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I need to be better about taking pictures at cons. I have a cell phone with a camera, AND a digital camera, and yet...no photos.

This was my first time attending Origins, but my second time attending a con in Columbus in the last 12 months. Overall, I rather liked it as a convention. If I were looking to go strictly for fun, I'd probably even prefer it to GenCon. Origins seems like a large-size regional con, and strikes a nicely managable middle-ground between hotel cons which can be too small to keep me entertained, and GenCon which is now so huge as to be overwhelming. (You can't even really "do GenCon" anymore. It's simply too large for any one person to see everything, or get to do half the things you might be interested in.) From a vendor perspective however, I'm not certain that Origins is as neccessary as it used to be for exposure, unless you really want to cover the Ohio market.

Highlights include:

Spending time with the Brits who head up and write for Cubicle 7, as they are lovely people and we see them far less often than I'd like. Damned Atlantic ocean!

Being introduced to "Rastamouse". Totally not kidding. It's a British kids show featuring a crime fighting Rastafarian mouse and the Easy Crew. (In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, yes, there has been some controversy over racism over it.) I just think it's a damned cute show. Plans are in the works to make Jamaican meat pies and drink dark&stormys and Red Stripe while watching a Rastamouse marathon. "Makin' a Bad Ting Good!"

Coming home with a shiny new copy of "Die Profundis" 2nd edition.

Playing Battletech in the Icarus! Some Battle-techie used his internet-fu for logos and names, and came up with the art we used in our old Firefly campaign for one of their pods.
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Lowlights:

Not getting to play Mouseguard. All the sessions were sold out. Alas!

Spotting old-school wooden chess sets and vinyl roll-up boards at the Chessex booth, getting excited, and then forgetting to buy one! Ack!

The virus/ear-infection/whatever-it-is that I picked up on the plane on the way there. It's now a week later, I'm home, I'm on antibiotics, and my ears & throat STILL HURT. Boo.
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Anybody got a Caribbean island they could loan me? Even for a week?
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Took Electric Boogaloo to Worlds of Fun on Friday. [livejournal.com profile] gmskarka was out of town visiting family, so we decided to bond by indulging in our shared love of things that go ZOOM! and hit the park.

EB had never been, and I haven't gone since college, so it was a fairly novel experience for us both. There is only one major roller coaster left from my last visit, The Timberwolf, which was just as bone-shaking as I remembered it. (We sang "Jump In The Line (Shake, Senora)" as we tottered off the coaster - yes, it was totally necessary.)

Other highlights:
The Patriot, an awesome coaster where the car hangs underneath the rails, so you ride with your feet dangling out the bottom. We sat in the front of the car every time we rode this one, so it felt like there was nothing between us and the open sky. Feet! Clouds! Ahhhhhh!!

The Prowler - another wooden coaster - more traditional seating, but a great track (far less shaking going on). We only rode it about four or five times. I just felt sorry for the operators, who have a litany of silly dialogue to run through every time a run begins or ends, including a cheesy ROAR at the end of the speech. Since we came back at different times, we heard several versions, including one female operator who replaced the ROAR with MEW! My favorite response to "How was your ride?" was definitely when our entire train "mewed" back at her.

EB "winning" a giant, red, stuffed transformer-looking robot (seriously, it's like almost as tall as she is) through both actually trying the game and the power of flirting with the kid running the bottle-ring-toss. I fear for the robot's life, as she has taken him over to a friend's house to be used in an album-cover photo shoot. I am not quite as worried about the carny...

Indulging in high goofiness all day with EB. Hooray family fun-time!


Mom-notes (to self, mostly):
If we ever go again in nice weather, remember to pack a picnic lunch. One, it makes a nice break from being on the park tarmac, two, park food is ridiculously pricey, and three, I like picnics. Also, next time? Bring more cash. Because its a theme park. 'nough said. Ouch.


Nostalgia:
I felt a bit disoriented when we got there, as if the park geography was "off" from the last time I visited, but it turns out that they have, in fact, closed the main entrance and turned the back gate into the front gate. So there, memory loss! Nyah! (Also, if I ever knew this I had forgotten, but the "Worlds" theme is taken from "Around the World in Eighty Days", which is kinda cool.)

I'm glad that they have left Europa mostly alone. I know the rides there are tame, but I still love them as much as I did when I was small and they were new. If I was allowed to pack a lunch and bring a book, I could spend hours just hanging out on the Flying Dutchman, letting the world spin by.

EB was very nice, and hung out while I indulged my nostalgia kick, even though she is not as big a fan of spinny-rides as I am (and therefore skipped the Octopus), she did indulge me by driving on Le Taxitour, and taking a late-night train ride at the end of the day.

