Dave, E, and I traveled together to GenCon this year from Wednesday morning of last week through Sunday evening. We flew in earlier than usual and flew out later, which was a huge help though I still can't help but feel like staying through Monday would make things even better (sorry Becky!), but my plans for next year will be interesting as I imagine Becky will be coming along with us.
I had a LOT of fun at GenCon this year, even more than the previous two years. One contributing factor was that many of our high school friends came along also which added a more personal and comfortable feel to being in Indy. Also, they are hilarious people and there always end up being some ridiculous stories. Another big factor was the people who live around the country/world that we know through RPG blogs or who work at WotC that we get to see in person only once or twice a year.
I didn't end up buying all that much this year, which is a good thing, and I could not find a suitable present for Becky which is a problem I'm still dealing with. :D I did buy the latest issue of Kobold Quarterly, an excellent magazine that we also have an ad in. It's always incredible to see something relating to Critical Hits in a physical print format. I hope some people see the ad and check us out! I also bought the Mouse Guard RPG book, which I've wanted for a while now and was convinced by the fact that they only had 5 copies left and those were the LAST of the first printing of the book (excluding those that may be in game stores, but still). Adding on to that is the fact that I got to play the Mouse Guard RPG for the first time when Phil ran it there, and I enjoyed it even more than I expected.
I bought a copy of Mike Shea's DM Tips book with artwork by our friend Jared, great writing and good tips combined with cool artwork is a huge success in my book! Lastly I made a quick decision and bought the D&D "miniature" for Orcus, the demon prince of undeath. I'm really glad I did, because it's pretty damn cool to just have around and to look at, plus I'll end up using it as much as possible in my D&D game now! I ended up spending a lot of my free time at the con hanging out with Trevor from Wizards of the Coast, which resulted in some hilarious moments and I hope we get to hang out even more at future conventions. As if he weren't cool enough, he also sent me two prints (on canvas) of D&D artwork that I still need to hang up in our house, but one of the is a painting by Wayne Reynolds and is SIGNED by him. It's beyond kickass!
The last thing I need to mention about GenCon is my chance encounters with celebrities. It started on Thursday or Friday night when I was walking down the street and walked right by Felicia Day and then Wil Wheaton (about 30 feet apart from each other), very glad I was paying attention at that moment. Then on the last day there, Sunday, I was having a late lunch in Noodles & Co. with Trevor and Chuck (also an amazingly cool guy) and Wil Wheaton came in and had lunch there. It was very hard trying not to stare but also to not be staring somewhere else in an awkward way. Flying casual is what I should have done. Those are only the first two parts of my chance encounters with Wil, as Dave, E, and myself were looking for food in the Indianapolis airport and found two tables where we could eat, then E and I were floored to realize we had just sat down right next to none other than Wil Wheaton! Thankfully Dave had just talked to him at the convention that morning, and apparently Wil loves our website (awesome.) so we chatted with him for a little while. Then Wil offered us half of his pizza because he wasn't feeling well, so yea we totally got to finish Wil Wheaton's pizza. I know it's a weird ass thing to essentially brag about, but I think overall it makes for a good story!
Now on to the necessary reading update:
Day 33 of my Harry Potter reading marathon, but thanks to GenCon last week / weekend I'm a little bit behind my 1% per day pace, with 30% complete at the moment and 20% of the way through The Goblet of Fire. I'll be attempting to catch up this evening and over the next few days to get back ahead of the daily allotment. However even if I don't catch up, but still read 1% per day from here on out, I'll still be finishing the last book by mid October, which is an entire month before the first part of Deathly Hallows comes out in theaters. This goal looks very readily achievable at this point, and I have already read WAY more pages within a single month than I've ever read before.
The exact number of pages read so far is 1,235 (out of 4,100 total over all seven books). For me this is pretty incredible, though the word count is lower than the books I've been reading lately (Wheel of Time mostly), if I can continue at a pace like this or even better then I have some hope that I can actually get through my "must read" list and even onto some old and new D&D novels. I'll probably check out Bruce Cordell's first, then some books by James Wyatt / Keith Baker (since I know all of these guys now), but I'm also considering going back and checking out the classic D&D books I never read like the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books.