Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lexcon 2016: Subtle, But There

There was a lot of hype going into the trip to Lexington, KY, as it'd be the first time I'd be flying alone, the longest flight ever at around 5.5 hours (between two legs), and besides Power Morphicon, the only major out of state convention I will have been to since ACEN 2008. This is now the big annual meeting place for Mutant Chat and some folks I'd be seeing for the first time, while others I hadn't seen since 2012.

After my connecting flight in Atlanta, I got to Lexington around 10:30 PM but then had to figure out how to get the shuttle to the hotel. Once I arrived, I quickly checked in, washed up, and joined the group in the lobby. My roomies Levi and Escobar got settled in my room, while I joined a few others in going to one of the bars in the hotel, and pretty much watched a few games of pool until it was time to call it a night.

The guys woke up early so I ended up getting up about 8:00. We checked out a store that had a ton of Power Rangers stuff,  other superheros and vintage comics. Gradually, others joined us and we hungout in the food court awhile. Later, I joined a group of others while Lisa tested mic equipment on six people to prep for an interview with the Power Rangers Time Force cast. Though I didn't participate it was cool seeing some behind the scenes. Off and on throughout the weekend we'd be in the lobby and sometimes cast members with friends or a handler would walk by. I saw Time Force quite a bit who had a big reunion panel on Saturday, The Comic-Con got underway at 4:00 and most of the group who had VIP Friday access made their way over, including Levi and Escobar who had weekend only like me, but borrowed VIP passes to get in. I just killed time around the lobby, food court, and went back to my room awhile, wondering if I should've gotten VIP. Finally, the group met in the lobby as the convention winded down for the day by 10:00. We headed out trying to figure out where to get dinner, a difficult task between a lot of places closed for the night and our large group of 16. After going back to the hotel lobby bar, we eventually feasted on pizza from Goodfellas (after midnight at that point). Afterwards, we hungout in Tanya's room awhile, who, ever the sweetheart, had brought a ton of treats, snacks and water for us all.

Levi and Escobar were up early again but I was having none of it and stayed in bed until 10:15. After a shower, it was con time at last. As I passed through the food court into the convention center one thing was clear -- It was gonna be CROWDED, as I slowly navigated over to the row of Time Force cast and a couple other past Rangers. The nearby entry way became a decent place to chill I discovered. Around 1:15 we all met up to go get carnival food near the St. Patricks Day festivities going on a few blocks away. Heading back to the con, some of us stopped in a fancy chocolates shop that was nearby the one with all the Power Rangers and superheros. We went up to the upper part of the convention and I ditched the group to continue doing my own thing back down on the main lower-level. I hadn't planned on meeting many actors here, but I did meet Ciara Hanna (Gia, Megaforce Yellow Ranger) and I'll probably say hi to her again at Power Morphicon, with hopefully the rest of her cast. After 7:00 when the convention floor closed for the day, we all met in the lobby and once again tried to figure out dinner. An hour went by and it was decided every man for themselves. A few of us walked several blocks over to a McDonalds and Chipolte, then took an Uber back to be on the safe side. It was a pretty chill night after of just hanging out and TV.

I was up a bit earlier and soon hit the con floor on a mission to figure out what to get Batz and "Kabuki Kelsey," as I started basically lapping the main lower-level floor. At noon I saw a Power Rangers panel with some of the old school cast, followed by Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy's "1000 Ways to Die" with audience participation. The "Bulk and Skull" duo always put on a show and I made sure to go over to their booth later on, run by Mutant Chat's Jason and Alison. And I couldn't have picked a better time as I sat on their couch waiting for them to pose with me for a pic, just as Karan Ashley (Aisha, Mighty Morphin) nearly ran into it horsing around on a cart with a group of Rangers. Steve Cardenas (Rocky, Mighty Morphin-Zeo) then jumped in the photo with us. Finally, the convention wrapped at 4:00. With everyone on their own for dinner, I decided to check out room service and got a delicious hamburger and fries -- like going to a real restaurant. The hotel service overall was good. You could choose from an entire list of amenities to borrow or keep and I stocked up on small shampoos and body wash. Before heading to Nick/Tom/Shamus' room for activities night I made sure to drop in Tanya's room to raid the snacks and to try to actually spend some time there before it was too late. We then watched (and some ripped on) The Power Rangers Turbo movie, a weird anime film and we all played Cards Against Humanity.

I was up by about 8:30 after Levi and Escobar were underway getting ready to leave. Gradually everyone filtered down to the lobby and selfies, hugs and goodbyes all took place in what I'd say became the greatest moment since Power Rangers discussion chatrooms began in 2003 (what would become Mutant Chat). My flight out wasn't until 3:30 so I wasn't going anywhere for now, and soon a handle of us flying to different parts of the world decided to head over to West Coast Pizza. I then hopped on a shuttle with Nick. Shamus and Vera to the airport. It turned out Vera was also taking the short flight I was on to Detroit and would be flying to Pittsburgh as I'd be going back to Seattle, It was nice having company as we hungout in Detroit's airport for an hour an a half (until she had to head to her own terminal). Plus I gotta say Detroit has the best SkyBridge I've ever seen. I got back to town, and jumped back 3 hours, about 10:30 PT.

I wasn't expecting the trip would have such a lasting impact. A few people who I've seen at the Morphicons I'd say I'm better friends with now and some I really got to know for the first time after talking online the past several years. There are still those I could've been friendlier with, something to work on in the future. And after a slow Friday, skipping VIP worked fine since I don't care about Lexcon swag nearly as much as Morphicons and I still had plenty of time for convention stuff on the weekend. It may cost an arm and a leg, but I can't imagine not doing this every year now. Gallery