luckykaa: (Exterminate)
J Michael Tatum is a lovely chap.

We went to Yorkshire Comic Con because [personal profile] flickums wanted to see him. Well, she would probably have gone anyway, but fangirls gonna fangirl. And I like dressing up. I dressed as Indiana Jones. Apparently he has a very sexy voice. She even made me watch an episode of Black Butler to demonstrate.

So having arrived, Flickums joined the autograph queue. I found myself in front of a raffle for lots of Lego. Looked around. Went back and found Flickums and promised to hold her had and stop her giggling like a loon. We got the the queue. He was very nice and chatty and signed Flick's Manga of Black Butler, and did a silly selfie with us. Flick asked him to do his voice. He demanded she command him to use his voice. Flick said "I command you to use the voice". He did. Flick melted. I cleared up the molten Flickums.

See under cut for selfie. )

The rest of the day was spent looking at stalls, taking photos of cosplayers, and looking at the various things that were happening on stage. It was a bit of a mixed bag. Talent show, Elsa and Anna doing a magic show. Mary Poppins and Bert doing the catchy songs from Mary Poppins. Flick later got a photo with them because she was wearing the perfect T-shirt.

Photo proof! )

We also met a Sheila the Thief from Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon, who was pleased because so few people got her costume.

Flickums bought lots of things for lots of people. I bought her a "Mr. Pool" Deadpool/Mr. Man mug. She bought me some T-shirts. One of them was Chip And Dale/Indiana Jones mash up.

There was a whole load of drama beforehand, because the venue was being a little overzealous with security and people were told not to bring large bags.Then the information on what size is acceptable was vague confusing and contradictory. After a lot of worry and panic, all they did was wave a wand over everyone and look through bags.

And so we saw friends, watched Doctor Who, drove home. There were a lot of lost sheep on the road. Flickums was very sleepy when we got back. Must have been the sheep.
luckykaa: (Wolf)
So, the Sunday of Redemption.

Went to the card games through the ages panel. It turned out, for reasons that didn't make sense, that this was swapped with a talk on historical documentaries. The guest giving the talk (Dr Lynette Nusbacher) was brilliant so was quite happy to listen. I now know more than I need to know about how historical documentaries are made. Not much of this is too surprising. The History channel does stuff because it's cheap. The talking heads are given a list of leading questions in advance. Research tends to be sending an intern to buy some coffee table books.

Time commanders, on the other hand, was different. That was BBC enterntainment. They had access to a budget, and could have set designers and costume people!

Closing ceremony was fun. Every attendee got a mention in the closing credits. KlingonRoy got mentioned for his role in propping up the bar.

More panels after. Found myself helping deal with drunk person drama at another point. Said drama pissed a lot of people off. People involved dealt with it well, although I suspect there will be a specific rule next time for this sort of situation. Then things got back on track. I am impressed just how knowledgable, intelligent and downright fascinating [livejournal.com profile] sweetheartwhale can be. She knows a lot about wizards! Wish she had the full length of the talk.

Discussion about Western Tropes in Sci-fi got a little side-tracked into causes of the American Civil War. People seem to know their stuff here.

Did make it to [livejournal.com profile] blazingskies party. Was only a fleeting visit because it was late and I was tired.

Turns out having a hire-car made me pretty popular. Lots of things needed to be transported from one place to another. This included shopping from Tesco, speakers to friends' flat, and a friend to his home.

It's a shame a lot of people couldn't mnake it. Also worried about how much Redemption is shrinking and how few new attendees we have. Also feel sad I missed a few items. Would have liked to have gone to the robot cool wall. And I wish I'd gone to [livejournal.com profile] flickums' dystopia panel since she was all alone on that, and I could probably have contributed to that one.

But I refuse to end on a negative note. It was wonderful to see friends. The panels were great! Friends were there! The hotel was lovely! Looking forward to 2019.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
Getting here was a lot more stress than it should have been... I booked a hire car. I didn't have the right ID. They couldn't hold it for more than an hour (would have taken me about 2 to get the documentation together). So I spent the best part of an hour getting through to Rentalcars, and sorting out another car... They booked another car with the same company. Apparently they had no more cars; not sure what they would ave done if I managed to come up with the right ID at that point... So I finally got a booking with Europcar, got a tram back, spent ages digging out suitable documentation, splashed out on a minicap back to the airport, and it turned out they didn't need to see my identification... I think in the future I'll go with Europcar. I never have problems with them.

