** Update 3 Other panels (not J2)
** Update 2 M&G Story
** Update 1 Rob and Rich Intro / Kim & Brianna
All right, as requested (thanks all!): my con story. It is getting both epically long and possibly reads a bit like an essay titled ‘here is what I did on my holidays’ so I am going to post the first bit and see how it looks. Also I have my panel notes all mixed up so I need to take another run at that. In other words there is no actual panel stuff in this bit. All the other parts will be mostly my opinion of / what I enjoyed about the panels and the surrounding hoopla (I wonder how you spell hoopla?) Please let me know what you want to hear more (or less) of!:
Thursday: Con -1 day
I flew down to Texas on Thursday. I am mostly used to flying international and bringing all my paperwork (I am foreign so paperwork is essential). The idea that you can fly on a drivers licence and it is SO quick and easy is alien to me! So that was great. No snow, no delays, nothing. Caught a shuttle to the hotel and as I was the only one on it I got chatting with the driver and he asked was I there for the convention? So I had to ask him what he thought about it He was really kinda sweet, he clearly thought we were a little cracked but since con-goers were very polite he only had nice things to say. This is only the second year that the con was in Houston. (By the way this particular area seems to have a certain notoriety since people I spoke to in my home town (in Vermont) knew about it – something to do with a nearby mall …)
When I arrived at the hotel it was pretty empty and in this large foyer they were setting up the merchandising tables (there was a separate merchandising room for a small number of tables and this was christened ‘Purgatory’ – which it did seem to be). The hall was right behind there and you could go and take a look – man that was a lot of chairs! The gold went back to row J and was I think 40 seats wide – which by my math makes 400 gold people, same number of silver (I think) and then half the hall copper and general admission. Lot of people.
Anyway I was there with my friend (known as ST50 on here) who I met commenting on this very website and who has been so wonderful to me over the past few years. She has been to a few of these cons and she was determined I should have the best possible time – which she succeeded at amazingly – but more of that later (I asked her permission for some of this story as it is hers and is connected to something that was not mentioned in Fangasm’s report about Jared’s M&G (ooh secrets)). And I got to meet in person other friends I have been gossiping with for a long time on Facebook – don’t let anyone tell you that friends you only talk to on line not the same thing as friends you meet face-to-face – you meet them and it is just talking a different way and even more fun I believe both of them have posted on here at some point - Tw1nsm0m and Krystaltofu *waves*. Anyone who has been following cons on twitter will have seen Tw1nsm0ms gorgeous live-tweeted photos I would think.
So Thursday we got in line to get our lanyards and tickets etc. Since you already have a seat booked this time it is just a case of getting your stuff and not having to stand in line too long. There is a LOT of standing in line at cons. Everyone (says Miss ‘Expert’ here) who has been to a con will be very familiar with it! Though it did appear, listening to the old-hands that the lines at this con were particularly bad (this was especially true for the Saturday night autograph session, of which more later). This is one of the main places where having a gold ticket is of benefit – you get to be near the top of most lines. Also the Gold panel … If you buy other tickets (for autographs for instance) online you get priority over buying them at the con – the hierarchy seems really complicated initially but you get used to it (i.e. you go with friends who say ‘stand in this line and when you get to the top of it do this’ and you do that). Also the nearer the front you are the better off you are in many different ways.
I am going to advise a bit different to what I have seen other people say and that is - try and go with someone else – it is very sociable standing in line, you can gossip with people around you but I could imagine it being a bit lonesome unless you are very gregarious. And some people don’t like crowds so it makes it harder. I had both situations since I bought my tickets way after my friends bought theirs and so, while I was on my own for the panels – which wasn’t a problem at all – I could hang out with them between times
So it is Thursday evening and my lanyard has been replaced with the lanyard present you can hopefully see above from Krystaltofu. We have compared ‘things we are getting autographed’ and we are all ready for Friday and day one of the con!