Every year, my life is consumed from April through July 4th weekend by CONvergence, a 7,000-person nerd hivemind that converges (heh) upon Bloomington, Minnesota every year. There will be panels and music and movies and things to eat and things to buy and things to drink and parties and Rollergirls and British dudes with cricket bats in the parking lot.
CONvergence is near and dear to my heart, so I usually spend most of my CONvergence weekend actually working on CONvergence itself. These days, I’m usually just a panelist, prone to sitting 20 panels or so each year. This year, I’m taking it easy: only 15 panels! And half of them are on the same day! This means I might actually have time on the other days to, you know, hang around and have fun with people.
If you want to catch any of my CONvergence events and say hello (and you should!), here’s where you can find me:
THURSDAY, JULY 3rd
12:30 PM Edina: Godzilla vs. Kaiju
Hey! Let’s talk about giant monsters and stuff! What a great way to kick off the weekend!
8:30 PM Mainstage: Magical Mayhem Smackdown
Which magic-user will lightning-zap all the other mages into oblivion in a totally arbitrary cage match? Our panel of experts will decide!
11:30 PM Atrium 4: Panel 237
Bill Stiteler, C. Robert Cargill, Tim Wick and I will tell you the TOTAL TRUTH about movies you love.
FRIDAY, JULY 4th
11:00 AM Bloomington: What’s Opera, Doc?
It occurred to me last year that a lot of opera involves fantastical or even sci-fi elements, so let’s talk some Offenbach!
12:30 PM Atrium 2: So You Want to Be a Panelist?
If you’re interested in joining the panel madness at CONvergence or other conventions, this is the panel for you!
2:00 PM Atrium 6: PowerPoint Karaoke
This one’s a hit every year, so get there early! Four contestants craft a PowerPoint presentation for slides they have never seen before!
5:oo PM Plaza 1: Judging a Book by Its Cover
Our panelists will craft the plot of books based entirely on their cover art. This one was a surprise hit last year, so we’re back for more!
7:00 PM Edina: Movie Year in Review
This is an annual panel, where we all discuss the films that came out between CONvergences.
10:00 PM Plaza 1: Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome
Windy Bowlsby and I will be recording a live episode of Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome, with special guest C. Robert Cargill.
11:30 PM Atrium 6: Killer B’s Improv Movie Show
This is the annual show where I edit together old B-movies, strip out the sound, and then show it to a team of voice actors, foley artists, and musicians, who make up an entirely new soundtrack on the spot, without ever seeing the footage before. It’s like Mystery Science Theater 3000 for badasses.
SATURDAY, JULY 5th
7:00 PM Bloomington: Mega Panel
The Mega Panel is an annual ritual for people who don’t want to watch the Masquerade. We promise to talk about everything except the Masquerade.
10:00 PM Plaza 1: Drinking with Geeks
The annual gladiatorial ode to drinking continues! Bring cash to the panel, because there will be a cash bar. Yeah!
11:30 PM Atrium 6: Jaws in Depth
Our team of experts dive deep into the first summer blockbuster, Jaws.
SUNDAY, JULY 6th
12:30 PM Bloomington: Art: Impossible
Artists compete against each other in challenges of varying difficulty.
3:30 PM Atrium 2: Cetaceans in Fact, Folklore, Fiction, and Film
Our 12th annual animal panel will be looking at whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Yes, I watched Orca so you don’t have to.