This past weekend's glory that was Portland's Geek Olympathon 2011, in bullet points so I can get as many details in as possible:
It pays to dress up. As a character. I'm not a cosplayer, nor an actor -- I tried classes as a kid, but it didn't "take" -- and I don't have much in the way of potential costumes around my apartment. But! I had a fedora. And dressy clothes and a tie. So on Saturday I stuck a piece of paper saying "PRESS" in the band of the fedora and headed off to Olympathon's opening ceremony pretending to be a mid-century reporter.
One guy at Backspace, where for most of us this madness started, a guy actually asked me if I was a reporter. I resisted saying that my look was a cliche all the way back 30 years ago with Airplane! and The Great Muppet Caper.
The opening ceremony: a man in a toga slowly running from Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade to Backspace while carrying a light-up torch to a tinny 8-bit recording of the theme to Chariots of Fire.
My team, Monstars (named for the monster basketball players in 1996's Space Jam), managed to hit every single event in this Olympathon, starting with a 10 a.m. bike race that Andrew Hill, the only one of us five who currently has a bike, got silver in. Hitting the rest of the events involved scrambling -- running figuratively and sometimes literally over a large swath of Portland.
My first event was humbling: get to Billy Galaxy, a vintage toy store, and identify 10 vintage toys. Ryan Reid and I only managed four of 10. This wasn't going to be easy, but we'd have to try.
Message that I think Ryan Reid won't mind me passing along: kids, Just Say No to 30-year-old chewing gum. Just sayin'. In other news, Billy Galaxy still has 30-year-old collecting cards that came with those chalky rectangles of "gum."
The most frantic running around was for the Scallywag Hunt: local PDX Yar members would post cryptic clues on Twitter about where they were. Reid was a fiend at deciphering them, and found the pirates the eight different times over the event's two days that they could be found. This had a lot to do with our win.
It is possible to play a perfect hand of Uno. I did. This is more impressive if you know that the Uno game my team played at Excalibur Books and Comics on Saturday was only the second time in 20 years that I'd played Uno, which I stopped playing regularly back in 1990 I think on a Portland visit when my brother T.J. got fed up with playing Uno with me and taught me solitaire.
Maybe the most pure fun challenge for me was the Lego Team Build. Four of the five Monstars got to it, where the Dangerous Kids team running the challenge gave us a box of Legos and a scenario: build a machine that would help Dr. Horrible not only take over the world, but also get rid of his nemesis Captain Hammer. We built a giant laser mount, mounted with four or maybe five lasers, I forget, with Dr. Horrible's control seat facing forward and another seat facing backward ("So Captain Hammer can't sneak up on it!" I said) mounted on wheels and with jets and rocket boosters. Steph Castro noticed a Lego Horse among the Lego pieces and said that was Bad Horse, observing and liking what he saw.
The one Monstar who didn't make it to the Lego build, Reid, made it instead to the Unscriptables's "Laugh Long and Prosper" Star Trek improv. While we built in Southeast Portland, he was in North Portland, putting on an original series Captain Kirk shirt and singing Lonely Island's NSFW song "Mother Lover." Reid pretended to shoot tribbles from his crotch. He figured that Kirk almost certainly slept with some mothers...
What else happened? Tune in, um, some other time to find out! I'll see when I can add another entry.