PAX Aus, and Make Stuff

Funny story. I only decided to go to the first ever PAX Australia, with full passes sold out ages ago, late on Friday morning. (Yeah, after it had started.)

Last week I was in Canberra for the Australian Mathematical Sciences Student Conference (AMSSC) at the ANU, and flew home on Thursday via Melbourne. That night it was a bit rainy and windy, enough so that the planes were a little delayed. On top of the exhaustion from the conference and from waiting in the crowded Virgin Lounge with loads of suits and then not having the flight called there so having to rush to the gate (why yes, I did specifically ask them to call the flight), we waited on the tarmac about half an hour before taking off for Hobart. What a drag. #problemsyouwanttohave

In retrospect I guess it would have been smart to decide to stay in Melbourne for PAX while I was waiting for the flight. But oh diddums. I was keen to get home and enjoy the company of my bed and my plush toys and my NBN.

So Friday rolls around. I put on a load of washing. I’d gotten into a good pattern of waking up around 6:30 am to give myself enough time to check Twitter before exiting the bed, and so I had my pyjamas on the clothes line by about 8:30. Time to head into Uni. While walking in I’m reminded via Twitter again that my friend Ducky still had a spare 3-day pass to PAX Aus going at cost price. Damn, I thought, I could have stayed in Melbourne for that. I know that’s what I thought, because on a whim, I started checking the price of flights. Besides, I had nothing better to do, because the fire alarm in the Maths & Physics building had gone off and nobody was allowed in. After a brief intermission (Mum rang, you know how mothers have the knack of ringing at the right time? It was like that.) I called Ducky to secure the ticket. No answer.

By 10:20, as I was entering the office, a solid plan had formed (getting to Melbourne as quickly as possible without any guarantees of success, and damning all consequences). I was in the office chatting to Mel. Adapted from the actual conversation:

“Hey, I’m thinking of going to this awesome expo in Melbourne that my friends are at and it’s happening right now and even though all the tickets sold out ages ago there’s this vague possibility I can get one anyway, do you think it’s worth hopping on the next plane?”

“Oh totally! Here let me check the price of flights for you.”

“Sweet! Okay, booked the 12:30. Gotta zip!”

10:30: Hiking back home with gusto and vim. To grab clothes and dump all the knives out of my bag.

10:33: Should I get a taxi or see if I can swing the airport shuttle bus?

10:49: Nope, no time. Checking the Hobart airport website… $48 estimated parking? Sure, why not.

11:15: Let’s hit the road.

11:16: Aughhh! I really need to fix that bearing in the front left wheel before the car explodes.

11:35: Every other airport lets you put the laptop through in the sleeve, but noooooooo, TSA approval just isn’t good enough in Hobart.

12:20: Mother of balls, there’s no available hotels in Melbourne less than $300 per night. Okay fuck it, let’s just book the Hilton.

12:22: Close laptop. Board plane.

It was an exhilarating, expensive, and amazing trip. There were epic queues. There were epic cosplays (Iron Link?!). There were epic cocktails at 1806. There was the epically swank hotel room I stayed in (admittedly, this came at a premium). There were epic expo stalls—LoL should have just had their own entire expo hall; WoT and Nintendo each perhaps their own pavilion. There was epic schwag. There were random meetups with random Tasmanians. There were the epic moments Gabe and Tycho tried Vegemite for the first time ever, on stage, in front of most of the attendees. Finally there were the most epic games of Jenga I’ve ever had the pleasure to be near.

So anyway, Internet, because PAX is over and I’m once again home alone in my pyjamas and collared shirt, I’m sad.

Therefore, on to part two of this post.

Make stuff.

Do it. Just do it. Make. Things. And. Stuff.

This cannot go understated.

Don’t just make stuff, do stuff too.

Doing makes you right. Not doing something means you are wrong.

(I’m speaking poetically here. Don’t go and do destructive, violent, illegal, or stupid things. They don’t count.)

What I realised moments before starting to write this blog post is that I get an honest-to-Googleness kick out of doing something creative—almost anything creative. Blogging, drawing, singing, playing music, exercising, thesis writing, programming, laughing like an evil genius.

Doing stuff is the way out of loneliness when your friends are far away, or some other excuse for not using the Internet or the telephone. (It is difficult interacting with people.)