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Media West* Con 30 Report



Time to report on Media West* Con 30! :)



Day 1 (Thursday, May 27, 2010)


Things started out a little hinky with delays during both flights, but not lengthy ones. I touched down in Lansing fifteen minutes late but had the hotel shuttle all to myself. :) The driver, Jeff, was experiencing his first Media West Con! He said he’d already met some ‘interesting people’. I said he’d seen nothin’ yet! ;)

khylara arrived soon after me, and we were both impressed by the remodelled room. The fifth floor was the only floor to have new furnishings, and we’d lucked out. The whole fourth floor was under construction.

The wood was dark, and a pewter figurine was set on the desk, and we had a comfy new chair. The mattresses felt new, anyway, and the linens were different. The bathroom had a black vanity top and other new fixtures. We had a microwave in addition to the refrigerator.

The telephone didn’t work and the bathtub needed fixing to drain properly, but we had good lodgings. Maintenance was quick in fixing the problems. Huzzah!

The wood was better in the rooms than in the hall. It made the hall a little too dark. And people didn’t like the wall sconces but I’ve seen worse. :)

Dinner was in the hotel restaurant, Hummingbird’s. There were posters of current movies (Shutter Island, Iron Man 2, etc.) adorning the walls. Both of us ordered the fish, and I had a baked potato with a little butter, and coleslaw. Even though we’re talking Midwestern fish and not Atlantic cod or haddock, it was good. We both had pie for dessert,
khylara apple and cherry for me. Good! Recommended by Clark Kent, Smallville’s Pie Aficionado Extraordinaire! ;)

After dinner we put together our door decoration. Since we’re both Public Enemies nuts, we’d chosen the theme of Guns ‘N’ Fedoras: literally! Mixed in with various shots from the film were cut-outs of tommyguns and fedoras! ;) It was great fun deciding the aesthetics of the layout and mooning over the pretty men and women. :) We did good!

We did a room crawl but not many dealers had arrived yet.





Day 2 (Friday, May 28, 2010)


First day of the con! khylara and I had a delicious breakfast, mine consisting of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, maple syrup, and two sausage links.

Registration was done differently this year. Instead of us waiting in a long line and getting called up by the first initial of our last names, we took a seat in line and the gofers took our names and got our membership badges and program books. It went amazingly fast!

We went out to the newly-designed courtyard and chilled for a couple of hours. I drifted off to sleep at one point. :) There was a small expanse of lawn surrounded by a koi pond and a pergola with wrought-iron table and chairs (and cushions!). The old plastic tables and chairs were still around to give more seating. A whitewashed footbridge spanned the pond, and a small waterfall was bubbling merrily by the pergola. I claimed ‘my spot’, as per Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. ;) It was under the pergola.

The Dealers’ Room opened at noon, and off I went! I picked up a copy of the Public Enemies slash zine by khylara, No More Doubts. I also bought a gorgeous sky-blue I Spy T-shirt with a yummy picture of Kelly and Scotty (Robert Culp and Bill Cosby). It was done as a tribute to Robert Culp, who died a few months ago.

I also picked up T’hy’la #29 and #30 and two new bracelets with a ladybug design and the other Halloween Jack O’Lanterns! :)

Kathy and I have known each other for years and we can talk about anything under the sun. She and I entered fandom through the traditional route: Star Trek: TOS and K/S. :) I pimped I Spy and Public Enemies to her. Knowing her tastes (usually matching mine), I figured she’d like both if she got a chance to see them.

The Dealers’ Room shimmered under the glare of a dozen ENORMOUS chandeliers, newly installed. The air-conditioning was out all over the hotel on the ninety-degree weekend except for the rooms and some of the conference rooms. The halls and the elevators were stifling, and as I stood talking to Kathy, I felt like I was Frosty melting. I had a cookie in my hand that was more like a brownie, and IT WAS MELTING! The room was brutal. Finally someone got the bright idea of turning the chandeliers off! The room, ordinarily cooled to the point of cold, finally got better but it was still warm the rest of the weekend. The chandeliers were beautiful but too darned big for the room! Someone said it looked like a bordello. ;)

The panels I went to were You’ve Been How Long In Fandom?, The Big Bang Theory, and Pimping Your Slash Fandom. All were pretty interesting and we laughed a lot during the TBBT panel.

