Anomalycon 3: Thoughts and ramblings with pictures!

One family enjoying themselves at Anomalycon

I spent this past weekend in a fantastic and improbable place. Some very smart and mad people created a time and space anomaly right inside a hotel in the Denver Tech Center. Hundreds of the quirkiest and geekiest people in Colorado were pulled into this anomaly (I promise, I’ll stop) and all sorts of mostly controlled chaos and fun ensued.

This was my second time attending Anomalycon, a steampunk/alternate history and science fiction convention. Really, the only reason why I went last year was because I happen to know the person who was that right combination of insane and incredibly organized and motivated and started the whole thing and is still in charge. I came back this year because I enjoyed myself so much and because I like supporting cool causes of which new cons ran by friends falls under that category.

I already had an agenda when I went in. I was going to watch every performance of Pandora Celtica because they absolutely rock. In a faerie, acoustic, punk, but not really rock, sort of sense. My husband has spent much time the last year randomly surprising me with their music just showing up in my phone or home, but the live performance is where they go from awesomesauce to completely made of win. This weekend was absolutely no exception. I greatly enjoyed their two shows, and as usual, wish they had performed at least one more time. Though where I would have fit that into the very busy weekend schedule is anyone’s guess.

I spent pretty much all of my time at the con in the writing panels. Thirteen of the twenty panels/performances we attended were in the “writing” room, much to my husband’s dismay. Or so I imagine since he spent the majority of his time reading programming manuals or looking up tech stuff. *sigh* For myself, each panel increased my interest in writing, real writing, and poked at that dream I had put away of ever doing anything with it. The panel on overcoming writer’s block (ugh) sort of knocked loose some of my excuses that I always come up with for why I can’t/won’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t bother. Sometime around Saturday evening during the NanoWrimo panel, I decided that I was going to give this whole thing a go. Again.

There were a finite number of authors/guest panelists, which means that by the end of day two, several of the authors were recognizing me. Rather than hide and shuffle off to a corner as is usual for me. Instead I hung out and talked with them and some of the artists. Some of them even autographed my copy of an anthology they took part in writing, Penny Dread Tales Vol III. Some of them even gave me the go ahead to Facebook-stalk them and I did! O.o Just in case you were curious, that is waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. Majorly so. But, they were really friendly and gave some great advice, and even if I never actually do anything further in writing, I can always watch for their new projects and all that good jazz.

None of that really gives a good indication of what Anomalycon is though, does it? Just me rambling on about stuff. So, let’s go on to pictures! Most of these come from Westword, a local paper that has been coming to Anomalycon all three years.

Authors S.J. Chambers and Gail Carriger at a free-for-all panel

Probably my favorite “costume” of the entire event

Taking a break between events

The tallest member is hiding behind the speaker...

Pandora Celtica!

Gizmos! Gadgets! Doohickeys! Thinga-ma-jigs!

Why not?

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal – Things about me

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal.

Six things about me that make my life a little different from the average Joes’. Huh. At risk of sounding conceited or self-important I’ll give it a go.

1 – I am a nurse on a psychiatric acute treatment unit. Most people don’t quite know what that means, but it basically means that I work on a locked sub-acute unit with people who are suicidal, homicidal, actively psychotic or so gravely disabled that they are not safe in society. It’s basically a half-step below a hospital psychiatric unit. Most everyone I meet and tell them about my job pretty much tell me that they could never do that and good for me.

2 – I was in the Army Reserves. And found the training to be rather easier than I had expected. Honestly, I’m of the opinion that if I could make it through, then pretty much anyone of decent physical health and moderate mental health should be able to. Sure, some people will require an attitude adjustment or more motivation than others, but most of those who didn’t make it through were the ones who I overheard telling others and themselves that even when they were signing up they thought it was going to be too hard for them.

3 – All my experience, especially in psych, has been on the job training. I got my LPN license through the Army and therefore never had any college education and the hospital where my course took place didn’t have a psych floor. We had 1 week to learn about psych and then test and honestly, I couldn’t have told you the difference between a personality disorder and a psychotic disorder. I couldn’t have told you what medications were for what or what the best treatments were. Essentially, I’m amongst the most un-educated clinical staff at the entire agency that I work at.

4 – Despite having been in the Army reserves, or perhaps because of it, I find it hard to be patriotic. I find blind patriotism one of the worst traits in people, right about level with blind religiosity, and annoying. I know that I am privileged to have been born and raised in the US. That doesn’t mean that I think it’s the best country in the world and that everyone should want to live here. It’s got its good traits and its bad traits. I rarely say much about my opinions because the scorn I receive for this way of thinking is really annoying and not worth it.

5 – I speak and understand “Geek.” Apparently this is a rather special and unique thing, at least when I talk to most people. They are fascinated by how I can discuss things like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, World of Warcraft, Ender’s Game, Doctor Who, D&D, Magic, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, basic computer things, and can even fiddle around and figure out my way through typical programs people use at work or home. The fact that I’m female and can discuss and participate in these sort of discussions makes me fascinating to others. This attitude just confuses me, especially when some of the things are such pop-culture things like Harry Potter.

That about covers the random things that make me/my life/my attitude a little more unique or different.