::cautiously pokes head around the corner::
I’m finally back to finish up the long-awaited con reports for Sunday and Monday of Dragon*Con. Okay, so I only know for sure that they’ve been long-awaited by a select few people but, judging from the numbers of hits I’ve had over the past few weeks a couple of others might be waiting to read about Sunday, too. I sincerely apologize for not finishing these up sooner. I could say “I’ve been really busy!” – which I have been. I could say “They take a long time to write!” – which they do. But, in the end, whatever I tell you doesn’t change the fact that the con happened back in September, and we’re now on our way to the halfway point of November. Shameful on my part and, again, I apologize for the delay. I also apologize if this report seems kind of piecemeal…I didn’t take a lot of notes on Sunday and I’ve got to try to reconstruct my memory of what exactly happened that day from photos and a few scribbled messages.
That being said…
Heather, Maggie and I had decided to make Sunday “Star Wars Day” for a couple of reasons. One, Maggie had made a cool Sith costume and wanted to have an entire day to wear it, instead of the half-day that is Monday at the con. Two, we’d all spent the previous day in either uncomfortable shoes (Maggie) or hot, unwieldy costumes (Heather and me), and we wanted a bit of a break from having to expend any sort of effort.
Well, Maggie had to put some effort into it. She’d purchased some red contact lenses from one of the dealer rooms the day before for use with her Sith costume and she had a devil of a time getting them in. Heather and I, however, had pretty straightforward costumes.
I pulled out my variety of Jedi accoutrements and set about finding something suitable for Heather to wear. I quickly set her up with a short-sleeved top, knowing the layers can sometimes get a bit stifling in the crowded halls at Dragon*Con. After I got her all settled, I turned my attention to putting my own stuff together.
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that I have a tendency to forget or overlook certain parts of my costumes from time to time. The last time I wore my Jedi costume (Farpoint) I had forgotten to pack my lightsaber. I felt naked that entire day, despite wearing five layers of clothing. This time, I made absolute certain that I packed my lightsaber. It was the very first thing to go in the bag. “Completely prepared,” I thought.
This being me, however, I had to forget something at home. This time around it was the bottom half of my costume. That’s right, folks, I forgot to pack my skirt. I could’ve sworn that I had put it in the bag, on top of the lightsaber, but it wasn’t there. I found it sitting in the middle of my bed when I finally got home after that weekend. After kicking myself for leaving a piece of my costume at home, I finally just donned a pair of jeans with the rest of the costume, determined to search out pants or a skirt once we got to the convention.
When we got to the lot where we usually park it was already PACKED. Luckily, the Green Man is nice and compact, and we can usually fit into spots that most other cars can’t. We piled out of the car and headed in to grab some breakfast from the Starbucks in the Marriot…
…and Maggie realized that we had completely forgotten to pay for our parking and put the ticket in the front windshield. Since the line at the Starbucks has a tendency to get out of control, Heather and I stayed there, keeping our spots and ensuring we’d get something to eat and Maggie headed back out to handle the parking. It’s a good thing she remembered when she did, too. When she got back she said that the guy was just going around to check everyone’s tickets when she put the receipt in the window.
The three of us relaxed in some cushy armchairs near the convenience store while we ate our breakfast. Of course, as usually happens, we started
talking about people we had seen the day before, as well as that morning. I don’t know how we got on the subject of it, but the conversation turned to the gaggle of Sith that Maggie and I regularly spot around Dragon*Con. The group includes a few people, the most noticable of whom are Lance Udell and Tara Smith. If you remember, at the end of the last con report I posted a link to a Chad Vader video. Tara and Lance appear in it briefly, given the names “Sexy Jedi.” According to Maggie, they have a company that makes the supercool lightsabers we see them sporting around the con.
These are no run-of-the-mill sabers, people. Maggie and I have often noticed that they seem much brighter than the standard ones you buy at the dealer’s room. That’s because these sabers use LED lights. So, you know…they look brighter because they are brighter. Apparently, Maggie had inquired about the sabers and learned that they come in a high variety of colors: orange, red, yellow, purple, teal, white, blue, green…I’m sure I’m missing a few.
