Outside, Looking In #PAXEast2015

Today marks the beginning of PAX East 2015, which sucks on multiple levels.

The first being that it’s bitterly cold outside. Two years prior, we stood outside in the BCAC waiting to get into the building, and it was cold. But that could be considered a heat-wave compared to what we’ve got going on for this weekend in New England. I’d be all like “Welcome to the North East, bitches!”, but I suspect a lot of attendees hail from the East anyway, and it’s not been a picnic for anyone on the Right Coast this year. #Solidarity

The second is that we’re not attending the full weekend this year, just Sunday — the benefits of living local. It’s the first year we’ve not gone for the whole show. First year we made the mistake of booking the hotel for Friday through Sunday for four people. We were bumped to an overflow hotel in favor of those who had booked Thursday through Sunday. After that, we’ve been taking Thursday evening to get installed into the hotel, and it’s been great.

Our group opted to go to Quebec for the Winter Carnival this year (WHY, GAWD, WHY!?) so the idea of spending money to attend PAX was kind of taken off the table. Plus, last year was kind of “meh”. As the years went on, we found we were spending less and less time enraptured with the whole “con experience”: see as much as we could; do as much as we could; all for as long as we could. Last year saw us leaving the convention center in the later afternoon, ordering sushi takeout for the hotel, and playing Pathfinder: The Adventure Card Game for the rest of the night.

But now that the event — “our PAX” — is starting up (people are lining up right now, in fact) and I’m seeing the Tweets, it’s kind of surreal in a way. Of course there’s a lot of events that people talk about online that I just kind of notice and then pass over, but I know this event. It’s my event. I’ve been a part of it as a participant for as long as it’s been happening in Boston, and this year when I’m not…it’s weird. Like an out of body experience.

I suppose that’s actually a good thing, since last year I was seriously questioning whether or not I would even want to go back; I know now that yeah, I do. I don’t know that it’s for a particular love of the community (I’ve kind of let that ship sail to it’s own doomed end), but there’s not a lot of conventions like this around here that speak to me and my culture, so I feel that I’m too disconnected from a part of my identity by not going. This all just means that next year we should be recharged and ready to get back into the swing of things after this year’s vacation.