Been thinking hard about this since the election…(or: As far as I will get into politics right now)

IMAG1871

I am a Canadian living in America.  I’ve been in America since I was three.  This is important to remember, because I am about to take you on a long ride.

During the election, I was telling everyone it was their *right*, as protected by the Constitution, to vote whichever way their heart desires.  I still stand by that.  I will stand by that until I breathe my last breath.  (Then I *might* re think it, but I doubt it.)

This is freakin’ AMERICA folks.  I was reading the “news” (Because, really… what is news except something that agrees with your point of view), and saw a phrase that said something like “The land of opportunity, where a shop keep’s kid can grow to be a millionaire” or something like that.  It happened with our president; real-estate mogul to president.

I’m not a fan of Trump, never claimed to be.  Wasn’t a fan of any of them.  I wasn’t going to tell anyone how to vote.  I was not going to through my voice into the pool of useless threats of “If you don’t for x you vote for z” or, inversely, “If you don’t vote for z, you vote for x”.

If the system worked, we might have had Bernie against Trump… if the system worked, some people would not have WANTED to vote 3rd party… BUT… it didn’t.  We had Hillary and Trump.  Two opposites that nobody trusted and everybody had to be weary of.

We’ve had the government, who decides who they want to be in charge, and tries their hardest to make it so.

We’ve had the media (Yes… the media played a BIG part in this), who slanted and yellowed their journalism to the sides they wanted, totally being dickheads and jamming things down our throats.

So, now that the media basically ran the election, and put in someone who has no official political background as president, here comes the post-election talk about leaving (for the 5 time in 20 years Canada’s immigration page crashed.  Want to guess when the other times were?) People are looking at Australia, Ireland, England, and even Mexico.

People are scared.  I have seen reports of Trump supporters threatening minorities and women, but I have also seen video of people beating the CRAP out of Trump supporters, or even people who they *think* *might be* Trump supporters. (Apparently, being white, male, and driving a “gas guzzler” is a crime around here)

People are scared.  NO ONE has the right to tell them to *Get over it*, that they are *over-reacting*, or *ANY* of that bullshit.  If people are scared, people have that right.

I’ve heard Liberals, who were all about gun control previously, threatening to take up arms; Conservatives, who were screaming about THIS election being rigged, suddenly doing an about face and saying “well, this is the democracy in action”.

I’ve seen finger pointing.  A LOT of finger pointing.

Finger pointing at the people who decided to “sit this one out”, pointing at people who decided they just COULD NOT STAND to see either Hillary OR Trump in office and voted third party, at the DNC, the Government. ALL THE FINGER POINTING.

STOP.

I’m going to say this, and I will once again say it (and will with my dying breath too), America voted.  America chose. By the rules that were set by those before us, America decided it wanted Trump as president.  Saying “He’s not *my* president” is fine… but if the Electoral College votes he is and you are a citizen or live down here, he actually IS your president for 4 years.

2016 election results map

Be scared.  I am not going to tell you that you can’t.  Hell, *I’m* scared.  He is an unknown.  According to everything you’ve watched and heard, he is a sexual predator (MIGHT want to do some research into that, btw… just for your own clarification, and not let the media choose how you’re going to think), he has bankrupted several corporations, he has said he is going to build a wall and ban ALL Muslims, he has insulted at least 282 people, places, and things.

BE SCARED if you are scared.  Then do something (peacefully, of course).  One of the things said to me while I was telling people to vote the way they wanted to, was “The presidential race is NOT the place to be starting that. Do it at a lower level first, work your way up the chain.” Okay.  You’ve seen where the two party system has gotten us up on high… now we have a chance to change it.

