The report is mostly a daily log of events; I don't really go into meta or anything like that. Much. So uh, if you just want to see the pics, click on the link next to each day XD.
I made a brief recap post on Wednesday, so I'll just start with Thursday.
Thursday, July 27, 2006 [photos here]
Bright and early, registration -- where we met up with xylodemon who has the most beautiful blue eyes you can imagine. Checked into my own room, which was just down the hall from karaz and pir8fancier. Then it was time for the H/D lunch party at noon -- myashke went all out. There were goodie bags and omg omg so many buttons and DOOR PRIZES sdklfj I GOT A DARK MARK FLASHLIGHT SQUEE. longleddedgit, lazy_daze, emmagrant01, geoviki, balefully, karaz, pir8fancier, xylodemon, maxine_chan, cmere, dramaphile, djin7 (who informed us gleefully that she is a Snarry fan crashing the party \:D/), gatewaygirl, zedmeister, anasuede, fiona_fawkes, shabzilla, marcasita, kriken, mijan and a tonne of other people I am forgetting because I am a tool. Then djin7 and I went down to the lobby to check email and flists and such.
Afterwards, I took Blaise upstairs and found karaz and pir8fancier in the vendor room. karaz and I bought fake (transfer) Dark Marks and immediately headed for the nearest bathroom to apply them. They were too-shiny at first but after a couple of hours they looked very authentic. At the creativity booth, I requested a chest monster stick figure from Cedar (which I promptly forgot about and didn't get it until the next day) I have not taken a picture of it but I assure you it is a masterpiece of modern art. I am going to frame it, I think.
I don't remember why now, but we decided to go down by the pool, where we hung out with xylodemon, cmere, dramaphile, incroyable, balefully and lazy_daze. There was splashing and posing for cameras. xylodemon and pir8fancier abandoned us all in favour of discussing pirate porn, to the point that I was forced to say, "Put the pirates down and let the rum go." Or possibly, "Put the rum down and let the pirates go." I'm not sure, but it didn't stop them in any case. :|
The Snarry meetup was at 4:30 -- pir8fancier went straight to it whilst karaz and I hung out in my room (I think!), but eventually we went down to the pub and joined the Snape people. I ordered an Avada Colada (which was vile) and just eyeballed people for a while. It seemed to be more of a Snape meetup by that point. oulangi and I talked Snape theories. I did a little squeal of joy upon seeing amanuensis1 again. Now, I've already been warming up to Snape since doing the HBP re-read and continuing the commentary, but this meetup made me realise quite firmly that there's no way Snape could be as horrible as I used to think he is if so many awesome people are willing to give him a chance. Which is sheeplike, I suppose, but there you have it. Someone (I forget who, I'm such a spaz :S) gave me a "Trust Snape" armband, which I proceeded to wear for the rest of the con. I didn't end up going to any of the Snape panels, but I am happy to report that since Lumos, my visceral reaction to Snape is no longer "ARGH DIE TWATMONKEY DIE" but rather a "I LIKE YOU BUT YOU STILL DO NOT GET TO HAVE SEX WITH ANYONE" >.>
Also talked to bethbethbeth and ziasudra_fic briefly, mostly about Snape but also about the Sooper Controvershull Reviewz omgz!1 >.>
The Welcoming Feast began at 6PM. While we were waiting to get into the "blue" room (which held all the slashers, presumably), I ran into starrysummer, midnitemaraud_r and ryogrande, as well as saw two excellent cosplayers -- Rita Skeeter with the enormous green quill and Luna Lovegood with the insanely awesome lion hat that roared. I was starting to worry a little, because incognito had gone to the strip with yamapea and them and she still wasn't back. She texted me just as I was preparing to go inside, and we managed to get together and then find the rest of the H/D gang (it's what I'm calling them because they were people hanging out at the H/D lunch earlier).
The opening announcements were pretty boring -- we received a lecture on parties in the rooms and sticker/flyer posting; not something that was an issue at TWH as far as I can recall, but then again, Emerson probably brought some friends with him. The owl post -- little pieces of paper stuck into holders -- was hilarious! We received something about Snape and his nose (I think). Shabz stuck a shocking pink square of paper and a pencil under my nose and demanded that I write a drabble. I wrote... something, but it was pure crack and I don't even remember wtf it was anymore. Shocking pink is not exactly stimulating to the writing part of my brain; it's more like stimulating to the "flail wildly and run away!" part of my brain.