That’s when I got a bit silly. Yes, I realize that I’ve been more than a bit silly far earlier than this year’s Dragon*Con. Let’s say, instead, that this is the point on Sunday when I first got a bit silly. I honestly don’t know what color lightsaber I would have and joked about the possibility of getting one with EVERY COLOR KNOWN TO MAN in the blade. Then I proceeded to pretend to stab an invisible someone with a non-existant lightsaber, while yelling “Taste the Rainbow!”
Somehow the concept of a Care Bear Jedi came up, and I moved on to joking
about the rainbow-hued lightsaber taking the place of a Care Bear stare. By this point, I was laughing hysterically. I flopped back into my cushy armchair, leaned my head back against the top…and noticed two congoers grinning and taking a picture of me. As tends to happen, my costumed antics had been observed and enjoyed by passerby (or, in this case, passer-aboves, as they were on the next floor up, leaning over the edge of the railing). I grinned back at them and waved as they snapped a picture.
Around this time I caught sight of a very spot-on Gene Simmons look-alike walking past. I got up and grabbed Heather’s camera and fired off a shot. I wound up seeing a grand total of three people dressed like Gene Simmons over the course of the con, but this one looked the most like him. It also prompted the following exchange between Maggie and I the next day:
Me: That guy who was dressed as Gene Simmons was, um…
Maggie: Really weird?
Me: Yeah. I was going to say “really in character, to his detriment,” but “really weird” works well too.
He was kind of creepy.
The requests to pose for pictures started pretty early on Sunday. It’s something Maggie and I have come to expect when we wear Star Wars
themed costumes. I think it’s mainly because the majority of Jedi we tend to see wandering the halls are men. This time around, of course, we had two female Jedi and a female Sith…whose shirt was kind of low-cut.
Most of the time we do pretty standard Jedi/Sith poses. We do that whole “I’m using the force to move things/influence weak minds” hand movement. If we have a lightsaber we hold it. Nothing too fancy, for the most part. I decided pretty early on, however, that I wanted to take advantage of the fact that there were a number of other Star Wars characters wandering about that day. I came up with a couple of ideas for pictures that I wanted to take. I managed to get most of them checked off the list over the course of the day.
One of the best Star Wars shots I saw involved a gaggle of Sith and a samurai rabbit. Brilliant. Just brilliant. I wanted to set up one of my shots with that same group of Sith, but they somehow managed to disappear before Maggie and I could get over to them to ask for said photo op. I’m convinced they have teleportation skills. One minute they were there, the next minute they were gone.
Now, as I mentioned, I had forgotten to pack part of my costume and was
intent on finding a suitable stand-in for my missing skirt. The three of us hit the dealer rooms pretty early on in the day, on the hunt for clothing. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted pants or a skirt – quite honestly, I was willing to be satisfied with anything that wasn’t my blue jeans. I knew from prior experience that the clothing sold at cons can get kind of pricey, but I didn’t realize how much most of the booths tend to charge for simple pants and skirts. I came to the realization early on that I need to get on the ball and start making clothing to sell at conventions. I would make a killing!
Anyhoo, I finally located a nice little booth that had an assortment of skirts and wrap-around pants for a reasonable price. I picked up a nice pair of brown wrap pants (one of the guys running the booth asked if I knew how they worked…I smiled and explained that I have a pair of shorts just like them – albeit made out of really loud fabric) for $35 and took note of the fact that they also sold the conical straw hats that I love so much. I really want to work one in to a steampunk look. One of these days! ::shakes fist in the air::
By the by…happy as I am with both my Jedi battle skirt (that’s what Maggie and I call it) and the wrap pants that I bought at Dragon*Con, this is ultimately what I would like to make for the bottom half of my costume. Pants AND a skirt, combined! The best of both worlds!
Heather was also on the prowl for things in the dealer room. Specifically, she was looking for a Jurassic Park staff badge. I had mentioned seeing two badges like that earlier in the weekend. One said “Staff” below the Jurassic Park insignia, the other said “Ranger.” She’s got an idea for a Jurassic Park costume next year. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate the booth where I had seen the badges. Hopefully we’ll be able to track them down online. If anyone reading this has seen them and knows where we might order one, please let me know.
Eventually, the three of us wandered back over to the Hyatt. We wanted to check out the hall costume entries. We went ahead and put in our votes (Heather’s Barf costume from Friday was up on the board, as was a shot of the three of us in our Castaspella/Orko/Kowl costumes from Saturday). There were a LOT of wonderful costumes to choose from.
