Dragon*Conby Cypher Lx on 09/06/11
06 September 2011
For those that follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you know that I have been at Dragon*Con for the past few days. The last time I went was about ten years ago, so this was an exciting event for me. It is held in Atlanta, Georgia and when I went before, it was a twenty hour drive each way with only a day and a half to spend at the actual event. Needless to say, we didn't get to do much that time. I entered the Dawn look alike contest that year and that was a good portion of the time we spent at the con. This year, we flew down and were able to attend the con each day. I should mention that I hate to fly, so this was a major event for me. So let's begin with that. I was a wreck about getting on the plane. We're talking panic attack scared. I'm not a big drinker, but I had to have a double scotch just to get relaxed enough for the first flight that took us from PA to NC. Before the plane even took off, I had to do breathing and relaxation exercises so that I wouldn't freak out. During the NC layover I had another single of scotch. While I wasn't even close to being intoxicated, I was now relaxed enough to actually fall asleep on the flight from NC to GA. Of course, it did help that I had also been awake for twenty four hours at that point. We finally arrived in GA and had to walk forever through the airport to get to the car rental place. I never realized that airports were so enormous. We finally caught on to the transit system between concourses. While they are really fast, they nearly rip your arm off when you are holding on for dear life during the harsh starts and stops. We get to the rental counter and find out that we have to put down a $200 security deposit because we don't carry credit cards (a bank card with a Visa logo doesn't count). Then the girl is trying to sell us all the unnecessary stuff that they are trained to talk you into. First off, I was extremely tired and cranky. Not a good combination for me. Secondly, I was trained to do the same thing when I worked for a car rental agency. Mix those two elements and I was getting extremely frustrated to the point of nearly having a breakdown. Thankfully, the hotel wasn't very far and after check-in, I finally collapsed into an exhausted sleep.
Dragon*Con Day 1
A lesson we learned from the first time was to pre-register. What a time saver! Instead of waiting in the cattle shoot line for tickets, we just flew through and got our badges. We also downloaded the Dragon*Con app to our phones which made it easy to schedule what events we wanted to attend. Horror Icons was one of the first ones we went to see. Robert Englund, Tony Todd, and Lance Henriksen. I had met Tony Todd before at a Fangoria convention years ago and he still looks great. Seeing the other two was amazing. I have been fans of all three for a long time. You can imagine my shock when Lance Henriksen came up to me after the panel was over, shook my hand, and told me I looked great. I should mention, that for most of the weekend, I was dressed in various modeling attire that I have worn for different shoots. But to have someone who is famous approach you instead of the other way around? I can't even tell you how that felt. They are amazingly nice men and very personable. Another panel that we attended was with the Cruxshadows. Anyone who knows me knows that this is one of my absolute favorite bands. Not just because of their music, but because they truly appreciate their fans. Of course, Rogue and Jessica's baby stole the attention. She is incredibly adorable. the rest of the day was spent going to other events and browsing the merchant areas. Afterwards, we went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner near our hotel and with all the normal people there, I was a bit of a spectacle. Not in a bad way. I just don't think that they see many people like me outside of Atlanta.
Dragon*Con Day 2
Star Trek day. Yes, I said it. My husband and I dressed in our Star Trek uniforms to attend the con. I, of course, put my own cyber twist on it. It confused some people. One guy even questioned me because he couldn't identify the species I was trying to portray. I told him I was my own species. He seemed satisfied with that. Oddly enough, we met another girl who had the same thought and was also wearing cyberlox with her Star Trek uniform. Unfortunately, my husband didn't get to see William Shatner. The line to see him was so incredibly long, we didn't have a chance to view him in person. We did get to talk to Voltaire (one of my husband's favorite musicians) and Rogue, so not all was lost. Later we went to a panel our friend David Palumbo, who is an amazing fantasy artist, was running. Check out his work at http://www.dvpalumbo.com/ . That night we had dinner at Max Lager's. If you are ever in Atlanta, you must eat there. The food is awesome. After going back to the hotel and changing, we went to a panel discussion about 101 ways to gruesomely kill a character in novels. It was totally worth staying up late for that, even though it was such a long day.
Dragon*Con Day 3
We went to several more panels, one of which featured Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, David Palumbo, and Anthony Palumbo. For those of you who don't know all of the names, they are all artists. Boris and Julie are married and David and Anthony are Julie's sons. They have collaborated on a project that Julie has been dreaming about for a long time. Each of them are doing art work for Julie's Tarot deck. Just from what was shown during the panel, I can tell you that the deck will be absolutely gorgeous when it's finished. That night, we went back to the hotel room to change and take a nap before the Cruxshadows show. This is where getting older kind of sucks. We had been going and going for so long, that even with the short rest, we couldn't hang for the whole show. Enter lesson number two. The next time we attend Dragon*Con, we will be staying in one of the host hotels. The whole driving back and forth thing was a killer. But as usual, the Cruxshadows put on an amazing and highly energetic performance.
Dragon*Con Day 4
Last day of the con and I dressed relatively normal. Well, for me anyway. We did some last day shopping and I got a pair of custom made vampire fangs. Once we got everything we wanted, we ate at Max Lager's again (did I mention how fabulous their food is?) and headed to the airport. Our plane was delayed because of the bad weather. Apparently, several tornadoes touched down in the area, so it kind of screwed things up. They switched our plane so we could make our connecting flight in Philly. This time, I wasn't nearly as agitated about flying and fell asleep not long after the plane took off. We boarded our plane in Philly, which was one of those really tiny commuter planes. It only takes about twenty minutes to get from Philly to Allentown, but it seemed like an eternity because we hit major turbulence on the way. Now my anxiety level was jacked up one hundred percent. By the time we landed, all I wanted was to go home. Guess what? Our checked luggage never arrived. Stress level is now through the roof.
Well, we're home now and our luggage was delivered to our house today. The animals have been very affectionate because of our absence. My whole body is sore from all the walking that we did. Was it a good trip? Most definitely. Even with the flying fiascos. My husband was joking that we could have had more time doing things at Dragon*Con if we didn't have to stop every five feet for someone to take my picture. Honestly, with so many people in costume at the con, I had no idea that I would attract so much attention. Even in my most normal looking goth attire, I had people stopping me. However, I am flattered that people thought I was worth photographing and I loved meeting each of them. After all was said and done, I look forward to going back again, learned some more valuable travel lessons, and maybe one day, if people get to know my work, I'll be privileged enough to be a guest there. But even if that never happens, Dragon*Con will always hold a special place in my heart.