capable of invoking

From here to central Georgia (and back) is something over four hundred miles. Four hundred miles of alterna-rock radio stations (who don't really seem to remember what they're the alternative to) and trees that stand politely out of the way of the gently-winding interstate.We are eleven days away from dragon*con, and the pie-in-the-sky battle plans are cementing themselves into plans for the weekend after next. Oompa is recovering from brown recluse bites on his legs and can't do much lifting, so Jeremy (our very own rock-steady Mr. Sulu) will be his second-in-command this year. West Coast isn't coming, so we're going to be a little shorter than usual on capable runners for the equipment room; One Nut is out in Arizona, leaving a big combat-boot shaped hole in the middle of Centennial's backstage staff.

Given time and a competent staff, the plans almost seem to create themselves.

We left the house at three, pushing southeast toward Atlanta to meet up with the rest of the core staff at Thomas' house for dinner and a last once-over. With the addition of an hour incurred by crossing the invisibly-painted Georgia border, we arrived at Thomas' house near the appointed time of eight p.m.

Grids for this year's convention were passed around. To the twenty-three thousand attendees of this convention, dragon*con consists of events, panels, concerts, and other performances. For us, this year's news is that we won't be shuffling video-projector screens around the rooms of the fan tracks, the concert performers will be allowed to use dry ice but not fog machines, and that we're hoping that the MST3K guys hosting the costume contest this year will be less of a prima donna than last year's master of ceremonies (Anthony Daniels).

Convention planning is Suzan's decree that we'll take inventory every couple of hours, or that such-and-such room can't be locked and thus will need nighttime security checks to ensure no equipment goes missing, or that Thomas is taking up donations for his potent alcoholic beverage, 'apple pie.'

I'm not sure why we like doing this. I lean toward theories that have phrases like 'battle camaraderie' in them. For five days we let our inner freaks hang out while we (a band of less than fifty people) take on a convention of twenty-three thousand (and the inevitable chaos that number of people are capable of invoking).

The strange, stark truth is that we love the chaos, or we wouldn't come back from year to year. Most of us physically work harder during the week of dragon*con than any other week of the year, and yet there's something about the intensity of both the work and the play that makes it—addicting, somehow.

Until you've been sitting in the equipment room at three in the morning, listening to two grown men called ChocoBunny and Oompa Loompa guzzling the apple pie and waging a radio war, it's difficult to explain.

In the end, I understand this. We drove to Georgia and back today for the battle planning, arriving home on the wrong side of one-thirty in the morning. As I try to focus my eyes through the slowly-thickening fog of sleep deprivation, I realize that I can't think of anything even remotely profound or enlightening to finish this post with.

Except that in eleven days, it begins.

For now, sleep calls.


Did I miss anything important?

Nothing terribly critical. They still want us to get sleep, so they're asking us to pick a schedule and stick with it. Mine: "If people are up, they probably need feeding." Oompa's not allowed to do strenuous work during load-in; he's not going to be able to wear the famous kilt, either, because of the (sort of) healing spider bites. Radio checks for this year will proceed in the following fashion: * It's a radio. * It's a pickle. * It's a kumquat. * It's a wombat. Further embellishments to be determined by degree of apple pie consumption. We ARE getting Grant this year; he'll be a bit of a floater. Jeff's first band in Regency will be a chain-mail-wearing heavy metal band. Note to self: as part of foodage purchase, buy a vat of disposable earplugs this year. Supposedly, if Sins of Lust doesn't kiss our feet this year (to make up for their crappy treatment of tech staff a few years ago) their d*c ban will become permanent. Thomas was making pie when we got there. We contributed fundage. Yumyumyum. This year's tech badge is a Far Side cartoon: "I have a 'suck knob' and I know how to use it." Thus leading to the last potential radio check response: * It's a suck knob. You should've seen the groans when I suggested THAT...

*laugh* Excellent! My flight arrives around 4pm Thursday, and I'll take Marta straight to the hotel.

Ok, I can't figure out how to post this over at the TechOps site...anyone with the knowledge, inclination and time feel free to cut and paste this over there. I'm theoretically at work right now. OK...the overall shakedown with regards to Harris, et al. Regency is woefully understaffed. We've also lost Oompa Jr. so there is now no one to run Regency p.m. I don't think it was ever fully decided who was running Regency a.m. either. I know Wintersun and Sean had expressed an interest...still interested? Harris mostly needs glorified runners. I'm thinking of splitting it into an a.m. concentrated shift (roughly 9:30 - 3:00) and a p.m. concentrated shift (3:00 - 7:30...whenever we get wrapped up) Doesn't have to be anything that formal if it works out better otherwise. Those of you who have worked Harris before know that it is an exercise in "hurry up and wait." The biggest need in Harris is on Friday from 8:00 a.m. until about 1:00 p.m. We're wedged in between two other cons so we don't get all the downstairs rooms until 8:00 a.m.on Friday (which translates to about 9:30) These rooms have to be completely set up by 1:00 for the first round of pannels to begin. If anyone knows how to contact Johnathan Dietch, please let him know that I need him for microphone set up during this time. Amy forgot to mention that the con following us is a Southern Baptist Con. Busloads of Southern Baptists will be coming into the Hyatt around 10:00 a.m. on Monday as busloads of hung-over Klingons...anyone care to make wagers on the outcome of this one?

Hey, why don't you convince the drunken Klingons to *convert* the Southern Baptists? They could even do door-to-door missionary work with those big, pointy, metal weapon things with the holes in them! *grin*

Cross-posted at, I'll post my comment there :)

Suzan or Amy: Can either of you email me a copy of the grid so that I can get semi-familiar with it. That way when I show up at Harris on Thursday, I can be a little more helpful. Thanks.

If you show up to Harris on Thursday, all we'll be doing is loading into Harris and organizing it. Unlike last year we really don't get any of the track rooms until Friday morning. I anticipate Thursday will be pretty slow once we get all the stuff in the building. Friday early a.m. will be frantic chaos. I'll be staying at home Thur. night but will be in as early as humanly (or trafficly) possible Friday. I only have print-outs of the latest grids and they will be changing up until the con.

Trek track has been moved over to the Hong Kong/Cairo area, Kat. Suzan did mention that to me, and I thought you'd want to know. (For those of you playing the home game, that's over in the International Tower, meaning away from us.) I can't remember what else has been shuffled, but Suzan said she thought a lot of the room assignments made sense. Oh, and Farscape is apparently getting a room somewhere! This makes me happy.

Sounds cool. Suzan, I can be in on Friday extremely early. I will have good coffee (pure Kona) for early morning risers in Harris. I figured it can't hurt. Ames, that works. It makes sense to give them a larger room. I'll just take a look at the grid on Thursday and see what things are like then. I am getting so psyched about going to DragonCon this year. It's going to kick ass. :)