My (long) post and thoughts about GMX 2011

Well, our local convention, Geek Media Expo 2011 is over and I’m somewhat recovered enough to finally post my thoughts. Beware, this one is long!

In case you weren’t aware, I was on staff this year as the FORCE channel coordinator. It was interesting to have a different perspective on the con and I admit that it also led to a new level of exhaustion that I hadn’t known was possible. But let me start from the beginning…

Friday morning dawned early and though I had taken the day off work to get to the con on time, I wasn’t looking forward to the early morning errands I had to run. The first leg of the errands went smoothly as I picked up a few costume bits and kilts as rentals for the weekend. It was on my way to the store that the cherry on top of a rather awful week came about. The sidewall on one of my tired blew out in several paces while I was exiting the freeway. I was planning on changing the tire myself till I realized that even my full weight couldn’t budge those damn bolts. My mom called AAA and about 45 minutes later they were able to put my very iffy donut on in hopes that I could make it to the store for a new tire.

Long story short, I was able to get a new tire and make it to the con hotel only a few hours later than planned. But woe to the folks who first encountered me as I entered the lobby with a very pissed off look on my face.

Luckily I cheered up a bit as time wore on and I hung out with friends. To promote the Kilt Blowing that I was co-running with Amanda on Saturday I was accosting random men and asking “Would you let me blow you early Sunday morning?” Reactions to that question ranged from shocked to laughter to wiggling eyebrows. To ease some of the confusion I did have fliers that I handed out as well and gave a brief explanation of the event.

I had two events I wanted to attend that evening, the showing of “Underground Entertainment: The Movie” and the 501st party. After dinner at Subway with folks Amanda and I wandered back to watch the movie. Not only was it really awesome to be hanging with Bryan and Jim again but the movie was friggin’ hilarious! Loved every moment of it. Proud to say that I was a part of it!

After that I headed up to the 501st party to check it out and found the room completely packed. Definitely a fun party. 🙂 Danced, sang, drank and hung out with many friends that evening.

Saturday morning came too early for my taste. I knew I had to get up and get my butt back home to feed the animals and nab the kiddie pool for the Obstacle Course that afternoon. So off I went. When I came back the hotel parking lot was crazy full and I knew there was no way I would be able to cart that stuff to a shuttle at the college. Grumbling and frustrated I decided to park at the front of the hotel for a bit and cart the stuff up to the room and then move my car.

It was then that I had some good luck.

I saw a dude cross my path as I started to get back into my car. He was wearing a backpack and heading out into the parking lot. I immediately took off running after him and after possibly scaring him he told me that he was leaving, pointed to his truck and told me he’d wait for me to drive over so I could take the space. I didn’t move my car again until Sunday evening.

I donned my first costume of the day, Mara Jade, when I got back and began prepping for the “Way of the Force: The Jedi Trials Obstacle Course” that would happen that afternoon. I also continued to ask random men if I could blow them and invited many other folks to come and objectify men with us at the Kilt Blowing.

Though the start of the obstacle course was late and I’d had some issues getting stuff down to the back lawn, setup went very smoothly with so many folks helping me (and all of them attendees or guests of the con). I had about 17 folks sign up for the course and Bryan and Jim were able to commentate for some of it before they had to run to a panel that they were scheduled to be at. The rest of the race went well and there are several photos of the “Jedi Timmy” obstacle and then all my racers thanks to Stephen.

Jedi Knights at GMX 2011

Jedi Knights at GMX 2011

Just so y’all know, it was hilarious watching folks dive into a kiddie pool of boxes to find a tiny Boba Fett, watching them do a dance off with Lando and wincing as many of them took a running dive between a Tooper’s legs. Cleanup also didn’t take too long, again with the help of many folks. Then I was off to take a shower and change to Ninth Doctor for Ryan’s memorial service.

Also, just for the record, black pleather pants in direct sunlight for 30-45 minutes was probably not a bright idea. I suddenly knew how Lucas felt after doing a show in the Repo Coat.

