Well, I’ve just woken up from sleeping off what quickly became one of the best and most awesome weekends of my life, so before I get distracted (again), let’s do this thing
...I should probably preface this entire thing by mentioning that I’ve never been to a con before. Expect excitement.
Day two of the write-up, because I still can't pay attention to writing long enough to put out more than 1500 words in a day... stupid A.D.D.
Day 0 - Thursday
So as I said before I left, I was out of town for a few weeks, camping in PA. Thursday my little sister and I left early in order to be in town for Bronycon, And after about 6 hours on the road, we got home at around 11 pm, double checked our public transit route to get to the convention center (which ended up sucking) and crashed.
Day 1 - Friday: LineCon!
Friday morning, we made our way along route stupid #1(taking the metro down to a switch-over to get on the light rail (spent twice as much on fare than we should have)), and got to the con center around 10 am. wandered around for a bit and eventually found the line for sign-in. Three and a half hours later, we’d pretty much gotten into the spirit of things. There were Vinyl Scratch cosplayers who had already been signed in, wandering around playing music out of big prop boomboxes, and both Pinkie cosplayers and event staff running up and down the lines calling up the chant of the convention (Fun! Fun! Fun!). My feet had started hurting about a half hour in, so I wore my flip-flops on my key ring and ran around barefoot for the rest of the day...apparently people heard about that and spent the rest of the con looking for me? I dunno, didn’t hear about that till two days after the con ended...
Anyway...the group of guys directly behind us started chanting “Line Con!” multiple times, until we were told to count our blessings that it wasn’t Boston Con from a few years ago, where apparently there had been people stuck in line for upwards of 72 hours...yikes. There was also a group of guitarists about twenty people behind us in line, who started playing all kinds of music while we waited, including a group performance of My Cadance which gathered about 6 guitars and maybe ten singers. Oh, and one of the guitars was styled to look like a mini cello.
So by 1:30, we had survived the line to get signed up, and made our way into the Con proper.
So we kinda wandered for a bit, made our way to the vendor hall. Sister got some prints, we both got shot glasses: I got one with Spitfire’s cutie mark, hers had the Triforce on it. I was trying not to spend too much, since I was hoping to snag a copy of Kits’ Twilight’s List printings.
After that, we made our way upstairs and quickly found ourselves in the Stabletop Games room, playing Zombie Dice with a bunch of total strangers. When that group dissipated, we moved on to play a game called “Miskatonic School for Girls” or something, which was about a girl’s school run by a Lovecraftian faculty. The object was basically to use the students to stay same longer than the other players. it took awhile to actually figure out, but once we did, it was a fair bit of fun.
Around 3, we made our way (or tried to) to the Hall of the Moon to watch Voice Acting 101 with Lee Tockar (Snips, Steven Magnet). There were, however, no signs saying where the Moon Hall was, and it wasn’t situated with the rest of the rooms. Turns out, it was aaaall the way over on the other end of the con center, and we missed the first third of the panel. What we did see was interesting, but not terribly inspiring (I’ve seen two other versions of the same panel from other cons, both with Lee, and no new and fascinating new questions were asked). We wandered away from that, and I forget where we ended up, probably back in the games room.
At 6, EileMonty held a panel called Monty Monday, which had me singing Manic Monday for a bit of the next morning (and now you will too, you're welcome). That was hilarious fun. She did probably a dozen different songs, including singing Titanium with Amy Keating Rogers (on of the writers) playing the Ukulele (which is apparently a thing that happens), and pulling off (to no one’s surprise) a heart-rending rendition of The Moon Rises. she also collaborated a few blind readings with some people, before closing out with a showing of the fully animated version of her joint project with Nowacking, I Am Octavia. Stupid feels...
Finding ourselves again in Stabletop Games, I tried to start up a game of Munchkin before realising that I may have had very little time before the Adventure Stories panel, which was going to star Wanderer D, Razed Rainbow, and Applejinx. The Con booklet’s schedule said the panel was at 8 in the Room of Dusk, but the panel description further in the book said it was 9:30 in Dawn Room... yeah, that was a major staff-goof. Came away from that with some fairly good advice, and a few ideas. Oh, and I met Trinary, Eakin, and Comma-Kazie. Tried not to freak out too much, but I was definitely shaking. ^_^’
Hung around for a few minutes talking with them, then we all split ways. I considered sticking around for the Hoof of Argon (a crowdsourced badfic blind reading), but decided that getting home at 2am was not a fun prospect, so we made our way home, and crashed yet again at about midnight.
