Sunday, May 11, 2008

Secret life of my brother

My brother is notorious for falling off the family's radar for long stretches of time. We still know where he lives, we just don't hold our breath to hear from him. (At least, I don't. Mom still does, and then complains to me when she turns blue in the face....)

Anyway, I only recently discovered one facet of brother's super secret life... apparently, he's at least a medium-sized cheese on the indy ComiCon circuit. I knew he went to Cons, of course, but this spring he and a friend got themselves flown somewhere to staff one. This was the first I'd heard of him staffing them at all, and he's getting himself flown somewhere? Somewhere that George Takei is gonna be also?!

This weekend was my first opportunity to see brother in action, at our hometown Emerald City ComiCon. I understood that he was a helper-outer of some sort, but that was all.

"What will you be doing?"
"I'm running the panel rooms."
Me, clueless: "Oh, sounds neat."
"I can comp you in, but not the whole family... that'd probably be overdoing it."
Me, still clueless: "Oh, OK."

In spite of the foregoing, my first inkling of the true gravity of the situation was when I showed up at the Con and brother, in his spiffy Con staff jersey and laminated badge and shiny Bluetooth headset, introduced me to "[guy whose name is the same as my brother's]" (also in a spiffy Con staff jersey et al.).

Me: "Oh, ha ha, another [brother's name]?"
Brother: "Yes, that's why I'm called '2.0'."

I'd been watching Con staff go by for about 20 minutes by this point, and brother is the only one with his name on the back of his spiffy Con staff jersey. Only it isn't his name, it is indeed "2.0". That's not all... his laminated staff badge also reads "2.0". Not even "[name] 2.0", just "2.0".

This is when I start to clue in that people around here know who my brother is.

Brother meekly asks [name] 1.0 for permission to comp me, gets it, and disappears back into the Con where he is busy busy busy doing things that require extensive use of his Bluetooth headset.

Later, I find out that [name] 1.0 is the Con organizer. My brother is known, to all, by a nickname which presumably was come up with as a practical matter because he has a name collision with the organizer, which means he's spending enough time around these people for such a thing to be inconvenient. Geez.

A few hours into the Con, we make our way to a panel room to see Wil Wheaton reading from his latest book. We notice brother's best friend scurrying to clear the panel table where a bunch of DC Comics luminaries have just spoken about somethingoranother for a packed house. We get seated, along with most of the rest of the Con attendees, except for the Con attendees standing around the back of the panel room after the chairs ran out. As everyone settles in, my brother takes the podium and makes a logistical announcement for the benefit of the crowd. Wow!

2.0 running stuff at ECCC (by bsktcase)Wil Wheaton reads a bunch of funny stories about being a geek. I, being a geek, hurry to upload to Flickr my crappy camera photo of my brother at the podium at Emerald City ComiCon. No photos of Wil Wheaton, mind you, just my brother.

After he wraps up another geek story, Wil Wheaton surveys the highly appreciative crowd and offers to tell us one more story... "although," says Wil Wheaton, "if I go over my speaking time, [name] is gonna be really mad at me! [pause] Sorry, [name], I'm gonna do it anyway!" Wil Wheaton proceeds to tell another story, which I don't hear much of because I'm too busy inside my head:

Me, inside my head: "ZOMG! Did Wil Wheaton just speak my brother's name from the podium?! Hmm... maybe he meant [name] 1.0, who is after all the Con organizer. But maybe he meant my brother! Wil Wheaton knows my brother!"


As we were leaving the Con at the end of the day, and saying our goodbyes to brother, I asked whether Wil Wheaton was talking about [name] 1.0 or...? Turns out brother hadn't even been in the room at that moment, having been running around Bluetoothing or something, so hadn't heard anything about it.

"What'd he say?"
Me: "He said, '[name] is gonna be mad at me for going over time.'"
Brother: "Yup, that'd be me."
Me, fangrrrl*: "ZOMG!"

In conclusion: in my brother's secret life, Wil Wheaton knows who he is, and at least pretends to phear his panel-room-runnin' skillz. Way to go, 2.0! <3

* More of a pathetic fangrrrl of Wil Wheaton, or my own brother? Answer should be fairly obvious from the above.