Wednesday, October 10

The Geek.Kon Aftermath.

The CDP Goes To Geek.Kon.

I had never been to a 'Con' before, and was honestly fearing the worst. I envisioned the sweaty, unwashed masses of overweight humanity, goose-stepping out of their parents' basements, throwing on their best ironic t-shirts or star fleet uniforms, and thoroughly embarrassing myself and my beloved city.

I was pleasantly surprised. I'm also ignorant and more than a little bit of an asshole.

For a first-year, completely free Sci-Fi/Anime/Gaming convention, Geek.Kon 2007 delivered the goods and offered a lot of promise for the future. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and staff, I firmly envision Geek.Kon to be one of the premiere Cons in the Midwest in no less than five years. The weekend festivities were even featured on CNN!

I'm A Very Important Pansy.
(My VIP pass ensured that I didn't have to wait in line at the Mark Hamill kissing booth.)

Now that the organizers have earned clout, they can charge admission and gather more paying sponsors. This will generate more revenue to secure a better venue, better guests, better prizes and better ways to accommodate and please the ever-growing fan base. Over 1,800 people attended this two-day affair, and I'm guessing that number might double in 2008.

Furthermore, once the CDP is recognized as the funniest and dare I say, sexiest blog in Wisconsin, I'll probably be signing autographs and collecting hotel room keys like nobody's business come next year.

1800 Geeks In One Place.
(Amazingly, the line started forming at 7am on Saturday morning. During CARTOONS!)

My only two criticisms of the event had nothing to do with the Convention itself. The venue needs to be changed (they really had no choice but to hold it here this year), and a lot of the Geeks in question refused to bathe beforehand. However, don't let it be said that Sci-Fi conventions are nothing more than gatherings of pungent, dateless losers with fantasies that would crack even the filthiest psyche, nope! I spotted more cute Cosplay girls than an entire day spent in the Anime section of Suncoast Video. Believe me, I'm there a lot.

I Didn't Approach Them.
(If you were a semi-cute girl in a somewhat-cute looking costume, you pretty much pwn3d the place.)

Here are the details, from what I can recall. I should also mention that a lot of these photographs are not mine. The labeled ones were shot by Chris Norris for Dane 101. Please visit both sites so they don't get mad and make me remove all of them. I've only gotten into copyright trouble one other time, and I really don't want to experience it again.

People Were Getting Tazed Left And Right.
(This hallway was exposed to natural sunlight, so it was for the safety of the Geeks that they avoid it.)

I wanted to arrive right away at 8am on Saturday, to watch the MST3K episode Jack Frost, arguably the best Mike Nelson episode of the entire series. However, campus parking in Madison is a cruel joke, and the Missus had to actually drop me off at the door at around 9:45am while she continued to look for a spot. Had I been any later, I would have forfeited my place in the Guitar Hero II tournament, which was the main reason for my attendance in the first place.

I brought my own axe (pictured above) with its very own case. Considering that some folks brought robots they constructed out of old washing machine parts, I didn't think I was going to get stared at too much.

More Geek Merch Than Would Fit In Your Mom's Basement.
(The Geek.Kon vendors accepted cash, check or anything adorable from Japan.)

I found out that the tournament was going to start a little later than announced, so I did some walking around the convention grounds while my friends were in the process of parking 1.5 miles from the venue (seriously). There were three floors of geek goodness, from LAN parties to DDR to cosplay to Anime viewings to artists to vendors to movies...you name it, it was probably somewhere under the roof of the University of Wisconsin Humanities Building.

Walking around by myself, I lowered my jackass facade a bit and took in how much fun everyone seemed to be having. It was infectious, and it in tune made me happy.

Then my friends showed up, and I went back to making fun of everyone. I never said I was a strong man of character; next time, I'm coming alone.

There Were About 6 Different News Outlets On Hand.
(One of the few chances you can wear a skiing outfit in the Autumn without people thinking you're retarded.)

