Dragon*Con Part 1

| Tuesday, September 7
I just got home from my first-ever convention. It was an absolutely insane experience. I'm exhausted. And I can't wait to go back again next year!!

So, here are the first adventures of @teacher_geek and @JayneHatJake at Dragon*Con!!

Day 0: Quest for Badges

We hiked the mile and a half from our hotel, the Renaissance Downtown (con hotels were booked by the time we decided to go), down to the Sheraton where registration was. The line stretched around the entire block of the hotel before it ever even got inside. So we stood. For two hours. In the Atlanta summer. Honestly, though, it wasn't horrible, because we got in line at about 7:00, and the sun went behind the buildings pretty soon thereafter.

There was a family from Nebraska with a little 7-year-old boy in front of us who we got to talk to for a few hours. The boy was super cute and decided I was his new best friend when he learned I was a teacher. The wait was also made a bit better by the added soundtrack of Star Trek music. 

We had to wait outside two hours before getting inside to deal with this mess:

Then it was chaos in the room to pick up badges. We were in there almost an hour, then they started calling out random last name letters to go get in the short lines up front. We got called, but our friends with us didn't. After we got our badges, we still had to wait for another 30 minutes for them.

After that, it was crash time. Getting ready for a few LONG days ahead.

Day 1: Initiation by Fire

Costume of the day: Battlestar Galactica off-duty duds (no dogtags - still need to get some! want Starbuck or Boomer, couldn't find them at D*C!) As seen with my friend Briana, dressed as Aviendha from The Wheel of Time.

I only went to three panels the first day, but they were all great. The first one was "What's New in Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature." That panel gave bits and pieces about some new and upcoming YA books. The ones I heard about that I'm super excited to get my hands on are:
White Cat by Holly Black
This is the first  in Black's new series "The Curse Workers" about a society where some people have the ability to work curses, good and bad, by simple skin to skin contact. The protagonist is a boy who is born into a curse-working family but doesn't have the same abilities his relatives have.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Along a post-apocalyptic Gulf Coast, many people scavenge wrecked ships in order to survive. I was told it would be great for fans of Uglies, so I'm up for it. 

For the Win by Cory Doctorow 
I LOVED Doctorow's first YA book, Little Brother, so I'm really wanting to read this one. It's apparently about sweat-shop MMORPG gold-farmers across the globe and their struggle to defeat evil AFK bosses to make their real lives better by working together. More stuff about electronic freedom from one of the masterminds at BoingBoing. 

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Something about a living prison, evil princes who deposed rightful heirs, arranged marriages, star-crossed lovers, etc. Sounds interesting enough for me!

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
The follow-up to Leviathan, Westerfeld's re-imagining of  World War I if the Brits were into genetic engineering of animal and machine together and the Germans were totally steampunk. Can't wait!

There were many more on the list that I'd like to read, but these are the ones that really stuck out in my mind as getting on my "Must-Read" list. 

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We spent the afternoon fighting our way through the Peachtree Center Food Court, visiting the Her Universe and Southeastern Browncoats booths, and then finding our way over to the Westin for a Whedon-y good time. While shopping, I scored a killer Chibi Ahsoka Tano tee, met Ashley Eckstein (*squee!!* I mean, how cute is she!?), and got some great Browncoat gear for the boy!

Since we had a long time to wait before the "Simon and Kaylee Reunited" panel, we sat in on "Epitaph Three," a discussion panel about Dollhouse. It was interesting to hear people's takes on the show. I feel like it's one I need to go back and rewatch to get more out of it at this point. Until the end of season two, I didn't REALLY get into it, nor did I put much thought in there. The panel really has convinced me to give it another go. Netflix, anyone? 

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After the Dollhouse panel, we went and sat in line for the first Firefly panel of the weekend. It was Sean Maher's first EVER Dragon*Con panel! We ended up with great seats, about five rows back, just off-center, for the Q&A with Jewel Staite and Sean. I honestly can't remember much except for a few things. The first of those is why I can't remember anything else. 

