Best DragonCon ever!

Last year was probably my worst DragonCon ever. I was a little burned out by taking two classes over the summer. I was stressed over money, and had none to spend at the con. And our friends couldn’t make it again. I didn’t go to much. I barely cosplayed. It was not much fun.

This year was the complete opposite and more! I was refreshed from my summer of relaxing. I also had two new costumes to debut at the con. And I could afford to really enjoy myself! But, best of all, our friends were able to come again. Honestly, that made the biggest difference. If I missed a panel, it was more often because we’d be talking in the room. The best reason to miss a panel!

I not only go in the room for David Tennant’s first panel at DragonCon, ever, but I got to ask a question! I started by saying that he is my favorite Doctor. I was the first person to say that! Around five or six people in and no one else had said it. He said I was his favorite questioner! (It’s at 30:23 in the video below!) You can hear me shout “Yes!!” after he points out that I’m the first person to say it. As you can imagine, I’m still giddy over that! I do wish I had been less nervous and focused my question more on the physicality of the scene, but he still gave a great answer.

I’m at 30:23!!!

I then went to three more panels, with a stop for some food, before my panel and presentation of “Super-Tropes: Finding the Difference Between Narrative Prosthesis and Introduction to Disability in Marvel Comics.” It went so well! I got a lot of questions and feedback from the audience. It really makes me feel good about this line of research. I almost wish I had made it my dissertation, but this way I can write it exactly how I want to the first time. Also, I can take my time and really get it right.

I stopped by David Mack’s table after my presentation and got to thank him for creating Echo! I bought an Echo print, which he signed along with my two Daredevil trades that he wrote! He is wonderful.

Wrapping up Friday night was watching the Costuming Contest in the room with our friends. We missed that so much. It is so much better with them there. Especially since one is a costumer herself. She could catch details that I would have missed. So much fun!

Saturday was a bunch of shopping, including getting a new corset, followed by a couple of panels. After the second panel, I decided to stop by the Walk of Fame to find out when George Takei would be there. He was at his table! It was right after his panel had finished. I swear he transported over! His husband Brad was there, frequently coming out to check on us in line. I was a bit star-struck at him. They are both such wonderful people and it was amazing to meet them both. I still can’t believe I met George Takei and was able to thank him for sharing his story as he signed my copy of They Called Us Enemy that my hubby got me for my birthday.

Inscription reads:
To Courtney
Peace and happiness
George Takei
The title page of They Called Us Enemy signed by George Takei.

Sunday, we decided to watch the big Farscape panel on DCTV in our hotel room. The way all of them talked about the fans and how much they love and appreciate us got me back to wanting to get their autographs on my Crichton vest. By the time I got to the Walk of Fame, all five of them had returned from their photo session. They all very happily signed the vest and they were all such wonderful people to talk with. I think I impressed Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) and Lani Tupu (Capt. Crais and Pilot) with my dissertation topic. My hubby went later and they all remembered me! But it was so nice to be able to meet them all and tell them how much I love the show and I hope to see all of them back when the show comes back!

At the top is Rebecca Riggs (Grayza). Below her are Ben Browder (Crichton) on the left and Gigi Edgley (Chiana) in the middle. Below her is Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) and Lani Tupu (Crais and Pilot) is to the right.

We all ended our day in the room, watching the Masquerade and enjoying some of the alcohol we had brought with us. It was just so much fun!

Monday was more subdued. A Tom Smith concert with my hubby. A wonderful panel on Comics in the Classroom. And a final swing through the Dealers Rooms.

It is the best time I have ever had at DragonCon. I went to panels big and small. Fan and academic. I went shopping. I got a bunch of autographs and got to thank them for what they do. I got to hang out with all of the friends I only see at DragonCon. I hope next year will be even better.

Looking Forward to DragonCon!

