Monday, July 5, 2010

Gallifrey 2010 - Day Three

So I posted Day One of my production journal for Innsmouth Public Library and within 10 minutes of that post going up got called out publicly on Twitter for not having finished my Gally Travelogue. (Thanks, Matthew)


Let the OCD organizing of materials for autographing begin #gally 9:33 AM Feb 26th via Viigo

John has been a rather horrible influence on me. I used to not really care about autographs. I got them because the people were there and I had the items to sign. Now I'm his mini-me, making lists and checking them twice in terms of stuff I want signed. The night before I left for Gally I was on the floor of my apartment on the phone to him bemoaning the fact that I had nearly twenty items for Paul Cornell to sign and no clue what to cut from the list. (For the record I brought it all and just got as much as I could signed.) Friday morning them found both us finalizing what we would go through the day's autograph lines with. It's a rather sad and painstaking process involving post-it notes, bag placement, and deciding where the actual signature should go.

Did I not get the memo that Apple is apparently the official laptop of Gallifey One? Not that I really care since I hate Apple. #gally 11:01 AM Feb 26th via Viigo

For the first time the Marriot had free wifi in the lobby and boy did we take advantage of it. Just about every socket and scrap of real estate large enough for a laptop was being used in the hours before the convention started properly. And I was clearly the freak as I was one of the few people not sporting an Apple laptop of some kind. Not that I felt left out since as the tweet says I'm not a fan of Apple but admittedly the sea of Apple icons staring back at me in the lobby was quite impressive.

Wish I could've taken better advantage of everything starting at noon but no, body wanted to be up at 6am. Cruk. #gally 11:50 AM Feb 26th via Viigo

I have a horrible time getting any amount of decent sleep when I go to conventions. Partly I think it's due to the time difference and partly I think it's due to my overall excitement of seeing my friends again. As I've said before these conventions feel like summer camp in a way. An opportunity to play, relax, and spend time with people you only see when you go to camp. Even though I had gone to bed early the night before, earning me the nickname of Snooze Leprechaun from Handsome Timmy D, I was still up bright and too damn early. Normally six hours of sleep would be good, but since it was the first real bit of sleep I'd gotten since leaving Houston for LA on Wednesday I wasn't pleased in slightest. Especially since I knew I'd be getting less sleep as the days went by. I am glutton for punishment like that.

Hey, dude is cosplaying Victorian Jason Kane from short story pitch by @purserhallard for #Bernice anthology that wasn't accepted. #gally 12:01 PM Feb 26th via web

I am horribly nerdy. (Or a horrible nerd, I can never get it quite right) In this case I'm playing the role of Uber Bernice Summerfield nerd with this tweet. Philip Purser Hallard has written for Bernice in the past and he's really good about putting up all sorts of related goodies on his website as stories get published. One of the items he has up are some rejected pitches for the Something Changed anthology. One of the pitches involves Bernice, Jason, Peter, and Haas finding themselves transported back to Victorian era England. Couple this little nugget rattling around in my brain with seeing an 8 th Doctor cosplayer with long flowing Pantene hair, add a bit of imagining what an Adrian Salmon cover for this story might look like and you get the above tweet. Also quite frankly I think it would be awesome if people would actually cosplay Bernice and the other characters from The Collection. I mean, hell, if people are going to cosplay Adric and Evelyn Smyth then surely there's a brave soul out there that wants to cosplay as Benny.

Have I mentioned I have issues before?

God's telling me I shouldn't have Denny's as chick is breastfeeding right in line of sight of good eye. #restaurantfail 1:31 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

We met up with Dan and his roommate, Jessica, after noon and decided to go get some real food that didn't cost almost as much as a night in the hotel. Denny's is just a few blocks down the road and I was craving Moons Over My Hammy. At least I was until some chick whipped her breast out to feed her kid right in my line of sight. I'm all for breastfeeding and while I don't think you should be hidden in a cave to do so in public I'm just asking for a little consideration for your fellow restaurant patrons. How about ask to be placed in a corner so not as many people have unobstructed views to your breast or sit in such a way as the other people if your party hide you. Just remember not everyone wants to watch that.

