E’s Con Travels 2009: Balticon and ConCarolinas

I’ve been one busy geek girl!  Two cons in two weekends.   And actually, unless you count my accidental attendance at Furry Weekend Atlanta, my first two geek cons ever.

From May 19-22, I attended Balticon, the science fiction convention in Baltimore, Maryland:

And on May 27th, I did a day of ConCarolinas, a Science Fiction & Gaming convention in my (current!) hometown of Charlotte, NC:

Let me tell you a bit about the fun I had!


  • Balticon was really more like the vehicle for us to geek out, buy some gaming stuff, and play lots of D&D.  To be honest, other than visiting the dealer’s room and vaguely popping our heads into a few things, DaveTheGame and I didn’t do a whole lot of actual Balticon-sponsored activities.
  • We participated in Worldwide D&D Game Day on Saturday.   I played Arjhana, the Dragonborn Rogue.  (I promptly renamed her Hannah.  Arjhana was just too weird.)  DaveTheGame DMed and among the players was Critical Hits writer The Main Event, who recently moved back to town since graduating law school.  (Grats!)  The adventure was pretty fun and it was cool getting to see DaveTheGame DM.  I told him the status of our relationship depended on his DMing skills.  I suppose I’ll keep him around.   I tweeted a bunch during the game.  You can probably search for #dndgd and find the hilarity there.
  • On Sunday, DaveTheGame DMed his regular campaign, in which I am now a player!  Since Mielka’s game group in Charlotte pretty much died, I have leveled her up to 11 and have written a mid-story to bridge the gap between her getting drunk at the bar to her ending up in an entirely different world having gained several levels and the abilities of a Divine Oracle.   (Check the Moradin’s Lass page for more on Mielka.)  Did some tweeting there, too.
  • After the game, we had a big ol’ party to celebrate DaveTheGame getting his Masters degree.  I got to meet the other major writer from Critical Hits, Bartoneus, and his wife.  It was a fun time.  Adult beverages were consumed.  Our hotel room floor was populated by people crashing for the evening.  Good times.

Con Carolinas

  • DaveTheGame drove down to come to ConCarolinas with me.  We had debated whether we wanted to do the whole con or just go for Saturday and opted to do the Saturday only badge.
  • I have to admit, things started out a bit slow.  We wandered around, checked out the dealer’s room (cooler stuff than Balticon, IMO).  I bought a couple bumper stickers for my car.
  • We played a game of Wits & Wagers  (with sci-fi questions) and lost miserably.  It was okay though since DaveTheGame already owns a copy of Wits & Wagers, so it would have been useless to win!
  • We signed up to play Savage Worlds since DaveTheGame has been peer pressured by people like UncleBear to try it.   I was on the alternate list since there was only one slot available on the sign-up sheet, but when we showed up, our GM was like – “Everybody plays!”
  • Turns out our GM is none other than Sean Patrick Fannon.   Not only is he an awesome and fun GM, he’s an awesome and cool guy!  We ended up hanging out after the game and eating burritos with a bunch of people, including Mark from Dice Monkey.
  • Backing up – Savage Worlds was a pretty neat system.  We were all pretty much n00bs to it, so there was a lot of hand-holding (and in my case, DaveTheGame and Hybban doing math for me after I rolled my dice).  I’d like to play it again sometime.   The game itself was really fun and we had cool players and ended up totally messing with Sean Patrick’s plans for the final battle by drowning the biggest badass on the board.  Mwah ha ha.
  • After the game, burritos.  Then Sean Patrick was trying to figure out where the party was, and upon finding no party, decided to throw a party in his room.  DaveTheGame and I went on the beer run and a party semi-spontaneously erupted in Room 304, which was soon populated by a bunch of random people that nobody knew.  You know it’s a geek party when there’s Weird Al playing on the DJ laptop and people are having deep conversations about Star Trek.  Awesomesauce.

Things I’ve Learned About Cons:

  • People in full costume including a mask can be kind of obnoxious.  Is it an anonymity thing?
  • Dude, you definitely should not be WEARING the jeans while making them into cutoff shorts.  Measure twice, cut once.
  • Ladies apparently come in two types – those who don’t wear bras and let their girls flop to and fro, and those who wear corsets and appear to be drowning in their own cleavage.
  • Self-published authors can be very pushy.  Very, very pushy.
  • Sometimes, you just need to ignore the creepy dude who is staring at your legs like he’s trying to count the number of molecules of skin there.
  • Nerd whiff.  It’s for real.   (“Nerd whiff” is a signature trademark of the StupidRanger corporation. All rights reserved.)
  • There are some seriously cool and very nice people at conventions and I’m really excited about getting to meet more as I travel to geek out all around the country.

Anyway, I’ve had a ton of fun, but seriously, I’m ready to have a quiet weekend at home, even if it has to be without DaveTheGame.

My next stop is Origins!  Who’s going?

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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