So, we set off, arrived and collapsed briefly in the hotel. Really lovely hotel! And we did end up with an executive room :)

I had volunteered to run the music quiz again last minute, but I needed a compere. Fortunately [livejournal.com profile] tlanti is awesome at this and after only a little begging, agreed to help me.

Spent the next morning throwing together some music for the quiz. [livejournal.com profile] flickums turned out to be invaluable. She knows her movie stuff way better than me. Also really knows her Disney, and cutesy cartoon stuff. Turns out that the panelists didn't though. They were too old or too young to get Sailor Moon, and none of them got the montage song from Team America.

Took part in the Trek at 50 panel. This stayed more or less on topic but since there's the new Discovery series, recent movies, HD re-releases plus 6 series and the original batch of movies we could have kept waffling about that for way more than an hour. Also enjoyed the Boot or Reboot panel and went along to "Ration Roulette" where we are treated to ration packs from around the world! Also went to the Victorian fashion panel. I was the only boy there for most of the time.

Pirate party was fun. Tried to persuade flickums to pirate up because she looks awesome in my black leather coat and purple pirate shirt, but she refused, and looked awesome as by goth pirate wench instead.

So far seem to be having fun. Took a bit of time getting up to convention speed. Redemption seems to be shrinking a bit though. Would really like to see some new faces here.
luckykaa: (Travel)
One of the things I miss about being a  contractor is having vast amounts of cash roll in every week. There are quite a few things I'd like to do this year. But I do have to budget for it. I also need to budget holiday time. Not sure what I should pick. I already have a few days in a cabin in the Lake District - this was a gift from my parents via BuyAGift.com. This is bought and paid for. Should be fun.

I want to visit a country I've never been to before. The choice I have to make is whether to do this by going to worldcon Worldcon, or a birthday holiday.

Worldcon

I was a supporter of the bid. I do have supporting mebership already. I would quite like to visit Finland. Lots of friends will no doubt be there, and I want to encourage non-US cons. The downside is [livejournal.com profile] flickums isn't particularly keen. We're not joined at the hip, and she has no problem with me going on my own, but I would like to go away somewhere together.

Birthday

Birthday Holiday - Previously if I've been to a Worldcon, it was the same weekend as my birthday. Sadly not this year. I like to go away on my birthday. Since 2006, I've only spent 2 birthdays in England. Granted, a couple of those I didn't really do anything, but this time I'll have a flickums!

I actually have no idea where I want to go for my birthday. Rome sounds nice. So does Venice. Perhaps I'd like somewhere a little quieter and more out of the way though. Also would like a beach! Essentially i want somewhere as awesome as Dubrovnik was... That said, I have a pending demand to visit a friend in Canada and I would like to visit.  Of course if I do Worldcon, I always have the option for a weekend trip somewhere nearby. Maybe a long weekend in the Azores or Madeira, or even just a weekend in Paris or Dublin. I'd really like to go to Grenada or St. Lucia, or maybe Nassau - somewhere in the Caribbean with a decent chunk of history. If it really appeals I can find a ship and become a pirate!

Other Conventions

Am sort of keen on Clone Club... Downside is I do have certain issues with Starfury. But I would love to spend a weekend geeking with other Orphan Black people, and all the Starfury muppets I know. Also there's Vampire Ball which has always been a lot of fun.

Can't do all of these. I need to pick and choose.
luckykaa: (Robot)
I took my car in for an MOT on the second. They needed to replace part of the suspension. They then needed to order a sodding bolt!. This bolt still hasn't arrived. The garage is crap. They never bother letting me know things are taking time. So I'm poissed off about that.