What shocked me above all was the large amount of press coverage this thing was getting. Every local network, and a few national networks were on hand to roll tape and ask questions. During the Guitar Hero tournament, for example, news crews were really starting to bother the participants while they were trying to play. These poor kids were just trying to win a contest, and some douche from Channel 27 was trying to get their name and information at the same time. Dude, Monkey Wrench is only a three-minute song; just give them a bit, okay?

Next Year, They Can Get Real Celebrities To Host These Panels.
(Yes, women outnumbered the men here. Yes, I have no idea how that happened.)

Since the convention was brand new and free, the organizers couldn't really bring in the Whedons and Wheatons and whatnot (hilarious), so fans and volunteers set up their own panels in which to talk about these people. Personally, I think they did a great job.

Being a huge fan of Japanese music, I was saddened to see that the entire auditorium for the J-Pop panel was standing-room only by the time I got there. On the other hand, I was satisfied that things were going so well. I knew what it was like to put a lot of work into something that nobody else cared about, so it always makes me happy to see a dream play out better than expected.

For example, when I was in High School, I wrote a pretty amazing song about a kid that used to touch himself in the library while looking at pornography on the school's computers. Imagine my shock when everyone was turned off by the whole thing. I thought it was brilliant, and could have rocketed our band to super-stardom. For the time being, "Library Jack-Off Boy" still sits in my filing cabinet, just waiting to be unleashed on the general public.

There Were Seriously Some Great Costumes On Hand.
(The auditorium was packed to the rafters when the CDP made his presentation.)

Being new to the convention scene, I don't know the deal with photograph etiquette. I mean, if I see someone wearing a neat costume that they put a lot of time into, is it polite or impolite to ask for a picture with them? Is it okay to approach strangers in this regard? There were more than a few people who deserved to be the center of attention (the lady in red up above, for example), I just didn't want to come off like a stooge or pervert every time I asked for a picture.

Each time I stared at a younger girl in costume for more than a second, I half-expected Chris Hansen to pop up and tell me to have a seat next to the plate of cookies. Eventually, I just put my head down and made a beeline to the Guitar Hero room. The tournament was about to begin.

Talk Nerdy To Me. Please.
(I don't know who this girl is, I haven't met her and I don't know her name, but I'm almost positive that I love her.)

There were 16 slots in the GHII tournament, and a packed room of about 30 in attendance. The folks who showed up early had the advantage of being able to warm up and get comfortable in the room, while I dashed in 5 minutes beforehand, clutching my guitar and a box of Lemonheads that were my only source of food so far that day. This already wasn't what I had planned for myself.

Nonetheless, I scoped out the competition and took a seat near the back. I stayed unassuming and went through my battle plan and strategy in private.

My strategy? Swear loudly to distract my opponents and throw punches when necessary.

I Was Dressed Like A C-List Local Blogger.
(Say what you want. Those are pretty amazing costumes. My t-shirt and jeans combo didn't stand a chance.)

The preliminary round eliminated the pack from 16 to 8 competitors, which called for everyone to play the same two songs, and cut the bottom 8 total scores. There were a lot of good players in the room, and I was feeling a little nervous before it was my turn to shine. Furthermore, my entourage and wife were late in showing up, and filed in halfway through my first song.

I played pretty good, though, and survived the cut from 16 to 8, ranking #2 overall. This allowed me to have control over what songs I wanted to play during the head-to-head portion of the tournament, excluding if I were to face the #1 ranked seed in the finals.

This did not happen. For, in that very room, my worst nightmare loomed. A sight so intimidating and nerve-shattering, that all who came before it were humbled in their presence.

Of course, I'm talking about the token Asian kid.

I Cannot Believe This Guy Has A Kid.
(Screw the robot, look at this dude's shirt! Raddest. Attire. EVER.)

