Monday, September 28, 2009

DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Thursday and Friday

DragonCon ruled, as always. And here I am, a few weeks later, trying to go back and blog about it. But, ah ha! I have PICTURES! (If you don't know what DragonCon is or why I care about it, look at older entries. Or hell, just read this stuff and look at the pictures, it ought to sell itself. Or, ya know, google it.

I liked the format I came up with last year, so I'm going to stick with it. This post is the root, and everything will (eventually) grow off of it. As these other pages are finished, this set of links will go live. I just with I'd taken better notes....

DragonCon 2009 Posts:
DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Thrusday and Friday
DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Saturday
DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Sunday and Monday
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: Super Heroes
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: Star Wars
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: misc.
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: SteamPunk
DragonCon 2009 Gun Babes
DragonCon 2009 - The Ladies of DragonCon

A Note On Picture Size -- Photobucket doesn't make it as convenient to make the pictures links as they used to. It can still be done, but I don't feel like going back through and making all these pics links. That said, the images as posted are full resolution, the size is just reduced in the HTML. What that means to you is, if you want the pic full-size just Right-Click and Save or View Image. Either way, you'll get it full-size.

I'm not even going to try and blog every single picture I took, so here's a link to the big photobucket with all my DragonCon 2009 photos.

Actually, I should just state right up front that my own memories will be suplemented by the far more accurate and verbose recolections of my Estemed Colleague, Partner in Mayhem, and Personal Chronicler, Luggagemonkeys. If he wants his real name up here, he'll tell me and I'll change it. Until then, just know that I'll be leaning on his version of events whenever my own memory dims, which is going to be pretty much any fact espoused here not corroborated by photographic evidence. But I strongly encourage you to check out his writings on the matter, he being a far more potent wordsmith than myself.


At some point we decided that we'd played with enough epoxy glue and repainted enough toy guns, and we might as well get up and go over to DragonCon. Ya know, what the hell, right? After a pleasantly uneventful drive over to Atlanta we shacked up with Mrs. Utini's cousin, his wife, and their daughter, the same family we introduced to Dragon last year but with Dad not doing stuff for the Army this time. We all figured the sooner we could get our registration shit out of the way the better, and we knew we'd need to print out our TicketMaster paperwork and take IDs with us to pick them up.

This is where we hit our first little snag.
I'd forgotten to buy tickets.

I had forgotten to buy tickets to fucking DragonCon!

Now, its not like I forgot to get a room at the hotel. You can just waive cash around and get in the door to this thing, but that just isn't going to cut it for the hotel rooms. So really, this just meant that I got the gouge-you-at-the-door price, instead of the properly-planned-ahead price. Live and learn, I guess. It sure as hell coulda been worse. Again, with the hotel room.

We didn't really do anything exciting that night, but I did hit a book store and finally picked up trade paperbacks of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which I'd never bothered to read. I tell you what, within the first fifty pages I was already annoyed at the movies for all the stuff they changed, left out, or just handled in as cheap and meaningless a manner as possible.


After the typical meat-grinder of getting all our crap up to the room (made far more difficult this year by our new-found interest in playing dress up, and my insistence to bring an entire foot locker of new toy guns) we inserted ourselves into the rat race of DragonCon registration, jumping lines at some point for the much-faster "cash only," line. Sure, I'd have rather hung onto that cash for the Dealer's Room, but the hell with waiting in line! I would be remiss if I didn't mention the minor little fit I pitched about the badges -- see, we got kid-size con badges. Seems you only get the "normal" size badges if you pre-register, which I'd forgotten to do. Being as how I sure as hell didn't pay the small entry fee, why the hell do I get stuck with the mini badge? Anyway, it worked just fine, it just pissed me off... and it doesn't match the rest of the con-badge collection...

It was at some vague and inspecific point in around here that Mr. Clerx and our mutual accomplice Jacob humped all his crap up to our room, as he was to be joining us in our room, in an unofficial capacity. Meanwhile Mrs. Utini and I had gotten registered and were doing our first bit of walk-about before going back up to the room to dress out. I'd like to take a moment and quote directly from my Chronicler, and if he minds he can just punch me in the face over it next time we're punching each other in the face.