This time last year, I was a mess. I was finishing up the second of two classes I took over the summer. I was struggling to make ends meet financially, and, because I took summer classes, my financial aid was distributed differently than previously and I owed the university money for fall. And, our friends were not going to be able to make it to DragonCon. While I was looking forward to DragonCon, it was with about the least amount of enthusiasm I’d ever had. I didn’t pack any costumes. I had no money to go get anyone’s autograph. I did end up putting together an Arthur Dent from what I had packed at one point, but that was as close as I got to cosplaying. I was burned out, and DragonCon did not help with that much.

This year, it’s completely different! I have done nothing over the summer. Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve been studying, working on my CPAC presentation, making a costume, finishing another, and picking away at dissertation things. But, I’ve been taking time to do nothing, to relax. So I’m nowhere near burned out. I also have no financial problems this year, thanks to some scholarship money and employment for the school year. Which means I can add at least David Tennant and Catherine Tate to my 500 Year Diary, as well as get Farscape autographs, among other things. But, the best thing right now? Our friends are able to make it!

A little context. These friends are why we first went to DragonCon in 2010 (yes, this is our 10th DragonCon!!). For those ten DragonCons, they have been at 8 of them. They have become a part of DragonCon for us. Even if the only time we see them is in the room, they are an important part of the experience for us. So it is going to be so awesome to have them there again!

Thanks to my relaxation and recuperation this summer (and our friends coming!), I have 4 costumes that I am really looking forward to wearing. I have my Wafuku Tenth Doctor for Friday (when I’m planning to camp out in line for David Tennant if necessary), Death as Didi for Monday, and my Star Trek Fangirl and Pirogoeth, my first D&D character, for Saturday and Sunday. Since I don’t know the schedule yet, I don’t know which day I’ll be wearing which costume. I’d like to be my Fangirl when I meet George Takei, but when I meet him depends on when I’m presenting at the conference. I need to be able to get out of whatever costume and into non-costume for my presentation.

In two weeks, I’ll be at DragonCon, enjoying my yearly 5-day geek vacation. I can’t wait!

Successful Sunday Shopping!

Every year for Christmas, one of my presents from my father-in-law includes money to go spend on myself. Fun stuff, no paying bills. It’s a tradition that my mother-in-law’s father started with her. He would do the same thing. My father-in-law has kept this up. Sometimes it’s cash, sometimes it’s an Amazon gift card. Sometimes it’s both. This year it was both.

Yesterday, I decided to take a quick trip to Columbus to make use of my cash. First was a stop at the jaw-dropping newly remodeled Jo-Ann’s up at Polaris. If you are in the Columbus area and you haven’t been, go! It is amazing! Anyway, I picked up 5 frames that I have really needed. I have had three 11×17 pieces, an 8.5×11, and a 6×9 that needed frames. So I finally got them! Well, actually I got a 8×10 floating frame for my 6×9 piece since it’s kind of an off size. I also got some fabric and spray paint for a costume. Now I just need to put in the work and it’ll be done!

The better things happened next when I went to a few local businesses. I know I was late, but Small Business Sunday works too! I stopped by my comic book store to pick up my pull and ended up with a trade paperback recommended by one of the wonderful staff members. We were talking about X-Men and how we are so tired of all these crossovers. She suggested a one-off story about the worst X-Man ever. I’m looking forward to reading it.

After that I was going to go down to Lucky’s Market when I decided to stop at a local consignment store, Rag-O-Rama to look for jeans. It’s a great store. I started looking through my size in the men’s pants section and found myself not one, but two pair of jeans for less than $40! This doubled my amount of jeans in my wardrobe. Then I decided to check the women’s section for some tan/khaki pants for the costume I mentioned earlier. I found a pair that stretch, so they fit to my legs, which is what I was looking for, but they’re not tight (they’re actually a little big)! I couldn’t believe that I found all of this for less than $60!