Outside of the intentional nipple slippage I was subjected to lunch was fun. It was nice to relax from the gathering convention frenzy in the relative peace and quiet of Denny's. Jessica quickly became one of us as we all found a shared love of Starblazers and Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton on Twitter.

Line to not be in a line for autographs forming in a non-line where guy was hiding under baby grand piano to go ninja on me. #gally 2:21 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

This year Gallifrey tried something different for the autograph process. Instead of having us line up for possibly an hour or so before a session thereby causing a person to miss a panel they might've wanted to go to they instituted the “Fly Away” system. It works similar to the ticketing system employed by Southwest where earlier in the day you gain a spot in a particular autograph group. Then you could just show up to the session based on which group you were in. Let's say a particular session started at 3pm. If you were in group 1 then you knew you could show up right at the start and get your autograph. Conversely if you had a slot in group 10 then you could take your time and not rush out of panel, knowing that there were 9 other groups in front of you. No fuss, no muss.

At least on paper.

In reality the first day was a fucking nightmare. I didn't have to stand in line to get my autographs but I had to stand in line to get ticket to not stand in line. Add to that that this time around autographs were going to be upstairs in an area off of the lobby. The space itself was larger, but it's relative short distance from the lobby meant that queuing up for the autograph ticket was a bit of a pain in the ass. Also it was also in the same area as doors that lead to the kitchen so we constantly had to be wary of blocking that door and other fire code violation goodies. Mix in to the equation people not completely understanding how the system worked, especially those that don't frequent the forums and it's a recipe for disaster.

John and I rolled up to the first ticket giveaway to already find people camping out with no real sense of organization. As mentioned we discovered one guy under the piano who was ahead of us in line, but since he was hidden we didn't originally take him into consideration. Overall it was a huge clusterfuck with us not understanding what was going on and those running the sessions barely having any idea that first day as it was a totally new system they hadn't used before. Also Gallifrey might have been the biggest test for this system since it's one of the biggest conventions within fandom. Especially when the next tweet happened.

Back in line so I don't have to be in another line later. No idea how they're going to work it with Georgia signing an hour later. #gally 3:55 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

Wednesday night it had been announced the Sarah Sutton wasn't going to be able to make the convention due to a family emergency. Naturally we all felt bad and hoped everything worked itself out for the best, but it left a few holes for convention organizers to fill. They decided to fill her Friday interview slow with Georgia Moffat and Alice Troughton doing commentary on “The Doctor's Daughter”. This was a great idea, except that it put it at the same time they had been scheduled to do the Friday autograph session. We were assured that while they didn't have all the kinks ironed out yet, Georgia and Alice would indeed be making the session, just late. Oh how history would bear out the need for a better plan to have been executed prior to them announcing the change in plans.

Holding pen for autographs feels like AA meeting or airline boarding lounge without TSA ready to search bags. #gally 4:29 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

After being in lines not to be in lines and catching some panels it was time for the first autograph session of the day. I was slotted for the first group and as such got admittance first to the first legit line of the day. In a potentially bad use of space they gathered us in a room and then we'd march through a back hallway to get to the other side of the partition that housed the guests signing. We'd just sit in this room waiting our turn to go through the doors and I found myself doing the requisite AA jokes of introducing myself and admitting I'm a Doctor Who fan.

Led the line for autographs because I rock. Might rescind greedy pig manuever and not go through 2nd time. #gally 5:01 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

I am the daddy mack of autograph lines. At least in this case since I was in group one and John ended up group two even though he was right behind me in the first line not to be in a line earlier in the day. When we had gotten our tickets we were told that after passing through the line once we could get another ticket to go through again if there were any left to be had.

