Sci-Fi on the Rock 9: The Stylin’ Lounge

Steve Lake, author of The Stylin' Lounge
Steve Lake, author of The Stylin’ Lounge

Well here we are, one week removed from the biggest celebration of all things geeky and nerdy that St. John’s has ever seen. I’m talking of course about Sci-Fi On The Rock. Man what a time. It gets bigger and better every year and continuously blows my mind. I’m happy to be a cog in the wheel that makes this festival possible every year, and I’m grateful to the people I work with on the organizing committee for all the help we give each other in getting things done.
I still can’t believe it’s only been a week and that as I type this I’m back working my regular job, instead of running around the Holiday Inn making sure things are running smoothly, or talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while, or meeting the guest actors. Three days out of the year my life gets very surreal and I love every minute of it. I’d do it year round if I could, and if my liver would hold up (kidding, just kidding… maybe) 

I didn’t see everyone I wanted to see, I didn’t get to do nearly half of what I had tried to plan to do, but as we all know, no plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy. Being second in command of the event, I know I’m not going to get to see and spend time with everyone I want to, but I did get to meet up with a lot of people I haven’t seen in too long and gods help me, I even managed to dance, or as close an approximation as I can get to dancing.

I did pick up a couple of new, nerdy trinkets, some new games and I was even made into a cubecraft figure thanks to my friends Matt & Ellen at Engen Books. Also, I’m told that I was seen in at least 7 places at the same time, so I broke my old record and the space/time continuum in the process. I also ruined the soles of one pair of sneakers from excessive amounts of walking. You think I’d learn to use the elevator but no, I used the stairs as much as my knees would let me.

Nope, still can’t believe it’s over again. I didn’t check out until Monday afternoon and I walked around the hotel before I left. The place seemed so empty without tables in the halls, the committee running around and Easy Side Mario’s seemed so different without people in costume having lunch. That’s when the post con blues really set in. Seeing the hotel without the Sci-Fi crowds and not having anything to do. Yes I missed having to do 20 things at once, I’ve got my insanity, you’ve got yours.

There’s so much I want to say about the planning that goes into this beast and about the work we’re already doing for Sci-Fi On The Rock 10, but it’s drawn out and boring and no one wants to read about that. What’s that? SFOTR10 you say? Yes I say! The committee is already working on it, hell work started a couple of months ago near the end of planning for SFOTR9. Can’t get the committee to take any time off, myself included. The committee work so hard and care so much about Sci-Fi On The Rock, we don’t even notice we’re not getting paid. That’s right, we’re all volunteering our time and energy to try and bring something amazing to the public.

But Steve, you say, that’s crazy. Maybe it is, I’ll reply, but speaking for myself, I get paid something better than money. I get to see the smiles on people’s faces when they find that perfect something with one of the vendors, or I see a child’s face light up when R2D2 beeps for them or they get to hug a Disney Princess. I hear the laughter that goes along with friends playing a Super Smash Bros. tournament and see the excitement of a team winning Geek Survivor. I get memories, awesome, fantastic memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’ve also met some of the nicest, most genuine people that it has been my pleasure to get to know. That’s what brings me back year after year, the people that make the whole experience awesome.

Along the way I’ve gone drinking with a Klingon, screeched in a couple of Ferengi and sang songs in a bad Irish accent with a Starfleet Lieutenant. I even had Chewbacca himself approve of my Wookie voice. Then there’s the guy who runs around in a shirt and cape made from Battlestar Galactica  bed sheets, giving out buttons, chocolate bars and soap. I said it gets surreal sometimes.

I think I’m rambling now and I don’t really care, it’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to. Actually no, I’ll end this piece here. But before I go, I’d like to say thanks one more time to everyone involved in planning and everyone who attended Sci-Fi On The Rock 9, you’re all an amazing bunch of nerds and I’m lucky to count myself among you.

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