- My lovely, lovely friends: to share a 1-bedroom suite for several days with 2 people you've never met before and therefore have no idea what quirks or foibles they may have, could have been a harrowing experience -- but as it was, it was lovely. They were lovely -didn't burp, belch or fart even once- and if we'd been best e-mail buddies before, we're now best RL buddies as well. So thank you, calove and julchek, for making this weekend stand out as one of the best and most carefree I've had in ages!
- The other people I've met, who've made an indelible impression with their kindness, openness, helpfulness, wackiness and every other kind of -ness you'd care to name, among them the ladies collectively known as The Lushettes, most of the volunteers, a girl called Jaidyn, and Eric Kufs.
- The crazy golf course: it rained all Saturday, and I couldn't go and whack those balls. I felt I might go mad cooped up indoors all the time, but see the two bullet points above for reasons as to why I didn't. Made up for it on Sunday though, when I hit those balls so hard they went into the ditch teal and came out orange.
- Of the celebs, James C. Leary easily takes the prize for being the most accessible of them all. Always smiling, always pleasant, nothing seemed too much for him. A real trooper.
Clearly uncomfortable with crowds and the levels of adulation he was subjected to, Tom Lenk takes home the prize for sheer courage and determination. He even lost a bit of the 'deer in the headlights'-look towards the end, poor lamb.
JM's fall from grace, if you can call it that, came as something of a relief: he's human, and Not!Spike. I'll never be confused between the two again.
Is Eric a celeb? If he is, he's hands-down my favourite: he remembered my name! Also, he's got a wicked pair of glasses, and...it doesn't take much, does it? ;-)
- Which brings me to the band, Common Rotation: to me, they were a revelation, and their set was the best scheduled event of the weekend. The hall in which it took place had numerous problems, not least the acoustics and the reverb, and this was noticeable during the Q&A-s, the showing of Stunt Cocks, and the GotR-gig which followed; but didn't seem to interfere much with CoRo's performance, for which I am eternally grateful because my word! these guys are good! The core members' voices blend so well together, and individually...well, Eric's just got a lovely voice which I could listen to for hours -- and have done over the last week or so, while Adam's has slightly more of an edge to it, which isn't unpleasant either. And I never thought that I would ever be captivated by the sound of a flügelhorn! Jordan Katz is a magician with that thing!
- As already mentioned, the sound quality of the hall in which all the Q&A/video/music events took place. But as it was the only large space available, clearly it had been a case of like it or lump it for the organisation, so I don't blame them for this.
- The con was fan organised. I would imagine that at similar, non-fan organised events, proper PA-s and security would do the honours/shield the guests from too much intrusion. Here, it was all in the hands of volunteers, who were fans themselves. This worked out alright in most cases, but esp. on the security issue, didn't seem to work at all. There were too many of them, they weren't trained to handle crowds, and in most cases had no relevant information to offer to nonplussed attendees. They also seemed to be wherever JM was at any given moment, and this was certainly true of the organisation in the form of Aria. You never saw her anywhere else, and she didn't seem to know or care about anything else. She hadn't prepared for the Opening Ceremony, at which it is customary for the host to say a few words (and as chief organiser, she would effectively be our host), and handled the Andy Hallett cancellation badly in that she didn't inform people of it before his scheduled appearance was supposed to begin. All that would have been needed was a short public announcement in the morning, citing the cancellation and the reason for it (AH is ill in hospital with cardiomyopathy), and what aggro there was could have been avoided.
- Rumour-mongering. Both during and immediately after the event on the MR board, and involving one of the guests. Left a really bad taste in my mouth, as well as a sincere wish that none of this will eventually harm the person in question.