The panels I was on all went decently well. Far as I can tell, the con somewhat constrained the number of panels to make sure they were better-attended, which is a *lovely* idea in my book. As expected, "LJ and the Nature of Community" was a rollicking good time -- I wound up moderating it (because shadesong unexpectedly had to pull out), and managed to just barely keep a measure of control. Also as expected, we barely scratched the surface of a topic that could probably support an entire conference unto itself. Somewhat more to my surprise, the Steampunk in Comics panel was jammed silly; I really didn't think we had enough topic for that panel, but it got run fairly loosely by Mario and attendees seemed to enjoy themselves.
Perhaps the most interesting thing that came out of my panels was from the Morality Play one. One of the audience members brought up the notion of the Five Foundations of Morality, which apparently made its way around LJ a while back but while I hadn't checked out. It's a fascinating way of breaking down what people mean by "moral", and is particularly interesting to me as a writer trying to introduce conflict into his games and create varied characters. I'm going to need to explore this idea further.
The hotel restaurant proved generally solid, if a smidgeon pricey: the paella was dreadful, but the flank steak excellent. And the bar's nacho platter is preposterously expensive ($15), but turned out to be quite good and enough for dinner for the two of us. (Useful to remember for the next time we wind up watching the Pats in the playoffs in the hotel bar.) I am glad we went out to the Green Street Grill for our Friday date, though.
The view from our 12th-floor hotel room was beautiful; the room was marred only by the thermostat's inability to understand that yes, it's warm enough in here and we don't need any more heat. This seems to have been a common problem: a group of us wound up guarding the door to Touchy Subjects in SF, discouraging anyone else from going in, lest mass heatstroke result.
Never made it up to the Art Show, I'm afraid, and did only a brief pass through Dealer's Row. (I am gradually talking myself into buying the $200 book of 10th century Baghdadi cooking at Poison Pen Press.) Exhaustion claimed me before getting to the dance, so I feel like something of a wimp; on the plus side, I managed to not make myself sick this year. Didn't make it to the Lodge meeting, which was a bit too close to the Masquerade. We did get to spend a while playing Giant Squid vs. Homosexuality, which was a fine party game. And I spent an hour or two just standing in the middle of the hotel lobby as friends swirled around me, engaging in free-flowing conversations -- always the best part of a con for me.
In general, a good time. I still think this hotel is a bit ill-suited for the convention, but it works significantly better when the elevators are functioning. And the atrium is really fascinating on Saturday night, when the whole con is crawling around on the balconies, wandering from party to party...