Dinner was in Hummingbird’s and was a delicious Angus burger with red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard with a pickle spear and spicy French fries. Yum!

The slash videos were much better this year: an hour’s worth instead of just ten minutes. Fandoms featured were The Professionals, Starsky & Hutch (one sung to the tune of Annie’s Song), Donald Strachey Mysteries (yum!), Stargate: Atlantis, and Master And Commander. Mixed vids included Due South, Farscape, The Phantom Menace, and even a clip of Johnny and Roy from Emergency! Woot! ;)

Other door decorations around the hotel featured pix of Johnny Depp, The Big Bang Theory, and a curtain that changed every day from sexy cowboys to firemen. Definitely a gay product the way the guys were posed! ;) There were doors featuring fannish Scrabble and a board game and sketches of Marvel superheroes. That’s just a small sample! :)



Day 3 (Saturday, May 29, 2010)


Another great day started off by blueberry pancakes and sausage. :) I also had cranberry juice, and on the other days enjoyed icewater, getting lemon slices to put in it at Bob Evans the last two days.

I went to the Bad DC Heroes Comics panel and met Deb there. She and I had bonded over comics years ago, and we had a great time at the panel. DC has come up with some ‘bad’ heroes over the years: Stone Boy (turns to stone, but people have to move him around because he’s, well, stone, heh heh) and Infectious Lass, who will give you a disease if she touches you. Guess her dating life’s a little rocky. ;) Lana Lang was given a ring that made her Insect Queen, turning her into a giant insect whenever she used it, still with her human head. Not sure I’d want THAT power! ;)

A guy comes every year to the con to make custom buttons, and I commissioned several Public Enemies buttons. I already have about a zillion DC and other fandoms, so it was time to give PE its due! :) They’re beautiful. :)

I visited the Art Show and saw some lovely Holmes/Watson pieces. One was mildly erotic with a naked Holmes in bed, and Watson all dressed to leave. Or perhaps he was arriving? ;)

Gorgeous jewelry, shadow boxes, and granite etched panels were all intriguing. I saw an etching of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland that was incredible.

Panels I enjoyed were Darkfic, Small Fandoms, and Hogan’s Heroes Slash. The Public Enemies Slash panel only had khylara and me, which was mildly disappointing but not surprising. Still, I thought that someone would at least be curious! ;) Sometimes you do get a person willing to find out more about a subject. I know I’ve attended panels to learn more if I’m curious.

In between we had lunch. I savored a delicious spicy chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and mustard. I really liked the spicy fries and pickles are my favorites, too!

I talked to Kathy in the Dealers’ Room again and missed most of the Kinkfic panel but caught the last ten minutes. Kinks are fun! ;)

I caught the slash vids again. Never gets old! ;)





Day 4 (Sunday, May 30, 2010)


Sunday was my sister’s birthday! I’d already given her presents and a card and wished her Happy Birthday before I left, but I still thought of her having fun in New Hampshire. :)

khylara and I walked to Bob Evans for breakfast since the hotel restaurant inexplicably didn’t open until 9:00. They definitely lost business! I enjoyed a Belgian waffle (my favorite!) and turkey sausage links. I usually don’t eat this much sausage but on this trip I do if it’s good, and both places made good sausage.

I went to the Heroes panel (the show’s cancelled, drat!), and the Public Enemies panel went well. It was gen and we discussed the movie, mentioning a little slash (heh heh) but it was a good discussion about the clothes, cars, and other details, and also how gangster pictures are rare now. This film was in the tradition of Cagney and Bogart, but maybe modern audiences just don’t care about stories set in the past anymore. People in American society in general couldn’t give two hoots about history. Just us history nuts! ;)

I did go to an Iron Man 2 panel later, too. Lots of good discussion.

For a glorious couple of hours, I sat out in the courtyard with the sunlight dappling the roof of the pergola and the waterfalls bubbling and reveled in khylara's No More Doubts, loving every minute of it! :)

For dinner I repeated the Angus Burger meal and enjoyed it.

