tehuti: (Naked Mal - That Went Well)
[personal profile] tehuti
I must be an Arisia veteran now. Exactly how many of these things I've gone to is starting to get fuzzy. For the record, this was my sixth Arisia, but I had to count to figure it out. I first attended the last Park Plaza con, started doing panels the first year in the Ziggurat, and joined staff the following year. For those unaware, this year Arisia moved to the palatial Westin Waterfront. We had more space than any con I've attended, which was good and bad. But before I go any further, let me remind everyone that I do my reviews in a bullet-thought kinda format, and hide them behind the cut, should you not care to read it.



Con Rule report: Friday 6/2/1 Saturday 6/1/1 Sunday 6/2/0 Monday 6/1/1

The new hotel is pretty awesome. Tons of function space! Tons of hang-out space! Great showers! Great pool and hot tub! The elevators work!

The new hotel isn't perfect. It's spread out over a large area, which makes moving easy, but also makes you less likely to run into friends, hall costumers, etc.

All that space is worth it, though. The gaming room actually had room! If someone stepped up to run it, there's space for a video game room. The triumphant return of the Dealer Room was most triumphant!

Speaking of space, Arisia has tons of room to grow. This was the largest Arisia ever, over 2900 total attendees, and it never felt crowded like the Hyatt or Park Plaza.

Biggest complaint: It was frakkin' COLD in the hotel. The con staff was concerned that with all the humans inside the building, temperatures would be too warm, so the hotel turned down the thermostats. They guessed wrong.

Second biggest complaint: The parking is kinda high, as are the food options. But at least there are multiple food options, unlike the Hyatt.

I am continually impressed by how the four of us (plus an extra this year) manage to go to all of these events and not get on each others nerves in smallish hotel rooms. We must really like each other or something. I am a very lucky guy. :-)

Panels were 75 minutes long this year, with a 15 minute break to allow people to pass through the halls. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Some panels really didn't need the extra time. More than one ended with the words, "So....anyone got any more questions? Anyone? Bueller?"

My favorite panel was Heinlein in the Bedroom. Great discussion, good panelists, and an active and engaged audience. Made me think thinky thoughts that might make their way here at some point.

My other favorite panel was anything that I was on with Princess Kali. She's a lot of fun, and definitely someone we'd like to see more often. Aimee and I recruited her for Arisia this year, and she had a great time. At least, that's what she told me. ;-)

It just occurred to me that the little bit of innuendo above was completely unintentional. Not that I wouldn't go there, but still, unintentional.

Got into a great discussion in the Green Room about Programming, and better ways to schedule panels. I hope something comes of that.

Hugh, I meant what I said that first night. If you lived closer, we'd see a hell of a lot more of each other. Your company is always welcome, good sir. If we'd been thinking, we'd have offered you a place to hide and wait out the storm.

I wasn't on as many panels as in years past, but it seemed that, if I wasn't on a panel, I was in the audience for one that one of my partners was. So I spent a lot of time in them, going to them, thinking about them.

Which of course means they've all blurred together hopelessly now.

Didn't get to spend as much time with Dark and Calliope as in years past. But that's ok, since they are now ten feet below me every day. :-)

Art Show was fantastic. Loved having it and the Dealer Room sharing space. Made it a real con destination.

Josh Simpson is a god, even if he didn't like my story. **kicks dirt**

Speaking of Dealer Room, a woman was there auctioning off her late father's estate, which consisted of boxes full of SF pulp magazines, paperbacks, hardcovers and other ephemera. I scored a box full of first edition paperbacks by Heinlein, Norten and many others, five first edition Heinlein hardcovers, including my favorite juvenile, Farmer in the Sky, and the first ten years of Omni Magazine. WIN!

She wasn't just trying to make a buck, either. Girl knew her stuff, and frequently reminisced about reading "Astounding" or a book she'd read with her dad as we made our way through the boxes. It was a positive experience for everyone.

To absent friends: Sara and Matt, we missed your company, and good luck with the sub-unit! Jim, we missed your smile. KT, we missed your sharp wit. Jen, we missed giving you birthday whacks and your infectious laugh. Megan, stupid work is stupid. Next year you know better, yes? Mary, I know it's far, but it really is worth the drive. Do try to make it next year?

Remember when a four day con seemed like forever? We're seriously considering taking an Arisia week next year. Anyone else interested?

Chuck, not that I expect you to read this, but thanks for taking care of our puppy this weekend. Next year, we might take him with us. Apparently, this hotel allows that.

Con Suite was up on Dealer's Row on the 16th floor, which worked for me. It was like a reward at the end of that long hallway.

The Bread Fairy came again. But the Green Fairy walking around the con was wayyyyy cuter!

By the end of the weekend, Con Suite was kinda funky smelling, in the really bad way.

The view from Con Suite made up for the smell. It faced north, with a nice view of the harbor, the islands and the airport.

Crystal, you astounded me with your ability to change clothes approximately every ten minutes. I swear, you must have had an invisible sherpa following you around. :-P

OMG PONIES!!