So I hired a car. Download festival was on. That added an 45 minutes or so of traffic on the M1. And the M6 was gridlocked. Holly the evil satnav got me around most of the jams, but that involved such a convoluted route that I only really saved about 20 minutes over the jam time (still better to be moving). By the time I got to the convention, I'd missed registration, opening ceremony and dinner. So that kinda sucked (although they were nice at the hotel and sorted out a sandwich and crisps and biscuits for me). Oh yeah, and my shower head came off as soon as I decided to have a shower. I don't like the Norbreck Castle hotel. It's so tatty. And so generally crap. It's like it never left the 1950's (They even have cabaret every evening. It's not very good).

I really didn't have a good time at the con. The guest talks weren't great and the sound quality in the main hall was crap. Didnt feel much of a con vibe. Plus I didn't find most of the guest talks that interesting. The Agent Carter guests were pretty good, and so were the Gotham guests. Robin Lord Taylor was absolutely lovely. The parties were okay, and it was nice chatting to people but my heart wasn't really in it. It was nive to see Ros and Nick and Kirsty and Suzy and Steve and Iain and [livejournal.com profile] xenaclone and a bundle of others, plus meeting a couple of new people was nice but I think I'd have been happier lurking in the bar chatting. Except the crappy cabaret was there.

Got a photo with Hayley Atwell. She was nice enough to do a cool pose but I think I screwed up my pose a bit. Oh well.

The autographs were at the same time as the talks. So it was a choice between autos or talks. And even though they called people up in batches, the bartches were wayyyy too long. There was a queue for the room and then 3 queues. Meant getting the autographs for whichever 3 guests were digning took forever. I got fed up waiting so gave up (The two guys I met were very nice though). On the whole I don't think I got my money's worth.

Woke up Monday morning and had no power in bmy room. On the drive home. M6 was clogged again. Holly took me around it again so I only had to deal with minor traffic. But then it turned out the M1 was closed. Apparenty someone on a gantry refusing to come down.

So really not all that happy. It's been expensive, spent too long in traffic, and I feel I've wasted a weekend.
luckykaa: (d20)

I was persuaded last minute to go to a gaming event. Flick's friends had some last minute dropouts, and so I was invited to join a team at the student nationals. Nominally a competitive event, but mostly about having fun. Had a choice Between Board Games, D&D and Humour. Wasn't really keen on 2 days' worth of board games, I seem to be the only geek in the world who isn't really into D&D (dislike classical fantasy and crunchy systems), I went for Humour.

But of a crappy night's sleep. But that sort of thing tends not to catch up with me more in the evening. So I signed in and played game #1.

Game #1 was an Urban Fantasy game. Or is it Fantasy Urban? Whichever isn't about your dream townhouse... GM was late due to public transport hell though. We played a bit of the Dr. Lucky Card game while we waited.

so we were a bunch of supernatural types working for a good guy organisation. I was an American Werewolf in Hampshire.

Fun was had. I didn't really get as into it as I like to. Didn't really have a good handle on my character, and wasn't all that proactive, but my sense of smell and heating worked well. Found combat a little tedious, but then, I usually do. Lack of interesting options. Point gun and shoot.

Would have liked too have stayed around a little and socialise, but I was feeling tired and grouchy and so we went home for an early night.

Game #2, was a plush toy based game. I was Cthulu. We were even given toys to play with. So, this bring a cute and fluffy game the first thing we did was kill someone, and then we killed his daughter. Plot was thoroughly detailed by this point, so GM turned it into a sandbox. We decided to take over the world. But there was to much infighting, so we only took over parts of the town. And caused a civil war between plushie factions.

Was hoping to loiter around and chat for a bit but everyone was going home. These students lack the stamina of seasoned conventioneers.

Had a lot of fun. Glad I was invited.

luckykaa: (Exterminate)
So, that was pretty good fun.

Decided to avoid some of the more echo-chamber-ish tracks that annoyed me last time and just have a good time.

Started with Knightmare Live. Very silly! Missed the start but I don't actually feel I missed a lot. Not sure how the dungeoneer was picked, but he did have a warrior's name.

