MarsCon, the one in Bloomington Minnesota, is the only Science Fiction Convention that I bother to leave the house for. Every year No Brand Con runs a room party there, and for the last several years I've been helping run it. So while it isn't quite the same as any other convention I talk about, it's time for my illustrated Con Report of great Justice!
It's time to talk about MarsCon 2010!
And it begins...
Saturday Morning I woke up fairly early. I needed to 1. Pick up Tall Katie and 2. Pick up the supplies for the party. It had to be early, because I was also going to pick up my fiancee Crysta at the Minneapolis Airport (as she had been out of town visiting Purdue), and that's a good hour and a half drive from Eau Claire.
After getting out of the apartment later than intended, gassing up, and picking up Katie, we went over to Festival Foods to pick up the party's vital supplies.
Supplies read: Booze.
After we loaded up my Ford Escort, we hit the road and drove to the Twin Cities. Upon arriving at the airport (and after my accidental detour around part of the Twin Cities poorly marked freeway system) we picked up Crysta and headed over to the hotel.
Once at the hotel, parking proved to be... a challenge.
After driving around the lot for a while, I let Katie and Crysta out to go check us in to the hotel. I then proceeded to look for a spot. I looked for a good half an hour... to no avail. At this point, either Katie or Crysta called my cellphone (I don't remember which) and recommended that we get food. I gave up on parking, picked them up, and after some nightmare worthy traffic drove us over to the local IHOP.
After eating, we went back to the hotel, where I was finally able to find a spot. Crysta went and took a nap, while Katie and I unloaded the stuff from the car.
When we were done unloading, Katie left to go have lunch with her parents, while I began to rearrange the party room. Eventually Thomas showed up, as did Topher and Mike. Crysta eventually woke up, and for the most part we just chilled that afternoon. When Harley's truck rolled into town, we kicked the real work off. Harley brought along Yushi, Minda (who is a guy), Laura, Emily and Fargo and the rest of the No Brand Con gear.
We divided up the remaining tasks that needed to get done prior to the party, and people went and found dinner. Katie (who had returned) set up the Booze window, and I hung up the appropriate lighting.
We were ready to party.
Brian (of The Gothsicles -- who I also have known since like seventh grade)stopped by, and we ended up in a conversation of epic scifi randomness. The Booze window was in full effect, and the Greenboys flowed... like greenboys. Our party was located in a different spot than last year, which meant we got to have our connecting setup that we prefer.
The party was pretty active, and quite a few people came in and out over the course of the evening. At one point, I found myself talking to Anton of the Anime Detour staff...
When he told me the Anime Detour 2011 dates (which will in no way conflict with any of the open weekends we have available for No Brand Con) it's entirely possible that I actually hugged him. I'm honestly not sure at this point.
We talked shop for a while, and he gave me his card. He also mentioned their 2012 dates too... which means we can start finally planning ahead. Conflicts with Detour are a major concern for us at No Brand Con (as it would hurt our attendees, vendors... and well... everyone) if we accidentally ended up on the same weekend.
As the evening trucked along, we ran into more familiar faces, from Thor to SeanOrange to the nice folks from Toadhill, and a good time was had by all.
Eventually things died down, we decided to close up. Sadly we had some stragglers who had a few too many. At this point, I employed my normally quite effective plan...
Sadly, it backfired. Thankfully we were eventually able to get them out of the door and go to bed.
After dealing with our own inebriated staffers, everyone went to bed... and we called it a night.
Sunday morning we packed up the room with very little fanfare. Of course, as I don't drink, I was was fully alert myself. Not so much for some of the others though, and I admit I laughed to myself a little inside.
We cleaned up, loaded up the cars, and drove back to Eau Claire that afternoon. All in all, a 100% successful MarsCon.
MarsCon is one of my favorite weekends every year, and I'm glad I went. It's not a perfect convention, but it's still a great time. One of these days I'll get a chance to go to the actual convention too...