Once dressed as the Ninth Doctor I arrived early and was able to get a few photos of me with Allan and then one of just me in front of the TARDIS. Can’t wait to see that last one and make it a profile picture.

The memorial service was wonderful and sad and I was sobbing though quite a bit of it. I’d talk about it more but instead I’ll post a link to the video that was created for it.

After the service it was time to get dressed for the USO Ball. That was an interesting feat as I was still tearful and trying to put on makeup. Doing my hair did take ages (that was a lot of hair to coil in bits) but I admit that I was very happy with the result. Before the ball I headed down to play flute with my awesome dancers and musicians of Umbra A’Shadi. That performance had a late start due to a panel running over a bit and then a lack of mic stands but we still played to a packed room and the audience cheered and screamed for us. We cut our set short so as to not make the panel after us too late in starting but with such an awesome audience I think all of us left our performance on a wonderful high.

The USO Ball was an amazing bit of fun. The live band was awesome and though I haven’t done swing dancing since high school (many many years ago) I found myself being led to the dance floor and cutting a rug! There were a couple of gentlemen who stood out as partners and were amazing leads. Heck, on the very last song my partner (a gentlemen wearing a white button up shirt and white ball cap…who was he?) was spinning me around like a top! I was quite dizzy by the end but laughing.

After that it was another change and then I wandered to the Torchwood party to check it out before a final change of clothes and off to the kilt blowing armed with my leaf blower.

To my surprise there were actually folks waiting outside the room for the event. We ended up with about 13 participants for our first ever Kilt Blowing and a packed room of audience members. I cannot tell you how awesome it was to man that leaf blower and get a rather nice view of many male legs. It was great, especially when they were in character! I’m proud to say I blew many men that evening, including Professor Snape, Spock, Data, and Umbrella Corp. soldier, Captain Mal, Steampunk Boba Fett and many others.

That was enough to inspire many many fangirl fantasies. And if you’re interested to see what Data was doing before the Kilt Blowing, check out this NSFW-language video of him vs. Mario at the Geek Slam:

To mine and Amanda’s happy surprise, our audience members loved the entire thing and many of the men have expressed a desire to return next year!

By then it was after 3am and I headed off to collapse into dreamland.

Sunday morning was the hardest to face even though I didn’t have a hangover. I was just dead tired. Still, I was up and packing and downstairs for a panel at 9am. Too bad that particular panel room was colder than the Ninth Circle of Hell. Anyhoo, I attended a couple of panels, finished packing the car and then walked to get some brunch with Crispy & Stephen. We headed back and began prepping for the Race of the Tauntauns: Blu-Ray Edition.

This year the race took place with actual tauntauns and we had 17 racers total. Stephen and Crispy did an excellent and hilarious job of commentating and Amanda made a great Emperor Palpatine draped in a black tablecloth (I’m not kidding, she actually looked really awesome). I can’t wait to see the video and photos from that event. The final race between the top 4 racers was like watching NASCAR. They were bodychecking each other into pillars and everything. Once again we needed to examine the photos to determine the winner.

I passed out on a couch for awhile after that. My body just couldn’t take any more and needed to recharge a bit for closing ceremonies.

And there were two brilliant moments during the ceremony. First, my friend Kala was proposed to!! That was so awesome!!

And then GlaDOS and the Companion Cubes did a special performance of “Still Alive”. That’s right, we heard it live!

After it was over Amanda and I went to meet Ellen and her husband and though I shook his hand and held my hand out to Ellen as well, she opened her arms and hugged me instead! Amanda and I then had the post-con exhausted photo with them and it was still awesome.

That night I drove 20 minutes back to my house and slept.

There you have it. My experience at GMX. Though there was frustration and I admit that I arrived at con a very unhappy Elf, there were awesome moments and great times with friends that made up for it. Now to continue the hunt for more photos of me in random places as well as photos and videos of the two Star Wars races and the Kilt Blowing!

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~ by rumielf on October 25, 2011.

One Response to “My (long) post and thoughts about GMX 2011”

  1. Yay your panels and events going so well! And it was so awesome getting to see you last weekend.

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