What? You're waiting for me to talk about Moonlight Rising? Really? All right, I suppose I can do that for a little bit...
First off, I have never been so tired in all my life. I'd volunteered to help Ingrid out with the charity auction, but once I'd arrived, I saw that I had more time than I'd originally thought and agreed to do more in other ways to help out. This led to about 20 hours of sleep over a 6 day period, little time to eat, and absolutely no opportunities to get the writing done I'd intended. It doesn't mean, however, that I didn't enjoy myself. Far from it. I met so many wonderful people, mostly due to the absolutely wonderful psubrat, that there is no way this weekend could not be a success. I walked away invigorated, enlightened, and just damn pleased to have the opportunity to get to meet such a broad range of people. Ingrid, hon, I have absolutely no idea how you do it. My hat and everything else off to you because you, my dear, are the real deal. I'm honored to have had the chance to work for you. :)
I'll admit up front that a big part of the weekend is a blur. I didn't take any notes and took very few pictures, mostly because I was usually working. However, I can hopefully give some overviews to what I did experience.
We actually arrived very late Thursday afternoon, just in time to register, so we got to avoid the long queues for registration in the morning. The day started with a volunteers meeting, which was the time I decided I could do more than I'd originally said, followed by a quick jaunt through the dealer's room. I bought 2 decks of Buffy playing cards---one to keep (I collect playing cards from all over) and one to play with before heading out to stand in line for my Trio photographs. I actually didn't buy a trio picture. I got my picture taken with Danny Strong last year at DragonCon, so I opted to get individual pictures taken with Tom Lenk and Adam Busch. The person working the room introduced us to the actor when we went up, and would you believe it, when Tom heard my name, he actually said to me, "Oh, I have a relative with that name."
Well, I've never met anyone with my name before, though I have seen it on the odd occasion throughout my life. So, I smiled and joked in disbelief, saying that it's quite uncommon. His response was, "Not in Germany," which tells me straight away that he knows what he's talking about and not just yanking my chain. Anyway, the pic was taken and then it was Adam's turn.
I'll admit, I've never been a big Adam Busch fan. I didn't care for Warren, and though I have since fallen in love with Common Rotation's music, the prospect of seeing AB wasn't making me jump up from my chair in excitement. That's totally changed. He was completely charming and funny for our pic, walking up to me and shaking my hand, and then proceeding to lean up against my side at a 45-degree angle with his head on my shoulder that made me tip sideways. After giggling and joking back with him, we proceeded with the picture and I walked out of the room a new fan. What a guy. :)
The next couple hours were spent doing volunteer stuff, meeting people, and running around, until it came time to stand in line for my pic with James Leary. While standing in line, though, I got pulled inside to help as they needed someone to manage the line, and ended up watching the entire shoot for JL and Iyari Limon. It was fairly short, but the best part about it was a woman who'd brought her baby daughter Natalya. The little girl was probably about 6-8 months old, and the most adorable little thing. IL was first. Now, Iyari was wearing a shirt that had Oscar the Grouch on it, and Natalya was just absolutely mesmerized by the thing. IL held her for the photo, and then once the picture was taken (the baby just lit up for IL and the pic), she tried handing her back to JL for his but Natalya refused to go. In fact, she pulled the cutest face, scrunching up her nose as she clung to IL, and nothing JL could do could coax her away. It was completely adorable.
JL's and IL's Q&A's were immediately after, but I missed all of Iyari's and half of JL's. Ask me what he said, and the only thing I'd be able to tell you was that I was there. It was that much of a blur.
The fanfic panel I agreed to be on was immediately after JL's Q&A. I actually skipped out of the Q&A early to go find the room and hopefully catch up with the other panelists, dragging psubrat along with me. Since my online status has been so sporadic lately and I hadn't heard anything regarding how it was going to go, I wanted to talk with one or more of the other writers to find out how it was going to work. Well, it was scheduled to start at 3:45, but at 3:40, nobody else was even there yet. I was a bundle of nerves and begged psubrat to come up and sit with me in case nobody else showed up. One other panelist eventually showed, so up came psubrat (she was such a great sport about it! Thank you so much, hon!), and we eventually got started. We didn't have a set agenda, and just fielded questions from the room after introducing ourselves. I'm afraid that much of that is also a blur for me. I was a complete scatterbrain as I was so nervous; I totally hate being unprepared and I'm utterly awful at just winging it. So picture a hummingbird on speed and that was pretty much for the next hour. I was sitting at the end of the table, directly in front of the only door in the room, and joked that I was there so I could make a quick escape in case things got ugly. Thankfully, everyone was really nice and supportive (thanks mushmouse and guttersnipe!) and the hour went fairly quickly. Spikealicious had been slated to be on the panel, but before we started, someone mentioned that she'd gone to the emergency room earlier that day so we went ahead and started without her. She surprised us by walking in about 20 minutes from the end, much better thank goodness.
