Another year, another LeakyCon! And this one started off with a road trip through the wilds- okay not so wilds -of Route 80. Past a candy cane forest (eventually), sightings of a Super Raptor, the mayor of Barkeyville, PA (Barkley the Dog) and several random Dementor attacks. And maybe some grody rest stops in between. True story. You can read more about our roadtrip and all manner of fictional roadtrips in Kelly’s lovely and tear inducing post HERE. Wild road weasels beware.
Having been in the car for 12 hours and being from Jersey, our first thought upon arrival was – are there diners in Chicago? Answer: YES. We ate delicious food only a couple blocks away from the hotel. We then spent a really, really long time waiting for our room to be ready. We refer to this part of the trip as LobbyCon.
Although we did get out for a bit! We heard tell there might be a gigantic lake right up the street…? There was! Crazy! We decided that’s where the lake monster Mitchy lives. His heart is sad all the time because his lover Rary the Raritan River Monster lives so far away. We also saw a big ass fountain! That was so beautiful and the perfect place for touristy pictures of Chicago! It also kind of looked like some kind of aquatic Agro Crag. Mostly we were just impressed by how lovely the weather was and how clean Chicago seemed. Do you know it doesn’t even smell bad there? Wonders!
Despite being in the middle of the country (and seriously, where even is that??), the Chicago Hilton was gorgeous! It was the perfect place for
Slytherins to convene to torture some muggles wizards to meet up. Also to imagine they’re in Versailles. With not much to do on the first day, especially not compared to last year’s four-day programming, we started things off with the vendor room. Although some of us remember it better than others… Specifically the ones not kissing strangers and telling them they’re beautiful. (Another true story.) It was established on this trip that not all strangers like being caressed by drunk ladies.
EDIT BY CASSIE-WA: Most people totally do.
Some vendor room highlights! Steph and Kelly swore up and down they were not going to spend any money that day. Literally the first table they approached had them whipping out their wallets to buy tshirts. But that is the wonder of the vendor room – it’s like etsy and Diagon Alley had a sordid affair and the offspring was the vendor room! Read: we spend too much money there. Familiar faces, wigs in perfect house colors, t-shirts emblazoned with phrases like: “Ravenclaws Do it in the Library” and “Yer a Time Lord Harry!”, adorable chibi drawings from Casey Robins, and some amazing pro-Obama shirts from Harry and the Potters (Wizards for Obama, Browncoats for Obama, etc.). Even Slytherins, the richest of the rich, support Obama. Despite popular belief, Slytherins are not all money grubbing Republicans. Some of us are just well off Jews. (Yes, Jews can be wizards. At least we hope. Also Time Lords. ::crosses fingers::)
After the drunken vendor room shenanigans, we waited in a ridiculously confusing line for the opening festivities. LineCon was in full effect this year. But would it be LeakyCon without it? Somehow we missed the cut off for the main room and were diverted to an overflow room to watch very boring things televised on screens. With hunger winning out, we left to eat. Although we were sad we missed Hank Green light the LeakyCon torch dressed as the Tenth Doctor, sustenance was required.
Our wizard bellies full of some delicious grub we headed back to LineCon to wait for some Wizard Rock (or “wrock” as the kids call it). Thankfully, the assembled masses discovered a way to entertain themselves: creating hundred person long strings of high fives and human bridges to run under! So much love at LeakyCon! We thought it was strange when we were finally allowed to enter a room with more than enough space for us all. Why were we waiting in line again…?
Oh, right. LineCon.
Kelly and Cassie-la were forced to suffer through some Meghan Tonjes, the first non-wizard (read: completely unnecessary) act who we ladies thought talked too much and had far too many covers to have bumped some other wizard groups off the Leaky roster. This is LeakyCon after all, NOT GleekyCon. Other wizards acts included Tonks and the Aurors- the BOSS Steph Anderson – who showed her love for the color pink with her outift, hair, and guitar, and by dressing up her boys in snazzy ties. We heard one song from the handsome Alex Carpenter who was bumped to the next night, and then the boy band Ministry of Magic took the stage. Acronym: M.O.M. Enough said.
Strangely enough, during the course of the evening we encountered an unlikely sight from beyond our Adult Pumpkin Juice. BROS. And not just any bros, bros who love Harry Potter (complete with Ravenclaw ink). This of course led to a very amusing and totally improvised song which Stephanie and Cassie-la titled “Kelly’s Got Game”. (KELLY EDIT: Kelly did in fact not have game. Which was happily embraced the next sober morning when she realized just how BRO-tastic they were. That is all.) Unfortunately, they were still bros, despite being part of the “one percent” as they so deemed themselves. (That is: male LeakyCon attendees over 18 who were straight and not in a wizard rock band.)
Cassie-wa rejoined the group after a lengthy nap- loving random strangers will take a lot out of you- just in time for the first ever Maureen’s Midnight Movie event. As expected/anticipated/feared, Maureen chose a Twilight movie (Breaking Dawn: Part One) which was riffed on “MST3K” style by Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman and surprise guest Amber Benson! We didn’t mind some more “Buffy” love at LeakyCon, and we especially didn’t mind Maureen making Frankenstein noises every time Robert Pattinson came onscreen. Cassie-la has said it before and she’ll say it again: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 COMEDY OF THE YEAR!
Not much can compare to the experience of watching a two hour movie in which almost nothing happens (except that it devolves into the best case for contraceptives ever) with a room full of fellow wizards. With the nom-nom scene forever burned into our brains, it seemed like a good time to call it a night. Except we encountered the problem that will henceforth be known as ElevatorCon. This is when 2000 people are trying to get to their rooms at the same time. Fired up from all the Twilight-induced laughs, we decided to climb the stairs instead of waiting. Fun fact: Did you know the stairs in the Chicago Hilton go only down? That’s at least what one confused employee told us. Resigned to our fate, we waited for an elevator. Which in hindsight was a better plan. It would have take a spell or two to get us up 21 flights of stairs at 3:00am.