After our votes were in, we meandered back over to the Hilton, and the Walk of Fame. Well, Maggie and I did. Heather set off to see if she could get into Adam Savage’s Mythbuster’s panel.
Once again, I had made the decision to only get one autograph while at Dragon*Con. It was a difficult choice, but I eventually picked Colin Ferguson over Sam Trammell. Tough choice, but it had to be made. I suppose I ultimately figured I like Eureka better than True Blood. Just a tad bit, but enough to make the call in favor of Ferguson.
Maggie waited with me over at Colin Ferguson’s table. It wasn’t a very long line (I’m honestly surprised at how fast the lines move at Dragon*Con, when the autograph lines at every other convention always seem to stand still) and I patiently waited my turn. Erica Cerra – who plays Deputy Jo Lupo – had the table right next to Colin’s. At one point, she proceeded to climb over her table, jump on the ground, and posed for a picture with two folks in costume. I got the feeling that she had been the one to ask for the picture, and not the other way around. After the picture was taken, she went off in search of the bathroom. Just as I got up to the table, Colin looked over at his assistant and asked where Erica had gone. He excused himself for a moment and I went about trying to choose which picture I wanted him to sign.
He apologized when he came back. He really didn’t need to. It’s not like I feel the actors should be chained to the tables and made to perform and interact with us. They are people. They’re allowed to get up and move around and have fun, just like the rest of us. And they can certainly go off in search of sandwiches and bathroom facilities.
Now, I’ve mentioned before that one of the things that puts an actor in my “Awesome!” list is how they interact with fans. Being a decent human being will always get you a gold star in my book, whether you’re famous or not. I’ve come across people who have an attitude, and I’ve met others who are incredibly warm and welcoming. For the record, I’ve met far more of the latter than the former and Colin Ferguson, I am happy to say, joins the ranks of the awesome. He’s just so darn NICE. I think anyone would be hard-pressed to dislike him.
When he got back from finding Erica Cerra, he sat down in his chair. When I stepped forward with my photo, however, he stood up to greet me. He shook my hand, asked my name, and introduced himself.”
“Nice to meet you, Meg. I’m Colin,” he said.
I grinned and chuckled. “Yes. I know. It’s very nice to meet you.”
He smiled back. “Yeah, I guess you do know.” Then he sat down to autograph the picture. He asked about my costume – specifically the lightsaber. The assistant next to him asked where I’d gotten it, and I explained how Maggie and I made them. I untied it and handed it over, so she could take a closer look at it. When Colin was finished signing the autograph, he stood back up and shook my hand again.
“It was very nice to meet you. I hope you have a good time at the rest of the convention. And thanks for watching the show.”
I’ll tell you right now…those blue eyes are even more distracting in real life than they are on tv.
Maggie’s tour around the Walk of Fame was a tad more in-depth than mine was. She is on a mission to get autographs from the main players of the bridge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Going in to Dragon*Con 2010, she already had autographs from Patrick Stewart and Marina Sirtis. This year, most of the folks she needed were going to be in one place.
The first person she wanted to get an autograph from was Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar). As Maggie repeatedly told me, Tasha Yar was her hero growing up. Makes sense, when you think about it. She was the first female head of security that we saw in Star Trek. The line for Denise Crosby was right next to the one for Brent Spiner. While I stood with Maggie, I did a little bit of people watching. At one point, a young boy (probably around 12) came up to shake Brent Spiner’s hand. He was kind of shy and started to slip away right afterwards. Brent called out “Wait a minute. You can’t stand in line for a long time and just leave with a handshake.” He called the boy back, chatted wih him, and posed for a picture with him – at no charge. That impressed me, as usually there is a charge for taking a picture with one of the stars…particularly one as well known as Brent Spiner. That moment moved him onto the “Awesome!” list, as well.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know…he’s a bit of a goofball. 🙂 He was playing around with a number of fans who came up to meet him and, at one point, wandered over to Denise Crosby to give her a random hug.
Turning the other direction while we waited in line, I spotted John de Lancie (Q). Despite the presence of a beard, he’s still quite recognizable as one of my favorite characters from The Next Generation. He was eating a sandwich.
