Okay, most Winkie Con reports cover the programming, and a thorough one is available at the Winkie Newsletter Webiste. Sam and I recorded another podcast and got a couple guests on there, so there's no need for me to do the same thing again here. Also, for non-Oz fans Winkie Award winner Laura Gjovaag wrote up a report on her blog. I'm also sure the newsletter and The Baum Bugle will have excellent reports as well. So, as I'm back and editing the podcast, why not look at some things you won't see on normal Winkie Con reports?
For some Winkie Con attendees, Winkies begins before Friday. Some arrive Thursday or earlier, and this year, I decided I would arrive a day early. Unlike past years, my trip went just fine, buses on time and everything, and I got to Asilomar pretty early and got to hang out with Tim Tucker and Bill Thompson by the pool while Peter Hanff and Mike O. Reilly pointed out how you could get into the Embers, Hearth, and Afterglow buildings from the underground parking garage by using the elevators. (This came in handy for those late-night Winkie parties...)
Instead of purchasing tickets for the Crocker Dining Hall, all early Winkies went to Pizza My Way, a local pizzeria. By the end of dinner, there were twelve of us. We were informed we had been such delightful guests that they'd given us the pizza on the house.
Returning to Asilomar, Bill mixed up a cocktail for us while we waited for Eric Shanower and Freddy Fogarty to arrive. We also saw the delightful Caren off to bed as well. After a drink and greeting Freddy and Eric, I went off to bed somewhat early and missed out on helping stuff convention bags.
The next day, David Maxine and Freddy drove me to a local supermarket where they picked up things for breakfast for themselves and Caren and I picked up some emergency shavers and a toothbrush and toothpaste as mine had slipped out of my bag at home. I helped set up and decorate Fred Farr Forum for the convention, though this meant I had to exile myself from the Treasure Hunt as I saw Freddy Fogarty hiding the pieces.
The convention began with all the otherwise well-noted events.
The after parties were fun as usual, and on the last night, we moved to a larger room instead of cramming into a bedroom and spilling into the hallway, which also encouraged some people to join us. It was a lot cozier than usual.
And at Winkies, we meet new friends as well as renew old friendships and transform Facebook friends into real friends. Aside from Sam, we had three other international visitors: Colin Ayres and his husband Neil Eardley from England, and Rei Shaw from Canada. I wasn't sure what to think of Colin given his humorous postings and messages on Facebook, but turns out, while he may have a wacky sense of humor, he was pretty down-to-earth, really, and shared some fun stories and anecdotes with me.
After Winkies, when we'd split up, I was invited by just-returned Winkie Jeff Bjur to hang out with him rather than take the bus around Monterey. We went up to Santa Cruz and did a bit of shopping at record stores and Goodwills before heading to Gilroy for the Garlic Festival, where I tried garlic ice cream. (Don't knock it 'till you try it.) Finally, I caught The Amazing Spider-Man in Salinas before catching the bus back out to Missouri.
So, what about next year? Winkies is going to look at expanding to four days due to the Club's board meeting on Thursday. They're looking into light programming.
The past couple years, friends have asked if I plan on sticking around in California for bit afterward. Eric Shanower even asked why I don't just move down there. (To be honest, I don't have any ties to Missouri save family, and no one's depending on me, so it's not impossible, just it'd take some doing. Either I'd have to stay with a friend until I'd get out on my own again or I'd have to somehow get a scad of money to get set up.) I might see what I can do, but no promises.
Dates for next year are June 20-23 (quite possibly with an option for just the 21-23). It was explained that the early date in June was due to scheduling at Asilomar, taking into consideration scheduling of school and other events (such as the San Diego Comic Con). But you should keep an eye on the Hungry Tiger Press blog because they'll have the most up-to-date information. And if you're on Facebook, like the official Winkie Con page!