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Darkness to Light to Darkness to Light....

September 9th, 2008

11:55 am - Belated recreation of Dragon*Con adventures post part 1

Here's a shot at condensing my Dragon*Con trip to Atlanta down (lost a long post that I had worked on earlier this week so now re-doing it, hopefully it'll be better or at least as good).

My initial adventures with the TSA can be found in my 2 earlier posts. After getting into Atlanta I had the pleasure of meeting with another couple of early birds over at the Red Roof Inn, who had a fan table for the Star Wars Combine game, marpai loaned me a leather vest to use while awaiting the dealers room to open to replace my ailing vest from previous years. They showed me the myriad of wonderful toys and costumes that they had, and shared their own TSA fun story, it appears that at least 3 folks associated with the TSA helped themselves to some of the T-shirts they brought along for promotional purposes. Kudos to Red Roof for letting me into my room at the way early before 10AM.
Shortly after that meeting I took the MARTA back to the airport to pick up my lady, sailgersor arriving on her flight from the wild lands of New Jersey. She too was subjected to extra screening, was it something in the TSA's water or do they percieve fans as threats? She handled that situation in her own unique manner. Second time around at airport I did spy a few other Dragon*Con attendees but was intercepted by a local looking for employment and was asked my opinion of his resume, obviously he had no idea that I can't write a resume to save my life, for some reason I attact folks like this, seeking my advise and or help in various situations (note to the powers that be I was promised a vacation). Fortunately that encounter got cut short by sailgersor 's arrival. I was able to asses the things forgotten list, you know the stuff you look right at while packing and totally forget to put it into the bag, the extra battery and charger for my camera were safely secured on my home living room shelf, as was my leather pouch (why did I take that out of the car?), I did manage to pick up another charger at Wolf's Camera shop in the food court, but I later discovered that my 3 year old Sony camera has started it's decline anyway (it vibrates more than my game controllers do at times and has gotten completely allergic to anything dimmer that direct sunlight), and shall soon need a replacement, it was evil throughout the convention, many unusable shots, only a few survived. After reconvening at the food court we plotted an activity to fill our mini fridges with food, an event that would require a jaunt to the local Publix market on Thursday as the excursion to the small convenience store below the food court proved to be inadequate.
After the supply jaunt on Thursday we picked up our badges, thank you disability services for sparing my lady from the long wait in line with your seekers, and leading us to the new location of the desk. The convention seemed to be picking up some more steam for a Thursday, a lot of arrivals for the day before the con and the reg line certainly proved that, even opened registration up earlier than expected.
Later that evening one of my friends, Jen, from my local comic shop, Stories, came down from Richmond with one the of owners, they drove down from Richmond in a rental that was hastily acquired after the owners car got flooded out on a new stretch of toll road up there with poor drainage, it was her first Dragon*Con so I gave her the 2 penny tour of the hotels, hamster tubes, and food court. She was staying at the Marriott with some of the bosses friends, saw the room and noticed that the rooms in the Marriott were quite small, smaller than the Red Roof Inns, quite a surprise. She was down to see the Brit Track stuff after I addicted her to Dr.Who and Torchwood episodes by lending her my collection (guess that makes me a pusher for Russel T. Davis and company), while the owner actually ended up with another group of her friends. Funny thing was the owner Sheryl almost didn't come this year, she had skipped last year and I had to convince her that her friend David Prowse missed her, so much so that he was questioning me last year in the walk of fame as to her where she was since it appeared that they would at least hang out and I guess he wanted a friendly face to pal around with. After the tour Jen headed back to her room and I headed in for the night, to prepare for the great adventure of the convention. To be continued...Part 2 at the con coming soon

09:00 pm - Belated recreation of Dragon*Con adventures post part 2 at the convention

On Thursday while giving Jen the tour I did catch a bit of the drum circle, but had already missed the other concerts, it was fun seeing the various folks already out and about in costume, I was partially costumed that day with the loaner vest provided by marpai and my red polyester shirt (I had 5 shirts for con where, the red and black shiny polyester frilly shirts, red and black linen versions of the same shirts, which while comfortable and breathable I didn't wear, just not as impressive as the others, and my pride and joy black silk frilly pirate shirt) along with my boots, gloves, and chains. It wasn't until Friday morning when I got to complete my costume with a doublet that I was drooling over since last year, almost missed getting it had to will the gent before me into putting it down and move on to another one for fitting (that is not the doublet you are looking for *slowly waves hand in front of customer* move along), my wallet screamed but my lady said I looked great in it last year, and this year they had gold fabric in this one (favorite color alert), well after that purchase my tours of the exhibit hall and dealer rooms were just that, tours. I picked up my lanyard and pirate skull from pyanfar got to see another Marriott room (well if I am going to get one in the Marriott next year I'm gonna shoot for a suite), still small. Now the costume is complete, looked great with both the Black shirts and the red one. Of course wearing the whole thing in Atlanta during the heat is another story, but I did, just kept ignoring those worrying signs of overheating and learned to love air conditioning.

