Thursday, September 5, 2013

DragonCon 2013

So as you may or may not know, I wasn't particularly looking forward to DragonCon this year, just because it felt like work. I did end up having a good time, of course, but I think it was partly because I revised my expectations. And it wasn't all great. But it was wonderful seeing so many friends and there were a lot of good things that happened.

We (Michelle, Doug, and I) were staying at the Sheraton, right across the hall from Jen & Raj, which is always awesome, because I adore them both and they're really fun people! Also, it was great seeing Michelle again since I didn't go 2 years ago and she didn't go last year, so we hadn't had a DragonCon together in 2 years.

Registration was at our hotel and it took a bit to finally find the on-site registration line and it was a much much much shorter if a little slow line. If you were paying with cash, there was no line.
Someone ducked under the empty queues and they all went over, like dominoes. It was pretty amusing:

Then Bank of America, in its infinite wisdom, triggered fraud protection for our DragonCon membership purpose. Because that is what people who steal credit cards do - go to DragonCon. Apparently lots of people were having this problem, so it took a while for Doug on the phone to sort it out and then we finally had our badges.

By the time we were badged, we didn't have much time to change for the Gatsby party, which was over in the Marriott and hosted by Janine and Betsy Loki. Everyone looked awesome and it was so nice to see everyone - I caught up with lots of different people. And the view was pretty great!


Note that Betsy's 20s costume is Loki themed - I loved it! IMG_2443
Janine had a Thor-themed 30s outfit.
And the little painting my mom did!
Michelle and I:

After the party we got a few shots of hall costumes as Thursday night was pretty uncrowded for DragonCon. This guy was my fav - he's wearing what looks like a real Apollo suit with an Apollo 13 patch and Jim Lovell name tag. During the Masquerade he actually did the bit of the movie where Jim Lovell imagines being on the moon. It was genius. Also, I found an RPF thread - he made the whole thing. Damn!

I saw 3 Drakes from Uncharted 3! Here's one:

I like how a lot of the merchants (like the Sheraton and Caribou Coffee) get into DragonCon. Also, thank God for Caribou Coffee and their free wifi. That mall is a black pit of cell phone reception and at least I can use iMessage near the coffee place.

Also, there is now a cupcake stand in the mall. This makes me happy. This Boston cream cupcake was really awesome!

Doug in his Uncharted 3 costume. He still needs screen accurate boots and a bandolier, but everything either is or is close to screen accurate:

And the best part of DragonCon - friends! I love our 10th floor meals. Easy to organize and fit a lot of people on different schedules with different dietary needs!

Marriott atrium:

Looking down from the 10th floor. Can you find Waldo? (Hint: he's up on the Pulse loft)

One of my favorite parts of the Con was the Avenger's Ball on Friday night. The music started in the '40s and then moved through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. There wasn't one bad song played and it wasn't so loud that you couldn't socialize. It was pretty perfect and I hope they do it again. I liked it way better than the other balls I"ve been to there. There was the added bonus of Captain America's USO girls performing with the bonus of Captain American proposing to one of them (for real) afterwards. There are vids below:


Also these costumes are super cute, I kind of want one.


Jen as Jareth from Labyrinth:
Our friends as the Jew Man Group with Caitlin's dad John as the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man


Michelle and I wore our Lost jumpsuits (don't have a pic of the two of us yet though):

I loved this!

Our friends as the Gender bent Avengers:

Jareth dances to the real David Bowie:

And then the Avengers performed:

The next morning we met our friends Mike and Richard from the Beatles band The Return, with some of their families to watch the DragonCon parade. The upside? It was an hour later than usual, at 10am. The downside? It was an hour later than usual, at 10am. I think because it was later more people went and it was jam packed. Like almost unsafe crowds. There was no where good to go to see, and even if we'd gotten there super early, the people in front were getting pushed around by people trying to get through the crowded sidewalks (where you almost couldn't even push through) to the street. We finally wedged ourselves in somewhere, were able to put the two littlest kids in front of the adults in front of us where they could see but not block anyone. Doug and Richard were against the building behind us where they couldn't really see, Mike had to hold his 8 year old daughter so she could see. And his wife Layna (who is very nice), myself and their oldest daughter were crammed together. But everyone mostly managed to keep their sense of humor and we made the best of it. The worst part were the people pushing past us to get to the street, several of them claiming (loudly) that they were going to be sick, because who isn't going to let you through in that case? It wasn't great. But the parade was really good. Here are a few pics:

Steampunk Tetris - fun!

