ConDor 2014

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First off, my apologies for severely neglecting my blog. I couldn’t believe it when I looked back and realized that my last post was *GASP* January 31st. Almost two months without a fresh post is entirely unacceptable no matter how crazy and hectic my life may be.

Hot Nerd Girl Geek Outlaw booth

You stay on your side of the booth Geek Outlaw!

Since January 31st my NerdBFF Hayden aka Geek Outlaw and I had our first booth at a Convention.

The 2014 LA Comic Book and Sci-Fi Convention ended up being a great place to pop our convention booth cherries.

He wrote a spectacular post about it that you should read HERE.

 

Usually I’m the one having to drive back and forth to Los Angeles for Conventions that are closer to Hayden than they are to me but this past weekend Hayden had to drive to my neck of the woods for San Diego’s longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention, ConDor. Despite spending much of my youth A) in San Diego and, B) attending sci-fi conventions (mostly Star Trek), I had never been to ConDor.

Due to our schedules Hayden and I only attended the convention on Saturday and we mostly stuck to the panels and floor, although I saw rooms where they were playing table top games and it looked REALLY fun. There were also several classes that I wish I’d had time to take and a couple of dances/parties.

The overall feel of the convention was very steampunk as you can see from the photos taken by the official photographer Jerry Abuan. Check them out HERE. In fact, the floor was comprised almost entirely of steampunk vendors/artists…

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with the exception of a cardboard TARDIS…

Guess I shouldn't have taken that pill o.0

Guess I shouldn’t have taken that pill o.0

and an art exhibit…

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ConDor is pretty small as far as Conventions go but fantastic in that there is something for everyone. The program was 51 pages thick and we didn’t even get to see a lot of the action.

Hayden and I attended four panels: Broad Appeal vs. the Personal Touch (a writing panel), The Enduring Popularity of Doctor Who, Alien Invasions and Human Responses, and Big Bang Theory: Love it or Hate it? Many of the panelists were the same people who simply went from one panel to the next. I think most of them are long-time members and friends and are listed in the beginning of the program as “ConDor Veterans.” It was pretty neat in that it was a little round table of four or five geeks geeking it up. I could have sat through another hour of the Doctor Who panel, easy. It was a bit of a bummer in that, with the exception of the writing panel, they really didn’t invite much audience interaction. They were kind of lost in their own little worlds having these great conversations and we may as well have been sitting on the other side of a two-way mirror. They just didn’t take much notice of us and I felt as though I could have contributed some insight on a couple of occasions that would have added to the conversation. Ah well!

Broad Appeal vs. the Personal Touch (a writing panel)

Panelists: Kelly Dunn, Stephen Woodworth (Moderator), Dani Kollin, Sherwood Smith

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This was supposed to be a panel about how too much broad appeal can make a story overly generic while too much of a personal touch can make a story impenetrable and irrelevant; however, there was some confusion in the beginning over what exactly “genre fiction” was that took up quite a bit of time. Hayden got in a good question during the Q&A in which he asked the panelists to name one thing that would keep a story from being too generic and one thing that would keep it from being too personal. The advise ranged from writing from a “gods eye view” to basing characters off of people you know in real life. Stephen had the best quote in response to Hayden’s question, he said that “every story is a delicate balance between universality and individuality, it’s the details that make the story unique.” (example: Romeo & Juliet vs. West Side Story)

The Enduring Popularity of Doctor Who

Panelists: Ron Oakes (Moderator), Janet Tait, Robert Evans, Lynn Maudlin

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This panel was comprised mostly of Doctor Who superfans, all of whom started watching the show at very different points in their lives, nerding out about the show. This is the panel I could have sat through another hour of, I just wish their had been more audience interaction. More times than I can count I leaned over to whisper something to Hayden (a non-Whovian) only to have one of the panelists say what I just said a moment later. I would have kicked ass on that panel.

Alien Invasions and Human Responses

Panelists: Cody Goodfellow (Moderator), Sheila Finch, Vernor Vinge, Lynn Maudlin, Eytan Kollin

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This panel was about how humanity would react to an alien invasion and the different possible types of invasion (physical, viral/bacterial, invasive species, informational, etc.) It kind of turned into a bit of a history lesson about Nazi Germany but that’s mostly because Eytan is a history teacher by day.

Big Bang Theory: Love it or Hate it?

Panelists: Chris Weber, James Hay (Moderator), Roberts Evans, David Ross

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This panel was kind of hilarious in that it was an idea James Hay had but then he admitted that he didn’t know anyone personally who hated The Big Bang Theory. He was hoping for a healthy debate about the show but it was mostly a love fest and any criticisms of it were quickly shot down by the panelists who were, I think, a little too defensive of the show. At one point it morphed into a very awkward conversation about sex on TV. Still, it was a fun panel, although my criticism about needing more audience interaction still stands, these guys did a slightly better job of engaging the attendees. And yes, that is a woman knitting in the front row during the panel.

