Frightmare Weekend Review

As a publisher and author, I’m constantly on the hunt for the best con suited for my genre which is horror/dark fiction. In the past year, I’ve attended four as a vendor (those reviews to come). This past weekend, I attended Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, for the first time. Here are my thoughts:

The Staff:
Most of the staff was amazing and friendly. A special shout out to Rachel, who-despite being there for hours-was good natured and fun. On Saturday, having heard how crazy the crowd gets on that day, I got to the convention at 8:45 (it started at 11 AM for non-VIP passes). With my band on my wrist, I stood in line to get into one of the general vendor rooms. It was already bustling with other conventioners (I made that word up, sue me) intent on getting in line early to see Clive Barker. Since this is my first year, I had lots of questions. Each of the staff smiled and chatted with me, exuding their genuine desire to be there.

The Venue:
I have to say, while the venue was beautiful and extremely well-organized, it was too small. If you have issues with social anxiety or claustrophobia, beware. I likened the experience to being in a giant, over-crowded elevator. It was hard to maneuver through tables, bodies, exhibits, etc. If you are buying multiple items, this means trying to navigate without knocking someone over … or vice-versa. Several times I felt overheated despite them having complimentary water available. I mean, who’s going to get out of a six hour line to grab a cup of water?

The Vendors:
What a cool selection of vendors!  I loved how they had everyone spread out, some next to celebrity guests, some off in a giant corner of their own. Everything from Godzilla, to George Romero under one roof. I got to get autographs from the Hellraiser cast, say “hello” to Tom Savini, then turn the corner and get a picture with Tommy Flanagan. The best part was getting to see some local authors I am friends with on Facebook but never met in real life until then! (Shout out to Timothy Long)

Overall, for a first timer to Texas Frightmare Weekend, I had a blast. We stayed in the other Hyatt (Hyatt Grand) and it was stunning. The staff was super polite and helpful, the hotel room was sparkling clean and state of the art. We felt like we walked onto the Starship Enterprise when we entered the room. Lights came on and the large, one piece blind rolled up. Each side of the bed had its own panel to control lights and temperature. The sheets were clean, the bathroom sparkled and they had “oops I forgot …” complimentary items like brushes, deodorant, phone chargers, and more. They didn’t even bat a judgmental eye when I walked out in my Unsaintly Queen, goth attire. As for a shuttle to terminal C (we were at terminal D), they told us it would run every 25 min but we never waited more than 10, to or from.

I would highly recommend this Horror Con to anyone who loves horror.

Price (Tickets): $
Price of Hotel: $$


Down the Cell Hole

Blackberry for a good number of years was an industry giant,  owning the market for businesses because of their simple interface and dominating the email needs. 

Then the giant went to sleep.  Choosing not to fight against Apple’s iPhone or the newest androids, Blackberry rolled over and showed it’s belly.

This was a sad day for me, as I loved Blackberry and it’s little ball rolling cursor. I loved how easy it was to set up corporate email.  I loved the no nonsense approach to having a cellphone.  It wasn’t all foofy and games.  It was business.

So when I started my publishing company, guess where I went?  Straight to Blackberry.  I had to be on my mail, on my social media,  no distractions..just straight up work!  I went in to my carrier, walked straight to the Blackberry Classic and swooned at how it looked just like the old one,  minus the Lil ball roll-y thing.  This one was touch roll-y!

I turned to the guy in the black Polo and said, “I want the Blackberry”.

He winced.

I frowned. 

“Are you sure?  What will you be using your phone for? ”

I stared down at the phone in my hand.  This was a reliable company. Sure it didn’t have Android’s selection but surely it had kept up with the times. ..right?

“I just opened my own company, ” I said excitedly,  “I need reliability, and secure email.”

I could see he was trying to figure out how to sell me something else.  I thought (incorrectly) it was to sell me some fancy, expensive iPhone diamond or whatever.  Instead, he took a deep breath.

“What other features are you looking for, we have. ..”

I cut him off. 

“I’ve owned Blackberry phones before, I know they’re good,  I’ll just take this one please. ”

(PS. I’m am idiot)

Do you know I’ve used my phone a total of 5 times since January,  2016?

It stays perpetually dead.  It’s kind of like a metaphor for the brand,  don’t you think?  The “classic” has buttons too hard for its small size.  Who uses shift on a keypad anymore?  My thumbs are actually tired after typing one email.  And who can figure out how to make a phone call?  Oh, I finally got it but then had a good laugh when I also finally was able to hang up. 

I broke down and watched a YouTube video on how to use my phone like a senior citizen. ..oh wait, they use cell phones now.  Ok, like a three year o- oh yeah, they can work cell phones too. 

Look Blackberry…it’s 2016. I need it fast.  I need to hit send on an email without needing arthritis cream at the end of the night.  And if you’re going to bother putting a touch screen?  Make it responsive! 

Oh wait. ..did I mention BB’s app store is like walking into a second hand store? I started singing “Poppin Tags”.

So I go into my carrier and I say,  please take it back!

Unfortunately, Verizon changed their policy about being able to just pay the tax and get a new phone.  The girl helping me feels so bad, she says,  “let’s see what the trade-in value is!”

Are you ready for this? 

Five months old.  I owe $300+ for it. ..

$43 trade-in value.

I promise on everything, I had to hold onto the counter before I fell over. I left feeling violated,  scammed…and angry.

Why?  Not just because I was sold a piece of crap.  Not solely because I still owe over $300 for something worth $43. No, no. It was because, five months after waking out of the store store with my “reliable” piece of antiquity,  I came back in and had salt added to the wound. 

My cell phone rep whips out this brand new blackberry and says,  “it’s a shame you didn’t come in a couple months later”.

$#@! Are you kidding me? 

A few months later I’d have had a big, beautiful, sleek new touch screen blackberry that closely resembled my android. 

Sitting in my car, I lost it.  I called Blackberry’s customer service. They would help me right?  I was their customer and they needed me. 

“We’re sorry, we don’t support any program to switch out these phones”.

That’s ok Blackberry. Lesson learned.  A reputation must be constantly worked on.  The consumer must be listened to.  Loyalty must be rewarded.  These are things you failed at, that I’ll be sure to keep in mind with my own company.

I warned you.  I told you I would post this review. You told me to go ahead. 

Shame on you. #RIPBLACKBERRY