<- View from the 7th floor of the Marriott
Wow, where to start. Well, for those of you not in the know, Dragon Con is 4-5 days of serious geek nirvana. If it is geek related, you can pretty much find it at the convention. My particular reason for going is the music. I work at one of the band tables, which is exhausting but highly entertaining, and frequently gives me the opportunity to meet people that I wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with.
I arrived Thursday night, and promptly texted all of my friends to let them know I had survived the Atlanta airport. Actually as it happened this was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had getting from the airport to my hotel. My DM from Boulder happened to be on the same flight, and kindly convinced the friend that was picking him up at the airport to give me a ride to my hotel. (Thanks!) This was particularly useful as I hadn’t been to this particular hotel before, and my experience with Atlanta is that wandering around downtown looking lost is a recipe for trouble.(The guy in the picture…he was my ride…not in costume of course)
Got checked in at the hotel, and caught up with my dear friends Marc Gunn and Andrew McKee of the Brobdingnagian Bards. Hit the sack around midnight…this was the earliest to bed that I made it all con.
Friday – this is usually a fairly slow day. Boy was I wrong. Friday we got the merchandise table set up around 10am. This was only somewhat hampered by happy reunions with a half dozen or so of my favorite people. (Morning Bob, I’m looking at you) I did eventually get the table set up… probably closer to noon than I care to actually acknowledge. Big, huge thanks to Leigh – the Pandora Celtica booth babe that came and volunteered to help out. Mike, our normal (wonderful) other booth person was unable to make it this year due to a family emergency.
After the booth was set up, staffed, and things were rolling, I left to help out Keith R.A. DeCandido (go buy his stuff) with his self-defense panel. I make a pretty good crash test dummy still, despite the lack of practice. Ran into my sister, who still takes every opportunity to try and beat me up 😉 and generally had a pretty good time. I have a bit of a memory blank here, so hopefully it wasn’t –too- good a time. I think I was actually back at the table working.
The Friday night show went really well, full house pretty much, AND I ran into a wonderful friend that I hadn’t seen in 10+ years. Bonus points! I ended up spending the rest of that evening with Chris and Lisa who I pretty much only get to see once a year.
Because it’s a con…I pretty much expect that I will be short on sleep. I got 3 hours on Friday night, and had the table open by 8:30 am the next day. Not too shabby. Thankfully one of my friends said we could store the merchandise in his room instead of having to haul it 4 blocks every day. I took the time on Saturday, during a break from the table, to tour one part of the dealer’s room (thankfully I escaped unscathed), the Art Show (good as always), and the Walk of Fame (i.e. where the famous people are). Adrian Paul (Highlander the TV show), who I’ve had a crush on since I was oh, 14 or so, was calmly sitting at his table chatting to folks and signing autographs. I was too chicken to go up and say ‘Hi’, even though his line was remarkably short at the time. (This gets better later).
So I take a quick peek at the other famous folks and make my way back to work. As I’m finishing my shift, Leigh (see above) mentions that Adrian Paul is giving a panel in the room across from where I’ve been working, so for grins we decide to check it out. It’s a Q&A session with questions from the audience. So instead of saying ‘Hi’ to him at his table, I ask him out to dinner in front of 300+ people in a panel that’s being recorded. Naturally he said no – he is married after all – but wouldn’t that have been fun J And he handled it with good humor, which is always appreciated.
Saturday night I was going to try and catch the Abney Park show, but it didn’t start until 1:30 am, and I was visiting with my friend Rae (see above about 10+ years) and the guys with Emerald Rose, and well, I’d rather hang out with my friends. Barely made it back to my hotel awake, and hit the sack around 2:30 that night.
Sunday was a whirlwind of getting together with friends, working, and trying to make it to shows and keep the table manned at all times. (Did have time for an excellent breakfast with Keith R.A. DeCandido, lunch at Fires of Brazil with another friend, and two different coffee dates.) Fun stuff. Because I only do this once a year, staying up until 3am sitting around in a hotel hallway visiting with even more friends, again didn’t seem unreasonable.
Monday, which I had expected to be a mellow, tear down day – was almost as busy as Sunday! And I was starting to feel the con crud creeping up on me. After setting up the table, I helped a friend get moved out of his hotel room, ran to a Lost Girl panel, ran back, said goodbye to almost everyone, was dragged to lunch by Lisa (Thanks!) and eventually had everything torn down, put away and schlepped back to cars for transport home.
On the flight back, instead of my DM, I got to share the flight with Leigh! Called in sick on Tuesday and half a day Wednesday. (I was dreadfully sick) And now I’m trying to re-join the sane world.
This does not even begin to describe the insanity of the weekend, but well, you had to be there.
See you all next year!
Oh and yes, there were minions….