You know who I'm talking about. At every arcade, in every video game competition, there is a token Asian kid ready to pulverize and destroy everything you thought you knew. He's going to humiliate you, embarrass you with his work ethic and maybe sleep with your girlfriend if he wants to. I don't know what it is about Asian kids that makes them so damn good at video games, but it's almost unfair.

I won my quarterfinal match with ease, and faced the token Asian kid in the semis for a chance to go to the championships. I tried to keep my composure, but I couldn't help but tremble as I plugged my controller into the PS2. "Stick to the game plan," I said to myself. "Stay cool, you can beat this guy!"

It's a good thing the crowd was standing behind me, because I started peeing my pants pretty early into the face-off.

It's Not Really Her, But I'll Take It.
(Not Natalie Portman, but hey, close enough!)

It was a 2-out-of-3 match, and I got the honors of choosing the first song. Instead of my slow and steady, conservative style I adopted to cruise through the tournament, I decided to pick a hard song and see if I could rattle this kid. Of course, we all know that you cannot rattle an Asian kid at anything.

I was destroyed. Manhandled. Embarrassed in front of my wife and friends. Strike 1.

For Round 2, my opponent had the choice of song, and he decided to pick the one song that I absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt cannot freaking play. I was almost laughed out of the room, and graciously accepted my 3rd Place finish as the token Asian kid went on to win the tournament.

His prize? A key chain!

I Didn't Have A Prayer Against An Asian Kid.
(Here, I take on my quarterfinal challenger while Fidel Castro sits on my right.)

My friends were shocked at how reserved I was at the outcome, considering that I was just raped in front of 30 people. My opinion was that I played the best I could, and I only would have been mad had I choked for whatever reason. I was fine with the finish, and we were now free to roam about the convention in peace.

Eight seconds later, I grabbed a random dude, booted him right in the rod and threw him out of a third-story window.

Ranked Number 2. It's Better Than Duke.
(Geek.Kon was state-of-the-art, boasting a fully-functional 'chalked board.')

After some more roaming, we finally left Geek.Kon to grab some food. By accident, we wandered into Harvest Fest, which was a huge competing festival dedicated to the legalization of marijuana. I got concerned that I would be photographed and shown on the nightly news, which would assuredly lead to a frantic call from my mother. We hustled out of there pretty quick.

Oh, and to those who want weed legalized? Not going to happen. Ever. Sorry.

I PWN This City.
(I sure hope this sticker gets noticed more than I do. I didn't give away a single thing that day.)

In conclusion, I can't wait for Geek.Kon 2008. To the organizers and volunteers, you did a great job. My only suggestion is that you put a shower on sight for those who desperately need it. If you ever need someone to lead a panel on how to run a moderately successful and ego-driven local blog, I think I might be able to help you out. You have officially converted me.

It's A High-Quality Piece Of Vandalism, Right There.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Comments:
Which begs the question:

Why are there not more asian guitarists?
 
Because playing the guitar usually ain't a video game.


/Racist?
 
Is that guy from Dragonforce Asian?
 
That looked like fun. Of course, I love conventions, adorable things from Japan and costumes. When those things come together it's like a perfect storm of geek ecstasy.

If you're not familiar with con-photo etiquette, my experience is that the more effort (and money) someone puts into their get-up the more they REALLY want to be noticed, and hence, photographed. But always ask, anyway, so you don't run the risk of a beefy guy dressed as a Stormtrooper pummeling you to within an inch of your life.

Also - the girl in blue, about mid-post: I don't know who she's supposed to be costumed as, but I'd hit it.

And the photo below it...I only have one word: Zelllldaaaa.
 
Yeah, the one guy from Dragonforce is Asian, and he's about the best metal guitarist I have ever heard.

Thanks for the information, Maus. I'll remember this the next time I head out. I'd feel the same way if I put a lot of time into something and people felt afraid to talk to me.

And yeah, that girl in the blue is my new, super-secret girlfriend. I didn't think I had a cosplay fetish, but...man.