The food was decent, but nothing to write home about, really, and I really didn't like that there was just one type of dish and a salad. At TWH, we had a buffet dinner, and I preferred that . This time it was just tossed greens with somewhat watery dressing, bread with butter, and a smallish portion of stew (split pea soup for the vegetarians). shabzilla, lazy_daze, longleggedgit, balefully and incroyable amused themselves with food porn. When they brought the cake, we all sang "happy birthday" to dramaphile! incognito and I left early, because she needed to bring her things to our room (she had stayed in yamapea's room the night before). Oh yeah, during the feast, I snuck out for a smoke break and met kerryblaze, who is wicked awesome.
mazily (our third roomie) arrived right before the Draco and the Malfoys concert, so Becca and I did a mad dash for the spa lobby, took mazily halfway to Palms tower and then went to the concert. Draco and the Malfoys are great, man. It's not so much that they make great music (they don't) or that they can sing (they can't really), but they're really charismatic and their lyrics are just hilarious. During the concert, I at various times ran into corvidae9, buttfacemakani, incapricious, emmagrant01, jedirita, hazelhawthorne, ryogrande and others I am probably forgetting. A few of us ordered themed drinks from the bar -- I tried Pansy's Frilly Pink Martini this time and was no more impressed than I was with the Avada Colada. Well, at least this one didn't stink of detergent. Harry and the Potters were pretty boring even despite the Death Eater invasion of the stage that's something of a tradition at this point; we actually ended up leaving before they stopped playing.
We headed down to Wooloughan's to check out the evening H/D meetup; those who weren't able to make it to the lunch got their goodie bags. I was being all conscientious and didn't take a number to get a prize when myashke passed them around (because I'd already received a prize -- my Dark Mark flashlight -- during the lunch), but myashke said it was okay, so karaz and I agreed that we'd find a way to share the prize, whatever it was. It was Honeyduke's sweets, so that worked out (only we threw out the Cockroach Clusters, because ew). At the party, I met wook77, elanna9, wildegirl_05, lurkitty, coffeejunkii... I think I met other people but my memory is failing me. :( Oh, also totally fangirled marcasita, too.
We left early and headed upstairs to get alcohol, and then to the goldie!suite where dramaphile had invited us earlier for her birthday party. At the party, there was just a lot of drunken conversation, bartending in the dark and a Happy Funball! Afterwards, it felt like absolutely EVERYONE had shown up at this party at some point during the night -- I even ran into thermidor, whom I then did not see again for the rest of the con. Smoking downstairs with anasuede, fiona_fawkes, kerryblaze, balefully, xylodemon, happiestwhen, spurious and yamapea. A few of us went back upstairs to find goldie arguing with a security guard -- holy shit, I would not get onto that woman's bad side if I were you. I'm just saying! We were forced to move the party out of the hotel room and into the hot tub, but nobody minded really!
I hung out and talked H/D with coffeejunkii and wildegirl_05 for a while, as well as discussing genfics and fandom in general with xylodemon. I ran out of smokes and headed upstairs to check my e-mail and LJ. Did that, grabbed a new packet and went back down to the hot tub, where swtjemz taught me how to pronounce "Pho^" (Vietnamese rice noodle soup and one of my favourite dishes) properly (which I've already forgotten). Around 3AM, I could barely keep my eyes open anymore so I headed back upstairs and crashed.
Friday, July 28, 2006 [photos here]
Woke up at 9 AM and couldn't go back to sleep, which was weird, considering how late I went to bed -- time zone differences are a pain. incognito, mazily and I went and got karaz and pir8fancier. Didn't have breakfast, ended up having a really early lunch at the Rampart Buffet with midnitemaraud_r, archon_mentha, mijan, starrysummer and some others. After that we sort of hung out until it was time to go to the creativity booth (buttfacemakani told us on the previous day that she was going to be there at two). The hanging out mostly consisted of loitering in the vendor room and then up in my room, and just walking around the hotel and stuff. There's actually a huge chunk that's really hazy here so I think I might be forgetting an event or two, but eh. :\
Anyway, the creativity booth was fun -- we lined up just for kicks and watched buttfacemakani draw things for longleggedgit, xylodemon, swtjemz, maxine_chan and possibly other people (?). Anyway, Heather left at 3 and I ended up first in line for glockgal. I requested Harry, Draco and the Mirror of Erised and OMG IT IS GORGEOUS BUT WHY DO I LACK A SCANNER WHY. It's actually been wanting to become a ficlet, but I have so many other things to write, gah. :( :(
Then it was time for the poolside Harry/Draco roundtable. It was really hot and I spent most of my time trying to hide underneath my towel. I sat at a table with karaz, geoviki, pir8fancier and jamoche.