Yes, that’s right. I’m reporting on the eating habits of Star Trek stars. Didn’t I mention that I’m having to piece this day together from a few notes and some fuzzy memories? That’s what you get…commentary about sandwiches. I don’ t have the slightest idea why that memory sticks in my head – I still haven’t completely grasped how my brain works – but I remembered it, and so I wrote about it. So there.
At this point in my writing, I’ve been asked by Maggie to mention the fact that, when she got up to the front of the line, Denise Crosby told her that she looked gorgeous.
LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge) was on a break when Maggie finished getting her autographs from Denise and Brent – I am willing to bet that he, too, was off enjoying a sandwich – so Maggie moved on around the corner and tracked down Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker).
I feel that I should mention the fact that Maggie’s gotten remarkably better at being able to talk to movie
and television stars, over the course of our various con treks. She had little moments with a number of the actors she met this year. When we got up to the front of Frakes’ line, she picked out a photo and handed it to him. He was wearing a pair of glasses around his neck and, as he settled down to autograph her picture, he pulled them up and put them on his nose. The cool thing about them is that they snap together at the bridge of the nose. Maggie and I were both intrigued by them. “Those are so cool!” Maggie blurted out. He smiled and talked about them briefly before moving on to sign her photo. I seem to remember him bidding us a good day at the convention as well.
At this point, Maggie had started to amass quite the collection of signed photos. Neither of us had thought ahead to buy plastic sleeves for our photos. Luckily, one of the tables – I think it was Frakes’, actually – was
selling those sleeves in addition to the photos for signatures. We picked up a couple. For some reason, I took that moment to wander out of the Hall of Fame, while Maggie went back to wait in LeVar Burton’s line. I honestly can’t remember why I left and what I did. Again…fuzzy memories. I swear I wasn’t on anything at the convention. I was just sleep-deprived, over-stimulated, and filled with fangirl giddiness.
I do know that, after the signatures, Maggie and I met back up with Heather. Turns out the line for Adam Savage had been ridiculously long, and there was no chance of getting in to see his panel unless you had been waiting in said line for at least an hour already. Of course, by the time Heather met back up with us and we were preparing to leave the Hilton in search of lunch, the panel had ended. The three of us joined the snarl of bipedal traffic that was swarming around and through the walkway from the Hilton back over to the Marriot. As we finally neared the entrance to the walkway, I noticed a familiar looking ginger head, wearing glasses and sporting a black hat. I did a doubletake and, sure enough, it was Adam Savage.
I almost – almost – called out “Hey! It’s Adam Savage!” Then I realized that might not be a good idea, considering we were already in a massive press of people. I have no way of knowing whether calling attention to the presence of one of the popular guests at the convention would have caused a ruckus. I’d like to think the attendees at Dragon*Con are more well-behaved than that. However, I wasn’t really all that keen on taking my chances.
We continued to move through the walkway. About halfway through, I ended up doing another double-take. This time, I was standing within two inches of Kim Bauer (Pam from TrueBlood). Pam is one of my favorite characters from the books, and one of my favorites from the show, so it was kind of neat to run across her in passing. Like most of the other actors I spotted in the hall, she smiled at me and went on her way.
We headed to the convenience store in the Marriot to pick up lunch, as we tend to do for most of the convention. The store stocks a nice selection of sandwiches and salads that are both filling and healthy. The fact that it’s so easy to eat healthy for a low cost is one of the things I love about Dragon*Con. After purchasing our respective meals, we wandered off to find a spot to eat. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to find some empty armchairs and a table. Usually, though, we simply retreat to the area underneath one of the Marriot’s many staircases.
I remember making some kind of remark about the fact that, with the exception of the pre-Jedi Luke sitting at the dinner table with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, a scene set at Shmi Skywalker’s house in Episode One, and – if I remember correctly – a scene in Yoda’s hut on Dagobah, we don’t see Jedi eating. We don’t really have an idea of whether or not followers of the Jedi way are vegetarian or not. I think it’d be an interesting notion to consider. I mean, in a number of ways it reminds me of Buddhism and the majority of my Buddhist friends are vegetarian. I think, perhaps, I am going to do more research on the subject…to see if eating habits of various members of the Jedi Order are mentioned throughout the expanded universe.
