I Was All Set (01-02)
Reality Can Be So Cruel (03-05)
Jealousy Can Be So Becoming (06-07)
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder (08-10)
I Was All Set
Just buying one television set can lead to a severe addition.
 On the weekend of arguably the biggest event in Xenaverse fan history, when Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor would step onto a convention stage together for the first time, I was all set. I had my favorite Xena T-shirt on (THE DEBT shirt, very cool with Jacqueline Kim on it as an added bonus). I had all my Xena pins stuck to my shirt, about forty in all. I had my baseball cap with the embroidered Xena logo that I bought my first year as a fan of the show. I had unfortunately misplaced my Xena boxer shorts so that caused me some momentary distress, but I got over it. I had primed myself with repeated screenings of my favorite episodes, and even stopped and drooled at my favorite close-ups for good measure. The soundtrack albums were all on shuffle-auto-repeat on my CD player and had been for weeks. I had my watch synchronized and I had worked out the exact time difference between where I am and California so I could be sure to know exactly when the goddesses themselves were due to hit the stage.
 So the days became hours, the hours became minutes, the minutes became seconds, and suddenly they were there -- and I wasn't.
Reality Can Be So Cruel
Missing a Xena Con is akin to missing that important train ...
 Three boxes of tissues later and I finally was ready to accept the fact that this momentous event had happened without me. I guess it isn't so bad. I mean, there are other ways to celebrate fandom, right? We all do it every day of our lives when we're writing fan fiction or contributing to discussions on mailing lists or building web sites. Not being able to come face to face with the women themselves shouldn't be that much of a burden on the average fan.
 It is weird though, this feeling of always being just that little bit disconnected from the heartbeat of Xena fandom. A lot of fans scattered around the world, even those Americans who don't have the time or the money to travel to conventions and meetings, can feel a little of what I was feeling in those 2 hours I knew that Lucy and Renee were onstage. Actually, probably only a minuscule percentage of the total Xena fandom were actually there.
 I would love to meet more Xena fans in person, since those I have met have enriched my life beyond belief. Also, call me star-struck, but I would love to spend even thirty seconds in the actual presence of these women who to me only exist on television. I think the best part of meeting television personalities you admire is that it brings them down closer to earth, moves them more into the realms of reality. I know this has been the feeling I've gotten with Star Trek stars who I have met in the past. There is something dissatisfying about the knowledge that I probably won't ever know what it is like to experience Lucy or Renee's warmth and humor up close, when so many other fans have.
Jealousy Can Be So Becoming
Xena got a tad jealous when Gabrielle and Najara starting talking about setting up a hostel together...
 Are all these ravings just pure jealousy? H*ll, yeah. But I would never begrudge any fan the opportunity to attend a fanfest like the Pasadena con, and experience the sense of community that goes with such a gathering. Although it has been said before, I'm going to reiterate. I have never been a part of a fan group with such a sense of community spirit as this one. It makes me proud to read reports that a quarter of a million dollars was raised in that one weekend for charities. (I'd hate to think what the sales tally was for merchandise!) It makes me proud to be a Xena fan, to have contributed time and money into building and sharing in this community.
 I think though, apart from the money, there's another kind of wealth that could have been shared over the time that the Xena phenomenon has been in existence. The show itself was internationalized, was dropped into the eager laps of people all over the world, but the exposure to the show's stars never was. I regret never having had a proper Xena convention in my own country, or even in a country close by. I'm sure lots of fans do. That certainly isn't anyone's fault, don't get me wrong. Sometimes it just isn't possible. It's a huge world, and there would have been too much ground to cover to include everybody.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
When Xena died the first time, she missed Gabrielle so much that she came back!
 The invitation Kym gave us here was to present accounts of different aspects of the Pasadena convention. My account of it, as an absentee, was a sense of longing, and disappointment, and a feeling of an opportunity missed. Sure, some people might say, "get a life!" or "what the hell are you complaining about?" I would say to them, I'm not complaining. I just felt the need to share a feeling.
 I feel like this event, happening as it did as the first run of Xena draws to a close, marks a pivotal point in our fandom. A kind of swan song if you will. The fat lady is singing and a lot of people are starting to meander towards the exits. Sure, some people will stick around for a while yet -- I'm not going anywhere. But, the time when there might have been a chance to organize conventions such as the Pasadena con in other countries would have been at the peak of Xena popularity, arguably around the third season, give or take an episode. It certainly won't happen now that the actors and production staff have packed up their stuff and gone on to hopefully even bigger and better things. I find that sad. I guess this is just another byproduct of the general wistfulness everyone is feeling now that Xena's journey is at an end.
 So to all those people, who were there, I glare enviously at you and read your con reports with enthusiasm. The devil obviously didn't think my soul was worth having since he wouldn't let me sell it to him in exchange for plane tickets. Oh well. I'm glad the convention was a great success though, because that motivates people to continue on with Xena fandom. I shall keep on watching, and participating, even from a distance.
Amazon, Nancy. The Martini and the Fedora: The Works of Vivian Darkbloom,. WHOOSH #46 (July 2000) http://whoosh.org/issue46/amazon1.html
Born in a frenzy of e-mail nonsense, Nancy Amazon is a retired fanfic reviewer with obviously too much time on her hands. In the past few years she has been working as a Hudson Leick impersonator, a psychotherapist (where she met her deranged sidekick, Ewok), and a trapeze artist in the Hungarian National Circus. She enjoys being handcuffed, carries a purple painted laptop with her everywhere, and answers to the name of "Nancy Girl".
Favorite episode: DESTINY (36/212), THE QUEST (37/213), A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214)
Favorite line: Gabrielle: "Fine. Your flying parchment's stuck in a tree." A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
First episode seen: THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210) -I know, weird place to start! But it explains a lot.
Least favorite episode: THE PLAY'S THE THING (85/417), MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515). Why, Gabrielle, WHY??