MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 2004

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Name: MediaWest*Con 2004
Dates: May 28-31, 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Focus: multi-fandom
Founding Date:
URL: MediaWest*Con 2004, Archived version
2004 Convention theme
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Some Facts About the 2004 Convention

2004 program book covers
2004 map showing where attendees hailed from
  • The theme that year was based on the TV show 24.
  • The convention did not sell out as it had in previous years. As of May 2, 2004, memberships were still available.[1]
  • Fandoms represented in MW*C 24 programming included 24, Alias, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, Birds of Prey, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Century City, Cold Case, comics, CSI, Dead Like Me, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Who, Firefly, Laurel K. Hamilton, Harry Potter, Horatio Hornblower, Kim Possible, King Arthur, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Law & Order, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Lord of the Rings, Magnificent 7, Master & Commander, Anne McCaffrey, MI-5, Monk, Mutant X, NASA, Andre Norton, Oz (HBO), Pirates of the Caribbean, Pretender, The Professionals, Queer as Folk, Real Ghostbusters, Roswell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Smallville, Kevin Smith, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek, Star Wars, Starsky & Hutch, The Sentinel, Tru Calling, UNCLE, vampires, West Wing, Wild Card, Wild Wild West, Without A Trace, and Xena, as well as panels and workshops on writing, editing, vids, costuming, websites, and other fannish pursuits.
  • The first Progress Report was mailed March 2, 2004 and included Panel Topic Suggestion form, Fan Q nomination form, and Party Suite Request form. The second Progress Report was mailed March 31, 2004 and included Panel Topics and Sign-up form, Art Show rules and space reservation request form, Fan Fund ballot, Fannish Video rules, and overflow hotel info. The final Progress Report was was mailed May 20, 2004, and included Fan Q ballot and Door Decoration rules. PDF versions of the progress reports were also available by email upon request.
  • An announcement mailing list was set up to allow fans comfortable with online communication to receive updates from the convention organizers. Discussion was not permitted and access to the mailing list was limited to paid members and members were asked to: "...respect our right to control the use of the MediaWest*Con name. We have not authorized any online discussion groups/lists. The MediaWest*Con name (or abbreviations) should not be used in the title of any such group/lists. MW*C Progress Reports, the MW*C website, and the MW*C 24 Update list are your official sources of MW*C info. Info from online discussion lists, groups, bulletin boards, etc. is often inaccurate or flat out wrong. If you have a question about some aspect of MW*C, please check with a legitimate source."
  • There were approximately 65 dealers in the dealers room and five additional hall/room dealers.
  • Approximately 96 zines were listed as premiering in the program guide.
  • There were five 'tech' panels: LiveJournals and Blogs: What changes have LJ and blogs - good and bad - brought to fandom?; PDAs: General discussion of PDAs and their accessories such as thumb-board attachments; Posting Fic to your Own Website: Basic XHTML primer; and TiVo: ATV Fan's Best Friend. What It Is, Why You Need One; and Web Design Fundamentals: Favorite web sites.
2004 parties and gatherings

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 2004 Fan Q Awards.

From the third progress report: "We had 1488 electronic nominations and approximately 300 paper ones. I think we have quite a diversified ballot and I hope you will take part and vote. An online ballot is now available. Paper ballots were mailed to the few people who requested them and sent a SASE. As always, paper ballots can be turned in at my room, if you are passing by, or in the ballot box that is usually in the 'Zine Reading Room. If you see something "missing" from the ballot that you know had three nominations, it probably didn't have the requisite competition and will be given an Honorable Mention. We had many of those this year - I don't have the exact numbers but it is up from last year. As the fandoms keep splintering, there is less and less competition for some groups."


Three short plays were written by Bev Grant, Paula Smith, and Helen Commodore.

Fan Fund

Elaine Gustainis was the winner of the 2004 SF/Media Fan Fund, and attended MW*C 24.

Fanzine Reading Room

From the third progress report:

Thanks to Angel Sparrow and Audrey Lynne for informing me of 'zine loans and also to Kandace Klumper of Skeeter Press/BlackJag Publishing who is loaning several premiering 'zines. Check them out in the Reading Room! While it is certainly helpful if I'm given the info on 'zine loans before the con, if you forget to do so, that doesnt mean you can't go ahead and bring them to the con. Old classic 'zines are as welcome as just-printed 'zines. Share your favourite stories with several hundred of your closest friends!

ON-LINE FANFIC - I havent yet heard from any on-line fanfic writers/publishers. I hope I will before the con so that there is a nice selection of on-line stories for members to peruse. Archived stories, current ones and even works in progress are welcome in any Media Fandom. Remember, please print just the first "page" of the storyas a "teaser." If printing out the first page is not possible, then please print out a brief synopsis of the story. Then print at the bottom of the page the web address where the rest of the story is available, the fandom and your name. Please drop off the page at (or send it to) the con. Please, only 1 story to a page and please do not send stories to my e-mail address. I don't have a printer.

Party Suite and Other Gatherings


  • Video Show Premiere Party, Hosted by: G Hudson, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Hogwarts End of Year O.W.L. Party Hosted by: Ravenclaw & Hufflepuff Houseparents Fandom: Harry Potter, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Lord of the Rings Celebration Hosted by: E Abraham, Fandom: Lord of the Rings, Open to all MW*C 24 members


  • Jewish Shabbat.Service and Oneg Potluck, Hosted by: P Cooper, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • R&R at the COMBAT! Canteen Hosted by: Combat! Fanfic Group, Fandom: Combat! Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Stargate SG-1 party, Hosted by: Our Stargate Forum & SDJ Fandom: Stargate SG-1, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Channel D Listserv Party Hosted by: Channel D, Fandom: Man from UNCLE, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Channel W Party Hosted by: L White, Fandom: Man from UNCLE Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Sentinel Party, slash and gen friendly Hosted by: Candy Apple & April Valentine Fandom: The Sentinel, Open to all MW*C 24 members


  • Private Party
  • Memorial Service for Cathie Whitehead Hosted by: L Dawe, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Jygml Group, Hosted by: S. Hall, Open to all MW*C 24 members
  • Bookcrossing - Meet & Greet Hosted by: S.i.D.i.C., Bookcrossing Veteran Fandom: Bookcrossing, Open to all MW*C 24 members

Masquerade Awards

A complete list of winners, with photos can be seen 2004 here.[2]

Judge: Seth Bonder

  • Best in Show, Workmanship - The Goddess Pele & Her Jaffa Escort -- Sophia Kelly Shultz, Leslie Danneberger, Joe Dorffner
  • Best Presentation - Where's My Daddy? -- Laura Wootan & David Wootan
  • Best Presentation - Cookie Break -- Peter Cooper
  • Best Workmanship - Lord & Lady of the Sith -- Rebecca Miller & John Medkeff
  • Best Young Fan - Narcissa Black: End of 1st Year at Hogwarts -- Bunny
  • Audience Choice, Best Musical - Choir Practice at Hogwarts -- Angelamarie Varesano, June Edwards, Amy Vanlos, Martynn, Kenny Keisel, Laurel Cramer
  • Second Best Musical - Pirate Parrot Salesmen from the Caribbean -- Groucho, Harpo, & Cheeko
  • Most Charming - Renaissance Witch -- Aryel Bernard
  • Best Road Show Award - On The Road Again -- Samantha Powell & Kelly Lowry
  • Most Worrisome - Seeking a Certain Sparrow -- Janice Mergenhagen
  • Best Pirate - That's Captain...Captain Jack Sparrow -- Travis Wayman
  • Best Quidditch Player - Ravenclaw Quidditch Player: Glynnis Weatherwax -- Bev Grant
  • Best, Archeologist - Indiana Jones -- Ken Keisel
  • Most Deserving of Emergency Care Flight - Victim of Society -- Audrey Lynne
  • Renaissance Award - Lady Rowena Ravenclaw -- Julie Garner
  • Most Unusual State of Mind - The Butterfly Kitten of Kirk/Spock -- Farfalla Caqui
  • Most Misunderstood - Phantomette of the Opera -- Lucy Kitchen
  • Most Haunting - Phantom of the Opera -- Ashley Hord
  • Unofficial Entertainment - Cantina Dancers -- Angel & Bunny
  • Most Worthy of Unforgivable Curse - Acting Headmistress of Hogwarts, Delores Jane Umbridge -- Cicatrice du Veritas
  • Silliest Cosmological CGI - When Galaxies Collide -- Brenda Gasahl, Gail Ceilo, & Jenny Wayman

Door Decoration Awards

A complete list of winners, with photos can be seen here.[3] A few sample doors are included below.

Door Decoration Gallery

Art Show Awards

example of Sapphire's crossstich art sold at the 2004 art show. The artist writes: "I always loved that silhouette of the Fellowship against the mountains. I'm amazed how you can identify easily each and every one of the characters. Stitched over one, using only light shades of blue. This was sold at MediaWest Con 24 - and somebody even wanted to commission me to do another one. As I had simply to many other projects on the line, I declined."

Winners are selected by popular vote.

  1. Book of Memories by Barbara Nice-Miller
  2. All The King's Men by Suzan Lovett
  3. I'm Doomed! by Jesse McClain
  • Too Cute To Live: Warning -- Red Hatter by Jesse McClain

Source: 2004 Art Show Winners.[4]

Main Vid Room

From the third progress report:

We'll be showing Firefly, Real Ghostbusters, and possibly also Avengers. Tm still looking for helpful people to loan copies of Seaquest, War of the Worlds (season 1), Lost in Space, Sentinel (blooper reels), and Demon Under Glass.

In honor of the new Doctor Who series, we hope to air a show or two starring Christopher Eccleston, along with some classic Doctor Who episodes.

At the con, check the main video room and/or the con suite for a list of available season finales, a list of movie trailers, and the Main Video Room schedule.

