Sunday, September 20, 2015

50 Days of Dragon Con 2 Weeks Later

The Con Itself

HOLY COW!!! There is so much to tell and I hope I can remember it all.  First my Sexy Sandwich.  So there has been a change in the general location of Froggy's.  It is still in the basement of the Marriott but in a different room with a bit of a different set up.  I get to the room that they are queueing up the lines for the photos.  It is very hot down there and there are a zillion people.  My op time was 2:15.  They did not call people for my pic/time for awhile and 2:15 came and went.  They did announce that Stephen's plane was late so he was going to be a little delayed.  After awhile they called us to get in line.  Off we went to a smaller room.
John Barrowman in a blue Tardis dress
YAY.  Once in the room John Barrowman got up on a table and told us that Stephen was on his way. He was up on that table for probably 10 minutes or so just entertaining us.  WOW.  What a cool guy.  My parents used to talk about entertainers and how my generation is missing them.  Think Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, and Johnny Carson.  For the first time in my life, I have had an encounter with a true entertainer.  John Barrowman, wow, you are amazing.  He did not have to do that for us.  He could have gone back to his room, sat in a corner reading a book, anything, but no, he entertained us.  A true Treat.
Once Stephen gets there, they file us in.  I was the third in line and wowie.  He is BUFF and all muscle.  Cool Guy too.  Friendly and kind.  I was so lucky to have met them both.

Next on Friday was my ultimate fan-girl moment.  I have never really had one.  I get pathetically shy when I meet celebrities so I usually just turn red and put my head down.  No fan girl here.  That was until I met Caroll Spinney.  Caroll Spinney has played Big Bird and Oscharsince the characters inception.  He has been with Sesame Street since the 70's.  He is now in his 80's and still plays this character.  WOW.  I went to his table to have my books signed and while in line I was trying to not get fan-girl.  I failed MISERABLY.  I get up there and I start to cry.  He and his wife are the most awesome people.  They were snuggling at the table and I could not even speak.  While he was signing, his wife, Debbie, asked me questions and all I could do was nod and cry.  Totally embarrassing, genuine, but embarrassing.  I was pretty much a mess the rest of the day.  I went to several panels and late night stuff.  FUN FUN FUN.

Saturday and or, was it Sunday?
I went to the Carroll Spinney panel on Saturday and I cried through the whole thing again.  At least I am not the only one there in tears.    The rest of the day was spent panels.  I loved a lot of them and then there were a few I was confused on.  I went to a panel on mature themes in genre tv and it became a rant on the whole incident with Sansa and Ramsey.  Like 3/4 of the panel was about this.  Kind of annoying.  The track director spoke up from the back of the room and told the panelists to get off of Game of thrones.  THANKS!  I went to one on Dark Matter and there was so much giddiness over the whole thing it was great.  Some time on Saturday, things started getting jumbled and I do not really remember what happened on Saturday vs Sunday.  I do know Saturday night was the Voltaire concert.  It was as wonderful as always.  I love going to the concert and dancing with everyone.  I do not get the people who sit in the back of the room not bopping along, not singing and just looking bored.  There were lots of panels both days some good some not so much.  They all kind of bled into one another.  I really liked the LotR panels with Constance J Wagner.  She is awesome.  Saturday night was the annual Match Game in the 25th Century with Gil Gerard.  The guest panelists this year included Sylvester McCoy, Trenna Keating Garrett Wang and John Barrowman.  The guests are not generally announced until the game starts but apparently Gil tweeted out who they were going to be. The guests were amazing and I had a great time.

Monday
Monday was so weird.  Normally this is the day that people go home.  I get it.  This year it seemed almost abandoned.  There were so few people left.  Also, there seemed to be ALOT less programming Monday.  What happened?  Is it because so many of the track directors and staff want to go to the Dead Dog Party?  I do not get it.  I thought the con was supposed to be four days.  Instead it is more like 3 and a quarter.  I hope we get more programming on Monday next year.

All in all this was a wonderful time and I am already prepping for next year.  Thank you again to all of the volunteers that put the show together.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 1 HOLY CRAP IT IS HERE!!!!!!

