Now I have my major work for the week done, and I can finally report on my trip. It does sound a little odd that people are still gathering in events related to a TV series that was on (and then off) five years ago, but I think we've reached the point where the show is almost an afterthought. It's more about the people. I'd describe a Browncoat Ball as like a family reunion where you actually have something in common with the other people. There's at least one starting point for conversation with anyone you meet, and then from there you'll probably find you have a lot more in common. I've met some of my best friends through Firefly fandom, and we've turned out to be kindred spirits in a lot of areas. As an example, one of the first things we did when I hooked up with my friends in Philadelphia was find a used bookstore. And it was a perfect old bookstore, in a building that probably was built before 1800, complete with narrow staircase and that bookstore smell.
I got to see people I see all too seldom -- some I hadn't seen in years -- while also seeing all the tourist sites like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We had a very fun bus tour of the city on a double-decker that meant we had to duck when going under low-hanging branches -- and on our trip back from the art museum we even had a guide who was clued into the whole Firefly thing and worked that into his talk.
Then there's the big party, with everyone all dressed up, and then dancing and music and tons of fun. So it's essentially a chance to tour an interesting place with like-minded people and have a party or two.
Yeah, a good time, and I'm already daydreaming about what I'll find to wear next year. I was one of the costume contest judges this year, so I wasn't eligible (and didn't stand a chance, anyway), but I have some ideas that could be fun. They'll also serve as exercise incentive because I'll have to be in better shape to wear what I have in mind.
Now the work I have to do for the rest of the week mostly involves watching and reading things, so it's work cleverly disguised as goofing off, which is perfect for a "down" week in which I'm recovering from a busy phase and heading into another busy phase.