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Meanwhile in Americaland · 3:34am Aug 8th, 2013

So there was a convention recently. You all may have noticed other people talking about it, and for the most part they have more interesting stories and perspectives than I do, so I’ll just go over the highlights.

I landed at Dulles, and had to get to Union Station in DC. The airport info desk told me to take a shared van cab. I nearly died in that cab. Twice. First when the driver finished his first drop and then decided to pull a middle-of-the-street U-turn with a city bus oncoming sixty feet up the road; second when he took an intersection blind, cutting around a stopped bus that blocked all visibility of oncoming traffic.

So that’s how my convention started.

I took a train from DC to Baltimore, and to my knowledge no one died. Camden Station is all of five minutes from the convention center, so I wandered around until I found the pre-registration line, which was—and I choose this word explicitly—serpentine. I only later on discovered that the room itself contains line space for probably 2-300 people, but outside of the room it went down the hallway, around the corner, down that hallway, curled around itself, back up and around nearly to the door into the room again. I would guess there were probably a thousand people. There was also singing; At The Gala, of all possible options. It was in tune and on key.

With a hearty screw that, I utilized logisticfu to meet up with RazedRainbow at the Hilton entrance and its blatantly visible orange chairs. We wandered around looking for a Starbucks and killed time until Tayman arrived. Hotels were checked into, paperwork forgotten, and a far shorter registration line (auspiciously so for Razed, who waited all of two minutes for his panelist badge). There was then meandering and general nonchalance re: Razed’s car in a 1 AM downtown Baltimore parking lot. Again, no one died.

We stayed up until 3 AM talking about ponies, because we totally didn’t have to get up at 8:30 the next morning.

We got up at 9 the next morning, had hotel breakfast (which had good bacon, passable potatoes, and nondescript scrambled eggs), and missed the opening ceremonies. I hear there was an Octavia / Vinyl Scratch thing.

Then we walked into Applejinx’ morning fic panel (it was in progress; half the seats were open ten minutes after it started. This lent to a grand false pretense of panel availability), and met up with Golden Vision and his brother. That ended up being auspicious, as through shameless abuse of connections we scored second-row center seats to Friday’s Voice Actors panel. It was charming, if somewhat generic (but then they only have so much to talk about with season 4 under NDA and such). We just stayed there in our seats after that ended, as it was followed by Friendship is Witchcraft, which was beautiful and terrible as the dawn, treacherous as the sea, etc. The origins of Raincloud and Sweetie Bot were explained, and knowledge was gained.

There may have been a noodle house excursion following that. I had a Chicken Caesar salad that tasted nothing like any Caesar I’m familiar with (not bad, just different). There were other panel things. More Starbucks, because The Mocha Must Flow.

A lot of time was spent in Quills and Sofas, except for when scheduled events booted us out. I ended up meeting a fair few people.

This is a good time to segue into how I had, a few days previously, sent out notices to every author I’d caught a blog of / seen the name of on con programming, suggesting we get a group together and have a dinner. Now, the initial idea behind this, before I ever got into the actual gruntwork, was for maybe 8-10 people to hit a restaurant during some common downtime. When I finally sent the messages out, I ended up with 13 plus myself, which was still a not-unreasonable range.

Somehow, however, I had—in the picture of blissful innocence—including in that message “feel free to forward this to any other writers who are attending”.

So when I checked the responses Friday evening, 13 had become 20.

Well, uh, okay. That’s still workable.

Saturday brought more panels. Highlights for daylight: the Brony Musicians Panel (edit: which was actually Friday evening, it's just all blurring together) descended into shenanigans, as I knew it would. BlackGryphon and his brother ended up doing an impromptu piano operatic about delicious cake. The Saturday VA panel was just more Q&A, but there was a five or so year-old little girl there named Rachel who may have unintentionally massacred several hundred men through unwitting deployment of arsenal-grade adorable. I escaped the theatre at that point, heading to Ponies the Anthology 3, which is looking very smart indeed.

The evening was relatively quiet. I recall Subway? Or maybe that was Friday. Either way it was weird.

You see, here in Canada we don’t have jalapeno cheddar bread, or a provolone cheese option, or brown paper bags for the sandwiches. It was like an alternate reality, where everything is mostly the same, but just a little bit sideways.

Oh, also: one dollar bills? Still? Get the net, America. Hell, we’ve considered switching to coins for the five.

Anyway. Tayman and Razed went to see baseball, while I hung around with bookplayer and ran into Jake the Army Guy, and we talked about all the things. You all should have been there, it was great.

Midnight brought around the Fanfiction After Dark panel, wherein there was talking about cute pastel horses doing naughty, naughty things, but it ended up being more of an amusing exercise in avoiding the language police than anything, at least to my ears. Also, there was a guy sitting in front of me who was flashing literally four inches of ass to the row behind him. I mean, pull your pants up people. We do not need to see a huge display of hairy ass at a pony con.

Wars have been started for less.