A couple people have jokingly said to me, “Oh, well, you’re okay, YOU can just go back to Canada”…  Actually, you’re right.  I can. But I have lived in America since I was three.  I have had all my schooling here, made all my friends (Before this thing called “the internet” was around) down here, married down here… why the HELL would I want to “go home”?  This IS my home. This is my country by choice.  This is what I see…

I see scared people.  I see gloating people.  I see people crashing other countries’ immigration sites.  I see mean people.  I see people so sucked into what the media tells them that they won’t take a shit or talk to their neighbor unless the media says it’s good for them (both are, btw… but not at the same time.)

I have been asked to 4 different protest groups on Facebook.  No, not asked… ADDED.  Every one of them is inciting violence in some form or another.  I bowed out.

  • Didn’t condone it against the last president
  • Won’t condone it against the next, even though I don’t agree with who it is.
  • Or the one after that.
  • Respect the office, if not the person.

If you’re scared, if you’re angry, if you’re hurt… educate yourself on what the constitution actually says. Wake up, educate yourself, and don’t just listen to what our sides’ media tells us.  Do something on that local level people were talking about.

constitution

It’s NOT going to be “great” again.  It will never be like it was before this election cycle again.  Like when the gas prices went from 1$ to 4$ in under a year… then crawled down to 3$, and 2$.  Everybody went “Oh, that’s better!”… it wasn’t where it was.  There was no “again” in that.  Or when last year, the HIV druglord went “Oh, I’m going to raise this 5000%!” and there were screams and cries and “don’t you care, you brute?” and he said “haha, just screwing with you, it’s only going to be raised 300%(or something)” and everyone said, with an exhalation of breath “Oh, that’s better”… not the way it was… not better there was no “again” in that.

Which brings me to this:

I’m getting naturalized as soon as I can afford to so that I can BE a part of the change, and not just a passive voice.

 

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Schedule for Orycon 38

FRIDAY:

Game Mastering: How not to Lose Your Players

  • Fri Nov 18 3:00pm-4:00pm
  • Sunstone (3)
  • Why “Carpe GM” is a dangerous thing to hear.
  • Scott Woodard, Annie Bellet, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Peter Wacks

Writing and Art for the RPG Industry

  • Fri Nov 18 6:00pm-7:00pm
  • Sunstone (3)
  • A how-to workshop on what it is like to work for the RPG industry.
  • David Boop, Scott Woodard, Josh Vogt, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones

Running Petite Conventions

  • Fri Nov 18 8:00pm-9:00pm
  • Medford (LL1)
  • Advantages and pit falls from experienced, creative con runners.
  • Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Stephen Couchman, Lupa, Julie McGowan

Handling Sexuality with Dignity

  • Fri Nov 18 10:00pm-11:00pm
  • Willamette (L)
  • Writing sex scenes so that everyone can hold their heads (or whatever) high afterward.
  • Peter Wacks, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Debra Stansbury, Peter Jones

 

SATURDAY:

Limits of Inclusivity

  • Sat Nov 19 10:00am-11:00am
  • Columbia (L)
  • In fandom we try to be inclusive, but some behaviors do not deserve to be included. How can we promote a welcoming con culture without making someone feel unwelcome?
  • Josh Boykin, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Elizabeth Adams, Andrew Nisbet

Social Media: time suck or revolution?

  • Sat Nov 19 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Willamette (L)
  • Social media plays an increasingly major role in world events. Some governments have turned off the internet. What role will social media play in future events?
  • Rob Wynne, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Creede Lambard, Andrew Mayer, Ari Goldstein

Using Outdated Game Systems

  • Sat Nov 19 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Salon A (LL1)
  • What do you do when your system thinks the singularity happened in 1990? Is it still worth playing?
  • Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Ari Goldstein, Brian Hunt, Scott Woodard

Paranoia Panel

  • Sat Nov 19 4:00pm-5:00pm
  • Sunstone (3)
  • What if Mulder was right? Our favorite conspiracies and conspiracy books. Which ones might lean toward the truth, and which ones are way out there?
  • Ari Goldstein, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Andrew Nisbet

