Phoenix Comicon 2010: Day Two

Friday, May 28th

The day started earlier than planned because excitement wouldn’t allow me to sleep. I woke up, made myself cute, and arranged my cargo. I packed snacks, water, a couple card games, and the few things I still needed to get signed. The drive downtown was uneventful. I have gotten pretty good at dodging the speed cameras.

I walked through the convention center doors with zero sense of urgency. The first panel that interested me wasn’t starting for a couple hours so I sat in on Stargate Universe: The Scalzi View. I haven’t seen Stargate Universe because I didn’t like the other Stargate shows. I was surprised that the questions and comments everyone had got me really interested in it despite what I previously thought. My Tivo thanks you for a new Season Pass.

The next panel was Bad Design in Science Fiction Universes with panelists John Scalzi, Seth Shostak, and Michael Stackpole. The three of them played really well off of each other. Shostak’s view of future space exploration was pretty cool,

“You’ll shoot a ping pong ball sized sensor out into space and explore Mars from your living room with a joystick.” Wow, I want to explore space in that fashion! Start working on it X-Box! Stackpole’s opinion that midi-chlorians were the deus ex machina he hated most in science fiction was hilarious.

“At this point people had already bought into the Force. Lucas didn’t need to over explain it with midi-chlorians.” All right! Stackpole has written a massive amount of Star Wars content and he thinks a major part of the prequels is nonsense. LOL. I enjoyed this discussion immensely. The guests and attendees had so many great things to say about silly designs in science fiction. Sometimes I think the cheesy parts make science fiction television more fun to watch.

Next I went to Wil Wheaton Presents: The Awesome Hour. Wil read two pieces about Atari that totally made me relive playing Space Invaders when I was home sick from school. He answered questions from the crowd and some of his comments really hit home for me.

I know it is a bad picture. All of my actual snapshots came out really blurry. This is a screenshot from a short video I recorded with my camera.

”These things that make us geeks are awesome. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s cool to be smart. It’s awesome to read. And this notion that girls can’t like this stuff is idiotic.” This made the crowd cheer. Yeah! Girls can be geeks too! My favorite part was when he said,

“Geek girls are super hot. There is nothing sexier in the world than a smart girl.” I scooped my brain off the floor and sat with a silly grin on my face for the rest of the panel. The Awesome Hour was truly beyond awesome. It was definitely my favorite panel of the whole weekend. Wander over to Versus the World and grab the audio recording as a podcast.

Afterwards, I had a huge chunk of time to kill. I walked my way over to the Hyatt and signed up for RockBand, which wasn’t going to start for a few hours.  I sat down outside the hotel lobby and people watched for a while. It was fun to see everyone downtown who didn’t know what was going on. There were some people at the Hyatt who looked utterly bewildered at all the nerds and people in costume. They made me think, “Boy, did you pick the wrong weekend to vacation in downtown Phoenix.” I went back to the convention center to see what was going on in the exhibitor hall. The line for Felicia Day that wasn’t too long, so I got in while I had the chance. She was really cute and polite, and I love her red hair. She signed my DVDs of The Guild and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. I was a tad surprised I had to pay, but it was worth it. I guess Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi spoiled me on that subject. Another walk around the hall assured me there wasn’t anything else I needed just now.

I walked back to the Hyatt to see if it was possible to check in for RockBand early. No dice, check in wasn’t until half an hour before the event. What to do with my extra time? I had read in the programming guide that there was a game area in the atrium so I went up to check it out. A game of Bananagrams was in progress, which I had never played before. I was invited to join and after getting the hang of it I really enjoyed myself. I got extra nerd points for spelling out the word SENTIENT. I didn’t win but came in a close second if only for the .03 points the host gave me for catching on quickly and using a really cool word. Tip: If you have any free time at a con, hang out in the board game room, there are some really cool people in there.

While going downstairs for a drink I noticed a line forming near the ballroom. It was almost two hours before RockBand and people were already waiting. I hopped in line and settled down for the long haul. I made friends with people around me and every time we saw each other over the course of the weekend we would say hi and talk. It felt like we had become one big geek family. After a while some of the staff came over and split the line in two. There was one line for people participating and another for spectators. They said the participants would get in first and then hopefully everyone else. Second facepalm moment. One guy got upset and said,

“So if we are at the front of the line and only want to watch, there is a possibility we might not get in? That’s bull. We shouldn’t get screwed if we don’t want to play.” I totally agreed even though I was going to play. Other people had been there longer, so they should be able to get in too. There was a rough hour or so because the staff and volunteers didn’t seem like they knew how to handle the large crowd that showed up. To make things worse, Calabrese, the band that was on before RockBand, started 40 minutes late. BLURG. This was the line I stood in the longest.

Once the doors were opened everyone got in and it was fine. We were all anticipating the awesome that was about to be unleashed. The game was set up on the performance stage with huge speakers and concert lights. I was like we were real rock stars! The crowd screamed like teenage girls for each band that came up to play. Wil really turned up the cheese for all the songs he sang. I got up there and sang Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria while my new friends Matt and Dan (Or maybe Dave? I told you about the name thing didn’t I?) played guitar and bass respectively and Wil played drums. I wish I had displayed more stage presence. I was just trying to stand far enough of away from the monitor so there would be no feedback, and still stay close enough to the screen to see the lyrics. The pinnacle of the night was when John Scalzi sang Journey. I love it that one of my favorite authors likes the same bands I do. Everyone that got up to play was really amazing. Check out the highlights Wil put up on his blog. Look st all the “orbs” floating around the Ghostbusters as they played! I hope you know those are just dust motes and my crappy camera.

Click to embiggen

When RockBand was over I was wiped out. I slogged back to my car and drove home. I hadn’t felt this tired in a long time but it was worth it.

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~ by booknerdgirl on June 6, 2010.

One Response to “Phoenix Comicon 2010: Day Two”

  1. Sounds like you had a really great time!!

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