Conventions are dangerous, exciting places. Sometimes you meet someone special, as described by The Redhead. Conventions – specifically, fan or hobby conventions, bring together people with mutual interests (and no, they're not all a bunch of online weirdos with no lives). People who enjoy sharing their love for a hobby or an obsession with others love getting together for a good time – and afterwards, they've got connections that they didn't have before. And this is a good basis for starting something – anything – between people.
All this reminds me of how David and I met. It was at a Highlander fan convention October 6th, 1994 in Denver. Jeebus!! That's 10 years ago this fall… so long ago that there's not a lot of places online anymore that have links to that first, primitive Gathering I. I see there have been a lot of subsequent Highlander cons I've missed, but I did hit several of the ones on this list. Going to cons was fun, but after I moved to Chicago (another post, that one) it got harder and harder to get away due to work and whatnot. I'm just lucky that David went to that first one, because he's not interested in going to any other SF conventions – even the big ones held here. Lucky, lucky, lucky that he agreed to be dragged along with Steve and some people from the old Windy City Chat room.
He was from the northwest burbclaves of Chicago and I was from Seattle. I still think it's funny that the best representation of my old neighborhood is somebody's pictures of the Fremont Giant and the statue of Lenin the Artist's Republic of Fremont folks (or people like them) bought for scrap. And David's best "neighborhead" representation is a tourist information center for a shopping mall. Somehow, we got here – it involved a LOT of IMs, high long distance charges, and an intense relationship with FedEx and the US Postal Service. Long distance relationships suck… BUT they can and do work out just fine. I found it helpful to put my hands over my ears and chant "I'm not listening! I'm not listening!" when people tried to warn me about the dangers of meeting those online weirdos.
Strangely, it's all because of these guys. I got online because of the damn show, went and found the other fans over in the old SF areas in AOL, and found out about the first convention in Denver. And met up with some people from Chicago that I had chatted with for months in member room "H I G H L A N D E R." Tagging along? David, who was really there for hiking after the con with Steve. I knew there was something going on when I came back from the vendor's room with a Japanese wooden practice sword, and David left his place waiting in line to go get one, too. We still have them – they're one of the more durable souveniers we have. Nearly 10 years now. Weird. Weird – but good. Very, very good.