Tabletop: Recent Favorites

  • Sat Nov 19 7:00pm-8:00pm
  • Salon A (LL1)
  • Tired of settling for Catan? We’ll discuss our favorite tabletop games of recent vintage.
  • Anthony Pryor, Dale Ivan Smith, Wendy Wagner, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Alexandre Muñiz

Star Trek: Momentum

  • Sat Nov 19 9:00pm-10:00pm
  • Columbia (L)
  • Even while the studios were trying to decide how to best leverage the franchise for more dollars from new and younger audiences, impatient fans and writers have kept moving things forward. Things took on a life of their own when fans started publishing their own stories, and this in part led to studio-authorized books, histories, and storylines (there are now well over a hundred). And, of course, this being the digital age, there are now fan *films* on youtube. In this panel we discuss this progression, and whether it’s helped or hindered the franchise. And, yes, we could hardly discuss this without offering up opinions on some successes and duds, be they fanfics, authorized novels, or fan films, so be prepared to discuss your picks.
  • Robert McGown, Rick Lindsley, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, David Bara

Polyamory

  • Sat Nov 19 10:00pm-11:00pm
  • Salon A (LL1)
  • This paneled discussion will explore some of the forms that consensually non-monogamous relationships can take, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Solo, partnered, friends-with-benefits, family, tribe, pod, line marriage, open marriage, webs, polyfidelity and more will be covered. Recommended local and national resources will also be addressed.
  • Jamie Bear, Theresa Reed, Lupa, Sean Robinson, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones

 

SUNDAY:

Gender and Gaming

  • Sun Nov 20 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Willamette (L)
  • Does a gamer’s gender matter? How to play with friends of all genders, regardless of your own
  • Rob Wynne, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Nick Dixon, Brian Hunt

The Changing Face of the Computer Interface

  • Sun Nov 20 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Sunstone (3)
  • Carpal tunnel is killing me! What advances are being made in user interfaces? When will they come out? Or are they already here, and if so, why can’t I get hold of them?
  • Stephen Savitzky, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Frank Hayes, Jeff Soesbe, Matt Huntley, Matt Huntley

Other Upcoming Conventions

  • Sun Nov 20 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Salon A (LL1)
  • Those involved with various conventions or convention bids will be given a brief opportunity (10 to 15 minutes) to speak and answer questions from the audience.
  • Riona Abhainn, Stephen Couchman, Anthony Pryor, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Flori Lima-Steele

 

What is family

GUEST POST!

I have this friend…  not a “friend” friend, this is an actual friend.  She wanted to get her thought on this out, but doesn’t want to start her own blog page yet…

Rhiannon

WHAT IS FAMILY

By Lavender Violet

Everyone has family, but not everyone agrees what the term “family” means.  For some, family is a small group of people who share your blood line, that’s the only connection there is though.  You are born into your family and have no choice as to who these people are.

For others, family is a small group of people you have “collected” over your life.  They share likes and dislikes, they have mutual memories of good and bad times. They are the people you have chosen to share your life with.

Still others believe that family is a large group of people, a group of people that share your blood from as far back as you can imagine.  Aunts and uncles and cousins that you have never met, and you would have to go several branches down the family tree to find the connection, but hey, they’re family!

If you had asked a year ago, I would have told you that family is a combination of that group of people that you are born into and have no choice about and that group you have chosen to have in your life.  I would have said the family you are born into is solid and never changing, and that your chosen family will fluctuate continually, with those that are always there and those that come and go over time.

I would have told you that both families are equally important and without either one you are not complete.  I was known to say things like “she is your sister, you have to love her” or “you don’t have to like your family, but you do have to love them”, and my favorite, “give them time, they will remember they are your family.”

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Then, something happened. What happened isn’t important, but it made me rethink what family is.  This “something” has been eroding my vision of what family is little by little all year and I have now found a new definition of family.  Here is what I think:

FAMILY:

A family is a group of people who love each other, for good or bad.  A family is a group of people who have come together from all walks of life and have connected in some way.  A family is made up of friends, old and new, that will support you without question. Some members of this family may be part of your blood family, but that is not what makes them a part of your group.

