I didn’t choose the conlife, conlife chose me

welcome_to_defconI just got back from having a wonderful time at Wizard World Comicon in Louisville. A couple of years ago, I was was pretty active in the hacker community, attending hacker conferences like Defcon and giving talks at smaller conferences like Notacon, Nolacon, and Skydogcon. My involvement has led to some great friendships, and to opportunities to do crazy things like appear in a rap music video.

In the past couple of years my wife has become seriously interested in sci-fi cons, and so most of my free time has been wrapped up in that for the last couple of years. I won’t say that it’s better than attending hacker cons, but it’s definitely less exhausting. When I get together with hackers, we tend to get super drunk and engage in various shenanigans. When I hang out with my wife at sci-fi cons, I still drink and have a lot of fun, I just don’t seem to have multiple concurrent hangovers and exhaustion to boot. This trip to Louisville was especially great because I got to meet most of the cast of Arrow.

imageI am a big fan of Arrow. There are some real parallels with Batman, but they are mostly superficial. The primary difference is that because Arrow is a TV show, there is way more exploration of the characters, their interactions, and their stories. Of particular interest to me is the number of strong female characters. Felicity Smoak, Sarah Lance, Nyssa Al Ghul, the list goes on. The show is full of women who fight beside and against men, and they often, but not always, come out on top. It’s not perfectly gender equal, but it’s a real accomplishment for a prime-time TV show about a male superhero. I also love John Diggle, because I feel that he represents how someone like me would react to finding himself in the DC universe. He is a warrior in his own right, but he is suddenly facing threats from supervillains, metahumans, and magic. He also falls back on his military training, for better or worse, until he learns to embrace the insight of his teammates.

So on this trip to Louisville, I got to go to panels and stand in line at the celebrity walk, and all the usual things you do at a sci-fi con, and then on Saturday night something amazing happened. While having drinks at a hotel bar, my wife got a Twitter alert about Stephen Amell being at a dueling piano bar, of which there is only one nearby. Within seconds she and her fangirl pals took off. Not only did they ditch me, they left me with the check 🙂 When I caught up to them, most of the cast of Arrow were on stage singing karaoke. I was able to shake hands with Paul Blackthorne and Steven Amell, and I managed to get a picture with David Ramsey, the actor who plays John Diggle. I also engaged in some other shenanigans with John Barrowman, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will let that do the talking for me 🙂
barrowman_bongos

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