Well, it's been an interesting day. I got here later than I wanted to because I had to drop off the dog at dog camp, but I was still here early enough to catch David Gerrold's first panel. This is where I was supposed to meet Barb to pick up the room key. Unfortunately, she had somehow swapped and ended up at the Mall of America with Larry Niven, so I ended up having to sit through the David Gerrold panel.
(Actually it was quite fun. I even got poked by lexinatrix on a particular point about writing good characters. A hint maybe? :))
Eventually she did show up and all was well.
It's weird being at the con without having built anything or worked on any secret projects (save windelina's masquerade entry). It's like I don't really have a purpose here. I know it was purely because being in Des Moines made it utterly impractical to work on anything, but it still feels weird.
Roadkill did a pretty good job with the brick-facade entry into mainstage. A really nice touch was the addition of chalk so that people could write graffiti on the walls.
Sat in on a livejournal panel. It was a little frustrating, because there was a lot more talking about stuff than there was time to hear everybody, and there were a couple of people who blamed LJ for exacerbating fights between their friends. My take on it is that if your friends are socially stunted enough that they break up friendships because of something that they read instead of actually talking about it, then maybe it is time you got some new friends.
And there was drama. If you ever saw the guy who made the spiderman costume-- he was there. And he was upset, because something like 700 plus people sent him e-mails ridiculing him.
Okay, point here: the guy isn't a supermodel. He's a fanboy. And he made a good costume. He has a right to be proud of his work. But he also has to be aware that of those 700 plus people, I doubt if any one of them has actually designed and built a costume. He should not be giving them any weight whatsoever.
Of course that's easier said than done. It's hard to ignore critics sometimes.
Went to a panel where chebutykin got turned into a zombie by a klingon. It was fun. The makeup techniques were focusing on cheap, easily-obtained materials, and there were a couple of steps that I found really interesting, particularly the use of colors. And of course seeing the lovely Cheb in a plaid schoolgirl skirt didn't hurt things at all. :)
Then there was much hot tub. Oooooohhhhh, hoooot tuuuuub. Melty marmot. Ran into Jodi and her sister, and had some happy conversation. Then out of the tub, where I ran into cajones in the elevator. He said "Hi Rob", I said "Hi Chris". Somebody else said "Hi Rob", and I didn't recognize him. He introduced himself as Shawn, then he saw my Chris Jones Fan Club button, and asked me if I was Chris. I told him yes-- then he asked me if I was the president of my own fan club. Which I found tremendously amusing, particularly with Chris in the elevator.
I spent a few minutes catching up with Mr. Jones-- he makes me call him Mr. Jones now-- and I am so very happy about his latest gig mit der Batman.
It's about damn time.
We spent a little bit of time talking movie stuff. He didn't have a lot of time, as is expected considering his role at the convention, and we definitely need to have an evening of just playing catch-up and having some fun like the old days when we were less famous. :)
A couple of other moments: I ran into my friend Teresa, who has lost an amazing amount of weight. I was standing next to her and didn't recognize her. She looks fabulous.
And I finally caught sight of myself in the mirror-- I have lost weight myself, though not as drastically. Unfortunately, I now have the "front porch sag", which is pretty hideous. Cripes, I may end up having to have surgery to get rid of the excess skin. Ah, I'll cross that bridge when I need to.
And now off to bed for some well-deserved sleep. And perhaps dreams of zombie klingons.
Saturday, July 3rd:
Freakishly awesome day. I slept in for a bit, then made it down to have a nice breakfast at the Stuga. Finished early enough to make a panel called "The Business of Being an Artist".
It was like the gods sang to me.
This panel was awesome. It crystallized what has already been forming in my head into a sharp clarity, primarily with Crist Ballas and Christian Colquhoun. First, Christian has the job I want. He makes stuff for movies. And both he and Crist have their own companies doing what they want to do, and they are doing it well. What it boiled down to is not how to be an artist, but that you already are an artist, now go be one. It was like epiphany after epiphany.
The next four panels that I wanted to attend happened to trade off between Christan and Crist, and it was like home run hits. Everything fell into place, and I felt like I had a golden path ahead of me.
Tried to get food before masquerade, and I ended up with a peanut butter sandwich from Consuite. And I ended up out in the lobby watching the masquerade on the video screen, which was made difficult due to some technical problems with the camera. I felt bad for the guy on the camera; I know how exacting people are when they are watching TV, and they expect the same level of expertise from a volunteer crew working with broken equipment that they do for a million-dollar-an-episode budget show.
Then there were the tech problems with the Cinema Rex entry. The CD player for some reason was barfing on their audio, and skipping all over the place.
And oh, yes, I ran into my friend Teresa, who gave me an absolutely wonderful back rub/head caress session, which I also responded to in kind. MUCH needed, and much appreciated.
windelina's Invader Zim entry came off sweet. The voiceover and audio stuff worked beautifully, the costumes were amazing-- it was one of the best masquerades I've seen yet.
I am consistently impressed by the level of talent shown by the people at this convention.
Followed by more scavenging food (sushi at House of Toast was a good thing) and room party cruising. Many friends seen, many beautiful women appreciated, and I ended up in the party room for Forbidden Donut productions, who did "Bloodlines". Where I met the director, who also happened to be the guy on the camera at mainstage. We talked making movies, and tech stuff, and just cool things in general. Then Crist Ballas walked into the room, and I was able to tell him one-on-one how much I appreciated the panels, and some of the things he said. It was all very good, and by the end of the night he had given me his card with a special invitation to come over to the studio.
Happy, gleeful me. :)
Last minute chat with cajones, where he showed me his pencils and some of the inked pages for his new Batman book, and they are pretty freaking awesome.
And it's nearly 4 in the morning, and I must sleep.
Sunday, July 4th:
More on the exhausted side. Lower-key day, a couple of panels. I ended up sitting in on the "Soundtracks vs. Score" panel with Scott Keever because the other guy had to leave early. It was really kinda fun.
Got kinda bummed out at closing because it was over at that point. Got to talk briefly with Chris Colquhoun, which was again a thing of inspiration. Then a nice dinner with stark0228, followed by the dead dog party. Which was pretty cool.
Monday, July 5th:
Ick. It is all over. I am exhausted and depressed, managed to get home to apply some water putty to the deck to fill in some of the defects in the decking, then tried to take a nap. Between the phone ringing, the pets demanding attention, and Barb coming home with a letter from the IRS, sleep was not to be had, so I started the long drive back to Des Moines.
Which was delayed by construction, traffic accident rerouting, flooded roads, and severe thunderstorms. The weather finally cleared about 20 miles from Des Moines, which left me only about 45 minutes later than anticipated.
And I forgot my work shoes.