(Proper hashtag) Committed sacrilege at #gally by telling Colin Teague that Being Human is best thing on telly. #beinghuman 5:20 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

I did this rather quietly, leaning in as he signed my convention program. I absolutely adore Being Human and at the time I firmly believed that it was the best thing coming out there, even better than Doctor Who. (Series 31 has thoroughly changed my stance on this.) I was afraid I might be beaten to death by all the 10 th Doctor cosplayers so I made sure not to speak too loudly. He thanked me and admitted that he thought Breaking Bad was the best thing on television at the moment. Sadly he didn't engage at Lobbycon as I fully think he'd have been great fun.

I'm not your pet monkey. Not doing some bullshit "badge dance" to get into the dealer's room. Just ask to see my badge you douche. #gally 6:20 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

Volunteers are employed to make sure only people registered for the convention get in to the dealer's room. In a way I don't get this as I'd think it wouldn't be a bad thing if someone just happened to wander in and buy something. Sure, convention organizers may not make any money off the transaction, but obviously the vendor might make a few extra bucks they wouldn't have without the random stranger walking in. And a vendor making more money can only be a happy vendor, right?

Anyway, you've got to go through the hassle of showing your badge when you want to go into the dealer's room, even if you've been walking in and out all day. On general principle I hate having to prove my right to be some place. I still bitch when I get carded for booze though people tell me I should be flattered that I look young enough to be questioned. I just see it as a waste of time. I normally affix my badge to pant pockets or some similarly less than conspicuous place so it's bit of a hassle when I am asked to show it.

This time around the volunteers decided to make a little game and ask people to do a dance of some sort before going inside. As you can imagine my natural hatred of such things go increased by the power of ten. I just turned enough to show the badge, muttered something non complimentary and went my merry way. I could hear them say it wasn't much a dance as I walked away and it was everything I had not to turn back and rip them a new one. Their job is to make sure only convention goers get to go inside and that's it. They're supposed to sit there for an hour or so just looking at badges. Don't give us grief because boredom has set in. Remember, you volunteered for that job.

Second autograph session becomes clusterfuck from hell. #gally 7:37 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

Yep, the lack of proper organization and explanation once Georgia and Alice got slotted to do commentary reared its ugly head. All we were told was that they would be arriving late and that we were assured of getting their autographs. At no point in the initial conversation were we told that if we went through earlier we could show back up when they showed up. Missing that nugget of information John and I showed up before they did and got the new piece of information. Our greedy natures along with the staff sort of begging us to go through the line since a lot of people were going to come when Georgia and Alice did caused us to go on through. We thought we'd get through relatively fast and then just queue back up, getting not only them but a second shot at some of the other people we had multiple items for.

In reality it turned out be a good thing that we got into line at all. It was running slower than we'd have thought and we were still in it when Georgia and Alice showed up. That's when things went to hell in a handbasket. The main line grew as people showed up for the first time and a second line sprang out of nowhere with people who had gone through once and now just needed Georgia and Alice. The problem became that there was no real rhyme or reason to the second line. It was just catch as catch can as staff tried to slot them in every so often between those of us that were still in line going through the first time. Add to this the room being insanely hot and people committing the horrible sin of actually talking to the guests while stuff was being signed and you can imagine how pissed people were getting across the board. No one was having Happy Funtime by the end of the session as people sweated in line and were getting yelled at by staff for any little transgression of the autograph rules.

See what happens when you don't have a plan in place?

Tailgating before Tanuke Suit Riot. #gally 10:37 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

Tanuka Suit Riot (couldn't spell their name right) is a band that specializes in doing covers of fandom related music themes. John, Dan, Zach, Keefe, Cathy and myself started the evening festivities right by hanging out together for some cocktails in the hallway before the show started.

More lines at the "no line" convention. #gally 10:50 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

This joke would get a lot mileage at the convention owing to the “Fly Away” system of autographs. In this case I was using it because we had to wait in line to get into the main ballroom for Tanuka Suit Riot.

