron. My character had taken over the poor mortal’s body to steal an ancient Lanesh artifact. Unfortunately, I kept getting so twisted and turned around that I only barely touched on that goal. However, it was fun. I got to lovage a few people, pull some heart strings and give out fool proof love potions. Sadly, the artifact ended up in the hands of a mortal though. I also managed to marry Banian to Laurelia, accomplishing one of my goals: The Goddess Eesha would like to marry someone, finding the prospect of performing the Ceremony herself amusing. And she did! Hee.

Saturday evening was spent wandering around the halls, never quite finding a place where I wanted to settle. I drifted in and out of conversations and think I mostly spent my time sitting in the hall talking to various people. For some reason, it was hard for me to find a place to really “settle” in for the night and hang out. Like Friday, people sorta scattered and became scarce. After passing out in the other con suite due to sheer exhaustion, I went to bed.

Sunday:

Sunday morning was met bright and early with the cries of: SHIT! I forgot Theo’s cookies! Theo, the Wizard, had sent us baked goods in lieu of coming this year, and they were supposed to arrive on Saturday. I completely forgot them Saturday with the hub bub. I was convinced to go back to bed for just a little bit, but the fact that the cookies were downstairs still bugged me. So, I got dressed and went to go get them, a girl on a mission. The front desk proved to be very helpful, and soon there were cookies in the Food Suite.

After the “Great Cookie Escapade” I went to hang out a bit in Tori’s room and we talked some about Con and the new toy Theo sent for her son Kyle. The morning was spent hanging out, watching movies and munching on cookies. COOKIES! They were very good.

For the most part, Sunday was very laid back. It was the only day during Con that I really had nothing to do, which was good. I attended some of the panels – Leia’s Making Firan Fuel Efficient and the Ask the Chief Wizards panel. I also helped Steph get cake and champagne for Brent and Akiva, so we could toast their engagement. Yay!

The sad thing about Sundays is that people leave us on these days. Really, they shouldn’t be allowed to leave until Monday. Sunday, we said goodbye to Tori and Taleo. *sniff* We gained a cranky pilot on our floor. It made us wonder just what he did to the hotel staff to be placed on our floor, given how noisy we would be. That noise did not subside, even after he had admonished people. Really, he should have asked for another room, but he only came out once and then I suppose he gave up and went to sleep.

Monday:

Monday is the day that everyone dreads, for it is the day that most people say their goodbyes and go home. *double sniff* Monday is the day that we never want to see, and that we want to be far away into the future, even though we know it is a day that eventually must come. I packed up the room early and got everything put into my car, then went to hang out in Claire’s room for a bit before deciding to enlist help in cleaning up the Food Suite. I knew it had been left a mess, plus there were many sodas that were loose in the tub that we wanted to keep. Asked the cleaning lady for a garbage back, which she gratefully handed over, and proceeded to clean things up, with help. Afterwards, I hung out in the lobby for a bit while waiting to see what we’d do for lunch.

Lunch was held at Arundel Mills Mall again this year, which is also probably the best place for it. There’s so many of us that people literally go pale if we don’t give them notice at how many to expect. At least there people can go off in different directions to get what suits their tastes. There was much saying of goodbyes at the mall, and then several of us went over to Steph and Adam’s to hang out. We went to see X-III which was, eh. It wasn’t horrible, but it was certainly lacking something. I suppose I had more expectations. Steph, Adam, SSB, Jeanne and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning talking, and eventually we all toddled off to bed.

Tuesday:

Tuesday was met with my getting up, reluctantly, bright and early because my body just wouldn’t cooperate. Boo. Hiss. I futzed around on the computer a bit, and then everyone started coming downstairs one by one. Before long, we were planning to meet Jesse for lunch at Five Guys, before Jeanne had to go off to the airport, back to Seattle. Lunch was good. Steph and Adam took Jeanne to the airport, while SSB and I crashed in the living room to hang out and relax. It was a non-moving day. No one wanted to do anything or go anywhere really. I stayed until about 8, when I had to finally go home and “end” Con officially. I did not want to do that. Bleh.. But, I had to go to work the next morning and re-enter the real world.

Some Memorable Moments:

Achillus/Jon – he has amazing hands for the giving of the massages.

Mike – getting married to Claire on Friday night, and walking the Maze. They never did make it out of the “Maze”!

SarahScott – her amazing curls on Saturday and her equally amazing costume. Yay!

Taleo – HE RUNS FROM GIRLS! and Suck on It!

Akiva – for amazingly saving my butt with some of the Con stuff. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Mateo – you are such a cool bro!

Ladonna – loved the puppet show!

Teonia – you are a goddess with a Serger. Thank you for all of your help!

Ronti and Brandon: The cool jam session in Ronti’s room. Loved the music, keep it coming!

And many, many more! I know I barely hit on everyone, but of course that’s also the nature of the beast with so many people at FC! Thank you everyone for all the good times to be had.

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