Your family can be the brothers and sisters you grew up with.  It can be the friends you made as a child.  A family can be the person you have fallen in love with.  A family can be all of the above, or none of the above, or any combination thereof.

Most of all, a family is what you make it!

You can have anyone in your family, and the flip of that is you can exclude anyone.  I have learned, just because “she is your sister/brother” does not mean you have to love her/him.  Just because they are born into the first family you will have, does not mean they will always be there.  If they are cruel and abusive, you are allowed to kick them out of your life.  If they treat you as their slave and only love you when you do their bidding, you are allowed to say no.

It took me many years to learn this lesson, and even more to develop the strength to put it into action, but I did. It took a family member “disowning” me just because I had the strength to say no.  It took a family member walking out of my life because I would not stop being friends with someone they did not like. It took a family member referring to me as “oh, the little bitch” when my name was mentioned in passing.

These experiences have left holes in my life that will never heal, but I have found that for each person whom I thought would always love me and be there for me, who walked away, I have one more that walked in.

I have my family!  I know who my family is.  Some I have known from the day I was born, some I met in my youth, some have just come into my life in recent years.  Each person I call family is someone I know I can trust.  I have learned this past year, that what makes a person family is more than just love, it is trust.

The popular saying that everyone knows is “Blood is thicker than water” recently I have heard that the original proverb is actually “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”

The second quote has caught my attention.  I have done a bit of research, and will admit I cannot find anything to back up the claim that the proverb was changed.  However I have also found several interpretations of this proverb, and I think I like the longer version better.  The most popular definition I found was that it means that the bond of your covenant (your chosen family) is stronger than that of your birth family (the one that you had no choice over.)

So in the end, if I call you my family, it is because I trust you. If I call you my family, I love you.  If I call you my family, I thank you, for being with me, supporting me and showing me what family really is.

big-group-of-people

Love the one you’re in…

I am not a slip of a woman… I am fat.  I’m 280lbs. I’m also 5’8 (*I* say 5’9”, but my doctor says 5’7”, so we settled on 5’8”), long red hair (well… red auburn, the box said.)

…And I love the way I look. 

Now, this is a problem for most of the world.  Fat chicks aren’t supposed to love the way they look.  We’re supposed to be sad, crying, unloved.

sexy
Does this look like the face of an sad, crying, unloved woman?

Wait, I can do better!

wtf
This is me, sad, crying, and unloved

Once again, I love the way I look.  Want me to say it louder so you in the back row can hear it?  No?  okay.

It’s okay that fashion designers can’t seem to see big women. (Tim Gunn’s article)  Which I don’t understand… because we’re BIG, I don’t hide easily. It’s okay that the cool bras don’t fit me (for some reason, the half cup for a full, 10lb boob just doesn’t work), underwear that fit, well they are getting better about that… and I wear what I affectionately call “Whale thong” underwear.

I’ll spare you the picture of that.

I have a friend who wrote a blog about her stretch marks.  As soon as I read that, I went and looked at myself.  I agree with her.  I love my stretch marks too!  The DO look like the pictures of the rivers under the desert.

stretch-marks
a bit o’ side boob there. This is *me*

I also love the way my stomach looks.  In taking a picture for another friend of mine, to show her the incisions from my hysterectomy, and I realize that my tummy looked cute. 

tummy
complete with war wounds from surgery

My legs look sexy, and I am damn fine.

legs

I love the way I look.

I’m not saying I don’t have bad days, but all in all, I love the way I look.  Overall, my body now fits my personality.

America has a problem.  America has an obesity problem, and a shaming problem.  It’s like “Make up your mind, America!”

According to the CDC, 36.5% of Americans are obese, and we are letting the 63.5% of the (I’m sure) perfectly-healthy-no-eating-disorder people, shame us into being skinny. 

