Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GenCon: Morning of Day Zero

So. Here I am. Indianapolis. Again.

My goal is to do at least one post per day while I'm here - in the evening, before I crash. If I beat the alarm up (like I did this morning), I may also post in the mornings. And if I have signal and a spare moment or two during the day, I may post then, too.

I love it, here. Not enough to deal with the climate much of the time, but for a week out of the year, I can handle it.  And the weather this week sounds like it'll be remarkably Seattle-like. So I'm oddly not fearing the weather like I usually do.

The culture here is a bit weird to me, though. We're very squarely midwestern, but parts of town are trying so very hard to be Southern.  Trying hard enough that they actually have good sweet tea more often than not.

You can't find good sweet tea in any restaurant in the Seattle area. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

We're staying in the Crowne Plaza Downtown Union Station. It's our fourth year in this hotel and the third in a row.  We really like it here. It's attached by skybridge to the convention center (near the vendor entrance to the exhibit hall, which is extra-convenient), and we've never had a problem with the hotel.

We've stayed in a couple of other hotels in past years with mixed results - one of them was close to a mile walk to get to the exhibit hall; one of them couldn't seem to get the air conditioner working in our room; the list goes on and on, really.

I'm not saying this hotel is perfect. For example, most of the rooms face an internal courtyard which is lit all day and night. So if you rely on outside light as a cue to wake up, this is not the place for you. They also have these white plaster statues called "Ghosts" everywhere dressed like it's the Golden Age of Railroads. Some people find them creepy. And it's right on the rail line, so some rooms shake every time a train rolls by (which is often).  But none of these bother me.  The light thing makes it easier for me to wake up in the mornings, and the others are non-issues.

Last night, we went to Champps. The burgers are good, and the jalapenos on their nachos are bright green, fresh, and still crisp. Something I can't find in Seattle. It used to be an Asmodee tradition, too. In large part because Champps used to do trivia on Tuesday night, and we gamers love to dominate at trivia. But they dropped that, so it's not something we do as a crew anymore.

Today's schedule:

In about an hour, we'll be meeting with the crew to set up. Apparently they hired professionals to lay carpet this year (thank you, Carol, for making the necessary arrangements). It means setup will go much more quickly than in past years, because the carpet will be in place before we start setup. And we won't have to lay the carpet ourselves (which is a lot of work and is tricky to get right).

After setup, we may be doing a team dinner. I also have friends in from out of town for the show, so if there isn't an Asmodee Team Dinner, we might munch with friends. And I may do my annual Chick-Fil-A dinner (which may not be a big deal by next year, if their plans pan out).

Tonight, I'll be reading rulebooks and prepping for games I haven't seen before. And there will be a few of those.  I'll also be refreshing games I saw the rulebooks for but which I haven't seen in person - again, a few of those.

It's going to be a good week. I have that feeling already.

Looking at the names of the folks in the crew, it's going to be a good year.

I can't wait to share it with you.

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