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 https://goo.gl/photos/cp6o2hKPm7rrekGQ9
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He was a big hit.

bobquasit: (Default)
It's funny, but ever since Arisia I just don't feel like playing World of Warcraft much.
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We had a nice breakfast (buffet) with my parents this morning. Then we left Sebastian to play at Fast Track while Teri and I looked around Dealer's Row.

The "LOTR: Movies Vs. Books" panel was quite loud and contentious, but fun and interesting; as always, I was able to get some good laughs out of the audience, which is always satisfying.

The "Avatar: The Last Airbender" panel was also good. We only talked about the movie for the first twenty minutes; most people hated it, some (including me) were lukewarm. So we moved on to the series. Again, I was able to get some good laughs, and as a bonus found out that a sequel series of twelve episodes is coming out! Sebastian will be thrilled.

I went upstairs to check on Teri and Sebastian after that panel. One of the audience members who was wearing a pretty cool Kiss costume with 8-inch heels got on the elevator too, along with several other fen. Lastly, a drunk blonde woman got on; I instantly knew that she was Not One Of Us, not a fan. What would you call the science fiction equivalent of gaydar? Mine is nearly infallible.

She was clearly bemused by the costumes.

"Who are you supposed to be?" she asked in a friendly but condescending manner. The Arisian explained that he was dressed as one of the members of Kiss.

"What does that have to do with science fiction?" she asked. In an ensuing conversation, several of us explained that there had been a movie and comic book about Kiss, and that they'd fought Doctor Doom in the comic. We got to her floor, and she got off.

The rest of us eyed each other. After a long, long pause, I couldn't resist speaking.

"Mundanes..."

Everyone laughed. "Just what I was thinking!" someone said.

"And they're worse when they're drunk." I added, as I got off the elevator to more laughter.

Sebastian was asleep and Teri was in bed, so I went back downstairs and saw the last two-thirds of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal with Klyfix and Stairflight. It was pretty riveting, so I'll doubtless look it up on Netflix.

Tomorrow is the end. I'm not looking forward to my last two panels tomorrow; neither topic really appeals to me, and neither was high up on my list of choices. I'll try to be a good panelist nonetheless, but perhaps I won't be one of the loudest and most vociferous panelists.

I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year to have fun among my own people again!
bobquasit: (ice godzilla)
You want to know what torture is?

The Arisia panel software required me to put a number from 1-5 next to each panel that I was interested in, indicated how badly I wanted to be on it. There were 32 panels that I was interested in, but I can only be on a maximum of 10, total (I suggested more than ten of the panels they're running!). Not only that, but you can only have four panels ranked #1, 2, 3, or 4 each. Fives are unlimited.

After my initial run I had eight panels ranked number one alone. So I just spent quite a while reassigning numbers to the panels I want to be on. Torture!
bobquasit: (Default)
Apparently it may take a while before videos of the panels that I was on are posted, but here's a link to an mp3 recording. You may find it interesting...or not, of course.

It's a recording of the "We Want It On DVD!" panel.

http://n1jdu.org/Fandom/mp3/We_want_it_on_DVD_64k.mp3
bobquasit: (Default)
- Sebastian loves crafts. We should do them at home. But we don't. Probably because there are no other children for him to do them with; it's much more fun with other children. What should we do?

- A lot of the panels were pretty redundant. I should suggest (or log, if Arisia isn't accepting suggestions now) ideas now, while I remember what people were interested in. One panel idea: "I Married A Mundane". Another: a panel for non-fans who are attending Arisia in the company of a fan SO. That way they could commiserate about the geeks. :D

- Heinlein is an endless topic of debate.

Home again

Jan. 19th, 2009 09:56 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
We're home from Arisia. The ride home was smooth; the roads had been cleared. Once we got home we had to park on the street, because the driveway had been totally blocked by snow. But the new snowblower was able to clear everything out in about ten minutes.

The con went really well, I'd say. Teri didn't have as much fun as I did, unfortunately. While I was doing some of my panels, she was stuck over in Fast Track, keeping an eye on Sebastian (he was a kid-in-tow). She was bored. Next year Sebastian will be a full Fast Track participant, and she'll be able to leave him there on his own; that should be better for her (and him, for that matter!).

The panels all went quite well, although I was worried about the next-to-last. For a while it looked as if it would die without a whimper, but we got enough people to make it worthwhile. The RuneQuest panel was the biggest disappointment. The audience was very small (although they did have a lot of interest in the subject). I'm afraid I won't be suggesting a RuneQuest panel ever again.

Two of my panels were actually videotaped by Malden Cable Access! They're going to be putting the videos up on their site as well as broadcasting them, and I'll certainly post links to them as soon as I can. I took copious notes at almost all my panels, and will look them over with an eye to posting them. I promised to make a post on the Arisia community for each of the panels I moderated, and made the same suggestion to the moderators of the panels that I didn't moderate.

I got several business cards and email addresses from people I need to write to. One person told me about a cohousing place out in Berlin (MA) that has a fair number of roleplayers and an actual gaming room as part of the facilities; I suppose we can't afford it. But I can dream, can't I?