I was starstruck. Yes, I'll admit it. Since it was a Q&A panel, they had two mics set up in the ballroom open to the attendees. No one was lining up on our side. I thought of a question quickly and sneaked out the row to the mic. Then I got to have a brief conversation with the incredible Jewel!! 

When I got to the mic, Jewel asked me to try to embarrass Sean. I said I'd do my best. I asked them how they felt about the Simon and Kaylee relationship left unresolved when the show was first canceled. I then got a story about how Sean was with his mom when the show was canceled and how they all went to Nathan Fillion's house to eat his incredible bean dip. Sean was dodging the question, big time. Jewel antagonized him by trying to get him to answer. He clammed up and turned red. Her response was, "Sean said he felt, 'frustrated'." I succeeded in embarrassing Sean Maher. (It seemed like something easy to do, though, to be honest. He seemed very shy.)

Also, they got Nathan Fillion to call both of their phones and goof off for a good five minutes of the panel. It involved Jewel telling him to make a decision based on "WWMRD?" or "What Would Malcom Reynolds Do?"  Then he and Sean made fun of Jewel for said advice. It all ended with 1200 people flipping Nathan off over the phone. 

They also shared about their experiences working on Warehouse 13. Apparently Eddie McClintock is just as big of a prankster and goof-off on-set as Fillion is. Also, his sense of humor is really dry, and he's got great delivery/timing. And Sean called him Eddie McFuckface. I'm guessing the guest stars got to be the butts of some of his jokes during there time at the Warehouse. 

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We met up with @PhysicistLisa and @abrogdon for dinner. It was fun. The boy was impressed because Lisa introduced herself just the way he had hoped. She said, "Hi, I'm Lisa from the Internet!" I thought the boy might have had a tiny squee moment.  It was so much fun to hang out with the first of my Twitter friends. We actually ran into @GameCouch and wife earlier in the day, but we were on our way to panels, so we didn't get to hang out at that point. 

We played our first round of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game for the weekend and hung out people-watching until our late-arriving friends from Indianapolis got to the hotel. Then we booked it back to help them check in. I squealed and ran through the lobby when I saw @geeksoap, my #WonderTwin, at almost 2:00 am! (I also met @fubbleskag and @CapSteveRogers at that time, who are both frakking awesome in their own right!) 

Then, after getting them settled and talking for a while, I finally fell into a fitful sleep at about 2:45. See? There really *is* no sleep at Dragon*Con!


soft nonsense said...

Must....get....to....nerdy convention....

Eleni said...

Wow, I am so jealous of all you people going to these awesome conventions!

Love the costumes. Aviendha is awesome, reminds me I still need to read the latest book in the series. I was looking for BSG dogtags a couple months ago (didn't end up buying them). I saw some cheaper Starbuck ones on eBay, plus a site that lets you customize BSG dogtags--you can get any crew member, or get your own name on them. Costs a bit more, though.

Jewel Staite and Sean Maher are so adorable. Love the fact that Nathan Fillion even dropped in (sort of) for a bit. That must have been an awesome Q&A. Squee!

RAY J said...

lawls reminds me of my few times at the anime conventions =)

I forget if you have a smartphone or not, but if you have an Android one, get the free book app Aldiko and then you can download and read FTW (For The Win) for free - I've read the first few chapters already and it's pretty interesting!

Melissa said...

So much to comment on here (I'm still reeling from your stories and pics from the Simon and Kaylee panel, OMG) but I just had to say that I read The White Cat a little while ago and I loved it. I'm dying over here waiting for the second book!

Emily Jane said...

AMAZING!! I wish I could've gone... this reminds me of when I went to a ST Con :) LOVE the costumes!!

Amy said...

Oh the badge lines look scary!

I am digging your BDUs.
And Aviendha is my favorite Wheel of Time character. Love!

And awww, you made Sean Maher blush. Hee!

What is with Nathan's bean dip? He should really share the recipe.

I am glad you first day was so awesome! I can't wait to read more. :D

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