Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pantheacon 2012 Post-Mortem (part 2)

(Or, what I actually did, versus what I said I was gonna do.)

Part 2: Thursday's Adventures.

(Recap of PART 1: Angus befriends a crazy lady on Tuesday and sends her to Jason and Ari’s house to terrorize them. This is roundly considered to be a poor move on my part.)

I arrived at the Doubletree on Thursday at 2:30pm, after hitching a ride with Matthew and Nico. I had with me just a skeletal version of the ‘Con Kit’ to tide me over 24 hours until Admiral Karen got there on Friday afternoon.

There were 3 people working the counter and 4 pagans trying to get their rooms. Aaaaaah…. That’s worth the $93.00 bucks right there. But the Doubletree is still the Doubletree, even when there is no line and plenty of empty rooms: When I left the counter Matthew was freaking out that only 3 of their 4 reservations were present. I went up to the 6th floor, where I found that my room was on the freeway side. Didn’t get a cookie either. Ah, well.

I poured out my bags and emerged to tape a sign on my door, just as Matthew and Nico down the hall realized that the connecting door they had been promised downstairs had somehow vaporized by the time they took the elevator up. Ah, Doubletree Hotel – we meet again……

Unpacking was perfunctory – although I seem to bring more power cords with me every year. 

Once everything was charging up I took a walk around the deserted ground floor. The pillars around the elevators were clear. The tables outside of the “San” rooms were bare. The Quiet (sushi) Bar was deserted. Club Max was a tomb. The big fireplace was cold. Café Ho-Hum had just a few bored muggles in it at this time of the afternoon. The Registration area was dark. The Info Table just had a box of programs resting on it.

A/K/A "Cafe Ho-Hum"
No boots anywhere. No feathers. No dog collars. No kilts. No boobs. It was the calm before the storm.

But as I walked up the stairs to the big “Tree” rooms I begin to take notes. The boring old Doubletree had been busy since we had been here last:
There were spy holes in each of the doors to the big rooms, so you could see inside with a fish eye view.
The second floor mezzanine – where the silent auction was the last few years – was now all set to be a large version of the ‘grab-and-go’ buffet that was also set up downstairs, along the side of Café Ho-Hum.
Café Ho-Hum itself had now spilled over across the aisle with tables set up where folks used to campout for hours.
Every one of the 17 convention rooms had a big, bright new electronic sign outside of it, capable of showing what was happening in that room at that hour.
Our bathroom door LAST year.
There were parking validation readers all over the hotel now.
My room was in great shape, clean carpet, no burn marks on the bathroom door. All the lights in working order.
The Hilton elves had been busy. Or maybe they got an infusion of cash. Or a new master with a spiky whip. I was impressed.

No sign of Belfry all afternoon. Jason and I were grateful.

Thursday night at Pantheacon is as mellow as can be. It’s a great way to ease into the weekend. Had dinner with lots of friends at the NYPD Pizza and Dogs, which is two blocks away. Well, SIX blocks the way we went, as there is this gi-normous casino being built across the street from the Doubletree. Luckily you can zoom in REALLY CLOSE on your phones now-a-days, so we could track ourselves as we groped around the airport business parks trying to find our way to the frickin’ hot dog place. It was like geo-cacheing with a side of fries as the reward.

Back in Pcon-to-be I was all set for Wii Tennis but Jason hadn’t brought the Wii. So I crashed their party room (269 – heh heh heh) anyway and we hung out until 10pm when Ari went home to Sunnyvale to sleep before her work shift the next morning. (Have I mentioned how sensible she is?)

Jason and I then decided to check out the Quiet Bar. I bought him 3 rum and cokes in payment for ruining his life for the previous 48 hours. And we did see Belfry, but we slumped down in our chairs and freaked out and she passed us by. Whew. 

We discussed tarot, Led Zeppelin and all manner of thing Important and Arcane. Soon the only other table occupied was right next to ours and held four lovely women. We ignored them and they, us.

Yeah……RIGHT. Watching four women ignore two men at a bar is like being in a huddle with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Plays were discussed. Positions and scenarios were handed out. Strengths and weaknesses were assigned. Wing-women were deployed. (And, unlike with guys, none of it was serious at all.) And we, the Pretty Hair Twins, we just sat there and blithely played with our little cards.

Finally, at Midnight, the woman playing Center for the table next door reaches over and tugs on my sleeve. Jason, the Golden God, looks over and listens while this lovely lady looks me in the eye and says in a gushing voice: “Are you…..ANGUS??”

It was one of the great moments of my life. 

On to Part 3!

Angus McMahan


  1. Hahaha! You are a superstar, my friend and brother! Glad to see you get the recognition you so roundly deserve. (Not that Jason is any slouch, mind you...)

  2. You know, I never really thought of Jessica as my "center". When I hold court she is usually my Princess:) You blg was most entertaining this morning, thank you for the laugh! Oh yeah and I owe you a good thrashing as that red haired chick bugged the crap outta me!

  3. Ha! I'm glad you have a sense of humor about that. We bloggers tend to "illustrate" these things a bit, from time-to-time. And don't blame me for Belfry Snowflake - she would have shown up anyway and done exactly what she did. Me and Jason and Ari were just unbelievably nice to her for a couple of days.