Heaven,

I will lose my internet at noon so I can not do a recap of the days events.  Instead,  I will do a pre-Friday Friday recap.  LOL.  Today is the day I get to meet Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird.  HOLY SHIT!  I get to meet the man that has made these two awesome characters come to life, Carroll Spinney.  I am so in awe.  I am nervous and excited all in one.  I am sure I will be a blathering idiot when I go to get the pic and autograph.  I absolutely know I will be.  Still, I have to do this.  I am also getting a sexy sandwich and for those of you who do not know what a sexy sandwich is, it is a pic with you between two hot people.  In my case the sandwich I chose is John Barrowman and Stephen Amell from Arrow (along with other things).  WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! Again, I will be the blathering idiot but I do not care as I am sure I will not be the only one.  Hopefully I will not get teary eyed because I am so excited.  Tee HEE.  Thank God I am not a pee-er.  Can you imagine getting so excited/nervous you pee all over yourself?  That totally has to suck.  How have the rest of you handled this kind of excitement/nervousness?  I know I will turn red as a tomato, but hopefully that is the worst. 

Well, I am off to have a SPECTACULAR day at con.  I will have more for you when I get home.  Thank you for reading and I hope that I have kept you interested at least a little bit.

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 2

Thursday
Thursday before con is a bit of craziness.  Yesterday the Marriott had a bit of a snafu and started taking their furniture away from the common areas a day early.  It was kind of cool since there were obviously so many more con attendees here than there were last year.  Wednesday is the new Thursday, I guess.  Anywhoo, they put the furniture back for yesterday and then took it away late last night.  Since arriving here I have already walked more than 10 miles and it is only Thursday, what the heck?!? LOL I knew I would walk this much.  I got up early and headed down to the Hilton lobby where I got in line to register for my room next year.  I stood in line for over an hour and got to meet a really cool chick from Nashville.  HI, Melissa!  We chatted about this and that for over an hour.  I learned that she likes to make her own hooch- apple pie- and I have put in a request to buy some from her next year.  I got set up for next years room and was off to registration to pick up my badge.  WOO HOO this line, while kind of long took less than 15 minutes and then I was off to the blood bank.  Here is the thing, I usually figure I will not be done with the hotel, badge pick up and the blood bank before 2.  I was not only done, I had stopped in a sit down restaurant for lunch and was in the game room playing Fluxx before 2.  HOLY COW!  This was the fastest Thursday of chores I have to do that I have ever had.  Thank you to all who made this go so fast!

I hung out in the game room for a few hours played some games then went to the food court and got an absolutely dreadful cheese steak.  DO NOT GO THERE.  The sandwich was cold, my soda was half full and it was not good at all.  Now what to do?  I still had a few hours before the sing-a-long began.  I hung out under the pulse lounge and people watched.  This is always a good time.  Especially in this location.  You are out of the way and yet you can see 3 floors below you.  WOO HOO.  Great place to watch my people.  I have to say there are a lot of Jurassic Park costumes this year.  Kind of disappointing though.  They are not hard to make or assemble so meeh. 

The sing-a-long is next and was put on by the American Sci-Fi Media Track.  They played all sorts of songs and we sang, I think it is kind of self explanatory, honestly.  But we had a blast.  Jeff even had fun as I heard him singing along.  I was the dork singing at the top of my lungs to songs I had no idea what the words are and was dancing in my chair.  WOOT fun times.  Thanks Kelley and Gary.  It is now midnight and I have to get to bed because my first panel starts early tomorrow and I am so excited.  WOOT!

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 3

Arrival

I arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday.  WOO HOO.  I am home with my peeps.  We got to the hotel and checked in and were instantly given a voucher for next year.  YAYYYYYYY  I took my things up to my room and I have to say it was a little weird, my room had a Murphy bed.  It is a great room but still kind of strange. 