The opening ceremony immediately followed the panel, during which time they showed clips from last year's convention and made the announcement regarding Andy Hallett. All my best wishes go out to the man.
I had the cocktail party that night, so I ran back to the villa and freshened up and grabbed a quick bite to eat, so that I wouldn't be drinking on an empty stomach. Irishrose and I then went back to the main hotel, where we got the strongest drinks I've ever had (I ordered a gin and tonic, but I swear to god there wasn't any tonic in it). I didn't recognize anyone, so we just hung out together. I suck at approaching strangers, but it was OK. I eventually got to meet another volunteer who I'd chatted with earlier---the nicest girl named Jamie---and then we approached someone I recognized from asking questions during the fanfic panel. She was there with her sister-in-law, both of them from Alabama, and I have to say, getting to meet them was probably one of the highlights of my weekend. Funny, and so so nice. Every time I saw them over the weekend, I made a point of talking to them. It's just a shame you two live so far away!
All the guests except JM were in attendance, though poor Stephanie Romanov and Tom Lenk got pinned as soon as they entered the room. Tom never left the post he stood at until he managed to get away just before 8:30, and Stephanie never got more than 6 feet away from the door. Everyone else did the circuit thing, and Danny eventually made it around to our little group. He talked to us for a few minutes, standing directly opposite me, and then moved on to the next group of people. I turned to Irishrose to say something, but she immediately put her hand up to her nose to indicate that I had something on mine. Turns out that I'd just spent five minutes talking to Danny Strong with cookie smudge on the side of my nose! (Don't ask. There were yummy M&M cookies there along with toothpicks and I'd been making cookie lollipops ever since I'd finished my first drink. I only had two, but I told you those drinks were strong.)
We wandered off to get a photo with James Leary then before spotting the yummiest guy in the opposite corner of the room. I thought it might be Eric Kufs from Common Rotation, but I was nowhere near positive enough to approach him. I tried to get Wendy or Irishrose to go over, but they wouldn't. I even threatened to nudge Irishrose into him in order to have a reason to start a conversation with him, but for some reason, she didn't like that idea. I got it confirmed for me later that yes, it was Eric, and oh my god, is that man pretty.
The improv was after, in a room much too small and much too hot for as large a group as was there. James Leary was helping out with that, and sorry, but this is another blur for me. Between the alcohol and incredibly intense cramping, I was miserable by the time James had to leave and we all ducked out to get downstairs to watch StuntCocks.
It was well after 11:00pm by the time we made our way back to the villa. We proceeded to sit in the living room, eat chocolate, and talk about the day until well into the morning hours. I got my first real conversation then with our fourth roomie, the wonderful Jeanette *waves*, as well as mucho talking with psubrat and Irishrose. And then sleep.
Observations as a result of Friday:
1. Conventions are funny beasts. Working as a volunteer gave me a new insight into just how much hard work it entails, and why things happen the way they do.
2. Julie Caitlin Brown. I'd seen her in action in Atlanta last year, and I'd heard stories on boards about her at other conventions, so I went into that volunteers meeting hesitant about what to think of her. I'm going to say it here and now how much I admire this woman. Yes, she can be a hardass. Guess what? That's her job, and she's phenomenally good at it. But she can also be incredibly insightful and nice, and she has all my respect now, both as a professional and as a human being.
3. I adore Adam Busch. Charming, and witty, and much better looking in person.
4. I want to pet Eric Kufs. Repeatedly. Yum.
OK, wow, this turned out much longer than I'd planned. And I still have two more days to go. I'm going to write those in subsequent journal entries, probably not today, though.