The leave-taking on Monday morning was as wistful and melancholy as ever. It’s hard saying goodbye to friends knowing I’m not gonna see them for a whole year. At least the trip home was smooth and trouble-free, and I had lots of warm memories to combat the cold in Edmonton. Happily, we didn’t even have to clear any snow off the car in the airport parking lot.
I’ve spent some time thinking about this year’s Gally, not just the events, but some of the things I noticed about myself and others. Things I liked, and things I didn’t. I want to cover a couple of them here.
Come Together, Right Now, Oh Gally
One of my favorite things to see at conventions is people who kinda know each other (or only know each other online) getting to meet and spend time together. This is especially great when they get along as well (or better) in person as they do online. This happens left and right at Gally, but a few instances stood out to me in particular. Continue reading →
The last day of Gallifrey One is always bittersweet. You’re still enjoying the convention, but you know the flight home is just around the corner. This year, my biggest con-responsibility was on Sunday, so it didn’t feel like as much of a wind-down as it sometimes does. Because of that responsibility (and the related nerves), I didn’t make it to any of the AM panels I meant to attend. Instead, I spent the morning almost-forcibly sleeping in and being as laid-back and leisurely about getting ready as I could. Then I sat in the sun by the pool with Deb and Katy to calm my nerves as much as possible.
The responsibility I was calming (and steeling) myself for was my first main-stage interview! Thus I also read through my list of possible questions several times as I soaked up the rays. I wasn’t properly terror-nervous like I had been for my first two on-stage (smaller-stage) interviews last year, but I was still a bit uncertain about it. Continue reading →
Want more Gally goodness? Check out my posts covering Thursday and Friday!
Saturday at Gallifrey One was my least panel-filled day, but it was still full of goodness!
My only official panel that day was Ninth Symphony, discussing series 9 of Doctor Who. I was the moderator, but I tag-teamed with Derek Kompare, scholar-extraordinaire and friend-of-the-podcast. We chatted about it on Friday, and he had great ideas for how to tackle the subject. (Going episode-by-episode is impossible in an hour because you’ll never get through everything!) So Derek directed what we talked about while I made sure everyone got a chance to speak, played traffic cop, and called on audience members for questions.
Want more Gally goodness? Check out my post covering Thursday!
Friday is when Gallifrey One officially gets underway. There’s an ice cream social on Thursday night that I always mean to attend but never quite get to. I covered this year’s reason in my last post.
Peter Davison on the RFS live show
What better way to kick things off than with a rollicking live show from the fine fellows at Radio Free Skaro? As always, the show was great. They interviewed tons of great guests: the 5th Doctor himself, Peter Davison, writers Sarah Dollard and Jamie Mathieson, casting director Andy Pryor, actor extraordinaire Julian Glover, and last but certainly not least, actress Patricia Quinn (who was either overplaying “eccentric” or was possibly chemically altered in some way–regardless, it made for one of the most entertaining interviews in Gallifrey One history). You can listen to the whole panel on Radio Free Skaro episode 515, and I highly recommend you do!
But I’m kinda burying the lede. Before the fab interviews got started, they showed an intro video that may have been my favorite part of the whole convention. While we were in London, Steven, Warren, and our friend (and television producer) Simon spent several days shooting this video. Seeing it edited together on the big screen with a huge audience was everything I could have hoped for and more.
It’s now the Wednesday after the Gallifrey One convention, and I’m just starting to feel like I belong in the real world again. I think Gally, which is the weekend I look forward to all year, gets better every year, and this time was no different.
Actually, the one difference was that I was feeling a bit under the weather the whole time. Not bad enough to impact what I participated in, but enough to affect my choices when it came to eating and drinking. In the end, I think that might have improved my Gally experience. I usually tend to go a bit overboard in that department. I tell myself “it’s vacation!” so I eat all the gluten and dairy I want and guzzle booze like it’s going out of style. I didn’t feel up to that this year, and as a result, I remember the entirety of the disco, and I didn’t spend my days feeling bloated and sluggish. I hope I remember that next year. Moderation leads to more fun. (Gosh I feel old when I say that.)
As this publishes, I am at the airport and will soon be winging my way toward sunny LA and my favorite weekend of the year: Gallifrey One! It’s the largest fan-run Doctor Who convention in the whole wide world, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s also the best.* Whether you like to see panels, get photos/autographs, watch interviews, cosplay, buy merch, play games, or just drink booze and chat with your friends in the lobby or by the pool,** this con has something for everyone.
Personally, that last item is the one I look forward to most, with the first item coming in a close second. For me, Gally feels like an annual homecoming. It’s the people who make it so special. I look forward to seeing my Who family every year, so catching up is job #1, and watching those folks be all smart and eloquent on panels is next. This year some friends are doing interviews with the pros, so that’s another thing to look forward to!
I’ve had a rough few days, but you might not know that. The quote in the image above is something I’ve thought a lot about lately. The sentiment isn’t new to me, but I hadn’t seen it put that way until this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day, when someone tweeted it. There were scores of wonderful tweets about mental health, but that’s the one that legitimately brought tears to my eyes.
Over the last couple days, I’ve gotten a lot done. I’ve been productive, active, and involved with those around me. I applied for jobs. I recorded podcasts. I exercised. I cooked and cleaned. I also spent some interesting time looking at myself from the outside (as much as that’s possible), and I realized I mostly looked like a happy-go-lucky contributing member of society.