Now, originally, the project should have ended last Wednesday morning, just in time for EoD. Early last week, the job manager said they'd probably need to extend the project and my contract/involvement. I pointed out that I'd be gone Thursday-Monday. He was somewhat taken aback but I pointed out I hadn't mentioned this earlier due to the original timetable and I don't have to file holiday plans any more since I no longer work directly there (ie if they wanted a greated call on my time, they shouldn't have canned me, not that I would have changed my EoD plans anyway!).
So, ended up working frantically to get things clear by end of play Wednesday, rushed home just in time to meet Jackie, Heather and Selena at East Finchley, did a booze/food run at Tesco's, set them up with episodes of Farscape while I packed.
Got going more or less on time but got delayed in standstill traffic for an hour due to a bad accident on the motorway - looked like someone had gone badly off the road and slammed at high speed into the base of an overpass. Looked very nasty. Heather and Jackie passed the time by standing outside singing bits from OMWF and flashing at truck drivers.
Oh, and I so have to work out a way of hooking up my MP3 jukebox to the new car's stereo. After being used to having my entire music collection on call, being restricted once more to whatever CDs I physically have in the car is frustrating in the extreme!
Still, got there eventually and registered. The Norbreck was a dump when I went there in 97 for the Wolf 359 cons. It has not changed noticeably. And it's not even cheap - room prices are same level as the Radisson and Thistle which are much better hotels - the bathroom didn't even have basic amenities like towel rails!
Now, Cathy had already arranged to crash in my room. Heather decided to do the same. Hmm... bit cosy in there!
Anyway, highlight was definitely the mass outing to see X-Men 2. Had a minor panic at first as I was holding 11 tickets and for a while it was looking like touch and go whether some people were going to make it to the cinema in time but it all worked out. Now, X1 was pretty damned good but X2 is an order of magnitude better. Stunning X-Men geekfest but done subtly - ie cameos by Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Siryn, a file list with entries for Remy Lebeau, Franklin Richards etc all done in a way that fanboys will instantly recognise but which won't matter to mundanes. And as for the final scenes - Brian Singer -You bastard! But nicely done! I definitely want to be Magneto when I grow up...
Oh, and Heather, Meg etc were all frothing about "obvious" slash elements... All I can say is "Feh!"
Decided I wasn't going to bother with autographs. Just couldn't be arsed. Everything's still a bit of a blur right now and I'm pretty sure there'll be lots of detailed con reviews so main standout memories:
My XSE/Bishop costume was way more widely recognised than I could ever have dreamed. Obviously more X-Men fanboys about than I thought! Definitely my most successful low-effort costume to date, especially as the time lost due to the dose of chickenpox precluded me doing the fabric paint or ribbon sewing options for getting the yellow stripes on and I ended up using duct tape!
Our original fancy dress entry was me, Heather as Psylocke, Meg as Domino and Celia as Rogue but she got delayed. We did find a movie Rogue wandering around and conscripted her. We also managed to obtain an Evolution Wolverine but failed to get a White Queen and Evolution Rogue to join us :-(
In general, the standard in the fancy dress
The karaoke in the bar was a nice touch. It gave me something to pop out to as an alternative when the music in the discos wasn't to my taste. Jackie was dead impressive doing Catatonia's Mulder and Sculley and Guns 'n' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine. I have some short video clips of this. BWAHHAHAHA!
While in general I elected to pass on the autographs and photos, I did have to get one with Julie Benz and I'd finally got round to printing up that "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a
Beginning to think there's such a thing as too much guest intereaction - they repeatedly brought the discos to a standstill by taking to the stage...
On the Sunday, we found the complaints sheets. Filled in what I thought - that the right things had been done to make a con that size work but should it have been that size, the Norbreck was still a dump and I was getting cheesed off with autograph fiends unable to distinguish between systems that were unfair and ones simply unfavourable to them. I also claim the honour of putting down the first entry calling for Kristen's ban to be lifted or at least explained and then getting others to do likewise, even if my initial scribblings were widely interpreted as saying "Urban Kristen Jones"... Guess my handwriting could do with some work...
Trip back down was reassuring uneventful, other than a brief panic when Heather thought she might have left her sunglasses at a service station - they were then found under the front seat after we'd turned around and returned there. Fortunately, it wasn't too big a detour!
Right, there's more but I'm knackered and hungry and dreading returning to work tomorrow. Photos coming soon to a Yahoo album near you...