Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beth's Dragon Con Recap - Part Three

Parts 1 and 2 are up if you haven't checked them out yet. You probably should do that before you read part 3, otherwise you'll be pretty lost. Not LOST, just regular non-smoke monster lost. I don't think I could be trusted with a smoke monster anyway. Like superpowers, I'd only use it for evil.

So where was I...? Oh yeah, heading in to Saturday evening. I had to meet the Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show (from here abbreviated from here on out as DDCCGGSS to save time) crew at 7 o'clock. It was only 5:30 when I left "the spot" at the Marriott to head over to the Hilton, but I wanted time to freshen up before everyone else got to Phantom's room. I also needed a break from the crowds and the noise before gearing up for what was sure to be a loud and raucous night. I'm not sure what my job is. My job description was "production coordinator" and my badge said "Beth In Charge". If I'd known I'd be getting an "in charge" badge I would have asked for it to list my name as Charles. But then I don't have an irritating sidekick to go with that name so until I get myself a Willie Aames I guess that wouldn't work. I understood my job to be assisting the performers with whatever they needed. I don't know that I did anything besides drawing anchors on Popeye the Sailor Moon's forearms, but since I still received thanks I must have done something.
Maybe you got in last year, maybe you didn't. Either way I'm sure you noticed that more space was needed. So instead of a tiny room at the Marriott we got a ballroom at the Hyatt. It sure seemed big when we got there, but still didn't look big enough. It clearly wasn't since we once again had to turn people away. Sorry if you didn't make it in this year, but the way to fix that is to go on the Dragon Con app and let them know. I'm not going to go into detail about the show, because as Phantom already said, you should have been there. During the show I was stationed way at the back manning the merchandise "display". I say it like that because we weren't allowed to sell merchandise at the show (we're not vendors), but stuff that you could buy online was nicely spread out, and available to look at. The tech guys were great, but we didn't realize that we only had one guys from Tech Ops. The light controls were at the back of the room, and the audio controls up at the front. I was given direction on how to press one single button on the complicated light panel to turn the lights from off to on at the start of the show. Of course, full lighting wasn't good for trying to see the screen, but I had no idea how to turn the lights down. During my random button pressing there was a brief rave until the Tech Ops guys ran back and told me which button to hit. I wouldn't have minded doing the lights if I'd been shown how to operate them in advance, but since I hadn't been I can hardly be blamed for the mess I made of things. The only problem I had (besides the lights) was that there was a gap of about an inch between the back wall that separated us from a dance party as it was setting up. I heard it was the Dilithium Crystal Ball, but as I didn't see it on the schedule for Saturday night I can't be sure. All I know is that it was loud. As a result the back 4 to 5 rows and I had a hard time hearing over the dance music. Considering that it hadn't started I don't see why it had to go on the entire damn time. That would be my only real complaint. It was a great show, and I'm so happy I got to be a part of it in whatever small way that I was.
In Phantom's Part 3 post he simply says that everyone was exhausted after the show.Very true, but there was still the small matter of cleaning up the room. Once that was done it was time to party. Don't let Phantom fool you in to thinking that we all went quietly and soberly to sleep at midnight. It was pushing 12:30am when we made it to the Hyatt patio where we met up with a bunch of friends. Thinking to find more action at the Marriott we made our way over there in time to find a lull while Nerf Herder was getting set up to play. I kind of wanted to see them, but we were in no mood for a lull. We turned to "the most interesting man at Dragon Con" Ryan Schweck and told him to find us a dance party. And in no time he had us at The Last Party on Alderaan because that's what he does. It wasn't my kind of music, but thanks to my time with Mr. Tibbs I know a few Miley Cyrus songs. Damn him! Phantom wasn't as into it as the rest of us, but he was a good sport about it. When that wrapped up we regrouped at "the spot" to decide where we were going next. We hung out and had a few drinks while doing some great Saturday late-night people watching. It amuses me to think of 2:30 in the morning as late when 10 years ago I thought nothing staying at a Dragon Con rave until 6am. The 10 years between 30 and 40 are life changing my friends. If you're not there yet you need to go nuts right fucking now. Past 40 the spirit is willing, but all too easily gives in to the body's weakness for a comfy bed. The Secret Room dance party was just about to get started at this time, but there was a 20 minute wait to get inside. Stading in line not having fun at 3am was not for us so we finally decided to call it a night.