S
o now it's on to my first planned panel and...ooh free t-shirts and all they want is my blood, and I have an hour to kill, OK I'm sold. Signed up for the blood drive and waited my turn, answered all the fun questions, and they took a pint from me, my good deed for the con and I got my free T (yeah I'm easy). After the blood drain I quickly recovered (OK I ignored my wooziness) and shuffled off to Torchwood Cardiff to see stars from my current favorite show Torchwood. The panel was in the Grand ballroom I was running a bit late (darn blood suckers) I didn't miss much, and was on hand for the gifting of the hat to Gareth David-Lloyd and his classic line about his sitting issue, where he said "I don't want to see 'Barrowman's Bitch has a sore ass' posted all over the internet" (Oops, sorry Gareth I couldn't resist it's such a great line). Sadly Friday night's late night activities had me miss Saturday morning's next gathering with James Marsters and I had to keep telling myself not to spend the $150 for the intimate (OK 60 people) dinner with both of them.

O
ther highlights of Friday were the Abney Park concert followed by the Voltaire concert, Abney Park's music convinced me to pick up all their CDs and Voltaire was great too even without his band. Tried to visit open filking afterward but they were deserted, true it was 3AM but I heard that there was sparse attendance through out even for the one I caught the next night. It has a lot to do with the last minute preparations/director appointments and some hurt feelings that has been discussed elsewhere.

S
aturday's highlights consisted of the parade which I watched and got some shots and video of (don't think that I would have made the march in myu hot costume, but bless the brave souls that did), the Great Luke Ski's performance on the concourse the Firefly panel with Nathan Fillon, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, and Morena Baccarin and finally a panel on Gay Themes in the Whoniverse. I was spared the multi hour Firefly line by escourting my lady sailgersor on the disability line (sometimes being chair bound does have advantages, back a couple of years ago it got me when I was laid up to the head of Neil Gaiman's signature line at a Balticon). Not so lucky for the panel since Gay Themes in the Whoniverse seemed to overflow the room. I did get to see and hear some great insights though about progressive sexuality as brought in by Russell T Davis and company. We also did the Firefly Shindig for awhile as well before transitioning to the filk room. At the close of the night I got to participate in the open filking after much prodding since there weren't too many filkers (most were up at Luke Ski's concert)in the room and we were being occasionally invaded by drunken party folks, some of which while being new and drunk actually contributed before stumbling off into the dark night. By my participation I mean not just sitting around and listening as I often (*cough* always *cough*) do, I actually pulled up part of a song I was working on from memory (or lack there of) probably better than what I had written down and of course I didn't record it, at the prodding of the filk tracks second in command with many assurances that my voice wouldn't make the folks in the room permanently deaf, or bleed from their ears, and that I could carry a tune. Filk was still in the Inman room, daycare was fortunately not, and due to the pain it went through this year, was woefully under attended unlike years past, well there's always next year.

O
n Sunday my lack of sync with real time cost me getting into the Neil Gaiman panel same room as the previous nights overflowing panel on the Whoverse in the Brit Track so I lined up in the killer line for "Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Whimey: Doctor Who New Series" panel which mercifully was moved to a ballroom when they figured it out that way more folks were coming to Brit track panels (well at least Dr. Who, Torchwood theamed ones) then the room could hold. Hit the Pirate party late Sunday amazed that I was still able to stand since the demon line had caught me earlier that day when I went to get books signed for my daughter by Tamora Pierce, I figured how popular could she be, after all it's not like it was Harry Potter or anything. Three hours on that line proved me to be naive, my daughter now owes me big time, I'll fully enforce the guilt tax when the time is right (Bwahahahah).

I
had quite a few surprises of folks actually recognizing me this year I forgone the face painting that I normally get from marrus (I did however buy one of her great prints), which was always top notch and amazing, just delicate, even though I managed to surprise her by keeping it alive for a day or 2 with touch ups, and tried some variations from elizebethjoy and her work at Crimson Art Henna for durability, tried her glue and sparkles method first and had her copy a dragon on my face that my daughter drew for me, worked out well survived most of my poking, and didn't leave a cool imprint on my white hotel pillows, but the next morning I still manage to mangle it. So realizing that I had the late shift for the next couple of weeks which means working from home I went with Henna and a flame design on my face and that's what stayed with me even after the main henna came off the stain continued to impress, even the stewardesses on my flight home. Great work, now if only I can get both durability and color, no folks my job precludes a permanent tattoo, besides henna and face painting totally relaxes me, as both marrus and elizebethjoy can attest it trances me out totally, ah well who knows what the future holds.

M
onday turned out to be more of a check out places in Atlanta that I've never been thanks to a friend I met at Frolicon, Miss Hawkins, she showed us little 5 corners, with the cool shops and eateries. Her generosity even got us to the airport on Tuesday for our return flight. No major hassles on the way back but still couldn't avail myself of Airtran's check in machines so I still had to approach the desk.

Still the convention was huge (even more so than previous years) and I missed making connections with online buddies and others who I met at smaller cons like ydnic, and y2kdragon, Terri and others my apologies go out to, hopefully we'll be able to pull stuff together in the future. I'll have to get a bit better with the whole "planning" thing. My friend Jen's cell had died during the con but she gave me her post mortum, final verdict from her first time was: she's putting away money for next year and coming in on Wednesday, so we've hooked another one.

Well back to the surreal mundane world of work. My lady sailgersor has expressed keen interest in doing World-Con next year but all is not lost my daughter wants to test the Dragon*Con waters with a friend of hers so, it'll be my college graduation gift to her a drive down with Dad to Atlanta (and immediately set her loose since she wants to be incognito from parental unit). Started saving now as well for 2 killer trips next year. May have to skip my May conventions to do it.

Now is time to pour over the photos and see what can be saved from the vibrating camera of doom.
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