Demicon 26 – A Magical Weekend!

I have been trying to sit down and write this post for two days now.

I spent this past weekend getting my geek on at Demicon 26.  From registration and Opening Ceremonies at 7:00 pm Friday night to Closing Ceremonies ending at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, I basked in the aura of sci-fi, fantasy, and a little horror.

I made the decision to rent a car to go down initially because Enterprise (not the starship, unfortunately) had a special going on. However, after adding the expense of insurance coverage and the pre-paid gas, it came to be quite the bill. I have decided it would be far simpler to just rent a room in the hotel next year and the expense would not be that much different. I made the reservation for a double queen rather than a single king so that if I can find someone to share the room with, that will defray the cost. I won’t have to worry about driving back and forth or finding a parking space. The hotel is wonderful and loves having the con there. They recently went through a renovation and started with the fifth floor because that’s the floor we normally take over. However, their parking lot is the size of the postage stamp. With a con that brings in over 550 people for the weekend, that is a problem.

The Trans-Iowa Canal Company put on their usual stellar performance during the opening ceremonies with a play entitled “The Librarians and the Flask of Light”, a tongue-in-cheek, in-joke filled, skit. There weren’t any panels going on after the ceremonies that I wanted to go to and it was too late to get into any of the role-playing games. There were room parties going on, but I was a little tired and leery of driving in the dark after such a long time out of the driver’s seat, so I chatted with a few people then headed home.

Saturday morning dawned gloomy and muggy with the strong prediction for rain. I had scheduled an appointment with the con’s Blood drive for 10:00, so I made sure to drink plenty of fluids and got set up for the day. I loaded a backpack with 3 one-liter bottles of my green tea/water mix and bags of healthy snacks from graze.com, my Kindle, my wallet and my cell phone. I didn’t pack the dead tree version of the writer GoH’s book because I thought the signing event was Sunday. (I was wrong.) I had called the Blood Center earlier in the week to be sure that none of the drugs I take would preclude me from donating, so I was ready to go. I fed the cats, made sure they had fresh water and headed out.

pint by pint
I donated!

I got inside and was looking at the schedule to see what I wanted to do for the day only to see that I had missed the date and that the GoH signing was happening *now*. I hurried into the Dealers’ Room, heading for author/dealer Glen Cook‘s table to see if he had a copy of a Jim C. Hines’ book that I had read. A witch (seriously, pointed hat, broomstick, crochet cat on her shoulder, bushy grey hair) was there in front of me, grabbed the last copies of the first two books in Jim’s Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris) series and asked Glen to hold them for her until Sunday. Grrr! I did spot the first book in his Princess series, The Stepsister Scheme. Glen wasn’t set up for plastic, but I did have some cash. (Next year, I’m packing my checkbook.)  Book bought, author accessed, signature secured. SCORE!

On to the panel discussions. Doctor Who at 52, which was very well done. The person who ran it apparently has connections and insider info, as well as being obsessed. Harry Dresden, which was kind of thrown together because the original panelist had to miss the con because of family issues. The fillers did quite well.  A quick mid-afternoon run home for meds and a meal. Back to the gaming rooms for a few new table games, new to me anyway. One with mini-robots called Volt and a card game made a long time ago by Wizards of the Coast of Magic: The Gathering fame that I don’t remember the name of. One I lost badly, the other I won by a landslide. Then, some cruising, up to the consuite, stopping at a few of the room parties on the fifth floor, chatting with people, back down to the main room just in time for the Art Auction. Some very beautiful pieces. One that was exquisite had a starting bid from being on display, so I couldn’t even dream of it. I picked up a couple of sharp, pointy things and a choose-your-own-adventure book that were charity items. The book is by a local author and is signed. I thought it would make a good birthday present for Nephew #1. An enthusiastic newbie (aged 7?) had to be stifled by his mother to keep from up-bidding himself.  He got a couple of things, too. There were some huge movie posters. I mean 4×6 feet huge.

Back up to the consuite for some supper. They had chili dogs with cheese! nomnomnom

Because I’m  fan of talking back to the screen in movies, especially of bad movies, I went to Hor-RIFF-fic Productions to watch them take on that cinematic eco-terror classic from 1972 starring Ray Milland, Sam Elliot and Joan van Ark, FROGS! Gary and Erin “Slasher” and their co-panelist, “Satan” had some very funny lines. My problem was that I couldn’t understand them. Their lines were too loud and ran over the lines they were mocking in the movie, which was too soft, so much of the humor didn’t make sense. Also, many times, the words were slurred and I couldn’t distinguish what they were saying. Probably would have been funnier if I could have read their script as I watched the movie on my own. On a side note, Gary and Erin are next year’s Demicon’s Fan Guests of Honor.

Then back up to the fifth floor for a screening of the 1975 classic sass-back, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I dragged a chair down the hall because, at my age and physical condition, I don’t take the floor, and none of the teeny-boppers on the loveseat were willing to move. The show was delayed waiting for the missus to arrive, but we eventually got started. This movie is one of my Top Five. I’ve seen it often enough I didn’t worry about not knowing the lines of the movie, but I wanted to see if the speak-back parts were as I remembered from watching with friends before and if there any new I could discover.  A disappointing F-Bomb filled 90 minutes ensued. They were going to show the 1981 sequel, Shock Treatment. I decided enough was enough, and I had to drive home.

I struggled out of bed on Sunday because I had slept so poorly Saturday night. Wired 5×5. Nice to find out Pandora has a ‘sleep’ function. I decided to try the role-playing game, Pathfinder Society. It was a good module. I got to play an Elven Rogue. <Evil Grin> The GM gave me a membership card that I could use to join in online. Apparently, it’s international. Looks like fun. We finished just in time to catch the end of Win, Lose or Draw and then Closing Ceremonies.

I can’t wait for next year.

Edit Post: I completely forgot to mention all of the wacky, wonderful, and fantastic costumes I saw. From faeries to steam punk adventurers, from Klingon jailers to a grade school Pika-chu who encouraged a shy questioner in a panel discussion to, “Let your freak flag fly freely, it’s Demicon!” One of the Weeping Angels even stopped in. Mea culpa.

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