06 February 2008

So this time next week, I will be packing for Gallifrey One. I am stupidly excited, per usual. And trying to figure out which is more important suitcase-room-wise: girl shoes, or DVDs. Right now, the girl shoes have the lead. We shall see.

Gally is a Doctor Who convention held in Los Angeles, and the only con I actually fly out of state for. As someone who does not drive, voluntarily going to Los Angeles is a sure sign of how much I love this con. Seriously. It is what I look forward to more than any other con of the year. And considering how much I love VividCon, that is saying a great deal.

For one thing, I am a panel slut. I love doing panels. I actually attempted to sign up for 12 panels this year, prompting Shaun to ask me should he just lock me in the fan programming room all week-end, would that make me happy? This made me giddy. I adore panels. Every since my neophyte fangirl days at MediaWest, I love moderating, I love panel discussions, I love hearing what other people think, even when we disagree. Sometimes, especially if we disagree. Not to try and change anyone's minds, but to be given the opportunity to see something familiar from a new angle, and learn something about myself, and my favourite tv series. Wacky, I know. But very true. As far as I'm concerned, daytime is for panels and nighttime is for drinking. Surely others feel the same way, y/n?

I love Gally because it is exactly the short of show I used to go to in my teens. I grew up with Visions and Week-end in Sherwood, both of which for me are about hanging about in the bar and the lobby, and staying up (sometimes all night) talking. Not just about Doctor Who or television and film or comics or fandom. That may be our point of entry, but really about everything under the sun. It's a very intensely social experience for me, and one of the few I am perfectly at ease in. Don't laugh, it's true. Outside of fandom I've held up many a wall at a social gathering. Since getting paralytic drunk is not my idea of a good time, I tend to avoid bars and parties unless I am very fond of the company, and it involves live music. While I like a pint or a whiskey as much as the next girl (or, let's face it, more than the next girl where whiskey is concerned), getting wasted to me is utterly pointless. Unfortunately that's what passes for a fun Saturday night among people my age in Chicago, hence my avoidance of Wrigleyville 98% of the year. Truth be told, I like remembering the convention. Which is why, even if I'm at a WorldCon, I'm less likely to be making the rounds of room parties sampling various colour combinations of Kool-Aid and Everclear, and more likely to be sitting on the floor in the corner of the lobby with a handful of people until we get rousted by hotel security. (Which has happened. Just ask Mark Ryan.)

I love Gally because I get to see all my friends in the UK who I only get to see once a year, which brings me much joy. During the year, we communicate primarily on the Internet, but there is a massive hug-fest pretty much all day Thursday, as the hotel shuttle deposits bleary-eyed jet-lagged people all day long. Every year I meet new people, something I also enjoy. And since it's my annual visit to the left coast, it's also the only time I get to see my West Coast friends, even if I forget that early morning panels means I really ought not to schedule Saturday or Sunday brunch (yet I always always do. Because I'm just not that bright). And I particularly love seeing both groups mix and mingle. See, I have this thing I do: I tend to want my friends to all meet one another, because I firmly believe they should all be united in their love of me. But also, because I like being able to get people in touch with one another cos I know that they'll get on well. Last year I had glee because I finally got Kirk Trutner and Javier Grillo-Marxuach in the same room, years after Kirk was a day player in a Boomtown Javi ahd written (Kirk played a homeless man who threatens to pee on Jason Geddricks' car. I love Kirk). More importantly, Javi had been the NBC exec on Kirk's series Earth 2, and they had never met even though Javi had seen all Kirk's work. It was awesome.

Last year, I also spent most of Gally bidding on a condo and running from panels to the damp courtyard in a desperate attempt to get a mobile signal before my mother disowned me, so I'm actually really hoping this year will be more relaxed.

For all I talk about cons, I don't actually do that many. VividCon and WizardWorld are local. WW is imploding, so that may not be on the schedule very much longer. Gally also may have a limited lifespan, so Chicago TARDIS may end up being my one remaining Who con, unless I can manage to work out a trip to Swansea some year. JemCon 2008 is on the bubble for me for financial reasons, because I really really want to do WorldCon in Denver (which might be tight, given that it's the week-end before VVC). And I've got Hamlet tickets for October, so two of my girlfriends and I are headed over for a whirlwind UK visit, to visit family, buy loads of second-hand books, and do tourist-y things. So really, Gally and VVC are the twin high points of my convention year. As they are six months apart, this actually works out perfectly.

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