They say what happens at Dragon*Con, stays at Dragon*Con which is a neat way of summing up a good chunk of the spirit of the convention. And my OH MY, did it have a lot of spirit! So the quick summary is that I had a great time during my first visit to the largest fandom convention I’ve ever been to.
Looking back though, my Dragon Con got off to a pretty bad start, I just didn’t know it at the time. It wasn’t being tired from a road trip back from Philadelphia a couple of days before, filled with emotion and sadness. Or even taking the wrong ramp near Nashville and adding 80 miles to my trip to Atlanta. It was the discovery, after checking into a hotel a 700 mile drive from home, that my driver’s license had expired a week ago! I was devastated to have had such a lapse, especially after vowing to do a better job of planning after the messiness of Otakon.
A call home to my wife, the best wife ever BTW, calmed me down and I put the problem of driving home out of my mind. I think the real problem may have been that now I was in the middle of Mardi Gras for Nerds without a valid form of ID. I think I must have been the oldest underaged person at the con! Well, I’m not a big drinker anyway, and I had brought 4 bottles of beer from home anyway. So not all of my planning was fail.
Thursday night I was too tired to do much more than wander about to get a feel for things. Already I could see that this con was quite a different animal than Otakon and most anime oriented conventions I’d been to. For one thing, most people were a lot older and that fact alone gave Dragon*Con a vibe that was on a whole different level. I mean after all, a young girl running around in a skimpy costume may not know what she’s getting into or even who she’s portraying. But a mature woman in same knows exactly what she’s doing and what she wants. And that is truly sexy!
Friday I donned my Deep Space 9 uniform and headed out to the Trek Track at the Sheraton. It’d been ages since I’d been able to hang out with so many fellow Star Trek fans, including more than a few married couples. So the Trek Track became my hub for the convention. I did duck out a bit for the Babyon 5 panel with Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan (swoooon). And I stumbled into the Erin Gray panel too, before returning to the Trek Track for Klingon Karaoke. I didn’t sing any Klingon songs, but I did sing a country one which is close right? Just kidding. I like country music. So I did one of my favorites, Beer for My Horses with a few references to Saurion Brandy and Romulan Ale thrown in for good measure. After that, I changed into my Miho cosplay, aka “party clothes”, and rocked the Apocalypto dance until the early morning. Some of that rocking included a stint dancing on stage and getting some samba lessons up there as well. Oh my!
The late night Friday gave way to an early wake up for the Dragon Con Parade on Saturday morning. I’d heard about the parade and was looking forward to marching in my Uhura cosplay with the Star Trek contingent. It turned out to be more fun than I had imagined. The Star Trek group was friendly and cool. We may not have been the largest group, but we were pretty awesome with a range of costumes from serious to silly. We had a Kirk in a bath robe, some party Klingons, a Starfleet officer Steampunk style, and some awesome Andorians, just to name a few. I loved it! There were thousands of enthusiastic fans along the parade route and marching and waving felt great. That is definitely something I want to do again! (Sadly, I lost the contact card I got from the lady in Starfleet Steampunk. If you happen to see this post, please DM me on Twitter @bluezhift!)
After the parade, my next mission was to get Nichelle Nichols’ autograph and show her my costume. The crowds were incredible! At some points it felt like being in some dense, slow moving, human fluid. Nevertheless, I achieved my goal and got my copy of Beyond Uhura signed plus a smile for my cosplay. I gotta say, my Uhura cosplay is definitely one of my all time favorite costumes. ^_^
Sunday I had planned to watch the Miss Star Trek Universe Pageant. Instead, I ended up being a part of it! Before the show, I was selected with a number of other cosplayers to play Kahless Says. Yes, the Klingon version of Simon Says. Uhura made it to the final round before being killed by hired Andorians. Hopefully my death flop in front of none other than Nichelle Nichols herself didn’t show too much panty! The pageant was fun to watch with most of the contestants being totally and hilariously in character. The winner was a Vulcan whose humor and talent were priceless.
Like some wild night in Vegas, a lot of what happened is a bit of a blur by this time so I’ve included the tweets I made during the convention at the end of this report. Getting home was an adventure in luck and discipline. It is literally impossible to maintain the posted speed limit on the highway without serious risk of being run over. But aggressive use of cruise control, some patience, and divine providence got me home safely. Atlanta has not seen the last of me!
Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-01
- Just woke up and the crowds here at #DragonCon are still going strong! Should I join them or go back to sleep? #
- Got totally depressed because I forgot to do something really important before I left for #DragonCon Just gotta forget it for now… #
- Can’t hurt to tour about a little at 1:11am…right? #DragonCon #
- Oops! More like 2am actually! #DragonCon #
- I’m usually a nervous my first time to a con, but #DragonCon is so overwhelming that I may need some extra undies! #
- Started out #DragonCon right, with the Trek Track of course! And Garret Wang does a great George Takei! #
- Got some pics with this cool Trek fan couple. Lots of cosplay up in here! #DragonCon #
- Tried to see Geek Parent panel, but it was full. So now at Erin Gray panel. ^_^ #DragonCon#
- Now at the B5 panel. Mira Furlan, SWOOOON!!! #DragonCon #
- Deep in the bowels of the Hyatt at Know Your Anime. Much younger crowd here, LOL. May bail for Filk soon. #DragonCon #
- At Filk now. My ears are happy! Eyes too actually! ^_^ #DragonCon #
- Lined up for Opening Ceremonies yay!! #dragoncon #
Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-02
- Lots of country at Klingon Karaoke. I’m alright with it, had fun singing Beer for My Horses. #DragonCon #
- Of course, my horses prefer Romulan Ale, but that stuff’s illegal. #DragonCon #
- Danced my arse off at Apocalyto Disco, and OMG, I danced on stage! I kinda sucked on stage, but it was awesome! #DragonCon #
- In the parade in, gulp, a few hours. Might be a good idea to sleep now. Goodnight #DragonCon #
- Being in the parade was a hoot! So many people in awesome costumes! And the huge cheering crowd was awesome too! #DragonCon #
- After the parade, I changed my load out and headed for the Walk of Fame where I got to show my Uhura to the original Uhura. ^_^ #DragonCon #
- Got my copy of Beyond Uhura signed by Nichelle Nichols and told her I finished my physics degrees we talked about years ago. #DragonCon #
- In con dim sum mode now. Any panel I can get into is a good panel! Did SWOTOR, mystical book anime, now Project Cosplay. #DragonCon #
- Project Cosplay off and running with a nude Dead Pool. Oh Dead Pool! XD #DragonCon #
- I love being at #DragonCon with my nerdy brothers and sisters! Time to eat cause I’m dyin!#
Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-03
- Another exhaustingly fun #DragonCon day comes to an end with 2 dance parties and a creepy guy touching me. LOL, my cue to leave. #
- @ButerflySamurai that’s too bad! I hope you’re otherwise having a great con. These crowds are crazy insane! in reply to ButerflySamurai #
- The cutest thing I saw today was a Mass Effect cosplayer dad with a baby in a stroller dubbed the Normandy. D’AAAAW! #DragonCon #
- Plan to spend a lot of time in the Sheraton today on Trek and Dr Who stuff. I <3 you both! Don’t make me choose! #DragonCon #
- I like that #DragonCon attendees are closer to my age! Yes, this is the grown up con I’ve been looking for! #
- Woo hoo! I made it to the Sylvester McCoy panel only a little late. ^_^ #DragonCon #
- @geekitry indeed it is! in reply to geekitry #
- @ButerflySamurai lol, cosplay is a fun way to express many facets of our personalities (or none at all). A diamond with 1 face = boring in reply to ButerflySamurai #
- One of the things I like best about #DragonCon are the Southern accents. I could listen to that all day. <3 #
- Time to feed my Trek nature again! Dorm and Frakes! #DragonCon #
- My plan was to watch Ms. Star Trek Universe. I ended up IN it playing Kahless Says! In front of Nichelle Nichols no less! <3 #DragonCon #
- With all the fun I’ve had cosplaying Uhura, I really want to thank William Ware Theiss for his beautiful costumes! #DragonCon #
- #DragonCon masquerade overflow in the Marriott still has plenty of room! #
- WTF?! Overflow masquerade has tech issues plus a band is practicing here in the same room. Why the disrespect #DragonCon Seriously… #
Tales from the Tweet for 2012-09-04
- Looks like my #DragonCon is over for 2012. Gotta say it, it was a lot more than I expected and I hope to return again! ^_^ #
- Checkpoint! 212 miles out. On course for Chicago. Bye #DragonCon #
- Checkpoint! 283 miles out, rain. All is well. #
- Checkpoint! 495 miles out. More rain. All is well. Final fuel stop. #
- Goal! Defiant returns home under cloak. #DragonCon #outrun #