Why?

Why not love yourself, the way you are?

I’m not saying “don’t bother trying to lose weight”… people try to lose weight for all sorts of reasons.  Why not love yourself as you’re doing it? 

art-by-maya-kern
Art by Maya Kern

I gave birth to a 42 year old uterus

So, I went to the hospital on August 25, 2016.  They pulled me into the back room, made me strip, rub myself down with these god awful sticky and slimy wipes (my asshole burned when I ran over it with one), took my blood, worked on finding a spot for an IV, and made me wear a cap.

 

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Before the cap.  all scared and shit
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after the cap, because, you know.. the cap makes you feel better!

I was told the procedure was 2.5 hours.  Though, my procedures ALWAYS take longer.  I mean ALWAYS.

The drug doctor came in (the anesthesiologist, I think they are called… I call them my *best* friend) and asked if I was allergic to anything, I mentioned Morphine. She said she doesn’t use that on *anyone* unless she has to.

Then the gynecologist came in.

I was told my uterus was 6cm so they hypothetically *could* stuff it down my cervix and pop it out my vagina, but my doctor was worried that, since I’d never had a kid, there wouldn’t be space.  I told her to stomp on it, force it down, squish it flat and make it fit.  If she couldn’t I acquiesced to cutting me open, but only to get her foot in there to force it down.  She laughed.  I think she thought I was joking…  I wasn’t joking.

I was hauled back to the operation room, and just as I realized I’d forgotten to talk to the doctor about maybe scraping some of the fat away while she was in there, I was out.

I woke up in the recovery room like… half a minute later (serious long blink there) and I was told it actually took 3 hours and some odd minutes.  Didn’t feel a damn thing, of course.

I think I long blinked again, because suddenly my husband was there, holding my hand, and being a wonderful human being.  And then my friend Mikee, and my father in law, and my roommate  (with my traditional creamcheese and meat bagel!)

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My tradional cream cheese and meat bagel

…and my mum.  My mother in law stopped by a little while later.  Yes, we are very close.  We had two of our friends come with us to the hospital (for my husband) and one stop by later.

 

As I said… I’m not afraid to talk about my operations.  There is no operation too private to be talked about… and I have had my fair share.  I have had a brain surgery, a gall bladder surgery (gall bladder was removed, brain wasn’t), a fatty tissue (that I’d named George) removed from my neck (seriously, it looked like a half formed Adipose!), a wort type thing from my foot when I was a small child, the ablation and the Essure…

So, the doctor said she’d taken everything except the ovaries.  She didn’t have to stomp, everything fit just fine. Nothing of note went wrong.  A textbook surgery.

I gave birth to a 6cm, 42 year old uterus.  I am one happy mother.

In the hospital on Friday, after they took me off the Dilaudid (hereafter called the KO stuff).

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This is what I look like on the KO stuff.
 I was like “Nooooo!!!!  Don’t take me off of that beautiful drug!!!” (Seriously… they inject it into your IV, you can feel the KO to each of your limbs… it’s interesting to feel… and then you don’t, and you wake up an hour later or some shit)

I had this… lady, patient coordinator, I dunno… sticking her face a headbutt away and asking me, “Do yooo have to peee?  Urrrriiinnnnate?”  She was really freakin’ me out… I finally said I was ready just to get her outta my face!

When I got to getting up, I experienced a whole NEW world of pain, I was standing there, tears STREAMING out of my eyes and I felt as though my insides just tilted and collapse.  ALL of them.  I was stuck, standing, but bent over, couldn’t stand upright, couldn’t sit (that hurt too): the weird lady literally screamed that we needed a nurse.  Which brought her boss in.  ALL I wanted was my husband.  They got me sitting, a nurse finally did show, and ran off to get more of that KO shit.