+1 for the "I'd hit it" remark, especially coming from another woman. I like the direction the thread is heading this morning.

This...Is...ZELDAAAA!!!
 
maus -- the blue girl is a character from one of the Final Fantasy (VII, I think). Her name is Zionna. Or something to that effect.

Yep, I'm a geek. Loved the Dalak, too.

Why were there more women then guys? That makes no sense, except that WI has a large population of female geeks. Expect an influx of male geeks in the coming months.

On a different note, I saw a hilarious Green Bay Packers shirt yesterday -- "We love our beer and have a football problem".
 
"We love our beer and have a football problem".

One of my friends is really into the Red Sox. His house is covered with paraphernalia and he drops a ton on memorabilia every year. His wedding was even Red Sox themed. His brain - packed full of useless facts.

They may try and deny it, but sports superfans are geeks, too.
 
MIKEHOSS- Thanks for the info. I just bought Kingdom Hearts I & II, so I'm stepping into the geek RPG realm at a relatively slow and steady pace.

Madison has a great population of female geeks, more so than any other city in the state, I'd argue. Just one of the many reasons why I'm never moving. The Missus likes it, too, because she's hit on almost every day downtown.

COMET- With the Sox and the Indians (my two favorite MLB teams) facing each other for a shot at the World Series, I couldn't be happier. No matter what, it's going to be awesome.

Anyone who tells you that men cannot remember things should look at their sports knowledge. The facts that some otherwise-idiotic men can store in their brains is downright scary and embarrassing at times.


/That's me, sadly.
 
I was trying to imagine what it would be like to be a Cleveland fan right now. To clobber the Skankees only to turn around and face the Red Sox must be difficult.

I love my Red Sox (not as much as the Patriots), but I can still remember all the heartache they have caused me. It gives me a soft place for Cleveland. Been there dude, whatever happens it'll be a wild ride. Good luck.
 
Um, I'm not hit on by geeks...
 
I know. I just said that we weren't moving because you get hit on a lot downtown.

Not by geeks.

I'm a geek, though.

And I love you.

Very much.
 
Oh, okay. Good. You best love me, or I'll have some of my male suitors come and beat yo ass down.
 
I used to think I was pretty good at Street Fighter 2, I destroyed most of my friends and then 2 Asians kids moved into our click and it was over. I don't think I ever won again, I totally can share your pain and understand the fear that went through your heart.

At least he didn't have a friend their announcing it in a Howard Cosell voice.
 
Let it be known that the CDP is greatly exaggerating the amount of his loss. It was a very very close call on the first song. The second song...not as close, but he did very well given that it is probably one of the worst songs of the whole set list for him to play. Had it been pretty much any other song...I'm not so sure Mr. Token Asian Kid would have walked away to the finals. And I'm not just saying that because I'm an awesome, loving wife either.
 
At least he didn't have a friend their announcing it in a Howard Cosell voice.

That had me laughing so hard I almost choked on my lunch.

CDP - Will there be footage appearing?
 
KEVIN- I think everyone has experienced this sort of humbling at one point or another. It's about as universally common as that dream where all of your teeth start falling out.

I, too, would announce my friend's matches. I'd be more of a Vin Scully than a Howard Cosell, though. Sometimes, an old-timey carnival barker voice, too.

HATHERY- True, I just picked the wrong song to play. I got cocky. I predict a Guitar Hero III re-match at Geek.Kon 2008.

JT- There might be some footage in the next few weeks. I'll see what Killer Sandbox Productions has in mind.
 
Is there any chance of you telling us what that particular song is?

All the Asain gamers I know arn't the cool, crazy hair kind. They're the maths geniuses. 90% of their conversation is based on Mario and the Wii.
 
I picked 'Rock This Town' and got owned, even though I'm pretty damn good at it. Then he picked 'Hangar 18,' which I cannot play to save my life.

For the finals, they played 'Freebird' twice in a row, which was more torturous than just about anything.
 