Went to a Star Trek Trial LARP game. The crew were accused of breaking the prime directive - the interactive bit was a "holodeck simulation. I played an anti-technology priest! Other programme items I went to included a fanfic panel, a talk on gamification of society, and the loitering in the hotel lobby chatting to people because the two panel items I tried to get to were full and fuller than full. So good I went to that one twice. Also some general bitching about general con stuff (mostly differences between 9W and fan cons, and Worldcon bids).

Really liked the crappy trailers bit. Trailers for terrible looking movies like "Sister Sensei" and the live action adaptation of thr "Dark Dungeons" Chick Tract. The guy who out them together even bookended them with Rank Cinema idents!

Captain Proton costume got one cosplay token. Perhaps I would have got more if I made the effort to do the monchrome thing I did at Redemption a couple of years ago. Still, Raygungoth recognised the character, so that was a plus. Low effort Hooded cowl with a sign saying "do not enter the dog park" costume got 2 tokens without even trying.

Nineworlds really neds to learn how much geeks drink. If the bars charge hotel prices, people will bring in their own drink. If there is a programme item about historical cocktails, then it makes sense to go to a largish room.

Best part - spent lots of time with [livejournal.com profile] flickums!

Didn;t get my camera out that much, but...

Took a few photos )
luckykaa: (Wolf)
This is the sixth Redemption convention I've been to! Still my favourite con! Hour by hour run down of what went down.
3 days of con fun inside )
So that was the con that was. Would have liked to have done more gophering. Poor gopher bosses were very short staffed. Will try and schedule that in beforehand next time. Also realise there are a few things I missed. A time turner would be quite useful here. Also I need more time with all my other friends!
luckykaa: (Rocky horror)
The usual organisers of the Redemption Music Quiz couldn't make it! I hated the idea of not having the quiz, so I volunteered as tribute! [livejournal.com profile] tlanti agreed to be my incomparable compere, so the quiz was on! Fortunately, we also had Morag - the team's usual scorer - keeping score for us!

A week isn't a lot of time to create a quiz. I need to get the music. I need to trim it, test it and in the case of one round reverse it, slow it down or speed it up (and then pitch shift it back to audibility). Am really pleased I did a last minute check of the questions. Question 9 was completely wrong!

I put on my cat herding ears to get everyone organised. I can't overstate how good the Tech Crew are. They're awesome. "So, I want microphones and I want to be able to play audio from my mp3 player". No problem at all. A bit of tweaking and a sample tune and all was working.
Here's how it went )

If I do this again, will bring chocolates or something to hand out to audience members for getting questions right. Still not sure if throwing the questions to the audience was a good idea. It is good to keep them involved and does mean that there's no need to pick which team to give a shot to.

Glad I did it but I'm more than happy to hand the reins back to Christine and Michael for the next event!
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
So I really need to think about what to wear for Redemption 2015.

Theme is Alice as in "...in Wonderland", but it's not like anyone's too strict. If I thought I could find the parts, I'd reinterpret it as "...Cooper".

I do have rules when it comes to costumes;

Must be obvious. A "clever" idea may sound like fun but in practice it means you're constantly explaining the joke.

Must be get in-and-out-outable of.

Must by cool! Or at least not too uncool.

I have... A mask, various shirts,m cat ears, a black hooded robe, and various jackets.

Suspect I may end up ignoring it. Can always ressurect my Indiana Jones costume - one that I realised is extremely useful because it comes with a bag.
luckykaa: (steamy)
The whole Cosplay and hall costumes thing isn't as big here as the more visual media oriented but there are plenty of people in costumes milling about. I went for my Dread Pirate Roberts look again, because it's easy and stylish, and only gets confused with Zorro 25% of the time. Also went for the Indiana Jones look the next day because he's also stylish and the costume works with a bag.

Someone chatted to me and said he'd considered dressing as Indiana Jones (and Austin Powers) but didn't think it would be allowed. That struck me as very odd. I looked around and could not find a costume police officer anywhere. But it is an odd viewpoint. I've seen people at conventions wear larp gear, regency clothing, random wild outfits and more. I could probably think of a few that weren't even remotely science fiction or fantasy.

