Greetings from busy, action-packed Illinois! After several hours spent at Day 1 of C2E2, my wife and I are glad to relax at last, off our feet and without our backpacks burdening us any longer. So far we’ve had a delightful experience, met several comics creators and a few Star Wars actors, acquired a few freebies and several quality items, and made plans for Day 2 on Saturday. Until then we’re enjoying the quiet ambiance of a particular hotel that’s treated us well before, up in the scenic village of Rosemont, down the street from the Donald E, Stephens Convention Center.
Careful readers, and anyone with a passing knowledge of the Chicago geek convention scene, may notice a discrepancy: C2E2 is being held at McCormick Place, a different convention center in a different Chicagoland section altogether, nearly twenty miles away. According to conventional convention wisdom, we’re doing it wrong.
We don’t mind. We have our reasons:
* Compared to hotels within a five-mile radius of McCormick Place, this room was a steal. Not only are the rates cheaper here because nothing important is happening nearby at the moment, but the parking is free. Good luck finding that sweetheart perk anywhere near downtown. I did find one hotel in C2E2 range with competitive rates, but the reviews led me to believe that it hadn’t been renovated since the Nixon administration, and offered guests free samples of vintage mold with every stay or meal.
* It’s rare to find a hotel that encourages our repeat business. From a customer service standpoint, we’ve never had to voice a complaint, grumble about housekeeping, or even mutter to ourselves about employees with attitudes. We savor that experience whenever we can find it, and are more than willing to become someone’s regular customers if the conditions consistentlys work out.
* We’re simply not party people. I already covered much of this territory in a previous post months ago. Short version for newcomers: we’re not the sort of fans who hang out till the wee hours for the sake of alcohol and alcohol-fueled shenanigans. I understand all the best rumors, behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt, and embarrassing anecdotes come out more often in the after-hours con gatherings than in any sanctioned daylight activity. I choose to miss out anyway for reasons of my own. If barhopping and drinking are mandatory elements of the networking experience, then I proudly claim my title as the worst networker of all time. But my wife still thinks I’m keen. Works for me.
* We’re old now. We like our quiet hotel with no bellowing or guffawing in the halls or through the walls. Our feet need to recuperate. Our backs are mad at our backpacks for holding too much stuff all day long. We function miserably without at least a modicum of sleep, as my overnighter years are well behind me.
Yes, we’re terrible geeks. For some of you out there, we’re the Ghosts of Conventions Yet to Come. Enjoy your youth while you can, before the day comes when plush pillows and high-powered air conditioning become more alluring to you than public binges and 3 a.m. karaoke. BEHOLD THE RAVAGES OF TIME.