Finally, to finish off my day of “I can’t believe I found that!” I went on to Lucky’s, mostly because I ran out of body wash. I also picked up a bottle of Rose from an Ohio winery that is so delicious. That reminded me to look in the beer section. When we were up at my father-in-law’s this weekend, we made our usual stop up at the local Malley’s Chocolates to have some dessert and so my father-in-law could restock his ice cream at home. I noticed a six-pack of beer sitting on the candy counter. Turns out that a Cleveland beer company, Platform, was inspired by one of the candies and made a stout. We didn’t have time to get some before we headed home, but they also have a brewery in Columbus, so Lucky’s probably would have them. They do! And, after looking around carefully, I found it! It was the perfect end to my shopping trip. I got to spend so much on myself and then found something for the both of us. It was a great way to go into the Christmas holiday!

Settling in for the summer

Life has been quite complicated lately. The first week of May was finals week. The end of my first year as a Ph. D. student. I didn’t write the best papers for my classes, but they were good enough to get me Bs. It took me almost another week to get caught up on my grading. But, my students didn’t seem to hold it against me too much. I got some of the best feedback I’ve ever gotten. Even their problems and critiques were useful, not just “it sucked”. I am so happy and grateful to have had this class. They really helped me to become a better instructor.

The weekend after grades were due was Marcon. It was so nice to get to see my friends again, go to panels, and be on panels. I’m starting to realize that my attitude is keeping people from approaching me in costume. I don’t know how to change that. It’s who I am. But as much as I am an introvert, I do like getting compliments and recognized when in costume. I put a lot of work into the whole thing, from the clothing to the props to the make-up. But if it doesn’t seem like I want to be approached, no one will. I need to be more aware of it when I can. Lets face it, sometimes you have ten minutes to get all the way across the con –  which is a very long distance at DragonCon. Sometimes you can’t be stopped.

Anyway. After Marcon, summer semester began. Well, the first term of summer semester. We have two terms over summer, two six-week classes that contain all the information of a 15-week class. In order to get caught up with where I should be, I’m taking one class each term. My first class is online, and it’s a split undergrad/grad student class. That is the more interesting aspect of it, not being online. Grad students have different readings and different responsibilities. Thankfully, because of my two theory classes and International Popular Culture, it’s going over topics I’m already very familiar with. It’s from a slightly different angle, but similar enough that I’m not too stressed over it.

At the beginning of the month, my dad moved to New Hampshire. It’s a very good move for him. He didn’t need to take any furniture with him, so I got to take some things off his hands. We now have a dining room table, the old microwave hutch (which is at least 20 years old, probably more) that is now our bar, one of the end-tables that my parents have had since before I was born, and an almost 20-year-old wood futon frame. The futon is in my room, patiently awaiting the spring mattress to arrive so I can finally properly use it to stretch out on and study on.

But those weren’t the only things he couldn’t take with him. He couldn’t take Harry. We have had Harry almost his entire life. He’ll be 15 at the end of July. But between his age and the fact that he’s black, we knew that he wouldn’t last if my dad took him to the local humane society. He’d be high on the list to go if they needed more space. We’ve been taking care of him until Saturday. He hadn’t adapted well to being here, and we just can’t take care of him properly right now. So I drove him to Columbus to a no-kill shelter. They couldn’t take him. They had no space, but, more importantly, they couldn’t have taken him even if they did. He’s never been to the vet. Without vet records, they couldn’t take him. The lady there said that at his age, the best thing would be to have him put down. He’s perfectly healthy, as far as we can tell, for a cat his age. Why would I do that? So after a breakdown in the car, I decided to take him to Columbus Humane. But they require you to make an appointment to surrender a pet, and charge more than I can afford right now.

So I changed plans. I found Marion Area Humane Society and headed there. I felt bad because it wasn’t cool out yesterday, and he had been in the carrier for over an hour at that point. But he seemed to be okay. We got to MAHS and I started to break down again. He had been part of the family for almost 15 years. They had space for him. As they processed his information and mine, I talked with one of the volunteers. She said that they get people looking for older cats sometimes. More importantly, she told me that they are a no-kill shelter! He is going to be taken care of for the rest of his life. I am completely fine with MAHS being his home for that time. They are going to take care of him. Last night I had to fight the urge to check on him behind the futon – where he had made his home. I miss him, but he’s going to be fine!

