Anyway, since I'm 'here', I might as well recap about Southern Exposure if nothing else. The convention was really a lot of fun if tiny. It was pretty much like seeing the same people over and over again and very few new faces. All in all, it was less a gaming convention than it was a large gameday of sorts. I was estimate that there were at most around 50 people total in the boardgame area at any one time and I have to ponder how this was in any way a profitable enterprise for the company. Hell, I have to wonder just how much money they ended up losing on the deal since that's a far more likely senario. Still, it was a fun time and I enjoyed it lots.
The convention was around 70 minutes away and I had decided to priceline a hotel rather than make the commute. A good idea in the end since there wasn't a single day there I got to bed before 2-3 am and got up after 8. I'm sort of amazed that I can still handle hours like that over a 4 day stretch and not simply die from it. Anyway, the hotel ended up being the most expensive one I had ever pricelined before. In the past I was always able to snatch a hotel for 30 bucks an night whether in columbus or south chicago or wherever. When you tack on tax, that usually makes it around a 35-37 dollar a night stay maximum. This time around, despite repeatedly trying over the course of days, the best I could come up with was a base price of 37 and once you add tax and whatnot pushed it up to somewhere just under 45. It wasn't a big deal though since I had someone to split the room with for 2 of the 3 nights. Randy, someone I had met at dexcon and who I had introduced to our panera gaming group and who had joined the adnd group too, was an old double exposure person (or at least older than I was) and was coming along for firday and the weekend. The other nice thing about the hotel was that there was a free buffet breakfast and there's nothing I like more than one of those.
Anyway, the first night at the convention was pretty empty as you might imagine. I did notice that the Royal Order of Jesters or somesuch was holding a meeting in one of the hotel conference rooms where I was staying. At the convention itself, I signed up to run some of the games and ended up not having to do much when people ended up not showing up. One thing I will say about the convention is that I'm really starting to get to know and like the people I meet there. Having bumped into pretty much the same people at dexcon in a much more cozy environemnt than I was used to for a convention and then meeting them all again now in what was essentially an extended gameday. I think I might even manage to remember a good chunk of their names when the next con rolls around.
In addition to the con's participants, the staff was pretty fantastic. Well, the boardgame staff anyway. I was never actually introduced to any of the other people and I felt like an outsider with most of them. I've got a good feel for the main boardgame people now though and I think I've pretty much been accepted into their odd little group. I felt appreciated for what I was able to help out on and I can't imagine not signing up as a prem member as long as they're willing to have me back each time.
I also can't begin to say enough about the staff suite. I had been super impressed with the con suite at dexcon. This was a room where they provided snacks and drinks at all hours of the con free of charge. There were also special events like sugarfest at dexcon where there was free candy galore and pixie sticks until you'd die of glucose overdose. As a boardgame staffer, I had access to the staff suite and it was unbelievable. They provided free meals throughout the day with sandwhich fixing and hotdogs at lunch and all sorts of hot dishes for dinner. This was in addition to the chips and cookies and soda that were there at all hours. I've never seen a convention where the staff was treated so well in that regard. I ended up spending a hour up there lounging around chatting with people around once a day when there was a break in the schedule. There was also a campfire chili of some sort that should have a gargantuan warning label on it. Now, I'm using to hot and spicy things considering my ethnic background but this was freaking ridiculous. It was too extreme for me and then I was informed that I was eating the 'mild'. I thought the people there were shitting with me but it turns out that it WAS the mild I was sampling. There was also a medium and a hot. Holy crap.
Anyway, I also managed to play in quite a few games while there and won or placed in more than a few picking up prize points. Those can be redeemed at the prize table which kinda sucked this time around. I had picked up 10 at dexcon and that was my goal this time around too. I managed to surpass that with 11.5. I also managed to 'win' the alhambra tournament which means that I get a buy into the finals at dexcon and a free pass. I doubt the latter will come into play much since I'll just be running events as BG staff if they'll have me, but it was still nice.
The only other thing of note is one of the people I met at dexcon because we were in a ton of games togehter was also at southern exposure. IT turns out here's from the area and has a quarterly game/poker day that he invited me to. I reciprocated with an invite to our bi-monthly gamedays and I'm hoping that this means a new addition to the group.
So that's pretty much it. Ubercon is in 8 days, my sister's wedding is saturday, and tommorrow is the wedding rehersal. Lucky me, I also got to go into the dentist today for a root canal. When I told him it felt/sounded like someone was drilling for oil in my head, he offered to split the proceeds with me if he struck any.