Oh! jamoche's story, Elements of the Dark Arts, won Bringing Back the Dead after 10 (6 to 4) votes in this friendslocked poll. Since the prize for that was a choice between $25 gift certs for Amazon or LJ, I offered to just give her the cash, which she accepted. Yay for cons making life slightly less complicated. :)) I'm also probably going to run BBtD again next year, so if you're interested, keep an eye out.
Right, the roundtable. Lots of people showed up, we pretty much monopolised the poolside bar entirely -- a lot were the peeps who had been at the lunch and dinner on Thursday, but there were others too. I'd say 30-40 people, by the end of it? The actual H/D discussion was sort of lukewarm -- the hottest topic was Draco's death (some think he has to die for sure, others think he has to survive, yet others clamp their hands over their ears and go "la la la, I can't hear you!" [I'm one of them]). myashke had a list of questions someone submitted to her and she was reading them out, but by the end of it we were actually talking about a project to unify H/D creative works online -- to have a central hub where all H/D fiction, artwork, meta, etc is collected/linked to. I'm not sure how viable such a project would be (H/D is one of the biggest slash ships and the amount of stuff we produce is staggering. LJ alone sees up to 10 new stories daily). We also talked a little about concrit and feedback (I'm not sure who brought it up, but it wasn't me. :P)
Once the discussion kind of fizzled out, we decided to head back inside where there was air conditioning. emmagrant01, geoviki and I took a few minutes to discuss the crackfic panel that was coming up the next day. karaz was there too but she didn't say much; I think she was amused at my crack = Serious Business stance. XD Then Emma and Geoviki had to go, and karaz and I headed back to the pool, where water Quidditch was about to start.
The event itself was not much to write home about; I had no idea what was going on half the time. karaz, pir8fancier and I talked fandom for a while, then scarah2 and vejgurl showed up and we talked HBP, spoiler policies and fandom stuff in general. We left before Quidditch was finished; ran into buttfacemakani who was headed to play. I still have no idea who won, but we did get some mints to support the Gillyweeds (how does that work? Eat some mints! Support the Gillyweeds!) karaz and pir8fancier went to get dinner; I wasn't hungry so I went to the common room, where queerditch_pub sessions were being held. gatewaygirl, starrysummer, incognito, wook77, djin7 and xylodemon were there, and a few others I forget. I didn't feel like writing so I walked around taking pictures of all the noticeboards -- some of the notices were pretty funny (e.g. "Draco's not a Veela. He's just German.")
Eventually I decided that I was hungry after all, so I headed back to find karaz and pir8fancier, who were having dinner at Wooloughan's. At first I was just stealing their food, but was shamed into ordering some fries (with tea that tasted like dish rags!) I never finished the tea, but the fries were all right. The Queerditchers walked by around then -- they'd been kicked out of the common room so they were headed to the Palms lobby to continue their drabbling. goldie rushed by, claiming that fanartists were going to come to the common room, but that ended up not happening -- the fanartists would go to the Palms lobby instead.
In the Palms lobby, ryogrande, kerryblaze and I went for frequent smoke breaks, while I spazzed about having to read from my fic the next day (I'd never done that before). The Queerditchers drabbled and then read their fics out loud (I was very jealous that they could). The fanartists arrived and set up a few feet away. Slowly the Queerditchers migrated to where the fanartists were. The fanartists were playing a fun game - everyone wrote a character, a place and an object on 3 different pieces of paper. The pieces of paper were put into separate piles and the piles then got mixed up and the papers redistributed. Present were bzzinglikeneon, andreanna, tbranch, glockgal, sherant, and several others (I didn't want to distract with the camera flash so I took no pictures, woe). shabzilla totally conned me into participating in the game.
I got Fleur in a casino bar with an ear piercing gun. I did not know what the hell an ear piercing gun looked like, so bzzinglikeneon kindly drew me a sketch of one. Needless to say, my own attempt at reproducing said sketch failed miserably. I resorted to the tried and true "draw stick figures and label your characters carefully" method of creating fan art. I did think I was going to die laughing though, just because my masterpiece was so absurd in its finished form. I gave it to karaz as a present. She's threatened to post it to LJ; if she ever does, I will link to it here.
At some point, I left to go get rum and when I came back, the Queerditchers had nearly all migrated to the fanartists' table. There was talk of moving the party into the hot tub but not much was happening. We went up to my room so I could pour xylodemon a glass of rum, then we went to her room, where I poured myself one. This exchange of hotel glasses complete, we headed back downstairs, where the fanart round robin was in full swing, some drunk people had departed, and there was just generally a lot of noise!