Vid Show

A review of the vid show written by an attendee Waldo is archived here.[5]

Vid Show Awards

MediaWest*Con 24 Fannish Video Awards -- Gen

Song Interpretation -- Single Medium

Song Interpretation -- Multi-Media

  • 1. Istanbul, Constantinople -- Spaced Ponies
  • 2. America -- Stampede Productions
  • 3. All Things Just Keep Getting Better -- Spaced Ponies


  • 1. Moscow Drug Club -- PR Zed
  • 2. Hello, Muddah -- Vid Weasels
  • 3. Teddy Bear Picnic -- Succubus

Constructed Reality: In the Navy -- Vid Weasels

Credits: (Tie) Vid Weasels/Spaced Ponies

Video Box: Vid Weasels

Video Flyer: Vid Weasels

MediaWest*Con 24 Fannish Video Awards -- Slash

Song Interpretation -- Single Medium

Song Interpretation -- Multi-Media

  • 1. I Just Knew -- Recycled Media Station
  • 2. Wild West Show -- Recycled Media Station
  • 3. Lean on Me -- Vid Weasels

'Humorous:' Gay Bar -- PR Zed

Credits: Vid Weasels

MediaWest*Con 24 Fannish Video Awards -- Adult

'Favorite:' James Spader -- Kiwi Hootenanny

Source: 2004 Vid Show Awards




  • Caruso, David: Addicted to the redhead - the films and TV series of David Caruso.
  • Depp, Johnny: From 21 Jump Street to Pirates of the Caribbean, a look at this popular actor.
  • Memorium: Come pay tribute to the actors and actresses we've lost since last MW*C. A general discussion group.
  • Rickman, Alan: Rickmaniacs unite! Celebrate the charismatic portray-er of Severus Snape, and dozens of others.
  • Spader, James: His character on The Practice oozes smarm and has questionable ethics. So why is Spader so darned appealing?
  • Sutherland, Kiefer & Donald: Compare and contrast the father and son and discuss their best work in films and on TV.
  • Wingfield, Peter: Get the poop on what happened at his special con in Orlando, Florida.
  • Wood, Elijah: Elijah Wood fans talk.

Fan Fiction

  • Alternate Universes: How far from the canon should writers stray?
  • Bi-fictional: What are the advantages and disadvantages for writers who like to write both het and slash? (/)
  • Canon vs. Fanon: How to deal with a fanfic story that completely rewrites canon.
  • Closer Than Brothers: Why do all close relationship between friends have to be slashy? From the genner's perspective, (not a slash panel).
  • Continuing Evolution of Femslash.
  • Daniel/Blair/Peter/Starsky Would Never Do That!: What/who determines if a characterization is correct?
  • Do You Want Sex in Your Gen Fanfic?: Are there only three types of fanfic out there as far as sexual content is concerned? Hetfic (het sex), slash and gen ... or is hetfic the same as gen? (/)
  • Erotica vs. Porn: How do we distinguish a difference and why do we need to do so?
  • Fanfic Slash Pairs: Equal (many police partners) vs. Unequal (teacher/student) - do writers carry over the equality or inequality into romantic scenes? (/).
  • Fanfic vs. Profic: A general discussion of the differences.
  • Fanfic: Respect for Characters, Respect for Fans. Allowing space for different interpretations of a character versus expecting fan writers to respect established interpretations. (/).
  • Future of Fanfic: Can traditional fanzines compete with free online fanfic?
  • Gen Panel, The: Not everyone is into slash, you know!
  • Help! I've Got Story Ideas for a Show I've Never Seen!: Finding places to get the information you need.
  • Invasion: A case against Real Person fanfic.
  • Let us celebrate Brenda Antrim: A crossover treasure and a great writer in almost every fandom imaginable ( Have you got a treat waiting for you!) (/).
  • Masochism Tango: Why do so many writers leave the "comfort" out of h/c?
  • Medical Research 101: Panelists take questions from writers who want to know what they can or can't realistically do to a character.
  • Not Your Hand Maiden: Why do strong female characters get bashed by fans?
  • OFC Support Group: Why we love our "girls" (and why they are NOT Mary Sues!)
  • Pirates of The Caribbean Fanfic: Canon discussion.
  • Poetry: More than just filler, writing/publishing yours and working with editors.
  • Ship: What is 'ship'? Why do fans crave romance between the male and female characters?
  • Slash: Misogeny [sic] in Slash (/)
  • Spank that Butt!: Discussion of discipline and BDSM in fanfic.
  • That wouldn't Happen!: How realistic does fanfic have to be?
  • Thinking it Through: Common fanfic errors and how to stop them.
  • We love May/December romances! (/).
  • Writing Believable Minority Characters When You're in the Majority: How to avoid stereotypes and other pitfalls.


  • Academics and the Fan: Academics analyze fans in books, students subbing to lists to observe us for class papers... how do you feel about being studied and do you look at their reports?,
  • Bad Behavior: When fans go bad on the net - flaming, 'outing,' swiping your work. Why do they do it and how to stop them.
  • Big Name Fans: Are they things of the past? How do we create, handle, avoid and/or bring them back down to earth?
  • Can You Go Home Again?: Returning to a fandom after you've left.
  • Dark Side of Fandom: The allure of the dark side, and how to reconcile it when some of what you're into squicks your fandom pals (i.e., BDSM-fanfic, mpreg, RPS, even creating photo manips).
  • Does being a "Good Christian" preclude being an active fan?
  • Evolution of Gay & Lesbian programming.
  • Fannish Family, The: For parents and kids.
  • Fannish Glossary 101 (Shippers, big name fans, smarm and filk): Where did the terms come from? What about some terms that may seem like reverse discrimination, such as "mundanes"?
  • Horses and Mules: The joys of horses.
  • Librarians/library Staffers and Fandom: Why does it seem as though there are so many people who work in libraries in fandom; what do they know that others might not?
  • Meet the Apocryphals.
  • Slash vs. Gen: Why Can't We All Just Get Along. Trying to bridge the divide between fannish ideologies.
  • TPTB aka "The Powers That Be." The advantages - and repercussions - of TPTB's incursion in our playground.
  • What's The Point?: Why many of us don't like slash.


  • Harry Potter: A look at the films to date in comparison to the books. Will they be able to film all the books given their steadily increasing length and complexity?.
  • Harry Potter: The Professors and Students run a panel discussion: What courses does Harry need to take next year? (Everyone invited to come in character - current students as well as graduates.).
  • King Arthur (July 2004): Anticipating the upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer production - Could the legends be based upon a Roman commander and his *Sarmatian mercenaries?
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Was it a better comic book than film?
  • Lord of the Rings - Return of the King. Did the trilogy end to fans' satisfaction?
  • Lord of the Rings - Return of the King: An Extended Edition survival guide
  • Lord of the Rings - Return of the King: Faramir, Pippin, and their friendship.
  • Lord of the Rings - Return of the King: General Discussion.
  • Lord of the Rings: Frodo - Book and film.
  • Lord of the Rings: Frodo and Sam - Gen or Slash - the relationship dynamic (/).
  • Lord of the Rings: How did the movies stack up?
  • Lord of the Rings: One marathon film?
  • Lord of the Rings: Series vs. Books - How do you feel about the changes?
  • Lord of the Rings: What about the women? Perspectives on the female characters.
  • Lord of the Rings: What is it about this story that "gets" us? 3:00-4:00 pm
  • Lord of the Rings: Why we love Hobbits.
  • Master and Commander The Far Side of the World: How about a sequel?
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Could Captain Jack Sparrow be any more delicious? But why is the rum gone?
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: General Discussion,.
  • Seabiscuit General discussion.
  • Star Wars: Are we willing to go wherever LFL wants to take us? How do Original Trilogy fans deal with the newer material (New Trilogy, EU, etc.)?
  • Universe of Kevin Smith, The: From Jay and Silent Bob, to Ollie Trinke.....


  • Lord of the Rings Trivia game.
  • Man from UNCLE boardgame: Come and play!
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? (audience participation actively encouraged!) (2 hours)


  • Comic Books: I collect what?!!
  • Comic Books: Is the industry imploding? Can it be saved?
  • Erotica Romance Fiction: Yup! It's available,.
  • Eve Dallas Series by JD Robb.
  • Face Of The Moon: Lycanthropy in the novels of Hamilton, Harris, and Huff.
  • Hamilton, Laurel K.: Mystery Horror heading toward Horrible Romance,.
  • Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix: It took three years for this book to finally come out Was it worth the wait?
  • Harry Potter Percy Weasley - Deatheater or Double Agent?
  • Harry Potter The Prophesy: What Part with Neville Play.
  • Harry Potter Two books to go. Speculation about what we think will happen in the next book in the series.
  • Harry Potter What is the basis of Dumbledore's unswerving trust in Snape?
  • Holmes and Russell Forever. Why we can't get enough of this delightful odd couple.
  • Horse Fiction and Non-fiction: Old ones. General discussion.
  • I Love a Mystery: Share your new favorites with other readers.
  • Juvie Series: We collect and have fun.
  • Knights In The City: The urban fantasies of Hamilton, Huff, and Lackey.
  • McCaffrey, Anne: Pern series discussed.
  • Merry and her Merry Men: General discussion of Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry Series.
  • Myths and Legends: Love reading books on them and about them around the world. Discussion.
  • Norton, Andre: Current and past books.,
  • Seussecentennial: A Hundred Years o f Whimsy.
  • Sime: The Revival of the Sim-Gen Universe, Savage Empire Universe, and other works by Jean Lorrah and Jacqueline Lichtenberg via new small-press publishers.
  • Vampires In Literature: If vampires are evil (they are undead creatures who feed off the living), why is there a need to give them a humanity and chance for redemption?

Miscellaneous Hobbies

  • Clinical Hypnosis and related topics.
  • Costuming on the Cheap: Sharing ideas and techniques is focus of panel, but if you don't have either, now's your chance to pick up a few.
  • Crystals: Uses of the crystals/minerals/gemstones for healing, spiritual significance.
  • Door Decoration: How to create a door at MediaWest*Con (or another con).
  • Mars Exploration: What is the evidence for life, now and in the past?
  • NASA: The future of NASA.
  • NASA: With the Rovers on Mars, what is next for the Space program? Has the program recovered from the Columbia tragedy?,
  • Old Time Radio: A discussion of your favorite old radio dramas, comedies, detectives, etc., many now available on MP3.
  • Organizing Your Fannish Life: Hear from a professional organizer on how to keep your fannish stuff from overwhelming you.
  • Sims, The: Simulating Your Fandom.
  • Some Fans are for the Birds! Join the talk about our pet parrots, cockatiels, doves, finches & more.
  • Space: NASA and the Future of Space Exploration.
  • What will Replace the Space Shuttles?


