Otakon, part one (of who-knows-how-many):

I somehow managed not to forget much of anything. It was probably the list that saved me; I get antsier than I care to describe whenever I feel I need to remember something, as I know how awful my memory is. Even my daily personal activities are threaded with a continuous charge of stress, as I become afraid that I’ll forget what I intended to do as soon as I walk downstairs or that something else will pop into my head or grab my attention, forcing out everything else I’m intricately trying to keep in balance and carry to its conclusion.

But I had the foresight to write a list for myself, before I assembled my materials to pack. It went from such necessary detail as the clothes and personal belongings and supplies I intended to bring with me, all the way into suggestions about what, and when, I might want to eat up until the time I left and reminders to shower and brush my teeth. Honestly, I need this kind of detail or else things simply aren’t going to get done.

At approximately the last minute, Shepard decided to get in touch with me (and subsequently everyone else) about his plans; he was going to arrive, and leave, by train; these were the times, these were the places to be. Once I packed, there was nothing left to do or weigh on my mind until Mike arrived to give me a lift.

The journey to Lan’s place in Troy didn’t seem as long as I imagined. I’ve gone all up and down the east coast with one or both of my parents, all through my youth, and it always seemed to take forever to get anywhere. It was only a matter of a few hours, and I don’t recall getting bored or even resorting to much in terms of amusement on the way down.

When it got down to the last several directions, the Mapquest directions that Mike printed were pretty glaringly inaccurate. It seems small quantities are a problem with the service, as it was impossible to judge distance by the numbers provvided. Three yards translated as a third of a mile, and two to three miles could be listed as two hundred feet.

Still, it only took limited wandering and experimentation before we found Lan’s address. Almost immediately upon moving our gear into his place, we all sauntered to the “other” apartment to meet Erin and Pat. While waiting for the party to arrange itself to go out, I played some of the Spy Hunter remake and — later — GunValkyrie, on Pat’s Xbox. The former isn’t too bad, and somehow reminds me a bit of Jet Set Radio. (Don’t ask me to explain why.) The latter, Pat claimed that no one likes. It is true that the controls are a little weird — the reviews certainly got that right — but after some experimentation I began to dig them pretty well. I’ll have to play more to offer any good impression, but what I saw was positive to my sensors.

We (I believe) then went to see Men in Black 2. (It was a sequel; that’s all there is I have to say on the matter.) We returned and watched a taped Eddie Izzard performance. And then Mike and I returned to Lan’s place, where I proceded to forget to either sleep or eat for the remainder of the night and until we left early the next morning.

I say Mike and I, although Lan did, I seem to remember, return for a short while. I think after a certain hour Lan has come to become a pumpkin as of late if he stays in his own apartment. Perhaps it’s cursed. Some things man is not meant to know.

End of prologue.