Dragon*Con 2009 Report #7 – Fourth Day and travel

The morning of the fourth day started a little slower than the others. I blame being awake and in costume until 1:34am the night before…er, that morning, rather. It also started with a wonderful present from the Buckhead Hotel – loud pile-driver equipment smashing holes in concrete somewhere outside our side of the hotel. Who needs an alarm clock when you’ve got a front row seat for construction?

I had packed up most of my stuff the night before, despite it being really late when we got back to the hotel, so I went to get the luggage cart from downstairs while Maggie finished packing up the stuff in the bathroom. I just want to say right now…thank goodness for luggage carts! It would have taken us an hour and about three trips each to get everything downstairs and out to the car otherwise.

Since we were going to be leaving straight from the convention to come home Maggie and I both chose costumes that would be comfy and were easy to move around in. She wore her Gabriel costume (from Constantine), sans wings, and I wore my Molly Weasley costume. The newly reconstructed sleeves were much lighter and were a more manageable length. I need to make a lining for the body of the sweater, though. The body of the sweater stretches a little too much and really needs to be tacked onto a stable lining. Without it the sleeves are still heavy enough to stretch it out.

We parked the car in a fairly empty lot (the fee was half what it had been for the rest of the weekend) and headed inside. The first order of business was finding coffee and breakfast. We wandered into the bottom floor of the Hilton in search of both. We hadn’t really been in the Hilton much over the course of the weekend and it was nice to explore a little more of it in the early hours of the last day. We happened across a little cafe-thingy on the bottom floor. There was a little convenience store type of set-up off to one side as well as a counter where you could order coffee and pastries. There was also a nice little seating area off to one side of the counter. We stowed our gear on one of the chairs and set down for a quick breakfast, looking over the schedule of panels and events.

I had my back to the coffee counter and the nearby line of patrons but Maggie had a pretty good view of everything and was doing a little bit of people watching. At one point I saw her face go into the “that’s someone famous” look I know so well by now. She caught my eye and started describing the guy she saw but she couldn’t place where she knew him from. The description was: skinny guy with gray hair and sunglasses. I casually scooted my seat back and glanced over to the line. The guy in question was standing up at the register, picking up his drink order. I’m pretty sure he saw me look but since I didn’t run up and beg for an autograph or otherwise bother him while he was going about his business. It didn’t take but a moment to recognize who the guy was.

Alan Ruck, of Ferris Bueller and Spin City fame. Pretty cool, just coming across people out in the hallways. That wasn’t the first one of the weekend, certainly. As I’ve already mentioned in earlier entries we also saw Brad Dourif (Wormtongue!), Jason Momoa (I don’t think I mentioned that one, actually), and Jason, Grant and Tango from Ghosthunters.

Breakfast finished, we wandered off to the Hyatt. We wanted to catch the final TAPS panel of the weekend and it had been moved to the same ballroom the Masquerade had been in. Now, anyone who’s been to a convention of a scale like Dragon*Con can tell you that waiting in the lines for panels tends to occupy a large bulk of your time. We had actually managed to get around that this time simply by not attending that many of the really large ones. The only big ones we had gone to were the two TAPS panels and one with the Stargate cast (both SG1 and Atlantis together). Well, and I waited in the Star Wars costume contest line, but I don’t think that counts. The cool thing about the panel on the fourth day was the line. Or rather, the lack of one.

It seems we weren’t the only ones feeling tired after an extended weekend spent up to our elbows in geek-centric fun. Everyone else we passed through the day, while still having fun and in a good mood, seemed to be one step away from being the walking dead. It looked like most people were actually clearing out on Monday, rather than squeezing a few last drops of play from the remaining panels and events. It worked to our advantage, though. When Maggie and I arrived at the Hyatt and found the appropriate ballroom we were allowed to go right in. The panel wouldn’t start for at least another 15 minutes but the staff didn’t need to bother enforcing lines.

We scoped out our seats – pretty close to the front, if not the actual front – and I made a quick run out to get some water. While I was wandering around in the Hyatt lobby I was stopped by an admiring costumer. She loved the sleeves. The Chamber of Secrets Molly Weasley costume is one that she’s been wanting to do for many years, she said, but she’s been put off a bit by the sweater. She knits and crochets but said she has never done something as complicated as the sleeves. She wanted to know what pattern we used.