I got back up and the weird woman was trying to help me. I had to shove the walker out of the way, grab the neighboring bed, say “I have my husband.”  To which she said, “Annnd yoooou hiv meee?”  I went into the bathroom and had to damn near close the door on her face.  Literally on her face!  Finally I sat down and Urrriiinnnnaaaated?.  Wiped got up, shoved the toilet paper behind the little giant bowl thing so they can count how many liters I’d peed (if you hit x amount you get to go home!). Then I headed back using the counter, neighboring bed, husband, and finally my bed.   The nurse got back with the KO stuff as they were checking me out… yeah… we had to be there till I woke up again.

Weird lady insisted on taking me out.  She had me in a wheelchair, which she insisted on hitting corners with.  Finally, I was in the car wishing I was still in the hospital.  Every bump on the road, I felt.

So, four days after the surgery, I’m feeling coherent enough to write!

I know it hurts now… it hurts to stand, it hurts to sit…  it hurts to be turned on… when I can be, which has NOT been very often in the past four days.   I have to not watch anything with either of the Chrises (Evans or Pratt), or Tom Hiddleston… or, or, or (insert hot actor/actress here)…. Because it hurts. Have to be careful where I sleep, because my animals are masochistic bastards.  Have to be careful how I eat. Because I’m ALWAYS hungry, so I have to eat small amounts.  It IS getting better.  Promise.  I WILL heal.

Women who are coming after me… You WILL fart… A LOT.  Just let it come out.  The only awkward thing is you’re partially sitting, so farts will come up the front.  But as it’s mostly gas caused by the surgery, it’s odorless and soundless (unless you have a husband sitting in the corner farting too).  And with the KO stuff… constipation.  Haven’t taken a shit since Thursday.  I will feel like I have to, and run into the bathroom and my body will say, “HAHA… made you run!”  I am on anti-constipation drugs every day.  (of course, the Vicodin probably ISN’T helping.)

While we’re on things they never tell you… Pregnant women… you will shit yourself while delivering.  Ruined the surprise!

I think I’ve covered everything.

All that’s left is the obligatory shot of my husband and I before the surgery…

IMAG2218[1]
The nurse tried to charge us money for this!  I told her she should wait till surgery when I most likely would just hand her my wallet!
If you have any questions, let me know!

 

Saying a final goodbye to my uterus(squeamish? Might wanna skip this one)

So, a few weeks ago, I found out, my ablation, which scars the inside of your uterus (I call it the scorched earth procedure) healed.  I had this procedure about a year ago.  Now, when I say “healed”, I mean there IS no scarring left.  Pictures show a bright healthy happy uterus. 

scorchedearth2
Remember this?

I got the Scorched Earth procedure about a year ago, because I had cramps badly.  I know, every woman says that, and to every woman, it’s true.  I thought it was a good trade for two days of bleeding.  Then it became three.  Then four.  I was done.  I researched all the methods to getting rid of them.  I was 41, not planning on having children EVER, and wanted my uterus gone.  Then I came across ablation (that scorched earth thing).  I had three months of blissful non bloody non hurty times. THREE  months!  I’d read about the negatives, and I figured “meh, I’m not *that* special!”  Yeah… I was wrong.  Fourth month, the cramps hit HARD.  Like they were waiting, storing up, hiding in the shadows until I got comfortable with the idea of not having my menstrual cycle (herein known at Shark Week). 

Found on internet

As soon as I did.. BLAMMO!  My cramps *laughed* at the naproxen.  They laughed even harder at the midol.  But! I only spotted for a couple days and that was it.

Fast forward to three months ago.  My GYN found a polyp on the inside of my uterus.  “Huh, that’s weird,” I thought, “that shit is supposed to be scarred.”  They surgery’d that polyp out, thinking that was the cause. 

Then my worst shark week ever.  Seriously.  It felt like someone was wringing my uterus out like a wet bar towel, and I was bleeding Niagara for a week.

