...anyway, the annual trip to Bloomington for Anime Detour started off better than last year because I actually got about four hours of sleep before getting up to pack and shower and dress and call for Uber. Checking the baggage at McCarran was uneventful and I made it through TSA in plenty of time. Things didn't start to come off the rails until I got settled into my seat on the plane to Midway and realized that the DeathPad had not fully recharged itself and was only at 30%. Much juggling of cables & batteries ensued to no avail, so I just gave up on the notion of having any music to listen to en route. Also, we were delayed taking off because we were short one stewardess, and this meant my connection at Midway was very close, almost too close. I completely missed preboarding and wound up getting a middle seat, which pleased none of us in that row.
Got to Minneapolis and deplaned, retrieved my bag, and headed over the skyway to get the shuttle to the Doubletree. Turned out the driver had worked at the Airport Marriott and remembered our convention. Got checked into the room, collected James, dropped off our stuff, and headed over to BK for the first of many cheap meals. (Subway and Jimmy John's were also options, but since I eat at Subway 99% of the time I'm in the tax mines, I decided to avoid it, and since this was very much a shoestring operation, I was trying to eat cheap without spending all my meal times in the volunteer consuite.) Went back up to the room, unpacked, and discovered that while I had brought far more ABD pads than I would need, I had forgotten my underwear, power strip, and my checkbook. Welp. Headed down to Registration to get my badges, collected my new denim staff shirt from Kim while I was there as well as my Thunderbird room number plate from Heather**.Then I wandered about before finally heading to the Garden Court for the staff picture (you can barely see me in my black hat to Matt Paulson's right at the back of the crowd) and back up to the Plaza for the staff & guest mixer, during which some annoying person insisted on snapping a picture of the Five Chairmen, who happened to be hanging out together for a few minutes.
Friday James and I got up early-ish and did the breakfast buffet, which was all right (i.e. plenty of meats & eggs) if a little spendy. I was at loose ends before my 3:30 panel, so I just wandered around looking at stuff and saying hello to people. Postwar Politics in Japan went well, as it usually does; I usually spend twenty minutes recapping the news and then throw it open for questions and discussion. Lots of positive reactions from the audience. More wandering around ensued until Opening Ceremonies. After that, James and I went over to BK for dinner and DQ for dessert, which I really shouldn't have, but once during the weekend wouldn't do too much damage, especially with all the walking around. Around 10 PM I went down to Gaming and wound up working the library desk until 4 AM; it should have been 2 AM but I didn't want to leave Patty there by herself. I think I finally got to sleep around 6 AM.
Saturday I slept in until 1100. Went over to Caribou (which had merged with Einstein Brothers and occupied the space formerly taken up by Eddington's) for coffee and breakfast and then came back to do some affectionate heckling of the ATC panel. I did stop in at the Pokemon/Ingress panel for a few minutes but since it was 90% Pokemon/10% Ingress I didn't hang around.* Made it to Phade's second and third AMV shows, ate dinner at BK (again) and went upstairs for the Diet and Diabetes panel, which was back in its old location at Atrium 3. The usual discussion of SCIENCE, nutrition, exercise, etc. ensued, and I committed myself to starting a Facebook group so people could get involved with it during the offseason. Then I headed down to gaming again where I did the games library thing again and stayed late again because not enough people signed up to do the overnight shifts.
Sunday I was going to get up early and watch a little bit of "A Certain Scientific Railgun" before going to Phade's 4th AMV panel, but that didn't happen; I just chewed up one of my protein bars, washed it down with coffee and water, and went straight to the AMV panel, after which I just hung out and talked to various people until it was time for closing ceremonies. I didn't help very much with the teardown in Main programming, but I had helped take stuff apart in Gaming before coming upstairs, and just didn't have the energy. Things got finished, the staff dinner was served, and it was good. At that point, I lucked out, because Mike N. in the hotel department (who I'd worked with long ago when he was one of Registration's designated security guys) offered me crash space at the hotel. I took it, and so was able to hang out at the dead dog until 0400. Eventually I got too tired to want to continue losing a really horrible version of Cards Against Humanity and went to bed.
Monday I got up and hung out in the lobby with Troy and Morgan and some other folks, and I found myself offering to help with the long-delayed Anime Detour newsletter. Troy dropped me off at the Super 8. I got checked in, plugged in the stuff that needed plugging, decided against wearing the boots for a fourth day since my feet were really chewed up, and shuffled over to Culver's for lunch before heading to the afterparty. Yeah, I knew there would be food there, but I wanted to stoke up first so I didn't eat a bunch of starchy/sugary stuff. That plan worked pretty well. Took Uber over, stayed until about 8 PM, when it was Vi's bedtime, and took Uber back.
Tuesday began badly, but it ended all right. I slept through my alarm and didn't wake up until my flight back to Vegas was already boarding. Fortunately, not many people are going to Vegas in the middle of the week, so I was able to fly standby all the way back.
All in all, it was a good weekend. Got to see more of my friends on staff than I have in past years, got the usual pats on the back for starting this mess, and that was good. Not so good is seeing the convention start to suffer some of the staffing problems I expected it would when it got to be this size. I am doing what little I can to help.
*In fact, I did no Ingressing whatsoever over the weekend.
**I got the map later on.