PAX, The Long Entry

Thursday we got in to setup a little bit late, because I had some things I needed to get done, and somebody *cough*Andrew*cough* didn’t want to do them earlier in the week, so I had to cram everything into a few short hours.

When we got to the PAX location, Washington State Convention & Trade Center, I finally got a good grasp of how fucking huge everything was going to be. I’d had a vague idea, but you don’t really get the whole story until you see it for yourself.

By the time we got there, a lot of everything was done already. There were just badges to be made, which I did, and some heavy lifting to be done, which Andrew went and did. There was only about three hours of work to be had, so then we went off to dinner.

I realized that I was really glad to have the Ativan.

It was really fun seeing how people looked at us moving as a group through the streets of Downtown Seattle. All dressed in black.


We went in early on Friday because not only do Enforcers get to wander around the Expo Hall before everybody else does, it doesn’t open to the public until 2pm. Which gave us something like five hours to fart around in there and see things before everybody else.

It was a good thing that we did this, because I realized very early on that I was going to need an Ativan. That with as many people that were in there already, there were going to be literally thousands more. And they were going to all be coming through Registration, which is where I was working.

So I took an Ativan. Wandered around some. Found my PAX boyfriend (very cute boy at the Brothers In Arms booth). I also got assaulted by two little… ninja… things… They’re from Ninja Town, which looks like an amusing good time, and I think I’ll have to buy it.

Tried to see Wil Wheaton, but he wasn’t at his booth any of the three times I went by it.

Doing registration was fun. Interesting. I had to take more Ativan as the day went on. Definitely felt the panic rising at some points. I’m thinking I’ll talk to Dr Ball about it, and see about a higher dosage. Since Andrew’s grandfather was on the lowest amount I think is physically possible. It worked pretty well, but I think if I’m going to take this step and actually have my own script, I’m going to really go for the gusto.

Time moved strangely in Reg. We’d get these huge rushes of people, and it’d feel like HOURS had passed, but it’d turn out to only be 45 minutes or so. But with these adding up, it was 9 pm before I knew it.

I hadn’t really expected people to wander on up who had no idea what was going on, but there were several. I got to explain what PAX was, and what there was to see. Funny enough, a lot of people who were there on purpose had no idea that there were different passes.

At the end of the night, we got to hand out wristbands for the concert. Which got us into making people do things for them. Like singing. Or dancing. I got one trio to make a human pyramid. I unfortunately did not take a photo of that. Had some raunchy jokes told. Lots of fun stuff like that.

From Reg I went to catch the ass end of the Exhibitor’s after party. Where everybody who works in the Expo hall gets to run around and play games, drink and eat. I wish I’d gotten to go to the whole thing.

By the end of the day I was feeling overwhelmed, so I sat in the car while Andrew went and hung out with some people. Then home and an attempt at sleep.

So Saturday was a rather interesting day.

Once again, we went in early so that we could wander around some before we were officially on shift. This included walking around the Expo hall some more to see the other side of what was going on, and playing around in Bandland. It also meant going by Wil Wheaton’s booth to try to see him again. And not finding him there again. (It was here that I determined that Wil was purposefully avoiding me)

We then headed to Enforcerland to have a sit and some food before shift as we were both kind of tired and thought that food would be good for us. We could fuel up before hand and perhaps run a little longer without having to stop. There were sticks of beef (meat treats), and some turkey wrap sammiches. Two of the latter were scooped up and consumed.

Five minutes later, somebody else asked what was in the sammiches. These words followed:
“Turkey, tomato, spinach.”

For those of you who are late to the game or haven’t heard from me before, spinach is a key to my downfall. AKA – I’m allergic to it (the other leafy green I’m allergic to is those spikey red ones).

Five minutes after that, I was being wheeled from Enforcerland to the Aid Station, fed Benedryl, and having my BP/Pulse taken a lot. Then the ambulance was called. Unfortunately, the ambulance took 25 minutes to get there after being told to run priority. It’s a good thing I wasn’t dying. Cause I would have been dead.

I did my best to keep things light in the Aid Station and the ambulance. It’s my natural reaction to health crisis, I think. I didn’t notice it myself for a long while, but the more people commented on it when I was in ambulances, or waiting for my appendix to explode, the more I began to notice it. I like to stay away from being too serious or focused on the problem, lest I give myself a panic attack.

At the hospital, I got an IV and some steroids and got put on watch for two hours. I really think that the quick administration of Benedryl helped/saved me. It could have been a lot worse than it was. I had stomach cramps, a very tight and itchy throat, itchy/burning mouth, and one spot on my back that itched like effing fuck. But that’s as bad as it stayed. Nothing closed up, nothing swelled too much. I was lucky.

From there, we waited for Kemper to come get us (no car, Andrew rode in the ambulance with me), and then back to PAX and the black. Reg didn’t need me when I got there, there was nobody in line and six of them behind the counter, so I floated around and did what I could where I could until the NC Interactive party.