Why are there chairs for a concert? No room to dance. #gally #concertfail 11:06 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

Apparently the room was set up for the Mysterious Theater guys who were to come on after the concert. This meant the room was full of chairs and the only safe place to dance was at the back of the room. It also killed the vibe in the room and most of the people sat, completely unresponsive to the music. Surely something could've been worked out where maybe half of the room was devoid of chairs and an army of volunteers ready to go when the show was over to set them back up. It just felt like a disservice to the band to not have a room conducive to people to properly enjoy themselves.

Weeping Angel Porn! FTW! #gally 11:32 PM Feb 26th via Viigo

I shall let you interpret this one on your own. Suffice to say Dan's visual interpretation of how this would work was hilarious. Those in the porn industry are more than welcome to call me and I'll explain this goldmine of an idea to you. I'm looking at you Vivid.

Grabbed a red vine thinking it was a twizzler. Sadness. #gally #ginandtitonicparty 1:33 AM Feb 27th via Viigo

There's a group of guys that every year host the most awesome room party known to man. This year's theme was the Starship Titanic complete with functioning wall panels simulating graphics seen on the show and it was called Gin and Titonic. As the copious amounts of Bellini's I consumed confirm, it's quite an awesome party. Along with drinks there's a mixture of goodies to be had food-wise and I got fooled by the red vines which are horrid pieces of shit compared to Twizzlers. - @boozeleprechaun in the house! #gally 3:18 AM Feb 27th via TwitPic

Gin and Titonic was so damn cool along with so many other fun things happen downstairs that I held off going into full Boozeleprechaun mode until after midnight when I mistakenly though Gin and Titonic was winding down. I felt it was kind of stupid to sit upstairs with tons of booze and no one to drink it because they were off having fun other places.

Once I finally decided to spring into action John had already gone to bed. This created quite the hilarious attempt on my part to get the beer, moon pies, and Girl Scout cookies out of the room involving myself and three others going into commando mode as not to wake John up. I'm talking getting down on one knee and holding my hand up to signal silence whole bit. In what we thought was super secret ninja mode I had one person hold the door open as I silently went into retrieve all the goodies bit by bit, passing them off to the others that were ready to help.

I learned the next morning I was not a ninja and had managed to wake John up.

Sitting next to Girl Scout cookie aficionado. Apparently we choose wisely. #gally 4:10 AM Feb 27th via Viigo

I brought Girl Scout cookies because I thought it would be something fun and different to go along with the beer. Little did I know that I was fulfilling some unspoken need as we were swamped be people who were more interested in cookies than booze. One of them was quite the learned man on the subject of Girl Scout cookies as he looked at the bottom of the box, saw who manufactured them, and declared my batch to be good. Apparently there's two factories where the cookies come from. This is why cookies can have two different names though they're the same depending on where you are in the country. My cookies from Texas come from the ABC bakery and seem to be the better of the two as my Girl Scout cookie guru explained in between sobs of joy and bites of cookies. Later on in the convention we would see other boxed of Girl Scout cookies as I would seem to have started a trend. At least that's why I tell myself to further stroke my ego.

Fuckwads helped themselves to beer. Stunt double for Danny from "Withnail and I" will wind up in a pool of vomit. #gally 5:13 AM Feb 27th via Viigo

I freely give my beer but I'm smart about it since I'm in the lobby and therefore can't control who comes and goes. I will card you if you look young and I'll be hesitant to give you any if I don't know you. Especially if you roll up on me already stinking of booze and clearly drunk. If you're a stranger and people can't/won't vouch for you I'm careful. All it takes is for one idiot to get sick or worse for the hotel to stop Lobbycon to protect itself. In this case these jokers had already made a play for my beer and told them they weren't going to get any. They ended up helping themselves to some while I was conversing with others. Trust me when I say these asshats have ruined it for the rest of you at future cons.

Bed. #gally 6:28 AM Feb 27th via Viigo

I finally crawled in to bed around 3 or so. (My tweet feeds from this time don't take into account the time change) I wanted to stay up for the opening of the Starbucks but I just couldn't hold on.

There's always tomorrow.

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