Once I settled in a bit (yes, I am an un-packer) I was off to check everything out.  There were some changes but not many.  The first was the concern of many, the change in the Marriott carpeting.  I get the sadness over change.  I was one that was sad to see the pretty swirlies go away.  That being said, when walking into the Marriott, I could see how worn and thread bare the carpet was in very many places.  There were other spots that were bubbling and just nasty.  I think folks will soon come to love the new carpet as much as they did the old.  So far they have only changed it in a few places.  The Atrium level and a few of the smaller conference rooms on other floors. 

The other thing I noticed is that there were so damn con goers here already.  Usually on Tuesday there are a few lone peeps and the rest are there for other conferences.  It was so strange to see my peeps this early.  Totally AWESOME but totally strange.  Off I went to CVS to buy my water bottles for the weekend and a few munchies.  Nothing much had changed.  Everything in the hotels seemed pretty much the same old same old.  One thing I did find that was different was Gus's Fried Chicken in the lower level of Peachtree Center.  OMG it is some good fried chicken.  I totally recommend it.

I have such an odd feeling.  I feel like I have never left.  I am at my home away from home.  It is like the outside con world does not even exist.  This place, and this time is mine.  In some ways time is standing still and in others I can hardly believe I have already been here a day.  I spend 300+ days per year looking forward to this one week.  Now that I am here I am in pure heaven.  This is my place, these are my people, and I am in a world that will not judge me for singing out loud, dancing in my chair, or liking what I like.  I love these people.  All of them-even the ones I do not like.  I feel so free.  Thank you.  Just thank you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 4

Obelisk

So the track I am about to talk about has gone through MANY changes the last couple of years including splits and name changes.  I do not know which track this story fits into right now so we will GUESS that it is the newly created Horror track.
Many years ago I went to a panel about the tv show Dark Shadows.  I loved this show from the 90's and then watched many of the movies off of the 60's soap opera.  I loved this show.  The track was sponsored by Netherworld haunted house here in Atlanta.  They brought in props for the stage.  It was REALLLY cool. 

Before the panel began there was some staff setting up and the like and one of the staff knocked an obelisk down on to the audience.  This actually hit a girl in the leg.  NEVER once did the guy check on her or apologize.  Medical was called in and the whole bru-ha-ha ensued.  Never once did he ask her how she was doing.  Someone went to get her ice and everything.  Did the guy that knocked it over do anything?  NO he looked at her like she did it to herself.  What a jerk.  The victim turned out to be ok and pretty cool about the whole thing.  The guy, he was a complete dick about it all.  I see him from time to time at the con and i think what a jerk and move on.  Seriously how could he not at least say he was sorry?  I do not understand people these days.

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 5

Vortex


When at con there are dozens of food options to choose from.  Once the con starts I do not leave the con and worry about food.  Since I am here early I leave to go to eat. There have been several places that have come recommended.  One of the places is a burger joint called The Vortex.  This is just down the street from the Hyatt in midtown.  I did not look this place up on line and instead decided to go in blind.  Once I got there there was a sign to seat myself.  I turned the corner to find a very large penis statue.  OMG THIS IS SO COOL.  There were dead animals on the wall-not really my thing- but lots of other random stuff plastered on the wall and the walk spaces.  When I sat down the menu cover was covered with rules amout not being a baby, smoking, drinking, and the such.   It was all very cooooool.  Then I opened the menu and instantly became overwhelmed.  I wanted everything.  How do you decide?

I decided to get the Mac N' Cheesy-Changa to start off with.  This is macaroni and cheese wrapped in a tortilla with some pulled pork then fried and topped with queso.  OMG HEAVEN.  This is one of the best things I have ever ever eaten.  OMG the goodness!  Since I was still undecided on which burger to get, I asked the waitress.  I ended out getting the Zombie Apocalypse OMFG burger.  This burger was a delicious meat patty on a piece of Texas toast topped with pulled pork, 2 fired eggs and honey BBQ sauce.  Pure deliciousness.  This was so damn good.  All of their burgers looked so good.  Next time I go I will try some other burger but definitely get the Changa again.  The prices were excellent so all in all a great value.

HOLY COW do I recommend this place to anyone going to con.  It was a 5 minute Uber ride for $5 to get there and the same to get back.  SUCH greatness and not that far out of con.  Check them out!!!