There were some rather nice outfits. The previously mentioned hooded figures warning us about the forbidden dog park; The Young Ones; Lara Croft; Earth force Officer... Also the usual plethora of Star Trek shirts.

The Masquerade

This was a lot bigger than any of the previous Worldcon or Eastercon Masquerades. Good to see! Also the quality was very good!

Some highlights:

Emma's awesome Kimono
Doctor Who Monsters
Coliseum
A Glamorous Evening of Galactic Domination

Actually felt the winning entry was a little dull. Yes, it was beautifully made, the choreography was good, and the lighting worked, and there was a lot of effort, but it lacked a sense of fun that the others had.

Felt the Minotaur (Coliseum) was my favourite in the show. Well made, exciting production and a brilliant concept.
luckykaa: (Wolf)

Registration

So, I missed the opening ceremony because the queue was crazy long (also because I had to go back and fetch my passport). As it turned out, I didn't need my passport because I was recognised by the person on the reg desk. There were complaints about the length of this.

Fan Village

This has had a lot of praise and a little bit of criticism. We had a lovely large area filling a hall, with a bar in one corner, a games room in the other, a "Village Green" in the middle, tends for other conventions around it, a library and a fan activities tent. I always like it when cons have a decent fan hangout space. Putting so much in one place is really nice. Not quite so sure about using it for parties. I read someone saying they rather liked it and felt that room parties were rather too cliquey, which is a fair point. I do rather like the pirate vibe the room parties had which really wasn't here. The other problem was that the disco/dance area was way too far away. Different floor down an uninviting passageway at the rear end of another hall.

Excel Centre

Mixed opinions on this. It's a shame that such a large venue doesn't have a proper auditorium. There are raked seats at the back, and plenty of space for chairs but I found the SECC and Melbourne a lot more inviting. Also felt that the access to upstairs conference rooms was a little cramped. Only one escalator, and no stairs. Was nice that there were reasonably affordable places to eat (all fast food but a notch above McDonalds).

Hugos

Retro Hugos were a lot of fun. There's a quirky rule in the Hugos that if a worldcon  50 years or 75 years (or presumably 100 years) earlier didn't give out Hugos, then a Worldcon can have a Retro Hugo ceremony. It was staged as a radio production, with interruptions of a newsflash from an alien invasion, a musical introduction, dancers and advertisements for cold-b-gone (or something like that) for dealing with the con crud. The con crud and alien invation were neatly tied together at the end. Rather unfortunate that because of Hugo rules, Superman wasn't eligible (There was only only one nomination), but it did win a special committee award because Superman, dammit!

Actual Hugos seemed a little bit bland. Not nearly as much humour as previous ones I've been to. Nowhere near as witty and clever as Kim Newman and Paul McAuley 9 years ago. Also tech seemed to be cocking up a lot of the time, playing two doctor who trailers on top of each other, hard to read captions, and random stuff flickering on the main screen.

It seems that the Hugo for "Best Dramatic Presentation: Doctor Who" (aka: "Best Dramatic Presentation:Short Form") has been replaced by the "Hugo for best Dramatic Presentation: Game Of Thrones". My bet is "The Watchers On The Wall" will win next year.

Plays and shows

They had quite a few of these.

Captain Tartan was just silly. Hilarious, with lots of fan references. Felt like it was put together in a bit of a rush but I enjoyed it.

The Anubis gates needs way more of a writeup than I have space for. Will get to the Masquearade later as well.

The Girl Genius radio play was really funny! Had a really good radio play feel about it and was really well paced and presented.

Panels

Went to a few of these. Nightvale one was intriguing. The one on worldbuiding for RPGs was pointless.Felt the panellists hadn't read the panel synopsis. I wanted some tips for building a world. Or building a system. The "Education and training of a young protagonist" was much better although I felt it missed something. The thing is, I can't think what it was missing.

Panel on Hugo for Dramatic Presentation (short form) was way too crowded, which was a shame. I was told it was very good. The long form panel was pretty good though.