Yes, we spent about ten hours there. Yes, I'd do it again. Not soon, mind you. Because I was wiped out the next day. But definitely again. :)
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Spent a weekend on Gallifrey at the end of February, selling the Doctor's game. Yes, it took me this long to post about it. Apologies in advance for the general lack of photos. My links are refusing to work.

Thursday, we:

Arrived in L.A. hours before the hotel would let us check in.

Took a trolley-bus-thingie to Manhattan Beach for the afternoon.

Ate lunch at Wahoo's Fish Taco. Which was very tasty - the closest thing I have actually had to it here is probably Chipotle, but this was better. It also amuses me that the only state where Wahoo has expanded is Colorado. Apparently it's surfer food no matter what kind of surfer you are.

Finally checked in to our hotel - our room had a balcony overlooking the courtyard/pool!

Swam and lounged in said hot tub and swimming pool. I think that my new definition of luxury is swimming under the open sky in February. *sigh*


Friday, we-

Set up the booth. GallifreyOne has to have the most relaxed dealers room I have ever worked. Although only having two products to display probably helped us with the relaxed feeling somewhat. And the con staff had very kindly arranged a table for us to run demos at right next to the sales booth, which worked really well!

[livejournal.com profile] gmskarka went to meet up with a local friend of his for lunch.

I stayed to run things. Which was lovely - we had a great first-day response to the game - so much so that we were able to start making jokes about selling out by the end of the day.

Had a very nice dinner, and later watched the costumed attendees of a room party across the courtyard from our perch in the hot tub before heading off to bed. Because seriously - GIANT HOT TUB!

Saturday, we...

Wished that we had one or two more people to help run the booth so we could leave the table occasionally. Not that it needed more than the two of us at once, usually with me selling and Gareth running demos.

Met a troop of absolutely adorable mini-costumers. Four twelve-year-old girls, dressed respectively as Jabe of the Forest of Cheem (Bigger picture here.), Romana I, Jayne from Firefly, and a member of House Slytherin.

Did get out and see some of the con one at a time. I attended a lovely live interview with Louise Page, the costume designer for all of David Tennant's Who series, and heard about things like how Ten's costume was made from sofa upholstery and dozens of pairs of pants cut into suit jackets. :)

Got adopted by a very nice family from North Carolina. Mom, Dad and ten-year-old daughter. The game was a total hit with the ten-year-old, and they spent a lot of time just hanging out and chatting with us during the con.

Met a Dalek. A life size, talking, moving Dalek. Built onto a mini-motorized chair. Kinda made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Not kidding even a little. My inner child hid behind the couch when it talked.

Missed most of the Masquerade contest. - apparently, the tradition is to make the audience line up outside in the hallway and wait for admittance to the auditorium. Which can take a while - like over an hour. Gareth and I wandered away for dinner, and by the time we got back, the show itself was over and we only saw the contest winners. One of which was the young "Jabe" - she got best in show, because it was the first costume she had made on her own. So. Cute.

Sunday, we:

Did much the same as Saturday. Sold games, ran demos, larked out to visit panels here and there when we had time.

Missed the closing ceremonies, but for a good reason. Sarah, one of my best friends, lives in Long Beach, and she came up to go to dinner with us (at Ayara Thai), and avail herself of the GIANT HOT TUB and pool for the evening. We also made sure to indulge in a variety of exciting cocktails from the hotel bar. (Purely so they would validate her parking ticket, I swear! :))

Attended LobbyCon! Perhaps this sort of thing happens at smaller hotel conventions all the time, but this was the first of its sort that I had been to. All the attendees who were still around on Sunday night brought all the leftover booze and snacks down from their rooms and set it out around the lobby for general consumption. This included more than a few of the celebrity guests, as well as a ton of other fantastically fun people, all getting pleasantly smashed together and chatting all night.


Monday (aka FedEx can bite me day), was a giant ball of stress, sadly, with two amusing sidenotes:

We had to deal with the world's least-helpful counter-bint in the hotel business center, an encounter which left us carrying our booth display as checked baggage, and paying an inconvenience-fee for the priviledge of using a shipping company that we didn't want to use in the first place.

We almost missed our flight because when we got to the airport our airline had only one station open at check-in, and the brilliant-f-ing-airport employees decided to line us up both inside and outside the building without checking with one another, and then tried to tell the people leaving on the earlier flight that they had to check in after the people on the later flight.

Electric Boogaloo called us just before we shut off our phones on the plane to ask if she could go home from school sick, and we had to nix her plans to get a ride from the boyfriend and call my parents instead. *headdesk*

And now the amusing sidenotes: )

Beach!

Mar. 2nd, 2010 10:37 am
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This past weekend, I was in LA. This is me and the Pacific at Manhattan Beach. It was in the sixties and gorgeous.

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