(Pictured from left to right: Top; Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffill. Bottom: Dale Phillips, Katherine Silva)
This past weekend, I battled hordes of cosplaying people and visited Port-Con, an annual convention celebrating geek culture in South Portland. This was my second time doing an event like this and so naturally, I was a little nervous about some things going in. For one, I was pretty sure that some of the costumes I saw, I wouldn’t be able to unsee (I’m referring to you, man in the pink spandex suit). Some were outrageous, some were super cool, and some were unidentifiable for me. There were lots of anime characters at this con, which is one of the areas I’m not too versed on. I was able to recognize some video game characters here and there and some obvious Doctor Who impersonators (of which there were many). Didn’t see any Harry Potter which struck me as odd, though.
The event went for three days and the New England Horror Writers group had its own table set up in Artist’s Alley, which is where all of the vendors who created their own merchandise are. My company this weekend consisted of authors Peter Dudar, Scott Goudsward, Josiah Pitchforth, Duane E. Coffill, and Dale Phillips. So, yes, I was the lone lady. They were fantastic, some of the best guys to do a convention with and I was glad to be in their company.
We held three panels that weekend, two of which I was on. The subjects were writing groups and self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. The audience members asked some great questions and while I wasn’t as vocal as my cohorts, it was a fun experience and one that I’m glad to have learned from. I’d never done a panel before so I was a bit nervous.
And now, for the weird/funny parts of the weekend. While taking a break in my car and re-reading Crichton’s Jurassic Park, I watched a parking fiasco take place. The Double Tree Hotel where the event was being held had limited parking and there were several hundred people attending. I witnessed someone park diagonally across two spots, (whether intentional or not, I’ll never know), a family unload from the vehicle and happily skip inside. Seconds later, a rather disgruntled man searching for a parking space came across their interesting parking job, leaped from his car (after stopping it of course) and proceeded to cuss and kick the vehicle. On Saturday, I was treated to the combined ruckus of dubstep blasting from a car behind me and the obnoxious accordion theme-song from an ice cream truck making bank out front of the hotel. Dubstep ice cream jingle. Sadly, this existed elsewhere before the weekend even happened.
And last, but certainly not least, I witnessed a half dozen people walking back and forth from the Maine Mall to the convention, in their cosplayed outfits. One of these was someone dressed up as Professor Genki from the game Saint’s Row: IV. With a giant foam cat head on, he/she somehow managed to make it across the six lanes of waiting traffic without stepping in a pothole or tripping unceremoniously, but needed to be guided onto the sidewalk by a friend. I kept wondering why they didn’t just take off the foam head so that they could see! Guys, it’s not worth the risk, honestly. Safety first!
I also ended up walking five miles for a local Relay for Life chapter late on Saturday night which messed with my sleep schedule a bit and tired out my legs even more for Sunday’s show. Relay For Life is a walk that raises money for cancer research and involves participants or teams to walk for twelve straight hours in honor of loved ones lost or friends still fighting the disease. My two friends, who also did the relay, walked a combined 38 miles! That’s nothing to sniff at and it makes my five look utterly pathetic. Way to go, guys!
I’ve been getting back into the swing of things this week and haven’t had any new posts to share. Next week, however, is Shark Week, which means I’ll have several things coming for you then, including a Jaws-themed Cooking Adventure. Yeah, I knew you’d be excited.