Wah. My comment didn't post. I'll try again:

At least he didn't have a friend their announcing it in a Howard Cosell voice.

That made my day. John Cusack has gone on record as saying that Better Off Dead is one of his least favorites of all of his movies, and he doesn't get the appeal. He's obviously a tool with no sense of humor, and he's conveniently forgotten that without Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer (to a lesser extent), there would probably have been no Say Anything - which would mean he'd have never had the opportunity to do films like Being John Malkovich and High Fidelity. Of course, after Serendipity and Must Love Dogs, how can he possibly say with a straight face that Better Off Dead is one of his worst??
 
CDP, bad news: One of my co-workers just told me that the 5 & Diner closed down about 2 weeks ago. :(
 
WHAT!? I'm a sad being
 
Come on, are you kidding me? No more 5 & Diner? How is that even possible? It was never not crazy busy every time we were there!

Damn!
 
I don't know...I guess the owner told his workers on a Friday "By the way, we'll be closed on Monday, so don't come in." It came as a total shock to everyone.

Explains why we saw our malt-maker at the Red Robin the other night...
 
That sucks for the employees, but it really sucks for me. Sure, they're out of a job, but I want those cheese curds!
 
I just sent an email to the address of the owners that I found on the SP Chamber of Commerce page expressing my regret. My coworker tells me that the owner has been trying to sell the place, and just decided to close it (or so she heard). So perhaps it will open under new ownership? I called the phone number listed on the Chamber of Commerce page, and it's a disconnected message (as you'd expect).
 
Good news! From the owners:

Hello Celia

Our plan is to sell the restaraunt for which we have a pending offer. They if the deal goes thru plan on reopening it with some changes in the next few months. I thank you for being a good customer,I got to know many in my 2 years of owning the place I built. I do think it will open in a few months and have confidence the folks can run a good place.
Thanks agian
Dean
 
I'm bummed I couldn't go. in '08 I'll wear my D&D costume.


It will be awesome.
 
This all took place here in Madison? I am not on that mailing list because I had no idea Madison even had "Geek Fests" ... they keep us pretty in the dark here on Allied Drive, on more ways than one! Looked like fun, I think my partner and I would have and could have had a blast ... ahh well, there is always next year ...
 
HATHERY- That IS good news! I hope the menu doesn't change all that much.

CARGIRL- I was amazed at how many 12-sided dice people were selling at Geek.Kon. 2008 should be twice as big. Maybe by that time, you'll be a UW alumni? :)

LINA- This was Madison's first big convention, from what I can tell. I can't remember how I found out about it; probably Dane 101. Those guys keep you in the loop about everything.
 
Yep, I'm sure it was Dane 101. We Sun Prairie bumpkins don't ever find anything out either :)
 
Well, it's official...the CDP is officially more popular in the Eastern Time Zone than any other US Time Zone. Shame on you Central Standard Time...for shame.
 
Yep, over 31% of my traffic comes from the East Coast, while over 7% comes from Australia. Weird.

Where my Aussies at?
 
Perhaps you need to talk more about kookaburras and Foster's?

So stereotypical...
 
The Aussies get me. And I appreciate it.
 
I just think if you brought up the occasional reference to a wallaby, you'd have them in your back pocket...just sayin'.

Why do Australians have so much cooler animals than we do???
 
Small, isolated pockets of land speed evolution and natural selection, creating more peculiar hybrids and creatures seemingly more exotic to the rest of the planet.

Sorry. It's true, though. Islands have the weirdest stuff, because it's like an evolutionary time machine.
 
Think Austraila has a Bad Newz Kennel?

Too soon?
 
With Michael and Marcus Vick pretty much cornering the market on vapid assholes, I wonder what their mother thinks about all of this. To be an ass in private is one thing, but to raise two famous asses is quite another.

"What did you say about my mama?"
 
Well they had to have learned it somewhere...
 