  • 24: Does this series still have the thrill after three seasons? What crisis do we think will happen next season?
  • Alias: We Now Rejoin This Series, Already In Progress. Did Sydney's 2-year jump in time work?
  • Amazing Race: It's returning this summer. Come learn what's known of the new season so far.
  • Angel: Did The Switch To Wolfram & Hart Work?
  • Angel: It's Over. Missed opportunities for Angel and Spike (/).
  • Angel: Season 5 overview. Did the introduction of Spike help or hinder the show? Where could the series go next, if it had been renewed?
  • Starsky & Hutch: What hasn't been done in the fanfic?
  • Starsky & Hutch: Getting your fingers all over it: Food & Drink on Starsky & Hutch (/).
  • The Sentinel: Moving forward with the Sentinel and his guide as cop partners.
  • West Wing: Did the show lose its focus - and magic - without Aaron Sorkin at the helm?
  • Wild Card: Are Chris Potter fans watching this new series & what do they think of it?
  • Wild Wild West: Artie's Deep Dark Depths - Why do fannish writers reject this character's happy-go-lucky surface and plumb the complex, deep, and perhaps dark depths within? (/)
  • Without a Trace: General discussion panel.
  • WNN: General discussion.
  • Xena: Movie update and series discussion..


  • LiveJournals and Blogs: What changes have LJ and blogs - good and bad - brought to fandom?
  • PDAs: General discussion of PDAs and their accessories such as thumb-board attachments.
  • Posting Fic to your Own Website: Basic XHTML primer.
  • TiVo: A TV Fan's Best Friend. What It Is, Why You Need One. pm
  • Web Design Fundamentals: Favorite web sites.


  • Advanced Writers' Seminar (2 hours),.
  • Building a body double for cosplay. (Note: participants will need a kneelength t-shirt, 3 rolls of duct tape, scissors and a partner (2 hours).
  • Fannish Video Editing Hands-On Work shop (2 hours).
  • Holy Mother Grammatica: Writing Tips.
  • How to Tell a Better Story (2 hours).
  • Make a Vid in 90 Minutes (2 hours).
  • Martial Arts Workshop: Have you taken a martial arts? Thinking of it? Q&A, a demo of Jow Gar Kung Fu and more (2 hours).
  • Videocamera operation workshop. (2 hours).


From the program book:

Co-Chairs (and your hosts) Lon Chapek-Carlelon and Gordon Catlclon would like to thank the following staffers and assistants for their hard work: Elyse Dickenson and Dawn McLevy (Programming/Party Suite/Flyers), Jeanne Sullivan (GoFers, Con Suite), Keith Grunenwald and Seth Cutts (Security), Jan Gosnell (Fanzine Reading Room, Fan Fund), Karen M. Klinck, Jesse McClain, Vivian Sheffield and Roberta Stuemke (Art Show & Auction), Jan Keeler (Fan Quality Awards), Andre Lieven (Masquerade), Debra & Anna Barber, Robyn Deike (Main Video Room), Sheryl Adsit (Fannish Videos), Kim Dyer and Linda Pfonner (Blood Drive), Margaret Basta (Orphan 'Zines), Carl Tielking (Local Lansing Liaison), the Art Show auctioneers, runners, and auction staff, and all the GoFers without whom there would be no convention. Thank you all for your time and effort, especially to those who work not just during this weekend, but throughout the year! Thanks also to Jeff Walker for the movie trailers and studio promotion freebies.

The dealers room was commandeered by Debra & Anna Barber.

Convention Reports

Just back from MediaWest. Brook (Henson --writer of the lovliest Jimcentric h/c and angst in all the world) and I roomed together again, but my dear and vital beta, (as well as friend), Sharakh, was not with us this year, alas, and we missed her.

I started out in a grim hotel about 10 miles away, but as I waited for Brook to arrive, someone announced they had an extra room and we got in.

Thank goodness, as the con would not have been at all the same. There's just something about being in the thick of everything and calling it home for those 4 days...

MediaWest is a funny place--it's a Shangri-la that has a door that opens only 4 days a year. (or is that Brigadoon?)

You walk through the glass doors of the Holiday Inn South in Lansing and yippee! find a land where people are a lot like you--(or at least a lot more like you than the rest of the world).

A land where people invest emotionally in fictional characters, get caught up and ponder the health, wisdom and significance of those relationships, then share their thoughts about them as if discussing best friends, lovers, and themselves.

For instance, some of the panels that took place this year:

Starsky & Hutch: How do you separate them from the time in which they lived for fanfic characterization, was it their nature or behavior simply appropriate for the 70s? Free love, etc. (/)

Stargate SG-1: The hair!! An inane discussion on the constantly changing hairstyles (for better or worse), make-up horrors, and other nitpicks. For fun only!

Sentinel: The Advantages and Disadvantages of a challenging childhood a. Why Jim and Blair are the way they are. (/)

I learned some really cool things...

Back to Martha(who writes in Sentinel and Stargate) , Katherine (who reads) and Saleri (who writes Stargate). Brook and I met up with them on Saturday and Sunday night in the hotel restaurant—The Hummingbird and the craic was very fine both nights.

(Craic-an Irish word—pronounced crack, meaning—hmmm, there's no exact translation, but--atmosphere –but in my mind it's more like atmosphere that is especially conducive to a high old time.)

There's no doubt the fun was fueled in part by Saleri's consumption of Cosmopolitans—which she was already well known for imbibing at the Hummingbird, but also, there was a rare chemistry afoot among all of us—but especially between Martha and Saleri.

It was the kind of chemistry that made me think they had been childhood chums. But no. They had been emailing for some time, but had only met on Thursday.

In fact, I'd say, that was the very most fun I've ever had with girls. Maybe the only real fun I've ever had with girls.... I missed seeing a lot of the door decorations this year--and there were fewer than last. Felt like there were fewer people as well, just less denisity everywhere you went.

It was worth going just to take in Cindy Walker's panel on writing. She is a delightful teacher--funny, quick, smart, and liquid energy that goes down smooth. I'm envious of her students.

The plays were back and Brook was in one so I went- not expecting much, and I was ever so glad I did.

Written by Paula and using Cindy Walker's Man From Uncle crossed with Escape From New York, AU--it was great--it even had songs. The woman playing Snake was played by Spencer ---(I'll have to track down her last name)and Lucy played a bunch of different characters.

Lucy and she both act professionally and I loved how they stepped so forcefully into their characters.

Spencer said Sofi and could come to LA sometime and crash at her place, which is good, since Steve has kind of withdrawn his welcome mat. [6]

Hmm... I was going to write another report on MediaWest, but it looks as if someone has already beaten me to it. *g* Well, there are still a few details the sheep forgot to mention. By the way, if there's anyone left on my Friends list who doesn't know why on earth little stuffed sheep are posting con reports on my LJ, feel free to ask. (Or not, if you so desire. *g*) Let's see...

I showed up Thursday night and delivered some zines to our distributor, and then went looking for the person in charge of the vid show, to drop off the tape Dan had made for me of Angel's vids. Turned out they weren't due till the next day, so I hung onto the tape so Angel could do quality check in our room before handing them in. I had my VCR with me, also my DVD player and my computer, since I was actually making zines and things there in the room. The sign on the door proclaimed the room "Wretched Hive Press Production Pit," and that was pretty much it.

I was on a few panels, most of which went well, with a few wobbles. I showed up late for the first one because I had lost the key to the car; fortunately we didn't have to call AAA, but Donna and I spent quite a long time searching, going back into the post office more than once to look, etc., before I finally found it (back in the post office, of course). valarltd was holding down the fort alone when I came stumbling in. That was the one on Star Wars Original Trilogy fans and how we respond to the newer material from LFL. My own policy is to ignore it all as much as possible, and I said so; most of the people in the room seemed to like the EU novels, and some like the new movies, but they were nice folks who were willing to agree to disagree, and it was cool.

Came back later that evening for one I hadn't signed up for. [info]valarltd was on alone for this one, about Equal Versus Unequal Pairings, a topic dear to my heart, so I offered to help. Right after I sat down, though, she announced that it was a panel about why some pairings stand the test of time. Ulp. I was pretty sure that wasn't it, but in case I was the one who was wrong, I didn't want to correct her. When it was my turn to speak, I fudged, "I've always been intrigued by the question of why some pairings...," trailing off rather than finishing the sentence. Amazingly, lots of people had responses to this. It was great. We had a lively discussion for several minutes before somebody asked Angel what the actual topic of the panel was, and it turned out it was Equal Versus Unequal Pairings. *whew* Angel was doing something like 12 panels that weekend, it wasn't surprising she got two reversed.

Next day, more panels. I was on one on "The Future of Zines In the Internet Age." I had naively thought that the other panelists would be people who love zines and wanted to talk about whether/how they could survive, how they would have to change or adapt to maintain a place in fandom, and how to promote the survival and perpetuation of the best aspects of zine culture as fandom is changing. Apparently one of the other people on the panel was there to talk about how we were going to get rid of zines, as near as I could figure. She opened it by announcing, "I don't think anyone in this room will disagree with me that the future of fandom is the internet." I immediately said, "I disagree," and we were off and running. It was a very odd discussion, because even though she writes for zines, she didn't seem to have much sensitiivity to the things that zines provide that downloading off the internet doesn't provide, and she spoke as if there *were* no advantages to zines, as if zines were nothing more than cumbersome heaps of paper that would better be done away with. The audience wasn't on that wavelength at all. With one notable exception -- a group of three who stood up to wave a CD around and announce "This is the future of zine publishing!" -- most of the people in the room seemed to be people who, like me, would rather hold a book in their hands than read from a screen or print piles of loose pages off of websites. So I felt as if much of the audience was on my side, but I didn't understand where my co-panelists were coming from, especially the one sitting next to me, who did a lot of the talking.