Afterwards I did check out the Art Auction for about an hour, then watched the vids again and went up to see if digitalwave was in her hall dealer’s room. She was! I was so thrilled to meet her! She gifted me with some drawings of hers: two nude Clarks, and two Clex pix. All are utterly gorgeous! :)

I spoke with bizarra and unfortunately never saw crimsonquills. We probably just kept missing each other!

Before turning in I watched the last half of The Empire Strikes Back on TV. Gah! I have this old Han/Luke story idea that I thought of years ago, but it never made it into a zine, and now my notes are who knows where. I may re-write it with new additions. And hopefully I’m a better writer now, too! ;)





Day 5 (Monday, May 31, 2010)


Once again the hotel restaurant didn’t open until nine, so khylara and I walked to Bob Evans and I enjoyed my Belgian waffle and turkey sausage links. Good thing it was a big breakfast as I wasn’t going to be eating much the rest of the day.

I said my goodbyes to khylara and took the hotel shuttle to the airport. In Detroit began the fun!

Yeah, it was the Flight from Hell. Not as bad as other people have experienced, but my flights are usually pretty smooth. I’ve had a couple of not-so-good experiences, and this was one of them.

A thunderstorm was moving into Detroit. Our plane was already twenty minutes late boarding. Finally we started, and half of us were on board when the ramps were closed. The storm hit with a fury and we were stuck on the tarmac. I don’t have claustrophobia and could stretch out as there were plenty of empty seats, but the uncertainty stressed me out. How long would we be stuck there? I didn’t like the feeling of being locked into that plane. In the back of your mind you recall all the horror stories of passengers being stuck on planes for hours. I did get lucky because the storm was gone in about a half hour, and after boarding the rest of everyone and getting into a queue for take-off, we finally were airborne.

What’s worse than sitting on the tarmac waiting out a storm? A shrieking kid right behind you who cried THE ENTIRE NINETY-MINUTE FLIGHT! Can we toss shriekers in the cargo hold, please? ;)

You know, flying itself isn’t so bad. It’s all the crap that goes with it. These sure aren’t the days of the PanAm clippers of the ‘30s. Flying used to be a civilized way to travel, just like trains are now. I’m well aware of why there’s such tight security after 9/11, and before that because of hijackings and bombings, but don’t you just get a little tired of being treated like a potential criminal or just one of the herd?

I still got luckier than khylara, whose flight was cancelled in Lansing and she had to spend the night in the airport. Yikes!





Wrap-Up Thoughts On The Con


The con once again was downsized due to the aging of the fandom that makes up its members, and the economy. It’s been that way for the last three years. We’ll see if the old energy comes back, but if it doesn’t, I’ve decided I wouldn’t want a reinvention. I don’t care about attracting younger and newer fen. I don’t give two hoots about gaming or any of their other interests, and have been to actor cons before. They’re fine, but it’s really nice to go to a con that doesn’t have to cater to actors’ egos. Also, mega-cons are fun in their way, but I like the more intimate setting here. So if it dies out, so what? It had a good run.

I do remember the old energy and miss it, but at least I had the good fortune to attend for several years when Media West was a destination for Fandom Central. My first con was pre-Net, and the second was when the Internet began to be available to everyone, but not all of us had access or even knowledge of how to use it. For years MW managed to co-exist with the Internet, the zines still plentiful in the Dealers’ Room and hall dealers’ rooms, and the vids were numerous and the Art Show bursting with creativity, taking the Art Auction four hours or more to get through all the pieces for bid (now it takes only two), but you still get the chance to talk to people in panels and informally. If that isn’t flashy enough for newer fen, then so be it. Nothing will ever replace my memory of attending my first Media West and feeling, Yes! This is the place where I belong! These are my people! ;)

See you all next year! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel! ;)

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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
towerbridge2006
Jun. 4th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for your thorough report. :D I also have been to cons with guest actors, etc. but I much prefer the laid-back atmosphere of MWC and getting together with local friends and the folks I only get to see once a year.
bradygirl_12
Jun. 4th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
Thanks for your thorough report. :D

It was fun to write! Ah, memories! ;)

I also have been to cons with guest actors, etc. but I much prefer the laid-back atmosphere of MWC and getting together with local friends and the folks I only get to see once a year.

