It seems that getting up earlier than noon the day after getting back from Dragon*Con is going to be a tradition. I got back to my house around 1:30am Tuesday morning (we had left the con sometime around 3, I believe). Although I was exhausted, my folks wanted to know how things went and I perked right up as I went through my first overview of this year. Honestly, the recap of events last night helped me to remember things I had forgotten to jot down in my notes while I was actually at the convention. Hooray for parents who are interested in my geeky pursuits!
Despite finally trundling off to bed at 4:30am this morning, I woke up rather early. First, I rolled over at 8am. I decided my body needed more sleep than that. Two hours later, I started to think about getting out of bed. Around 11am I actually picked myself up and started moving around.
I guess it’s just the residual excitement from a weekend of con fun that gets me up this early when I’ve had so little time to recover. Or maybe it’s just that my body started getting used to waking up early for panels, despite lack of sleep. At any rate, I’m awake and ready to start the first of this year’s Dragon*Con reports!
Heather and I stayed at Maggie’s house Wednesday night so we could all head out extremely early Thursday morning. We worked on putting the finishing touches on Heather’s Barf and Orko costumes. She had ordered some blue gloves from an online dealer for use with Orko, but they didn’t arrive in time for us to pick them up and put them in the bag. Instead, we made a quick trip to Party City and picked up a pair of plain white gloves, which Maggie painted blue. We also managed to find a pair of plastic Navi ears (from Avatar) that we could use for Orko’s ears.
Of course, standing in the midst of all the new Halloween costumes and props, Maggie and I had to engage in some silliness. She put on a viking helmet and I donned a Gladiator-esque helmet and face-mask. We chose our weapons – I had a sledgehammer and a short and Maggie opted for a shield and a “Gothic flail” with rubber spikes on it. She kept hitting herself in the leg with it while she swung it around. We engaged in a wee play battle for pictures, and Maggie managed to mangle my hand with one of the spikes on the flail. It was a lot heavier and harder than I expected. (She didn’t really mangle me…just bruised my wrist and raised a welt. I didn’t even notice it until we were out in the car)
When we got back to Maggie’s, we proceeded to lay waste to the living room. Heather had purchased a pair of high tops from the thrift store, along with a stuffed dog and a stuffed orang utan. She also had a pair of bike gloves. I went ahead and cut the ears off the stuffed dog, flipped them upside down, and stitched them to the headband Heather had brought with her. The fur on the bike gloves came from the stuffed dog’s tail, and Maggie cut off part of one paw for the tip of Heather’s shoes. She was in charge of gluing the fur on the shoes, while I sewed the hands, ears and tail. Why? Because Maggie is a glue fiend! She glues something, it usually stays glued.
I say usually because we had a slight issue with the ears on Orko’s hat later that weekend, but I think that had more to do with the nature of the plastic and the fabric of the hat.
Barf’s tail came from two of the arms off the stuffed orang utan. (I kind of felt sorry for the stuffed animals. They definitely drew the short straw in this case.) I cut the hand off of one of the arms and stitched it to the end of the other one. Then I took the stuffing out of the remaining hand and stitched the flattened hand to a piece of fabric Maggie had in her stash. That way, the weight of the tail would settle on Heather’s waist, instead of pulling on the back of the overalls.
Maggie had created some extra storage in the roof of her car with the help of hooks and two mesh laundry bags, and we were able to store her wings, her Ripley gun, Heather’s FedEx box, and Kowl’s ears in the roof of the car, freeing up space in the trunk and the backseat. We managed to cram all our stuff in the Green Man (Maggie’s car) and hit the hay.
We got moving 5am Thursday morning, swinging by the coffee shop to grab some breakfast and coffee before heading
out of town. The drive down was pretty nice, with great weather and very little traffic until we hit Atlanta. We got into the city around 5:30 and immediately headed to the Sheraton to pick up our badges. By the time we got there, the line was already all the way around the hotel and down the block a bit.
The wait outside wasn’t all that bad. We ended up behind a rather fun group of con-goers and we managed to keep ourselves entertained during the 4 hours it took to get inside and through all the ropes to pick up our badges. At one point one of the women in front of us suggested we sing sci-fi related songs. I started going through Weird Al’s “The Saga Begins” but I couldn’t remember the entire thing. If we’d been singing the original “American Pie,” I wouldn’t have had a problem.
Apparently, one of the fan tables in the Sheraton had been handing out free beach balls. I saw a couple of people blowing them up while we waited in line. It was inevitable that someone would start tossing them around while we all waited in line. Sure enough, two balls came sailing through the air and were swiftly batted around by con-goers who had, by that point, been waiting for at least three hours for their badges. Of course, the room we were waiting in happened to have three giant glass chandeliers hanging within easy reach of a beach ball. They managed to hit one once or twice before security confiscated the beach balls.
Maggie managed to get her badge long before Heather and I even got up to the front of the room (thanks to her last name beginning with the less popular “C” and ours starting with “N” and “S”) and headed off to pick up our parade ribbons. She also grabbed extra for the She-Ra, He-Man, Teela and Orko who would be joining our group on Saturday morning. Afterwards, she brought water over to Heather and I. We had finally made it to the front of the room and were only waiting to get into our respective lines, according to the first letter of our last names.
By the time we got out of registration, it was 9:30. We spent another half an hour wandering the streets of Atlanta, trying to figure out how to get into the parking garage where our car was. Every single entrance and exit for the parking garage was closed and there were no signs to tell us what we needed to do. Luckily, we ran into a guy who knew exactly where we needed to go…up two blocks and over one, into the Peachtree building. Once there, we explained the situation to the security guard and he told us we had to go through the lobby, across a walkway to the garage, and he’d have to buzz us out of the garage.
By the time we got to the car we were tired, our feet hurt, we were even hungrier (we had eaten lunch around noon that day), and were not at all impressed with the folks who ran the garage. The upside was that we ended up not having to pay the parking fee. A short while later we finally found our hotel (it was a little difficult to locate the first time) and settled into our room.
We were all so wiped from the trip down and waiting in line that we didn’t even bother to go out and search out food. I happened to have a muffin that I had swiped from the day-old pastry basket in the coffee shop still in my purse, so I munched on that before heading off to bed.
And thus ended the first day of our Dragon*Con 2010 trip.
I promise the other reports will be more interesting and full of con stories.