"What do you mean you don't watch" was a good idea. 3 shows. People pitch as to why you should watch them. Kickstarter panel was informative but a little too short.

luckykaa: (steamy)
Worldcon is big! Really Big! And lots of things happened and I have no idea how to approach it. I don't want to do an "I did this, then I did that" and I don't want to switch to by habitual review mode! Because it's not really about that.

I spent so much time sitting around the bar. I met lots of people I hadn't seen since Redemption 2013! And some people I hadn't seen since Nineworlds who I was just as happy to see! And at least one person I hadn't seen since before Maelstrom ended.

I went to the retro Hugos! They did a crossover with War of the Worlds! I'm so glad I went to them. Felt the actual Hugos were a bit dull (grumble grumble could have had Jonathan Ross pwesenting).

My awesome friend ([livejournal.com profile] emmaroberts) was in the Masqeurade and won a prize because she made the most gorgeous Kimono. I really loved [livejournal.com profile] lordofthewheel's entry. Actually thought it was better than the master entries, especially with the presentation. Maybe I'm biased.

Chatted to a Nanny Ogg impersonator who had a cuddly Greebo.

Dressed as The Dread Pirate Roberts (or maybe another dread pirate - nut certainly a man in black) and 3 people thought it was Zorro. Actually 5 but two of them were in response to by bitching about it on twitter. Also have decided that a mask is the most useless means to conceal your identify ever! Everyone recognised me! Okay, I wasn't in disguise so I don't care, but Buttercup must have been blind not to recognise her true love.

And there were plays! I saw most of them.

Kinda took me a while to get into con-headspace. I think this may be some general issue I have with capital-F Fandom. I don't think I really felt in con space until the dead dog party, by which time it was too late. Can we go round again?
luckykaa: (Wolf)
I seem to be a bit behind with these updates. It's been a pretty busy week with conventions and other conventions.

So Nineworlds. I do like this one. It's a lot fresher and more sparkly than most of the cons I go to with none of the cruft that seems to develop with a convention running for a long time. I do have reservations about it though. The Ultra-PC aspect especially. Any of the LGBT, feminism or race related talks seemed to be an echo chamber. Nobody had a dissenting opinion, and even if they disagreed on a point seemed to be treading on eggshells rather then break consensus. Also bar prices. We are no charging this to our employers! A fiver for a beer is too much! And it would be nice to have better chill-out space.

But what I did like was there was a really nice vibe. People are lovely. The streams are unashamedly geeky. There are some awesome costumes. Queen Tribute band was very good, and when they played Princes of the Universe of course there was a sword fight!

Decided to dress as the Dread Pirate Roberts on the Friday. Part of the show and tell, chaos costuming. It was a simple costume. I even finished it off in my room just to make sure it was as chaotic as possible. Some people wanted to take my photo. Always a good feeling, especially when the outfit is such low effort.

Saturday I was Indiana Jones. A very practical costume, because I can use it with my bag! Didn't get nearly as many people wanting to take my photo though. Finally met [livejournal.com profile] pickwick (briefly) so that was good! Went to the Whedonverse Quiz but that was hideously hard. Went to the brain hacking talk but they didn't offer an upgrade. Room was a little too full and very stuffy which I found not fun, but talk was good. There was a chaotic quiz in the evening which was fun but a little to much for introvert brain. Nice to have a room to hide in. Since I had glue-gun with me I tweaked my cat ears. Spent a lot of time chatting with a new costume geek friend, and a lot of other people.

Sunday I did the geek t-shirt thing because I like my purple space invaders/pac-man/misunderstood-ghost shirt. Got some useful tips on steampunk prop making. Event ended but people were still around. Seemed to end the evening wearing cat ears and curled up with a certain geek. That was nice way to end the weekend.
luckykaa: (Car)
Trying to decide if I should cancel Discworld and go to Nineworlds instead. Flight is booked. Have membership for Discworld.

Discworld:
Hassle to get to. Train ticket prices rocketed though.
Haven't booked a hotel. The overflow hotel is more expensive (for a single) and not as good.
Presumably someone will want my ticket. There's an easy mechanism to sell it.
I can probably get a lift which mitigates the first issue. Will need to arrange this.
I do rather like the costuming potential.
Don't get to see [livejournal.com profile] tinkerbell1980 and [livejournal.com profile] medium_jock very often. Or [livejournal.com profile] masterofapath and [livejournal.com profile] tictactoepony for that matter.