Remember, always take your pets to the vet. You never know what will happen to you. They may have to go to a shelter, and vet records are required by some before they will take your pet in.

Well, that went longer than I thought it would. I’ll just leave this here and get back to working on the paper and presentation I need to have ready for CPAC and my summer watchlist.

DragonCon Day 1

Things definitely got better. I think that’s the longest I have spent away from the room in years. Usually I come back at some point in the day to either watch a panel on DCTV because I couldn’t get in or just to take a break.

Not today.

Once Nathan Fillion’s amazing panel was over, I started my loop of the hotels. First, it was over to the Hilton for “Brit TV Classics You Should Be Watching”. It kind of evolved into “Brit TV You Should Be Watching”, but I’m not complaining. I have a new list of shows to find! Then I had a gap between panels, but the next one was still in the Hilton, so I found a great place to hang out near the front doors. They’ve added a bunch of benches with outlets for people to relax in near the front doors. It was so comfy. I even made a friend!

After that, it was panel to panel to panel. First, “Doctor Who Series 10: In Focus”. So much fun spending an hour talking about this past season. It was a little funny. Everyone said that this was Peter’s best season and it felt like they finally figured out how to write Twelve, but they weren’t beyond critiquing the episodes overall. They’re right, Twelve and Bill and Nardole were awesome, but the episodes could have been better.

I left and pretty much immediately got in line for the “Star Trek: The Next Generation Guests”. Despite the long line, I got a fairly decent seat. I also got to ask the second question of the panel! I asked what it was like working with Howie Seago in the amazing episode “Louder Than a Whisper”. Brent said he was amazing to work with. He talked about how he had to learn to sign and got a little goofy about it, but I could tell there was truth in there and told him he did do really well with his signs. It was awesome to ask them that question!!!!

Then, another long line for “Wig Out: Synthetic Wig Styling”. Dax Exclamationpoint, who competed on season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was one of the panelists!!! They simply fielded questions for an hour instead of possibly telling us what we already know. I don’t know if I picked up anything new, but it was a great panel to be in. If anything, it reinforced much of what I’ve looked up online.

Finally, I went to my first panel of the Comics and Popular Arts Conference, CPAC, “Racial Representation in Marvel”. A friend of mine from grad school was on the panel, so I had to be there. It was awesome. He presented on the differences between the comic and portrayal on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. of Robbie Reyes. It really has me wanting to do two things. First, read that run of Ghost Rider. Second, start working on a paper about the differences in portrayal from the comic to the series of Daredevil and The Defenders. That may be what I’ll present at PCA in the spring!

Now, I’m in the room, enjoying the Friday Night Costuming Contest on DCTV. I want to say one of these days I’ll actually go to it. But it’s kind of become tradition to watch it in the room, same with the masquerade. Yeah, the costumes typically look better in person. But the video gets closer than I could. And we will sit and comment as it goes. Granted, hubby’s not here…yet. When I mentioned that Gigi Edgley was hosting – in basically a bikini top – I got a text that might indicate he’s coming back soon.

There is another CPAC panel I wanted to go to. But it starts in 15 minutes and 1) the costuming contest is still going, and 2) the day is catching up and I’m getting tired. Since I have to get up early to do my make-up and get into costume, I should probably stay here so I can crash easily.

Tomorrow is going to be so much fun!

Hello from DragonCon!

This has been a rocky start to the con. We got here with no problems yesterday, but it took around 3 hours for me to be able to give blood. They were working so hard, there were just soooooo many people there to donate! But last night was kind of quiet since, sadly, our usual roommates couldn’t make it this year. We did get some awesome food from one of the food trucks at the Sheraton. I’ll make note of which one to make sure they get the credit they so wonderfully deserve.

This morning has not gone to plan at all. I put on the skirt of my Star Trek Fangirl and it doesn’t fit the way I needed it to fit. I’m trying to make it work and it just won’t. This is what happens when you put off working on your costumes and you just want to get them done so you don’t take the time to wear the whole thing to make sure it works. Now I have to figure out how to bring the skirt in without ruining it. This is going to be a pain.

