I'm a little better prepared for Fan Faire this year. Mostly because I have an idea what to expect this time, while last year I was a total Fan Faire newb. This time I swear I'll be prepared. I sincerely believe that half of enjoying a convention, or any trip, is in how you prepare. And I'm a planning type person. I've been trying to work, but I keep jumping up because I think of one more thing I shouldn't forget.
My friend Rijacki, who has more con experience than I do, recommends the 6-2-1 rule. She tells me you need 6, 2, and 1 of these things to "function" at a con:
- hours of sleep
And she swears it actually does work in any combination. The recommended configuration is 6 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower. But it's been done as 2 showers, 6 meals, and 1 hour of sleep. Sounds like great advice to me!
My packing list keeps growing. Mostly it's the pile of electronic components necessary to any self-respecting geek these days. You start with the laptop, of course, and the assorted bits and pieces it needs. Then I decided to bring the camcorder and attempt to bring back some video. There's my audio stuff, because trying to take coherent notes through 8 EQII panels will probably kill me. It's not the actual equipment, it's the bag of cables, adapters, and power supplies that does you in.
Then clothes. Does it say something that I thought of electronics before clothes? I'm a girl, but I can pack for a week in a carry-on. Well, I used to be able to. My mistake last year was I packed for summer. It was Vegas. It was 120 degrees outside. But we were in a highly air conditioned conference center, and I froze my pointy ears off. So I've packed for a little of everything. Except, you know, snow.
Oh, air conditioning! That means extra meds and stuff, because my poor Alaskan head isn't used to over-processed, dry air. Nose spray, allergy stuff, Sudafed, cold medicine because at a convention one person will bring the sniffles and 1300 people will catch it. Cough drops so I don't lose my voice this year (several people are muttering "that wouldn't be a bad thing...").
Coffee pot. Last year the rooms didn't have coffee pots in them! Every other hotel I've ever been in has. I was stuck with room service ($18 pot of coffee, anyone?) or making a trek to a Starbucks stand in the hotel. So I packed a little one-cup coffee maker.
Walking shoes. I'm a girl, last year I packed nice shoes. Not this year. I've never been in the Hilton, but at the Rio it was a half-mile walk from my room to the conference area. My 40 year old feet don't enjoy trekking in heels the way my 21 year old feet did! Sneakers and sandals for me this year.
The extra bag, can't forget that! Whenever I travel I come home with more stuff than I started with. I've packed a small gym bag as an extra carry on for the return trip. You'll want a little extra space, because if history is any indicator SOE will have swag for attendees. What's swag? One of its many definitions is "plunder; booty. " Close enough! Last year swag included the coveted Fan Faire t-shirt, autographed mini-posters, a trial of the Comic Book Creator, the sound track to Pirates of the Burning Sea, some neat superballs that lit up through the magic of kinetic energy (my kids still play with them), and some other toys. Then there's Brenlo's habit of finding reasons to throw swag into rooms full of milling gamers. And the SOE store! And the merchants! Maybe I should bring two bags... no, the airlines are charging for checking more than one bag, and I'm cheap.
Meanwhile, back in Real Life, I'm trying to set up the household so Auntie and Hubby don't suffer overly while I'm gone. I'm sure everyone will live... but I keep remembering little stuff, like buy kids snacks, finish the laundry, pack hubby an extra lunch.
I've registered Kiddo for Kindergarten, bought snacks and milk, warned the kids daily that I'm leaving, written instructions for Auntie, loaded all the software I need on the laptop. I've packed adapters, cables, batteries (whups, need the camcorder charger!). I've packed the coffee pot, my toiletries (don't forget the toothbrush!), and an extra fat book to get me through 16 hours of air travel.
It'll all be better when I get on the plane Wednesday. Once I'm on the plane, that's it, it's too late. Anything I've forgotten will have to take care of itself!