Green Room was awesome, as always. I know they got more crap this year than last, so if and when any of them read this (I'm looking at you, Esh!), I thought you all did a great job, and as was the case last year, your work made my con a lot better. Thank you.

Aside from walking through it, I didn't take advantage of the gaming room. Fail.

Laurel, I'm glad you came with us. Next year, we'll drag your husband kicking and screaming. Or maybe just drug him or something. It's for his own good, really.

Because of my panels, I managed to miss Rocky, Repo AND the Dr. Horrible Sing Along. I really do feel like I missed out, as I love those events, especially the sing-along. Will have to pay attention to that next year.

The Guest of Honor Sunday Brunch was fantastic. I would totally do that again. Of course, we got to sit with Eric "in the Elevator" Zuckerman, which might have something to do with my opinion.

Stupid Patriots. Stupid orcs. Stupid quest.

Steve, your Sunday Brunch outfit was FTW!

Went to only one party this year. But I picked the right one. To all my PA and Philcon friends, I promise to come to your con someday. You guys are awesome, and I really want to come spend a weekend with you all on your own turf. Gods know you've schlepped up this way often enough, time to return the favor.

I mistyped "turf" as "turd". Must have been thinking about Camden...

Percy and Bendy, I have no idea if either if you will read this, but I'm really glad we're friends. I love your energy, both individually and together.

I say this to myself a lot, but this time I'm going to put it in words. I have zero interest in the Masquerade. But it might be fun to have an actual costume or outfit next year that isn't simply "Generic Rennie in a Utilikilt". Hall costumes are fun, and I want to play, too!

But not steampunk. That is so not me!

Aimee wore a couple of fun t-shirts during the con, mostly geeky things about being pregnant. She put a smile on a lot of faces, her family and friends and otherwise.

I thought, going into this con, that I was going to take a year off from staff. We've got a baby coming, I've got a lot of responsibilities, and it seemed like the time. But at my last panel, "Alternative Lifestyles and Fandom", Bridget, my first Arisia boss, was moderating, and did the standard "Last thoughts" thing for the panelists. And quite to my own surprise, I said something like this:

"I've loved this con since the first time I attended it. My first year on panels, I said how much I loved it, and how much being here meant to me, and some folks snorted at me. I don't care, then or now. Arisia is one of the great loves of my life. I love this con, I love the people that come, I love what we do here and I hope it outlasts us all."

So yeah. Not done with it yet. :-)



This was our last Arisia as not-parents. I think we did it justice. I believe Ian will upload his 759774502108 pictures on Facebook later this week, when he gets time to do it.

Already counting the days to 2012! And it had better be a good con, since next year is the last one before the Mayan calendar runs out and the world ends...

Date: 2011-01-19 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maverick-weirdo.livejournal.com
"Panels were 75 minutes long this year, with a 15 minute break to allow people to pass through the halls. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Some panels really didn't need the extra time."

I can understand that some topics may not require 75 minutes, but is that the fault of the schedule or the topics? The panels and author reading I went to seemed to fit the time nicely, and the 15 minute breaks made it easier those times when people had to get from one end of the con to the other.

Date: 2011-01-19 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehuti.livejournal.com
I don't disagree that having time to get from place to place was important. I'm not sure that you need to make a panel longer to have that time, though. This is one of those things we're going to talk about a lot over the next year.

You're a good egg :).

Date: 2011-01-19 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] perseph12.livejournal.com
Awwwww, thank you so much for the shout-out, love. Yes, stupid work=very stupid, indeed. I was trying to figure out a way to get to the con until the last possible second, but at the very least, I now know what I can do next year. *Nods*

This write-up was great, by the by; I look forward to seeing the pictures, too. I still can't believe you will have a bambino next time 'round :). I'm excited about meeting the new family member, too...I'm glad the con gave you a chance to geek out with your beak out, and have I mentioned that your family situation warms my heart?

*Hugs*

Re: You're a good egg :).

Date: 2011-01-19 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehuti.livejournal.com
Glad you enjoyed it. The bambino will be on display next year, and we're already planning geeky things for him to wear. :-)

Date: 2011-01-19 12:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cypherindigo.livejournal.com
I may have a ride up for next year. Then the tricky part will be finding people to stay with.

One step at a time.

Date: 2011-01-19 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eshgrey.livejournal.com
Thank you slick

it was amazing to see all of you.
and it made me giggle and go a lil pink that you all took the time to come up and say hello to me on friday

you guys rule

Date: 2011-01-19 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehuti.livejournal.com
And it was always nice to see you, especially when they let you out to play a little bit. You've got a nice set of....corsets. ;-)

Date: 2011-01-19 02:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-01-19 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fibro-witch.livejournal.com
Yes the hotel is extraordinarily pet friendly the entire Weston chain is pet friendly. As some one who has a service dog I hope that the people who bring pets next year bring well behaved pets. And that people can tell the difference between working dogs and cute dogs. Byron is working first and cute later. Which was a big issue for people at the convention.

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