Anyway…back to the actual convention…
One of the things I absolutely love about Dragon*Con (about any sci-fi con, honestly) is the presence of remote-controlled robots. I’ve seen an R2D2 unit on more than one occasion, and they never cease to make me smile. I spotted one on our walk through the Marriot and made Maggie take a picture of me with it. And yes, before you ask, I said the “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” line from the movie.
The remote-controlled unit that truly made my day, however, was the K-9 unit from Doctor Who. I spotted it in the middle of the Marriot floor and made a bee-line over to it. I bent over to pet its robot head and the ears rotated back and forth, like K9’s do in the show.
I may – may – have squeed and clapped my hands in a wholly unJedi-like manner. There is no proof of this, to my knowledge.
I looked around for the person who was controlling K9. There was a man standing a few feet away from me with his hands behind his back. He was looking up, as though studying the balconies of the Marriot. He was obviously having a grand time making the robot move about and interact with people, and was doing his best to blend in with the crowd.
At that point, a couple of Doctor Who fans – one Doctor and three different companions (and a Kaylee from Firefly) – spotted K9 and headed over. I loved how all the girls cooed over the robotic dog.
At 4pm, Maggie and I split off from Heather once again. The two of us wanted to sit in on the panel entitled “Forensic Pathology in Georgia.” Heather, while she reads a lot of true crime, was more interested in exploring other sections of the convention. She left us to our panel and headed off to do more people-watching and photo-taking.
I should mention here that the panel Maggie and I went to was given an NC-17 rating, due to the content that we were going to be seeing. It was understandable. I mean, we were going to a topic about dead people. And not the cleaned up and neatly presented people one sees in funeral parlors. Oh no. This panel was about the Tri-State Crematory Scandel, which took place in 2002.
Maggie and I were the only two people in attendance at this panel in costume. There we were, sitting in the middle row of the room, in full Jedi and Sith get-ups. I was a bit surprised that no one else there was decked out in some sort of costume. I don’t know if, maybe, the folks who attend the science track panels just don’t dress up, or if the lack of other costumed geeks in this panel was just a fluke.
In all honesty, I kind of wish the panel had been full of more actual scientists, instead of the casual observers who were there. The pathologist giving the presentation about the case kept getting interrupted by people asking questions – many of them asking the exact same questions that had just been asked! He had said, before he started, to please hold all questions until the end. Understandable, considering the amount of material he had to get through. Plus, it was likely that any questions the audience might have had would be answered in the natural course of his presentation.
People didn’t bother to follow through on this request, though. And they kept asking questions that had to do with the psychology of the guy behind the whole scandel…things that the pathologist had no connection to. His work was about the identification and cataloguing of the human remains found on the grounds of the crematorium.
In the end, I found the panel fascinating but found myself wishing I’d been able to sit through it with folks who had a more substantial grounding in forensic science – particularly, in forensic pathology or anthropology. Oh well.
After we left the panel, we met back up with Heather and proceeded to do
my favorite thing at conventions…people watch! We scoured all the floors of the Marriot, in search of people wearing interesting costumes, and we were not disappointed. In fact, I think the theme of Sunday could very well be “Gee…I’ve not seen that before!” We came across a number of unique costume ideas, mixed up in the general costumed geekery.
As we wandered around, I inevitably started brainstorming for next year. I’d actually started thinking about next year on Friday, but only a little bit here and there. Sunday was when I pulled out my little notebook and made a note that I NEED to make my Rebecca Chambers costume and my Night Watch light company uniform for next year’s Dragon*Con. There are always a good number of folks in Resident Evil costumes, so Rebecca would have a nice place to hang out. As for the Night Watch costume…it’s a favorite movie of mine, and I’ve never seen anyone dressed as any of the characters.
At this point, Maggie and I were in full photo mode. That means posing for photos, as well as running around taking them. There were a fair number of Star Wars characters milling about in the Marriot and we took advantage of this. As I mentioned before, there were a couple of specific pictures I wanted. Luckily, everyone you meet at Dragon*Con is incredibly obliging as far as goofy or specific poses go, so it wasn’t that difficult to convince folks to pause for a scene or two. Of course, the flip side to setting up an interesting shot is that everyone else around you sees it and wants to get a picture of it as well.
I want to take a moment out now to clarify that I don’t mind other folks
grabbing a shot of a scene I’ve set up. I’m more than fine with it. I’ve done the same thing. The only bad thing about it – and it’s really not “bad,” in the great scheme of things – is that one tends to end up stuck in that pose for at least ten minutes while everyone takes a picture. That’s what happened when I ducked into a grouping of troopers and droids for a quick picture.
