wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] rinnytintinny on Facebook.
It made me think for a minute about how much time I've spent at conventions and/or working on them.
Would you like to know more? )
I don't tag people, but I am curious about my friends' experiences, especially oldermore experienced fans like [livejournal.com profile] badger2305, [livejournal.com profile] materia_indigo, [livejournal.com profile] chebutykin, [livejournal.com profile] qob...you know who you are, people.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Decided to skip the knees-up after work and proceed directly to the Leaning Tower of Pizza for what I thought was a 6 PM Arcana meeting - it turned out to be a 7 PM meeting, which meant I was long done with my appetizers and halfway through a large pizza by the time other folks started showing up. Well, at least I got to see the Tigers beat the A's for the pennant while I was sitting there. The meeting itself mostly revolved around goosing the attendance at Arcana, which has been bumping along between 30-50 people for the past six years. Part of that is because it's usually been scheduled opposite the MCBA Fallcon and the Twin Cities Marathon, but a bigger part of it is that they just don't do a very good job of promoting it. I have the feeling that's going to change - they have a couple of new folks who aren't also trying to start an anime convention (#^_^#) so that'll help. We may even see an Arcana room party at Anime Detour, which would be kind of cool. If they can get even one percent of our people to show up (and I'm sure at least 1% of the AD membership is into horror and fantasy) it'll give them a real shot in the arm. And that would be good.

By the time the meeting broke up at 9, I was feeling pretty tired and since the 4F bus goes right by the apartment on 82nd street I decided to just leave the Kia at the Park & Ride overnight and maybe go hike over there this afternoon. It would do me good...on the other hand, I might only walk as far as the bus stop and then catch a few buses over that way.

Slept in until 10 - don't feel any real urgency to get anything done, though I do need to get this place cleaned up a bit before [livejournal.com profile] qob comes by to borrow some books. Whenever that'll be.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Couple of thoughts about this past weekend...

There may not be a big market for it, but I'd be interested in a Traffic Police Bounty Hunter game that allowed you to enforce the traffic laws. With a shotgun. Any PS2/XBox designers out there?

Apparently this has been a really awful year for a lot of the regulars at Arcana - illness, job losses, deaths in the families, and the like. I hope things turn out better for everyone before next year's convention rolls around!

Speaking of Arcana, attendance was up this year - P showing up yesterday pushed the attendance to 40, which Eric observed was 110% of the 2005 attendance. I think not having the convention opposite the MCBA Fallcon helped (certainly [livejournal.com profile] cajones had an easier time making it) and some people who had tried it in previous years but missed last year returned to the fold. Unfortunately, I won't be back for 2007, since I expect to be in Virginia, but hopefully I can rope in a couple of friends to help stage an Arcana East. I know there are quite a few of my friends who enjoy HPL and other dark fantasy, and I feel confident that we can get 40, 50, maybe a hundred people together for an east coast version of the Twin Cities' longest-running convention. Even if the Minn-Con Board declines to authorize my borrowing the name. ;)

P and I had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] materia_indigo last night at Al Vento instead of joining the Arcana crowd at the Tavern on Grand. Al Vento is an acquired taste, and I mean that in the Bill James sense of "...all the entrees cost $20 and taste like the oregano was left out." Don't get me wrong, the Caesar salad was okay, as was the squash ravioli and the bruschetta (if you like bruschetta, which I personally don't, that much) and P says the tiramisu was the best she'd ever had, but my tastes in Italian food run more to the traditional Neapolitan/Sicilian style dished up at Buca and the late lamented Cafe di Napoli, so it wasn't my kind of place. [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik, you and the missus might want to give the place a try, since it's in your neighborhood and IIRC your tastes run to that sort of thing.

I've started Tim Powers' Declare, which I picked up at the Arcana auction. The Le Carre influence is as strong in this one as the Deighton influence was in Charles Stross' The Atrocity Archives. So far so good.

Staying up late Friday and Saturday night (to say nothing of the Cipro) really took it out of me, and I retired early after perusing more Arcana winnings: Charles Addams' The Groaning Board and Nightcrawlers. Plenty of stuff I hadn't seen before, including some grimly amusing pieces featuring the "Friendly Loan Company".

I could really use an icon to indicate happiness or pleasure...I think it says a few things about me that I don't have one, and that bothers me. I'll have to talk to P about this.

