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Anime Detour 2016 AAR

tl;dr: I went to Anime Detour as a staff member for the first time since getting canned (for cause) in 2007, had fun, didn't work nearly as much as I thought I should have, didn't see all the people I wanted to see, and didn't get sick.

I thought I'd prepped pretty well for the trip, having packed plenty of AD shirts and underwear and bandages and drugs and stuff ahead of time. I saved the power strip, rechargers, nose hose, and cables for last, which is to say Thursday morning. Didn't sleep well the night before con, but then I seldom do; still, I managed to get enough rest so I was fucntional when i got up and brewed some Atomic Blast coffee to get me through the morning. Somehow I managed to forget my test kit and all my painkillers while putting all the medical stuff in the backpack. Still, I managed to be downstairs and ready with all my stuff when the Uber driver came around 0600. Dropping my bags, hobbling through security to the gate and arranging for preboarding ensued, and the flights to Denver and Minneapolis were free of trouble. I slept most of the way, lulled asleep by the soothing ambient music of Conelrad.

On arrival, I grabbed my bags and decided against waiting for the Radishtree shuttle. Instead, I pinged Uber and headed for the Thunderbird. Sadly, Kendra had been let go the previous week, but the desk staff proudly showed me a collage of photos and e-mail from guests, including one sent by ATC board chair Lauren Ganann. There was no point in walking the halls I'd walked hundreds of times before, and everybody I'd known there was gone, so with a heavy heart I pinged Uber again and headed for the Radishtree. I should mention that Uber saved my ass that weekend; I had saved $100 in my credit union account expressly for Uber and had about a third of that left over when I got home, despite running out to Walmart to replace missing painkillers and glucose meter, shifting from the Radishtree to the Super 8, etc.

I'll spare you all a blow-by-blow recital of stuff that happened over the weekend. The summary: I didn't see anyone else's panels, I missed all the AMV shows (and my shoutout from Kyle at Opening Ceremonies, because I never make it to Opening Ceremonies any more), and didn't stick my nose into the Dealers' Room. I did see a little of the Artists' Alley, but didn't see anything I particularly wanted to buy. Since two of my shifts in gaming overlapped the raves, I didn't see any of those either.

As for my panels, I was bemused to see Diet & Diabetes on the schedule after all; I hadn't gotten a confirmation e-mail from Programming, and as Dave hurriedly explained on Thursday, both Kyle and I had submitted the panel, and he went with Kyle's submission. Which was okay; as long as the panel happens, I don't care who gets the credit for suggesting it. The first panel, Postwar Politics in Japan, was in the same small room it's always been in (Atrium 3) but this year it was SRO despite being at 1400 on Friday. My Saturday solo panel on Ingress in Plaza 3 was not as successful for a couple of reasons, but I think I'll give it another shot next year with Jen (or John) Koniges and maybe get some swag from the IngressCons group on Google+. The N3F Wants You! suffered from bad timing (0930 Sunday) and the turnout was pretty minimal - three people, one of whom only stayed a few minutes, but even he didn't escape without a flyer.

Diet and Diabetes deserves a separate paragraph; it's probably the most important thing I do at Detour every year, and I always feel guilty about doing most of the talking. Still, Kyle and I are getting the message out: you can do something about it, and it's as simple as deciding to put down the sugars and starches.

I wound up pulling three shifts in Gaming totaling about ten hours, which was really not enough, so next year I'll be working with Gifford in Ops as well. Troy doesn't mind, and is weirdly grateful to me for agreeing to work for him in the first place. We had a good talk into the wee hours of Saturday morning after my first shift. I'd vote for him if I could since he's running for re-election to the ATC board.

Helped some with loadout on Sunday, did the Uber to the Super 8, then back to the Radishtree Monday morning for more loadout stuff after breakfast -the complimentary breakfast at the Super 8 was continental so no good for me- and I caught a lift with Gifford to the storage locker and then to Kale's for the afterparty. That was good; many tales of the Old Days were told, the food was good as usual, and people started dribbling out around 1700. I left at 1900 via Uber, and since I hadn't eaten since around 1300, I stopped by Culver's for a burger and cheese curds before repairing to my room and going to sleep around midnight. The next day I woke up around 0800, showered, changed bandages, and decided to extend my stay into the next day via Priceline since I didn't feel like schlepping my bags around or hanging out in the Humphrey terminal all afternoon. I'd been expecting to meet a non-Detour friend that morning but that fell through, as did another meeting in the afternoon, so eventually I caught the hotel shuttle for the airport and headed on home.

The flight home was uneventful except for an unexpected plane change in Denver, and I got back to Vegas around midnight. I didn't realize that the Uber pickup point was in the parking garage and then I got the level wrong, but it ended well and I got home before 0030. Still haven't finished unpacking, but I did pay up for next year already. Next year at the Radishtree.