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GaymerX

Monday, August 5th, 2013 2 comments

This past weekend I went to San Francisco to attend the 1st ever GaymerX, which is the world’s first gaming conference geared toward the LGBT community and LGBT allies. They had a Kickstarter last year, which I supported, and they smashed their fundraising goal. At first it was going to be called Gaymercon, but they had to change the name due to trademark issues. The con took place at the Hotel Kabuki in Japantown, which is a pretty neat park of San Francisco. By coincidence, there was an Asian street fair going on at the same time next to the hotel. Pretty neat.
Asian street fair

I got to the hotel late Friday night. I met up with the guy I found on the convention’s website’s forum so he could get into the room. He was a really nice guy. You never know what you’re going to get when you go in blind that way. After I registered for the con, I went out to a bar and started drinking. At some point I met up with a guild that I’ve been playing with for about a year. I got really drunk. I don’t even remember how I got back to the hotel that night. They watched out for me apparently.

Saturday was the first day of the con. I was very hung over from the night before. I had to leave a couple of panels early because I was feeling sick. I made occasional trips back up to the room just to rest for a few minutes. I went to panels on everything from including LGBT characters in games to yaoi. I went to the 10th anniversary party of my gaming guild. A group of them went to watch a movie a park, but San Francisco was cold and I was still sick. I went to a concert the con had for a little while, played games a little, and then went to bed.
Bioware panel

Sunday was the second and last day of the con. I went to breakfast with my hotel roomie and checked out some of the Asian street fair. I went to panels on gaming journalism and furries. I think my horizons have been sufficiently expanded…maybe. The closing ceremonies were a little sad. I always feel that way at the end of a con. We did get a sing-a-long of “Still Alive” led by the actress who does the voice of GLaDOS in the Portal games and her husband.

Overall, I had a great time at the con. They did an excellent job for the first-year con. Hopefully, they take what they learned and make next year better. One panelist said that this was the best smelling con that she had been to. Thank goodness for people who know how to shower and use deodorant. I have to agree with everyone who said that the vibe there was great and different from any other con I’ve been to. Everyone was extremely positive. Some may question the need for having a separate con like this. I heard the sentiment that for many (especially the female attendees) this was the first con they’ve been to where no one made them feel uncomfortable. Before I made it to the con I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t go back for year two, but instead wait a year or two to go back. By the end of the first day, I knew I wanted to go back next year.
view from the plane

Surprise Vacation

Monday, June 17th, 2013 No comments

At the end of the week before last, my friend John texted me to say that he was going to be in Reno, NV for 2 weeks and it would be cool if I could come down for a few days. I went to Expedia and saw that it would cost only $196 for round trip tickets. I usually don’t go on trips on such short notice (4 days), but I didn’t have a job and it wasn’t expensive, so I figured I would go. My former co-worker and Alston and I had said that we wanted take a quick trip just to take a break from job hunting, but we never got around to planning anything. He was hired by a company that I referred him to and I had a feeling that something would be happening for me any day, so there didn’t seem like a need for a trip anymore. I figured that if I had any requests for phone interviews while I was gone, I could do them in the hotel room.

John was busy during the day, even on Saturday, so we could only hang out at nights. That gave me a chance to shop and explore.

Tuesday – I arrived in Reno around midnight via San Francisco. I went straight to bed.

Wednesday – I did some shopping during the say. I think all I bought was a card game and some books. I got a request for a phone interview on very short notice. I nailed it. I decided that instead of leaving Friday as originally planned, I would leave Sunday so that John and I could drive to San Francisco Saturday. That night we went to a casino and ate dinner there. Afterward, we gambled some we went home.

Thursday – I think I did more driving around and shopping during the day. I bought a hoodie because I left my jacket in Portland and I knew we would be outside that night. That night we drove to Lake Tahoe, ate dinner, and took in some of the scenery. John wanted to get some pictures of the sunset.
Lake Tahoe

Friday – I went out, bought another book, and bought an auxiliary cable for the rental car we’d been using (actually, it was a minivan because they didn’t have anything else when I arrived Tuesday night). A little after 4 I got word that I had gotten the job that I interviewed for on Wednesday. I was hoping I would find out something before 5, so I wouldn’t spend all weekend wondering about it. We celebrated with drinks that night.

Saturday – I bought some presents for other people this time. John and I drove to San Francisco. We got there so late we didn’t have time to do much. We hung out in the Castro all night. We got pretty drunk.

Sunday – John wanted to see trees so we drove to Muir Woods. We got to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge on the way there. The woods were fun. We go a lot of exercise walking along the trail. After that we drove back to Reno because I had to catch a flight back. I made it back to Portland via Seattle a little before midnight.
Golden Gate Bridge

Muir Woods

I had a great time. I think that was the longest I’ve been away from Portland since I moved here. It was great to get away for a little while and it’s always fun to hang out with John. I think I’ll be seeing him again in November.