As I mentioned before, almost all of the costumes were steampunk but they were AMAZING steampunk and a lot of care and craft went into their creation. I wish I’d taken more pictures of the costumes but seriously, if you’re into steampunk fashion, check out the official photos HERE.

Steampunker Capt. Seekerman is an amazing web designer. Check out his work here.

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I posted this picture on the HNG Facebook page along with the caption “May the Force live long and prosper.” and one clever follower came back with “I’d rather reverse that meme, so that I can ‘live long and be with you’ 😉 ” Clever boy.

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Hanging out with the 11th Doctor

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I naturally gravitate towards TARDIS’s.

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I photobombed Hayden’s picture of the Stargate Coverstone.

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A Coat of Arms from Germany in the Exhibit Room.

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Jerry Abuan, the official photographer of the Con spotted Hayden and wanted a picture of him in his Geek Outlaw getup.

(Please note that full credit goes to Jerry Abuan for the next three photos and I totally nabbed them from his site and don’t have the rights to them)

Photo credit: Jerry Abuan

Photo credit: Jerry Abuan

Since it’s my job to keep Hayden humble, I often photobomb his pictures. It’s what friends do for each other.

Photo credit: Jerry Abuan

Photo credit: Jerry Abuan

This time I was actually asked to stay for a shot!

Photo credit: Jerry Abuan

Photo credit: Jerry Abuan

Too bad for Hayden, I found a new NerdBFF before the end of the Convention.

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A huge thanks to Pearl and the lovely organizers and helpers at ConDor for the press passes and the hospitality. They are good people and I look forward to hanging out with them again next year at ConDor 2015!

Icheb the Borg Boy asked me out…

 

Sad emoticon...

Sad emoticon…

And then never called me.

It was 06 APR 2002 at the Star Trek Convention in San Francisco.  I was attending with an ex-sort-of-boyfriend and fellow nerd.  Even though I have been an avid Star Trek fan since birth, this was my very first convention and I was uber excited.  I found my way downstairs to the celebrity and vendor floor and after buying a celtic ring (I know, way random) ended up at Manu Intiraymi’s table where he was having a spirited conversation with a fan in full uniform.  I had a question for him (can’t for the life of me remember what it was) so I sort of listened in on their conversation and looked through the photographs of him and Jeri Ryan spread out on the table.  He kept glancing at me.  I wasn’t in uniform; however, I was wearing my communicator and several Star Trek pins.

Finally the uniformed fan stepped away and I turned to ask him my question.

Borg Boy beat me to it.

MI: “So, are you here with your boyfriend?”

HNG: “Excuse me?”

MI: “Girls like you only come with their boyfriends who are into this stuff.”

HNG (looking incredulous): “No, I’m not here with a boyfriend.  I’m a Trekker.”

MI (looking incredulous): “Are you serious?”

HNG (getting pissed off): “Yes, I’m serious.”

MI (looking stunned): “Huh.”

Don't let the hat fool you. He's cute.

Don’t let the hat fool you. He’s cute.

I then proceeded to ask him my question and we spent about 5 minutes engaged (heeheehee) in a nerdy conversation regarding some aspect of playing a Borg on TV.  I asked if I could get a picture taken with him and he said yes so I ran back up to where my friend was waiting and grabbed my camera and headed back down.  I popped in a Listerine Pocket Pak because, well, one always wants fresh breath when confronting the Borg.  Uniformed Fan was back so we had him take the picture.

MI: “What’s that great smell?  Is that gum?”

HNG: “No, it’s a Listerine Pocket Pak, want one?”

MI: “Sure.”

I then proceeded to explain to Borg Boy and UF the virtues of Pocket Paks for those who can’t chew gum due to TMJ…Paks must have been relatively new to the market or something because they listened with rapt interest and declared that I could be a spokesperson for them.

Whatever.

The conversation turned to Borg Boy’s upbringing by hippie parents and how his parents still live here so he comes to visit a lot.  He asked if I wanted to hang out sometime when he was in town.  I said, sure, why not?  He asked me for my phone number. (UF is watching this with his head moving back and forth like it’s a tennis match).  I wrote down my number and gave it to him.  He put it in his wallet with a promise to call me and take me out to dinner.

Whatever.  I’m not holding my breath, fresh as it may be.

I walked away and UF followed me, rambling on about how cool it is that I got asked out by a Borg.  Yeah, it’s cool I guess.  I finally ditched UF and headed back to my friend/ESOBF.  I tell him the whole story and he can’t even believe it.  WTF?  Why is it so hard to believe?  YOU asked me out.  Geez.

Anyways, it’s a good thing I’m somewhat cynical because I never did get a call from Borg Boy…