I always call the Wednesday of Gen Con week Day 0, because there are still things going on, but the convention doesn’t technically start until Thursday. Day 0 is the day we use to pick up our badges, have our annual lunch at The Ram, and get our rest in before the walk-a-thon that the next few days brings. At least that’s how it’s been in the past. This year was a bit different in that we didn’t use it as our day of rest. Instead, we kicked the walk-a-thon off early and then hoped that it didn’t haunt us the rest of the weekend.
Tag: Wil Wheaton
Blogspiration and Summer Heat 2013
I haven’t been feeling bloggy lately, but I started reading “Just a Geek” by Wil Wheaton tonight and it stoked my need to kick out a post. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not comparing myself to Wheaton. Dude has a huge following with thousands of people who read his blog. I’m not interesting and only have about five readers. However, that doesn’t really matter, as sometimes it’s just nice to get some words down. Even if they are boring to most everyone in the blogosphere (yay, buzzwords).
Side note: the book is really good. I may do a Goodreads review on it and post it here.
Summer 2013 is a hot one, made worse by the fact that our second story apartment has no air conditioning. I suppose that’s not entirely true. We have A/C. It’s in the form of one unit located in the back bedroom. Turning it on makes the back room and about half the hallway fairly cool. That chilled air barely reaches our living room and never touches our bedroom.
There was a moment of hope when the landlord cleaned the air filter, but it was short lived. The air just doesn’t move that far. We’ve tried fans to push the air further, but that doesn’t even work. There was one day where I sat back there with the AC on, but it still didn’t keep me cool, maybe due to the sun coming in all the windows? Or maybe I should have shut the door? I don’t know.
The upside is that by not running it, we’re saving forty to sixty dollars per month on our electric bill this summer, and that’s kind of nice for some extra spending/travel/bill money. Yes…yes I did put “bill” money last in that sequence. I’m a responsible adult, but I don’t want to go too far. The downside is that we sit in hot, sticky, sweaty grossness any time we’re home. We have two fans: one is a tower fan that’s semi-effective. The other is a small mini fan that usually sits on Jon’s desk to blow air in his face. Again, semi-effective. Half the time, they’re just blowing hot air.
Cold showers have become a daily occurrence. Ice packs have been useful, as well as chilled drinking water. You know what the best solution has been, though? Avoiding the apartment. Or at least trying to. Today, for example, we went and sat at the library for two hours, just reading in the super quiet reading room (one of my new favorite places). Then we took a walk in the park, because being outside in the heat is still better than being in the heated apartment. Bonus on that walk, we got to commune with nature and see baby birds and a frog. It was pretty awesome.
Moving isn’t currently an option since we don’t want to get into another lease until we know what we’re doing at the end of this year after Jon graduates. We could get a new AC unit for one of the other windows, but again with the higher electric bill. I don’t know. At this point, I think we’re destined to just “survive” the heat and make the most out of the situation. Someday we’ll remember this summer fondly….or we’ll be extra grateful of the ac/central air/igloo situation where in at that time.
On a good note, this coming weekend we’re doing some housesitting for some friends…friends who’s house has AC. I’m looking forward to two comfortable evenings on a ground floor.
Gencon 2012: Full of Win
Our trip to Gencon this year almost didn’t happen considering our 2011 experience was less than wonderful. Physical issues, hotel and financial stress, gaming disappointment, and a general lack of enthusiasm last year had J. Felbs and I questioning if we were going to try it again.
After looking at what did and didn’t work for us the previous year, we tweaked a few things and gave it another try, figuring that if it was another bad year, we’d try something new in 2013.
I’m glad we did. This year’s Gencon was our best (so far). We planned ahead for several games but still allowed ourselves time to wander the exhibitor’s hall. We stayed away from the downtown area hotels and chose a much cheaper one about ten minutes from the convention center.* We splurged to park closer so getting to and from the con was no big deal, and I was already ahead of the game since I’d been working towards improving my physical walking abilities for the past year. We also planned things to allow for plenty of sleep and rest time.
Even when we were just sitting around, staying at the convention center gave us the chance to meet fellow gamers and people watch. For me, this is part of the fun of any convention. It also meant that we found things to do in the “down time,” like visit the paint and take station.
We played a bunch of new games and browsed things in the exhibitor’s hall. I got a new print, poster, and sketch from one of my favorite webcomic artists. I picked up a new system for a horror campaign I hope to run soon. I gamed with the creator of White Wolf and Vampire: The Masquerade. I passed Wil Wheaton in the corridor (even though I failed to meet him at the autograph station).
This is only a short list of the good times we had. It’s hard to put into words all the little things that added up to such a great vacation. I know not everyone gets it, but Gencon has this sense of happiness and acceptance that I don’t find in many other places. Almost everyone wants to be there. They want to talk to new people and try out new things.** It’s a great experience, and looking back at 2011, the only reason I didn’t have a good time was because of my own personal hangups. In 2012, I was able to let those go and just enjoy myself.
Gencon 2013 is definitely on our to-do list for next year.
*Most people find it better to stay closer. But being lazy by default, the closer I am, the more likely I am to just hole up in the hotel room. With the daily drive, I ensure that I’m going to stay in the convention center and experience the con as much as possible.
**I say almost everyone because I read of a few less than nice comments people at the con said in passing. There was also a woman in a scooter who was actually pretty mean to people in the convention corridor. It was kind of jarring to see someone so miserable in a crowd of happy people.