The trouble with the Rock Creek Park area of DC is that it's really hilly. Our hotel is on a hill, and while popping down to the McDonalds next door was as easy as falling of a log, the uphill climb kicked in my asthma, and I had to eat while wheezing. I took my inhaler, but now I need to rest, making me miss the "Reverse engineering" panel. That was the last panel I wanted to attend for the day.
Again, today, I tried to strike up some conversations, but either I was out of my league, or I was... snubbed is too harsh and unfair a word, I just think they were shy. I don't feel hostility, just a kind of unwillingness to mingle with people outside their band of friends. I wish stodgycat had been able to make it. One of the main reasons I like going with him to places is he's not shy about starting conversations with total strangers. I still come off as awkward. I know a lot of my friends who know me in fandom find this hard to believe, but outside my element, I find it hard to break the ice. So I think it's just a bunch of awkwardness on each of our parts.
One of the issues I have is that so many people here are so much smarter and dedicated to their craft than I am. I considered the usual route, "I'll just make freinds with Shmoo folks, and work my way in that way." But then I thought, "Do I want to do that? How do I know these people are ethical? I mean, we are talking about indescriminate hackers here." Some caveats verbally given by speakers have been, "I don't care what you do with this information, I don't advise unethical and illegal hacking, but here's a neat trick if you do..." Many Type A personalities abound, and I watch them dominate their small subgroups, and I can't say I am comfortable with people who constantly downplay "the bourgeois" as a bunch of ape-like morons who don't know anything. I mean, come on, that's so high school clique-ish. I wish I could say it was uncommon in my leauge, but I'd be lying.
I have only seen two people I know, and both of them... I don't want to associate with. One of them recognized me on sight, and made some passive gloating comments about "the death of FanTek," until I ditched him at the only vendor at the con, Culture Junkie. I guess he was used to being ditched, because I was still being subtle. I just said, "Excuse me for a moment, I need to see those books over there," and he didn't follow but wandered off. I'll see him at Balticon, I am sure of it, and he'll do the same thing. Our meetings go like that for years, even when he came to Evecons. He always tries to get me to come to another con, too, whom I won't mention, but after he slams FanTek, do I really want to come to a con of people like him?
I saw someone else I knew from way back, but she's so leech like, I avoided her at all costs. I don't know her technical skill at all, and I was surprised to see here at the con. She was in an alt.2600 tee shirt, lots of Nancy buttons, an army green backpack covered with sharpie drawings of angels and skulls, and a large purple hat. I have seen her at cons for years, and she has attended panels I have hosted. She usually knits in the front row, and talks to the panel members like the audience behind her doesn't exist (interrupting questions and so on). Once she latches onto you, she just follows you around the con. Luckily, she seems to be with her own group of friends, so she might have the attention she needs.
I feel bad not wanting to be with these people. I feel like I am snubbing them, and I am a hypocrital putz. But I'd rather be alone than be with the psychodramatic, you know?
So now I am wheezy, bored, and ... well, Brad is coming over, and I am spending the rest of the evening with a great friend. So, nyah on Shmoocon! :-P