People looked over, saw an additional Star Wars character, and started snapping away. If the group I was posing with had asked me over for that purpose I would’ve felt better about it. As it was, I didn’t want to take away from their thunder. I waited for a minute while a few folks grabbed a shot or two and then ducked back out.
This year, Maggie and I opted to watch the Masquerade from the audience, rather than participate. Remember that whole con report from last year? Yeaaaah….didn’t want a repeat of a possible panic attack like I had last time. This was also Heather’s first introduction to the concept of the Masquerade, and it’s always best to see one before you’re in one.
I was expecting the line for the Masquerade to be longer than it was when we went to queue up. I suppose that’s just because I had heard stories about it getting filled quickly the year before. Since Maggie and I had been up in the area over at the Hyatt getting ready, we had never seen last year’s line. Nor did I really get a good look at the size of the hall it had been in. Kind of hard to get a good idea of the size when you’re wearing a giant puppet head.
This year, the con staff moved the location of the Masquerade to one of the main halls in the Marriot. I’m sure the hall we ended up in was much bigger than the one from last year. It was also very heavily air-conditioned. I was grateful for my layers of Jedi gear and, especially, for my Jedi cloak.
Ultimately, there weren’t really a whole lot of people in the hall for the Masquerade. Sure, a good part of the front half of the hall filled up, but there weren’t all that many people sitting near us, halfway down the room.
Possibly the best part of the whole Masquerade experience is the pre-show show. There were big screens hung from the ceiling, on which we could watch the many sketches and bumpers that were created specifically for the convention by the DCTV folks. The best sketches, by far, are the ones about Bob and Carl: Sci-fi Janitors. If you get the chance, you should look them up (and “like” them) on Facebook. This is one of my favorite scenes with them.
The Masquerade itself….eh. It seems to me there were a lot of sketches that left me wondering “What was that supposed to be?” There was one in particular called Plants vs. Zombies that was kind of funny in the beginning, but when it went on into about two minutes with no real action going on – just a person in a weird plant costume standing there, dancing to theme music, and zombies shambling about on stage – I was done with it.
Usually, I encourage everyone to get involved with Masquerade at one point in their con-going existence. It doesn’t really matter if you’re not the greatest thespian who ever lived. There are plenty of simple, interesting things you can do to show off your costume. That being said…if you’re going to do a skit, for the love of all that is good and decent, make sure it’s put together well, and that you rehearse it. Don’t let it drone on for several minutes. In this case, shorter is most definitely better. You want to leave people wishing for more…not begging you to get off stage.
After the Masquerade, we went back to our people-watching ways. We quickly learned that the entrances to the hotel had been blocked off, and that no one could come in unless they were a registered guest of said hotel, or if they were a con-goer with a badge. Heather was happy about that development, as she’d had a few run-ins with some drunken non-con-goers the night before.
That’s not to say that the Dragon*Con folks were not imbibing. Oh, were they drinking. I believe several people had to be hauled off by medics – one of the dangers of getting shit-faced while wearing vinyl clothing in the middle of a seething crowd of warm bodies.
At one point in the evening, I noticed a goofy individual in tactical gear and a cheesey mustache doing flips around a cardboard box. I hadn’t the slightest idea what was going on at the time. About a week ago, Maggie found this video on youtube. You can see me in the background (briefly) at the 3:44 mark. I’m looking up at the floor above us. Just as Snake starts his flip towards the box at 3:45, I’m on the left side of the screen, watching him and trying to figure out what’s going on.
About this time, we noticed a number of people looking up, staring at some sort of activity coming from the upper floors of the Marriott. Now, last year, some joker had the absolutely brilliant idea of uprooting some of the decorative (living) plants from their place on the upper landings and tossing them onto people below. I remember that well, as I was on the side of the lobby where the plants were being dropped. I thought I was imagining things when the first one fell, but the rain of dirt and plant material that followed proved me right.
This time, the items being tossed from above were much more playful. Someone – I don’t know who – tossed a few GI Joe figures from above. Lest you think that some jerk was pelting those of us below with hard plastic toys, let me assure you…they had parachutes.
