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February 26th, 2006

Mega-Con

So, after a nice intense lecture about PCBs, shark reproduction and the exciting social life of female bonnethead sharks in Florida Bay (they are apparently spending time seducing multiple males with cute tail flips and then not even using the sperm for months, just quietly storing the sperm) I headed up to Mega-Con with a friend in a successful attempt to restablish my geek credentials.

After a terrible morning incident involving singing hamsters in chicken costumes (trust me, you do not want to know) we arrived at a parking lot more or less not particularly close to the Orange County Convention Center – the one at the Muvico parking lot. The Muvico is attached to an open air mall that used to look a lot cooler when it held a giant teddy bear, but has now gone for an exciting construction look, which forced us to do lots and lots of wandering round and round and jumping over things and avoiding small bulldozers, before arriving at the con to find that, as per usual at cons like this, the line to get into the place was seemingly endless. (Yes, yes, of course I should have prepaid.) Very overcrowded; Mega-Con is clearly attracting larger audiences, and I’d advise them in the future to book more space at the center and have more panels.

With its usual slap happy manner, the OCCC had booked a cheerleading event and a Pool and Spa event in the same building, which had little if any effect on the Pool and Spa people, but did distract the cheerleading families a bit – partly because, as they pointed out, their event was better organized.

But, tickets purchased, we entered the con and – wait for it – really – are you sitting down? Ok -- not do any gaming. I’m not sure how I did this, and I’ll be honest, I almost feel as if part of the universe must have been displaced. But to make up for this, I did get to meet a lot of very cool people who draw or write things well and will even discuss Hugh Jackman’s nose with you in extensive detail and quote Firefly at you and admit to attempting to copy some of Inara’s costumes and tell you how to get the DVD set of Robin of Sherwood for Region 0 and 1 DVD players. (Go here and prepare to pay lots of money. On the bright side you can buy just the ones with Michael Praed and maybe the first few Jason Connery episodes.) Oh, and people interested in exploding centipedes.

Mega-Con, of course, does also mean a lot of very cool gawking at stuff you’d like to buy, but won’t. We managed without difficulty to avoid purchasing bootlegged copies of the Star Wars Christmas Special. (My friend noted that we will actually need to retain some brain cells in the forthcoming months.) We had a little more difficulty not investing in multiple other things (they had VOLTRON!!! LION VOLTRON!!!!!!!!! 77 EPISODES OF LION VOLTRON!) including a lovely print that I almost got, before remembering that I have no idea how much wall space I’ll actually have for another three months, and various T-shirts, and multiple Firefly items (my friend is a major, major Firefly fan.) But I did get a Serenity comic book signed by no other than the marvelous hawkward.

We did take one convention break to see Emerald Rose in concert. Emerald Rose is a marvelously geeky band that sings songs about Dungeons and Dragons (and really, what else can you want out of a band?) but that was not the wildly cool part of the concert: that was the…

….well, I need to give Emerald Rose’s introduction here: the band has played for the Lord of the Rings cast party and Oscar parties, and as a result heads to various Lord of the Rings costume parties, which I seriously approve of, to play music, and at one such costume, while they were playing a nice Celtic song with a good beat for various Aragorns and Orcs and Nazgul…

…the Nazgul started doing the Macarena, followed by another, and then another, until various costumed people started doing the Macarena.

I do not know why; Emerald Rose does not know why, but they now tell this story, and, well…

…let’s just say that you haven’t really lived until you’ve watched a bunch of geeks try to do the Macarena to a cheerful Irish song – in the process completely forgetting the moves, mind you.

And, as expected, the con was also filled with various costumed folk. I had thought about spending the whole day at a con in costume, but I gotta say, after watching many of these people, I had just two thoughts in my head: wow, that looks heavy, and wow, that looks hot – hot in the temperature sense not in the wow I want to bang that sense.

Today's plans are a bit hampered by rain, but we'll see what we can do.

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