August: first weekend Chicago, second weekend Cleveland, fourth weekend Baltimore... tomorrow we're back on the road to hit the New Jersey show, Monster Mania. A lot of our friends are going to be there, including Debbie Rochon, Joe Knetter, Sid Haig and Suzie Olber, and Robert Mayr and Glenna Chao (our once-a-year Horrorfind friends). Should be a good time and a good opportunity to promote Genghis Con a little further. Still, it's yet another weekend where we're driving for an insane amount of time. And there's not much of an end in sight.
I mentioned to Amanda Rossi, at The Asylum, that we were heading to Horrorfind a few weeks back. She responded that she'd never been to Baltimore. I realized, essentially, we hadn't either. Yeah, we'd been to Horrorfind every year for the last five years, and were there again for the ludicrous Creepcon show many years ago, but we've never actually been to Baltimore. At least, not where we spent any time in the actual city.
The same goes for most of the cities we visit. Okay, there's no real sense in visiting Cleveland, but I've seen very little of New Jersey, even though we're there at least three times a year. We've driven to Tennessee, through West Virginia and Kentucky, been up and down the East Coast more times this year than I can count. But we don't really see anything beyond the hotels and the highways. It's a weird way to experience America. It's even more surreal to realize that you're in a city you've never been in before, and you're hanging out with people you'd seen just a week before, but have never seen outside of a hotel ballroom.
I have never seen Sid Haig during the light of day. Nor half the con guests I've become friendly with. I'd met the late Matt McGrory (The Devil's Rejects) countless times and the last words we'd exchanged were "see you in a few weeks", as we were bound to run into each other again at one show or another. But never in a real social setting. There would always be a table and/or a line of people between us.
We have these monthly family reunions with people that I've either only ever seen on movie theater screens or in subterranean furnished-and-carpeted caverns, surrounded by hundreds of other people who are, possibly, feeling the same surreal disconnection I feel. Which is why you should never stop to think about the convention circuit... or your head starts to hurt.
One last very important thing: our friend, actress/model/singer Ryli Morgan is in the hospital for a very serious heart operation. Take a few minutes to send her and her husband, Mark Baranowski, some good karma for the weekend.