It’s been one week

…since the end of DragonCon. It’s interesting going on Facebook. So many people are lamenting the fact that DragonCon is over. Granted, that happened right after the con was done, but it’s picked back up.

It happens every year: post-con funk. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it. Mine is to treasure those four/five days that happen every year in Atlanta as the unique, fun, amazing experience that it is and look forward to next year.

Some people wish DragonCon could go on forever. For them, it’s not enough that the con goes on for four to five straight days. But I have to disagree with them. Part of what makes DragonCon the wonderful experience it is is that it does end. It is only for a short period of time, which makes us treasure it. If DragonCon went on all year, it would lose that special-ness. It would become part of everyday life. We would lose the reason to go: to escape everyday life and be ourselves for however long we are there.

I am grateful for my annual five days of geekery in Atlanta. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Post-DragonCon Recap

Every year I go to DragonCon with specific plans. Every year I come home from DragonCon having had an amazing time without following those plans. Sometime soon I’m going to start a page of tips for conventions, not just DragonCon. There are just so many basic things that apply to any convention.

Anyway. While, thanks to someone deciding that another Star Trek convention needed to happen (and on Labor Day weekend), there were not many Trek guests, there were plenty of Trek panels. I went to at least one Trek panel per day. I think I went to more Trek panels this year than I have in all the previous years combined. It was great! There were panels that were more academic in nature, looking at economics and various sciences, and the more fan-based panels. All of the ones I attended were great. It was a lot of fun and they were quite informative.

Of course there were other panels and events. I wanted to get into the Charlie Cox panel at 10a on Friday, but between the elevator and loosing track of time, I didn’t make it. Luckily, they showed it on DCTV, and someone asked him what I was hoping to ask: how did he learn to act blind so well? He worked with a man who has been legally blind for 20 years. He observed him doing everyday things. This taught him that his eyes should not look ‘dead’, which is why he is always ‘looking’ somewhere. That made me so happy to know! I was tempted to try to get to his panel Saturday morning, but decided against it. I had my answer. While it would have been cool to be in the room, it wasn’t enough of a reason to go.

Friday afternoon I got to be in the room with two amazing people: Gigi Edgley and Brian Henson!!!! They did a Farscape panel that was a joy to be in the room for. Gigi is such a fangirl over Henson and Farscape. It was so cool to see someone who was part of the main cast fangirling out over the show. Brian said, among other things, that they are working on writing a Farscape movie, and are trying to get it right, which is why it is taking so long. When he said that, there was a feeling of relief in the room, as well as an unspoken “Take your time. We’ll wait for a good movie!”

Saturday was a lot of fun. I decided on Friday that I wasn’t going to do the parade. I have been in it for 6 straight years. It had become something that I felt I had to do instead of wanting to do. I’m glad I decided not to. I’m excited to do it again next year and to get at least one costume done for it. Hopefully I’ll have two options finished by then.

Instead of the parade, we had some fun. My hubby figured out a few years ago that the best time to go to the dealer’s room was during the parade. So many people are either in the parade, watching the parade live, watching the parade on DCTV, or asleep that not many (relatively) go to the dealer’s room. He was right. I’ve seen that room busier on a Monday than I did Saturday morning. It’s nice to know that the option is there, but I doubt I’ll be doing it too often.

After that, hubby, myself, and a friend headed down to the Artemis setup to be a part of the crew for a time. It was so much fun. We were destroyed fairly early in our first run, so they reset it and let us have another go. A few people switched places and our friend was Captain. He had done this before and it showed. Everything ran much smoother and we got a lot done. It was so much fun! Also, the three of us showed up in original series uniforms. 😀

That night was my panel where I was told by everyone that I did quite well. I felt so nervous during my presentation, but the Q&A part was a breeze. It went over quite well with the audience and I did what I always hope my work does, informed people about Deaf Culture.

