I'm trying not to get my hopes up lest cruel reality crushes my dreams, but early September could be the best opening to a month EVER lol. Here's the scoop: In mid-June, I'm going to hit my 1-year anniversary with Walmart, and have my first week of paid vacation. If no other assistant has already claimed the week of September 4-10 off (Walmart weeks run Saturday to Friday) or I can convince them to switch, that will be my week of vacation.
Should this almost-perfect scenario come to pass, I work Friday, drive straight to Minneapolis after work, and catch a late night flight to Seattle. Check in, crash for a few hours, then hit the ground running for Saturday and Sunday of the Penny Arcade Expo.
Now, if my partner Chris (who works when I have my days off) agrees to work that Friday shift for me in exchange for me working one of his shifts sometime, I would essentially have an 11-day vacation (Aug.31 through Sept. 10). In this ultimate scenario, I crash at my parent's house on Wednesday night, and catch a Thursday morning flight to Seattle. This would give me some time in the afternoon to get my bearings before meeting up with people for the Pre-PAX festivities, and I'd be on hand for all three days of the expo.
If I can do this, it would rock on so many levels (in no order):
1. The chance to meet in person some of the site staff I've been working with so long.
2. Rumor has it Bishop is going, so I'd have the opportunity to meet another member of the Hand of Thrawn... and FINALLY meet someone (in-person) with a higher gamerscore than mine.
3. Assuming I can go, I can get in as press, and I'll be writing as many articles as I possibly can for x360a (none of you have any idea what I'm capable of when I go into one of my Super Saiyan manic writing sprees). Plus, I'll have at least a week's worth of blog and podcast material out of it all.
4. Writing those articles would allow me to continue honing the skills I need to find paying work in the gaming industry, and covering PAX is as directly related a work experience as I could ask for.
5. The chance to meet and network with people in the industry, learn from them, and maybe even pass out a few resumes if opportunity knocks.
6. Memories that would last forever.
After the expo ends, I'd still have five days of vacation left work on churning out articles, and possibly spend some extra time in Seattle if I can afford to and found things I wanted to do there.
As you can see, being able to go to PAX would be an incredible experience for me. So, I'm fully read to beg, plead, bribe, and trade days so I work on holidays if I had to to make going to PAX a reality. Since I am slated to work September 3-5 (all three days of the Expo), getting vacation that week is my only shot.
Here's to hoping I can make the stars align when I go into work next. If not, I'll try not to be too crushed, and set my sights instead on E3 2011 or some other gaming conference, where I have enough lead time to make sure I can get that week off. Plus, I'll actually have a hell of a lot easier time getting off for PAX 2011, so all is not lost if I can't do it this time acround. I will let you all know when things are official one way or the other.