I’m going to split this into 2 posts, because there’s quite a bit to cover.
Just as I was about to leave the office to get things started, I got a text from Jen explaining that she felt absolutely horrible and was running a fever of almost 102°. (Prescience. I has it.) So I drove home prepared to scrap the entirety of PAX and take care of my wife for the weekend instead.
However Jen was adamant that we go without her. Not only would give her a chance to rest in a quiet house, it would also help keep Daphne from catching what she had. Both fine points, and I begrudgingly agreed with the caveat that she have her mom come by on Friday to check up on her.
So we packed our stuff into the car and headed toward Seguin at about 6:00. (3 hours later than I really wanted to leave, but I’d been stuck in a meeting at work.)
45 minutes later, we were just about reach Columbus…
For those not from Texas… We were about that far.
when a thought occurred to me.
“Did I pick up the convention badges?”
And my brain’s quick response was…
“No, smackerhead, you did not. I kept trying to tell you that you’d forgotten something…”
And so we U-turned and drove the 45 minutes back home to pick up the badges that I’d oh-so-helpfully placed on the counter, so I wouldn’t forget them.
At this point it was almost 8pm, so I cooked Daphne some meatballs and pasta and took her upstairs to play until 9:30. Then put on her pajamas and carried her out to the car seat where we began Road Trip to PAX: Take Two. And I wore both badges around my neck the entire time (and for the entire drive), as a sort of penance for being so scatterbrained.
Fortunately it took about 10 minutes for Daphne to fall asleep (thank you new car seat!) and the trip out to Seguin was relatively uneventful.
Hasn’t quite paid for itself, but Thursday night was definitely a good-faith down payment.
We co-slept in the guest bed once we arrived and both of us slept rather fitfully.
Watched a bit of Little Baby Bum as I tried to figure out how I was going to get ready and leave. Eventually handed her off to my mom after breakfast and I showered and dressed and headed out at around 10:15. Which meant I completely missed Chris Perkins’s 10:30 opening keynote:
Fortunately, it’s already online.
Chris encapsulates beautifully what I’ve always felt about the shared improvisational storytelling inherent in D&D. It’s capable of creating experiences every bit as important as “real ones,” and the days I spent with friends DMing are among my most treasured memories.
Okay, moving on.
So I got there and hit the Expo Hall.
I wandered around for a while, snapping up a couple hard to find pieces.
I got the very last U-wing on the sales floor, for example.
Then I watched Complexity get wrecked by brand new (and unsigned) team, Ghost…which had to be a little embarrassing.
Then, after taking the aforementioned meeting in a “quiet” corner of the Freeplay Gaming Tables for an hour, I headed to the Patrick Rothfuss event.
My seat wasn’t nearly as good as the video below.
I actually purchased the book that he reads in this video, and went to the signing he talked about later that evening.
There was a moderate debacle involving the migration of two separate lines that I won’t bother getting into, suffice to say it took over 2 hours before I could get through the line (despite being there an hour before he arrived), and have Mr. Rothfuss to sign Daphne’s copy of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle.
But when I did, I was determined to make those hours worth it…
Me: “Hey, Patrick! Mind if I jump back there for a second?”
PR: “Uh… Actually, I do. If you could just stay ov- oh God no…”
Me: “Don’t worry. There’ll be no touching.”
Me: See? I’m not touching you. I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU!
To which he reflected, while signing Daphne’s book, “These get weirder and weirder the later the evening goes.“
“You know, I don’t think it’s us.“
He laughed. “No. No, it’s definitely all on this side of the table.“
At which point he handed me Daphne’s signed book, we smiled at one another, and I walked off.
And if you watched the video above, you’ll understand why Daphne will be allowed to actually read that book in about 10 years. (So I’m not considered a “monstrous f%#king parent.”
After this I had some dinner at Tony Roma’s (which is an old collegiate favorite of mine), and then drove back to Seguin.
And that was Thursday and Friday.
See you tomorrow for the wrap-up.