Actor cons are fun, but sometimes tiring. MW is much more relaxing. :)
gilda_elise
Jun. 4th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Sounds like a fun con. One of these days I hope to make it there (I'm an hour's drive away, for god's sake.) I do wish they'd do away with the room lottery, though.

Shore Leave in Baltimore has gotten smaller the last few years but since it's really a scifi con and only a K/S con on the side, I'm hoping it's more the economy than an aging fandom.
bradygirl_12
Jun. 4th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
Sounds like a fun con. One of these days I hope to make it there (I'm an hour's drive away, for god's sake.)

Wow! You should come! :)

I do wish they'd do away with the room lottery, though.

Me, too, but I don't see that happening.

Shore Leave in Baltimore has gotten smaller the last few years but since it's really a scifi con and only a K/S con on the side, I'm hoping it's more the economy than an aging fandom.

Most younger fen only care about the huge actor cons now. I heard a story from one of MW's members that said she wanted to bring along a younger relative who was a fan but the kid said she didn't want to meet anyone face-to-face. :)

The Internet has changed a lot of things. Some people simply don't see the need to interact in person since they do it on-line. *shrugs* Their loss.
aeroferret
Jun. 4th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
thanx for the reports...my first time missing it in years (of course it was the one year I got the room raffle!)

Did they ever rebuild the Denny's that burned down?
bradygirl_12
Jun. 4th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
thanx for the reports...my first time missing it in years (of course it was the one year I got the room raffle!)

Figures! :)

Did they ever rebuild the Denny's that burned down?

Nope. Still a burned-out husk.
svgurl
Jun. 4th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Wow, sounds like you had great time, despite the horrible flight back. I'm glad to hear it and it was fun reading all about your trip! :)
bradygirl_12
Jun. 4th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Wow, sounds like you had great time, despite the horrible flight back. I'm glad to hear it and it was fun reading all about your trip! :)

Thanks, hon! It was lots of fun and I'm glad you enjoyed the report. :)
bizarra
Jun. 4th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
I had the squiggly wiggly wailing kid sitting next to me. And honestly that stupid kid (1 and 1/2) spent more time on MY lap than in his own mother's. This was the MDW to SAN flight. 4 HOURS!!! OMG....I was ready to toss this kid out of one of the windows.

But other than that.. we loved the con. I for one LOVED the 5th floor decorations and can;t WAIT to see the rest of the hotel like that. I thought the 5th floor hallways looked brighter and wider. And we loved the sconces on the walls. they were gorgeous.

I had a feeling that was your door. LOL :)

Ours was the ships one on the third floor. The one with the die cut ships and sailboats surrounding pics of our personal favorite ships. :-)

We're going to do the kink panel again next year, it was so much fun!

The restaurant seemed to really be improved over last year. the Food was fabulous. We didn't notice the later opening time because we slept in those two days. We only had 1 day when we really needed to be up and downstairs before 10 and that was Saturday.

I adore the laid back of Media West, but I really do want an not a reinvention, but a resurgence of the con. Grumbling about the whipper snappers tastes isn't mentoring them or helping them to know what fandom is about or was about. One thing about most of the young folks I see around here, especially at the anime cons is that BOY are they creative! We need an influx of creative younger folks or fandom as WE know it will die out. And no one wants that. :-( Anime cons are thriving right now, because its about the creativity. Costuming, vidding (Anime vids can be amazing!) drawing.. you should see these kids draw! and of course fic.. and yaoi yaoi yaoi! Not all Anime cons have guests out the wazoo... so it isn't that they want BIG NAME GUESTS. I do think a lot of it is that the older media fen don't want the younger fen playing in their sandbox and ignore them or want them to go away, rather than teaching them.

When the new Trek movie came out and I watched NEW K/S fans be stunned and shocked that K/S are the grandfather's of slash... I cried. They should have known this! Where are the mentors? Why don't these kids know this?? (And yes, I have mentored and do mentor fans.. so my money is where my mouth is. :) )

I frankly don't want MW to end, or go away. I would love to see older fans embracing the younger fans and coming together for a weekend of FUN FUN FUN and some fic. :-)

I need my weekend of chillaxing with the peeps.

