Ah…we found Grex…
Before the birth of my son I used to freak out about a lot of small things. It’s the result of trying to stay calm in the face of large, important problems. I remained fairly collected in the face of financial, business, or housing worries, but my god would I freak the hell out if my video games weren’t working correctly or (more likely) I thought they were unfair. I didn’t so much quell the anxiety of those important worries, but rather pushed them to more inconsequential areas of my life. So if the rent money was low one month, you could bet your bottom dollar I was going to yell extra loud at my video games over some overpowered so-and-so.
There is one thing that triggers my freak-out tendencies regardless of how zen and calm I try to be. One thing that, no matter how trivial it may be, gets my anxiety boiling and my concentration out of whack: computer problems. No matter what I’m doing or how good a mood I’m in, the instant there’s a hint of a software or hardware problem, I turn into an anxious mess. Why am I talking about this today? Because last night, in the middle of a relaxing moment of gaming, my computer just shut itself off for no reason. No power-down, no warning. Just OFF. So yes, I think the world is currently ending.
It may have just been an overheating problem. It may be the power supply starting to go. It may be something bigger or smaller than either of those possibilities. It hasn’t happened again. Regardless, my computer knowledge is greatly inferior to my imagination, so you can guess which has taken over.
A few months ago my computer was doing a series of freezes and “blue screen of death” crashes. I never figured out what the problem was, and it just seemed to fix itself. Never figured out why, but man was I a mess the whole time.
It’s an understandable freak-out, I believe. For years I’ve relied on a working computer for my job in the webcomics world. When I was doing Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, a broken computer meant delays in the comic’s updates. Such is not the case with Star Power, but the mentality of “computer = productivity” remains with me. That, and sometimes computer repairs aren’t cheap, which is an entirely different set of worries.
I’ll keep an eye on things. It may have just been a one-time occurrence. It may happen three times today. Who knows? If you come to either ConBust or Anime Boston and you see me pulling my hair out, you’ll know how things are going.
This weekend I return to ConBust. It’s a tiny convention here in Massachusetts that I’ve been attending for a few years now, thanks to gracious invitations from the staff. It’s the smallest convention I attend all year, but it’s also one of my favorites. This year’s show will be momentous, in fact, as it will be my infant son’s first convention.
ConBust’s small size and relaxed atmosphere are exactly what we need to introduce Leto to the convention scene. My wife will have ample opportunities and room to walk him around should he get fussy. The small number of attendees won’t overwhelm his tiny sensibilities. The surrounding town is a charming escape should he need a change of scenery. We couldn’t imagine taking him to a mammoth convention like Anime Boston next weekend as his first convention. He’s warming up at small, intimate ConBust first… then he’s coming with us to Anime Boston. It will be his second show.
I enjoy ConBust, and have for years. It’s small size and relaxed atmosphere are a wonderful break for me, too. Anime Boston is next weekend, and that’s going to be loud, large, and crazy. Katsucon, our previous appearance, was also loud, large and crazy. Ohayocon, our first show of the year, wasn’t as loud, large, and crazy. You see a pattern forming here? Every so often it’s nice to take a break from the size and insanity of the big shows to sit back, relax, and chat with attendees in a more intimate setting. ConBust provides that much-needed relief.
But what I enjoy most about ConBust are its panels. For all its smallness and intimacy, the panels feel large. I’ve had the privilege to sit alongside established authors, gifted speakers, and webcomickers much more well-known than me. I’m speaking on a good number of panels this weekend, and I’m thrilled to be joined by some old friends and new faces. If you’re in the area, stop by and see what gets me so happy to return to ConBust!