The drive in was relatively smooth, except for the half-hour pileup which we spent standing around in the sun trying to get my phone to load the traffic reports. Rain hit hard during the con really quickly and rocked everything right out of nowhere, but for only a little bit.
We had a waiter this year for breakfast who I nicknamed '12-step'; he was high on life to be sure. "Yeah guys can I get you some coffee THAT'S GREAAAT I think that's just awesome and I tell you what I'm gonna own today, can I butter your toast for you guys OHHHH YEAAAAAHHH." At first he creeped me the hell out but by the third time we went in there we were owning today with him, he was digging it (even if he probably shot up between his toes between tables).
More programming this year, and I actually went to some of it (something I have barely done since maybe 2003). The masquerade sucked compared to years ago, but the dancing 101 was probably useful. The parade was done differently from last time but it was easier for sure. If they could simply get the picture taken before 20 minutes in the blazing sun it would be a hell of a lot better though.
I did a large amount of suiting (costuming) this year, at least 3 times how much I did last year; I got my money's worth out of that suit. Cougar and I went to the dances a couple of nights and I busted a motherfucking MOVE for hours. I can't believe I could do that in a big ass thick-pile suit. I was absolutely drenched at the end of the night though. The camera guy got about a minute of me spazzing out lit up like a christmas tree so maybe it'll end up in that dvd they do; also I had several barely-legal girls dancing with me until they got displaced by some twinks and neckbeards. The headless lounge was better this year since somebody brought in a DIY drying rig, and there were slightly fewer non-suiters in there gawking. Also, more new and nice suits, though fewer old ones, also fewer crying game-esque cross-dressing suiters (tyvm).
It was on the one hand easier because of basically having nobody there to meet up with or see (besides redregon, like twice), and on the other things went by very quickly because I actually had a lot to do. I woke up with sore muscles and partial hangover every morning but thanks to my not-a-kid-anymore pharmacopeia I brought I was o-tay.
Downsides of this con included the poorly-done bar, rude regulars, and unprofessional bartenders (unimproved from previous years), strangely-timed programming (overlaps abound), the lack of vents or airflow in the hotel rooms (hung-up drawers should not take 48 hours to dry) and the perennial awful (AWFUL) audio of the events done in the big main room (except for the DJ'd dances). Upsides were the increased programming (slightly but I'll take what I can get), surprisingly quick elevators (thanks to the DI security actually enforcing the elevator rules), increased reception by local restaurants (sadly the table at the joint we sat at last year was not to be ours this time), and the waning face-time they gave to Kagemushi this year (o lawdy is dat sum cult of personality?). Altogether it was definitely one of the better ACs, would do again. Didn't really meet anybody interesting this year but I pretty much haven't more than one or two people in the past 4 years anyway so I wasn't expecting it.
Pics always stroll in over several days/weeks; I only took a few with my phone and they suck, so I'll rely on Cougar's and the 3000+ other cameras which were there. I'll post whichever ones look good or show me (it's a logical OR) whenever.
Before next year I'll make a few better preps:
-Do some maintenance on my suit to make it more comfortable and such, and bring some kind of fan for it
-Pack clothes differently (what the hell do I need 4p. jeans for?)
-eh a little cardio the week before wouldn't hurt. I can't believe I didn't have an MI during the dances
PS I just heard on the ARMA email list that there was a demo at Origins con. Scott, did you see it and was it good? How was the rest of the con?