But anyway, I went nerding!
First (and this is part 1, as it'll take a while to recap everything), I went to the World Science Fiction Convention. It's like a very huge version of Philcon but with an Arisia-class Masquerade contest. That is to say, the population consists primarily of classic fen. The most notable thing I picked up is that an astonishing amount of them are people I already know or recognize. Despite being on the west coast, this event seemed to be almost dominated by folks from my area. It was an absolute joy to see that Filthy Pierre was handling the very very crucially important Party Board at the convention, though I would have liked to see how it would be worked out without his intervention -- generally, this good Mr. Strauss generally limits his usefulness to the eastern seaboard, and then only as far North as MA and only as far south as MD, give or take a couple states. Events that I've been to other than those he attends generally rely on the "If door is ajar, then enter" policy or the "Who the fuck knows?" system.
Worldcon had fantastic panels -- nearly every one I went to I highly enjoyed. This event seems to grab speakers who are much more eloquent and technically minded than I've seen at most other conventions
The parties were generally pretty good. The drinks flowed smoothly, there weren't any ID checks that I noticed (there's something to be said for the honour system), and everyone was in good humour. Some of the parties were themed, like the impressive Klingon "Black Hole" bar and the "Christmas in 2020" Worldcon Bid, and many were very straightforward. One room was just a loud dance party with a single tasty beverage and a lot of mojo. There were people spilling into the halls, people having long conversations about obscure sciences, and people daring each other to have drinks chock-full of ghost pepper.
The only downside I can think of with the parties is that the Christmas Bid, which was advertised as a Boston bid, did not contain any Bostonians and was, in fact, not a real bid. I totally would have gone.
Beyond that? Ohhh, I did what I do. I made out with a couple girls who were quite pretty and intelligent, I took lots of photographs, I attended the Masquerade contest and the Hugo awards, and I fistbumped George R. R. Martin. Oh, here's the quick story on that last one:
There was a party in the gentleman's honour. He's the writer of the book series that spawned the "Game of Thrones" HBO series, so he's rather in his fifteen minutes right now and probably will be for some time ongoing. The party, the very same one which featured the ghost peppers, started up shortly after the Hugos ended. At one point wherein I was visiting this party, the entire populace started excitedly whispering "There's a Quest! George R. R. Martin is giving us a Quest!", and soon after, people started filing into the smallest of the suite's three rooms, the one with the Jacuzzi. As people crowded around Mr. Martin, he stood up and solemnly told them of a burger place down the road, and that they should get him a burger.
After thirty people exited the room in glee, I walked up to the man, congratulated him on his ballsy handling of his fans, and bumped fists with him. That was worth far more than a million of these "autographs" that people seem to go gaga about. The only better thing I've done at conventions with famous folk is walking nearby to them with my giant moustache -- I got a good laugh out of Boris Vallejo and John de Lancie doing so. Good times.
So, yeah, that's Renovation, the Worldcon in Reno. Good times, good roommates, good injection of intellectualism. The only downside is that I lost one of my shoulder bags, a bag which contained a cool collar that I [i]just bought[/i] and one of my mesh shirts, a shirt which will be difficult at best to replace.
More on the vacation later on. I have thousands of photographs to sift through for now!