Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Miss Cranky Pants went to another convention

This past weekend, I received a pass to the 39th annual CoastCon in Biloxi, Mississippi. It's nearly identical to Biloxi's Geekonomicon, but has apparently been around decades longer. If CoastCon were one of a litter of kittens, it would be the runt. No offense. Runts are cute aren't they? Tiny con is tiny.


I was dealing with tremendous pain, sleep deprivation, and muscle weakness. My norm, yes, but worse than usual. I struggled greatly to get through this experience. I couldn't wear jeans or a standard bra due to my pain level (the heart monitor electrodes burned my skin in a couple of places), so I was basically in my pajamas. Not a big deal at an event like this, although I did try not to look like I just crawled out of bed. I'm not sure the effort was successful. I was hell on wheels.

I helped with the Whovian table as usual. They're great, and I always appreciate that they put up with me. Metro and the Krewe were also there, and I made sure to say hi. We were in a separate, smaller area from them for whatever reason. The folks on either side of the Who table were lovely, but I hated hated hated the location. Hated it. Occasional visitors aside, being surrounded by blank walls and poor lighting was depressing in already difficult circumstances.

Staff didn't quite have their act together. Volunteers are awesome people, but it's helpful when delegates have a system that's utilized and works consistently.

Some exhibitors' passes were $0.00, while others were charged $25.00. Neither price, for the record, is the amount we were told to expect. While it's nice that some didn't have to pay, it was pretty aggravating that other exhibit volunteers were charged, especially a higher price than we were told.

"Parking is free when you're in the right place at the right time otherwise you'll be forced to pay $5.00 a day may the odds be ever in your favor but this is not our fault so we'll continue to advertise that parking is free" is not an acceptable way to conduct business. Either it's free or it's not. Collaborate, decide, and make it happen consistently for every attendee. This makes me crazy. Crazy, I tell you.

Four decades, folks. I already know I'm not the first person to bring these issues up over the years, yet nothing has changed.

They could stand to pay attention to other cons in the region, some of which run quite smoothly. Time Fest in NOLA is a fine-oiled machine. If there are problems, I know nothing of them. And that's how it should be. The folks behind it know how to delegate and communicate with their volunteers. Everybody knows their place and does their job properly, at least as far as I'm aware. And it's less than five years old.

That's all I have to say about that.

In spite of what looks like a scathing review above, I didn't feel or act angry, only mildly frustrated under the surface. I wasn't the only one. I encountered a lot of people who were tired and had a case of the blahs in general. I made a joke at one point about the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Do we need oxygen? Are the lights frying our brains? What in the world is wrong with us? We had some laughs, and I'm always grateful to see friends, so I'll try to forget the weird moments and think about the good.

A few pictures, then. :-)

This young lady's TARDIS costume was exquisite.
I had to ask her for a photo.

My adorable peeps.


Much love for @toadsagecosplay.
One of the best cosplayers on the coast.

Sweet K-9. His handler is pretty sweet too.

My usual TARDIS selfie. Sorry, it must be done.

I'm in no way willing to come to terms with this, but I'm getting to the point where I'm too sick and weak to handle these events, or the public or even daily life in general. I always get so mad when people are rude enough to suggest that I should give up or that I should stay home because I'm disabled, but in this moment I feel like I'm being forced to tell myself to do just that. It's disheartening.

Sleep deprivation, CKD, and HKPP are a disastrous combination. The fact that I'm mobile at all is a miracle. I don't take it for granted. But I'm going to have to seek further help. I'll discuss sleep and cognition with my docs, and I'm planning to get estimates for a power chair setup. I don't know how I will obtain one, but I know I need one and I have for a long time. I've talked to MDA about it in the past. Their resources are limited and their chairs are reserved mostly for ALS patients, understandably. Anyway, we'll talk again in May.

I've rambled on enough. Time for bed. My birthday is in two weeks. Hard to believe I've made it this far.