If you’re interested in making your own, there are two routes you can go. There’s a pattern in a book called Charmed Knits, though – if you look at the picture – there seems to have been a slight problem with the drafting of the sleeve cap section of the sleeves. I don’t know enough about either method but I would venture that this problem might simply be the result of knitting the pattern in the book, instead of crocheting it. My sleeves are crocheted and I don’t have the same problem as the women in the picture. Of course, I’ve also got a slightly different pattern, so the argument might not be valid anyway. The other place you can get a pattern for the sleeves is from a knitter who has her own blog and Etsy shop. If I remember correctly, this is where we ultimately got the pattern from.

The woman knew about the Charmed Knits book. I think she even said she had a copy of it. I told her about the pattern that’s online, too, and told her that it works as a nice starting point but she’ll probably have to make some alterations to it. When Mom reworked the sleeves she just made stuff up as she went along. I’m not even sure she could tell anyone later what she did. The end result was fantastic though. The woman gave it a thumbs up – as well as the rest of the outfit.

Actually, a number of people mentioned that they liked the costume that day. We had passed by two guys sitting outside one of the hotels earlier that morning and one of them had said “You’ve got pretty colors. Bye pretty colors.” He might have been high but I’m counting that as a win nonetheless. Maggie just shakes her head when I wear the sweater. It’s definitely a costume choice that she would not make. She does concede that it makes me a bit easier to find in a crowd, though. All she has to do is ask people “Excuse me, did you see a girl come through here wearing a sweater that no one with working eyes would ever wear?”

**just want to go ahead and take a moment out here to send a shout-out Angelica’s way – she made the wand and the purse that I use when I wear the costume. Thanks!**

The wait for the TAPS panel was made pleasant by the handing out of assorted goodies. The woman who had done the introductions for the first panel was back again for the final one, with the notable addition of an eyepatch. Well, of gauze taped over her eye. It seems she had somehow managed to cut her cornea with her con badge (though she doesn’t know how). She hadn’t even bothered to go to the hospital yet. She said she was going directly there as soon as the panel was over.

Maggie ended up getting one of the free swag shirts that the lady was handing out. The woman started asking questions about trivia that had been revealed at the various TAPS panels that happened over the course of the weekend. One of the questions she asked was in regard to a story Jason and Grant had told about Tango, Steve and “Mothra.” Maggie’s hand was up before she even finished asking the question. 🙂

The panel itself was just as awesome as the first one had been. Dustin was once again the life of the panel. Maggie and I were impressed that he drank seven bottles of water by the end of the panel. That boy must have been dehydrated!

After the panel we wandered around again for a bit. We took another tour through the dealer’s room over in the Marriot – I got a pin that said “Who the hell would throw shit at a fan in the first place?” and Maggie bought her facehugger from Alien. We saw a t-shirt for Cthulu’s Clues that I kind of wish I had the money for. It depicted Blue with tentacles. Very cute, if a little creepy.

There wasn’t much else we wanted to do or see so we decided to cut out a bit earlier than expected. The trip back wasn’t all that eventful – other than lots of rain and me trying to change into pants and a t shirt while we drove down the interstate. Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving.

On the way down to Georgia we had spotted a roadside store selling peach cider, chutney, fruit and other assorted goods. We figured we’d hit it on the way back, when there was still daylight. We were both looking forward to it but weren’t all that impressed with the offerings in the end. I did, however, find evidence to support a theory I’ve had for many years…that pickles are evil. See? Even the shop agrees!

As I mentioned, the trip home wasn’t full of as many things as the trip down had been. I did see something interesting on the back of someone’s car. It made me chuckle when I saw it driving down the road. I suppose it’s better than writing “Wash Me” in the dust.

The notes for the fourth day of the con are woefully incomplete and jumbled. There are a few phrases here and there but it’s clear from the writing that my brain was still muddled by some con-generated cloud of ether. For instance, the page opposite the one detailing Day Four bears a scrawl that says “Real men wear capes.”

I would think that would go without saying so I’m not going to argue the point. I’m just curious as to the circumstances surrounding the point in time when I wrote it. Was it something I overheard? Something I read on a t-shirt? A thought I had while walking past a bunch of superheroes on the way to the car? No earthly idea.

I’ve also got a sketch accompanied by the note “pannier pockets – Awesome!” and a list of two

things to add to my “to be made” list: Popples and Garthim.

::sigh:: A costumer’s work is never done. Next entry should be the last one.

Oh, and Captain Picard seems to be saying “Who’s special? You’re special.”
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