My regular doctor was the first I’ve seen who would listen to how bad my cramps hurt. He prescribed Vicodin. All the other female doctors I had seen only told me to suck it up

When I went back for my after-surgery checkup, the doctor showed me the picture, I did a double take.  NO SCARRING.  I flipped out.  She said I may have endometriosis, and that I had done everything I could do, and the final step is to take it out.  I agreed.  I’m not using it, I don’t need to be in pain every month for the next ten years.  I only did the ablation because it didn’t require any cutting, they went up through my vagina, through the cervix, and the knocked me out to do it.

So, an urgent surgery was set up.  It’s tomorrow.  Like… really tomorrow.  I have roughly a week off work, more if necessary. 

What they are going to do, in layman’s terms.  (warning:  visualizers may not want to read this)

They are going to do a laparoscopic incision (actually… pretty sure two.) then they are going to cut my uterus from my fallopian tubes and my cervix.  Then they are going to shove it down through my cervix, to my vagina, sew me up, and pull it out through my girly bits.  OR if it’s too big, they will give me a tiny little incision right above my pubic hair line, and pull it out through there.  At least, I think that’s what the doctor said…

Tomorrow.

Just ate a yogurt (chocolate whipped Yoplait… very nummy) before I can’t eat till after the surgery.

It may be a couple days, but, as you can tell, I’m fairly open about my surgeries.  May describe them crudely, but I’ve never shy’d away from talking about them. 

 

And so it goes on…..

The little gaming con who could

satmorningdrafli16
Saturday morning of Dragonflight, just after we opened the door!

 

 

Dragonflight is a small gaming convention in the Pacific Northwest… at least… until this year it was.  Last year it *might* have hit 400, maybe.  This year, by midday Saturday, it hit over 800. 

This is the second year after the con was coup d’état’d by Amy Gembala, with last year being the last year with the old regime and plenty of politics and firings and leavings in the middle of the year.  Last year, it was light on the RPGs, medium on the board games, uber light on the LARPing and almost nonexistent for the miniatures.

I didn’t come this Friday as I was working at my day job, but Saturday I came to sit our table for our publishing company.  When they opened the door the room was instantly filled.  Compared to last year, where two or three people came in, it was a welcome change. 

About half the attendees are women.  About a 10th of the total attendees are next generation.  These numbers are awesome!  It means that people care enough about gaming to a) perform a Coup d’état to get one of the only actual table top gaming cons in the Northwest back on its feet and save it from looking like a long turd down the crapper, b) care enough about *this* con to have doubled the attendance in a year, and c) get their children involved.  (Take THAT you anti-gaming and “women don’t game” people).

I showed up Sunday not knowing what to expect.  Last year, Sunday was a dead day.  There was no one for the first 2 hours.  It was nice because it meant the dealers got to talk, but it was really no good for business.  Sunday this year was amazing.  When the doors first opened, there were at least 15 people in the room (that’s a lot comparatively), with more people showing within the first half an hour.

I asked a couple of dealers who hadn’t been here in a while what made them come. Dealers like Frog God and Kobold (wonderful RPGs) said it was because they decided they were not doing Gencon this year, live in the area, and chose to come back to the con that they came to as teens.  I asked Zucati (awesome dice and dice boxes) why and they said they were at Gameratti and saw an advertisement for it.  That seems to be the key, advertising wasn’t here before. 

This has always been a fun convention for me.  I have rarely had a bad time at all (aside from not selling very many books).  I’ve always had a fun time bonding with other dealers, as you do when you are in the dealer’s room. 

This crowd both surprises me and makes me very happy.  Dragonflight is thriving.  Tabletop games are thriving.  The proof is here!

*edit:  my French is bad.  Where I said coup de grace, I meant Coup d’état.  Sigh.

 

Update:

  1. From:  Amy Gembala Minor notes – last year’s attendance was 675 and this was my third year as convention director. Next year…1000!!! I’m glad you had a good time. 😀 (Hugs)