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reCONnaissance 2011
Apparently there is life after CON, as evidenced by me typing this, a little over a week since the convention ended. As always, I have wanted to journal about the experience, but last week I found myself exhausted both physically and mentally from the weekend. Add to that some family health issues (now mostly resolved) and my current avoidance of writing, and it has taken me a great while to return to LJ as a contributor.

What can I say of CON? It is an intense experience, and one that I greatly look forward to each year. And even as I start to partake of more with each subsequent year, I still always feel like I could have immersed myself even more fully. This is my big nerd-out of the year; I should make it worth it, even if it leaves me bloody, bruised and utterly exhausted!

Big words from a small man. Anyways...

Costuming: I successfully completed the main focal point of my outfit (my awesome vest!), but did not get to sewing other pieces. The look still came together great, though, and it gave me a certain boost of confidence in my abilities as a stylist/costume designer. Our Weird West town was fun, although prep for the group took some time. We may not have been as instantly recognizable as a group as the Zombie Pirate Crew, but we fit right in with the overall Steampunk tread of costuming this year. Lots of day-costuming around us, and some of us are entertaining thoughts of that for next year. But I must remember: CON-costuming is VERY different from regular costuming, giving the drinking, the weather and the crush of sweaty nerds everywhere.

Panels: I went to a lot more paneling this year, and for some I went brave and actually attended on my own when my CONmates didn't have the same level of interest. There were some highlights - two very strong panels with good moderators, good panelists with constructive and CONCISE things to say, limited audience wankery. However, there were some horrible panels as well, filled with off-topic questions, personal fan-wanks, overbearing panelists, WAY TOO MUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION. Seriously, this panel is not your therapy session, and that applies to both sides of the table. My favorite might have been Greg Weisman, the creator of Gargoyles, who was funny, passionate, and an excellent story-teller that captivated the audience enough to limit the stupid questions or the constant "I have my hand up, pay attention to me, I'm not putting it down until you do!" I also appreciated having naomikritzer on a couple of panels, and is a panelist I will look for next year. Didn't get a chance to hear dmbaird on a panel this year, which was saddening, and there is one panelist I am going to try with all my might to avoid. This means 2012 panel-planning is going to rely HEAVILY on reviewing who is speaking, instead of just what the topic is. Good panelists can probably make anything interesting. Also, lyda222 will be a guest of honor next year!

Parties: Did not get wasted this year. I am old. Moving on.

Pretties: The merch room was a mine-field of Things I Want this year. Eventually, I settled on my CON-gift to myself - an elegant pocket-watch. It added that extra something to my Weird West sheriff outfit. Now, like my father's pince-nez glasses and penchant for handkerchiefs, I have a fascination with incorporating old school into everyday. Unfortunately, I have not yet found a decent way to carry the pocket-watch on a day-to-day basis. It may make appearances as special events, however. It's ridiculous how much I enjoy opening it and checking the time.

Misc: The ballroom waltz lesson with carleton97 was insanely fun and surprisingly tiring. We would have gone on to the tango as well, but there were scheduling things and tired moment, and we needed some time to get our judging on as well.

The art-show featured significantly less illustrated stories of Paul Bunyan being inappropriate with lumberjacks, but a disturbingly consistent amount of breasts.

Children at CON before 9pm = adorable! Children at CON after 9pm = bad parenting!

And I will close on a familiar musing. I remain intimidated by the throng of nerds at CON. I feel as if any group were to be 'my people', this would be the closest, and yet I still feel out of place at times. It's partially my own shyness, and partially some feeling of not being 'nerd enough', that I don't fit in. Thankfully, I have my CONmates, who are a loud, geeky, and fabulous group of people who give me the confidence to feel like there IS a place for me in the insanity of CON. For that, I thank them dearly. And also for sleeping on a BED this year!

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I feel the same way about CON. I always feel like I miss SO MUCH no matter how much I do.

I am super glad we decided to attend the waltz lesson! That really sticks out as something new and different, so I feel better about my efforts to partake of the million and a half things CON throws our way.

Fun trivia! Naomi Kritzer is apparently friends with a WGM with the initials STF.

I still miss Spock in Pie. *sigh*

Oh yes, she mentioned that! It was difficult to compute, but it makes a little sense now that I ponder it?

We should submit our own series of Star Trek in Pastry for next year. Bones in a muffin! Uhura in a danish! Kirk baclava!

For the little amount of time I spent at CON this (actually every) year, I enjoyed myself immensely, though not as much as I suspect I could if I just surrendered to it. Does that make sense?

Someday! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. I always enjoy you.

I completely understand. There does have to be a sense of surrender to the oddity of it all - so many nerds, so much nerdly stimuli. However small the doses you need to take of CON, I'm glad you still partake with us.

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