Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rollercon '09: Day One

I hate Vegas. With a passion. I don't go there unless there's a reason to be there. Like going to own or friends. Or conventions. Namely Rollercon.

This year's trip to Sin City started out great in LA. Woke up obscenely early, got to the airport in plenty of time, checked in our luggage with no problems, the carry-on case fit great into the overhead bin, and the flight wasn't sold out so we were comfy.

Then we landed in Vegas.

And promptly got stuck in the tram that transports plane passengers from the gates to the main terminal. Ugh. Had to wait for a dude to come by and release the brakes before we could go to the dump that is the Imperial Palace. At least the tram was air conditioned while we waited, or else we probably would've been cooked in the 100+ degree heat.

Check in to the dump. Wait forever for the elevator to take us up to the room. Wander over to Rollercon registration.

And promptly went from annoyed to outright pissed.

The registration line was long. And slow. And I had to check in before I could go teach the class I had in about 2 hours. So I stood.

And waited.


The Dear Husband got a Press Pass, so he didn't have to wait. So he wandered off and made phone calls and texted a bunch of people. He'd wander back to give me some trivial piece of information periodically, and when I'd try to ask him to either check with the other line I'd have to stand in once I got done with the registration line or ask someone if I had to stand in both lines before going to teach, he'd cut me off with another statement about what he needed to do and wander off again.


Finally, I get registered and rush back up to the room to change into teaching-skate-stuff clothes, grab the skates, and find a way to the off-site sports facility that actually has the skating for Rollercon. Luckily we were able to grab a ride from Mercy Less from Derby News Network, so off we went.

Get to the Sports Center and got ready to teach. I step on to the classroom floor, and discovered that everyone is doing a Bambi-on-ice impersonation because the floor is sooper-slick polished concrete. No one was getting good traction...they'd drift in the turns, sliding off the track and trying to scramble back into play.

I taught my class as best as possible considering the slippery non-slope, and made it through alright. Hung out for awhile then caught another ride back to the hotel to shower, have dinner, and cause mayhem.

Mayhem was delayed because by the time we got ourselves together, it was at a mid-evening hour when everyone was either out watching semi-informal Challenge bouts at Fremont Street, back at the Sports Center to do pick-up scrimmages, lounging by the petrie dish known as the pool, or...uh...I don't know where. In the past, this "dead hour" wasn't so noticeable because everything was at the Imperial Palace except for the Fremont St. Challenges. But since the actual skating stuff was off-site, the Imperial Palace was comparitively deserted.

And as an added insult, our usual hangout at Imperial Palace wasn't open, so we had to sit at an inferior bar. BORRRRRRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Husband kept wandering back to our usual mai tai spot, and they eventually opened up around 10pm, so we skedaddled over and promptly set up shop: sat down in comfy chairs, pulled out Sharpies, and ordered mai tais.

Rollercon was ON!

Things were still calm and slow for another hour, but eventually skaters from all over the world came in from wherever they had been hanging out and walked by the mai tai bar on their way to the elevators. Sharpie tattoo business got very brisk, and we easily got plastered on the mai tais I got stacked up as payment for the drawings. I also handed out quite a few of my buttons, and word spread of the Return of the Tara Tatts quickly.

For the first night, I did Tara Tatts mostly on people who were already "in-the-know" about the tatts to begin with. One of the best comments came from fellow LA Derby Doll Krissy Krash when she came by while I was drawing on someone else and yelled, "WILL YOU DO ME, TARA ARMOV?!"

Pretty hilarious!

I think we went back up to our room around 2am. By Rollercon standards, that's early, but I thought I had a class to teach the next day, so I figured I'd better be en pointe for that.

The elevators weren't too busy, so we got back up to the room fairly quickly and collapsed into a deep, dark sleep.

to be continued...

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