Sunday was a day of fan fun. Red Dwarf, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and comic books. So many geeky discussions. It was wonderful. The geeky discussions extended into Monday. That was assisted by the fact that we did not have to check out until Tuesday. If you can afford the time and money to do so, I highly recommend it. We were able to go to every panel we wanted to. We made another trip to the dealer’s room. We took our time packing. We took a nap before heading out. The time it took for a bellhop to arrive with a cart so we could get everything to our car was minuscule. It was wonderful.

It was another wonderful DragonCon. The one thing that always makes it wonderful is seeing our friends. It’s the only time every year we are able to get together and it makes DragonCon. Even if we all go our separate ways during the day, we all end up at the room at the end of the day and have a blast sharing what we’ve done and just hanging out watching DCTV. We could probably spend the entire weekend in the room and never set foot in the con as long as it is the four of us. But I doubt that’s ever going to happen. The con is just too much fun.

DragonCon Prep: Learning from the past

Every time I go to a convention, DragonCon particularly, I realize how much I’ve learned from the past year. That really is the important thing when going to any convention. When you are preparing to go to your first convention, many, including myself, go to the Internet to see how others prepare for conventions. But honestly, after that, you should pay attention to what works and what doesn’t.

I was just commenting to my hubby how much we took with us that first year. We took a ton of food and drink. I took a ton of costumes and spent a bunch of time walking back and forth between our hotel and the convention to change. We ended up bringing at least half of the food back with us.

Every year it’s different. I’m usually down to 4 costumes at most. Lately I’ve been taking 3 since Monday is also the day we head out, I’m not always in the mood to be in a full costume when driving home. This year I’m only taking 2: my Star Trek science officer uniform from the original series and Osgood from Doctor Who. I’m taking every other piece of Star Trek clothing I own with me to wear, and, of course, something professional to wear for my presentation at the conference.

The big difference I’m personally noticing this year is food. This is our 7th time going to DragonCon. It’s at least my 13th convention overall. I’ve figured out what food I need to take with me and what can be bought there. I’m taking enough snacks so I can snack my way to dinner, which will be something from the food court taken back to the room. I’m going to just have one of each with me each day instead of taking multiples. It’s going to save space in my bag, make the bag lighter, and help me have a steady supply of energy throughout the con.

I’m also planning to go do my academic shopping on Friday. That way I don’t have to worry about saving money for it later. This is going to be so much fun!!! I just hope I have enough money… Who am I kidding? I don’t think that’s possible when it comes to DragonCon.

The Annual DragonCon Prep has begun!

It’s that time of year! The packing list has begun. The schedule is out and I have to choose what I want to go to and what is backup. But this year I have something else I need to do: prepare my presentation.

Yes. Yours truly will be presenting at the Comics and Popular Arts Conference (CPAC) at DragonCon! I am going to be presenting Saturday night on a panel about disability and trauma in comics. I am so excited! I just found out that this conference existed last year and now I’m presenting at it. It’s going to be great to meet the other scholars and hear what they have been working on.

But, it’s also going to be so much fun going to DragonCon again! This year is going to be our 7th DC. It’s always fun to be there among all those other geeks/nerds/fans and to see friends we only see at DC. It’s also fun to go to fan panels with a room full of other fans. While I am an introvert, there’s something about DC that isn’t draining. If anything, it can be recharging. Of course I’m going armed with my trusty bottle of St. John’s Wort to take the edge off of the anxiety so I can truly kick back and relax.

I am hoping to be able to post daily from the con about what I’ve done for the day. This is going to be so much fun!

Okay, back to prepping…

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Grad school orientation. Grad school starting. TA for two classes. DragonCon. A lot has been going on in these past few weeks. There’s a lot that happened at DragonCon that I want to share with you guys. Some of which I’ve already wrote about over at Cosplay Notes. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and get it organized in my head. I’m managing to get a balance of school and life again, so hopefully there will be posts soon.

