[ return : true > paper ]

relaxing, isn't it?

for me, baycon is almost like a con for its own sake, people brought together out of the feeling that 'you and i are the same.' i spent a lot of time wandering around, trying to find a common interest that held this community together. i never did, though. . .

i liked it. it was strange, the people were strange, but fun for all of that.

it helped that i had native guides, in the persons of one fanboy and two manic otaku. they introduced me to their friends, made me welcome. on some level, these people still terrify me, but that's just the way things are at cons. . . scary people. . .

they arrived with more food than our group took to ax. they had a refrigerator, in fact. a lot of the people are quite nice. but still, i am in a maze of twisty little passages, all different. i haven't read the right books, don't like the right tv, don't dress the right way. a lot of the people seem vaguely gothic. . . and i'm more a steampunk.

anyway, though, i arrived at the con about six hours behind schedule, grumpy and disoriented, without a badge or money for same. in the parlance, i was a ghost. technically, i couldn't go to any of the con events, including video rooms, panels, dealer's room, room parties, essentially everything but the lobby. not fun.

i got by, though. i made myself unofficially useful, and another staffer bequeathed me his badge when he had to leave mid-con.

my first stop was the BAAS (bay area animation society) anime room, where i met the logistics coordinator. a monstrously competent guy. . . explained to me the full measure of the con within an hour. he explained my options as a ghost, the problems i faced, and the rationale behind many of the con's policies. i was truly impressed.

we had a little ddr party. . . if you can call it that without snack food. it was fun. i made signs that i was very proud of, with the four ddr arrows filled-in and '307' written beneath. most of the people who came in had no idea whatsoever what the game was or how it was played. shouldn't have surprised me, i know. still, there were some decently skilled ddr players. i lectured a lot, repeating the 'how to play' demonstration whenever necessary. the high point, i think, was when steve challenged a klingon to honorable combat on the ddr pads. the klingon accepted, but strode out cursing after watching a demonstration. steve followed, yelling 'you coward' and other such slights. he said later that his opinion of klingons had been drastically lowered.

i didn't see much of the actual baycon 'programming' per se. i went to a lot of parties, participated in the bopping, helped with a lot of things, but i didn't get to a single panel. i really loved the newsletter. it was full of items like 'return our [inflatable] alien ambassadors to the pool!! they put out an official parody on the last day, even more ridiculous than their normal paper. very cute.

mostly, though, what made the con memorable was the partying. currently, anime conventions do not have parties to compare to sf cons.

and yet, i'm told that a-kon is still like an sf con in some ways.

the dealer's room was rather like a rennaisance faire market thingy. i was shocked by the sheer number of pointy-thing dealers. the dealer's room offered very little in the area of anime, a nice selection of books, (quite a few comics, as well,) and a bewildering assortment of rennaisance-style gowns and such.

the anime programming ran only half the day, during the night. i thought it rather a good idea, actually. . . in some ways. it drastically reduced staffer burnout, a constant con occupational hazard. not that we slept much during the day, but the fact that we could was nice.

a lot happened, but it all blurs together. for four days, we were all friends in santa clara. i never found out why we were all there, and perhaps that's why we all got along so well. . .

—chris