Lots of news!
Plus hitting the big 6000, I have also been publishing my own weekly e-zine, called Wyrdzin <http://web.archive.org/web/20001213184000/http://www.punkwalrus.com/list.html> (pronounced /WEERD-zeen/), and as I wrote this, my fifth issue is about to come out! It has updates, humor, links, weird news, and a weekly rant. I would suggest subscribing. The list page will soon have an HTML version of this newsletter, and as things progress, I may soon have an HTML version of the newsletter if I think I can swing it weekly. Some of you noticed the main index page on the Punkadyne site has changed, along with the description of the mail list. Some more tantalizing clues of what Punkadyne Labs is doing has been revealed behind tantalizing "coming soon" buttons. Yes, more on the Fandom Forum later this year. Some of you know I have been planning "The Fandom Forum" message area since the days of Silverdragon, and while this is still being worked on, the Beta test was considered a success (until Silverdragon burned down). Someone had mentioned the old days of the FanTek BBS, and how FanTek should try Yahoo Clubs. So I added one in this URL:
Just before Katsucon weekend, my friends Rogue, Jeni, Sara, Moria, Cheryl, and my family took a long road trip to Eaton, PA to see Weird Al
Yankovic <http://web.archive.org/web/20001213184000/http://www.weirdal.com/> in concert again. We had seats one row behind front, and right next to the isle (Weird Al sometimes goes into the audience). His performance was spectacular, as always. We're planning another one soon when he comes by our way again.
More snow hit our area. Of course, it came just before our regular shopping day, which we had to delay until Saturday because Artoo had to
visit the vet. It turns out the lump they removed off his neck was not cancererous, so that's good. But shopping before a major snow storm
around here is like looting before a nuclear holocaust. Our house had also been planning heavily for Katsucon. Christine, aka Katsu-mom,
bought several loads of convention staff food, and it filled our already small kitchen. I planned for registration, as well as practicing
techniques for the Cosplay half-time show, where your truly made a fool of himself along with Gopher, John, Pocky, and Tristan McAvery of
voice-over fame. If you were in the DC metro area you may have seen me at Katsucon.
Katsucon was a blast. We had over 2400 people show up (despite a winter storm scare), and I met most of 'em going through Registration. That was a LOT of hard work. I know this comes as no surprise to anyone, but I began to remember some of the headaches of large conventions this time around. I would say fandom is 99.9% nice people, but in a convention of 2400, the equates to roughly two dozen jerks that nearly ruin the con for everyone else. We had our share of shoplifters and vandals as well as just plain idiots like the hentai club put up their flyers with *spray on adhesive* all over the hotel, leaving indelible streaks of glue and torn wallpaper in their wake.
But the other 99.9% were well worth it. We had four video rooms running most of the time (one ran through the whole con). We had guests, panels, and programs for all anime fen. The Washington Post covered the event <http://web.archive.org/web/20001213184000/http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/wplate/2000-02/14/038l-021400-idx.html>, and this year, we had a few television cameras make it through. I also got to see my friend Steve, whom I hadn't seen since like 1995. And now I have his e-mail address! Hahaha! He's no longer safe from me! But seriously, seeing someone from my graduating class is about as rare as
an apology letter from the IRS. Especially in fandom.
I also resigned as Head of Registration, which I had been planning to do before the convention, and this was no surprise to the Katsucon folks, who were surprised I lasted this long. What started as a "sure, I'll help out ... how about volunteering for a few hours at the registration desk?" became, "Oh, man, another year of running one of the most intense, nonstop, no-rest, volunteer-draining jobs in a convention." After three years, I wanted to move on. I think I will be recruited as a pre-reg organizer, along with working with promotions and programming. Maybe now I will actually get to *see* some of the convention.
Afterwards, I got some sort of Martian Death Flu, which is why these updates are slightly delayed. It knocked me out, and got Christine a
week later. I have never had a sickness like that kick my sorry butt so bad since... a long time. Since my last Strep infection, I guess. Ugh. Because of this, I got waaaay behind at work, and waaaay behind in e-mail. So while going through my e-mail, I came across a small,
unassuming note from and old friend: I forgot his birthday.
Mr. Neal Whitman, my best friend since 4th grade, and my best man at my wedding. When he moved away to Texas when we were 12, we faithfully sent letters in the form of cassette tapes every month, sometimes more than 5-6 at a time. They only slowed down when I got married at age 20. I didn't have many (if any, except you, Steve) friends between the ages of 12-15. Neal inspired me, though. His rapier wit and sense of daring told me how to rebuilt a life; how to escape the nerd image. He showed me that no matter what people think of you, you can always go elsewhere and rebuild yourself. Then I learned from him, you didn't have move elsewhere after all.
And I forget his birthday almost every year. I have a good reason, though. It's because I suck. Royally suck. I also forgot my friend Jason
Aufdenberg's again. I am trying this new campaign, "Be a friend of Punkie, and he'll forget how old you are getting..."
In other news, I am slowly but surely trying to get my second book out. My illustrator/typesetter will be Kris Trader, famed local cartoonist. I am planning to have this out by Imaginecon. Finally, they are getting back to me! I should have an idea of what panels I will be attending, plus my major book signing (which is why I hope to have that book out!). I have also found out that WSFA is not dead, although Disclave is, and they officially conceded the Memorial day Weekend to BSFS's Balticon, who will probably be taking it in 2001. This is kind of weird one, I got used to Balticon being on Easter weekend, but then again, I didn't care for the mundane Easter brunchers on Sunday getting in the way of the convention, and I am sure I am not the only one.
Planning has already started for Imaginecon and Castlecon. Strange Tea will be doing at least two skits, possibly four. Time will tell!