One clue about our differences in opinion came up when I was talking to the "the future is a zine on a CD" crowd in the back. They were talking about how they had all the artwork for their zine on the disc, and you could print out as many copies as you want at home. I can definitely see some advantages to making a zine on a CD, and Alex and I have talked about that possibility at times ourselves. But if people really want a hard-copy zine, the "print it yourself" idea is easier said than done. Sanctuary Moon is printed on two printers -- a laser printer and an inkjet -- and there are 5 kinds of paper in each issue (some of the illos need to be on thicker paper than others because of the amount of ink, and even the B&W pages with greyscale drawings are printed on slightly heavier bond paper than the pages that are pure text). I wouldn't tend to assume that everyone has two printers in their house, all kinds of paper, and a binding machine. In fact, putting together a copy of Sanctuary Moon is complex enough that my co-editor doesn't even know how to do it. Obviously I could tell her, it's not rocket science, but the idea that someone could just pop a CD into their drive and print out a beautiful little zine in minutes is not currently realistic. Maybe in a few years, and if that day comes, fine, but we're not there now. And I wouldn't know how to print out a beautiful zine like X's "Bystander" zine, to give one other example. So the point I was making was that if a zine is nothing more than some shoddily xeroxed text, sure, some people might well prefer to print it at home. But when we're talking about zines with high-quality art and good production values, I think a lot of people would rather just get the beautiful book than a do-it-yourself kit ("Just add your own laser printer, inkjet printer, ink, paper and binding equipment"). OTOH, maybe some people *would* prefer to look at it on-screen, and that's something to think about. I'm in the group that would rather have the book. It turned out that my co-panelist didn't particularly like art; she thinks of it as taking up space that could better be used for text. So she really is thinking of zines as just a pile of printed text, and in that case, I can see why it would seem just as good to run it off on your own laser printer and stick it in a three-ring binder. Or *almost* as good, anyway. There are still intangible advantages to zines, and it's those aspects that I want to write more about. [7]

The trip was marred essentially only by the usual travel annoyances. For some reason Michigan airport security finds me a very suspicious character. And the weather today! Holy cow! They tried to board our little commuter flight a bit early, so we could take off before a big storm hit. Didn't quite make it. Walking across the tarmac to that eensy teensy frail little craft, the wind blew so hard I thought I was in one of my recurring nightmares, the one where you keep walking but making no progress. My legs actually hurt from trying to make forward motion against the wind, it was that strong. At least the storm passed quickly and we were able to take off without too much delay.

Let's see... the best thing, of course, was plenty of one-on-one time with my wonderful Evil Twin. 'Twas very hard to say goodbye to her this afternoon at the airport. Her generosity made my attendance possible this year, even. So... Thank You, ET! :)

Spent much time with sithdragn, keelywolfe, crimsonquills and ndannais. The best times were to be found in their cramped room. Had a wonderful lunch and gossip fest with Lady Ra (formerly known as RAC - is there a symbol also involved?), Heidi, Morwen and Teresa (I don't think any of them are on LJ - but they should be! Hint. Hint.) Saw a fabulous fannish vid show featuring great MfU vids by keelywolfe, ndannais and przed. Also, valarltd had a couple of Star Wars vids! Ginger and Jamie also had Star Wars offerings. Great fun! So much fun I got bitten by the vid-making bug - at least until I learned I needed to spend a large chunk of $$ on new hardware and software.

It was great to finally meet some people in person, like st_crispins and other notable people involved with the MfU fandom. *Waves to Linda, Marian, Diana, and Vicky* And ellessaretta was there! She has written some of my favorite fic in the entire fandom and I was delighted to spend time with her. Such a sweetie. :)

Other Cool Stuff: The Saturday night play first feature was "Escape from Hoboken", a takeoff on a fanfic crossover series. It was a complete riot. I can't even begin to describe how much fun this was. The post-play MfU party on Saturday night was a total hoot. The Sunday night pizza party and episode viewing fest also looked to be much fun, although we had to bow out early.

Attended only three panels, all of them MfU. We talked about things - some interesting and some rather puzzling. Like "forgiving" Napoleon, which still puzzles me. I'm still not sure I understand why anyone thinks he needs to be forgiven for being a sexual creature.

There were tons of goodies for sale as well. Wish I'd had the funds to buy some of it - terrific silk screened t-shirts, gorgeous embroidered shirts and jackets - but all our spending money went for zines this year, trying to catch up. Got about 30 zines - there will be much reading and (eventually) zine reviews posted to Partner Mine. Got many other precious things as well - music vids, tapes of other things, episode dvds - the creativity and generosity of fans is overwhelming! The MfU video lending library will certainly profit from all this creativity and generosity, that's for sure! I'll be posting soon about new services and options, too.

Of course I also spent a bit of time with some old Star Wars friends, like jkb and other (non-LJ) friends, and finally met valarltd after years of online interactions. And her adorable daughter Bunny. ET and I very much missed the "family members" who were MIA this year, though [8]

I'm back from MediaWest and completely exhausted. Staying up till 2 every night chatting with friends and then getting up at 8 for breakfast, panels and festivities is eventually going to catch up with you.
The con was wonderful as always. In no particular order, I...
Got to see all my lovely U.N.C.L.E. friends, and the San Francisco slash contingent
Got to see nifty new U.N.C.L.E. vids by keelywolfe and ndannais
Showed my own new vids in the show
Bought two monogrammed U.N.C.L.E. jackets from the lovely Diana K.
Picked up the Boromir portrait I commissioned from Jesse McClain
Bid far too much on another Boromir by Jesse at the auction, and won it (Yay!)
Got lost while in search of the Lansing Barnes and Noble with m. butterfly
Shared the Robbie Williams love with ndannais

Oh, and I won both Fan Q awards I was up for: U.N.C.L.E. slash story and Wild Wild West slash story. Call me gobsmacked.

Now, if only had the energy to unpack, do laundry and generally get ready to go back to work tomorrow. [9]

Just got back from MediaWest. It was awesome. I want to write a coherent con report, but it was just all these little moments that were wonderful. Things like:

Watching valarltd's vids on the big screen and seeing people laugh and applaud; she was quite a hit.

Binding zines in our room -- as the poster on the door proclaimed, this was the Wretched Hive Press Production Pit, and it was actually a lot of fun to finish making zines there, while doing fun things like watching "The Flash: Revenge of the Trickster" with valarltd. (Afterwards I asked in amazement, "How many movies has Mark Hamill been in where he ends up in a straitjacket?" I can think of at least three now. She observed, "It's a good look for him.")

Dropping into obi_ki's room late last night to find something called "Plushy Theater" going on (Obi-Ki reading a hot Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan scene out loud in her Brooklyn accent while qurinas acted it all out with plush toys; it was wet-your-pants funny)

Wandering around the con with a pair of sheep in my hip pocket, their little heads sticking out so they could see the con. *BG* I'd gotten membership badges for both LukeSheep and HanSheep for $1 each, and I fastened those to my pocket right next to each one, so they were properly ID'd. You know, I remember a few years ago, when I first saw that you could buy memberships for stuffed animals for $1 each, and I wondered, "What kind of a nut buys a membership badge for a stuffed animal?" Well, now I know the answer.

Dropping off a pair of sheep in vysila's and HdShroom's room where they had Sheep*Con going on (a basket of stuffed sheep). They had a Sheep*Con poster on their door, and I did too, since I also had my basket of sheep. I called mine the "Sheep*Con Overflow Facility," so as not to try to usurp the "main SheepCon," though HdShroom said that wasn't necessary, which was nice; it was cute to have it labeled that way, though, so I left that addendum tacked to the Sheep*Con poster on our door. I had nice conversations with Irene and HdShroom when I dropped off and picked up the sheep, and that was much fun (I rarely saw them roaming around the con, though -- they were like a few other people whom one almost never saw roaming the halls, whereas other people were ubiquitous).

Fun and interesting panel discussions at which I only occasionally wanted to kill audience members or my fellow panelists.

Being around Bunny's (valarltd's 12-year-old daughter) high energy, though as the weekend wore on, the poor kid was slipping into total exhaustion -- not helped by me and her mother being all wired and wanting to watch videos, me collating and binding zines in the room at odd hours, etc.

Those were some of the highlights. I want to write a longer con report, and possibly nudge the sheep to contribute their observations -- there was some talk that they might write a very small report entitled, "A View from the Pocket." But the short version is that there were lovely people to meet, colorful door decorations to admire, lots of fun things to talk about and zines to buy and vids to watch, and not nearly enough hours. It was over far too soon. [10]

This con report will clearly be coming out in pieces. I spent a lot of my time at MW*C going to rooms with used zines, hunting through the bins for classic Star Wars zines. They're all gen or het, but they often have good stories (mixed with awful stories). They highlight facets of the characters that I don't see as often in the more modern stories. I love to read them to get broader perspectives on Luke and Han, discover new questions to think about, and to see how people perceived the guys before all 3 movies were out. There are often Letters of Comment where people do in-depth analyses of other writers' handling of characterization. You can learn a lot from these old discussions. Even beyond all that, it's just awesomely cool to hold in your hands these examples of the tradition of Star Wars zine publishing, to see the fan fiction and the art from the 80s, and all the names in the zines -- the community that came before the modern fannish community. There's some overlap of personnel, but a lot has changed in 25 years. One name that spans the classics and the modern zines is Z.P. Florian, and I scored some real treasures in terms of zines containing stories and art of hers. She's dropped out in the last three years due to her health problems, but she was one of the pillars of Star Wars fandom -- we dedicated the first issue of Sanctuary Moon to her, in fact -- and it's a joy to find older work of hers that I didn't have before. [11]

Hansheep and Lukesheep here. Our sheepmom is on the phone, so now we have a chance to jump on the keyboard and tell you all about MediaWest. We had loads of fun! Some of our brothers were at Sheep*Con on the 3rd floor, snuggling and catching up on news from the fandom and spending time with two of our sheepmoms there. Some more were in the basket on the 5th floor. There were posters on both doors to tell people about Sheep*Con. And two of us got to ride around in our sheepmom's pocket to see everything. We had our own name tags, so everyone knew we were members of the con too. [ETA: I didn't use to get why anyone would buy "apocryphal memberships" for stuffed animals for $1. But now I get it; it just adds a certain -- something. *g* -- Joanna]

A lady in the dealer's room told our sheepmom she really liked what we wrote in Sanctuary Moon and the pictures Sheepmom Sayaka drew. Our sheepmom got us out of her pocket then so we could sit on the table and say Hi. She was very surprised to meet us in person. *BG*

The rest of the time we had to stay in the pocket, but Hansheep kept jumping out to go explore the hotel by himself. Our sheepmom always found him before he went too far, though. Lukesheep was glad -- he thought he would have to rescue Hansheep. [ETA: This might actually be a great thrill for the sheep, as it would give them a chance to emulate their heroes. Nevertheless, I kept scooping up Hansheep before he could get lost, so Lukesheep didn't get to indulge in any heroics. -- Joanna]

We saw piles of zines with stories about our boys, and our sheepmom picked out lots to bring home. Most of the stories don't talk about how much our boys love each other, but they have fun adventures. The stories would be better with more snuggling and playing, though. We told our sheepmom that we could write some scenes to put in those zines to make them better, but she said we shouldn't make trouble. [ETA: I should perhaps explain that 'playing' is the sheep's euphemism for -- oh, never mind. -- Joanna]

At night we watched videos of Luke and Han or movies like "Revenge of the Trickster" with Angel and Bunny, and supervised while our sheepmom made zines (we know all about making zines, of course). And then we snuggled with our brothers in the basket all night. MediaWest was great, and all the sheep had fun. Next year we wanna bring our weapons for the Blaster Battle. Our sheepmom says we can't have blasters and lightsabers in the hotel, but Hansheep is making smuggling compartments in our basket. [12]

It's about three pages long and I don't rant that much.