For now, enjoy the pics I took of some awesome costumes:

What I learned from DragonCon 2014: Food

I followed my own advice and packed a bunch of food. I packed Snapea Crisps, turkey jerky, dried fruit snacks, Larabars, Apple Straws, almonds, carrots, peppers, broccoli, and hummus.

When we got to the hotel room I realized I had not one but two problems with what I packed. First problem: I forgot containers to put small amounts of the almonds and Snapea Crisps into so I could throw them in my bag. That simply meant they didn’t really get eaten. The Snapea Crisps were munched on in the room and the almonds helped on the way home. I totally forgot about the Apple Straws.

Second problem: there was not a fridge in the room. We had the cooler, but we had to keep putting ice in it to keep things cold and the veggies and dips kept getting buried. And considering how wiped I was when arriving back in the room, there was no way I was digging them out.

The other day I made a couple of changes to the unchanging part of my DragonCon packing list. I added Ziploc bags to my list. There were quite a few times where I wanted to have Snapea Crisps and almonds, but they would either be crushed or wouldn’t fit in the bag. Also, unless we know for sure that we’ll have a fridge in the room, I’m not bringing anything aside from Kanteens of water and any other drinks that need to be kept cold.

That being said, I am totally bringing veggies and hummus with me to Marcon. I’ll have a fridge there!

What I learned from DragonCon 2014: Cameras

When you go to a convention, you typically have something on you to take pictures of the amazing costumes and the wonderful panels you go to. Well, last year I took my new DSLR, my camcorder, and my monopod. I barely used my DSLR outside of the Doctor Who photoshoot. The camcorder and monopod were great for panels. My videos have better shots than what I could see. But it was hard keeping the monopod still.

This year I took my DSLR, camcorder, and my compact tripod from school. Bad idea. The DSLR lived in the room. I just used my phone at the photoshoot. I tried to get the tripod out for the Colin Baker panel and discovered it wouldn’t have gone over the heads of the people in front of me.

For next year I’m changing things up. I’m going back to the monopod because the videos turned out fairly good and stable, and it’s so much easier to set up and take down. I’m also looking at a new point and shoot camera. It would be my convention camera. It’s a Canon PowerShot SX280. It falls into the category of compact point and shoot. That means it has a lot of the features of a DSLR without the size. Which means it’ll be great for me for DragonCon.

There’s something else I’d like to bring, but it depends on if we’ll have a vehicle in the parade next year. If we do, I’m bringing my good tripod to use at the photoshoot. It would be nice to have a way to keep my camera stable and above people’s heads. Also, if I get it set up right, I just need one person to snap a few pictures when I’m in them. 🙂

DragonCon 2014: I survived!

Well, as always, that was fun. Granted, our friends who we always split a room with couldn’t come, which made it a little less fun. But the convention itself was great. I’ll just recap it overall, because trying to remember the whole con at this point is not happening.

Thursday, as I posted, was a little rocky. Friday was…chaotic. I started off with the Bathing Beauties photoshoot. It’s amazing how warm a pool that is basically outside can get. But it was fun. After that I went back to the room and changed into Harry. Quickly.

But not quickly enough. When I got to the Marriott, the line for Patrick Stewart’s panel had been capped. Thankfully a wonderful staff member told me that before I found the end of the line. So I meandered back to the Sheraton for a fan panel about Broadchurch. That was fun!

After that was the Legendary Sleuths photoshoot. That was a lot of fun. I even got to educate people about Harry Dresden. A few people knew Harry, which was awesome. But there were more who either knew nothing or only knew about the TV series. Unfortunately that ran a bit longer than I thought it would and thus didn’t get to the 6th Doctor panel I wanted to go to. So I just changed into my SG-13 uniform and hung out in the room and around the con. I wrapped up the night with the annual Prydon Academy meet-up/dinner. I love getting to hang out with those people in real life.

Anyway. Saturday I got up bright and early and participated in the parade, as usual. This time I did Ten just after he regenerated, so he’s still in Nine’s clothes. This caused a little confusion but most people seemed to either not care or noticed the hair and realized I was Ten, not Nine. This is where I realized I have to get Under Armour to wear under my costumes.