Throughout the day I had been networking and using logisticfu to move forward the authors’ dinner idea, and the majority of people were interested in the Cheesecake Factory instead of the nearby Irish Pub-Grill, so I went there all smartly dressed-like in the evening and chatted with a manager about a party of 20-25 the next day, and he told me that they would work it out, and at worst we wouldn’t all be able to sit together.

Nod to yourself here if you see where that ended up.

Anyway, I did my 20-some Fimfic messages and such with the pseudo-finalized details, and went to sleep at 4 AM. I’d had in mind to wake up at 9 and hang out in Quills and Sofas writing until 3 on Sunday.

So I slept until 1 in the afternoon, and did no writing. Then Golden Vision told me it would be fine if I wasn’t an hour early for the Dos and Don’ts of Fanfiction Panel, and like a naive filly faced with a stallion in a windowless carriage, I believed him. Since I was still 25 minutes early I managed to get in, exploiting my shameless abuse of power shortly thereafter to get the later-arriving Tayman from standing at the back to a proper seat.

I, sadly, did not get onto the panel as a surprise guest, but they may have been distracted by Obselescence revealing his true form mid-panel, whence he transformed into one of Rarity’s giant hats. The panel went well overall, with good advice and note-taking and such things, though like all such events there was the share of…questions ill-chosen for a time-limited event, let’s diplomatically say.

I then missed the closing ceremonies, where apparently Lauren Echo, the lady who sang the very first My Little Pony theme way the hell before most of you people were born, stopped by for some kind of awesome. Everyone has fanfiction writers to thank for that, by the way (CouchCrusader and Aquaman, if I recall correctly).

And then dinner almost-didn’t-but-then-happened.

“You might not all sit together” at the Cheesecake Factory turned into “there’s a two hour wait”, because reasons. Though in fairness, the dinner group having by then broken thirty probably didn’t help.

On the other hand, quick action by the likes of Applejinx, Jake the Army Guy, Golden Vision and others (who had arrived some seven or so minutes before I got there?) transferred the dinner to the previously mentioned Irish Pub-Grill, and they proceeded to handle the entire party with grace and charm. Also, the fish and chips I had was in some kind of butter-cream sauce that was oh my god so good.

Leave it to the Irish to save literature.

So the dinner happened! There was much discussion. I ended up at the balcony table, between Golden Vision and Capn_Chryssalid, and generally surrounded by summarily unreasonable degrees of awesome on all sides.

Alas, it had to end eventually, so the grand convocation broke on its merry ways, though a few of us gathered in Capn’s room afterward for some booze and Cards Against Humanity (wherein we discovered that Sean Penn is some kind of abyssal horror who feasts on the dying hope of Haitian children).

And then there was some sleep, and then trying to figure out America’s completely unintuitive highway network and its accompanying lack of sufficient signage (by virtue of which we ended up on the opposite side of Washington DC that we wanted).

Eventually I got to Dulles, and then I argued with some airline staff, and then I was back in Canada again. There was some sleeping, and other such convalescence, and now I’m writing this up as my train pulls back into Ottawa.


…And now, some five hours later, I’m posting it on the computer that was hardcrashing on boot, through the internet connection that refused to believe it was actually an internet connection, and other such ‘I go away for six days and everything explodes’ nonsense.

Those of you who paid particular attention to the ‘Get Hype’ post know that two stories are still pending, and are indeed due to rise shortly. View shall also resume, and I have some idea from the convention for some other oneshots (such as an Adventurey Rarilight, and possibly a comedy/random Fluttershy fic that Golden Vision may know something about).

But first, I need a nap.

Cheers ^_^

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Comments ( 8 )

near death experiences makes any convention great in my option.

You think ones are bad? We still have pennies over here.

Fun times were had in droves, naturally. The memories are still swirling around, the escapades so technicolor that I'm still facing a minor gauntlet in decoding what precisely made the con so gosh darn alpha. It was top shelf, and a weekend that will hold a cherished spot in reflection.

Oh, and I wouldn't trade your vehement rebukes of American culture for a photorealistic Luna plushie. So keep doing that. :twilightsmile:

Glad to hear it went well!

And yes, the Mocha Must Flow. Also, yes, the Irish save all of your literature

Irish poets learn your trade

And now you are back in Maplesyrupstan

Bronycon was a bigger blast then I could've imagined. If anyone has the chance to go to a brony convention, I really recommend it. Getting to see and have fun with hundreds to thousands of other people who are all obsessed with ponies is a great experience.

Anyway, I've had a similar cab experience, only it was in New York City. Welcome to America! (though we're certainly not the only ones with crazy drivers haha)

Glad the dinner worked out for you guys--that would've sucked if it fell through.

And admit it; you're just jealous we have one dollar bills. :moustache:

Having been at Ponies Doing Naughty Things The Panel, I am surprised you enjoyed it so. It was silly but it felt kind of, sadly, dull!

Meanwhile in Canadaland,

The Joint Statistics Meetings in Montreal were boring, and I would have much rather hung out with the Quills and Sofas crowd.

So sad...

crying actual tears that we stood in the same room and I didn't know and so could not say hi

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