Here we have a person dressed as a Klingon, dressed as Elvis eating from a chocolate fondue fountain from one of the party rooms at CONvergence. You know, I think every person should visit the parties at a science fiction and fantasy convention at least once in their life. You meet such interesting and free spirits and might I just say, they really know how to cut loose. I met Miles Teves who has done art and visual effects on just about any movie you could imagine.
Amber and I did our bird program from The Raptor Center at CONvergence on behalf of MISFITS a non-profit organization which promotes literacy, community service and community building (and promotes the appreciation of science fiction and fantasy too). I've got to hand it to MISFITS, they sponsor visits to local and area schools by educators from TRC with live birds. Besides TRC, they also bring robotic and reptile programs to schools as well. I like how this organization works to keep geeks in shape with their Geek Physique Program--this is one well organized, civic minded group! TRC got a very generous donation from MISFITS and CONvergence attendees on top of our programming fee. Thanks, guys for helping those raptors out!
After we finished our program, Non Birding Bill and I visited the rest of the convention.
At sci fi and fantasy conventions, there are programs, lectures and panels during the day on topics from birds, women's images in Star Fleet to poetry reading. At night, there are the parties in different hotel rooms. The party rooms are generally hosted by organizations that put on other sci fi conventions, groups of specific genres like people interested in anime, or dealers like local comic book shops--all of them have a theme. Some of the parties at CONvergence included Galactic Geisha's House of Tea, Hoth Beach Party, Xenavirsity, Middle Earth's House of Chocolate and Source Party. When you arrive at the hotel, flyers are posted everywhere advertising where the best parties are:
This is Captain Kirk's House of Ill Repute hosted by some other con organizer. We visited this and there really wasn't much debauchery going on. There were other themed rooms like the House of Toast. My camera couldn't really capture the magic of this room. All the furniture was removed and the walls were covered with foil. On top of the foil were red neon tube lights, zigzagged to look just like the heating coils inside a toaster oven. The party served a huge variety of toast and you could get ANY topping on there you could think of: marshmallow, peanut butter, sushi, pesto, mace.
The parties are all located around the pool area of the Sheraton and everyone mills about. There's a masquerade and everyone comes dressed up in anything from a character from Star Trek to cartoon characters to just general goth apparel or regular street clothes--all are welcome in any form and half the fun is trying to recognize the different characters.
So, below I will show photos from CONvergence and photos from bird conventions. Can you tell the difference?
Okay, I generally have a fear of the Burger King Mascot, but after trying something called Romulan Ale, those fears kind of went away. You will note, I opted for the general goth attire for the convention...you know what they say, "When in Rome..."
I wonder if bird conventions will ever cross the line into something like sci fi conventions? Could I talk my boss into hosting a karaoke party room at a bird convention? Could you see a local wild bird specialty store hosting the Murder of Crows Roost? Will birders start showing up in bird costumes? I'd love to see someone dress up as a dickcissel! I think that just might be a pipe dream on my part.