But I have some regrets.
One huge regret is that I didn’t remember to thank DD-B at Closing Ceremonies for his incredible photos and prints that made the ConSuite even more wonderful. Especially that photo of Doug. All the tears.
Another regret is that I didn’t hear every piece of music being played. Seriously, everything I heard was so so good. The Tooles were so damn good I was mad at myself for every performance that I have missed. So much energy, and just infectious joy. The Nate Bucklin Band were as sharp as bands that have been together for forever, and had just as much nostalgia. Excellent. And man, Riverfolk can effing play. I was so salty for every song I missed.
Adam’s concert? Just, come on. What?
Sister Tree was incredible. They are so talented and warm and loving. Kerri and Dee have something really special and I was just entranced. I’m so lucky to have Dee as a sister and get to be her fan girl all at the same time.
And then there is Cats Laughing. They were just everything. All the things you want from a show they gave us. They were so tight, so full of electricity, so happy to be there. They fed off the crowd and we fed it right back. If you haven’t seen the show you should just buy that DVD. I don’t make any money from it, so just trust that I mean it.
I was so honored to host the High-Roller Backer Dinner for Beyond Conventions before the show. What an awesome thing it is to buy dinner for such a fun and funny group of people.
And being asked by my brother to MC the entire concert? That will be one of my proudest moments until I die. To be the person he thought could do justice to this amazing thing he has just manifested? I just desperately wanted to do it right. I mean... Who the heck gets to do that?! I wont talk much about my part because why would I bother? I mean, I’m an egomaniac and not even I cared about what I was saying or how I was doing.
But, I do want to share a moment that was special for me. After they finished their power set of sock-rockin and ground moving music the band headed off stage. I just couldn’t look at them. It was too much. I just couldn’t have a check in with them in the context of show details, or even for just sharing a moment with my family or friends or people I worship. I just had to look down at the ground as they passed me and then make my way up the stairs. I was full on fan. If I had looked at my father I would have cried. And I just think when you fan-girl that hard at your father it will make Christmas dinners pretty awkward..
So, head down, I just screamed at the top of my lungs as they passed. And then I got on stage and I got to share some of that glory they had created. The audience was so completely grateful and I was one of them. As I did the most unnecessary round of hype-girling, I meant it so hard but that audience just didn’t need it at all. I realized later that my roof-raising gestures was so heart-felt that my arms are still a little sore today. It was just this complete moment of perfection. I looked out at this cheering crowd and felt the energy and I was so completely grateful.
The rest of the night, after the concert, I got to hang out with Aliera, Amanda, Jen, and Karina and we ran around and had awesome bathroom-couch adventures and silliness and it was so great. Best friends and the best.
Opening and Closing Ceremonies were in some ways awesome and others a little sad. I will miss Dave ushering in and waving off our fabulous little con. That is a tradition that I have always loved. It’s going to be hard to bring the funny as consistently as he has. But I am honored to have the chance to try.
There were music circles that I will remember forever. Uncle Johnny and Lojo playing tunes together? Lojo playing Vodka in the Jar. Johnny playing Parting Glass. Dave Clement playing the Mary Ellen Carter. Scott Keever playing really anything. Patrick and my Dad have some freaking musical chemistry. And PNH has this richness and authenticity that I so admire and wish he was around more to share with us. Nate playing Shine on Everybody’s Moon. So much yes.
It wasn’t just the music though. The Bozo Bus Tribune was so fun this year. After every awesome thing that happened I felt compelled to run and find Thorin and beg him to turn my pile of emotions and superlatives into something he could use. I managed to restrain myself from making the entire publication Toni’s Reviews of Con. But just like barely.
The ConSuite was so well run. The bar was excellent. Tart Cider! Delicious Sidhe beer! Blog. And our GOHs were all kind and impressive and generous.
I could not be more grateful to my whole Minicon family. I have grown up with all of you, and I absolutely know how lucky that has made me. Coming back from Portland because we missed our people and showing up just in time for Con was, as my mother would have said, mystical. So, for everyone to be so welcoming and loving to Karina really shouldn’t have been so surprising. The sheer volume of love and support is stunning and I am so completely thankful.
There were those stupid boys who went all GamerGate on Karina when she was trying to volunteer. That sucked and I was ashamed of our community. And then something cool happened. Every single person was super angry about it. Everyone. Even, and especially maybe, Matt who was running games.
We have built an amazing community for ourselves. I simply could not be more grateful. Never leave me.
I am the proudest daughter and sister and fangirl there ever was.