We all did Kamikaze Kids Costuming again. Sebastian insisted on making a Spongebob Squarepants costume; I was dubious, but it came out looking pretty good. He got a very good reception at the Masquerade.

Some of the hall costumes were great. Here's a video I took in the main hotel lobby on Saturday afternoon:



The Masquerade entries were good, but there weren't any that really took my breath away.

Speaking of the Masquerade, I was stunned to see that only half of the ballroom was used for the show; we got seats because we were Kamikaze parents, but as far as I could tell virtually all of the seats were reserved (and used) by people who were involved with the Masquerade in one way or another. I heard that over 100 people were turned away at the doors, and inside the place people were desperate for seats. It was broadcast in-house, of course, but that's never the same. We tried to watch the rebroadcast of the Masquerade in our room, but there was no picture at all! Just sound.

The Green Room (not the Masquerade one) was once again a disappointment for me. They rarely had hot food when I came by, and when they did, it wasn't anything I was interested in. It was also...well, the old group that ran the Green Room until the year before last set it up as a lovely, relaxing oasis for program participants. It was a little isolated and quiet. Seats were spotted here and there; you could chat with other participants or not, as suited you. But the current team have the room set up as a vast dining hall, with a long table down the middle and everyone sitting face-to-face. It's like summer camp, or a cafeteria. They also printed the location in the pocket program, and then stationed people to make sure that no one without a program participant badge could come in. I didn't try to see if I could bring in Teri or Sebastian...but I do wonder if I could have.

We did get a shot at the swimming pool. It's over the parking garage, and some of the passageway there is unheated! It was horribly cold, in fact. But once we got in to the pool area it was warm enough. The floor of the pool was very strange, sort of rubbery. We swam for a while. In the locker room after, we couldn't resist trying the two steam rooms there: one was full of steam, so much so that you couldn't see, and the other was filled with dry heat. It had rocks under a metal mesh, though, I and think I could have poured water on the rocks to make steam - but I didn't.

Whew! What a great long weekend. more later, I think.
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Can't find my formal shirt, cuff links, or studs - so fuck it, I'm not bringing the formal outfit.

Pity, since I only get to wear it once a year, but it's my own fault for not keeping better track of things. Funny, I would have sworn that I put that stuff exactly where I always do...but it's not there, and that's that.

Teri wouldn't dance with me anyway.
bobquasit: (Default)
Okay. I've got handouts for my RQ, kid-lit, and Party Genesis panels - that's four. I'm thinking about golden age authors and will do some more research tomorrow (I'm bringing my SF Encyclopedia so I can read and take notes in the car) - that's another two panels (lots of overlap this year!). I think I'm ready for my other panels; I just did a lot of research for the We Want It On DVD! panel, and the Kroft and roleplaying ones should be no problem (I have to remember to tell that story about Raunchy Rabbit).

I've got my camera, dancing shoes, and business cards.

I'll almost certainly be able to make some voiceposts from the con, now that I have a working number of LJ. I'm thinking of doing some video blogging, too. If anyone has any tips, please share them! I've already figured out that doing a whole post from a hotel room (or stateroom on a ship) is lame, lame, lame. I'll try to walk around and do a bit of roving-reporter stuff, if possible.

So who else is going to be there?

Arisia

Dec. 30th, 2008 10:08 am
bobquasit: (Default)
Just got my schedule. Ten panels, including a RuneQuest one.

Wow.
bobquasit: (Default)
I just annotated and posted Rack & Rune #13 to my site. This includes a writeup of what was probably my most memorable Arisia; it includes the time that Lois and I ran backstage at the Masquerade to get our video announced. It also has a description of how we made the video itself, and the story of the gripe session at the end of Arisia '93 when a moderator tried to take the microphone away from Lois. :D
bobquasit: (Default)
Here are some photos and video from the con.

First, a couple of shots of the hotel itself; one from the bottom up (towards the restaurant), and the other from the very top of the 15th floor down - I held the camera up against the ceiling. That's Sebastian's hair and arms in the corner.





Next, a shot of the lobby on Monday, at the end of the con:



Here's Sebastian in his Ice Godzilla costume. He's holding his tail in his "paw" because people kept stepping on it.



And here's the henna "tattoo" that Teri got from one of the dealers. It's funny, a lot of people have complimented her on it. She'll be sorry when it fades away!



Now for the videos. Here's Sebastian in his Ice Godzilla outfit again, in the kid's Green Room before the Masquerade.



And here he is on the stage. As you can hear, he went over pretty well - even though he seemed to have a fair-sized case of stage fright. I wish he'd waved his arms around like he did in the Green Room! But apparently he couldn't see very well inside the mask. Still, he loved the experience and is full of plans for the Masquerade next year.

And yes, that's me shouting the correct pronunciation of "Maranci" when the host stumbled on our name. :D

bobquasit: (Default)
1. Bring everything.
2. First, go sleep.