I want to see more media cons like M*W happening. I'm toying with seeing if I could throw one out here in the Bay Area. The only thing like it we have here is BAScon. Which is fine.. but it's slash oriented. Not that slash is bad... but I would love to see a generalized media con like MW out here. With fun for slashers, genners and femmeslashers alike. (We femmeslashers tend to get forgotten. I like it being about the girls too! :'( )

*getting off my soapbox and I am NOT bashing or flaming in any way... I'm just discussing my POV. Sorry if I stepped on any toes... it was not intentional*
bradygirl_12
Jun. 4th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
I had the squiggly wiggly wailing kid sitting next to me. And honestly that stupid kid (1 and 1/2) spent more time on MY lap than in his own mother's. This was the MDW to SAN flight. 4 HOURS!!! OMG....I was ready to toss this kid out of one of the windows.

Yikes, four hours! You deserve a medal! :)

But other than that.. we loved the con. I for one LOVED the 5th floor decorations and can;t WAIT to see the rest of the hotel like that. I thought the 5th floor hallways looked brighter and wider. And we loved the sconces on the walls. they were gorgeous.

The sconces were interesting. I know that some people thought they were tacky, but I liked them well enough.

As for mentoring younger fen, good luck! I've talked with younger and newer fans and while some are interested in fannish history, most really don't care what came before, like most young people. People interested in history are the oddballs! :)

I discussed zines with some newer fen but they had zero interest, frankly. If they can't read it on-line, they're not interested. Stories on-line are free, don't require editing (according to them) and feedback is quick. Zines are seen as slow and stodgy. But that's some opinions. I know that some newbies have interest in zines. Just not a lot of them I've personally talked to.

Pretty sad about K/S (and can we PLEASE stop the Spirk and Spork crap? It's KIRK/SPOCK or K/S, thank you very much). Even if I hadn't been interested in K/S since the beginning it's kind of hard to miss if you do even a little research on slash. Oh, well. At least people know now!
bizarra
Jun. 5th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one that Spirk and Spork really annoys. GAH! LOL

The girl I go to the con with, she's one of the younger fen and she happily attends M*W, buys Zines, watches vids, etc... so they are out there. :) Just have to reach out to the right ones.
bradygirl_12
Jun. 5th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
These smooshed pairing names are ridiculous! :)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 6th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Con review
Bizarra posted:
Anime cons are thriving right now, because its about the creativity. Costuming, vidding (Anime vids can be amazing!) drawing.. you should see these kids draw! and of course fic.. and yaoi yaoi yaoi!

Hey, did anyone see the door I and my sister put up this year? It was the Final Fantasy 7 door. OK, it's not strictly speaking anime, but you want to talk about a fandom that's yaoi-friendly!

Any, great wrap-up, bradygirl! I had a great time, and agree that the food and service at Hummingbird's is vastly improved. I'm looking forward to next year, when hopefully all of the rooms will be done. I saw in this year's program book that the hosts are planning changes for the room reservation process for 2012, so hopefully they'll ditch the lottery once and for all.
bradygirl_12
Jun. 6th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Con review
Hey, did anyone see the door I and my sister put up this year? It was the Final Fantasy 7 door. OK, it's not strictly speaking anime, but you want to talk about a fandom that's yaoi-friendly!

I did see that door! Cool! :)

Any, great wrap-up, bradygirl! I had a great time, and agree that the food and service at Hummingbird's is vastly improved.

The only thing they should improve is opening before 9:00 on Sunday and Monday! ;)

I'm looking forward to next year, when hopefully all of the rooms will be done. I saw in this year's program book that the hosts are planning changes for the room reservation process for 2012, so hopefully they'll ditch the lottery once and for all.

Hmm, I should think that once the rooms are finally done, there should be no more need for a lottery since the con membership is downsized now. If so, I'd love to see the opportunity to just register for next year any time throughout the weekend (to stave off long lines on Monday morning) or just do it at Con Registration instead of the front desk when you register your membership. The room lottery's okay, but they never tell you until a few months before the con whether you've got a room or not. That's caused some people to stop coming, I know.
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