My SO was paid/reimbursed to go to an IT security conference. When he attended college, he actually volunteered and staffed the conference. Back before COVID and such. Last two years it was virtual. And this year they had it in person again. It was $25 per person to attend and children were free. We almost brought my stepdaughter, but she had been wishy-washy about attending.
The first rule of parenting, don’t give your kids a choice. They’ll change their mind a million times. (The other day before her Clover Bowl practice, I gave her a choice between Wendy’s or McDonald’s and she changed her mind about eight times on the way over. They were across the street from each other and as I was pulling into one, she said “Wait, no, I want the other one!”) Seriously though, for things that are less urgent matters, we’d absolutely let her choose to come or not. But SO was getting paid to go by work so we didn’t want to possibly leave early because my stepdaughter got burnt out.
This event was smaller too. (There was a limited number of tickets sold.) Two small venues for each “Track” and it was a lot of fun. Very loud. Lots of sounds. I definitely got overwhelmed and dissociated quite a few times while we were there. I did get to see two of my SO’s college professors there. One especially, I’m a huge fan of and admire greatly. He’s an older gentleman. Very smart. Super interesting and always has a ton of people flocking to him. I was honored that he remembered me. And complimented me as well! (I used to visit my SO’s classes when it was allowed and hang out in their computer lab. I’d bring cupcakes and treats for his professors and classmates.)
They used Sched for the conference schedule, which was really nice. If I was still involved in anime conventions, I’d probably suggest it to our convention. I loved the two venues. They were very yuppie and in a part of town that used to be a biker bar area but now had some very “Rainbow” Friendly vibes. We didn’t stick around for the end of the conference, but BSides had rented out the cinema two doors down to watch “Hackers” the movie as an after-party. It only had room for about 90 people. The two venues are typically used for weddings and receptions.
They had pastries and donuts for breakfast! I had a Fruity Pebbles donut! It was so good. My eyes glazed over from the lecture. I am not tech-savvy. Oops. I drank SO MUCH coffee that day to stay alert. And warm. Because the Brookside’s downstairs was freezing cold. While the coolness was a relief with outside temperatures reaching the 90s, it was still hard not to get sleepy in such a chilly environment. I love to crank the airconditioner on high for naps.
The only feedback I have to say about the two venues … the chairs were small. And I was NOT one of the largest attendees. I would say I was in the midrange. So I’m sure there were other people besides myself who felt that their rumps were cramped into these seats. I doubt there’s anything that could be done about that, but it was my only complaint.
You just had to cross the street to get from one Track to the other Track venue. Included in the $25 entry ticket, you got a badge/poster, two drink vouchers (alcohol~!), and lunch. They served a Fajita bar consisting of fajita chicken, grilled peppers & onions, flour tortillas, gluten-free tortillas, salsa, cilantro, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, and guacamole. Also includes Cuban Seasoned Black Beans and Mexican Rice. So my SO was able to eat safely and I enjoyed my meal as well. I didn’t take any pictures of the meal because I was too busy stuffing my face! Did you know that White Claw only has 2 grams of carbs in a single can? My SO and I had that along with our lunch.
The art was really cool and it was printed on a really nice thick cardstock paper. They had a lot of great sponsors for this event. A bunch of them were down in the basement of the Brookside venue. Whenever there were talks that went over my head (most of them), I hung out downstairs. I worked on my embroidery piece, played Sudoku on my tablet, and wandered around to check out the different booths.
I got a cool water bottle and goat from Cribl. That’s about how much work I got done on the embroidery piece as well. I did something else as well, but I’m going to wait to post about that tomorrow. This was so much fun, even if I had some huge anxiety during and after. I think most of my socialization meter has been filled for the year. Too bad I also have a karate seminar coming up soon too. I guess I’m just going to have to deal with it. Thanks for stopping in today, guys!