Day 2 - Saturday: FUNfunfun Fun FUN funFUN!
Saturday morning we got a foolishly early start on a different route (enter Route Stupid #2, which became a problem later), taking the Light Rail straight from near home right to the con center. We hit the con floor at 9, and hung around until the Writer’s Panel at 10. I guarantee there will be videos of that on Youtube, but they’re not up quite yet.
We quickly shuffled our way over to the Doctor Whooves & Assistant panel, where fun was had by all, followed by a jaunt to Quills and Sofas (which, thanks to Eakin, I discovered was the hang-out-and-talk-about-pony-words room). Had some fun in there, and got caught in the Saturday edition on Over-analysis Time, while sister went to the vendor area again (I think? she may have gone to the Doctor Whooves Adventures panel...). Laughs were had, Ideas were thrown around, and it was decided that Derpy is a hitman/serial killer. Which I suppose absolves Comma of some of the hate thrown his way for killing her so thoroughly.
I managed to get into the VA panel, which was the first panel I’d seen either Maddy Peters (Scootaloo) or Brenda Crichlow (Zecora) attend. Lee Tockar snuck in at the last minute, and there were several moments when he and Michelle Creber (Apple Bloom, Singing voice of Sweetie Belle) gave some interpretive dances. O_o
After that panel ended, I decided that the time had come. The Hunt For Kits had begun in earnest.
Well, Kits and Vargras, who supposedly was hanging in the vendor hall as well. Vargras, I never found, but Kits I managed to track down, only to discover him on the phone. Determined to not be rude (doubly so, since I kinda feel like I’d been a major pain in the ass during his whole “getting Twilight’s List printed” movement), I turned away to wait and nose around an adjacent vendor stall. Not thirty seconds later, I turned back to find him missing, and nowhere to be found. I asked the other guy in the stall (who I think was Alexstraza?) where he’d run to, and apparently he had wandered away for a panel. Assuming he’d gone to the Fanfics in Print panel, I made my way up there. It turned out I had been right, and since I’d kinda wanted to go to the panel anyway, I stuck around. About ten minutes in, I looked over to find Kits once again missing. Slightly huffy over being evaded yet again, I stayed for the rest of the panel. That definitely turned out to be the right thing to do, since I ran into Eakin and Comma yet again. They let me tag along to hang with them, Trinary, and two other guys whose names I never caught.
On a related note, if you guys know who they were, I’d love to be able to look them up.
Wandering over to the Days Inn, we had dinner and talked ponies for probably over an hour. Trinary and one other guy left at some point to hit a panel, and returned about ten minutes later due to its cancellation. We were all invited up to Tri’s room to continue talking and laughing at terrible movies. Food Fight, for example, is an animated “kids movie”, starring Charlie Sheen. Good God, was that ridiculous, made all the more so by the commentary of a recolored Rainbow Dash.
Near the end of the movie, I got a call from Sister, who had apparently been looking for me and couldn’t get my phone to register missed calls. I made my apologies and hied my ass back to the con center poste haste, to find my poor baby sister literally on the brink of a panic attack. Definitely a Bad Big Brother moment. Several dozen hugs and apologies for not telling her ahead of time that I was wandering away later, we made our way to a far wall to let our nearly dead phones charge for a bit. That decision turned our to be a lifesaver later. I napped on the floor in the meantime.
Around 10, we decided to run and get a good spot in line for the Grimdark panel that was supposed to start at 10:45. I secured our spot as first in line, while she grabbed a frappuccino from the Starbucks stand in the lobby. Turned out that their machines were on the fritz, and they couldn’t take gift cards, which is all that Sister had at the time. She was super sad, until a really sweet couple behind her offered to pay for her. If either of you read this, thank you both SO much.
The Grimdark panel was neat, though the discussions mostly revolved around the histories of a handful of grimdark-based tumblrs. once it was over, we ran across the lobby from the Moon room (where the previous panel had been) to the Sun Room, for the midnight “Ficwriters After Dark!” panel. The line was pretty long, but we figured we’d stick around and see if we could get in, since the alternative was to just go home. It turned out, we’d made the cut, but Sister still couldn’t get in due to being only 17 (the cut was 18+). So instead of leaving her out to stew while I went into the panel, we did go home.