But, after pulling out jeans and my Darkwing Duck t-shirt, hubby and I headed out to, hopefully, get in to the Nathan Fillion panel. 40 minutes before the panel and it was already full. Grrrr. So I come back to the room to watch the live feed on DCTV. After 15 minutes, the feed dies. It turns out that DCTV lost main power (thank goodness for Facebook or else I would have just been pissed). Thankfully, it came back for the last 20 minutes. An hour of Nathan Fillion just asking questions from fans. Today’s the only day he’s here, and that makes me love him even more.

I hope the rest of the con goes better than this. Something else major goes wrong – especially with a costume – and I’m going to be very upset.

Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Today alone has been an awesome day! But I’ll talk about more than just today. 😉

Cosplay supply shopping. I went shopping earlier in the week and bought the final few things for a couple of costumes. Now I have everything for four new costumes for DragonCon. It’s inspiring me to get my room cleaned up and organized so I can start working on them and get them all ready for DC!

What Twitter Feels Like“. This is Lin’s latest playlist. He put it out there and Twitter responded with their own cover for it. It is just genius, as usual.

My computer is working again! For months now, online video has stuttered and the audio has been spotty. My iTunes has been crackling. I could watch a video if I wasn’t doing anything else on my computer. What’s the point in that with two monitors?! Last night my hubby asked if maybe I installed something around the time things went wrong. I changed my antivirus and it’s working fine! And it’s strange because my laptop has no problems with it. Oh well.

Packages galore! I recently put an order in with Adagio Teas and it came today! I was most excited over my new storage tins. I ordered another mixed set so my tea storage is color coordinated. Then my order from ThinkGeek arrived with my new car charger and a USB speaker that will definitely be used at Marcon next year.

Finally feeling better. Between allergies and time of the month and hubby bringing a cold home from work, I’ve been trying to get rid of a head cold all week. I hate being sick! The living room is full of my stuff. I have stuff to do. But this cold has been holding me back, only giving me spurts of energy. I finally feel like I’m on the other side of this thing. I just might be able to get some serious work done tomorrow!

Marcon: Registration

Seeing as I have free internet access, I’ll be posting little updates throughout the con. Yay!

In less than an hour I have picked up my badge, and bought and eaten my lunch. Completely different experience than Ohayocon. I am loving this! Aside from it being cheaper, pre-registration means I was able to simply walk in to the room, tell them my name, and get my badge with a Pre-Registration ribbon on it already. Yay!

Now I’m starting to reconsider my costume line-up. Since I’m not doing Harry, I think the Doctor would be better for tomorrow instead of tonight. But that leaves tonight for Arthur. Unless I decide to do a genderbend Arthur (which I’m seriously starting to consider), I have to get the wig in shape first. And since it was originally Ten’s wig, it’s got a ton of hairspray and gel in it.

I guess we’ll find out later! For now, I’ll just watch more Doctor Who. 🙂

Silver Linings


This is my mantra right now. Thankfully I rarely have to think it because my brain seems stuck in that mode.

Yesterday the letter from Gallaudet finally arrived. Unfortunately it was a polite no. But after some tears, I have been focusing on all the positives that I can, and more keep coming up. My life has now unfrozen and I can plan out the next year.

I can now work on getting my credit cards paid off, my student loans paid down, and get my finances in order.
I can now plan on what costumes I’m going to wear for Halloween this year, to Marcon next year, and continue to work on getting in better shape for Dragon*Con next year.
I can take day classes and experience other teachers, and continue to work on my interpreting skills.
I can really get involved in the Deaf/ASL community here in Columbus.
I can apply again next year to Gallaudet and other schools. Unless I find over the course of this year that I don’t need to go to grad school to have a career I enjoy.

Now that my long-term has unfrozen, maybe I can get my short-term in gear again! The motivation is starting to return.