I didn't sleep very well, and this year it wasn't because of a poor food to alcohol ratio. I ate right before the DDCCGGSS, and was fine. It was more of the sensory overload of the weekend combined with not sleeping at home in my own bed. I'm to used to 2 cats and Mr. Tibbs rolling all over the place at night. Once Phantom got up he turned on Dragon Con TV and lo and behold there was the Firefly panel I missed on Friday (Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin). It was followed by the other Firefly panel (Adam again, Sean Maher, and Summer Glau). And then the Gotham panel (the show is a train wreck, but I love Sean Pertwee). I decided to be in no hurry to get out of the comfy bed since I had wanted to see these panels anyway. They weren't as amazing as I was hoping they would be. Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin didn't seem to want to sit too close to each other, but tried to cover it up. The other panel wasn't very exciting either. Glad I got to watch them in a bed. By 1pm it really was time to get off my ass and get back out on the street (or carpeted walkway, same thing). I met up with some friends for a few beers before heading over to the Myth and History panel. It was supposed to be about how mythology and history have infulenced writers like Tolkein, Martin, and others of note. I really wanted this to be a good panel because I love fantasy lit and mythology. I just wasn't sure what to expect. Once the panel started introducing themselves I was feeling pretty optimistic. They were all writers or experts in mythology and/or history. It got off to a great start. Here's another expample of a panel I though would be empty, but wasn't. It was a full house, and listening to the people around us talk about their writing projects or other academic quests I was glad that there was no Q&A portion listed on the panel description. Nothing kills a panel for me faster than an audience trying to prove how much smarter they are than the rest of the audience or the panelists. Unfortunately, despite this not being a Q&A panel the audience decided to all start jumping in at inappropriate places. If you've read American Gods then you know it IS mythology. Not inspired by or borrowing from. That's what it actually is, and not what this panel was supposed to be about. My friend Luke had been worried about hearing too much about the War of the Roses. I was worried about hearing too much about greek mythology (which I'm only an amatuer fan of. Not claiming to be an expert, but I used to read A LOT of Bulfinch). We didn't get a chance for either as the audience quickly made this into a debate about Judeo-Christian themes. Quick note audience members: it's not about you unless you're asked to participate. The people on that panel were chosen to speak. Maybe you have good ideas or a valid point, but wait for the moderator to turn it over to the audience. If you want to be on a panel then contact the track director and get yourself on a panel. Then you can give the world you opinion. Can't get on a panel? Find another outlet for your thoughts and opinions. Hell, it's what I'm doing right now. I think you can safely surmise that we did not make it all the way through this panel.
After that it was up to the Hyatt bar to unwind and await the arrival of the rest of some of the gang. Luke and Sharron had out of town guests that wanted to eat at The Vortex, but since I live here and can eat there anytime I want I didn't feel like it was worth me leaving the "con zone". Instead Rich and I hung out looking for something closer to the action. We found that Gnoll and several others were about to eat dinner at Max Lager's which was only one block up and over. It was also perfect timing to get me back for Phantom's Big Trouble in Little China panel. Unfortunately, it was super busy, and their credit card machines were down. By the time we got back to the host hotel area I had missed the start of the panel, and was so tired that all I wanted to do was go home and sleep for a week. I know, I punked out super early this year. Remember earlier what I said about the over 40 mind/body dynamic?
So with a fork stuck in me I was done. Mr. Tibbs was on his way home from band practice so it seemed the best time to wrap it up, and catch a ride home. He had dropped me off on Saturday moring so that I didn't have to pay for overnight parking. Last year my battery was dead when I got back to my car Sunday night too so I was understandably a little gun shy. Once again, I didn't see even half the things I wanted to see this year. As the con gets bigger (and more fun) every year it becomes less and less likely that you can do it all. I mark 2 to 3 things on my app at the same time, and just decide what I'm really going to do based on where I am, and what else is happening at the time. Do I wish I'd gone to more panels? Of course I do, but there were 77,000 other nerds who wanted to do the same stuff I was doing. If I spent all my time in line for panels I pretty much wouldn't be able to do anything else. The things I thought would be empty were packed, and the things I though would be packed were empty. I try to earn my badge by being as balanced as possible for you guys. Maybe next year I'll take a poll to see which (if any) panels you guys want me to cover for you. Maybe next year I'll get one of those mini-airconditioner thingies that makes it okay to stand outside for 3 hours without shiveling up into Beth Jerky. Indeed, a good time was had by all, and I can't wait to see what they do next year. Thanks to Phantom (without whom...), all my friends for the fun, Dan Carroll and the entire media team, and all of the volunteers who bust their asses every year to keep Dragon Con going. See you all next year!


Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been reborn as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet. Follow beth0rama on Instagram or on Twitter @NeedlessBeth where she doesn't post often enough to be annoying, but updates way more than Google+

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