Nineworlds:
Is very convenient to get to. I can get a free bus from the airport, or a taxi is affordable. Coach from airport to Brighton
Really loved the last one! It was so much fresher than more established cons!
Hotel has space.
Works out a lot cheaper.
Will be awesome people there as well.

So I'm quite clearly biased towards changing my mind really my inclination is to change my mind. The only reason I really want to go is because there are friends I don't see a lot of going. But that is a big factor.

Wondering if there's anythng I've failed to consider. Wish I was more decisive.

Fedcon 23

Jun. 2nd, 2014 01:18 pm
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
Fedcon is big! Really big! At least by the standard of Brit cons I'm used to. There are thousands of fans here!

Wish I'd arrived 2 days earlier. I cocked up a little there by booking way too late, and not realising that Thursday is a bank holiday and not booking the right days off. But I had a Saturday and Sunday ticket, so whizzed up there on the Friday evening, and enjoyed seeing how fast my car can go (touched 120mph which isn't bad for a 12 year old car).Sadly when I arrived it started going "whupwhupwhup", and pumping the tyres up didn't seem to help. Have left it in Dusseldorf to be fixed.

Caught up with a friend from Berlin and her friend, so I had someone to spend time with.

Lots of people in costume. I was feeling decidedly underdressed so went back to the hotel and emerged as Captain Jack. It's a simple costume so I don't get asked for photos too much (although a Fifth Doctor wanted to get a pic with me, so it helped me make a friend) and it means I start to channel just a little bit of Captain Jack.

Saw talks. Garret Wang is awesome! Max Grodenchik and Aaron Eisenberg (Rom and Nog from DS9) were hilarious. Although staying for their talk meant I missed a chance for a photo with Nicole De Boer. Still, said hi to her as she left the photo session.

Chatted a lot to a cool American guy named Will (The fifth doctor from earlier), and it was nice to have an English speaking buddy. Actually most people spoke perfectly good English (they had to since most of the panels were in English because most of the guests were from American shows)

Saw the costume/talent contest.Felt that some of the skits were a little more complicated that they need to be although that may have been because they were in German and too complex to follow.Still, there was a blind date skit with the TARDIS asking questions of a Cyberman, Dalek and Weeping Angel, and that still worked even if I couldn't follow.

I do get a bit of a feeling of homesickness. It's still a little awkward that I can't speak the language (well, I can say a few words, but can't really have a conversation). I want to make costumes again! It won't actually compete with the commercial ones that so many of these fans made but I reckon my Captain Monochrome would go down well.

I also felt a bit of a second class citizen with a Saturday only and Sunday only ticket. I was relegated to upstairs (which was actually better than the back rows at the sides of the downstairs seats reserved for the later weekend ticket holders), and for the more popular panels I wasn't allowed in at all.

Do feel I should go again next year. I think I'll fly or get the train next time though. And buy a full weekend ticket Early, this time!
luckykaa: (Wolf)

The reason I go to conventions is the people. Saw [livejournal.com profile] pixiequeen10thk which was great because I know I haven't seen her since before the baby was born, and may not have before she was even pregnant. Met mad jockey girl, a goth furry and a few of the jedi chefs, Stabuck and a bunch of other starfury regulars as well. Hob-nobbed wirh Georges Jeanty (Buffy comic artist) in the hotel. Fantastic guy. But what was really nice was I went to the pub for dinner on my own. Saw a bunch of people who looked fannish. Asked to join them. Bunch of old school fans. Chatted a lot about conventions an fannishness in general.

