Dragon*Con 2009, Day 3

The first panel I covered in my morning shift was the live What the Cast. This is one of my favorite non-technical podcasts, I find it pain inducingly funny. It is put out by four friends who have been working as staff for Dragon*Con for years. They are all also involved with the writing, production and running of Dragon*Con TV, though not exclusively responsible for it.

If you caught the live show last year, I think this year’s show was even funnier. I do fear that the humor may not work as well after the fact as just hearing it is not the same as also being able to see these four very smarty and witty guys riff. I didn’t see a camera but wasn’t looking too hard. If they release video, watch that if you can over just listening to the audio.

The other panel I supported was the gaming podcasts panel. My dear friends Chooch and Viv were on that panel. Viv was concerned about her last minute substitution for Veronica Belmont who had a travel conflict. For what it is worth, I did not see a single disappointed face in the audience to see her rather than Veronica. Quite the contrary, several fans of the City of Heroes podcast were there specifically to see her and Chooch. The panel itself covered a lot of ground and I think went reasonably well overall.

After my shift, I again joined my friends for shopping in the dealer rooms. We made it through the second of the three. I had a mission, very specific instructions on what would constitute an acceptable tee-shirt for me to acquire for Andrea. I think I succeeded but will find out tomorrow.

I specifically was looking for the expansion of Pandemic, the board game I reviewed on the podcast a while ago and which I have been helping to spread virally (heh) among my friends. P.G. Holyfield found it (sunuvabitch!) and the last box, too. He and I agreed that Viv, who was also looking for it, should have the copy if it was indeed the last one. A bigger sacrifice from P.G. since Viv acquiring it is really more of an excuse for Andrea and I to visit with her and Chooch.

After the group split up again, I grabbed a very belated lunch and took it back to the room. I managed to grab my first nap all weekend after eating. I also was able to coordinate with Randy of Beatnik Turtle on a time to meet and record an interview. It is definitely now a tradition, three years in a row not only has he been on my copyright panel, but we’ve sat down for a series of great interviews discussion indie music, open content, and this year a bit of tech, too. I missed Jason and Tom but totally forgive them given their prior travel commitments.

On the way to searching for some dinner, Randy and I then stopped by the meetup for The Weird Show, a podcast hosted and produced by Mark, the encaffeinated one. I saw some familiar faces and made some new acquaintances. We were late to the gathering and a bit far from the goings on. I totally support the observation made by I think Chuck or Kreg, that if Mark can draw such a large group for an ad hoc event, we need to get a panel or live show into the proper programming for him.

I got a text from Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit that he was doing geek trivia right after The Weird Show’s meetup disbursed, so we popped in to say hi and check that out. Thankfully, Rich had set it up in one of the hotel restaurants, so Randy and I were able to order some food and participate in yet another awesome, off program event. The Geek Radio Daily guys sponsored this one, putting up a prize for the winner. Due to a couple of technicalities, I managed to snag that prize, a very fine GRD tee-shirt. Also, the lovely and talented Flynnstress announced that due to a very generous donation from a GRD listener, the food and drink ordered by the trivia participants was being covered by the GRD crew.

Unfortunately, due to slow service at the restaurant, no fault whatsoever of the fine folks at GRD, I was late for my next panel of interest. Chuck and Kreg were doing a cast appearance on Clint’s live Comedy 4 Cast. I missed the first half, but did manage to catch their bit and witness them breaking Swoopy into fits of hysterical laughter with the force of their comedy.

The last thing I wanted to try to see was the EFF track’s annual party, the Mad Scientists’ Ball. I gathered with a few friends and we made the trek over to the Hyatt. We were met with an obscene line due to the room being at capacity. We decided to bag it and were going to regroup and hit a room party, one rumored to have an staggering variety of fine, single malt scotch. The marshaling point, Chooch and Viv’s room, turned into a bit of a room party in its own right and we didn’t make it any further. I was very happy to get to spend so much time with my friends Sunday, especially Chooch and Viv.

I think Sunday was the most socializing I have managed in a single day at Dragon*Con in years, most of it unplanned. For me, it is positive reinforcement for a set of realizations I had before and at Dragon*Con. I personally am having far more fun at conventions, even with my volunteer commitments, by letting go of all but my most basic plans and expectations. It has been far more rewarding to follow my experiences where they take me, including the utterly unexpected. There will always be another con or gathering and with enough time, I can get to hang out with all of my friends. Driving myself to distraction though in trying to force that has completely ruined my con experience in the past. This has been a key epiphany, one that has yielded an immediate improvement in my outlook and my enjoyment of conventions over this past season.

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