If you follow me on Twitter, this post may be largely redundant. For that I make no apology. I firmly believe that no amount of gushing about Gally is too much. On the plane ride home, I drafted over 40 short posts about the fond memories I made last weekend, and I’ve been dribbling them out on Twitter and Facebook ever since. Because I am such a completionist (something I’ve found is not unusual in Doctor Who fandom), I’ve decided to collect them all here in one place for easy reminiscing. Before I get to that, a few words about the weekend in general.
Gallifrey One is the oldest and largest fan-run Doctor Who convention in the world. Once you’ve been there, you understand why. Simply put, this con is fantastic. I’m not exactly a con expert, having only attended a handful of different events over the years, but I can safely say that Gally is my favorite by far. (And that’s saying something, because I positively adore several others, including Chicago TARDIS and Dragon*Con.) The inestimable Shaun Lyon has done a fantastic job helming this convention and making sure that everyone is happy—from the guests to the attendees to the volunteers to the hotel staff. It was a veritable well-oiled machine. With the exception of a few technical hiccups, I saw very little in the way of the FUBAR moments I’ve come to expect as a necessary evil of con attendance.
This, Gallifrey One’s 23rd year, was my first in attendance. I didn’t even know Gally existed until Radio Free Skaro interviewed Nerdist luminaries Chris Hardwick and Kyle Anderson at last year’s convention. After hearing that podcast (and being floored to find there was an entire podcast devoted entirely to Doctor Who! [silly, naïve, Erika]), I discovered a vast and welcoming Twitter community of Doctor Who fans and podcasters. Over the course of a few months, they applied just the right amount of friendly peer pressure to convince me to take the plunge and commit to Gally. This is a decision I have not regretted for a moment.
I’d met a few of those fine folks at the aforementioned Chicago TARDIS in November, and it was as wonderful to reconnect with them as it was to finally meet the others who were able to make it out to sunny California. And sunny it was! While the people and the excitement of the convention were the best part, a vacation in southern California is nothing to sneeze at when compared to the usual mid-February slump in my home of Wisconsin.
Having arrived early, I got to spend the Thursday before the con with four of my favorite people (two who’d already held that honor, and two who did by the end of that day). We drove up the coast to the Getty Villa in Malibu where we absorbed more beauty and culture than I thought one location could contain. Please feel free to peruse the photos of that amazing and moving experience.
The other exciting pre-con activity in which I got to partake was a “live” recording of the Doctor Who Book Club Podcast. I was über-chuffed to have been invited to review Paul Cornell’s Love and War. I had a fantastic time talking about it with Erik and Sean. I won’t say much about that here because I think you should listen to the episode when it’s released. What I will say is this: Erik and Sean are as charming and delightful in person as they sound on the podcast. I couldn’t be more pleased that they let me join the fun.
After that night, the official convention fun started, and it was a whirlwind of excitement and panels and fun and friends and booze and bad food and then more of each of those every day—plus a live lobby commentary and an interview (which may or may not ever be seen) by Chloe Dykstra and Matt Mira of Nerdist Industries. I wish I could appropriately capture the magic that happened over those few days, but I think Deb Stanish put it best when she tweeted “Has something ever been just too important or lovely to articulate? This is why I’m finding it hard to do Gally highlights.” That said, I’m clearly managing to chronicle some of the joy; I could go on for pages and pages, describing every moment I remember. Instead I’ll just stick with my plan of including the lovely memories I’ve already tweeted. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and perhaps I’m a fool for even attempting to capture this much of the glory that is Gally, but I felt like if I didn’t at least try, I might explode.
So here, in no particular order, are just a few of the highlights of my first Gally. You better believe I’ll be back.
- Unexpected post-
#Gally highlight: I can now “hear” tweets from lots of people in their own voices.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @quarridors in person. I still wish I’d followed Nat’s lead & spent some time in the pool!
- #Gally highlight: Meeting the sweet and kind @sourcitruslady. Yet another person I wish I’d’ve gotten to spend more time with.
- #Gally highlight: Knowing I could wander around for a while & be guaranteed to run into someone awesome, be it a friend, celebrity, or both!
- #Gally highlight: Meeting the lovely @Bellaira & bonding over shared joy & inconvenience.
- #Gally highlight: Drinking tequila w/@philfordesq. Well, Phil was a highlight. As it turns out, I’m none too fond of tequila.
- #Gally highlight: An entertaining & informative panel on the music of #DoctorWho. @emilyooo knows her stuff & how to talk about it!
- #Gally highlight: Being insanely decadent & drinking Starbucks lattes every morning.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting my official unofficial gay husband @tardistavern in person. I’m a lucky bride.
- #Gally highlight: Randomly meeting @MattMira in the lobby & trying to find @harries71 so Matt could geek out about Cash in the Attic.
- #Gally highlight: Being interviewed by @MattMira for the @Nerdist YouTube channel. Whether they use it or not, ’twas a hoot!
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @freyburg in person. A fellow w/a delightfully irascible wit & great talent–with whom I’ve got much in common.
- #Gally highlight: Witnessing the sheer genius of Mette & Bryan’s costumes firsthand. They left me speechless repeatedly.
- #Gally highlight: @RadioFreeSkaro and the World of Tomorrow stage show! The boys did a fantastic job kicking things off in proper fashion.
- #Gally highlight: @AndreT_NY‘s hilarious & clever ribbon costume. Nice work Sir! Loved it!
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @TardisTavernTit in person. Wish I could have spent more time hanging with him. Con life is so scattered.
- #Gally highlight: Toby Haynes’ ass.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting the lovely @capricorn_one. And not just ’cause he agreed to get his own room. : ) He’s a great bloke besides.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting the incomparable @DebStanish. Everyone told me she was awesome & I’d love her. Everyone was right.
- #Gally highlight: avoiding “con-crud” (aka con-SARS) until I got home. Don’t want to get out of bed, but the real world beckons. #coldmeds
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @twillian in person. I’m glad cool, creative, interesting people like her are procreating (since I’m not gonna).
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @whomeJZ in person. One of my favorite podcasters. Hearing him wax poetic re: #DoctorWho in person is even better!
- #Gally highlight: Meeting the hilarious @KungFuYoda. I do appreciate a good crass wit. He’s got that in spades.
- #Gally highlight: A delicious & delightful dinner w/
@David_Barsky. (Exec producer of Dirty Jobs.)
- #Gally lowlight: Not getting to meet @abby_queenofall. : ( She was genuinely missed, as was discussed on numerous occasions.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @BullittWHO in person. Every bit as thoughtful & hardworking as I expected, as well as every bit as fun & cool.
- #Gally highlight: Watching @Legopolis talk about (& play with) LEGO during the panel about it.
- #Gally highlight: Telling Shaun Lyon that my first Gally was completely as advertised. Best con I’ve ever been to, hands down.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting the delightfully droll @harries71. He makes clever sarcasm an art form. Could listen to him all day.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @xanister in person. Someone so sweet & adorable doesn’t deserve to also have a razor wit; she’s doubly blessed.
- #Gally highlight: Meeting @dubbayoo. His twisted sense of humor is just as hilarious in person. & he’s an amazing fellow to boot.
- #Gally highlight: Touching the Pacific Ocean!
- #Gally highlight: Seeing @Legopolis again. This one belongs in the goes-without-saying category.
- #Gally highlight: The many & varied ways people managed to sneak outside booze into the Marriott lobby, while keeping things cool & relaxed.
- #Gally highlight: meeting many twitter friends in person. What a great crew!