If you want to read it, My trips to MediaWest Con keep getting longer and longer. Coming from the West Coast, I leave on Wednesday so I can be there when my roommates drive in on Thursday morning from New England. Usually, that gives me one good night's sleep before the con, but this time I joined another friend for drinks in the bar and did not get to sleep til 3 am. Apparently, there was a convention of firefighters at the hotel and they were friendly in a nice sort of way. Decorative, too. The hotel had asked for no flyers to be posted in public places until Friday, but folks jumped the gun. A friend said she was in the elevator with some firemen as they eyed a flyer featuring art depicting hobbits in clinches. One peered closer and said, "Looks like porn." Yes, I guess it does.

As for the fandoms represented during the con, my impression is that Stargate: SG-1, Mag 7 and Man from Uncle had the most zines available for sale. I brought home a large stack of SG. I was tempted by some other fandoms but with the price of zines, I had to pass.

I only caught the adult vids and my simple notes don't mention much, save there were some good Pros and I like PD Zed's vids the best: good clip choice, non-intrusive edits, good song choices and they elicited strong emotion. There were vids each for James Spader and Kevin Smith (Ares in Xena.) While I think both of these guys are wonderful, just having a succession of cuts of them kissing becomes disappointing, no matter how well done. Sorry.

The art show seemed pretty full with a favorable ratio of good vs oh dear! Many fandoms were represented which was very nice. There was some decent Pros art, so I imagine having these older shows released on DVD is providing some fuel to their fires. What I can remember...LOTR, HP, SG, M7, Muncle, Sentinel, Pros, S&H, Smallville, Firefly, PoTC, Troy, Van Helsing, Angel, Dead Zone, Master and Commader, CSI and even a cutely comical Monk. I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty. I didn't attend the art auction so I'm unaware of which pieces had the most vigorous bidding.

It seemed like more folks decorated their doors this year, which was really fun. Lots of different fandoms, lots of different styles. Our door featured ghost Spike emerging from our door. An old pair of black leather pants was cut up to provide a leg and an arm, with the rest of it just a boot, a fake hand and nice photo of Spike's head. My roomies had sewn Spike's fingers in such a way that he was giving the two finger salute to a mocked up Warner Bros logo off to the side, the red sharpie it held used to make WB into Wanker Brothers. We won for Best Single Character, which was very nice. There was a fantastic Dr. Who call box down the hallway complete with flashing blue light, coat rack for the garments of the different Doctorsl, and music. They won Best in Show, Best SciFi and Fan Favorite. Well done!

I helped with the Stargate party that was held in the party suite and was open to all. We had plenty of food: Subway sandwiches, cake, munchies and soda pop. Many door prizes were given away to the 80-90 people who packed themselves into the room...many of them seemed new to the fandom. Maybe all those reruns on SciFi is recruiting new fans for us! We even had a cool 'working' Stargate from Walmart.

Other SG related news is that Richard Dean Anderson will be featured on Bravo's Actor's Studio in October, which should be fun. Though not mentioned at the con, I just read somewhere that it was mentioned in a magazine interview that Lexa Doig and Michael Shanks are expecting, so that is fantastic news. And I believe the Daniel friendly zines/art/stories did very well in the Fan Q Awards. (BTW, Daniel Friendly means just that; That odds are good that Daniel will be in the stories and portrayed in a favorable fashion. It does not mean anti-Jack, okay? Jack has been in all 8 seasons of SG; Daniel was not on the team in S6, therefore Daniel Friendly helps fans find stories that have Daniel in them. Imho, the best stories have a very strong Jack and Daniel in it.)

Anyway, I was definitely in con mode and socialized A LOT! It's fantastic to have everyone in one place all at the same time. We definitely need about 40 hours in a day during MWC.

In the "Don't try this in your house" subject, I witnessed what happens when you quickly drop 4 Mentos into a 2 Liter bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. STAND BACK! Apparently the coating on the Mentos causes the carbon dioxide to come out of solution VERY QUICKLY. The demonstrator was an engineer who had made extensive testing of this effect. Apparently Diet Dr. Pepper seems to work best. More Mentos is good too, but it's difficult to get them all into the bottle fast enough.

Panels. I only went to a few. The two SG ones I went to were cordial, with almost no baiting going on. Most folks thought that the writers had dropped the ball in a number of different ways. There is so much potential in that show and it gets wasted. The Smallville ones tended to be very pro Lex, with a lot of impatience with all the Kents. I don't participate in this fandom but I was interested in the panel anyway. Of interest was a genner who vigorously defended Clark and especially Jonathan. She was sure that our impatience with these characters was due to our exposure to the vocal opinions on the slash lists. Our opinions were because we were gullible; her opinion was because she was right; amazing how the names change but the attitudes persist no matter what fandom one ventures into. For Smallville, my opinion is only from watching the show and I am very tired of the Kent's intolerance, their rush to judgment and their hypocrisy. Too bad Lex isn't the hero!

I went to a couple of Harry Potter panels and was surprised to see a certain level of displeasure about JK Rowling...that maybe she did not know best about the stories. Very odd. There was also the opinion that many people just wanted to shake some sense into Harry in the last book. Okay, I would agree with that.

Unfortunately, many panels I wanted to attend were WAY too early. 9am? That's terrible! So I missed panels on James Spader and PDAs among others.

I did go to a live journal panel. Most folk seemed very pro lj vs mailing lists, mentioning the ability to control one's fannish experience. They perceived very few drawbacks, but when pressed for details, did admit to negative politics and unpleasant behavior. They felt that lj widened their exposure to other fandoms. My own opinion would be that might be true, but I think one can whittle out differing opinions of one's own fandom too much (how about those stories one writes to rebuttal an opinion different from your own?) There were a couple of things that sounded cool, like crack_fan, which sounded like a place where primers for multiple fandoms was presented, but it and variations on the spelling doesn't produce anything. Band_set was supposedly something that would help avoid the spam type stuff.

Odds and ends: Apparently Zorrorojo has written a crossover of SG and M7. I need to find that one! Some folks had put a panel about "the crossover treasure that is Brenda Antrim" on the schedule. Anyone go to that?? I should have as it would have made wonderful teasing material! There was a rogue SG shipper that made a nuisance of herself at various places during the con. Yawn. The hotel had something that sounded to me like a Viking horn (remember that old film, The Vikings?) which we could hear in the mornings and even the threat of rampaging Vikings were not enough to get us out of our room any earlier. California's new governor amused my New England roomies. I swear the rest of the world only appreciates California for it's entertainment value and I don't just mean the movies either. And lastly I must admit to an odd dream that had my home town inundated by a large wave, scarring the land until it looked a lot like Morocco. I went to a large yurt-like structure where I met Arnold and, while wearing a white bath robe and looking out at the devastation from his balcony (yes, this yurt had a palatial balcony) I tried to convince him to give monetary incentives to get people to replant trees. I'm not sure I want to analyze that....

The trip to and from where uneventful and less bothersome that last year, though walking around in socks while my shoes get x-rayed now gives me the creeps, thanks to Bunny. Just think of all those other sock clad feet that have passed that way before you...all those stinky, sweaty, disease infested feet! Bunny thinks that we should have the option of wearing those blue paper slippers people wear in the operating room. She may have a point!

We stayed again til Tuesday, as that gives my roomies and me all day to enjoy each other's company without the con to distract us. It's actually a very nice way to end the con. And, of course we will return again next year! Maybe I'll have all those zines read by then!

Thanks for reading! [13]

We left Manchester Airport on Thursday morning. Nothing exciting to tell there. Flights were on time and we made it in to Lansing by early afternoon. We met up with Monalee and got settled in the room and hung out with her for a while. I'm not sure if anyone else felt this way but it seemed much quieter this year. Very few doors to people's rooms were open and there just seemed to be lots of small groups that weren't very inviting to jump into conversations with. This feeling stayed with me for most of the con. In past years, it was quite the opposite. Maybe next year will be back to normal. ::Shrugs::

Anyways, we called it a night early. I was exhausted since I barely got any sleep the night before (as I always do an cons since I normally got to bed between 4 and 5 am).

Friday we got up in time to get our badges and hit the first panel at 1pm. We went to "Erotica Vs. Porn: How do we distinguish a difference and why do we need to?" Both Het and Slash were discussed in the panel. The conversation stayed mostly on topic and most people tended to agree on some things that differentiated the two.

Porn usually had much cruder language and action. In some cases it followed the "porn movie formula". For some in the room (including me) porn tended to be far less respectful to the female characters involved. Making them out to be sluts and whores who were mistreated and spoken down to for their slutiness and loved every second of it. Also, a lack of plot was a major factor to Porn as well.