Not sure if you're keeping up on this or not, but you're #5 out of 2774 nominations in the "Best Blog About Stuff" category on the Blogger's Choice Awards. That's pretty freakin' awesome, I must say. You're less that 25 votes away from surpassing the 2 people who are tied for fourth right now...anyone who hasn't voted yet should really consider checking out the buttons in the sidebar and voting.:) :) :)
 
I'd like to think that SPork Nation has some small part in your East Coast domination.

Probably not, but I continue to have delusions of grandeur...
 
Of course it does...it's just one tine in a many-tined CDP-spork of love.
 
Wow, I didn't realize that we were still hanging in there so well. 20 more votes could throw me right back into the Top 3 blogs in the nation!

I can't touch PostSecret, though. They have the market cornered on unrequited love, date rape and botched suicide attempts. They're way more creative than me, in that they don't really do anything at all.

Sorry. I'll throttle back on the bitterness.

Tomorrow, I'm talking about sex, so that should boost the hits a little bit. There will be no Sweeps Month this year, so I have to find another way to pander.
 
Polli's hanging in at #2, so she's still doing really well :) I don't know...I tried to enjoy that Post Secret stuff, but most of it was just boring to me. People trying hard to be interesting or odd. I don't know...it's a good idea, but I can't see checking it religiously. Maybe that's just me.
 
Post Secret is just okay. I do check in for the weirdness factor. I prefer the Find of the Day website(http://www.foundmagazine.com/) or any of the Overheards for laugh out loud quirky funny.
 
Yeah. At least if things are found or overheard, they aren't planned. If people just send things in...they try to hard.
 
I'm a huge Found! fan!

With PostSecret, I think that not only are some of the entires 100% untrue, it's more of an art project than anything. Furthermore, it's a collaborative art project by fans of the site, which means that all the webmaster has to do is sit back and release a book every now and again. It's a sweet gig, but it requires little to no creativity on the part of the PostSecret staff.

Sorry, PostSecret. You bore me.
 
I should also be honest and state that I didn't care either way about PostSecret until I was in direct competition with them in the Blogger's Choice Awards. Now I hate them.
 
I should be honest and say I had never even heard of PostSecret until the Blogger's Choice Awards...
 
I should be honest and say I had never even heard of the Blogger's Choice Awards until I saw the links here the the CDP.

The more you know...
 
That's because the CDP is beyond the Blogger's Choice Awards. When they shut down after their fraudulent and money-making scheme is over, who'll still be around, telling jokes and wearing cute sweaters?

I'll tell 'ya who. Me. That's who.
 
The CDP should be honest and say that he never heard of them either until his lovely wife went ahead an nominated him for it. :)
 
It's only because I'm against promotion of this type. It boosted my traffic, but it made me feel icky being in competition with so many good bloggers.

Still though, I'm shocked with how well the CDP did, and it made me happy.
 
Let it be known that the CDP is against promotion, but the Missus is not above pandering and shameless tactics. That's why we work so well together.
 
There will be no Sweeps Month this year, so I have to find another way to pander.


As annoying as they may have been, those naughty neighbors of your's were blogger's gold. When I get home tonight I'm going to have a drink in appreciation of their contribution to creativity and interesting material.

"Here's to you nightly wall bangers. May your fire never wane and your bruises heal properly"
 
You'll be able to re-live those moments of hilarity when my book is released. Only this time, you'll appreciate them on a nostalgic level, too.
 
Nice post. Today's world is growing very rapidly. Everyone wants to look good. In this case cosplay outfit has a perfect balance between the lace and the open part. it gives you personal satisfaction.it has a wide variety of costumes. Cosplay Costume is one of top sellers this season.

cosplay
 
Today's world is growing very rapidly. Everyone wants to look good. In this case cosplay outfit has a perfect balance between the lace and the open part. it gives you personal satisfaction. it has a wide variety of costumes. Cosplay Costume is one of top sellers this season. Thanks for sharing this blog with us

cosplay
 

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