We actually arrived Wednesday evening, but it was late, since The Gryphon had to work late that evening. Wednesday we didn't have time to do more than unpack the car (stuffed to the gills with our stuff and baby supplies for Kung Fu Panda) and set things up in the hotel room with my sister, who had agreed to come to Otakon to provide baby care.
On Thursday morning, my sister and I went on a fool's errand, looking for a drug store in downtown Baltimore. I don't know why, but it seems that every time I need to look for something besides a cheap hamburger in the Inner Harbor, it becomes a ridiculously long excursion. It didn't help that the drug store that The Gryphon found us on his iPhone no longer exists! Finally, we found one and managed to buy the baby wipes and diaper rash cream that The Gryphon and I had somehow left behind, along with some garbage bags for diapers. (Normally, we use cloth diapers, but while on vacation, we were using disposables.)
Meanwhile, my Press Relations staffers had arrived and were taking care of an issue with our press rooms in the Hilton, where the keys they'd been given did not open all of our doors. My second-in-command, The Rock Chick (who is free to suggest another nickname for herself, if she's grown tired of this one) had also called me to tell me our interview suite in the Sheraton was much too small for our use.
I got our staff hotel liaison on the phone and apprised her of the problem, and she worked with the Sheraton to arrive at a solution. Then, since it was nearly time for the all-staff meeting, I called my staff and told them to meet me in the Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) in the Pratt Street Lobby for the meeting.
I met up with the hotel liaison after the meeting, and we walked over to the Sheraton to look at the room solution she had. It wasn't ideal -- the interview room was separate from the guest green room, though they were in the same hallway -- but I agreed it would work. She got the keys made, and I went back up to test them before leaving.
On my way back to Press Ops, located in the Hilton this year, I took a few more pics of the registration lines, which had all been moved inside due to a sudden rainstorm.
When I got to Press Ops, my staff had resolved the door key problem. I worked with The Rock Chick, The News Producer, The Water Ballerina, and two new staffers, The Diplomat and Loklore, to get things going. We discovered that we didn't have everything we needed, such as the press packets, but we ran the first press representatives through anyway, telling them to come back for the packets.
Fortunately, it didn't take the head of Publications very long to get those packets to us, and from then on it was pretty smooth sailing.
While the rest of the staff handled registration, The Rock Chick, The News Producer and I dealt with some of the requests and issues that came up, either from members of the press or from the staff. Thanks to a new system developed by The Diplomat, we were able to enter all questions and requests into a spreadsheet where everyone could monitor the progress.
I left to go back to my room in time for dinner, which was a clam chowder my sister had made for us in a crock pot. We were trying to save money by eating in the hotel room as much as possible. (My sister isn't a staff member and couldn't eat in the staff suite, which was very far away anyway.) Since I ran into The Cousin on the way, she came back with me to spend a little time with our Kung Fu Panda.
After she left, I gave Kung Fu Panda a sponge bath. He seemed to really enjoy it. Being in a strange place didn't bother him at all, perhaps because he was with me and his aunt.
The Gryphon came back to the room in time to escort me to the guest reception, held at one of the nearby hotels. I had been hoping to use that opportunity to introduce myself to some of the guests with whom we had not yet secured interviews for the press who requested them. However, luck was not on my side, as the only guests attending were people I'd already met and been communicating with. I would learn later that most of the guests I needed to connect with wouldn't arrive until 3 a.m., long past the time I'd returned to the hotel.
I did get to meet Vic Mignogna in person, as well as HOME MADE KAZOKU, who were very friendly and thanked me for everything we'd set up for them so far.
No matter how well you plan, something will go wrong.