Erotica has a plot (some more in depth than others). It's language and action tended to be a little more obtuse and euphemistic and wasn't as crude. The female characters were usually treated with more respect unless it was part of the developed plot (BDSM being the primary example).

It was at this point the panel started to taking a turn for me. The moderator brought up the Star Wars Erotica Forum. I'll quickly explain for those who don't know what that is. It is a ezboard group that has SW erotic art and fic. By the definitions we had set, it is kinda misnamed. It should likely be the Star Wars Porn Forum. Not that that is bad. It's just the type of fic that there is there.

Most of the members of that group are men (at least that is the common belief). Some of the fic there is good, but there is some bad!fic there as well. (We also got into some discussion of bad!fic as well, more to come on that). The moderator then went on to say that it was awful watching men write (I'm paraphrasing since I don't remember exactly what she said, so I can't quote). That men couldn't write and especially watching them try to write femslash was just terrible and they flat out couldn't do it. And that men couldn't write it since they had no experience.

Now, for obvious reasons, this really pissed me off. I'll admit, a lot of femslash written by men is bad. However, a lot of slash written by women is bad. Now, if she had read my stuff and said "Alan, you suck. You can't write femslash to save your ass." That would be fine with me. Then at least she is judging my stuff for what it is instead of saying it is all bad.

The people in the panel were pretty supportive of the guys though. They addressed the question of how women could write slash then. The moderator said that since they could experience anal from a het or strap-on POV, they had experience. Pointing out that only gave a bottoms POV, didn't sway her. She was also given the opportunity to mend her statement to say "most guys" or "a lot of guy femslash writers" or "some male fanfic writers", but even give the chance to qualify her statement in the slightest, she didn't.

My anger dwindled as she seemed to be the only one in the room with the all or nothing view point about male fanfic writers.

The next thing discussed was the difference of good!fic and bad!fic. This seemed to come up in almost every panel I was at all weekend. For some reason, people seemed fixated on giving examples of some genre or aspect of fic they didn't like by using bad!fic examples. I don't want to write 10000 words on this, so I'll sum it up as follows: There is bad!fic out there. Tons and tons of it. And there always will be. Bad!fic can only be used to disprove an absolute like: "All Non-con is awesome!" because there is non-con bad!fic out there. But, bad!fic really isn't useful to bring up as an argument for or against anything since its bearing on the positive aspects of any fanfic is nil.

So, next we went to "Harry Potter and the OotP: It took 3 years for this book to finally come out. Was it worth the wait?" We sat around at the beginning and none of the moderators showed up. Kind of a problem. So, even though I wasn't supposed to be running the panel, I jumped up and started moderating it with a couple other volunteers. I think it went really well considering I was totally unprepared.

Since it was a gen discussion, I had to stop myself several times from bringing up slashy or femslashy moments. But, I managed well enough. The discussion was wide and varied. It was nearly completely agreed that the book was well worth the wait. One of the more interesting discussions centered around the teachers and how they came together during the book to work against Voldemort. It ended up being a very cool panel (cooler than a lot of others) since people we easily guided to let people talk and not talk over each other which gave everyone a chance to toss in their 2 cents. It was a lot of fun.

Next was "Bi-fictional: What are the advantages and disadvantages for writers who like to write both het and slash." Let me point something out to people who mostly do fanfic on the net. For some stupid reason, there is a ton of strife between gen/het writers and slashers at cons and such. Don't ask me why, I don't get it (even after the panel spent a bunch of time discussing it.) But, a lot of gen writers would like to see slash disappear and vice-versa. I tend to chalk it up to the "There a couple assholes everywhere" argument. But, I don't think I'll ever know for sure.

Since this is getting long, I'll say two things the panel came to, one good, one bad. Good: Slashers who write both have a wider scope of the fandom and have more potential fic bunnies and such and it is easier for them to stay away from writing the same story over and over again. Bad: Slashers in their gen and het stories still tend to write like their fic is a really slashy episode of the show. Which turns some of the gen/het people off from reading them.

We then went to a Firefly panel and talked about how cool Firefly was and our hopes for it. The movie came up a bit, but since we didn't know anything about it, we couldn't get into it too heavily.

Next was "Star Wars: A we willing to go wherever LFL wants to take us? How do the Original Trilogy fans deal with the newer material (New trilogy, EU, etc)". This was interesting. I got to pimp New Jedi Order to people and the consensus seemed to be that Lucas sucks and had a great idea he can't implement for shit. Which, is why there is so much fanfic.

We went to a few other panels and had dinner and hung out before the femslash panel. I also got to spend a lot fo time with noelql and deannie, which was really awesome since I had met them before, but never had a ton of time to hang out with them. We hung out a lot during the weekend, which was a blast for me.

The femslash panel had more people in it than I expected since it started at 10pm and conflicted with the premiering vids show. We had tons of interesting discussions and even went over the amount of time scheduled. The most interesting thing to me was about "generations of lesbians". We discussed how people who are in the generation older than me and my generation could possibly have been writing boy-slash as a way to deal with their same-sex questioning and now sexuality is much more free and younger girls are dealing with the same-sex questioning by writing femslash.

That topic might be a great one to open a new community with. We discussed the idea of a meta-discussion list dealing with femslash. To discuss all things femslash and make rec fics as well. I really like the idea of doing it as an LJ community. Maybe we can get some people on board and give it a go. I'll likely do a whole post about this once my fic deadlines are met this week and see what can be put together. [14]

I'm Still In His Pants

So I'm back from MediaWest and I'm (say it with me now) TIRED. That's the common theme amongst us MediaWest survivors. I'll try to recount what happened, if I can remember it all:)

Thursday: I got up at 4AM and couldn't go back to sleep. No problem, I'll just rewatch Starsky versus Hutch again in preparation of my panel on Sunday. What did I learn? The same thing I always knew, men are blind to that which is right in front of them. I put on my CrazySouledSpike shirt and get out of the house by 6:30AM to leave for my 9AM flight. I did not, however, get out of the yard. I have lived in my house for almost two weeks and I picked con day to back my car into the culvert. Car--ditch--OMG. I freaked out badly. I was going to miss the con, my car would be undrivable, I'd be stuck forever. I freaked out so badly that I went to the one neighbor that didn't speak English. He was not happy at me waking him up at the crack of dawn, but he did get me out after 30 minutes of trying. I thanked him and was on my way (praying the whole time that my car wouldn't explode). It seemed to run okay and I got to the airport with an hour to spare. Boarded the plane and I was off. I met abelladonna in Detroit. There were quite a few con goers in Detroit on our flight. I sat beside a MUNCLE fan and Bella sat behind me. We got to the Lansing airport and met up with lovekeller and her sister Teresa. We hauled all of our stuff over to the car rental place and waited around there forever to get our van. But after half an hour, we were off! Cruising through Lansing, our gay boys singing on the CD, ready to take on the city as we had the year before. We proceeded to decorate our It’s Raining Men door. Our roommate Tammy met us at the room an hour after we got there, Barbara and her son Ray arrived around the same time, and Cy came out to dinner with us as well. I put on my arm cuff and my handcuffs on my belt. To Outback we go! But we were nice, company behavior. I don’t know why, but the lot of us didn’t create all the havoc of last year. Maybe we just needed to warm up. We headed back to the room and just hung out, went down to Barb’s and watched her new songvids. I’m not a PROS fan, but her older Bodie and older Doyle vids were wonderful. I’m just a sucker for older men. And I loved her Wild West Show vid. By the time we’d gotten through the vids and a little of Dana Cook’s uncut DVD, we were wiped. Back to the room, to bed, ready to start the con.

Friday: Wake up the next morning and I’m not quite jived. I still feel like the con’s a far away dream and I’m just not spirited yet. I have on my SH professionally done white shirt and my wrist cuff, along with my handcuffs on my belt. I had my first panel at 1PM, Angel: It's Over. Missed opportunities for Angel and Spike. It became a Season Five Overview session, though. My line answer is that they didn’t have sex onscreen, so that’s a missed opportunity right there. Between that panel and the next, Bella and I went to the dealer’s room. I picked up my three SH zines from Joyce (A Fairy Tale Life, VP Chronicles II, and VP Chronicles III). I can’t wait to read Fairy Tale Life, but what’s the rule of con? Don’t read your own zines. You can do that when you get home. I also went by Paula Smith’s table. Now, we had seen our roommate Tammy prior and she hit the jackpot on SH stuff. Paula was selling an SH collection for someone, so Tammy got magazines, posters, tapes, clippings, and a whole lot of other goodies. What I got from Paula was 14 SH magazines (of which I got doubles since I bought them as a lot…I will be selling the doubles very soon). I also got The SH Story (hardback), The DS Gift Book (hardback), SuperTeen SH magazine, and the DS People Magazine I’d been looking everywhere for (the one where he talks about the abuse from the early 80s). Added to that, I got a Zebra stamp, 6 really old I-Ching coins that I need to re-string, a zebra pin, and 3 SH buttons. And the last item from Paula’s table was the SH dolls, still in boxes. Yes, I have a pair of SH dolls already, but they’re out of their boxes and Starsky’s wearing Hutch’s clothes (which isn’t so bad) and Wonder Woman’s boots (which is kinda weird). Now I can play with my dolls and keep the ones in the boxes in the display. We headed out to dinner after my dealer’s room crawl, over to the steak house. All I remember was a hamburger, a cheesecake, and the theory that lubes could be used. I was putting on the oral pleasure display, but only finished half the cheesecake. I carried the rest back to the room. Then it was time for the second panel of the day, SH: Keeping the passion alive-What would the guys do to keep their relationship romantic after 20 plus years together? Older SH, yum. I love SH panels because we always come to the same conclusion after ten minutes, they're in love, they'll continue to be in love, long live the SH love. Friday night after the panel, we went to the vid show. The slash show was supposed to start at 9PM. The slash vids started at 11:15PM. Such is the way of the MW vid show. On the up side, since I was there early, I got to rewatch Testify. I never considered it a gen SH vid, but whatever genre you put it in it's one of the best vids in the SH fandom. There were many MUNCLE vids, which I don't mind because DM is cute at any age. It seemed to be a MUNCLE year, though. I saw more fans, more vids, and more merchandise that I recall from other years.

