So last weekend was another big con weekend for us. No, we didn’t go to Dragon*Con, although that would have been awesome. Although I do follow a blogger and a cosplayer who did go, so if you want to read their adventures…
We went to Meta Con, and took along some friends. We joined one of Andrea’s friends from a previous con, and since we had space in the hotel room we opened it up to anyone else interested and the younger sister of one of my daughter’s friends wanted to join the fun. So off we headed to our adventure!
I will say one of my complaints about this con (and I only had three, but they were pretty major) was that it was billed as being a general geek con. As such, I was expecting there to be more panels that addressed random geeky subjects, such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Firefly, Buffy, etc. etc. It was pretty much another anime con, which in general I don’t have a problem with. I just wish I had known at the outset that it was going to be another anime con.
Despite the lack of Star Wars, we still managed to attend some amazing panels. I will say that the best ones I attended were by Chuck Huber, the guy who I wanted to sign my cast.
The best part was when I asked him to sign it. I plopped my foot up on the table and said, “Dr. Stein, would you sign my Frankenfoot?” He asked, “What happened?”
“I tore a muscle in my calf.”
“How’d you do that?”
He put his hand up for a high five and said, “That is NERDTASTIC!”
Yup. Validation. I haz it.
He was really entertaining and a super nice guy. Andrea and I got a picture together with him.
And then Andrea got another with him on Sunday when she went to get her art signed.
We did go to a panel to see Billy West, the guy that does the voice of Fry on Futurama, and Andrea went to a panel to find out more about art school. A lot of our time was spent in the dealer’s room, where Andrea spent pretty much all of the money that she had earned doing face painting this summer. She bought several mangas, a big Soul Eater poster, and some crafts, like
We call it an octo-jelly because technically? It’s an octopus. But she thought it looked like Clara from Princess Jellyfish, so she’s named it Clara and it’s now a jelly fish. She LOVES this thing. Seriously. It’s become her new go-to comfort plushie.
She also went to the formal ball and she and Breanna were asked to dance by a Marine in full dress uniform. She was thrilled about that. We also spent a lot of time in the tabletop game room. On Saturday, one of her best friends joined us for the day, and he and I learned how to play Takenoko, where you build bamboo farms and feed pandas. It’s hard to explain but it was fun to play. Then the four of us played a new game called Snake Oil. It’s like Apples to Apples, but with a twist. Everyone draws six cards with one word on them, then one player draws a character card and they become the customer. The other players then have to take two cards from their hand, create a product, and pitch it to the customer. It requires a great deal of creativity, which is why we had so much fun with it. At one point, I drew the customer character of Newlywed. I said, “Hey, can I play cards from my own hand? Because I have the perfect product.” And then I laid down my cards to create Nipple Handcuffs. Everyone laughed, and Andrea said, “No! You can’t. You have to be someone else now you’re (draws another card) a Spy!”
To which I replied, “Still works!”
At which point we had to stop playing because we were laughing too hard.
We saw a lot of awesome cosplay over the weekend.
Of course there were ponies, and the pony panel we went to was pretty fun.
My only other major complaint was that the hotel was in downtown Minneapolis, which meant it was a ritzier hotel (had to have a bell hop bring up the luggage because they wouldn’t let us use the carts) and we had to pay for parking in addition to the room. There also is no cheap eats in downtown, so we had to be creative about food. We brought a cooler with sandwich and fruit stuff, pita chips and hummus, and I made a crock pot of sloppy joe mix that we mowed on all weekend. My extra special treat? Making pancakes on Saturday morning.
All in all, a great time was had. I had fun getting to know Andrea’s friends a little better and just being a part of nerd culture once again. It’s a nice break from the real world. One of the best parts was hearing later that one of the kids that had joined us went back and told mom, “It was awesome. Everyone there was a nerd, so it wasn’t just me!”
I think that’s the best take away from cons. If you feel awkward and outside of the “norm” because of these things you love, go to a con. You’ll find that there are thousands of people who share your enthusiasm for these things that other people don’t get.
Can’t wait until October for our next one!