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Aaron writes...


Friday we were supposed to get up early and go with Hudson over to WalMart and buy more of those nifty guns. Can you spot the flaw in this plan? It's those three little words: "get up early." I don't like mornings as a general rule, and after a long day like the previous one... Nothing short of kicking in the door and throwing a bucket of water on me would have gotten me moving before noon.

So we finally get dressed, and head downstairs, picking up our badges and GXB in the process. Hudson turned up with many more guns, (but still not enough to go around) and told us they'd bought out the WalMart. After checking out the dealer's room and hanging Mara's stuff in the art room, hunger called, so the five of us, myself, Mara, Lynati, Revel, and GXB all climbed into the car and went in search of food.

Revel directed us to an IHOP where he'd been shortly before, with another group. The food was standard IHOP, passable but over-priced. We'd passed a Big K on the way, so we stopped and bought a bunch of stuff, including those huge blue Nerf guns we carried for pretty much the rest of the con.

So we returned, and after, I swear, something on the order of an hour trying to get the Nerf guns out of the packaging, we went our separate ways to get ready for opening ceremonies. Lynati went off to work on her wings some more, and we agreed to meet GXB back at our room in about an hour. This was a mistake on my part. One, it left us with very little time to do much of a final polish on our presentation, (which was only finished Monday before the con) and me with far too much time to freak out about the presentation. I've been terrified of public speaking for as long as I can remember, and this was no exception. How would we be received? Would I freak and babble nonsense? How would OtherCon go over? Ad infinitum. So I just laid on the bed and went quietly insane while Mara made fun of me in the guise of cheering me up. ;)

Then I channeled my freaking out into trying (futilely) to iron my vampire shirt. (The big, poofy, black thing with the ruffled front and cuffs I was wearing at opening ceremonies) A hopeless task, (and pointless, since the whole thing was hidden under my coat anyway) but it passed the time. Passed it too well in fact, since then I started panicking about being late. (Yes, it takes me twice as long as Mara to get ready to go anywhere)

So Greg B. shows up, and we have a mini-review of the presentation, before heading downstairs. We thought there might be seats reserved for us, but (thankfully) didn't want to take the chance. There weren't, so we got some about 2/3s of the way to the back of the room. Surprisingly, there was still a good view from there.

So, Siryn talks for a while. Poor girl. (Heh. Girl. I think she's a couple years older then me) Anyway, she talks, and the stress of the last year is just visible. My heart goes out to her. (My head, meanwhile, is still busy freaking out, so I have only a vague impression of what she actually said) Sapphire read a poem about the fandom, which Mara summed up by paraphrasing Stitch. "We're large. And broken. But still good. Yeah, still good."

And then it was our turn...

Our place toward the back made for a long walk up to where Si was standing, and I think we milked it a little. It was one of those moments I wish I could watch from the outside, to see the audience reaction. The three of us, GXB, Mara, and me, all in black from head to toe, including our trenchcoats, Mara and I carrying our Nerf dartguns at port arms, flanking Greg. The people who know us probably weren't phased, but I wonder what all those con virgins were thinking. I did catch the phrase, "only in New York" from somebody.

And so we pimped the con. We talked. And we talked. And we talked some more. I talked entirely too much. I got punchy and started threatening the audience with my dart gun. Talked about the hotel, location, rates, dates, etc.

(It has been pointed out to me by various people, that some of the things we said were somewhat derogatory to some of the previous staffs. I apologize for that. It was never out intent)

And we talked some more. We introduced the "Name the con" contest, and the mascot, Madison, or Maddie for short.

And then we introduced Death. The Other Mascot. He caused a bit of a stir. (Mara drew up these really great, really *big* pics of the mascots, and we showed them off)

And then we dropped the bomb, so to speak: OtherCon. Which took like half the presentation, introducing it and then answering some questions about it.

And then finally, we were done, and we got to sit back down.

And then Greg (W) got up to talk. He did a hand count, and the number of con virgins was unbelievable. Like, a third of the room. Amazing. He also had considerably bigger bombs to drop.

First up, Toon Disney gave us a bunch of free shirts, and hats, almost completely gratis. Reading a one paragraph Toon Disney advert was a tiny price to pay for all our bounty.

And then, the bunkerbuster: Gargs on DVD. In 2003. With Greg's commentary. Life is good.

Then he did the "litany" presentations, the ones we know so well we can recite along with Greg. And, as a bonus, there was a promo narrated by Jonathan Frakes, which I'd never seen before. Frakes described Gargoyles as "The next generation of Disney animation." Which I thought sounded really appropriate and cool for about ten seconds before I realized it's also a terrible pun.

And then, he showed the Bad Guys leica reel. Which totally freaked me out, because he forgot to do the "don't film this" disclaimer, and there were at least two people in the audience with digital camcorders...

And then we left, minus GXB, plus Lynati and Revel, to search for dinner. This is harder then it sounds. As so many people have already pointed out: What was with all those pancake houses?!? Are pancakes like, the state dish of Virginia or something?

We were really surprised to find a sushi place. So surprised, in fact, that to confirm that this was not a mirage created by our sleep-starved brains, we had to stop and consume large amounts of raw fish, rice, soy sauce, and wasabi.

The food was good but the service was slow, and we had to make another run to K-Mart for some things we forgot the first time, so we got back later then we intended.

We managed to make at least part of Hudson's Rantfest. Hudson had a really nifty-sounding announcement about starting an art archive that works like the fic archive does. It sounded pretty cool and I hope it happens.

After that, he just kind of rambled. Even if you're totally untechnical, like I am, just the way Hudson tells the story makes it funny.

That broke up just in time to make it to Rocky. Kind of a smaller audience then I'd expected, but people were probably tired by that point. And after that, we dragged ourselves to bed.

Greg responds...

What was with all the pancake houses? Of course, I love pancakes. And I'll tell you a year later in NYC, that night after Coney Island, I would have killed for an open IHOP or Dennys.

Response recorded on July 13, 2004