Saturday: I was ready for an SH day, all the way down to my SH cameo shirt (which didn't look horrible after I put the buttons on it in just the right places so all the white spots were covered). My wrist cuff and handcuffs joined the outfit. Bella had her collar on most of the day. I had a 9AM panel of SH: General discussion of the TV series. The consensus? They were pretty, pretty boys who wore very tight jeans and made us happy. We ran to the art show after panel so I could see what was at stake this year. SH art was to a minimum. Su Lovett had some prints up, but seeing as how I already own them all, it wasn't something I needed. Lorraine had the older prints for sale and I think I might get them at SHarecon. She also had originals for sale. I love her work, but I wasn't ready to start a bid at the asking price, so I didn't bid. There was a beautiful William/Spike piece that had glass etching on the frame and I did place a bid on that. The it was time for panels again. 12PM was LiveJournals and Blogs: What changes have LJ and blogs – good and bad - brought to fandom? I was the only panelist who showed up, but I enjoyed it. I got to pimp the SH community and we always have wonderful disscussions about LJ. The afternoon began the descent into SH madness;) 2PM: Starsky & Hutch: The Movie - A Hoot - or Horrible? Discuss what you liked and didn’t like about the film. This was more a panel for the new fans coming in. The fandom has gained alot of members from the movie and we got the DVDs out of it. Me, I'm more about the cameo. We had a good discussion and that's what I was hoping for. An hour later, we were at it again, but this time it was the panel for the older fans. 4PM: Starsky & Hutch: The Movie vs. Series - What elements of the S&H series were taken to the big screen and what was left behind? This was a GREAT discussion because of the audience. We covered alot of ground and rejoiced in the boys. I love my boys, they're just so gorgeous. And how can your heart not melt knowing David slipped and called Paul Starsky in one of the takes? Bella and I were running the BDSM panel at 5PM: Spank that Butt!: Discussion of discipline and BDSM in fanfic. And, yes, Bella did wear the leash. I didn't have as much fun as I would have liked, but that's because it focused on spanking rather than areas I write in. The crew headed out to Wendy's so we could get back before the SH party at 8PM. I was giving my Frosty a blowjob at the counter, but that's not the best part. As we were sitting at the table, this girl about 7 kept circling us and looking at Bella's collar. I do believe we put her in therapy for years to come. "Mommy, why does that lady have a doggy collar on?" We got back and headed over to the SH party. April provided a beautifully decorated cake and Linda was a great hostess, like always. We watched vids pulled from older sources, so alot of them I hadn't seem before. It was a treat. And an added treat was the "New Math" ST vid done by the CA Crew. Laugh out loud funny. We ended the party with the interviews PMG and DS did for the media tour. I brought along the tape so that the fans could watch in case they had missed out. We didn't have the bloopers for the party, but SHarecon close and almost all of us have them in our personal possessions anyway. I came back to the room and wrote up the missing parts of the zine so far (it's close, I can feel it).

Sunday: I know no bounds. Sunday I wore the SH RPS shirt. I will probably do it again for SHarecon, I love the shirt so much. I didn't have anything for panels until noon, so we went through the dealer's room again and I went over to the art show to stare at Lorraine's artwork. Pretty pictures, pretty. 12PM: Angel-Season Five overview. Did the introduction of Spike help or hinder the show? Where could the series go next, if it had been renewed? This was a continuance of the Angel panel the other day, but it was fun to go into more depth. Funny thing was, all three of us that sat on the panel are from the SH fandom, too. It's a small world after all;) 1PM brought my panel, my beautifully long-awaited panel. Starsky & Hutch: Starsky vs. Hutch: Temporary insanity, repressed homoerotic desires, or partner betrayal? Bella, Candy, and I sat on it and the rest of our long-term fans were in the audience. I threw out my "look at the clock" theory and I'm still sticking to it. I love panels that can explore all the different aspects of SH and still rejoice in our different theories. We hall-crawled for the two hours we were off. I got four SH buttons and I picked up a Mad Magazine with one of the SH spoofs from the dealer's room, along with the SH cameo picture (the color's darker than I would have liked but it's the boys that count). I also got some more zines from a hall crawl. I picked up Above and Beyond, Code Seven (original copy...yep, the one with no names;), Zebra Three Volume 3 (of which I have read and will be selling soon), and I gave into temptation and started on gathering up the Fix Series. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11 are all mine. Let's not think about the ones I have to get. 4PM was Starsky & Hutch: Fanon Stereotypes - Hutch's cold family, Starsky's mother's name - where do they come from and why are they perpetuated? Good panel, small group. Blue and I talked with Linda at 6PM instead of holding our panel, but it was nice to just relax. Since I got outbidded on the Spike piece and I had no cash to spend anyway, I bagged out of most of the art show and we instead voted for pizza. Let me tell you a little something about the Lansing Pizza Hut. They are on CRACK. I witnessed a pregnant waitress belittling one of the cooks because he was an idiot (the customers ordered a small, he made a medium and cut the crust off to make it a small....and they had been waiting 40 minutes for this). We went in after 30 minutes and sat. We waited another 10 before Bella asked the guy where our pizza was. We ordered two pizzas and an order of cheesesticks. We saw our pizzas when we walked in, we thought, but that couldn't be ours since they were sitting out getting cold. Oh, but the printer in the kitchen was broken, so the guy didn't remember it was ours. The result? We got cold pizza for free (Bella's good at the yelling) and no cheesesticks. Oh well, free dinner. We vegged out after that and watched TS con appearances on tape. Barb/Teresa/Bella stayed to rewatch Hard Core Logo, but I went to bed. I love the movie, but the bed was nice.


I finished off the con in my blue SH shirt and with a sadness in my heart. The 9AM panel was bagged in favor of me roaming the dealer's room again. Paula's table is the most wonderful thing ever. I got four Graven Images prints. And let it not be said that I do not have willpower. I have it, but it goes out the window when there's a sale. The SH Virtual Seasons 5 and 6 were half price, so (after not buying them for so long) I now got copies. I love the Virtual Season and I'm hoping I can go ahead and get Season 7 at SHarecon. I also picked up a copy of Cyn's songvids. I love her work, so why not? We finished off the con with an SH Food and Sex panel. A small group of loyal fans that know how to get right to the heart of the matter. Candy kept telling me to get back with them since my mind kept ending up in Paul's pants. It's a good place to be, I think I'll stay;) We flew out of there and I bid a farewell to Bella in Detroit. Then it was back to real life. [15]

So we made it to the head of the registration line. The registrar asked "last name?" I said "Sparrow." She looked at me and said "The real one." And I handed over my driver's license. The badges were found, and we proceeded to the Atrium. Bunny and i sat and mapped out our schedules, so we could work the Gofering in around it.

In the Gofer Hole, we learned that we were expected to do 12 hours of work. OK, we finangled and wibbled and worked them all in.

On to the Art Show. We got Bunny's paperwork and I had to dash for the "Erotica vs. Porn" panel. It was a lot of fun. obi_ki and her son showed up for it. He writes femmeslash. We finally decided there must be a connection with the characters for a story to be erotica,. The characters need to connect with each other, and the reader needs to connect with them. Or else it's just mechanics with pasted in names. About 10 minutes before the end, the Solo-clone (over whom i drooled so last year) wandered in wearing a tee with a Union Jack on it. Makes it very hard to continue discussing the mechanics of SW Trilogy smut.

I checked on Bunny in the art show, who was still having some problems. I finished filling out her paperwork while she headed for her first Harry Potter panel.

My 3 was "Bifictional: writing both het and slash." C. Bichler and i got together and discussed the status of The Slash Reader for which i'd written a paper. We talked a lot. Bifictional folks tend to be in the mushy middle, like bisexuals. Both sides think they're perverts. And that led into "what happens with three-somes, foursomes or poly households?" it is really het if it's a woman having sex with 2 men? (any sexual act in which 2 or more penises are involved is a homosexual act, it's been said)

I had about an hour at 4, so I nipped back to the room for a quick coke. Caffiene, the breakfast/lunch/dinner/midday snack of champions. Came to the unpleasant conclusion that jkb's Jedi robe was not in Lansing, but over my sewing machine in Memphis. (it is indeed)

At 5, she and I had "Star Wars: Are we willing to go where Lucasfilm wants to take us." She got locked out of her car, and was late, so I had to face a roomful of "Yeah, we like the prequels and EU" folks all by my lonesome. I felt like a Roman Christian looking for a bottle of Lion-repellant. But i think it went well. We talked of plot-holes, and jossing canon, and continuity problems.

At 7, I was on "Myths and legends." I suspect from the hostile glare that I had a pagan in my audience who did not appreciate me mentioning the fact that most primitive religions involved blood sacrifice, often human. But I discussed a number of myths. The ever-delightful Windsong was in the audience and gave us some Great Lakes Tribal myths. I asked if anyone incorporated mythology into fanfic, and got all negatives. I used the Inuit Sun and Moon myth in "Sources of Power" and discussed that. I tossed out the notion of writing AUs in times when the myths were actual living religions. my co-panelists talked of how some cultures wove myth into their daily lives, and for others the gods of the stories were far-off...

By 9 I was pooped out. So I went to "Slash pairings: equal and unequal" Unfortunately, I thought it was the "Why do some SW pairings stand the test of time?" and ran it that way for almost 10 minutes before someone asked. jkb took over while I recovered enough to go on.

There was room running, and door-checking. We were down the hall from "Their heads are pastede on, yay!" (not the official title) Which had many naked and near-naked men, with their faces covered by velcro. Many BSO (beloved slash objects) had their heads added to the velcro and much could be done. Naked Jon Pertwee with a sword was something. But the Blair-blowing-Blair bit was inspired. And I think the Jack Sparrow head ended up on every pic, with every other head, before the end of the con. I liked the Wedding chapel.

Bunny worked from 8-10 in the Zine reading room, and 10-1 in the con suite. Snape and McGonagell wandered in and Snape scolded her for being out of bed. [16]

Friday night was the video premiere show.

I dismissed my last panel five minutes early to catch my stuff. As it turned out, they were running behind, so I got to see Ginger's stuff from Stampede Productions. Some very cool vids. A multifandom trip on the Titanic. A celebration of servicepeople.

Then mine.