UPDATE 10/3/06 Spelling errors and title flubs fixed as well as an unclear reference in the restaurant review.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
It didn't start well. Any day that starts with only six hours of sleep because somebody else has to go to work early is officially teh suck. I compounded that by staying up and playing Civicrack for a couple of hours, but a substantial breakfast and a big cup of Guatemala balanced that out, and I even managed to rewrite my apazine so that I wound up with four pages.

Much driving around ensued. P wanted to do stuff at the apartment after showering, but I drew the line - I had a 2 PM collation to be hosting, and no delays would be tolerated. Between the Kinko's run, refueling, lunch on the run, and swinging back by the apartment for a clipboard & tape (which wound up not being used) and dropping off P's apartment keys, I barely made it back to Arcana and the collation by 2 PM. I did, though, and things went pretty smoothly. There was a good turnout - pretty much all the in-town members except for Marjorie, IIRC. [livejournal.com profile] materia_indigo and Rick both took spec copies, so we may even have some new blood for the next issue. Yay!
And then a lot of Arcana stuff happened. )
And I'll be back at it this afternoon after showering & dressing. TTFN.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Took half a day off from work yesterday to take care of business on P's behalf and then headed over to Bandana Square for Arcana. It was pretty slow, as Friday afternoons usually are; the high point was seeing Dead of Night and going out to Dino's for gyros and falafel. I passed up Opening Ceremonies and spent the rest of the evening talking to [livejournal.com profile] materia_indigo and Mike about their trip to Japan, languages, weird job postings at the U, and my plans for next year, which MI hadn't previously been aware of. (Neither of us knew the other had LJ. @_@) Got home a little before 0100 and got six hours of uneasy sleep before crawling out of bed to run P into work.

If I had any brains I would have just gone home and back to bed, but the combined pull of the new Caribou on Penn and breakfast at McD's was too much to resist. Ahhh, Guatemala. Someday I will do horrible things with Photoshop and animation software in your honor. Anyway, now that I've eaten and performed the morning health maintenance ritual, I think I'll clean up and make this StippleAPA a little more than the excusezine I was originally planning.

Or not. The lure of Civicrack is strong.

Arcana

Sep. 14th, 2006 11:57 am
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
It's been rescheduled this year, partially (I think) because it conflicted with the MCBA Fallcon; it's now September 29 - October 1 at the former Holiday Inn Express Bandana Square, which is now a Best Western. I'm not on the concom this year, but I'm still going despite the fact that this month's AD staff meeting falls on the Saturday afternoon right smack in the middle of the convention. So it goes. The StippleAPA collation will be going on at the convention, which is another reason I'll be missing the staff meeting...

Anyway, the whole point of this post was to promote the fact that the concom is extending the pre-reg deadline to 9/22, so you can either get me a check for $25 or wait until the following Friday and cough up an extra $5, since the walk-up rate is only $30. I've been going there for a few years now, and I think that it may well be my favorite local convention, Detour and Convergence notwithstanding. If you're into horror and dark fantasy, you really ought to stop by; if you're not, pass the word to your friends who are.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Of the half-dozen conventions in Minnesota and Iowa that I get to with any kind of regularity, I sometimes think I like Arcana the best. This is strange, to say the least, because I'm not really a big horror fan. Sure, I've read pretty much all the Lovecraft I could get my hands on, watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer obsessively, and have been known to enjoy the occasional Stephen King novel, but I don't really know the big names in the field and have only a passing familiarity with horror movies. So why is it that every October I find myself going over to the Holiday Inn Express at Bandana Square and hanging out with the regulars at this tiny convention (40 people most years, 51 this year, which was considered a raging success) until all hours?

Well, it's more like a large house party than a small convention - there's one track of programming, a dealer's room which seems to mainly cater to collectors (specialty publishing house Fedogan & Bremer always has a table), the hospitality suite (my responsibility these days) and Krushenko's. The panels are more like discussion groups than panels, since the audience often knows as much about the subjects being discussed as the panelists, and the Guest of Honor usually says something in their closing remarks to the effect that we have as many smart, intelligent audience members as conventions many times our size. (Joe Bob Briggs, 2002 and Tim Powers, 2004; maybe David Drake and Gahan Wilson as well, though I don't remember for sure.)

So if you have a taste for horror, either literary or media style, you could do a lot worse than Arcana. It's a nice little convention, right in your back yard. I'll have the cheese lumps and crackers waiting for you. ^_^

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