My panels

Jan. 16th, 2008 03:15 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Here are my Arisia panels:

Location


Day


Time


Track


Panel


Paul Revere A
 
Mon 12:00
PM    
Fannish
Lifestyle
LiveJournal & SixApart: Discussing the Meltdown
Empress D  
   
Sat 2:00
PM    
Fast
Track
Beyond Hogwarts: A Young Fan's Reading List
William Dawes B Sat 5:00
PM    
Gaming RPG 101...
Paul Revere B
 
Sun 2:00
PM    
Gaming Advanced RPGs
bobquasit: (Default)
Just wondering who on my flist will be at Arisia this year. Please comment and let me know!
bobquasit: (Default)
Every year I send in some panel suggestions to Arisia, and most years I do it at the last minute. When I do, I find myself trying to dig up lists of ideas from past years.

Maybe if I post my list on my journal this time, it will be easier to find next year.

Open Season: Game Systems as Intellectual Property

RuneQuest Reborn: The classic long out-of-print is now back in four different versions from three different (and competing) companies. What's going on?

Classic Authors: Many of the greatest genre writers can no longer be found on bookstore shelves; giants such Roger Zelazny, Fredric Brown, and Cordwainer Smith have vanished. Modern authors rehash classic themes and get taken as the originators. Tips and suggestions for younger/newer readers on buried treasures from long ago.

Cross-Genre: Mystery/SF - Many genre writers have also written mysteries, and vice-versa. Panelists discuss writers who've crossed over, as well as those who've mixed the two genres - or tried to.

Humor in SF/F

PS3, Xbox 360, Wii: Which is Best? (A Battle Royale)

The Plight of the Older Gamer - It was so easy in college. Nothing but time to kill and lots of other gamers on campus. But now that you've got a job and a family, is it possible to still be a roleplayer?

We Want It On DVD! - Cool shows and movies that aren't available on shiny disks - yet. Why is The Love Boat available when Max Headroom isn't?

When Game Groups Go Bad: Chemistry is essential to a good game. How to recognize when a player isn't right for a group, or vice-versa.

4.0?!? - Wizards of the Coast has announced that D&D 4.0 is on the way. What might we expect? What would gamers like to see? Is Hasbro/WOTC just being greedy money-grubbing trolls, or is 3.5 crying out for improvement?
bobquasit: (Default)
Sigh. Hotel reservations are open for Arisia, and I want to make sure we don't end up stuck in the overflow hotel; that would almost make it pointless to attend the con in the first place!

So I went to the Arisia website and tried to make a reservation. Unfortunately, my debit card expires before Arisia takes place, and I can't make the reservation unless my card will be good through the date of the con. I'll get a new card sent to me in November...but by the the odds are good that the hotel will be full.

So I called my credit union to see if I could find out what the new expiration date will be. With that info, I could have booked the room.

But they say they don't have that information, and I'll just have to wait until November.

I'll use Teri's card tonight, of course, but it still sucks. And I haven't forgotten that when Tremont CU took over the old Plan Credit Union, they assured us that they wouldn't close the branch inside our building...and then did close it within six months.

The next nearest branch is far enough away that getting there and back would take more time than we're alloted for lunch.

And we had only one ATM that we could use without getting surcharged to death - a little machine in a secure area of the building. It's frequently either broken or out of cash when I need it most (particularly on Fridays and before holidays). It's usually out of service for days.

So, as I said before, the Tremont Credit Union sucks.
bobquasit: (Sam & Max shield GIF)
I suppose most people who read this also read the Arisia community...but in case not:

I reserved our hotel room with my debit card. When I checked in, I discovered they'd put a hold on $360.55 in my checking account.

When I checked out, I paid $200 cash and put the rest of the balance on Teri's debit card, which is linked to a different account at a different bank (with, of course, different - and entirely sufficient - funds). At the time, I asked the check-out clerk how long the hold would last.

"Usually it's one business day," he said.

Four days later (this morning), the hold had not been released and my mortgage check had gone bouncy-bouncy. I'd called the hotel and left voicemail the night before, but hadn't got an answer. I called my credit union this morning, and they told me that the hold would last for TEN DAYS unless the hotel faxed them a release. I got an authorization number and finally managed to reach someone at the hotel.

So, with any luck, this is all fixed at an additional cost of only $20 to me (for the bounced check) plus some damage to my credit report.

Sigh.
bobquasit: (Lo Pan)
Just threw a bunch of suggestions for panels at the upcoming Arisia. Here they are:

- Humor in SF/F

- LiveJournal, BlogSpot, MySpace - the relative merits

- PS3, Xbox 360, Wii: Battle Royale

- Roleplaying From The Grave: Playing and supporting out-of-print roleplaying games

- RuneQuest Returned? The long-extinct classic RPG has returned as three separate products from two competing companies. What does it all mean?

- The Plight of the Older Gamer - It was so easy in college. Nothing but time to kill and lots of other gamers on campus. But now that you've got a job and a family, is it possible to still be a roleplayer?

- Cordwainer Smith - There's been one every year, and it's always great, so why not again?

- Forgotten Greats: the Golden Age authors have been disappearing from bookstores and publishing house catalogs. Panelists share authors and books that are worth haunting used book stores for.

- We Want It On DVD: Cool shows and movies that aren't available on shiny disks - yet. Why is The Love Boat available when Max Headroom isn't?

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