Something else I like is the costume competition, because it's so much less serious than the Worldcon/Eastercon masquerade. Third place was Spike in daylight. Main gimmick was a blanket and a smoke can. Silly and cheap, and I doubt he was expecting to win or even place but people liked it. Winning group was "nightmare on Sesame Street"

I needed to get back to the airport at one point to pick up a hire car. Decided to try the futuristic pods, since they go straight to the hotel. T5's self driving cars that shuttle passengers to T5 from the long-term car parks. It is kinda cool that they arrive and the door slides open, and then can be stated just by pressing the start button but when it was actually moving, I was expecting is to glide smoothly. Instead it feels like small tyres on a fair rough concrete road. Still a pretty funky system.

Was particularly pleased when I discovered the hotel will do scrambled eggs on request. Much nicer than dried up fried and scrambled from the buffet.

Quite a nice weekend all things considered.

luckykaa: (Rocky horror)
Just a mini con-report for this one. I didn't have a particularly compelling reason to go to this con, except that I really felt like winding down, and I usually meet fun people at conventions. There are a couple of Buffy/Angel guests, as well as guests from 2 shows I don't watch. But thre were also parties. And I met new and old friends.

I felt no particular compulsion to go to the talks. When I did go I was entertained by some entertaining talkers. Also we had Jonathan Woodward turning up by video conference and he's always fun, as well as mad as a spoon.
luckykaa: (Robot)
As mentioned in a previous entry, I'd like to go to this year's Irish Discword Convention. But it's in Limerick. As such, I feel this is appropriate:

The Irish Discworld Convention.
Is the source of a small deal of tension.
It's in the middle of nowhere.
I can't even fly there.
It causes me great apprehension.

Or to add detail in place of scansion, I'd quite like to go, but it's in Limerick. The nearest airport in Shannon but I can't fly there from Amsterdam. Next nearest are Dublin and Cork. If Ireland had an integrated transport network, these would be fine, but it doesn't. The stations are miles away from the airports. The long distance bus services are far too slow.

I could hire a car. Be about €60. Probably about the same as a bus, train, taxi combo.

Could say "Hang it" and go to Vampire ball instead. For some reason that doesn't appeal so much this year. I think I'm more eager to meet people.

Incidentally - is anyone else going?
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
I really wish I could have arrived earlier. And left later. And slept on the Friday night (damn insomnia).

Nineworlds was the sort of con I'd been missing. Redemption is and always has been fun but it didn't have that vibe last time I went. Nineworlds did!

So, con report: Went to con. Didn't do costuming because absolutely everything costume-y is in a storage locker in Brighton. Saw talks on Harry Potter and the need to be sorted, Psychology of conspiracy theorists, Evolution of Blake's 7, Cyberbullying Sarah Jane Adventures. Played a game. Winning team on the pub quiz. Caught up with friends. Wanted to talk to Laurie Penny but was too shy. Had to fly home before the event was over. Was in Club Europe which I didn't realise when I booked so I got to use the executive lounge.

Different fandom streams had their own rooms, and were organised by different people. There was as steampunk room with lots of steampunk displays. There was a My Little Pony room with muffins and cupcakes and a sort of bizarre confused chaos about it. We had people in costumes. We had a bar. There was no sense of serious organisation, but I think that's more about decentralisation. There was nowhere that everyone had to be. We could pick our own convention.

I think this was why I've been a bit disappointed by conventions recently. They're all stuck in their ways. They do things the same as the previous con because that works, and nobody wants to do things differently. This is sensible, and probably the right thing to do, but it does mean that conventions don't evolve. This group aren't really part of that culture so they did things their own way. Some of it worked. Some of it didn't.

It was all new. It was shiny. It was different. Some things didn't work but other things did!

So I don't think it was a great idea that similar themed talks and panels were often on at the same time, or that there was half an hour between panels (and they usually finished 15 minutes early), or that we were split into two hotels.  For some reason they didn't negotiate with the hotel over bar prices. The costume competition was rubbish (turn up, get photographed, get judged by a couple of anonymous judges) but I'll put all this down to teething troubles.

What was really great was the number of people who had never been to anything like this before. It's so much fun meeting newbies. It's also great that we have new fans who can be shown that fandom is run by fans, and is about the fans! I was really worried that we weren't getting enough new blood.

Am tempted to go next year. This would mean missing Discworld. This is quite the dilemma.
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