capable of invoking
From here to central Georgia (and back) is something over four hundred miles. Four hundred miles of alterna-rock radio stations (who don't really seem to remember what they're the alternative to) and trees that stand politely out of the way of the gently-winding interstate.We are eleven days away from dragon*con, and the pie-in-the-sky battle plans are cementing themselves into plans for the weekend after next. Oompa is recovering from brown recluse bites on his legs and can't do much lifting, so Jeremy (our very own rock-steady Mr. Sulu) will be his second-in-command this year. West Coast isn't coming, so we're going to be a little shorter than usual on capable runners for the equipment room; One Nut is out in Arizona, leaving a big combat-boot shaped hole in the middle of Centennial's backstage staff.
Given time and a competent staff, the plans almost seem to create themselves.
We left the house at three, pushing southeast toward Atlanta to meet up with the rest of the core staff at Thomas' house for dinner and a last once-over. With the addition of an hour incurred by crossing the invisibly-painted Georgia border, we arrived at Thomas' house near the appointed time of eight p.m.
Grids for this year's convention were passed around. To the twenty-three thousand attendees of this convention, dragon*con consists of events, panels, concerts, and other performances. For us, this year's news is that we won't be shuffling video-projector screens around the rooms of the fan tracks, the concert performers will be allowed to use dry ice but not fog machines, and that we're hoping that the MST3K guys hosting the costume contest this year will be less of a prima donna than last year's master of ceremonies (Anthony Daniels).
Convention planning is Suzan's decree that we'll take inventory every couple of hours, or that such-and-such room can't be locked and thus will need nighttime security checks to ensure no equipment goes missing, or that Thomas is taking up donations for his potent alcoholic beverage, 'apple pie.'
I'm not sure why we like doing this. I lean toward theories that have phrases like 'battle camaraderie' in them. For five days we let our inner freaks hang out while we (a band of less than fifty people) take on a convention of twenty-three thousand (and the inevitable chaos that number of people are capable of invoking).
The strange, stark truth is that we love the chaos, or we wouldn't come back from year to year. Most of us physically work harder during the week of dragon*con than any other week of the year, and yet there's something about the intensity of both the work and the play that makes it—addicting, somehow.
Until you've been sitting in the equipment room at three in the morning, listening to two grown men called ChocoBunny and Oompa Loompa guzzling the apple pie and waging a radio war, it's difficult to explain.
In the end, I understand this. We drove to Georgia and back today for the battle planning, arriving home on the wrong side of one-thirty in the morning. As I try to focus my eyes through the slowly-thickening fog of sleep deprivation, I realize that I can't think of anything even remotely profound or enlightening to finish this post with.
Except that in eleven days, it begins.
For now, sleep calls.