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2004 Montreal Con Journal
My con experience, as with most who travel by caravan, starts a bit before the actual con dates.
It started with a couple small problems; I can't fly on an airplane until I get this little "has seizures and blacks out on planes" thing looked at and hopefully fixed; Aaron didn't have time to renew his passport, and Revel wound up promising both him, Mara, Greg B. and Alex a ride to the con along with Spacebabie, in a car that only seats four. About that time, Emambu offered/was convinced to drive from Pittsburgh to Kansas City and pick me up. Deciding that 1) Pittsburgh wasn't too bad a place for a layover from the Texas contingent, and 2) Revel didn't especially want to navigate New York alone, never having driven in the state, we wound up using Pittsburgh as a crash point for one night (well, morning as it turned out), and both vehicles- Emambu, Aaron, Mara, and myself in the Mafia Cruiser, and Spacie and Revel in his Hyena- would travel together to get the Bishansky brothers, and take another night there before heading up to Montreal.
There was also some juggling of luggage, mostly me leaving most of my stuff- not planning to return to KC until some time in September, I'd had to pack for a full summer, and somewhere along the line decided that being separated from the hub of my communications, art, writing, and research for over two months was too long. Add in I was already traveling in a car with huge trunk space, and that I wasn't entirely comfy in leaving it alone in my apartment for two months, I wound up bringing my entire computer set-up (sans printer) with me.
So Thursday we take of from Greg's mother's house, and are Montreal-bound. Today's trip wasn't much different than the previous day, with Aaron and Emambu indulging in sports-conversations, and an uninterested Mara and I in the back seat, dozing and working on art. I'd called for a stop at the nearest home-depot-esque store to pick up a few more supplies for my costume, and indulged in a lot of wire-wrapping of sections of chicken wire together for my vastly-unfinished costume.
During the con, I wound up re-living my 2002 position of holing up in my hotel room for half the con, missing both the radio play and several panels I wished to see, working on a costume that I didn't finish nearly to my standards but wore anyway, and which people seemed impressed by. Of course, while I automatically jump to my own laziness as an excuse for this, it isn't really true. Both times I had pressing school issues- 2002 I'd gone to Germany on a school trip for credit, and had to mail my costume home as I couldn't lug it around eastern Europe. I left that trip two days earlier to make the con. This time, it was finishing up the last credits I needed to complete my double-major- with the class ending on July 28th- and packing up my apartment, since I wouldn't be back until I came through to add everything to the moving truck I'd be bringing my Maryland property with, en route to a final destination in Texas. Both, sadly, ranked ahead of my costume in things I had to focus on- and even then I'd only had time to start Ophelia on July 3rd.
Besides, there was always the next years…
Anyway, after a while the conversation shifted a bit; some was centered around the webcomic Jack, and a long debate about the nature of its anthropomorphic reality. More was fic-related, since all four of us are/were fic writers…or at least, fic procrastinators. Before hitting Pittsburgh, the Texas contingent had come up with a new game to pass the time, called "Fate", which we indulged in for a while. Each person takes a turn in picking a canon character, and each time around everyone explains what happened to that character in their own world. Eventually this dissolved into fic-talk (my favorite pastime) and some TGS-related discussions. This would not be the first time such a topic came up during the con. ; )
I, sadly, had no more chances to sing, as Emambu had given into my request for lessons on the ride up from Kansas City, and I spent a large portion of that trip butchering Melissa Etheridge and listening in awe to Emambu's talent when it came to a best-of Van Morrison album.
It was bordering dusk when we hit Canada, and the fic chatty was still going strong. We cross the border with ease- if over an hour's wait- but have to pull off at the first opportunity when it is realized that no one has the directions from the border to the hotel. Between 411 and a helpful native, we were on our way…only to be further diverted by more road construction. We reach the hotel, unload at the front, and I check in. New experience for me, and considerably easier than I was worried it could be. There are a number of our age/type people hovering about in the lobby, and I get some help in carting everything up to the room. Come back down to mingle after finding said room to be satisfactory…if tricky to get into.
I recognized Leo, and managed to correctly place another girl- whom I'd only met briefly at 2001- as Chyna Rose. She, Mara and I, and one who I absolutely did not recognize as Silver despite a long art-related chat in '02, sat down to stretch out and talk. Talk at this point mostly revolved about interesting quirks in finding the hotel, pet cats, and Wolverine. Others drifted in, most of which I'd never met in person. This included Chameleongirl, whom I know from LiveJournal, and the Sadistic Cow, who I know from the one Gargoyles fic that actually gave me nightmares as well as from Mooncat's forum. Didn't really chat with either of them much during the con; sorry guys.
About that time the caravan that included Chris, Hudson and Ethan showed up, and I wasted no time in pouncing Ethan over the matter of my furry feet, which I was forced to leave with him in New York and had been assured, repeatedly, would be returned to me at the con. I was really really looking forward to being reunited with them, my first attempt and surprising success at gargie feet, but that didn't happen; in an apartment the size of a breadbox, they had proved unfindable.
I'm really going to miss those feet. : (
And while I'm busy sulking about that, Aaron wanders away from where he'd been chatting with Chris, comes up to me and says, "I'm in".
To which I, knowing he couldn't possibly mean 2005 con staff since his insistence post-2003 that he'll never get within 300 feet of being on a con staff again and Mara's equal insistence that she would gut anyone who attempted anyone who attempted to convince him otherwise with a plastic spork, cleverly respond:
"Treasurer. For 2005. Chris talked me into it."
"I'm not sure."
I notice at this point Mara is talking to Chris, and no sporks seem present. It takes me a while to process this, so it's a full three minutes later, after I've gone back to chatting with Silver about art stuff, that I turn back to where Aaron is talking to Hudson's group and yowl a "Are you insane?!?"
Time passes, and the (rather large) group that had accompanied the con staff and Greg Weisman out to dinner return; it may have been after midnight by then. Anyway, an all new round of greetings goes on, of which I am only peripherally part of as I either don't know, or am severely intimidated by, most of those who just showed up. I should also take this time to point out that I was at the con ingocnito- as myself. About three months earlier I'd needed hair for an art project, right then, and lopped off my ponytail to use. I'd cut it back further in the tweening months, so for the first time since I was seven I had hair that didn't reach my shoulders. Second, I was wearing contacts instead of my usual (darkly tinted) glasses. It had taken Hudson until after I started talking for him to recognize me, and Kaelyan about five minutes after that. (Kathy Pogge didn't for over a day, but then, she had far less reason to than either of the guys.)
But Greg Weisman knew in two seconds flat, and gave me a hug as well. So there's a group of over twenty fans carousing in a mass of sub-groups chatting right in front of the hotel doors for about half an hour before people start begging off and heading to bed. The ones left eventually decided to move out of the middle of the lobby walkway- where everyone tended to gravitate to throughout the con- over to the couches, and all we sat down and chatted for a bit.
The group broke up, and I worked on my costume while Aaron and Mara went to sleep, and for a couple hours after that.
Hey, YAY for me. Sometimes I'm quite dense about these things, so I'm glad I wasn't that time. Usually, once I really meet a person, he or she is locked in fairly well. But it can take me two or three gatherings to lock someone into my less-than-traplike brain. And I'm sure there are many exceptions.