I went and got a pomegranate frappuccino from Starbucks and poured the rum in there, and then I headed back to the insanity in the Palms lobby. magistera was there when I arrived; that was awesome. We had a smoke outside and then hung out for a bit. There was drunken conversation (at one point I was talking to swtjemz's girlfriend), Drunk Eaters making fun of us from the upper level, and more art round robins (see the results of that here). Somebody (I think it was wildegirl_05) told me that my masterpiece pictures drawn for the earlier game depicted Fleur giving some invisible person a hand job. Nobody understands my art. :(
Eventually, xylodemon and I decided to head down to the hot tub by ourselves. We ran into midnitemaraud_r, archon_mentha, their roommate, and wildegirl_05. All of us then proceeded to scare away a non-Potter couple from one of the hot tubs (by insane talk of squid porn and man-bits!) I made xylodemon nearly snort her cold caffeinated beverage (which she had also spiked with rum) by speaking with a fake Russian accent. We sat and talked fandom and slash for a while, then the Drunk Eaters from the other hot tub invited us to join them. We did, but they were going to play water Quidditch and we didn't want to get any wetter, so we sat in a swing thingy beside a small pond and bitched about fandom until about 3 in the morning. There was apparently drunken debauchery in the Palms lobby (we were informed of this by goldie and bloodybrilliant, who were just heading down to the hot tub then) but we were too busy going off on raspy-voiced rants about fannish entitlement to care, I think. I eventually couldn't keep awake anymore and went to bed.
Saturday, July 29, 2006 [photos here]
At noon was the canon compliance panel hosted by the Sycophant Hex admins. Eh; I only went because I wanted to hear zoepaleologa's essay, but it was all really quiet and felt somewhat disorganised -- they did give away shirts. >.> I guess it just didn't feel as cohesive as I generally envision a "panel" to be -- on a panel, generally there's discussion, here there were just questions read out and the different participants answered. They didn't really take questions or anything, and the room was only half full. Yeah, now, a week later, I have no deep impressions from that panel at all -- I didn't learn anything new or gain any new insights into canon compliance -- other than, perhaps, that there are, uh, Snape/Hermione shippers who look down their noses at Harry/Draco. o.O
Well, that was over at 1:30 and we went out for a smoke -- where we had our pictures taken for the London Observer. Uh, no idea what happened with that. >.> At 2:30, it was time for the crack panel, hosted by emmagrant01 -- geoviki, scarah2 and myself participated. I think Emma has said everything there is to be said on what actually went on (and hey, take the poll!). I'll just say that I was absolutely terrified of having to read my fic out loud (I actually had to edit the passage a bit and shuffle some things around to make it easier to read) AND I ended up reading right after geoviki read from "Never Mind the Bollocks" -- I mean, come on. That fic is like the ultimate crackfic; nothing compares to it. Anyway, I babbled a lot into the mic and I don't even remember half the stuff I said, I just remember that I tried to impersonate this little guy at some point, which didn't work since I'm not nearly as cute. It was great, a lot of fun, we had an awesome audience (<3 to you all) and I was just really buoyed by the experience.
A RL friend of mine was in Vegas at the time, too, and she came up to visit -- while karaz and I were on our way to meet her in the spa lobby, we, uh, made a beeline for the vendor room and bought Slytherin robes. XD Anyway, my RL friend hung out with us (karaz, xylodemon, myself and later kerryblaze, incognito and starrysummer) until about 8 or so -- she was going to see Cirque de Soleil in the evening. The goldie!suite peeps were going to the Strip at that time, too -- we saw them all off and headed back into the blissfully air-conditioned hotel (omg, it was SO HOT despite the night time). Ooh, we'd had dinner at some point, at Wooloughan's, and I had the Portobello plate (which yamapea had recommended the night before) -- it was FANTASTIC. Best food I'd eaten all weekend, tbh.
