John and I drove up to Atlanta on Wednesday, a full day early, figuring we'd beat the crowds and get a nice leisurely start to the weekend. It worked like a charm, and I *highly* recommend it if you're able. By Thursday afternoon all the host hotels were backed up as thousands upon thousands of geeks attempted to all check in at once. Parking garages were shut down, lines were long, traffic was awful, and we smugly breezed by it all to go grab our passes feeling nice and refreshed. ;)
Thursday night is when we first met Renee (who made that amazing Epbot plushie) and her posse from DCTV. For those who've been to Dragon*Con, this is the group that makes those hilarious bumper videos playing before each panel. They lured us to a room party with promises of fruity drinks and celebrities, and while Colin Ferguson never showed (we love you anyway, Colin!) they still didn't disappoint:
Renee's husband Alex and his best friend Stephen (aka "the bald guy" on DCTV) have a podcast called Disasterpiece Theatre, and somehow they managed to get me and John tipsy enough with fruity drinks to agree to be on it, right then and there, in the hotel room, with about 20 people crammed in the one room listening to us. o.0 Like all recordings of myself, I will never listen to it, but I'm pretty sure I said nothing even remotely interesting. But the guys are awesome, so you should go listen to the show they did with Colin, 'cuz that one is hysterical.
To give you an idea, this happened during Colin's show last year:
Also on Thursday I got to play photographer for my friend Christie, who was swimming in the Marriott pool in her brand new mermaid tail. Definitely one of those "only at Dragon*Con" kind of things: there was a mermaid in the pool!
And these were taken with my 7D:
Shoots like this make me daydream about being a professional portrait photographer. I'm not saying I have the skill for it, but I just love it SO DARN MUCH. I could take pictures of people and play with them in Photoshop all day, every day. Besides, it's fun ordering pretty people around. "Now give me 'playfully mischievous.' Thaaat's it. [click click click] Now growl. You're a tiger. YOU'RE A JUNGLE TIGER."
Ok, back to Dragon*Con.
My parents arrived on Thursday as well, and my mom came prepared with a different steampunky outfit for each day of the con. Of course, my mom's version of steampunk is anything but drab:
The fact that my parents come with us to Dragon*Con is one of the great joys in my life, and the fact that they enjoy it as much as they do never ceases to amaze me. They go off to panels and events on their own, and then tell us all about them at dinner. Plus every time I think the crowds and mayhem MUST be making them miserable, I turn to see Dad beaming at the people around us and remarking how wonderful it is that everyone there is so nice and polite, and how beautiful all the costumes are. The crowds did start to get to Mom a little this year, but she's a trooper, and she loves posing for pictures and excitedly pointing out that I'm her daughter every time we meet a fan. (Um, thanks, Mom....)
This year I decided to cut down drastically on the amount of panels we'd see to give myself more time to relax and wander. It worked, but I think I may have cut down TOO much, since John mentioned he'd have liked to see more. Maybe next year I'll hit the right balance. Anyway, the panels I most wanted to see were The Guild and Eureka, and for The Guild we discovered one of our Press pass perks was that John and I were allowed to stand in the back of the massive auditorium, as opposed to sitting with the crowd.
This was perfect for my anxiety (middle seats make me crazy), and also perfect for us to test the HUGE zoom lens my Dad had rented for the con. Seriously, this thing was a monster. It had to be a foot long, easy. And the room seated, what, three thousand people? But I managed to get shots like this from so far away that the people on stage were nothing but tiny blurs:
I post this pretty picture of Felicia to make up for what I'm about to post, which is the most epic "DERP" face I have ever seen:
Hee! Sorry, Felicia. And Robin. :D
The panel itself was quite good. It's always tough with that many people on stage, and I don't think Robin said more than three words, but there were still plenty of great moments. Like when Amy innocently asked, "Wait. What's a 'taint'?"
And here's where someone's phone rang, and Sandeep made her bring it to the stage so he could answer it:
Good times.Yowza, this post is getting kinda long, and I'm only about half way through! So I'm going to break here and post the rest later today, k? Stay tuned!