USO Girls and 300 guys:


After the parade, the crowd opened up into the streets and it was actually better. We met Janine at the Sheraton (she was in the parade and somehow spotted Mike and his daughter in the crowd) and miraculously their restaurant didn't have a wait, so we got seated right away. The food took a while, but the crabcake and fries were actually fantastic.

Lunch ended in perfect time for me to get to the panel I was on at 1pm, on education/technology. And then I met up with Doug again who had been next door to check out the solar observing.

Then it took me almost 40 minutes to get to Janine and Bryan's reading, where I ran into Raj and Jen! The crowds were really bad...

I got to sign A Hero By Any Other Name book for one of the attendees (my story is in it), which was cool!

Hyatt atrium:

I couldn't get a good pic, but I did see several Journey costumes at D*C:

After that, I met up with Doug - we were going to try to see a museum exhibit that had Girl with a Pearl Earring but it was too late in the day. So we got cupcakes and went back to the room to relax. This one was salted caramel:

We met up with friends on 5th Hilton for a relaxed dinner and hangout and then that night we dressed up in Trek for the Heroes and Villains ball which turned out to be loud techno music - I lasted about 20 minutes before I'd decided I'd had enough.



This pic of Raj and another TARDIS is kinda blurry, but I didn't see the nice photobomb until I downloaded the pics from my phone.

So Doug and I left the party and I got my picture with the TARDIS:

And we saw this awesome Monty Python group:

And then we ran into Janine.

We hung out with her and her friend Christine a bit and then we ran into Janine's friend "Charlie" who she had moderated a panel for. He was very nice, etc etc - and then after we left him, Janine says, "He was in that 18 Again movie with George Burns back in the 80s." And I went, "OMG, he's CHARLIE SCHLATTER????" Yes, I pulled his last name out of 25 years ago. I totally had a crush on him in high school - he was adorable in that movie.


So Janine's like - we have to go back and tell him! And I'm like Nooo! It's embarrassing! But we went back and told him and he was amused and super nice about it and probably flattered, and he's still cute and super nice! He took a picture with me:

And talked with us for another 15 or 20 minutes. He told us a funny story about Lou Ferrigno and some celebrity baseball game. My 1980s self would be very happy if I could tell her that she'd someday get to meet Charlie Schlatter. :D

We hung out some more with Janine and Christine and then headed to bed. Except a live band was playing at the Sheraton til 2am. Seriously, do not get a pool facing room if you want quiet. It was super loud every night with either drunk idiots or music. (Which also plays early in the morning.)
It's pretty though...

The Lost City of Atlanta:

Since Doug and I missed the Girl with a Pearl Earring exhibit on Saturday, we went Sunday morning. It was at the nearby High museum, just a few MARTA stops away. They had a bunch of 17th century Dutch artists, including some Rembrants, and then Girl with a Pearl Earring. I was really excited to see the real painting for the first time. If you're in Atlanta, the exhibit runs through near the end of September and then goes back to the Netherlands, I believe, so check it out if you like art!
We did first start out at Starbucks where there was, of course, a huge line - from which you could see this other huge line for something DragonCon related. This is a very DragonCon picture:


Then we got to the museum where there was ... a line:

But a line to see art! That's kind of cool!

Ah yes, totally to scale:

I bought stuff at the gift shop, including an umbrella to replace my office one which is broken and then when we got out of there, it was pouring rain!

But we had an umbrella now!

Back to DRagonCon we went to hit up the Creationism and Intelligent Design panel.
On the way we saw a Sharknado:

Then we changed into Star Trek and headed to our meet-up on 10th Marriott.
On the way, I actually ran into Taylor in her Madame Vastra costume! yay! I should have used flash. Oh well.
At the meet-up, we actually had a horda:

And a few photos of me in my new Trek dress (Anovos, I didn't make it) - I have the screen accurate earrings and boots too! Woot!