That is to say, we tried. The Light Rails in B’more, as it turns out, only run till 11, or midnight on game nights. We got stuck, unable to get the rest of the way home, at the North Avenue Light Rail station. As anyone who knows Baltimore should know, that’s not the friendliest part of town to be in that late at night. We ended up calling home to our recently returned parents, and Dad came and rescued us. We were only at the station for about an hour, and ended up playing a few rounds of War with the deck of cards I always carry with me.
2am found me in bed, unconscious. 3am did the same for Sister, or so she told me.
Day 3 - Sunday: Dear Princess Hat Lord,
We woke up laaaate! Well, I got up around 8, sat down on a couch after breakfast, and fell asleep again. Slept till noon, and didn’t get to the con center till 1:36. This time, we managed to not make any idiocies in our travel route... We arrived to find the Mane Hall filled for “Whose Line Is It Anypony?”. Since we couldn’t get into that, much to our disappointment, we decided to hit the vendor hall - freshly restocked with cash, thanks to Mommy Dearest - to begin Round 2 of The Hunt For Kits. Passing the table that he was sharing with Alexstraza and Skippy, I bought a Vinyl mouse ponypad, and an Octavia one for half off. Kits himself was once again absent, off at Jimmy Johns, so we wandered. I picked up a rockin’ grey scarf with Octavia’s Cutie Mark and a christmas present for said sibling, while Sister got a few more Kingdom Hearts style prints and a few other odds and ends.
Twice more around the hall, and Kits had finally returned! I got to sign the signup for a second printing of Twilight’s List (he had run out of extras Friday), apologised for being a butt, and got a hug.
We derped our way up to Quills and Sofas, to find the center table full of people - including Comma, thedarkprep, and sundry others - engaged in discussion. I joined them in search of fun, friends, and words, and was not disappointed. I even got to shake hands with the King of Crazy himself, Wanderer D, who I credit as being one of two authors who got me into fanfiction (and FimFic.net) in the first place. After slightly less than an hour, I got to meet Journcy, who I’ve been preerading/editing for, and we (along with most of our table) fumbled away in the direction of the final panel for the weekend, “How to Write a Better Story”, or “The Dos and Don’ts of Fanfiction”, hosted by Bleeding Raindrops, Golden Vision, Wanderer D, and Obselescence, with surprise guest panelist Pen Stroke.
Obs came in wearing four different hats, and at one point during the panel offered to take contributions to the tower. What resulted was this:
I took that pic, and dubbed him Hat Lord. ^_^
After the panel, we tried to make our way to the Closing Ceremonies, upstairs. That didn’t happen. there was a 200+ long line to get into the line to get in, so we said “Screw that noise!”, and went back to the room of te last panel. We ended up in an hour long round-table (on the floor) discussion with several neat people, including Bad Horse, ShellSh0cker, and Professor Plum.
The group eventually broke off to meet at Cheesecake Factory for a writers’ dinner, set up by Sunchaser. Sis and I split off from the group with Shell so he could drop some stuff in his room, and we made our (only slightly misguided) way to the restaurant. During all this, the discussion never really stopped, and we ended up sharing favorite fics and books one or the other hadn’t heard of, and raving about shared faves. Can’t wait to talk with him more, and maybe even run into him at some DC Brony meetups.
We got to the waterfront Cheesecake Factory to find Comma standing around in confusion and staring forlornly at his phone. It was a moving and slightly cathartic sight, considering his propensity for dishing out major feels regularly.
Turns out, the host(ess) had made Sunchaser’s reservation without mentioning that they don’t take reservations, so the group had mad it’s way to Tir na Nog, an Irish pub two buildings over. The four of us went, and joined the quickly growing bunch of wordsmiths. we ended up on the end of a table with Golden Vision and Jake the Army Guy, and the unceasing discussion went on till we rearranged ourselves for a group picture, which I have stolen from Bad Horse:
We wandered away from the dinner, full to bursting, still delightedly gabbing away about wordstuffs, and continued as such till everyone else had split of to head to their hotels and homes, and I regretfully had to end my now-five-hours-long chat with Shell when we left him at his hotel, right across from the metro station Sis and I needed to take to get home.
We got home with little fuss, and got home shortly after 11pm.
Dear Princess Hat Lord,
This weekend I learned not to be afraid to approach the people you look up to, because hey, they're people too. Usually. When they aren't sinister, soulless, Derpy-killing monsters.