After the post-parade photoshoot, I decided to go rinse off all the sweat and change into Dr. Abbey. Thankfully I decided to head over to the Costuming Track room to get in line for the panel. They really need a bigger room. I did back-to-back panels there and learned a lot. After that I wandered a bit more and then headed to the room.

Sunday was better. Sunday morning I decided to go get in line for the 11:30am panel at 10:15am. It worked! I was able to get in the first part of the line for ‘Doctor Who: Colin’s Greatest Hits’! They showed clips, mostly from Doctor Who from Colin’s career and he would talk about them after the clip was done. It was great!

After more milling about I got into the Crossplay panel where I felt much more confident in my crossplays. I decided to get a few things signed and bought instead of trying to get into the next costuming panel before the Venture Bros. panel. That was so much fun, as always. Doc Hammer, James Urbaniak, and Dana Snyder, three hilarious men. It always reminds me as to why I love Venture Bros.

Once that hilarious hour was over, I headed for another wonderful hour: the Webcomics panel. I love going to the Webcomics panel. It’s where I found out about The Devil’s Panties two years ago. And I’ve added a few more webcomics to check out to my list. After that, and a quick stop at the food court, it was back to the room to watch the Masquerade.

Monday was kinda quiet. We watched some more DCTV while waiting for the bellhop to arrive for our bags. Once we got our stuff in the car and checked out, we each headed to our last panel of the convention. Mine was about the 50th Anniversary specials for Doctor Who. It was a great way to end the con. Afterwards we headed to the dealer’s rooms for one last round before heading home.

It was fun and I can’t wait until next year! Only 365 days, 9 hours, and 45 minutes to go!

DragonCon: Day 0

We are here! After spending most of Wednesday prepping and getting packed, not getting any extra sleep like I should have, we left around 12:30 Thursday morning and arrived at the hotel a little before noon. We made it!

Today’s been a crazy day, which really describes day zero. Once we got everything in our room, we both found a reservoir of energy that was hiding while we were driving. First I went to get my badge. It was wonderful again! Last year there was a technical problem that resulted in a moving, but long line. This year, I waited about 30 seconds behind someone and it took about a minute to get me my badge. It was wonderful. I hope they can keep it up during the whole weekend. ::crosses fingers::

After that I went to give blood. Every year DragonCon has a blood drive during the convention. Aside from the good feeling you get from knowing your donation helps others, you also get an awesome t-shirt. I knew my hubby was planning to do the same, so before I left I checked to see if he was in line. He was already hooked up and donating! This is the one time each year he gives blood. He’s willing to risk passing out for the t-shirt. This year was no exception. He never passed out, but it definitely made the day more interesting.

Once we were both ready to head back to our hotel, we made the long trek back up the hill. After a little break up in the room, we got dinner and recuperated from the last 24-hours. I slept for at least 5 hours before I remembered that I needed to get the buttons on Harry’s coat. So I put on DragonCon TV and got to work. After that got done, I prepped my con bag for tomorrow and decided to sit down and write this up.

I paid for internet access today to get some homework done. I figured, I’ve already paid for it so why not post? 😀 I may post daily throughout the con, I may wait until I’m home. It will all depend on my energy level. Either way, DragonCon has begun!

GenKHAAAAAAN!

It should be pretty obvious by now, I enjoy attending conventions. This year a friend I have recently reconnected with invited me to join him for Saturday at GenCon. I can’t go because I don’t have the money.

I was fine with that until today. Today I got caught up on a lot of my webcomics. It would appear that many of the authors are going to be at GenCon. Argh!!!! I’m starting to think that next year I’m going to make an effort to go to GenCon instead of OhayoCon. Rarely do anyone I know attend OhayoCon. It seems they all wait for GenCon! Grrrr.

But I really need to stop worrying about who I’m missing at GenCon and focus on getting costumes ready for DragonCon.