That’s right. Folks had let a few parachute guys float down from above, much to the amusement of the Dragon*Con attendees and the annoyance of folks working security. I noticed some hubbub going on amongst the hotel and con staff, as they tried to locate who was setting the GI Joes on their downward trajectory. One of the con-goers standing near us commented “Come on, guys. It’s not like it’s a terrorist. It’s GI Joe, an all-American hero!” I haven’t the slightest idea whether the staff ever found who was tossing GI Joe’s to their fate, but it provided a little moment of levity in a day already filled with fun and goofiness.
Shortly after the whole parachute incident, the three of us decided it was
time to head back to our hotel. It had been a long day, we were all tired, and we still had another half day at the con and a LONG drive ahead of us the next day. We pulled out of the parking lot and stopped at a red light…and Ecto 1 pulled up next to us!
I think I might have scared the driver and the other people in Ecto 1 when I screamed “You’re awesome!” at them. When they recovered, though, the driver reached over and flipped on the loudspeakers and the LED board that were attached to the top of the car. I tried to take a short video of the car but the light turned green just as my camera phone started filming. I just attempted to send the video to facebook (I then would have to transfer it to youtube in order to imbed a link for you all to watch). My phone says the video was sent, but it still hasn’t appeared on facebook. We’ll see if it ever does.
I haven’t the foggiest idea what time we got back to the hotel. All I know is it was late, we were all tired and a bit giggly, and we barely managed to find a parking spot in the garage area. We headed across
the packed parking lot and either Heather or I made a comment about how the folks in the hotel were probably going to wonder what we were doing, dressed as we were in various bits of costume. This prompted the following interchange between Maggie and I:
Maggie: You look like you’re wearing a bathrobe. (I had belted my cloak closed around me) I apparently look like Cobra Kai.
Me: You do! Sweep the leg!
Just so you’re not as lost about that statement, I should elaborate that I’d been teasing Maggie for most of the day that the shirt she’d made for her Sith costume made me think of the Cobra Kai dojo
from The Karate Kid. Which, in turn, made me wish I knew more guys who’d be willing to go to cons with us dressed as characters from a certain karate film from the 80s.
On our way into the hotel lobby – which smelled very strongly of curry that evening – we met up with a young couple who was in the process of hauling their luggage in from their car and up to their room. They walked with us to the elevators and asked what we were coming from. Maggie and I tried to give an overview of what Dragon*Con is. The guy said, “Oh…like furries? Are they there? I’ve heard about them.” The three of us kind of exchanged looks and tried to explain the difference. Being the only one of us who actually knows people within the furry community, Heather handled that question.
Eventually, we parted ways and the three of us made it back to our rooms…
…where we proceeded to wander about aimlessly. As I said earlier, we were all really tired. Maggie was so worn out that she sat down on one of the armchairs and couldn’t manage to pull her second boot off. When she finally got her shoes off, she went and sprawled out on her air mattress (she was’t even completely on it). She was sitting there for 40 minutes before she realized the maids had made up the air mattress, tucking the sheets and blankets under and arranging the pillows.
The maids had also posed Heather’s stuffed animals on her bed and covered up the face of Kowl’s head, which had been sitting over on the desk. I think they were freaked out by it and couldn’t bring themselves to clean the room while it was looking at them. I just thought it was funny that they had covered his eyes with his own ears.
And now…Sunday’s NGB Costume Awards!
Ballsiest Man: Lt. Dangle
Ballsiest Woman: Vampirella
Rarest: Zorg from 5th Element. I’ve NEVER seen anyone dress as Zorg before.
Creepiest: Whatever the thing in the sweater was
Most in Character: Freakazoid. Watching him go up the escalator was highly amusing.
Twilight costume I actually liked: Jacob wearing torn up clothing. (Maggie later told me “I saw an Edward costume wandering around. I wanted to punch it.”)
Best Overall: Star Wars Potato Heads (these guys were in the masquerade)
Best Geek t-shirt: A guy named Jason whose shirt read “You Hadron me at Higgs particle.”
Most Dedication: C3P0 – That costume can’t be comfortable.
Best Cross-over Prop: Dalek in the Stargate
Honorable Mentions: Jack McSparrow (Jack Sparrow wearing Marty McFly costume), Steampunk Flash, Bill & Ted group, Screen of Death.