First up was "What I did for love." People chuckled at the title card, but then it went quiet for the death of Spock. When we switched to Luke and Vader, there were more chuckles, but they died away quickly. Flash Gordon elicited a few, until they realized it was the execution scene and the last shot was of the coffin. The Willow & Xander section was very quiet. Someone burst out with "Ahahaha I don't believe she used Frisco Kid" as we moved to Avram, but as he suffered, purifying his soul through fire, the laughter died. And nobody giggled during the Frodo and Sam at the Boats segment. As it faded a woman next to me sniffled and said "That was really intense."

The audience seemed puzzled by "Happy Together" which is an anti-het vid. It shows a lot of het relationships going very badly.

Then "Teddy Bears' Picnic." The audience started laughing at the title card! And didn't stop. When the card "a Star Wars Gen vid, by Angel" showed up, they roared. They laughed harder at all the right places.

Then came "Veteran of the Psychic Wars." There was some laughter at the concept of the "multifandom insane asylum" but it died out as we saw the sheer grimness of the facility. But the laughs started again with Luke and his "Psychic powers after death of family" card. There was laughter clear through the Luke segment until the diagnosis and the straightjacket. More laughter greeted Dorothy, until they saw her restrained and facing the horror of a decimated Oz. By Damien and Buffy, no one was laughing. jkb overheard someone say "That was seriously warped." [17]

Got up early for a shower, since I had a 10 AM panel. Saw many many clocks, and no two had the same time, ergo was a few minutes late.

Librarians and Library Staffers in fandom was cool. We talked about using our libraries as research, using our fannish interests to help the libraries with collection development, and we geeked about various systems and griped about pay. I got overwhelming sympathy when I mentioned a migration to Voyager. Very interesting indeed.

11 AM was the "Can one be a Good Christian and an active Fan?" A Lutheren, a Baptist preacher's wife, and another Methodist. We had 2 nonChristians in the audience. I introduced as "a recovering fundamentalist." I was ready to smack some folks by the end who couldn't seem to grasp that what HP calls "witchcraft" has nothing to do with Wicca. I scared some folks by saying people can leave themselves open to possession. It's not so dramatic as The exorcist it's more an attitude thing. We all agreed that fannish behavior is integral to Christianity, but I held the position that "Good Christians" don't get so attached to media. They should be/are to busy to treat it as anything but disposable. I cited the story of my grandmother, who griped at me for reading a book more than once. Worst scolding I ever got was when I asked why she read her Bible more than once.

At 1, we had "The Fannish Family." Perils, benefits and pitfalls. Fun, and we decided the kids need to have a meet & greet in the party suite next year. The kiddos are there to have fun as well. We had them from 11 weeks to 10 years in the audience.

At 2, I sat as Cerberus for the Dealer's Room. Couldn't donate blood because of time conflicts. from the sound of it, my iron may be too low anyway.

I ran vids at 4. I was handed a vid and said "This should do it." It ran out at 4:20. The audience had come in expecting California Crew, and i didn't have any for them. I gave them the only other I could find with "Sit tight, enjoy these, and I'll find what's happened to the Crew." Got the CC vid from the coordinator, and all was well.

5 PM was "Spank that Butt: BDSM in fanfic." Spanking is not my kink, and I fear we made sure the discussion circled back because it was the mod's. We agreed on the "safe, sane, consensual" and discussed Gorean Damage where people think it takes no guts to submit, only a female nature. I did say that subbing, for me, too no courage, no bravery. It just required I quit faking the competence of my daily life. We discussed the Discussion, that even in fic there needs to be some idaea of what will be done, and Jim can't just throw Blair into the handcuffs. We talked of where domestic discipline crosses the line into sexual abuse.

At 6, i moved into SW pairings that stand the test of time. Don't remember much of this. I think I let one gal dominate it.

Bunny was off at 8, so we went to Ponderosa and ate. A quick trip to Lowe's got us some duct-tape. Then, we came back and started getting ready for the costume contest. My spiral piping was all wrong, so i did an emergency seam rip. Bunny brushed her hair and laid out her dancer costume.

We watched part of Revenge of the Trickster as we got ready. jkb is fun to watch as she squees. She taped me around a bit so the boobs looked like boobs and not pregnancy.

Bunny was second in the Masquerade. "Narcissa Black, at the end of her First Year." She came out, stared down her nose at the audience, turned to show it off, quirked a half smile and walked of, pausing at the end of the stage to throw a perfect sneer at Andre, the MC.

We scooted out to the ladies' lounge and she changed clothes while I mixed the purple and white makeup to get the right shade of lavender. I slathered her, having a terrible time getting an even coat. But we did, and dashed back out to take out places as 19th in line. 15 was just up.

We got out, showed the clothes and then hit a pose in mid-stage until the music started. 40 seconds of dance, and then off stage for pictures. We had a lot of flashbulbs go off for us.

The judge worked very hard before announcing the winners. Bunny took "Best Young Costumer" and she and I were dubbed "Unofficial evening's entertainment." She went up, still in twi'lek, and Seth (the judge) said "Where's Narcissa?" Bunny did the Victor/Victoria thing, took off her Lekku and said "Does this help?" shaking out her long blonde hair and sneering.

We went back and cleaned up, after we'd gotten our pictures snapped a few more times. Those boobs were heavy. They give a whole new look to belly-rolls.

We changed and goofed off for a while, and finished the movie. [18]

My 10-12 workshop: building a body-double had no attendees, so the "Bad Fannish behavior" panel got to run a second hour.

I grabbed some lunch, and headed for my 1 PM: costuming on the cheap. if i had to sum up that one: Thrift Shop! We talked about our favorite ways to cut back on costume prices. "Anyone with a big enough bankroll can buy the licensed stuff, but it takes far more ingenuity to see three sheets, some rope and a bit of glitter as a Greek goddess."

From 2-4 I worked registration. Why on earth do i keep letting myself get roped into Reg Desk on Sunday? Let me read some interesting comments. one lady thought MWC needs gofers on door duty to help people find bathrooms, panels etc, and to basically mentor folk who have come to their first con alone.

I checked on Bunny, who had fallen asleep and was late to her 3 PM panel. Snape scolded her for that, as it was the Students and Teachers panel. Snape inform ed me the child needed a "revivification potion." i held up my coke and said "I offered."

From 4-6 we played "Whose line is it anyway?" I got to be shot in a Hotel kitchen (political drama), mediate a sword duel (complete with bad dubbing when we hit martial arts movie) and generally play. Waldo and Spencer are great fun. Bunny does a pretty fair Ah-nold impression. i understand it went to 7, but I left at 6 to run vids.

I saw Demon Under Glass. Garret Maggart and Jason Carter! Oh man! I see why people write slash for this one. That DIP! But otherwise so very, very bad, utterly laughable dialogue. And an hour of movie trailers will exhaust anyone. Seed of Chucky, The Day After Tomorrow, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, A Series of Unfortunate Events and others.

Then I had to fool a bit with The Two Towers EE to get captioning and actor commentary running. Dom and Billy just dominate the conversation. Chris Lee has a wicked sense of humor and Andy Serkis is just cool to listen to.

I left halfway through to go to the Zine Reading Room. The Fan fund Auction went well. I read some zines. one had a Legolas/Gimli with an interesting premise but Weepy!Legolas and too many exclamation points. i didn't think 3000 year old elf-princesses were supposed to squeal like teenyboppers. I also gave up on a Starsky and Hutch story when a penis started "creeping up his belly." ooo, disembodied zombie penises!

Dragged in and packed a bit. Bunny too tired to undress, talked her into removing her robes. Watched some of my music vids while jkb collated zines. She thinks Mudd is a bit warped. [19]

For some silly reason, i had a 9 AM panmel on Monday.

I honestly didn't expect anyone, and we had half a dozen.

It was what i called "There's het in my genfic!"

We agreed that to open a zine labeled "gen" and get het thrown at us was offensive. I suggested we submit QAF fic to gen zines. It's canon, and they are gay, therefore it's gen, right?

It was a fun discussion.

Bunny and i packed, and i was bemoaning the headwind.

Then we made our goodbyes and set out.

And drove forever. I think Iowa deliberate keeps moving Des Moines westward. I had to take about 2 naps to get us into Dad's safely at 3 AM. [20]


  1. ^ Source: archived MediaWest*Con 2004 page.
  2. ^ Archived link to the 2004 Convention Page; WebCite for the 2004 page.
  3. ^ Archived link to the 2004 Convention Page; WebCite for the 2004 page.
  4. ^ Archived link to the 2004 Convention Page; WebCite for the 2004 page.
  5. ^ Waldo WebCite;
  6. ^ Muttering to Myself, Report #1, dated June 1-3, 2004, calista-echo, Archived version and Muttering to Myself, Archived version
  7. ^ dated June 6, 2004, Joanna K. Blaidd - Another MWC report -- panels this time
  8. ^ see for more comments Short term memory loss sucks, Irene Heron, dated May 31, 2004
  9. ^ P.R. Zed - Home Again, Archived version
  10. ^ June 1, 2004 Joanna K. Blaidd - MediaWest rocked!, Archived version
  11. ^ June 2, 2004 Joanna K. Blaidd - The joy of classic zines, Archived version
  12. ^ June 6, 2004 Joanna K. Blaidd - MediaWest: The View From the Pocket -- Sheep*Con, Archived version
  13. ^ tenaya, June 5, 2004 Sweetpea Manor Musings - MediaWest Con Report, Archived version
  14. ^ June 2, 2004 Qurinas - Media*West 24 Con Report Part 1, Archived version
  15. ^ KimberlyFDR, June 6, 2004 Welcome to My Filthy Mind - I'm Still In His Pants, Archived version
  16. ^ The Den of Debauchery's Subannex - Friday, May 28: the Fun Begins, Archived version
  17. ^ Vid Show Report The Den of Debauchery's Subannex - Friday Continued, Archived version
  18. ^ The Den of Debauchery's Subannex - Saturday, May 29: 5 panels, gofering and masquerade, Archived version
  19. ^ The Den of Debauchery's Subannex - Sunday, May 30, in which Angel kills herself gofering, Archived version
  20. ^ The Den of Debauchery's Subannex - Monday and Con wrap-up, Archived version