On our way back to the Promenade, we ran into emmagrant01 and jedirita, who were coming back from Pottercast. They were going to watch the movies (PoA and GoF) in the Grand Ballroom We decided that we'd grab some pillows and join them. The movies were insane -- you couldn't hear wtf was going on, people were screaming so loudly. Blown-up condoms (Protect Your Wand!) were flying freely and people were generally having a good time. Though there was a guy sitting a table away from us who kept taking pictures of the screen. When Moody appeared in GoF, he started howling at the screen incessantly. Emma threw a pillow at him but he just would not shut up and it was so annoying. He stopped after a while, but jeez.
kriken and I went for a Starbucks run between the two films. We ran into yamapea on the way, and lassoed her to join us for frozen rum-spiked frappuccinos! XD Thus ended the bottle of rum that karaz brought for me. :D Anyway, we went back to the Grand Ballroom. Oh yeah, in the meantime, karaz texted me telling me I'd won something (they had handed out numbers during PoA and did a draw during the break -- I'd left, deciding that I never won anything in draws anyway. HA!). By the time I came back, they'd already given my prize away, but I think it was something lame anyway. >.> *consoles self with this thought*
I ended up leaving right as the Third Task scene began because I seriously couldn't keep my eyes open any longer despite the sub-zero temperatures. But once I was out of there, I realised I still had half of my rum/frappuccino thingy (frumuccino?) left, so I headed over to the hot tub to see if anything was going on. Notice how everything comes back to these at Lumos. >.>
xylodemon, midnitemaraud_r, starrysummer, cmere, balefully, incroyable, lazy_daze were there, along with others I am surely forgetting (I was so tired). We ended up having a fascinating discussion about canon, Horcruxes, book 7 theories, Snape and everything -- my tiredness actually completely vanished at one point and it was just really awesome; we kept coming up with ideas and stuff and it was seriously one of the most fun canon discussions I've ever had. There's nothing quite like talking about the object of your obsession/interest with fellow fans; I think these kinds of experiences are what makes conventions so attractive, memorable and exciting -- just being there, in the moment, and forgetting about RL shit for a while. There's no bullshit, no drama, no fake-ass politics -- just fen talking about their fandom and squeeing together; it's what fandom is all about, yo.
On that somewhat philosophical note, we eventually DID give up because we were falling asleep in mid-sentence.
Sunday, July 30, 2006 [photos here]
Went to the leaving feast with karaz, incognito and mazily. Was severely unimpressed with the way the con organisers handled the brunch -- they clearly had not counted on as many people as there were and we had trouble finding seats. Some hotel employee made us go back into the "orange" room even though we had "blue" stickers on our badges -- we went back, only to be told that the "blue" sticker people belonged in the other room. We got back into the "blue" line and the same dude showed up to tell us to go into the other hall. STFU, we told him, we were just sent back here from there and we ain't movin'. Whilst in line, ran into thalialunacy, who's a Ravenclaw at hogwarts_elite. I hadn't even realised there were any other H_E people there besides the Slytherins. *pets the Slytherins*
The food was all right, but there was only one toaster that took forever to do anything, which resulted in having to wait longer. Thankfully, lazy_daze and balefully spotted us and waved us over after we got our plates; they had just enough room at their table for the four of us.
Hung out in the vendor room and by Starbucks (where I got to see waxbean again) until it was time to check out, then called the front desk to check out and hauled our luggage downstairs into storage. Had lunch at Wooloughan's -- it was so strange, because we sat at the same table where karaz, pir8fancier and I had sat on Wednesday, when it seemed like we still had a week ahead of us. ;_; Later we found an unoccupied sofa in the main hotel lobby and hung out there, mostly making fun of the normal people who were now checking in. shabzilla, lazy_daze, balefully and swtjemz showed up at some point, along with starrysummer and ziasudra_fic, and then scarah2, vejgurl
Then scarah2 and I went for a smoke and as we were talking, she suggested a collaborative project of doom. DOOM. We had just begun to discuss it on the way back to the others when one of the front desk ladies came over and asked people not to sit on the floor (there was only one sofa and two armchairs there). So some of us (scarah2, mazily, ziasudra_fic, balefully and myself) up and left to go sit at Starbucks, where the project of doom got discussed to death. There was much giggling and occasionally horrified shrieking because this is going to be wrong even for me. It involves Mpreg, docking and crack. That's all I'm going to say for now. >.> Briefly saw djin7 with her brother (who seemed to be pretending not to know her, poor lamb; I think my RL friend is still in shock from having seen me in Slytherin robes!)
After Starbucks, we said bye to scarah2 (who was meeting her friends to go somewhere -- for dinner, I think) and went back to the lobby, where Robin said there should be zombie drug lord Dumbledore, and Shabz promptly made an icon. :D *points to it* swtjemz and I compared pictures in our cameras.
The cab dropped me off first, as my plane left from Terminal 2. After a hurried goodbye
But then I turned on my computer and remembered that you never really leave fandom people behind. Or the fandom itself. ;)
In other news, I'm MIA this weekend because it's Hogsmeade at hogwarts_elite. *waves to all*