DEFCON XX is over.
Acr0nym, TC, and I rolled back into Denver just after 11 p.m. Monday night worn out and quiet - each of us keeping our own thoughts, mulling over what we'd just experienced, savoring our memories, and, for my part, wishing it hadn't ended quite yet.
It was...I don't know that I can tell you what or how it was.
Insane. Hectic. Poignant. Glorious. Hysterical. Maddening. Bacchanalian. Exhausting in the end.
I'd gone with no expectations.
Oh sure, I'd heard the stories...mostly of the Alexis Park shenanigans but I've learned that the best way to get the most out of an event like this is to just simply go and be prepared for anything and everything. So I didn't dwell too much on what might happen or what should happen and just let myself be in every moment as it came without worrying about past or future.
I could try to give you a blow by blow of all I did, what I saw, who I met and developed instant crushes on...but that is decidedly boring. It would be reporting and I'm not a reporter. Instead, I thought I would weave together some of my most favorite highlights without attempting to get mired down in too much context or describe in too much detail.
1. Hanging out with Stringer, Drunkwell, Th3 D0n, and Acr0nym (the badge heroes) as we made a mad scramble to assemble the Skytalks and the rest of the 303 badges - badges, I might add, that were interactive and chock full o' badassery.
2. Getting introduced to the delights of Yacht Rock and thinking I'll never be able to hear Hall and Oats ever again without thinking to myself, "What are you going to do, Sara? Smile?"
3. Watching Jason Scott zoom around continuously on his Segway as he tried to capture all the debauchery on camera for his documentary. I'm firmly convinced the only time he slept during con was when the battery was charging on his mode of transportation and even then he, in my opinion, must have slept standing up on the Segway ready to go at a moment's notice.
4. Speaking of transportation, seeing Coleslaw roll up on the Hoveround he'd rented for a mere $30 a day, slouching to the side, steering with one hand while holding a cocktail in the other, and hearing him say, "I am a lazy genius." Affirmative.
5. Hugging and hugging and hugging a bunch of my favorite folks.
6. Hearing the legendary line "Do you know Pyr0?" as a silly boy tried to pick up on the prettiest girl at con...a girl I not only adore but who actually does know Pyr0...hard not to when she's been a part of 303 longer than he has.
7. Telling a newb that DEFCON XXI has been canceled and watching his face fall.
8. Walking into the con area for the first time after open and seeing Spux's art literally everywhere...the Goon shirts, the Welcome banner, all the signage, one of the floor pieces, the sticker pack. She'd made herself so sick getting everything ready for con, she missed half of it.
9. Speaking of Spux...getting the word that, at the last minute, she was on her way and then running into her tired, sick but happy ass as I walked down to my shift at the Info Booth on Saturday.
10 And speaking of last minute and unexpected "en route" messages...finding out that TC was able to catch an early flight out on Friday so he got to come after all.
11. Grilling TC for history lesson after history lesson of the 303 after meeting new-to-me faces with old names.
12. Knowing TC had my back when I unleashed at a well-deserving chump.
13. Getting red-carded by dis.
14. "SQUIRREL"ing everyone who fingered an attrition.org sticker or wristband on my last Info Booth shift.
15. And finally (at least for tonight), gathering most of the 303 family present in the rotunda just before opening the doors of the 303 party Saturday night and getting a family picture taken. 64 faces dating back to the beginning...some I don't know, some I likely won't ever really know, and some I love beyond all reason. It was a powerful and poignant moment in time to feel that kind of love and loyalty among so many. A degenerate family reunion indeed.
And that was my DEFCON.
I can't wait to go back.
What did you do this weekend?
PS Here's the documentary trailer Jason Scott showed at his talk on the first day of con. Many of the faces you'll see toward the end are faces of those I love best.
PPS I have a couple more stories to share that I'll try to get up in the next couple of days. Namely, they are stories I've been told I have to write up before they are forgotten. Otherwise, this will be my official DEFCON post. The rest is stuff I don't want to share or really can't share.