This was the sea of bodies in which I was adrift, vaguely in search of someone I knew. The crowd musters on Friday afternoon, most attendees shuffling tensely through sorting and registration. Then luggage is cracked open, friends are found, and everyone delights in swapping their “people suits” for more expressive personae. The place is fucking awash in esprit de corps. Facepaint and fresh corsets are everywhere; the place even has that “new Con smell” of leather, perfume, fine tobacco smoke and fresh-peeled latex, with flecks of newly dried spray paint drifting at the periphery. Squeals and flashbulbs flicker constantly at the edge of your senses, like the chariots all pulled in to Valhalla at the same time, wheels a-smokin’.
-- Luggagemonkeys

Meanwhile the little lady and myself were parusing the various offerings to be had in the dealer's rooms. There were a few items we both wanted to pick up, or at least keep an eye out for, and we gave the whole spread a good, quick once-over. After popping back to the room for a quick snack and re-group with Jacob it was time to play dress-up, because the way things were looking to play out Friday night was going to be Steampunk Day at DragonCon. Being new to the costuming thing, I was pretty excited about it. These were our Friday night get-ups:

Note the vintage spats, hand-made holster, and classic Nintendo light gun (with a new coat of paint).

Cowboy hats, yo. Cowboy hats.

Anyway, we got all gussied up and headed down from the room and out to the party. My eventual goal was to make it to the Brass Goggles meet-up in the Hyatt bar. It was amusing to watch the faces of folks around the bar, a normally safe ground for the more "normal" folks at the con, as they slowly realized they were surrounded by brown leather, brass, and plasma disks. The meet-up was a high-light of the con for me, meeting folks (if rather briefly) whom I've spoken with online, and generally being part of a big ass batch of like minded freakery.

Just a few pics from the meet-up for now. I'm saving the rest for the Costumes: Steampunk post.

I had tried to get a group shot organized on the forum before the con, but it became clear that to successfully pre-plan something like that I was going to have get pretty damn pushy, so I said the hell with it. Well, after the third lady said something to me about getting a group shot organized I took matters into my own hands. Climbing up on my own hind legs I drew a might breath and called out, thrice, "All steampunks, group photo, main lobby, right now!" And I only had to do it three times! Just three good shouts got everyone moving, those lovely motivated Victorians.

Now, being a part of the group, I didn't take these next shots myself, and I don't remember where I downloaded them from -- if they are yours, let me know.

I'm waaaaaay in the back on this one, holding my rifle aloft.

These next two, however, I did take. These were the "all girls," line up:

Show a little leg, ladies!

The meet up was a lot of fun. As it broke up I went back to trolling the con. That's pretty much what I do at con --- get dressed up, fire up the camera, and just start walkin' and talkin'. Looking for friends, dodging nemesises, and generally just takin' it all in. In these travels I was witness to a spectacle more fit for Mardi Gras than DragonCon. The Atlanta Police objected to this spectacle, and Photobucket does not approve of the evidence, but one lady decided who needs a costume, when you've got tits!

Mr. Roboto approves of this decision.

I had a nipple shot, but photobucket, well, they didn't like it. :-(

I spent a lot of time Friday night just screwing around. There were things going on that I wanted to go to, like the Steampunk Time Travelers Ball, but the line went out the door, around the corner and out of LOS, and Charlie don't wait in line. I had Mrs. Utini with me for most of this phase, between her power naps. Here are a few pictures of her with various costumed types.

Cruxshadows Faeries

We also found Dave and Cooper, plus Will, at some vague and unspecified point in the weekend. I would hook up with these folks on and off throught the con, and here's a picture of Cooper plus ears:

After a bit of wandering my lovely bride went back to the room for another power nap. We had a lot of time to kill (they didn't go on until almost 2:00, I totally could have played a game or something at this point, but just kept wandering) before the Big Show for Friday night -- Abney Park. I didn't take any pics of the actual show, but I did get a few fun shots of Nathan (their bass player) over the course of the weekend.

The show was good. I've seen them play better, they were a bit scattered and unfocused, but under the circumstances they did a damn fine job (even with the shit sound mix). Finn had left the band about 2 weeks before the convention, and the new girl who was filling in was... OK. Given how long she had to get ready she hit it out of the park, no doubt about it. And with time she may fit into the band better. On the day, though, her voice was a bit too "strong," given the ethereal quality I'm used to. That might be part of it, too, I'm just very used to Finn as background, but where Finn sounds exotic and steampunk, the new girl sounded brash and dieselpunk. The image I kept getting from her voice was Willy Scott singing in Temple of Doom.

You'd think I'd have just gone to bed after the show, but no, I had to wander around until like 5 in the morning or something. I took more pics (of course) which will show up in their theme-appropriate galleries.

On to Saturday...

1 comment:

Luggagemonkeys said...

After going through this, I gotta say, your own account is more than readable. Now that we're all blogging and photobucketing and whatnot, I feel like the post-Con afterglow just stretches and stretches, for weeks afterward. I'm still playing ArcAttack YouTube videos every time things get mundane and frantic at the office.

Also, damn that's a lot of steampunk! And I'm totally stealing and propagating the word "freakery." I know you intend to do this with most of them, but make sure you link the steampunk group shots to a larger image - the population's impressive, but I can barely make out the sprocket-laden corsets!