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 6

Packing


Packing for con can be a complete nightmare.  You will inevitably forget something and bring too much of something else.  There are tons of tips and tricks on the internet for how to pack a suitcase.  I think everyone has seen some of those.  There are also other threads of information floating on other ideas and helpful hints.  I thought I would chime in on those.

I always expect that I will forget something.  I just hope it is never too major.  When I am at con I start a list for next con of what I need to bring.  To be honest this is never a new list.  I keep a list in my phone and just change the year on the title.  Then I uncheck things that I need to bring back again.  Mostly the unchecking are things like toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo and the like.  Then I add things that I had not thought of or have purchased this year for the next.  I continually change old items to fit something new, add or delete items off of the list.  I have had this generally same list for the last several years.  Sometimes there are things on there that are no longer needed or just extras.  Heck for this year I brought 4-yes 4-travel sized tubes of toothpaste.  I guess I did not want gnarly breath.

I checked everything off of my list but there were a few snafu's this year.  I had on my list headband.  I generally do not wear headbands and thought hmmm.  So I brought the one I had in my hair drawer.  What the list now says is jeweled headband.  I forgot I have a jeweled on that I wore not too long ago and it did not get put back in the Dragon Con accessories bin therefore I forgot about it.  OOPS Now I will remember for next year.  The other error is that for some reason a razor was not listed on my list.  There was shave gel and I brought that, but forgot the accompanying razor...oh well.  I went to CVS (oh yeah, I am here) and bought one.  This will now stay in my Dragon Con travel kit.  WOO HOO!!!

Needless to say, nothing is perfect.  Get over it.  I do every year.  Learn to live with it and your con will be FANTABULOUS!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 7

Costumes





Costuming is a huge part of con.  While I do not often participate, I see it and appreciate it.  You have the folks that are HUGE cosplayers and those who are more hobbyists.  I love all of the costumes.  So many of them are inventive.  There are the standard costumes you see at every con and then there are those who take it to a whole other level.  I love the kids that obviously made their own costumes and the adults that have spent the entire year making one that is super intricate.  Every costume should be appreciated and held in a form of reverence. 

Some of the most interesting costumes are not necessarily those that are of costume characters we know and are screen accurate.  Those are amazing, do not get me wrong. The amount of talent it takes to make those is absolutely staggering.  CONGRATS to those that have that kind of talent.  The costumes I like better are the takes on something, mashups or gender bending.  I love to see a female Captain Kirk or a male Princess Leia.  No matter of the skill level.  There is so much talent that goes into both, I like the ingenuity and creativity that goes in to the ones that are not screen accurate.

To those who costume, you are all amazing, beautiful, and talented.  I congratulate you on all of your hard work.  More importantly, I applaud the very obese men and women who have the inner strength to wear spandex and face the grouchy naysayers head on.  YOU ARE MY HEROES!

50 Days of Dragon Con Day 8

Podcasts


In my preparation for Dragon Con I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I find anything and everything that I can get my hands on.,  There are some that are informational and educational and there are those that are more just entertainment.  I have been listening to different ones all year and most especially for the last several weeks. 

So my favorite two podcasts have been the Needless Things podcast and Debriefing Dragon Con.  These are totally different from each other.  Needless is put on by Phantom Troublemaker on the ESO Network and is the more entertaining of the two.  He has guests and tidbits of what is to come at con.  Debriefing is put on by the leaders of the Dragon Con for Newbies Facebook group.  This podcast while entertaining, is more for informational for con newbies than anything else.  Having con to con for many years some of the information is kind of redundant BUT every year I get new tips and find out about some changes that are coming to con this year.  Both are amazing and great to listen to.  Debriefing is about 15-30 minutes whereas Needless is usually over an hour.  I recommend checking out both of them.  They are available on iTunes and Stitcher for download. 

Thank you to all of those who put these podcasts on.  They are great to listen to and oh so much fun.  I appreciate all of the information. 

Have fun and you can NEVER be too prepared for con.