Jen and Raj:


We also had a Klingon!

David's photos:

We were kind of rushed with photos because we were borrowing other people's photo space. Next we had to decide if we wanted to do the Star Trek World Record. It started at 7 and ran til 9:30 and we really didn't want to commit to 2.5 hours, so a bunch of us got food and then ate on the 10th floor. On the way down for food, we ran into Ashlee and Sam and co in their amazing Hunger Games costumes!

While we were getting food, we ran into this awesome pair - Where's Waldo and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego!

Over the weekend I also saw a couple of people in Breaking Bad costumes. And when we sat down at the table on the 10th floor, I saw this:

Blue meth!

After we ate we took a look over the railing at all the people lined up for the Trek World Record. Lots of blue, red, and yellow down there! I like how this photo almost makes a Trek delta symbol.


We went down to investigate and found Jim Henson and Kermit:

And this awesome 6'8" Spock:

After being pressured by two Klingons, Christine and I found ourselves going in to the World Record. We immediately ran into Caitlin and Rogue and then Kathy was only 2 rows ahead of us, so we all sat together. Garrett Wang (Ensign Kim from Voyager) entertain the crowd and he was wearing a NuTrek costume, which was cool.
We were short people, so I texted Jen and Raj and Doug to ditch their panel and join us. Raj & Bill and Doug did, separately and ended up meeting on line - they were only two rows behind us.

We didn't quite make the World Record at only 917 people in costume. But we did see this Scotty look-alike:

Doug's pic of Caitlin, Rogue, and John, Caitlin's dad:

The view from 42:

After running up to 42 to grab leftover Gatsby snacks, a bunch of us headed over to the Sheraton. Only to find more loud music. It was so loud we couldn't hear the TV. The front desk told us it was going to 2am again, but we got a manager up in the room and she said it was ending at 10. Which was way better.

We played Cards Against Humanity and waited for the Masquerade rerun to start and for everyone else to show up. And then there was a knock at the door. Christine answered it and said, "What's the password?" and a voice said "Masquerade party?" And then Amber walked into the room dressed as a ninja! She surprised everyone by flying back to Atlanta from the Disney race she and Ron were running. It was awesome!


Masquerade party!
The next day was a Silence in the Library meeting in the morning, which went well and we got some Kickstarter fulfillments done. The concierge lounge where we had our meeting stopped serving breakfast so Janine said I had time to run down to the store on the lower level. I pressed the elevator button, and the door opened up - and there was Holly, Bryan, and Dawn - dancing in the elevator to Get Lucky (Stephen Colbert's song of the summer!) and they invited me to their dance party. And we danced all the way down. It was awesome timing! And on the way up I caught the same elevator as Aaron Allston and Tim Zahn, and we were going to the same meeting, so that worked out too!
After checkout, Doug and I met Rogue, John, Raj, Jen, and Ed for lunch in the food court. Rogue and John were dressed as Indy and his father, and when they left, the next table over played the Indiana Jones theme on kazoos.

And then the rest of of us went to check out Robot Wars which was awesome:

And then it was off to the airport!

These pics are not mine but I think the is the favorite costume I've seen in DragonCon pics. That Marriott carpet really is ubiquitous!


Photo credit: Joseph Lin

Also, this circulated after DragonCon - guess I'm glad I never got to the dealer room!.
ETA: Just as I posted this, David put up the official Star Trek meet-up pics he took which turned out awesome! I'll repost a few later. Here's the link:


  1. I met Timothy Zahn at my first con (GenCon 2004). I STILL brag...he was very gracious about my fangirl squee-ing over him!

    1. :-) I'd not met him before but he was very nice.

  2. Hi Maggie!
    That's me in the Iron Man Bustle dress! I have been reading your blog forever and it's really awesome that I randomly met you and didn't know it an also an honor to be put up on it! I love your blog!

    Just thought I'd say hi!


    1. Hi! How funny! I was the one in the Lost jumpsuit. :-) I loved your Iron Man bustle gown, so clever and really well executed! :-) Nice to meet you!