The party itself was fun. It was invite-only. Even had to have tickets to get in. They raffled off some really cool stuff (did not win), and gave us free play cards. We got a lot of swag and I used most of my card to try to retrieve a Pooh from the claw machine and failed epically.

From there it was back to PAX, and then the MC Frontalot concert. Jonathan Coulton was there too, and even got on stage for a song. We were backstage for that, got to be cool people and hang out on Sumos. Met Coulton. Told him I’d let him slide this time when it came to photos because I didn’t want to blind him. He told me thank you, and he wouldn’t tell anybody because he knew it would ruin my rep that I’d been nice.

Then it was food, and off to a party.

The party was supposed to be small. Just a few people. And there were when we got there. A few people hanging out, playing games, drinking a little. It was nice. Frontalot showed up, and I even rode in an elevator with him, but by that time I was in the middle of a panic attack and didn’t care. It really did start out with like 20 people, then a whole fuckload more showed up and it got out of hand for me. Mostly because I had been expecting a very small crowd, also because I was completely out of Ativan and couldn’t take another to lower the panic rising in my gut. I ended up cornering myself behind the bar, which was okay for a while. Had everybody else on one side of the bar, me on the other. Safely far away. Then somebody who was too drunk for anybody’s good decided hitting on me would be a good idea. The hitting on in and of itself wasn’t horrible, I mean, not attracted to the guy, but I can take that. What I couldn’t take was the fact that I was in a corner, and he stood in front of me, towered over me, and put his hand on the wall to block all exit. He was nearly twice my size and stood way too close.

That’s when I had it. I fled.

SUNDAY – Sunday I decided that I was going to take the morning off (I wasn’t scheduled to Enforce, but could have gone and seen where they needed me if at all), so I thought a good way to show that I’m not working would be to go dressed all steampunky. I had put the outfit together Saturday night when we got home, and finished working on it Sunday morning. It’s not perfect, but I think it has potential. Also didn’t get very good photos of the whole thing.

We got there, wandered around some. Went to Bandland. FOUND WIL WHEATON! When he finally had a moment, I discussed with him his avoidance of me. Which he admitted to. Then I confronted him about slipping spinach into my sammich in order to have free roam of the building without risk of running into me. He said “I can neither confirm nor deny these accusations.” Bwaha.

I wandered around Expo hall some more, had my picture taken by random people, then started to head out again. One of the cops from the day before wandered over and asked if I was doing alright. I told him yes.

My throat hurt pretty bad for the rest of the weekend, actually.

About 2:30 I decided it was time to be back in black. Changed out of the steamy clothes, then spent the rest of the day wandering and helping where help was needed. And wandering. We went to the Omegathon final round to watch somebody get trounced on Excite Bike VS.

I met a friend’s new beau after almost a whole day of tag, and unfortunately couldn’t stay to chat because it was time to close the whole thing down. It was really amazing to see how fast everybody got things done. We headed into Expo to help them where we could, but by the time any Enforcers got in there, they were 90% done with everything. Seriously. They were that good.

So I grabbed extra swag, talked to a few people. Ended up saving my PAX boyfriend from getting kicked out because he didn’t have a badge (naughty). Then headed to Enforcerland to wait because everything else was pretty heavy lifting.

At the end of the day we ended up with two full bags of pretty neat swag, and one of the Guitar Hero World Tour signs.

I went home, Andrew went to party.

MONDAY There was some clean up during the day that I didn’t attend. And then the Enforcer after party that was once again at Gameworks. The cards they gave us didn’t work on the claw machines, so I was only mildly interested in playing anything. There were a lot of people. But I was able to find a table and sit down with Sugar and Sniperwolf, then Scoots joined us. For the rest of the night it was the Table of Snark.

The party lasted until close. I tried to drink a little, but it turned out that I still had quite a bit of vicodin, temazepam and muscle relaxers in my system, and got about 1/5 through the drink before it started hitting me pretty hard. I didn’t feel drunk, but I definitely felt not right.

On the way home, Andrew told me that he was really proud of me for doing this. Which is something Sugar also said to me (she’s mildly aware of my issues). It felt nice to hear those words. To have it recognized that this was not at all easy for me to do.

Tuesday was the day of Sensory Deprivation. Like suddenly there was no noise at all in the world. It was also the day of Attempted Recovery.


PAX again

So obviously my review of PAX fell a bit short. You really can’t blame me. Everything that goes on, and then the sudden lack of anything going on is enough to destroy even the most brilliant minds.

It’s going to be another little while, I think, before I can properly construct the correct phrases and word runs. When it finally does happen, my brain being a formidable entity once more, I’ll be sure to go more into detail and enlighten anyone out there who cares.

PAX 08


That’s the only word I know that aptly describes the weekend I just had. Nuts.

It was gone in such a blur. One day we were setting up, and suddenly we were taking everything down again, and it was over.

I think I’ve learned though, that if I ever want to work at a con again, that I need to spend time as an attendee first. Not that I didn’t have a lot of fun this year Enforcing for PAX, I just didn’t get to see a lot of the things I wanted to.

Next year I’ll be better prepared though. I’ll be able to plan better.

AND I’ll have better shoes.